D&D Celebration 2021 wrapped up yesterday with the announcement that a revised, fully backwards compatible version of the Dungeons and Dragons rules will be launched for 2024. It has been described as 'the next evolution' of the core rulebooks. This is not unusual for the game; popular iterations of the rules usually get compatible ‘revisions’ that update rules errors and expand material without over-hauling everything or alienating players.
The news, scant as it is, has come as a relief to many gamers. Fifth Edition D&D is hugely popular and is the rules-set best known to modern gamers. The announcement means that the game we are all familiar with isn’t about to radically change anytime soon, but it is likely that streamlined, more accessible books are on their way. This update will coincide with the 50th anniversary of the game. No official name has been announced, but it is expected to be a 5.5 edition rather than a sixth edition.
At the same panel, it was announced that a new setting book will be launched in 2022. We know that at least a number of ‘classic’ settings from previous editions are planned, as are some wholly new settings. That however, isn’t the big news. A draft version of the alt-art cover for one of the new setting books shows Boo, the iconic miniature space hamster from Baldur’s Gate.
In the video game Baldur’s Gate, the hero Minsc has a hamster that he claims is his best friends, and that’s a miniature version of giant, cosmic rodents. The presence of Boo on a cover implies that the setting book could be one of a number of things; It could be the cover of Spelljammer book – the space hamsters come from this sci-fi fantasy setting that mixes normal D&D fantasy with enormous space-faring wooden craft, musket wielding hippo-men and star-eating dragons. Spelljammer was last seen during the 90s, as part of the game’s second edition.
It could be the cover of a Dragonlance book – the race of space hamsters are said to be the inventions of Tinker Gnomes, mad inventors unique to Krynn, the world the classic D&D setting Dragonlance is set in. Dragonlance was part of the game’s first edition.
It could be another book set in the Forgotten Realms, which is where Minsc and Boo are from, or the new book could set the pair up as wanderers across the D&D’s various planes of reality. At this point, it’s all wild speculation, but we’re looking forward to the future reveal.