All the Dungeons & Dragons and Magic: The Gathering News Conjured Up Today

All the Dungeons & Dragons and Magic: The Gathering News Conjured Up Today

The next evolution of the role-playing game is on its way, while Magic seems to have made a doctors' appointment.

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A group of cowed, torch-bearing soldiers cower from a fire-breathing red dragon.
Inset of Evyn Fong’s Chapter 2 art from the Dragonlance: Shadow of the Dragon Queen sourcebook.
Image: Wizards of the Coast

Wizards of the Coast staged a live, post-San Diego Comic-Con level panel for fans earlier today, and it didn’t skimp on the announcements. A ton of new announcements, releases, and surprises concerning Dungeons & Dragons and Magic: The Gathering were revealed today during “Wizards Presents”—enough that I’m pretty sure the title meant “presents” as a noun. Here’s all the big news, including the next level of D&D, some gorgeous Magic art, and more.

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Welcome to One D&D

Welcome to One D&D

One D&D - World Reveal Trailer

Don’t call it the next edition of Dungeons & Dragons—at least not to Wizards of the Coast, at any rate. WotC is calling this the “next generation of Dungeons & Dragons,” which will incorporate three “initiatives, as per the company:

D&D Rules. “This takes what we love about the Fifth Edition and updates the rules of the game to reflect the feedback we have heard from players and where the game is today.”

D&D Beyond. “This will be the platform for your digital D&D collection, content, and tools.”

D&D Digital Play Experience. “In early development, D&D Digital will offer an immersive player experience, rich creation tools for Dungeon Masters, and a connected space for DMs and players to get together and play D&D.

Assuming “Rules” is just the basic mechanics of the game seen in the sourcebooks and which inform D&D Beyond, this makes sense to me. D&D Beyond has been a great tool for players to keep track of everything and make playing easier by dealing with character abilities and bonuses and all the mechanics that originally had always been done by pencil and paper.

Elsewhere on the site, Wizards of the Coast calls it “a digital play space” that’s “integrated with D&D Beyond.” Although this is still kinda vague, the Digital Play Experience sounds like it’s mainly for the Dungeon Master to craft their world for the players to experience as they tell their adventure story together, akin to virtual tabletop simulators.

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How to Playtest One D&D and More

How to Playtest One D&D and More

How to Playtest One D&D | D&D Beyond

First, you should know One D&D will be fully compatible with D&D Fifth Edition, so if you have a pile of physical sourcebooks sitting in your RPG library, or end up preferring 5E to the continuing adjustments made to the game through One D&D, you and your hapless party of adventurers will not be wiped out of existence, just eaten by an owlbear.

But if you’re excited about One D&D, you can head over to Wizards of the Coast right this minute and sign up for the Unearthed Arcana playtest materials here. New playtesting content should be dropping monthly, and the playtests themselves will be running through 2023, which means the new One D&D core rulebooks won’t be available until 2024.

One thing you can expect to be a major part of One D&D is the game’s focus on diversity in all sorts of manners, which began in the sourcebook Tasha’s Cauldron of Everything. The character creation in Unearthed Arcana playtest no longer ties Ability Score bonuses to race, but now links them to Backgrounds, i.e., where your character has lived prior to the adventure you’re beginning. Custom Backgrounds will even be able to be made, at least for now. Basically, this adds for more versatile and individualized character creation and, thus, storytelling.

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Dragonlance: Shadow of the Dragon Queen

Dragonlance: Shadow of the Dragon Queen

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Image: Wizards of the Coast

A new adventure in the world of Krynn will be coming to D&D Beyond (and the regular physical and digital worlds) that takes place during the War of the Lance (the battle chronicled in the original Dragonlance trilogy of novels by Margaret Weis and Tracy Hickman) and meshes regular role-playing with a board game. It and a deluxe version of Shadow of the Dragon Queen will be published on December 6, but if you pre-order it through Wizards of the Coast you’ll get early access to it through D&D Beyond on November 22.

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Drizzt Do’Urden’s 35th Anniversary

Drizzt Do’Urden’s 35th Anniversary

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Image: Wizards of the Coast

The noble dark elf that launched 37 best-selling novels by R.A. Salvatore and a million copycat D&D characters turns 35 next year after making his debut in 1988’s Crystal Shard. In celebration, WotC will release The Legend of Drizzt Visual Dictionary which “will chronicle lore, creatures, weapons, enemies, and allies in one tome.” Given he’s had 37 novels worth of adventures throughout the Forgotten Realm and beyond, this honestly sounds like a rather useful sourcebook for fans. But oh, there’s more: “And to take the Legend in new directions, a Drizzt Family webcomic will debut featuring Brie, the tween daughter of Drizzt and Cattie-Brie, ‘borrowing’ her father’s sword Twinkle to prove she is a heroic force just like her forebear!”

