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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Horwath

Legend
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.
One problem with spellcasting ranger is Verbal components of spells.

For a stealth/guerrilla warrior that can be a big no-go.

Especially with vagueness of explanation how loud a Verbal component is and arguing with DM on how loud "audible" is, is as enjoying as getting your teeth pulled without local anesthetics...
 

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Pauln6

Hero
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.
Yeah, some people have very literal views. Inspirational healing really drives some people nuts. I was suggesting taking the mechanical effects of the potentially non magical spells and applying a non-magical chassis removing VSM requirements as appropriate and calling them exploits.

The designers said the previous non-magical ranger was unpopular. I would be interested to see the feedback specifically from fans of non-magical rangers to see what was lacking for them. Sometimes people just want something they can't have for reasons of balance, I suppose.
 

Remathilis

Legend
Yeah, some people have very literal views. Inspirational healing really drives some people nuts. I was suggesting taking the mechanical effects of the potentially non magical spells and applying a non-magical chassis removing VSM requirements as appropriate and calling them exploits.

The designers said the previous non-magical ranger was unpopular. I would be interested to see the feedback specifically from fans of non-magical rangers to see what was lacking for them. Sometimes people just want something they can't have for reasons of balance, I suppose.
One of the things I always worry about when people suggest "nonmagical magic", be it spellless rangers, mythical fighters, or psionics, is the fact magic has so few restrictions as is, and the first thing people suggest is getting rid of the remaining ones (no VSM, can't be dispelled/countered, doesn't use slots, etc,) but are still as potent as a full caster at the same level. I get the desire to not want martials to suck, but at the same time giving them magic power without magic drawbacks should come with the "Summon Pony (with shiny saddle)" feature.
 

Loren the GM

Adventurer
Publisher
Something I haven't seen talked about much is the DM side of this discussion. In general, I hate having 2014 druids in the party. It isn't just player complexity, there is also significant DM burden with the current design. From helping pull stat blocks together, to constant rules guidance, druid characters are usually the ones I have to be most involved with helping to maintain running. I'm already doing enough work for a game, so from the DM side player characters really need to be able to be managed by the players as much as possible.

I am all for the new changes (with some modifications). I think the templates and class changes will be a huge benefit to actual play at the table.
 


One problem with spellcasting ranger is Verbal components of spells.

For a stealth/guerrilla warrior that can be a big no-go.

Especially with vagueness of explanation how loud a Verbal component is and arguing with DM on how loud "audible" is, is as enjoying as getting your teeth pulled without local anesthetics...
Verbal components are for the camera and the viewer, they don’t have practical purpose!
 


Charlaquin

Goblin Queen (She/Her/Hers)
Yeah, some people have very literal views. Inspirational healing really drives some people nuts. I was suggesting taking the mechanical effects of the potentially non magical spells and applying a non-magical chassis removing VSM requirements as appropriate and calling them exploits.

The designers said the previous non-magical ranger was unpopular. I would be interested to see the feedback specifically from fans of non-magical rangers to see what was lacking for them. Sometimes people just want something they can't have for reasons of balance, I suppose.
There were a few iterations of the non-casting ranger in UA. I found the poultice one kinda half-baked, but there was another one that I liked a fair bit. The spirit companion thing feels like it should be one subclass with multiple paths like the Totem Barbarian instead of each companion being a subclass, but otherwise I think this is a great direction. Maybe the poultice version could even be another subclass of this non-spellcasting ranger class.
 

Ever run the game for kids?

Define kids. People under 10 really should be playing something else (Mausritter is great if brutal), and up to the teenagers I have it on good authority that kids don't struggle with this game, and definitely not the Druid.

Im still of the opinion that this complexity issue is still being vastly overstated.

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.

It actually isn't, if you assume Natural Explorer was taken by the Ranger anyway.

Outlander is not as good as people think it is.

Also if anything the Scouts abilities should be rolled into the Assassin.
 

Horwath

Legend
Define kids. People under 10 really should be playing something else (Mausritter is great if brutal), and up to the teenagers I have it on good authority that kids don't struggle with this game, and definitely not the Druid.

Im still of the opinion that this complexity issue is still being vastly overstated.



It actually isn't, if you assume Natural Explorer was taken by the Ranger anyway.

Outlander is not as good as people think it is.
Any ranger would trade natural explorer for bonus Nature&Survival proficiency and expertise.

Natural explorer is 100% dependent on DMs charity, to be given that terrain. Expertise works in all terrains.

Outlander removes lot of wilderness challenges, infinite survival check for foraging and using cartography tools.
 

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