D&D (2024) New Survey Results | Druid & Paladin | Unearthed Arcana | D&D

WotC has shared a new video going over the survey results following the drud and paladin playtests for One D&D.



For those who don't have time to watch the video, here are some general notes.

Paladin
  • Did extremely well in terms of satisfaction
  • All class and subclass features scored 70% or higher - lowest was Divine Smite at 72%
  • Got some pushback in written feedback on being able to smite on ranged attacks - class identity concerns, Paladin viewed as melee-centric class, ranged smites might eat into Cleric/Ranger identity too much
  • Positive feedback on redesigned smite spells - may become paladin exclusive spells down the road
Druid
  • Wild Shape feedback seems to be split - slight majority saying "never want this Wild Shape in print", slight minority saying "this is their favorite version of Wild Shape they've ever seen"
  • People love the texture and differences in beast options in '14 Wild Shape, but are open to feature being easier to use (i.e. don't want players to have to weigh the merits of 100+ stat blocks every time they want to use Wild Shape)
  • Will have another take on Wild Shape next time Druid appears in Playtest UA
  • General concept of Channel Nature seems to have gone over well, but want to see more done with it
  • Expected feedback for restoring elemental forms for Moon Druids, but instead found people wanted to lean more into Lunar themes
  • Want Moon Druid forms to be more resilient, but still want to reign in power at high levels (frequent/unlimited uses of Wild Shape constantly refreshing HP total)
 
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darjr

I crit!
@Morrus

In this new Unearthed Arcana for the 2024 Core Rulebooks, we explore material designed for the next version of the Player's Handbook. This playtest document presents the rules on the Druid & Paladin Classes, revised feats, and more spells for playtesting. You will also find a current glossary of new or revised meanings for game terms.
 

The paladin section was painful to listen to.

I love the idea of ranged paladins. Divine themed characters/beings with ranged weapons is common in fantasy, but utterly absent in DnD.

And I want any gish type character to be able to pick up smite spells. Seriously the entire identity of arcane gishes in other editions and pathfinder is applying magic damage and status effects via weapon attacks. Yet people want them to not be able to have anything like that unless they're a paladin.
 

FitzTheRuke

Legend
The paladin section was painful to listen to.

I love the idea of ranged paladins. Divine themed characters/beings with ranged weapons is common in fantasy, but utterly absent in DnD.

And I want any gish type character to be able to pick up smite spells. Seriously the entire identity of arcane gishes in other editions and pathfinder is applying magic damage and status effects via weapon attacks. Yet people want them to not be able to have anything like that unless they're a paladin.
I felt the same way as you watching this video, but regarding the Druid rather than the Paladin: I think that custom statblocks are far superior to any connection to beast statblocks - It's just that the ones they gave us were implemented wrongly. But it looks like they plan to go back on it, but likely just limit your options to what they print in the PHB (or something).

Whereas with the Paladin, I would be absolutely fine with them creating a Subclass that can ranged smite, but leave it out of the core class.
 
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I wouldn't mind ranged smites going into a subclass; 'Oath of the Hunt' or something. And maybe a celestial/divine themed ranger subclass to hit the archetype hole from the opposite end.

I like the idea of templates for druid, but their implementation in the first iteration of the playtest was awful. I also wasn't a fan of moon druid trying to be the beast themed subclass and the elemental themed subclass at the same time.

The gating off smite spells to be 100% paladin only is the thing which I hate the most though. Arcane gishes are my favourite character archetype, and 5e is completely incapable of handling them. The smite spells are one of the few ways of mixing magic into weapon strikes in an interesting manner, and yet people want to stop that being possible.

And then people will be all shocked pikachu when we get another 10 years of threads asking for arcane gish classes/subclasses.
 

I felt the same way as you watching this video, but regarding the Druid rather than the Paladin: I think that custom statblocks are far superior to any connection to beast statblocks - It's just that the ones they gave us were implemented wrongly. But it looks like they plan to go back on it, but likely just limit your options to what they print on the PHB (or something).

Whereas with the Paladin, I would be absolutely fine with them creating a Subclass that can ranged smite, but leave it out of the core class.

The failure of Wildshape in the packet was one of execution, not concept.
 

All of this 'IMO' --
  • General concept of Channel Nature seems to have gone over well, but want to see more done with it
Unsurprising. We got, what -- wildshape, Tasha's familiar summoning option, and unscaling healing? Practically placeholders excepting WS.
  • Expected feedback for restoring elemental forms for Moon Druids, but instead found people wanted to lean more into Lunar themes
Again, I think that's unsurprising. IFAIK, elemental shapes were liked on the 2014 Moon Druid list because there aren't high-CR animals, not because everyone wanted to play as them (the actual full-elementals have always seemed like some of the least personality-filled things in D&D).
  • Want Moon Druid forms to be more resilient, but still want to reign in power at high levels (frequent/unlimited uses of Wild Shape constantly refreshing HP total)
I think this is the fundamental issue they are faced with. There's precious little design space where a full-caster can pick up an exhaustive and defining second major ability that is both engaging and useful but not overpowering*. To then make a major subclass of the class be defined as 'and has a more-powerful version of this ability' was a questionable choice to begin with.
*particularly one where the playstyle envisioned with this other thing means you can't offset by making them 'super-fragile' like Magic Users of old.

Honestly, much moreso than the warlock, I wonder if Druid was the class that could have become a half-caster which could then dedicate build-resources (either subclass choice or turn them into an invocation-equivalent-using-class) to advancing spellcasting back to 9th-level or to flesh out wildshape or animal companions.
 

I really want pistol-smiting Paladins to remain.

As for what they responded to about Druids, I think they were really binary in there view on what the responses were. I was not the "standard stat-blocks are the best thing ever" camp, and I wasn't in "I don't want to see this in print" camp. I was in the "use standard stat-blocks but they need to make them more flexible" camp.
 

Incenjucar

Legend
I lean toward a smite beyond a thrown distance being a feat or subclass. Really, there's a lot of specific flavor in paladins being melee smiters and warlocks being ranged smiters.

The druid template idea is excellent, the execution is just way, way off. Druids should be able to get charges and climb speeds and pack tactics and whatnot.
 

Gorck

Prince of Dorkness
I really want pistol-smiting Paladins to remain.

As for what they responded to about Druids, I think they were really binary in there view on what the responses were. I was not the "standard stat-blocks are the best thing ever" camp, and I wasn't in "I don't want to see this in print" camp. I was in the "use standard stat-blocks but they need to make them more flexible" camp.
I was in that camp too. I preferred the concept of the template blocks from the UA for all the reasons JC gave, but I wanted the Animal of the Land form to have more flexibility (like the Summon spells from Tasha's) where you could chose Damage, Stealth, or Tank.
 
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