What is One D&D?

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“D&D” players are excited for the upcoming edition “One D&D.” Wizards of the Coast has been very public with the development of the new release and has even allowed fans to playtest it. (Photo used by permission of Wizards of the Coast)

A staple of many tabletop gaming tables, the hit table-top role playing game “Dungeons & Dragons” will recieve a new massive update in the coming months. Titled “One D&D,” this new movement aims to modernize the current D&D experience, enhance the universality of D&D rulesets, and enhance the digital experience for “D&D” players.

“One D&D” also holds the purpose of being the most beginner-friendly edition yet. The vast amounts of content and editions may make it confusing for new players to get a grasp on the new content, but this article serves to summarize the incoming update.

What’s in “One D&D?”

Although it is a large overhaul of current D&D mechanics, “One D&D” is not technically a full new “edition” of “D&D,” rather it is a massive set of optional overhauls to current D&D races, classes, and various general mechanics.

The mechanics of each vanilla (main) class and race have been overhauled. Entire abilities and traits have been added or removed from some races, while some have only seen minor stat changes. For example, the basic “Human” race has been removed, and has been fully replaced by the previous “Variant Human,” and the “Dragonborn” has been granted Darkvision and a reworked Breath Weapon.

Classes have seen some of the largest overhauls, with general class-changes including a universal Level 3 start for all subclasses, and the ability for classes to now maximize a stat to 22.

Specific classes have had varying changes made to them. Monks and Fighters have been granted many new features and have been overall buffed, while previous powerful classes such as Sorcerer and Totem Barbarians have seen nerfs.

Weapon Proficiency and Mastery has also been doled out to the “martial” (non-magic classes): Barbarian, Fighter, Ranger, Rogue.

Many non-combat changes have been made as well, such as the creation of “Bastion” rules, allowing for player characters to construct and manage their own castles and forts.

How does it relate to “D&D” 5th Edition?

The most recent and widely-played version of “D&D” is its 5th edition, released in 2014. This release was intended to act as a beginner-friendly version of “D&D,” a far cry from the laborious and math-heavy 4th Edition.

“One D&D” contunues to improve quality of life, as the rulesets are based off of the current 5th edition. The rules are so similar, in fact, many fans have taken to referring to “One D&D” as Dungeons and Dragons 5.5 Edition.

Digital improvements with “One D&D”

In recent years, many D&D fans have advocated for the improvement of quality-of-life for online D&D players. Before the acquisition of D&D Beyond by Wizards of the Coast, any physical “D&D” sourcebooks purchased could not be redeemed online and would have to be repurchased at full price. With the release of “One D&D” however, all sourcebooks will be bundled with an online edition compatible with D&D Beyond at no additional cost.

Wizards of the Coast has also partnered with popular virtual tabletop service FoundryVTT to produce a new virtual tabletop. This virtual tabletop service will be officially integrated with both “D&D” sourcebooks and campaigns. The virtual tabletop is supposedly being developed in Epic Game’s new Unreal Engine 5.

When will “One D&D” release?

Currently, the only form of publicly available “One D&D” content can be found through the Unearthed Arcana releases on D&D Beyond. These weekly blog posts included rule sets for the updated classes, races, and roleplay/travel mechanics. These sources, while official, are not the final product. The fully complete rulesets will be released through sourcebooks. 

The release of the official “One D&D” sourcebooks have been scheduled across several dates through 2024 and 2025. The updated Player’s Handbook will be released on September 17, 2024, the Dungeonmaster’s Guide on November 12, 2024, and the Monster Manual on February 18, 2025.

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