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Rules Answers: January 2016

Thu, 02/25/2016 - 08:00
Type: FeaturesAuthor: Jeremy CrawfordSubtitle: Sage AdviceBanner: Thumbnail (869x490): Text: 

If you have questions for a future installment of Sage Advice, please send them to sageadvice@wizards.com, or reach me on Twitter (@JeremyECrawford), where I answer questions between installments of this column.

Character Creation

How do you calculate a creature’s Armor Class (AC)? Chapter 1 of the Player’s Handbook (p. 14) describes how to determine AC, yet AC calculations generate questions frequently. That fact isn’t too surprising, given the number of ways the game gives you to change your AC!
    Here are some ways to calculate your base AC:

  • Unarmored: 10 + your Dexterity modifier.
  • Armored: Use the AC entry for the armor you’re wearing (see PH, 145). For example, in leather armor, you calculate your AC as 11 + your Dexterity modifier, and in chain mail, your AC is simply 16.
  • Unarmored Defense (Barbarian): 10 + your Dexterity modifier + your Constitution modifier.
  • Unarmored Defense (Monk): 10 + your Dexterity modifier + your Wisdom modifier.
  • Draconic Resilience (Sorcerer): 13 + your Dexterity modifier.
  • Natural Armor: 10 + your Dexterity modifier + your natural armor bonus. This is a calculation method typically used only by monsters and NPCs, although it is also relevant to a druid or another character who assumes a form that has natural armor.

These methods—along with any others that give you a formula for calculating your AC—are mutually exclusive; you can benefit from only one at a time. If you have access to more than one, you pick which one to use. For example, if you’re a sorcerer/monk, you can use either Unarmored Defense or Draconic Resilience, not both. Similarly, a druid/barbarian who transforms into a beast form that has natural armor can use either the beast’s natural armor or Unarmored Defense (you aren’t considered to be wearing armor with natural armor).

What about a shield? A shield increases your AC by 2 while you use it. For example, if you’re unarmored and use a shield, your AC is 12 + your Dexterity modifier. Keep in mind that some AC calculations, such as a monk’s Unarmored Defense, prohibit the use of a shield.

Once you have your base AC, it can be temporarily modified by situational bonuses and penalties. For instance, having half cover gives you a +2 bonus to your AC, and three-quarters cover gives a +5 bonus. Spells sometimes modify AC as well. Shield of faith, for example, grants a target a +2 bonus to AC until the spell ends.

Magic items can also enhance your AC. Here are a few examples: +1 chain mail gives you an AC of 17, a ring of protection gives you a +1 bonus to AC no matter what you’re wearing, and bracers of defense grant you a +2 bonus to AC if you’re not wearing armor or using a shield.

Spells

Does Unarmored Defense work with a spell like mage armor? Unarmored Defense doesn’t work with mage armor. You might be asking yourself, “Why don’t they work together? Mage armor specifies that it works on a creature who isn’t wearing armor.” It’s true that the target of mage armor must be unarmored, but mage armor gives you a new way to calculate your AC (13 + your Dexterity modifier) and is therefore incompatible with Unarmored Defense or any other feature that provides an AC calculation.

How does barkskin work with shields, cover, and other modifiers to AC? Barkskin specifies that your AC can’t be lower than 16 while you are affected by the spell. This means you effectively ignore any modifiers to your AC—including your Dexterity modifier, your armor, a shield, and cover—unless your AC is higher than 16. For example, if your AC is normally 14, it’s 16 while barkskin is on you. If your AC is 15 and you have half cover, your AC is 17; barkskin isn’t relevant in this case, because your AC is now higher than 16.

Can you extend the duration of armor of Agathys by gaining more temporary hit points? The spell is meant to work only as long as you have the temporary hit points that the spell grants. When those temporary hit points are gone, the spell is done.

Keep in mind that temporary hit points aren’t cumulative (see PH, 198). If you have temporary hit points and receive more of them, you don’t add them together, unless a game feature says you can. You decide which temporary hit points to keep. As an example, let’s say you’re a warlock with the Dark One’s Blessing feature, which gives you temporary hit points when you reduce a creature to 0 hit points. You currently have 2 temporary hit points from armor of Agathys, you just slew a monster, and your Dark One’s Blessing can now give you 4 temporary hit points. If you take those temporary hit points, they replace the ones from armor of Agathys and end that spell, so you might not want to take them and keep the spell going.

Do the temporary hit points from heroism accumulate each round? These temporary hit points aren’t cumulative. The spell would tell you if you were meant to add them together. At the start of each of your turns, the spell, effectively, refreshes the number of temporary hit points you have from it; if you lost some or all of the temporary hit points, the spell gives them back to you.

