It’s hard to believe that it’s already June. Over the past few weeks, we pulled back the curtain on a number of our plans and set the stage for the next six months of Dungeons & Dragons.

To hit the highlights:

  • Tyranny of Dragons marks the first in a series of campaigns that cross over between the tabletop RPG, the Neverwinter MMO, and the D&D licensed miniatures and games from WizKids.
  • 5th Edition Dungeons & Dragons will hit stores in July with the D&D Starter Set. The Player’s Handbook arrives in time for Gen Con in August, the Monster Manual roars to life in September, and the Dungeon Master’s Guide releases in November.
  • Basic D&D will be a complete RPG available for free as a PDF at www.dungeonsanddragons.com. It releases with the Starter Set and includes everything you need to create characters using the core classes (cleric, fighter, rogue, wizard) and races (dwarf, elf, halfling, human) to 20th level. With the release of the Player’s Handbook, Basic D&D will be expanded to include monsters, treasure, and the rules DMs need to create campaigns and run the game.
  • We have plans for a program that allows people to publish and share 5th Edition material, but we’re holding off on a full announcement until this fall. Our plan is to launch the program in early 2015.

That’s a lot going on already—on top of which, you can also expect the following:

  • For the next few months, this column will focus on previewing the contents of our upcoming products. The D&D Starter Set is up first, beginning next week.
  • From June 13 to 15, Rodney Thompson and I will be at the Origins Game Fair in Columbus, Ohio. Stop by our seminars or the D&D play area and say hi. We’ll have a nifty announcement that I’ll recap in the June 16 Legends & Lore column. It’s nothing groundbreaking, but I’m excited about it nonetheless.

In terms of what we’re working on now, our days are being spent finalizing the Player’s Handbook and Hoard of the Dragon Queen—the first episode of Tyranny of Dragons. Hoard is heading to the printer the day this article is published, June 2. The Player’s Handbook departs on June 9. It’s fantastic to finally see both products in their final forms.

In addition to the products mentioned above, I’ve spent much of my time this week looking at the Dungeon Master’s Guide. Chris Perkins has wrestled the Monster Manual into shape, and that book is now in its graphic design stage. I’ve also seen the layout of the new DM’s Screen, and in my (admittedly biased) view, it looks fantastic.

So that’s where we are as of June 2, 2014. The release dates seem so far away, but our deadlines help make the time speed by. July can’t come quickly enough.

Mike Mearls
Mike Mearls is the senior manager for the D&D research and design team. He led the design for 5th Edition D&D. His other credits include the Castle Ravenloft board game, Monster Manual 3 for 4th Edition, and Player’s Handbook 2 for 3rd Edition.