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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Marandahir

Crown-Forester (he/him)
Nothing stops paladins from using a bow at level 1. They have all martial weapons.

And you can get archery style in the playtest at level 2.

Ranged smite would just be a 1 level delay. And you only have 2 spell slots at level 2 anyways.
Yes, you can, BUT the way the devs are talking, they want to take away Archery Style again and really push the Paladin into a melee focus.
 

mellored

Legend
I didn't hear them say anything about removing archery style. Just ranges smite.

And I also think there is enough support for at least some kind of ranged Paladin (i.e. subclass), just not core.
 

tetrasodium

Legend
Supporter
Epic
I didn't hear them say anything about removing archery style. Just ranges smite.

And I also think there is enough support for at least some kind of ranged Paladin (i.e. subclass), just not core.
They are trying to balance things s bit better. Good enough reason to remove it there. I don't recall them calling out archery style either though
 

Marandahir

Crown-Forester (he/him)
They said they want to separate the Paladin and the Ranger more, that the Paladin should be melee not Ranged.

That suggests they want to define it more and they got feedback that Ranged Paladins were stepping too much on Rangers.

That's my reading of the what they were saying in the video, but you're right that the video doesn't outright state "no Archery-style Paladins."

But if you're an Archery Fighting Style Paladin but can only smite when you wack them with the blunt side of your bow or a different weapon, are you really able to fulfill your character type? I feel like the closest I can currently get to the Kagome/Kikyo style purifying sacred arrow exorcist character are Bow Clerics (where the archetypal concept abilities are expressed in subclasses that don't get Martial Weapon proficiency and default to Potent Spellcasting, though Divine Strikes optional feature helps mitigate the issue) and the Monster Hunter Ranger, which again has a TASTE of what I'm trying to get at but is really more akin to the Matt Mercer homebrew class "Blood Hunter" than to a Ranged Sacred Exorcist.

I think if you can't play a version of your character concept at 1st level it's really not a viable option. Even if you don't have special abilities that support your concept, even just being able to utilise the core class feature on your play style is the critical factor. A Warlock may have already made their pact with a demon or archfey etc at 1st level, it's just that the boon from the patron didn't kick in until 3rd. But they still could flavor their spells in a fiendish or fey way at that time. A Paladin who refuses to touch melee weapons and only fights at range can't use their divine smite for however many levels it takes to get to the subclass feature where that option opens up. That's bad-wrong-fun game design, and it's anathema to the game of D&D.

If someone at my table wanted to play such a character I'd immediately house rule that they could do divine smites, but ONLY on their ranged attack and not their melee attacks. But that's because it's my table. If I'm playing that character at a table that ONLY uses official core rulebook rules, then I'm out of luck.
 

Stalker0

Legend
But if you're an Archery Fighting Style Paladin but can only smite when you wack them with the blunt side of your bow or a different weapon, are you really able to fulfill your character type?
Its not like Paladins HAVE to smite. They can use their spells for other effects. There is no reason a ranged Paladin can't use their spell slots for other effects or even buffs to their archery.
 

Marandahir

Crown-Forester (he/him)
Its not like Paladins HAVE to smite. They can use their spells for other effects. There is no reason a ranged Paladin can't use their spell slots for other effects or even buffs to their archery.
Sure, but at what point is the character archetype no longer serviced by the system with the Paladin class compared to other options like the War Domain Cleric?

If you are an archer with armor and divine spellcasting but no smites, are you REALLY a Paladin? You may have lay on hands but at what point are the mechanics just not servicing your character type? In what ways are you more effective as a Paladin than a Cleric at that point? You may have archery fighting style and higher HP, but your spellcasting is half what the War Cleric has and you don't have access to one of your critical class features.

Are we really saying that Van Helsing wouldn't be able to smite vampires with his blessed silver crossbow bolts?
 

doctorbadwolf

Heretic of The Seventh Circle
Sure, but at what point is the character archetype no longer serviced by the system with the Paladin class compared to other options like the War Domain Cleric?

If you are an archer with armor and divine spellcasting but no smites, are you REALLY a Paladin? You may have lay on hands but at what point are the mechanics just not servicing your character type? In what ways are you more effective as a Paladin than a Cleric at that point? You may have archery fighting style and higher HP, but your spellcasting is half what the War Cleric has and you don't have access to one of your critical class features.

Are we really saying that Van Helsing wouldn't be able to smite vampires with his blessed silver crossbow bolts?
Smite isn’t nearly that important.
 

Marandahir

Crown-Forester (he/him)
Smite isn’t nearly that important.
Sure, in isolation it may not be. But I this is still a worthwhile thread to pull at given that the concern about stopping ranged smites was about preserving class identity of the Cleric and Ranger and not letting the Paladin step on them. And I'd suggest that they're doing this by really pulling the exorcist archer concept out the Paladin by making it quite suboptimal a choice compared to trying to build your character as a Cleric or a Ranger with an appropriate subclass that leans into that exorcism.

I find it hard to argue that the Paladin needs to not step on the Cleric and Ranger by removing ranged smites while also saying that smite isn't so important that the Cleric and Ranger don't step on the Ranged Paladin when it loses its Ranged Smite…
 


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