D&D 5E D&D New Edition Design Looks Soon?

WotC’s Ray Winninger has hinted on Twitter that we may be seeing something of the 2024 next edition of D&D soon — “you’ll get a first look at some of the new design work soon.”.

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Russ Morrissey

Russ Morrissey

doctorbadwolf

Heretic of The Seventh Circle
Re anti-indigenous racism - the history in Canada is terrible, but awareness is growing fast at least.

Re Monk: The flavor is, as you say, kind of wild and not in a good way. However, the chasis has some validity. It's clearly not for everyone, and it suffers from the ranger's problem of "can't be better at fighting than a fighter, otherwise what's the point of playing a fighter". But it is fun and it suits some players well, and it can be reflavored quite easily . My last monk was a kensei wild elf, and his monk powers were just "elven ways". What better way to show the supernatural speed and reflex of an elf than with a monk? :)
Monks are really fun swashbucklers, as well.
Strangely, I find myself both agreeing and disagreeing with you.

First we have to consider what is a "magical swordsman" (or a gish). If one takes the definition of "someone who can fight and cast arcane spells", then poof, multiclass fighter mage, done. But I don't think that's what you meant - you mean a swordsman who has integrated magic into his fighting.

You are completely correct that there is no "proper" class focused on this concept, and that there could have been, or perhaps even should have been. I have a magus in a PF game that I hoped (in vain) would switch to 5e. Converting him accurately is nigh impossible. It's particularly bad if you restrict yourself on the PHB. Ironically, the closest we have to a gish is the paladin - but even then that's quite wrong because the flavor of the spells and class as a whole just don't match.

on the other hand, the magical swordsman has always seemed a bit... idiosyncratic to me. Instead of having one "path" to gish-dom, 5e offers a very wide array of ways to do it:

Eldrich knight
Hexblade
College of sword bard (esp with a 1 level dip in hexblade)
bladesinger

aaaand that's not all!

Fighter-mage MC can still work
Arcane Trickster (which pairs well with bladesinger btw)
Some artificers (a more steampunk approach if you will)
Some other fighter subclasses are sort of "magical warriors" - psi warrior and rune knight in particular, and this can be enhanced by taking things like ritual caster.
Hexadin/Sorcadin

If you have a dedicated gish class, half of these options probably wouldn't exist.
Or they’d be subclasses of the swordmage or whatever, but yeah.
The complaint is usually western vs eastern tropes. That the monk doesn’t fit in with the rest as it’s the solitary eastern fantasy trope is a game dominated by western fantasy tropes.
Eh, there are plenty of European warrior cults that the monk could easily lean into. Some would give it mild conceptual overlap with other classes, but that’s good IMO.
That's why we have backgrounds like Acolyte. We could rename the class to something else, I'm not sure what it would buy to change the label or what that label would be. Fantasy Martial Arts Expert doesn't really roll off the tongue so you have to call them something. Ninja would probably be closer I suppose. :unsure:
Mystic, for my money. The martials arts doesn’t actually set it apart. What sets it apart is using breath/focus/inner power to do impossible things like stop aging and leap 30 feet.

The best martial artist playable in 5e is a Battlemaster fighter with unarmed fighting style. The monk is something different.
 

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What classes are based on fictional tropes that you think monk is that much different? Do D&D wizards, warlocks, paladins, clerics or rangers really match any pre-existing fiction? Why would monks be any different? Most classes in D&D are their own fictional construct which are inspired by, but do not accurately model, other fiction.
I take your point (not invalid) but I think the key difference is "good enough" factor of those vs. the weird hyperspecificity of the Monk (which isn't even a D&D specificity really).

D&D Wizards are good enough for any "book-learnin'"-type wizard. I mean, yeah we could get into arguments about Vancian casting, but the problem is Vancian casting, not the Wizard class. If you want to be "A Harry Potter", it's good enough (assuming you don't throw D&D entirely out the window because of Vancian casting).

Warlocks are great and loosely match an absolute ton of existing fiction, not ultra-precisely, but "Person who makes a pact with a dangerous being to gain power and zaps people and maybe has a cool magic sword/familiar/tome" is absolutely a viable common archetype. It's very much good enough. It's not hyperspecific.

Paladins and Clerics created, by sheer force of D&D's will and influence, archetypes, which survive and are popular to this day. Sure, in 1970-whatever, they were new and weird and not existing archetypes. By 2000, they were common default archetypes in Western videogames, Japanese and Korean videogames (who incredibly enthusiastically embraced them - moreso than the West even, especially Korea!), tabletop wargames, other TTRPGs, manga and anime, and whilst they're still rare, they'd started appear in Western fantasy literature. If you ask a random 20-something who is at least a little bit of a gamer (video or tabletop), or a fantasy nerd what a "Paladin" is, they're going to describe a D&D Paladin (or a WoW one, which is honestly basically the same thing - to be fair WoW Paladins are like 50% Paladin/50% Cleric).

