D&D (2024) New One D&D Playtest Shows Us The New Druid & Paladin

WotC has released the fourth One D&D playtest document. This 29-page PDF includes the druid and the paladin with Circle of the Moon and Oath of Devotion subclasses.

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Druid. The Druid class and Circle of the Moon subclass are ready for playtesting here.

Paladin. The Paladin class and Oath of Devotion subclass are ready for playtesting here.

Feats. Several revised feats appear here for your feedback, with more revised feats coming in future articles.

Spells. More spells are ready for playtesting, with a focus on smite spells, Find Familiar, and Find Steed.

Rules Glossary. The rules glossary has been updated again and supersedes the glossary in previous Unearthed Arcana articles. In this document, any underlined term in the body text appears in that glossary, which defines game terms that have been clarified or redefined for this playtest or that don’t appear in the 2014 Player’s Handbook.

 
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Leave the generic base builds as they are and then have a list of Wild Shape 'enhancement slots' like "roar", "spider climb", "web", "jumper", "carapace", "flying", "chameleon", "constriction", "crushing hug", "poison bite", "trip", "pack tactics", "tracker" etc. and allow a druid to choose x from the list.

This.

I would never play the playtest version of a moon druid as currently written. It's too boring. If I wildshape into a panther, I gotta be able to pounce!
 

doctorbadwolf

Heretic of The Seventh Circle
Okay, so I finally got a chance to really dig into the document, rather than just reading the druid.

The Druid still angers me, because as someone said upthread it just...fails to be any better than a wizard with all the right spells prepared. Polymorph gives more versatility and an HP boost, fly comes in at 5th level, etc. It's just totally bunk.
Not being able to be tiny until level 11 means that the familiar is a better scout than the druid in many situations. Um...what.

Why is large size available at level 1 but tiny isn't until level 11?!

Why is the beast form not any more durable than the druid normally, but can't cast spells? Why should I ever use wildshape? I could just use alter self and the primal savagery cantrip.

The beast form should get THP equal to wisdom mod plus druid level, and you should be able to cast spells with a range of self or touch, with some level limits (maybe spell level equal to 1/3 your druid level, rounded down, minimum 1st level).

anyway

Other base class things.

Why does the Druid only have as many channel nature uses as the paladin?

Why not just give the Druid the find familiar spell?

I like healing blossoms. IDK why they're flowers, but whatever that's fine.

Moon Druid...ugh.

Moon Druid should get bonus spells like absorb elements, a smite or two, etc, always prepared, and cast free 1/LR, in addition to being to cast any abjuration spell.

The elemental wildshape idea is decent, but it just...introduce an elemental spirit statblock that gains different traits based on element.

WHile we are at it...why are fey still not options, here? Is there any reason for the druid to not be able to turn into a dryad or treant?


In summary, this is what wildshape should be:

While in wildshape, you can cast spells with a range of self or touch, that have a spell level equal to 1/3 your druid level, rounded down. You gain THP equal to wis mod plus druid level.

The stat blocks are mostly as is, with some changes. You choose from land, fey, or sea at level 1, and you also choose hunter, protector, or scout. These determine your damage, speed, and each has some unique passive ability.
Land chooses a 40ft speed or to have a climb speed of 30ft.
Sea is pretty obvious.
Fey you're a tree creature, choose between 10ft reach or a misty step.
You can be tiny, small, or medium.

At level 1 you can choose 1 special trait that isn't tied to your environment or spirit type, with a short list of things like "web crawler. You can create webs as an action, you do not stick to the webs, and you can sense movvement in any web you are touching." or pack tactics, pounce, etc.


At level 5, you can use the beast's multiattack feature, and you can now use the beast of the air form, and if you take on the fey form your spellcasting is less inhibited? maybe. You also unlock the ability to be large, with huge coming at level 11, and collossal at level 15 or something.

Then, moon druid gets bonus always prepared spells that make it a better brawler at level 3, an elemental form at level 6. the different elements have different special movement, ranged attack option, and something like earth elementals could have tremorsense, while air can give flight to X allies for 1 hour. Later levels can stay the same.
 

Greg K

Legend
Overall, not impressed so far. The only thing that I like about the OneD&D Druid is proficiency in Light armor and simple weapons (which were my planned house rules for Druid). As for the Paladin changes, I suppose allowing Unarmed Strikes to Smite is something I can live with. I also like the news that they are moving away from proficiency times per day for the Cleric in the Cleric playtest.
Time to go watch more of the Nerd Immersion video for other changes.
Edit: I also like that Smite damage does not double on crits.
 

Overall I like what I'm seeing. Some really good quality of life improvements. This packet is probably my favorite so far.

The paladin is just about perfect. The ability to use Divine Smite with unarmed strikes is awesome. Now I really want to play a paladin brawler in heavy armor. I wish all the smite level up features also worked on unarmed strikes. Does that step on the toes of the monk? Yup. But I don't care. Monk was never likely to have a strength based armored subclass. Lay on Hands is feeling kinda weird to me. Like, if the Paladin can also cast healing spells, why does it need Lay on Hands? I mean, it's almost as weird as having both Divine Smite and smite spells. Starting to think that Lay on Hands (and it's level ups) should just be given to clerics as their default healing ability.

