D&D Experience, held by Baldman Games, is the premier annual convention for Dungeons & Dragons, including many events, seminars, previews, and special guests. Some people were even cosplaying (it’s like halloween costumes for adults). This year the convention is held at January 26-29. This year, the D&D Experience have a special threat for attendee.

D&D Next/5th Edition playtest

  That’s right! Players at the D&D Experience my partake at the Caves of Chaos, an about four hour long adventure with pre-generated 1st level characters for the new iteration of Dungeons & Dragons. The event will be run by Wizard’s staff at several tables, multiple time a day, and as part of the playtest, participants must sign a special NDA for playtesters. (personal opinion : NDA for open playtest ? seriously ?)

  Based on the description, the adventure seems to be a standard dungeon crawl with monsters, traps & lots of treasure, but I guess it’s OK for testing the game mechanics.

Other events

They will held several Dungeons & Dragons 4th edition events, Living Divine, Living Forgotten Realms (Cerulean Dreams, and Battle Interactive: Swarm of Chaos) and Ashes to Athas. From these I think the Swarm of Chaos is the most interesting, as thanks to the Battle Interactive system several player groups playing at multiple tables form the story, and their decisions and success have an effect on the whole event.


Thy planned four seminars for D&D Experience, most of them dealing with the new edition, and the design process connected to it. Let me show to you a short description about the seminars, taken directly from Wizards.com :

“Charting the Course: An Edition for all Editions (Thursday)

Join Mike Mearls, Monte Cook, and Jeremy Crawford as they discuss the origin for the idea to create an edition of Dungeons & Dragons that encompasses all previous editions. The designers discuss the challenges in creating compatibility and balance, as well as the exciting possibilities such a system creates. Seminar to be followed by a Q&A session.

Class Design: From Assassins to Wizards (Friday)

Designers Monte Cook, Bruce Cordell, and Robert Schwalb discuss their approach to class design, including the difficulties in creating iconic versions of the classes that speak to players of all editions. Should the cleric be more martial or more healer? Does the default ranger have an animal companion? What level of complexity should the fighter have? Seminar to be followed by a Q&A session.

Future Products and Q&A (Saturday)

Mike Mearls presents upcoming D&D products for 2012, as well as a vision for the future of Dungeons & Dragons. Seminar is followed by a Q&A session. Other members of R&D on hand to answer questions as well.

Reimagining Skills and Ability Scores (Sunday)

The role of skills has fluctuated throughout the life of Dungeons & Dragons, and ability scores have been of varying importance in each edition. Find out what the design team has done to reimagine these aspects of the game, and how they arrived at a system to marry the two concepts more closely together. Seminar includes Monte Cook, Bruce Cordell, and Robert Schwalb, and will be followed by a Q&A session.”

Special guests

  D&D fans could meet several Special Guests during the convention : Monte Cook, Mike Mearls, Rob Schwalb, Bruce Cordell, Greg Bilsland, Jeremy Crawford, Miranda Horner, Chris Tulach, Chris Lindsay, Shawn Merwin, and Matt James.

In the end, it seems a very informative convention, and I hope we soon receive information about the Dungeons & Dragons 5th edition playtest results. For further information on the convention you may visit the D&D Experience website.

Zoltán “Cain” Mészáros