OneDnD "The Future of D&D" (New Core Books in 2024!)

The online D&D Celebration event, which has been running all weekend, comes to a close with The Future of D&D, a panel featuring WotC's Ray Winninger, Liz Schuh, Chris Perkins, and Jeremy Crawford, hosted by Elle Osili-Wood.

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D&D is exploring the multiverse
Revisiting classic settings. 1st of 3 settings (Ravenloft) released this year. Next year, the other two major classic D&D settings come out. Both in formats they've never published products before.

Plus a "little peek" at a third classic D&D setting - a cameo.

In 2023, yet another classic setting is coming out.

Evolving D&D
Because of new players, they're always listening. Exploring new styles of play (like no combat needed in Wild Beyond the Witchlight). Also presentation of monsters and spells. New product formats. More adventure anthologies.

Making products easier to use. Ways to create the best experience. Experimenting and looking into technology.

Approaches to Design
Wild Beyond the Witchlight has interior design and tools to make running the adventure easier. Story tracker, guidance.

Beyond the books, they want to make different and varied products - packaging and form factor. Things different to hardcovers and boxed sets.

A blog post is coming soon detailing some of the changes, with more to come in future posts.

50th Anniversary in 2024
They've begun work on new versions of the core rulebooks. Recent surveys tie into that. They're still making plans, but expect more surveys. More will be said next year.

They will be completely compatible!

New experiences in the digital arena.

January Gift Set
Rules Expansion Gift Set -- Xanathar, Tasha, and a new book: Mordenkainen Presents Monsters of the Multiverse. All in a slipcase. Was intended for the Holidays, but global production issues mean January instead. There's also an alternate cover version.

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Mordenkainen Presents Monsters of the Multiverse
A treasure trove of creature related material from previous products compiled into one book and updated.

Opportunity to update material with a feel for how the 50th Anniversary books will be.

Improvements based on feedback, rebalancing, new and old art.

Over 250 monsters, and 30 playable races. All of the setting agnostic races that have been published outside the Player's Handbook.

Some content from Witchlight, Fizban's, and Strixhaven was influenced by Mordenkainen's.

Available first in the gift set, but separately later in the year.

Monsters alphabetized throughout rather than using subsections.

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Stat block changes --

Spellcasting trait is gone. Spellcasting action, slimmed down. Spellcasting monsters need less prep.

Spell slots are gone for NPCs. Regular actions that would have once been spells.

It was too easy for a DM to use spells which result in the monster having a too low effective CR.

Monsters can be friends or foes, and some magic will help rather than hinder PCs.

Where are we going?
More adventure anthologies. Another classic setting fairly soon.

Two all-new settings. Completely new. In development stage, an 'exploration' phase, testing the viability of them. They might not see the light of day.

Retooling nostalgia and blending it with new concepts. A blend of things that you know, and things that they have never done before.

In the short term -- more news next month about a new product for 2022 which goes into a new scary place we've never been before.

Boo the miniature giant space hamster
Below is an sketch from Hydro74's alt cover, which features Boo the miniature giant space hamster.

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Russ Morrissey

Russ Morrissey

Charlaquin

Goblin Queen (She/Her/Hers)
I care about the topic quite a bit. I also feel these concerns are leading to a dearth of fiction, where only certain people are allowed to tell certain stories, and you're a monster if you're not ashamed of your childhood favorites.
And I wasn’t addressing you. If you feel strongly about the subject, by all means, say your piece on it; that’s how discussions happen. But that’s not what Filthy Lucre was doing. They came in to proudly announce how little they care about what was being discussed, which is… just kinda pointless?
 

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Scribe

Legend
..and you're a monster if you're not ashamed of your childhood favorites.
I wouldnt go so far.

There are plenty of things that have not aged well, if we go back to re-read or watch those old movies we may have enjoyed when we were younger.

