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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)

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  • 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 BenhamHannah Rose, Jim Zub, Lysa ChenM.T. BlackJames Haeck, and others.
  • Wide release September 17, 2019.

[Baldur’s Gate: Descent into Avernus Product page]
[D&D Live Announcement (Video)]
[D&D Beyond Baldur’s Gate: Descent into Avernus Interviews  (Video Playlist)]

More Details on the story of Descent into Avernus (potential spoilers):

Baldur’s Gate: Descent into Avernus Dice & Miscellany (September 17, 2019)

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  • “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.

[Baldur’s Gate: Descent into Avernus – Dice and Miscellany Product Page]
[D&D Live Announcement (Video)]

D&D Essentials Kit (June 24 / September 3, 2019)

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  • 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.

[D&D Essential’s Kit Product Page]
[D&D Live Announcement (Video)]

Eberron Hardcover

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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)

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  • 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.

[Dungeons & Dragons vs. Rick and Morty Product Page]
[D&D Live Announcement (Video)]

D&D Partner Product Announcements

Beadle & Grimm’s D&D Platinum Edition Descent into Avernus (October 2019)

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  • 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.

[Beadle & Grimm’s D&D Platinum Edition Descent into Avernus Product Page]

D&D Beyond Updates

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  • 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.

A peak at the D&D Beyond Encounter Builder.

[D&D Beyond]

Gale Force Nine

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[Gale Force 9 Facebook]

Wizkids Icons of the Realms Baldur’s Gate Descent into Avernus Miniatures (August 2019)

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  • 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.

[Wizkids Baldur’s Gate Descent into Avernus Product Page]

Syrinscape

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  • 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.

[Syrinscape D&D Page]

Dungeon Mayhem: Battle for Baldur’s Gate Expansion (September 17, 2019)

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  • 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.

[Dungeon Mayhem: Battle Baldur’s Gate Expansion Product Page]
[D&D Live Announcement (Video)]

Han Cholo

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[Han Cholo D&D Products Page]

Warriors of Waterdeep (May 30, 2019)

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  • 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.

[Warriors of Waterdeep Official Page]

Wyrmwood

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[Wyrmwood D&D Products Page]

Dungeons & Dragons Young Adventurer’s Guides (July 16, 2019)

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  • “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.

[Monsters & Creatures Product Page]
[Warriors & Weapons Product Page]
[D&D Live Announcement (Video)]

IDW: “Dungeons & Dragons Infernal Tides” comic (November 30, 2019)

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  • 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.

[Dungeons & Dragons Infernal Tides Product Page]
[IDW Infernal Tides Announcement Page]
[D&D Live Announcement (Video)]

IDW: “Rick & Morty vs. Dungeons & Dragons II: Painscape” (September 18, 2019)

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  • “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.

[Rick and Morty vs. Dungeons & Dragons II: Painscape Product Page]
[D&D Live Announcement (Video)]