One DnD release date speculation and news

Wizards of the Coast's next 'evolution' of Dungeons and Dragons, One D&D (a.k.a. DnD 6e or DnD 5.5e) is coming in 2024 - here's the latest news.

One DnD release date - Wizards of the Coast art of a villainous human riding a red dragon

One DnD (or DnD 6e, as we were all calling it until recently) is reportedly still over a year away – and we’ve had no whiff of a specific One DnD release date. But the clock is certainly ticking down towards what’ll be, in effect, a brand new edition of the world’s biggest tabletop roleplaying game. In this guide, we’ll keep you updated on every key detail of One DnD as we hear about it.

That includes fresh news on the latest One D&D gameplay material, differences from D&D 5e, new DnD books, digital features – and, of course, our best guesses as to when we’ll see it release.

While you’re biding your time and plotting new DnD campaigns, try our handy guides to DnD classes, and DnD character creators – or boost your Dungeon Master prep with our play-tested lists of the best DnD maps and DnD character sheets available online.

For now, though, here are all the One DnD release date facts we have so far:

DND 6e release date and One D&D news - Wizards of the Coast artwork from Dragonlance showing a dragon and an attacking army

One DnD news

Publisher Wizards of the Coast shared the news that a new ‘evolution’ of D&D was already in the works during a livestream in its ‘D&D Celebration’ event in September 2021. Here, it confirmed One DnD would launch in 2024 to mark the 50th anniversary of Dungeons and Dragons’ original launch in 1974 (and ten years since fifth edition launched in 2014).

Then, in August 2022’s Wizards Presents livestream, the firm unveiled its new One D&D playtest program, giving the new edition of Dungeons and Dragons a codename.

In April 2023, Wizards of the Coast made it clear One DnD wasn’t the official name, nor was it any kind of new edition. This is all just a big 5e revision that will be “completely compatible” with the game as we currently know it.

Wizards has been sharing playtest material for One D&D basically since the revision was announced. So far, we’ve seen that – as expected – a deeper DnD backgrounds system will play a bigger role in dictating your character’s particulars than which DnD race they’re from. In fact, in December 2022 Wizards shared it’d had the term race removed from the game entirely, switching to ‘species’ for future playtest material.

Wizards has also tested the water with some potential rules changes (see more detail below), including tweaking how D20 critical successes and failures work. Overall, One DnD playtest satisfaction scores have been particularly positive – with only a few outliers like the One DnD playtest Dragonborn needing further workshopping. Wizards has also been addressing potentially controversial content, acknowledging Monk stereotypes and removing half-elves and orcs from the new core rules.

D&D 6E release date - Wizards artwork showing the wizard Mordenkainen, from the cover of Monsters of the Multiverse

One DnD release date speculation

It pains us to say it, but, sadly, we really don’t have anything close to a specific One DnD release date yet. What we do know is that One DnD is coming some time in 2024.

As to what, exactly, we’ll be seeing come out in 2024, to herald this “evolution”… well, all we know for certain so far is that we’re getting a completely new set of D&D core books – the essential texts that constitute the basic rules and fundamentals of the game.

D&D 6E release date - Wizards photo showing the 5E core rulebooks

One DnD books

In September 2021’s Celebration stream, former D&D executive producer Ray Winninger confirmed that Wizards is creating “new versions of the core rulebooks”, which will be coming out in 2024 – and that the D&D team would have “plenty to say about these new books” when it came to 2022.

However, 2022 has been and gone, and we’ve still not seen many concrete details. We don’t have many specifics on what form these One DnD core books will take, or how they might differ from, or build upon, the D&D 5e Player’s Handbook, Dungeon Master’s Guide, and Monster Manual that we’re currently working with.

Additionally, Jeremy Crawford, principal rules designer for D&D, said on-stream that Monsters of the Multiverse (an expanded bestiary book to replace the Monster Manual) has been developed in conjunction not only with 2021’s 5e sourcebooks, like The Wild Beyond the Witchlight – but also with some still-secret products slated for release alongside the game’s new version in 2024. So that book may offer some clues as to what we can expect from the ‘next gen’ volumes.

In an August 2022 Wizards Presents event, D&D game designer Chris Perkins also said he plans to make “structural changes” to the DM’s guide in particular “to make it more friendly for new DMs”. This appears to include a starter adventure in the DM’s Guide.

Wizards has begun drip-feeding us playtest material since this announcement, so we’re keeping a close eye out for any further One DnD book clues.

D&D 6E release date - Wizards artwork showing the beholder Xanathar

One DnD rules

There are two key things you need to know about the planned One DnD rules before we get into the nitty-gritty. Firstly, gameplay changes are intended to be heavily based on player feedback via surveys, similar to the one carried out earlier in 2021 for the 5e Player’s Handbook. And secondly, the new version is “completely compatible” with all 5e materials – suggesting that no truly fundamental systemic changes can be made.

So, based on what’s been announced so far, we can expect something of a gradual process of semi-open rules development between now and 2024 – and a new edition that shares most of its fundamentals with 5e. The playtest material released so far seems consistent with this.

As of writing, Wizards has released seven One D&D playtest documents:

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Character Origins

The first was ‘Character Origins’, and this showcased revised rules for DnD races, 5e feats, and character backgrounds. Wizards had already made attempts to divorce race from DnD stats in 5e supplements, and (as predicted), the new edition takes this one step further.

