The second of three core rulebooks, Wizards of the Coast‘s Dungeons & Dragons: Monster Manualprovides the framework for players to experience the detailed encounters with the numerous iconic monsters of D&D. The manual unearths creatures that characters might encounter over the course of their adventures.
The Monster Manual presents a horde of classic Dungeons & Dragons creatures, including dragons, giants, mind flayers, and beholders–a monstrous feast for Dungeon Masters ready to challenge their players and populate their adventures.
The monsters contained herein are culled from the D&D game’s illustrious history, with easy-to-use game statistics and thrilling stories to feed your imagination.
The book is beautiful with amazing art, and a layout that contains tons of information but at the same time is easy on the eyes.
Check out some of the interior art of some of the monsters contained within.
And check out pages from the book of the information provided.
It’s an essential resource for Dungeon Masters who want to add tons of excitement to their gaming experiences. Check out our unboxing video below as we get a first look at the book!
A great tool for busy Game Masters, the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game: Monster Codex will provide a wide range of challenges for a variety of foes, from the nefarious drow to ruthless orcs. Each monster includes an in-depth look at its society and ecology, new rules like feats, spells, and magic items designed to complement the race, and archetypes built to give monsters a new edge. From a simple encounter to an entire campaign, the Monster Codex provides everything needed to make these monsters the center of the action.
In the 144 pages of Lords of Nal Hutta, game masters are given all the information they need to bring the most corrupt and lawless stretch of the galaxy to life. You get information on over a dozen planets, the history, culture, and points on interest in them.
There’s also new options for character creations with four more species options:
Sakiyans are unparalleled killers in the galaxy. Their predatory skill is unmatched, but protecting and defending their families and prides are their top priorities. While most show little to no interest in leaving their homeworld, Saki, those who do leave quickly become renowned as bounty hunters and assassins, finding their skills in high demand among the Hutt kajidics. Sakiyans are also noted for their distinct lack of humor as well as their intellectual and problem-solving abilities; they rarely take kindly to being proven wrong.
Niktos are hardy, stoic creatures known for being slaves to the Hutts. Reptilian humanoids with tough, leathery skin and standing roughly the height of an average human, the Niktos are a product of the environment of their harsh home planet, Kintan. All five of the Nikto sub-species are commonly found throughout Hutt Space and the Outer Rim. Most of them operate somewhere between illegal and immoral–doing dirty work for their powerful and devious employers.
A feared and mysterious species of mercenaries in the employ of the Hutts, the Ganks are among the most bloodthirsty killers in Hutt Space. Fur-laden carnivorous bipeds, they are clad from head to toe in high-tech battle armor, and are rarely seen in the flesh by non-Ganks. At their best as faceless thugs and enforcers, Ganks are almost exclusively bounty hunters, assassins, and bodyguards for Hutts and others willing to pay cold, hard credits for their unseemly services.
Hutts are large, slow-moving, long-living gastropods with remarkable physical and mental strength. Hutts can be found in nearly any profession, though the most infamous Hutts in the galaxy tend to be gangsters and crime lords. The massive slug-like creatures live for hundreds of years, and though they are slow, they are still physically powerful in their own right. Hutts also retain a great deal of societal power from the influence of the Hutt kajidics.
Because the Hutts are tied into black markets, the book also provides profiles for a wide range of new weapons, armor, gear, and even exotic weapons. If you’ve got the credits, you can get it all!
The book also has five modular encounters that run anywhere from thirty minutes to a full session perfect for game masters to run.
The book is scheduled to arrive in the fourth quarter of 2014.
This September 13th, Fantasy Flight Games is kicking off Rebellion Day. It’s everyone’s chance to try out their Star Wars: Age of Rebellion roleplaying game. Folks who head to participating locations will be able to play the adventure Rescue at Glare Peak!
Rescue at Glare Peak is a special introductory Age of Rebellion adventure designed specifically for the event, and it challenges you and your friends to complete a daring rescue mission while the fate of the galaxy hangs in the balance.
The highlight of Rebellion Day is Rescue at Glare Peak campaign. Designed for two to five players, Rescue at Glare Peak allows individuals to assume the roles of heroic Rebel agents who must work together to rescue a pair of Rebel pilots who have crash-landed on the planet Trivar II.
The kit includes four different pre-generated characters which introduce several of the many careers, specializations, skills, and talents of Age of Rebellion. Your group will be able to take on the roles of an Ithorian Engineer, a Bothan Spy, a Human Commander, and a Duros Soldier. You’ll need to make good use of all their tricks, talents, and technology in order to succeed at your mission!
