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Nerd Watching: Come to a Store Near You!

Written by Nicholas - Published on August 24, 2009

Nicholas is the columnist in charge of Nerd Watching and part-time Expy wrangler. He also works as the community manager, so keep an eye out for him on RPG blogs and forums.

Cordell and Collins on All Fronts

During Gen Con, WotC designers Bruce Cordell and Andy Collins were very busy guys. They gave interviews to all the RPG press that came looking. Now that we have all returned home and slept off Gen Con, all of those interviews have started to crop up. Luckily we all asked them different sorts of questions. Our video blog has posted part one of Yax’s interview with the duo. The interview was mostly about Insider, but in part two I manage to sneak in a question about fifth edition. Our friends over at Critical Hits have posted their interview in podcast form. The Critical Hits interview focuses on Monks, power sources and psionics. It is not posted as of this writing, but the next episode (114) of the Tome Show is another interview with the Collins/Cordell duo.

The Travel Guide to Eberron

Speaking of the Tome Show, I was just on episode 113! We discuss both 4e Eberron books and give our opinions. In a larger sense the show serves as a great primer for the Eberron world. We talk about each area of the campaign world and give a general feel of how an Eberron campaign should go. I was the Eberron newbie of the panel, so I am somewhat quiet but I enjoyed listening to the discussion. If you ever wanted to know about Eberron but don’t know where to start, this is a good place.

Product Round-Up

There were many D&D products announced at Gen Con. We mentioned the Ravenloft board game and the big Dark Sun announcement last time, but we still missed a lot. Critical Hits has handily compiled the product announcements, complete with pictures. The product announcement reveals a different path for 4e and D&D in general.

Most of the 4e products until now have been player option books, like the Adventure’s Vault or the power source books, or campaign setting books. This crop is showing a lot more diversity. There is Primal Power and Martial Power 2, as well as the third incarnation of the core three books, but there is much more.

It looks like there will be more books exploring settings. The Planes Below, The Planes Above and The Underdark seem more fluffy than most of what we have seen in 4e so far. There are books slated to explore the Dragonborn and Tiefling races, who have a rich history suggested in the PHB but never fully fleshed out. There are mini-books that focus on specific city locations. If the announced Demonicon has half of the idea heaped into Open Graves, I’ll be very happy with that. That collection of books sounds like it is meant to appeal to those lameting a lack of fluff in 4e.

On the other side of the coin, we have things meant for the kick down the door player. Massive dungeon crawls appeal to the hack and slash player, but they are serving a dual purpose. The two announced mega-dungeons are both inspired by old D&D adventures, presumably to capture the old school gamers. I’m not sure what to make of the Player Startegy Guide, aside from loving Gabe’s art. I don’t know if it is intended to keep newbie’s from making broken characters or for helping min-maxers make hyper-optimized characters. I’d love to know more about this book.

The whole product line up reveals 4e attempting to broaden their appeal and reach a wider market of gamers. We’ll just have to wait and see if that pays off.

What do you think of the release line up? Does it excite you, disgust you or bore you to tears?

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Written by Nicholas

Nick DiPetrillo is the original author behind the games Arete and Zombie Murder Mystery available at http://games.dungeonmastering.com

Nick is no longer active with DungeonMastering.com, however he is an accomplished writer and published his first game in 2009.

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Nicholas is the columnist in charge of Nerd Watching and part-time Expy wrangler. He also works as the community manager, so keep an eye out for him on RPG blogs and forums.



2 Responses to “Nerd Watching: Come to a Store Near You!”
  1. Starwind1985 says:

    I’m surprised you didn’t mention the D&D edition of heroscape

  2. bookkeeper says:

    If I counted the products on that slide correctly, it looks like they’re releasing some 29 products in the next 12 months. I wish them all the luck in the world, but why does it look like they’re trying to produce the 4e version of the d20 glut all on their lonesome?

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