Monday, August 11, 2008

Forgotten Realms, Returned Abeir, Gontal

When we wrote the 4th Edition Forgotten Realms Campaign Guide (releasing this month), we generated so much material that not all of it fit between the covers.

The most significant such area is a region of Returned Abeir called Gontal. In the FRCG, Gontal is described as so: "The western land of Gontal hunkers behind its mountainous border and reveals little of itself to outsiders. A land of mystery to many Abeirans, Gontal’s citizens know it as a place of raging intrigues."

Interesting, yes. But a hook that waits for a follow-up.

So here's the follow-up, and a prime example of how DDi will enhance and extend D&D. Even as the FRCG is published in hard copy, you can download a digital copy of the 2 page Gontal spread here. Actually, I think most of you can download the Gontal region even before you'll have a chance to buy the FRCG (not to mention the copious previews the DDi team has assembled for the FRCG; seems like there's a new extract from FRCG going up online every day).


James M. said...

This is great, indeed. But how is this different from the web enhancements that we used to get quite frequently before the onset of 4e caused the website to go into quiet mode?

I've yet to see the Added Bonus of the DDI ideal. In fact it seems like I have to constantly log into the website every time I visit, adding annoyance to the equation. I'm not blaming you, but every time I hear someone sing the praises of the DDI it's promoting something that was available before DDI. So far I've yet to see the magical character designer or the online dungeon builder or the online game surface. If and when those roll out, I'll re-evaluate. With the failure of Gleemax I have very little faith to spare for the DDI.

Bruce said...

Good point James. From the outside, it might seem like that.

Technology hiccups aside (which no one loves), the thing that is most novel about DDi (currently) is that I actually have time in my writing schedule assigned to produce content for it. Me, and all the inhouse staff, which was never true prior to 4E, either for our online presence, or for Dragon and Dungeon. That'll make a huge difference in creating cohesive products between print and digital formats.

Looking forward, yep, we'll all re-evaluate when the interactive components come online. We're looking forward to the promised functionality of these bits as much as anyone, I can heartily assure you.

Take care,


James M. said...

Excellent! While I've not yet made up my mind on 4e, I'm glad that its inception has lead WotC to embrace the digital age and weave web supplements into your work load where they definitely belong. They go farther to sell me on a product than most any other advertisement could.

I am looking forward to seeing how the online functionality works and I am hoping that they do, in fact, live up to the promise. One question you may know: for the online tabletop, will games be limited to using the virtual dungeon tiles or will there be some ability to create things not modeled in dungeon tiles, say like the great outdoors or a woodland scene or a meadhall?

Bruce said...


I don't know for certain, I don't sit directly on the digital team. But, were I a betting man, I'd say the online game table will probably be released with a base set of surfaces (which might come with pre-built dungeons that could include, among other things, maps of our published 4E adventures), and as time moves forward, additional surfaces would likely be added. That's my guess.