Dungeons & Dragons 4th edition was an edition of the Dungeons & Dragons tabletop roleplaying game rules published by Wizards of the Coast between 2008 and 2013. It succeded Dungeons & Dragons 3.5 (2003).
D&D 4e was the first to integrate a paid digital subscription service, D&D Insider, and in 2010 branched into the more introductory D&D Essentials product line. While initial sales of D&D 4e's core rulebooks were promising, the edition was ultimately less popular than hoped. It was succeeded by Dungeons & Dragons 5th edition in 2014.
Dungeons & Dragons 4th edition retains fundamental gameplay concepts from previous editions of the game, including the core story of dungeon exploration, the six ability scores, character class, experience levels, combat against monsters, and the acquisition of gold and magic items. It retains D&D third edition's d20-based core mechanic, where most rolls use a twenty-sided die with the aim to roll equal to or higher than a target number determined by the dungeon master.
However, D&D 4e makes numerous radical changes to the core gameplay, perhaps more than any other edition of D&D.
Character class roles
All character classes are divided into one of four roles: controller, defender, leader, or striker. Role defines the purpose of this class within a party: controllers create area effects to manipulate the battlefield or attack many enemies at once, defenders attract and absorb enemy attacks to protect other party members, leaders support the party with healing or other beneficial effects, and strikers deal large amounts of damage.
During development of D&D 4e, the role system was a well known concept in massively multiplayer online roleplaying games (MMORPGs) such as World of Warcraft, where these roles were popularly known as crowd control, tank, support and DPS, respectively. While a four-role division existed in D&D existed since AD&D 2nd edition (grouping classes into warrior, wizard, priest and rogue), and arguably since Original D&D (magic user, fighting man, cleric and thief), D&D 4e was the first to make the division of party role an explicit part of class design.
Additionally, all classes have a specific power source which describes the origin of their abilities: arcane, divine, martial, primal, psionic, and shadow. The division between arcane and divine magic already existed in D&D third edition, but the six power source division helped to define certain lore aspects, such as barbarians explicitly drawing their power from the same source as druids. The Player's Handbook (4e) (2008) introduced arcane, divine, and martial characters, while classes using the primal, psionic, and shadow sources were introduced in later sourcebooks.
In addition to character class, characters choose a paragon path from level 11 to 20, which gives additional abilities; and an epic destiny from level 21 to 30. These replace the prestige class and epic prestige classes from D&D third edition, and differ in that they are taken in addition to the base class rather than replacing it.
The most radical change to combat in D&D 4th edition is the use of powers, a unified game mechanic encompassing class abilities such as spells or combat manuevers.
Powers are divided into at-will, encounter, and daily. At-will powers can be used once per round as a standard action, with unlimited uses. This gives fighters more elaborate combat options, and allows even low-level wizards to cast combat spells every round. Encounter powers recharge after a short rest, which lasts 5 minutes. Daily powers recharge after an extended rest of at least 6 hours.
The design of combat powers heavily focus on precise grid-based measurements, units of movement, ranges, areas of effect, and encounters with multiple creatures, making the game more reliant on the use of miniatures than D&D 3.5.
All characters now have a reserve of healing surges, which can be spent between encounters to restore hit points. Additionally, a "second wind" power can be activated once per encounter to spend one healing surge. This reduces the reliance on healing classes. A similar mechanic previously appeared in D&D 4e designer Mike Mearls' low-magic Iron Heroes rules, which has no cleric class.
Action points and milestones
Action points, which previously appeared in D&D 3.5's Eberron Campaign Setting (2004) and Unearthed Arcana (3e) (2004), appear in D&D 4e as a core mechanic. Action points can be spent to take an additional action on the player's turn, and more can be acquired each time you complete two encounters without stopping for an extended rest, known as a "milestone".
Similarly, certain magic items gain extra uses or become more powerful upon reaching a milestone. This encouraged characters to avoid the "15 minute adventuring day" of D&D 3.5, where heavy use of on 1/day abilities made it optimal for players to perform a long rest after every encounter. The addition of encounter powers also contributed to this design goal.