It doesnt mean we need to be ashamed about it, only that sometimes things change and what was once acceptable, is no longer seen in the same way.

Sometimes these things are good, sometimes its an overreaction that leads to readjustment, I still have good memories regarding original Star Wars, Dragonlance, and LotR experiences, and D&D as well, even if there are things people will say are wrong about them today.
 

squibbles

Adventurer
If you solved this problem by saying "Ok, D&D is specifically only going to represent European myth/fantasy" you'd then catch flak for NOT including other cultures. Exclude them -> You're racist; Include them -> you're racist.
D&D isn't really European fantasy, it borrows broadly and has lots of weird conventions built in; its earliest iterations incorporate creatures of myth from all over, and the sword and sorcery, science fantasy, and wild west frontier influences are a lot more American than mythic European. Its a melange that lots of things from lots of different national contexts already fit in. So, imo, there's no need to assert that first premise.

To your second premise, I'm not convinced that anyone is asking for D&D to include class or subclass options for specific warrior traditions (or mystical or mythic or whatever) as a means of representation, that's usually more about artwork or setting fluff. Calls for samurai or shaman to be in the game are usually in the vein of: "they're cool", "I liked them in edition ABC", or "I like XYZ fantasy mileiu, give me mechanics to play it please"--at least as far as I can tell.

Also, I amended the post which you quoted with the answer @Marandahir gave earlier in the thread--I think it's a good one. Writing subclasses with broad themes, that fit a range of concepts which are not obviously specifically European, is probably enough that it lets people play what they want.

And to your conclusion, its easy to feel like a lot of harsh and uncharitable criticisms are being made of D&D and other media, and like things are being demanded instead of requested. That's fair, the 21st century is contentious. But, you know, being harsh and uncharitable in return only raises the temperature in the room, and no one is persuaded.
 

squibbles

Adventurer
I care about the topic quite a bit. I also feel these concerns are leading to a dearth of fiction, where only certain people are allowed to tell certain stories, and you're a monster if you're not ashamed of your childhood favorites.
I'm not even close to finishing everything that's in Appendix N yet... there's just so much fiction to read.

But I agree with you in principle, people should get to write what they want to write and enjoy what they want to enjoy without being pilloried--though it would be best if they didn't do so uncritically.
 

I suggest to keep the concept or archetype of shaman for a future class with a different game subsystem, for example the reboot of the pact binder, or the incarnum totemist. The martial adepts (Tome of Battle: Book of Nine Swords) should return, and they are perfect for settings with a wuxia touch, and not only Kara-Tur or Kamigawa.

I imagine the swashbuckler class like a light-armor martial adept (class with (ki) martial maneuvers).

Shaman, cavalier/knight, gladiator, samurai and ninja should be classes, not only subclasses, or at least the Athasian gladiator should be an "archetype", a fighter with an optional list of class features.
 

Dannyalcatraz

Schmoderator
Staff member
In our current culture, you'll never win the "please everyone" battle since people have a vested interest in being offended. It's a waste of effort. People say "be respectful" but they never really give explicit/actionable/objective methods of achieving that.

ALSO... I don't believe that "exclusionary" is always bad in every incident. If it is, do you consider Motherlands to be exclusionary? Are you saying that every game has to cater to every conceivable ethnicity? sexuality? political orientation? This entire argument is so ham-fisted.
Mod Note:

For this and other anti-inclusive posts in this thread, Filthy Lucre has earned a warning point and a threadban.

Don‘t emulate this behavior.
 

Dannyalcatraz

Schmoderator
Staff member
I care about the topic quite a bit. I also feel these concerns are leading to a dearth of fiction, where only certain people are allowed to tell certain stories, and you're a monster if you're not ashamed of your childhood favorites.
Mod Note:

Traveling further down Filthy Lucre’s chosen path will be rewarded with similar reactions from the moderation staff. Consider this before continuing to post in this thread.
 

