In the virtual Wizards Presents event on August 18, DnD and MTG publisher Wizards of the Coast revealed the next edition of Dungeons and Dragons is officially open for playtesting. From today, a playtesting packet for One D&D (as the new edition is currently called) can be downloaded from digital marketplace D&D Beyond.
A Wizards press release on Thursday says One D&D “brings together updated rules, backwards compatible with fifth edition, D&D Beyond as the platform for your D&D experience, and an early in-development D&D digital play experience that will offer players and Dungeon Masters full immersion and rich 3D creation tools”. We’ve known the new edition of D&D would be backwards compatible for some time now (check out our 6e release date guide for the full timeline), but the virtual event has shed light on other new details.
Firstly, the Wizards Presents event shared more information on D&D Digital. This seems to replicate the tools, terrain, and miniatures traditionally used to play an in-person game of DnD. Wizards of the Coast art director Carlo Arellano says in a Wizards Presents interview video this tool is designed to “take care of the lazy DM”. “Ease of use means being able to access all the tools you need in order to get the adventure started”, he adds.
D&D Digital uses the Unreal engine, and it reportedly uses a camera technique known as ‘tilt shift’ to replicate the feeling of using a set of miniatures. According to Wizards game director Kale Stutzman, D&D Digital is still in early development.
While all previous 5e adventures and supplements will still be playable with One D&D, the three key rulebooks – the Player’s Handbook, the Dungeon Master’s Guide, and the Monster Manual – will all be updated. D&D game designer Chris Perkins says he plans to make “structural changes” to the DM’s guide in particular “to make it more friendly for new DMs”.
Head of Dungeons and Dragons Ray Winninger also confirmed digital-physical bundles are now possible thanks to this year’s D&D Beyond acquisition. “Digital-physical bundles are something we’ve wanted to do for a long time,” he says, “and now D&D Beyond is part of our family, it’s finally something we can do”.
Additionally, Chris Perkins cleared up why One D&D is designed to be backwards compatible. “We did a smart thing with fifth edition by listening to the fans”, he says. “What came out of that process was a system that is stable, that is well loved, and that incorporates the best elements of earlier editions.” “Now that we have that, we are no longer in the position where we think of D&D as an edition. It’s just D&D.”
Listening to the fans will apparently be a continued theme for the future of D&D. “What you’re gonna see, starting in August, is a steady release of playtest packages where you’ll be able to engage with key aspects of the game and provide us with feedback we will then process, interpret, analyse, and then act upon”, Perkins says.
You can sign up to playtest D&D’s next edition using the D&D Beyond link provided. The D&D 2023 release schedule was also unveiled at the Wizards event, but if you’re after something more current, check out which DnD books and campaigns we most look forward to using with One D&D.