Tuesday, 20 May 2014

DUNGEONS AND DRAGONS 5th Edition launch details given

Wizards of the Coast have detailed their launch plans for the 5th Edition of Dungeons and Dragons. It's been confirmed that the name 'D&D Next' was just a placeholder and has now been ditched: the game will officially just be called D&D but '5th Edition' is an informal description for it.

The launch schedule is as follows:

15 July: D&D Starter Set
19 August: Player's Handbook, Hoard of the Dragon Queen (adventure)
30 September: Monster Manual 
21 October: The Rise of Tiamat (adventure)
19 November: Dungeon Master's Guide

Wizards of the Coast and Hasbro are betting a lot on the release of the new edition, especially as their plans for a tie-in movie franchise were torpedoed by a legal challenge by the previous rights-holders. 4th Edition, release in 2008, was a financial failure (after an initially promising start) and its mixed critical reception tore the core D&D fanbase apart. Many D&D fans have moved onto games like Pathfinder, 13th Age and Numenera, not to mention various 'retroclones' (games by third parties based heavily on older editions of D&D). The high price of 5th Edition ($50 each for the rulebooks and $30 for the adventures) isn't likely to do much to tempt them back.

One factor in D&D's favour is that its primary competition (and the pen-and-paper RPG market-leader for the last few years), Pathfinder, has now been going for over five years and is starting to get a little long in the tooth. With no proper second edition on the horizon for that game, D&D 5th Edition may tempt some fans to at least take a look. However, if 5th Edition fails to do well, we might be looking at the retirement of the D&D game for some time to come.


Paul Weimer said...

I do think that, if this doesn't capture a slice of the Pathfinder market, D&D is going to "rest" for a while.

Mike M said...

I love the label "this will probably suck but you never know". I've got the same feeling. At $50/book, kids must make a lot more allowance than I used to! $150 is a lot of money to shell out for some books, especially since old versions are available for so cheap at used bookstores and online.

And don't even get me started on $30 for an adventure. At least with the core books you get a lot of reuse. What do you get from a $30 adventure after you've played it?

Looks to me like we won't have any more D&D any time soon. Too bad nobody could talk some sense into the product guys at Hasbro.

Raven728 said...

That cover art is a far cry from the original Monster Manual, isn't it?

ptolpa said...

Does anyone play D&D any more? Hasn't World of Warcraft killed it off? Who has 5-6 free hours to spend talking to each other? In that way, it's a shame it is in decline.