This edition of my semi-quarterly wish list includes a few non-RPG items for the first time, partly because there I’m there’s not a lot of D&D stuff out there that I’m interested in buying, but mostly because stuff like the Return of the King Soundtrack and the Two Towers Extended DVDs are must-have additions to any DM’s media library.
Unearthed Arcana (Amazon): According to the blurb on Wizards of the Coasts’ Web site, this book will provide an alternative take on D&D. These optional rules include new damage systems, a revamped metamagic feat system, and a new spell system. Will it be better than Monte Cook’s Arcana Unearthed? I doubt that, but this is the sort of innovation I’d like to see at WotC (rather than their rehashed, barely-warmed-over line of D&D 3.5 products) and I’ll reward that with some cold hard cash. Also, I like the fact that the ideas in this book are designed to be modular, so that you can easily drop them into an existing campaign (that’s one thing that Cook’s book isn’t great for).
Lord of the Rings; Return of the King Soundtrack (Amazon): The soundtrack to the closing chapter of the Lord of the Rings trilogy is a must-buy for me — I’m looking forward to being able to have 3+ hours of Tolkien-inspired music playing from my iPod during game sessions.
Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers Extended DVD (Amazon): Even the most creative Dungeon Masters can use a little inspiration, and what better inspiration than Tolkien? While Fellowship of the Ring is better for DMs stuck for ideas about dungeoncrawls, the Two Towers can’t be beat for its battle scenes (I’d go so far as to say that it even beats its sibling, Return of the King, on that front — the Battle of Helm’s Deep just rocks)
Tact Tiles: Most gamers (at least, most D&D gamers) map out their adventures using dry erase “battle maps”. These maps, usually 3×3 feet or so with a square grid, have one universal problem: if you reach the edge, you need to erase the whole map and start over again to map the new area. Tact Tiles avoid that problem by offering a “modular” dry erase map — if you run out of space, you simply through another tile on the table, and keep drawing. I also see this system as being useful for pre-mapping certain encounters to save time during game play (i.e. you want to map out an area, but don’t want players to see it until they reach that area. With this system, you can just swap out one tile for another when the players reach their destination.
Redhurst Academy of Magic: What the gaming world needs is a Harry Potter RPG — I think it would do a heck of a lot to swell our ranks with new gamers, but unfortunately, it doesn’t look like that’s going to happen anytime soon. Redhurst is an attempt to fill the Harry Potter void, providing gamers with a school of wizardry that’s inspired by the Potter books and films and driven by d20-game mechanics. Teachers at the school specialize in each of D&D’s traditional magic areas, and the campus grounds are crawling with adventure hooks and challenges for players to face. I’m hoping to use it when it comes time to introduce Jordan to RPGs.
Stargate d20: Season 1 and System Lord Source Books (Amazon): I’m planning on launching a Stargate Campaign in January 2004, and these books should do an excellent job of rounding out the already-massive Stargate d20 source book. I could easily run the campaign with what I’ve got now, but that Season 1 book is just too tempting.
Gary Gygax’s Extraordinary Book of Names: This book by Troll Lord Games is just plain nifty. It includes 100,000 names as well as pronunciation guides, place names, translations and more. As a DM who is forever stumped for good names, this book sounds excellent.
Delta Green d20: Rumor has it that we might — just might — see a Delta Green d20 book at some point in 2004. I’m hoping we’ll see it in the first quarter, but this book has been vaporware for so long that it may never be released.
Darwin’s World, 2nd Edition: The new edition of this post-apocalyptic RPG features a ruleset revised to bring it in line with the d20 Modern Rules. Looks like a more hardcore interpretation of Gamma World than Sword & Sorcery’s own GW “re-imagining” and I’m thinking it — like GW — will be a useful resource for my Stargate campaign.