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Dungeons & Dragons’ 2024 core rulebooks get official release dates

D&D 2024's three core books strangely stagger their releases months apart.

Cover art of Vecna: Eve of Ruin adventure supplement
Image credit: Wizards of the Coast

Dungeons & Dragons three new “revised” core rulebooks now have official release dates. Updated editions of the Player’s Handbook, Dungeon Master's Guide and Monster Manual will drop periodically through the rest of 2024, with the final tome not arriving until early next year.

According to a press release from publisher Wizards of the Coast, D&D’s updated ruleset for the 5th edition of its massively popular tabletop RPG won’t all drop at the same time. Instead, the company will lead with the Player’s Handbook on September 17th, followed by the Dungeon Master’s Guide on November 12th. The Monster Manual, which the designers previously said would be truly massive, won’t be ready for retail until February 18th, 2025.

While players would likely prefer to have the updated rules all at once, Wizards of the Coast has slotted them into a release calendar stretching the entire year and sharing space with a new adventure supplement, an anthology and a hagiographic making-of the original D&D from the 1970s. This is all ostensibly part of the tabletop RPG’s 50th anniversary celebration, which takes place in 2024.

What we know about D&D's 2024 books has evolved constantly. Here's what WotC first revealed to the public in 2022.Watch on YouTube

The 2024 Player’s Handbook is described as containing “engaging additions to the fifth edition rules”, following Wizards’ promise that all of the new 2024 material would maintain compatibility with all previous 5E books. The company wants the next decade to build upon D&D’s massive economic success and not undercut its popularity by introducing an entirely new addition. Players have been privy to some of the proposed changes via Unearthed Arcana playtests, but what all survived to the final draft remains to be seen.

Dungeon masters once again pull the short straw by being forced to wait nearly two months for their new toys. The 2024 Dungeon Master’s Guide will reportedly overhaul encounter building, provide the harried facilitators a suite of new tools and perhaps introduce entirely new systems, such as the Bastion building rules playtested last year. Wizards seems keen on enticing more people to run games, as the press release said “It's never been easier” to be a DM and that the book will be “a cleverly crafted and accessible approach” to babysitting your murderous friends.

The Monster Manual’s arriving last makes sense, at least, as a folio of threats and big bads has always been handy but not necessary to running a session of D&D. That said, everyone at the table will be champing at the bit to see how the design team have rebalanced nearly every creature, according to previous comments by head designers Jeremy Crawford and Chris Perkins.

More information about each release will be made available closer to their individual retail dates. Dicebreaker has reached out for more information as to why Wizards chose to stagger the 2024 updated books.

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