WotC posts mysterious page starting with ‘4’

I would not put it past them to just be messing with us, though. And I kind of mean that.

Update: oops, foreign distros spilled the beans – D&D 4th Edition has indeed been announced. Unless, as we must always allow for, someone is just completely making stuff up. Here goes the allegedness:

– Relesase date – May 2008
– PHB @ May, MM @ June, DMG @ July
– The SRD/OGL/D20 will still exist, however he didn’t reveal any further details
– Apprantaly [sic] there will be at least 7 books of D&D 4 on 2008, no info what exactly though.

Update: no, wait, apparently there’s been an actual, no-foolin’ announcement – click here or click below for the complete press release. ENworld says that “D&D Insider” is a chunk of the still-somewhat-inscrutable web initiative Gleemax, and given that gleemax.com is in the URL of all Wizards forums, that seems likely. No word one way or another on the Saga question; not that I’ve seen, anyway. Whee, who said staying home from Gen Con would be boring?

Wizards of the Coast press release follows:

DUNGEONS & DRAGONS FLASHES 4-WARD AT GEN CON

August 16, 2007 (Renton, WA) – Whether you storm a mad wizard’s tower every week or haven’t delved into a dungeon since you had a mullet and a mean pair of parachute pants, one thing is certain – millions of D&D players worldwide have anticipated the coming of 4th Edition for many years. Today, Wizards of the Coast confirms that the new edition will launch in May 2008 with the release of the D&D Player’s Handbook. A pop culture icon, Dungeons & Dragons is the #1 tabletop roleplaying game in the world, and is revered by legions of gamers of all ages.

The 4th Edition Dungeons & Dragons game includes elements familiar to current D&D players, including illustrated rulebooks and pre-painted plastic miniatures. Also releasing next year will be new web-based tools and online community forums through the brand-new Dungeons & Dragons Insider (D&D Insider) digital offering. D&D Insider lowers the barriers of entry for new players while simultaneously offering the depth of play that appeals to veteran players.

The 4th Edition rules emphasize faster game play, offer exciting new character options, and reduce the amount of “prep time” needed to run the game. D&D Insider includes a character creator that lets players design and equip their D&D characters, dungeon- and adventure-building tools for Dungeon Masters, online magazine content, and a digital game table that lets you play 24/7 on the internet — the perfect option for anyone who can’t find time to get together.

“We’ve been gathering player feedback for eight years,” said Bill Slavicsek, R&D Director of Roleplaying and Miniatures Games at Wizards of the Coast. “Fourth Edition streamlines parts of the D&D game that are too complex, while enhancing the overall play experience. At its heart, it’s still a tabletop game experience. However, D&D Insider makes it easier for players to create characters, run their games, and interact with the rest of the D&D community.”

Wizards of the Coast will release two 4th Edition preview books in December and January — Wizards Presents: Classes and Races and Wizards Presents: Worlds and Monsters. The first live demos of 4th Edition will happen at the D&D Experience gaming convention in Washington D.C. in February 2008. The full scope of 4th Edition books, miniatures, and adventures will be available in the spring and summer of 2008.

Since its first release in 1974, the fantasy roleplaying game Dungeons & Dragons has taken millions of players on imaginary adventures of epic scale. Today, D&D is universally regarded as the original game that created the roleplaying game category, and the inspiration for generations of game designers. D&D is enjoyed by millions of players worldwide, while countless more remember it with fond nostalgia.

12 comments

  1. That countdown page – pretty funny. “4DVENTURE” … isn’t the Ford Venture a big ol’ truck? 😉

    Guess we’ll see what else they have to say this evening. If anyone’s there for the song and dance, tell us about it.

  2. Man, that’s the ugliest d10 ever.

    Hey, wait, it’s the biggest one! OMG THEY’RE SWITCHING TO STORYTELLER

  3. 3, 2, 1, aaaaand… “Service Unavailable”!!! Woohoo! Hey, how do you keep an idiot in suspense?

  4. Mike Sugarbaker said: Woohoo! Hey, how do you keep an idiot in suspense?

    Have them play Storyteller?

    *ducking and running* 😉

  5. 7+ hours, and the WotC site’s still non-functional – they must’ve been SLAMMED by the traffic (and should’ve expected such, but anyway…). I found a fan’s photobucket page with some screenshots of the minimal content:

    http://s183.photobucket.com/albums/x38/MightyDraco/DnD%204e%20https/

    From those pages, a sense of some 4th Ed changes can be gleaned, along with the fact that Rob Heinsoo, formerly in charge of the D&D Miniatures Game, is now the Lead Designer of D&D 4th Edition. Early guesses that Dragon and Dungeon would become electronic content are confirmed by the announcement of DnDInsider.com, which will have content available for subscribers (cost TBA).

    Today’s ICv2 story mentions WotC plans for two 4th Ed lead-in products this December, Wizards Presents: Classes and Races and Wizards Presents: Worlds and Monsters. In April, we’ll get quickstart rules in Keep of the Shadowfell. ICv2 also claims that “The Open Gaming License will continue as it has in the past, allowing the use of the rules in other publishers’ games.” Rumors around the web speculate a fee will be required from those wishing to make use of the 4th Ed OGL.
    ***
    Allan “Sven” Sugarbaker
    OgreCave.com

  6. “Rumors around the web speculate a fee will be required from those wishing to make use of the 4th Ed OGL.”

    ???

    So, basically it means we have to pay for the 4e System Reference Documents?

  7. Just a rumor. Sounds less than “Open” for an Open Game License, doesn’t it? At the very least, the details are flawed in this train of logic. But the idea has popped up as a rumor in a couple of places, so I mentioned it mainly to show the level of paranoia out there right now.

  8. According to this GR article, DnDInsider.com will be a free beta until roughly the time the 4th Ed Player’s Handbook ships, at which point it will cost $9.95 per month. The DnDInsider.com service will include both Dragon and Dungeon magazines, online tools for GMs such as mapping and adventure building assistants; character creators; a “virtual miniature” designer to accompany D&D Anytime, a virtual game table; plus forums and other features.
    ***
    Allan “Sven” Sugarbaker
    OgreCave.com

  9. “Sounds less than “Open” for an Open Game License, doesn’t it?”

    Meh. Not like every other OGL publishers are following WotC’s footstep by making their own SRD freely available. The last time someone other than WotC put out their own free SRD, their business shut down (i.e., Guardians of Order). I’m not saying it’s what cause them to close up shop…

    As for the D&DInsider, not interested, since I don’t have a plastic. I’m just going to stick with playing pen-n-paper RPG the old-fashioned pre-internet way.

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