The year goes quickly! Just when the leaves start to change, it seems I’m already dressing up for Halloween… this year as a cat (but not just any cat—my own slightly moronic, extremely obese cat). And now here it is well into November, with the best holiday of the year right around the corner (that’s right, turkey day—with three NFL games this year—which beats every other holiday hands down).
So what do we have going on with the D&D website? This month, there are some shiny new online tools in the works, courtesy of the site’s esteemed developer: Mark A. Jindra (if that names sounds familiar, Mark also writes the psionic Mind’s Eye column—for which he also has several new articles in the works).
Thanks to Mark (as well as the hard work of an external developer), you’ll soon have a drag-n-drop Dungeon Tile Generator. Timed for the release of Dungeon Tiles II: Arcane Corridors, this handy little generator will let you manipulate online versions of the tiles to concoct the perfect map for your next encounter.
When it comes to encounters and maps, there’s always a storeroom or two filled with nondescript crates and barrels—but what’s stored within these? Assuredly, your players will smash ‘em open to see (if video games have taught us nothing else, it’s to check all the crates). To help DMs, our Crate, Barrel and Sack Generator will provide hundreds of possibilities for what lies inside, inspired by the message board thread: 1001 Things in a Barrel. Maybe you’ll find something good, maybe something useful… maybe something that leaves you scratching your head.
And then there are the contests. It’s been awhile since we’ve offered up some prizes, so let’s have at it! Recently, the D&D Fan Film Fest was won by the fine folks over at Dungeon Majesty. Their film, World of Adventure, animated a great deal of the game’s evocative art. To help celebrate their success, look for your chance to guess what sourcebooks this art came from, for your chance to win some new sourcebooks of your own. Next month, we’ll also have a DVD giveaway for fans of the D&D cartoon. Plus, look for another contest in the works, asking for a bit more than mere knowledge and guesswork—this one involving your more creative skills (more on this later—we’re still hashing out the details and legal feasibility).
But speaking of prizes, that brings us to this month’s release: Cityscape. We (now) have the Table of Contents and other excerpts online for your perusal. Plus, the latest D&D podcasts explore the ideas of gaming in a city versus within the namesake dungeon (and why cities present even more of an intellectual challenge for DMs). Going back a few books, you’ll also soon have a new PrC, the swiftblade, for Complete Mage; and downloadable maneuver cards, to more easily reference this information from Tome of Battle.
The D&D Minis site will continue to release PDF “godbooks” (the name given to the complete set of stat cards), for all past sets leading up the latest Blood War release. At which point we’ll also have our own version of autocard, the feature seen on magicthegathering.com and other WotC game pages—by clicking on the name of the mini, you’ll be able to pop up a quick display of the mini’s image, and its RPG and skirmish stats: a handy reference for Minis articles, we hope!
And finally, a quick word about one of the more recent, and now most trafficked features of the website: Ask Wizards. Initially, we wanted to steer any and all rules questions toward Customer Service, and use Ask Wizards to cover more esoteric questions. However, a quick look into the Ask Wizards inbox reveals 5000+ questions, the vast majority of which are in fact rules related. As such, we’ll be revamping this section of the website in the very near future. Most days of the week, this section will become Sage Advice Online, with Andy Collins (author of Dragon Magazine’s analog Sage Advice column) fielding your more pressing rules queries. Odd days (mainly weekends), will see Ask Wizards fill this slot, fielding the broader philosophical and trivia-minded questions about the game. We hope this better meets your expectations for this website.
As always, we welcome your feedback. If there are things you like or don’t like about the website, please let us know. In fact, there’s a direct email address for you to send your comments and suggestions to: firstname.lastname@example.org.