Things have been very hectic here at D&D central, what with tomorrow's official release of the Starter Set and last week's posting of the basic rules for D&D. But that's only the beginning of the huge effort underlying the launch of the new edition of the Dungeons & Dragons game and the Tyranny of Dragons story line. Hard as it is for me to believe sometimes, I'm also spending a fair amount of time putting the final touches on the storyline that will begin after Tyranny of Dragons—and the storyline after that one is already entering first draft. It's hard sometimes to juggle the past, present, and future of D&D all at once.

Speaking of the future, let's talk a bit about the Monster Manual. As our dauntless graphic designers and our fearless editorial team continue to polish the book, we've run into a very serious issue. Like I expect many players do, we all imagine the Monster Manual as a crate full of angry, nasty creatures. That crate is already very large and very full. A mind flayer's tentacles are bulging out along the seams, and everything inside is demanding that the troglodyte be forced to wear cologne.

Unfortunately, there are still monsters we need to squeeze into that crate. But no matter how much we jump on top of it, creatures just keep spilling out.

We've talked at length about what to do. Could we cut down on the story material for each creature? That would be a mistake, especially since feedback has made it clear that people want a book that's fun to read. Do we cull some stat blocks? We're not crazy about cutting back on the options available for creatures like orcs and dragons. Maybe we could cut a few entries? But reducing the variety of creatures seems like a bad idea.

So in looking at our options, we decided the only sensible response to too many monsters is to get a bigger crate. The Monster Manual is now 32 pages longer than it was originally, to accommodate all the awesome creatures we want to fit into it. As a consequence of that increase in page count, the price of the book will be increased . . . by nothing. It's staying put. That's 10 percent more content for a 0 percent premium.

That's our news for the week. The modrons in particular want to thank their fans for helping save them from the chopping block.