Rangers are very much D&D's crude and ineffective attempt to emulate a long-existing and very popular archetype. 1E/2E's take was too hyperspecific for sure, but since then, it's been getting less so. 5E messed up by force-including spells, which don't fit the common fantasy archetype, and by making it so hard to play Beastmaster in a fun way initially, but the concept is absolutely sound. They're "good enough". Just barely.

Interesting you missed Bards - they're similar to Paladin and Clerics, in that D&D largely created them by force of will, but they're now an incredibly popular archetype and appear in all the same places as Paladins and Clerics, except they appear more often in Western fantasy literature.

Monk are, on the other hand, haven't been been embraced to the same degree. Even when the archetype appears, it's usually NOT called Monk, but rather Martial Artist or the like (c.f. Lost Ark for a recent example), and is broader than the D&D archetype. We see that even with ENworld's own AD&D 5E, where Monk becomes Adept. The problem is Monk isn't good enough. Monk's design is too hyperspecific to Chinese Shaolin Monk. Something like Cleric is pretty specific, but it's also a bizarre fantasy archetype. Monk is just a recapitulation of a bunch of bunch of Shaolin mythology. And the problem is, Martial Artist-type characters are staggeringly popular in pop-culture. But almost none of them are monks, let alone Shaolin monks. And the Monk design for 5E is "Shaolin Monk", and then it lets you layer stuff on top, but you can't NOT be a Shaolin Monk. And very few people are into that, whereas "Martial Artist with fantastical powers" is one of the most common fantasy archetypes of the last 20 years. It's just bad design on WotC's part.
 

If the 5 minute work day is an issue in a game, don't allow a 5 minute work day. 🤷‍♂️
I love it when people say this, because it's so funny, it's like "Just design every single adventure for the whole of the rest of time in an extremely narrow and specific way that feels pretty wrong a lot of the time! That'll fix it!". Yeah, I could also fix my foot hurting by chopping it off, sure.

EDIT - I Would Simply
 
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Strangely, I find myself both agreeing and disagreeing with you.

First we have to consider what is a "magical swordsman" (or a gish). If one takes the definition of "someone who can fight and cast arcane spells", then poof, multiclass fighter mage, done. But I don't think that's what you meant - you mean a swordsman who has integrated magic into his fighting.

You are completely correct that there is no "proper" class focused on this concept, and that there could have been, or perhaps even should have been. I have a magus in a PF game that I hoped (in vain) would switch to 5e. Converting him accurately is nigh impossible. It's particularly bad if you restrict yourself on the PHB. Ironically, the closest we have to a gish is the paladin - but even then that's quite wrong because the flavor of the spells and class as a whole just don't match.

on the other hand, the magical swordsman has always seemed a bit... idiosyncratic to me. Instead of having one "path" to gish-dom, 5e offers a very wide array of ways to do it:

Eldrich knight
Hexblade
College of sword bard (esp with a 1 level dip in hexblade)
bladesinger

aaaand that's not all!

Fighter-mage MC can still work
Arcane Trickster (which pairs well with bladesinger btw)
Some artificers (a more steampunk approach if you will)
Some other fighter subclasses are sort of "magical warriors" - psi warrior and rune knight in particular, and this can be enhanced by taking things like ritual caster.
Hexadin/Sorcadin

If you have a dedicated gish class, half of these options probably wouldn't exist.
Yeah half of them wouldn't exist, because they should never have existed in the first place. It's like saying "If you have efficient nationalized provision of social services, lots of kinds of charity won't exist because they won't be needed! OH NO!".

No "OH NO". No. Those charities shouldn't exist. They're covering for a failing system.

And it's the same here. EK exists for two reasons:

1) MCing is a optional rule (and a REALLY BAD one btw) in 5E.

2) There's no Swordmage class.

If there was a Swordmage class, or MCing wasn't optional, EK wouldn't exist, period. And it shouldn't. It's mostly about quasi-abusing Shield lol.

Other ones are debatable, but yeah, a lot of them shouldn't exist. Period. They're dumb stopgaps because WotC messed up. Them not existing would be objectively a good thing.
 

The Monk is merely the chasis for the magical and fantasy spirtual martial artist. There are a bunch of them.

