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D&D (2024) 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...



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
A lot of people just kind of panic when there are lots of options, even if those options aren't especially complex or complicated. "I could be a rat or I could be a raptor or I could hit someone with a stick or I could hit someone with vines or I could heal the party or I could protect the party or I could use diplomacy or I could hide" can be a bit much for some folks no matter how simple you make things.
 

lkj

Hero
While I would be ok with them just providing a limited number of animal statblocks, I would prefer if they went with a small set of generic statblocks that could be customized with additional abilities (modeled on abilities that beasts have) while still explicitly allowing druids to decide what the form is (owlbear or whatever). To me that's a good compromise between the issues of opening up the whole monster manual (which adds unnecessary burdens to players and unwanted restrictions to monster design) and allowing druids to take on any given form.

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Minigiant

Legend
Supporter
I think the main reason Im so incredulous towards the idea that Druids are too complex for people is that, in the 5 or so years that I've been playing TTRPGs, most of which was with 5e, I've never actually  seen anyone complain about Druids being too complex.

I have seen complaints about them being variously under or overpowered, which is par for 5e, but never about their supposed complexity.

It feels like this supposition was conjured out of thin air and people are just repeating it as gospel. And that tends to be compounded when I see Crawford saying things like Tiny forms being too strong in combat, which is a completely invented problem even with the template blocks.
I think it is because people who think druids are too complex don't play druids.

It's kinda why Druidzilla existed. the people who like having tons of choices to sift through or like to powergame options, tend to play druids.

I mean, there is no reason for WOTC to lie about druids are the least played.
 

FitzTheRuke

Legend
It feels like this supposition was conjured out of thin air and people are just repeating it as gospel.

Nah. Druids are complex. Extra reading and extra decision points IS a form of complexity, whether you find that reading or those decisions difficult or not. No one is claiming that they can't be parsed by nearly anyone who makes the effort. It's more that not everyone wants to make the effort. You and your players don't need to feel that way for it to be true for others.

Likely the easiest way to deal with it involves the same solution that the playtest is using for "quick builds" (they way they are saying "You start with these two spells, or two others of your choice"). IF they wind up keeping the monster statblock wildshapes, they can simply say "You turn into a wolf (or another animal of your choice that your DM approves.)" They just need to add some guidance on that.
 

Ashrym

Legend
Where I expected pushback most was on the limited spell list of the bard -- only four schools. I would have thought that was worth a mention. I'm expecting some sort of balancing mechanism for that in the Warlock and/or the Sorcerer, when we see them.

Of course, the limit on Bards was only a soft limit, since they also got a pallet of healing spells, plus magical secrets.

I don't think only 4 schools is the real issue with bards. 4 schools can give reasonably useful spells. What annoyed me was bards felt railroaded into a certain style of bard and lost the variety in the spell list that existed for other styles of bards.

I just posted in another thread that I find letting a bard choose their spell list (arcane, divine, or primal) at 1st level, start with divination and enchantment schools in that list plus to schools of their choice other than evocation, and use the current song of rest instead of adding spells prepped through songs of rest still limits the spell list but maintains the variety of build choiceThat works better for me with the spell lists.

Magical secrets adds quite a bit at higher levels to flesh out that initial style more.

Something else I don't care for is basing an entire group of classes around the expertise feature because that's not really a strong feature in the first place and I expect it to continue to be granted to other classes through feats or features.

I think the main reason Im so incredulous towards the idea that Druids are too complex for people is that, in the 5 or so years that I've been playing TTRPGs, most of which was with 5e, I've never actually  seen anyone complain about Druids being too complex.

I have seen complaints about them being variously under or overpowered, which is par for 5e, but never about their supposed complexity.

It feels like this supposition was conjured out of thin air and people are just repeating it as gospel. And that tends to be compounded when I see Crawford saying things like Tiny forms being too strong in combat, which is a completely invented problem even with the template blocks.

It feels like your supposition of a supposition was conjured out of thin air, lol. ;-)
 

Charlaquin

Goblin Queen (She/Her/Hers)
Can't 90% of Ranger spells be refluffed as non magical? A poultice can be a material component of a spell or a chemical concoction that does exactly the same thing as a spell. They could probably create a spell-less Ranger with one page of adjustment for new spell fluff and a more limited spell list.
Generally, the folks who want a non-spellcasting ranger want a ranger that doesn’t interact with the spellcasting system, so simply “refluffing” ranger spells doesn’t satisfy that desire at all.
 

Charlaquin

Goblin Queen (She/Her/Hers)
Complexity is defined as intricate and hard to understand.

Having a lot to potentially read (which Druids do in fact have, as does every other caster) isn't complexity.

You could call it tedium, or as I mentioned inconvenient, but it isn't complex. This is why I take such an issue with people throwing that word around willy nilly.
There are a number of definitions of complexity in game design, but the relevant one here is decision complexity - the number of leaf nodes in the smallest decision tree that establishes the value of the initial position. Basically, Druids have much bigger decision trees than any other class, because wild shape represents hundreds of options for how to use your action.
 

Charlaquin

Goblin Queen (She/Her/Hers)
I think the main reason Im so incredulous towards the idea that Druids are too complex for people is that, in the 5 or so years that I've been playing TTRPGs, most of which was with 5e, I've never actually  seen anyone complain about Druids being too complex.

I have seen complaints about them being variously under or overpowered, which is par for 5e, but never about their supposed complexity.

It feels like this supposition was conjured out of thin air and people are just repeating it as gospel. And that tends to be compounded when I see Crawford saying things like Tiny forms being too strong in combat, which is a completely invented problem even with the template blocks.
Ever run the game for kids?
 

Horwath

Legend
I still don't get why plenty of people got hyper focus on magic-less ranger and get mad/disappointment that WotC keep them as it.

My logic is that generally, nature got plenty of magic, and will provide druid primal magic. Why a guy that trying to "get along" in nature will choose mundane ways instead learning some druid's teaching and utilise some nature spell to help them dealing with problems?

From the survival of the fittest point of view, shouldn't ranger using everything nature can provide to help them get job done?
Because a Rogue(Scout) with Outlander background is better at "rangering" than a Ranger.
Add 1 level of fighter if you really need that martial touch to it.
 

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