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

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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doctorbadwolf

Heretic of The Seventh Circle
Oh goodness, please don't link to Paul's work, he makes so many mistakes. I have actually checked a lot of the MM monsters against the DMG and it mostly works. Paul makes the mistake of not using the DMG guidelines correctly and then saying it is the guidelines fault.

You can, in fact, reproduce the MM monsters, with a few exceptions, from the DMG. And the ones you can't (like dragons) have been revised in more recent examples to more closely follow the DMG.

So if the MM doesn't follow the DMG, it is sometimes the fault of the MM, not the DMG. That being said, it is not 100%. but they guidelines are quick and account for most of what makes a monster (unlike the 4e ones).

Example:
The CR 22 Green (from the MM) and the more recent CR 22 Sapphire (from Fizban's) Dragons. The green has more HP, higher, AC, does more DPR. Yet they are the same CR. Guess what, the Sapphire dragon is CR 22 per the DMG, just like Fizban's, but the Green is CR 24 per the DMG and CR 22 per the MM. The issue is the MM, not the DMG guidelines.

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What are you talking about wrt the 4e monster design tools? Monster design has never been better than in 4e…by miles.
 

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dave2008

Legend
What are you talking about wrt the 4e monster design tools? Monster design has never been better than in 4e…by miles.
Yes the design of the monsters by WotC was better. The tools in the DMG were not IMO. They were simpler and quicker, but they lacked a lot of guidance. It has been a while, but off the top of my head here are the issues I had with the 4e monster design guidelines:
  • They provide expected attack damage, but not DPR.
  • They provide no guidance on how conditions affected expected damage, level, etc.
  • They provide no guidance on how unique monster traits affect monster design
But let me clear: 4e monster design is very good. I just had some issues with design guidelines. I will admit they were simpler and easier to use, and in that way better than 5e monster design rules.
 

Charlaquin

Goblin Queen (She/Her/Hers)
Quick note on Friends - I think Crawford said something in the video about Charmed being now just advantage to relevant skills by the charmer.
He said that Charmed is not mind control, it just grants advantage on Charisma checks against the Charmed creature, and that the closest Charmed comes to mind control is that it prevents the Charmed creature from attacking you. Which is not a change from 2014, he was just reiterating how it already works because he knows a lot of people run it wrong.
 


Kurotowa

Legend
He said that Charmed is not mind control, it just grants advantage on Charisma checks against the Charmed creature, and that the closest Charmed comes to mind control is that it prevents the Charmed creature from attacking you. Which is not a change from 2014, he was just reiterating how it already works because he knows a lot of people run it wrong.
Indeed. Most effects like Charm Person or Dominate Person or the 2014 Create Thrall have additional clauses on top of the Charmed condition to give them more substantial power. They just all include the Charmed condition, partly as a baseline effect and partly to make it clear when resistance or immunity to mental effects comes into play. That's why things like Fey Ancestry all key off the Charmed condition.
 

R_J_K75

Legend
Giving the doc a quick skim, the bastion system seems way more complicated than it needs to be. Every single time players built a keep it did nothing to enhance the game and just derailed the campaign with unnecessary bookkeeping and became a burden on the DM with endless upgrades, hireling management and supplies upkeep, etc. This is definitely something I would never use. The one thing I liked about 5E was that the rules weren't overly quantified, and this feels way too much like 3.x for my tastes, and more work than I'm willing to put in as a player or DM these days.
 

Jeremy E Grenemyer

Feisty
Supporter
Better to go with tendays than weeks. That, and all of a sudden the Calendar of Harptos is worth looking at for festivals and holidays when a player rolls up an Extraordinary Opportunity.

The Pub should be renamed “False Front.” That way players could pick from any number of possible quasi-businesses that serve to conceal their personal spy network.
 
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doctorbadwolf

Heretic of The Seventh Circle
Yes the design of the monsters by WotC was better. The tools in the DMG were not IMO. They were simpler and quicker, but they lacked a lot of guidance. It has been a while, but off the top of my head here are the issues I had with the 4e monster design guidelines:
  • They provide expected attack damage, but not DPR.
  • They provide no guidance on how conditions affected expected damage, level, etc.
  • They provide no guidance on how unique monster traits affect monster design
But let me clear: 4e monster design is very good. I just had some issues with design guidelines. I will admit they were simpler and easier to use, and in that way better than 5e monster design rules.
Ah okay I can see what you mean. I used the monster builder and had great success, but when I wasn’t doing that I just had things like hp and attack, defenses, damage etc in notes and improvised the rest. So very different perspective.
 

dave2008

Legend
Ah okay I can see what you mean. I used the monster builder and had great success, but when I wasn’t doing that I just had things like hp and attack, defenses, damage etc in notes and improvised the rest. So very different perspective.
I will say that after I made that post I went back and looked at the 4e DMG again and the rules are bit more robust than I remember. They are definitely quicker and simpler than the ones in 5e. However, that is also a product of the rigid math of the 4e system. You can never recreate that in 5e.

My issue in 4e was the prevalence of conditions (push, pulls, dazes, stuns, etc,) that definitely do impact the effectiveness of the monster, but there was no guidance in the DMG on how to handle them.

I will say I too was able to improvise the extras. I could run a whole adventure with just pg 42 tables and the monster design tables. I didn't need a statblock at all! Of course I can do that in 5e too with my DM Cheat sheet (other than or homebrew changes, completely RAW from the DMG).
 

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