Designers & Dragons was published at a weird time in the RPG industry, when Dungeons & Dragons was largely off-the-shelf, and the industry was waiting with baited breath to see if the Next edition of the game would resolve the marketing and sales problems of 4E. Thus, the Wizards of the Coast history in Designers & Dragons ended with a pregnant pause.
That story continues now. As with the Other “Designers & Dragons Next” updates, this one is being written in support of the upcoming German translation of Designers & Dragons, whose crowdfunding ends tomorrow. So if you’re a collector or a German fan, this is your last chance to get in on the Kickstarter.
To read the whole story of Wizards of the Coast, first consult pages 127-198 (whew!) in Designers & Dragons: The ’90s, then continue here. Of all the updated histories, this one required the least backtracking, since Wizards of the Coast was so clearly at an inflection point in 2011. Nonetheless, there was plenty of new material to discuss.
The Next Bridge: 2011-2014
Work on D&D 3e began in 1997, shortly after Wizards of the Coast’s purchase of TSR. Similarly, work on 4E began around 2005. In both cases, Wizards had about three years to put together an entirely new game system. Meanwhile, Wizards gave their first indication that they were thinking about a fifth edition of D&D (which they initially called “D&D Next”) in September 2011. That’s when they rehired Monte Cook — an architect of 3E that had left the company in 2001 to form his own Malhavoc Press. On January 9, 2012, Wizards confirmed that Cook was the head designer of a new 5E team led by Mike Mearls and also including Bruce Cordell and Robert J. Schwalb.
The three-year pattern would repeat, with a new game ready almost exactly three years after Wizards rehired Cook. However, those interim years were not without drama. Monte Cook suddenly departed the team on April 25, 2012. He cited “differences of opinion with the company”. Mike Mearls afterward took up the Design Team Lead position that Cook left vacant. Though those differences of opinion were likely very real, Cook’s work with Wizards might also have interfered with his desire to Kickstart a personal project. His Numenéra RPG (2013) — which Cook Kickstarted from his new company, Monte Cook Games, after he left Wizards — raised $517,255 from 4,658 backers; it was one of the biggest RPG successes of the year on Kickstarter.
I want to take this time to stress that my differences were not with my fellow designers, Rob Schwalb and Bruce Cordell. I enjoyed every moment of working with them over the past year. I have faith that they’ll create a fun game. I’m rooting for them.Monte Cook, LiveJournal entry (April 2012)
Whatever the precise reasons, Cook’s defection wasn’t the last for the 5E team: designer Bruce Cordell left on July 16, 2013, though he remained positive about the 5E project, calling it “a kick-ass set of D&D rules”. He afterward joined Cook working on Numenéra. Meanwhile, 4E Rules Manager Jeremy Crawford stepped up as Co-Lead Designer, Lead Rules Developer, and Managing Editor for the new D&D 5E rules. In the end, Mearls and Crawford would get the topline credit for the newest version of the D&D game.
But, that was still three years in the future, and Wizards of the Coast needed to maintain their production during that period, to keep the D&D brand in the public eye (and to keep their finances in the black). They did so by several means.
First, Wizards focused on their D&D-related lines. Their final fiction line, for the Forgotten Realms, kept publishing, with the most notable fiction release being a loosely connected set of “Sundering” novels (2013-2014) that once again updated the setting for the reality of a new rules set. D&D board games expanded beyond the “adventure system” games that had debuted with Castle Ravenloft. Wizards published the wargame Conquest of Nerath (2011), the eurogame Lords of Waterdeep (2012), and a new edition of the classic Dungeon! (2012) before Wizards became totally focused on the new D&D rules. Finally, Wizards published Dungeon Command (2012), a notable new miniatures game. Designers Kevin Tatroe, Peter Lee, and Rodney Thompson built the game using “adventure system” components, but used it to support skirmish-level battles as a successor to the Dungeons & Dragons Miniatures line that was just then ending.
