5.5E 6/6 news scoop!: Wizards announces "6X" for 2026! Not one, but six "expressions" of tabletop roleplay! [parodia filum]

Which expression(s) of 6X are you most looking forward to?

  • 6C D&D (5.5E)

  • 6A D&D (PF2)

  • 6F D&D (Freeform / LARP / hiking / travel RPG)

  • 6B D&D (Battlesystem)

  • 6U D&D (Unity - entirely new system)

  • 6L D&D (Legacy SRDs: 0E, BASIC, 1.5E, 2.5E, 3.5E, 3.75E, 4.5E)


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I’m surprised that 6X isn’t on the front page of ENWorld — would someone pass this along to the ENW news team?

Over on twitter I saw that Raymond W., Jerome C., Christoph P., and Michael M. are answering questions about 6X. For those without twitter accounts: I can pass along any questions you have, and post the answers here.
 
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Ondath

Adventurer
I’m surprised that 6X isn’t on the front page of ENWorld — would someone pass this along to the ENW news team?

Over on twitter I saw that Ray W., Jeremy C., Chris P., and Mike M. are answering questions about 6X. For those without twitter accounts: I can pass along any questions you have, and post the answers here.
I'm not sure what it is that you want. People are humouring your parody as much as they can (and to be honest, I kinda wish they did a big move like this but it's too financially disastrous for anyone to seriously consider), but I don't see the point in this except for continuing the pretense that we're living a parallel universe where this actually happened. And well, counterfactuals are fun but ultimately we do not live in them, so how long can we keep that up?
 



It's not real.

On the other hand, given its utter lack of anything resembling wit or humor, I can't imagine how anyone would mistake it for a joke.

I'm not sure what it is that you want. People are humouring your parody as much as they can (and to be honest, I kinda wish they did a big move like this but it's too financially disastrous for anyone to seriously consider), but I don't see the point in this except for continuing the pretense that we're living a parallel universe where this actually happened. And well, counterfactuals are fun but ultimately we do not live in them, so how long can we keep that up?

I’m not sure I get the joke, but carry on! :)
That's because there is no joke, it's just lolrandom. I guess it counts as a parody, but parodies generally lampoon some aspect of the thing they are fictionally representing. This is just throwing out an alternative-universe version of the thing with recognizable, but not-clearly purposeful, re-imaginings. This can occasionally be done fairly well. Lancelot Link, for example, was a 'parody' of spy thrillers, but with chimpanzees instead of human actors. Was there a meaning behind replacing the actors with chimps? Did it say anything about the spy thriller genre? Not really, they were just chimps and that was funny because... well, chimpanzees (note that one season was enough). For each one of those you get, however, you get about 99 ideas which are just 'a traditional romcom, but everyone has Grouchy glasses,' or, 'Lord of the Rings, but everyone is on surfboards.' The OP post doesn't even have the truly ridiculousness needed to make it a Monty Python style endeavor.

Original Poster OP -- framing this in the form of a joke didn't do anything that couldn't have been accomplished by framing the scenario as an 'imagine if...' scenario (where you forthrightedly proclaim the same situation to be simply your own musings, and ask what people thought of the situation/ramifications).

That said, let's analyze the content: --

See here for the full news release! You saw it here first!