If I were to do monk subclasses by decade

70s: Classic Open Palm Monk
80s: Star Wars Jedi Monk
90s: Street Fighter or Dragonball Monk
00s: Avatar Bender Monk
10s: ????

Add in Shadow Monk and Drunken Fist and you have most of the core concepts of the class in media.
Those aren't Monks. :p

That's the problem. You're just putting the word Monk on the end of things! You might as well say "Captain America Monk" for the 10s version or "Iron Man Monk" or "Hulk Monk" (there was a Arcana Unearthed/Diamond Throne class like that amusingly) or whatever. You can't just put the word "Monk" on the end of something and make it a Monk lol. I mean it's a fun idea but...

The point is Mystical Martial Artist is the core concept. Shaolin Monk is the 1970s expression of it. I'd add "Ninja" to the '80s conception too.

If they made a Martial Artist class, and then had versions of it which were basically:

Shaolin Monk
Jedi Knight maaaaybe (this crosses over hard with Psionicist note - Jedi are closer to Psionicists, especially Psychic Warriors/Psi-Knights than Monks)
Mystical Ninja
School of Hard Knocks guy (less mystical stuff, more punching - could be a Fighter instead if there was an efficient and proper way for them to drop armour and go unarmed, and no the current options are total rubbish due to WotC's completely insane paranoia about letting non-Monks fight unarmed)
Street Fighter-style mystical martial artist*
Avatar Element Bender

As just the early ones, then there are tons of other ways they could go (Jojo for example).

An alternative would be to delete the Monk class and give all classes a viable way to go unarmed/unarmoured. I think that would actually help the game even more.



* = Which would actually largely cover DBZ - DBZ is just that + being wildly overpowered lol, for DBZ make it so there are like 200 levels (all with full bonuses and HP, just extend the chart out) instead of 20 and you can go up multiple per session, or suddenly jump like 50 levels temporarily or permanently lol
 
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Oofta

Legend
I love it when people say this, because it's so funny, it's like "Just design every single adventure for the whole of the rest of time in an extremely narrow and specific way that feels pretty wrong a lot of the time! That'll fix it!". Yeah, I could also fix my foot hurting by chopping it off, sure.
I've managed to avoid the five minute workday for a few decades now. It's not hard.
 


I've managed to avoid the five minute workday for a few decades now. It's not hard.
I mean, I'm very skeptical that that's a decision you've made rather than down to the behaviour of your players, but not being psychic, I don't know. However I find your "It's not hard" to be a bit fatuous without you giving context.

I largely avoided it until 3E because it wasn't that advantageous and the players weren't interested. But in 3E, it became stupid not to do that, because buffs became so ridiculous and so stackable. In 4E it vanished again, because there was rarely a point. In 5E it's pretty rare (though vastly more common than 4E) because again, there's not as much point. But just saying "write around it" for 3.XE/PF1 players - not helpful.
 

Parmandur

Book-Friend
I mean, I'm very skeptical that that's a decision you've made rather than down to the behaviour of your players, but not being psychic, I don't know. However I find your "It's not hard" to be a bit fatuous without you giving context.

I largely avoided it until 3E because it wasn't that advantageous and the players weren't interested. But in 3E, it became stupid not to do that, because buffs became so ridiculous and so stackable. In 4E it vanished again, because there was rarely a point. In 5E it's pretty rare (though vastly more common than 4E) because again, there's not as much point. But just saying "write around it" for 3.XE/PF1 players - not helpful.
Well, yeah,it was a system flaw in 3rd edition.
 

tetrasodium

Legend
Supporter
I mean, I'm very skeptical that that's a decision you've made rather than down to the behaviour of your players, but not being psychic, I don't know. However I find your "It's not hard" to be a bit fatuous without you giving context.

I largely avoided it until 3E because it wasn't that advantageous and the players weren't interested. But in 3E, it became stupid not to do that, because buffs became so ridiculous and so stackable. In 4E it vanished again, because there was rarely a point. In 5E it's pretty rare (though vastly more common than 4E) because again, there's not as much point. But just saying "write around it" for 3.XE/PF1 players - not helpful.
I mostly avoided it in 3.x by threatening to expire buffs when dillydallying or just having random interruptions that made a rest in unsafe territory result in backsliding. Yea Alice the wizard could get her spell slots back after "getting a good night's sleep and spending an hour of study" while bob the cleric needs to wait till the appropriate time many hours away to spend his hour in quiet contemplation & meditative prayer. Without Leomund's invincible bunker those were very dangerous periods that can't be interrupted by a monster saying bored now & sending some guards to interrupt them at the worst time. wands of CLW were easy to limit just by declaring them out of stock or use weak AoEs/trash monsters spreading damage to suck them dry.

