The D&DDirect 2023 is where Wizards of the Coast plans to show off a variety of announcements for the TTRPG itself, as well as a number of announcements for the brand including information about the upcoming movie Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves, the VTT, and other merchandise. This 30-minute presentation hosted by Gina Darling and Ify Nwadiwe will likely go fast but we'll be updating our coverage with each new announcement so check back in case you missed anything.
Minecraft X Dungeons & Dragons
After teasing some video game-related surprises the first trailer is for a new adventure through the Sword Coast within the voxel world of Minecraft. The Trailer showed off familiar creatures and settings for fans of D&D but also showed off some mechanics that haven't been seen before in Minecraft such as Class systems, and fully voiced dialogue trees complete with skill checks. We had a chance to hear more about this collaboration from Riccardo Lenzi, Senior Producer at Mojang, and Tom Sargent, Senior Producer at Wizards of the Coast, to learn how the partnership came about, what you can expect from this adventure, and what new features are in store.
It was also revealed that the Minecraft x Dungeons & Dragons Monstrous Compendium Volume Three: Minecraft Creatures would release today on DnDBeyond for no additional price. This document will feature stat blocks for the Ender Dragon, Enderman, and the Creeper. Two more monsters will be included but they weren't revealed to us just yet, you'll have to redeem them to see.
D&D Toys For Honor Among Thieves
After a trailer for the upcoming movie Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves, and a brief musical interlude on how to get your friends into playing D&D by JoCat, the next D&D product to talk about is merchandise and figures for Honor Among Thieves. The Golden Archive collection add 6-inch figures of the cast from the movie, a 40th-anniversary collection of the 1980s Dungeons & Dragons cartoon characters, and Dicelings, transformable D20 that become monsters. Added to the Golden Archive collection are Xanathar, an Owlbear, and a Displacer Beast. More information on these can be seen on the HasbroPulse YouTube channel on March 29th at 11 am EST.
Secret Lair Magic The Gathering Drops For D&D Honor Among Thieves Pay Homage To The Main Cast
The main cast of the Dungeons & Dragons movie is getting their own Magic The Gathering Cards in a new Secret Lair drop. Hearing about these cards from Jeremy Jarvis, the Senior Creative Director at WOTC, and Sarra Scherb, Copywriter at WOTC, they spoke about how lucky they were that each of the main characters was able to fit into the five colors MtG archetypes so well to create these cards. Normally characters for MtG cards are designed with mechanics in mind but with these cards, the narrative was first and so mechanics then had to fit around those.
The cards and some information about them are as follows:
- Xenk, Paladin Unbroken - 2/4 - Human Knight - Mono White
There is an easter egg with this character's name while Paladin isn't a type available in MtG they instead used Knight but still wanted to reference his Paladin class in the title. The Unbroken aspect is to pay homage to Xenk's Paladin Oath being written in Celestial on the flat of his blade that you can see in the card artwork. "Neither virtue or blade shall break"
- Simon, Wild Magic Sorcerer - 1/1 - Human Elf Shaman - Mono Blue
To pay homage to his Wild Magic nature instants and sorcery spells will cause a D20 roll that can help or hurt your game
- Forge, Neverwinter Charlatan - 2/4 - Human Rogue - Mono Black
- Holga, Relentless Rager - 4/6 - Human Barbarian - Mono Red
- Doric, Nature's Warden, and Doric, Owlbear Avenger - 3/3 to 6/6 - Mono Green
- Edgin, Larcenous Lutenist - 3/3 - Human Bard - Red, Blue
Edgin's role in the Harpers is that he's a planner and Blue, but the version that's spent in the movie is emotion driven which is very Red
You can pre-order these cards today on Magicsecretlair.com
Drizzt's New Book Releases In August, Neverwinter Tie In
R.A. Salvatore, Author and Creator of Drizzt Do'Urden spoke briefly about his origins in Technical Writing, his love of Tolkien, and how when he ran out of fantasy to read he ended up having to write his own. Salvatore expands on why he believes people relate to Drizzt so much, not that he's the type of person that others want to be having daring adventures, but in how misunderstood he is and that he's having to prove that who he is isn't based on the character of his lineage but by what he does himself.
