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D&D’s 2024 adventure slate includes a face-off with Vecna and an anthology of updated classic dungeons

Wizards of the Coast planning a series of distilled dungeons from RPG’s past reimagined as one-shots.

D&D Vecna: Even of Ruin adventure campaign promotional image from Pax Unplugged 2023
Image credit: Kieran Yanner/Wizards of the Coast

Pax Unplugged provided a stage for Dungeons & Dragons to dump a slew of information in a tight, one-hour panel. Four high-level designers revealed new information about the tabletop RPGs upcoming core rulebooks, announced a historical retrospective with unpublished letters from the co-creators, and D&D’s social media may have accidentally revealed a release date for 2024’s new edition.

You’d be forgiven for missing the solid slate of new adventure modules amongst all that noise, but it’s worth looking at what the mega-popular RPG has planned for next year. At the height of its 50th anniversary, D&D will bring the past forward via truncated dungeon one-shots, returning villains and an adventure anthology full of familiar faces and locations.

Jeremy Crawford and Chris Perkins, longtime gad design architects, joined senior designers Amanda Hammon and James Wyatt to unveil three marquis titles that - if the accidentally released dates can be believed - should hit kitchen tables by mid-year. First on that list is a series of short adventures that distil classic D&D modules into a single session, updating the old-school rules and encounters for 5th Edition-compatible play - all while preserving the spirit of the original.

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The experience should be perfect for hobby shop evenings, convention events and at-home one shots. The panellists offered Descent Into the Lost Cavern of Tsojcanth (pronounced soj-con, according to Perkins) as a great example: it celebrates an older and still beloved form of D&D (Wyatt cheekily interjected with “meatgrinder”) that might not be representative by D&D’s contemporary releases but still deserves recognition. Several of these will be released through local stores and events throughout 2024.

The year’s biggest release, aside from D&D 2024’s core rulebooks, will be Vecna: Eve of Ruin. This full-sized adventure campaign will support group play all the way to level 20 and end with a fateful encounter with the eponymous lich-turned-god that’s haunted the Forgotten Realms since 1976. Hammon described the book as a “tour of the Multiverse” meant to serve as an appropriate 50th anniversary release by revisiting plenty of memorable locations from throughout the RPG’s history. Perkins added that “lots of iconic D&D characters, shall we say, stick their noses into the party’s business”.

D&D Descent Into the Lost Cavern of Tsojcanth promotional image from PAX Unplugged 2023
Image credit: Zoltan Boros/Wizards of the Coast

Quests from the Infinite Staircase continues D&D’s anthology trend, joining recent releases such as Journeys through the Radiant Citadel and Candlekeep Mysteries. But this latest collection follows closer to Tales from the Yawning Portal, as both are collections of classic adventures that have been updated to 5th Edition rules, not dissimilar to the one-shot adventures mentioned earlier in this article.

A new cosmic being character will lead groups through the modules, which are “bound together by overarching elements”, according to Perkins and make use of the Infinite Staircase that links D&D’s planes and realms together. Using the Staircase and this unnamed guide, DMs can link the anthology together into a broader campaign.

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