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Gen Con Bound!
Mike Mearls

T his week, members of the R&D team are heading out to Indianapolis, Indiana, to take part in Gen Con, the biggest tabletop gaming convention in North America. We have some pretty exciting stuff on tap.

  • For a few hours on Thursday night, the Indiana Roof Ballroom transforms into the city of Baldur's Gate. Meet the authors of the Sundering novels, preview some new digital games, and hobnob with members of the R&D team. You can also help solve a murder mystery, created by the folks at Lone Shark Games, which takes place on the streets of one of the most famous (or is that infamous?) cities of the Forgotten Realms.

  • Candlekeep needs heroes! The forces of evil have gathered to lay siege to the fortress-library. Brave adventurers are needed to ride forth and dispatch this threat. Grab two generic tickets, hop into line, and join the battle. The Siege of Candlekeep is a two-hour, open gaming event. We'll seat new tables as soon as groups finish their adventure.

  • I'd go into more details on our Murder in Baldur's Gate event, but it sold out! We might have some more tickets available onsite for this preview of the upcoming adventure, the landmark first entry in the epic Sundering story arc. Don't worry if you can't make it to Gen Con. Game stores worldwide will be participating in the Murder in Baldur's Gate Launch Event Weekend on August 17–18. The Launch Event Weekend and our Gen Con event use the same material.

  • We'll also have panels throughout the weekend. The panels are your chance to ask our Sundering authors, R&D members, and our digital partners questions about our games. Get a book signed!

  • We'll also have author signings with R.A. Salvatore, Ed Greenwood, Troy Denning, Erin M. Evans, and Richard Lee Byers throughout the weekend in our D&D play area. Swing by to say hi!

Our play area this year at Gen Con is located in Hall D. It's your one-stop destination for all things D&D at the show. Pick up your pre-order of Ghosts of Dragonspear Castle, buy a D&D T-shirt, get into a session of D&D, meet new players, jump into a pick-up game of Lords of Waterdeep—whatever you want! If it's D&D, you'll find it there.

But What About the Dice?!?!

Of course, no mention of Gen Con would be complete without talking about the nifty set of dice we're offering this year. Last year's convention promotion went over very well—maybe too well judging by the vast lines queued up for our events. This year, we're making the process of earning a set of dice very easy.

If you play in Siege of Candlekeep or Murder in Baldur's Gate, you get a complete set of dice. So play some D&D and get a cool memento to commemorate the beginnings of the Sundering.

A Little Bit on D&D Next

After the last playtest packet, we're almost done with the classes, races, and other core elements of the game. We haven't shown off multiclassing yet, but it will be in the next packet.

For multiclassing, we're adopting a system similar to 3rd Edition's. Some of this will be old news to longtime readers, but I'm going to recap what we've mentioned before and then add in a few elements that are new.

  • In order to multiclass, you simply take a level in a new character class when you gain a level.

  • The math for attack bonuses, saving throws, and so on scales based on your overall character level, so you don't have to worry about accidentally breaking your character.

  • Multiclassing with spellcasting classes is somewhat similar. Your overall levels in classes that cast spells determines how many spells you can cast. Your levels in those individual classes determine which spells you can prepare. For instance, a 3rd-level mage/3rd-level cleric casts spells per day as a 6th-level character, but can choose to prepare spells available to a 3rd-level wizard or to a 3rd-level cleric. Luckily, our scaling spells ensure that you can still get the most bang for your spells.

  • What if you combine a fighter and a mage, or a caster class with one that isn't a caster? If you want to dive deeply into such a combination, we're designing a set of subclasses that cater directly to spellcasting. The eldritch knight is a fighter subclass that augments a fighter/mage combination. The warden subclass gives a ranger/druid the flavor and forms of that character class.

  • Our approach to low-level characters removes the abuses you can achieve by dipping into several classes by spreading out features over the first few levels.

  • For things such as weapon and armor proficiencies, we have multiclassing-specific rules to ensure that you gain some new proficiencies, but not all of them. You can't dip into fighter to gain all weapons and armor.

So, that's a basic overview of multiclassing. You'll see it in full in our next playtest packet.

Mike Mearls
Mike Mearls is the senior manager for the D&D research and design team. He led the design for 5th Edition D&D. His other credits include the Castle Ravenloft board game, Monster Manual 3 for 4th Edition, and Player’s Handbook 2 for 3rd Edition.
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