D&D chooses chaos with new magical cards and reveals upcoming book info

Goblins make off with ill-gotten loot above a town in Phandelver and Below: The Shattered Obelisk
(Image credit: Wizards of the Coast)

While the rest of the gaming world might be talking about PlayStation, D&D just staged a tease of its own for the adventures it's got lined up in 2023.

Following news that the price of new D&D books would be going up, the team at Wizards of the Coast offered more concrete details on what those books will actually feature. That includes release dates, previously unseen artwork, and even an unexpected new book (The Practically Complete Guide to Dragons).

For example, we got a better look at The Deck of Many Things ahead of its November launch. This is shaping up to be a little bigger than a simple set of cards to use in your game; it comes with a full book detailing how to use the Deck, new monsters, and various character options.

You can find more info on the new Dungeons and Dragons books below. 

Bigby Presents: Glory of the Giants

  • Release date: August 15th, 2023

We already knew that this was going to be a collection of lore and rules in the vein of Fizban's Treasury of Dragons, but it's now been revealed that the book will allow players to use "giants as a character subclass." For Dungeon Masters, there's also info about creating encounters using these creatures.

It looks like we'll have enough to draw inspiration from. Along with details about their gods and social structure, the bestiary contains 76 stat blocks with Challenge Ratings from 1/2 to 27. We're getting info on how giants create elemental or undead varieties too, so that's bound to come in useful for homebrew campaigns.

The book itself will be "described through the eyes and experiences of Bigby, the iconic wizard," but the giant demigod Diancastra is also going to have a hand in the telling.

You can pre-order this book for $59.95 at Amazon, or £48.30 via Amazon UK.

The Practically Complete Guide to Dragons

  • Release date: August 15th, 2023

This was something of a surprise - another book delving into the rules, mannerisms, language, lairs, and behaviour of dragons. Apparently, "updated lore and art create bold new ways of thinking of dragons… by detailing where they live and what is their greatest enemy." We don't have much more info than that, but judging by the promise of being all-ages and the non-standard cover style, it looks like this might be a shorter, more accessible dive into the world of dragons for D&D.

Phandelver and Below: The Shattered Obelisk

  • Release date: September 19

This is shaping up to be one of the biggest projects from D&D in 2023, and apparently, it's "for fans of traditional dungeon crawls." Taking us back to the frontier town of Phandalin that served as our homebase in the old starter set (and the more recent Essentials Kit, getting many of us into the best tabletop RPGs for the first time), we'll apparently find out more about it and its people in a full-length campaign that'll take characters from 1st to 12th level.

As hinted at during the D&D Direct stream earlier this year, it also revolves around the mysterious obelisks that have been appearing across several adventure books for the last few years. Judging by newly-revealed artwork, it'll involve magic-wielding - or mystically possessed - goblins causing all sorts of trouble for Phandalin. 

Planescape: Adventures in the Multiverse

  • Release date: October 17th, 2023

In addition to some juicy new artwork teasing what's to come, D&D has revealed new info on what players will be doing in their next visit to Planescape (a setting from the '90s that has lain dormant ever since). During the story, characters are going up against 12 factions vying for power in the city of Sigil and will encounter monsters that will "appear to be familiar creatures, yet they are changed by their interactions with planar forces."

Much like Spelljammer: Adventures in Space, this is a collection of three books for ease of use; there's the campaign, a bestiary, and a setting explainer in separate hardcovers so that you can jump from one to the other. Because Sigil is the center of the D&D Multiverse, these books give an excuse to take your characters into other worlds as well (much like Radiant Citadel did).

The Deck of Many Things

  • Release date: November 14th, 2023

It was a little unclear what we could expect from this product when it was first announced, but now we have some more concrete details. For starters, a book will explore the Deck of Many Things' creation and lore (of which there's a lot, seeing as it was introduced in 1975) and is set to introduce a new character, not to mention "an explanation for one of the deck’s most mysterious cards." Character options, monsters, magic items, locations, and more are included too.

In addition, this book teaches you how to use the cards as "a traditional oracle deck or to create adventures."

Much like the Tarokka deck from Curse of Strahd Revamped, you're also getting a physical deck of cards to use. The original 22 are present and correct, of course, but 44 additional cards have also been added to shake things up.

Wondering what to play next? Try the best board games, these essential board games for adults, or must-have board games for 2 players.

Benjamin Abbott
Tabletop & Merch Editor

As the site's Tabletop & Merch Editor, you'll find my grubby paws on everything from board game reviews to the latest Lego news. I've been writing about games in one form or another since 2012, and can normally be found cackling over some evil plan I've cooked up for my group's next Dungeons & Dragons campaign.