D&D (2024) 'One D&D' Takes 5E to New & Digital Places

The biggest news coming out of today's Wizards Presents is the announcement of One D&D, which includes the development of a new digital playspace, along with more information on the evolution of D&D.


One D&D Logo.png



Throughout 5th Edition the D&D team has talked about “the three pillars of D&D” being combat, role-play, and exploration. The One D&D initiative is borrowing that three pillar structure, only for One D&D the three pillars are:
  • An updated rule set that is still 5th edition but reorganized and with new character options
  • D&D Beyond as the base of its digital tools
  • A fully integrated playspace, which is currently in early development.

Fans have been speculating for awhile that WotC/Habro would buy Roll20, Fantasy Grounds, etc. so they could offer online play. That speculation increased after the purchase of D&D Beyond. Instead WotC is using Unreal Engine to create a fully integrated digital playspace so players and DMs don't have to cobble together solutions from multiple apps an digital tools.


Wizards Presents Key Art.jpg



The preview of the digital space utilizes a tile-shift camera to purposely make things look small, like miniatures on a table. This way it's a digital version of the view players have at a game table and can't be confused with a video game.

When an “evolution of D&D” was mentioned at D&D Celebration last year lots of people jumped to the assumption that they meant a 6th edition. Once again, the D&D team is refuting that idea and examples presented by Jeremy Crawford, Game Design Architect for D&D, at a press preview on August 16 make it clear that 5th edition is here to stay, just reorganized and with new options, and that the anniversary editions will be fully compatible with 5th Edition as we currently know it.

“We did a smart thing with 5th edition, by listening to fans,” said Chris Perkins, Game Design Architect for D&D, “and what came out of that process was a system that is stable, that is well loved, that incorporates the best elements of earlier editions. Now that we have that we are no longer in the position where we think of D&D as an edition.' It's just D&D.”

One example presented by Crawford involves the alternate method for character creation presented in Tasha's Cauldron of Everything where players assign the ability score bonuses as it fits their character concept instead of being stuck with how they were assigned in their character's race. In the first playtest package on character options, Crawford showed that it had been moved from character race to character background. They're testing giving character backgrounds a more significant component of character creation and one that can grow as the character does.

At they same time, they want players to create their own backgrounds, using the examples provided as a frame work. And as I predicted in my Spelljammer: Adventures in Space, review, it appears that getting a feat at first level as part of a background could become standard.

They're also considering feat levels and viewing them as class features that aren't tied to a class. To avoid the confusion of “wading through a forest of feats” as Crawford said, there will be a list of first level feats that are appropriate for beginning adventurers and still useful as they grow up in level.

The Alert feat has been re-imagined to be more useful to the group. It will still boost the character's initiative but additionally it will allow the character, at the start of combat, to swap initiative with one other player. The rationale is that the first person was so alert they were able to warn the other person so they could act quickly. The new Healer feat has a Battle Medic option to provide healing and the ability to reroll Healing rolls.

In addition to the existing Backgrounds, some new ones are also coming, like Guard. However, they really want players to make their own Backgrounds, with DM approval.


Guard background.PNG


Another example of changes they're considering that don't fundamentally change 5th is tweaks to the Tiefling. In addition to the infernal legacy already in the Player's Handbook, the playtest adds abyssal and chthonic.

Similarly, they're testing an expansion of the “choose your size” option fairies have in Mordenkainen Presents: Monsters of the Multiverse. Humans would also be able to choose between being small and medium to reflect the fact that some humans in the real world are small.

Another option being tested would be adding the Ardling, an upper plane equivalent to Tieflings. These would represent people with ancestors from the upper planes who are anthropomorphic animals. One thing Crawford said they've learned over the past several years is that players love animal-inspired humanoids like Tabaxi, Giff, and Tortles.


Ardling Slide 1.PNG



Ardling Slide 2.PNG



“The sort of change you're going to see isn't about taking anything away. It's much more about giving you more, giving you more options, more choices, more character types you can play, more spells you can cast. We're basically very happy with the game as it is today. We just want to build on that,” said Ray Winninger, Executive Producer of Dungeons & Dragons.

Speaking of spells, Crawford talked about how spell lists will be reorganized. Instead of picking a spell from the cleric list, you would be able to pick a spell from a divine magic list. , Spells would be categorized into lists for arcane, divine and primal magic. These categories have previously existed in story terms, but now, Crawford said, they're giving them more teeth.

Another focus is reorganizing material and integrating methods to help new players and DMs.

“One of my focuses, specifically, is the Dungeon Master's Guide. I'm going to make some structural changes to make it more friendly to new DMs,” said Perkins.

Playtesting starts today. Go to D&D Beyond to download the first playtest packet.
 
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Beth Rimmels

Beth Rimmels

Chaosmancer

Legend
If there is just one arcane spell list, that means wizards and bards and artificers and sorcerers all have the same options, which will either be a huge list that includes much it didn't before, or there will be options you can no longer get. And trust me, the bard spell list was very different in play than the wizard one.

I'm still playing catch-up today (it was a very busy day) but I think you are fundamentally misunderstanding the goals of the spell list. If you read the document it says

"There are now three main Spell lists in the
game: Arcane, Divine, and Primal. In future
Unearthed Arcana articles, we’ll show how
Classes use these lists and how a Class or
Subclass might gain Spells from another list."


