D&D Meets Minecraft

The lead announcement from today's D&D Direct presentation is a collaboration between Dungeons & Dragons and Minecraft, releasing this spring. Tom Sargent, senior producer at Wizards of Coast, said it's set in Forgotten Realms and that they're “...two amazing properties that work well together.”

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At a press preview held yesterday, Riccardo Lenzi, senior producer for Mojang Studios, explained that the game begins with figures at a table with a dungeon master. Players will pick their character from a fighter, cleric, rogue, or wizard, and then enter the world of Forgotten Realms.


“Knowing that Minecraft has such a broad age range, we wanted to stick with core D&D because it might be someone's first exposure to D&D or it might be someone familiar with D&D,” said Sargent.

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Lenzi and Sargent explained that Minecraft D&D is a full videogame story, and it's the first Minecraft licensed DLC with voiceovers. It also has full music to make the battle scenes more epic, but it's not all fighting. Exploration is also be part of the game, but it's not a full open world. The estimated first play-through takes about 10 hours. You can play on your own or with friends.


There's no connection between this DLC and core Minecraft, in part because of the various components. For example, Minecraft D&D has dynamic music and a battle soundtrack commissioned specifically for this box. Minecraft D&D also has a robust menu system and a quest log. And, because this is D&D, there are dice rolls that determine success or failure.

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So Minecraft D&D uses the Minecraft engine, but a mimic can't be ported over to main Minecraft. People also can't use D&D assets for their own builds. It “stays in the box” as Sargent said, because of how it's pushing the limits of the Minecraft Engine. However, each class has skins and those can be used outside the Minecraft D&D box.

Minecraft Dungeons & Dragons will be available on all platforms Minecraft is currently using. That said, Lenzi noted that with the way it pushes the Minecraft engine it might not be perfect if played on an old phone, for example.

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If you're not a Minecraft player, the crossover still has something for tabletop players. Dan Dillion, game designer at Wizards of the Coast gave us a preview yesterday of Monstrous Compendium Volume 3: Minecraft. Available today as a no-cost download on D&D Beyond and Minecraft's website, it translates Minecraft creatures such as Creepers, Ender Dragons, and Endermen into D&D stat blocks that can be added to your campaign however you wish.

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Download Monstrous Compendium 3: Minecraft at minecraft.net or dndbeyond.com.
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Beth Rimmels

Beth Rimmels

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From my limited experience as a fan of the game, creative is fun but survival is the actual game.

Most streamers and Tubers tend to focus on survival, and it makes sense, as survival doesn't stop you from doing the crazy things you can do in Minecraft (aside perhaps from building castles out of diamonds, but even that isn't an impossibility), but doing it in Survival gives you "cred" you don't get with Creative unless you're showing off something novel.

Like, the people building computers in the game or building artistic works aren't going to looked down upon for not using survival.

But if you're trying some bizarre strat to take on the Ender dragon or showing off how you've carved the world into your image, people aren't really impressed if you did it in creative.

Many content creators that do primarily stream in survival mode, but the ones who do big build projects will usually have a creative world to test their builds out and give them a sense of how many materials they need

I have no idea. My in-house expert says TinyTurtle uses survival and BeckBroJack uses both. :)

And we have now hit the limits of my knowledge.
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Goblin Queen (She/Her/Hers)
I wonder how much of Minecraft is played survival vs. creative?
The addition of creative mode definitely coincided with its explosion in popularity. I remember hearing about it just before it really took off, and it was pitched to me as “a small indie survival game.” Thought it sounded neat and figured I might check it out some time. Forgot about it for a couple weeks, then suddenly everyone was talking about it like digital Legos, and all the crazy projects people were doing in it, and I was like “how are these the same game?” Later learned that creative mode had come out in those intervening couple weeks.


Goblin Queen (She/Her/Hers)
Plus, in Minecrafts wake there have been games that give a similar harvest the environment and build whatever you want sort of gameplay loop, but deliver a more modern high graphics approach.

Ark Survival Evolved and, IIRC, Rust are the big ones in that camp, and theres some others like i think Valheim or the Forest (?).
Yeah, but they’re usually more restricted than Minecraft, hence their more niche appeal. Arc, Rust, The Forest, and their ilk are dedicated survival games. Minecraft is a pure sandbox, which also features survival.

It does fascinate me that theres a phenomenon of people aggressively asserting that Survival is an out of date way to play DND, despite some of the most popular video games, like Minecraft, featuring it significantly.
Minecraft has a robust survival system and a... Sort of just there combat system

D&D's kind of the opposite, with a robust fighting system and not even a barebones survival system.


Yeah, but they’re usually more restricted than Minecraft, hence their more niche appeal. Arc, Rust, The Forest, and their ilk are dedicated survival games. Minecraft is a pure sandbox, which also features survival.

The line between survival game and sandbox tends to be very blurry. Of the ones mentioned, I was an early player of Ark and that game (at least was) is the definition of a suvival sandbox, and Minecraft is as well in survival mode, which admittedly wasn't its original default mode IIRC.

Minecraft has a robust survival system

Depends on how you define survival and robust.

I don't either game does it well, but for very different reasons.

When somebody talks about D&D survival videogame I think into Dark Sun.

Spelljammer in Minecraft could be awesome.

I wonder if we could see collabs in other videogames, for example PixARK.



Elder Thing
My 9yo and I have been brainstorming on ways for us to play games together while I'm on the other side of the country, and this announcement came at the best possible time.

I'll confess I'm not a fan of Minecraft; the goofy blockiness is off-putting to me, and the game itself has all the downsides of a "sandbox" with none of the upsides. But it looks like the D&D version will actually have a plot and something to do other than muck about for hours, so I'm in.

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