Announcement: New 5e D&D Setting
This article is part of an April Fool's day joke orchestrated by the Weem. To find out more information about our 5e, visit the website DnD5.com
When Weems of the Coast approached me a few months ago to work on their awesome new 5th edition of Dungeons & Dragons, I was floored. At first I figured they just wanted to tease me about the info, knowing I couldn’t talk to you guys about it for months if not years. But then they started saying things that really didn’t make sense. “We want you to design the new campaign setting.” Wait, what? Me, design a campaign setting? Surely they were pulling my leg. At least that’s what it felt like until they told me their idea....Candy Land.
Now I’ve been interested in translating this unique and well-known world into a D&D setting, well, ever since I started playing D&D just over two years ago. What’s great about it is everyone has heard of it. We don’t have to explain what a gingerbread house is or who King Kandy is. People just know. The setting isn’t a barrier to getting new people involved in gaming.
Speaking of King Kandy, the established characters and locations are just wonderful. Who doesn’t want to go snowboarding with the Duke of Swirl or talk to the conductor on the train through the Gummy Hills. Sneaky Lord Licorice and his twisted minions are just delicious foes. And don’t let her name fool you, Princess Frostline is anything but cold to visitors.
If you’re like me, you’re sold already, but just in case you need more, here’s a few more details:
People complain about all the money they need to spend in order to play the game. For D&D Candy Land, we kept cost in mind. No need to buy set after set of dungeon tiles. If you own a copy of Candy Land, you have the game map. All you need is a copy of the campaign setting book and a few skill booster packs. We may release future variations of the core game, but then you’ll be getting two games in one.
We really listened to the community on this one. Many of you felt the skill list in 4e was just too short. For this edition, we will have 25 skills as part of the core rules and each setting will add their own. Candy Land adds 75 more skills, meaning that you have a hundred to pick from each time.
42) Know It All (Int) - You have many answers, at least if you find the right questions.
69) Cunning Tongue (Dex) - Your tongue moves fast and with great dexterity. You never trip over your tongue and words sound like honey dripping from your lips.
88) Take a Licking (Con) - Even when you crash, you get up and keep on going.
While that helps the people who wanted more variation, others complained the increased list is too unwieldy and that players only pick the skills that they are good at. While we think the 100 skills helps with the former (you’re unlikely to be very good at many things), we took it a step further. Instead of training or taking ranks in skills, players buy skill booster packs. The number of duplicate cards determines how skillful they are in a particular area. When they have trouble deciding between skills, just have them draw from the deck. If they prefer to roll dice instead, no problem, just roll a percentile and count off the correct number of cards from the top of the deck.
Why go with this system? The randomness will keep the players on their toes. Besides, D&D is a game about imagination. It will always be interesting to see how players decide a skill applies in a certain situation.
We decided to go in a bit of a different direction for skill challenges. Rather than let the players decide how to deal with a problem on their own, we set up very specific challenges for the players to beat. But the DM doesn’t tell them how to solve it; that’s part of the challenge. Players just love a good puzzle and we presented a few doozeys.
Help the Gingerbread Kids Build Their House (Level 1 Skill Challenge)
Frame the Walls
The gingerbread walls look and smell so yummy, it’s hard to resist their lure.
Skills: Carpentry, Bossiness, Superhuman Strength, Gluten Intolerance
Special: You get a +5 bonus to your roll if you are blindfolded or you can’t smell anything. You get a +10 if both are true.
Failure: You eat the gingerbread instead and develop a tummy ache. You get a -2 to future rolls in this skill challenge.
Raise the Roof
Finishing the roof is hard and dangerous work. Don’t fall!
Skills: Carpentry, Cat Balance, Fly, Spider Walk
Special: You get a +2 bonus to your roll if you have a safety harness. However, if you fail by 5 or more, you have a 25% chance of getting tangled up in the rope on your way down and being strangled by it.
Failure: You fall off the roof. Roll the body damage die to find out which part of your body you break. You are weakened until you can take 2 extended rests. If you break your neck or hit your head, you are unconscious for 1d6 days.
Well that’s the sneak peek behind the new campaign setting for 5e Dungeons & Dragons. Initial playtests reveal that people love this and I’m sure you will too. Even Orcus approves.