Other combat mechanics
Unlike D&D 3.5, where the target of a spell or effect might roll a Fortitude, Reflex or Will saving throw, D&D 4e requires the attacker to make an attack roll against a fixed Fortitude, Reflex, or Will defense. This system previously appeared as an optional variant in Unearthed Arcana (3e) (2004). The term "saving throw" was instead repurposed for a straight roll of 10 or higher on 1d20, success at which ends an ongoing effect such as poison.
Characters now have three actions each round: a standard action, a move action, and a minor action. The standard and move actions previous appeared in D&D 3.5, but that edition's "full-round action" no longer appears, as are mechanics which used it, such as multiple iterative atacks. The new "minor action" is similar to the "swift action" D&D 3.5, defined as a free action of which only one can be taken per turn, such as casting a quickened spell. However, it has the effect of making turns take longer as characters can regularly perform multiple attacks per round.
To save time, spells and effects which deal damage against multiple targets always roll damage once for all targets. Another simplification is that spells and effects no longer have multi-round durations to track, but instead last either one round, one encounter, or allow a saving throw each round to end the effect. Creatures with reach also no longer threaten at range.
The most major non-combat innovation is the skill challenge, a form of co-operative skill check which requires multiple rolls by multiple party members to succeed. This concept previously appeared in Unearthed Arcana (3e) (2004) as the complex skill check.
As most spells are now combat-focused, out-of-combat magic appears in the form of ritual spells, which require considerable time and money to cast.
Magic items are now less powerful, but form a more critical part of a character's build. As a result, magic items are now listed in the Player's Handbook instead of the Dungeon Master's Guide as they were in earlier editions of the game.
- "When the game gets to the point where we know the holes and pitfalls in the rules well enough that we constrain our design in order to avoid them, it's time for a new set of rules."
- — James Wyatt, Jan 3, 2006
Bill Slavicsek described that the Wizards of the Coast R&D team did not start seriously discussing a D&D 4th edition until 2005, with development properly beginning in May 2005. Factors contributing to the decision included a growing understanding of D&D 3.5's limitations and flaws, and plans for a digital initiative (eventually D&D Insider) which would work better with a radical redesign of D&D's rules. The company had no fixed timeline for the release of 4th edition.
Development on D&D 4th edition began in 2005, with a design team picked in early 2005: Rob Heinsoo as lead, with Andy Collins and James Wyatt. Wyatt was initially skeptical about the need for a new edition, which would invalidate all the 3.5 books he had worked on, but was convinced by Bill Rose, vice president of R&D at Wizards of the Coast at the time.
Initial design goals established in May 2005 included the 30-level range, powers for all classes, and role. The design team embraced a willingness to diverge radically from past D&D editions, which would come to characterize 4e.
In an email dated May 2, 2005, Bill Slavicsek defined several core design tenets for the new edition, codenamed Orcus. Among these were faster play, a more robust rules system, easier and quicker creation of monster statblocks and encounters, and maintaining the core gameplay of D&D 3.5.
From June to September 2005, Wyatt, Collins and Heinsoo produced an early draft referred to as "Orcus I", containing character classes, powers, monsters, and core rules. From October 2005 to February 2006, "Orcus" was redeveloped by a team led by Robert Gutschera, and including Mike Donais, Rich Baker, Mike Mearls and Rob Heinsoo.
One of Heinsoo and Collins' design goals was to create a game which appealed to modern gamers, who Collins believed had a shorter attention span than previous players and were not interested in reading complex rulebooks before play. The design team also took influence from modern sources, including MMOs, Euro board games, and card games.
During this phase, Baker, Donais and Mearls took the unusual step of retrofitting the new power-based martial mechanics from Orcus into D&D 3.5, which formed the basis of the D&D 3.5 sourcebook Tome of Battle: The Book of Nine Swords (2006). This book introduced D&D players to the concept of fighter-like characters with special maneuvers which refresh on a per-encounter basis, although they could also recharge powers in combat. Similar rules previously formed the basis of Mike Mearls' Iron Heroes (2005), a third-party martial-focused sourcebook where fighter-like characters recharge the ability to use maneuvers during combat.
