Poll: How will the US Class Feature Variants be brought to Market?

How will WotC make the latest UA Class Variants officially available?

  • Free PDF

    Votes: 4 4.3%
  • Updated PHB

    Votes: 1 1.1%
  • Free PDF and Updated PHB

    Votes: 5 5.3%
  • Setting Guide

    Votes: 8 8.5%
  • Xanthar's Style Player's Guide

    Votes: 69 73.4%
  • Other

    Votes: 7 7.4%

  • Total voters
    94

OB1

Jedi Master
As the thread stats, how will WotC bring the latest UA Class Feature Variants officially to players?
 

Parmandur

Legend
A new Setting book or Xanathar's Guide are the likely possibilities. I'm leaning towards a Setting book, because of how little material they have tested compared to what was in Xanathar's, but the field is still open.
 

Ruin Explorer

Adventurer
I'll be shocked if it's not a Xanathar's style deal. At least until a 5.5E, if there ever is one. Nothing else really adds up. Some people play with RL books so a PDF isn't great for them. I don't see the PHB being updated in the short term. So I suspect UA until a Xanathar's.

A setting book could work but it would be a weird place to put them as there is no thematic connection to any setting in the material.
 

OB1

Jedi Master
I'll be shocked if it's not a Xanathar's style deal. At least until a 5.5E, if there ever is one. Nothing else really adds up. Some people play with RL books so a PDF isn't great for them. I don't see the PHB being updated in the short term. So I suspect UA until a Xanathar's.

A setting book could work but it would be a weird place to put them as there is no thematic connection to any setting in the material.
My thought is these changes are so core to the overall experience that they have to be widely available. And with so many users on D&DB, a PDF change would flow automatically into the rule set for everyone who had bought the PHB.
 

Parmandur

Legend
I'll be shocked if it's not a Xanathar's style deal. At least until a 5.5E, if there ever is one. Nothing else really adds up. Some people play with RL books so a PDF isn't great for them. I don't see the PHB being updated in the short term. So I suspect UA until a Xanathar's.

A setting book could work but it would be a weird place to put them as there is no thematic connection to any setting in the material.
What was the very first Supplemental rulebook in the history of D&D? There is a major setting for which "not very setting specific" is part of the selling point, and would make a good home for alternate options to the core Classes.

So far, we have 34 pages of material tested in the latest rounds of UA. That's 10-15% of a book. What fills the vast remainder of the book is the real question.
 

Ruin Explorer

Adventurer
My thought is these changes are so core to the overall experience that they have to be widely available. And with so many users on D&DB, a PDF change would flow automatically into the rule set for everyone who had bought the PHB.
This only applies if you see them as non-optional and the UA seems keen to have them be optional, which makes sense. If they remain optional I think Xanathar's makes sense. If they became actual rules a free PDF would be the only way.
 

Parmandur

Legend
This only applies if you see them as non-optional and the UA seems keen to have them be optional, which makes sense. If they remain optional I think Xanathar's makes sense. If they became actual rules a free PDF would be the only way.
I think they threaded the needle where these changes are not necessary or better than the core options, even if many think they are preferable.
 

Ruin Explorer

Adventurer
So far, we have 34 pages of material tested in the latest rounds of UA. That's 10-15% of a book. What fills the vast remainder of the book is the real question.
You think WotC will bring back Greyhawk and jam this stuff in it? Ummm. Huh. Yeah I really doubt that. Greyhawk is not something people are keen on compared to various other settings and many people actively dislike it and would be annoyed to have this put in that setting if they had to buy it to get these subclasses and tweaks., some of which are almost antithetical to GH. Even another FR book seems more likely.

As 34 pages, sure, in their current format. How many pages of Xanathar's were UA'd? Honest question, because I don't know. I'm guessing it was a similar number.
 

Parmandur

Legend
You think WotC will bring back Greyhawk and jam this stuff in it? Ummm. Huh. Yeah I really doubt that. Greyhawk is not something people are keen on compared to various other settings and many people actively dislike it and would be annoyed to have this put in that setting if they had to buy it to get these subclasses and tweaks., some of which are almost antithetical to GH. Even another FR book seems more likely.

As 34 pages, sure, in their current format. How many pages of Xanathar's were UA'd? Honest question, because I don't know. I'm guessing it was a similar number.
The question about Xanathar's is fair. From 10/10/2016-6/5/2017, UA had 102 pages of material meant for XGtE: a lot of that did not make it into the book (Mass Combat rules, many of the Subclass options), and some was revisions of earlier stages of the playtest. XGtE is 192 pages long, so they tested the equivalent to half the length of the book: counting pages, ~75 pages in the final book are from UA directly. Further UA releases may shed further light.

They already revived Greyahwk for publication this year: returning in full force in a Setting book as a gonzo "Sword & Sorcery" genre booster would make sense, but it is just one possibility.
 
