A new kit has gone up on the WotC website–the Wilderness kit, a DM’s Screen and other resources aimed at widening wilderness wandering.
Dungeons & Dragons, in its current incarnation, is founded on three pillars: Combat, Social Interaction, and Exploration. The latter one is the one most often overlooked in the rules. Sure, there are exploration rules, but they often end up being a little more tedious than inspirational. That seems to be something that WotC has in their sights with a new product revealed just yesterday. While it’s no game-changing book, it does seem to indicate that the Wizards want to encourage exploration of the Coast. Here’s what we know so far.
via Wizards of the Coast
The Wilderness Kit is a new Dungeon Master’s screen that is meant to help boost your adventures in the wilderness. Releasing not long after Icewind Dale: Rime of the Frostmaiden (which will surely feature ample opportunities to play with wilderness exploration), the Wilderness kit is interesting for a couple of reasons. Let’s take a look at what’s inside.
First of all, you can see the fantasy landscapes that adorn the outside of the screen. Of particular interest seems to be the crashed ship in a crater on the far side of the mountains. And also of note, the inside panels are full of “useful rules references cover the inside of the screen, with an emphasis on wilderness rules.” And what’s more, the kit comes with a bunch of dry-erase sheets that include hex maps of all things. Sure, there’s also a food-and-water tracker, and rules references for wilderness chases, wilderness journeys, and the actions you can take in combat, but hex maps is pretty exciting.
It’s nice to see Wizards of the Coast embracing the tradition of exploring a world in hexes. It’s a throwback to old school D&D and Western Marches style campaigns where it’s all about exploring the sandbox and seeing what’s out there.
A couple of other interesting accessories include a number of cards to track conditions, initiative, and environmental effects. It’s not a must-have for everyone, for sure, but if you’re looking to play with Wilderness a lot more, and in need of a new DM screen or some dry-erase hex maps, this could be well worth checking out.
This makes me hopeful that we’ll see more exploration and wilderness rules in future books–including the upcoming Tasha’s Cauldron of Everything.
What do you think of D&D’s exploration rules?