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Exclusively Yours
Dragon Editorial
by Chris Youngs

It's an exciting time for D&D Insider. Last month, Bill revealed that we were releasing the revenant -- a new PC race -- in June's issue of Dragon. This was our first, true D&D Insider exclusive. The thing is, we didn't really explain what "exclusive" means. In terms of our content release plan, "exclusive" means it won't be appearing anywhere else.

But what does "anywhere else" mean exactly? Sometimes, we get so excited about an announcement that we just make the assumption you're right there with us. Allow me to clear up any confusion.

Question #1: Does "exclusive" mean the revenant will not appear in a future print product?

Answer: Yes, that's correct. The revenant will only appear as part of D&D Insider. We're not planning to pick up the mechanical elements of the race for any print product. The revenant article (and the compiled issue containing that article) will be the only places you'll find this content. However, that does not mean a print adventure might not feature a revenant villain or that a novel won't feature a revenant character down the line, hypothetically speaking.

Question #2: Will content that appears as a D&D Insider exclusive ever have additional support?

Answer: Yes, and support articles will likewise be exclusive to D&D Insider. You won't see revenant feats or paragon paths, for example, appear down the road in a print product. We already have plans in the works for an article this fall that features new revenant racial feats, and we'll treat the revenant like any other race in the game. As an article warrants, we'll provide revenants with new character options.

So we've covered our approach for support for the revenant and, I hope, allayed fears about the plans for exclusive content as a whole. But what about the assassin? For starters, everything I said about the revenant above is also true of new classes exclusive to D&D Insider. Plus, we have an ambitious support plan for the assassin. Since we know there won't be new assassin powers appearing in a power source supplement or Player's Handbook, we're already planning to support September's two complete builds with more support just a few months after. Plus, early next year, we plan to introduce a third assassin build. Once the assassin is out and about, we'll also be accepting new submissions for the class -- new class-focused articles, new Class Acts, and so on.

Finally, we've noticed a number of conversations about the necessity or value of the assassin class to a game that already features a strong rogue option. I've now seen the assassin first hand, and let me tell you: this is no rogue. The assassin plays, looks, and just fundamentally feels different from any other class in the game. We try to avoid introducing a class that steps on the toes of another or, worse, makes a party experience untenable (assassins don't need to be evil). The shadow power source opens up new play options for future design, and you'll soon see for yourself how the assassin taps into these concepts. The class is inextricably linked to shadow magic. I'm so stoked about the new class that I actually started plotting my character's demise, just so I could roll up my next character: a revenant assassin.

Now that you know the shadow power source is on its way, what other classes or races do you think fit that concept? And what's your vision of the perfect assassin? Send your feedback to!