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D&D 5E 5E Books Through 2021 and the Road Ahead (2022 and Beyond)

Urriak Uruk

Gaming is fun, and fun is for everyone
Acquisition Incorporated is an odd duck of a book, I'd almost call it more of a Setting book, just a quirky and bizarre Setting (Office Comedy Realm Management).

I will add, the Wildemount book falls into a similar category as the Acq Inc book; both are almost entirely made by non-WotC staff, with WotC stepping in at the end to apply their rules for layout and other 5E book mainstays. Neither in my view really count as products that consumed the same level of resources on the WotC staff side, compared to any of the book releases in 2021.

Which kind of means that 2020 was a really slow release year (only 3 core releases by the core WotC staff) but we already know the pandemic delayed a development (Theros even had its print release delayed) so I suspect they may have pushed a product release to 2021.
 

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Urriak Uruk

Gaming is fun, and fun is for everyone
Approaching 2024: Completing a Cycle?
Much has been spoken about 2024 as the 50th anniversary of D&D and, to a lesser extent, the 10th anniversary of 5E. While nothing is guaranteed, most seem to agree that we'll see at least revised core rulebooks, if not a new edition. Only time will tell. But ten years is a long time without some degree of revamping, especially if we consider history. From the completion of the 1E core line in 1979, we have seen new editions or revisions like so (new editions in bold, revisions in plain):

OD&D 1974 | B/X/BECMI 1977, 1981, 1983, 1991 | AD&D 1979, 1989, 1995 | D&D 2000, 2003, 2008, 2014

Meaning, the previous longest gap was ten years between 1E and 2E, which is the same length of time between the publication of 5E and 2024.

So while WotC has sometimes spoken of 5E maintaining some degree of "evergreen" status, it does seem highly likely that we will--at the least--see some kind of revamping of the core rules; whether mostly cosmetic and minor tweaks ("5.2"), a significant revision ("5.5") or a new ruleset ("6E") remains to be seen (my guess would be somewhere in the 5.2 to 5.5 range).

Regardless, we could look at the next two years--2022-23--as the "completion" of 5E or, at least, Phase One of 5E. If we entertain this view, we can also look at what is missing in the first eight years, both in terms of popular classic themes and rules (e.g. planes, a full treatment of psionics, epic play, etc) and settings (most notably Planescape and Dark Sun, but also Dragonlance, Greyhawk, a full treatment of the Forgotten Realms, etc).

What do we know? Not much, except that at least two more classic settings and three new settings are in the works, although WotC has been clear to say that not all of these may come to publication.

I've said this a few times now, but I don't believe past edition releases should be a great bellweather for the future of 5E. D&D development in its early days, and in periods later, had a turbulent history of booms of popularity versus hard financial troubles. New editions at times felt like great ways to re-ignite sales of D&D, with varying levels of success.

5E by contrast is extra-ordinarily successful. It has grown consistently year-over-year, and in most recent years is having incredible growth in both book and digital sales. If the last (poorly hidden) survey leak is serious, D&D is exploring pushing D&D further into the D&D space with a product I find similar to Talespire (look it up it's quite good).

There is the expression "If it 'aint broke don't fix it." I think the financial/accounting/marketing heads at WotC probably have significant doubts about releasing an entirely new edition, possibly jeopardizing 5E's success. I see almost no chance that 6E is coming in 2024, or that there has even been much more than preliminary talks of what a 6E would look like.

I think it's possible that a small anniversary edition is possibly released in 2024, but I can't see it having much more than a few cosmetic changes and just adding material (like the Tasha's racial mechanics, or Volo's goblins) to the core books. I'm not sure if this is would even count as a revision at all, but just a fancy-smanshy reprint with new stuff, much like Strahd Revamped or the Tyranny of Dragons book.
 


Correction, only the core is canonto their media partners. So the film crew or Larian is being held to the lore in the PHB, MM and DMG, but not the lkrefrom Mordenkainen's.

Video games are their own seperate canon according to the blog. They've already changed certain things in BG3 from how they work in the core books.
 

Parmandur

Book-Friend
I've said this a few times now, but I don't believe past edition releases should be a great bellweather for the future of 5E. D&D development in its early days, and in periods later, had a turbulent history of booms of popularity versus hard financial troubles. New editions at times felt like great ways to re-ignite sales of D&D, with varying levels of success.

5E by contrast is extra-ordinarily successful. It has grown consistently year-over-year, and in most recent years is having incredible growth in both book and digital sales. If the last (poorly hidden) survey leak is serious, D&D is exploring pushing D&D further into the D&D space with a product I find similar to Talespire (look it up it's quite good).

There is the expression "If it 'aint broke don't fix it." I think the financial/accounting/marketing heads at WotC probably have significant doubts about releasing an entirely new edition, possibly jeopardizing 5E's success. I see almost no chance that 6E is coming in 2024, or that there has even been much more than preliminary talks of what a 6E would look like.

I think it's possible that a small anniversary edition is possibly released in 2024, but I can't see it having much more than a few cosmetic changes and just adding material (like the Tasha's racial mechanics, or Volo's goblins) to the core books. I'm not sure if this is would even count as a revision at all, but just a fancy-smanshy reprint with new stuff, much like Strahd Revamped or the Tyranny of Dragons book.
Such a light revision of the core rule books would count as a new "Edition" in most of the publishing world.
 





Urriak Uruk

Gaming is fun, and fun is for everyone
Such a light revision of the core rule books would count as a new "Edition" in most of the publishing world.

Eh, does it? When you're keeping 5E mainstays like advantage/disadvantage, the spell slot system, the level structure, all of the released classes, their abilities and races... it feels more like "Dark Souls Remastered" rather than "Dark Souls 2."
 

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