Starting on September 2, 2005, Jesse Decker and David Noonan began publishing a series of articles on the Wizards of the Coast website, titled Design & Development. The series continued until August 3, 2007, incoporating work by other writers including Mike Mearls, who joined the company after they were impressed by his response to a rules questionnaire, later reprinted in a Design & Development article. D&D 4e was still under wraps at this stage, and was not mentioned in this series, although Decker and Noonan would later work on 4e.
Design & Development article series published during the "Orcus" phase included "What is Development", explaining the difference between a designer and a developer at Wizards of the Coast; "Monsters With Traction", which described the need for monsters to be mechanically and thematically interesting; "Development Doesnt Like Much" and "Proud Nails", describing things R&D likes (notably including the warlock, and Chris Perkins' house rule dividing spells across all 20 character levels instead of nine) and dislikes (polymorph, 3e's unrealistic bow ranges); and the "Delve" encounter format which would inspire D&D 4e's encounter format. The articles also requested feedback from players.
From February 2006 to March 2006, Orcus underwent a second design phase, this time with Rob Heinsoo and James Wyatt joined by Bruce Cordell. Subsequent playtesting revealed that the system as designed was dysfunctional. A week of design in April 2006 led Mearls and Baker to identify the flaw as a lack of clear distinction between at-will and limited-use powers.
"Flywheel" and "Scramjet"
From May to September 2006, development proceeded under two teams, codenamed "Flywheel" and "Scramjet" respectively. Flywheel focused on mechanical development, while Scramjet's goal was to develop the new edition's setting and lore.
The Flywheel team consisted of Rob Heinsoo, Andy Collins, Mike Mearls, David Noonan, and Jesse Decker. Their goal was to divide powers and resources into at-will, once per encounter, and once per day. Inspiration for this division came from D&D 3.5, where most spells and class abilities renewed on a daily basis and resource management formed an important part of gameplay. Flywheel created a playable draft of the core rules.
The Scramjet team was led by Rich Baker, and included James Wyatt, Matt Sernett, Ed Stark, Michele Carter, Stacy Longstreet, and Chris Perkins. They produced a draft of a setting "bible" describing the "points of light" setting concept of Dungeons & Dragons 4th edition. The name "Scramjet" was chosen by Baker and based on the first letter of the team's first names (S, C, R, M, J, and E).
On June 30, James Wyatt published a Design & Development article titled D&D: The Next Generation, saying, "No, I’m not talking about a new edition of the game. I’m talking about playing D&D with my son." However, at this time Wyatt would have been on the Scramjet team, indeed working on 4th edition.
Other notable Design & Development articles in this period included Noonan's "The D&D Rules are Nuclear Weapons", describing how most D&D 3.5 players simply ignored the most cumbersome rules (notably grappling); Wyatt's "Stat Blocks", redesigning monster stats for readability; and Mearls' "Monster Makeover" series, redesigning monsters.
A design goal of D&D 4th edition was to make the planes more accessible at all levels of play. At the heroic tier (levels 1-10), planar travel focused on the Feywild and Shadowfell. Wyatt's goals included making the planes fun and practical to adventure in and avoiding arbitrary symmetry in the planar cosmology, resulting in an end to the traditional Great Wheel layout.
From October 2006 to April 2007, two teams produced drafts for the Player's Handbook and Monster Manual. Classes and monster roles were defined, and elite and solo monsters were added to the game. All monsters were designed, and the rules approached their final form. Design & Development articles published in this period included the last of Mearls' Monster Makeover series, Devil in the Details, describing the evolution of devil lore; and Andy Collins' Magic Item Compendium series.
From April 2, 2007, to May 11, 2007, the text of the final rulebooks was written, producing over 600 pages and defining the written style for D&D 4th edition products goin forward. In May 2007, the role of magic items in 4e was defined, and all magic items for the game were designed, including some which did not fit in the rulebooks and may have been saved for later publications.
