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
Good way to boost sales for a Setting book, honestly.
An even better way to lose the good will of your customers. Not everyone wants a setting book. How do you think players who only ever play homebrew will feel about being FORCED to buy a setting book in order to access core rules, including the beastmaster fix?!
 

Parmandur

Legend
An even better way to lose the good will of your customers. Not everyone wants a setting book. How do you think players who only ever play homebrew will feel about being FORCED to buy a setting book in order to access core rules, including the beastmaster fix?!
As Crawford goes into, these are not "Core Rules," these are options that are meant to be balanced with the PHB options. Their goal for the final product is that two Rangers can be in the same party, one using the PHB material, one using these options, and not have it make a difference to gameplay balance. If they aren't quite at that balance in this document, that is their stated goal for the final product.

There are already rules in the Setting books that require they be purchased (or parts purchased on Beyond), such as the Group Patrons, the Artificer Class, extended magic items rules, the extended faction material in Ravnica, etc. If the book is, for instance, Planescape, that shouldn't be a major concern since the tables that use Homebrew and buy books tend to stick with the core cosmology (that's why they assume the cosmology in the Adventures). A bunch of new player options, and a bunch of Planar monsters, is sufficient to entice a significant number of people. The philosophy they developed for Xanathar's Guide, which served them well, was to make books that don't appeal entirely to targeted groups of people, but have enough for a larger audience to want enough of the material to buy it.

Anyways, time will tell: but apparently we are done with material for the existing Classes now, so the new product has a robust but fairly contained section on Classes.
 
As Crawford goes into, these are not "Core Rules," these are options that are meant to be balanced with the PHB options.
I think any claim that the ranger changes are not "core rules" will be met with the derision it deserves.

There are already rules in the Setting books that require they be purchased (or parts purchased on Beyond), such as the Group Patrons, the Artificer Class, extended magic items rules, the extended faction material in Ravnica, etc. If the book is, for instance, Planescape, that shouldn't be a major concern since the tables that use Homebrew and buy books tend to stick with the core cosmology (that's why they assume the cosmology in the Adventures).
I'm guessing that you are someone who like campaign settings, irrespective of if you intend to use them or not, and therefore do not empathise with that great many people who will see something labelled a campaign setting and therefore refuse to buy it, even if it does contain something they can use. As with Ravnica, the only thing people actually wanted was the spore druid, but they didn't want it so much that they could afford to spend £30 of their limited funds on a hardback full of stuff they don't want, so they got angry instead.

If WotC want to keep their customers (at least those who don't have unlimited funds and unlimited shelf space) sweet they need to republish the subclasses from Ravnica and the spells from the Sword Coast book in a general rule book.

We get that you want a setting book. No one is saying there won't be a setting book in 2020 as well as a general rule book.
 

Parmandur

Legend
I think any claim that the ranger changes are not "core rules" will be met with the derision it deserves.



I'm guessing that you are someone who like campaign settings, irrespective of if you intend to use them or not, and therefore do not empathise with that great many people who will see something labelled a campaign setting and therefore refuse to buy it, even if it does contain something they can use. As with Ravnica, the only thing people actually wanted was the spore druid, but they didn't want it so much that they could afford to spend £30 of their limited funds on a hardback full of stuff they don't want, so they got angry instead.

If WotC want to keep their customers (at least those who don't have unlimited funds and unlimited shelf space) sweet they need to republish the subclasses from Ravnica and the spells from the Sword Coast book in a general rule book.

We get that you want a setting book. No one is saying there won't be a setting book in 2020 as well as a general rule book.
I do not mean to invalidate your feelings, but Ravnica was a big success for WotC. The Subclasses may or may not be in future books, but it isn't particularly clear that "people" are mad about it, or that the Class material was all that "people" wanted, since the book sold like hot cakes.

The more important point right now is, we have ~34 pages of materials, much of which might not make it into a book, and no new PC options in the pipeline for this round of testing. Whatever the product is, it is not going to be as option heavy as XGtE. The closest equivalent we have so far is the Setting books: this is more in line with SCAG for page count.
 
