The new Player's Handbook 3 (PHB3) has been released. It includes rules for Psionics, has new races and classes, and has the long awaited rules for hybrid, or multi-classed, characters. Critical-hits.com has produced a better review than I could, so the link is here.
Wizards has been releasing material from PHB3 for several months now at wizards.com, and much of the new material for races and classes has already been sourced into the Character Builder (CB) tool. The next update to the CB in early March will include the remainder of this data.
I haven't purchased PHB3 yet, but I already have a line of books in front of it to read. I will likely do so as I have several gift cards yet from Christmas, plus Borders keep sending my 30% off coupons, but not for a few weeks.
Wizards has included a character name generator tool on their web page (subscription not required). You can specify race, class, gender, and provide some background information and the tool will spit out a more-or-less appropriate name. Clicking the generate name button will spit out another name. I picked out some basics - elven ranger and dwarven fighter - and after about ten names I started to see duplicates. Regardless, even if you don't like the names it might provide some inspiration for a character you are working on.
Last Sunday night we determined that I was playing the Zombies attacks incorrectly, much to the benefit of the party. Brian figured out that he wasn't adding his damage correctly for some of his attacks, and then this week Mark sent a note stating that on some of his healing affects he was not adding everything in either. Look - it's OK. We have been playing this slowly so far, letting everyone learn the new rules and letting me be the DM, and as we have moved along we have been picking up the tricks and the overall speed has improved. I think things are going well, although yes, I am assuming there are still things we haven't got right yet.
I was sure I had printed out the maps for the second level, which why I was so perplexed last Sunday night when I didn't have them. I had certainly created them in my spreadsheet and had shared them with Mark, but I had apparently not actually printed them out and assembled them. I have printed them out now and Lisa and I will cut/tape them together this weekend. This did give me a chance to go back in and add some more labels for items (i.e., doors) though. The second level will be considerably harder than the first as you might expect, so as the DM I am certainly looking forward to it.
I started reading H2: Thunderspire Labyrinth, the follow-up to H1: Keep on the Shadowfell. We haven't talked about what we want to do after KotS is completed. I know Mark is writing his own dungeon, and Scott is looking into 4E versions of Ravenloft, but if we want to continue this adventure arc I want to be ready. I actually started putting together spreadsheet maps already. For the sake of completeness, H3: Pyramid of Shadows is the third part of this story arc, with the characters finishing at or near 10th level characters.
Thunderspire Labyrinth is also one of the 3-4 things I am in the middle of reading ... I really need to close out some of the reading before starting more. I recently finished Manual of the Planes and Underdark, and am currently in the middle of a Grisham novel I picked up at the hospital as well as Devices and Desires by K.J. Parker. I originally wanted to include a regular book review section as part of the blog, but there has been enough other stuff to fill my time, but I may start doing it yet.