Finally, in June 2007, the rules were playtested in-house by Wizards of the Coast staff. Dave Noonan managed the playtesting process, which continued for the rest of 2007 and included many Wizards of the Coast employees. On June 27 and July 3, Noonan published the last ever Design & Development articles, parts 1 and 2 of How to Make a Monster Manual. Innovations described include monster roles very similar to those appearing in 4e, monsters who activate abilities at half hit points, fewer monster abilities, and more interaction with terrain. These features appeared in the 3.5 book Monster Manual V (2007), and would continue into D&D 4th edition.
The d20-based Star Wars: Saga Edition roleplaying game, released on June 5, 2007, was developed at the same time as D&D 4th edition. As a result, the two games influenced each other's design, with feedback from Saga Edition influencing the adoption of similar mechanics in D&D. Examples of D&D 4e rules which first appeared in Saga Edition include increased starting hit points, elimination of skill points in favor of a trained/untrained binary, elimination of iterative attacks, and greater focus on miniatures use.
Announcement and release
Following the announcement of Dungeons & Dragons 3.5 in 2003, speculation began that Wizards of the Coast was halfway to full fourth edition of D&D, which was neither confirmed nor denied by D&D design manager Ed Stark in February 2003:
- "Whether we're "halfway" to a new edition, I couldn't say. I will say that I would have a hard time backing any upgrade beyond this that wasn't a new edition."
In 2006, rumors surfaced online that D&D 4th edition was already underway. In March 2006, former Wizards of the Coast employee Monte Cook speculated that 4th edition would launch in 2008, citing his own understanding of the industry but no insider source. As owner of third-party publisher Malhavoc Press, Cook expressed concern that Wizards of the Coast would not continue the Open Gaming License. However, he expressed optimism regarding 4e's quality, based on the skill level of Wizards of the Coast designers, and suggested the new edition would best succeed by taking a highly innovative approach.
The web domain dndinsider.com was registered on December 15, 2006.
Dungeons & Dragons 4th edition was officially announced at Gen Con 2007, which took place from August 16-19. An official press release on the Wizards of the Coast corporate website announced the new edition, promising faster play and the introduction of digital tools with D&D Insider. The Player's Handbook (4e) (2008) was announced for release in May 2008, though the first printing was not until June 2008.
The announcement was made by Bill Slavicsek and Chris Perkins. The Player's Handbook was scheduled for May 2008, followed by the Monster Manual in June and Dungeon Master's Guide in July (however, all would eventually be released in June 2008). Covers were shown for the core rulebooks, although the art used for the Player's Handbook would change in the final release, with the art shown at the event later re-used for Dungeon Delve (2009).
Promised innovations included streamlined rules for faster play, automatic electronic versions of books with purchase of physical copies, a digital gametable, and a 3D character builder. Core features of the rules previewed include the expansion from twenty levels to thirty, reduced work for DMs, class roles, and changes to encounter design. A public closed playtest was also announced. A video recording of the announcement was later uploaded to YouTube in four parts.
A technical error led Wizards of the Coast's community forums to unveil their "4th Edition" forum a day earlier than the game's actual announcement. The official D&D website was replaced for one day with a countdown timer titled "4DVENTURE". When it reached zero, the website revealed a new design and news on the new edition of D&D. Unfortunately, servers were immediately overloaded by massive demand, made worse by the new website's huge filesize: around 2MB for the webpage (a considerable size in 2007), plus around 20MB for an embedded video trailer. Most users could not view the website until the following day. The outage was resolved partly by moving the teaser video to YouTube, which was a relatively new website at the time.
The initial announcement received mixed reception, with many D&D 3.5 players unhappy that their existing D&D sourcebook collection and rules knowledge would soon be rendered obsolete. The trailer video received a poor rating on YouTube, with commenters criticizing its amateur attempts at humor, low production values, the narrator's difficult to understand French accent, and the lack of practical information about the game. However, many commentators were optimistic, including D&D creator Gary Gygax and third edition core designer Monte Cook.
