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


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mamba

Hero
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.
No, by definition it has zero impact on the encounter design of already published adventures
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.
yes, it could expose them for being broken, but the encounter would either have been fine or broken regardless, the only difference is it being exposed
 

Umbran

Mod Squad
Staff member
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.

I have to ask you to keep the rhetoric away from curse words.

But other than that, no - for one thing, when most folks say CR and encounter design guidelines are "broken" they are saying, "broken" but the problem is actually, "doesn't work the way they want".

For another, these guidelines being flawed does not automatically mean the fix is to eliminate them entirely. That does not follow in the least. When your tire goes flat, you don't eliminate tires - you repair or replace them. 'Cuz, so far, making cars levitate isn't practical.
 

JEB

Legend
Do them the courtesy of not dismissing them out of hand because it's not like you were going to like what WotC made anyways were they to do it.
Who said I, or anyone else in that sub-thread, was dismissing 3P products out of hand? I have literally hundreds of 3P products for 5E, between print and digital, and integrated many of their rules into my games, sometimes in place of the official option. If an official take on, say, non-Medium PCs wasn't to my liking, I could just use one of the alternative approaches. In the meantime, such rules' existence would benefit others who do rely on official options. Seems like a win-win to me.
 

JEB

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.
Or, they have an excuse to revise and re-release existing adventures in new, "rebalanced" forms.
 

Jaeger

That someone better
It's hard to not view this in light of something Jeremy said back in 2018: that a majority of D&D players don't use feats.

Evidently they all very much wanted to though...


Again, we have many PHB species -- independent of elves -- with fewer differences than gnomes and halflings currently have.

And they should be combined or eliminated altogether as needed.


They're not removing either of them.

Of course not!

I have my preferences but I'm not delusional.

If anything, I fully expect WotC to add new races and sub-variants as often as they think that they can get away with it.

They sure aren't gonna let the arselings die on the vine with their 60%ish approval rating. Those guys are absolutely getting rehabbed in every playtest packet until they pass muster!

Yes, I could go through the survey process to 'make my voice heard'... But everyone and their dog here knows that there are some things that WotC just isn't gonna do. And there are also some things that are getting done come hell or high water.
 
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Retreater

Legend
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.
I want real change. And if they're not going to do that, if we're just going to get a lukewarm revision that doesn't address anything meaningful, they might as well just slap a foil cover on 5e and call it "Commemorative 50th anniversary edition."
The stuff that they're changing is nothing that anyone has asked for, nothing that has a quantifiable change in the experience.
Are DMs beating down the door to tell them to take away monster crits? Are players demanding tremorsense for their dwarves? Is anyone even requesting "a slightly updated version of 5e that most people can't even tell has changed?"
Do it big - or just throw some new art in a book and incorporate errata (like the 2e Players Option era "black border" books).
 

Jaeger

That someone better
I hope that when we see the dm facing stuff they have retooled CR.

In my opinion; CR is impossible to get right. Too many variables, too many moving targets.

At best they can only give you a rough guideline to bounce your game experience off of.


I want real change. And if they're not going to do that, if we're just going to get a lukewarm revision that doesn't address anything meaningful, they might as well just slap a foil cover on 5e and call it "Commemorative 50th anniversary edition."

Literally their plan.
 

Levistus's_Leviathan

5e Freelancer
The stuff that they're changing is nothing that anyone has asked for, nothing that has a quantifiable change in the experience.
People asked for level 1 feats. People asked for ASIs to be removed from races. People asked for bad options and overpowered options to be rebalanced. People asked for backgrounds to do more than they did in the 2014 PHB. People love Dwarves having Tremorsense.

Most of the changes are things "people asked for". The polling proves that. The fact that you don't like them or think they're sufficient doesn't mean that people didn't ask for them or that there's "no real changes" being made.
Do it big - or just throw some new art in a book and incorporate errata (like the 2e Players Option era "black border" books).
"The changes have to be huge, or they shouldn't make changes at all" is a fallacy. There is virtue in making slight tweaks to an extremely popular thing in order to avoid pissing off their player base while still fixing some of the problems with the game. The changes don't have to be big in order for the changes to be valid.
 



Reynard

Legend
I have to ask you to keep the rhetoric away from curse words.

But other than that, no - for one thing, when most folks say CR and encounter design guidelines are "broken" they are saying, "broken" but the problem is actually, "doesn't work the way they want".

For another, these guidelines being flawed does not automatically mean the fix is to eliminate them entirely. That does not follow in the least. When your tire goes flat, you don't eliminate tires - you repair or replace them. 'Cuz, so far, making cars levitate isn't practical.
I guess I am not explaining myself well so I wil try again.

If the 5E adventures used the CR and encounter rules in their design, they assume specific values regarding CR and EL by definition. If the 2024 revision of the game changes those CR and EL values then, by definition, the adventures written for 2014 are no long "compatible" with the 2024 rules. If, on the other hand, the adventures weren't designed with the 2014 rules, it proves that those rules were never worthwhile to begin with so revisions of those rules are irrelevant and unnecessary.

