Dungeons & Dragons Announces Next "Evolution" of Game Coming in 2024

Dungeons & Dragons will receive a major rules update in 2024. Today, during the "Future of D&D Panel" at D&D Celebration, a panel of the D&D design team's top figures announced that Wizards of the Coast was planning to release new versions of the core Dungeons & Dragons rulebooks in 2024 for the game's 50th anniversary. When announcing the new products, panelists Jeremy Crawford, Chris Perkins, Liz Schuh, and Ray Winninger specifically did not refer to the books as the kickoff of a new "edition" of the game. In fact, they noted that the new core rulebooks would be backwards compatible with existing Fifth Edition books and were a "new evolution" of the game. 

Many fans are comparing the announcement to the release of revised rules for Dungeons & Dragons Third Edition back in 2003. These rules (known as 3.5 by fans) rebalanced existing rules but were otherwise minor in scope, with many rules entirely untouched. 

The current Fifth Edition ruleset of Dungeons & Dragons has been around since 2014, which means that players will have used the game's rules for a decade by the time the new "evolution" comes out. That's roughly comparable to the length of time that previous D&D editions were in active use. Advanced Dungeons & Dragons saw its Player's Handbook released in 1978 and Advanced Dungeons & Dragons Second Edition came out in 1989. Dungeons & Dragons Third Edition had its Player's Handbook released in 2000. D&D 4th Edition started in 2008 and lasted until the release of Fifth Edition in 2014. 

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The Future of D&D panel also teased the release of two "classic" settings in 2022 and a third "classic" setting on the calendar for 2023. Also planned are more adventure anthologies and a book featuring Boo, the miniature giant space hamster featured in the Baldur's Gate series of games. D&D is also planning on streamlining some of its monster statblocks, with spellcasters receiving a major design revision to make them easier for DMs to use.