Second, Wizards of the Coast kept their toe in the roleplaying pool, but they did so using classic material that wouldn’t be outdated by the new edition of D&D. This began with the release of vintage D&D products in premium print editions. Wizards published premium first edition AD&D books first (2012), followed quickly by premium editions of the 3.5e books (2012). Following the success of those releases, Wizards reprinted some classic AD&D adventures as well as premium versions of AD&D 2e (2013) and OD&D (2013). Meanwhile, Wizards was also planning an electronic initiative for classic reprints. They’d previously sold D&D PDFs through Paizo and DrivethruRPG, but withdrew them in 2009, claiming that they were afraid of pirates. Now, they revealed a bigger-than-ever partnership with DriveThruRPG, which allowed them release almost all of their old catalog over the course of several years through a new DnDClassics.com site (2013). Weekly releases of 3-6 classic PDFs helped to keep D&D in the public eye during the interim between editions.
It turned out that all of these classic reprints were also relevant to the new edition of D&D …
The Next Playtest: 2012-2014
In fact, the 5E design team played through all the previous editions of D&D prior to starting work on “D&D Next”, to understand how the game had changed over the years. This allowed them to set a goal of creating “a version of D&D that embraces the enduring, core elements of the game”. They wanted to give each GM the ability to mold their own unique game — whether his group wanted a roleplaying game, a tactical combat game, or something else. The 5E team also wanted to create “a set of rules that allows a smooth transition from a simple game to a complex one”, but Mearls said that the mechanics weren’t the most important part of the game; instead, he felt that it was the ideas of character and story that defined D&D.
I think we’re finding consistently that it’s the story element, it’s that idea of what a character is, that’s really important. And the mechanics, as long as they are easy to understand and easy to use, they just kind of have to go in the background.—Mike Mearls, Forbes.com (May 2013)
Wizards began a closed playtest for D&D 5E with about one thousand players at the start of 2012. They then gave the wider public a taste of the new game at Winter Fantasy 36 (2012) in January — when the con was briefly known as Dungeons & Dragons Experience. The PAX East 2012 convention in April gave the public a second opportunity to see the game at this early stage.
However, what most D&D fans were waiting for was the (mostly) open playtest, which began on May 24, 2012. It was likely influenced by Paizo’s very successful playtest of Pathfinder (2009) back in 2008. The one difference was that Wizards required playtesters to agree to a simple NDA. That didn’t deter fans: about 200,000 joined over the next year and a half. The playtest was probably as helpful for keeping D&D in the public spotlight as all the fiction, boardgames, premium rulebooks, and online PDFs.
The playtest ran through September 19, 2013, with Wizards of the Coast distributing about a dozen playtest packets during that time. They contained constantly expanding and changing variants of the core rules as well as adventures for the players to test out. These adventures hinted at a new focus for the new game, because they were the dungeon crawls and hex crawls of the earliest days of the hobby. An updated version of B2: The Keep on the Borderlands (1979) called B2: The Caves of Chaos (2012) led the way and was followed by X1: The Isle of Dread (2012). D&D 5E was looking more old school than any recent edition of the game.
Mearls learned how players felt about the playtests primarily through surveys. Early on, he was most surprised by the fact that players were loving the game’s simpler and faster rules. He’d been afraid playtesters would think the game incomplete, but instead they were embracing its leanness. Mearls later said that this feedback “went against nearly 15 years of conventional wisdom in the D&D business”. He took it seriously.
One other bit of feedback was more troubling: D&D 4E fans kept saying that they felt left out by the new game. Mearls promised that a tactical maneuver system and alternate magic systems were both on their way, but in the end D&D 5E would be more similar to the third edition than the fourth edition (and in fact the tactical combat and the alternative magic would not make their way into the published rules).