So, what does this mean? Well, we don't entirely know, but it could be HIGHLY possible that the goal is that you will still have class spell lists, but you will ALSO have these generic lists. What this could mean is that the Wizard, Artificer, Sorcerer, Warlock and Bard get access to the same pool of Arcane Spells, then the Bard gets a list of specifically bardic spells. Or maybe, I heard one person say, the change will be that Bard's get magical secrets earlier, and will be able to snipe healing spells from the Divine List. But, here's the real kicker that I think was the point. I'd bet that the Bard is going to have Magical Secrets that say "Pick X spells from the Divine or Primal Spell list" but they WON'T be able to grab from the ranger or paladin spell lists. This gives some additional ways to prevent unintended cross-over.

Also note, that the Arcane list doesn't include Eldritch Blast. This is important because it means you CAN'T take a feat that gives you eldritch blast. You need to be a warlock to get it. So no more having a Sorcerer take Magic Initiate Warlock and getting Eldritch Blast, or any of the other cheese things that came from being able to grab specific spells meant for specific builds. This also means that an Eldritch Knight can just get "Arcane Spells" instead of being limited to "Partial Wizard list"

Yes, this does mean that certain specific builds are now possible that weren't possible, or are not possible that were possible. But I don't think the goal is to have only three spell lists, not with the blatantly obvious ommisions from the 1st level spells and the missing Eldritch Blast.

With ability score modifiers move from races to backgrounds, then trying to recreate the same character could have radically different ability scores.

Only if you choose to do it that way. They explicitly say you can modify the backgrounds, just like Tasha's allows you to modify the races. This isn't a real concern unless you refuse to allow that customization on either end. And the UA is explicit by listing two different ways to customize the backgrounds. Customizing them will be core.

But trying to say that it's all 'just D&D' and there are no editions is dishonest. Implying that I can completely use my current PHB of the current edition and someone else can use their 2024 PHB of the current edition, and there will be no rule conflicts is dishonest. This is not the same edition when you make significant changes to character creation/advancement, the mechanics that are central to every player.

There will be rules conflicts, but I think the bigger question is where those conflicts appear.

Sure, Tavern Brawler 2014 is different than Tavern Brawler 2024. That's not a "rules conflict" any more than taking the Beast of the Sky for the Beast Master ranger is a "rules conflict" with the PHB Beast Master. It's just a new version, new option. Most of the character creation is going to look identical between the two editions, with the 2024 having +1 Language (total three), +1 Tool, and the feat. Easy things to convert.

The bigger changes come on the DM side. Changes to grapple, adding slowed, changes to unarmed strikes, These are deeply significant changes... but entirely on the DM side. These changes aren't going to make the character you build look significantly different. And that's no different than the DMG allowing for proficiency dice, or Theros giving us the Piety system.
 

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Dire Bare

Legend
Wrong war, this one is about technology.
napoleon dynamite technology GIF
The warriors of each new phase of the neverending Edition Wars always think, "This time, it's different . . . I do not war for the same reasons as those who have come before, as my cause is just and righteous."

And yet, the wastes left of message boards and game tables always look the same . . .

Plus, have you read this thread? Yeah, some folks are all afeared of the new digital options coming our way, but more folks are arguing over changes to the actual rules of the game.

War, war never changes.
 

Bolongo

Herr Doktor
I mean, I kinda like the idea of feats for everyone at level 1 instead of the previous flavor abilities from the backgrounds. Because the later seldom saw any actual use, and the game sorely needs some way to distinguish characters of the same class and level from each other.

The actual examples of level 1 feats are badly unbalanced, though. And I'm still waiting to see what happens after level 1. Guess we'll have to wait another month and see if the next UA shows what they're thinking about classes.
 

Nickolaidas

Explorer
I think I like what I hear and read. Basically, the way I see it, if I have to be 'up to date', rules wise, I have to put away my three core rulebooks and use the new ones.

However, every single adventure/campaign book of 5th Edition can be perfectly played and used in this next edition of D&D, which is just amazing for me.

Is the new Dragonlance book based on 5th Edition or the new one?
 




Nickolaidas

Explorer
So you think a book released this year will be written for the rules that won't even be ready for another 2 years?
Person, I was kidding. I didn't know the rulebooks' release date - for all I knew those books would be coming in December of 2022.

That said ... Hoard of the Dragon Queen released without the DM Guide, so it would be funny if this time they would release their first 6th Edition Campaign/Adventure book without any rulebook officially published.

Would make for a good way to prove full backwards compatibility, that's for sure. :ROFLMAO:
 

Hussar

Legend
I think I like what I hear and read. Basically, the way I see it, if I have to be 'up to date', rules wise, I have to put away my three core rulebooks and use the new ones.

However, every single adventure/campaign book of 5th Edition can be perfectly played and used in this next edition of D&D, which is just amazing for me.

Is the new Dragonlance book based on 5th Edition or the new one?

Honestly I think this is the healthiest way of looking at it.
 

payn

He'll flip ya...Flip ya for real...
The warriors of each new phase of the neverending Edition Wars always think, "This time, it's different . . . I do not war for the same reasons as those who have come before, as my cause is just and righteous."

And yet, the wastes left of message boards and game tables always look the same . . .

Plus, have you read this thread? Yeah, some folks are all afeared of the new digital options coming our way, but more folks are arguing over changes to the actual rules of the game.

War, war never changes.
Not my fault you wasted peace time not preparing for this. 🤷‍♂️
 

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