One D&D Expert Classes Playtest Document Is Live

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The One D&D Expert Class playest document is now available to download. You can access it by signing into your D&D Beyond account at the link below. It contains three classes -- bard, rogue, and ranger, along with three associated subclasses (College of Lore, Thief, and Hunter), plus a number of feats.

 
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Xohar17

Explorer
ROGUE:

You no longer get Sneak Attacks on a reaction/op attack (why?)

Evasion moves from 7th level to 9th level. Yikes.

Other than that, the base class is almost unchanged

The Subclass offered is the Thief

Second Story Work is mercifully and finally clarified as "you have a Climb Speed equal to your Speed" (which is how I have house-ruled it for years) and you can use Dex to Jump instead of Strength, making this ability actually good.

Supreme Sneak is at 6th level instead of 9th (good)

Use Magical Device is at 10th level instead of 13th (good)

Thief's Reflexes is at 14th level instead of 17th. Good, I think. This is an incredibly strong ability that basically never sees play because it came at 17th level. At 14th level, it still won't see much play, but at least a bit more. For those who don't know, this ability gives you two turns in the first round of any combat - one at your initiative, and the second at your initiative minus 10.

This version is just a straight-up upgrade for the Thief subclass in every way, but it was definitely warranted as the Thief was pretty bad in comparison to most Rogue subclasses.
It is not an upgrade, now you cant use your bonus action to use items, which was in my experience the biggest reason to choose this subclass.
 

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Parmandur

Book-Friend
That still leaves the last one to go until mid january, and we can't be sure that they will all be ready and evenly spaced.

The last 8 years aren't really relevant, as they were not really playtests. They were a popularity measure for most of that time. Get enough votes and it makes the cut. The rest of the time it was just so we can preview what is being released in books. They didn't change much or anything before releasing what they showed us.

To find the last relevant playtest we have to go back to the 5e playtesting, and that was much different.
On the contrary, the last 8 years are extremely relevant:all of those UA were the same sort of plsytest as this batch, as Crawford is at pains in the original kickoff video that the public UA are not for balance purposes. That's stoll the realm of their private playtests.

These tests are the same sort of thumbs up or thumbs down feeling tests, that's what theybare looking for by explicit statement.
 


FitzTheRuke

Legend
Just to add, I don't expect the packets to be evenly spaced: that's part of why I think thst we are likely to see all 4 Class groups, and attendant Feats and Spells, laid out by the Holidays.
Yeah, I'm not sure why this one was late, but I think it's pretty clear that it was. Does that mean that they will continue to be late? Maybe. Or maybe they'll be early (or on time). I think we can't expect the next one before Oct 20th, but it could be here then. Probably two weeks later, though. Who knows?

Still, there should be time to get to everything AND revisit old ones, just maybe not in separate UAs. They can throw revisits in throughout. I mean, before this packet there was a lot of speculation that we'd only get one class per packet from here on out. This packet was a heck of a lot more than that.

I mean, that's another possibility too - maybe they will be larger and less frequent than they originally intended. I wonder if this one was late because they decided to make it bigger than they originally intended.
 

Parmandur

Book-Friend
Yeah, I'm not sure why this one was late, but I think it's pretty clear that it was. Does that mean that they will continue to be late? Maybe. Or maybe they'll be early (or on time). I think we can't expect the next one before Oct 20th, but it could be here then. Probably two weeks later, though. Who knows?

Still, there should be time to get to everything AND revisit old ones, just maybe not in separate UAs. They can throw revisits in throughout. I mean, before this packet there was a lot of speculation that we'd only get one class per packet from here on out. This packet was a heck of a lot more than that.

I mean, that's another possibility too - maybe they will be larger and less frequent than they originally intended. I wonder if this one was late because they decided to make it bigger than they originally intended.
In the video series with this second packet, Crawford speaks as though this packet was to drop the day the Survey was originally scheduled to end: I thinkntheybdelayed it to allow more time for responses, but who knows? I do expect some irregular timing over the next year or year and a half as they sort through stuff. Crawford did promise a video laying out the results of the first survey, that should price interesting.
 

FitzTheRuke

Legend
In the video series with this second packet, Crawford speaks as though this packet was to drop the day the Survey was originally scheduled to end: I thinkntheybdelayed it to allow more time for responses, but who knows? I do expect some irregular timing over the next year or year and a half as they sort through stuff. Crawford did promise a video laying out the results of the first survey, that should price interesting.
Crawford spoke of it as if it should have dropped when the survey ended... but that was also the second time the survey was supposed to end. They probably meant originally to drop it when the survey ended the first time, but then they extended the survey.

And it was still late after that.
 

Parmandur

Book-Friend
Crawford spoke of it as if it should have dropped when the survey ended... but that was also the second time the survey was supposed to end. They probably meant originally to drop it when the survey ended the first time, but then they extended the survey.

And it was still late after that.
Based on what they were saying, I thinknthey recorded that before the extension occurred at all.
 