Taking a Second Look at a Ruling

I’m constantly revisiting the rules of the game. As a DM, I use them in the games I run. As a designer and editor, I refer to them every week to ensure that future D&D books are on course. As the Sage, I consider them from different angles when new questions arrive in my inbox and on Twitter. This sometimes leads me to reconsider a ruling I’ve made.

In this installment of Sage Advice, there’s an example of me revisiting a ruling. On Twitter, I recently gave a different explanation for how barkskin works and, by extension, how shields work. What I said was based on the game’s text, but the text is sometimes inconsistent on how shields are treated. In my official ruling here in Sage Advice, I’ve decided to counter what I said on Twitter about barkskin and shields to go with a simpler explanation—one that is also supported by the text and that more closely aligns with our design intent.

In the Sage Advice Compendium below, I’ve also changed my ruling on the Savage Attacker feat, which I originally addressed in November 2015. The original ruling was simply off-base—I read the feat too fast—so I’ve fixed it.

Sage Advice Compendium

The Sage Advice Compendium gathers every installment of Sage Advice in one PDF. It’s been updated to include this month’s questions and answers.

Monster Manual Errata

We’ve updated the Monster Manual Errata file to more closely match the latest printing of the book. The PDF now includes an entry for the water elemental, and the kraken entry now reflects what’s in the book.

Other Resources

Here are other D&D reference documents we’ve posted on this website.

Basic Rules for Dungeons & Dragons

D&D Spell List (version 1.01)

Monsters by Challenge Rating (version 1.0)

D&D Monsters by Type (version 1.0)

Magic Items by Rarity (version 1.0)

Conversions to 5th Edition D&D (version 1.0)

Character Sheets

About the Author

Jeremy Crawford is the co-lead designer of fifth edition Dungeons & Dragons. He was the lead designer of the fifth edition Player’s Handbook and one of the leads on the Dungeon Master’s Guide. He has worked on many other D&D books since coming to Wizards of the Coast in 2007. You can reach him on Twitter (@JeremyECrawford).

Publication date: 01/25/2016Introduction: Sage Advice is a monthly column that gives official clarifications of D&D rules. It also sometimes provides reference documents to help your D&D game run smoothly. Despite its official status, Sage Advice doesn’t trump the rulings of a Dungeon Master; the answers and information provided here are meant to assist a DM in adjudicating the game.Tags: Sage Adviceexternal_urls: Texture banner: ShowBanner video: 

D&D Valentines

Thu, 02/11/2016 - 12:48
Type: FeaturesSubtitle: Holiday CardsBanner: Thumbnail (869x490): Text: 

To make things easier (and maybe give your Charisma a bump), we created these special Valentine’s Day cards for you to send to the ones you love. Or at least kind of care about.

Happy Valentine’s Day!



 

Publication date: 02/11/2016Introduction: We know you’re busy appreciating your Dungeon Master (or being appreciated by your players) and we really appreciate that. And we appreciate the need to share the love, with everyone, this month!Tags: Featuresexternal_urls:  External url: http://media.wizards.com/2015/downloads/dnd/2015Valentine.zipExternal url description: Download the Cards Texture banner: HideBanner video: 

Live Play D&D with Godsfall DM Aram Vartian

Thu, 02/11/2016 - 08:00
Type: FeaturesBanner: Thumbnail (869x490): Text: 

Godsfall is a professionally edited fifth edition actual-play radio drama from Washington D.C. Aram Vartian, the DM and producer of Godsfall, and puckish rogue Doug Horne, party-member/god of travel, join hosts Greg Tito and Trevor Kidd to talk about the inspiration behind the in-depth homebrew world, fantasy superheroes and how long it takes to carefully edit each episode.

Find out more about Godsfall here! http://www.godsfall.com/

Publication date: 02/11/2016Introduction: Aram Vartian, the DM and producer of the heavily edited audio live play D&D series called Godsfall, and puckish rogue Doug Horne join us to talk about the inspiration behind the homebrew world, fantasy superheroes and how long it takes to carefully edit each episode.Tags: Podcastexternal_urls:  External url: http://media.wizards.com/2016/podcasts/dnd/DnDPodcast_02_11_2016a.mp3External url description: Live Play D&D with Godsfall DM Aram Vartian Texture banner: ShowBanner video: 

Live Play D&D with Godsfall DM Aram Vartian

Thu, 02/11/2016 - 08:00
Release date: 02/11/2016Authors: D&D TeamDescription: Aram Vartian, the DM and producer of the heavily edited audio live play D&D series called Godsfall, and puckish rogue Doug Horne join us to talk about the inspiration behind the homebrew world, fantasy superheroes and how long it takes to carefully edit each episode.Thumbnail: Category: D&D podcastsBanner: Introduction: Aram Vartian, the DM and producer of the heavily edited audio live play D&D series called Godsfall, and puckish rogue Doug Horne join us to talk about the inspiration behind the homebrew world, fantasy superheroes and how long it takes to carefully edit each episode.Text: 

Godsfall is a professionally edited fifth edition actual-play radio drama from Washington D.C. Aram Vartian, the DM and producer of Godsfall, and puckish rogue Doug Horne, party-member/god of travel, join hosts Greg Tito and Trevor Kidd to talk about the inspiration behind the in-depth homebrew world, fantasy superheroes and how long it takes to carefully edit each episode.

