Dungeons & Dragons Fourth Edition Announced
Wizards of the Coast has announced the upcoming release of the fourth edition of the legendary Dungeons & Dragons fantasy roleplaying game at GenCon.
Scheduled for release in May 2008, the latest version of the game will feature simplified and faster game play, and will reduce the amount of pre-game "prep time" required. Bill Slavicsek, R&D Director of Roleplaying and Miniature Games at WotC, said, "Fourth Edition streamlines parts of the D&D game that are too complex while enhancing the overall play experience."
A major change in the fourth edition will be the addition of an online component, known as D&D Insider, which will offer community forums and web-based tools such as an online character generator, Dungeon Master tools and a "digital game table" which WotC says will let gamers "play 24/7 on the internet." The online services, including monthly magazine-style content, will be available for an as-yet undetermined monthly fee.
"At its heart, it's still a tabletop game experience," Slavicsek said. "However, D&D Insider makes it easier for players to create characters, run their games and interact with the rest of the D&D community."
In the lead-up to the official unveiling, Wizards of the Coast will be releasing two Fourth Edition "preview books" in December and January, titled Wizards Presents: Classes and Races, and Wizards Presents: Worlds and Monsters. Live demos of Dungeons & Dragons 4th Edition will premiere at the D&D Experience convention in February 2008.