D&D Live 2019: The Descent – Product Announcement Highlights
“The Descent“, Wizards of the Coast’s 2019 live D&D event, has come and gone. Here are some highlights of products announced during the event.
Baldur’s Gate: Descent into Avernus (September 17, 2019)
- Next published adventure, 256 pages, for characters level 1 to 13.
- Standard cover (art by Tyler Jacobson) and Alternate cover (art by Hydro74). Alternate cover only available in hobby stores.
- This adventure is written with new DMs in mind–“user-friendly”.
- Starts in Baldur’s Gate, a murder-hobo’s paradise, Faerûn’s”Gotham City”. The city is morally bankrupt.
- There are crimes and mysteries to solve in Baldur’s Gate.
- The city of Baldur’s Gate gets fleshed out a bit, and the designers wanted it to feel gritty.
- The gazetteer chapter tells you what its like there and what its like to be from there (offers new background options).
- “Dark Secrets” play a part in the adventure–your party can choose something terrible that happened in the group’s past.
- A sinister plot will draw players down into Avernus, the first layer of Hell.
- Avernus is “a plane of wreckage”.
- Described as “D&D meets Mad Max Fury road with a bit of Dante’s Inferno”.
- Temptation and bargains play a part when dealing with Devils. Infernal Contracts: a way to get assistance, items, gold, power, levels, at the cost of potentially losing your soul.
- Adventurers may witness the Blood War–the eternal conflict between demons and devils–firsthand.
- Different mechanics in Avernus: resting is hard, death saving throws may not work, demonic ichor is strange and sometimes useful.
- The warlords of Avernus: creatures that eek out a living and control gangs travelling in fleets of infernal war machines (“massive death machines”)
- Infernal War Machines have vehicle and customization rules so you can live out your Fury Road fantasies. They are powered by souls.
- The ruler of Avernus is Zariel, a fallen angel previously mentioned in Mordenkainen’s Tome of Foes.
- Arkhan the Cruel, a character created by Joe Manganiello, appears in Avernus. He has a dual-flaming-scimitar-wielding Minotaur bodyguard, Torgar Steelfist, and a “kick-ass tortle priest-of-death” named Krull.
- Avernus is itself a sandbox that you can pick and choose from to make as long or as short a part of the adventure, or use in your own stories.
- Contains a foldout map of Avernus by Jared Blando.
- Written by Chris Perkins. Adam Lee lead design. Contributions from Ari Levitch, Dan Dillon, Kate Welch, Bill Benham, Hannah Rose, Jim Zub, Lysa Chen, M.T. Black, James Haeck, and others.
- Wide release September 17, 2019.
More Details on the story of Descent into Avernus (potential spoilers):
Baldur’s Gate: Descent into Avernus Dice & Miscellany (September 17, 2019)
- “Brimstone” (deep red) dice with gold lettering. Eleven dice. Standard set, with two d20s (for advantage/disadvantage) and four d6s (for character creation).
- Tin doubles as two felt-lined dice trays.
- Twenty cards with random encounter tables and story content for devils and demons of the Blood War, images of demons and devils (art by Max Dunbar), the infernal text cipher.
- Foldout map of Avernus.
- Size comparison chart for demons and devils.
- Wide release September 17, 2019.
D&D Essentials Kit (June 24 / September 3, 2019)
- New introductory product, a follow up to the Starter Set.
- Starter adventure for new DM’s called “Dragon of Icespire Peak” (for levels 1-6), set in same region as Phandalin.
- The adventure is a collection of quests, along with a roaming dragon threat.
- Can be mixed with “Lost Mine of Phandelver”, can follow it, or whatever. “Same playground, more toys.”
- Includes poster map of Phandalin and the adventure region.
- Comes with 81 cards (printed on perforated sheets): magic items, conditions, quests, combat cheat-sheet, sidekicks with illustrations, and a tuckbox.
- Rules include a 1-on-1 variant (one DM, one player).
- Rules include character creation up to level 6 (classes include Fighter, Cleric, Wizard, Rogue, and Bard).
- Rules includes a streamline version of sidekicks first seen in Unearthed Arcana article.
- DM screen (new art, inside content same as existing screen, made of thinner stock).
- Set of cherry-lozenge-red dice (two d20s and four d6s).
- Will include a D&D Beyond promo code to unlock “Dragon of Icespire Peak” free as well as a 50% coupon for the Player’s Handbook.
- Will also include a series of QR codes for additional Phandelver adventures released on D&D Beyond.
- Written/designed by Chris Perkins and Jeremy Crawford.
- Available at Target on June 24 and September 3, 2019 everywhere.
At the end of the event, D&D Director Nathan Stewart teased the following: “Hardcover Eberron, that’s happening”.
Dungeons & Dragons vs. Rick and Morty: Tabletop Roleplaying Adventure (November 19, 2019)
- Boxed set.
- New adventure for characters levels 1-3.
- “What if Rick was your Dungeon Master”.
- Rulebook heavily revised/annotated by Rick.
- Set of dice.
- DM screen (art by Troy Little).
- Written/lead by Kate Welch. Contributions from Jim Zub, Adam Lee, Ari Levitch, Ryan Hartman.
- Wide release November 19, 2019.
D&D Partner Product Announcements
Beadle & Grimm’s D&D Platinum Edition Descent into Avernus (October 2019)
- Boxed set including custom DM screen, full-scale battle maps, encounter cards, diabolical handouts, wearables, Infernal War Machine 11″ figure (unique version that includes a saw blade), a D&D Beyond code for the adventure, and other details to be announced.
