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5.5E "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

overgeeked

B/X Known World
Much like how Chaosium has done 7 "editions" of CoC.
From what they're saying, it will be far closer to one of Chaosium's CoC edition changes than what we're used to with D&D. The biggest jump in CoC was from 6E to 7E, but even that was minor compared to most D&D edition changes.
 

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ad_hoc

(he/they)
A gift set with 2024 still two years out.

The many changes they are integrating will mandate a certain level of revision that they will have to follow through on irregardless of initial intentions.

I have no doubt that it will be called "Compatible" as WotC will define it in 2024...




By "full revision" we need to change our mindset as to what that means for D&D going forward. We will not see the paradigm jumps we saw with 2e to 3e, or 3e to 4e. From 5e onwards we will see a series of revisions in the scope of 3.0 to 3.5, and AD&D to AD&D2e.

"dozens of very small changes." had a cascade effect even with 3.5. Which is why 3.0 was left in the dust after a few years by the majority of the player base. Yet WotC considered 3.5 to be "Fully Compatible" with 3.0 upon 3.5's release.

IMHO WotC D&D will progress from one "not-edition" to another going forward using the same underlying 5e mechanics.

Much like how Chaosium has done Seven "editions" of CoC.

It's in a gift set with a revised monster manual II after they announced they were updating the game in 2024.

That is the same as saying that Xanathar's and Tasha's will be compatible with 5.5e but Volo's and Mordenkainen's is not.

Otherwise it's a nasty thing to do.
 

TheSword

Legend
A gift set with 2024 still two years out.

The many changes they are integrating will mandate a certain level of revision that they will have to follow through on irregardless of initial intentions.

I have no doubt that it will be called "Compatible" as WotC will define it in 2024...




By "full revision" we need to change our mindset as to what that means for D&D going forward. We will not see the paradigm jumps we saw with 2e to 3e, or 3e to 4e. From 5e onwards we will see a series of revisions in the scope of 3.0 to 3.5, and AD&D to AD&D2e.

"dozens of very small changes." had a cascade effect even with 3.5. Which is why 3.0 was left in the dust after a few years by the majority of the player base. Yet WotC considered 3.5 to be "Fully Compatible" with 3.0 upon 3.5's release.

IMHO WotC D&D will progress from one "not-edition" to another going forward using the same underlying 5e mechanics.

Much like how Chaosium has done Seven "editions" of CoC.
3.5 was fully compatible with 3e. You could play a 3e character alongside a 3e character of the same class and have almost no noticeable difference. I doubt very much whether a shift was even debated by most groups, it was a non-event. So I think left in the dust is a strong phrase. We carried on using 3e books and adventures right the way through.

I mean what are we taking about here for 5e? Tashas flexible origins? A few class ability variants? What are we actually looking at that makes 5e even superficially different?

New options are not revised rules. Liking the new options so much you want to include them in your core books doesn’t even make them revised rules. I seriously suggest people manage their expectations.
 

Jaeger

That someone better.
rom what they're saying, it will be far closer to one of Chaosium's CoC edition changes than what we're used to with D&D. The biggest jump in CoC was from 6E to 7E, but even that was minor compared to most D&D edition changes.

That seems to be what they are selling with their PR.

But it is PR. We will see in 2024.


Otherwise it's a nasty thing to do.

It wouldn't be on purpose, I'm sure that they believe everything that they are saying right now.


You could play a 3e character alongside a 3.5e character of the same class and have almost no noticeable difference. I doubt very much whether a shift was even debated by most groups, it was a non-event. So I think left in the dust is a strong phrase. We carried on using 3e books and adventures right the way through.

Yet many disagreed. There was much angst and gnashing of teeth over 3.5.


New options are not revised rules. Liking the new options so much you want to include them in your core books doesn’t even make them revised rules. I seriously suggest people manage their expectations.

I agree.


