Wizards of the Coast of officially announced they are working on the next edition of Dungeons and Dragons, and want fans to help shape the future of the game.

From the Wizards of the Coast website:

We’ve listened to both praise and criticism from all D&D fans, regardless of their edition of choice, and we’ll continue to do so.

That is why we are excited to share with you that starting in Spring 2012, we will be taking this process one step further and conducting ongoing open playtests with the gaming community to gather feedback on the new iteration of the game as we develop it. With your feedback and involvement, we can make D&D better than ever. We seek to build a foundation for the long-term health and growth of D&D, one rooted in the vital traits that make D&D unique and special. We want a game that rises above differences of play styles, campaign settings, and editions, one that takes the fundamental essence of D&D and brings it to the forefront of the game. In short, we want a game that is as simple or complex as you please, its action focused on combat, intrigue, and exploration as you desire. We want a game that is unmistakably D&D, but one that can easily become your D&D, the game that you want to run and play.

For that reason, we want your participation. The goals we have set for ourselves are by no means trivial or easy. By involving you in this process, we can build a set of D&D rules that incorporate the wants and desires of D&D gamers around the world. We want to create a flexible game, rich with options for players and DMs to embrace or reject as they see fit, a game that brings D&D fans together rather than serves as one more category to splinter us apart.

Then at the D&D Experience convention in late January, Wizards of the Coast will conduct a special playtest of ideas currently in development. The D&D Experience will be moving to Gen Con in 2013, so as a convention special this year, we will be offering show attendees a first-look at a draft of the new set of rules. Then beginning sometime in the spring, we will begin open playtesting. Through our web site, we will release a growing set of rules, classes, monsters and other materials for your study and feedback. We seek to reach as many people as possible, from the gamer who just started with D&D last week to the gaming group that has been together since the early-1970s.

Wow… and we were just talking about this on the most recent Major Spoilers Podcast.

via Wizards of the Coast


About Author

Stephen Schleicher began his career writing for the Digital Media Online community of sites, including Digital Producer and Creative Mac covering all aspects of the digital content creation industry. He then moved on to consumer technology, and began the Coolness Roundup podcast. A writing fool, Stephen has freelanced for Sci-Fi Channel's Technology Blog, and Gizmodo. Still longing for the good ol' days, Stephen launched Major Spoilers in July 2006, because he is a glutton for punishment. You can follow him on Twitter @MajorSpoilers and tell him your darkest secrets...


  1. This makes me nervous. My group and I already ignore a bunch of the errata for 4e. An evolving game with constant rule changes on the website? More so even than now? o.0

    • So far, they have said nothing of the sort for the new iteration of the game that I’m aware of. All they said is that the playtest documents will be released via their website. I suspect that, with Mearls, Cook, et al. in charge, there will be a lot less errata for the products.

  2. Well as long as it dosent go down the D&D for dummies approach like Essentials did I will probably give it a try. I started out playing 3.5E and I noticed Alot of D&D fans (including my own group) just boooing and hissing at new editions being released without ever giving them a chance to shine on there own merits like 4E turned out really good, but Essentials was still garbage.

  3. I’m going to try to go to the Convention on 26-29th, I am really curious about what they are doing. I would put my money on “Looking back to move forward”, they will try to “seamlessly” blend 3.5 with the 4e power system.

  4. D&D has been evolving since day one, and another edition 4-5 years after its predecessor seems fairly typical: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Editions_of_Dungeons_%26_Dragons

    From what I’ve been able to gather from various articles, the approach here will be more modular with lots of optional rules to allow for the style of play you like without being required to engage in play styles you don’t in an effort to appeal to old-school as well as newer players. Dangerous territory indeed, from a marketing perspective. Get it right and you bring back players who’ve left the fold, while keeping the new class of 4E enthusiasts. Screw it up and get another splinter group in the Edition Wars, further fragmenting your potential audience. Time will tell.

  5. I’m going to be optimistic about this. Why? I don’t know, but why not? No point being negative about stuff, right?

  6. This was inevitable this year, as for the last two quarters, Paizo has been spanking them in terms of sales with Pathfinder becoming the number one roleplaying game in the world. This is the first time it has happened since the initial debut of Vampire: The Masquerade.

    Perhaps this go around WoTC will listen to the results of the playtest and not just force a game on people. I loved my time with 4E for what it was, but after starting up Pathfinder in the last month, I see what I was missing in terms of flavor and DnD feel. I ignored the people telling me this for years, thinking they were just hating on 4E.

    I was wrong. Pathfinder is DnD.

    • For me the “need” is exploring new rulesets. I love figuring out the hows and whys of each game. Best never to be stuck in place or time.

      It’s the gnome in me, I suppose.

  7. I think it will only succeed if they put aside the theme of “Send us your money” instead of “You will love to buy this!” Decisions like pulling staple classes of 3.5 out of the game and putting them in other books just so they will sell better was a lousy decision to me. If it’s a good book with interesting content I will buy it. I think if they want their game to prosper they should make GMs happy. GMs will get players. GMs will buy almost all the books. Players will only add to that with buying some books. Overall, I think 4e is a great system but I can definately see a use for 5e and Essentials isn’t the answer.

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