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It’s been announced that the RPGA’s global Living Greyhawk campaign will not be carried over to fourth edition, and is to be replaced with a Living campaign set in the Forgotten Realms. Living Greyhawk players seem to be taking the news well. The move to a thirty level standard should fit well into the setting, which is famous for its high-powered NPCs. Assuming that each nation or province is assigned to one US state or real-world nation or province as Living Greyhawk did, it’ll be interesting to see if they let anyone have the big-name areas like Cormyr, Neverwinter and Baldur’s Gate.
A new blog called Breeyark’s D&D4e News is tracking announcements made by the Wizards of the Coast staff, including message board posts. Here are some tidbits I haven’t already covered:
April 2008 sees the release of the new miniatures starter pack and the Dungeons of Dread series of monster minis. I think this could potentially bring in a lot of new roleplayers via the more traditional games, although I suspect that well-marketed hypothetical boxed set would do even better with all-new players who can treat it like a traditional board game, and DMs who can kick-start their miniatures collection and want to know up-front what they’re getting. We’ll see. What we can already see is that the third edition monster appearances are no longer canon in 4e, giving collectors a reason to buy the new minis – that said, there’s nothing stopping you using your old troll mini.
The gametable software will use a true 3D engine and in all likelihood will be able to offer the full range of D&D miniatures, although whether the miniatures will have an additional cost remains to be annouced. We can fully expect that it will tie into the character sheet software, allowing you to create your own miniature in an MMO-style character visualizer. This isn’t Neverwinter Nights: rule adjudicating is still the Dungeon Master’s job, while the software will simply recreate the benefits of a real-world gaming table.
As I mentioned before, “Vancian” spellcasting (preparing spells per-day) is changing – according to a post by Mike Mearls, it’s “mostly” gone. I think we can assume that we won’t see a mana points system like psionics or Final Fantasy, but that spells will continue to take up spell slots, which as previously announced will be divided into per-day (as in 3e), per-encounter, and at-will (as with reserve feats). This is a big change, but I think it’s for the better.