You are right. It's what every edition (or half-edition) has been: Incorporating how "everyone" (which is, of course, never everyone) is already doing it, or at least, would like to do it. (That and a few untested ideas that look great on paper but will inevitably lead to the next next edition when they don't pan out as planned. Oh! And not quite going far enough with the good ideas. That'll happen too.)

We have WotC's history to see how similar situations were done in the past.

So based on past experience; we have every reason to take anything WotC says through its in house PR "interviews" with a grain of salt, until we have the 50AE D&D 'not-edition' in hand.

2024 will tell the final tale.

But:
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.

The "more surveys" might give more insight...
 

TheSword

Legend
That seems to be what they are selling with their PR.

But it is PR. We will see in 2024.

We have WotC's history to see how similar situations were done in the past.

So based on past experience; we have every reason to take anything WotC says through its in house PR "interviews" with a grain of salt, until we have the 50AE D&D 'not-edition' in hand.

2024 will tell the final tale.

But:

The "more surveys" might give more insight...
We could base our assumption of the anniversary books on the rules that they have said will be in them… small adjustments to take into account the options in Tasha and to a lesser extent Xanathar. Plus whatever equivalents they release between now and then.

Does it have to be any more complicated than that? Let’s be honest, WOC have been innovating and tinkering with the rules monthly since inception through Unearthed Arcana and we’ve had an insight into the rules through designer blogs and their responses to UA. They’ve reached out to customers for feedback more than any other edition. I just don’t see where the surprises are coming from.
 

Jaeger

That someone better.
We could base our assumption of the anniversary books on the rules that they have said will be in them… small adjustments to take into account the options in Tasha and to a lesser extent Xanathar. Plus whatever equivalents they release between now and then.
... I just don’t see where the surprises are coming from.

There is this:
50th Anniversary in 2024
They've begun work on new versions of the core rulebooks. Recent surveys tie into that.

The recent surveys asked a LOT of questions about Classes, Class abilities, and Subclasses.

And they are going to do more surveys.

but expect more surveys. More will be said next year.

Because:
They’ve reached out to customers for feedback more than any other edition

So they are not going to act on the info gleaned from the surveys asking about Classes, Class abilities, and Subclasses?

Why wouldn't they use the information from the past and upcoming surveys to keep:
innovating and tinkering with the rules

If the next few surveys WotC puts out have nothing to do with Classes, Class abilities, or Subclasses...

Then I'm wrong. I'll have to eat crow. I'll get over it.

But if next years surveys do have lots of questions about Classes, Class abilities, or Subclasses.

Then:
I seriously suggest people manage their expectations.
 


dave2008

Legend
Because not every legendary monster people might want to use has been redesigned as a mythic monster?
Right, but it is supper easy yo make any Legendary Monster a mythic. You don't even need to do the complex part of giving it mythic actions. Just regen and recharge at 0 - done!
 

the Jester

Legend
I'm curious about the reorganization of the monster books into a more truly alphabetical format. I'm not sure whether this has been addressed yet, but- well- how far does it go?

What I mean is, glabrezu now goes under G. I assume that hill giant will now go under H- it seems to be a fairly equivalent case. Same with things like polar bear under P. I think we can even assume that something like a giant bat will go under G based on the organization of the existing monster books. But then we get into some other ones that are less clear.

Does young red dragon go under Y, or under R? (I assume not D.) If we have giant ants and there are giant soldier ants and giant worker ants, are those under different entries or both under giant ant? It seems like in some cases, splitting stat blocks apart might not make as much sense as it does in others.
 

FitzTheRuke

Legend
I'm curious about the reorganization of the monster books into a more truly alphabetical format. I'm not sure whether this has been addressed yet, but- well- how far does it go?

What I mean is, glabrezu now goes under G. I assume that hill giant will now go under H- it seems to be a fairly equivalent case. Same with things like polar bear under P. I think we can even assume that something like a giant bat will go under G based on the organization of the existing monster books. But then we get into some other ones that are less clear.

