Developer Video on Druid/Paladin/Expert Feedback



WotC has posted a video discussing initial feedback on the One D&D Druid/Paladin playtest, along with survey results from the Expert playtest. Some highlights for discussion:

Druid: The developers recognize that the template version of wild shape is contentious. If they retain this approach, they would plan to add flexibility to those templates. If they revert to monster stat blocks, they might allow Druids to choose a limited number of options, with a default selection provided.

Paladin: The new version of smite is still intended to work with critical hits. If ranged smite persists, its damage may be adjusted through the internal balance/playtesting process.

Ranger: The updated Ranger scored very well in the playtest. Some players did miss the choice of options in the Hunter subclass.

Bard: All of the Lore Bard's features scored welll, but the overall subclass rating was mediocre. They attribute this to the loss of Additional Magical Secrets, which many saw as the key attraction of this subclass.

Rogue: The change to limit sneak attack to the Rogue's own turn scored poorly. The developers generally like moving actions to a player's own turn to keep the game moving quickly, but in this case, the change doesn't seem to be worth the loss of tactical flexibility.

Feats: With the exception of epic boons, all the feats in the Expert packet scored well. The developers are still loking at written feedback for fine tuning.

Conspicuously not mentioned were the Arcane/Divine/Primal spell lists, which were the focus of a lot of discussion during the Bard playtest.
 
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Incenjucar

Legend
When D&D becomes a classless, point-buy, skills-based system, you will get your wish.
Previous editions supported more of these archetypes in fewer years.

Edit: I find this fatalism about the limits of 5E design rather disheartening. D&D is so much more flexible than a lot of people seem to think it is, it's just poorly supported in the current edition.
 
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Sometimes I think people hear stories about the community being shocked and chagrined at certains things and then just take it as gospel despite the context being entirely different.

Like for instance with 4E, which while it never did the gangbusters 5E did, wasn't ever as universally disliked as people would have you believe, and the people constantly coming out of the woodwork singing that editions praises is a testament to that.

Another example is 5Es rather poor DM support. This wasn't actually all that big of a problem in 2014, because it was intended that DMs would already be experienced given 5E was meant to be a return to form, rather than yet another full paradigm shift that had to teach people how to play like 4E had to (whether it did it well or not).

But several years removed, thousands of brand new DMs coming around and the game is scant to support them, and people just aggressively assert that 5E is terrible because it didn't do something it was never intended to do.

So perverse is that assertion that people learn to just not read the DMG because they hear memes going "DMG BAD" and thus they assume it has no useful info.

Its a poorly organized book that doesn't make it clear you're supposed to use the PHB in tandem with it to learn how to DM, but that doesn't make the info it has worthless. So, so, so many problems people have with 5e can be solved by just reading it instead of blindly trusting memes that have been long since removed from their original context.
 

OB1

Jedi Master
Its a poorly organized book that doesn't make it clear you're supposed to use the PHB in tandem with it to learn how to DM, but that doesn't make the info it has worthless. So, so, so many problems people have with 5e can be solved by just reading it instead of blindly trusting memes that have been long since removed from their original context.
Yes! For 8 years I've been striking down misunderstandings of the DMGs adventuring day guidelines while using what's actually presented in the book to make hundreds of exciting encounters and adventures. The 5e DMG doesn't TELL you how to DM, it teaches you.
 

Rogue: The change to limit sneak attack to the Rogue's own turn scored poorly. The developers generally like moving actions to a player's own turn to keep the game moving quickly, but in this case, the change doesn't seem to be worth the loss of tactical flexibility.
They may "like" it because it's certainly easier to balance, but it both makes the game more complicated and conditional in a frustrating way (a bad thing, for both gameplay and immersion), and only really hits non-casters, when non-casters are already less powerful.

They should look at reverting that change generally. Glad they see the writing on the wall here though.
 


Incenjucar

Legend
They may "like" it because it's certainly easier to balance, but it both makes the game more complicated and conditional in a frustrating way (a bad thing, for both gameplay and immersion), and only really hits non-casters, when non-casters are already less powerful.

They should look at reverting that change generally. Glad they see the writing on the wall here though.
The War Caster feat alone...
 

Remathilis

Legend
Previous editions supported more of these archetypes in fewer years.

Edit: I find this fatalism about the limits of 5E design rather disheartening. D&D is so much more flexible than a lot of people seem to think it is, it's just poorly supported in the current edition.

