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D&D’s revised core rulebooks will help grow better players and more Dungeon Masters

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Dungeons & Dragons has gone mainstream. Nearly 50 years after its invention, more people are rolling dice with their friends than ever before. Meanwhile, major media crossovers like stranger things And Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves It is ensuring that the long standing stigma attached to the sport is also coming to an end. But, in many ways, the game’s development team at Wizards of the Coast has fallen a bit behind, and now it’s time for a revision. A new set of core rulebooks is coming… just be careful not to call it Sixth Edition.

After the game’s 5th edition launch in 2014, the Wizards spent the better part of a decade tinkering and iterating their winning formula. This process ends in early 2022 rule extension gift set: three volumes titled Xanathar’s Guide to Everything, tasha’s skillet everythingAnd Mordenkanen presents: monsters of the multiverse, Now, the developers say, it’s time to go back to the drawing board and formally integrate the work they’ve done in those three new books into a full update of 5th edition D&D. This means new editions of the original three original rulebooks, a trilogy known to fans as player’s handbook ,PHB), The dungeon master guide ,dmg), And this monster manual ,mm, At the same time, Wizards said it would also strive to make those books richer and more usable than ever – all while maintaining continuity and compatibility with each 5th edition product that came before.

“For so many people, those books are their introductory experience to games,” said game design architect Chris Perkins in a group interview with the press earlier this month. “Those books are denser than some of our later books, the monsters aren’t as easy or as fun as some of our more recent books, and things aren’t as easy to find. […] So making sure that our gateway to the game is as strong, as beautiful, [and] Being as accessible as possible I think is very important to the longevity of the game – and just for people’s enjoyment of it.

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Here’s what to expect in the updated 2024 edition of Dungeons & Dragons’ core rulebooks.

player’s handbook

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A warrior dressed in fur leggings and carrying a magic wand leaps towards a giant wearing a giant skull for a helmet.  This is the cover of the Player's Handbook, first published in 2014

Image: Wizards of the Coast

player’s handbook (2024) will have many more pages than the original, which is one of the largest books in D&D at 320 pages. But the updated version is likely to not have as many words.

New PHB The designers said that they are working hard to streamline its language and provide players with more art than ever before. There will be new images for each of the book’s 12 main classes – barbarian, charade, cleric, druid, fighter, monk, paladin, ranger, rogue, wizard, warlock, and sorcerer – as well as for each of the 48 sub-classes Included inside (four total for each core class). Most importantly, this art will highlight the full spectrum of human diversity of the real world.

While it is important that potential players can see themselves in the pages of player’s handbook (2024), it is also important that newcomers have the best on-ramp possible to actually learn how to play the game. For this reason, character creation is being relegated to the backseat of the most fundamental rules of the game. This new expression of the 5th edition PHB really teach you How To play the game before it invites you to roll up your first character.

and, when you Doing Decide to create that first character, you’ll have more options than ever thanks to over 144 options for your character’s background. Whether he begins life as a soldier or as a scholar will also matter more than in 2014. this is because the new player’s handbook (2024) would remove important attributes like ability score improvements, 1st-level feats, and their cultural and socioeconomic roots from your character’s biological roots – as was proposed as a new, optional rulebook tasha’s skillet everything,

“The ‘Character Origin’ chapter will also include guidance on alignment [and] languages,” said game design architect Jeremy Crawford. “But the focus is on species [formerly called race] and background. How we’re building it out – and it’s really building on the work we’ve done tasha’s skillet everything — taking those two components of character [and] They combine to create a glimpse of who the character was before he became an adventurer.

player’s handbook (2024) will also include rules for creating your own backgrounds. “We’re basically giving people more tools than ever before,” Crawford said.

Ability points like Strength, Dexterity, and Knowledge will also be locked in much later in the character creation process. Players will of course be able to use existing methods to generate those scores, such as the “standard array” and “point-by system” of old. But going forward, the classes themselves will suggest which qualifying score to be taken. these, and other changes in PHBDesigned for everyone to play fast.

“Let the drama begin,” Crawford said, “still giving people the customization options they’re used to.” Now you decide, as a player or DM: will I take the time to build it myself? Or am I going to use one of these get-going-quick options that the book now offers?”

dungeon master guide

Laik Eserrak animates the corpse of a long-dead adventurer.  Purple smoke emanates from his hand, while a similar scent emanates from a magic wand.  He himself looks quite dead.

