OneDnD WotC On One D&D Playtest Survey Results: Nearly Everything Scored 80%+!

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In a 40-minute video, WotC's Jeremy Crawford discussed the survey feedback to the 'Character Origins' playtest document. Over 40,000 engaged with the survey, and 39,000 completed it. I've summarised the content of the video below.

High Scorers
  • The highest scoring thing with almost 90% was getting a first level feat in your background. This is an example of an experimental thing -- like advantage and disadvantage in the original 5E playtests.
  • Almost everything also scored 80%+.
About The Scoring System
  • 70% or higher is their passing grade. In the 70s is a thumbs up but tinkering need. 80% means the community wants exactly that and WotC treads carefully not to change it too much.
  • In the 60s it's salvageable but it really needs reworking. Below 60% means that there's a good chance they'll drop it, and in the 40s or below it's gone. Nothing was in the 50s or below.
Low Scorers

Only 3 things dipped into the 60s --
  • the d20 Test rule in the Rules Glossary (experimental, no surprise)
  • the ardling
  • the dragonborn
The next UA had a different version of the d20 Test rule, and they expect a very different score when those survey resuts come in.

It was surprising that the dragonborn scored lower than the ardling. The next UA will include new versions of both. The main complaints were:
  • the dragonborn's breath weapon, and confusion between the relationship between that dragonborn and the one in Fizban's Treasury of Dragons.
  • the ardling was trying to do too much (aasimar-like and beast-person).
The ardling does not replace the aasimar. The next version will have a clearer identity.

Everything else scored in the 70s or 80s.

Some more scores:
  • new human 83%
  • dwarf, orc, tiefling, elf tied at 80-81%
  • gnome, halfling tied at 78%
Future installments of Unearthed Arcana
  • The next one will have new ardling and dragonborn, a surprise 'guest', and a new cleric. It will be a shorter document than the previous ones, and the one after that is bigger again. Various class groups.
  • Warrior group digs into something teased in a previous UA sidebar -- new weapon options for certain types of characters. Whole new ways to use weapons.
  • New rules on managing your character's home base. A new subsystem. Create bases with NPCs connected with them, implementing downtime rules. They're calling it the "Bastion System".
  • There will be a total of 48 subclasses in the playtest process.
  • New encounter building rules, monster customization options.
  • New versions of things which appear in the playtest after feedback.
Other Notes
  • Playtests are a version of something with the assumption that if something isn't in the playtest, it's still in the game (eg eldritch blast has not been removed from the game). The mage Unearthed Arcana will feature that.
  • Use an object and other actions are still as defined in the current Player's Handbook. The playtest material is stuff that has changed.
  • Thief subclass's cunning action does not interact with use an object; this is intentional. Removed because the original version is a 'Mother may I?" mechanic - something that only works if the DM cooperates with you. In general mechanics which require DM permission are unsatisfying. The use an object action might go away, but that decision will be a made via the playtest process.
  • The ranger's 1st-level features also relied too heavily on DM buy-in, also wild magic will be addressed.
  • If you have a class feature you should be able to use it in the way you expect.
  • If something is removed from the game, they will say so.
  • Great Weapon Fighting and Sharpshooter were changed because the penalty to the attack roll was not big enough to justify the damage bonus, plus they want warrior classes to be able to rely on their class features (including new weapon options) for main damage output. They don't want any feats to feel mandatory to deal satisfying damage. Feats which are 'must haves' violate their design goals.
  • Light Weapon property amped up by removing the bonus action requirement because requiring light weapon users to use their bonus action meant there were a lot of bad combinations with features and spells which require bonus actions. It felt like a tax on light weapon use.
  • Class spell lists are still an open question. Focus on getting used to the three big spell lists. Feedback was that it would be nice to still have a class list to summarize what can be picked from the 'master lists'. For the bard that would be useful, for the cleric and wizard not necessary as they can choose from the whole divine or arcane list.
The playtest process will continue for a year.

 
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Russ Morrissey

Russ Morrissey

I guess I'm having difficulty engaging with these playtests because they're all looking at player options - which I don't think need much work in 5e. Where 5e doesn't work for me is DM-facing: the challenge ratings and encounter design, the lack of meaningful treasure distribution rules, generic monster design.
I hope that when we see the dm facing stuff they have retooled CR.
To me, the single most important thing player-focused change they can make is to the Action Economy. The bonus action has to go. I still have players every session confuse that actions can't be traded for other actions, that bonus action spells can only be cast alongside a cantrip, that the game hits a brick wall regularly when players pause to search their options for a bonus action (that they probably don't have).
I have a player in a game I play in that gets annoyed they can't trade a full action for a second bonus action
 

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MNblockhead

A Title Much Cooler Than Anything on the Old Site
Right, it's better to try to get your voice heard in a place where WotC is actually listening rather than just lament on random social media site (like these message boards) that WotC isn't sharing your vision.

I'm definitely not happy about all the changes, and I'm definitely letting WotC know. Will my opinions be shared by enough people, who knows, but I'm going to throw them out there nonetheless.
Could have an effect. I read discussions and debates on the play test materials in these boards for a few days before I read the play test materials. I find it helps me note things that might not have stood out and lets me think more about what I like and how things may work in actual play. I don't have time to play test everything and even if I did, unlikely I would play test it long enough. Whether people love or hate a proposed change, when they take the time to explain why they feel the way they do about it, it helps me better suss out how I might actually like or dislike it in a real campaign.
 