I too am always skeptical of GM's who think that their players not engaging in 5mwd-nova >rest>5mwd-nova is a thing mostly on the GM rather than players.
 

Oofta

Legend
I mean, I'm very skeptical that that's a decision you've made rather than down to the behaviour of your players, but not being psychic, I don't know. However I find your "It's not hard" to be a bit fatuous without you giving context.

I largely avoided it until 3E because it wasn't that advantageous and the players weren't interested. But in 3E, it became stupid not to do that, because buffs became so ridiculous and so stackable. In 4E it vanished again, because there was rarely a point. In 5E it's pretty rare (though vastly more common than 4E) because again, there's not as much point. But just saying "write around it" for 3.XE/PF1 players - not helpful.
It's absolutely a decision I've made, other than my wife we've had to form new groups multiple times because we moved. Not sure why you think it's hard. About the only time I didn't was high level 4E because combats could take hours. In 5E it's really simple, I just use the alternate rest rules so a long rest is a week or more.

Every once in a great while we'll have a 5 minute work day because variety (and letting casters go nova) is the spice of life. But otherwise? There's no safe place to rest, the clock keeps ticking if you stop to rest and the bad guys will get away, it's a running fight ... there must be 50 ways to leave your lover not have a 5 minute work day.
 
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Minigiant

Legend
Supporter
Those aren't Monks. :p

That's the problem. You're just putting the word Monk on the end of things! You might as well say "Captain America Monk" for the 10s version or "Iron Man Monk" or "Hulk Monk" (there was a Arcana Unearthed/Diamond Throne class like that amusingly) or whatever. You can't just put the word "Monk" on the end of something and make it a Monk lol. I mean it's a fun idea but...

The point is Mystical Martial Artist is the core concept. Shaolin Monk is the 1970s expression of it. I'd add "Ninja" to the '80s conception too.
Monk is just the D&D name for a Mystical MArtial Artist
Shaolin Monk
Jedi Knight maaaaybe (this crosses over hard with Psionicist note - Jedi are closer to Psionicists, especially Psychic Warriors/Psi-Knights than Monks)
Mystical Ninja
School of Hard Knocks guy (less mystical stuff, more punching - could be a Fighter instead if there was an efficient and proper way for them to drop armour and go unarmed, and no the current options are total rubbish due to WotC's completely insane paranoia about letting non-Monks fight unarmed)
Street Fighter-style mystical martial artist*
Avatar Element Bender

Nice Line up

* = Which would actually largely cover DBZ - DBZ is just that + being wildly overpowered lol, for DBZ make it so there are like 200 levels (all with full bonuses and HP, just extend the chart out) instead of 20 and you can go up multiple per session, or suddenly jump like 50 levels temporarily or permanently lol

I'd keep SF and DB separate to isolate the the difference of how they attack foes.
Street Fighter is about special moves with no cost that can be upgraded with ki.
DB focuses on style switching, powering up, and using costly techniques.

I wouldn't go DBZ and stay Dragon Ball. Master Roshi, Kid Goku,and Kid Krillin feel like level 15+ monks.

DBZ is epic level play, I agree.
 

Monk is just the D&D name for a Mystical MArtial Artist


Nice Line up



I'd keep SF and DB separate to isolate the the difference of how they attack foes.
Street Fighter is about special moves with no cost that can be upgraded with ki.
DB focuses on style switching, powering up, and using costly techniques.

I wouldn't go DBZ and stay Dragon Ball. Master Roshi, Kid Goku,and Kid Krillin feel like level 15+ monks.

DBZ is epic level play, I agree.
DBZ can only be high level, now going super Saiyan for your level 20 power would be so cool they should do it.
 


Horwath

Hero
The ranger should get spells known based on their favored enemies and terrain like I said 10 years ago.
That they did with Land Druid, I cannot see the reason why ranger was missed from that?
Might just give rangers spells known from Land druids lists of terrains.
 


Dragon sorcerer: well, a dragon ofc
Elemental sorcerer: elemental
Shadow sorcerer: shade or spectre
Aberrant mind: aberration
Clockwork soul: a construct
Wild magic: delete subclass
This would just replace several current subclasses with pet centered powers, removing much of their current themes
 


Minigiant

Legend
Supporter
That they did with Land Druid, I cannot see the reason why ranger was missed from that?
Might just give rangers spells known from Land druids lists of terrains.
Because the designers were so focused on shifting complexity to being solely a fully caster thing. And you pick favored enemies and favored terrain before to get spells.

They could have been just level 1 spells because rangers are half casters.
 

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