Dungeons & Dragons Teases Improved Exploration Rules in New Dungeon Master's Guide

Exploration rules could finally be getting an upgrade in the 2024 Core Rulebooks for Dungeons & Dragons.

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Wizards of the Coast seems to finally be giving the "exploration" part of Dungeons & Dragons some much-needed love in the 2024 Core Rulebooks. Yesterday, Wizards of the Coast posted a new Dungeon Master's Screen for sale on D&D Beyond, featuring new art. The new screen is designed to be used with the 2024 Core Rulebooks and one of the preview images (seen below) suggests that exploration in D&D will receive some additional rules and guidance. A glimpse behind the screen shows a table of travel terrain, each of which has separate DCs for navigation, foraging, and searching. The 2014 Dungeon Master's Guide contained basic guidance for these aspects of travel, but largely left the DC for the DM to decide. 


Dungeons & Dragons is built around three "pillars" – combat, social interactions, and exploration. While combat has a very defined set of rules within 5th edition play, both exploration and social interaction are considered to have much weaker sets of rules, although social interactions can somewhat be mitigated by solid roleplaying at the table. Because exploration had a weaker set of rules and guidance, classes focused on exploration – such as the Ranger – were considered to be much weaker when compared to other classes. 

Wizards of the Coast is releasing a revised set of 5th Edition rules to celebrate Dungeons & Dragons' 50th anniversary. While the D&D design team stresses that this isn't a "new" edition of the game, the revised rules feature numerous additions and rules changes, building off of a decade of feedback from players and data from D&D Beyond. Other notable additions includes a weapon mastery system designed to add a level of tactics to martial players and a new bastions system that allows players to build their own stronghold once they reach a certain level. 

The new Dungeon Master's Screen will be released on November 12th alongside the new Dungeon Master's Guide. Pre-orders are live on Amazon now.