Neuroglyph Games Only a Pen is Mightier Catch it on the Rise Dust shaken from a Book

News in Review for May 31 to June 6 2010

If there is a trend or theme in the D&D 4E News this week it has got to be Dark Sun, Dark Sun, and MORE DARK SUN!!!
dark sun cover 4e
Without a doubt, Wizards of the Coast seems to be in the grips of Dark Sun “mania” – not that anyone can blame them, mind you.  With Bill Slavisek’s official announcement of Summer Madness in the Ampersand Archive, and with references to the impending release of the Dark Sun Campaign Setting showing up in no less than four columns this week, it’s clear that the psychic emanations of Athas are on everyone’s mind at WotC.  And the new Penny Arcade/PvP Podcasts are up to 5th Episode – with the campaign setting of choice being “tah-dah” Athas!

Even my fellow 4E/RPG Bloggers has caught Dark Sun “fever”, with Thieves Cant.com and Dungeons Master.com publishing a number of blogs this week regarding everything from Athas Monster Lore to Dark Sun setting trivia.  I must admit that I find all this excitement for the new 4E campaign setting absolutely infectious, and I can hardly refrain from flicking through old Dark Sun online fansites, and tearing through old Dragon Magazines looking for Athas articles.

But even if you’re not looking forward to the triumphant return of the Dark Sun Campaign Setting, there was still a ton of great content from WotC this week, as well as some awesome content from fansites and bloggers from all over.  So check out the 4E News and Reviews from this week – and if you catch your own case of Dark Sun “fever”, at least you know you’re not alone!

  • The 2nd PenyArcade/PVP Dark Sun Podcast is now available on the WotC site, featuring Jerry Holkins (Tycho), Mike Krahulik (Gabe), Scott Kurtz, and Kris Straub.
  • Bart Carroll updates the May News & Reviews with information about the Dark Sun Podcasts, the sad passing of fantasy artist Frank Frazetta, and more.
  • ENWorld.com announces that Emerald Press donated the Battlemaps of their adventure module Key of the Fey to EN World Subscribers!
  • Goodman Games has released a PDF version of Amethyst: Foundations through EN World & RPGNow.
  • Chris Sims at Critical-Hits.com discusses the importance of terrain effects and combat pacing for solo encounters in Mailbag 7–All By Myself, Part 4!
  • In Mike Shea’s new blog on Sly Flourish.com warns DMs about Three Cool Story Ideas to Avoid.
  • Chris Youngs writes his final Dragon Editorial in Hail to the Chief, announcing his change to a new position at Wizards of the Coast, and more.
  • In the new Class Acts column, Wizards who wield the elemental flame are offered new backgrounds, spells, and a Paragon Path in Unfriendly Fire.
  • In Evolution of an Opening Chapter, read a theory discussion and an exceprt by Don Bassingthwaite about the newest Eberron novel, The Tyranny of Ghosts.
  • Bart Carroll has excerpts and updates on new releases like Monster Manual 3, Demonomicon, Vor Rukoth, and Tomb of Horrors in his June and Beyond column!
  • The new Ampersand column by Bill Slaviscek, Summer Madness has news on this month’s releases, as well as a sneak peek at the Arcane Defiling power from the upcoming Dark Sun Campaign Setting!
  • Bart Carroll updates his June News & Reviews column with a puzzle: What Monster Is It?
  • Thieves Cant.com offers their interpretation of an old monster favorite: the Derro.
  • NewbieDM.com recommends using Player-Characters’ “wish lists” to make Magic Item Side Quests.
  • Ameron at Dungeons Master.com discusses the inde information he got from D&D Encounters about Dark Sun: New Rules.
  • Steve Winter pens the Dungeon Editorial, discussing the changes to the Staff of both magazines and his own qualifications in Introductions, Again.
  • In the latest Channel Divinity, one of Forgotten Realms favorite gods is discussed in Tymora’s Luck, with new Feats and Magic Items for followers of this Good Goddess of Fate.
  • In this month’s Spotlight Interview, Bart Carroll checks in with Steve Townsend one of the designers of critters in Monster Manual 3 in 3 Quick Questions: The Mimic.
  • Ben MacFarland at Kobold Quarterly checks out a new mapping program with a Hexographer Software Review.
  • Dungeon Magazine has a side trek based upon HS1: The Slaying Stone for 2nd Level Characters in The Den of Dreus.
  • The PenyArcade/PVP Dark Sun Podcast is up to its 5th installment and is available on the WotC site – check it out!
  • In honor of the release of L.D. Harkrader’s novel Nocturne, WotC has some ideas on How to Host a Vampire Party.
  • Bart Carroll offers another What Monster Is It? puzzle in his June News & Reviews column this month.
  • In a new excerpt from the upcoming Monster Manual 3, the origins of the Apocalypse Spell are revealed, and the terror it unleashes with the Herald of Colorless Fire.
  • Dave “The Game” at Critical-Hits.com warns DDI Customers: Check Your Credit Card – the billing company for DDI was hacked and credit card data may have been stolen!
  • Thieves Cant.com also has some Athas Monster Lore for a nasty beetle in Oh the Agony! (Dark Sun Style).
  • Dungeons Master.com’s Ameron has compiled some important Athas information in his Dark Sun: A Quick Player’s Primer.
  • Linnaeus at Critical-Hits.com critiques the first adventure of Neuroglyph Games’ Doombringer Saga Adventure Arc – Review: “The Perilous Secrets of Wilford Manor”.
  • There’s more Dark Sun content at Thieves Cant.com with Rules Tweak #1 – Hook’em.

About The Author

Editor-in-Chief
Michael is an Adept of a Secret Order of Dungeon Masters, and dwells in a hidden realm with his two evil cat-familiars, deep within the Vale of Wolverines, called by some "Michigan". He has been esoterically conjuring D&D Campaigns for nearly a Third of a Century, and has been known to cast ritual blogs concerning Dungeons & Dragons every few days with some regularity. Michael has freelanced for Wizards of the Coast, and writes reviews of D&D and other Role-Playing Game products on EN World News.

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