Wizards of the Coast announced officially announced the release schedule for the fifth edition of Dungeons & Dragons today, including street dates for the Player’s Handbook, Monster Manual, and Dungeon Master’s Guide. As it turns out, Barnes & Noble’s leak was accurate: The Dungeons & Dragons Starter Set (96 pages, $19.99) will be released on July 15 and the Player’s Handbook (320 pages, $49.95) will be released on August 19. The Monster Manual (320 pages, $49.95) will follow on September 30 and then the Dungeon Master’s Guide (320 pages, $49.95) on November 18. These releases are part of an overarching transmedia strategy to update all of the D&D franchise, with the Player’s Handbook released at Gen Con as predicted.
The uniting narrative thread is Tyranny of Dragons, as announced this past January. On the digital front, Tyranny of Dragons will be released for the Massive Multiplayer Online Role-Playing Game (MMORPG), Neverwinter, from Cryptic Studios and Perfect World Entertainment. A module with the same name will launch for Neverwinter on August 14. Jack Emmert, CEO and Co-founder of Cryptic Studios, said:
We’ve had an incredible time being a key part of the Dungeons & Dragons experience. Building Neverwinter has been an outstanding journey for our companies. With the new Tyranny of Dragons module, both Neverwinter and the larger Dungeons & Dragons franchise will continue to be the most compelling fantasy adventure for players new and old.
On the tabletop front, two new Tiamat-themed tabletop adventures will be released this year: Hoard of the Dragon Queen (96 pages, $29.95) on August 19 and The Rise of Tiamat (96 pages, $29.95) on October 21. These adventures were designed by Wolfgang Baur of Kobold Press. Mike Mearls, Senior Manager at Wizards of the Coast, said:
Wolfgang Baur was at the top of our list for a reason. Between his work on Dungeon magazine in the 1990s and at Kobold Press today, he’s shown a keen eye for adventure design that few can match. What I love about Hoard of the Dragon Queen and The Rise of Tiamat is how Wolfgang and Steve Winter have approached the traditional adventure format. While the episodic structure makes it easy for DMs to trace the campaign’s humble beginnings to its epic conclusion, within those episodes is a level of flexibility and freedom for DMs and players that places this among the great D&D campaigns.
Wizards also partnered with WizKids to produce pre-painted plastic miniatures, including the Icons of the Realms: Starter Set (dwarf cleric, human ranger, halfling rogue, northlands fighter, elf wizard, and drow ranger Drizzt Do’Urden, $19.99) and Booster set ($15.99) in July. Wizards of the Coast promised future product announcements leading up to Gen Con. Nathan Stewart, Dungeons & Dragons Brand Director, said:
This is the biggest and most exciting year for Dungeons & Dragons yet. We’re excited to see the last two years of intense collaboration with our trusted partners and dedicated fans finally come to fruition.