Encounters was soon enlisted to support the playtest. The twelfth season, “Against the Cult of Chaos” (February 2013), was still a 4E adventure, but the January 28, 2013 playtest packet supported it with a full 5E conversion. Later playtest packets similarly supported season #13, “Storm Over Neverwinter” (April 2013), and season #14, “Search for the Diamond Staff” (June 2013).
By the time “Search for the Diamond Staff” appeared, about a year and a half after playtesting began for D&D 5E, Wizards was ready to leave a more permanent mark. Over the summer, they released a handful of “D&D Next” modules in various ways. That began at the 2013 Worldwide D&D Game Day. Wizards had been running these Game Days since 2004, when the first one celebrated the 30th anniversary of D&D. Up through 2011, one or more Game Days supported the Dungeons & Dragons game every year with new adventures that were run in game stores across the world. Only in 2012, when D&D was on the outs, did Dungeon Command instead take center stage. Now, on June 15, 2013, Wizards of the Coast presented GMs across the world with Vault of the Dracolich (2013), a brand-new D&D Next adventure. Although the Worldwide D&D Game Day wasn’t as big as the playtest itself, it’s likely that tens of thousands of players got to experience the new D&D system that day.
Wizards had even bigger plans for Gen Con Indy 2013, which would be the pinnacle of their pre-release marketing — and rightfully so, because it allowed them to highlight their new game at the industry’s biggest convention. That began with the print publication of Ghost of Dragonspear Castle (2013) by Wizards licensee Gale Force Nine — who got to produce the book because of Wizards’ surprising decision not to exhibit at Gen Con that year, a first for the company. This proto-5E book was the first professional publication of a D&D Next book. Meanwhile, Wizards also took over Hall D at the Indiana Convention Center so that the RPGA could run Confrontation at Candlekeep, a 5E “Dungeon Delve” adventure. Finally, Wizards launched Encounters season fifteen, “Murder in Baldur’s Gate” (2013), that weekend. However, whereas all the previous Encounters had been limited-edition releases given out only to GMs, Wizards put this one on sale as a physical product on August 20, 2013, immediately after Gen Con. The adventure, which brought “The Sundering” to the roleplaying line, was system-neutral, but the monsters book contained 3.5e, 4E, and 5E stats. It was the first new D&D book to hit store shelves since the death of 4E.
After the playtest officially ended a month later, Wizards slowed down the pre-release marketing. Season #16 of Encounters, “Legacy of the Crystal Shard” (2013) carried the torch as a final interim print book, but then Wizards released the final two seasons of Encounters, “Scourge of the Sword Coast” (2014) and “Death in Thay” (2014), online through DnDClassics.
Afterward, the roleplaying world waited to see what would happen when the actual D&D 5E rules released in 2014. But to a certain extent, they knew: D&D 5E was the most widely previewed version of D&D ever.
The Next Release: 2014
The D&D 5E release began with another first: the D&D Basic Rules (2014) were published online as a free download on July 3, 2014. Mearls said that he didn’t want the rules to be a deterrent to beginning D&D play, so anyone that wanted could download a tight and functional book containing 100 pages of 5E rules and play for free. That same day the D&D Starter Set (2014) went on sales in stores that were part of the Wizards Play Network, an organized-play network that Wizards had created for Magic: The Gathering in 2008. The core rulebooks for 5E were then released over the course of several months, something that hadn’t been done since the 3e era: the Player’s Handbook on August 19, the Monster Manual on September 30, and the Dungeon Master’s Guide on December 9.
After two long years of drought, following four long years of discord, D&D was back.
For the third time in its history, Wizards of the Coast had reimagined D&D from the ground up. The design team had been willing to toss out about anything, as long as they maintained the core experience of the D&D game. They were directed in this revision by the playtest, which more than once caused them to dump systems they were considering. So random proficiency dice went, as did the original designs for the sorcerer and the warlock.
