Okay, I’ll admit it right off the bat — I’ve never played Dungeons & Dragons. I don’t particularly know why, since during my teens I was a big fan of authors such as Jack Vance, Fritz Leiber, and L. Sprague de Camp, all of whom were acknowledged influences of Gary Gygax, D&D’s co-creator. It was only much later in my gaming history, when I discovered video RPGs such as the Final Fantasy series, that I became aware of how hugely D&D had contributed to the genre.
The original Dungeons & Dragons was published in 1974, and established many of the conventions of the role-playing game: the use of dice to establish numerical values for attack and defence, the changing attributes of the players’ characters (as they increase in experience, for example,) and the text-based nature of the gameplay — the experiences of the characters lie within the campaign storyline, which is in turn affected by the players’ decisions and the rolls of the dice, rather than existing on a static game board alone.
Wizards of the Coast, the current publisher of D&D, is set to launch the 4th Edition Core Rulebooks on June 6, 2008. This release increases the flexibility and speed of the game, while incorporating ease of learning for new players. The first adventure, Keep on the Shadowfell, will be available after May 20 at an approximate cost of CDN$33.00
The June launch includes the Player’s Handbook (approximately CDN$40.00), the Monster Manual (CDN$40.00), and the Dungeon Master’s Guide (CDN$40.00). We have some promotional material in the store (including a Quick-Start Rule set and a copy of Keep on the Shadowfell) that you are welcome to take a look at if you wish.
Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m off to do some seriously-needed leveling up on my Halfling Rogue.