One D&D, Project Black Flag, The Vineyard RPG, Matt Colvile and More – the road ahead for Dungeons and Dragons


Wizards of the Coast, the publisher of the popular tabletop role-playing game Dungeons & Dragons (D&D), has announced significant changes to the base rules and all classes in the upcoming One D&D edition. The changes are aimed at creating a streamlined and balanced experience for players, and they can test out new versions of five classes – Barbarian, Fighter, Sorcerer, Wizard, and Warlock – in the latest Unearthed Arcana.

One D&D / WotC

Unearthed Arcana refers to a series of playtest material and rule options for Dungeons & Dragons. It’s an ongoing series of articles that Wizards releases periodically, offering new rules, subclasses, spells, and other features that players can use in their games. The purpose of Unearthed Arcana is to allow the D&D community to test out and provide feedback on new content before it’s officially released in a book. It’s a way for Wizards to gather information on how the content plays and to make any necessary adjustments based on player feedback. The Unearthed Arcana articles are available for free on the D&D website, and players are encouraged to try out the content and share their feedback through the provided channels.

The latest news in Unearthed Arcana comes in the form of a video. The changes vary by class, with martial classes getting a Weapon Mastery ability and Barbarians being able to extend their rage with a bonus action. Wizards and Warlocks have gained new abilities, while Sorcerers have received new meta-magic tricks. Fighters, on the other hand, got an improvised ability to self-heal with more uses of Second Wind and also scored more feats. Additionally, the Wild Shape ability for Druids will be altered, while Rangers will receive multiple updates aimed at boosting their combat impact and spell-casting potential.

At level up, players gain the Academic feature to enhance their skills and also acquire fresh, exciting spell abilities. Furthermore, reaching level 20 grants them a potent Epic Boon that enables them to increase one score to 30. Warlocks underwent a significant transformation, with their Pact Magic ability being replaced by conventional spellcasting capabilities, making them more akin to Sorcerers who now have access to new meta-magic tricks.

The company has also encouraged players to provide feedback on the changes via a feedback portal opening on May 17.

The changes to the game are significant, and Wizards of the Coast hopes they will make the game more accessible and enjoyable for players. However, some players have expressed dissatisfaction with the changes and have been looking for alternatives.

One such alternative is a new game being developed by Matt Colville, creator of the MCDM YouTube channel and Arcadia magazine. Colville’s game is set to be a direct competitor to D&D and promises tactical and cinematic gameplay. Playtests for the game have already begun, and a prototype adventure is set to be released later this year.

The push for alternatives to D&D comes after a controversy surrounding Wizards of the Coast’s Open Game License (OGL) 1.1, which some players saw as a move to protect the D&D brand and put creators in legal jeopardy.

Some third-party creators, such as Kobold Press, have announced plans to create their own clones of D&D to keep the game alive and to give a better experience. Kobold Press is a well-known publisher in the D&D 5e community, having contributed to some of the system’s earliest and most beloved campaign books, such as Hoard of the Dragon Queen and The Rise of Tiamat. They have also announced a new project called Project Black Flag, which aims to update and streamline the D&D 5e ruleset while publishing a core fantasy RPG based on it. However, one of the challenges faced by the project is the fact that many iconic D&D creatures are owned by Wizards of the Coast, potentially limiting the types of monsters that can be included in the game.

Cover art by Elaine Ho

As part of Project Black Flag, Kobold Press has launched a Kickstarter campaign for their first work, The Vineyard RPG. The Vineyard RPG is set in a queer-inclusive universe that revolves around organized crime within the undead community. The campaign’s description on the Kickstarter page highlights the game’s unique blend of horror, humor, and drama, as well as its emphasis on character development and player choice. The Vineyard RPG promises to offer players a fresh take on traditional fantasy RPGs, and the success of its Kickstarter campaign indicates that there is a strong interest in alternative RPGs within the D&D community.

In addition to the changes, D&D players can expect further new releases, including a reboot of the Planescape setting and a new version of Spelljammer. The company continues to work to keep the game fresh and exciting for players, and the community remains strong and passionate about the game.

Planescape and Spelljammer are two popular campaign settings in the Dungeons & Dragons universe that are set to receive new releases later this year.

Planescape is a unique setting that explores the idea of a multiverse and different planes of existence, each with its own characteristics, creatures, and conflicts. The setting is known for its rich lore, fascinating characters, and philosophical themes, and has been a fan-favorite since it was first introduced in the 1990s. The upcoming reboot of Planescape promises to update and modernize the setting while staying true to its roots, offering new and exciting adventures for both new and experienced players.

Spelljammer, on the other hand, is a setting that takes place in outer space, where players can travel between different worlds and explore the galaxy using magical ships powered by spelljamming helms. The setting features a variety of strange and unique creatures, from spacefaring mind flayers to planet-sized living ships, and offers endless possibilities for exploration and adventure. The new version of Spelljammer is expected to introduce new mechanics and features to make the setting more accessible and engaging, while retaining its trademark sense of wonder and imagination.

Both Planescape and Spelljammer have a devoted fanbase, and the announcement of new releases has generated a lot of excitement and anticipation among D&D players. With these new releases, Wizards of the Coast aims to offer players even more ways to experience the rich and diverse world of Dungeons & Dragons.


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