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I do not mean to invalidate your feelings, but Ravnica was a big success for WotC.
Something can be successful in the short turm, but still piss off customers and be harmful in the long term.

The Subclasses may or may not be in future books, but it isn't particularly clear that "people" are mad about it, or that the Class material was all that "people" wanted, since the book sold like hot cakes.
I can tell you for a fact that there are people in this category.

The more important point right now is, we have ~34 pages of materials, much of which might not make it into a book, and no new PC options in the pipeline for this round of testing. Whatever the product is, it is not going to be as option heavy as XGtE.
You are mistaken. For content we can have:

  • The UA subclasses
  • The Ravnica subclasses
  • Bladesinger and Battlerager (clarified and with more spiked gear options) from SCAG
  • Spells from SCAG
  • Artificer from Eberron, plus the Archivist subclass
  • The current bunch of modified and optional rules
  • mass combat rules
  • vehicle rules
  • sidekick rules (expanded with more animals)
  • The next couple of months UA content
  • fluff-heavy content that doesn't need testing

That's plenty of content to assemble a Xanthar's sized book.
 

Parmandur

Legend
I can tell you for a fact that there are people in this category.
How many? Several, sure, many, maybe. Wizards would know, not us.

That's plenty of content to assemble a Xanthar's sized book.
We don't know what content may or may not be coming in further UA, though apparently it isn't Subclasses or further player variants. I agree that there might be plenty of "fluff"-heavy content, probably the majority of any given book. Hence, Setting book. Time will tell.
 

OB1

Jedi Master
@OB1 I wanted dto apologize if I came off as grouchy about the PHB extension idea before: I don't think it will happen, ever, but I'm sorry for being a bit forceful about it.

In the bee YouTube videos today from D&D Beyond interviewing Jeremy Crawford, he wanted to emphasize that these options are not Errata to the PHB, and are designed with the purpose of not supplanting them, and being useable alongside each other. The way he talked made it sound very much like this is all for a book. What's more, he indicated that they are done with Subclasses for the time being, and that the variant options cap off the PC rules on existing Classes for the purposes of whatever product is in the works. Given that, and the small amount of rules tested in terms of page count (the words per page match what is in the printed books, though art will extend it slightly, we are still talking a fraction of a book). I'm still leaning heavily towards Setting book.
No worries @Parmandur I certainly know that I was advocating for a long shot possibility that would have reflected a major shift in just how far WotC is willing to push it's evergreen strategy.
I saw the notes on the Crawford interview, and unless he's being deliberately cagey, agree that a setting book is the most likely place these rules will appear. Crossing my fingers that it's a Guide to the Multiverse/Planescape/Spelljammer mash up, as I've been waiting for that since day 1 of 5e.
Could see the rules being introduced something like this, "Throughout the Multiverse, the classic archetypes of adventurers come in many variations. The following list of options, when permitted by your DM, reflect some of those possibilities."
 

Yaarel

Adventurer
@Paul Farquhar

That WotC could compile all of the scattered character options into a single book (or a single pdf), seems plausible.

It makes the Core +1 rule remain viable.

Also, they clearly want these options to be freely available to all players, but without changing the Players Handbook itself. A compilation can achieve both goals.
 
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Parmandur

Legend
No worries @Parmandur I certainly know that I was advocating for a long shot possibility that would have reflected a major shift in just how far WotC is willing to push it's evergreen strategy.
I saw the notes on the Crawford interview, and unless he's being deliberately cagey, agree that a setting book is the most likely place these rules will appear. Crossing my fingers that it's a Guide to the Multiverse/Planescape/Spelljammer mash up, as I've been waiting for that since day 1 of 5e.
Could see the rules being introduced something like this, "Throughout the Multiverse, the classic archetypes of adventurers come in many variations. The following list of options, when permitted by your DM, reflect some of those possibilities."
That last sentence feels like it should be read by Orson Welles in announcer mode.

A Planar guide would be sweet.
 

