Product release week is on us again — these will speed up, per the recent quarterly earnings review. One of the benefits to Wizards/Hasbro having so many new freelancers on the Candlekeep Mysteries project is that they have an extra couple dozen voices who can hit the promotions circuit, and many did.
As a reminder, I’m running DDD: 253, a charity game, Sunday March 21 at 7p. It is part of YachtCon: Back to School, the Puget Sound’s largest annual soccer convention. Sign up to watch for free, or sign up for our other “classes” and commune with Seattle’s soccer scene about pizza, beer, art, wine, cocktails, trivia, and more.
Official D&D Product Releases and Reviews
Candlekeep Mysteries Previews
With Candlekeep Mysteries releasing this week the internet is full of preview material. Some focuses on the individual writers, as diverse a group as Wizards has ever put forward on an official product, and others give broad overviews of the product.
- Daniel Kwan’s adventure is inspired by his heritage.
- Mark ‘Sherlock’ Hulmes adventure starts as a spa day.
- Amy Vorpahl shares the lessons she learned from writing an adventure for Candlekeep Mysteries.
- ENWorld has Brimmels’ overview and a Six Best Adventures story.
- Wieland also does a broad overview for Forbes.
- Charlie Hall’s review at Polygon splashes big photos and deep writing.
- Drop the Die’s reviews their friends and acquaintances, a twist that this product forces because the sheer number of new voices brought to an official product.
- Fandamentals went so in depth they have a part one and a part two. Every adventure has spoilery notes.
D&D Twitter featured every writer from from the adventure in a massive multi-week thread. Excellent use of social media to amplify their contract writers.
Chris Perkins wasn’t just the lead on the product, he was also one of the adventure writers. D&D puts his voice behind this 9 minute overview of the book of books.
The latest episode of DragonTalk includes a little nugget that Wizards is donating to a library of each library’s choice.
Fey Races Unearthed Arcana
Last week a new Unearthed Arcana started testing four fey races. Inevitably people are trying to guess what book this will be for.
Dungeons & Dragons Movie News
Sophia Lillis was playing D&D during the pandemic. Now she’s starring in the movie.
Other Official D&D News
Comic Relief and D&D combine for Red Nose Day. Help raise money and maybe win the opportunity to play D&D in a castle.
After Dark Alliance, Screen Rant wants more D&D video games.
Free adventure on DMs Guild? Yep. Their weekly newsletter features a free adventure as well as strong recommendations of quality products.
What D&D character action figure do you want? Wizards is launching a D&D action figure line and I’m looking forward to whichever halfling I can get.
Advice for Dungeons & Dragons Payers and DMs
SlyFlourish doesn’t want you to forget about the DMG — frankly, I needed the reminder. Currently the book I re-read most frequently is Xanathar’s Guide to Everything, but that’s mostly because I’m doing a lot of writing about Tools. After that, I’m spending time with Rime of the Frostmaiden’s introduction to help me with writing for DDD: 253 – Invasion of the Trees.
Merric supplies guidance on how empty rooms in your dungeon impact pacing.
One of the tricks the DM can use as the players get more familiar with the dungeon’s baseline is to speed past the areas that conform to that baseline and instead describe the exciting places.
This twist to Critical Fails is a great addition and will be part of my table rules from here forward.
Playing D&D in Civic Spaces During the Pandemic
The City of Menlo Park, California is hosting a Ravnica campaign.
Portage County, Wisconsin is hosting virtual D&D using DnDBeyond.com. They launched the digital version after donations from Wizards of the Coast and Fandom.
BYU-Idaho is hosting D&D sessions. They are transitioning back to in-person gaming.
Missoula, Montana’s arts scene is hosting D&D for kids.
Dungeons & Dragons is Mainstream Now
Another week, another musician releases a D&D inspired song. | Premiere: Jenny Owen Youngs Shares “Dungeons and Dragons” – Under the Radar
If you haven’t started watching Critical Role, here’s an introduction to the massive phenomena. | An Introduction to Critical Role: Prepare Your Emotions – TOR
D&D went virtual and became more powerful than ever. | Dungeons & Dragons had its biggest year ever as Covid forced the game off tables and onto the web – CNBC
Other Geek Stuff
Video games are able to tell stories in ways that books, movies, and role-playing games cannot.
When that stimmy hits I’m backing Coyote and Crow. I love alt-histories. One designed from the ground up to honor the First Peoples of North America will be exciting.
Dice that light up for you? Sure, why not.
As Always, Maps
Your interior maps can reflect the night.
This tower with the stairs inside the walls is going to be my next character’s home.