I felt like a gnome working in a cave for several years, and when I emerged it was like ‘oh, good, people like what I was killing myself doing.’Jeremy Crawford, “Meet the Man Who Decided What Went into Dungeons & Dragons” (April 2015)
The end result was well-received. It embraced the simplicity that playtesters enjoyed and stepped back from the focus on tactical combat found in 3e and 4E, instead moving D&D toward the roleplaying, adventuring, and storytelling of older versions of the game. One of the most innovative simplifications of the game was its advantage and disadvantage system: instead of piling up small modifiers to rolls, players instead accrued advantages and disadvantages, which forced them to roll extra dice and then take the best or worst results. Beyond that, combat was more abstract, while character experience required less planning. There were even some simple rewards for roleplaying, built into the core game for the first time ever.
Though they haven’t released sales numbers, Wizards has said that 5E’s sales were “staggering” … perhaps the best D&D had ever seen. At the very least, the 5E game seems to bringing more and better attention to D&D than at any time since the d20 boom of the early ’00s.
The Next Lines: 2014-2015
The most surprising thing about D&D 5E may be Wizards’ very slow production of supplements, which has averaged just three print products a year. This was clearly in part pragmatic. In early 2015 days, the D&D team was down to about two dozen members, of which just twelve were creators. As a result, the first few years of D&D 5E products depended on freelance work from other game companies.
Wizards’ decision to close their very popular forums that October, as well as their continued withdrawal from Gen Con, were further indications of this belt tightening. However, it was also a reflection of a new world. Mearls said that the goal was to “diversify the business” by supporting MMOs, board games, miniatures, and other products, not just a tabletop roleplaying game. He also suggested that Wizards was now selling to a post-collector market, giving players what they needed to play, rather than generating endless books to sit on shelves.
Let’s say you buy the three core rulebooks and then the two volumes of the Tyranny of Dragons campaign. That gives you everything you need for the next 6 to 12 months of gaming. Do I really have much of a chance to sell you more RPG stuff during that time?Mike Mearls, Unbound Worlds (July 2014)
Most of D&D’s supplements were now arranged into “storylines”. The first was the “Tyranny of Dragons” storyline, which spanned the first two adventures, Kobold Press’ Hoard of the Dragon Queen (2014) and The Rise of Tiamat (2014). After that, arcs would be constrained to a single print adventure supplement. This was the pattern for the “Elemental Evil” storyline of Sasquatch Game Studios’ Princes of the Apocalypse (2015) and the “Rage of Demons” storyline of Green Ronin’s Out of the Abyss (2015). These adventures were all quite old-school, recalling the adventures of the ’70s and ’80s not just in tone and play style, but also in their attention to D&D lore such as Tiamat, Elemental Evil, and demons (in the Underdark!). They were also all set in D&D’s last setting standing, the Forgotten Realms.
The “storyline” structure allowed Wizards to use each of these scant print roleplaying releases as the nexus for other products. This began with the Adventurers League, Wizards’ new organized-play program for D&D 5E, which replaced the RPGA and entirely subsumed Encounters. Initially, the Adventurers League released three types of organized-play adventures for use during the “season” of each storyline. “Epics” led off seasons with adventures at major conventions, beginning with Teos Abadia’s “Corruption in Kryptgarden” (2014), which ran at Gen Con Indy 2014. “Encounters” offered cut-down versions of the hardcover adventures exclusively to retailers and continued to support 1-2 hour adventures. Finally, “Expeditions” offered a new “Living” experience with longer several-hour adventures; Phlan was the center of Season 1’s “Tyranny of Dragons” Expeditions, then the adventures moved to Mulmaster and Hillsfar in the next few seasons.
However, that wasn’t all; as Mearls had suggested, the storylines could be used across D&D’s IP. WizKids picked up a miniatures license from Wizards in 2014, and regularly produced storyline-linked sets of collected painted miniatures in their “Icons of the Realm” line, beginning with “Tyranny of Dragons” (2014). Dungeons & Dragons Online similarly held “Tyranny of Dragon” prequel events, while the Neverwinter MMORPG (2013) released an entire draconic campaign. Board games such as WizKid’s new adventure system game, Temple of Elemental Evil (2015), linked to later storylines, and in even more recent years, IDW’s D&D comics furthered the reach of some stories. It was a very careful leveraging of Wizards’ limited adventures that successfully diversified the game’s production.
