More People Test One D&D Origins Playtest Than D&D Next

WotC has announced that more people have playtested the first One D&D playtest than the number of people who playtested the entirety of the D&D Next playtest 10 years ago, which led to the release of D&D 5E. The number of people who playtested D&D Next, according to the credits in the 5E Player's Handbook, was over 175,000 people.

In the first week alone, more of you have playtested One D&D than in the entirety of 5e playtesting! 🧙‍♂️🎉

Thank you to everyone who has helped shape the future of Dungeons & Dragons! 💥🐉

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FitzTheRuke

Legend
Maybe the solution is to have a list of backgrounds that are pretty bare-bones (just provides a feat and skill proficiencies and tells you to pick the rest yourself), followed by a list that's slightly more detailed (also includes tool proficiencies), and finally a list with everything filled in.
That's a lot of space for something that is already spelled out as an option, though.
 

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MNblockhead

A Title Much Cooler Than Anything on the Old Site
Yeah, the examples do seem to be confusing people, which I mentioned in feedback as well. Hopefully they edit this section to make the standard more clear, maybe cut the examples entirely.
A lot of players like to choose from examples. They won't cut them. They can make the option to roll your own a lot more obvious but as I stated before, encouraging rolling your own will be easier in D&D Beyond than in the printed book.

In DDB, I would like it to work where when it takes you to the background section, the default to select your proficiencies, equipment, feats, etc. But to have a toggle to "choose from examples backgrounds."

In DDB, I think it would be easier to just roll your own than have to scroll through all the example backgrounds anyway.
 

MNblockhead

A Title Much Cooler Than Anything on the Old Site
It's amazing that they have to spell this stuff out, but yeah, based on confusion here they'll have to look like this:

GUARD (or some other similar posting of your choice)
Ability Scores: +2 Strength, +1 Wisdom (or two other abilities of your choice)
Skill Proficiencies: Athletics, Perception (or two other skills of your choice)
Tool Proficiency: Gaming Set* (one of your choice or another tool of your choice)
Language: Dwarvish (or another language of your choice)
Feat: Alert (or another level 1 feat of your choice)
Your feet begin to ache when you remember the countless hours you spent at your post in the tower (or another location of your choice). You were trained to keep one eye outside the wall (or another place of your choice), watching for marauders (or another enemy of your choice) sweeping from the nearby forest (or another terrain of your choice), and your other eye inside the wall, searching for cutpurses and troublemakers (or other individuals of your choice). At the end of each shift, you bunked in the mayor’s barracks (or another location of your choice) alongside your fellow sentries and the dwarven smiths (or other companions of your choice) who kept your armor snug and your weapons sharp. (Or an entirely different paragraph of fluff of your choice).
Equipment
Crossbow Bolt (20); Gaming Set (same as above); Hooded Lantern; Light Crossbow; Manacles; Quiver; Spear; Traveler’s Clothes; 12 GP (or other equipment of equal or lesser value of your choice).

But should it really be necessary to do that for EACH sample background when you've already explicitly said it at the beginning of the background section? Seems like it might be.
Nah. Just state it up front that you can roll your own from scratch, use a background, or use a background and swap some things out.

Yes, many will just select a background and use it. That's not really a problem. I like to roll my own and with more players I DM for would as well. But I realize that it like wanting players to write up a backstory, write up their own flaws, ideals, etc. I know some DMs are strict about this kind of thing, but not every player is into that. I'm not going to force them to roll their own if they just want to just select and play. Hell, I always have a bunch of pre-gens on hand for player who just want to select a character that seems cool and don't want to bother with character creation.

The game should support the grab-and-go as well as the cook-from-scratch types.
 

MNblockhead

A Title Much Cooler Than Anything on the Old Site
My issue isn't that I can't change things up....but that the examples aren't all that good. Like, cultist language should be "language tied to cult" or something, not "abyssal". Or maybe I'm over thinking things.....

My real issue is that race traits still include cultural/learned things, and I don't want that at all.
You're overthinking things. I'm not saying this as a dig and it really isn't that you are "over" thinking things but you likely enjoy character creation as a major part of your enjoyment of the game.

