Posted on Leave a comment

D&D NEXT has a new home on!

Wizards of the Coast has just launched a brand new hub of information for D&D Next, the “next” iteration of the game, at The new page features all the latest and greatest on D&D Next including articles from Wizards, discussions about the future of the game, and seminar transcripts from the recent D&D Experience event. It will also soon house features like Live Chats, a calendar of upcoming events and, once playtesting begins, materials will be available for download through this page. (Please note that this new site does not signify the start of playtesting – we will, of course, let you know once that begins!)

Also, as you may have noticed, the D&D site has been redesigned with a spiffy new look which went live this week at

Check out the new pages and, as always, let me know if you have any questions. In the meantime, check out the site and sign-up for the playtest if you haven’t already done so!

Posted on 2 Comments

Dungeons & Dragons 5th edition

Charting the Course for D&D

Your Voice, Your Game

Mike Mearls

As you may have read in the New York Times, it’s an exciting time for Dungeons & Dragons. We are happy to announce today that we are developing the next iteration of D&D, and will be looking to the legions of D&D fans to help shape the future of the game along with us.

Our mission is to ensure that D&D enters its next 40 years as a vibrant, growing, and exciting game. By listening to the needs of the D&D community, we can meet this goal. As part of our increased efforts to engage with the player-base, we launched a series of weekly articles in early 2011, including Rule of Three and Legends & Lore, to give you a voice in our work. We’ve listened to both praise and criticism from all D&D fans, regardless of their edition of choice, and we’ll continue to do so.

That is why we are excited to share with you that starting in Spring 2012, we will be taking this process one step further and conducting ongoing open playtests with the gaming community to gather feedback on the new iteration of the game as we develop it. With your feedback and involvement, we can make D&D better than ever. We seek to build a foundation for the long-term health and growth of D&D, one rooted in the vital traits that make D&D unique and special. We want a game that rises above differences of play styles, campaign settings, and editions, one that takes the fundamental essence of D&D and brings it to the forefront of the game. In short, we want a game that is as simple or complex as you please, its action focused on combat, intrigue, and exploration as you desire. We want a game that is unmistakably D&D, but one that can easily become your D&D, the game that you want to run and play.

D&D is more than just a set of rules for fantasy gaming. It launched an entire gaming genre and played a pivotal role in creating the entirety of the gaming industry, both analog and digital. The game has lived and thrived because it has awoken a spark of creation, visions of daring adventure, wondrous vistas, and untold horrors that pull us all together as a community of RPG fans. It is the countless players and DMs who have brought it to life over the years. The game is at its best when it is yours.

For that reason, we want your participation. The goals we have set for ourselves are by no means trivial or easy. By involving you in this process, we can build a set of D&D rules that incorporate the wants and desires of D&D gamers around the world. We want to create a flexible game, rich with options for players and DMs to embrace or reject as they see fit, a game that brings D&D fans together rather than serves as one more category to splinter us apart.

We have begun obtaining feedback from a limited Friends & Family playtest consisting of internal employees and their gaming groups and soon we will be expanding that group to consist of members from our existing body of playtesters. Then at the D&D Experience convention in late January, Wizards of the Coast will conduct a special playtest of ideas currently in development. The D&D Experience will be moving to Gen Con in 2013, so as a convention special this year, we will be offering show attendees a first-look at a draft of the new set of rules. Then beginning sometime in the spring, we will begin open playtesting. Through our web site, we will release a growing set of rules, classes, monsters and other materials for your study and feedback. We seek to reach as many people as possible, from the gamer who just started with D&D last week to the gaming group that has been together since the early-1970s. For this process to work, we want to give a voice to all D&D fans and players of all previous editions of the game.

The next year is going to be an exciting one. There is a lot of work to be done, and I’m hoping you have the time, energy, and inclination to pitch in. We sure hope you do, as we seek to make gaming history by shaping the future of D&D, together. If you would like to sign up today to be notified when the playtest is beginning and how you can participate, click here:


In the meantime, you can share your opinions, talk with other gamers and stay in touch with D&D game designers by joining the official group page at:

Posted on Leave a comment

Everything I need to know I learned from Dungeons & Dragons

“With tongue-in-cheek humor, the creator of the award-winning Confessions of a Part-Time Sorceress takes on the self-help section, proving that the benefits of the Dungeons & Dragons® game goes far beyond simple entertainment.”

