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Alternate cover for Dungeons & Dragons’ Player’s Handbook radiates a wholesome vibe for players who want to D&D and chill

A refuge from the chaos.

Dungeons & Dragons 2024 Player's Handbook - alternate cover featured image.
Image credit: Wizards of the Coast, Wylie Beckert

The front cover for the alternate version of the next Dungeons & Dragons Player Handbook has been revealed.

Last week saw the unveiling of the artwork for the front cover of the Player’s Handbook, for the next version of tabletop roleplaying game - Dungeons & Dragons. Featuring depictions of classic characters from the history of the RPG - such as Strongheart the Knight, Elkhorn the Dwarf Warrior and Yolande the Elven Queen - the front cover shows a party of D&D adventurers and heroes preparing to fight against a horde of Kobolds, a classic Dungeons & Dragons enemy, with a friendly golden dragon standing behind them.

The artwork strongly implies that the group is in the midst of a battle, thereby emphasising the action elements of the fantasy roleplaying game over anything else - which is what D&D is largely known for, at least amongst the general public.

Dungeons & Dragons 2024 Player's Handbook alternate cover.
Image credit: Wizards of the Coast, Wylie Beckert

By contrast, the artwork for the front cover of the alternate version of the new D&D Player’s Handbook was revealed soon afterwards - showing a much different approach. (Thanks Polygon) Designed for collectors or players who aren’t keen on the appearance of the standard version, the alternative versions of D&D books don’t differ much from their standard counterparts beyond the outside aesthetics and front cover.

The artwork for the cover of the alternate version of the next D&D Player’s Handbook also depicts a party of adventurers, this time in a very different situation from those shown on the front of the standard book. A classic Dungeons & Dragons party - complete with wizard, cleric, fighter and rogue - are shown sharing a pot of tea inside what looks like the inside of a cave. Included within this serene tea party is a golden dragon - somewhat linking things back to the standard cover - who grasps a normal-sized tea cup in one massive paw, with the party’s rogue balancing on part of the dragon’s body above.

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This illustration by artist Wylie Beckert, who is also responsible for the front cover of the alternative version of Dungeon & Dragons: Tasha’s Cauldron of Everything, certainly gives off a very different vibe to that of the cover for the standard version of the new Player’s Handbook, which was created by Tyler Jacobsen, providing players who prefer a more relaxed and introspective approach to roleplaying with a more suitable option.

The alternate version of the new D&D Player’s Handbook will be available from local game stores from September 3rd, before the wider release of the book on September 17th.

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Alex Meehan avatar
Alex Meehan: After writing for Kotaku UK, Waypoint and Official Xbox Magazine, Alex became a member of the Dicebreaker editorial family. Having been producing news, features, previews and opinion pieces for Dicebreaker for the past three years, Alex has had plenty of opportunity to indulge in her love of meaty strategy board games and gothic RPGS. Besides writing, Alex appears in Dicebreaker’s D&D actual play series Storybreakers and haunts the occasional stream on the Dicebreaker YouTube channel.

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