As part of a new initiative called One D&D, Dungeons and Dragons took center stage at Wizards Presents today, announcing significant changes to the fifth edition ruleset.
One D&D is focusing on introducing new players and expressing the player's diverse background and experiences. This includes introducing new character options, modernizing aspects of the fifth edition, and vastly expanding the digital aspect of the game.
The One D&D initiative is an umbrella term for significant improvements to the game in 2024. This includes overhauled core rulebooks. Changes will also be made to the Dungeons and Dragons digital platform, DnD Beyond. A new digital playspace is also being developed.
The digital playspace will be an online, three-dimensional client that will be an area where players may hold play sessions in real time. The intention is to have preset adventures alongside a fully editable playspace to recreate the feeling of playing miniatures on a dense world map. Players familiar with other online tools like Tabletop Simulator and Roll20 will likely notice some similarities.
Wizards acquired DnD Beyond in April. The digital client makes a lot of the work done by playgroups to be less difficult to do in a campaign. Over the past two years, DnD Beyond has become a bigger part of the gaming ecosystem. One D&D will look to expand the client further. In Dragonlance: Shadow of the Dragon Queen, the release will include both physical and digital bundles.
Today marks the first day of playtesting for One D&D, with the release of Character Origins, a new Unearthed Arcana. This showcases the exciting new additions to backgrounds, inspiration, and races. A new playtest pack will be released once a month leading up to the new players' handbook in 2024.
The playtest packet for DnD Beyond is now available. Players will notice changes to the background. They have been expanded and now include ability score bonuses, something that was previously more tied to race. Feats have been changed, as have levels.
The playtest clarifies the way players generally interact with rolling a one or 20. A 20 is an instant success. A 20 is an automatic failure.
Critical rolls aren't necessarily an automatic success or failure in the current fifth edition rules, but Wizards explained that most players treat these rolls in the same way. This prompted the inclusion of One D&D.