There were a massive amount of products announced at the first ever Dungeons & Dragons Direct. The next seven months or so of D&D tabletop games are now known.
The big three were the adventures or mixed adventure-setting books. They are either very new concepts, or very old settings being revisited. Each of the main adventure books guides towards certain types of stories.
Journey Through the Radiant Citadel
Polygon newser — Wizards of the Coast shows off D&D’s new Caribbean and Dia de Muertos-inspired adventures
Like the previous collections of adventures (Candlekeep Mysteries, Tales from the Yawning Portal) Radiant Citadel assembles what you need ahead of time. Unlike those previous tales there are through lines in these Journeys. Working in a writers room concept meant that continuity chain could connect the disparate adventures.
Story ideas: Here’s the thing. This is a new concept, so I can’t lean into my own background for ideas. Maybe that’s the point. Ajit put together a team where I don’t need to worry about telling my story — they’re helping me tell their stories. Get Radiant Citadel because learning about others is fun.
Spelljammer: Adventures in Space
Polygon newser — D&D’s Spelljammer reboot looks unlike any other 5th edition adventure so far
Much of the attention towards Spelljammer is that the longstanding online joke about it being confirmed was finally true. It’s also in a new for 5th edition format as a multi-book package in a slipcase with a DM’s screen and large format map. Spelljammer is wild. There are space elves, murder comets, asteroid spiders, ships that look like dragonflies and ships that look like mindflayer heads. Wildspace is D&D on space drugs.
Story Ideas: Spelljammer combines the Age of Sail/Piracy with space travel, dragons, and some of the creepiest aberrations in D&D’s catalog. Borrow from Our Flag Means Death, Black Sails, Farscape, Firefly, Star Trek. Exploration of the unknown should be a key element. Your ship should practically be a character, it is that important.
Title to be Announced Shadow of the Dragon Queen
Polygon newser — D&D’s Dragonlance is back with a new adventure and a ‘battle game’
Story ideas: The original Dragonlance novels put big heroes, in big situations, solving the world’s problems. It was romantic and heroic. Inside that original trilogy were a group of great friends. They were different peoples, different cultures. They didn’t necessarily work towards the same goals, but they worked together because that’s what friends do, especially soldiers. This new take on Dragonlance seems to be a gritty way to tell stories of fellowship tested by violence — Band of Brothers, Falcon & Winter Soldier, Ender’s Game’s subplots, Last Kingdom.
Other D&D Direct Announcements
The new starter set, Dragon of Stormwreck Isle, looks to be both a tighter adventure and an enterprising way to combine digital tools with the physical product. There will be guides for new DMs and videos about how to roleplay. Another new digital product are the new Monstrous Compendiums. The first is 10 free monsters from the Spelljammer setting. There will be more for Spelljammer as well as other setting.
Several more books are being released in foreign languages, a great expansion beyond the core three. There are also two cases to help power tactical play without minis. These campaign cases of tokens and maps look to be solid aids for home play.
Neverwinter and Baldur’s Gate: 3 had significant updates. Neverwinter is leaning on dragons, good. It’s got the dungeons figured out. BG3 is still in early access and a year out from conventional play.
Also a year out? The D&D movie. Dungeons & Dragons: Honor among Thieves comes out March 3, 2023.
Finally, there are two board games coming out. Onslaught is a tactical-skirmish game with two factions facing off while some monsters try to kill both. It looks like it will be a quick fun physical version of a videogame shooter. The Dragonlance ‘battle game’ is supposed to combine mass combat in a cooperative manner with the story of the Dragonlance adventure.
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