Remathilis

Legend
Terms like knight, paladin, and ranger are equally culturally specific to Europe . . . . but D&D is a game that springs from European myth, folklore, and literature. How we incorporate elements from other cultural regions deserves more mindfulness than the community has traditionally given in the past.

Maybe that's the problem: D&D is too European.

D&D subclasses are a hodge podge generic names (path of the beast, circle of the moon) and specific (assassin, necromancer). A few generic names (way of shadow, college of war) suggest historical concepts (ninja, skalds) but aren't tied to just that one culture. It doesn't seem odd for either of those subclasses to exist in other cultures, save for the oddness of thier base calls l class (monk, bard) existing.

An ideal solution, if we're serious about removing offensive stereotypes in class naming, would be to use that descriptive method of naming classes and subs rather than using classical names. That would mean at the very least changing some sub names (samurai to oathbound for example), with perhaps reworking of the druid, monk paladin and bard to make them work for multiple different types of characters less tied to a certain cultural archetype.

Then, you could have a duelist rogue or an oathsworn fighter without the cultural baggage of a swashbuckler or samurai baked in.
 

Marandahir

Crown-Forester (he/him)
I care about the topic quite a bit. I also feel these concerns are leading to a dearth of fiction, where only certain people are allowed to tell certain stories, and you're a monster if you're not ashamed of your childhood favorites.

I’m sorry if I gave that impression with my comments above. Male-identifying authors can write female characters, and vice versa. LGBTQ authors can write straight cisgendered characters. Japanese authors can write European ones and White-Americans can write Subsaharan African mythological tales, too.

There are many examples of sensitive nuanced stories written by people without personal experience of the subject matter. And Fantasy itself is a genre that embraces this because much of the subject matter is inherently unknowable.

But there’s also a LOT of insensitive stories written from outsider perspectives, and they often dominate perceptions of their subject matter in the eyes of the target audience, especially when these stories are written by people with cultural, racial, gender, sexual, or economic privilege within the society of the target audience.

D&D has long occupied the latter in what material is published officially by WotC, by virtue of the brand originating at tables of white male American gamers. That doesn’t mean they haven’t made strives to be more inclusive and celebratory! 5e is the most inclusive and celebratory edition yet. But the work never ends. There’s always more we can do.

I started this subthread because I believe that a revision of 5e in 2024 is an optimal chance to bring the values now espoused in books like Tasha’s Cauldron of Everything into the core rulebooks. WotC have said as much that that’s what they want to do. I also think they have a chance to go a step farther. By the time we get to 2024, it’ll have been more than 4 years since writing on Tasha and Curse of Strahd Revamped completed. A lot can happen in those years. A lot has happened, already.

I suggested that “Samurai” could become a core rules option but under a new name, to both allow continuity of character concept and tweaking of the Fighter to be more like what the designers have said they wish it was in hindsight. I recognise that the republishing of Xanathar’s Guide in next year’s gift set makes that less likely, but I still think it’s worthwhile.
 

doctorbadwolf

Heretic of The Seventh Circle
Good. I'm usually in tune with your posts, but you came across as dismissive of the idea to me. Glad I did misinterpret.

Asian-Americans are, of course, hardly a monolith all living the same experience. Some think having the samurai as a discrete option is a great idea, others find it extremely problematic, others don't even register it as an issue. Asian-Asians come from a completely different lived experience.

But increasingly, more and more voices are asking folks to recognize the institutional bias Western culture has to orientalize (exoticize) Asian tropes like the monk or samurai. It's a difficult and fraught discussion, and too many Western gamers would rather dismiss the issue, which of course, is part of the problem.

Terms like knight, paladin, and ranger are equally culturally specific to Europe . . . . but D&D is a game that springs from European myth, folklore, and literature. How we incorporate elements from other cultural regions deserves more mindfulness than the community has traditionally given in the past.