I think the current 5e system handles things just fine, but classes have their special shticks and drawbacks and when you start removing those, you remove the basis of a class system. The 5e ranger attempt to emulate a whole lot of different wilderness warrior ideas and has grown fat attempting to encapsulate 40 years of D&D rangers and everything they've tried to be: Aragon, druid-warrior, tracker, scout, etc. The D&D ranger doesn't emulate Aragon, Davey Crockett, or anything other than the D&D ranger at this point.
 

Incenjucar

Legend
I think the current 5e system handles things just fine, but classes have their special shticks and drawbacks and when you start removing those, you remove the basis of a class system. The 5e ranger attempt to emulate a whole lot of different wilderness warrior ideas and has grown fat attempting to encapsulate 40 years of D&D rangers and everything they've tried to be: Aragon, druid-warrior, tracker, scout, etc. The D&D ranger doesn't emulate Aragon, Davey Crockett, or anything other than the D&D ranger at this point.
I find your position confusing considering that 5E is less flexible than previous editions.

Edit: Snipped some grumpiness
 

Ashrym

Legend
You're going to need a real example of something that is both arbitrary and reasoned simultaneously. Perhaps start by looking up what arbitrary means.

Age of majority would be an example. There are reasons to have age restrictions while people grow into adulthood but the actual ages are arbitrary. It's not like a birthday changes a person outside of regulations related to that birthday.

So I can say the drinking age of 19 is an arbitrary age (that varies depending on where one is) but there is a reason that arbitrary age exists. They align.

The existence of an arbitrary decision doesn't mean there's no reason of outside of that decision. A line just needs to be drawn somewhere sometimes.


We the quiver is obviously a movie thing. LOTR is pre-John Wick so ammo never mattered back then unless drama.

So how big was that quiver in the book during the battles? Are we making assumptions? Legolas and Gimli counting against each other, for example, did demonstrate a lot of arrows being readily available.


When D&D becomes a classless, point-buy, skills-based system, you will get your wish.

I cannot see that happening. Classes are a part of the game identity.

The D&D ranger doesn't emulate Aragon, Davey Crockett, or anything other than the D&D ranger at this point.

I think that's part of the issue. I would use another class to make characters we would consider rangers. But...

Some of them are called rangers in those stories so when we think of someone as a ranger and then we can't make them as a ranger it feels like it's invalidating the concept. It's like "I'm a ranger but I can't be a real ranger because rules so I need to be a fighter pretending to be a ranger".

When we're emotionally invested in the concept we want to play and then that concept is invalidated that can evoke an emotional response.

That's why some classes and names that are common to various books, stories, games, movies, etc have issues. There are a lot of ranger concepts and the core class could be better at covering them.
 

Maxperson

Morkus from Orkus
Age of majority would be an example. There are reasons to have age restrictions while people grow into adulthood but the actual ages are arbitrary. It's not like a birthday changes a person outside of regulations related to that birthday.

So I can say the drinking age of 19 is an arbitrary age (that varies depending on where one is) but there is a reason that arbitrary age exists. They align.

The existence of an arbitrary decision doesn't mean there's no reason of outside of that decision. A line just needs to be drawn somewhere sometimes.
I disagree that those are arbitrary ages. When dealing with masses of people, not everyone is going to progress at the same rate. The government needs to estimate(reason) where most people will be mature enough for any given restricted item.

Just because the ages vary from region to region, doesn't make ages arbitrary. It just means that the various regions assigned different ages for different reasons, or the estimate for maturity varied a little. Will all people be mature enough to drink at 21? No. Some will be mature enough earlier, and others not mature enough even at 21. It's not about one day(the 21st birthday) making you mature enough. It's about when most people will be mature enough in the government's eyes.

It's not like they flipped a coin or threw darts at a bunch of ages in order to pick the age restriction. It wasn't arbitrary.
 

Minigiant

Legend
Supporter
With the ranger likely getting Whirlwind and Volley back, I wonder why they just don't make official multiattacks

  1. Extra Attack (General)
    1. Extra Attack (2)
      1. Extra Attack (3)
  2. Flurry of Blows (Monk Exclusive)
  3. Whirlwind Attack (Hunter Exclusive)
  4. Volley (hunter Exclusive)
  5. Fury (Berserker Exclusive)
  6. War Magic (Eldritch Knight Exclusive)
    1. Improved War Magic
  7. Bestial Fury (Beastmaster and Primeval Circle Exclusive)
  8. Two Weapon Rend (General)
  9. Barrage (General)
  10. Beatdown (General)
  11. Doublecast (Sorcerer exclusive)
  12. Hasted Attack (Unlocked with Haste spell)
Something like that would be simplest, right? Instead of tacking on effects to the Attack Action.
 