RSIxidor

Explorer
I don't understand the argument some have that a PHB2 or revised PHB type book would be too soon. 2E had its second version of the PHB 6 years after release. PHB 3rd had its revised PHB 3 years after release, then PHB2 3 years after that. 4th edition PHB2 came in the second year of the game, and PHB3 the year after that. It could be argued that the fundamental systems of 5E allows for longer periods before a second or revised PHB needs to be released, but I'd argue that 6 years is plenty of time for it to make sense.

Of course, if these new rules aren't intended to be fully incorporated into the base classes, then I could see this being more like a Xanathar's type book full of more granular options than what came before.

To me, it still feels like they're looking at some of the fundamental issues many tables have with each class and seeing if these solutions might work for those tables. To me, that points more towards a revised PHB than a XGTE type book.

I think the one other argument is that there's been less releases each year compared to previous editions, and that it makes the 6 years feel less than it is. That's an argument I don't really have a defense against.
 

Salthorae

Imperial Mountain Dew Taster
I don't understand the argument some have that a PHB2 or revised PHB type book would be too soon. 2E had its second version of the PHB 6 years after release. PHB 3rd had its revised PHB 3 years after release, then PHB2 3 years after that. 4th edition PHB2 came in the second year of the game, and PHB3 the year after that. It could be argued that the fundamental systems of 5E allows for longer periods before a second or revised PHB needs to be released, but I'd argue that 6 years is plenty of time for it to make sense.

Of course, if these new rules aren't intended to be fully incorporated into the base classes, then I could see this being more like a Xanathar's type book full of more granular options than what came before.
I'm pretty sure that WotC has said explicitly that they're not going to do a "PHB2" for 5e. I hope they stick to not doing it.

The youtube interviews in the last day with Crawford confirms that these are nto intended to be fully incorporated into the base classes.
 

Urriak Uruk

Debate fuels my Fire
I do not mean to invalidate your feelings, but Ravnica was a big success for WotC. The Subclasses may or may not be in future books, but it isn't particularly clear that "people" are mad about it, or that the Class material was all that "people" wanted, since the book sold like hot cakes.

The more important point right now is, we have ~34 pages of materials, much of which might not make it into a book, and no new PC options in the pipeline for this round of testing. Whatever the product is, it is not going to be as option heavy as XGtE. The closest equivalent we have so far is the Setting books: this is more in line with SCAG for page count.
I definitely think that a setting book is possible, but I still find it less likely than a setting book (unless it is a meta-setting, most likely Planescape).

You're citing how there's only 34 pages of rules so far, but Xanathar's actually only has 66 pages of rules for PCs, the rest of the book being tools for the DM and spells. It's technically less than 66 if you don't include art and side-bars.

And I see no reason why the UA content is going to stop getting released today; we could see more subclasses or even more out-of-the-box material released over the next couple of months. If that's the case, a Xanathar's becomes even more likely.

Of course, the "DM's material," may technically be "meta-setting material" for Magic the Gathering or Planescape (or even Spelljammer). So this could technically be a setting book and a Xanathar's at the same time.
 

Parmandur

Legend
I definitely think that a setting book is possible, but I still find it less likely than a setting book (unless it is a meta-setting, most likely Planescape).

You're citing how there's only 34 pages of rules so far, but Xanathar's actually only has 66 pages of rules for PCs, the rest of the book being tools for the DM and spells. It's technically less than 66 if you don't include art and side-bars.

And I see no reason why the UA content is going to stop getting released today; we could see more subclasses or even more out-of-the-box material released over the next couple of months. If that's the case, a Xanathar's becomes even more likely.

Of course, the "DM's material," may technically be "meta-setting material" for Magic the Gathering or Planescape (or even Spelljammer). So this could technically be a setting book and a Xanathar's at the same time.
Honestly, we don't have enough info to say anything for sure yet. However, based on what Crawford said in these videos, this is it for the PC option tests this go around, at least for Subclasses and variants.
 

Mistwell

Hero
@Paul Farquhar

That WotC could compile all of the scattered character options into a single book (or a single pdf), seems plausible.

It makes the Core +1 rule remain viable.

Also, they clearly want these options to be freely available to all players, but without changing the Players Handbook itself. A compilation can achieve both goals.

Gathering all the scattered rules into one book doesn't make the +1 rule viable, it makes the +1 rule meaningless. The entire point of the rule is so you CANNOT use all the rules from all the different books on one PC for those playing under that rule.

