D&D 5E [Merged] D&D Next/5E Release Schedule Threads


I'm not sure that I'd go so far as to say "non-sexualized." She's still in kind of a weird pose with those ballerina-pointing feet and those akimbo arms, and the lighting on her waist, and the light she's holding is all "Hello, cleavage!" I'd be interested to see this picture Hawkeye'd. But it's no DRAGONBRO AND T&A MAGE, and that's cause to be happy. She's at least subtly sexualized. And she is leaping through the air to assault a giant, which is cool and heroic.

She's holding a staff and her hand is glowing with weird blue light. That strongly suggests "wizard," which implies that she's levitating, not leaping. Hence the pose. The 1E Manual of the Planes had a male wizard doing something similar.

...Though, looking closer, she does seem to have a bit of the 4E T&A Mage's "arching my back and sticking my rear end out for no apparent reason" going on. The resolution is low enough that it's hard to be certain. Anyway, as you say, it is at least much subtler than previous PHB covers.

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Yes! We're beating the poop book!


And as of right now the PHB has just taken over the #2 spot, while the Starter Set has moved into the overall top 100 in the books category. Very nice.



I mean, "only so far" is like 5 months of gaming at a reasonable pace. So if after 5 months of gaming with it you don't want it to be your primary game, you probably shouldn't be buying the PHB/DMG/MM combo and blowing $150 on the game anyway. Clearly, it wouldn't be a smart purchase!

You are quite correct, but that requires the starter box to have 5 months of gaming in it, and that is no given at this point in time. It also requires really good adventures or other materials so that those groups are still buying something related to the system beyond that 5 months, and thereby making WotC money. One of 4E's biggest failures was losing the "we sometimes play this" market, and WotC cannot afford to lose that market again. The fact is that the $50 price tag is a notable challenge and concern that cannot simply be brushed aside. If addressed properly, and if the rest of the system supports it, it's a challenge easily dealt with, but it's still there, and it still needs to be addressed. If they want to target the primary game groups with the core books, they need something else to target the secondary audience, and that something else is not something they have done well with in the past; the lack of that something else with 3E was the whole reason the OGL was developed in the first place, and 4E really showed the pains of not having it. So again, by itself, that high of a price tag for the core books is not an automatic killer for the system as a whole , but it does create challenges that in the past WotC has not met particularly well, so I for one will be watching to see if they can finally meet them this time, because I guarantee I won't be buying the core books, as I barely have enough time to play the systems I have already invested in right now.


That aside, something about the lighting seems off to me. It's too garish and glarey for my taste. But the proportions are good and the detail is excellent. Assuming the logos and titles are placeholders (I'm 95% sure they are), I'm pretty okay with it.

I'm 70% sure that you're wrong about that, so where does that leave us percentage-wise? :p

Seriously though, why are you "95% sure"? Do you have anything to go on or is that just your gut?

I'm A Banana

Hmm, not sure if I agree. That armor seems to totally cover any cleavage to me. I mean, it is a small picture, so I could be wrong. But nothing about it really seems sexual to me, not even in a subtle way. She does look graceful, and her waist is pretty thin. I dunno.

I'm just saying I don't think the picture will make women feel uncomfortably objectified; my wife for instance thinks it looks heroic and badass.

There's definitely degrees of sexualization and some of that is probably unavoidable due to "most fantasy artists are straight men and straight men tend to draw sexualized women because that's what they want to see!" effect. Plus, sexy fantasy heroes, maybe kind of what you want. I'm not saying people should be offended by it! I do think it's important, though, to point out that this still seems to be (based on the low resolution) sexualized. Which isn't to say it's bad or offensive, just that it clearly contains a female body that is pretty obviously presented as a thing for straight guys (and possibly lesbians? but mostly straight guys, since there's more of us.) to consider beautiful/sexy/etc. That's one of the things it's doing there. Could also be doing other things. She is not some visibly scarred badass or some big, tough, rude-looking orcess or even a dwarf with so much armor on she's nearly gender-neutral (all still heroic, all also not capitalizing on sex appeal). Part of what you are meant to see when you look at that image is "Oh, it's a pretty lady."

Like i said, I'd love to see this pic Hawkeye'd.

Whether or not this is a Big Deal to you probably depends largely on how annoying you personally find sexualized women in the media in general and this image in particular. Definitely not the worst example. Possibly even smart business given the target demographics of the product in a business sense (age 13+, primarily boys). It's not a simple issue of "this art is morally bad for making this lady pretty!"

For me, it's enough to note that it IS sexualized. That character's sex appeal is something the image is capitalizing on as part of its bid to get you to look at it, something WotC is capitalizing on as part of its bid to get people to buy the book. That might be "Oh, I can be a daring and pretty lady who fights giants in this game!" or "Oh, I can defend daring pretty ladies from giants in this game!" I want to be able to recognize it when I see it, because as a straight guy, I usually don't see it. You never question the air you breathe, yeah? Either way, the prettiness of the lady is important.

Book covers are almost never accidental, so I'm sure they were on some level aware of both reactions, and maybe that's even fine since being pretty can be a big part of how D&D lets us live our fantasies (I play occasionally with a group primarily of gay men, newbies, who basically refuse to be anything other than beautiful elves; I had a straight friend in high school who would always have a high CHA and seduce the various women in town; etc.). But it's not non-sexual. It isn't baldly sexual or crassly sexual or awkwardly sexual, but it still says that part of this product's value lies in pretty ladies on some level. Which fits into an overall cultural narrative about how pretty ladies are the valuable ladies and ladies who are less pretty are less valuable, less heroic, less worthy of saving, because no one puts them on book covers killing giants, because no one puts non-pretty ladies on book covers, period. But WotC also can't bear the responsibility of an entire society's gender issues on its shoulders, so it's not like they committed some sin by making a pretty lady the centerpiece of 5e.

Personally, I'm just well relieved it's not as bad as the 4e cover, and that it has a lady on it, unlike the pre-4e-PHB covers. I'll take progress, for me! And I'll look forward to the days when I see more art by women in the PHBs and on the cover, pretty ladies or not, because there's really no substitute for actual diversity when you're looking to be more diverse in the images you show.

Hopefully this does not de-rail the thread into another ENWorld classic "dudes talking about sexism in D&D" thread is all. :p

sunshadow21 said:
You are quite correct, but that requires the starter box to have 5 months of gaming in it, and that is no given at this point in time.

I think there's reason to believe it'll have that. 5 levels, plus enough monsters to mix and remix to get that XP, and it would be hard to imagine it not lasting at least that long.

Part of the awesome thing about D&D is that it's dense. Those bits of character and world info provide a LOT of replayability.
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I love the cover art. The titles look weird, with just D&D instead of Dungeons & Dragons on top. It feels unbalanced. (... Like the game, AMIRITE?)

But seriously, very nice art.


Seems unlikely, since this was a big press release where they plastered the covers (including logos and titles) everywhere, and made the logo their avatar image on all social media.

You might as well accept it now. Maybe it'll grow on you after you get over the first impression.

Well, for my own copies of the books, I don't care all that much. The art is far more important to me than the branding. But if this is in fact final, it's really terrible branding. It's just "D&D" at the top--you have to practically bust out a magnifying glass to find the words "Dungeons & Dragons" in the red banner on the bottom left. A starter set is supposed to attract newbie gamers. What is "D&D" supposed to mean to a newbie?

And if they're rolling out this fancy new ampersand, where are they putting it? All I see is the old Red Box-style ampersand. And the covers have a ton of unused real estate, especially the starter set, which feels practically deserted. They've got to have something to put in there.

Those logos and titles just have to be placeholders.

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