Find out more about Godsfall here! http://www.godsfall.com/

Podcast link: Live Play D&D with Godsfall DM Aram VartianSuscribe link: http://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/the-dungeons-dragons-podcast/id189053885Banner video: 

2016 February Survey

Fri, 02/05/2016 - 08:00
Type: FeaturesAuthor: Mike MearlsBanner: Thumbnail (869x490): Text: 

Rune magic and our inaugural prestige class, the rune scribe, met with mostly positive results. We have some room to improve the runic magic items and how they interact with the prestige class. However, the really interesting piece comes down to the overall reaction to prestige classes.

We’re definitely seeing mixed responses to the concept. Of those of you who played third edition D&D, nearly 90% of you used prestige classes. However, overall support for them fell short of those marks. Just short of 60% of players want to use them in fifth edition. It’s interesting to see that while prestige classes saw a lot of use, many players didn’t particularly like the concept. It’s definitely something for us to consider as we examine the concept for fifth edition.

We also asked for feedback on a variety of Underdark-themed subclasses we released as part of UA. Everything from that article was highly rated, especially the shadow sorcerous origin. The roleplay elements added to that option and the Undying Light patron were especially welcome features. Aside from some tweaks to specific elements of class features, it looks like they are fairly balanced, clear options for the game.

The new choices for the Fighting Style class feature, though as highly rated as the other options, tended to have a bit more negative reaction at the cost of people who were neutral to them. These options look like they need a balance pass against existing Fighting Style choices.

As for this month’s survey, it dives into the class options released in January in the Kits of Old article. It also asks for some basic information about who you are so we can better understand who’s answering these surveys. Thanks for taking the time to answer our queries!

Publication date: 02/05/2016Introduction: In our last survey, we asked you to rate material from two of the prior Unearthed Arcana articles. Here’s a quick summary of our findings.Tags: Featuresexternal_urls:  External url: http://sgiz.mobi/s3/09c1542a58fdExternal url description: Take the Survey Now Texture banner: ShowBanner video: 

The Art of Dungeons & Dragons and Curse of Strahd

Thu, 02/04/2016 - 17:58
Type: FeaturesBanner: Thumbnail (869x490): Text: 

Subscribe to the Official D&D Podcast on iTunes to get updates for new episodes. Shelly, Greg and Trevor are always talking to creative Dungeons & Dragons players like comedians and TV writers Mike Drucker (The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon) and Jared Logan (The Late Late Show with James Corden), as well as professional game masters Griffin McElroy (The Adventure Zone) and Matt Mercer (Critical Role) and actors like Rainn Wilson (The Office). Subscribe here!

Publication date: 02/04/2016Introduction: Creative Director Shauna Narciso and Art Director Kate Irwin share insights on the visual look of D&D and the Curse of Strahd adventure, which is available in March.Tags: Podcastexternal_urls:  External url: http://media.wizards.com/2016/podcasts/dnd/DnDPodcast_02_04_2016.mp3External url description: The visual look of D&D and the Curse of Strahd adventure Texture banner: HideBanner video: 

Psionics and the Mystic – Take Two

Mon, 02/01/2016 - 11:47
Type: FeaturesAuthor: Mike Mearls with Jeremy CrawfordSubtitle: Unearthed ArcanaBanner: Thumbnail (869x490): Text: 

These unofficial game mechanics are in draft form, usable in your campaign but not fully tempered by playtests and design iterations. They might be unstable; if you use them, be ready to rule on any issues that come up. They’re written in pencil, not ink. For these reasons, material in this column is not legal in D&D Adventurers League events.

This month, Unearthed Arcana returns to the mystic character class and the rules for psionics. Based on the playtest feedback you sent us, there are a number of changes you can expect:

  • The class now goes to 10th level. The core concepts had enough support that we feel confident moving forward with them.
  • Psionics is more flexible. You have a psychic focus, which allows you to pick one discipline and gain a constant, special benefit from it. Otherwise, you can expend points to use any discipline you know.
  • Psionics now includes psionic talents, the equivalent of a spellcaster’s cantrips.
  • Psionic disciplines are now available to all mystics, regardless of mystic order. However, your order grants you a benefit for using its associated disciplines.

You can expect a survey asking for feedback on these draft rules in a month or so. At this point, we’re not necessarily tied to any of these options. This effort is merely a first draft to gauge where we should start and what kind of approach to psionics in fifth edition will work best. Read on and enjoy.

