D&D 5E Announcement Next Week--What Hints For Upcoming D&D Books?

WotC uses Unearthed Arcana to playtest D&D material which often ends up in a later hardcover book. Mages of Strixhaven was in Unearthed Arcana in June 2021, and Strixhaven: A Curriculum of Chaos was published in December 2021. Draconic Options was in Unearthed Arcana in April 2021, and Fizban's Treasury of Dragons came out in October. The same applied to Van Richten's Guide to Ravenloft, and other books--the lead time appears to typically be somewhere around 6 months. So what have we had recently which might give us an insight into upcoming books?

WotC is holding a press event this coming Friday, with an embargo for March 22nd (which is Tuesday next week), meaning that an announcement is around the corner.

settinss.jpg

Unearthed Arcana has slowed in the last year or so, but there have been two notable articles:
  • August 2021 -- Travelers of the Multiverse. 6 months after this was February, so if the 6-month lead time theory holds true, a multiverse-themed book would be imminent. The amount of speculative chatter about Spelljammer, Planescape, and 'Planejammer' is at a high.
  • March 2022 -- Heroes of Krynn. This UA was released last week; six months would put a Dragonlance hardcover roughly about September, around the same time that Weis & Hickman's new Dragonlance novel releases.
So these two appear the most likely--some kind of multiverse book, and a Dragonlance book.

We know that a new starter set--Dragons of Stormwreck Isle--is on its way this year. WotC has spoken about two brand new settings, and two classic settings in 2022 (which fits the theory!)

starter.png

They also spoke about a 'brand new format' for the 2 classic settings--WotC's Ray Winninger said in June last year that ""Each of these products is pursuing a different format you've never seen before. And neither is "digital only;" these are new print formats."


As I've mentioned on a couple of occasions, there are two more products that revive "classic" settings in production right now.

The manuscript for the first, overseen by [Chris Perkins], is nearly complete. Work on the second, led by [F. Wesley Schneider] with an assist from [Ari Levitch], is just ramping up in earnest. Both are targeting 2022 and formats you've never seen before.

In addition to these two titles, we have two brand new [D&D] settings in early development, as well as a return to a setting we've already covered. (No, these are not M:tG worlds.)

As I mentioned in the dev blog, we develop more material than we publish, so it's possible one or more of these last three won't reach production. But as of right now, they're all looking great.
 
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Morrus

Well, that was fun
Staff member
Nerd Immersion is suggesting that the word "Citadel" can be seen.

We’ve been suggesting that right here for a while now!

 

Parmandur

Book-Friend
Also it being a setting rather than an adventure makes the idea of minis kind of odd. Especially as I believe WotC themselves claimed a very large percentage of people (the majority?) play 5E Theatre-of-the-Mind.
More than that, WotC found out that a significant majority where playing every Edituon with TotM, to the point that outside of the convention & hardcore forumite scenes TotM is the normative D&D experience. Even 3E and 3.5, even 4E. And that thisnis one of the major pain points people had with 4E: my own group spent years playing TotM in 3.x, and bounced hard off of the minature requirements in 4E.
 

Parmandur

Book-Friend
We’ve been suggesting that right here for a while now!

He actually quotes my posts in that thread in the video. Recursion, right there.
 
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Quickleaf

Legend
More than that, WotC found out that a significant majority where playing every Edituon with TotM, to the point that outside of the convention & hardcore forumite scenes TotM is the normative D&D experience. Even 3E and 3.5, even 4E. And that thisnis one of the major pain points people had with 4E: my own group spent years playing TotM in 3.x, and bounced hard off of the minature requirements in 4E.
Was that from their 2021 D&D Play Activity Survey? I didn't know they released results. You don't happen to have a link by any chance?
 

Parmandur

Book-Friend
Was that from their 2021 D&D Play Activity Survey? I didn't know they released results. You don't happen to have a link by any chance?
Nah, from the pre-5E playtests. Mearls used to talk about it quite freely, such as in the Happy Fun Hour streams, when he was asked why miniatures rules weren't as core to 5E. They designed 5E to match how people at large actually played AD&D and 3E, rather than how the designers played with friends at big Conventions. Which also provided WotC an explanation as to why the attempt to monetize miniatures had fallen flat on it's face since theybtook over the brand: they were treating a fraction of the market like the main market. Now they license to specialists, Wizards, who market to the niche more effectively than WotC tried to market minis to people who didn't use them.

Based on streaming, I doubt this demographic trend has changed much.
 
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Parmandur

Book-Friend
Though to be fair, Critical Role uses miniatures for their combats, and that could theoretically encourage folks who were hooked through that to use minis.
Indeed, they do: but Critical Role is exceptional in many ways, and Mercer's miniature painting hobby (now q part of his paying job) dating to the 90's is one of those ways. Most streams tend towards either TotM or miniature minimalism.
 


Mercurius

Legend
I haven't been paying much attention to D&D world or reading ENWorld over the last few months, and am too lazy to read the nine pages of this thread. I did hear that there was supposed to be an announcement on Friday? Anything? Can someone summarize: What we know for certain and what seems likely?

All I can gather from skimming the thread is that Dragonlance and Spelljammer are very likely, even definite. But it is unclear the format or anything else that might come out this year. Is that correct?
 

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