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D&D 5E D&D Studio Blog - Sage Advice - Creature Evolutions

There's a new D&D Studio Blog - Jeremy's posted about "Creature Evolutions": Creature Evolutions | Dungeons & Dragons

Some quick takeaways:
  • Some creatures that were formerly humanoids will, going forward, be monstrosities, fey, or something else. ("Humanoid" is reserved for creatures with similar "moral and cultural range" to humans.)
  • Alignment got put in a "time out".
  • They've started using class tags so that DMs know that a particular NPC can attune to magic items limited to a particular class.
  • Bonus actions get their own section in the stat block now.
  • They've merged the Innate Spellcasting and Spellcasting traits and have gotten rid of spell slots.
Also some stuff we've already guessed based on the stat blocks and playable races in Wild Beyond the Witchlight.

There's also some Sage Advice on "rabbit hops" for harengon PCs.

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I agree for the redesign!
The whole gimick of blind countering, that some DM allow or not to know the spell, or the level, or both, or asking a check, just show that the spell need a redo.
Make it an exclusive wizard ability, or even an abjurer wizard ability with a limited use per day.
Thank you.
I think the trigger can't really be met for counterspell.
Because what exactly means: you peeceive a spell being cast. How do you actually know it is a spell...the spell as is is botched in many ways. We actually very rarely use it.
 

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Hussar

Legend
Yes.

Gee, that's productive.

If it really bothers you, why not change counterspell to simply either grant advantage to saving throws or disadvantage on the magical attack? Seems a pretty simple fix and doesn't run into any problems with something being a "spell" or not. Any magical attack can now be counterspelled, but, all that does is either grant advantage/disadvantage depending on the type of attack being made.

Why are we making this more complicated than it needs to be?
 

Yes.

Gee, that's productive.

If it really bothers you, why not change counterspell to simply either grant advantage to saving throws or disadvantage on the magical attack? Seems a pretty simple fix and doesn't run into any problems with something being a "spell" or not. Any magical attack can now be counterspelled, but, all that does is either grant advantage/disadvantage depending on the type of attack being made.

Why are we making this more complicated than it needs to be?
Good question. I have my solution.
Thanks.
But we are talking about feedback and I stand my point:
Counterspell is in need of a general overhaul.
Not calling spells in monster statblocks spells has too many implications (magic resistance, paladin aura, mage slayer feat and what not). If you are satisfied, good for you. I am not.
And to reiterate myself:
I hated it, that every creature had their own version of nearly the same thing, so I had to reread everything. If it is a fireball like ability, call it fireball or at least reference it. How does that hurt?
 
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Faolyn

Hero
From the blog post:

"We’ve also gotten strict about which monsters get the Humanoid creature type. This type is now reserved for creatures who are humanlike in their moral and cultural range. As we update older books, we’ll reassign some Humanoids to other creature types. When Monsters of the Multiverse is released, you’ll see that some former Humanoids are now Monstrosities, Fey, and other types."

I'm not sure what "humanlike in their moral and cultural range" means exactly, but I wish he was a little clearer what goal is served here that makes it worth myriad arguments about whether a Charm Person spell works on X creature that players expect it to work on. At the moment when a player needs to guess if a creature is a humanoid for the purposes of a spell or ability they basically have to consider whether it is a tool and equipment using biped native to the material plane and of non-giganitic purportions, now they also need to consider it's species' "moral range".
I think that the humanlike means along the lines of how important are instincts are to them as a race. Are they capable of not only thinking, but of changing their mind or developing new concepts, or is it that they are what they are, and no matter how intelligent they are, they're never going to be anything but what they are? Can you have a meaningful conversation with one, and learn about its culture from this conversation, and teach if about your culture in return?

For instance, gnolls, as presented in 5e, were made by a demon prince to be ravenous, bloodthirsty murderers. If you try to talk to one, it will just eat your face. If they were actually monstrous in form, you could play them basically the same way as you do now, with the only change being in the types of weapons and tactics they use. Gnolls, by RAW, aren't just "hyena-folk."

But take centaurs, which despite having a monstrous body plan, aren't wild horses. You can read the description and imagine centaur towns, centaur culture, individual centaurs of any alignment. Despite cultural differences, you can communicate with them.

So I think this is what they mean. Gnolls, despite being bipeds, aren't really people. And centaurs, despite having having six limbs, are people. You can assume that charm person is, in fact, meant to find and alter the minds of people; hold person is meant to paralyze people. And so forth.
 

Xethreau

Josh Gentry - Author, Minister in Training
I think that the humanlike means along the lines of how important are instincts are to them as a race. Are they capable of not only thinking, but of changing their mind or developing new concepts, or is it that they are what they are, and no matter how intelligent they are, they're never going to be anything but what they are? Can you have a meaningful conversation with one, and learn about its culture from this conversation, and teach if about your culture in return?