During PAX Prime 2011 NERD TREK met with Wizards of the Coast to discuss their new line of Neverwinter products.  After the interview we spoke briefly with Shelly Mazzanoble, author of “Confessions of a Part Time Sorceress”.  Although her first book was intended for a female audience, I had read it in hopes of passing it on to my wife.  (Everyone wants their wife to play D&D right?)  When I found out she had a new book entitled “Everything I need to know I learned from Dungeons & Dragons” I just had to read it.  After a short interview with Shelly she handed me a copy of the book which I stashed in my bag of holding (seriously, a bag of holding!) and went on my merry way.

Months later I am finally getting around to reading that book and writing this review.  It may be a little on the late side, but someone with Wisdom 18 once said “better late than never”.

I started out planning to read the book from start to finish and immediately ran into many roadblocks.  These roadblocks took the form of the author’s overbearing mother who seems to affect not only her writing, but her very life.  Obviously Shelly takes the incessant nagging her mother throws at her and attempts to wrangle it into something digestible, but fails.  This caused me to start this book and then toss it back into the pile on my nightstand, playing rotation for many months with other literary works.

A few days ago I decided to give Shelly’s book another shot.  I skipped the beginning of the book and hopped around from chapter to chapter.  Ah ha!  I found the secret passage Shelly… although you shouldn’t have made it so difficult to locate.  (I had to roll a nat 20 on Perception.)  The key to this book lies in the varied nature that the author gives each section.  Little quizzes, personal emails, and other people’s intimate experiences with D&D.  That is what makes this book great!  Once I started flipping through and reading bits and pieces I thoroughly enjoyed reading “Everything I need to know I learned from Dungeons & Dragons”.

Shelly Mazzanoble’s writing style sucks you in, I found myself reading more than just the intended blurb when I flipped to any given page.  The little side stories and hilarious anecdotes give Mazzanoble a unique writing style that is very personable.  If you enjoy tabletop RPGs of any kind there is something special hidden for you in this book.


  • Unique Concept
  • Fun Layout
  • Subject Matter I love
  • Describes Places I am familiar with (Seattle)



  • Too much focus on overbearing mother
  • Feeling of treading water in the beginning of the book (hard to keep reading)



This book is an excellent read for anyone looking for additional insight into why people play tabletop role-playing games and what they get out of them.

I think Shelly’s next book should be called “This book is NOT about my mother.”

Join the Forum discussion on this post

Posted on 2 Comments

Iron Die – Hardcore is the way they roll


I’m not kidding when I say these dice are HARDCORE.  IronDie dice are made from solid metal, custom crafted with unique shapes and colors, and laser engraved with exquisitely minute details making each die one of a kind.  These dice are crafted in Italy and were discovered by Dan from Green Lake Games in Seattle, WA.

NERD TREK spoke with Dan of Green Lake Games about how he came across IronDie in Italy and what he is doing with them.

“Back in October we saw IronDie at a game convention in Italy and thought that they looked and felt amazing, though were a bit pricey. We brought 72 dice back to Seattle (1 of each shape & color), priced them at $5 each, and were sold out within 2 weeks. After that we talked to the game designer and found out that he had about 500 dice left in Italy. So we shipped those to Seattle, got them into our store a week before Christmas, and by the second week of January had completely sold out of all 500 dice just through our small 1,500 sq’ storefront. We had a purchase rate of over 80% from customers that physically picked up and rolled the dice around in their hand. After seeing them fly off the counter like that we decided to bring them over from Europe and make them widely available to retail stores and customers across the states. So far the response has been beyond anything that we had expected.”

 “We have started a whole new branch of IronDie here in Seattle and will be advertising, marketing, and promoting the game throughout the states. In addition to advertising on the web and in print we will be demoing IronDie at conventions around the country, offering free demo and league programs, prizes, and incentives for retail stores, and have put together display packages that show off these gorgeous dice in the best ways that we’ve been able to find. We have been selling them as both individual dice for use in other games and as the IronDie game. This approach appeals to a very wide range of customers and has kept the dice moving off the shelf consistently, day after day. We are selling the dice individually at wholesale so that stores can reorder exactly which dice sell and not be left with a bunch of extra shapes/colors that aren’t working for that store.”

“IronDie takes Milan’s strikingly unique eye for design and combines it with the familiarity of a common game playing piece, creating a set of brightly colored metal dice that are equally suited for playing the IronDie Collectible Dice Game or simply as a regular set of dice that can spark conversation. The small metal shop in Milan that crafts these dice also produces metal accessories for the giants of the Milan fashion industry. They are die-cast in solid metal (a Zinc alloy), are *HEAVY*, and are true Designer Dice. Meticulously developed with an eye toward variety and unique shapes they are some of the most creative and interesting dice that I have ever seen. The customizable game that is played with them is fun, strategic, and very unique, though most customers still just purchase the dice for whatever other games they play.”