D&D Miniatures – Random No More?

Wizards of the Coast has made an announcement likely to get the attention of role players and minis gamers alike.  The D&D Miniatures line has been revamped and split into two offerings.  The first offering, D&D Miniatures: Heroes, will be split into six different packs, each consisting of three visible miniatures and power cards with “new class features.”  The three miniatuers will be two male and one female character representing one of the iconic character types in D&D.  The six packs available in Spring of 2009, at a retail cost of $10.99 US, will include:

  • Martial Heroes 1
  • Martial Heroes 2
  • Arcane Heroes 1
  • Arcane Heroes 2
  • Divine Heroes 1
  • Primal Heroes 1

Wizards has indicated that the Heroes line will be updated from time to time to provide greater player options.

The other new line is D&D Miniatures: Monstrous Manual, which will provide the monster side of the equation.  Things are a little more old fashioned with this line, with each pack having one visible miniature, one rare, one uncommon and two common miniatures (in addition to the traditional character cards).  The first set, Dungeon Delve, will include both medium and large miniatures with a retail price of $14.99 US.

Overall, its an interesting move by WotC and one that’s been called for by a fairly vocal segment of the gaming community.  However, I’m a little concerned with where this announcement leaves D&D miniatures as a standalone game, particularly in its competitive form.  While I’m glad to see this move (which makes me more likely to play D&D 4E in general), it does pretty much end the days of sealed D&D Miniatures tournaments…

Ameythest Death Dealers!

Frazetta's Death Dealer


Hrmmm…probably not the most helpful title…  Anyway, purveyor of D&D goodness, Goodman Games, has announced that they will be publishing two new products for use with Wizards of the Coast‘s 4th edition game: Death Dealer and Ameythest!

The first product is based on the Image comic, Frank Frazetta’s Death Dealer.  The first adventure (in what appears to be a series) is titled The Adventures of Frank Frazetta’s Death Dealer: Shadows of Minahan and will take characters through the first story arc of the comic, bringing them face-to-face with the demonic hordes of the Mirhan.  The comic itself is based on the 1973 painting by Frank Frazetta and tells the story of a world torn by conflict until the mysterious Death Dealer arrives and slaughters both armies.  The two armies form an alliance, resulting in the disappearance of the Death Dealer until many years later when he mysteriously reappears.

The other new product is a re-release of the Ameythest setting most recently published by Dias Ex Machina.  The new release, titled Ameythest Foundation, will be a 256 page hardcover and PDF release (appearting at GenCon and in April respectively).  Ameythest is based on the proposition that traditional fantasy concepts (elves, dragons, magic, etc) suddenly appear in modern reality.  Goodman will be supporting the launch with an initial adventure and follow-up adventures appearing every three months thereafter

More Villains

Green Ronin Publishing has a new sourcebook for the Freedom City campaign setting of Mutants & Masterminds. Freedom’s Most Wanted is available as a PDF and details a whole bunch of villains, as well as the inevitable villainous organizations that they belong to, and the evil weapons and tools they use to further their nefarious goals.

D&D Starter Set and D&D Deluxe Set

Hasbro has a new D&D Starter Set. For $17 you get an introductory version of the 4th Edition rules, dice, map tiles, and an adventure. Characters are pregen, and no system is offered to generate characters. (source)

Swinging the other direction, the D&D Deluxe Set books feature embossed, premium foil covers, and premium, gilt-edged paper. They cost $75.

Die Laughing

This Saturday in Yakima, Washington, Crucifiction Games will host the fourth annual Horror Rules Mini Con. Horror Rules is the company’s tongue-in-cheek roleplaying game for recreating modern horror movies. Particularly suited for one-shot play, the game makes no apologies for focusing on the silly and campy. You know those moments where a character’s action will obviously bring him closer to death… Well, in this game, such actions earn Stupid Thing Points, which players will need later to trade in for Luck or Second Thought Points.

Christian Children’s Fund Refuses Charity Tainted by D&D

The Gen Con Live Auction last August was originally supposed to be sponsored by the Children’s Christian Fund, the favorite charity of Gary Gygax, co-creator of Dungeons and Dragons. It’s safe to assume that Gary probably donated a fair amount to the charity, himself.

So it’s rather unfortunate to read that CCF withdrew from sponsoring the auction, and therefore the receiving of the proceeds, when they discovered that some of the items to be sold were D&D material. I prefer to think of it as vast ignorance rather than vast stupidity, but I’m waiting to hear a response from CCF.

The proceeds instead went to the Fisher House Foundation.


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Cortex RPG from Margaret Weis Productions

Cortex RPG is a system authored by Jamie Chambers and released by Margaret Weis Productions.

It’s supposed to be a quick system to learn with simple math that focuses on the characters. And the preview available at the above link isn’t much help, either.

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