D&D (2024) 2024 Player's Handbook Reveal #1: "Everything You Need To Know!"

Each day this week, Wizards of the Coast will be releasing a new preview video based on the upcoming Player's Handbook. The first is entitled Everything You Need To Know and you can watch it here.

Each day this week, Wizards of the Coast will be releasing a new live-streamed preview video based on the upcoming Player's Handbook. The first is entitled Everything You Need To Know and you can watch it live below (or, if you missed it, you should be able to watch it from the start afterwards). The video focuses on weapon mastery and character origins.


There will be new videos on Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday this week, focusing on the Fighter, the Paladin, and the Barbarian, with (presumably) more in the coming weeks.
 

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No, the wealth of evidence post Tashas/Witchlight, is all the proof we need that its become gentle/twee/soft.
Sitting around rolling dice and pretending to be elves has always been twee.
There's never been anything tough or hard about it.
When Chainmail was being developed and introduced, (certain members within) the old guard of wargaming decried this fantasy wargame as twee, melodramatic, pretentious, affected, and maybe something someone's small children or Lit majors might be interested in; but not something the real manly* men who played Roman or Napoleonic tin soldiers as a game-hobby would have any interest in.
*in this context, distinct from boys, not from women, this is about perceived adulthood.

Ever since, there's been a semi-continuous clamor to define one's own version or preference set for this series of fantasy play games as the one that makes you more adult, hard-edged, unsentimental, and so on. That can be playing a specific version, playing 'RAW,' enforcing the 'realistic' rules, or a given tone.

It doesn't seem to be D&D (or TTRPG) exclusive, of course. Fandoms in general seem to have a strong streak of this. I never quite understood it. I mean, you, me, or that guy over there can absolutely all be gamers and be very adult/potent/hard-edged -- but it isn't because we are gamers that we would be so (and certainly not because of our preferences within gaming).
I'm not repulsed by a group of people, happy, enjoying life, and at peace. I have lot's of family photos just like this I love. Not connected to my disdain of this art for "d&d". I don't like the art in any way, the style, the characters, the actions... nothing about it gets me stoked to play d&d at all. For same reason I don't think bad ass sword and sorcery adventures when I see a Clifford the Big Red Dog book.
That's fine. Everyone's preference is their own and valid and true to their own lived experience. If you don't like it, more power to you for realizing that.

I will point out that the earliest version of the game had pictures of fairy fighters flying across plant-tops swinging twee little swords, purple worm and carrion crawler illustrations that looked like kids who would be reading Clifford books might have drawn them, and demons and demon princes who look like they might have come straight from a Muppet/furry convention.

Likewise, the version many people cut their teeth on had illustrations of PCs trying to sneak into the wererat temple wearing Micky Mouse ears, adventurers sitting down to play Papers and Paychecks, a pillar bearing a mouth that looks like a claymation toothpaste ad, and a Monster Manual whose entire cover suggests almost family-friend adventure among fantasy monsters.

I'm not saying you are wrong in your preferences. I am just saying that I think each edition has looked 'bad ass sword and sorcery adventure' if and only if you selectively choose which art you want to include or exclude from your tone-building mental picture.
 

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I'm not saying you are wrong in your preferences. I am just saying that I think each edition has looked 'bad ass sword and sorcery adventure' if and only if you selectively choose which art you want to include or exclude from your tone-building mental picture.
I'm not saying this to dispute or detract from your well-reasoned post, but... I'd be totally onboard with a greatest hits Player's Handbook whose every illustration was a selectively-chosen 'bad ass sword and sorcery adventure' piece of artwork from a previous edition of the game. Just sayin.
 

GothmogIV

Adventurer
Everything changes, right? I can't imagine that Hasboro/WotC isn't responding to what they think their customers--present and future--want to see in their game. I have zero interest in the twee/cosy D&D imagery, but I'm one person with one opinion. We'll see how it all sells.
 

Chaosmancer

Legend
I'm not repulsed by a group of people, happy, enjoying life, and at peace. I have lot's of family photos just like this I love. Not connected to my disdain of this art for "d&d". I don't like the art in any way, the style, the characters, the actions... nothing about it gets me stoked to play d&d at all. For same reason I don't think bad ass sword and sorcery adventures when I see a Clifford the Big Red Dog book.

And I don't need every piece of art to involve combat or high-octane action. One-Third of the game is exploring new places. Another third is talking to people.

This art is meant to showcase what a Dwarf is. And dwarves are a people of clans and community. The vast majority of the art is showcasing a forge, potentially a magical forge depending on the glowing blue metal. And sure, it could have been art of a scowling dwarven warrior with a massive beard, a bloodstained axe, and a bleeding giant reeling back from them... but that doesn't showcase the values of dwarves. It doesn't give me any insight into what a dwarven clan IS.

And DnD is more than moving from one combat to the next bloody combat.
 

Chaosmancer

Legend
...and...I just did I DnD Beyond search. I wasn't aware (or forgot about) the piety rules in the Mythic Odysseys of Theros.

Yeah, not much different. Now that I'm aware/reminded of the MOoT rules, I'll consider using them, adapted to campaigns outside of that setting. It would be nice if the DMG has a setting-agnostic version of these rules as optional rules for clerics and paladins.

Yeah, that was my confusion. People were asking for rules, but the rules are there. They just aren't commonly used.
 


Chaosmancer

Legend
Everything changes, right? I can't imagine that Hasboro/WotC isn't responding to what they think their customers--present and future--want to see in their game. I have zero interest in the twee/cosy D&D imagery, but I'm one person with one opinion. We'll see how it all sells.

Honestly, as someone who has read a lot of cozy fantasy... I think it is easy to misunderstand it.

"Can't Spell Treason without Tea" is a book in the genre, and it has plenty of intrigue and fighting, the one main character fights off a flight of dragons, the other is dodging spies and investigating an ancient mystery. But the emotional core of the story, the meat of it, is two women building their lives together with a simple tea shop/library away from all the struggles and hardships they have lived through. It isn't that there is no threat, no conflict, it is that the goal is a peaceful life.

In a way, I feel like the genre is "what happens during downtime", to put it in DnD terms. It isn't "build my empire to conquer all and carve my name in history!" but more "Hey, there was that old warehouse... maybe I can fix it up, get some students, teach what I've learned and find a girlfriend.

This isn't to say it is where I feel the game is going, I don't think DnD is going to be a Cozy Fantasy game. But... well, haven't players since the dawn of the game found baby animals to raise? Dragon eggs, young griffins, ect. Haven't we often had squires or apprentices that we have taken under our wings and helped guide the growth of? I wouldn't want to make a campaign out of it. But I do like the acknowledgement that the downtime, the space between adventures... matters. That not everything needs to be a metal album cover. That the wizard can sit in the market and use minor illusions to play with the kids while the fighter tries to teach their baby phoenix that they can't eat all the fruit being sold by the vendor.
 

mamba

Legend
I will point out that the earliest version of the game had pictures of fairy fighters flying across plant-tops swinging twee little swords, purple worm and carrion crawler illustrations that looked like kids who would be reading Clifford books might have drawn them, and demons and demon princes who look like they might have come straight from a Muppet/furry convention.
that is more a reflection on the (lack of an) art budget than anything
 

Thommy H-H

Adventurer
I think it's clear from the context that these pieces accompany the species entries; they're not meant to be what you do playing D&D, they're where you come from. So if your character is the equivalent of Frodo, these are the equivalent of the bucolic Shire, which is what you've set out on your adventures to defend (or avenge, or have been exiled from, or wish to recreate elsewhere, etc. etc.).
 


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