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D&D 5E D&D Head Talks Future Plans (Sort Of)

WotC has launched a new design blog. The first edition is written by D&D head Ray Winninger, and he talks a little about future plans.

dnd_header_blog04.jpg


"Later in the year, Chris will return with our big summer adventure, James Wyatt will deliver a substantially improved version of a concept that I initiated myself, and Amanda Hamon will close us out with a project that was jointly conceived by herself and several other studio members. As usual, Jeremy Crawford is working with all of our leads, overseeing mechanical content and rules development.

In addition to these five major products, look for a couple of additional surprises we’ll unveil in the months ahead."

You can read the full blog here:


He also mentions that a D&D book takes 12-14 months to make, and half the projects developed don't make it to market. Winninger describes the structure of WotC's 'D&D Studio':

"The D&D Studio itself is organized into four departments: Game Design, Art, Production, and Product Management, each led by a department head. Game Design is responsible for the developing game mechanics and stories. Art establishes the “look and feel” of Dungeons & Dragons by creating visual concepts, directing our freelance illustrators, and creating innovative graphic designs. The Production department manages our project schedules, interfaces with manufacturing experts, and generally handles administrative matters for the studio. The Product Management department interfaces with sales, marketing, and market research. They also own our long-term product roadmap and look after the D&D business."

The studio has five Product Leads: Jeremy Crawford, Amanda Hamon, Chris Perkins, Wes Schneider, and James Wyatt.
 

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Russ Morrissey

Russ Morrissey

doctorbadwolf

Heretic of The Seventh Circle
I won't dispute that, not familiar enough with 4E art really, though what I do remember is Wayne Reynolds stuff, so not that different from 3E IMO. Maybe what I am saying is that I am not a big fan of the way Wayne Reynolds depicts PoC?
Maybe, though of course Wayne Reynolds also dominates the art less and less as the edition wears on, so that is likely another factor in your perception.

But I definitely recall not seeing nearly as much anglo-looking human or human adjacent art in 4e as I was used to seeing in fantasy art, and I recall a thread early on in 5e where the 5e PHB was compared to the 4e PHB1, and 4e was more diverse in general, but 5e had specifically more Black folks.
 

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Urriak Uruk

Debate fuels my Fire
You're not reading what I write. I said that it's good that the "close to human" races are diverse (as are the actual humans), and that some anthro races have some coded elements.

WoW doesn't fit what I said at all, with it's mostly white humans, elves that are either white or unnaturally color-coded by culture and white-coded in features, and dwarves that look like somewhat darker skinned Slavic folks at the darkest, and it's other races been very very monolithic in culture, with cultures that are blatant and direct full-on analogues to specific real world cultures.

The two are completely different types of worldbuilding, and not even remotely analogous to eachother. WoW is exactly the sort of world that I'd hold up as the antithetical example to showcase how diverse 4e and 5e both are.

Glad you clarified, your text was not completely clear.

Anyway, I have no doubt 4E does have some examples of diversity throughout, as that edition has a ton of material. I am just saying I'm impressed at how diversity-forward 5E has been in its core books, as the examples @Parmandur has given show.
 


Urriak Uruk

Debate fuels my Fire
Unpopular opinion: I really dislike Wayne Reynolds's (is s's correct?) art style. It hurts me his art is so proeminent in my favourite setting's inception.

I do like Reynolds in small doses, but it is really overused in 4E that I do second this. It's also interesting how popular it is in Pathfinder.
 

Parmandur

Book-Friend
I do like Reynolds in small doses, but it is really overused in 4E that I do second this. It's also interesting how popular it is in Pathfinder.
I mean, is Wayne Reynolds art in Pathfinder "so popular," or is his dominance of Pathfinder art not great for PF? The buckles....all the buckles...
 

doctorbadwolf

Heretic of The Seventh Circle
Glad you clarified, your text was not completely clear.

Anyway, I have no doubt 4E does have some examples of diversity throughout, as that edition has a ton of material. I am just saying I'm impressed at how diversity-forward 5E has been in its core books, as the examples @Parmandur has given show.
Sure, 5e is doing great, especially now that they've reversed course on the "try to appeal to grognards by making non-humans monolithic stereotypes with genetic alignment" thing.
 

