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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%


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Parmandur

Book-Friend

I elaborated slightly in an edit. This is not something WotC will do: a free PDF was something they floated for a revised ranger a few years ago, but not in addition to changing the PHB. Indeed, these options are equivalent enough to the PHB that a free PDF is unlikely. This is for a book, a new book.
 

ad_hoc

(they/them)
But it is a design principle of the game, though: they work on any product with only assuming PHB options are interacting with new options. Honestly, it mostly works fine anyways.

Right, but the idea is that it is bad for the game because a player can't combine the PHB, this new book, and other books they have.

Which for 99% of players is not true.
 

Parmandur

Book-Friend
Right, but the idea is that it is bad for the game because a player can't combine the PHB, this new book, and other books they have.

Which for 99% of players is not true.

From hearing Mearls and Crawford talk about it, it is also a way to ensure that new options aren't power creeping and stay relatively intercompatible. If they ignore latter options and just focus on the PHB options when designing new material, it keeps the game grounded.
 

Urriak Uruk

Gaming is fun, and fun is for everyone
I see quite a bit of gain for WoTC.

The PHB is the flagship product and the most important gateway to onboarding new customers, which is why it remains the best selling D&D book in the marketplace after 5 years. Refreshing it from time to time with updated content that doesn't require re-purchase of all the other books, and in fact is still 100% compatible with all other books, makes it an even more attractive product to new users.

If I'm just getting into D&D and I have to buy 2 books just to get the common sense updates they are suggesting in this UA, I might just say this is too complicated and go do something else.

Here's the thing about new users.... their new. The old PHB and a new PHB isn't going to matter to them, they haven't used either. Updating the PHB isn't going to get more sales unless it has rules no other book has, which you've already said it won't if it's available for free.

In fact, a bigger PHB may even hurt sales by making the book appear more complicated, when the biggest barrier to entry for D&D has always and will always be that the rules are too complicated. 5E is the best-selling edition because of its slimmed-down rule-set.

Updating the PHB only matters to current players who want more options to use. And if these rules are available online for free, they aren't picking up the same PHB. Which makes this whole idea completely nonsensical from a business standpoint.
 

ad_hoc

(they/them)
From hearing Mearls and Crawford talk about it, it is also a way to ensure that new options aren't power creeping and stay relatively intercompatible. If they ignore latter options and just focus on the PHB options when designing new material, it keeps the game grounded.

Maybe we are talking past each other.

Are you saying you want these changes incorporated into a new edition of the PHB?
 


Sacrosanct

Legend
I really don’t think this is a 5.5 or even 6e. I mean, there were more radical changes found in the Dragon magazines back in the day, and they never led to a revised edition. They were just things to add to your already existing game if you wanted them. I see this in much the same way
 

Parmandur

Book-Friend
I really don’t think this is a 5.5 or even 6e. I mean, there were more radical changes found in the Dragon magazines back in the day, and they never led to a revised edition. They were just things to add to your already existing game if you wanted them. I see this in much the same way

Exactly. Expanding options is what supplements are all about.

They are also just now making big pushes into international markets, unlikely that they plan to disrupt that.
 

Azzy

ᚳᚣᚾᛖᚹᚢᛚᚠ
I really don’t think this is a 5.5 or even 6e. I mean, there were more radical changes found in the Dragon magazines back in the day, and they never led to a revised edition. They were just things to add to your already existing game if you wanted them. I see this in much the same way
To play devil's advocate, the changes are inline with the class changes from 3e to 3.5e.

Still, I think this is going to be the closest we get to a 5.5e (because they're not going to change the PHB until 6e, and that's still a ways off).
 

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