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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Jaeger

That someone better
However my guess is what has KEPT D&D #1 since day 1 is because it updates and changes.

Because barring 4e, D&D has managed to be 'good enough' for the majority of its player base. Being First + Good Enough = No can Defend.

yes I argue this all the time 2e, 4e, 3e, OD&D would have jumped up with all of the hype... but again the entire thing stood strong as number one for 30ish year even though it changed all the time

Because being first is VERY powerful when it comes to RPG's.

By 2e D&D had already cemented its market leader position. And the network effect of being the 800lb. Gorilla in the room smooths over any rough edges the system has.

Because as the market leader, D&D was/is Good Enough, that most players do not feel a compelling reason to go to a different fantasy RPG.

It takes a unique set of circumstances for Being First + Good Enough to not be a winning advantage.


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. ...

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),
3d6 doesn't change the basic problem of a single roll to determine outcome. ...

I find it interesting that other skill based RPG's with skill systems that work exactly the same way do not get critiqued for this. It's just not an issue.

I think that it is more of a thing in D&D because of the way PC's combat ability and HP scales in comparison to D&D's tacked on skill system.
There is just a different set of player and GM expectations of what a PC should be able to do...

I have played many skill based game systems and "You make one roll, and if you fail that's it." is not an issue. You never see fans of Interlock, or BRP systems complain about the "one roll" nature of skills. If anything the arguments revolve around the skill lists themselves. Maybe it is the way those games instruct GM's to use the skill systems, or a different mindset/expectations among the player base?


Keep in mind, when 3.5e was published, WotC got roasted online and by word of mouth because 3.5e was considered a massive cash grab, a crappy rugpull that changed just enough to force people to buy new books while still technically qualifying as "compatible." The community bought the books anyway, so we can see that that reaction was something of a tempest in a teapot, but the comparison is important nonetheless. 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.

Probably because it will have been a full decade, as opposed to just three years. And 5e's reduced release schedule has not flooded the player base with official product over that timeframe. The general player base having less of a sunk cost investment in the current edition might have helped as well.
 


Maybe it is the way those games instruct GM's to use the skill systems, or a different mindset/expectations among the player base?
That would certainly be my suspicion. Having never played them, I cannot speak with any surety.

Probably because it will have been a full decade, as opposed to just three years. And 5e's reduced release schedule has not flooded the player base with official product over that timeframe. The general player base having less of a sunk cost investment in the current edition might have helped as well.
3.5e came out after only three years. The number of published books, especially if you count adventures, was quite comparable to what 5e has now.

And I just flat do not get the time excuse. If it's a horrible affront to "force" people to buy new books, purely on principle (which is explicitly the argument people made at the time), then it is so actually on principle—regardless of the timing.

It's this incredibly bizarre shift where a small handful of changes just crossing the line into "new enough to need new books* was a HORRIBLE offense, one of the worst, most vile things the company could do back then, and now it's not only small enough to be completely within range of beinf overlooked, it is a good thing that it is a small change only just big enough to merit making new books.

It being 10 years instead of 3 simply does not explain to me why the former was incredibly offensive and the latter is praiseworthy and indeed merits active efforts to redefine basic terms (like "backwards compatibility" and "what even is a 'feat,' really?") in order to rationalize that "no it's not actually a change at all!"
 

Levistus's_Leviathan

5e Freelancer
I'm just so sick of 5e. And the idea of the future of the TTRPG hobby being 5.1 for the foreseeable future already has my eyes glazing over.
And yes, I can choose not to buy it, and I probably won't. It doesn't keep me from wishing that things could have gone differently.
Yeah, you're definitely in the minority here. D&D 5e keeps getting more and more popular. People clearly aren't getting tired of it as quickly as you are, especially with the supplements they've published.
 

Levistus's_Leviathan

5e Freelancer
I've generally been in agreement with a lot of what you are say. I just want to point out that none of the questions were "Do you like this better than the existing feature". I can rate pizza highly as a food I enjoy, but that doesn't mean I like it better than steak, or would want to replace a steak meal with pizza.

All we know is that OneD&D so far has come out with rules that look like they will make a fun game. We don't have any survey feedback if people think it will make a better game than 5e - that's all based on what the designers think and provide options for.
If my favorite pizza restaurant (Mod Pizza) decided to become a Steak House, gave out free samples of their new steaks to the people that used to eat there, and then asked for feedback, I would negatively rate the steak even if I enjoyed it because it was good as a pizza restaurant.