Still no need for both.

Take some hobbit traits, give them to the Gnomes, done.

One small race only please...
They're not removing either of them. They're too tied into D&D's legacy at this point to the point that, if you removed one, not only would people absolutely complain (As folks did in 4E for gnomes), but you'd have to just bring them back in settings books for all of the settings that use them

And there's plenty of room for more than just two! Goblins, pixies, grippili, even nycter if we want to dig a bit
 



Hussar

Legend
I admit, I haven't used it compared to the dash or hide use of the bonus action. I kind of wonder if this has been a problem because people forget that Fast Hands can't be used to activate magic items that require an action (DMG 141)?

That’s been my experience. Dash and hide are overwhelmingly used more often than Fast Hands.
 

mamba

Hero
I want real change to the game, but what can I do besides take a survey and respond "scrap most of this and do something new, or just reprint the 2014 version with a new commemorative cover."
Not sure I follow, reprinting the 2014 edition seems to be the opposite of real change, so why would you want them to do that.
 

mamba

Hero
Because their surveys remain incredibly badly designed and they use primitive, simplistic metrics like raw proportion of positive response rate without, for instance, trying to capture the strength of the feeling or get anything even remotely more statistically manageable than binary yes/no.
you get the strength of the feeling from there being 39000 answers....
 


Dausuul

Legend
I was thinking about this and I think it is highly unlikely, mostly because their stated goal is backwards compatibility with adventures. If they fix CR and encounter design,they break all of those adventures.
How so? You can still play the adventures just like before. The encounters are no better or worse designed than they were. If a fixed CR/encounter system reveals that the encounters are badly leveled, it's not "breaking" anything; only casting light on something that was always broken but you couldn't tell.

I suppose it might impact XP awards for tables that use XP, but the changes would have to be really dramatic to have a significant impact.
 

mamba

Hero
I was thinking about this and I think it is highly unlikely, mostly because their stated goal is backwards compatibility with adventures. If they fix CR and encounter design,they break all of those adventures.
Do they though ? The adventures stay as good or broken as they already are as their encounters won't change. You just might then have better tools to identify that they were unbalanced.

I don't think we get a much better solution to this though, because there is no easy answer to it. Correctly estimating encounter difficulty is difficult, too many variables.
 

mamba

Hero
I believe they want one or the other, not the half-measure we're being given.
Agreed, but imo you cannot on the one hand say 'we need real change that goes way beyond what the playtests offer' and at the same time also say 'but I am also ok with things staying exactly as they are, just run another reprint'.

To me the OP does not like the 5e, whether in the 2014 incarnation or as 1D&D, so what this really means is 'too little change to get me interested in 5e'.

Apart from obviously being free to simply stick with the 2014 version (not that I believe they do, see above), no reprint needed for that
 

doctorbadwolf

Heretic of The Seventh Circle
And yet so many people assert so emphatically that it will.
None. No one is claiming that the new versions of a given thing will be totally compatible with the specific thing tha replaces it.

But, you will be able to use an old life clerics domain with a new cleric class, or vise versa, because they are specifically avoiding creating incompatibility between the new classes and existing subclasses.
 

Umbran

Mod Squad
Staff member
I was thinking about this and I think it is highly unlikely, mostly because their stated goal is backwards compatibility with adventures. If they fix CR and encounter design,they break all of those adventures.

No.

For one thing, I don't think we have a guarantee that the adventures are all built strictly on the CR and encounter design guidelines in the DMG. If not, then how those systems are revised isn't relevant.

Plus, if CR and encounter design need to be "fixed", that means they are currently broken - and any adventures made following those rules are also already broken. Changing CR and encounter design in the DMG isn't going to break what is already broken.

Doubleplus - the CR and encounter guidelines are advice, not strict rules upon which the balance of the game hangs by its fingernails.
 

Reynard

Legend
No.

For one thing, I don't think we have a guarantee that the adventures are all built strictly on the CR and encounter design guidelines in the DMG. If not, then how those systems are revised isn't relevant.

Plus, if CR and encounter design need to be "fixed", that means they are currently broken - and any adventures made following those rules are also already broken. Changing CR and encounter design in the DMG isn't going to break what is already broken.

Doubleplus - the CR and encounter guidelines are advice, not strict rules upon which the balance of the game hangs by its fingernails.
Yes, if the adventures didn't actually follow the design for CR, then it won't matter. If that's the case, congratulations, you have proven that CR and encounter design are naughty word and the "fix" for 1D&D should be to just eliminate it.

But, if you do adjust individual creatures CRs and what constitutes encounters of different difficulties, and you actually used that system to build adventures, then by definition it is going to break the encounter design of those adventures? How is this even a point of connection? It is very basic logic.

We built this adventure on the premise that A+B=C. But then we realized A+B=D and codified that in the rules. Since C=/=D, the adventures are therefore broken.
And that's not even taking into account the shifts in power curve occurring in the playtest as well as changes to things like crits that will undeniably have an impact on play.
 

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