An exclusive look at the new D&D Player’s Handbook—and The Warlock
Ethan Gilsdorf gets a first-look at some incredible high-res art from the latest edition of the classic pen-and-paper role-playing game.
Will Wizards of the Coast get D&D right this time?
That’s the question on the minds of adventurers young and old ever since the announcement that new rules for Dungeons & Dragons would finally be revealed this year. (At various times, this rebooted D&D has been called “D&D Next,” “5th Edition D&D” and “5.0.” Wizards of the Coast, D&D’s publisher, is now simply calling the game “Dungeons & Dragons.”)
But whether the release schedule is designed to whet or frustrate our appetites is another question. As if compressing a decade's worth of D&D iterations into six months, Wizards has planned a clever summer-into-fall roll out of this latest rule set, with many a product to buy along the way. Craftier than a mage casting a spell of Confusion, Wizards first teased us with a free PDF called Basic Rules for Dungeons & Dragons D&D Starter Set, a rulebook and adventure package, complete with dice and pre-generated characters, that will remind many gamers of the quick-to-learn Basic boxed sets published throughout D&D’s history. Thus far, the 5th Edition rules I’ve seen nicely mix just-complex-enough magic and combat systems with playability, while also emphasizing character creation and roleplaying. It’s a balance that veteran gamers should appreciate.
Next come three hefty hardcovers that hearken back to the Advanced Dungeons & Dragons core rulebooks. The first one, the Player’s Handbook, doesn’t arrive until August 19; the Monster Manual is scheduled for September 30; and the climax and clincher, the Dungeon Master's Guide, we won’t see until November 18.
Boing Boing was offered an exclusive preview of that character-building tome, the Player’s Handbook, which promises to provide “Everything a player needs to create heroic characters for the world’s greatest roleplaying game.” And here's some of rulebook’s art, as well as an exclusive reveal of a new D&D class: the Warlock. While these nibbles don’t give you much of a flavor for the rules, they do show you some eye-candy that will get you into a dungeon-crawling D&D mood.
“There’s an old joke in roleplaying, that people will always want to tell you about their character,” said Mike Mearls, Senior Manager of R&D for Dungeons & Dragons at Wizards of the Coast, who led the game design for 5th Edition D&D. But Mearls doesn’t need to remind you that in a D&D game, “any character can die at almost any time, just because of a bad die roll.”
So enjoy this brief taste from Player’s Handbook, and may you roll your dice well, fellow adventurers.
RED DRAGON & ADVENTURERS
Yes, D&D 5th Edition still has dragons. Here’s an iconic scene, illustrated by Daren Bader, of a red dragon in its lair, perched atop its golden hoard, all Smaug-like, as it prepares to roast a party of bold adventurers. [Photo: Wizards of the Coast/Artist: Daren Bader]
WOOD ELF CITY
In this scene of an enchanted forest city, illustrated by Thom Tenery, we get a good idea how the wood elves might live (with more than a few nods to Peter Jackson’s movie version of Rivendell). [Photo: Wizards of the Coast/Artist: Thom Tenery]
“It slices, it dices, it makes Julienne orcs.” In this scene by Wayne Reynolds, a powerful student of the renowned wizard Mordenkainen is ready to whup ass after having cast the spell Mordenkainen’s sword under the watchful gaze of his owl familiar. [Photo: Wizards of the Coast/Artist: Wayne Reynolds]
In this scene illustrated by Claudio Pozas, a sorcerer casts a Cloudkill spell while his dwarven adventuring pal looks on. Meanwhile, a band of bugbears coughs and wheezes as the toxic spell descends on them. You can almost hear the one in front say, “Uh ... Zorg? You OK? Me feeling little funny....” [Photo: Wizards of the Coast/Artist: Claudio Pozas]
HIGH ELF WIZARD
A somewhat cartoonish (but thankfully not scantily-clad) high elf enchanter, as envisioned by Scott M. Fischer. [Photo: Wizards of the Coast/Artist: Scott M. Fischer]
A teaser of the “Warlock” character class. In this front and back page pair from the new Player’s Handbook, the in-house design team at Wizards of the Coast combines key design elements from the new rule books with art from multiple artists. The Warlock is illustrated by Rob Rey, while the warlock’s accessories for her magic stuff (frog, bowl) are illustrated by Wayne England. The background is by Mark Molnar. [Photo: Wizards of the Coast/Artist: Rob Rey/ Wayne England/Mark Molnar]
I asked Amy Parness, the co-founder of Sparkle Labs, maker of fantastic educational electronics kits, to write a Medium post about gender and the business of being a maker business person. Her terrific essay calls out the problems with “pink girly engineering kits.” From Medium:
Zero UI is the new term for “invisible interfaces”—what happens in the future when all the clicking and tapping and typing is history: “If you look at the history of computing, starting with the jacquard loom in 1801, humans have always had to interact with machines in a really abstract, complex way.” [Fast Company]
CEO Dick Costolo will resign, to be replaced in the interim by Jack Dorsey
Skip the technical jargon and get right to taking amazing, professional-quality photos with this complete training. The Hollywood Art Institute Photography Course includes 22 modules filled with tutorials on how to profit off of your photography, or simply capture your memories in the manner they deserve.Accredited by the Photography Education Accreditation CouncilDive into this 22 […]
Power up your gadgets in the most unexpected places with the extremely compact SolarJuice battery pack. SolarJuice charges up at home like your average battery pack, but also lets you add extra juice on-the-go using its built-in solar panel—so you’ll never be left unplugged from the digital world.4.5 Stars on Amazon!Simultaneously charges 2 devices at […]
Hold your camera to higher standards with the brand-new iBlazr 2, the most advanced LED flash to date. Simply attach to your smartphone, tablet, or DSLR camera. Conveniently sized and wireless, this premium flash will let you easily take amazing photos in low light situations. It’s a literal snap to use: simply attach to your […]