Druid looks really nice. As Todd indicated in the video, these mechanics are easily reskinned into any type of shapeshifter. The fact that at first level druids can become large creatures is fantastic. Not fantastic is being unable to turn into a mouse until high levels. Just doesn't fit the fiction. I think the designers are focused too much on the wrong aspects of Wild Shape. As others have mentioned, let's expand this feature into burrow speeds, monster features like Pack Tactics, and the ability to become Huge or turn into a swarm. Finally, I continue to be frustrated by the thematic problems with WotC's subclass design. Beast powers and elemental powers are not part of the same subclass. An elementally themed subclass for druids would be killer. And long overdue! Give those guys the ability to transform into elementals. The moon druid needs powers that let them hit harder -- players who take this subclass obviously want to wreck face in melee. Let them do that!

Controversial take: The druid should become a half-caster!
 

Greg K

Legend
An elementally themed subclass for druids would be killer. And long overdue! Give those guys the ability to transform into elementals. The moon druid needs powers that let them hit harder -- players who take this subclass obviously want to wreck face in melee. Let them do that!
I'd be all for an elemental subclass and giving the moon druid the ability to hit harder. It would allow me to ban the elemental subclass which does not fit my homebrew campaigns and solve my criticism of the moon druid changes.
 

doctorbadwolf

Heretic of The Seventh Circle
And then there is the Paladin, which is at least as cool as the Druid is disappointing.

Lay On Hands and Spellcasting. I am completely on board for how both of these are written.

Divine Smite. Yes. Good. Silver Flame archer paladin, here I come. I also am pretty sure that the wording means that you don't roll extra smite dice when you crit, because you are deal the prescribed damage immediately after you hit, it is not extra or bonus damage on a hit. I'm fine with that. Once per turn is fair.

Fighting Style. Making them feats is bad IMO, but I approve of every class with fighting styles being able to take any fighting style.

Channel Divinity. I like the basic structure here, especially the number of uses and regain 1 on a short rest. I don't love making divine sense use a channel divinity. It feels like a pretty weak use of channel divinity. Beef it up a little, IMO. Maybe you can aid attacks against creatures that are revealed to you by this ability at range?

Faithful Steed: This is absolutely fantastic. I love the new find steed spell, the otherwordly steed statblock, the whole thing.

Aura of Protection. Mostly unchanged, which is good. I like how other later features specifically build on this.

ABJURE Enemies. I like this a lot. Goodness gracious this is cool. I do think it fits the cleric more in some ways, but this is a great model to steal for other similar abilities. (my Bard rewrite may steal this for it's "songs", changing frightened to charmed, for a fascinate song)

Aura of Courage: This is what the Paladin is. I'd almost be down for swapping this and Protection. I love this. Dragonfear got you in it's grip, stumble your terrified way over to the Paladin, and feel your fear leave you and be replaced with the will to fight on. Imagine a necromancer does a mass fear type thing on a group of troops in a battle, and they start to fall back as a result, until the holy knight leads a charge to bolster the front line, and every terrified soldier within 10ft of them shakes off their fear and surges back into the frey.

I do think that auta expansion should be more incremental. Tripling in scope at level 17 is less cool than doubling at level 11 would be.

I also think that the paladin should have a channel divinity at level 3 that bolsters all allies who can see and hear you within 60ft, like a reverse abjure enemies. Maybe it's THP, maybe it's advantage on the next saving throw they make, idk, but like a soft aura of courage type thing. Because seeing that giving mechanical form...I feel like it is what the Paladin should be on a fundemental level. The beacon of hope and the will to fight on.


Devotion.
This is an oath I don't pay much attention to normally, but i really like this update to it.

Bonus spells. I like the 1 free casting, and I mostly approve of the spell changes. I do think that sanctuary was a more fitting spell than shield of faith, beacon of hope fits better than aura of vitality, while blinding smite is marginally better thematically than dispel magic. I don't really think the subclass needs any smite spells as bonus spells, though.

Sacred Weapon: I like the changes. This is one of the changes that makes me more likely to consider this oath in the future.

Smite of Protection. Now we're cooking with naphtha! Absolutely perfect feature for the class.

Aura of Devotion is perfect. No notes.

Holy Nimbus is disappointing, after all that. You're losing a lot from the orginal version, not to mention losing the Purity of Spirit feature which is very good.

Overall the paladin looks really solid but not quite as odd as previous versions. I love that the Paladin makes areally excellent magical archer, too, though of course i'd love to see the ranger be even better at it.


The changes to spells seem all positive. I hope that the ranger weapon attack spells get the same treatment. This document makes me eager to see second drafts of the expert classes and the cleric.
 

mellored

Legend
So...
You can make a paladin that's pure Cha. Using cantrips, and giving out massive bonuses to saves.

Throw the devotion chanel divinity in for the occasional weapon attack.

Also, why does radiant stikes exclude unarmed attacks?
 



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