Publication date: 02/01/2016Introduction: The material presented in Unearthed Arcana ranges from game mechanics that we might publish someday to house rules from our D&D campaigns that we want to share with you. Tags: Featuresexternal_urls:  External url: http://media.wizards.com/2016/downloads/Psionics_and_Mystic_V2.pdfExternal url description: UNEARTHED ARCANA: PSIONICS AND THE MYSTIC V2 Texture banner: ShowBanner video: 

Mike Drucker on Playing D&D with Comedians

Thu, 01/28/2016 - 10:28
Release date: 01/28/2016Authors: Shelly Mazzanoble, Greg TitoDescription: RECORDED NOV. 2015. Gamer, Comedian and Writer for The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon, Mike Drucker has a pretty impressive resume. Hosts Trevor Kidd, Shelly Mazzanoble, and Greg Tito talk to Mike about his experience with Dungeons & Dragons, dealing with that one jerk in the party, and why he plays the most devout of clerics.Thumbnail: Category: D&D podcastsBanner: Introduction: RECORDED NOV. 2015. Gamer, Comedian and Writer for The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon, Mike Drucker has a pretty impressive resume. Hosts Trevor Kidd, Shelly Mazzanoble, and Greg Tito talk to Mike about his experience with Dungeons & Dragons, dealing with that one jerk in the party, and why he plays the most devout of clerics.Text: 

Subscribe to the Official D&D Podcast on iTunes to get updates for new episodes. Shelly, Greg and Trevor are always talking to creative Dungeons & Dragons players like comedians and TV writers Mike Drucker (The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon) and Jared Logan (The Late Late Show with James Corden), as well as professional game masters Griffin McElroy (The Adventure Zone) and Matt Mercer (Critical Role) and actors like Rainn Wilson (The Office). Subscribe here!

Podcast link: http://media.wizards.com/2016/podcasts/dnd/DnDPodcast_01_28_2016.mp3Suscribe link: http://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/the-dungeons-dragons-podcast/id189053885Banner video: 

Mike Drucker on Playing D&D with Comedians

Thu, 01/28/2016 - 10:28
Type: FeaturesBanner: Thumbnail (869x490): Text: 

Subscribe to the Official D&D Podcast on iTunes to get updates for new episodes. Shelly, Greg and Trevor are always talking to creative Dungeons & Dragons players like comedians and TV writers Mike Drucker (The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon) and Jared Logan (The Late Late Show with James Corden), as well as professional game masters Griffin McElroy (The Adventure Zone) and Matt Mercer (Critical Role) and actors like Rainn Wilson (The Office). Subscribe here!

Publication date: 01/28/2016Introduction: RECORDED NOV. 2015. Gamer, Comedian and Writer for The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon, Mike Drucker has a pretty impressive resume. Hosts Trevor Kidd, Shelly Mazzanoble, and Greg Tito talk to Mike about his experience with Dungeons & Dragons, dealing with that one jerk in the party, and why he plays the most devout of clerics.Tags: Podcastexternal_urls:  External url: http://media.wizards.com/2016/podcasts/dnd/DnDPodcast_01_28_2016.mp3External url description: Mike Drucker on Playing D&D with Comedians Texture banner: ShowBanner video: 

Tarokka Deck

Thu, 01/28/2016 - 10:21
Related products: Curse of StrahdPlayer's HandbookD&D Starter SetDungeon Master's GuideSubtitle: Dungeons & Dragons Accessory Author: Gale Force NineSynopsis: 

Learn what fortunes await you with this gaming accessory for Ravenloft.

If you’re playing Curse of Strahd, you’ll want to get your hands on the tarokka deck, a 54-card adventure supplement produced by Gale Force Nine. By using the tarokka deck to randomize locations within the adventure, Dungeon Masters can customize each party’s exploration of Barovia, allowing Curse of Strahd to be replayed for years to come. The deck also includes rules for Prophet’s Gambit, a card game for 3-5 players.

Talk to your local game store now about ordering a Tarokka Deck for your game.

Download #1 label: Learn More Image thumbnail: Image left: Banner: Game type: RPG ProductsPrice ($): USD10.00External Download #1 file: http://www.gf9-dnd.com/Home/tabid/56/entryid/253/return-to-ravenloft.aspxBanner video: Date Announced Soon: Spring 2016

Chris Perkins and Tracy Hickman on Curse of Strahd

Thu, 01/21/2016 - 08:00
Release date: 01/21/2016Authors: Shelly Mazzanoble, Greg TitoDescription: Gaming minds collide when Chris Perkins and Tracy Hickman talk about the return to Ravenloft in D&D's latest adventure, Curse of Strahd.Thumbnail: Category: D&D podcastsBanner: Introduction: Gaming minds collide when Chris Perkins and Tracy Hickman talk about the return to Ravenloft in D&D's latest adventure, Curse of Strahd.Text: 

Subscribe to the Official D&D Podcast on iTunes to get updates for new episodes. Shelly, Greg and Trevor are always talking to creative Dungeons & Dragons players like comedians and TV writers Mike Drucker (The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon) and Jared Logan (The Late Late Show with James Corden), as well as professional game masters Griffin McElroy (The Adventure Zone) and Matt Mercer (Critical Role) and actors like Rainn Wilson (The Office). Subscribe here!

