D&D's Next Adventure After Avernus Is "Innovative" and "Nearing Completion"

D&D story designer Adam Lee gives Inverse a careful preview on what comes next.

Wizards of the Coast

Dungeons and Dragons is about to plunge into the hellish abyss in Baldur’s Gate: Descent Into Avernus, the next official D&D campaign from Wizards of the Coast, out on September 17. But in the depths of of Wizards HQ, the next adventure after that is “nearing completion.”

Adam Lee, Creative Writer and Game Designer for Dungeons & Dragons, tells Inverse that the next module after Descent Into Avernus is in development at this very moment, and it’s unlike anything that’s come before.

"We’ve been jamming it out and nearing completion. It’s great.

“We’re working on the next one right now,” Lee says. “That’s something that [D&D Senior Story Designer] Chris Perkins is working on. We’ve done a bunch of brainstorming, we did some initial story stuff, and we’ve been jamming it out and nearing completion. It’s great.”

Lee is keeping quiet on details like plot, setting, and non-playable characters (NPCs), but says it will introduce “innovative” concepts never before seen from even veteran players, but he does mention how the story team at Wizards of the Coast encourages new ideas in every new campaign release.

“Chris Perkins has been doing this a long time,” Lee says. “One of the things he always told me was, ‘Don’t worry.’ You’ll do what you do and make it as good as you can make it, just next time, do it a little better. Every adventure he’s worked on has had a little innovation.”

Descent Into Avernus, the imminent new adventure, introduces land-based vehicular combat to the game through new Mad Max-inspired contraptions dubbed “Infernal War Machines” that riff on the sea-based combat from Ghosts of Saltmarsh.

Avernus is the thirteenth adventure, or “module,” for the current “Fifth Edition” of Dungeons & Dragons released in 2014. Previous modules include Lost Mine of Phandelver, Hoard of the Dragon Queen, The Rise of Tiamat, Storm King’s Thunder, Curse of Strahd, Tomb of Annihilation, and Dragon Heist.

In Descent Into Avernus, players enter the plane of Avernus, a hellish world populated by thundering, rolling tanks that demons and devils hastily assemble to wage a never-ending conflict. Players have the freedom of avoiding the Infernal War Machines, or getting into the cockpits and driving around like maniacs. The new campaign contains comprehensive rules for Dungeon Masters to ensure consistency and logic to vehicular combat.

Figurine model of an Infernal War Machine, a mechanic introduced to the popular tabletop roleplaying game Dungeons & Dragons. Taken at D&D Live 2019: The Descent in Los Angeles, California.

Eric Francisco

In our reporting from D&D Live in June, Wizards of the Coast called Descent Into Avernus like “Mad Max in hell.” Now, Lee says the next adventure will introduce something just as big.

“In this one, this one that’s yet to come, it’s got innovative stuff in it,” he says. “Innovative ways to start your characters off, innovative gameplay, innovative mechanics. When Descent Into Avernus comes out, I want to see how people like it and play it. I’d love to hear the stories people make about it. But I’m also excited about this next one, because there’s a lot of stuff I’m excited about.”

Baldur’s Gate: Descent Into Avernus will be released on September 17.