D&D Psionics Survey; Plus "First Major Mechanical Expansion" Coming?

The latest D&D survey is up from WotC, and it's asking your thoughts on the revised Awakened Mystic article (aka 5E psionics rules) in Mike Mearls' Unearthed Arcana column last July. It also asks whether you want to see new races, classes, spells, and feats. At the same time, the last survey's results are in, reporting on the pubic's opinions of the Kits of Old article from a few months ago; and Mike Mearls refers to a "first major mechanical expansion" in the game.

[lq]At this stage, we’ve begun considering what the first, major mechanical expansion to the game might look like.[/lq]
 

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Russ Morrissey

Russ Morrissey

Bad Fox

First Post
Back in 2014, they were writing the DMG in August for a late November release. But that was mostly straight text and advice, and a lot less playtesting and rules. And that was still a good four-month period.

Making new class content and having *any* sort of playtest will be slower. Designing class options simply takes more time than a bunch of magic items or optional rules.

Case and point: http://www.enworld.org/forum/conten...Perkins-Tweeting-Page-Snippets-Of-Mongrelfolk
Perkins was hard at work on Curse of Strahd a year ago. Making a book is time intensive.

I agree, but again, you're assuming that the work hasn't started, which is isn't the case. At least some options that make it into any upcoming sourcebook have been floated in UA. These concepts will have already had internal playtesting, and the wider community has already been surveyed about them.

On top of that, we don't know what other bits and pieces are being worked on that we haven't even heard a whisper about.
 

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I think there should be some expansion of some subclass options - especially for Rangers, Fighters, Rogues, Sorcerers and Bards. I'm still quite content with the options presented in the Player's Handbook though.
 

The Myopic Sniper

Adventurer
One possibility is that since they were going to be doing DMs Guild recommendations every other month for awhile in Unearthed Arcana that some of that content may end up being surveyed, playtested, and tweaked and that the best of the end result will show up in the big expansion.

I liked the look of the Blood Hunter. It obviously needs some mechanical balance work, but if something like that showed up with 5e style playesting in the expansion I would be thrilled.
 


Matthan

Explorer
I think it's worthwhile to remember that not all of the player options in SCAG had any precedent in UA articles. It's probably a mistake to think that we will see everything that is being worked on in UA. I believe WOTC has dedicated testers as well who may already be interacting with new rules options. That doesn't tell us when a new book will drop, but I think it does open up the possibility of it being announced suddenly.
 

thzero

First Post
Maybe a mechanical update will mean I can learn a new skill later in the adventuring "career" (and no, tools don't count) without needing a feat (especially since they are optional).
 

I agree, but again, you're assuming that the work hasn't started, which is isn't the case. At least some options that make it into any upcoming sourcebook have been floated in UA. These concepts will have already had internal playtesting, and the wider community has already been surveyed about them.

On top of that, we don't know what other bits and pieces are being worked on that we haven't even heard a whisper about.
True.
I guess I'm just hoping that if they're polling people to see what kind of splatbooks they want, they won't have already started writing & developing one.
 


CapnZapp

Legend
Maybe a mechanical update will mean I can learn a new skill later in the adventuring "career" (and no, tools don't count) without needing a feat (especially since they are optional).
I suggest a house rule. I think more-skills-as-you-level is too "small" a rule for them to bother with at this stage, unfortunately. Especially since more skills by downtime is already part of the rules.

Perhaps:

You begin with on skill less than indicated by your class description. You gain one new skill for each tier; that is, at levels 4, 11, and 17.
 

Uder

First Post
I like that it looks like they are aiming it at veterans, and being careful to express that it's DM's choice on material. Like some sort of "Advanced" Dungeons and Dragons. :cool:
 

ZeshinX

Adventurer
Maybe a mechanical update will mean I can learn a new skill later in the adventuring "career" (and no, tools don't count) without needing a feat (especially since they are optional).

I house-ruled this one and just re-implemented 2e's Weapon and Nonweapon profs with some tweaks to fit 5e (and added a bunch of nonweapon profs). Int bonus provides bonus weapon/nonweapon profs or languages known at character creation (can be used all for profs, languages, or split up). This helps a little in the high-Intelligence Fighter concept as a side-effect. Never did like the simple/martial weapon group profs granted by class (got used to it, but never liked it). Classes can select whatever profs they like, with no limits based on their class. Backgrounds in my game have been relegated back to where they belong: imagination and backstory with zero direct mechanical influence (i.e. inspiration-only, they grant no actual bonuses, profs or languages).

That's the kind of thing I'd like to see in any splatbook or character options book. More archetypes would be preferable to new classes (one that also change/alter base class abilities would be ideal)...but also optional systems like the proficiency system my group now uses, to give 5e that oft-touted modular nature to it. Whether that modular modifies existing or adds entirely new, both would be welcome. Race options (and new ones) would be great too.
 

the Jester

Legend
I remember the original quotes about the game being modular. I had hoped that it would mimic the software industry moving towards more frequent (or continuous) updates rather than the big releases every few years.

God no.

Continuous updates are a game killer. No more weekly errata, please. Not ever. No more constantly changing the rules as if D&D is Magic: The Gathering. No. Just no.
 

Bad Fox

First Post
I guess I'm just hoping that if they're polling people to see what kind of splatbooks they want, they won't have already started writing & developing one.

Not to worry, regardless of what they've currently got cooking, I'm sure there's lots of room for them to be adaptable. I mean, the UAs have been all over the place, so I think there's lots of different directions they could go with whatever product they're considering.
 

ehren37

Legend
I put the most extreme negative option as far as new classes are concerned. I would really prefer any new character types to be expressed via subclasses. I feel like keeping the ones we have now (with maybe a new one simply for psionics) would help keep it elegant. I can't really think of anything that reaches the archetypal breadth of what we have now (and can think of a couple we have now that don't really do it for me in that regard as it is).

