Dungeons & Dragons 2024 - New core books, new evolution

@ImaTarget I guess I was envisioning the 3D map maker like the NWN1 version. Like you, I ran campaigns with NWN1 and could whip up anything I needed with not alot of prep time. But again like you I did not have the skills for NWN2.

So it needs to be like NWN1, where the 3D assets are pre-made and can just be placed on the 2D map.

If they make it like NWN2, they will miss the market.

What a terrible name.


More here.

So it’s like, an advanced version of dungeons and dragons?

As a young child, it must have taken me five years to figure out that Advanced Dungeons and Dragons was a different game from Dungeons and Dragons.

Not exactly the best marketing, there.

A couple of things about the latest news:

  1. The stated goals of “One D&D” and this latest news hasn’t really changed. It’s all supposed to be backwards compatible, old 5e PHB and DMG should work with whatever happens this year, etc.

  2. It doesn’t really matter what they say as far as backwards compatibility. If they change enough stuff, then it will essentially be a 5.5 regardless of what they officially call it. The proposed changes to CR ratings, stat blocks, critical hits, etc should be enough to make older adventures have balance issues without the DM putting in some work.

  3. Change enough stuff and your current hardcopy books will be outdated and wrong enough that getting them digitally updated in Beyond will look attractive, at least that’s what Hasbro/WotC are hoping. Sure, you can buy the 2024 versions of the physical books, but I bet there are more changes right around the corner anyway.

Yeah, I’m certainly calling it 5.5 in my headcanon, at least. I like some of the ideas, but time will tell how it all shakes out.


WotC/Hasbro going all-in on the idea that they never meant One D&D was anything more than a name for the community testing process.

“[The design] team never called it that. […] They’ve got codenames,” said Nathan Stewart, vice president of marketing, said in a group interview. “And so from our standpoint [One D&D represented] what they were doing, plus it was the things we were seeing the D&D Beyond team do for access and accessibility related to the digital and physical being more integrated [as well as the in-development virtual tabletop].”

On the new core rule books:

“One of the reasons why this word ‘edition’ is loaded is currently it has two different meanings,” said Wizards’ game design architect Jeremy Crawford at the event. “In broader publishing, edition is a pretty neutral term that simply means ‘a new version of the book.’ Now, in D&D the term has over the years gained much greater weight, because the term also came to mean a new version of the game.”

“We are releasing new editions of the books ,” Crawford emphasized. “We are not releasing a new edition of the game . And so that, I think, is a really important distinction — that it is still 5th edition, but yes, we are releasing revised versions of the books, which anywhere else in the publishing world would be called new editions.”

The proposed solution, then, for differentiating between 5th edition and what comes next? To append the year of publication to the end of the core rulebooks’ names. That way, Wizards said, going forward there will have been a Player’s Handbook (2014) and there will also be a Player’s Handbook (2024). While they are fundamentally different books, Crawford said, they can both be used to play the same game. And, most importantly, they will both be compatible with every other 5th edition book that has come before.

Some stuff about the VTT:

“We should not be going public with this at all when the basic features that we have is roll some dice, have initiative, and have some pieces [move] around,” said D&D Digital vice president Chris Cao. “Because it doesn’t say, Here’s the grand picture . And we actually are purposely trading that off — and this isn’t through nobility, this is actually through what’s best — is that we don’t know the ideal way people want to use this.”

So how will the VTT eventually be monetized? Turns out that’s still on the drawing board as well.

“We know for sure that we want there to be a free part to this, because people have to be able to try it out,” Cao said. “That free [part] can’t be a free-to-play game [though]. It can’t be like, Hey, go play some number of hours and earn some points, because that’s not how D&D works.”

“I know those sound like soft answers,” Cao continued, “but if we can watch how people can play, then I can align the business with what they’re valuing instead of creating a value structure that you have to play in. Because if we do that, on D&D — that actually is toxic to what D&D is. Because D&D is about that shared play and that permission to pretend. That doesn’t mean it’s free. That doesn’t mean we don’t monetize it. But if we don’t see how people use it, and then align with that — if we try to predict it, or engineer it — we’re going against our own brand. We’re going against the thing that people create and make their own businesses off of, and their own dreams off of. I think there have been mistakes in the recent past where we’re like, ‘We’re not gonna do that .’ And we’re very sensitive to that.”

I mean, it kind of is how D&D works.

Some new developments outside of 5th Edition, Revised: because D&D consumers are undermonetized by the Wizards of the Coast team, prices of hardcover books are going up. Just like PC games!

But Hasbro is planning for thriftier consumers, too. They are working on a Free Ad-Supported Television (F.A.S.T! also known as old timey TV) as a channel, practical details T.B.D., that will focused on Let’s Plays and reruns of the old Saturday morning D&D cartoon. Is that enough to support a network? Well, you probably don’t need to afford Guild writers with that business plan.

Edit: oops, “that will focus”, not “will focused”. Not talking about monks or clerics!

You can always tell when the MBAs get put in charge…

One of the members of my gaming group told me yesterday about the new core books that are coming and asked if we needed to plan to upgrade. We currently have both physical books but also have DnDBeyond digital PHB and a few others and the players use the character sheet app in our game sessions

I told him no we likely don’t need to upgrade…but like Windows will there be forced upgrades given we really like the DnDBeyond character tool. I bet there will.

Paizo had some sort of Con that came out during the weekend.

There are some good changes to classes, and everything will still work with the old books. All the updates will be available on Archive of Nethys, so if you don’t want to buy the new books, you don’t have to.

I have Oriental Adventures and Monster Manual II.

That sounds insane.

“As the global leader in tabletop games, we envision a future where technology seamlessly integrates into analog gaming experiences and working with Xplored enables us to deliver innovative gameplay to our players and fans, limitless digital expansions to physical games, seamless onboarding, and powerful AI-driven game mechanics,” said Adam Biehl, senior vice president and general manager, Hasbro Gaming, in a press release announcing the partnership.

They use “board games” and “tabletop games” interchangeably in the announcement, which matches how Hasbro has referred to D&D in the past. This could be exclusive to the actual board games we normally think of like Monopoly, but it could also be coming to D&D. When you factor in how hot they are to have the virtual tabletop for D&D be a success, I think the latter.

Lol, AI really is the buzzword of the year.

An AI-powered suite of tools could have an immediate and dramatic impact on the D&D experience though, especially if you play mostly via a virtual table-top.

I can easily envision a case where players have uploaded pictures or descriptions of their characters (or more likely, used the AI tools to create those character portraits in the VTT), and as combat happens the VTT puts up a series of AI-generated images/animations showing a visual representation of the combat in near-real time.

And perhaps less impressively, AI-generated descriptions of skill-checks based on the descriptive text of a pre-made module combined with data that the AI has pulled from your voice-chat (assuming you are using the VTT’s chat that could be wired into the AI) could give even a skilled DM some cool flavor text.

And we’re probably very close to having an AI assemble situational background music and sound effects based on easily-retrieved context, especially if you give it access to your voice-comms.