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

Horwath

Hero
Rob Donoghue had a thread a while back on Twitter where he pointed out that one of the reasons combat works fairly well in D&D and non-combat tasks generally don't is that combat uses a large number of rolls, where you have a fair bit of control over the circumstances of each roll, and with each individual roll being fairly low-stakes in relation to the eventual outcome. This creates a situation where you both have excitement over individual rolls, and (in most cases) a fair bit of certainty that the PCs will come out on top. Overall, PCs will likely have win percentages of 95% or more, even if any individual attack roll might only have a 60% chance to hit.

But skill checks tend to be more binary: you make one roll, and if you fail that's it. You need to find another approach. If you can't pick the lock, you can either break down the door, cast a knock spell, or find someone who has the key. And in that situation, a 60% chance of success is pretty unsatisfactory. Some games use something akin to skill challenges for important skill checks (multiple rolls, sometimes for different skills, and where a single failure doesn't wreck the whole effort), but D&D tried that in 4e and as we know everything that came from 4e is unholy and must be purged.
this why you should use 3d6 instead of d20 for ability checks.

attacks as you stated are numerous in combat.
5 PCs, 5 rounds, 3 with extra attack, that is 40 rolls. Give or take. It should even out d20 a little.
 

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Staffan

Legend
I liked the concept of skill challenges, at least for some things, but as implemented at the tables I played at they didn't work very well. I still use a variation of the skill challenge concept now and then but it's less static and more dynamic than what 4E implemented.
Generally, I think a skill challenge needs to take a step back from immediate actions and look at a bigger picture.

There's a Swedish game called Eon which uses a skill challenge mechanic extensively. The way it works is that you choose three skills to roll in order to accomplish a task. Depending on the task, one (or rarely more) can be locked, meaning you must use that particular skill, whereas the others are more free-form as long as you can make a case for them. Trying the same skill more than once has a hefty penalty, and succeeding with a big margin counts as additional successes.

So, you wouldn't use a skill challenge to pick a lock on a door. Instead, the challenge would be something like "Search a room before the residents show up". In that case, the Search skill would probably be locked (Eon has significantly more skills than D&D does). You could make a case for Sleight of Hand being used as well, as it lets you open the lock quickly and easily giving you more time to search. Or maybe you'll instead use Charm to get someone to let you in, or Climb to get in via the window instead. And then some other skill to cover your exit in a similar fashion – maybe Climb if you didn't use that to get in, or Hide to stay hidden once the residents show up, or something like that. And if you fail the Sleight of Hand roll that doesn't mean that you fail the whole skill challenge, it just means that it took longer than you wanted to to open the door so you need to compensate with better rolls for the other skills in order to achieve an overall success.
 

Staffan

Legend
this why you should use 3d6 instead of d20 for ability checks.
3d6 doesn't change the basic problem of a single roll to determine outcome. It only shifts the odds to a bell curve. If you need a 9+ to succeed, that's 60% on d20, but approximately 75% on 3d6. But it's still a single binary yes/no roll.
 

billd91

Not your screen monkey (he/him)
Some games use something akin to skill challenges for important skill checks (multiple rolls, sometimes for different skills, and where a single failure doesn't wreck the whole effort), but D&D tried that in 4e and as we know everything that came from 4e is unholy and must be purged.
In the case of skill challenges in 4e, it wasn't like the math was an improvement over a single roll of 60% success rate when it debuted. So, barring a substantial rejiggering, it wasn't really a stable structure as written. It's salvageable - SWSE has some examples that worked much better - but by the time it improved, I suspect a lot people had already ditched out of playing 4e (as my group did).
 

Whizbang Dustyboots

100% that gnome
But skill checks tend to be more binary: you make one roll, and if you fail that's it. You need to find another approach. If you can't pick the lock, you can either break down the door, cast a knock spell, or find someone who has the key. And in that situation, a 60% chance of success is pretty unsatisfactory. Some games use something akin to skill challenges for important skill checks (multiple rolls, sometimes for different skills, and where a single failure doesn't wreck the whole effort), but D&D tried that in 4e and as we know everything that came from 4e is unholy and must be purged.
As someone who skipped 4E, I would love a DMs Guild PDF that broke out those rules, updated the necessary terms and made them available for 5E DMs. (I'm not interested in getting a whole 4E PHB or DMG just for this.)
 

