19 August 2022
Plus a new year line up that includes Planescape
6E or 5.5?
At Wizards Presents, Wizards of the Coast announced changes to the ever popular Dungeons and Dragons, with many calling the changes a sixth edition. Though of no surprise, as it was hinted at almost a year earlier, the changes are much less of a 'scrap the previous and start again', and more of some changes to the existing ruleset and requirements, being currently named One D&D. Should we be calling it a 6th Edition? Wizards seem to think not, and we'll talk about why.
One D&D has been described as the 'codename' for the "next generation of Dungeons & Dragons that brings together updated rules, backwards compatible with 5th Edition, D&D Beyond as the platform for your D&D experience, and a nearly‐in-development D&D digital play experience that will offer players and Dungeon Masters full immersion and rich 3D creation tools". However, it's made it clear that D&D 5th Edition has been doing everything it needed to. They say that by listening to the fans in its creation, it made a system that is stable, that is well-loved, that incorporates the best elements of earlier editions", leading to this simply being now "just D&D"
"We did a smart thing with D&D fifth edition, by listening to the fans. And what came out of that process was a system that is stable, that is well-loved, that incorporates the best elements of earlier editions. Now that we have that, we are no longer in the position where we think of D&D as an edition. It's just D&D"
In practice, this will see revised versions of the existing core books, which will include balance changes and a few semi-major changes to roll results. The Dungeon Master's Guide for example will bring structural changes to make it much easier to approach for new DMs. All previous books will remain playable with the changes that have been created, and these will be integrated into D&D Beyond.
"2024 holds this promise of new versions of the book, of the game you know, but reflects where the game is currently"
You can be part of the changes within the Unearthed Arcana, with new modules launched each month with feedback requested. D&D has immediately released Character origins, which is downloadable now and through D&D Beyond.
The first available of the changes is the Character Origins within Unearthed Arcana, with feedback requested. There are a number of changes to early character creation, including all first level characters containing feats, the inclusion of sign language as a common language, as well as the options for Children of Different Humanoid Kinds- allowing you to have perhaps a human parent or an elf parent, and match the traits from those race options. This builds of course from the custom linages available from Tasha's Cauldron of Everything.
Within this also comes changes to the classic rolling. Although frequently homebrewed, a natural 1 is now an automatic critical fail, regardless of modifiers, and the converse is also true - a natural 20 is an automatic success, and the player gains inspiration. Though a significant change, that some will dislike and ignore, there are many who will do this already, making the change minimal.
Although we expect to see more changes as more is released, the changes thus far don't represent a whole new way of playing that a 6E would perhaps have done.
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Wizards also discussed their expanding online portfolio and intentions, and how the recent acquisition of D&D Beyond was a significant step in doing so, with the platform allowing content to be accessible from anywhere. It discussed wanting to offer digital bundles, with a view that across 2024, D&D would like to build on this s D&D Digital becomes a full 3D play space. Brief demos of this- albeit in alpha and described as currently having simple functions - show impressive set ups within Unreal Engine, and allow ease of use for DMs, both in theatre and accessibility. It should mimic a miniatures set, without feeling too video game.
Part of the announcement came future books to look forward to, including the eagerly anticipated Planescape. For 2022, they've confirmed Dragonlance: Shadow of the Dragon Queen, with physical and digital content bundles available through the D&D Store directly. The physical versions will be available everywhere with a standard cover and an alternate cover only available through game stores on Dec. 6, 2022, and a deluxe edition of the adventure, the board game, and a DM screen will be available in February 2023.
For 2023, though there's been little detail from each, there are a number of confirmed books throughout the year.
Keys from the Golden Vault.
Described by Perkins as "Ocean's 11 meets Dungeons & Dragons,", it's a Candlekeep Mysteries but with heist themes, offering an anthology of short adventures.
Bigby Presents: Glory of the Giants
If you think "Fizbans Treasury of Dragons", a dragon focused book release, the same logic can be applied to Glory of the Giants, replacing merely the winged terrors with Fee Fi Fo Fum
The Book of Many Things
Full of exciting potential, the Deck of Many Things has been a chaotic favourite for many for a long time. A legendary wonderous item, the effects of the cards could ail or reward the holder, in hugely impactful measure. A book of many things may well include DM options for expanding this, as a sourcebook.
The Lost Mines of Phandelver has long been the entry for many into the world of D&D, and has always been a popular method at that. This book sees it expanded into a full campaign with a smattering of cosmic horror.
"A lot of folks out there in the world have been wondering when it was coming back, and here it is."
As the last confirmed release, Planescape follows Spelljammer: Adventures in Space as a revival within a boxed set. Hopping between planes is the norm within this, with a heritage that first introduced the likes of tieflings, celestial aasimar, and elemental genasi. The set will contain a settings guide, a bestiary, and an adventure in one package.
The fun didn't stop there, with a celebration of the 35th Anniversary of Drizzt seeing new covers for the novels, as well as the opportunity to pre order Dragonlance: Shadow of the Dragon Queen on D&D Beyond, and some impressive miniatures.
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