Although there wasn't much of an official announcement from Wizards of the Coast (WOTC), the latest Dungeons & Dragons Encounters, Scourge of the Sword Coast, is being released only in electronic format and only for D&D Next. The D&D Next-only rules means that WOTC has cut the cord to earlier editions, unlike the first installment, Murder in Baldur's Gate, which was backwards compatible with 3.5 and 4th Editions.
UPDATE: At first it seemed that since D&D Next isn't actually for sale yet, the only way players can participate is if they have an earlier playtest edition that's no longer distributed for free, or if they purchase the rules in the adventure supplement Ghosts of Dragonspear Castle. Not true, says WOTC's Trevor Kidd on ENWorld:
To clear things up - the next season of D&D Encounters PDFs will come with some D&D Next playtest rules. It's not a separate purchase.
Scourge of the Sword Coast is played using a subset of the D&D® Next playtest rules, available for download at dndclassics.com. This season, players and Dungeon Masters use the official Scourge of the Sword Coast digital adventure that will be available for purchase through dndclassics.com
The adventure takes place in Daggerford:
Savage humanoids raid the countryside around Daggerford, causing victims of their attacks to seek out the shelter of the town. Stressed from the weight of the refugees, it’s up to a brave group of adventurers to end the raids and free Daggerford from its plight.
Scourge of the Sword Coast is the third adventure of the Sundering, a major story event in the Forgotten Realms. Like all Sundering events, the results of D&D Encounters are reported through the Adventurer’s Chronicle mobile and web app., which in turn can affect the Forgotten Realms campaign world. The kit includes material for 20 participants:
- 20 Promo twenty-sided dice featuring the Scourge of the Sword Coast season symbol
- 20 Player maps
- 2 Packs of NPC cards
- Poster to advertise the program
- Poster Map
Launch weekend is February 15 and 16, 2014, and runs through May 7, 2014.
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