It was not just a "protect people from having to shell out so much money" rules. As specified in the rule, "makes it easier for DMs to know how all the characters in the campaign work. Since a DM in a shared campaign must deal with a broad range of characters, rather than the same characters each week, it can be difficult to track all the interactions and abilities possible through mixing options freely. "

Man I really hope they don't gather all the scattered rules under one book - that invalidates the purpose of the rule, and would be kinda a hit to those who did buy those books.
 

Parmandur

Legend
Gathering all the scattered rules into one book doesn't make the +1 rule viable, it makes the +1 rule meaningless. The entire point of the rule is so you CANNOT use all the rules from all the different books on one PC for those playing under that rule.

It was not just a "protect people from having to shell out so much money" rules. As specified in the rule, "makes it easier for DMs to know how all the characters in the campaign work. Since a DM in a shared campaign must deal with a broad range of characters, rather than the same characters each week, it can be difficult to track all the interactions and abilities possible through mixing options freely. "

Man I really hope they don't gather all the scattered rules under one book - that invalidates the purpose of the rule, and would be kinda a hit to those who did buy those books.
I'm also not sure what WotC's motivation would be to undermine books they are still actively selling in large quantities.
 

LuisCarlos17f

Adventurer
I wonder about WotC is thinking about to copy those ideas from Pathfinder about class and racial feats, a modular system, more flexible but enough simple.

Maybe we could see a future UA about variant racial traits. (I am wishing to see the gnomes).

The variant classes will be in the core player handbook of the next edition, but we will have to wait some years.

We know nothing about to recover classes from previous editions. The blood hunter should be published in a book, and there is no news about the psionic powers and other settings.
 

lkj

Explorer
As Crawford goes into, these are not "Core Rules," these are options that are meant to be balanced with the PHB options. Their goal for the final product is that two Rangers can be in the same party, one using the PHB material, one using these options, and not have it make a difference to gameplay balance. If they aren't quite at that balance in this document, that is their stated goal for the final product.

There are already rules in the Setting books that require they be purchased (or parts purchased on Beyond), such as the Group Patrons, the Artificer Class, extended magic items rules, the extended faction material in Ravnica, etc. If the book is, for instance, Planescape, that shouldn't be a major concern since the tables that use Homebrew and buy books tend to stick with the core cosmology (that's why they assume the cosmology in the Adventures). A bunch of new player options, and a bunch of Planar monsters, is sufficient to entice a significant number of people. The philosophy they developed for Xanathar's Guide, which served them well, was to make books that don't appeal entirely to targeted groups of people, but have enough for a larger audience to want enough of the material to buy it.

Anyways, time will tell: but apparently we are done with material for the existing Classes now, so the new product has a robust but fairly contained section on Classes.

The thing about the rules in the setting books so far is that-- while they could certainly be used generally-- there was a strong argument for how they were tied to the particular setting (with maybe the exception of the Bladesinger?). It's why I wouldn't be surprised to find psionics rules in a Dark Sun book. Sure, a lot of people will want them outside Dark Sun, but you kind of get why it would be put in that book. WotC have tried to focus heavily on story for both their adventure and setting books, so it seems like rules elements need to have a strong tie-in to the story.

I have a hard time seeing that working with the 'alternative class features'. They are pretty general and don't seem to have any link to a particular setting. Thematically, they seem a better fit for a Xanathar's type book-- a place to expand rules without a strong tie to a given adventure or setting. I'll admit the subclasses we've seen in the prior UA's do seem to hint at some interestingly flavored setting. But maybe the class feature stuff is separate?

Main argument against a Xanathar book is that they might not want to do one for another year. But who knows? The other possibility for the class feature stuff being in a 'setting' book would-- as others have suggested-- be that they would fit well within a book that explores multiple worlds. Then whole book is about expanding options, for settings and everything else. Which maybe would explain the disparate nature of the subclasses they've been exploring?

Anyway, I'm just speculating like everyone else. WotC has done a pretty good job of not giving away their plans beforehand. So I'm ready to be surprised.

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