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D&D: Sneak a Peek at the New DM’s Guide & Monster Manual From Gen Con

3 Minute Read
Aug 10 2023

WotC’s return to Gen Con brought a big panel previewing a bit more about the 2024 DM’s Guide and Monster Manual.

Wizards of the Coast was back at Gen Con for the first time in a good long while. Of course, with D&D staring down the barrel of an edition half-step in 2024, it makes sense that they’d want to be there to show off the new core books.

And while they didn’t go into in-depth detail, they did talk a little more about the PHB, and a lot more about the upcoming 2024 DM’s Guide and Monster Manual. Here are some of the highlights you can expect to see in Unearthed Arcana’s later this year and beyond!

Gen Con Sneak Peek – One D&D DM’s Guide & Monster Manual

Since “One D&D” was announced, we’ve seen a ton of player-facing content. From new versions of the core classes to new core mechanics that have come and gone in the face of player feedback. But what we haven’t seen a ton of is what the new DM-facing books will be like.

After all, that’s the one part of D&D that seems to be the least “under-monetized” according to WotC executives, since DM’s do most of the spending. What does that mean for the upcoming core books? In a nutshell, accessibility.

Or as WotC put it at Gen Con: “more show, less tell.” The new DMG will come with a campaign model to help you design your own. You’ll get to walk through everything from planning adventures to building settings.

We also got to hear a little more about the Bastion system, which was something Jeremy Crawford mentioned at the tail end of 2022. Bastions will be player bases of operation, and add an element of basebuilding to your party.


This isn’t the first time D&D’s had a system like this. Older editions had levels at which point, if you built yourself a base, you’d start attracting followers. And the Bastion system seems to be a return to that. You can actually see something a bit similar in the Franchise rules included in the Acquisitions Incorporated book.

Of course, as the party gets more powerful, so too can the base, with different upgrades that come with in-game benefits. Mostly these sound like new things your party can do: build ships, start guilds, recruit hirelings. But it’s something that the D&D team is hoping to roll out before too long, aiming either at the end of 2023 or early 2024.

Meanwhile, the new Monster Manual promises more than 500 monsters in the core book. Including new high-CR monsters, new NPC groups, and monsters that have been “optimized for fun & challenge.” The NPC groups apply to monsters as well.

One of the big concepts was having “families of monsters” similar to how Dragons come at a variety of CRs, from wyrmlings to ancient wyrms. So too might you find a number of different liches, like Wizards who have just attained lichdom (and are thus lower-level threats).

This and more await in the 2024 DM’s Guide and Monster Manual


Author: J.R. Zambrano
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