Tag Archive: Dungeons and Dragons fifth edition


The mists of Ravenloft are rising.  Overcome your dread or forever be its prisoner!

Hot on the heels of this month’s release of Candlekeep Mysteries, the new Dungeons & Dragons 5th edition campaign sourcebook Van Richten’s Guide to Ravenloft explores the mysteries of Ravenloft, mist-shrouded lands where infamous Darklords lurk among ageless vampires, zombie hordes, cosmic terrors, and worse.  Create your own Domains of Dread, settings to host endless terrifying adventures, or join the ranks of haunted heroes who embrace macabre lineages, dual-edged Dark Gifts, haunted subclasses, and other forbidden powers.  Van Richten’s Guide to Ravenloft contains everything you need to craft a horror-themed campaign for Dungeons & Dragons, and unleash a treasure trove of new story hooks, character options, and campaign customization.  You pre-order the standard library cover here from Wizards of the Coast at Amazon now, or order the alternate shimmering, soft-touch edition from your local gameshop.

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Review by C.J. Bunce

Not just a new adventure for your next Dungeons & Dragons campaign, the new 5th edition adventure anthology Candlekeep Mysteries is a different way to enhance gameplay from Wizards of the Coast.  First, it opens up the realm of creators creating the stories behind your next adventure.  It’s 17 contained adventures all centered on a visit to the Forgotten Realm’s renowned towering library fortress of Candlekeep.  Each adventure has a book– a rarity, serving as a clue, a key, a totem or token, a container, or treasure–at the center of a mystery.  And each adventure can be played as a standalone, or, it can supplement another campaign, so a Dungeon Master can splice in one of these stories to places like the Soltryce Academy of Wildemount, the Library of Korranberg in Eberron, the University Library in Sharn, or the Great Library of Greyhawk.  Plus new monsters.  New magic items.  New characters.

Which adventure will you begin with?

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This next Dungeons & Dragons offering is a British twist that may interest some U.S. players.  Not a product of Wizards of the Coast like the typical D&D book or accessory set, the Dungeons & Dragons 2021 Annual–the first of its kind–is now available to U.S. buyers.  Neither a rule book nor an adventure book, this is more an overview of the past year, a typical, traditional annual that the UK genre market has seen for years across major fandoms including Star Wars Annual 2021 and the Doctor Who Annual 2021 Think of it as a yearbook or souvenir book, an introduction for new players, and a look back at the releases over the past year.

Take a look inside, courtesy of Egmont Books in the UK:

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Candlekeep attracts scholars like a flame attracts moths.  Historians, sages, and others who crave knowledge flock to this library fortress to peruse its vast collection of books, scribbled into which are the answers to the mysteries that bedevil them.  Many of these books contain their own mysteries–each one a doorway to adventure.  Dare you cross that threshold?

The new Dungeons & Dragons 5th edition adventure anthology Candlekeep Mysteries explores the Forgotten Realm’s renowned towering library fortress with 17 new mystery themed mini-adventures–each tied to a book in the library.  These can be run as standalone adventures or tucked into your latest campaign.  Including a poster map of the library fortress and detailed descriptions of Candlekeep and its inhabitants, you can pre-order the library cover here at Amazon now, or pick up the Victorian-inspired variant cover via your local gameshop.

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Since the Fifth Edition of Dungeons & Dragons launched in 2014, Wizards of the Coast has been offering plenty of great tie-in products to enhance the gaming experience, many under the heading of Dice & Miscellany.  The latest tie-in is available in game shops and here at Amazon this week, the D&D Dungeon Master’s Screen Wilderness Kit Whether you’re exploring the jungles of Chult, sailing through Saltmarsh, or navigating the frozen frontier of Icewind Dale, the D&D Wilderness Kit will help you through it.

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Review by C.J. Bunce

Franklin, Scott, Shackleton, Dyre, Hillary, MacReady, Torrance, Norgay.  Name your favorite stone-cold adventurer from real life or fiction and ready yourself for what may be the deepest, most detailed world building in your Dungeons & Dragons gaming yet.  Ed Greenwood and R.A. Salvatore’s Icewind Dale will take on new meaning for you as a place of excitement and troubled outcasts, nonstop pitfalls, and numbing despair–if you’re not careful.  In Wizards of the Coast’s latest adventure, Icewind Dale: Rime of the Frostmaiden, players will journey across lands doomed to darkness by a frostmaiden of many faces, known to embody all of winter’s cruelties.  Your most bone chilling nightmares lie ahead, and survival is only the beginning.

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Review by C.J. Bunce

The new Dungeons & Dragons 5th edition adventure Mythic Odysseys of Theros has an inspired twist on the mythology and real world of the Ancient Greeks, creating a bit of a mirror fantasy setting that is still nicely footed in that world.  The new campaign, which arrives online and in game shops July 21, has a very different look and feel from your typical D&D sourcebook.  You’ll harken back to when you first imagined living among a pantheon of dueling Gods, and encountering your first images of hydras, hippocamps, krakens, and chimera (or watched Clash of the Titans).  And a book full of some enticing new maps will keep you absorbed in hours of roleplay this summer, even if you’re needing to make it all work with your friends over Zoom instead of in person.