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The Return of Planescape and More

The Return of Planescape and More

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Image: Wizards of the Coast

Apparently, Spelljammer wasn’t the only classic Dungeons & Dragons setting WotC will be reviving. When the rest of the D&D slate of products was revealed, there’s no doubt the most notable release will be the return of Planescape, a classic D&D campaign setting from 1994. Like Spelljammer, it was much, much weirder than classic fantasy role-playing games, but unlike wizards simply jetting through space in pirate ships, Planescape created a multidimensional reality full of worlds gods, factions, and powers. It even allowed characters to travel between worlds like the Forgotten Realms and Ravenloft, for instance. Here’s the rest of D&D’s slate:

Keys from the Golden Vault—Ocean’s Eleven meets D&D in this book of short adventures revolving around heists. (Winter 2023)

Bigby Presents: Glory of the GiantsA companion to last year’s Fizban’s Treasury of Dragons focused on giants. (Spring 2023)

The Book of Many ThingsA collection of creatures, locations, and other goodies that are connected to the mysterious Deck of Many Things. (Summer 2023)

The Phandelver Campaign—Expands the classic Lost Mine of Phandelver into a full campaign tinged with cosmic horror. (Summer 2023)

Planescape—The legendary setting returns! Like Spelljammer: Adventures in Space, Planescape is a three-book slipcase: setting guide, bestiary, and adventure campaign. (Fall 2023)

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Magic: The Gathering

Magic: The Gathering

Inset of Chris Rallis’ art for Magic: The Gathering’s March of the Machine series.
Inset of Chris Rallis’ art for Magic: The Gathering’s March of the Machine series.
Image: Wizards of the Coast

Wizards of the Coast went beyond with new Universes Beyond reveals today, with the first real looks at the Lord of the Rings: Tales of Middle-earth and Warhammer 40K card art. But WotC also announced a new addition to the line: Doctor Who. Click through for more info and a preview of some of the gorgeous art for all three series.

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Lord of the Rings: Tales of Middle-earth

Lord of the Rings: Tales of Middle-earth

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Image: Middle-Earth/Wizards of the Coast

All quotes from WotC’s press release: “In Q3 2023, players can journey to Mount Doom with Frodo, Aragorn, and the rest of the Fellowship on their quest to destroy the One Ring in The Lord of the Rings: Tales of Middle-earth set. Magic designers showed off a sprawling piece of artwork for the Battle of the Pelennor Fields—the greatest battle of the War of the Ring at Minas Tirith—spanning 18 individual cards as part of a booster release that will immerse fans in Middle-earth. The Lord of the Rings: Tales of Middle-earth set is also coming to Magic: The Gathering Arena as an Alchemy set later next year.”

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Lord of the Rings: Tales of Middle-earth

Lord of the Rings: Tales of Middle-earth

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Image: Middle-Earth/Wizards of the Coast
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Lord of the Rings: Tales of Middle-earth

Lord of the Rings: Tales of Middle-earth

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Lord of the Rings: Tales of Middle-earth

Lord of the Rings: Tales of Middle-earth

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Warhammer 40K

Warhammer 40K

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Image: Games Workshop/Wizards of the Coast

“Fans got a first glimpse at details for the latest entry in Universes Beyond, Warhammer 40,000. In addition to four commander decks, four Sol Rings are themed after each faction representing the Imperium of Man, Tyranids, Necrons, and Chaos. The cards in the collector’s edition of each commander deck have a new Surge Foil treatment.”

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Warhammer 40K

Warhammer 40K

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Warhammer 40K

Warhammer 40K

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Warhammer 40K

Warhammer 40K

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Doctor Who

Doctor Who

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Image: BBC/Wizards of the Coast

“Magic: The Gathering is joining forces with Doctor Who in a new Universes Beyond collaboration that includes Commander decks, collector boosters, and Secret Lair drops spanning the 60-year history of the longest-running action-adventure television series in the world.” Alas, there is currently no appointment scheduled for these Doctors.

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Doctor Who

Doctor Who

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Doctor Who

Doctor Who

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Doctor Who

Doctor Who

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Doctor Who

Doctor Who

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More Magic

More Magic

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Image: Wizards of the Coast

Finally, if you prefer your Magic: The Gathering in universes closer to you, then you certainly already know about the franchise’s return to its original setting on September 9 in Dominaria United. But here’s what else you can expect from Magic later this year and beyond:

“The Phyrexia story arc continues with Brothers’ War, releasing in November, followed by Phyrexia: All Will Be One, releasing in Q1 2023, and wrapping up with March of the Machine, a conclusion to the story, releasing in Q2 2023. March of the Machine: The Aftermath, also releasing in Q2 2023, ties up loose ends from March of the Machine and explores the fundamental changes that have taken place in Magic’s Multiverse. In Q3 2023, players will return to Eldraine, a fan favourite plane that draws inspiration from classic fairy tales with Wilds of Eldraine. In Q4 2023, Lost Caverns of Ixalan will finish the year with Pirates, Dinosaurs, and Vampires vying for dominance.”


Want more io9 news? Check out when to expect the latest Marvel and Star Wars releases, what’s next for the DC Universe on film and TV, and everything you need to know about House of the Dragon and Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power.

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