Wizards’ decision to focus entirely on adventures, which had been declared a detriment back at the advent of 3e, was as surprising as their decision to limit production. The difference was probably in this tactic of linked releases: Wizards was producing adventures at a rate that was commiserate with players’ consumption, ensuring that consumption through the Adventurers League, and using the adventures to create IP for their ever-increasing circle of licensees.
If players wanted crunchy rules, they mostly had to go online and seek semi-official “Unearthed Arcana” written by Mearls and others. Wizards considered a rulebook paired with Princes of the Apocalypse, but ended up using Sasquatch Game Studio’s material to produce the PDF-only Elemental Evil Player’s Companion (2015) instead. Only with Green Ronin’s Sword Coast’s Adventurers Guide (2015) did Wizards finally produce a crunchier 5E sourcebook. However, as the Adventurers League brought the Rage of Demons season to an end, the D&D team was ready to begin exploring more worlds and more types of publication.
An Online Interlude: 2015-Present
Despite closing their forums in October 2015, Wizards was generally expanding their electronic presence. In some ways, it would be lower key than the high-flying days of Gleemax and Dungeons & Dragons Insider, but it was also lower drama and quietly successful.
That began with Wizards’ publication of Dragon+ (2015-Present), a free app-magazine that later became an online magazine as well. Its prime purpose was clearly publicity, but it also marked a new way for Wizards to talk to its players.
Wizards was no longer trying to create electronic player aids and virtual battlefields as they had in 4E days. Instead, they were turning to their new favorite tool: licensing. Curse’s D&D Beyond provided the character creation and rules reference side of the equation, while Roll20 and Fantasy Ground offered two different takes on virtual tabletops.
The most notable electronic expansion for D&D was something more innovative: a notable revamp of the DNDClassics site as the Dungeon Masters Guild (2016). This new Guild still offered classic PDF reprints, but it also built on the model of programs such as Amazon’s Kindle Worlds (2013), which allowed fans to create and sell fiction in the worlds of their favorite authors. Seen through the lens of D&D, the Dungeon Masters Guild thus allowed fans to design and publish D&D modules and even to use D&D’s active settings (which at the time was just the Forgotten Realms). While official D&D 5E releases were on a slow publication schedule, the Dungeon Masters Guild provided content to fans who wanted more variety (or just more books). This model would be wildly successful, encouraging DTRPG to create similar “community content programs” for a dozen other publishers, including notables such as Chaosium, Mongoose, and Monte Cook Games.
However, the Dungeon Masters Guild was more than just a reprint site or a fan site. It also provided a new venue for the distribution of the numerous Adventurers League adventures. This gave fans the ability to buy semi-official adventures that were connected to the storylines anchored by D&D’s hardcover releases. What might look like just a few products each year to the casual fan became dozens of thematically connected releases — just in a different media than would have been the case a decade before.
This use of the Guild to leverage the production of the League, and multiply D&D’s almost-official publications, was likely a factor in the game’s ever-increasing modern-day success. It built on the mass-market attention that Wizards’ game-store-based Encounters and Adventurers League programs had already achieved. However, there was one more element, another electronic advance, that might have done even more to help D&D 5E succeed than the rest combined: D&D live streams. These were video streams on the internet, appearing at twitch, Youtube, and other sites, which gave fans the ability to watch other peoples’ live D&D games. The biggest successes, like Geek & Sundry’s Critical Role (2015-Present), broadcast celebrity D&D games, but there were also more casual, amateur groups.