Podcast link: http://media.wizards.com/2016/podcasts/dnd/DnDPodcast_01_21_2016.mp3Suscribe link: http://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/the-dungeons-dragons-podcast/id189053885Banner video: 

Chris Perkins and Tracy Hickman on Curse of Strahd

Thu, 01/21/2016 - 08:00
Type: FeaturesBanner: Thumbnail (869x490): Text: 

Subscribe to the Official D&D Podcast on iTunes to get updates for new episodes. Shelly, Greg and Trevor are always talking to creative Dungeons & Dragons players like comedians and TV writers Mike Drucker (The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon) and Jared Logan (The Late Late Show with James Corden), as well as professional game masters Griffin McElroy (The Adventure Zone) and Matt Mercer (Critical Role) and actors like Rainn Wilson (The Office). Subscribe here!

Publication date: 01/21/2016Introduction: Gaming minds collide when Chris Perkins and Tracy Hickman talk about the return to Ravenloft in D&D's latest adventure, Curse of Strahd.Tags: Podcastexternal_urls:  External url: http://media.wizards.com/2016/podcasts/dnd/DnDPodcast_01_21_2016.mp3External url description: Chris Perkins and Tracy Hickman on Curse of Strahd Texture banner: ShowBanner video: 

Curse of Strahd Set 1

Wed, 01/20/2016 - 08:00
Description: Return to Ravenloft with this wallpaper by Ben Oliver depicting vistana fortuneteller Madam Eva and vampire Strahd von Zarovich.Picture: Type: WallpapersDisplay Mode thumbnail: LargeTitle: Curse of Strahd Set 1Image : 

Return to Ravenloft

Mon, 01/18/2016 - 02:00
Type: NewsBanner: Thumbnail (869x490): Text: 

Today, Wizards of the Coast announced Curse of Strahd, a new Dungeons & Dragons adventure set in Castle Ravenloft and the surrounding land of Barovia. Written in collaboration with Tracy and Laura Hickman, the authors of the original Ravenloft adventure published in 1983, Curse of Strahd pits players against the vampire Strahd von Zarovich. Curse of Strahd will be available to everyone on March 15, 2016.


Available March 15, 2016 for $49.95

“Revisiting the land of Barovia with the creators of the original Ravenloft adventure has been a highlight of my professional career,” said Chris Perkins, principal story designer at Wizards of the Coast. “Tracy and Laura Hickman created a timeless villain whose faults reflect the darkest traits of humanity. I can't begin to describe what it's like to walk through the halls of Castle Ravenloft with its creators as your guides.”

Heroes from the Forgotten Realms and other D&D worlds can easily be drawn into Strahd’s cursed land. Once there, they must contend with the horrors of Barovia. Its people are melancholy, misshapen and grotesque, living in fear of the wolves and other creatures that serve Strahd’s evil will. The only hope for the trapped adventurers is to heed the warnings of a mysterious fortune-teller named Madam Eva. Drawing random cards from her tarokka deck, she directs adventurers to search Strahd’s domain for artifacts and allies to help the master of Castle Ravenloft. That is, before he orchestrates your demise for his amusement and feasts on your terror.

Find your Fortune

While waiting for the adventure, experience the power of Madam Eva for yourself. D&D fans can have their own distinct fortunes read each day by retweeting the official @Wizards_DnD Twitter account using the hashtag #DNDFortune. Madam Eva’s fortunes are based on which random card she draws from her tarokka deck and displays for each reading. Check back each day with Madam Eva to see what your #DNDFortune will foretell.

Players will also love to get their hands on a physical tarokka deck of cards produced by Gale Force 9 and available with the release of the adventure. The tarokka deck is a powerful tool for both Madam Eva and for Dungeon Masters running Curse of Strahd. By using the tarokka deck to randomize locations within the adventure, Dungeon Masters can customize each party’s exploration of Barovia, allowing Curse of Strahd to be replayed for years to come.

Strahd is waiting for you … What are you afraid of?

Want More?

Visit the Curse of Strahd product page or check out the Tarokka deck by Gale Force Nine.

Will you defy Strahd? Show your support by adding these social skins to your profile.

