D&D (2024) Upcoming One D&D: Unearthed Arcana 'Expert' Classes (Bard, Ranger, Rogue)

WotC has posted a video describing the upcoming Unearthed Arcana playtest document which will feature three of the core character classes, each with a single subclass.


This document is the second in a series of Unearthed Arcana articles that present material designed for the next version of the Player's Handbook. The material here uses the rules in the

2014 Player's Handbook, except where noted. Providing feedback on this document is one way you can help shape the next generation of D&D!

Inside you'll find the following content:

Expert Classes. Three Classes appear in this document, each one a member of the Expert Group: the Bard, the Ranger, and the Rogue. Each Class appears with one Subclass. More Subclasses will appear in Unearthed Arcana in the months ahead.

Feats. Feats follow the Class descriptions, particularly feats available to the classes in this document.

Spell Lists. Three Spell lists-the Arcane, Divine, and Primal lists-are featured here. The Ranger uses the Primal list, and the Bard potentially uses all three, thanks to the Magical Secrets feature.

Rules Glossary. In this document, any term in the body text that is underlined appears in a glossary at the end. The glossary defines game terms that have been clarified or redefined for this playtest or that don't appear in the 2014 Player's Handbook.


 
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Significantly redesigned I can see, but I wager both archetypes will still be in the PHB.
Yeah I'd be shocked if both didn't get redesigned and appear, as they're two of the most popular pop-culture takes on those classes, "Avatar" Monk and "animal friend" Ranger.
Sure, you can. Just use the 2014 standard Human if you want, and choose all ASI Feats.

I'm not sure how anything thst Crawford laid down here goes against WotC own backwards compatibility statement in the Playtest FAQ. It will be interesting to see if they make allowances for using old Sublcasses with the new main class writeups.
With the level of changes they seem to be indicating even from this (like all Rangers getting Expertise because they're Experts), we're already beyond the point where old subclasses could just be used straight-up. At best we might get vague advice on how to adapt them.

Compatibility-wise there's likely to be power creep, indeed it's certain, but the main thing is adventures will still work. People talk a lot about compatibility, but I've been around for an awful lot of edition changes across an awful lot of RPGs, now, and there's one thing that really makes people care, and that's adventures. For whatever psychological reasons, people just don't get that upset about splatbooks and sourcebooks being invalidated, even entire classes and races, or rather the number of people who do is proportionally tiny.

But adventures? If you invalidate them, that's when people riot. That's one of the big issues 4E faced - you basically couldn't convert anything, you just had to re-write it. 3E had the same issue, but honestly the market was sick enough with AD&D that it wasn't a huge problem. I feel like a lot of it is, people buy adventures intending to run them "one day", and as long as that "one day" remains in the future and possible, they're happy (even if that day is "next Tuesday" or "the fifth of never"). But when an edition change shuts that down...

All 1D&D really needs is to make it so fundamentally, 5E Strahd or whatever still works okay with 1D&D characters/monsters. Which I don't doubt they can manage.
I would be delighted. Maybe make them round-up half casters like Artificers.
That would be a great way to ensure I finally boycott D&D and refuse to buy any 1D&D products, and I know I'm not the only one who'd feel that way. You don't get to make a class a half-caster from being a full caster and tell me it's "the same class!" or "the same edition".
The most important upside to WotC: Ease of Use.
Yup. A lot of people here don't get what WotC is engaged. As POCGamer said, WotC is basically attempting to "change the battlespace" (in the military sense), and this will make it so other TTRPGs just cannot compete with them, make D&D into it's own thing, which is kind of a lifestyle product that happens to be an RPG, rather than primarily an RPG, and ease-of-use and accessibility are a huge part of that. As are categorizations that might not make sense in a less gamist RPG. If anything 1D&D is likely to push D&D back in a gamist direction (where 5E sort of shuffled a couple of steps towards simulationism), because that's the most accessible approach to a lot of people (narrative is still too bold) and the most marketable one.
Of course, you can expect that some spells that should be rituals by virtue of what they represent still won't be. Animate Dead comes to mind.
Agree. There will be a ton of spells that logically should be rituals (and would even benefit world-building if they were!) that won't be. 5E's use of the ritual tag has been pretty wack. It's more like a "utility" tag than really what makes sense as a ritual.
 
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Maxperson

Morkus from Orkus
I would not like that. But I can live with that, if bard skills don't just feel like a compensation for lost spell slots...
... if it is just a compensation, so why not just give slots.
What I would like to see in part, is Bard Songs. A list of magical songs that bards can pick from similar to the battle master maneuver list, using inspiration dice in a similar way to superiority dice.
 


Parmandur

Book-Friend
With the level of changes they seem to be indicating even from this (like all Rangers getting Expertise because they're Experts), we're already beyond the point where old subclasses could just be used straight-up. At best we might get vague advice on how to adapt them.
The playtest documwnt just dropped: rules are included that allow all existing 2014 Subclasses to work with the new Classes.
 


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