And . . . . I'll step down from my soapbox now.
I agree with most of this. For sure. Fact is, D&D needs more diverse creators on the primary team.
Maybe that's the problem: D&D is too European.

D&D subclasses are a hodge podge generic names (path of the beast, circle of the moon) and specific (assassin, necromancer). A few generic names (way of shadow, college of war) suggest historical concepts (ninja, skalds) but aren't tied to just that one culture. It doesn't seem odd for either of those subclasses to exist in other cultures, save for the oddness of thier base calls l class (monk, bard) existing.

An ideal solution, if we're serious about removing offensive stereotypes in class naming, would be to use that descriptive method of naming classes and subs rather than using classical names. That would mean at the very least changing some sub names (samurai to oathbound for example), with perhaps reworking of the druid, monk paladin and bard to make them work for multiple different types of characters less tied to a certain cultural archetype.

Then, you could have a duelist rogue or an oathsworn fighter without the cultural baggage of a swashbuckler or samurai baked in.
I really think that cultural baggage should be embraced, not shied away from. It is worth the effort to do so with care and intentionality.

I do think the Monk is a bad name unless the class were to consume the cleric, and basically become a different class. If the class should stay fundamentally a “warrior powered by discipline and esoteric/mystical wisdom” then it should drop its hyper-focus on unarmed and Unarmored combat, and get a name change, and broaden out its cultural inspiration quite a bit.

Mystic, esoteric, warrior orders, are a damn near universal thing. Every region of the world has them. The East Asian Shoalin, Sohei, Samurai bushi absolutely, but also the various Muslim Dervish orders (carefully, bc western fantasy has not been careful here in the past, and hasn’t done well as a result. Saladin Ahmed has a great treatment of a dervish order in his novels), the Irish Fianna, and many others I don’t know enough about to speak on. Hell, even the Hermetic Alchemy inspired sword masters of the Renaissance, especially Thibault and the Spanish Circle, fit here.
 
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doctorbadwolf

Heretic of The Seventh Circle
It depends on what era the samurai is from—the primary weapon of the mounted samurai early on (from the late Heian period onwards) was the bow, but closer to the Sengoku era, lances/spears (yari) became more prevalent during the Muromachi period. For what it's worth.
Absolutely, but I’d definitely want some sort of archery benefit to represent that Samurai regardless, because it is a major thing Samurai are famous for, and a thing that is different from European knights.
 

Vael

Legend
Maybe that's the problem: D&D is too European.

Then, you could have a duelist rogue or an oathsworn fighter without the cultural baggage of a swashbuckler or samurai baked in.

The problem with removing some of the cultural roots is the end result feels like white-washing them.

Monk, for example, is a challenge. I get the Orientalism of it. But if you call it the "Martial Artist" or "Pugilist" or "MMA fighter", you end up a different feel.

As it is, I've seen years of people saying the Monk is too "Anime" for their Mideval Fantasy and I read that loud and clear.
 

Remathilis

Legend
The problem with removing some of the cultural roots is the end result feels like white-washing them.

Monk, for example, is a challenge. I get the Orientalism of it. But if you call it the "Martial Artist" or "Pugilist" or "MMA fighter", you end up a different feel.

As it is, I've seen years of people saying the Monk is too "Anime" for their Mideval Fantasy and I read that loud and clear.
Then you've created the no win scenario. Samurai is too culturally specific, but removing its cultural origin is white washing. If you don't include it, your excluding other voices, but if you do, you're exoticizing them. And if everything is included, you've created a kitchen sink world with Vistani samurai gunslingers riding dinosaurs.

I get there isn't consensus, but at this point I'm starting to feel it's like the Supreme Court definition of porn: I can't define it but I know it when I see it.
 

Aldarc

Legend
The problem with removing some of the cultural roots is the end result feels like white-washing them.

Monk, for example, is a challenge. I get the Orientalism of it. But if you call it the "Martial Artist" or "Pugilist" or "MMA fighter", you end up a different feel.