Publication date: 01/18/2016Introduction: A classic Dungeons & Dragons villain rises from the grave in the new storyline, Curse of Strahd.Tags: Newsexternal_urls: Texture banner: ShowBanner video: 

Where You Can Find the D&D Team in 2016

Fri, 01/15/2016 - 11:41
Type: NewsAuthor: Mike MearlsSubtitle: Convention ScheduleBanner: Thumbnail (869x490): Text: 

Since its inception, D&D has been about groups of gamers traveling to conventions to spend a weekend together and this year will be no different. It’s a huge part of the roleplaying game culture. There are hundreds of events across the world drawing hundreds of thousands (if not millions!) of participants and that number is poised to grow even more in the years to come.

In 2016, D&D will be officially supporting conventions around the country that we don’t normally attend. We’ve got some great stories lined up this year and this gives us a great chance to play through those adventures with you and for you to ask us anything you’d like in person, instead of just on Twitter or Reddit. We’ll be attending seminars and panels as well as just hanging out to talk to fans. So, there will be tons of opportunities this year to hear directly from the people who make Dungeons & Dragons. We’re letting you know our plans now so you can start to make your own travel plans accordingly.

Each of these conventions will have a special event and/or adventure that’s exclusive to it, so if you’re interested in unique D&D Adventurers League play, these cons are where you can find it. Here’s a list of the conventions we’ll be attending and a basic idea of what you can expect at each one:

Winter Fantasy
February 3-7
Grand Wayne Convention Center
120 West Jefferson Blvd
Fort Wayne, IN

Chris Lindsay and I will be heading to Fort Wayne to speak about the D&D Adventurers League and to answer all your questions about the Dungeon Masters Guild. We’ll have the world premiere of the season 4 adventures, giving you the first chance to brave their dangers and win their loot. Both Chris and I are also designing unique AL scenarios with magic items and loot you can’t earn anywhere else. Find out more about Winter Fantasy.

Gary Con
March 3-6
Grand Geneva Resort & Spa
7036 Grand Geneva Way
Lake Geneva, WI

We’re heading to where it all began! Chris Lindsay, Chris Perkins, Trevor Kidd and I are super excited to attend our first Gary Con in Lake Geneva, Wisconsin. What began as a game day to celebrate the life of Gary Gygax has expanded into an amazing experience for any D&D fan, old and new. We’ll have a room dedicated to Adventurers League play, Gary Con exclusive adventures prepared just for the show, the D&D Trivia Challenge, and more. Gary Con is your chance to sling dice and rub elbows with D&D creators from across the game’s history.

PAX East
April 22-24
Boston Convention & Exhibition Center
415 Summer Street
Boston, MA

Chris Perkins, Trevor Kidd and Greg Tito will be in attendance at PAX East this year. Chris will be on hand to serve as Dungeon Master for another Acquisitions Inc. event with Mike, Jerry, Pat and Scott. Tons of Dungeons & Dragons will be playable in the open gaming spaces of PAX scheduled through the D&D Adventurers League.

Origins
June 15-19
Greater Columbus Convention Center
400 N High St
Columbus, OH

In June, we head back to Columbus for Origins. Origins will be the D&D tabletop gaming event of the year, host to an exclusive Adventurers League preview for season 5, a sneak peek at things to come in 2016, and exclusive access to the D&D Open, the single biggest D&D RPG event of the year. That’s right, the D&D Open is back, and this time we’re challenging you to risk the lives and limbs of your favorite Adventurers League characters in an epic foray into Undermountain, the grandest dungeon of them all! The risks are great, but the rewards are even greater. If that’s not enough, we’ll have D&D board game tournaments, exclusive DMs Guild panels, awesome swag, and even more surprises.

PAX Prime
August 28-31, 2015
Washington State Convention Center
800 Convention Pl
Seattle, WA

PAX Prime will once again feature Acquisitions Inc. and D&D Adventurers League will be in full force. Because PAX Prime is close to the home office, it will boast the largest concentration of D&D staffers in attendance. We’ll be having panels and other events but we can’t spill the beans on all the details just yet. Stay tuned for more information!

Where’s Gen Con?

Gen Con is not on this list because we are changing things up to support more conventions and locations. Even though the Dungeons & Dragons team won’t be there we know our friends at Baldman Games will be hosting plenty of D&D adventures. It’s safe to say there will be ample opportunity to play Dungeons & Dragons during Gen Con. We’re excited to head to some new conventions this year and meet folks who don’t have the opportunity to travel to Indianapolis.

As we get closer to each event, check in with the D&D Twitter account, our Facebook page or the mobile app Dragon+ for more information.

We look forward to seeing you in 2016!

