DnD: Why 2021 has been a great year for fans


Dungeons & Dragons has experienced a major resurgence since the release of Fifth edition, and 2021 stands out as one of the best years ever for tabletop RPG fans. This year’s new Campaigns and Sourcebooks offer a wealth of magical fun that is sure to put a smile on any Dungeon Master’s smile and amaze players – but these books are only part of. D&Dis an amazing year.

While it was once considered a niche hobby and widely stigmatized, D&D has become a global phenomenon. From video games to live shows, there have been so many wonderful new developments in recent years, and 2021 is proof that gaming can and will grow.


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New fun adventures like Candlekeep and Strixhaven

Key art for Candlekeep Mysteries, depicting a mage leaning over a tome in the middle of a mysterious library

Wizards of the Coast released three new official campaign books in 2021, each adding something unique to the overall game. The first, The mysteries of the candle, is made up of 17 one-shots, each involving a mystery related to a book in the legendary Candlekeep Library. One-shots are notoriously difficult to plan and execute, so this book was a great resource for any DM who might want to set up a game quickly. Campaigns are designed for players ranging from levels 1 to 16.

September saw the release of Nature beyond the light of the witches, which takes the characters on a fairytale quest of childish fantasy and puzzling dangers through the lands of the Feywild. The book introduces two new playable races, the Harrden Rabbits and the Fairies. What is even more significant is that this is the first D&D adventure specially designed to allow players to be pacifists with the possibility of fighting or getting out of any conflict.


Finally, Strixhaven: a program of chaos offers a new setting and an adventure based on a Magic: The Gathering together released earlier this year. He follows students studying at a school of magic, where they meet bullies, join one of five colleges of magic, and engage in dangerous extracurricular mischief. There is an abundance of new lore for DMs to build on, as well as new exploits, spells, backgrounds, and another new playable race, the Owlin. There is so much new material that D&D beyond actually lists Strixhaven as a sourcebook despite being primarily a campaign mod.

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Van Richten and Fizban’s Treasure are amazing reference books

The first source book of 2021, Van Richten’s guide to Ravenloft, is dedicated to helping gamers and DMs enjoy horror-themed games. He is loosely connected to the fan favorite Strahd’s curse adventure and provides details about the Dread Domains of Shadowfell, a series of nightmarish realms, each ruled by a cursed Dark Lord. It also introduced two gruesome subclasses, the College of Spirits Bard and the Undead Warlock.

The introduction of Dark Gifts (cursed supernatural powers that come at a terrifying price) and three horror-themed character lines also allows players to create tragic characters from a ghost story. Meanwhile, the abundance of new nightmarish monsters and settings are ideal for DMs looking to run dark campaigns – which the book provides some great advice on as well.


This year also saw the release of Fizban’s Dragon Treasure, a supplement that contains useful information for every player and DM. It provides a wealth of information on the mythical beasts that lent their names to D&D, infusing these incredible creatures into all aspects of the game. The bestiary includes nearly 40 new dragon monsters, and there are mechanics to imbue magical items with dragon power. It also expands the Dragonborn race and adds two new subclasses, the Way of the Ascendant Dragon Monk and Drakewarden Ranger. From new spells to powerful artifacts, this book offers so much, but perhaps its greatest asset is the lore it introduces, which will enrich any game that uses it.


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Critical role, the battle for the afterlife and other shows flourished in 2021

Set and Cast of Critical Role Campaign 3

D&D The plays have become a sensation, where skilled role players record their campaigns for fans to enjoy. By far the biggest game series is critical role, which features a group of talented voice actors led by DM Matthew Mercer. The group wrapped up their second campaign in June and (after a mini-campaign featuring a different cast) began their third in October, ushering in a new era for the popular series. On top of that, critical role has grown in other ways, including a novel, new comics, and the announcement of Critical role: Call from the depths of the Nether, the second official D&D book based on the series.


It’s all part of a larger movement between D&D actors, one rooted in shared community and creativity. Live broadcasts allow people to share their love of the game and the success of critical role inspired others to create their own podcasts and web series. Although there are too many examples to cite, it should be noted that D&D beyond recently launched his own series called Battle for the afterlife. Others include Dimension 20, which launched five separate new campaigns this year, and the long-running program The adventure zone podcast, which also launched a new campaign.


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Video game updates

2021 saw the release of Dungeons & Dragons: Dark Alliance, a hack-and-slash action RPG starring the legendary Drow Ranger Drizzt Do’Urden and three of his closest companions. Based on RA Salvatore’s bestseller Valley of the Ice Wind novels, it features playable characters who are loved by many fans. However, Black allianceThe poor graphics, inconsistent gameplay, and myriad of bugs have earned it mixed to negative reviews. The year also saw a port of the 2001 classic Baldur’s Gate: Dark Alliance, a beloved game that can now be played on PC, Nintendo Switch, PlayStation and Xbox.


The gate of Baldur III also received major developments last year. While the game remains in Early Access with Larian Studios hoping to release it completely in 2022, this year has seen a lot of fixes and updates, with the most notable additions being the Druid and Sorcerer classes. The two originals Baldur’s Gate games are very popular and the return of this classic series after 20 years has thrilled many.

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D&D Minis received important new additions

Dungeons & Dragons Icons of the Realms Boneyard.  Zombie Tyrannosaurus from Tomb of Annihilation

The official D&D Wizkids minis are sold under the product name Kingdoms Icons. Three new base sets of pre-painted minis have been released this year, each covering a different theme. The first two, Boneyard and snowy, introduced finely detailed, winter-themed undead characters, bringing some fan-favorite monsters to life like the Tyrannosaurus Zombie, Death Knight, and Ax Beak. The third series is related to Nature beyond the light of the witches and, as such, features fairytale creatures. In addition to the main base set, there are a number of bonuses WBtW minis which can be purchased separately.


Speaking of premium miniatures, 2021 has seen some truly stunning models hit the market. Some are connected to the base sets, like the classic character packs for WBtW or two gargantuan-sized Dracoliches connected to Boneyard. Others are quite unique, like the massive figure of the dragon god Tiamat, which is beautifully detailed and is over 28 inches long. Fans have left rave reviews for it, but with a price tag of $ 400, it is prohibitively expensive. Yet, that such an article may exist shows the demand for such things – itself a testimony of Dungeons & Dragons“Massive growth.


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Strixhaven.  The Mages of Silverquill casting the Silvery Barbs spell

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