Move over Smaug, you may meet your scaly competition in 2014 with the release of the Fifth Edition of Dungeons and Dragons.
This year marks the 40th anniversary of the role-playing game Dungeons & Dragons. To mark this occasion, Wizards of the Coast are releasing a new edition of D&D, the first since 2008. They’ve been teasing fans for over a year, but finally we have details on the storyline and the release dates!
The storyline is called The Tyranny of Dragons and includes both a new module for the MMO Neverwinter, as well as a traditional tabletop variant. In this new era of D&D, the Cult of the Dragon seeks to free the evil queen of the dragons Tiamat and draw her into the Forgotten Realms. The Sword Coast is threatened as dragons pillage the cities in search of treasures fit for their queen.
Wizards of the Coast is staggering the release of elements of Dungeons & Dragons to preserve quality throughout the rollout. Predictably, most of the goodies will be available around GenCon in August, but fans can pick up their starter sets on July 15th for $19.99. According to Mike Mearls, the head of the Dungeons & Dragons R&D team, the starter set will be geared toward the Dungeon Master. It will have a number of Pre-Generated Characters, and based on Mearls’ tweets, while it doesn’t appear to walk a player through character creation, it will be possible.
To clear up the Starter Set – it’s aimed at DMs, so no PC creation in the box. But players will be able to make characters without it.
— Mike Mearls (@mikemearls) May 20, 2014
Players will be able to complete a full campaign starting August 19th with the release of the Players Handbook ($49.95) and the first core book Hoard of the Dragon Queen ($29.95). September 30th brings the release of the Monster Manual ($49.95), followed by The Rise of Tiamat ($29.95) on October 21st, and finally the Dungeon Master’s Guide ($49.95) on November 19th. While that’s a lot of materials to purchase, Mearls assuages broke nerds via twitter by assuring them that, “you will not need the MM or DMG to run a campaign. Or the PH or Starter Set to make a character.”
The details about what is in the Starter Kit and how the new rules will affect the campaigns haven’t been released, and the Wizard folks are tight-lipped on Twitter. It has caused some vitriol with fans, but there is wide speculation that an unannounced piece of the puzzle will make it all come together.
For the members of the community who prefer their gaming with less human interaction, the Tyranny of Dragons module for Neverwinter will launch on August 14 of this year.
So far the artwork looks amazing and the storyline seems solid. The new minimalist logo hints toward an enticing rebranding for the Fifth Edition of Dungeons and Dragons. As for gameplay, characters, and Neverwinter improvements, we’ll just have to wait and see! Let us know in the comments or on the GEEK Facebook page what your dream enhancements are!
Images: Wizard of the Coast