FrogReaver

As long as i get to be the frog
I'm not so sure about that assumption. The home game played by the Critical Role group was Pathfinder and they specifically switched to 5e because they felt it was better suited to live play.
One could presumably tell by pHB sales data and critical roll viewership metrics if critical roll had a large impact on 5e sales.
 


Retreater

Legend
There are plenty of options out there, why do you feel that you need to come to a forum dedicated to the game just to yuck on other people's yum? I'm still enjoying 5E, odds are I'll buy into the 2024 release as well because so far it looks like they're fixing things I don't like.
The "plenty of other options" aren't being discussed anywhere, so if I want to engage with a gaming community, I have to talk about the 20,000 lb. owlbear in the room - which is 5.1.
Sure, I'm not going along with WotC's slapping each other on the back for designing the "perfect edition of D&D" - but do I have to?
I haven't said anyone is wrong for liking it - just saying it doesn't appeal to me, and I've even said why it doesn't connect with me. I would like to see some rebalance, some redesign of the monsters, some promotion of actual engagement with the material instead of just online surveys (like the D&D Next organized play events) and self-congratulatory marketing videos.
If all we're permitted to talk about is why this is the greatest edition of D&D ever, I think it's going to be a poor playtest indeed.
 

Oofta

Legend
One could presumably tell by pHB sales data and critical roll viewership metrics if critical roll had a large impact on 5e sales.
Wish I could find the post that had this, but there was no indication of correlation. Then again, CR took a while to grow so you'd have to have a graph of both. Even then, as @Azzy said correlation does not mean causation.

All we do know is that CR grew out of a home game that started as a 4E one-shot that Matt did for Liam and they switched to PF 1E when they decided to do an ongoing campaign. When they started the stream, they switched to 5E because the numbers were less finicky and gameplay was smoother and they felt it made a better presentation.

So even if CR had a huge impact, the reason CR was using 5E in the first place was because they felt 5E better suited their goals. While I never got around to playing PF, since it was based on 3.5 I have a decent idea of how the mechanics work. For me and my group 5E is a better version than 3.5 because of the ease of play. It's certainly easier to pick up for newbies.

These things go hand-in-hand. The same reasons 5E works better for CR are many of the same reasons 5E works for a lot of people. It's a synergistic arrangement, but if 5E hadn't worked for Matt and company they would have stuck with PF. They didn't so we'll never know.
 

DEFCON 1

Legend
Supporter
Why it's a perfectly delightful tiny step now when it was an abhorrent leap across a gulf 20 years ago, I'll never know.
Really? You don't know? You can't even guess? ;) Okay. Well, I'll give you a hint...

Cause it'll have been 10 years since the previous book, rather than just 3. :)

Heck... people were clamoring for versions of what'll be the 2024 Ranger, Monk, and Sorcerer a mere year or two after 5E's release. People want stuff "fixed" and they will get fixed stuff merely a decade after the game was first printed and they were demanding it.

The only issue is that not a single person can agree on what parts of 5E need "fixing". And as a result... there will be plenty of stuff in 2024 where each individual person will exclaim "Why'd they fix THAT? That didn't need to be touched!!!" But with hundreds of thousands of different people playing, with all of them having a different list of stuff for fixing... it is literally impossible for WotC to satisfy every one.

Some of the stuff you want fixed will get fixed. Some of the stuff you want to get fixed will not be. And some of the stuff you think is fine will get changed as well. And at that point you either play the new version if enough fixes you wanted occurred... or you stick with 2014 and maybe just incorporate a few of the fixes WotC made into your older game.
 


Oofta

Legend
The "plenty of other options" aren't being discussed anywhere, so if I want to engage with a gaming community, I have to talk about the 20,000 lb. owlbear in the room - which is 5.1.

