Looking ahead at the rest of 2014, here is what I am looking forward to in gaming right now:
New Dungeons & Dragons!
Wizards of the Coast will unveil the newest edition of Dungeons & Dragons this summer. The first product will be a starter box; I haven't found any definite statements of what it will contain. However, a Legends & Lore article from January of 2013 gives us an idea of what they're planning:
The basic rules cover the absolute core of the game. They capture the strengths of basic D&D. These rules form a complete game, but they don't give much detail beyond the rules needed to run dungeon exploration. Characters are created by rolling ability scores (though we have discussed the possibility that your class gives you an array that your race then modifies), picking a race, and picking a class. Skills aren't part of the game, but we've discussed integrating skill dice into the classes (fighters get their skill dice on all Strength checks, wizards on all Intelligence ones, and so forth) to support improvisation and the use of checks. Each class has a default specialty, and its benefits are presented as class features. The specialties are simple but effective, such as bonus hit points or spells.
This will almost certainly be out by August, in time for Gen Con. After that, the newest editions of the three core books—Player's Handbook, Dungeon Master's Guide, and Monster Manual will follow.
New Dungeons & Dragons miniatures!
Wizards of the Coast has also announced the return of pre-painted Dungeons & Dragons miniatures, done in partnership with WizKids! Availability and pricing are yet to be determined; if buying packs of miniatures hoping to find the right one isn't for you, online stores like Troll and Toad and Miniature Market will have single figures available on the secondary market.
The 13th Age Bestiary should ship in May, bringing a whole host of new creatures for 13th Age. I've gotten to play 13th Age a couple of times and hope to play more soon; it's based on the same "d20" mechanics as Dungeons & Dragons and Pathfinder but introduces some interesting new mechanics to keep play fast-paced and interesting.
This fun little card game from Cheapass Games is already available, both as a free print-and-play PDF version and an on-demand printed version from DriveThruCards for $10. Cheapass Games recently completed a Kickstarter campaign for a professionally printed version of the game, with artwork for the main version based on the novel The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss. The Kickstarter campaign includes 10 different artwork variants, with art from Echo Chernik, Phil Foglio, John Kovalic, Cheyenne Wright, and more. Each variant deck will include a unique Pairs variations (or all-new game that can be played with the Pairs deck). All of the variant decks are scheduled to ship in August; some of them will only be available for a limited time.
I've played the print-and-play version a lot; it's easy to learn, easy to teach, and easy to play. Looking forward to the new decks and variations.
As we move through the year, I have no doubt other projects will be announced that will have me reaching for my wallet.
A to Z 2014
Dungeons & Dragons