D&D (2024) 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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Being profit motivated does not make you a terrible person or mean than profits are the only thing that matters to you. I am a teacher, and I expect to get paid. But that doesn't mean that I'm a terrible person who doesn't also want to do the best job that I can or care about my students. The world is a complex place and people can have many motivations.

The folks at WotC who are working on OneD&D are obviously profit motivated. They want to get paid and they want D&D to be successful and make lotsa money - those things are all connected. But you seldom get into those positions unless you also have a passion for what you do and are very good at it. I guarantee you that everyone on the design team is a lifelong gamer who wants to make the best game that they can. If you were in their position, you would also be trying to do the best job possible, wouldn't you?

In thread after thread I see a lot of folks basically assuming that if things aren't exactly how they wanted them to be, or how they interpreted them, then WotC are terrible corporate shills who don't care about the fans and lie for no reason. It's exhausting because thread after thread winds up going nowhere and just repeating the same accusations. Let's just focus on the game proposals and not on WotC's alleged motives.
Indeed. I don't think anyone can question Jeremey's love of the game. Regardless of the corporate board and their focus on profit, Jeremy is lead for D&D. And people taking shots at his credibility or motivations because he didn't sign off on a design feature they wanted is a red flag to me of what kind of person they are for making those shots.

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Whizbang Dustyboots

Gnometown Hero
I've played and run for almost 40 years. I played B/X, BECMI, AD&D, 4E, and now 5E. In that whole time I never had to worry about power gaming or optimization...until 5E. While running 5E, I've had about zero players who didn't obsess over optimization out of a cast of a few hundred.
Oh, man, you should have seen what it was like in late 3E. The power gamers are cute fluffy kittens nowadays in comparison.

Whizbang Dustyboots

Gnometown Hero
A history of dishonesty around edition changes and being a mega-corp whose only goal is profits.
People aren't mega-corporations.

A lot of the people on this site work for mega-corporations. Are they all untrustworthy automatons who only care about money?

If you or I can work for a corporation and care about being decent people and doing a decent job, it doesn't seem like a big ask to extend that grace to the folks at WotC.


I always thought calling the animal headed race "Ardling" felt like a very weird name choice. Especially for one that was supposed to be angelic or what not.

We have Archons before in the past such as the Hound, Bear, and Owl. We also had the Guardinals too.

I presume the name 'Ardling' was meant to evoke a minor Guardinal. 'Guardling' seems a little odd for a race name (sounding more like an occupation), so they just condensed it.

If they decide to go fully Guardinal-like in the next packet, it might make the name seem a little more appra po.


Heretic of The Seventh Circle
It's probably because they don't want to give Dragonhorn as much page space and complexity like the Fizbans dragonborn.
Kinda. But also because they don’t want to invalidate the most important player option in the book, because it’s not a new game.
Wizards only getting 4 subclass.

The reign of terror of bland wizards sucking up all the PHB is over!
It will be interesting.
They will likely just do one grand generic school subclass.

Then War Magic, Bladesinger and Something else.
I mostly agree (mark a calendar!), except that I think it could be scribes in place of Bladesinger, or War Magic-Specialist-New-New.
Another bit that stuck out for me is talking about mandatory feats around the 28:46 mark.

In my experience players take a view of "either you're perfect or you suck." So his line about players feeling they must have a feat just to show up and do their job is basically an intrinsic part of a lot of players' mentality surrounding gaming. You see it in every discussion of optimization, builds, and power gaming. Either you're the best or you shouldn't bother.
Never ceases to amaze.

So completely opposite my experience of the game.
I think there will be a choice between Light Cleric
Medium Cleric and Heavy Cleric.

Then Domains give you a CD and bonus spells prepared.
And a T-shirt!?
They expected new players. But it would be classic "John brings Jimmy to Try D&D." The DM and 4/5 players would be veterans.

"Just walk Jimmy through a Champion fighter and let's go"

What happened when you try 5e and Jimmy, Julie,and Jose are all new or not too experienced? Now 2/5 of you players are new. You could give them all champion fighters. But that would wonk up party balance and cohesion. And Jose and Julie don't want to be the same class. Whoops. the PHB wasn't written expecting new players to play anything but champion fighters.

And Kord help you if the DM isn't a vet. The DMG wasn't written for anyone with less than 15 years experience with all the stuff that's missing, inaccurate, unbalanced, or unclear.
Nah I’ve met a lot of new D&D players who have played a couple times with friends, or have ongoing games with friends, all of whom began together.

None of them found it difficult to pick up.

In fact, things liken the ambiguity (freedom) of the skill system mostly seems to bother Raw-Only vets with old system expectations vastly more than new players, IME.
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Oh, man, you should have seen what it was like in late 3E. The power gamers are cute fluffy kittens nowadays in comparison.
Funny enough, an early bad experience with power gamers is what turned me off of 3e shortly after it had come out. I had mentioned how an arcane archer sounded fun and was inundated with responses about how it was a crappy build.

First impressions matter. Just like how I was turned off by RIFTS because my first game I was a regular dude with a whopping 1d4 MDC weapon and thought I was pretty cool. Only to meet the rest of the party. Juicers, glitter boys, etc.

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