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One D&D: Everything you need to know about the next Dungeons & Dragons edition

Dive into new dungeons.

D&D Rules Expansion Gift Set artwork
Image credit: Image: Wizards of the Coast

The next evolution of Dungeons & Dragons, the most popular tabletop roleplaying game in existence, is coming.

Announced last summer, One D&D is the next - and possibly last - major edition of the tabletop RPG.

Set to be released via a collection of core rulebooks in 2024, One D&D has the potential to alter the face of Dungeons & Dragons completely through changes to elements like character creation, combat rules, spells and the way that certain classes work.

To get ahead of all the potential changes and prepare yourself for the next version of the tabletop RPG, this guide will tell you everything you need to know about One D&D.

One D&D: Everything you need to know

Maddie outlines what you can expect from the upcoming One D&D.

Will there be a D&D 6E?

The most recent version of the tabletop roleplaying game, Dungeons & Dragons, is called Fifth Edition - or 5E. This refers to the fact that this is the fifth mainline version of the RPG, with new versions often introducing significant updates to the game.

Logically speaking, the next version of D&D should be called Sixth Edition or 6E. However, Wizards of the Coast - the publisher for the TRPG - has named the next upcoming version of the game One D&D, possibly in a nod to it being potentially the last major edition.

What is One D&D?

One D&D is the next upcoming tabletop roleplaying game in the Dungeons & Dragons series. The codename for the latest release in a line of titles that have been coming out since the original D&D first appeared in 1974, One D&D will provide both old and new players alike with a fresh set of rulebooks that teach people how to play the game.

The most recent version of D&D is called Fifth Edition – or 5E – and was released in 2014 by publisher Wizards of the Coast. Every new version of the tabletop RPG makes changes or additions to the way it is played, alongside new options for players to choose from when making their characters and new story content for DMs to use. One D&D – which Wizards does not consider to be an ‘edition’ of D&D - will include new changes, options and content for both players and DMs to use in their games.

How these updates will be implemented is yet to be confirmed, but considering that Wizards of the Coast now owns D&D Beyond and is looking to launch a virtual tabletop platform - enabling DMs and players to experience Dungeons & Dragons remotely with voice chat and a virtual play space - it's quite possible that future changes will be made digitally.

How is One D&D different to 5E?

One D&D will be different to the current Fifth Edition of Dungeons & Dragons in many ways, some of which we don’t know yet. The specific rule changes to the version are yet to be confirmed and are currently being tested out by players through extensive playtesting.

Players and dungeon masters can test the various proposed rule changes in One D&D from D&D 5E via a series of playtest versions being released on D&D Beyond, the online platform that contents all official content released for 5E.

Examples of proposed rule changes include having players who roll 1s or 20s on their d20 experiencing immediate failures – in the case of 1s – or immediate successes, whenever they roll a 20, in every situation, instead of the rules just applying to combat situations.

Dungeons & Dragons Eberron artwork landscape tavern
One D&D will be the latest and last iteration of Dungeons & Dragons released. Image: Wizards of the Coast.

However, the fluid state of One D&D means that every proposed rule won’t necessarily make it into the finished game, as seen by the previous U-turn made by Wizards of the Coast – who recently rolled back this proposed rule change in favour of something else. You can keep up-to-date with the proposed rules via our overview of all the changes proposed in One D&D.

Besides the rule differences and the new additions – including new playable species and sub-classes, or specialised versions of classes – easily the biggest difference between One D&D and 5E is the fact that, according to Wizards, the new version will likely be the last major edition of the fantasy RPG. Whilst big changes and content have always been applied to Dungeons & Dragons through the release of new editions, One D&D will see the series being changed and added to through various updates.

Is One D&D the same as D&D 6E?

Though we don't know all the specifics of One D&D just yet, we know that Wizards of the Coast is planning to make some changes to D&D 5E and that a new set of core rulebooks will be released. As such One D&D is a new edition of Dungeons & Dragons, which effectively makes it 6E in all but name.

Nevertheless, as previously mentioned, it's quite possible that One D&D will be the last major edition of the RPG - with future updates possibly arriving in smaller amounts and more frequently - hence why Wizards hasn't given it a numerical name.

Will One D&D make 5E obsolete?

Though the arrival of One D&D is hotly anticipated and will provide players with a new way to play the tabletop RPG - as well as a fresh entry-point with the new books - it will not mean that 5E will vanish from existence. As with the various other editions previously released for the series, D&D 5E will likely remain accessible and will continue to be played by its fans.

Older editions of Dungeons & Dragons are still played by people who prefer their ruleset and approach to the game, with other editions directly inspiring the creation of entirely different TRPGs such as Pathfinder and OSR. Considering how long 5E has been the most recent version of D&D, it would not be suprising if a subset of fans choose to continue to play it rather than One D&D.

Is there a D&D 6E release date?

D&D 6E does not currently have a release date as there is no confirmation that the version will even come out. As of now, the only next edition of Dungeons & Dragons is One D&D - which has its own release date of 2024.

The very first episode of Dicebreaker's own D&D actual play series, Storybreakers.

When is One D&D coming out?

Though a playtest version of One D&D is available to play right now, the official release of One D&D will arrive via three core rulebooks coming in 2024.

There is no exact release date for One D&D currently available beyond 2024. What we do know is that dungeon masters and players can expect a new Player’s Handbook - the book players need to make their characters and learn how to play the game - Dungeon Master’s Guide, the book that DMs need in order to run their games; and the Monster Manual: a collection of enemies, creatures and characters for players to potentially interact with.

Digital versions of the three upcoming rulebooks are likely to be released via D&D Beyond, with players able to use them to make their characters and DMs using them to help plan and run their games.

The official virtual tabletop for One D&D is yet to receive an official release date.

How to get One D&D

The digital playtest of One D&D – an unfinished collection of proposed rules, changes and content that players and DMs can try out – is available to download for free from D&D Beyond right now.

These versions of One D&D are not the finished product and may feature rules that are dropped from the official Dungeons & Dragons ruleset. Wizards has stated that it will continue to release monthly playtest updates until at least the end of 2023.

The official release of One D&D will be released as a set of three core rulebooks in 2024, with players only needing to get the Player’s Handbook to start – while DMs will need at least the Dungeon Master’s Guide and Player’s Handbook in order to run their games. The Monster Manual is an optional purchase.

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About the Author
Alex Meehan avatar

Alex Meehan

Senior Staff Writer

After writing for Kotaku UK, Waypoint and Official Xbox Magazine, Alex became a member of the Dicebreaker editorial family. Having been producing news, features, previews and opinion pieces for Dicebreaker for the past three years, Alex has had plenty of opportunity to indulge in her love of meaty strategy board games and gothic RPGS. Besides writing, Alex appears in Dicebreaker’s D&D actual play series Storybreakers and haunts the occasional stream on the Dicebreaker YouTube channel.

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