This year's WWDDGD boasts over 1,000 venues (mainly game stores) and an estimated 30,000 attendees from every continent except Antarctica. The centerpiece is a special Icewind Dale adventure in honor of the upcoming 20th anniversary of the creation of fantasy character Drizzt Do'Urden. There are D&D themed giveaways including D&D miniatures and RPGA campaign cards. Active players, former players and absolute noobs are welcome to attend, and no sign-ups are necessary -- just show up! Check for games in your area.
I love this! What a great excuse to introduce someone -- like your teenagers, for example -- to tabletop RPGs! Wizards is sending out adventure kits to participating game shops, that sound pretty cool:
These come with everything your store needs to turn it into the center of fun you’d expect from such a global celebration. This includes: character packs keyed to one of five different player characters. In each of these packs are the painted miniature, character sheet, d20 and pencil. Basically everything your players need to have an action packed adventure. For the DM there is a, special to game day, adventure and a pack of dice (d4,6,8,10,20,100) and a unique RPGA rewards card offered nowhere else!
My friendly local game shop is running one-shot adventures in the morning and afternoon. I'm not sure what they have in mind, but Wizards says
We are sending each venue a treasure chest of goodies that include an special adventure sent in Icewind Dale a location in the popular Forgotten Realms world. Each chest contains enough adventures, complete with full color maps and miniatures, to ensure 25 players can strive for fame and fortune at the same time.
I looked at the character sheets (they are already posted as PDFs online) and the set-up seems to be: two Dwarves find a map to their ancestral home, gather some friends and a stranger together, and head up into the mountains to find it. Sounds like a classic adventure to me, with some wilderness encounters on the way to the obligatory ruins that I'm pretty sure go deep into the mountain at some point, almost like a dungeon. Yes, a dungeon that you could crawl through.
Whether you're a longtime gamer with a gaming monkey on your back, or a normal person who's always wanted to give tabletop role playing games a try, this is perfect. Just show up, grab a character and some dice, and get ready for adventure. Wizards has wisely created 4th level characters for the festivities, so players won't have to suffer the indignity of being killed by a single kobold. On the other hand, players won't get to enjoy the rite of passage we all enjoyed the first time we were killed by a single kobold, while trying in vain to defend ourselves by casting Light.