Here are some highlights from the report: (But there's a lot more details in the news release, including links to some playtest documents.)
  • Starting in 2026, there will be six official expressions of D&D tabletop roleplaying, all of which are included in the Sixfold Experience (6X) rubric.
    • 1) Sixfold Continues (6C): The 2024 Core Rulebooks will be labeled "Sixfold Continues" (6C) instead of 5.5E. All products between now (e.g. Monster of the Multiverse) and then will feature 6C rules. Wizards publicly commits to support the 6C ruleset through 2036.
    • 2) Sixfold Advanced (6A): (A big surprise to me!) Wizards and Paizo reached an agreement whereby the PF2 Core Rulebook will also be reskinned as the "6A Core Rulebook", 100% compatible with PF2. The Paizo contract is through 2036.
    • 3) Sixfold Freeform (6F): An ultra-lite, LARP-friendly expression of D&D, inspired by such games as The Black Hack and Index Card RPG. There's a preview of the 6F D&D character sheet here.
    • 4) Sixfold Battlesystem (6B): A standalone mass battles and skirmish game. Yet compatible with the other 6X games.
    • 5) Sixfold Legacy (6L): This moniker encompasses all the previous editions of D&D. The capstone of each edition which will receive an SRD and will be opened up to community content on DMs Guild. The initial plans include: OD&D SRD, BASIC SRD (Rules Cyclopedia), AD&D 1.5E SRD, AD&D 2.5E SRD, 3.5E SRD, 3.75 SRD (The agreement with Paizo means that Wizards is counting PF1 as a discrete edition), and 4.5E SRD.
    • 6) Sixfold Unity (6U): Wizards says this is their "leading edge" expression of D&D. Wizards says it's both "less and more" than every previous edition. There's a playtest preview of the 6U Beginners Guide here.
  • Wizards says: "TTRPG gamers are savvy enough to seek and find the expression of D&D which suits their playstyle."
  • There will be a public playtest for the totally new expressions: 6F, 6B, and 6U. Slated to run from 2023 through 2025.
  • Each of the new expressions will have its own Core Rules: the three 6C Core Rulebooks, the 6A Core Rulebook, the 6F Funsheet (one laminated page front and back!), the 6B Rulebook, and the 6U Beginners Guide.
  • The 6U Beginners Guide features six Beginner Ancestries:
    • 1) Hairfoot Halfling (aka Lightfoot Halfling)
    • 2) Half-Orc
    • 3) High Elf & Half-Elf
    • 4) Hill Dwarf
    • 5) Human
    • 6) Rock Gnome
  • And six Beginner Classes:
    • 1) Citizen (looks to be a combination of the 3E Commoner + 3E/5E Expert)
    • 2) Healer
    • 3) Mage
    • 4) Monk
    • 5) Prodigy
    • 6) Warrior
  • Beyond those core books, starting in 2026, all D&D RPG Studio releases will be triple-statted: in 6C, 6A, and 6U. Wizards is committed to this triple-statted format through 2036. They say they'll be experimenting with various presentations of the stats, such as packing the three blocks together, or placing one or two of the systems in an appendix, based on which systems are in higher demand.
  • D&D Beyond will be supporting all three of the "flagship" systems (6C, 6A, and 6U). There will be a robust character conversion app which, through a series of questions and choices, will fully convert a PC or NPC from one system to another.
  • Adventurers League will support all 6X games, via distinct "Guilds": the Continuing Guild, the Advanced Guild, the Freeform Guild, the Battlesystem Guild, the Legacy Guild, and the Unity Guild.
  • 6F (Freeform) is not included in the triple-stats, because of three reasons:
    • 1) 6F promises to have no "splatbooks" or rules expansions beyond the one laminated Funsheet.
    • 2) 6F is completely adventure focused. The only subsequent releases will be adventures.
    • 3) 6F will convert classic and new adventures, but these follow a unique ultra-streamlined format. They're laminated for outdoor use (such as on hikes); they're formatted and bullet-pointed in a way that a DM could run the adventure without having read it beforehand(!); and the entire adventure is distilled into a series of montage scenes which last no longer than a film (about 2 hours).
  • The Compendium series: No more "planned obsolescence". Instead of a piecemeal rehash of previous content, dribbled out over the course of a decade, Wizards is planning to systematically release gigantic multi-volume tri-statted compendiums from the start, which convert every single aspect of previous D&D publications into 6C, 6A, and 6U. These are slated to be released in the very first year or two (2026 to 2027). Wizards has already gathered the contents, and have hired a small army of contractors to complete the conversion process. Paizo is serving as the contractor for the 6A (PF2) conversions.