As it is, I've seen years of people saying the Monk is too "Anime" for their Mideval Fantasy and I read that loud and clear.
I'm a fan of how both Monte Cook's Arcana Evolved and Kevin Crawford's Worlds Without Number handled the "monk." WWN called them Vowed. AE called them Oathsworn (drawing more inspiration from the Haruchai from Thomas Covenant), and as one might imagine, their powers didn't come from Ki but from their dedication to their oaths. I am partial to the idea of centering Monks more around oaths and vows rather than "ki."
 

Vael

Legend
Then you've created the no win scenario. Samurai is too culturally specific, but removing its cultural origin is white washing. If you don't include it, your excluding other voices, but if you do, you're exoticizing them. And if everything is included, you've created a kitchen sink world with Vistani samurai gunslingers riding dinosaurs.

I get there isn't consensus, but at this point I'm starting to feel it's like the Supreme Court definition of porn: I can't define it but I know it when I see it.
To be honest, I like Kitchen Sinks, I like big tents and I cannot lie. Every tavern is the Mos Eisley Cantina, every party a ramshackle array of creature types.
 

Gradine

Final Form (she/they)
I care about the topic quite a bit. I also feel these concerns are leading to a dearth of fiction, where only certain people are allowed to tell certain stories, and you're a monster if you're not ashamed of your childhood favorites.
I actually have an answer to this particular bit.

When my partner was a college RA, she would host these events called "Dissecting Disney", where she'd gather a bunch of a students, watch a classic Disney flick, and then host a discussion afterward of some of the Accidental Aesops they might teach. For instance, one of our best friends is native, and was in elementary school when Pocahontas came out. The other kids at her school who watched it took to chasing her around the playground singing "Savages! Savages! Barely even human!" which is an actual part of a song from that movie. Sure, it was sung by the bad guys, but those kids clearly missed that particular bit of nuance.

Anyway, a student once asked my partner why she hated Disney movies, and she responded "I don't; I love these movies! I can't wait to show them to my children! But also, I want to be prepared to have a conversation with them so they walk away with, for instance, healthy expectations about relationships."

She'd probably look back with embarrassment over all that, honestly, but I'll be damned if we haven't watched those films with our daughter and have those conversations, and it's gone quite well.

One of my favorite films/plays is Arsenic and Old Lace; for a product of the 40's it remains absolutely an hilarious black comedy. It also has the occasional racist joke, and its handling of mental health is... well, troubling to say the least. Literally every Harrison Ford hero of my childhood had a mild disdain for the concepts of "consent" at the best of times but that doesn't mean I spit upon Indiana Jones or Star Wars or Blade Runner and anyone who claims to still like them.

This is something that people, on both sides honestly, often miss. You can be critical of the things you like, and you can still like (even love!) the things you are critical of.

Hell, I still love D&D after all this time, and I mean, did you even read Tomb of Annihilation? Woof.
 

Urriak Uruk

Gaming is fun, and fun is for everyone
Dhakaan. Keith Baker said the (3.5) version of samurai and ninja fit well with proud martial traditions of the ancient goblinoids. Hobgoblin samurai and goblin ninjas were great ways to show incorporate the classic tropes of both without a need for an exoticized Asia analog.

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Great, let's have our Japanese analogue be hobgoblins. That's not problematic at all! :rolleyes:
 

Levistus's_Leviathan

5e Freelancer
Hell, I still love D&D after all this time, and I mean, did you even read Tomb of Annihilation? Woof.
And that's one of the newer adventures. If Tomb of Annihilation has so much problematic language, I can't even imagine how worse it was 30-40 years ago. I've seen some of the stuff from previous editions that was just plain gross, but I doubt I've seen all of it or even the majority of it.

I love Tomb of Annihilation, just like older players can love their older adventures, but being aware of their issues is a good thing, not "being ashamed of your childhood favorites".
 



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