But how are you "engaging with the community" by saying things like "I am so sick of 5E"? I'm sorry you feel that way, I don't and nobody in the 3 groups I'm currently playing with feels that way.

Sure, I'm not going along with WotC's slapping each other on the back for designing the "perfect edition of D&D" - but do I have to?

Nobody has ever said they have the perfect edition of D&D. Heaven forbid that the developers talk positively of their product. But what, exactly were they supposed to say? Something along how it's a huge trash fire because 15% of the people disliked their ideas?

I haven't said anyone is wrong for liking it - just saying it doesn't appeal to me, and I've even said why it doesn't connect with me. I would like to see some rebalance, some redesign of the monsters, some promotion of actual engagement with the material instead of just online surveys (like the D&D Next organized play events) and self-congratulatory marketing videos.

I have no idea what "actual engagement with the material" means. 🤷‍♂️

If all we're permitted to talk about is why this is the greatest edition of D&D ever, I think it's going to be a poor playtest indeed.

Did you actually take the survey? Provide any feedback? Because generic complaints on this forum are pointless and are never going to change anything. It's like me going onto a forum people use to discuss their football fantasy team only to post that I think professional sports is a waste of time and a scam. I don't do that because there's no point, I'm not "engaging" with anyone by telling them that watching overpaid jocks (who typically last only a couple of years before retiring with lifelong injuries and disabilities) is dumb.

I just don't see how you can expect to achieve anything other than insult-by-association to those people who actually like the direction the game has taken. It's kind of like saying "I don't think you suck, but everything you value sucks."
 

mamba

Hero
The "plenty of other options" aren't being discussed anywhere, so if I want to engage with a gaming community, I have to talk about the 20,000 lb. owlbear in the room - which is 5.1.
[...]
If all we're permitted to talk about is why this is the greatest edition of D&D ever, I think it's going to be a poor playtest indeed.
You are obviously free to voice your opinion, I am just wondering why you even bother. For one it won't change 1D&D and for another you do not make the impression of going to be playing it anyway. Am I wrong on that second part?
 

FrogReaver

As long as i get to be the frog
Really? You don't know? You can't even guess? ;) Okay. Well, I'll give you a hint...

Cause it'll have been 10 years since the previous book, rather than just 3. :)

Heck... people were clamoring for versions of what'll be the 2024 Ranger, Monk, and Sorcerer a mere year or two after 5E's release. People want stuff "fixed" and they will get fixed stuff merely a decade after the game was first printed and they were demanding it.

The only issue is that not a single person can agree on what parts of 5E need "fixing". And as a result... there will be plenty of stuff in 2024 where each individual person will exclaim "Why'd they fix THAT? That didn't need to be touched!!!" But with hundreds of thousands of different people playing, with all of them having a different list of stuff for fixing... it is literally impossible for WotC to satisfy every one.

Some of the stuff you want fixed will get fixed. Some of the stuff you want to get fixed will not be. And some of the stuff you think is fine will get changed as well. And at that point you either play the new version if enough fixes you wanted occurred... or you stick with 2014 and maybe just incorporate a few of the fixes WotC made into your older game.
IMO. One can have preferences around what they personally want changed and still be on board with believing things should be changed according to the community at large. The problem for me is being shouted down for daring to question whether the methodology being used is actually capturing the opinion of the community at large or anything remotely resembling it.

With that said, they should use the best data they have available and the survey even if flawed is still the best available.
 

Micah Sweet

Legend
But how are you "engaging with the community" by saying things like "I am so sick of 5E"? I'm sorry you feel that way, I don't and nobody in the 3 groups I'm currently playing with feels that way.



Nobody has ever said they have the perfect edition of D&D. Heaven forbid that the developers talk positively of their product. But what, exactly were they supposed to say? Something along how it's a huge trash fire because 15% of the people disliked their ideas?



I have no idea what "actual engagement with the material" means. 🤷‍♂️



Did you actually take the survey? Provide any feedback? Because generic complaints on this forum are pointless and are never going to change anything. It's like me going onto a forum people use to discuss their football fantasy team only to post that I think professional sports is a waste of time and a scam. I don't do that because there's no point, I'm not "engaging" with anyone by telling them that watching overpaid jocks (who typically last only a couple of years before retiring with lifelong injuries and disabilities) is dumb.