 

Publication date: 01/15/2016Introduction: One of the joys of working on Dungeons & Dragons is interacting with all of the awesome folks who love to roll some dice with their friends.Tags: Featuresexternal_urls: Texture banner: ShowBanner video: 

Mike Mearls, Chris Lindsay on Dungeon Masters Guild

Thu, 01/14/2016 - 11:00
Type: FeaturesBanner: Thumbnail (869x490): Text: 

Subscribe to the Official D&D Podcast on iTunes to get updates for new episodes. Shelly, Greg and Trevor are always talking to creative Dungeons & Dragons players like comedians and TV writers Mike Drucker (The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon) and Jared Logan (The Late Late Show with James Corden), as well as professional game masters Griffin McElroy (The Adventure Zone) and Matt Mercer (Critical Role) and actors like Rainn Wilson (The Office). Subscribe here!

Publication date: 01/14/2016Introduction: The Dungeon Masters Guild is live! Mike Mearls and Chris Lindsay from the D&D team talk about what it was like to bring this new marketplace for D&D material to life and why we opened up the Forgotten Realms.Tags: Podcastexternal_urls:  External url: http://media.wizards.com/2016/podcasts/dnd/DnDPodcast_01_14_2016.mp3External url description: Mike Mearls, Chris Lindsay on Dungeon Masters Guild Texture banner: ShowBanner video: 

Mike Mearls, Chris Lindsay on Dungeon Masters Guild

Thu, 01/14/2016 - 11:00
Release date: 01/14/2016Authors: Shelly Mazzanoble, Greg TitoDescription: The Dungeon Masters Guild is live! Mike Mearls and Chris Lindsay from the D&D team talk about what it was like to bring this new marketplace for D&D material to life and why we opened up the Forgotten Realms.Thumbnail: Category: D&D podcastsBanner: Introduction: The Dungeon Masters Guild is live! Mike Mearls and Chris Lindsay from the D&D team talk about what it was like to bring this new marketplace for D&D material to life and why we opened up the Forgotten Realms.Text: 

Subscribe to the Official D&D Podcast on iTunes to get updates for new episodes. Shelly, Greg and Trevor are always talking to creative Dungeons & Dragons players like comedians and TV writers Mike Drucker (The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon) and Jared Logan (The Late Late Show with James Corden), as well as professional game masters Griffin McElroy (The Adventure Zone) and Matt Mercer (Critical Role) and actors like Rainn Wilson (The Office). Subscribe here!

Podcast link: http://media.wizards.com/2016/podcasts/dnd/DnDPodcast_01_14_2016.mp3Suscribe link: http://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/the-dungeons-dragons-podcast/id189053885Banner video: 

D&D Adventurers League Content Open to All

Thu, 01/14/2016 - 11:00
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The D&D Adventurers League is how fans of D&D can congregate, play through weekly adventures produced by experienced writers keyed into our big storylines, and track their character’s exploits. In the past, organized play through the D&D Adventurers League, as well as access to the adventures produced for the program, has been confined to gaming stores and conventions. But now everyone can participate in the fun!

Starting with the next season, anyone can download a free D&D Adventurers League kit from the new Dungeon Masters Guild marketplace and organize an event. Any location will do, and we’d love to see organizers set up games in interesting settings. How about a D&D Adventurers League game in an abandoned castle? Or in a museum? Or in a hot air balloon?

We also listened to the D&D fans who wanted more bite-sized adventures to pick up and play with their group in a pinch. All of the adventures created for the D&D Adventurers League going forward will be available to all fans of D&D. The Dungeon Masters Guild is now the hub for distributing D&D Adventurers League content. You can download PDFs of the adventures released periodically for a just a few dollars. Check out what’s available right now from previous Adventurer’s League seasons at dungeonmasterguild.com.

There’s one more thing: To clear up some confusion, we are no longer using the terms “Expeditions” or “Encounters” in organized D&D play – it’s all just called the D&D Adventurers League.

We’re excited about how we’re evolving D&D Adventurers League play to include more D&D fans than ever before. Head over to the Dungeon Masters Guild and check out what’s happening over there, and get ready to dive into the new season of the D&D Adventurers League when it starts in March 2016.

Publication date: 01/14/2016Introduction: The Dungeon Masters Guild is now the hub for distributing D&D Adventurers League content.Tags: Newsexternal_urls: Texture banner: ShowBanner video: 

Baphomet: Prince of Beasts

Thu, 01/14/2016 - 08:00
Type: FeaturesAuthor: Shannon AppelclineSubtitle: D&D AlumniBanner: Thumbnail (869x490): Text: 

Out of the Abyss and the Rage of Demons storyline have opened the floodgates for a torrent of evil to descend on fifth edition D&D. The Prince of Beasts—also known as the Horned King—epitomizes that evil in its most primal form.