Long story short: you can't have it both ways. Either CR and EL is a real, meaningful thing that must be revised along with everything else -- thereby making the earlier adventures incompatible -- or CR and EL was always arbitrary and unreliable, in which case a revision of CR is completely unnecessary and irrelevant and its best dropped entirely.

That is to say that a system that doesn't do what it's design intent is to do, is useless. Either fix it or eliminate it.
 

Retreater

Legend
People asked for level 1 feats.
We already had them.
People asked for ASIs to be removed from races.
Also, already had that too.
Most of the changes are things "people asked for". The polling proves that.
The polling proves that people are happy enough with the game as-is, so nothing really changes.
"The changes have to be huge, or they shouldn't make changes at all" is a fallacy.
Obviously, just "for me." If I'm going to purchase a new rule book (honestly, several copies so I can share with my group), update my digital holdings on Roll20 and other sites, learn the new systems and demand players switch over to the rules, have a clear line of "no, it says in the current book that the game is played THIS way," etc. - If I'm going to invest all that, then yes, I want it to be different enough to warrant it.
Otherwise it's a free PDF errata.
 

Levistus's_Leviathan

5e Freelancer
We already had them.
Not in the PHB.
Also, already had that too.
Not in the PHB.
The polling proves that people are happy enough with the game as-is, so nothing really changes.
If people didn't like the changes and thought that the game was perfect as is, they wouldn't rate the changes highly.
Obviously, just "for me." If I'm going to purchase a new rule book (honestly, several copies so I can share with my group), update my digital holdings on Roll20 and other sites, learn the new systems and demand players switch over to the rules, have a clear line of "no, it says in the current book that the game is played THIS way," etc. - If I'm going to invest all that, then yes, I want it to be different enough to warrant it.
Otherwise it's a free PDF errata.
There's no problem with that. You don't have to engage with or buy the updated versions if you don't want to. That doesn't mean that they're wrong to do it or that the changes need to be more substantial. It's clear that people are willing to buy just slightly revised and rebalanced versions of content that we already have, as seen in Monsters of the Multiverse.
 

Remathilis

Legend
I want real change. And if they're not going to do that, if we're just going to get a lukewarm revision that doesn't address anything meaningful, they might as well just slap a foil cover on 5e and call it "Commemorative 50th anniversary edition."
The stuff that they're changing is nothing that anyone has asked for, nothing that has a quantifiable change in the experience.
Are DMs beating down the door to tell them to take away monster crits? Are players demanding tremorsense for their dwarves? Is anyone even requesting "a slightly updated version of 5e that most people can't even tell has changed?"
Do it big - or just throw some new art in a book and incorporate errata (like the 2e Players Option era "black border" books).
Rhetorically, what do you want? D&D has gone through design whiplash since 3e, with 3e/4e/5e all being so different from each other that you cannot use any material as written previously without extensive rewriting. I kinda wouldn't mind being able to use older spells, treasures and monsters from one revision to the next.

One of the things that sold me on Pathfinder was the fact it didn't completely invalidate eight years of D&D material. Most of it worked fine with a few changes, and that's about the level of changes I want here. It wasn't perfect, but a darn sight easier than trying to convert anything from 3e to 4e. I have a large collection of 5e stuff and if 1D is close enough to 5e I can use Curse of Strahd monsters or Xanathar spells with it, it's done it's job.

I'm a little over every edition being a revolution rather than an evolution.
 

Umbran

Mod Squad
Staff member
Long story short: you can't have it both ways. Either CR and EL is a real, meaningful thing that must be revised along with everything else -- thereby making the earlier adventures incompatible -- or CR and EL was always arbitrary and unreliable, in which case a revision of CR is completely unnecessary and irrelevant and its best dropped entirely.

Nope. Sorry - I find your all-or-nothing view of this not supported by any actual evidence that this is what must be. All tools are imperfect, but houses get built anyway.
 

Retreater

Legend
Rhetorically, what do you want? D&D has gone through design whiplash since 3e, with 3e/4e/5e all being so different from each other that you cannot use any material as written previously without extensive rewriting. I kinda wouldn't mind being able to use older spells, treasures and monsters from one revision to the next.
I'll be honest, and it's going to sound terrible.
3.x was out for 8 years and 4e for 5 years.
For me, 5e is getting a little long in the tooth. Stripping away most of my exaggeration on here, I don't want to see 5e go 10 years only to be extended by 5.1 edition for another 8. I think there's much more dynamic and creative things that can happen in the RPG space than what we're seeing with OneD&D.
And the crux of my concern is that people will tire of 5.1 just like I'm tired of 5e. I think that the new fans brought in with 5e can't imagine a system different than 5e, so it's stifling progress when we're all getting outvoted by tens of thousands of gamers who don't really know game design and probably haven't tried an indie game or played anything beyond 5e.
And it sounds gate-keepy, I know, but I want a game designed by designers, not popular vote by a horde of players who outnumber their DMs and want what's best for their PCs over what makes a more dynamic, fun, and balanced experience at the table.
 

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