  • This Compendium series will also be released in a 6L (Legacy) version with seven-stat blocks (0E, BASIC, 1.5E, 2.5E, 3.5E, 3.75E, 4.5E). The initial offerings will be PDF only. Wizards will be sensing consumer demand for hardcover printings.
  • The 6X (and 6L) Compendium series includes:
    • 6X Players Handbook I: The Complete Book of Ancestries: A Creature Crucible. 6C, 6A, and 6U stats and lore for every PC ancestry ("race") ever published, including, for example, the monster ancestries in the BECMI Creature Crucible series and 3E Savage Species.
    • 6X Players Handbook II: The Complete Classes Handbook. 6C, 6A, and 6U stats and lore for every character class, kit, background, prestige class, paragon path, and epic destiny ever published. Note: in 6U, backgrounds are just another kind of Class, which you can freely multiclass into. For example, a 5E Wizard with the Sage background, would, in 6U, be a multiclass Sage / Magic-User, with levels in both Sage and Magic-User.
    • 6X Rules Compendium. 6C, 6A, and 6U parallel rules for everything which has ever been covered by any rule: in any edition, supplement, or magazine article ever published.
    • 6X Conversion Manual. The principles and algorithms behind the D&D Beyond conversion program will be transparently printed in a 6X Conversion Manual.
    • 6X Arms & Equipment Guide. 6C, 6A, and 6U stats for every weapon, armor, or piece of equipment ever published in D&D.
    • 6X Skill & Feat Compendium. 6C, 6A, and 6U conversions of all skill activities and feats ever seen in any edition.
    • 6X Spell Compendium. 6C, 6A, and 6U conversions of every spell ever published, in any edition.
    • 6X Dungeon Masters Guide I: Running the Game. A indexed compilation of all the Dungeon Master advice ever published in any TSR or WotC product or article. The most comprehensive DM's advice book ever published.
    • 6X Dungeon Masters Guide II: World Builders Guidebook. In the Sixfold Experience, the default campaign setting is one which the DM "rolls up" themselves. It's an "expected" part of the game, just like how players roll up characters. Sure, you could use a pre-gen character, or a pre-gen world, but that's not the default. The WBG contains all content and random tables from the 2E World Builders Guidebook, Spelljammer Practical Planetology, and Alternity Tangents. All published D&D worlds are reverse engineered, so that they too could've been actually constructed using the WBG. There's even a table for rolling up a name, designing a world logo (using the existing D&D world logos as examples), and directions on how to self-publish your world using the OGL.
    • 6X DMG III: Dungeon Builders Guidebook. Besides reprinting all of the dungeon-design advice every printed by TSR or WotC, includes a combined table of every random dungeon-building table ever published. Also, all existing dungeons are reverse-engineered, so that they too could've been actually constructed using the the DGB. Includes all geomorphs.
    • 6X Encyclopedia Magica: The Book of Marvellous Magic. 6C, 6A, and 6U conversions of every magic-item ever published. Includes a comprehensive random magic-item table.
    • 6X Monster Manual: A Creature Catalogue & Monstrous Compendium. A 6C, 6A, and 6U conversion of every monster ever published. Includes the "Ecology" articles and other monster lore. Echohawk (of Monster ENCyclopedia fame) serves as a key research consultant.
    • 6X: Stronghold Builders Guidebook. Includes rules for followers.
    • 6X Manual of the Planes of Existence. Contains all the planes, demi-planes, dimensions, pocket dimensions, paraverses, and realities ever mentioned, including the many obscure planes of the BECMI cosmology. All of these co-exist in the 6X Polyverse. We introduce the term "paraverse" to refer to alternate timelines which only slightly diverge from the mainline; in fact, every continuity discrepancy ever seen in any D&D product is officially a distinct paraverse.
    • 6X Deities & Demigods: Legends & Lore, Monster Mythology, & Faiths & Avatars of the Gods of the D&D Polyverse. Stats and lore, for every god, demi-god, Immortal, faith, or pantheon ever mentioned, in all worlds of the D&D Polyverse.
    • 6X Immortals Rules: Divine Ascension. 6C, 6A, and 6U Immortal-level rules for divine ascension. In 6U, any character can multiclass into the Immortal character class at 36th level (after 222 sessions of play!). Cosmic level adventures.
  • Polyversal Lorebook series (system-neutral, stat-free):
    • Grand History of the D&D Polyverse
    • Atlas of the D&D Polyverse
    • Comprehend Languages: A Primer & Lexicon of the Languages of the D&D Polyverse
I don't know about you, but I'm looking forward to the Sixfold Experience!

