Wizards of the Coast has given details on its next Unearthed Arcana, the material it’s been sharing to get fans to playtest an updated version of Dungeons and Dragons 5e. The company has also hinted that it may be wrapping up the UA material for the Players Handbook, and that the next playtest could be the last we see of the DnD classes before the new Core Rulebooks come out in 2024.
According to DnD designer Jeremy Crawford, speaking in a ‘fireside chat’ YouTube video on November 7, Wizards of the Coast’s design team is moving the vast majority of the DnD classes to internal game development. Only the Barbarian 5e, Druid 5e, and Monk 5e remain in the public sphere, and fans can expect the UA for them to arrive before the end of 2023.
How much the classes will change in internal review remains to be seen, but there’ll definitely be some alterations. According to designer and editor Chris Perkins, “When the Players Handbook comes out, again in 2024, that will be for many people the chance to see these elements in their final form, and we’re going to be making little tiny tweaks right up until the time that the books are no longer in our hands.”
“We’re making sure that every major piece of class design does appear in UA at least once,” Crawford adds. “But there are going to be some brand new spells that people won’t see until the book is out.” He adds that the same is true for DnD monsters and magic items. Not everything will be included in the playtest process.
With only a relatively small number of DnD spells and cantrips revealed so far, and most of the spellcasting classes apparently done and dusted, we’re wondering if and how many more spell changes are going to be revealed in the UA process.
However, Crawford hints in the video that there will be additional playtest material coming out before the end of the year, including “other goodies” that will be revealed alongside the remaining classes.
Once the class UAs are finished, we expect Wizards to move onto the Dungeon Masters’ Guide playtest content (which we’d guess is probably going to be a bit less controversial – people want those classes balanced).
When the base-building Bastion system was revealed a couple of months ago, Crawford said this was a sneak peek at the Dungeon Masters’ Guide content, which would be coming once the PHB was wrapped up. We’re expecting to start seeing more of this in early 2024.
It’s not clear how much more Unearthed Arcana DnD fans are in store for, especially since we don’t know the final DnD release schedule – and when it’ll be launching the 2024 DnD books. We’re hoping to see DnD magic items, spells, and monsters before then, so there’s still plenty of ground left to cover.