Wizards of the Coast gave considerable publicity to the new edition between its announcement in August 2007 and its release nearly a year later.
On January 8, 2008, it was announced that a System Reference Document and Open Gaming License for D&D 4th would be released to the public on June 6, 2008, allowing all third-party publishers to release D&D 4e-compatible books starting from January, 2009. A pre-release version of the SRD and OGL license, along with pre-publication versions of the core rules, would be available from Jan 2008 for a $5,000 fee, allowing the publication of 4e-compatible sourcebooks from Aug 1, 2008.  In May, it was announced that the $5,000 fee would be scrapped, and all publishers would instead be able to release from Oct 2008 under the Game System License. A System Reference Document for D&D 4th edition was released, but unlike the third edition and 3.5 SRDs, it did not include sections of complete game rules, but merely summarized the 4e terms allowable for use in sourcebooks. This was sufficient for the publication of third-party sourcebooks, but limited the SRD's usefulness as an open alternative to the core rulebooks.
A preview of the game was available to play at the D&D Experience 2008 convention, also known as Winter Fantasy 2008. A rules primer released to the public on on Feb 28, 2008, described the major differences between 3.5 and 4e. Major features included class roles, powers, static defense values instead of saving throws, 5 minute short and 6 hour "extended" rests, the Move/Minor/Standard action economy, healing surges, action points, and combat advantage.
On Mar 19, 2008, editor Kim Mohan announced that all three Dungeons & Dragons 4th edition core rulebooks were now at the printer, ready for release in June. The staff celebrated with a large Dungeons & Dragons themed cake.
D&D 4e was playtested by at least several hundred players around the world who took part in a closed beta test. On May 9, 2008, Wizards officially thanked at least 685 playtesters. However, Mike Mearls would later admit that practically none of the playtest feedback influenced the final game.
The first D&D 4th edition products were two "Wizards Presents" preview sourcebooks. Races and Classes, released in December 2007, described the development of D&D 4th edition and the changes to the player character experience. Worlds and Monsters, released in January 2008, introduced player characters to the new 4e planar cosmology. A few D&D 3.5 sourcebooks were still being released at this point, notably Elder Evils (Dec 2007) and City of Stormreach (Feb 2008).
The release of the core rulebooks was preceded by H1 Keep on the Shadowfell (2008), released in May 2008. This introductory adventure module contained a series of quick-start rules for D&D 4th edition and pre-made character sheets.
All three core rulebooks—the Player's Handbook (4e) (2008), Dungeon Master's Guide (4e) (2008) and Monster Manual (4e) (2008)—were released in June 2008. A box set known as the 4th Edition Core Rulebook Collection was also released, consisting of the three core rulebooks.
Watermarked DRM-free PDF copies of the three core rulebooks were announced on July 9, 2008, available via RPGNow and DriveThruRPG. Paizo.com later also gained the rights to sell D&D PDFs. Less than a year later, on April 6, 2009, PDF sales of D&D products on all three sites would be revoked.
The digital tools promised in the 2007 announcement took longer to arrive, with some elements ultimately never seeing release. The D&D Compendium was available at launch, though in a limited capacity, with some content such as monsters added in the following months. The D&D Character Builder was finally released in late January 2009. The D&D Game Table, Dungeon Builder, and Character Visualizer tools were never released. Development at one point shifted from a 3D game table to a 2D table, which reached beta status before its cancellation in July 2012.
Supplements and other publications
Approximately 100 supplementary first-party sourcebooks were released for Dungeons & Dragons 4th edition between 2008 and 2012. These included accessories offering new player choices such as new character classes, races, spells, magic items, and feats; adventure modules; campaign setting sourcebooks for the Forgotten Realms, Eberron and Dark Sun settings; and 4e conversions lore-heavy books such as Draconomicon: Chromatic Dragons (2008), Menzoberranzan (4e) (2012), and The Book of Vile Darkness (4e) (2011).
