Wizards of the Coast announced the fourth edition of the pencil and paper roleplaying game Dungeons and Dragons yesterday, August 16, 2007 at GenCon.
Based on fantasy literature, Dungeons and Dragons, or D&D, has influenced huge swaths of videogame canon, including arguably the entire RPG genre. Wizards of the Coast routinely licenses out the D&D brand for a variety of console and PC games.
The core of Dungeons and Dragons is three manuals, to be released in 2008: the Player’s Handbook in May, the Monster Manual in June and the Dungeon Master’s Guide in July. Wizards of the Coast has promised “evolutionary” changes to play, including 30 levels in the default rules (adding epic-level play to the base game), changes in resource management, new power sources (whatever that means), and changes in monster and encounter design.
Wizards of the Coast will be releasing “preview books” in December 2007 and January 2008: Wizards Presents: Classes and Races and Wizards Presents: Worlds and Monsters. It will also be releasing an online community, “D&D Insider”, which looks to be somewhat like a subscription to the hobby magazines Dragon and Dungeon, which will both see their last issue on September 2007. The service will also include resources to play online.
Finally, Wizards of the Coast will be using the same open license that it operated for the third edition of the game, meaning you will be able to find the barebones rules for free on their website and modify them as you like (under the terms of the license, of course).