This morning Wizards of the Coast announced the next storyline being produced for Fifth Edition: Out of the Abyss, Rage of Demons. According to the synopsis the adventure takes place in the Underdark where the the Archmage of Menzoberranzan, Gromph Baenre, has torn open a portal to the demonic Abyss; out of the portal came the Demon Lords who are now wreaking havoc in the Forgotten Realms.
It was confirmed this morning by The Newbie DM that Wizards of the Coast has elected to follow a similar strategy to previously published storylines, Tyranny of Dragons and Princes of the Apocalypse, with Out of the Abyss, Rage of Demons by working on the latest storyline in conjunction with a third party company, Green Ronin.
Green Ronin has built up a reputation for publishing fantastic products, consistently high production standards, and award winning games since it was first founded in 2000. Bringing them on board to work on Out of the Abyss, Rage of Demons sets the expectations for the adventure at a higher level than the fantastic Princes of the Apocalypse had already set.
This storyline will see the continued expansion of the Dungeons & Dragons game across a wide swath of media including books, a computer and console video game, and of course the tabletop. Some things have been confirmed in the press release:
- The free MMORPG, Neverwinter, will receive a new expansion designed to bring the players deep into Menzoberranzan with Drizzt Do'Urden tentatively titled Neverwinter: Underdark. There are several unique quests that will be written for this expansion by R.A. Slavatore. You can expect the PC version of Neverwinter to receive the expansion first followed by a release for Xbox One.
- Sword Coast Legends will continue themes of this storyline. In the press release it appeared that Drizzt Do'Urden would be playing a major role.
- Demogorgon, Orcus, Graz’zt, and Drizzt Do'Urden have been confirmed to be in the tabletop adventure; however, Dungeons & Dragons Brand Director, Nathan Stewart, added ". . . D&D fans will get their mettle tested just like Drizzt when they come face to face with all the demon lords . . ." (Tayebi). While this appears to imply that all of the forty-nine Demon Lords from D&D's past may make an appearance in the adventure it is far more likely that it will either only be the three specifically mentioned or the three plus one or two additional surprise appearances. Personally, I hope that Fraz-Urb'luu will show up.
In addition to the above confirmed information we also know that Wizards of the Coast has partnered up with WizKids, GaleForce Nine, and Smiteworks to bring enhancements for the tabletop side of things. Most of what follows is guess work based on the companies' previous products.
Icons of the Realms, Set 3, is scheduled for launch in August 2015. There are 128 figures to be released with this run and it is my guess that this set will have figures specifically designed to tie in with the Out of the Abyss, Rage of Demons storyline - though you will not find any of the Demon Lords. Only one of the figures for the run has been revealed at this time and it's a wicked looking White Dragon promotional figure. As I find out more specifics of the line in the coming months I will have more concrete information.
Out of the Abyss, Rage of Demons Deluxe DM Screen and Cards: This is a fairly safe bet as GaleForce Nine has released a Tyranny Of The Dragons DM Screen and have a Elemental Evil DM Screen that was released for the Princes of the Apocalypse.
Out of the Abyss, Rage of Demons Spellbook Cards: This too seems a fairly safe bet as GaleForce Nine has released an Elemental Evil Spellbook Cards for the Princes of the Apocalypse.
Deluxe Demon Lord Figures: GaleForce Nine has been the go to producer for all the deluxe miniatures for Wizards of the Coast for a while now and with the announcement that they will continue to partner with Wizards this seems like a forgone conclusion.
Exclusive maps, sprites, and online content. With the announcement that Smiteworks's Fantasy Grounds had gotten a license for the Dungeons & Dragons game this appears to be a foregone conclusion.
Out of the Abyss, Rage of Demons will be released on September 15, 2015 to the wider market at a price of $49.95 and will take players from level 1 - 15. While the later street date might indicate to some that Wizards of the Coast will have nothing for Gen Con 2015 I would like to remind everyone that they released books early last year as a Gen Con exclusive so it's likely that they will do so again.
As of this writing no sites have listed the new adventure for pre-order.