[Parodia filum reported by Travis "Dungeonsophy" Henry, a DM with the Columbia-Berkshire D&D Club.]
This looks very much like something someone who was absolutely wedded to a mindset of someone who had gamed for 40-50 years and knew every product line and every setting (if not encyclopedically, at least where each one fit, in terms of release date and continuity-sharing) might do to 'simplify' the disparate editions and settings. Kind of like the well-used (by things like XKCD or The Onion) idea of someone being upset with X standard metrics/formats for the thing, trying to create a universal metric/format to serve all the needs, and now there are X+1 standard metrics/formats for the thing.

Question about 6U Beginner (acting like it were a real thing): if there is a healer and a mage, what is a prodigy -- another caster or a 'skill-monkey' class (and, if that, how does it differ from 'Citizen'?)?
 

To be honest, I kinda wish they did a big move like this
Glad to find another 6X aficionado!
so how long can we keep that up?
The man (Raymond W.) himself replied over on twitter:

“Great question Ondrath. We’re committed to ‘keeping it up’ through 2036. We promise at least a 10 year shelf life for your 6X products (starting from the 2026 release of 6A, 6F, 6B, and 6U), or 12 years for the 6C (5.5e) line (starting from the 2024 Core Rulebook release); or 14 years if you start counting from Monsters of the Multiverse.”

“But we are putting an end to planned obsolescence. Beyond the Core Rulebooks, rather than continuing to rehash (but never completely converting) the same game materials over and over like chronic amnesiacs, we’ll give it to you all up front, in the form of the truly encyclopedic and comprehensive Compendium series. Honestly we don’t know what could lie beyond 2036, but we do feel that these Compendiums will serve as an unprecedented foundation for the further future of D&D.”
 
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Question about 6U Beginner (acting like it were a real thing): if there is a healer and a mage, what is a prodigy -- another caster or a 'skill-monkey' class (and, if that, how does it differ from 'Citizen'?)?
Jerome C. replied:

“Excellent question. The Prodigy is a streamlined, beginner-friendly amalgam of the Bard and Warlock, as seen in the 5.0e Spellcaster Prodigy Sidekick class.”
“Though it is a 20-level class, It doesn’t replace either of those classes. They will be included in the Complete Classes Handbook. In 6U, you can freely multiclass.”

“The Citizen is a skill monkey. Contains all the class powers of the BECMI Freeman/Freewoman (from TSR UK’s IMAGINE magazine), plus the 3E Commoner, and the 3E & 5E Expert.”
 
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I’m not sure I get the joke, but carry on! :)
Over on twitter, Shellia M. mentioned the gratitude which the 6X team holds for ENWorld and its predecessor. She suggested that the impending release of 6X and its reunion of D&D, PF, and OSR (via the Legacy SRDs) might be worthy of another name change:

Russ Morrissey’s Unofficial Dungeons & Dragons Sixfold Experience News
 
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Morrus

Well, that was fun
Staff member
Over on twitter, Shelly M. mentioned the gratitude which the 6X team holds for ENWorld and its predecessor. She suggested that the release of 6X and its reunion of D&D, PF, and OSR (via the Legacy SRDs) might be worthy of another name change:

Russ Morrissey’s Unofficial Dungeons & Dragons Sixfold Experience News
I’m a little uncomfortable that this joke involves attributing fake quotes to real people. Would you please edit your posts in the thread to at least use fake or parody names? Otherwise it’s a less a joke and more just misinformation. Thanks!
 



I’m a little uncomfortable that this joke involves attributing fake quotes to real people. Would you please edit your posts in the thread to at least use fake or parody names? Otherwise it’s a less a joke and more just misinformation. Thanks!
The 6X team must be following this thread (who says that WotC doesn’t listen to the aficionados?), because I just saw this twitter post:

“The 6X team wishes to clarify that there were some misspellings of names in the original news release, and that Shellia Mirabile, Raymond Wingate, Jerome Cragford, Michael Mearns, and Christoph Perrins are not affiliated with Hasbro, but are yes-men of the Wizards of the (east) Coast, d.b.a. the Columbia-Berkshire D&D Club based in Philmont, New York.

“Our Renton franchise is only nominal as yet. A clarifying note will be included in the very finest print at the bottom of the press release, by the end of the business day (Pacific Standard Time).”
 

The 6X team must be following this thread (who says that WotC doesn’t listen to the aficionados?), because I just saw this twitter post:

“The 6X team wishes to clarify that there were some misspellings of names in the original news release, and that Shelly Mirabile, Ray Wingate, Jerome Cragford, Michael Mearns, and Christoph Perrins are not affiliated with Hasbro, but are yes-men of the Wizards of the (east) Coast, d.b.a. the Columbia-Berkshire D&D Club based in Philmont, New York.

“Our Renton franchise is only nominal as yet. A clarifying note will be included in the very finest print at the bottom of the press release, by the end of the business day (Pacific Standard Time).”
that isn't better... you changed the letters a little to still make it easy to mistake for the real people...
 




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