The Age of Rebellion is the second of three epic, fully cross-compatible Star Wars roleplaying systems by Fantasy Flight Games. It thrusts players directly into the ongoing Galactic Civil War between the evil Empire and the rag-tag Rebel Alliance. Woefully outnumbered and outgunned by the Empire and its vast military might, player characters may undertake any of a wide variety of missions. They may perform reconnaissance, engage in guerrilla warfare, or recruit citizens from across the galaxy.
At the core of FFG’s Star Wars roleplaying mechanics are its custom dice. Designed to enhance a heavily narrative roleplaying system, these dice combine symbols for success and failure with symbols for “threat” and “advantage.” As a result, players may succeed at their actions but still earn “threat,” or fail but still “advantages.” These results encourage stunning plot twists, and every roll of the dice encourages additional storytelling.
WizKids Games has announced that the inaugural wave of D&D Icons of the Realms miniatures, based on the iconic Dungeons & Dragons roleplaying game from Wizards of the Coast is available in select stores now!
Inspired by the new Tyranny of Dragons storyline, players can expect to find dragons, kobold fighters, bugbears, wraiths, mind flayers, and many more iconic Dungeons & Dragons characters guaranteed to level up their tabletop RPG experience. Collect all 44 miniatures found in the D&D Icons of the Realms: Tyranny of Dragons booster packs today!
Just getting started with your collection? Wizkids recently announced the launch of the D&D Icons of the Realms Starter Set, a perfect supplement to the new Starter Set for the D&D tabletop roleplaying game. The 6-Figure miniatures Starter Set includes the 5 player characters featured in the tabletop roleplaying game Starter Set and are some of the most iconic classes and races from the Dungeons & Dragons universe, including the dwarf cleric, human ranger, Halfling rogue, Northlands fighter, elf wizard, and the famous drow ranger, Drizzt Do’Urden.
While crowdsourcing game testing is a long tradition in gaming, Wizards of the Coast took that to the next level with their latest edition of Dungeons & Dragons, the classic roleplaying game. Attracting 175,000 for their D&D Next project, the company received feedback from the community about the next edition.
Recently, with work complete the company released not only a new starter set, but a free PDF that allows anyone to download the game and get playing, a forward thinking decision that should be praised, and something you tend to not see from large corporations. This all leads up to, and gets people ready for, the Tyranny of Dragons storyline event which begins on August 14th.
To celebrate this new era, we got a chance to chat with D&D Lead Designer Mike Mearls about the past, present, and future of Dungeons & Dragons!
Graphic Policy: Before we get to the new release, it’s probably best to go back to the beginning of the process. What was the RPG and gaming market like when the idea for a new edition of Dungeons & Dragons came up?
Mike Mearls: While fourth edition really worked for people who liked detailed combat in D&D, we know that play style does not appeal to everyone. On top of that, the RPG category as a whole was seeing a decline in the number of new people coming into the hobby. Overall, tabletop RPGs were in decline for the past five years.
GP: What actually prompted the idea of a revamp of the system?
MM: We felt that we had to build a version of D&D that could cater to a wider audience. On one hand, veteran players like detailed character options and the ability to change the game to cater to their taste. On the other, the game had to have an easy to learn, central starting point for new players. Those two factors drove the idea of revamping the system.
GP: For the new edition you went the crowd sourcing route, and opened up playtesting to the world, attracting 175,000 playtesters. Where did the idea to go that route come from?
MM: In reviewing how third and fourth edition had been designed, we saw a real gap in understanding what people actually did with D&D. There were assumptions and conventional wisdom built into the game. That led to the idea of doing an open public playtest with rigorous, thorough data collection and documentation. We felt working directly with the D&D community would provide the most accurate picture of what people were looking for.
GP: Was that also the seed that would lead your decision to releasing the basic rules as a free PDF?
MM: Definitely. The basic rules are both a way to say thanks to everyone who put in the time to playtest the game, and a way we can remove the rules as a barrier to entry to playing the game. D&D is memorable when you get a chance to play it, and nothing beats free and digital for making the first step into a game as easy as possible for new players.
GP: The D&D Next playtest seems like a success, so much so that you’re going to continue to use the feedback loop for new products. What exactly do you have planned for that?
MM: We can’t cite details yet, but we have a limited number of issues we want to address via an open test. That will have to wait for 2015, though.
GP: You’ve released the basic rules as a free PDF, and have mentioned that you have a goal to expand the market. How are you doing that with the PDF?
MM: The great thing about the D&D Basic Rules is that it makes it easy for anyone to check out D&D. If you read about it in The New Yorker or at CNN.com, you can Google D&D and have the game in your hands in a matter of moments. Capitalizing on that initial moment of discovery is huge.
GP: With the advent of technology, gaming is no longer restricted to a room, as many folks are using Skype, or Google Hangouts to host roleplaying sessions. Did that factor in to the game play, and any plans on using that to help “spread the word?”