Though they didn’t have any control over the advent of streaming technology, Wizards immediately saw its potential and took advantage of it. They regularly highlighted the best video streams (and for oldtimers, the best classic podcasts) in Dragon+ and even began their own D&D stream, Dice, Camera, Action! (2016-Present). They soon expanded on that with major streaming events that became part of their marketing, starting with the “Stream of Annihilation” (June 2017), a two-day event that brought together many of the major D&D streamers, followed by the three-day “Stream of Many Eyes” (June 2018). Each event announced a major new storyline.
When D&D first appeared in the ’70s, it was a relatively solitaire experience, played by small groups of friends connected to the rest of the world only by APAs, the letter columns of magazines, and the occasional convention. In the 21st century, the growth of the internet has slowly eroded the solitude of roleplayers, but the ability to actually see other gamers play is a quantum change, and so it’s not surprising that it may be the basis of some of the strongest growth that D&D has seen in the 5E days.
The Next Future: 2016-Present
Obviously, 2014 was the inflection point for modern-day Dungeons & Dragons, with the release of D&D 5E and the debut of Wizards’ new production strategy. However, 2016 was also important, because it marked several crucial changes that would reveal the path for the game going forward.
To start with, Wizards retook total control of its products. Where they’d coordinated with external producers to create the first three storylines for D&D 5E play, now they were ready and able to undertake that work in house. Chris Perkins led the development of Wizards’ continuing adventures, such as Curse of Strahd (2016), Storm King’s Thunder (2016), and Tomb of Annhilation (2017). These adventures also slightly moved away from the Forgotten Realms core of the first releases. Curse of Strahd revisited the original I6: Ravenloft adventure (1983) by Tracy and Laura Hickman, and in doing so opened up the Ravenloft setting for usage by fans at the Dungeon Masters Guild. Tales from the Yawning Portal (2017) then revisited seven classic dungeon crawls, from S1: Tomb of Horrors (1978) to Dead in Thay.
This went hand in hand with changes at the Adventurers League, beginning with season four. The Epic “Reclamation of Phlan” debuted at Winter Fantasy 40 (2016) and closed out a plotline from season 1, but otherwise the League did away with its Epic/Encounter/Expedition trichotomy. Instead, all other adventures were gathered under the “Adventurers League” banner, and concentrated tightly on the season’s themes and stories. After a six-year run that brought D&D organized play into game stores across the world, the Encounters program had been entirely replaced.
Meanwhile, Mike Mearls and Jeremy Crawford were working on crunchy hardcover rulebooks, another expansion beyond the constrained production of 5E’s first few years. Xanathar’s Guide to Everything (2017) was largely a collection of the best-loved “Unearthed Arcana” articles. However, it was just one of three new rulebooks. Volo’s Guide to Monsters (2016) and Mordenkainen’s Tome of Foes (2018) were essentially Wizards’ newest take on Monster Manuals, but they paired about half-a-book worth of “Bestiary” with about half-a-book worth of lore, continuing the new storytelling focus of the D&D line.
Amidst these 2016 expansions, there was one surprising contraction. In 2016 Wizards ended it long-running fiction program with the publication of Hero (2016), a Drizzt novel by R.A. Salvatore. This finale had been a long-time coming, with the venerable Dragonlance fiction line ending its run in 2010, and a few final Eberron and Dark Sun books appearing in the years thereafter, but since 2012 it had been all Forgotten Realms, and in 2016 there had been a trend toward … rather conclusive novels. The reason for the end of this successful line was an increased inability for modern-day gaming companies to create and market novels in the mass-market, a problem that Paizo also faced around the same time. At the least, Drizzt has gotten a reprieve: Timeless (2018), the newest Drizzt novel by R.A. Salvatore, appeared from Harper Voyager in September 2018.
Generally, it looks like 2018 is a year that will be almost as revolutionary as 2016, demonstrating the constant reinvention seen at Wizards of the Coast during the D&D 5E era. This has primarily taken the form of two more settings for D&D.
