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)
My solution to not overlapping Rangers and Paladins was to give Rangers unique AOE mechanics centered around exploding dice. Very thematically appropriate and solidifies a specific niche for the Ranger that isn't lackluster, and lets me do whatever I want with Paladins.
I like this idea as it would work for melee or ranged Rangers. And it also seems to draw on the Seeker abilities from 4e.
 

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I like this idea as it would work for melee or ranged Rangers. And it also seems to draw on the Seeker abilities from 4e.

Funnily enough I was just looking at movie Aragorn for the entire design.

Nearly every single fight Aragorn takes on in the movies is him alone versus a bunch of enemies, and even Faramir, the other Ranger, is kind of depicted like this, though more stealth and ambushed oriented.

So taking those traits and the also Aragorn-inspired "martial" healing, and combining them with my take on Terrain specialization (ala PHB Rangers), you end up with a Ranger that actually has a really well justified existence and doesn't need magic to do it.

Still need to rewrite it as so much of my game has changed since I first put it together, but the basic ideas are solid I think.
 

doctorbadwolf

Heretic of The Seventh Circle
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.
Wait, what about ranged exorcists?

That certainly isn’t close to anything I want out of rangers smiting.
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…
Not 100% on parsing this, but I’m guessing that you’re conflating me with the person you were arguing with before I commented.

I commented purely on the idea that it was questionable whether a Paladin that isn’t smiting is really a Paladin.

To me, smiting is not a huge deal. You could ditch it entirely and I wouldn’t miss it, especially if a few smite spells stay as Paladin exclusives. I generally view nost spells to be a better use of the spell slot than divine smite is.

But, the Paladin should be able to operate effectively with a bow, and no, it should not require taking a particular Oath.
 

Stalker0

Legend
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?
You could make this argument for the existance of the paladin itself. Afterall, what is the real difference between a paladin and a war cleric, or a fighter with a specific subclass?

The answer of course is...there's not. Its all a matter of flavor and perspective. There is no reason we need to have the classes we do, we could have less, we could have more.

To your specific point, the paladin does have several other features. Lay on Hands, Aura of Courage, Aura of protection (THE defining paladin feature to me), their subclasses are quite a bit different than cleric ones. That is a decent amount of difference, smite is not so defining to a paladin that they suddenly stop being one if they don't use it.
 

Just make a separate sub class for each method of wildshaping? That way, every player can choose the way that rights for them.
I kind of have the feeling that 1/3rd of Druid players are going to reject any sort of template system for Wild Shape and another 1/3rd are going to reject any sort of perusing through detailed creature stat-blocks like you currently have to.

Threading the needle to get to 70 percent acceptance might well be impossible. It might be that WotC will prioritize making Wild Shape more appealing to non-Druid players than to the hardcore Moon Druid player who either likes choosing from hundreds of creature statblocks or has a few broken power-combo creatures that they use continually at certain levels.
 

Chaosmancer

Legend
Funnily enough I was just looking at movie Aragorn for the entire design.

Nearly every single fight Aragorn takes on in the movies is him alone versus a bunch of enemies, and even Faramir, the other Ranger, is kind of depicted like this, though more stealth and ambushed oriented.

So taking those traits and the also Aragorn-inspired "martial" healing, and combining them with my take on Terrain specialization (ala PHB Rangers), you end up with a Ranger that actually has a really well justified existence and doesn't need magic to do it.

Still need to rewrite it as so much of my game has changed since I first put it together, but the basic ideas are solid I think.

I considered this before, with the Hunter's 11th level abilities. It makes a bit of sense to have ranger's work better against multiple opponents and paladins be better against single target.

The biggest hurdle to this is that the ranger is still really good at single target damage. But if you are just looking at level 11 and differentiate forward from that, it can work pretty well.
 

Chaosmancer

Legend
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…

Honestly... I still find it hard to argue that the Ranged Paladin steps on anyone's toes at all.

Will it make them decent at Range? Sure. But Rangers are good in melee right now, and that doesn't step on anything. Clerics are also pretty darn decent in melee. Not great, they are certainly better at range, but things like Spirit Guardians pull clerics forward and a cleric who opts for heavy armor and weapons is going to be looking to be in melee.

So, it becomes strange to me. Rangers can be melee or range, clerics can be melee or range, but Paladins most only ever be melee or they will step on toes? That just doesn't make sense to me. I think honestly people haven't fully taken into account how the changes to smite spread out the paladin power and made them far less of the one-hit destroyers they were previously. Without Nova Smites, the paladin's not going to be overshadowing these other classes.
 

Stalker0

Legend
So, it becomes strange to me. Rangers can be melee or range, clerics can be melee or range, but Paladins most only ever be melee or they will step on toes? That just doesn't make sense to me.
Its more a flavor thing. Take barbarians, so many of their mechanics expect them to be strength melee deelers, making a ranged dex build for a barb and you lose a lot of your benefits.

The paladin is similar, its designed right now as "get in the face of evil and punch it" not as the "deliver judgement from afar". We can of course argue whether that should be the flavor, but I don't think its really a matter of stepping on toes.
 

For ranged Paladins, my mental image is of a Paladin that's someone in a fancy military uniform the armed with a rapier or sabre and a pistol. Could be something like an Overseer from Dishonored, or could simply be a Military Officer with divine powers, or maybe I just want there to be something like that scene with Jules in Pulp Fiction.

Though Some others definitely have this idea of mystical archers that exist in a few different cultures like: Arjuna, Arash (name stands out to me because I know someone with that name), Chiron, or Hou Yi not to mention some deities like Apollo, Eros/Cupid or Rama.
 

Chaosmancer

Legend
Its more a flavor thing. Take barbarians, so many of their mechanics expect them to be strength melee deelers, making a ranged dex build for a barb and you lose a lot of your benefits.

The paladin is similar, its designed right now as "get in the face of evil and punch it" not as the "deliver judgement from afar". We can of course argue whether that should be the flavor, but I don't think its really a matter of stepping on toes.

Sure, if we want to change the discussion we can.

But, just because Paladins seem to have a specific design for flavor reasons doesn't mean it is a perfect design. After all, Tristen of the Knights of the Round was a noted archer, and many people have been talking about sacred archers and even specifically in DnD the ability to play a paladin of the Silver Flame using the Silver Flame's iconic weapon.

Yes, we can argue the flavor, and I think there is a good case for the flavor expanding into these untapped realms. However, the words from the designers were about the worries of stepping on toes from the community, and even if you want to say that both things were a concern... then I've got evidence that one is wrong and good support for the flavor position.
 

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