Dungeons & Dragons has a busy year ahead of it. With the revised Player's Handbook, Dungeon Master's Guide, and Monster Manual heralding the start of a new (sort-of) edition, there's a lot riding on the next few months. Wizards of the Coast certainly isn't doing anything by halves, now revealing plans for the whole of 2024 to be a banner year, as per a press release sent to PC Gamer.
"This year we'll be [celebrating] the 50th Anniversary of the first publication of Dungeons & Dragons," says D&D's executive producer Kyle Brink. "We'll take you through the making of the game, bring some of the classic adventures to today's play, visit the most iconic settings in the D&D multiverse, and kick off the future of the game with the new 2024 core rulebooks that are the heart of the game. We've been building up to this for a while now. It's going to be a lot of fun."
Originally called OneD&D, the 2024 rules aim to be a backwards-compatible revamp of the D&D's 5th edition ruleset—overhauling core class mechanics and rules while keeping its meat and bones familiar. We now have official release dates for that revised ruleset: the new Player's Handbook will be arriving September 17, followed by the Dungeon Master's Guide November 12, and capped off by the Monster Manual in February 18, 2025. This means that the final part of the 2024 rules revamp will be released in 2025, as if talking about this thing needed to get more complicated.
This kind of staggered release isn't uncommon for D&D. 2014's original 5e rulebooks saw the Player's Handbook releasing in August, while the Monster Manual debuted September of the same year. Wizards has also provided more details on three new books: first up, two adventures, which were first announced at PAX Unplugged late last year.
Vecna: Eve of Ruin is a mid-to-late game campaign designed for characters starting at 10th level and ending at 20th level, and its core concept sounds pretty rad as a multiverse-hopping adventure: "The heroes begin in the Forgotten Realms and travel to Planescape, Spelljammer, Eberron, Ravenloft, Dragonlance, and Greyhawk as they race to save existence from obliteration by the notorious lich Vecna who is weaving a ritual to eliminate good, obliterate the gods, and subjugate all worlds." It's slated for release May 21.
Quests from the Infinite Staircase has a similarly multiversal bent, though it's a little less apocalyptic. Designed to take characters from 1st to 13th level, it "weaves together six classic Dungeons & Dragons adventures while updating them for the game’s fifth edition. The Infinite Staircase holds doors leading to fantastic realms. It’s home to the noble genie Nafas, who hears wishes made throughout the multiverse and recruits heroes to fulfil them." It'll be released July 16.
Honestly, both of these campaigns sound like great opportunities for homebrew-happy DMs (such as yours truly) to get into running more pre-written adventures, because they'd—in theory—serve as perfect excuses to add your own settings into the mix. Callback central if you've had a long-standing table of players over multiple campaigns.
Then there's The Making of Original Dungeons & Dragons: 1970-1976, which promises to show "D&D’s inception, including Gary Gygax’s never-before-seen first draft of D&D written in 1973, a curated collection of published fanzine and magazine articles contribute to D&D’s origin story." That'll roll into stores June 18.
Most interestingly, the release mentions a "3D virtual tabletop"—likely the Dungeons & Dragons Digital Play Experience. I've my own crotchety old man opinions on the thing, of course, but I'll be plenty happy if I'm proven wrong. Wizards also says it'll "remove barriers to play through new features on D&D Beyond", though what those barriers are and how it'll remove them remain to be seen.
Wizards of the Coast has also announced a live series of tournament-style sessions for its upcoming revamp of Descent into the Lost Caverns of Tsojcanth in March this year, and while the exact details are yet to be announced, it says that "Dungeon Masters will be available wherever fans want to play" across both digital platforms and physical locations.
Lastly, there's a bunch of secondary products to spend your pocket change on: footwear, a lego set, and "delicious treats suitable for snacking around the gaming table from Pop-Tarts." Just don't get them mixed up with your terrain pieces, those things aren't edible.
This all sounds great, though the shadow of huge layoffs from papa Hasbro—many of which targeted staff in senior positions—could have an impact going forward. It'll be interesting to see how 5th edition's 2024 revamp (or OneD&D, or 5.5) lands with its player base, and whether this stab at connecting its extended universe pays off.