'One D&D' Takes 5E to New & Digital Places

The biggest news coming out of today's Wizards Presents is the announcement of One D&D, which includes the development of a new digital playspace, along with more information on the evolution of D&D.


One D&D Logo.png



Throughout 5th Edition the D&D team has talked about “the three pillars of D&D” being combat, role-play, and exploration. The One D&D initiative is borrowing that three pillar structure, only for One D&D the three pillars are:
  • An updated rule set that is still 5th edition but reorganized and with new character options
  • D&D Beyond as the base of its digital tools
  • A fully integrated playspace, which is currently in early development.

Fans have been speculating for awhile that WotC/Habro would buy Roll20, Fantasy Grounds, etc. so they could offer online play. That speculation increased after the purchase of D&D Beyond. Instead WotC is using Unreal Engine to create a fully integrated digital playspace so players and DMs don't have to cobble together solutions from multiple apps an digital tools.


Wizards Presents Key Art.jpg



The preview of the digital space utilizes a tile-shift camera to purposely make things look small, like miniatures on a table. This way it's a digital version of the view players have at a game table and can't be confused with a video game.

When an “evolution of D&D” was mentioned at D&D Celebration last year lots of people jumped to the assumption that they meant a 6th edition. Once again, the D&D team is refuting that idea and examples presented by Jeremy Crawford, Game Design Architect for D&D, at a press preview on August 16 make it clear that 5th edition is here to stay, just reorganized and with new options, and that the anniversary editions will be fully compatible with 5th Edition as we currently know it.

“We did a smart thing with 5th edition, by listening to fans,” said Chris Perkins, Game Design Architect for D&D, “and what came out of that process was a system that is stable, that is well loved, that incorporates the best elements of earlier editions. Now that we have that we are no longer in the position where we think of D&D as an edition.' It's just D&D.”

One example presented by Crawford involves the alternate method for character creation presented in Tasha's Cauldron of Everything where players assign the ability score bonuses as it fits their character concept instead of being stuck with how they were assigned in their character's race. In the first playtest package on character options, Crawford showed that it had been moved from character race to character background. They're testing giving character backgrounds a more significant component of character creation and one that can grow as the character does.

At they same time, they want players to create their own backgrounds, using the examples provided as a frame work. And as I predicted in my Spelljammer: Adventures in Space, review, it appears that getting a feat at first level as part of a background could become standard.

They're also considering feat levels and viewing them as class features that aren't tied to a class. To avoid the confusion of “wading through a forest of feats” as Crawford said, there will be a list of first level feats that are appropriate for beginning adventurers and still useful as they grow up in level.

The Alert feat has been re-imagined to be more useful to the group. It will still boost the character's initiative but additionally it will allow the character, at the start of combat, to swap initiative with one other player. The rationale is that the first person was so alert they were able to warn the other person so they could act quickly. The new Healer feat has a Battle Medic option to provide healing and the ability to reroll Healing rolls.

In addition to the existing Backgrounds, some new ones are also coming, like Guard. However, they really want players to make their own Backgrounds, with DM approval.


Guard background.PNG


Another example of changes they're considering that don't fundamentally change 5th is tweaks to the Tiefling. In addition to the infernal legacy already in the Player's Handbook, the playtest adds abyssal and chthonic.

Similarly, they're testing an expansion of the “choose your size” option fairies have in Mordenkainen Presents: Monsters of the Multiverse. Humans would also be able to choose between being small and medium to reflect the fact that some humans in the real world are small.

Another option being tested would be adding the Ardling, an upper plane equivalent to Tieflings. These would represent people with ancestors from the upper planes who are anthropomorphic animals. One thing Crawford said they've learned over the past several years is that players love animal-inspired humanoids like Tabaxi, Giff, and Tortles.


Ardling Slide 1.PNG



Ardling Slide 2.PNG



“The sort of change you're going to see isn't about taking anything away. It's much more about giving you more, giving you more options, more choices, more character types you can play, more spells you can cast. We're basically very happy with the game as it is today. We just want to build on that,” said Ray Winninger, Executive Producer of Dungeons & Dragons.

Speaking of spells, Crawford talked about how spell lists will be reorganized. Instead of picking a spell from the cleric list, you would be able to pick a spell from a divine magic list. , Spells would be categorized into lists for arcane, divine and primal magic. These categories have previously existed in story terms, but now, Crawford said, they're giving them more teeth.

Another focus is reorganizing material and integrating methods to help new players and DMs.

“One of my focuses, specifically, is the Dungeon Master's Guide. I'm going to make some structural changes to make it more friendly to new DMs,” said Perkins.

Playtesting starts today. Go to D&D Beyond to download the first playtest packet.
 