Commenting on how different it is for Salvatore to write a novel vs a video game he comments that for a novel it's all about creating characters that the readers will see the world through, for Neverwinter players however they're always going to be seeing through their own character's eyes so he needs to write to show that character what he's going to need them to see. His purpose with this collaboration was to create something that doesn't rely too heavily on the book, but in a way that the game and book can lean on each other.
After hearing from Salvatore a trailer for Neverwinter showing the Menzoberranzan Update plays, showing off locations in the Drow city and mounts. This DLC is available now and for those who log in between March 28th and April 4th, you'll receive a free gift.
D&D Digital VTT Pre-Alpha Shown
Footage is shown of the hosts joined by Kale Stutzman, Principal Game Designer for D&D Digital, as they go hands-on with D&D's official VTT solution. Some features such as miniatures, environments, and the ability to import DnDBeyond characters into the game are shown before Stutzman dives into what they're hoping to achieve with this product. Their aim was to combine "fun, convenience, and authenticity" in their VTT solution.
Part of what's discussed isn't just players across computers, but mobile devices and even consoles are brought up as a place to play D&D. Dice rolls are shown in-engine to not only roll with physics, as DnDBeyond is proud of, but the dice rolls also interact with the environment of the setting. Running in Unreal Engine 5 tests of D&D Digital are being conducted with friends of those at WOTC supporting spells, effects, and rules while also not limiting what players and DMs want to be able to do at the table. DMs can set the weather as well as the time of day to set the scene.
As D&D Digital grows Stutzman talks about how it's not just important that officially made content is available but that the same way that they build things will be available to players and DMs to create their own worlds and adventures. A marketplace is brought up where players will be able to pick up different user-created content to add to their own virtual tabletop experiences. Everything from the Monster Manual will be included in D&D Digital so players will be able to start with a large base of content.
The next steps for D&D Digital are that it will be in players' hands in late 2023.
WizKids show off life-sized Mimic
WizKids, creators of high-quality miniatures and figurines for Dungeons & Dragons monsters, took a brief moment to show off their new life-sized figures of a Mimic and a Baby Owlbear. The Baby Ownbear is 11 inches tall and 12 inches wide, while the Mimic is 20 inches tall, 15 inches wide, and 16 inches deep. You can pre-order these figures now.
Dungeons & Dragons Documentary for 50th Anniversary
Joe Manganiello, Director and Producer of the Official D&D Documentary, talks about their current progress on the documentary for the 50th anniversary of D&D. He speaks on his own experiences starting as a DM at the age of 9, his love of Dragonlance, and time spent directing the documentary. At the moment they're filming a variety of interviews with those publically in the sphere of D&D like content creators, as well as talk show hosts, celebrities, and athletes on their experiences with D&D throughout the years.
More information will be revealed over the course of 2023 as we get closer to 2024, D&D's 50th anniversary, and the release of this documentary.
Upcoming Dungeons & Dragons Adventure and Source Books
To cap off the show Chris Perkins and Jeremy Crawford appeared to talk about what is next for the TTRPG itself. 2023 will include the previously released Keys From The Golden Vault, before moving on to a giant-themed sourcebook Bigby Presents Glory of the Giants. This book will cover the origins of Giants, their elemental powers, and their struggles. To follow up with the mystery of the obelisks that have been appearing across a variety of adventures the next book is Phandelver and Below: Shattered Obelisk where one of these obelisks in Phandalin begins to release dangers beneath the earth. Planescape: Adventures in the Multiverse brings players back to Sigil, a location where denizens from all over are brought together... which can lead to some problems. This adventure will set up an even larger one that will continue into 2024.
The Deck of Many Things will also get its own sourcebook that dives into the creation of the much loved (or hated) magical item. Vecna will be returning in 2024 with a cosmic horror, world-hopping adventure, that won't just show love to the past 50 years of D&D history but set up more events in the future. Talking more about the connections that players will begin to see across D&D books the Red Wizards from Honor Among Thieves will be getting their own related adventure in 2025. Venger, the main antagonist from the D&D animated show, will be returning in an upcoming D&D adventure too.
With that massive dump of information for upcoming D&D adventures and how they'll all keep tying into a greater adventure the D&DDirect 2023 officially wraps.