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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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Feeling slightly vindicated about the Necromancer.

I suspect that the problem with the Necromancer is that many younger folks expecting to play video game style Necromancers in D&D are gobsmacked by a 1970s concept of the archetype. Outdated and a lot of micromanaging the undead. I'm worried that WotC will think that the problem is only the subclass rather than many of the core spells that compose its class fantasy.

Agreed. The modern version of the horde necromancer is a pet class primarily, and needs to be balanced very differently than the blaster/utility chassis of a wizard.
Not gonna lie: I am of the same boat. For me, when I think of a "Necromancer" character, I am thinking more along the lines of the Diablo 2/3/4 style of Necromancer and not really the D6 HP Wizard of 5E. And yes, the Necromancer was my fave class to play as in Diablo 3.

Kobold Press, on their blog posts, actually released a diablo Necromancer and, surprisingly, made it a flipping Warlock Subclass.

And yes, it got Corpse Explosion.

As for a Necromancer style of character I'd like in 5E, I lean more towards the Cleric. (And it DOES have a Death Domain). Combine that with the Necromancer feat from Symbaraoum 5E, and I think I got the closest thing I have that I'm good with. Shrugs.
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Whizbang Dustyboots

Gnometown Hero
I think the way to do it would be to have "swarm" of skeletons/zombies which was a single entity gameplay-wise, but 5E seems less keen on swarms than 4E was (though IIRC there is a zombie swarm in some official 5E book - Ravenloft maybe?).
OSR game Grizzled Adventurers has both goblin and skeleton swarms, which I've used in adventures to great effect. I strongly recommend swarms for any enemy where Conan or Jon Snow might conceivably be wading through a sea of them, swinging a sword this way and that.


Yeah I just think the odds of my comment actually being read are tiny. It could happen but there's no way they're fully reading 10000+ comments. They're either using some kind of numerical system to detect potentially "interesting" comments, or at best, having some low-paid outsourced people go through the comments flagging which ones are "worth reading" on some kind of unknown-to-us criteria.
They mentioned in one of their videos that staff reads through the comments and in particular makes not of comments that come up frequently

EDITL Not a video, but several WotC employees commented about and their was an official statement after DnDShorts "source" claimed WotC doesn't read the survey comments. There is a thread about on EnWorld: Is Survey Feedback Read

You just need to read the OP, but here is the official response:
Hi, actual #WotCStaff and D&D Designer here. I am credited on several UA releases—and I’ve made edits to that content based on both qualitative and quantitative survey results. Let’s walk through what happens behind the scenes of a UA, shall we?

1. We design player-facing mechanical elements that we hope to include in a future product. We then place those mechanical elements into a UA document and release it, to see what our player base at large thinks of it.

2. We release a survey about the UA.

3. The survey information is collated by members of the team. It’s broken down into two parts: quantitative satisfaction expressed as a percentage, and a summary of qualitative feedback trends noticed in the comments.

4. That summary is reported back to the product teams. The designers on the product teams then make edits to the mechanical elements based on the feedback summary.

5. If satisfaction doesn’t meet our quality standards, we’ll rerelease mechanical content in a followup UA.

This is a proven process. Take for example the Mages of Strixhaven UA, where we tried to create subclasses that could be taken by multiple classes. (Fun fact: that was my first UA.) Did we, as studio designers, want that to work? Yes! But it didn’t.

And we learned that it didn’t BECAUSE of the UA process. We learned that it wasn’t something a majority of our players wanted; we also learned what small elements of that design DID bring joy. We salvaged those elements, redesigned them, and put that changed design in the book.

If we didn’t read or listen to feedback, we would have put those polyclass subclasses into the final book, and the product would have been worse for it. Yes, of course we want to know if you like something—we’re game designers! We’re creating something that is meant to be FUN!

And yes, sometimes we get frustrated when people tell us how to do our jobs, or use those feedback opportunities to belittle us; we’re human. But despite all that, we’re still going to listen and always strive to improve. That’s the truth.

When I say ALL the comments, I mean it in the most literal sense. We have team members who have dedicated WEEKS to diligently reading through feedback. It’s honestly incredible, and I applaud my team members’ work!
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Mod Squad
Staff member
I think it's safe to say you're never going to understand it, and I think it's probably because don't want to understand it.

Mod Note:
The thread has gone on many pages since, this, however...

I think it is safe to say that you are making this personal, and will be leaving the discussion because of it.

Bastions are just weirdly executed. Gamey in a bad way and incoherent at that. (Level 13 pub with no apparent benefits and this odd metacurrency that doesn'teven try to be diagetic)

Just because a magical power should level-gated, doesn't mean OWNING A PUB is justifiable as level gated lol. What does this pub serve magic drinks?
Uhh, yes, it does.
Did they revise the PDF or something? My version of Pub has potions on tap. Not normal potions either, ones that last 24 hrs. Spiderclimb, Darkvision, Enlarge/Reduce, Immunity to Fear, Resistance to Necrotic.

sooooo..., yeah, level 13 pub.


New Publisher
It literally says druid on the spell.... So I'd hope it's useful for them.... Hence my question about it being so or not.
Shillelagh is for people who can cast spells and get extra attacks (and have some use for Wisdom). So, Rangers, not Druids. You can find some kind of a magical quarterstaff/club if you want, but it basically covers you for needing a magic weapon as a warrior (in case something needs magic to hurt it).

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