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Beth Rimmels

Beth Rimmels

MReav

Explorer
Personally, I think if they want to have "human with animal head" idea using deities as inspiration, the Ardling should be a deity-descended entity rather than a celestial one. I do like the idea of having different planar ancestries affecting the racial traits.
So here are the ideas I'd like to see:
Supernal races such as the Ardling, Aasimar, and Tieflings represent a descendant of a union between a mortal and an otherworldly entity. While human unions do tend to be most commonly represented, it is possible to have elf, dwarf, orc, etc versions as well. Use the mortal race's stats to determine size and weight, and the supernal ancestry adds a multiplier to the maximum age.
Ardling: You have a god, avatar or chosen as your ancestor. Many deities also have a sacred animal or animals, and it is common for Ardlings to have heads of such creatures.
How the Ardling's abilities will work will probably need some hashing out, but they'd probably be similar to the playtest Tiefling in getting spells at third and fifth level, which could be chosen from a domain spell list, as well as get some sort of resistance.
Aasimar: Transfer the Ardling's current themes and abilities tying them to the different upper planes to the Aasimar and also add "Angelic" to the mix with an appropriate set of spells and cantrip to them. If you want to have more exotic looks for Aasimar, consider extra eyes, unusual skins colours (like what you'd find in Planetars, Astral Devas or Trumpet Archons), and even animal features (though not full animal head replacements).
Tiefling: Keep as is, but add Cambion to the list of backgrounds, since Succubi are not really flavoured to be from any one particular planar realm.
Have a sidebar for Tiefling and Aasimar establishing that the subraces mentioned in the main game are the most common branches, but there could be other subtypes representing an association with a specific type of fiend or celestial (with the Cambion being so common that it already gets represented) or archbeing.
 

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Chaosmancer

Legend
Personally, I think if they want to have "human with animal head" idea using deities as inspiration, the Ardling should be a deity-descended entity rather than a celestial one. I do like the idea of having different planar ancestries affecting the racial traits.
So here are the ideas I'd like to see:
Supernal races such as the Ardling, Aasimar, and Tieflings represent a descendant of a union between a mortal and an otherworldly entity. While human unions do tend to be most commonly represented, it is possible to have elf, dwarf, orc, etc versions as well. Use the mortal race's stats to determine size and weight, and the supernal ancestry adds a multiplier to the maximum age.
Ardling: You have a god, avatar or chosen as your ancestor. Many deities also have a sacred animal or animals, and it is common for Ardlings to have heads of such creatures.
How the Ardling's abilities will work will probably need some hashing out, but they'd probably be similar to the playtest Tiefling in getting spells at third and fifth level, which could be chosen from a domain spell list, as well as get some sort of resistance.

Aasimar: Transfer the Ardling's current themes and abilities tying them to the different upper planes to the Aasimar and also add "Angelic" to the mix with an appropriate set of spells and cantrip to them. If you want to have more exotic looks for Aasimar, consider extra eyes, unusual skins colours (like what you'd find in Planetars, Astral Devas or Trumpet Archons), and even animal features (though not full animal head replacements).

Tiefling: Keep as is, but add Cambion to the list of backgrounds, since Succubi are not really flavoured to be from any one particular planar realm.
Have a sidebar for Tiefling and Aasimar establishing that the subraces mentioned in the main game are the most common branches, but there could be other subtypes representing an association with a specific type of fiend or celestial (with the Cambion being so common that it already gets represented) or archbeing.

Personally? I'd just swap in Aasimar, note that the half-races allows them to have animal features due to the nature of celestials in DnD.

Then Ardlings can be neutrally aligned and associated with primal spirits. That fits far better into their appearance, it doesn't weirdly shoe-horn the Aasimar since it covers the third leg of the design, and it allows for some more interesting designs.

Another poster recomended them being a new version of the hengeyokai which is an EXCELLENT idea.
 

Blue

Ravenous Bugblatter Beast of Traal
Okay, for those who have commented about if this is the same edition or different edition with my insistance that big changes to the character creation rules are a harbinger of at least a hald edition, like we did with 3.0 to 3.5. Let me try another approach.

If it's the same edition, then it's actually the same edition and we can use all of the books as long as they haven't been surplanted. I can pick the latest Minotaur from MotM which grants a +2 to one ability and +1 to another, as well as latest Gladiator background which grants +2 Strength and +1 Charisma. So I could end up with +4 STR, +1 CON, +1 CHR if I wanted. And this is all through choosing legal options in the current/only edition.

If it's different editions, then there is a segregation, with material from 2014 thru 2023 books in one edition, and material in 2024+ books in another edition. (Or half edition, which seems more likely.) If it's just one edition then we need to treat it as one edition including mixing and matching pre- and post-2024 sources.
 

gametaku

Explorer
Okay, for those who have commented about if this is the same edition or different edition with my insistance that big changes to the character creation rules are a harbinger of at least a hald edition, like we did with 3.0 to 3.5. Let me try another approach.