The biggest tweak in this department is that ability scores and proficiencies are now linked to backgrounds instead. Additionally, there are new rules for characters who have parents of two different races.

The playtest introduced a brand new character race – the Ardlings, who are supernatural beings from the Upper DnD Planes. However, we saw the DnD Ardling axed in February 2022.

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Expert Classes

The first playtest – as well as the second, ‘Expert Classes’, show an increased emphasis on feats. Level-one feats are heavily featured, and the One D&D playtest feats feature tweaked versions of many old 5e favourites.

And, of course, ‘Expert Classes‘ gives our first glimpse of how D&D 6e will handle DnD classes. Judging from how the playtest handles the DnD Rogue, DnD Bard, and DnD Ranger, we’re returning to some classic rules last seen in AD&D. The 12 classes will be split into four groups: expert, warrior, mage, and priest.

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Cleric and Revised Species

The ‘Cleric and Revised Species’ playtest does exactly what it says on the tin, amending a few existing races based on player feedback and pioneering the new DnD Cleric rules. The Unearthed Arcana provides a list of recommended starting spells, and players now choose their subclass at a later level – all changes designed to make this an easier class for new players to pick up.

Only the Life domain has been given a detailed subclass overhaul so far, so there’s plenty more Cleric testing to come.

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Druid and Paladin

The fourth playtest explores the DnD Druid and DnD Paladin classes, as well as their subclasses, the Circle of the Moon Druid and Oath of Devotion Paladin. The ‘Druid and Paladin‘ playtest also shows off further feats and spells getting tweaked for One D&D.

Wizards has since collected survey feedback on this one, and the Druid playtest was particularly divisive. Players were torn on the changes to Wild Shape, which aimed to simplify the feature by allowing Druids to choose categories of beasts to turn into rather than individual creatures with unique stat blocks. More people disliked it than liked it, so it looks like this change will be scrapped.

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Player’s Handbook Playtest 5

The newest playtest document is a whopping 50 pages long, and it revamps five D&D classes: the DnD Barbarian, the DnD Fighter, the DnD Sorcerer, the DnD Warlock, and the DnD Wizard. There are a lot of proposed changes to go through here.

The Wizard has been given the ability to modify and create new spells – a potentially broken power that Jeremy Crawford said was even more broken in initial internal playtests. The document looks like it will fix the worst Barbarian subclass, and Fighters will have more combat options to consider thanks to the added crunch of Weapon Masteries.

The most divisive changes were made to the Warlock, having been transformed into a hybrid spellcaster. Jeremy Crawford explains the change aims to give Warlocks more power, not just potential. Despite this explainer, the Warlock playtest changes were walked back in August 2023.

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Player’s Handbook Playtest 6

Oh, you thought the last playtest was long? That’s hilarious – anyway, here’s an Unearthed Arcana that’s 77 pages long. It’s an in-depth revision of the Bard, Cleric, Druid, Monk 5e, Paladin, Ranger, and Rogue.

There’s a huge amount to unpack here, but here’s some of the key things to note. The Bard and Druid get two new subclasses (the College of Dance and Circle of the Sea). Additionally, the Monk 5e playtest material features some seriously buffed unarmed strikes and new names for class traits like Ki.

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Player’s Handbook Playtest 7

Playtest seven returns to the Barbarian, Fighter, Sorcerer, Warlock, and Wizard classes. Spells, weapons, and the ability score improvement rules also see some tweaks (including a controversial Counterspell nerf).

A lot of features were changed back to how they’re written in the current 2014 Player’s Handbook. This includes bringing class spell lists back rather than using shared spell lists, and the Wizard ability to create spells was removed after being suggested in a previous playtest.

It’s not all walk-backs, though. New Barbarian and Fighter subclasses are introduced. So far, playtest fans seem to want more from the Barbarian, while the Eldritch Knight playtest and Blade Warlock playtest are deemed particularly powerful.

DnD 6E release date - D&D Beyond screenshot from the D&D Beyond app

One DnD digital features

In September 2021’s D&D Celebration stream, Winninger also hinted the new “evolution” of the game would feature “some cool new things we’re doing in the digital arena” that would bring “exciting new Dungeons and Dragons experiences”.

Then, in the August Wizards Presents event, this was revealed to be Digital D&D, a tool in the Unreal Engine that aims to provide “all the tools you need to get the adventure started” as a DM. It’s designed to look like you’re using real-life terrain and minis, and so far Wizards seems confident it’ll be ready this year.

Right now, plenty of other tabletop RPG makers are scrambling to offer their own accessible, feature-rich online play environments to rival the D&D Beyond behemoth – Pathfinder publisher Paizo has launched its own platform, while Roll20 just keeps on growing. Because of this, D&D’s new virtual tabletop will surely be one of the key areas to keep an eye on.

Another important addition to Digital D&D is Wizards of the Coast’s acquisition of digital marketplace D&D Beyond. This means that, from 2022 onwards, all upcoming releases will be offered as part of digital-physical bundles.

For more Dungeons and Dragons news, keep a close eye on the DnD 2023 release schedule. We can also recommend all things D&D-related, from the best DnD miniatures to the best Dungeons and Dragons movies.