Urriak Uruk

Debate fuels my Fire
I mean, is Wayne Reynolds art in Pathfinder "so popular," or is his dominance of Pathfinder art not great for PF? The buckles....all the buckles...

By popular I really meant how commonly used it is... I don't know how many people like his art. I honestly don't ever see Pathfinder books anywhere, it's all PDFs. But the game itself is a suppose quite popular, as second-fiddle to D&D.
 

Parmandur

Book-Friend
Maybe, though of course Wayne Reynolds also dominates the art less and less as the edition wears on, so that is likely another factor in your perception.

But I definitely recall not seeing nearly as much anglo-looking human or human adjacent art in 4e as I was used to seeing in fantasy art, and I recall a thread early on in 5e where the 5e PHB was compared to the 4e PHB1, and 4e was more diverse in general, but 5e had specifically more Black folks.
I never really sat with any 4E book other than the PHB, so that is my main exposure to the whole edition's art in terms of longterm memory. From my memory, it didn't strike me as all that different from 3E in terms of diversity.
 

Parmandur

Book-Friend
By popular I really meant how commonly used it is... I don't know how many people like his art. I honestly don't ever see Pathfinder books anywhere, it's all PDFs. But the game itself is a suppose quite popular, as second-fiddle to D&D.
I'm sure some people must like his art. Paizo is pretty dedicated to that 3E aesthetic, even with PF2E. Central to the brand. Not sure if that's healthy for them, long-term.
 

Ancalagon

Dusty Dragon
. No player should accept a DM saying no to Psionics just because of misguided feelings of Psionics from previous editions.
Listen. DMing is a lot of work. A LOT MORE than playing. In exchange for for all this work, the DM gets more decision power over the nature of the game.

I looked at the Echo Knight. I really don't like it. I wouldn't allow it in my games. Am I wrong about the Echo Knight being "bad" (I don't mean not powerful)? Quite possibly! But as a GM, I have the right to say "I don't want X" in my games. If you don't like it, you don't have to play in my game. That's your big power as a player.

People say that DM "excluding things" is bad, but EVERY campaign excludes a MASSSIVE AMOUNT of stuff. Just by picking one system and one "genre/era" of gaming (fantasy vs western vs spy game vs hard sci-fi vs space opera vs...) you've excluded so much.
 





pukunui

Legend
Unpopular opinion: I really dislike Wayne Reynolds's (is s's correct?) art style. It hurts me his art is so proeminent in my favourite setting's inception.
Not a fan of WAR’s art. The unnaturally contorted poses are what really stand out to me.

I am also not a fan of William O’Connor’s art, which featured quite prominently in 4e books.

Aside from the halflings with the too tiny feet, I much prefer 5e art overall. It takes me back to the Larry Elmore, Clyde Caldwell et al art of my youth more than most of the 3e and 4e art did.
 
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Ancalagon

Dusty Dragon
Not a fan of WAR’s art. The unnaturally contorted poses are what really stand out to me.

I am also not a fan of William O’Connor’s art, which featured quite prominently in 4e books.

Aside from the halflings with the too tiny feet, I much prefer 5e art overall. It takes me back to the Larry Elmore, Clyde Caldwell et al art of my youth more than most of the 3e and 4e art did.
I think it's a "cost/risk" when several artists do the art vs 1-2 - the art style is less unified, and you are probably going to get a few stinkers... but on the other hand, the odds of you getting a few great ones are much higher too.

When I was 13, this was... perfection
1626206327353.png
 

Laurefindel

Legend
I like WAR’s art. It was something new with a strong artistic signature, like diTerlizzi was 10 years before him. Everything is over the top, including the sexiness/impracticablity of adventurers’ clothing, but consistently so. And like it or not, it was well-executed.

as for the representation of diversity in D&D (and fantasy in general), I think it’s an era thing more than an edition thing. 5e has more diverse representation because it’s newer, and 4e was more diverse than 3e because it came after. We’re slowly but progressively becoming better at it. 6e will be better still, regardless of its system
 



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