Dungeons & Dragons had one of its best years ever in 2018, and the popular tabletop RPG is looking to build on that momentum in the coming year.
While 2018 isn't technically over yet, Wizards of the Coast has already indicated that Dungeons & Dragons has experienced another record breaking year. With a surprise campaign setting, a dive into "digital first" publications, and an ambitious and expansive two-part adventure, the game's developers had an incredibly busy and successful year.
We don't know what's next for Dungeons & Dragons, but we do have a modest list of wishes on what we'd like to see next for the popular game. With 5th Edition now entering its fifth year of existence, we're hoping that a few popular classes and settings get added in the coming year. Here's our hopes for the next year of D&D:
Eberron, the noir-infused magic steampunk world introduced in 2001, came back to Dungeons & Dragons earlier this year. Wayfinder's Guide to Eberron re-tooled Dragonmarks, Warforged, and other aspects of Eberron for Fifth Edition play, but Eberron is still missing one key component - the Artificer Class.
The Artificer was a new class added to Dungeons & Dragons when Eberron first came out and is tooled around the construction of magic items. D&D released a playtest version of the Artificer class back in 2017, but it wasn't part of Wayfinder's Guide when the first edition of the book was digitally released. Designers have promised that the Artificer class is still being worked on, so let's hope that we get an "official" release of the new class sometime in 2019.
Another popular subset of skills still missing from Dungeons & Dragons are psionic abilities for player characters. Certain monsters like the illithid or githyanki have innate psionic abilities, but we still don't have an equivalent for players to use unless they create a gith character of some kind.
We know via the Mike Mearls Happy Fun Hour that Mearls (one of the leading minds behind D&D's Fifth Edition) is working on psionic rules, so it seems that they’re somewhere in the D&D pipeline. Not only would psionics open up the possibility of the Mystic class, it's also a core part of at least one setting that hasn't appeared in Fifth Edition. That leads us into the next slide....
At this point, it's basically a running joke among the D&D community about how much fans want to see more campaign settings. Fans will look at any comment by the D&D team as "confirmation" that the Spelljammer setting (a high fantasy setting set in space) is coming soon. Perhaps the biggest tease was the introduction of a functional Spelljammer helm in this year's Dungeon of the Mad Mage so it seems inevitable that we'll be seeing some sort of new Spelljammer content soon.
After Spelljammer, we here at ComicBook.com most often see requests for new Dark Sun material. Dark Sun is post-apocalyptic D&D, where arcane magic is innately harmful and most players use weapons made of something than metal.
Either of these new campaign settings would be great for Fifth Edition play and would really add new options for players tired of playing in standard fantasy-based worlds.
Since Fifth Edition came out in 2014, most of the game's content has focused on the Forgotten Realms, the popular campaign setting created by Ed Greenwood that features some of the game's most popular characters. Xanathar, Volo, Elminster, Waterdeep, Chult, and other famous D&D characters all exist within the Forgotten Realms, so it makes sense that it's the focus of so much of the game's official content.
We love the Forgotten Realms as much as the next D&D fan, but we feel that it's become too synonymous with the D&D brand in recent years. Since 2014, only Curse of Strahd (an adventure that doubled as a campaign setting of sorts for Ravenloft) and Tales of the Yawning Portal (which featured a series of mini-adventures mostly set in Greyhawk) have been set outside of the Forgotten Realms.
Although I don't think that D&D will ever stop focusing on the Forgotten Realms, but it might be time for adventures that exist outside of that campaign setting. The official D&D adventures provide a dual purpose - they give DMs a pre-made adventure to run and they inspire DMs who want to build their own campaigns. Setting an adventure outside of the Forgotten Realms (even if it's using the new Ravnica setting!) would show off some of D&D's versatility for newer players.
Because Dungeons & Dragons only releases a few new publications a year, fans are usually desperate for new content. And because only one of the books is typically a rule book of some kind, it often feels like years pass before we get more magic items and spells to strive for when building characters.
Of course, every adventure contains at least a few new items for players to find, but they haven't really been collated into one publication. Outside of D&D Beyond, there's not an official equipment manual or magic item resource that collects everything in one spot for players and DMs to use.
Personally, I'm hoping that the 2019 rule book focuses on magic items and spells. Give us a guide to magic that collects all of the spells and items in one place and gives players a bunch of new ones to drool over.
Since we started covering D&D earlier this year, the most impressive part of the game is the community that's built around it. The D&D team does a fantastic job of cultivating an inclusive and open atmosphere for all players, and they've really made a push in showing that the game really is for everyone.
I love the D&D community, and I hope it continues to grow in 2019. D&D is a fantastic creative outlet in so many ways and I want to see the community continue to embrace every part of it. Here's to more showcases of D&D cosplay, beautiful art, fantastic storytelling, and whatever other things D&D inspires players to do next year!