The 50th anniversary of Dungeons and Dragons is here, and Wizards of the Coast have set out to celebrate the tabletop game in style with exciting announcements that’ll have you reaching for your D20.
It’s hard to believe that 50 years ago, Dungeons and Dragons first started as a black-and-white pamphlet. Since 1974, players have been coming together to embrace the heart of this beautiful game: telling fantastical and brilliant stories with friends and family. As the years have gone by, the hobby has only gotten bigger and better, with different ways of playing being shared online and in-person, opening up more and more individuals to the variety of worlds to be found and played in.
Those years haven’t always been blissful, however. The 1980s were full of worries about the oncoming modern day, such as the internet and its unlimited access, and — for some reason or other — those worries extended to Dungeons and Dragons. Some religious groups felt as though the game possessed young people’s minds, while others believed it was part of some sort of cult conspiracy. Which was, of course, a load of baloney.
From well-renowned video games like Baldur’s Gate 3 to beloved actual-plays like Critical Role, Dimension 20, and TAZ; it’s clear that public opinion of Dungeons and Dragons has drastically changed since the 80s and that the game is more popular than ever.
Notably, Dungeons and Dragons have become a hobby well-regarded among the LGBTQ+ community, with many a critic such as Thom James Carter in their book ‘They Came to Slay – The Queer Culture of DnD‘ speaking out about how the game has led to “exciting queer, utopian possibilities”.
With such a large following and level of esteem, it makes sense then that Wizards of the Coast is looking to celebrate Dungeons and Dragons anniversary as much as possible.
“D&D has a rich history, an exciting present, and a great future,” said Kyle Brink, Executive Producer of the team making D&D at Wizards of the Coast. “This year we’ll be celebrating all three with the 50th Anniversary of the first publication of Dungeons & Dragons. We’ll take you through the making of the game, bring some of the classic adventures to today’s play, visit the most iconic settings in the D&D multiverse, and kick off the future of the game with the new 2024 core rulebooks that are the heart of the game. We’ve been building up to this for a while now. It’s going to be a lot of fun.”
Wizards of the Coast have announced several new illustrated books, most of which are set to release this year.
The first is Vecna: Eve of Ruin. An adventure campaign for characters level 10 to 20, this adventure is all about high stakes and an ever-changing multiverse of worlds. Heroes will begin in the familiar lands of the Forgotten Realms, but will be able to travel to other realms like Spelljammer, Eberron, Ravenloft, Dragonlance, Greyhawk and Planescape as they race to obliterate the lich Vecna before they can take over all of the worlds. This adventure is set to release on May 21, 2024.
But that’s not all. Quests from the Infinite Staircase, an adventure anthology for characters level 1 to 13, weaves together 6 classic D&D adventures but with the twist of having updated them for the game’s 5th edition. This anthology will release on July 16, 2024.
However, if you’re looking for something to find out more about the first few years of Dungeons and Dragons and why the anniversary is so special, you’ll want to stick around to get your hands on The Making of Original Dungeons & Dragons: 1970-1977. This book showcases the inception of D&D, and even includes Gary Gygax’s never-before-seen first draft of D&D. Documented and described by historian Jon Peterson, fans will want to nab this when it releases on June 18, 2024.
However, Dungeons and Dragons main resource books are also getting a massive update this 2024. Both the Dungeon Master’s Guide and the Players Handbook have been revised and enhanced, with more tools and accessibility than ever before. Players Handbook will be released on September 17, 2024, whereas the Dungeon Master’s Guide will be released on November 12, 2024.
You may be wondering where the ever-daunting Monster Manual fits in this update, has it also been revised as well? We can confirm that is indeed the case, but that will be released on February 18, 2025.
What’s more, there will also be “new ways to improve immersion with a 3D virtual tabletop” and a way to make playing D&D much more accessible through the tool D&D Beyond. More information about that will be revealed later in 2024.
Alongside new adventures and tools, fans looking to celebrate the Dungeons and Dragons anniversary can do so through a new lineup of products in collaboration with best-in-class partners such as Converse, an official LEGO IDEAS building set, and even delicious treats from brands like Pop-Tarts.
Whether you’re a new or old fan, Dungeons and Dragons has something for everyone this 2024.