Remathilis

Legend
I find your position confusing considering that 5E is less flexible than previous editions.

Edit: Snipped some grumpiness
So let's say you want to make a Conan rip-off. But you don't think rage is appropriate. Conan was no mindless berserker, after all! But the D&D barbarian is defined by rage and has been since 3e (the less said about 1e's barbarian, the better) so if I want to be the archetype barbarian, I'm forced to build around a feature I don't want or need. You can tell me to play a fighter instead, but a fighter is not a barbarian.

That's how debates around the ranger and spells feel to me. The ranger gets a class feature that doesn't emulate all the iconic rangers of media, but it's part of its niche in D&D. To demand ranger magic be removed or relegated to a subclass is no different than demanding rage be removed or moved from barbarian.

And you can do that with the other classes I mentioned. Lots of thieves and rogues never used anything resembling sneak attack, but the Rogue class is built around it. There are plenty of nature priests that don't turn into animals, holy knights without divine smite, and minstrels who don't cast a single spell. We could make the rogue, druid, paladin, and bard all generic enough that they can support any version of those archetypes found in media, but at a certain point they become generic customizable classlike lumps with no defining features. At that point, why not just go classless and let the player decide what a "ranger" or "bard" is?

Mind you, I'm not advocating for classless D&D. I'm pointing out that at the end of the day, we have three options: accept D&D Davey Crockett has magic, accept he's not a ranger but some other class/build like rogue/scout, or accept that you can never have a ranger that will fit all the various rangers in media and abandon the notion of classes.
 

the battles? Are we making assumptions? Legolas and Gimli counting against each other, for example, did demonstrate a lot of arrows being readily available.

In the books, Legolas is constantly having to scavenge off Orcs and Uruks after he looses all of his own.

And during Helms Deep its presumable like any well run fortress that the defenders will have stockpiles of arrows all along the walls, so at least up until the defenders are pushed back into the keep there's unlikely to be any issue with ammunition. And even then.

But, funnily enough, in the Jackson movies Legolas is depicted as scavenging arrows in these scenes. He plucks arrows out of the Uruks and fires them again.

Because that's the fighters (exclusive) thing.

Which happens every time the fighter has something. Everyone is just like "why can't the ranger/paladin/ect... have it too?".

Ive seen it go in the other direction as well.

We could make the rogue, druid, paladin, and bard all generic enough that they can support any version of those archetypes found in media, but at a certain point they become generic customizable classlike lumps with no defining features.

I don't believe its quite as zero sum (?) as you're depicting it.

The base classes need to represent commonality between the more specific tropes that can be provided via subclass.

Barbarians as a trope aren't really unified by Rage. Thats strictly a Beserker inspired trope that could be applied as a more specific niche of a Barbarian, but isn't common to every depiction.

But then you have things like the Ranger, where they do exist in other properties, but never actually had a trope that was well defined before the DND Aragorn Homebrew was propped up and became traditional. So you need to actually define what a Ranger ought to be, and then again apply the same Commonality rule.

This is the underlying logic Ive been using for my game. The Ranger for me is firmly descended from Aragorn, Faramir, and the Ranges of the North, was best captured in literature by Will Treaty and friends, and had its best gaming identity provided in the core of the 2014 Ranger design.

So what does that give you?

That gives you an uncannily skilled martial warrior who specializes in the wilderness and serves best as a guide, healer, and tracker, with a penchant for fighting many foes simultaneously and being stealthy as required.

This in turn is what gives me my Rangers core abilities, which cement their role in the game as a Passive Party Buffer whom not only is uncannily skilled at tracking and stealth, but also fights uniquely with AOE as a Stealth-orientied Martial, and provides consistent healing for themselves and their allies.

This in turn gets developed more through subclasses, which explore different angles of these tropes.

The Herbalist further develops Poultices as an ability, and will generally feel right at home for anyone who just wants to play an Aragorn analogue.

The Warden goes down the Faramir route, but also incorporates elements from traditional DND Rangers, with its focus taking it down into dungeons to slay terrorizing monsters.

The Raider goes with a nautical theme, invoking the Rangers abilities as being fairly in-line with that of a Pirate or Viking, and fully explores the Ranger as a more dedicated brawler.

And finally, the Agent takes it in a more urban direction, taking cues from Will Treaty. This emphasizes stealth as the prime focus, and integrates it with the social and investigation mechanics.

