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D&D head designer says 2024 books won’t release before summer: “we will still be working on the books in May”

Jeremy Crawford breaks down the very last Unearthed Arcana playtest and kills early 2024 launch wishes.

D&D Players Handbook splash page promotional image from PAX Unplugged 2023
Image credit: Nestor Ossandón/Wizards of the Coast

Dungeons & Dragons’ design team still isn’t ready to name a specific launch window for the 2024 trio of new sourcebooks. Head designer Jeremy Crawford addressed the reportedly incorrect release dates that leaked on social media back in December, claiming players won’t see D&D 2024 until summer at the earliest.

Crawford told Todd Kenreck in a recent YouTube video that he left Wizards of the Coast’s Pax Unplugged 2023 panel and immediately caught wind of May 2024 release date rumours. “It was a huge surprise to me as the person who is the lead designer on the new Players Handbook,” he said. The team is concurrently producing the Dungeon Master’s Guide and Monster Manual that will compose D&D’s 2024 refresh.

“I just want to confirm with you and as well with everyone watching this video - that is definitely not the release date. That was never the release date,” Crawford continued. “In fact, we will still be working on the books in May.”

Cover image for YouTube videoThe new One D&D and EVERYTHING you need to know
Our video of the D&D 2024 changes when they were first announced.

Kenreck and Crawford spent the majority of the video discussing the results of the last public playtest for the upcoming Players Handbook, which introduced changes for the Barbarian, Monk and Druid classes. Wizards of the Coast regularly released playtest material via the Unearthed Arcana series, allowing players to futz about with rough draft game design and then asking them to fill out a playtest survey.

Crawford and his team will now take all of the results “deep in our internal development” but remarked that the proposed changes to the three aforementioned classes - plus some updates to core healing and conjuration spells - all scored remarkably high. Druid changes clocked in at the high 70s, while Barbarians earned mid-80% approval. But it was the Monk, one of the more maligned classes in D&D 2014’s repertoire that earned an apparently rare 90% approval rating from players.

You can read our breakdown on the proposed changes, which Wizards of the Coasts maintains isn’t promised to appear in the final printed hardcover. D&D struggled with controversy throughout 2023, though the runaway success of Baldur’s Gate 3 did manage to create some distance between the OGL disaster and becoming a critical darling on the pop culture stage. The popular RPG is already dodging rumours of a sale to Chinese tech company Tencent, which Wizards has flatly denied.

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Chase Carter

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Chase is a freelance journalist and media critic. He enjoys the company of his two cats and always wants to hear more about that thing you love. Follow him on Twitter for photos of said cats and retweeted opinions from smarter folks.

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