Does young red dragon go under Y, or under R? (I assume not D.) If we have giant ants and there are giant soldier ants and giant worker ants, are those under different entries or both under giant ant? It seems like in some cases, splitting stat blocks apart might not make as much sense as it does in others.
I guess I understand putting Glabrezu under G, but if they put Giant Ant under G it will drive me nuts. Probably the best thing to do is to decide on "primary" and "secondary" adjectives. If you're not gonna put all the dragons under "d" then it's GOT to be "R" for Red Dragon, not "Y" for "Young" Red Dragon.

I expect that whatever they do, I will disagree with some aspect of it. But I'll live with it. Whatever.
 




Omand

Adventurer
@the Jester It is the question. Unfortunately, we just do not have enough information.

The video uses the Glabrezu example, but beyond that we have no idea about all of the possible corner cases you and others have set out.

Cheers :)
 

the Jester

Legend
Actually, there's a clue in WBtWL- under the campestri heading, it has both "campestri" and "swarm of campestris". And I think Fizban's will tell us how dragons will be organized- I suspect under e.g. R for red dragon they will have the various age categories.

But time will tell.
 

Actually, there's a clue in WBtWL- under the campestri heading, it has both "campestri" and "swarm of campestris". And I think Fizban's will tell us how dragons will be organized- I suspect under e.g. R for red dragon they will have the various age categories.

But time will tell.
We've already aeen the Table of Contents for Fizban's, and the age categories for the various dragons are all together under the main type: i.e. "Ancient Crystal Dragon" is under "C", not "A".
 

FrogReaver

As long as i get to be the frog
It's about PC damage numbers being really high and monster HP not being very high to match. This is exacerbated when the players feel like it's a big scary fight, because they're apt to nova and then chew something down in one round.

A fighter action surging and dumping a few superiority dice, a caster using their highest level spells, a paladin smiting on multiple hits... solos go down fast.
Yep. The Nova damage numbers a party can output is absurd - even at lower levels. As an example. A GWF+GWM+Lucky+Hex+Precision+Trip Attack Fighter 6/Warlock 1 can output over 100 Damage on an average Nova round where he dumps all his short rest resources.
 

FrogReaver

As long as i get to be the frog
If I invest my hard earned cash in a company I expect them to make a profit with it, not give it away.

I get sick and tiered of this unthoughtout illogical unsupported anti-capitalist nonsense.
I frankly don't care what the company does with the cash as long as they continue to make products I like and aren't actively going out and using it for 'evil' or things aligned against my self interests.
 

I frankly don't care what the company does with the cash as long as they continue to make products I like and aren't actively going out and using it for 'evil' or things aligned against my self interests.
Yeah, I dont get why anyone would care that money they spend on a company's product goes to profit for that company. What difference would that make?
 

doctorbadwolf

Heretic of The Seventh Circle
Companies have a moral obligation to maximise profits and show a good return for their investors. So morally, they have to do so.
All actors in a society have a moral obligation to not actively harm the society. No one has a moral obligation to get rich or make others rich. Investment is gambling.
If a company is maximizing profit beyond what is needed to make a profit, by means that are sketchy or unethical, then they are behaving unethically. Being a corporation doest release them from basic ethical obligation to the community.
So, D&D is a basic necessity?

You can't do anything to help poor people if you don't have any money.
Hey maybe you could not make very very politically charged, very controversial, declarative statements that aren’t even related to the thread topic, that replying to properly would require breaking forum rules?
Like, there are other places where you can complain about how the youth don’t love an exploitive economic system that is largely failing them hard enough.
Yeah, I dont get why anyone would care that money they spend on a company's product goes to profit for that company. What difference would that make?
Generally that isn’t the thing people are unhappy about. The mindset that companies have no obligation to behave ethically with regard to the community is very bad for a society. It’s upsetting when one feels that a company is juicing the community for more than a product is actually worth or more than they need to change to make a profit. Making a profit is good, greedily raking in more and more in order to give executives bigger bonuses is not.

Which, tbh I don’t even think is what is happening with Wizards. I don’t really get why folks are acting like Wizards is behaving badly, right now.
 

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