For many players that just isn't the case. I met quite a few players, especially new players, where character creation is a splash of cold water on their enthusiasm to play.

And this isn't just with backgrounds. I would prefer that for each race that for players who don't want to roll, point buy, or apply standard array, they should have the option for "here are some default/example stats for a dwarf, just use these if you don't want to fiddle." Like they already do with character classes.
 

MNblockhead

A Title Much Cooler Than Anything on the Old Site
Still, seems a bit like being stuck between a rock and a hard place: so many people seem to view these examples as some sort of assumed default, when they aren't built that way.

Maybe having clear sections for (1) "build your own" and (2) "templates" (or examples, or "select one"). Using headers, layout, etc. For each step in the character creation process:

1. Choose a Race/Origin (yes, purposefully before rolling dice)

After choosing your race, you either (1) generate/select ability scores (by rolling, point buy, or standard array) and add your floating ASIs, or (2) select from a template that has the traditional ASIs baked in, including an option to select from one of several pregenerated set of ability scores for that race.

2. Choose a Background

Current rules are in the 1DD are fine. Just make it the choice of DIY vs select from an example more obvious with layout (or DDB toggles)

3. Choose a Class


Another thing I think would help would be to have a fourth core book that is just a well organized collection of pre-generated characters. If it had great artwork and well-written backstories that are sufficiently setting-agnostic, I think it would sell well. It would be cool for each one to have a call out box that steps through how the options selected to make that character. DDB already has a feature to one-click create a character. A lot of other games, including the D&D Basic sets come with a selection of pre-gens and these have always been popular in my experience.
 

MNblockhead

A Title Much Cooler Than Anything on the Old Site
Again, if they move the examples to an appendix in the back, it will help drive home that the default is to build your own. If they want to give an example in the background section, they'd be better off picking one like Soldier and showing it three different ways.
I'm not a fan of adding more page flipping to the character creation process. People selecting from examples is not a bad thing. We don't need to "encourage" them to roll their own by making using examples more inconvenient.

Having it in the player-creation section, instead of the back of the book, doesn't save on page count.

With spells, it makes sense to have them in their own section because you need to frequently reference them in play and you'll be making selections throughout the character's career. But backgrounds are something you only create/select once, during character creation and everything you need to know about them is represented on your character sheet.
 

MNblockhead

A Title Much Cooler Than Anything on the Old Site
Maybe the solution is to have a list of backgrounds that are pretty bare-bones (just provides a feat and skill proficiencies and tells you to pick the rest yourself), followed by a list that's slightly more detailed (also includes tool proficiencies), and finally a list with everything filled in.
Except many players like the flavor text. A lot of players are make their selections based on the flavor text and the art work.
 

MNblockhead

A Title Much Cooler Than Anything on the Old Site
It honestly makes the most sense in Class, seeing as where your top stats go is near entirely dependent on Class, and not on anything else.
Yeah, this is where it gets fiddly.

For myself, I like backgrounds having ASI and feats. It just makes sense to me, adds versimitude, and promotes the zero-to-hero style of play I like (I actually have begun campaigns with zero-level character funnels - they don't select a class until they select from their surviving zero-level characters and choose a class). But that isn't really how most people play. From my observations most games start with the characters already fairly heroic (just having a class does that IMHO). Many groups start their campaigns at level 5. So for the way most people play, it probably does make sense to have ASIs tied to class.

On the other hand, I like having ASIs come from multiple places: race, backgrounds, and class. Weither selected or based on templates. It just gives a bit more customization. Even if it mechanically the result is the same, is feels different to me. If I'm playing an origin where my "people" are huge, hardy, barbarians. I like having ASIs reflect that. That could come from a goliath template or ASIs that I chose to apply (my halfling tribe are not your typical halflings, they are roided up spartan halfings...) For me the game would be losing something if ASIs can't come from race. And it would add something to also have the option of having them come from backgrounds. I suppose I could accept them coming from background instead of race, but only from class? That just isn't as satisfying to me.
 