Digital successors to Dragon Magazine and Dungeon Magazine were released on a monthly basis, initially free via the D&D website, and later as part of the the D&D Insider paid service. Articles appeared throughout each month, which were collected in numbered PDF issues. The new Dragon began with issue #360 in October 2007, following on from the last print issue #359 in September 2007. Its last issue was #430, December 2013. The digital Dungeon magazine likewise continued on from its print counterpart, from Dungeon #151 in October 2007 to #221 in December 2013.
Starting in 2010, Wizards of the Coast released products in the Essentials product line, a somewhat streamlined variant of D&D 4th edition intended as an introductory product.
In 2013, Wizards of the Coast focused their efforts on a project known as D&D Next, a new revision of D&D which would ultimately be released in 2014 as Dungeons & Dragons 5th edition. Some adventure modules were released in 2013 which were compatible with multiple editions of D&D, including 4th edition. These included Murder in Baldur's Gate (2013) and Legacy of the Crystal Shard (2014), compatible with D&D 3.5, D&D 4e, and the D&D Next playtest.
Reception and influence
Uptake and growth
While pre-orders were strong, Dungeons & Dragons 4th edition ultimately failed to reach expected critical success. Notable competitors included the previous Dungeons & Dragons 3.5, retro-clones based on older editions of D&D as part of the Old-School Renaissance movement, Paizo's D&D 3.5-based Pathfinder RPG, and a growing market for independent roleplaying games.
In Q3 2014, virtual gaming table Roll20 reported that only 24.92% of users played D&D 4th edition, compared to 44.96% for D&D 3.5 and 43.48% for Paizo's competing Pathfinder RPG. However, it was still more popular than all other individual non-D&D RPGs.
Writer and D&D YouTuber Matt Colville spoke highly of D&D 4th edition, describing it as his favorite edition of the game after 5th edition. In his 2016 video Using 4E to make 5E Combat more fun, he particularly commended 4th edition's innovative monster mechanics, including minions and effects triggered by the bloodied status.
Despite several bold and innovative mechanics, Dungeons & Dragons 4th edition was widely criticized for its divergence from D&D tradition.
In 2007, RPG essayist Justin Alexander expressed skepticism regarding the prevailing design ethos at Wizards of the Coast. After taking part in the playtest of D&D 4th edition, he spoke negatively of the edition, saying "the game I love is not to be found here". Criticisms included slow "padded sumo" combat, large numbers of short-term situational bonuses or penalties that required tracking, failure to address the "15-minute adventuring day" problem of 3.5, disassociation between story and mechanics, a reduction in non-combat abilities, and a lack of descriptive monster text.
In 2011, Erik Mona (who published the competing Pathfinder RPG) criticized D&D 4th edition for placing too much emphasis on tactical miniatures combat and not enough on other aspects of the game. Chris Pramas of Green Ronin Publishing and writer R.A. Salvatore criticized the decision to integrate the new setting content into existing settings including the Forgotten Realms.
In 2019, YouTube animator Puffin Forest discussed his experiences of fourth edition in a popular video titled D&D 4e was a game. His criticisms included slow boring combat, confusion and delays caused by tracking the status effects or triggers of powers, lack of variety between character classes, the arbitrary nature of skill challenges, and limited multiclassing options. However, he praised 4e's layout and formatting, one-hit minion rules, clearly defined monster roles, and the designers' willingness to take risks and innovate.
Influence on D&D 5th edition
D&D 4th edition was supplanted in 2014 by Dungeons & Dragons 5th edition, which largely reverted to a more traditional notion of Dungeons & Dragons rules. However, several elements of game mechanics and lore from D&D 4th edition were retained by its successor.
Like in 4e, spellcasters in 5e have at-will spells, in the form of unlimited-use 0th level spells or cantrips, allowing low-level wizards to contribute in combat once their spells per day have been depleted.
The warlock, introduced to D&D third edition in Complete Arcane (2004) and made a core class in the Player's Handbook (4e) (2008), appeared in the Player's Handbook (5e) (2014). The tiefling and dragonborn races likewise retained their place in the 5e PHB, with their physical appearance and lore most closely resembling their 4e versions.