If it's the same edition, then it's actually the same edition and we can use all of the books as long as they haven't been surplanted. I can pick the latest Minotaur from MotM which grants a +2 to one ability and +1 to another, as well as latest Gladiator background which grants +2 Strength and +1 Charisma. So I could end up with +4 STR, +1 CON, +1 CHR if I wanted. And this is all through choosing legal options in the current/only edition.

If it's different editions, then there is a segregation, with material from 2014 thru 2023 books in one edition, and material in 2024+ books in another edition. (Or half edition, which seems more likely.) If it's just one edition then we need to treat it as one edition including mixing and matching pre- and post-2024 sources.

Except for the fact that you don't get both the Minotaur and Gladiator ASI's. You pick one or the other as noted in page 11 in the box labeled ABILITY SCORE INCREASES FROM ELSEWHERE
--
ABILITY SCORE INCREASES FROM ELSEWHERE Since 2014, characters have received ability score increases from several sources, either from a Race that has the Ability Score Increase trait or from the ability score rules in Tasha’s Cauldron of Everything, Monsters of the Multiverse, and other books. If you make a character using one of those older sources and get ability score increases from it, the character doesn’t also get ability score increases from Background, unless you forgo the older ability score increases to gain the increases from the Background rules here
--
 

caudor

Adventurer
I would not worry about it yet. It is not known if digital D&D will support any game other than D&D or any ruleset not on D&DBeyond. In which case would would these VTTs stop existing. Not all their installed player base are D&D players nor will they all migrate to Digital D&D. There is no incentive for WoTC to stop their licence agreements with these companies. D&D got a considerable reputational hit before my mucking about with licencing that lead to the creation of Pathfinder. There is no evidence that they are going to repeat that.
Thanks for pointing that out; I'm feeling more at ease about it now. I don't see any incentive for Wotc to drop the agreements either.
 

doctorbadwolf

Heretic of The Seventh Circle
The warriors of each new phase of the neverending Edition Wars always think, "This time, it's different . . . I do not war for the same reasons as those who have come before, as my cause is just and righteous."

And yet, the wastes left of message boards and game tables always look the same . . .

Plus, have you read this thread? Yeah, some folks are all afeared of the new digital options coming our way, but more folks are arguing over changes to the actual rules of the game.

War, war never changes.
Nah man, this thread isn’t anywhere close to the edition wars.

I remember. People were mean.
 

doctorbadwolf

Heretic of The Seventh Circle
All I know is that many people on this forum expected these changes to be smaller than they were, just an integration of the recent books with the new core. Now that it is clear the changes are at least somewhat more expansive than that, those same people are changing their tune and saying the changes aren't really a big deal to them rather than just admitting that they guessed wrong.
I don’t think most folks thought it’d just be collating of existing expansion rules. A few people, but very small minority.

Hat many of us, rightly, guessed was that they’d just be fixing some pain points and updating things based on play feedback over the last 8 years, not a new edition in the sense that D&D has been using the term for 20 years.
 


teitan

Legend
Yes, changing all races, massively beefing up backgrounds, making feats mandatory, and totally reorganizing spells count as change, maybe even core change. At least a .5 change. Even a 1e to 2e change. And they are not done yet. They are just getting started.

I am not steaming, because I knew they were going to do something. They weren't going to have all this hype just to add some errata or fix witchbolt.
1e to 2e wasn’t that big of a change.
 

Not sure I agree with the "animal races" being popular....Was reading the spelljamer book recently....Space hamsters and Flying monkeys? What next Ozspace?!
flat,1000x1000,075,f.u1.jpg
I'm flashing back to when Supernatural just rolled with the idea that Oz was a real dimension in their setting and obviously the Oz books were actual autobiographical accounts, and like, no-one in the show really even questioned it or thought it was that weird, even Dean was basically like "No duh obviously".

Also Ozspace would fit weirdly well into Spelljammer I must admit.
 


Staffan

Legend
I'm flashing back to when Supernatural just rolled with the idea that Oz was a real dimension in their setting and obviously the Oz books were actual autobiographical accounts, and like, no-one in the show really even questioned it or thought it was that weird, even Dean was basically like "No duh obviously".

Also Ozspace would fit weirdly well into Spelljammer I must admit.
I mean, at that point they had already established that there was a series of novels chronicling the Winchesters' adventures (written by God themself, under the pseudonym Carver Edlund), and that those books had a fan base big enough for the occasional convention and for some people to write fanfic including slashfic of it.

So Oz being real is no big, considering.
 

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