On the eve of the announcement of Wizards of the Coast’s launch of the new edition of Dungeons & Dragons (see "New 'D&D' Dates, Info and Pics"), we asked Liz Schuh, Head of Publishing & Licensing for D&D, some key questions about the release schedule, the creative team, the name of the new edition, the first storyline, and the comics.  We talked to Schuh about The Sundering, the transmedia gaming event that led the way into the launch, last summer (see "Exclusive Interview on 'D&D': The Sundering").

Can you explain the release schedule for the first six books?
We’ve planned out our schedule to include something new for five consecutive months this summer and fall.  The D&D Starter Set releases in July, followed by the Player’s Handbook and Hoard of the Dragon Queen in August.  The Monster Manual releases in September, The Rise of Tiamat comes out in October, and the Dungeon Master’s Guide hits shelves in November.  This will give retailers something new each month and allows players time to enjoy each release separately.  Retailers will likely remember the staggered release of third edition and the traffic that kept coming into stores, month after month.

Hoard of the Dragon Queen releases the same day as the D&D Player’s Handbook.  It’s a great way to kick off a pivotal year for Dungeons & Dragons and to bring the action-packed Tyranny of Dragons storyline to life in stores and around the table.

What are the creative credits on the books?
An amazing team of people worked on the core rulebooks, and their efforts were guided by the incredible response to our open playtest.  The core rules show the result of intense collaboration between our internal staff, our trusted partners, and our dedicated fans.  The lead designers for the core books, Mike Mearls and Jeremy Crawford, were supported by an extended team of game designers, editors, artists, art directors, and graphic designers.

Hoard of the Dragon Queen and The Rise of Tiamat are the result of a partnership with Kobold Press.  Wolfgang Baur and Steve Winter led the design, and they also had the support of an indispensable team of industry professionals.  Full creative credits will be in all the books.

Do we understand correctly that Wizards is dropping "Next" and simply referring to the new edition as "Dungeons & Dragons" or "D&D"?  Will Wizards refer to it by edition #?
This new iteration of the game, which represents the fifth edition of the rules, will allow players of all play styles to reunite around the game table, and we will simply refer to it as the Dungeons & Dragons (or D&D) TRPG. Where more specific detail is required, we will direct players to the appropriate fifth edition product.

Will Tiamat appear in both Tyranny of Dragons books?
Hoard of the Dragon Queen and The Rise of Tiamat will take players into the depths of the dragon’s lair, pitting them against Tiamat, the most fearsome dragon in D&D’s history.  Players will need to fight the Cult of the Dragon, along with its dragon allies and the Red Wizards of Thay as they prepare to face off against the Dragon Queen herself.  The adventure, which starts in Hoard of the Dragon Queen, reaches its crescendo in The Rise of Tiamat.

What is the realm?
The Tyranny of Dragons storyline takes place in the Forgotten Realms.  Players will adventure across Faerûn, from Waterdeep to the Sea of Moving Ice to Thay, in a race against evil.

What’s the relationship, if any, between the Tyranny of Dragons storylines in Neverwinter and in the Wizards adventures?  And any relationship with the storyline in the IDW Publishing comics?
We work closely with our partners, at Cryptic Studios, IDW, and elsewhere, to bring our stories to life across all D&D games, and across all entertainment formats.  The specific adventures fans will go on for each product are unique but also closely tied to our overarching story.  The new module for Neverwinter, aptly titled Tyranny of Dragons, will launch on August 14th, so whether you experience the story on your PC or around the table, the Tyranny of Dragons will pit heroes against hordes of evil dragons led by the 5-headed Queen of Evil Dragons, Tiamat. Look for a new series of Dungeons & Dragons comic books from IDW featuring a Tyranny of Dragons story.  Stay tuned for more news and the first issue in the series later this year.