Unearthed Arcana 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 5.4%
  • Setting Guide

    Votes: 7 7.5%
  • Xanthar's Style Player's Guide

    Votes: 69 74.2%
  • Other

    Votes: 7 7.5%

Sunsword

Adventurer
To sell another book of options, as with XGtE or any of the Setting books, simple enough. These are fully compatible with 5E as-is, being an exceptions based system, and doesn't entail a re-writing the way a .5 edition would be. Whats more, 3.5 was apparently a bit of a disaster marketing wise, so WotC has discounted that as a future possibility.
DnD 4E Essentials was 4.5. And 3.5 wasn't a disaster, it spawned Pathfinder. I think we just disagree and I'm content with that. I don't see them as exception-based, they are buffs to existing classes. Applying these changes is a big deal, IMO. If they are beginning to expand internationally then what better time to make these changes? As someone who has seen WotC make terrible decisions with Magic: the Gathering, I won't assume they won't make 5.5.
 
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Sunsword

Adventurer
1. Re-released PHB, that incorporates these changes into a re-printing. I really doubt it is this because it will make people confused and talk about "Is this 5.5?" but it is also not unprecedented in game systems. Hey, Tyranny of Dragons just happened too.

That option is 5.5, pure and simple. I've watched WotC do their darndest to destroy Magic: the Gathering at the local store level in the last 2 years. I don't trust them because of Hasbro has some kind of mandate, they will follow it. I do respect the team running D&D more than M:tG, but those enhancement, IMO, spell trouble.

Even, if it's just Xanathar 2, tables will have to figure which version to play and it will impact organized play and it might cause more casual players and new DM's to get confused and possibly lose interest.

Either way, I don't like the enhancements. Just my 2 cents.
 

ad_hoc

(he/they)
God, no. Beyond not wanting it, though, they won't do that. PHB+1, however, is a solid design strategy. This stuff is +1 material.

Designing assuming that players might only have the PHB is good design.

Designing assuming that players are not allowed to use any books other than the one you are making is not. Which is what I was responding to. The idea was to make the book the new PHB so that people could use these new rules along with a +1 book.

99% of players are not in that situation.
 

ad_hoc

(he/they)
As far as making this as part of a new supplement I am all for it.

If the next Xanathar's was just more of the same sorts of options - spells, subclasses, feats, races, etc. I wouldn't buy it.

I'd probably buy something with this and more rules modules and such (Xanathar's downtime rules was a good thing to add).
 

Parmandur

Book-Friend
As far as making this as part of a new supplement I am all for it.

If the next Xanathar's was just more of the same sorts of options - spells, subclasses, feats, races, etc. I wouldn't buy it.

I'd probably buy something with this and more rules modules and such (Xanathar's downtime rules was a good thing to add).

If it is XGtE2, I'd expect to see a Mass Combat rules test soon.
 

Parmandur

Book-Friend
Designing assuming that players might only have the PHB is good design.

Designing assuming that players are not allowed to use any books other than the one you are making is not. Which is what I was responding to. The idea was to make the book the new PHB so that people could use these new rules along with a +1 book.

99% of players are not in that situation.

You'd be surprised at what different tables do.

Listening to Mearls go through the design process in the Happy Fun Hour, focusing on PHB+1 as the design assumption is helpful for balance.
 

doctorbadwolf

Heretic of The Seventh Circle
Well, we do have a fairly detailed overview of the multiverse in the Core books to start with, and heavy deep dives are well suited to Adventure products like Descent to Avernus. A new book containing a multiverse Gazeeter, however, inevitably with Sigil in the center as Sharn is in RftLW based on what we have already outlined in the DMG, seems like any play options and monsters would be...Planescape options, basically by default.

Sure, but I don’t think any book will center Planescape. The core books are planescape books.
 

Parmandur

Book-Friend
DnD 4E Essentials was 4.5. And 3.5 wasn't a disaster, it spawned Pathfinder. I think we just disagree and I'm content with that. I don't see them as exception-based, they are buffs to existing classes. Applying these changes is a big deal, IMO. If they are beginning to expand internationally then what better time to make these changes? As someone who has seen WotC make terrible decisions with Magic: the Gathering, I won't assume they won't make 5.5.