My biggest gripe with what they got for us this time is that while I don't mind the move to prepared casters preparing as many spells as they have slots per level, it's not very clear just by reading it and the fact that a prepared caster can cast any spell they've prepared using an appropriately-levelled slot is completely glossed over. I feel like that should be explicit in and of itself, and not the kind of thing buried say, seven to eight chapters later (Wouldn't that be funny if they did that? Haha...).

Bard looks good; It's kind of sad to see Font of Inspiration move so far down the table but it's not like Bards are underperforming in terms of their ability to inspire people so I don't mind at all. Something I do kind of raise an eyebrow at about them though is the Songs of Restoration; I don't mind the extra spells, and I don't mind having a character that auto-prepares healing spells like that, even if it encourages people to be a healer when they don't necessarily have to be, but...I feel like there's a better route of implementation. For example, why not let them spend Bardic Inspiration dice out of their pool to cast one of those spells (at a cost of 1 die per spell levle) like how they now allow it to heal individuals on its own? Then it's still available on a case-by-case basis, and after level 7 they can have any of those spells ready in an hour's time and use it often enough for the whole party (unless you're rocking that 16-person configuration; Apologies). I don't mind the nerf to Magical Secrets (if you can call it that, really, since they still get a ton of spells by 20th level as-is), and I much prefer Improved Cutting Words to the extra pair of spells you used to get.

Ranger doesn't rub me the wrong way as badly as it has for some people apparently but the things that irk me about it are pretty out the gate. I feel like if anybody's getting Expertise at 1st level, it really should just be the Rogue, especially since Rangers got a bit of a buff to spellcasting thanks to sharing the same list as Druids and getting cantrip access. I would much rather see their Expertise turn on at 2nd level just to give Rogues some more leverage. Does Hunter's Mark really need to be a spell at this point? I don't think anybody is going to complain if they just got rid of it and made everything it did a mundane feature exclusive to Rangers. I wish the die scaled a little better than...twice ever...or maybe they could let you add more dice at higher levels (even if it's just like, two instead of one). I like Roving, I like Tireless (though maybe it should give more than 1d8 hit points, since they also nerfed Inspiring Leader with this packet), Nature's Veil should probably be looked at because it sounds cool but it's a bit of a silly use of spell slots, I do miss Natural Explorer (regular OR revised) and Primeval Awareness, and maybe Feral Senses could do something more or different than blindsight, but blindsight ain't bad...The Hunter is alright, too. I think maybe Hunter's Lore could at least let the Ranger's weapon attacks ignore resistances against their target, since resisting weapon damage is so common later on, but I like the variety it offers. The only other thing it could improve is maybe instead of conjure barrage they give you an option for melee damage dealing specifically; I know Barrage is technically usable in melee since it's a cone but I think people would appreciate having the option of a close or long range spell that they can use in different ways.

I'm beside myself with the rogue. I like the Thief they present here more than the original by a long shot, but the Rogue itself feels like, in spite of the fact that it didn't really change, it changed just enough to make me uneasy. But it's not offensive, and Rogues are still Rogues as I know them give or take, so maybe it's a desire to see more done with rogues overall.

My miscellaneous notes:
  • R.I.P. Inspiring Leader 😥
  • Study Action: Yes!
  • Influence Action: No!
  • Heroic Inspiration: Whatever!
  • Love love love that Guidance is not ad nauseam. I hate having to babysit people adding a d4 to their rolls (might also be because my table on Tuesdays uses Proficiency dice so it's...a lot to deal with).
  • I like the new Exhaustion much better. Only way to improve it is maybe it wouldn't be so bad to take off 5 feet of movement speed for every level, I did like the fact that after a certain point creatures couldn't really move.
  • Simple Shortswords? I could cry, I'm so happy.
  • Slowed still seems like a mondo debilitating condition. I don't mind its existence but I think maybe overall conditions need to be regulated to one big drawback that better stack with each other instead of all giving one or two of the same sets of drawbacks like disadvantage.
  • Still not fond of how combat breaks up a long rest; I think a 10 minute window of strenuous activity is a good middle ground between 1 or more hours of not sitting still and getting into a single fight. It's dumb that ambushing my players pushes the clock back that far but 59 minutes of walking with a stopwatch or hourglass measuring the passage of time doesn't.
  • The spelling out of Hiding and the DCs of finding creatures soothes my soul.
  • I don't understand how the new Barkskin is supposed to be useful if it's an hour-long concentration spell. I like the temp HP more than the AC adjustment I guess, but both would end if you took enough hits. Maybe a short duration with no concentration is necessary for any effect like that (I mean; I think so, but I hope others would come to agree with me).
 

The 4e ranger was very good at combat.
The 4e ranger was meh a wilderness exploration.

That's the whole encapsulation of the issue.

If you need that guy over there dead dead, the 4e ranger and the OD&D playtest ranger would be great at it.
If you need someone to lead and protect the party with stuck in a fiendish forest fire or a frost giant's summoned blizzard or a royal fey's glade, the the 4e ranger and the OD&D playtest ranger can't do much.