CrashFiend82

Explorer
After spending years writing SOPs for multiple departments at a major corporation, I can guarantee some percent of people will not read a sidebar, heading, or any other demarcation of Build Your Own background. If WOTC can find a perfect solution, I will steal that in a heartbeat. To be honest they should follow the KISS method, players that grab and go probably won't care if their PC is suboptimal.
 

Zaukrie

New Publisher
You're overthinking things. I'm not saying this as a dig and it really isn't that you are "over" thinking things but you likely enjoy character creation as a major part of your enjoyment of the game.

For many players that just isn't the case. I met quite a few players, especially new players, where character creation is a splash of cold water on their enthusiasm to play.

And this isn't just with backgrounds. I would prefer that for each race that for players who don't want to roll, point buy, or apply standard array, they should have the option for "here are some default/example stats for a dwarf, just use these if you don't want to fiddle." Like they already do with character classes.
I don't like character creation. All I'm saying is if their goal is to separate race and culture / skills, that they still aren't good at it.

I agree, they should make it as simple, or complex, as people want. Frankly, I think premade dwarf fighters or whatever, would be great to have in the book. If not the book, DNDbeyond, for free
 

MNblockhead

A Title Much Cooler Than Anything on the Old Site
After spending years writing SOPs for multiple departments at a major corporation, I can guarantee some percent of people will not read a sidebar, heading, or any other demarcation of Build Your Own background. If WOTC can find a perfect solution, I will steal that in a heartbeat. To be honest they should follow the KISS method, players that grab and go probably won't care if their PC is suboptimal.
^ Yeah, this. 100%

Kinda like security instructions, SOPs, and training are important but it is dangerous to expect they'll be read, remembered, and followed. You need to design your systems to make compliance easy. Which is why I think there are limits with what you can do in print. Put the DIY instructions for those of us who like to read the manual, but keep the easy grab-and-go options for what is likely the majority of players. In a chargen program like DDB you can step people through the process and selections, which will encourage more people to roll their own because it is easy.
 

MNblockhead

A Title Much Cooler Than Anything on the Old Site
I don't like character creation. All I'm saying is if their goal is to separate race and culture / skills, that they still aren't good at it.

They are walking a tight-rope. They want to update to a more flexible, less essentialist char gen system, while keeping the flavor of D&D.

Personally, I would like to see rules for making your own races, classes, and background. Each followed by examples drawn from the traditional races and classes. I think that could be done and still be backward compatible. Most people would just select from existing race, class, and background templates. Cool. But give tools to roll your own.

I agree, they should make it as simple, or complex, as people want. Frankly, I think premade dwarf fighters or whatever, would be great to have in the book. If not the book, DNDbeyond, for free
I agree, but the problem will be page count. Which is why releasing a book (or boxed set with loose sheets) with pregens would be nice. I know that the basic sets do this, but I'm talking about having a large number of options to choose from. Don't know how well a separate book/box of just pre-gens would sell. They could also be useful for GMs to for NPCs, but NPC rules likely would use monster-type stat blocks and need to have different levels, etc. I think they will leave the "pre gens" for DDB.

DDB already has the ability to make pregens. You can just one-click create one completely at random, or you can select a small number of options like race, class, and level and have one generated. Not sure that I can see them making this avaialble for free though. Perhaps my pre-gen book ideal could be released as a PDF that is made available for free as a download like the basic rules.
 

Reynard

Legend
Maybe the background section should have a disclaimer:

These sample Backgrounds are just examples! All of the components thereof are completely fungible. Feel free to change anything that would better reflect your individual character concept.

View attachment 260076
Probably more useful to put the word "suggested" in front of all the predefined options. In my experience people just don't read instructions. They dive right into the choices. So there's at least a slight chance that when they see "Suggested Language" instead of just "Language" that they will clue in. But probably not. They would much rather complain online about how terrible the design is rather than actually read.
 

darjr

I crit!
I’ve mulled this over and I agree they should have a quick build option that will probably be seen as “defaults” and for groups, unless they really emphasize that they are individuals or something more careful.

Seeing it that way I think language should be taken out of said “defaults”
 

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