One DnD (or DnD 6e, or DnD 5.5e, depending on your taste) is coming this year – though we’re still waiting on an exact One DnD release date. The clock is ticking 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.
One DnD release date
At long last, we have a confirmed One DnD release date! The One DnD Player’s Handbook releases on September 17, 2024, with the Dungeon Master’s Guide following on November 12. The One DnD Monster Manual won’t release until February 18, 2025.
To complement these new titles, Wizards has packed the DnD release schedule full of adventures (see our dedicated guide for more details). These include a high-level Vecna-themed campaign, another adventure anthology, and even a history book about the making of Dungeons and Dragons. You won’t need the new rules to enjoy that last one, of course.
What is One DnD?
‘One DnD’ is the codename for the next generation of Dungeons and Dragons. It’s not quite a new edition, as Wizards is designing its new rules to be totally compatible with the existing fifth edition books. It’s also just a rules update – One D&D also includes updates to D&DBeyond and ‘D&D Digital’, which offers new digital features for playing Dungeons and Dragons.
Publisher Wizards of the Coast shared the news that this 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).
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.
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.
While the new books seem like they’ll be more beginner-friendly, they’re also going to be much bigger. In a survey results video from November 2023 (see above), Chris Perkins says the three books combined have over 1,000 pages. We’ve also been told to expect 80 all-new monsters along with those currently found in the Monster Manual.
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.
The major feature of D&D Digital is a first-party virtual tabletop (check it out in the video above). This Roll20 rival uses the Unreal Engine and has a high-end look that makes it feel like you’re playing with DnD miniatures.
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.
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.
DnD virtual tabletop release date estimate
Wizards’ DnD virtual tabletop was estimated to release sometime in late 2023. However, with that time window now long closed, we’re expecting the new official DnD virtual tabletop to appear in late 2024 at the earliest.
One DnD playtesting
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.
As of writing, Wizards has released nine One D&D playtest documents:
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 first playtest – as well as the second, ‘Expert Classes’, showed an increased emphasis on feats. Level-one feats were heavily featured, and the One D&D playtest feats featured tweaked versions of many old 5e favorites.
And, of course, ‘Expert Classes‘ gave our first glimpse of how One D&D planned to handle DnD classes. The 12 classes would be split into four groups: expert, warrior, mage, and priest (this was later scrapped).
Cleric and Revised Species
The ‘Cleric and Revised Species’ playtest did 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 provided a list of recommended starting spells, and players could now choose their subclass at a later level – all changes designed to make this an easier class for new players to pick up.
Druid and Paladin
The fourth playtest explored 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 showed 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,in the end.
Player’s Handbook Playtest 5
The Wizard was 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 explained the change aimed to give Warlocks more power, not just potential. Despite this explainer, the Warlock playtest changes were walked back in August 2023.
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 was an in-depth revision of the Bard, Cleric, Druid, Monk 5e, Paladin, Ranger, and Rogue.
Some of the key things to note include the fact the Bard and Druid got two new subclasses (the College of Dance and Circle of the Sea). Additionally, the Monk 5e playtest material featured some seriously buffed unarmed strikes and new names for class traits like Ki.
Player’s Handbook Playtest 7
Playtest seven returned to the Barbarian, Fighter, Sorcerer, Warlock, and Wizard classes. Spells, weapons, and the ability score improvement rules also saw 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 included 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 wasn’t all walk-backs, though. New Barbarian and Fighter subclasses were introduced (though the Brawler Fighter was, in fact, later scrapped). Playtest fans seemed to want more from the Barbarian, while the Eldritch Knight playtest and Blade Warlock playtest were deemed particularly powerful.
In November 2023, Wizards of the Coast hinted that DnD classes playtesting was almost complete. This means we’re almost done with these Unearthed Arcanas, and playtesting will soon be done internally.
Bastions and Cantrips
Wizards of the Coast dropped a surprise playtest on October 5, introducing base-building ‘bastion’ rules and several tweaks to the RPG’s worst cantrips. Previous playtests have focused on content for the revised Player’s Handbook, but the bastion rules give us a glimpse of the 2024 Dungeon Master’s Guide.
The survey results for this one aren’t in yet, but fans online seem pleased with the proposed changes in playtest 8. One player has even used the bastion rules to figure out why Wizards love towers so much.
Player’s Handbook Playtest 8
Wizards had another crack at its DnD classes in late November 2023. While the D&D Druid and Barbarian saw a handful of tweaks, the DnD Monk playtest update was the most significant – and seemed to do a great job fixing the class’ core issues.
The other core element of this playtest was spells. Three new spells were introduced for Bards and Druids, and all the major healing spells were buffed with higher healing dice. Plus, a bunch of ‘conjure’ spells were rewritten – with some hilariously broken upcasting added to spells like Conjure Minor Elementals.