And the original 2014 ranger can't do either if the choice they made at level 1 was the wrong one...

The 1D&D one at least has expertise in survival... all the time...
 

And seeing as it a level one feat, you can take it as a dwarf to emulate the dwarf with armor proficiency thing in base 5e.
I think they stealth nerfed it. I am very sure that it had +1 str or dex as the UA came first out. But it makes sense of course.
And I really like it, because now you can be a soldier and actually have training in something combat related.
I hope, everyone is trained in simple weapons now.
 

MarkB

Legend
  • Love love love that Guidance is not ad nauseam. I hate having to babysit people adding a d4 to their rolls (might also be because my table on Tuesdays uses Proficiency dice so it's...a lot to deal with).
I love that they made it only something to use on a failed roll, that alone will cut down on the spamming enormously (especially since, with only 1d4, you know it's not worth using if the player rolled a 2), but I feel like they may have over-corrected with the once-per-day-per-target part, since it's hard to track across a whole group and will lead to "Did I already use it on you today?" discussions that will bog down the game.

Plus, it makes it a really weak cantrip. When you're selecting a spell that's going to have no limits on how often you can cast it, are you really going to go for the one that, realistically, you'll only be able to use 3-4 times a day in an average-size group?
 

Minigiant

Legend
Supporter
And the original 2014 ranger can't do either if the choice they made at level 1 was the wrong one...

The 1D&D one at least has expertise in survival... all the time...
The 2014 ranger gets Spells at level 2.
That's the whole point. Ranger's exploration abilities are all spells because D&D lacks exploration pillar mechanics.

What does a +4 in Survival do again? There are no rules for Survival except the optional Tracking rules in the DMG.

Expertise in Survival is nice but core doesn't do anything because there are almost no rules for Survival Checks and its use is fully based on DM fiat. DM Fiat in a community that allows spells to bypass tracking and foraging but won't let you talk to a bird or call a wolf without magic.

What's the Survival DC to tree stride?
 

The 2014 ranger gets Spells at level 2.
That's the whole point. Ranger's exploration abilities are all spells because D&D lacks exploration pillar mechanics.

I think you did not get my point.
I answered to your assessment that the 4e and the OD&D ranger has nothing to help in 2 specific challenges.

I just pointed out that 2014 ranger is not good either. Except when you chose the right enemies and terrain... and even then, the abilities were lackluster.

So you could have saved the rest of your post as it is not exactly telling news...
 

Minigiant

Legend
Supporter
I think you did not get my point.
I answered to your assessment that the 4e and the OD&D ranger has nothing to help in 2 specific challenges.

I just pointed out that 2014 ranger is not good either. Except when you chose the right enemies and terrain... and even then, the abilities were lackluster.

So you could have saved the rest of your post as it is not exactly telling news...
I explained how the 5e ranger help in those challenges: magic.

WOTC's "Everything is a Spell"ism means everything requires magic to be solved except combat, stealth, lockpicking, trapdisarming, and theft.

So we need up with a Jackie Chan Adventures world when tons of fighting but "Magic must defeat Magic"

 

I explained how the 5e ranger help in those challenges: magic.

WOTC's "Everything is a Spell"ism means everything requires magic to be solved except combat, stealth, lockpicking, trapdisarming, and theft.

So we need up with a Jackie Chan Adventures world when tons of fighting but "Magic must defeat Magic"


So what is the differemce between OD&D ranger and 2014 ranger then. Why did you left the 2014 ranger out?

Maybe I read too much into your statement and I am sorry if I did.
 

Minigiant

Legend
Supporter
So what is the differemce between OD&D ranger and 2014 ranger then. Why did you left the 2014 ranger out?

Maybe I read too much into your statement and I am sorry if I did.
My point was that a coastal dragon hunter ranger displayed this by preparing absorb elements and water breathing 1st, Colossu Slayer and Steel Will 2nd, and with Favored Enemy and Tavored Terrain 3rd.

The 2014 ranger had all that.
The Oct OD&D ranger only has the first and "more damage"
The 4e ranger had none of it and "even more damage"
 

Garthanos

Arcadian Knight
Galahad possessed the strength of 10 men because of his virtue.
That was Lancelot too I think (in some presentations had Galahad as childhood name). Also Gawaines increased based on the amount of sunlight... and was 12x at noon and Lancelot still beat him then. Lancelot though had other things going on like perhaps some throwback to the myth of Balder and living things (or just once living) like thorns would not hurt him, he could also reach into a burning caldron not suffering harm. And sometimes something about being strengthened to not lose as long as he was fighting for a good reason (if he was just fighting for exercise or for his pride or something then no special dispensation)

When you roll initiative, regain all your superiority dice...
blink blink...
As a side note, you mention monks... but monks are inherently magical--ki--and the vast majority of monk archetypes are overtly magical.
yeh sounds like orientalism to me... note how ki merges seamlessly with exertions into level up... that is badass.
 

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