The race to replace 5e

So “Dungeons & Dragons”, as we currently know it, is in its waning days. In September, the Players Handbook, the first of the three core rulebooks for the 2024 edition of D&D, will be released. Yes, I know “Wizards of the Coast” insists this is just an update to the current 5th edition rules from 2014, but let’s be honest here: This is a new edition. The cover of the new book says nothing about 5e, so it’s 2024 Edition, as far as I’m concerned.


As with “Pathfinder” 1st edition following the release of D&D 4th edition, where PF continued the rules of D&D 3.5e, there are a variety of different games looking to do much the same with the current 5e rules. Yes, I know most of them will be released in 2025, following the new D&D release, but not entirely. Regardless, there are several games that look to be the spiritual successor to 5e, much as “Pathfinder” 1e was the spiritual successor to 3.5e. I’ve looked into them, as much as I can (considering some don’t have much in the way of public information out yet), and have come to the following conclusion:

It’s “Tales of the Valiant”, hands down.

Let’s be honest here. “MCDM RPG” (or whatever it ends up being called upon release) is way too focused on tactical play. There’s nothing wrong with that, and D&D certainly has its roots in tactical war games, but it is a solid step away from 5e. “DC20” is something closer to 5e, to be sure, but I don’t think it has the brand power to really capture the interest of the larger 5e community. Of course, “Daggerheart” absolutely has the name recognition and community to step into much of 5e’s shadow, but it also is a vast departure from what D&D 5e is. If we wanted to play D&D only as a narrative-focused game, we can play “Dungeon World”, “Fantasy World”, “Blades in the Dark”, etc.

Now I’m not trying to knock the other competitors in this race to replace 5e, they all have plenty to admire. But only one game really captures the spirit of D&D 5e, and that’s ToV. In fact, some might argue that ToV is effectively D&D 5e, with the serial numbers filed off, and they aren’t completely wrong. ToV is built upon the structure of 5e, and basically just renamed many of the abilities, features, and so forth, to remain free of the Open Game License.

That said, “Tales of the Valiant” is not D&D 5e. There are significant changes that Kobold Press bring to the table in ToV, which make their game something new and interesting, much like “Pathfinder” did with D&D 3.5e. Many people – myself included – considered PF 1e to basically be D&D 3.75. It reworked and improved upon D&D 3.5e, resulting in PF 1e becoming the superior game, overall.

And I feel “Tales of the Valiant” will be found, in time, to be the superior version of D&D 5e, especially when compared to D&D’s 2024 edition, or to the other contenders for this particular “crown”. Again, that’s not to say there’s anything particularly wrong with any of these other games, including the 2024 edition of D&D, but they just aren’t up to the quality of “Tales of the Valiant”, in my opinion.

[NOTE – I am aware that this isn’t exactly a fair comparison, as the other games in this contest aside from D&D 2024 aren’t close to release yet, while ToV is shipping to Kickstarter backers. But at the same time, we know quite a bit about what makes the other games stand out, in comparison to D&D and each other, so unless they make some significant changes prior to release, ToV still wins in my book.]

I'm the editor, publisher, and primary "talent" here at

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.