Wizards of the Coast held a special press-only seminar on this little game release you might have heard of, D&D v3.5. Overseen by Bill Slavicsek, WotC’s Director of RPG Design and Development, a general discussion of the changes made to the biggest roleplaying game in the world. “We believe firmly and completely that this is the best D&D ever,” Slavicsek announced. Ed Stark chimed in, saying “We tried to keep our changes to a minimum. […] We didn’t want to do 4th Edition. It’s too soon, and too much.” The free 40-page update document for the rest of the D&D 3e books was mentioned, showing again that only the three core books needed to be purchased to make the upgrade. Having over 150 pages of new material between them, the core books could hardly be described in the short seminar, but the WotC folks tried.
The next major release was already been pushed, in conjunction with 3.5: the D&D Miniatures. The latest D&D embraces the third dimension even more than before, coming with a grid map and fully prepared for use with the minis. We received starter packs of the prepainted figures, and learned that both boosters and starters will be available in September, adding up to 80 unique figures. Another 60 figures will come later this year in the Dragon Eye expansion, and around 150 are planned for next year. A guide to playing skirmish combats with the figures comes this October, and creatures of size category “Huge” or larger were mentioned for later in the line.
The seminar wrapped up with some quick Q&A, and a few product schedule mentions: the setting contest winner coming in mid 2004; the D&D boardgame; the return of a “red box” intro set; and a Dungeons & Dragons 30th anniversary coffee table book.