For instance, gnolls, as presented in 5e, were made by a demon prince to be ravenous, bloodthirsty murderers. If you try to talk to one, it will just eat your face. If they were actually monstrous in form, you could play them basically the same way as you do now, with the only change being in the types of weapons and tactics they use. Gnolls, by RAW, aren't just "hyena-folk."

But take centaurs, which despite having a monstrous body plan, aren't wild horses. You can read the description and imagine centaur towns, centaur culture, individual centaurs of any alignment. Despite cultural differences, you can communicate with them.

So I think this is what they mean. Gnolls, despite being bipeds, aren't really people. And centaurs, despite having having six limbs, are people. You can assume that charm person is, in fact, meant to find and alter the minds of people; hold person is meant to paralyze people. And so forth.
This is an incredibly smart read! This upgraded some of my schema for sure.

This is helpful for interpreting Fiends and Celestials--which regardless of their personal dispositions are fundamentally influenced by their planar origin. Demons who become kindly and angels who fall are still motivated by their planar core.

But what about Giants? Aren't Giants just people but bigger?
 

This is an incredibly smart read! This upgraded some of my schema for sure.

This is helpful for interpreting Fiends and Celestials--which regardless of their personal dispositions are fundamentally influenced by their planar origin. Demons who become kindly and angels who fall are still motivated by their planar core.

But what about Giants? Aren't Giants just people but bigger?
They absolutely are. Giants are a great example of something that meets all the qualifications of being playable except size. Otherwise, it's a great explanation of what they might mean by "people". Still prefer playable gnolls though.
 

Faolyn

Hero
This is an incredibly smart read! This upgraded some of my schema for sure.
Thanks!

But what about Giants? Aren't Giants just people but bigger?
Yes. I mean, they should keep (giant) as a tag, like there's (human) and (orc), but I don't see any reason why giants shouldn't be treated as humanoids. Especially not in 5e, where monster traits meaning nothing more than what magic or ranger hunting ability a creature can be affected by.
 

HammerMan

Adventurer
Those aren't the numbers I have seen. Or even close to it.

Icv2 has data that is where the Pathfinder #1 thing comes from during 4e.

Now Pathfinder is tiny compared to D&D and it isn't because they are doing worse now.
lets try this again.... we KNOW from Mearls that 4e out sold 3e, and 5e out sold 4e.

We know in stores PF barely took a lead for a few months.
 


Oofta

Title? I don't need no stinkin' title.
lets try this again.... we KNOW from Mearls that 4e out sold 3e, and 5e out sold 4e.

We know in stores PF barely took a lead for a few months.
Do we know 4E outsold 3E? Honest question, because I don't remember ever seeing that stated as verified fact.
 







Charlaquin

Goblin Queen
Do we know 4E outsold 3E? Honest question, because I don't remember ever seeing that stated as verified fact.
Unless Mearls was lying when he said it. And it checks out with the fact that it wasn’t outsold by Pathfinder until 5e had been announced.

The thing is, 4e was actually very popular with new players. Unfortunately, because of D&D’s “older cousin model” for introducing new players, there was a cap on how quickly it could grow without the older players. That’s also why many people attribute 5e’s runaway success to the growth of streaming games. Now Matt Mercer can be everyone’s “older cousin.”
 

Oofta

Title? I don't need no stinkin' title.
Unless Mearls was lying when he said it. And it checks out with the fact that it wasn’t outsold by Pathfinder until 5e had been announced.

The thing is, 4e was actually very popular with new players. Unfortunately, because of D&D’s “older cousin model” for introducing new players, there was a cap on how quickly it could grow without the older players. That’s also why many people attribute 5e’s runaway success to the growth of streaming games. Now Matt Mercer can be everyone’s “older cousin.”
I'm not saying anyone is lying or misrepresenting anything. Just curious because I don't know when or where it was stated.

But I agree that the biggest impact of streaming is that it shows what the game is really like to play.
 


Hussar

Legend
Well, a bit of googling turned up this:


A WotC spokesperson has informed ICv2 that Dungeons & Dragons 4th Edition has already gone back to press more than a week before its scheduled street date next Friday, June 6th. Sell-in of 4th Edition has “far exceeded expectations” and even though the initial print run for 4th Edition was 50% higher than the order for the previous D&D 3.5 Edition, WotC has now realized that it is necessary to go back to press to meet anticipated reorder demand.

Earlier this week reports indicated that Buy.com was breaking the street date and shipping copies of 4th Edition (and that 4th Edition elements were available as Bit Torrent downloads, see “D&D 4E Out Early”), clear evidence of the highly anticipated nature of D&D 4th Edition.

Sell-in for 4th Edition turned out to be considerably higher than for 3.5 and the number of pre-orders keeps rising. The D&D 4E Core Rulebook Gift Set made it up to #5 on Amazon.com’s rankings today (Amazon appears to be observing the June 6th street date).

Additionally, there is this:


Also, Mearls in his journal notes as far as print runs:

3E < 3.5E < 4E

Regardless of what edition you like, these numbers seem to cast a very positive light on the size and growth of the hobby we share.
 

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