The first is Eberron, which made its return through a D&D first: the sale of an official PDF-only book, The Wayfarer’s Guide to Eberron (2018). Its release has opened up the Dungeon Masters Guild for Eberron fan submissions, and the book is also being used as the basis for a new Adventurers League campaign, “Embers of the Last War” (2018), which debuted in season 8 of the League. This is yet another notable move for Wizards away from print publication and toward electronic Adventurers League release, since “Embers of the Last War” is a storyline without any corresponding hardcover release.
I’ve never been more proud of the Guild Adepts as they work furiously to bring Eberron fans everywhere one of the MOST exciting adventure series yet crafted for the setting. They are the epitome of collaborative creativity as a group of individuals that work with each other virtually, spanning the world from North America to the UK to Australia.Chris Perkins, “Eberron in Adventurers League: Embers of the Last War Storyline” (August 2018), Wizards.com
The second is Ravnica, the first ever mass-market Magic: The Gathering setting for D&D. This was a long time coming, as Peter Adkison had first talked about creating a Dominia setting for Dungeons & Dragons back in 1997, when he purchased TSR. Nothing came of that, perhaps because Wizards realized that D&D had too many settings, perhaps because D&D 3e was soon on the way. But then almost twenty years later, Magic: The Gathering slipped into D&D via the backdoor. The doorkeeper was James Wyatt, a long-time D&D designer who moved over to the Magic: The Gathering team in 2014. There he wrote a series of The Art of Magic: The Gathering books that detailed the planes of Magic’s multiverse. Each was accompanied by a conversion article for D&D, beginning with “Plane Shift: Zendrikar” (April 2016). The articles had proven popular, so two years later, Wizards published Gamemaster’s Guide to Ravnica (2018).
As D&D 5E moves into its eighth season of storylines with the paired adventures Waterdeep: Dragonheist (2018) and Waterdeep: Dungeon of the Mad Mage (2018), it’s clear that the team has a well-organized, well-oiled machine in place that’s pushing the industry’s best-loved game to a level of success that D&D 4E could never reach. But, year by year, it’s also obvious that they’re willing to experiment with new settings, new books, and new processes. It’s a strong combination.
This article was originally published as Advanced Designers & Dragons #19 on RPGnet. It was written for the German edition of Evil Hat’s four-volume release, which was a sort of version 2.1 of the series.
Expanded Bibliography & Thanks
Bolding, Jonathan. 2015. “Meet the Man Who Decided What Went in Dungeons & Dragons”. The Escapist Magazine. http://www.escapistmagazine.com/articles/view/tabletop/13729-An-Interview-With-Jeremy-Crawford-Co-Designer-and-Editor-of-Dung.
Cook, Monte. 2012. “Change of Plans”. LiveJournal. https://montecook.livejournal.com/251404.html.
Gilsdorf, Ethan. 2012. “Where Is D&D Headed Next? An Update with Mike Mearls … and the Public Playtest Begins”. Wired. https://www.wired.com/2012/05/d-d-update-mike-mearls/.
Patrick, Alan. 2018. Adventurers League Content Catalog v7.07. https://www.dmsguild.com/product/208178/DD-Adventurers-League-Players-Pack.
Staggs, Matt. 2014. “Interview: D&D Lead Designer Mike Mearls on 5E”. Unbound Worlds. https://www.unboundworlds.com/2014/07/interview-with-dd-lead-designer-mike-mearls-gamers-wanted-5e-to-be-fast-flexible-and-easy-to-play/.
Uncredited. 2016. “Dungeon Masters Guild Now Open”. Wizards.com. http://dnd.wizards.com/articles/news/dungeon-masters-guild-now-open.
Uncredited. Retrieved 2018. “Community Content Programs”. DriveThruRPG Support. https://support.drivethrurpg.com/hc/en-us/categories/201257283-Community-Content-Programs.
Uncredited. Retrieved 2018. D&D Adventurers League. http://dndadventurersleague.org/.