ORIGIN STORIES

Baphomet was one of the four demon lords who made their debut in the “Monsters and Magical Items” appendix in The Lost Caverns of Tsojcanth in 1982. He is described in that adventure as a minotaur (with “an ogre’s body” and “a bull’s head”) worshiped by other minotaurs—a fact that allowed him to rise up to the rank of “lesser power” in the Great Wheel cosmology. That first appearance also revealed Baphomet as the enemy of the Gnoll Lord Yeenoghu (previously seen in the Advanced Dungeons & Dragons Monster Manual).

Minotaurs are a classic D&D monster. They first appeared in the original D&D box set in 1974, then reappeared in the Monster Manual three years later. However, they never filled a clear niche in the game as goblins, orcs, and ogres did. Minotaurs took an unexpected route to the forefront of D&D play with the advent of the original Dragonlance series of adventures from 1984 to 1986. Those adventures introduced minotaurs as a major race—and even supported them for player character use in the Dragonlance Adventures supplement. Dragonlance minotaurs continued to evolve in later years, particularly when Romanesque minotaurs appeared in the Time of the Dragon supplement in 1989.

Through the same period, Baphomet gave minotaurs another entry point into the D&D ecosystem. The Horned King got a bit more detail in Manual of the Planes (1987), which described his home as an “infinite maze” that spans his abyssal plane and others. He then made his first major appearance in the 1988 adventure The Throne of Bloodstone, though he played second fiddle to Orcus, the star of that piece. In the adventure, Baphomet is captured by Orcus, allowing the players to free him after negotiating with minotaurs (in a maze, of course).

THE REALMS AND BEYOND

Baphomet’s role as an interloping demonic deity was often highlighted during the second edition AD&D era of 1989 to 2000. First featured in Monster Mythology (1992), Baphomet later made inroads into the Forgotten Realms in Giantcraft (1995), where he picked up a new set of worshippers—the Ice Spire Ogres.

The Horned King also received attention in the Planescape setting. Planes of Chaos (1994) described the Plains of Gallenshu, an independent abyssal layer that sheltered many armanite demon followers of Baphomet. The demon lord also had influence in the City of Doors, as revealed in In the Cage: A Guide to Sigil (1995). And, of course, he was one of the deities of On Hallowed Ground (1996), which revealed that his Endless Maze filled the 600th level of the Abyss.

Meanwhile, the Prince of Beasts was putting together quite a collection of bull-like followers. The horned bulezau demons were rumored to be Baphomet’s creation when they debuted in the Planescape Monstrous Compendium Appendix II (1995). Drizzt Do’Urden’s Guide to the Underdark (1999) contained the first mention of the Baphitaur, a tiefling-minotaur hybrid (even though full stats for those creatures wouldn’t appear until 2003, in the Underdark supplement for third edition Forgotten Realms).

Baphomet didn’t feature in adventures in the latter days of AD&D, however. Instead, the Horned King lay low in his maze and waited.

BAPHOMET TODAY

Baphomet has continued to appear mainly in sourcebooks from third edition D&D onward. He wasn’t one of the five demon lords who made the cut to appear in Book of Vile Darkness in 2002 (though he was probably furious that his mortal enemy Yeenoghu did). Instead, Baphomet made his return in Fiendish Codex I: Hordes of the Abyss (2006), which named him as the Prince of Beasts.

It was Dragon magazine that gave Baphomet his best spotlight during the years of third edition and fourth edition D&D. Dragon 341 (March 2006) dedicated an entry in the Demonomicon of Iggwilv to him. That article focused on his dual nature, and revealed that not even Baphomet knows whether he was originally beast or humanoid. The Horned King then made a return for a second Demonomicon entry in Dragon 369 (November 2008), which described his nature in the World Axis cosmology. This new take on Baphomet established him as a corrupting force in society—a demon dedicated to extinguishing civilization’s light from the inside.

Twenty-seven years after The Throne of Bloodstone, Baphomet finally makes his return in adventures this year. Though the Prince of Beasts doesn’t play a large part in Out of the Abyss, his servants feature in that adventure—as does a twisting network of Underdark passages known as the Labyrinth, where the Horned King’s followers await their master’s rise.

About the Author

Shannon Appelcline has been roleplaying since his dad taught him Basic D&D in the early ’80s. He’s the editor-in-chief of RPGnet and the author of Designers & Dragons, a four-volume history of the roleplaying industry told one company at a time.

Publication date: 01/14/2016Introduction: Baphomet is one of the later additions to the demonic pantheon, but he can hold his own against any of the other demon lords—especially his hated foe, Yeenoghu.Tags: Featuresexternal_urls: Texture banner: ShowBanner video: 

Rage of Demons Set 4

Wed, 01/13/2016 - 11:28
Description: Not even Baphomet can stop the indomitable dwarven king, Bruenor Battlehammer, in this illustration from Tyler Jacobson.Picture: Type: WallpapersDisplay Mode thumbnail: LargeTitle: Rage of Demons Set 4Image :