MM: It factored into the design in the sense that we wanted the game to be very flexible. Since we can’t predict where technology might go in the next few years, it was important to create a game that depended on as few physical components as possible. That lowered the barrier to entry, drove home what makes D&D unique (how many times have you heard it described as a board game that doesn’t use a board?), and brought imagination to the forefront.
Online gaming is definitely an area of growth, and we’re looking into what we can do to enable that.
GP:Other than the PDF, you’re embracing digital with a project codenamed “Morningstar.” Can you give us any info on that? Maybe when we can expect an announcement or release?
MM: Sorry, no news on that front yet. We’re really excited about the digital tools they’re working on. I have them loaded on my work iPad, and they’re really easy to use. The entire Trapdoor team is putting tons of work into getting everything right, and I know that they are running a beta test of the tools right now.
GP: Beyond just the game, the D&D brand has to be on your minds. Wizkids is releasing figures as a tie-in. There’s the long talked about movie reboot. What else can we expect?
MM: We’re really looking at ways to make D&D something that you can engage with beyond the gaming table. Tabletop RPGs are awesome, but you can’t play them by yourself, or without a group, and so on. We’re partnering with companies like Wizkids and Gale Force 9 to produce tabletop accessories, but we’re also working on some digital projects that I can’t detail yet. But, the key is we’re looking at how people game these days and working to ensure that you can experience the stories of D&D however you like.
GP: For recent releases, there’s been synergistic releases in comics, books, video games, and more. Can we expect that to continue?
MM: Yes, definitely. The Tyranny of Dragons story line is a great example of this, with the TRPG featuring it as the debut campaign, the Neverwinter MMO using it to fuel their next couple of expansions, and both Gale Force 9 and Wizkids dipping into it to produce miniatures, tabletop games, and game accessories, and a new comic series launching with a Tyranny of Dragons story from IDW.
By focusing on the story, we make it much easier for D&D players to move between different categories. Even better, it means we do our story work early enough to let our partners work in a much more coordinated manner. The Wizkids miniatures match up to the Tyranny of Dragons campaign produced by Kobold Press, as do the Gale Force 9 accessories.
GP: Overall, there seems to be a resurgence of board games, and roleplaying games in recent years. What do you think is fueling that?
MM: I think that face-to-face gaming is a natural next step for many video game players. When you look at the explosive growth of PAX, ComicCon, and so forth, you see that people really like getting together and socializing. Games are a great way to do that. RPGs are some of the best face to face games around. They encourage creativity and bring people together in a really unique, compelling way.
In many ways, the Internet is an awesome tool for discovering and building communities of like-minded gamers and fans, but at the end of the day people still want to get together. Before the Internet, you had to rely on random luck to find other D&D players. These days, it’s so much easier to find like-minded people.
GP: Any hints what we can expect at Gen Con?
MM: We have a lot of fun stuff planned. The Tyranny of Dragons story line kicks off in the Adventurers League, the official D&D organized play program. We’re running plenty of games and a big event on Saturday night to launch things. We’ll have special panels on creating characters and getting started with fifth edition and all sorts of surprises.
The real highlight is on Friday night, when we take over the Georgia Street Pavilion right outside the convention center for a big street party to officially kick off the Tyranny of Dragons campaign. There’s going to be mystery, intrigue, food, drink, and maybe a dragon or five.
GP: D&D has been kept alive and seeing its next step guided by the fans. What have they meant to Dungeons & Dragons through the years?
MM:D&D isn’t a game. It’s a culture. Without people playing the game, spreading it, and keeping it vital, we’d have nothing. Unlike many other games, D&D is uniquely social. It can vary from hilarious to tense to tragic in a heartbeat. I think it’s unique in its ability to bring people together. When you think about it, every D&D session is unique. Each session is shaped by the vagaries of die rolls and the creativity that people bring together. Add in the DM’s ability to make anything happen, and you have a game that’s still going strong after 40 years.
Without the fans, and the great stories they tell around the table, the game would’ve faded away decades ago.
Mastodon‘s new video for their song High Road is beyond fantastic. The new video is a celebration of dice slinging role-playing games as well as live action role-playing (LARPing). You don’t need to be a fan of either to truly appreciate it, but the video, plus the song, takes me back to my time as a counter jockey at my local game shop.
I had the opportunity to sit down with George Strayton, the creator of the new role playing game The Secret Fire which made it’s debut at this year’s Gen Con
The game is set in a familiar fantasy world, but the emphasis is on game play and the word “role” in role playing. Strayton wants to bring that back, and that’s his focus in this new game, as opposed to lots of dice rolling. Through a mechanic that encourages players to do such that Strayton also has worked in a way for gamers to be encouraged to do good in the real world and those good deeds to be recognized in game.