I just don't see how you can expect to achieve anything other than insult-by-association to those people who actually like the direction the game has taken. It's kind of like saying "I don't think you suck, but everything you value sucks."
Do you agree with their claim then that everyone should just be positive all the time?
 

Retreater

Legend
But how are you "engaging with the community" by saying things like "I am so sick of 5E"? I'm sorry you feel that way, I don't and nobody in the 3 groups I'm currently playing with feels that way.
In previous posts in this thread (and other places) I've given more specific reasons.
I would say that of my players, about 50% across my 3 active groups of 5E players feel that way. Mostly for the reasons I've mentioned.
Nobody has ever said they have the perfect edition of D&D. Heaven forbid that the developers talk positively of their product. But what, exactly were they supposed to say? Something along how it's a huge trash fire because 15% of the people disliked their ideas?
In the announcement video of One D&D, I think it was Chris Perkins who called it (paraphrased): basically perfect. I can understand not calling it a "huge trash fire" but a little bit of grace and willingness to at least play around with the concept of "going back to the drawing board" one last time before the next 8-year edition would be a good sign that they're open to change the game and at least experiment.
I have no idea what "actual engagement with the material" means. 🤷‍♂️
Like Ghosts of Dragonspear Castle, Dreams of the Red Wizards - organized play adventures that showcase the new design. Back in the last playtest they had organized ways to test new mechanics to report to Wizards. They'd have incentives (dice sets, minis, etc.) to promote the game and to tie in to play at stores and cons.
Did you actually take the survey? Provide any feedback?
Yep and yep.
It's kind of like saying "I don't think you suck, but everything you value sucks."
I'm really sorry you took it that way. I'm certainly not saying everything you value sucks. I'm not even saying your preferred way to play D&D sucks.
What I am saying is I wish that we could see some big changes and get a chance to try them out instead of being limited to basically the same (and I think, very limited) version of D&D for 10 years (plus however long 5.1 lasts). I want to see the dials and customization that was promised when 5e was first released. I want to see some elements of 4E be attempted.
 

Oofta

Legend
IMO. One can have preferences around what they personally want changed and still be on board with believing things should be changed according to the community at large. The problem for me is being shouted down for daring to question whether the methodology being used is actually capturing the opinion of the community at large or anything remotely resembling it.

With that said, they should use the best data they have available and the survey even if flawed is still the best available.

The survey is only the public portion of the testing, they also test internally with other employees along with friends and family. In addition they have groups outside of the company running games with the new rules. The feedback from those testing groups is a lot more in-depth than a survey.

Obviously I wish they would come to my house to ask my opinion personally, but so far no luck. ;)
 

Whizbang Dustyboots

100% that gnome
Keep in mind correlation does not equal causation.
chart.png
 

Oofta

Legend
Do you agree with their claim then that everyone should just be positive all the time?
I never said that. I said that repeatedly stating generic "this is crap" or "the developers suck" serves no purpose.

If I say I dislike that strength based characters have no good ranged options, that's a very specific thing, an identifiable problem that I have with the game. It's also one where I can discuss options and what I do to fix it, which in this particular case is to make bows versatile in my home game.

I just don't see the point in stating "5E sucks and should be completely rewritten" or coming on to this forum to state "I really dislike the game" and variations therein. Talk about specific issues, ask for input on how others have fixed it? Acknowledge now and then that something isn't what you want? Don't even play the game but come here only to post complaints? I don't see the point.
 

Blue

Ravenous Bugblatter Beast of Traal
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'.
Why not?

Here, I'll say it:

I'm not interested in a bit of shifting around of the existing system that will invalidate 10 years of book purchases. Either give me a whole new iteration, or leave well enough alone. I enjoy 5e quite a bit, but just too-many-tweaks-to-be-errata doesn't mean I want to give up all the choices I have, or have to repurchase just because people I game with will likely move on.

Now, I don't beleive they'll go either of those routes. But that doesn't mean it isn't a valid thought.
 

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