Dungeons & Dragons 2024 - New core books, new evolution

Not to sound like a negative Nelly but that action figure looks terrible.

Geezus, why bother being intentionally inflammatory? Do they really, really want to encourage diversity, or do they just want the predicatibe ‘outrage’ to drive clicks, traffic and free advertising?

Dont get me wrong, I’m all for diversity, but the artist is on the record imagining the character as male. Righty or wrongly, that character has (almost certainly) lived the community conciousness as male for 40 years. You can be better without retconning ‘iconic’ parts of your history to pretend you were always diverse.

New Game Informer (remember them?) has some good stuff about the upcoming revision.

Reddit tl;dr

Intro:

  • DnD developers are preparing a revision that is “fully compatible” with 5e.

Changing Times:

  • Tumultous period - licensing issues, challenges to get enough print copies, departure of division president Cynthia William.
  • These were juxtaposed against the success of Baldur’s Gate 3, success of the 2023 movie release, and an evergrowing landscape of podcasts
  • New books are “far more than a window dressing” and do represent the team addressing all the lessons they’ve learned and heard from fan’s over the last 10 years

New Approaches

  • First time that the lead designers of the new edition, were the lead designers of the previous one.
    • This enables the designers to flesh things out in a way that has never been done before
    • Designers know the detailed nuances of what they did/why a decade ago; they know what to preserve and what to change
  • Value Proposition: Better Organized, New Content, reworks of classes/backgrounds, addition of bastions, weapon masteries, and more

A Picture’s Worth

  • A new intent to “help players contextualize and understand the content they’re reading…”
  • The PHB includes 12 pictures (1 of each class) and 48 pictures of each subclass hoping to inspire players to pick one that inspires them

For the Players

  • Unlike previous edition that jumped right into character creation, the opening chapter is about playing the game and is filled with footnotes
  • The new version contains a RULES GLOSSARY (YES!!)
  • Bulk of book focuses on character creation
    • 75 feats (including origin creation ones)
    • 16 backgrounds (Hermit, Merchant, Noble… etc)
    • Species now replaces Race - (design team had to explain many time that race was not referring to human races, thus changed term for clarity). Aasimar, Goliath, and Orcs are present.
  • Equipment now contains weapons with weapon mastieries (Vex, Nick, etc).
  • Expanded tool list, and more details on crafting things like potions and scrolls
  • Spell list comes from 2014 PHB AND spells from other books.
    • Tasha’s Bubbling Caldron will be in the PHB
  • Book is not written around the pretense of being in the Forgotten Realms, and is more realm agnostic and embraces Planescape, Spelljammer, Greyhawk etc.

Behind The Screen

  • Goal for DMG - make it an “indispensable resource in and out of play”. The new DMG will “show not tell”
    • Will contain half page first draft adventure design for DMs to springboard off of
  • Book is a “tool box for ideas” and not only has magic items in it, but sample maps, and guidelines on encounter design
  • Bastion System will be an optional set of rules in the DMG - it has the goal of “give the players something at home they care about”
  • Full LORE GLOSSARY explaining key players across DnDs history
  • Details the world of Greyhawk (OG gameworld by Garry Gygax) as a template world for DMs to utilize

Monstrous Option

  • Biggest ever - 500 monsters - 75 brand new ones
  • Every single stat block has been changed
  • Monsters have the same CR as 5e - for backwards compatibility
  • Monster have “expanded families” to help the building out of ecosystems
  • Added a high CR vampire called “the Nightbringer” so that vampires can be used in higher level campaigns allowing for “clearer narratives”
  • Addition of “epic titan level” monsters that are on-par with the tarrasque
    • New monster: “Blob of annihilation” - a gelatinous cube that can eat an entire town (SO cool)
  • Large addition of NPCs of given themes - Bandits, Pirates, Mage etc that can be dropped in with no prep-work and a large spread of power levels.

Unfortunately, this means monster CR will continue to be obtuse (the designers use a formula that has never been shared with the public) and wildly wrong past a few levels.

There were a lot of babies thrown out with the 4e bathwater, but I’m glad they’re cleaning off this baby again.

I don’t know if I’ll shell out for three more core rulebooks. My spending on 5e products has dropped a lot in the last two years. But this article and the video above are swaying me in the direction of buying them.

Uh… Just to be clear the video above is for a tie-in DLC for the Dead by Daylight multiplayer game.

Oh, the one you posted a few weeks ago from Jeremy Crawford and Chris Perkins (but not, of course, Mike Mearls). That video.

Hahaha. Got it.

Oh also here’s the PHB cover:

Looks like Elmore gave up on that.

Among those who disagreed with the interpretation - obligatory hello to the bigots in the comments section - was Elmore himself, who insisted that he had painted the warrior as male, after being asked by D&D co-creator Gary Gyax explicitly for a male warrior and “something simple that would jump out at you”.

“No one thought it was a female warrior. ‘Whoever thought it was a female warrior is quite crazy and do not know what they are talking about,’” Elmore wrote in a Facebook post.

Elmore later seemed to soften his reaction, editing his post to accept that while “it was painted as a man” - and imply that his initial response that been an answer to “a question that was asked without context” - others were free to “interpret it however you want, for that is the magic of art”.

Elmore also acknowledged that the very spirit of tabletop roleplaying games such as Dungeons & Dragons is to allow their players to make the worlds and characters their own, writing: “The thing I love about D&D was that anyone can be anything in this game. Male, Female, both, neither, it does not discriminate.

“It’s a game of imagination and you can be and do whatever you want.”

What an unter-nerd thing to care about. DnD is having its cultural moment, but the nerds want to pull it back to the future (of 1985 era art and values).

Nah, its just stupid for the sake of clicks. And it’s fine to note that.

And on a better note, the new stuff looks pretty cool I just saw a short vid about it and they’re at least sorta acknowledging Dragonlance and the main world is Greyhawk, as mentioned above. And it sounds like there’s more explaining of how to play the game too which is nice. All in all, I’m looking forward to getting it , reading it, and probably never playing it, hehe.

It won’t catch. They’ve tried to push Greyhawk before. It doesn’t have the appeal that the Forgotten Realms does.

Ya, I was surprised but that but like you said, it didn’t have the same appeal at FR. But it’s nice to see something different. And if they’d go back campaign settings and away from adventure paths I’d be happy. I’m hoping that’s what greyhawk is, more of a way to show how to create a campaign world with greyhawk as the example. But I’m sure FR isn’t too far done the road.

Oh agreed. I think Greyhawk is a better “generic” newbie-friendly setting because it’s not as popular. There’s less “Hey that’s not right” from players if you’re a DM just winging it for your first few adventures. Less established lore to trip up on.

I can prob link the little video I saw but one cool thing mentioned was the Dragonlance twins were gong to be in the books somewhere. So it sounds like they’re really leaning into their history. Which should be a good thing.