3.5 leading to Pathfinder within 5 years was a failure state. WotC has gone over the reasons they won't do a "5.5" many times, but it boils down to it being bad business to do so. Hasbro wouldn't want them to do that, because of the bottom line. If corporate mandates anything at this point, it will be Edition conservativism because it has been what works so far.

These new options aren't unbalanced with what came before. A handful of variants for each Class and some retraining rules a new edition do not make.
 

Parmandur

Book-Friend
Sure, but I don’t think any book will center Planescape. The core books are planescape books.

Certainly more Planescape than they are Forgotten Realms, funny enough.

Now, Planescape is a top tier setting for D&D, in terms of popularity. If Setting books continue to do well for WotC, a book focusing on the Factions and Sigil with planar monsters and player options seems likely sooner or later.
 

It is too soon for a 5.5. when people are still asking a remake of old titles, for example Dragonlance or Spelljammer. A new edition is when you need a lot of changes, it is not sold very well or you have published all remakes and new ideas. And we can't forget possible troubles, for example arguing about samurai and ninja as base classes and not only subclasses in a future Oriental Adventures. And somebody could suggest Kara-Tur is perfect to introduce the martial adepts, the classes with martial maneuvers from "Tome of Battle: Book of Nine Swords".

And we know nothing about their plans with return of lots of old classes, races and creatures (for example gem, catastrophic, outer, planar or oriental dragons). Let's imagine they publish a remake of the martial adepts and the incarnum totemist shaman, and then they have to explain how these classes could be introduce in settings as Dark Sun, Ravenloft or Dragonlance. Let's imagine Chris Perkins' home world, Iomandra, becomes canon to be sold as a remake of "Council of Wyrms" but WotC chooses all dragons should to can be in that planet, or at least in the same crystal sphere. Can you imagine the effort to rewrite the lore?

There is a way to introduce the new ideas and this is with a new d20 but not D&D game, for example Gamma World. Other option to introduce the changes may be in a videogame like Baldur's Gate.

We can't discern about the future because nor even they are totally sure. Maybe they are talking with Netflix or Amazon Prime about projects and somebody suggest something like the D&D version of Doctor Who, with time dragons and the chronomancers from a 2nd Advanced Ed sourcebook and then this changes a lot of things, and causing retcons in some settings. If there is a chaos because they start to add too many new things and then they need a retcon or even a reboot, then they could publish an event as Infinite Earth Crisis by DC or the last Secret Wars by Marvel Comics. And then we would find surprises, for example the seekers, a new religion of Dragonlance for age of despair, now with psionic powers, or totemist shamans, a soulmeld incarnum class in Dark Sun. I mean they can change the canon lore, with the risk of a "jump the shark" effect.
 

Vael

Legend
I'd expect something similar to Xanathar's Guide, with a focus on other planes. If I were to guess ... "X's Guide to the Planes". Add Psionics, a few planes, like Dark Sun, Dominaria, etc.
 

ad_hoc

(he/they)
You'd be surprised at what different tables do.

Listening to Mearls go through the design process in the Happy Fun Hour, focusing on PHB+1 as the design assumption is helpful for balance.

So you are arguing for it to be incorporated into the PHB then?

I really don't understand what you're trying to say.
 

Parmandur

Book-Friend
So you are arguing for it to be incorporated into the PHB then?

I really don't understand what you're trying to say.

No. There are two separate points: revising the PHB, which is a terrible idea, and the PHB+1 design ethos of 5E which is great even for tables that don't stick to that in play.
 

I am sure we will see the return of Dark Sun but we can't know yet about it will be a reboot, the pentaprism pentalogy still will be canon or we will see some retcon details as the new races added in the 4th Ed.

