D&D (2024) D&D Survey Results and The Future of Playtest | Unearthed Arcana


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I mean I think there's a spectrum of conservatism. Obviously WotC is not going to try to appeal to the kind of toxic, extreme people who think that different skin tones existing is "woke" or anything like that. But there is a kind of "mushy middle" where people are fine with "inclusive gaming" as long as it doesn't go too far, in their opinion.

I'm certainly not going to try and say the Aardlings were amazing design or anything, but I do think there was an undercurrent in the criticism of them that isn't present in something like the Goliaths. Like I'm not really a fan of their current design, but I'm not upset by them existing in the game, and neither it seems are most people. So I think with Aardlings, it was not just their design, but all the fact that they would appeal to, you know, furries that set a lot of people off. There's an antagonism to even the concept of them, where they would appeal to a lot of loudly queer people, that doesn't exist with "big muscle people who can get even bigger."
The thing is I know that I at least have very different criticisms of Ardling v0.1 and Ardling v0.2

The Ardling v 1.0 was not there yet. It was basically a pink glitter bomb exploded over a character sheet - a little different to most races but working towards a very definite, mostly female or queer audience. It was enthusiastic, slightly bombastic, and trying to hit a certain group of fans that are not historically served well by D&D races. I could see it being very marmitey, with some loving it and others hating it. But as the rules implementation stood it wasn't fully ready.

The Ardling v 2.0 had gone in the wrong direction. It took away the glitter from the v1.0 (almost literally), leaving it much closer to already well explored design space and leaving it there in a bland manner. The Ardling 1.0 wasn't competing with e.g. the Tabaxi, but the Ardling v 2.0 was (and the Tabaxi cat-persons better than the Ardling).

And the surveys for v1.0 gave the ardlings a rating in the 60% range which Crawford says basically means "Worth another try" - and was in the same range as the Dragonborn where again the result of the first playtest survey was not there yet. The second Dragonborn was there and will be used. The second Aardling? Worse than the first.They haven't managed to get what will make the Aardling work if it does.

This isn't entirely to do with conservatism. The Ardling v 2.0 was a whole lot more conservative than the Ardling v 1.0. And it did worse in part because it was more conservative.

(And if you don't expect goliath bears you know different queer people from me).
 

If anything happens to sorcerer, I'm hoping that it becomes more like the 5e playtest sorcerer.

That was an actually interesting and unique class. Instead of 'wizard but hot'
Or possibly the late 5e sorcerer, with the weakness of the base class meaning that the subclasses can be made really strong and thematic. It's not the sorcerer that's unique but the Clockwork Soul, Aberrant Mind, and Lunar Sorcerers - none of which would work as effectively if the base sorcerer were stronger.
 

DEFCON 1

Legend
Supporter
Getting a completely new race into a Player's Handbook was always going to be a hard ask. Because even if some players didn't mind or even liked the Ardling, it was taking a spot that those people might have thought deserved to be filled with an already-established race, like the Goblin or Shifter.

The Aardling is I think better served appearing in a different book first, like the Planescape book, to establish its credentials. Then later on it can make its way up the ranks into possible PHB status, like the Tiefling did in 4E, and the Goliath is doing for 2024E.
 


MoonSong

Rules-lawyering drama queen but not a munchkin
If anything happens to sorcerer, I'm hoping that it becomes more like the 5e playtest sorcerer.

That was an actually interesting and unique class. Instead of 'wizard but hot'
But the sorcerer doesn't need to "be more interesting" (aka apeal to non fans) it just needs to not suck. And it doesn't take a lot, just more spells known and metamagic and better spell point economy(edit: and access t9 the full suite of simple weapons wouldn't hurt either). The class oozes flavor and is very interesting on its own right. Your "wizard but hot" is reflected on my "sorcerer but limited to a single backstory, a single personality type, and neither is very engaging by virtue of giving creepy revenge of the nerds vibes."
 



Mistwell

Crusty Old Meatwad (he/him)
I mean I think there's a spectrum of conservatism. Obviously WotC is not going to try to appeal to the kind of toxic, extreme people who think that different skin tones existing is "woke" or anything like that. But there is a kind of "mushy middle" where people are fine with "inclusive gaming" as long as it doesn't go too far, in their opinion.

I'm certainly not going to try and say the Aardlings were amazing design or anything, but I do think there was an undercurrent in the criticism of them that isn't present in something like the Goliaths. Like I'm not really a fan of their current design, but I'm not upset by them existing in the game, and neither it seems are most people. So I think with Aardlings, it was not just their design, but all the fact that they would appeal to, you know, furries that set a lot of people off. There's an antagonism to even the concept of them, where they would appeal to a lot of loudly queer people, that doesn't exist with "big muscle people who can get even bigger."
Are you suggesting that people not liking the Ardlings playtest is anti-queer?
 


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