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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Weiley31

Legend
I feel like classifying a Masterwork Weapon as a simple +1 weapon feels underwhelming. I would at least expect a Masterwork Weapon to be at least a +2/+3.
 

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Yaarel

He Mage
Strixhaven isn't a bastion, though. I'd have to look through it again and see if there might be a teacher who has a personal bastion(wizard tower) there, but the bastion rules aren't meant for a grand wizard school. They're meant to create a small personal fortification. A personal wizard tower, a minor thieves guild, a small keep, etc. A major school like Strixhaven exceeds that.
Chacters can combine for a neighborhood-size Bastion. Also a caster can start off with one or a few apprentices. The same numbers for recruiting soldiers and officers, would be for students and professors of magic.
 

Maxperson

Morkus from Orkus
Chacters can combine for a neighborhood-size Bastion. Also a caster can start off with one or a few apprentices. The same numbers for recruiting soldiers and officers, would be for students and professors of magic.
Even 5 PC wizards all putting their bastions together wouldn't make up 5% of Strixhaven. This is the wrong system to try and reproduce that. You'll have to homebrew it to be significantly larger and better than it is if you want PCs to be able to create something like that.
 

UngainlyTitan

Legend
Supporter
I feel like classifying a Masterwork Weapon as a simple +1 weapon feels underwhelming. I would at least expect a Masterwork Weapon to be at least a +2/+3.
Personally I think plusses greater than one break bounded accuracy and are not needed. I would prefer to see more properties added to the weapons. Like the BG 3 one that give special attacks or magical benefits like flaming to allow switching the damage type.
 

Yaarel

He Mage
Even 5 PC wizards all putting their bastions together wouldn't make up 5% of Strixhaven. This is the wrong system to try and reproduce that. You'll have to homebrew it to be significantly larger and better than it is if you want PCs to be able to create something like that.
Strixhaven is equivalent to ancient Bastion, that accrues many "special facilities" over the centuries, including addons from alumni.

Nevertheless, at the same scale that a warrior player character can put together a castle and army, a spellcaster player character can put together a magic academy and caster student body.
 

Maxperson

Morkus from Orkus
Strixhaven is equivalent to ancient Bastion, that accrues many "special facilities" over the centuries.
Then so is literally every town, village and city in every world. All of them accrue special facilities, walls, barracks, etc. over the years. If we're going that route, bastions lose all meaning.

In 5e, from what the UA shows, Bastions are a MINOR thing for PCs to use as a home base. It's not for NPCs and colleges. Can an NPC and PC both have a wizard tower? Yep. Are both bastions? Nope.
 

Yaarel

He Mage
Then so is literally every town, village and city in every world. All of them accrue special facilities, walls, barracks, etc. over the years. If we're going that route, bastions lose all meaning.
Well, kinda yeah. Players can already use normal rules to construct a site and hire hirelings − and even populate the site with player characters.

In other words, the Bastion rules do well to incorporate the normal rules that are already in play, including proficiencies, backgrounds, economic expenditures, hirelings, lifestyle status, downtime projects, magical research, etcetera.

The Bastion shouldnt be separate from the rest of the D&D game. It is actually an integral part of D&D.

The way I look at it, the Bastion has its own character sheet, and the player decides what its characteristics are, and how it develops while advancing across the tiers.

In 5e, from what the UA shows, Bastions are a MINOR thing for PCs to use as a home base. It's not for NPCs and colleges. Can an NPC and PC both have a wizard tower? Yep. Are both bastions? Nope.
In the sense that proficiencies, backgrounds, downtime, ambitions, and the accumulation of gp are central to D&D, the Bastion is also central to D&D.
 

Maxperson

Morkus from Orkus
Well, kinda yeah. Players can already use normal rules to construct a site and hire hirelings − and even populate the site with player characters.

In other words, the Bastion rules do well to incorporate the normal rules that are already in play, including proficiencies, backgrounds, economic expenditures, hirelings, lifestyle status, downtime projects, magical research, etcetera.

The Bastion shouldnt be separate from the rest of the D&D game. It is actually an integral part of D&D.

The way I look at it, the Bastion has its own character sheet, and the player decides what its characteristics are, and how it develops while advancing across the tiers.


In the sense that proficiencies, backgrounds, downtime, ambitions, and the accumulation of gp are central to D&D, the Bastion is also central to D&D.
I strongly disagree. I've played in hundreds of campaigns and only a very, very small percentage of those had something like a bastion for the PCs. The bastion as presented in the UA is not central to D&D. Cool, yes. Central, no.
 

Tony Vargas

Legend
The bland assumption that the party can retire to "town" to rest up and re-supply before returning to "the dungeon" is certainly a hoary idea in D&D. Similarly, the idea of name level PCs creating a stronghold goes all the way back. Maybe they're different than the UA 'bastion' rules, and maybe WotC abandoned the concepts. But it seems at least vaguely in line with D&D tradition.
 

Yaarel

He Mage
I strongly disagree. I've played in hundreds of campaigns and only a very, very small percentage of those had something like a bastion for the PCs. The bastion as presented in the UA is not central to D&D. Cool, yes. Central, no.
Most of the D&D tables that I play in are living campaigns, where new characters are the kids of semi-retired characters and other interrelationships. Where the player comes from and the "bonds" that a character maintains are central to our experience of D&D immersion. Also, running businesses and similar happen. We tend to have so many bonds, we need more space to distinguish between persons, groups, and locales. For us, a Bastion system is exciting and useful, and central.
 

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