Several big-name writers and designers, formerly of BioWare, have teamed up and formed Arcanum Worlds, a company to write and publish third-party Dungeons and Dragons content. The player’s handbook for their setting, Odyssey of the Dragonlords, is now out for free. It’s serves as an introduction into the setting; the main campaign book is yet to come out. As for who is behind Arcanum Worlds, it’s James Ohlen, Jessy Sky, and Drew Karpyshyn.
Arcanum Worlds, “a publishing venture formed by a small group of passionate veterans from the video games industry,” have released a player handbook for their DnD fifth edition setting, called Odyssey of the Dragonlords. It’s a free booklet that serves as an introduction into their setting, “the forgotten lands of Thylea.” The full campaign book is further down the pipeline, so this player handbook is also a kind of appetizer. That, on the surface, doesn’t seem that noteworthy, I know. Where this does get interesting is when you learn who the main people in Arcanum Worlds are.
Namely, they are three ex-BioWare employees, and when I say employees, I mean the heart and soul of what BioWare used to be. I’m talking the likes of James Ohlen, lead designer and creative director at BioWare for twenty years, who worked on such legendary games as Baldur’s Gate 1 and 2, Neverwinter Nights, Dragon Age: Origins, KOTOR, and SWTOR. I’m talking Drew Karpyshyn, BYT best-selling author, known for working on Baldur’s Gate 2, KOTOR, and Mass Effect 1 and 2. Lastly, I’m talking Jesse Sky lead designer and creative director at BioWare for eight years, who worked on SWTOR, including the additional content.
What’s the player handbook like? I honestly haven’t had the chance to read it, but I’m gonna get to it as soon as I can. Even if I don’t get to try it out with my DnD group, I’m still super-curious to see what such a talented group of people has come up with. Oh, and if you’ve been wondering what some of the masterminds of BioWare have been up to since leaving the company, well, now you know. Will they ever go back to making video games? Who knows. I just hope that they’re happier now, doing what they love, rather than working under EA.