The problem with subclasses is they are merely additive. You couldnt do a psion as a subclass, or a worthwhile artificer, since you only have a few abilities to work with, unless they also replace existing base class features. A support warlord cant be bolted on the fighter, because it's core chassis is a multiattacking damage machine. Same with a Book of 9 Swords, Incarnate, etc update.

Plus it's nice to just be able to hand someone one book and say "make your character with this". It's actually one of the reason I kind of hope we dont see more feats. Having them all in one place is great.
 

steeldragons

Steeliest of the dragons
Epic
The problem with subclasses is they are merely additive. You couldnt do a psion as a subclass, or a worthwhile artificer, since you only have a few abilities to work with, unless they also replace existing base class features. A support warlord cant be bolted on the fighter, because it's core chassis is a multiattacking damage machine.

You absolutely can (and I have) in all of the proposed instances. You [and others] just might not like it/thing it's "enough" of what they want/expect...and, granted, certain archetypes might be easier to construct than others. But you absolutely can do it. For the most part, subclasses give you 5-6 different additional features of design space.

Anywho, I would put money on, a minimum of, the following:
The New Ranger(s) and subclasses is a minimum of 4-6 pages.
The Mystic and subclasses is a minimum of 4-6 pages.
General Psionics combat, adventuring, etc... 4-6 pages.
The Water/Sailing adventuring, naval combat stuff, and character options if an easy 5-10 pages.
We can extrapolate/presume Air/Flying adventuring, aerial combat stuff, and character options for another 5 pages (probably reprinting the aaracokra, et al from the elemental book).
Maybe other "unusual terrains" adventuring, combat stuff, character options (deserts, arctic, etc...) 2-4 pages each.
Added clerical domains: minimum 3 pages.
Added subclasses for other classes, 1-3 pages each.
Added spells and magic items, 20+ pages easily.
Added races and subraces 2-6 pages.
We can assume at least some fan-clamoring will be catered to, so Eberron, Dragonlance, somewhere else (cuz you have to do 3) specific classes, races, and setting specifics is an easy 5 pages, each.
Outer planes/cosmological/Planar specifics...obviously with heavy doses of Planescape-setting and character option shmutz. All told, an [additional/expanded from the DMG] "planar" section could easily be 5-10 pages.
Overly Detailed "added complexity" subsystems for everything from mass combat to going to the bathroom will likely take up the rest/another 50 pages, easily.

I think that's plenty of material to hit the 150 or so page mark for a "major mechanical expansion."
 

CapnZapp

Legend
The problem with subclasses is they are merely additive. You couldnt do a psion as a subclass, or a worthwhile artificer, since you only have a few abilities to work with, unless they also replace existing base class features. A support warlord cant be bolted on the fighter, because it's core chassis is a multiattacking damage machine. Same with a Book of 9 Swords, Incarnate, etc update.

Plus it's nice to just be able to hand someone one book and say "make your character with this". It's actually one of the reason I kind of hope we dont see more feats. Having them all in one place is great.
Sorry to disappoint but the feats are already spread over more books (than the PHB)
 

CapnZapp

Legend
I think that's plenty of material to hit the 150 or so page mark for a "major mechanical expansion."
About that... I'm not sure they can keep advocating this "PHB plus one" strategy if they do a "major mechanical expansion."

I mean, you would probably want to combine stuff from something like a PHB2 with, say, a Goliath or Aaracocra.
 

icosahedron20

First Post
God no.

Continuous updates are a game killer. No more weekly errata, please. Not ever. No more constantly changing the rules as if D&D is Magic: The Gathering. No. Just no.
I agree re: errata and rule changes. And splat books too. More for the sake of more is not good, *especially* when they foist it as core as they did in 4e.

No, I'm talking about regular content updates that add details to the worlds, adventures, and even more monsters and optional rules components. Things that could be adjoined without altering the core.

In retrospect, they sort of do this already. The adventure paths that come out periodically, the Unearthed Arcana column with playtest, the regular playtest surveys, are all part of what I was referring to.

However, I miss some of the other things they used to do: more weekly columns, map-a-week, etc.

Truth though, these are being partially met by the community (blogs, forums, etc.) and 3rd party publishers, so maybe it's not such a travesty that Wizards isn't producing these materials themselves.
 

ZzarkLinux

First Post
New options and new classes are welcomed. With DMsGuild, surveys, and twitter, the dev team seems well-connected with the playerbase. Hopefully they release something everyone wants :)

I hope the power creep doesn't invalidate PHB1 classes / subclasses. The PHB1 should be the only gateway needed to contribute effectively. The champion fighter is supposed to be the "gateway" class for newbies. IMO best to avoid new players receiving the Champion, then be out-damaged and out-armored by easy-builds from the Expansion packs.

I bought all the PHBs from 3e and 4e. I can't wait to get a 5e PHB2 myself :-D
 

S

Sunseeker

Guest
If they're looking at it now, even if they started writing tomorrow, it'd be a late 2017 release. At the earliest...

Assuming that by "Looking at" they're actually in the contemplation stage and not really somewhere else down the road and simply keeping up a good poker face while hiding their cards well. But I would agree, the earliest I would speculate to see something is no less than the end of the year, next Spring seems more reasonable and I would agree that Late Summer, Early Fall 2017 would be the most logical release date.

But that still means they've got about a year and a half worth of content to produce. Is that content ready? Does that content even exist?
 

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