Image: Wizards of the Coast

While wizards telegraphed their moves with frequent variations player’s handbook (2024), perhaps the most significant changes to the original rulebooks would come with dungeon master guide (2024). That’s because, according to Perkins, it’s been a bit of a mess from the start.

“Back in 2013, our team was very small,” Perkins said. “We were thrashing through all the original rulebooks at the same time, as well as starter setAnd to say that Jeremy and I were overworked and had a lot on our plates at the time.

Perkins continued, “Now that we’ve been able to hang around after eight years of talks,” we have a lot of things we want to do. dmg Which we wanted to do many years ago.

at the root of dungeon master guide (2024) There will be a newly revised section on creating your own homebrew campaign, which will include a sample campaign setting. Then the book will show budding DMs how to build it around the needs and wants of their players.

“I don’t want to use the term ‘stripped-down,’ but let’s say it’s pretty condensed,” Perkins said. “But it’s a complete setting, and you can take the outline of this campaign and add some meat to it. Decide where you want to place your campaign in this setting, and then make it your own.” [We] gives you a poster map that you can use with this campaign setting, and hooks you up within the campaign setting to help you decide which parts of the campaign you want to use, [so that you can decide] What conflicts do you think will be important in this game?

While the order and format of the information inside dungeon master guide (2014) is still a work in progress, Perkins said it will include a lot of important information that was overlooked in 2014. For example, what is the purpose of the Dungeon Master’s screen, and how do you use it? What do you do with a player who is disruptive at the table? How do you plan your gaming sessions around other people’s lives? And how much do you really need to know about the rules before you start playing as a DM?

“Where do I start? How do I get up to speed? How do I become [Matt Mercer and other now-famous DMs], Perkins asked. “How do I make sure my game is actually living up to player expectations? […] We can front-load all that information so that when we get to the middle of the book, the DM is ready to talk about some other conversation, not just the issues of starting the game and addressing matters at the game table. about dealing with, but now we can talk about the creative part of DMing.”

monster manual

A spectacled spectator descends a staircase behind a dwarf and a hero, both nearly scared to death.  Lightning strikes a tower in the background as a large bat flies overhead.

Image: Wizards of the Coast

eventually monster manual, a book rarely seen by the average D&D player, is likely to have the most new material out of all three books. that’s because monster manual (2024) will include over 500 monsters in total and, for the first time in the franchise’s history, each of them will receive their own unique art.

But perhaps the biggest surprise is how many high-level monsters will be included, each one fully capable of giving a group of level 20 heroes a run for their money.

“As we looked at filling out the monstrous roster in this book,” Crawford said, “we wanted to make sure we had more high-challenge-rating monsters.” So you’re going to see a whole set of new big faults in this book, with an emphasis on organism types that didn’t really have high-CR representatives.

As an example, Crawford notes that monster manual (2014) shipped with lots of high-level dragons and fiends. monster manual (2024) will include anything, but will also include high-level FAEs, constructs, elements, and ooze.

Crawford said, “Imagine an Oz that could wipe out an entire city just by rolling over.” “And it is also important for us to point out that the challenge ratings of any of the existing monsters will not be changed. Because we’re maintaining the stability of the current version, and because many current adventures assume that monsters have a special CR, we’re making sure that monsters carry over from 2014. monster manual He has the same CR as he had at the time of writing.”

End of the ‘Version Wars’

During the multi-day press event, the developers of Wizards of the Coast returned repeatedly to the fact that 5th edition D&D isn’t going away. D&D’s fourth edition, he said, was a kind of slow-moving disaster that, as we know it, pretty close to the end of the franchise. The current 5th edition rule set was developed with input from hundreds of thousands of players during a multi-year playtest prior to its 2014 launch. There’s no reason to throw that work away in favor of a “new edition” of the game, and the 2024 update of the three main rulebooks is firmly built with that in mind.

“We also acknowledge that what we’re doing is special,” Crawford said. “This hasn’t been done before for Dungeons & Dragons. It’s the first time that the game has made a major revision of an edition, and then continued that edition – and made it so you can continue to use those products.” which you already have.

According to Wizards, you won’t need to stop what you’re doing at the table right now or change anything about your house game to make room for these new, updated rules in your party. Everything written inside the original 5th edition books is still valid, still legal to play. It’s just that they hope that these newly updated editions can better set the table for D&D’s continued growth in the future – with more players creating characters and more Dungeon Masters to mentor than ever before. Can

We’ll know for sure if they’ve succeeded when all three books come off the presses sometime next year.

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