D&D (2024) Bonus Unearthed Arcana Reveals The Bastion System

Build your homebase! Oh, and some revised cantrips.

A 'bonus' Unearthed Arcana playtest document has appeared, and it shows off D&D's upcoming Bastion System.

This October, we’re bringing you a special treat. While we’re continuing to develop and revise public playtesting material for the 2024 Player’s Handbook, we’d thought you’d enjoy an early look at what we’re cooking up for the 2024 Dungeon Master’s Guide.

The coming Dungeon Master’s Guide will be the biggest of its kind in decades and contain an assortment of new tools for DMs and their tables. In Bastions and Cantrips, we’re showcasing one of these tools, the Bastions subsystem. Dungeon Masters and their parties can use this subsystem to build a home, base of operations, or other significant structure for their characters.

And if you’re raring to test out more character options, we’re also including revisions for 10 cantrips in this playtest packet.


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This is mostly just the bastion rules, which is weird, as that's unlikely for people to playtest. 'ah, yes, we were just making a stronghold in this 2-week window'

I guess anything else they might've been considering is in a flux? So they just copy-pasted a completely new section here to bide time until UA9? I dunno, it feels out of place with how specific it is.

Shillelagh has scaling now. Look at that damage go up, one die step at a time!


Wow. The Bastion rules are the first extensive new mechanics I have seen from WotC in a while. They aren't "new" new -- many publishers have created "stronghold" rules for 5E -- but it is nice to see WotC embracing that part of the game that has been missing for two editions now.


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I doubt my players would use Bastions, but in a game we were in we did have a home base where stuff like this happened, so who knows? There are a lot of ideas there, but it does create the game w/in a game in ways....It does help me with a PDF I've been tinkering with on and off for years, though, so that's nice.

The cantrips are good, good changes. I think maybe Shillegah still needs more (like + to hit at higher levels?)....do druids really use this ever at higher levels (even with the more damage)?


Surprise UA while they work on feedback for the classes I wager.
Crawford details the feedback from U6 in the video:

  • Cleric, Paladin, Ranger, Bard and Rogue are done with UA and going straight into final development for the book
  • Cunning Strike got 94% satisfaction, so is in the final book
  • Monk and Druid are at a good place satisfaction wise, but they are going into UA 9 with just the Open Hand and Moon Subclasses for a final go at wild shape and Discipline economy: Shadow and Four Elements got very high scores
  • They are going into that next UA with whatever still needs some feedback after UA results are finalized
  • Crawford revealed that the Necromancer was dropped in favor of the Abjurer because Abjurers are way more popular in actual play
  • Also confirmed that each Class has a quartet structure of Subclass choice based ombighlighting different "corners" of mechanical and thematic style, and they will make these quartets for eqch Class explicit on the PHB character creation guidance.

Bastions are interesting, and show yes, WotC have listened some feedback, but it's pretty damn silly that they're designed so each PC has their own separate Bastion. They openly acknowledge some PCs might not want them, then they go ahead and yes absolutely penalize those PCs for not engaging with them. Sigh.

This is really bizarrely perverse design.

If you know some players won't want to engage with it, you can't penalize them for not engaging with it! That's silly thing to do! Why?

Secondly, I've never come across a group of PCs who wanted multiple bases. This is whole things seems to be founded on the idea that each PC will have a separate base. 34 years of D&D tells me, no, they will not want that. At most one PC played by a "difficult" or "special" player (usually a Rogue or Wizard) will have a separate base. Yet, again, unless I missed something (and maybe I did), there's no way to have a shared base.

The system is also frankly overcomplicated and fiddlesome in a way that will drive away maybe the majority of less "rules serious" players, which is ironic, because it has huge conceptual appeal to the most "rules casual" and RP-centric players.

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