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Everything Announced At the 2023 D&D Direct

Dungeons & Dragons publisher Wizards of the Coast, a subsidiary of Hasbro, got off to a rocky start in 2023, but the company seems determined to leave the past behind. Although the tabletop roleplaying community at large is still wary of Wizards after it proposed a new Open Game License that would significantly restrict third-party creators’ work, the company released a highly polished D&D Direct 2023 Showcase on March 28.

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The showcase led with the reveal of a new D&D partnership with Minecraft, which will launch this spring with the free “Monstrous Compendium” DLC. Players choose their character class and explore five Forgotten Realms locations as they fight D&D monsters like beholders, mindflayers, and mimics. They can customize their characters’ stats and will roll d20s to determine their successes and failures.

“We’re incredibly excited to partner with Wizards of the Coast, to introduce a brand new, story-driven Dungeons & Dragons DLC to Minecraft! We can’t wait for the community to dive in and experience a blocky take on the world of D&D,” said Mojang Studios senior producer Riccardo Lenzi.

Following the Minecraft announcement, the D&D Direct revealed the Golden Archive release of three new figures from Hasbro: Xanathar, an owlbear, and the displacer beast featured in Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves, which hits theaters this weekend.

Hasbro is also releasing Dicelings and 6″ character figures from the movie, and Wizards is doing a movie tie-in Secret Lair drop for Magic: The Gathering. The pack will feature six cards based on the movie characters and bear the cast’s likenesses. Pre-orders for Secret Lair x Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves are available now, with foil editions retailing at $49.99 and non-foil editions retailing at $39.99.

If that’s not your cup of tea, WizKids revealed the latest figure in its line of D&D Replicas of the Realms: a 20″ mimic treasure chest releasing this year for a whopping $375. Pre-orders are open now.

D&D Replicas of the Realms mimic figure
(Wizards of the Coast)

Finally, the D&D Direct featured an interview with author R.A. Salvatore, whose vision of the Forgotten Realms as seen in the Legend of Drizzt series has become the standard for many D&D players.

“It’s very different to write for a video game than writing for a novel,” Salvatore said. “You’re going to walk down the road looking at the world through Drizzt’s eyes. When I’m writing a video game, however, the most important character in a video game to the player is the one they are playing. In Neverwinter, the work they are doing always astounds me and the fact that they are piggy-backing on stuff I did makes me feel very good.”

Wizards, Gearbox Publishing, and Cryptic Studios teamed up with Salvatore to create “Menzoberranzan,” the 25th expansion for the Neverwinter MMO. The expansion allows players to explore the dangerous city in-game for the first time, and it’s available today on PC, Xbox, and PlayStation.

To wrap, the D&D Direct gave a sneak peek at Joe Mangianello’s upcoming documentary celebrating the 50th anniversary of Dungeons & Dragons. Wizards of the Coast principal story designer Chris Perkins and lead rules designer Jeremy Crawford dropped hints for what’s to come in future D&D modules and books, as well as pre-alpha gameplay footage of the official WotC virtual tabletop (VTT) that’s currently in development.

Watch the complete D&D Direct 2023 Showcase below.

(featured image: Wizards of the Coast)

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Samantha Puc
Samantha Puc (she/they) is a fat, disabled, lesbian writer and editor who has been working in digital and print media since 2010. Their work focuses primarily on LGBTQ+ and fat representation in pop culture and their writing has been featured on Refinery29, Bitch Media, them., and elsewhere. Samantha is the co-creator of Fatventure Mag and she contributed to the award-winning Fat and Queer: An Anthology of Queer and Trans Bodies and Lives. They are an original cast member of Death2Divinity, and they are currently pursuing a Master of Fine Arts degree in creative nonfiction at The New School. When Samantha is not working or writing, she loves spending time with her cats, reading, and perfecting her grilled cheese recipe.