There is future for the "transitional" settings where characters from different worlds can appear together, for example Spelljammer, Planescape and Ravenloft. I suggest the creation of a fourth transitional setting about chronomancers and time spheres. This would allow to create homemade reboots, or partial retcons, of the famous lines and total freedom to change the lore about the timeline, for example the order of the seekers from Dragonlance as psionic manifesters... This also allow some little changes if there are media adaptations (movies or teleseries) and scripters can't respect the canon totally.

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Or totemist shamans with incarnum soulmelds in Dark Sun

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WotC suffers the risk of "losing the chair" if somebody arrives before (and is the first one to sit). If they don't publish new base classes then many players will look for other sources, even homebred versions, and there are too much. Dreamscarred Press has published sourcebooks about Psionic, Akasha magic and the war paths, and it is in the SRD of Pathfinder. Maybe WotC should hurry to publish new classes with special game mechanics. What if Paizo publish its own D&D 5th Ed of the occultist classes? Let's imagine DMs arguing because a player wants an occultist class in Dark Sun, or Ravenloft.

* I wonder (I tell it as a suggestion) about the idea of subclass feat. It would be like a class feature, but only you could choose one in the first level, and other in the third level of the secondary class to avoid potential abuses by munchkins with the multiclassing.

* If you are WotC, what would you do with the non-core classes from previous editions, and the different game mechanics as martial maneuvers, incarnum soulmelds, shadow mysteries, truenames or vestige pacts?
 



Too soon for a 5.5 when you can publish lots of "refried", remakes of old titles, and experimenting with new crazy ideas. After the all new classes with special game mechanic have broken the balance of power then you have to publish an update edition to fix all damage caused.

They can't prepare yet a strategy for the next phase because they have to await the reaction by the public after the media titles as the Netflix serie based on Magic: the Gathering.

And if they are working in Baldur's Gate maybe they are using that software to test new ideas (for example new classes), for example mass battles or managing a stronghold or steer a ship to trade or to hunt pirates. This experience would teach some things.

* If I am WotC I wouldn't publish 5.5 but the "update" version of d20 system would be in a new line, for example Gamma World where I could allow me higher risks with the sacred cows, for example adding new abilities scores: courage, acuity (perception + astuteness) and spirit (ananke, luck/fate/karma, state of grace, protection by an angel guardian, but also faith, hope, truth for a better future, dreams, joy in the heart). If those new ideas are accepted by the players then they would added to the d20 system.

What do you think the lowest risk in this businessmen, a D&D 5.5 Ed (and starting a new edition war) or a d20 Modern 2.0 to publish titles based in famous franchises as Call of Duty, Overwatch, Fortnite: Save the World or Marvel Superheroes?

* OH MY GOD! Maybe there is a new option, a new d20 sword & sorcery game but not D&D but another famous franchise, for example Diablo by Blizzard Games. Why? A style more storytelling and urban dark fantasy for adults.
 

Yaarel

Mind Mage
There is a tweet that D&DBeyond will incorporate the variants as soon as possible, but that it takes time because of the complexity that it brings.


Does D&DBeyond normally make Unearthed Arcana articles available?

Or does this suggest an update that is separate from a book?

It seems like something that is intended to ‘update’ the Players Handbook, mainly to finetune the Ranger.

I am unsure what the format for it will be, but perhaps it will be available as a .pdf document. It might even be that future printings of the Players Handbook might incorporate these variants, tho that would raise eyebrows. Likely, it might be available as a .pdf, and then incorporated into a future Players Handbook, similar to the elemental spells that were available in the Elemental Evil .pdf, then incorporated into Xanathars.
 

There is a tweet that D&DBeyond will incorporate the variants as soon as possible, but that it takes time because of the complexity that it brings.


Does D&DBeyond normally make Unearthed Arcana articles available?

Or does this suggest an update that is separate from a book?

It seems like something that is intended to ‘update’ the Players Handbook, mainly to finetune the Ranger.

I am unsure what the format for it will be, but perhaps it will be available as a .pdf document. It might even be that future printings of the Players Handbook might incorporate these variants, tho that would raise eyebrows.

This is normal for Beyond. UA stuff is in within a few days, typically. I expected some of this might take a bit longer though.
 

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