May 17th, 2011. The release of the Shadowfell: Gloomwrought and Beyond boxed set. I’ve had this on pre-order from pretty much the same day Amazon (at least in the UK) had it on their site!
Lots of pre-release reviews are starting to come out (e.g. Here, and here , and here and here… ) and from what I’ve read so far it doesn’t look like I’ll be disappointed! Ever since the 4E cosmology came out I’ve been fascinated by the Feywild and Shadowfell concepts, and its good to see WOTC are supporting these well.
I’m far more excited about this release than the recent Heroes of Shadow release, as I’ve posted here: Player’s Options, Why Worry? And yet, I wouldn’t mind betting that the internet furore over S:GaB will be significantly less than it has been over HoS! In fact, probably so much so that I find myself wondering why WOTC does not concentrate far more on DM aligned products such as settings and adventures than the continuous stream of new player options. They might get better press :)
I can understand the thinking that there are more ‘players’ out there than ‘DM’s’, given the normal 5:1 ratio of the standard adventuring party. However, I’m sure in most groups there is more than one at least part-time DM, and in any case in my experience it’s the DM types that spend the most on D&D products anyway.
In my case, I have purchased a large number of DM aligned 4E products (Forgotten Realms, Dark Sun, the Planes supplements, the Draconomicons, the Demonomicon, all the DM Guides, the Monster Manuals, the Rules Compendium etc…), but few Player aligned products (Player’s Handbook 1 and 3, Martial Power). This is obviously partly because I’m a DM through and through, but also because though I definitely enjoy the ‘flavour’ aspects that these options bring to 4E, I have access to all this material through D&D Insider. In reality, this material is also used so infrequently i.e. in a typical campaign the players are going to use it one (or perhaps a few more, depending on the mortality rate…) time when creating a character, and minimally each time they level up and need to choose a new power/feat/etc. It just doesn’t seem to warrant the shelf space :)
So it seems to me that the D&D Insider model is actually a better delivery mechanism for player material, whilst traditional printed material is better for DM aligned products? What do you think?
In any case, I can’t wait for May 17th … and I’m looking forward to the Feywild Box Set, at your earliest convenience, Wizards! :)