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A Busy Month at the Office
Ampersand
by Bill Slavicsek

Wow. There are so many exciting things happening around the Wizards’ office that I can’t wait to show up every morning. Hey, it’s always been a fun and rewarding place to work (and it sure beats some other jobs I might be doing), but right now, at the dawn of the new edition, with so many opportunities swirling around us, the creative energy is just amazing and invigorating!

For example, Player’s Handbook 2 is in the final stages of development and is about to enter editing, and all kinds of new classes, races, and powers are showing up in our games. Mike Mearls, Dave Noonan, and I have worked up a kick-butt outline for the first 4th Edition “super” adventure, and we’re about to plunge into the design of that project for release later in 2009. It’s a paragon-tier extravaganza that we can’t wait to finish so that we can run it for our game groups! Progress on the D&D Insider applications improves by leaps and bounds every week, and the various suites of offerings have all of us in the office anxiously awaiting the moment we can share these items with you. Soon, soon.

And if you haven’t been reading Dragon and Dungeon Magazines regularly while they’re still available for free, well, then you’re missing out on some fantastic D&D 4E content. The new adventure path, for example, is off to a great start, and I just reviewed a bunch of articles that will be appearing over the course of the next couple of weeks. “Trapped,” by Matt Sernett, is one that will see a lot of use, and “Wish Upon a Star” promises to get everyone talking—and in a good way! For Halloween, we’re got something on tap that will tie past editions to the new edition in a way that just makes the DM in me tingle all over. I’ll talk more about that next month.

Plus, we’re putting the final touches on our plans for 2010 and 2011, working on new novel series that will become must-reads for every fan of D&D, and experimenting with new formats and brand extensions that, once perfected, will … oops, almost went too far with that one. Gotta save something for later …

4th Edition Rolls On

As I write this, it’s the two-month anniversary of the launch of the 4th Edition of Dungeons & Dragons. I thought I’d take a moment to tell you how we’re doing. The excitement around the new edition is still as strong as it was at launch, and we anticipate carrying that excitement through Gen Con, PAX, and beyond as new products roll out and the full scope of the power of the edition becomes evident. From a business perspective, the core rulebooks are already well into their third printing, the H1 and H2 adventures are both in reprint. The new Dungeon Tiles product, DU1 Halls of the Giant Kings, is almost gone from our inventory less than one month after going on sale. This means that, using the current trends, we’re going to crush our original projections for 4th Edition in 2008!

And that’s only counting the initial releases! Still to come between now and the end of the year are some key titles, including Forgotten Realms Campaign Guide, Adventurer’s Vault, Martial Power Sourcebook, Draconomicon: Chromatic Dragons, and Manual of the Planes. And we don’t stop there. 2009 kicks off with Open Grave: Secrets of the Undead, Dungeon Delve, and the highly anticipated Player’s Handbook 2. From our perspective, 4th Edition D&D is off to a great start. And this is only the beginning …

Gen Con Here We Come!

Next week, my team and I (as well as a whole bunch of other people from WotC) will be at Gen Con to play games, talk to fans, and show off the newest products. I’m putting the finishing touches on a couple of presentations, and everyone is busy making our final preparations for the event. From the D&D Team, look for the following staffers around the show: Me; Scott Rouse (D&D Brand Manager); Sara Girard and Marty Durham (D&D Brand Team); Randy Buhler, Ken Troop, and Didier Monin (D&D Insider Digital Development); Andy Collins (D&D R&D Mechanical Design Manager); Chris Perkins (D&D R&D Creative Manager); Rob Heinsoo (D&D R&D Lead Designer); Mike Mearls (D&D R&D Lead Developer); James Wyatt (D&D R&D Lead Writer); Phil Athans (Book Publishing Managing Editor); Chris Youngs (D&D Insider Editor-in-Chief); Rich Baker, Bruce Cordell, Peter Lee, and Chris Sims (D&D R&D Game Designers); Steve Schubert and Peter Schaefer (D&D R&D Game Developers); Jeremy Crawford (D&D R&D Editor); Bart Carroll (D&D Insider Web Specialist); and Stacy Longstreet, Keven Smith, and John Schidehette (Art Directors); among others!

We’ve got a whole slate of activities planned, from RPGA events to two Dungeon Delves (one in the WotC booth and one in the Sagamore Ballroom), to tournaments and seminars galore. Check out the full list of WotC seminars here. If you’re attending the show, make sure you stop by and say hi. And try to make time to get to one or more of our seminars. That’ll be the first place you’ll get to hear about what’s next for the world’s greatest fantasy roleplaying game. If you can’t make it to Indy, come back to D&D Insider for regular updates throughout the Best Four Days in Gaming.

Until Indy … keep playing!

--Bill Slavicsek



About the Author

Bill Slavicsek is the R&D Director for Roleplaying Games, Miniatures, and Book Publishing at Wizards of the Coast. All of the game designers, developers, editors, book editors, and D&D Insider content managers working on Dungeons & Dragons, Star Wars, and the WotC Publishing Group report into Bill's R&D team.