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OB1

Jedi Master
This only applies if you see them as non-optional and the UA seems keen to have them be optional, which makes sense. If they remain optional I think Xanathar's makes sense. If they became actual rules a free PDF would be the only way.
I think that because of the PHB+1 rule, these rules make more sense integrated with the PHB. Otherwise, they can't be used with all the other sub-classes from other books.
 

ardoughter

Adventurer
I voted other, I really feel they should be in the PHB 1.1 but Xanathar's Guide is also a possibility. I think maybe a free PDF and a Player\DM book. With the DM stuff being perhaps, planar orientated.
There are a number of setting out now a way to link them would a useful addition, A Manual of the Planes type book.
 

Parmandur

Legend
I voted other, I really feel they should be in the PHB 1.1 but Xanathar's Guide is also a possibility. I think maybe a free PDF and a Player\DM book. With the DM stuff being perhaps, planar orientated.
There are a number of setting out now a way to link them would a useful addition, A Manual of the Planes type book.
The only Manual of the Planes equivalent I would ever expect to see for 5E is a Planescape Setting book, now that they've cracked the code for making Setting books properly.
 

Bacon Bits

Adventurer
My vote would be, in order of likelihood:

1. As a player's guide of some kind.
2. Not at all. Left as the PDF and not further developed.
3. As a campaign setting guide of some kind.
 

Ruin Explorer

Adventurer
I think that because of the PHB+1 rule, these rules make more sense integrated with the PHB. Otherwise, they can't be used with all the other sub-classes from other books.
Sooner or later, PHB+1 was always going to be untenable, so I don't really see that as plausible reasoning. It's unlikely they get integrated because that does make this 5.5 (or like, 5.1, really but people will call it 5.5), in that everyone even Beyond people (like me) will have their expensive hard-copy PHB partially invalidated.

The question about Xanathar's is fair. From 10/10/2016-6/5/2017, UA had 102 pages of material meant for XGtE: a lot of that did not make it into the book (Mass Combat rules, many of the Subclass options), and some was revisions of earlier stages of the playtest. XGtE is 192 pages long, so they tested the equivalent to half the length of the book: counting pages, ~75 pages in the final book are from UA directly. Further UA releases may shed further light.

They already revived Greyahwk for publication this year: returning in full force in a Setting book as a gonzo "Sword & Sorcery" genre booster would make sense, but it is just one possibility.
75 vs 34, interesting - I guess if we see a whole lot more, a Xanathars becomes more likely, but if we don't some kind of setting book does.

Re: "Gonzo Sword and Sorcery", the big problem is, nothing about Greyhawk is gonzo (yeah not even expedition to the Barrier Peaks - it's actually totally MoR by modern standards and this is 2019 so modern standards apply). I know you're going to try and come up with examples, but no. Metal, maybe. Some (not much) stuff in Greyhawk is kinda moderately metal, like sub-Metallica levels of Metal, not really that metal at all. Dad-metal. But gonzo? Gonzo is a high bar. It makes me think of things like Over The Edge, Dungeon Crawl Classics, Underground, SLA Industries. Even we lower the bar to the say, Dark Sun and the wackier end of the Planescape spectrum (which to me don't reach "gonzo" but I guess I could sort of squint and see it), that's not just Greyhawk. Greyhawk is basically someone's dad. Sure, you can give him a Keith Flint-from-the-Prodigy haircut to hid his bald spot, give him some piercings and tats, some OTT eye-make-up. But he's still someone's dad. It's fundamentally a very generic setting full of very generic stuff. Amping up a couple of "Metal" bits and using some edgier-than-usual artwork will not fix that (plus has WotC got the balls to do that with artwork? I give 50/50 at best).

Now, maybe you could fix that, but you'd basically be writing an entirely new setting, riffing off Greyhawk. As far as I know, neither TSR nor WotC has ever dared to do something like that with any D&D setting. The closest was perhaps the 4E FR, and much as I like 4E, that was a bloody car crash. I do think there is the potential for a cool, "Greyhawk-inspired", very metal, perhaps near-gonzo setting, but that requires you to burn a lot of Greyhawk stuff, and probably to piss off an awful lot of Greyhawk fans.

Further, even for a setting book, I don't think you could get away with this material. Not only are many of the subclasses not "Greyhawk-friendly" (at least for the "old" Greyhawk - they don't draw from Greyhawk ideas or traditions), but them plus this stuff just isn't enough. You'd need a class, and the only likely class soon after Artificer is Psion (and even that is questionable, sadly), and if you're making Psion a class in a Greyhawk book you're nuts.

Dark Sun is somewhat more plausible, but again many of the subclasses aren't good fits (giant-viking-themed warrior for example).

Planescape or a "Manual of the Planes" could probably stitch together the subclasses, though, so perhaps that's the most likely if we're going with settings.
 

