May 1, 2014

What to do while waiting for D&D Next

So, if you're like me, and waiting for the next edition of Dungeons and Dragons to be released, you probably have some free time on your hands. Time that might have been spent pouring over the latest game release, or Dragon magazine, is now time you have nothing to do. Or is it?

There are plenty of ways to spend time with your favorite hobby, even during this rare lull in gaming material.

  1. Check out some of the great products from past editions at Dungeons and Dragons Classics. Over the last sixth months, I've been really impressed at the amount of old material on the site. Have a favorite setting? There's certainly some older edition products available, and often at great prices. For example, the site currently has the first 6 modules in the original Dragonlance series (the basis for the Chronicles Trilogy of novels). Each is priced at only 4.99 each, and playing through the original trilogy could be a fun way to pass the time.
         These modules are for first edition, but should be easily convertible to most other editions. Running them with the last preview rules is only difficult when trying to stat DL-specific monsters. Note: module DL5 - Dragons of Mystery, is NOT an adventure, but actually a mini sourcebook, and is in most ways inferior to any of the other sourcebooks that came out afterward (Dragonlance Adventures, Time of the Lance box set, or any of the 3.5 books). Since none of those are available for download yet, you might want to pick this up in the mean time, or check out some of the better Dragonlance reference sites on the Internet (such as the Dragonlance Lexicon site.
         And if you're looking for new material, the Classics site is the place for recent adventures using the playtest rules, like Ghosts of Dragonspear Castle and the adventures for the last two seasons of D&D Encounters.
  2. Another way to spend this free time is catching up on some good books. While the game may be on hiatus, the novel line is still moving along, with new Forgotten Realms books coming out almost every other month. Most of the novels all center around The Sundering, the epic storyline (played out in novels and game products) that is intended to move the Realms from it's 4e version to what will be the new landscape in Next.
          Or you can pick up older books, many are available from second hand dealers, or in electronic form. If audio books are your thing (like me), you can get many of the older novels in unabridged format from audible.com.
  3. Lastly, another way to spend your time, especially if you are a DM is to either start planning your first Next campaign, or just reading things that will help inspire you. While all of the above suggestions can certain aid in that regard, I, myself, have recently been reading up on Ed Greenwood's Forging the Realms columns on the Wizards website. All the columns are free and offer a lot of great detail about the Realms, which can easily be imported to another setting. The earliest columns offer DM advice around keeping players surprised, ways to easily seed adventure ideas to the players/PCs, and tips for easily running short term campaigns.
          Along the same lines, Ed's various Volo Guides to the realms (also available on D&D Classics) presents a lot of great details about key cities and towns, each offering up countless adventure ideas for parties of all levels.
I don't know about you, but even with lack of new product coming out for D&D, I still have plenty to keep me busy.