PHB 2 –
New races: Gnome, Half-Orc, Shifter (!), Goliath – and there are some new ones, probably, but they’re being evasive.
Classes: Bard, Sorcerer, Barbarian, Druid – all that’s announced – with Primal power source.
Power Sources as a concept: No real game mechanics, but thematic ties between classes with the same power source – every class has a role, but not a lot of duplication with same power type, same source – but not an intentional design decision, just a story element. Primal source: “what druids use.” Nature stuff, “the granola power source.”
“Arcane, Divine, and Primal classes.” So…implication is a new *divine* class. There are eight classes in the book, we’ve only got information on four of them.
There’s a new system in place – or subsystem – besides pets and cohorts, but no info.
MANUAL of the PLANES – December (yay!)
Large – 220 pages. Fewer planes of course – only about six planes…but each plane has more information (30 pages or so?) information on Layers of the Abyss included, and some other interesting locations. Some “old familiar faces” showing up – not a lot of information on Good Guys to be included, but “this isn’t the last word on the planes for 4th ed,” with a focus on individual planes in the future.
No current plans to reintroduce old settings (specifically Planescape…)
“A useful toolbox for GM’s to play with.” Some new feats, paragon paths, but not a player-focused books. No new planar races, “for the most part we’re trying to keep that restricted to Player’s Manuals and campaign setting overviews.” Lots of old and new monsters. Baphomet (Rock on, I love the big minotaur demon lord...) Interestingly, one of the screenwriters for Transformers the Movie worked on MOTP.
Martial Lore – “some specifics,” even if 4.0 doesn’t focus on setting – things like “famous fencing styles of D&D,” “the author of The Art of War,” and other story elements that people might include.
Eberron – Campaign and PHB both in development (two books, sigh). Not significantly advancing the storyline for Eberron. What’s New? Where did the Dragonborn come from? Storyhooks for Eladrin and Tieflings…More emphasis on unknown territory, to emphasize the “points of light, expanse of darkness” concept of 4.0.
D&D Insider – Monster info coming soon. “Cool Toys” in progress, but no real date so far. Character Builder, Character Visualizer on-line first, “next few months.” Game table is a longer time investment.