Wednesday, September 29, 2021

2024


 I'm back. I didn't intend to be gone so long but work was killing me. Also, I turned 49. Yeah, next year, God willing, I'll have lived on this rock adrift upon infinity for half a century. I know less than I ever have about things. I think, as we move out of the zeitgeist, things just get fuzzy. Or we are in the Darkest Timeline. Or both.

I figured I'd start with the 800 lb. gorilla in the room, the Evolution if Dungeons and Dragons due out in 2024. 

I think the timing is right, especially with the 50th Anniversary of DnD and I think 5E's lifespan has been pretty darn good. I don't think 2024, what I'm calling the Anniversary edition, will be 5.5. That new gift bundle due in January (the only way to get the new Mordenkainen's book at that point) is 5.5. And I think the bundle is a good idea. I can say to my new players you need this slipcase eventually and then you'll need this slipcase when you need or want more.

My main concern is Wizards of the Coast and Hasbro, their corporate masters. I've watched WotC use digital products to compete with their tabletop Magic: the Gathering line over the last few years. I've also experienced the crunch when to prioritize Amazon, Walmart, and Target over the direct market. I get it, but those three companies don't sustain the community. Basically, I'm worried that WotC will go back to monthly DnD products and push their audience to their own digital tools for the 2024 edition. Hopefully, all the money I've invested in DnD Beyond won't be for nought but its happened with other digital assets before.

I hope the 2024 edition channels the best parts of 5E and blazes new trails but we'll see.

I also wonder about the 5E audience that chooses not to "evolve" to the 2024 edition. That market was big enough to sustain Paizo for a good run when 4E came out and Pathfinder 1E still has a larger presence on Roll20 over Pathfinder 2E.

Every version of a new edition has a lot of question marks so that is nothin new. I hope they consider having another open playtest but that is harder to do when your current edition is still selling products.

I will say that 5E is my favorite modern version of DnD. The OSR still calls to me most days, but 5E did a lot of things right, hopefully 7 years into the 2024 edition I'll be able to write the same thing.

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