- Will also include miniatures of the characters Beadle and Grimm (may be fully painted).
- Limited run of 1,000 copies.
- Shipping October 2019.
D&D Beyond Updates
- Baldur’s Gate: Descent into Avernus available for preorder. Available September 17, 2019.
- D&D Essentials Kit boxed set will include a code to unlock the adventure, “Dragon of Icespire Peak”, for free, as well as a discount code for 50% off the Player’s Handbook.
- D&D Essentials boxed set will also include a series of QR codes for additional Phandelver adventures released on D&D Beyond.
- Strangers Things “Hunt For the Thesylhydra” adventure will be available for purchase on D&D Beyond (June 4th, 2019).
- New bundles available in the marketplace: Sourcebook Bundle (includes all sourcebooks and 10% discount on future) and Adventure Bundle (includes all Adventures and 10% discount on future). Or get everything with the existing Legendary Bundle (includes all sourcebooks and adventures, and 15% discount on future).
- Encounter Builder alpha is live for D&D subscribers.
Gale Force Nine
- New card packs: Epic Monster Cards (CR 17-30 monsters from Monster Manual, Volo, and Mordenkainen books on 5 inch square cards) (November), Volo’s Guide to Monsters Monster Cards (September), Mordenkainen’s Tome of Foes Monster Cards (September), and Creature & NPC Cards (November).
- Baldur’s Gate Descent into Avernus unpainted miniatures including: Arkhan the Cruel, Krull, Torogar Steelfist, Mad Maggie, Zariel, Sylvira Savikas & Quasit, Mahadi Merchant Rakshasa, Thavius Kreeg, Little Lullu & Slobberchop, Lulu the Hollyphant, and some big beasties in the form of Lucille the Pit Fiend, Baphomet, and Yeenoghu.
- Waffle Crew figures: Evelyn Marthain, Strix, Paultin Seppa.
- Character Busts (6″ high, fully-painted): Minsc and Boo, Drizzt Do’Urden, and Elminster. (Releasing June-December)
- New miniature production tech is allowing GF9 to release miniatures as one piece without need for assembly.
- Descent into Avernus Dungeon Master’s Screen.
- Maps of Avernus to be announced.
- In second half of 2019, GF9 is also releasing a Dungeon Master’s Screen of Ships and the Sea (June), a 33″ x 27″ Faerun vinyl map (June), Cleric Expansion for Vault of Dragons (August), and an Underdark Paint Set with 10 colors and a Drizzt Do’Urdan miniature (August).
Wizkids Icons of the Realms Baldur’s Gate Descent into Avernus Miniatures (August 2019)
- Infernal collection of miniatures including the Pit Fiend, Glabrezu, Merregon, the fallen angel Zariel, and the adventurer Reya Dawn.
- 45 painted miniatures.
- Standard booster box contains four random miniatures: 1 large figure, and 3 medium/small figures.
- Premium Figure: The Infernal War Machine. 11″ long, fits 1 medium miniature in the “driver” area and 6 in the “passenger” area. Vehicle “hood” is removable.
- Infernal War Machine can be purchased separately (consumers are not required to purchase a booster case to get it).
- Available August 2019.
- Syrinscape is a an app to provide a soundtrack for your tabletop game.
- Ghost of Saltmarsh soundpacks coming soon (“Sinister Secret of Saltmarsh”, “Salvage operation”, “Danger at Dunwater”).
- Dungeon of the Mad Mage content coming soon.
Dungeon Mayhem: Battle for Baldur’s Gate Expansion (September 17, 2019)
- Expansion for the free-for-all battle card game, Dungeon Mayhem.
- Features Minsc & Boo (Ranger) and Jaheira (Druid).
- Art by Jake Parker.
- Available September 17, 2019.
Warriors of Waterdeep (May 30, 2019)
- Free to play mobile game (iOS and Android).
- Turn-based role-playing game, card based, centered on Waterdeep. Control a party of four.
- Currently in soft-launch in Canada.
- Launch Day May 30, 2019.
- Dice trays featuring D&D logo and Ghost of Saltmarsh art.
- Baldur’s Gate: Descent into Avernus Dice Vaults
Dungeons & Dragons Young Adventurer’s Guides (July 16, 2019)
- “Monsters & Creatures”, “Warriors & Weapons”. 112 page hardcovers.
- Introductory guidebooks to D&D. Entry point for young fans (ages 8+).
- Includes lots of new artwork.
- Written by Stacy King, Andrew Wheeler, and Jim Zub.
- On sale July 16, 2019.
IDW: “Dungeons & Dragons Infernal Tides” comic (November 30, 2019)
- Minsc and his friends are caught in the middle of devil-tainted corruption that has taken hold of Baldur’s Gate.
- Written by Jim Zub, art by Max Dunbar.
- Five-issue miniseries.
- “Heavy Metal wonderland of kookiness.”
- First issue November 30, 2019.
IDW: “Rick & Morty vs. Dungeons & Dragons II: Painscape” (September 18, 2019)
- “Rick has made a lot of failed characters … and in all the multiverses out there those characters exist. And they are *very* angry at him.”
- “This time D&D is coming to Earth and it’s not taking any prisoners.”
- Written by Jim Zub, art by Troy Little. Variant cover art by Jim Zub & Sarah Stern.
- 4-issue mini-series
- Issue #1 in stores September 18, 2019.