And these meanwhile are the core four Im going with to start. With the Ranger base I've concieved you could do most anything you like, particularly if you introduce the ability to swap out the tertiary and quaternary abilities (Poultices and Wilderness Training) with others that can take the Ranger in other directions, which is also something I want to support.

One, indeed, could cement spellcasting as one of those options, and that opens the doors to most of the conventional Ranger takes that 5E went with, all without having to make anyones preferences play second fiddle to anyone elses.

The only thing my Ranger doesn't support is Beastmastering, which will be deliberate as that will be its own class developed along the same lines, given the primary abilities are variants of one-another, but explores the Beastmaster directly as its own commonality.

So yeah, all this to say that it can be done better, and it should be.
 

Clint_L

Hero
I agree. I find a lot of design complaints come down to "that design choice does not match my idiosyncratic preferences for how X class should play." Which is fine at a personal level, but when you are making suggestions for a game that has millions of players, each with a unique perspective, you can't expect it to match your personal taste exactly. And I think we do have to pay deference to tradition in the sense that, after all these decades, players have developed an attachment to the D&D ranger, druid, etc., and have a reasonable expectation of some continuity.

"Rangers shouldn't use spells" is a non-starter in D&D. It's not going to happen. The D&D ranger has always used spells, and always will. If you want to make Aragon, you should make a fighter anyway, and maybe give proficiency in medicine. It's not like he was even the sharpshooter in the party - he was melee first and foremost!
 

Incenjucar

Legend
So let's say you want to make a Conan rip-off. But you don't think rage is appropriate. Conan was no mindless berserker, after all! But the D&D barbarian is defined by rage and has been since 3e (the less said about 1e's barbarian, the better) so if I want to be the archetype barbarian, I'm forced to build around a feature I don't want or need. You can tell me to play a fighter instead, but a fighter is not a barbarian.

That's how debates around the ranger and spells feel to me. The ranger gets a class feature that doesn't emulate all the iconic rangers of media, but it's part of its niche in D&D. To demand ranger magic be removed or relegated to a subclass is no different than demanding rage be removed or moved from barbarian.

And you can do that with the other classes I mentioned. Lots of thieves and rogues never used anything resembling sneak attack, but the Rogue class is built around it. There are plenty of nature priests that don't turn into animals, holy knights without divine smite, and minstrels who don't cast a single spell. We could make the rogue, druid, paladin, and bard all generic enough that they can support any version of those archetypes found in media, but at a certain point they become generic customizable classlike lumps with no defining features. At that point, why not just go classless and let the player decide what a "ranger" or "bard" is?

Mind you, I'm not advocating for classless D&D. I'm pointing out that at the end of the day, we have three options: accept D&D Davey Crockett has magic, accept he's not a ranger but some other class/build like rogue/scout, or accept that you can never have a ranger that will fit all the various rangers in media and abandon the notion of classes.
And yet previous editions gave us magicless rangers just fine, and even in 2E rangers had no magic until 8th level (10th if a Justifier kit). Now they're getting cantrips at level 1.
 

Undrave

Legend
Barbarians as a trope aren't really unified by Rage. Thats strictly a Beserker inspired trope that could be applied as a more specific niche of a Barbarian, but isn't common to every depiction.
Yeah but a Barbarian without rages is just a shirtless Fighter. If you wanted to make one in 4e I would have said to go for the Battlerager Fighter.
 

Yeah but a Barbarian without rages is just a shirtless Fighter. If you wanted to make one in 4e I would have said to go for the Battlerager Fighter.
I think the difderent 4e barbarian rages with primal effects were a nice touch to the class. 5e emulates it a bit with subclasses thatvadd nice features. I think I might be ok if barbarian rage would be a different, maybe always on feature that reduces damage. A barbarian whondoes not rage in combat does something wrong.
 

Undrave

Legend
I think the difderent 4e barbarian rages with primal effects were a nice touch to the class. 5e emulates it a bit with subclasses thatvadd nice features. I think I might be ok if barbarian rage would be a different, maybe always on feature that reduces damage. A barbarian whondoes not rage in combat does something wrong.
I honestly doubt the Barbarian would have been its own class in 5e if 4e hadn't infused it with Primal Spirits. It would have ended up a Fighter subclass with maybe unarmored defence as a fighting style.
 

Yeah but a Barbarian without rages is just a shirtless Fighter.

No it isn't.

This is another one of those bizarre DND player idiosyncrasies where people can't fathom anything other than what already exists and keep asserting all interesting tropes be rolled into the Fighter.
 

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