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The next adventure from Dungeons & Dragons is coming this summer.  Icewind Dale: Rime of the Frostmaiden is a tale of dark terror. Wizards of the Coast promises players will visit the forlorn, flickering candlelights of civilization known as Ten-Towns and traverse many bone-chilling locations that surround these frontier settlements.  Beneath the unyielding night sky, players will stand before a towering glacier and recite an ancient rhyme, causing a crack to form in the great wall of ice.  Past this icy dungeon is a secret so old and terrifying that few dare speak of it.  What fantastic secrets and treasures are entombed in the heart of the glacier, and what will their discovery mean for the denizens of Icewind Dale?  Do you dare try to save Ten-Towns from the Frostmaiden?  The new supplement to the 5th Edition of Dungeons & Dragons is available for pre-order now with an add-on frosty set of dice.

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This month Wizards of the Coast is celebrating 45 years of fans and gaming and 5 years of the Fifth Edition of Dungeons & Dragons with a one-time opportunity.  The D&D Sapphire Anniversary Dice Set: Collector’s Limited Edition will be available to commemorate the occasion, a set of eleven aluminum dice with a special sapphire set in the d20 die.  Wizards of the Coast hopes this to be the jewel of any gamer’s dice sets.  You’ll want to mark your calendar for December 12, 2019, at 9 a.m. Pacific/11 a.m. Central, the go-live date for sales of the set.  And you’ll need to act fast, as the number of sets will be limited to 1,974, reflecting the first year of D&D.

“When the D&D team realized the sapphire is the traditional anniversary stone for both five years and forty-five years, and that adding a laboratory-created sapphire to a twenty-sided die wouldn’t jeopardize the integrity of a roll, we couldn’t pass up the chance to make something really cool to celebrate the milestones,” said Nathan Stewart, vice president of the D&D for Wizards of the Coast.  “The team put together a fun product for our fans that includes art and newly updated stats for sapphire dragons, making these classic dragons ready for play in your next D&D session.”

Here are the stats for the set from Wizards of the Coast:

  • A complete set of eleven precision anodized luxury aluminum dice, including two d20s, one d12, two d10s, one d8, four d6s, and one d4, all created exclusively for Wizards of the Coast by Level Up Dice.
  • The centerpiece of the set is a dice masterpiece, a d20 that contains an inlaid lab-grown sapphire in the place of the twenty.
  • All other dice sport a fully engraved and anodized official D&D ampersand on the highest value of each die.
  • A custom dice box and dice tray combo only available with this set, perfect for protecting and showcasing the set everywhere you play.
  • A premiere foldout card featuring official D&D fifth edition game statistics for adult sapphire dragons, along with vibrant, full-color art.
  • An exclusive sticker sheet with the D&D ampersand.
  • A sequentially numbered collector’s card confirming the set’s authenticity.

Take a look at this trailer with close-up images of the dice, which also doubles as a bit of a “moment of Zen”–

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Review by Art Schmidt

Premiering today, the next adventure sourcebook for Dungeons & Dragons is entitled Ghosts of Saltmarsh, a title that evokes both the haunted nature of many of the adventures contained within it, including the titular Saltmarsh trilogy from D&D’s 1st Edition.  Saltmarsh is the first D&D adventure book to be officially set in the world of Greyhawk, the original D&D Fantasy world setting used in 1st and 2nd Edition Dungeons & Dragons before Ed Greenwood’s Forgotten Realms captured the roleplaying community’s imagination, a fact sure to delight many long-time fans of the setting.  It includes a brief introduction of Greyhawk and provides some background information about the Kingdom of Keoland, where the coastal town of Saltmarsh is set.

The book also provides three alternate “factions”, in place of the standard five factions of the Forgotten Realms: The Traditionalists, the Loyalists, and the Scarlet Brotherhood.  Included are NPCs, motivations, and background information enough to provide players with the ability to use them in place of the standard factions.  Of course, the Realms factions can easily still be used with a little work on the DM’s part.

Similar to Tales from the Yawning Portal, Ghosts of Saltmarsh is primarily a collection of seven adventures set in a maritime area, rather than a full campaign in and of itself as with other hardcover books (such as Tomb of Annihilation and Dungeon of the Mad Mage).  The Saltmarsh adventures are designed to be inserted into an ongoing campaign and ran as independent adventures.  However, unlike with Yawning Portal, there is an outline provided in Saltmarsh which allows them to be stitched together into a campaign, with room for other published adventures or excursions of the DM’s design to be inserted in between.

Three of the adventures are based on the Saltmarsh Trilogy of D&D modules, first published in the early 1980s by TSR’s United Kingdom office (hence “U” in the original module designations “U1” through “U3”).  The Sinister Secret of Saltmarsh, Danger at Dunwater, and The Final Enemy presented players with an in-depth plot, multiple twists in story and characters, and a deeper roleplaying experience than was available at the time from most other published adventures.  In fact, one entire adventure is designed to be roleplayed almost entriely through, with very few combat opportunities (unless the party started fighting with their potential allies), something rarely seen at the time.

Today the roleplaying populace at large demands a heavy, story-driven narrative for their gaming dollars, and the popularity of Twitch, YouTube and other streaming platforms have brought awareness to how enjoyable and accessible the roleplaying experience can be.  But 1st Edition Dungeons & Dragons was dominated by the likes of The Keep on the Borderlands, the Slavers and Giants series, and the penultimate Tomb of Horrors, most of which were based around the same general idea: “Hey, there’s a hole in the ground and it’s full of monsters and treasure; see how far you can get without dying.”

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