Wizards of the Coast: Encounters to use D&D Next Starting in February

ICv2 is reporting that Wizards of the Coast will be offering the next adventure in its organized play system for D&D Next only, rather than 4E, and that the D&D Next playtest rules (presumably the same as the latest playtest package, which was no longer available for download as of December 15th) will be available for sale on dndclassics.com:

Based on the solicitation material, it also appears that this new adventure will only support the D&D Next rules, which goes in direct contrast to comments made by Wizards’ CEO Greg Leeds, who earlier this year said The Sundering would be playable with 3.5, 4 or Next rules throughout (see “Interview: Greg Leeds on the Game Market and Wizards of the Coast“).  As of December 15th, the Next rules are no longer available as a free download, though the solicitation states that the D&D Next rules will be available for download at dndclassics.com.  However, like the adventure, there is no information on what the rules will cost.

However, I’m confused by one thing. In one place they say:

The adventure Scourge of the Sword Coast will only be available from dndclassics.com as a digital download.

And yet later on in the article they say:

The Scourge of the Sword Coast kit will still contain materials for 20 participants: 20-sided dice with the season symbol, player maps, two packs of NPC cards, advertisement poster, poster map, and instruction document.

This seems to be a contradiction, since dndclassics.com is run by OneBookShelf, the same folks who run DriveThruRPG.com and RPGNow.com, and they don’t offer things like dice, posters, or poster maps as options (believe me, I’ve tried!). Does this mean the DM has to buy the adventure, and the other goodies are sent directly to the game store? I haven’t participated in the Encounters thing myself, so I’m not sure how that works, but if that’s the case it seems a bit cumbersome.

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Wargamer and RPG'er since the 1970's, author of Adventures Dark and Deep, Castle of the Mad Archmage, and other things, and proprietor of the Greyhawk Grognard blog.

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