The D&D 4e concepts of a short rest, which divides encounters, and a long rest, which divides adventuring days, appear in 5e. The 4e second wind ability appears in 4e, but only as a fighter-specific class ability. The 4e healing surges appear in the Dungeon Master's Guide (4e) (2008) as an optional rule.
D&D 4e introduced the death saving throw, where a character reduced to zero hit points or fewer rolls a d20 each turn, dying after three failures and recovering on a natural 20.
Background, introduced during the run of D&D 4th edition, appears as a core mechanic in the 5th edition PHB. Skills in 5e no longer require skill points as they did in 3.5, but a character is trained (proficient) in certain skills, as in 4e.
Several names or elements of 4e setting lore were retained, including the Shadowfell, Feywild, and Elemental Chaos. However, the Dungeon Master's Guide (5e) (2014) describes these in terms of the traditional Great Wheel planar cosmology.
- Dungeons & Dragons 4e Wiki at Fandom
- Players Roll All the Dice, D20 SRD.
- Complex Skill Checks, D20 SRD.
- Wizards Presents: Worlds and Monsters (2008), p.6.
- Wizards Presents: Races and Classes, 4th Edition Design Timeline (2007), p.8-9.
- Wizards Presents: Worlds and Monsters (2008), p.84-85.
- Wizards Presents: Races and Classes (2007), p.13.
- The State of D&D: Present. Greg Tito, The Escapist, Dec 28, 2011.
- The State of D&D: Present. The Escapist, page 3. Dec 28, 2011.
- Design & Development, Wizards.com.
- Wizards Presents: Worlds and Monsters (2008), p.8.
- Editorial: Ze Planes! Ze Planes!, Dragon #370 (Dec 2008).
- Wizards Presents: Worlds and Monsters (2008), p.17.
- Wizards Presents: Races and Classes (2007), p.15.
- Compiled D&D Revision Spotlight (Feb 25, 2003), Wizards.com.
- 4th Edition Already? (Aug 4, 2006), D20 Source.
- The Open Game License as I See It, Part II, MonteCook.com.
- Dungeons & Dragons flashes 4-ward at Gen Con (Aug 16, 2007), Wizards.com
- 4th Edition: Early Indications (Aug 16, 2007), D20 Source.
- 4DVENTURE (Aug 16, 2007). Wizards of the Coast official D&D website, main page, as it appeared just before the official announcement at GenCon 2007. It references the Sagamore Ballroom in the Indianapolis Convention Center, at 6:30pm on Thursday, August 16, 2007; the scheduled time and place of the announcement.
- An example of the outage is this article, as it appears in the Web Archive on Aug 17, 2007, showing an outage error message.
- Dungeons & Dragons Roleplaying Game Official Home Page (Aug 18, 2007)
- Dungeons & Dragons 4th Edition: Teaser (Aug 16, 2007)
- D&D 4th Edition System Reference Document and OGL Designer’s Kit (Jan 8, 2008), Wizards.com.
- D&D 4th Edition Game System License FAQ (May 2, 2008), Wizards.com.
- What You Need to Know About D&D, Wizards.com.
- 4th Edition is at the Printer! (Mar 19, 2008), Wizards.com.
- Thank you, Playtesters!
- Speak Your Mind in the Next Version of Dungeons & Dragons. Greg Tito, The Escapist, Jan 9, 2012.
- Player's Handbook (4e) (2008), p.2.
- Dungeon Master's Guide (4e) (2008), p.2.
- Monster Manual (4e) (2008), p.2.
- D&D 4th Edition Titles Available for Download at DriveThruRPG and RPGNow, Wizards.com.
- WotC halts sale of pdf's through RPGNow/DriveThruRPG (Apr 6, 2009). RPG.net.
- Digital Insider #23 (Jan 28, 2009)
- WotC's D&D Virtual Table Cancelled (Jul 10, 2012). ENWorld.
- What Is “The Orr Group Industry Report” and What Does It Tell Us? Roll20, October 17, 2014.
- The Alexandrian - Archive. Aug 20, 2007.
- Playtesting 4th Edition, The Alexandrian.