OB1

Jedi Master
Sooner or later, PHB+1 was always going to be untenable, so I don't really see that as plausible reasoning. It's unlikely they get integrated because that does make this 5.5 (or like, 5.1, really but people will call it 5.5), in that everyone even Beyond people (like me) will have their expensive hard-copy PHB partially invalidated.
How does this invalidate your PHB? No rules in it have been removed, everything in your copy works with anyone who has the new PHB. And you can also reference the rules via a free PDF if you find yourself playing with a group who has and is using the new PHB.
And with a free update to D&DB, a huge swath of the player base will get it integrated automatically, much like with the recent errata.
 

Parmandur

Legend
Sooner or later, PHB+1 was always going to be untenable, so I don't really see that as plausible reasoning. It's unlikely they get integrated because that does make this 5.5 (or like, 5.1, really but people will call it 5.5), in that everyone even Beyond people (like me) will have their expensive hard-copy PHB partially invalidated.



75 vs 34, interesting - I guess if we see a whole lot more, a Xanathars becomes more likely, but if we don't some kind of setting book does.

Re: "Gonzo Sword and Sorcery", the big problem is, nothing about Greyhawk is gonzo (yeah not even expedition to the Barrier Peaks - it's actually totally MoR by modern standards and this is 2019 so modern standards apply). I know you're going to try and come up with examples, but no. Metal, maybe. Some (not much) stuff in Greyhawk is kinda moderately metal, like sub-Metallica levels of Metal, not really that metal at all. Dad-metal. But gonzo? Gonzo is a high bar. It makes me think of things like Over The Edge, Dungeon Crawl Classics, Underground, SLA Industries. Even we lower the bar to the say, Dark Sun and the wackier end of the Planescape spectrum (which to me don't reach "gonzo" but I guess I could sort of squint and see it), that's not just Greyhawk. Greyhawk is basically someone's dad. Sure, you can give him a Keith Flint-from-the-Prodigy haircut to hid his bald spot, give him some piercings and tats, some OTT eye-make-up. But he's still someone's dad. It's fundamentally a very generic setting full of very generic stuff. Amping up a couple of "Metal" bits and using some edgier-than-usual artwork will not fix that (plus has WotC got the balls to do that with artwork? I give 50/50 at best).

Now, maybe you could fix that, but you'd basically be writing an entirely new setting, riffing off Greyhawk. As far as I know, neither TSR nor WotC has ever dared to do something like that with any D&D setting. The closest was perhaps the 4E FR, and much as I like 4E, that was a bloody car crash. I do think there is the potential for a cool, "Greyhawk-inspired", very metal, perhaps near-gonzo setting, but that requires you to burn a lot of Greyhawk stuff, and probably to piss off an awful lot of Greyhawk fans.

Further, even for a setting book, I don't think you could get away with this material. Not only are many of the subclasses not "Greyhawk-friendly" (at least for the "old" Greyhawk - they don't draw from Greyhawk ideas or traditions), but them plus this stuff just isn't enough. You'd need a class, and the only likely class soon after Artificer is Psion (and even that is questionable, sadly), and if you're making Psion a class in a Greyhawk book you're nuts.

Dark Sun is somewhat more plausible, but again many of the subclasses aren't good fits (giant-viking-themed warrior for example).

Planescape or a "Manual of the Planes" could probably stitch together the subclasses, though, so perhaps that's the most likely if we're going with settings.
Yeah, what this product is going to look like is very wide open: WotC has a great capacity to surprise these days.

In the DMG, when discussing genre and setting, Greyhawk is set up as the prime example of "Swords & Sorcery" as opposed to the standard "High Fantasy" assumption in the game. At the same time, the examples for "Crossing the Streams" all come from the Lake Geneva Greyhawk campaign. My idea of Greyhawk is also flavored by 3.5, and assumed setting there. I'm not saying this is what WotC will do, but who knows what these crazy folks are trying to pull...
 

Parmandur

Legend
How does this invalidate your PHB? No rules in it have been removed, everything in your copy works with anyone who has the new PHB. And you can also reference the rules via a free PDF if you find yourself playing with a group who has and is using the new PHB.
And with a free update to D&DB, a huge swath of the player base will get it integrated automatically, much like with the recent errata.
Dan Dillon is talking about these variants in Twitter,and he is talking about then being printed in a hardcover, explicitly. These are meant for a book of some sort, not a PDF only.
 

ardoughter

Adventurer
The only Manual of the Planes equivalent I would ever expect to see for 5E is a Planescape Setting book, now that they've cracked the code for making Setting books properly.
Perhaps, you can clarify, but I have never really read into Planescape, I was not playing D&D at the time and I have always had a dislike for the D&D alignment system. Also a strong dislike for the Great Wheel planar topology.
It is my belief that Planescape is very tied in to both. I know that it is fairly popular here but I much prefer the looser 4e planar landscape.
So my question is, must Planescape have the alignment system and the Great Wheel or could it be presented without them, one, the other or both?
 

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