If there's something in the OneD&D playtest documents that I think doesn't need to be changed from the original version, I'll rate it negatively, even if I don't dislike the mechanic. Maybe most people don't operate like that, but to me, it's the logical way to engage in the surveys.
Is that really your justification? What if I said I wanted a good portion of humans to have, say, vitiligo, for no other reason than "It's a fantasy world?"
"A wizard did it" is the ultimate justification for why anything happens in a fantasy world for a reason. Vitiligo would just be a visual trait, not something represented in mechanics, too. And, yes, you could use "because magic" for why a higher percentage of the human population in a D&D world has vitiligo than in the real world.
No, I said that no other race is defined by a trait that only some of them have, which was the exact justification you gave here: WotC On One D&D Playtest Survey Results: Nearly Everything Scored 80%+!.
Kobolds are pretty defined by them occasionally having wings. And, as I said earlier, "it's magic" works for both Urds and humans with dwarfism.
That's not what you said, though. You specifically said that other physical deformities don't need to be represented: WotC On One D&D Playtest Survey Results: Nearly Everything Scored 80%+!
I never said that dwarfism needed representation. I said "it can be included easily and inoffensively". Basically nothing "needs" to be included in D&D. The PHB could just decide to abandon all other playable races and make Gnomes the only playable options. That wouldn't make the game literally unplayable, but a lot of people wouldn't like that. It's not about "needs", it's about the feasibility and pros of inclusion.
So does dwarfism. For a long time Achondroplasia has been seen as inherently comical, the same way being Mentally Challenged once was.
Less than most physical ones. And, as I said before, there is no good reason to include autism mechanically in the game. There's no good reason or way to do it.

There is no easy or inoffensive way to include autism mechanically in the game. There is for dwarfism. The fact that you're getting this upset about it being included is more than a bit worrying.
Even according to dwarfismawareness.com: Statistics Dwarfs (that's the proper plural when discussing the real-life condition, "dwarves" is the plural for the race) comprise only 1in 10,000 people. Meanwhile wikipedia says that as many as 1 in 1,000 to 1 in 500 people are born with a cleft lip: Cleft lip and cleft palate - Wikipedia and 1 in 1,000 to 1 in 250 are born with club foot: Clubfoot - Wikipedia So if 1 in 10,000 is common enough to warrant representing, then these other conditions would be even moreso.
And 15 percent of the population has IBS. That doesn't mean that it needs to be or should be included in the game (mechanically or otherwise). There's no upside to include it. There are, however, upsides to including dwarfism. It's simple. It doesn't take much more word count than the previous version. There's nothing problematic about it.

Seriously, why are you getting so upset by this? What's your deal? It isn't a slippery slope and it isn't offensive. What is your issue with it?
 

Cadence

Legend
Supporter
If my favorite pizza restaurant (Mod Pizza) decided to become a Steak House, gave out free samples of their new steaks to the people that used to eat there, and then asked for feedback, I would negatively rate the steak even if I enjoyed it because it was good as a pizza restaurant.

If there's something in the OneD&D playtest documents that I think doesn't need to be changed from the original version, I'll rate it negatively, even if I don't dislike the mechanic. Maybe most people don't operate like that, but to me, it's the logical way to engage in the surveys.

If someone is asked if they like the switch to steak and they say no, because they want it to stay a pizza place then they are being truthful, right?

If they ask if someone if they liked the steak they were served and they liked it but say no then they're lying, right?
 


Levistus's_Leviathan

5e Freelancer
If someone is asked if they like the switch to steak and they say no, because they want it to stay a pizza place then they are being truthful, right?

If they ask if someone if they liked the steak they were served and they liked it but say no then they're lying, right?
There is an implied "do you like this as a change from the original version" in the surveys.
 

Because barring 4e, D&D has managed to be 'good enough' for the majority of its player base. Being First + Good Enough = No can Defend.
being first doesn't mean you get a pass Rifts Torg (in a different way WoD that almost got em) all COULD have over taken 1e/2e...

and 4e out sold 3e/3.5e so it has the 'not good enough' to be the second best selling D&D, and holding #1 against it's own predecessor being retro cloned by a company with a huge head start by having run Dragon and Dungeon magazine...
Because being first is VERY powerful when it comes to RPG's.
this is reductive... how do we know how powerful being first is "because D&D is popular"
Why is D&D popular? "Because it was first.

it could just be the best game, or it could be as I put forward in my theory the ever changing nature.

1e/2e were pretty close to each other but were also a major change (mostly addative) to basic... but 2e grew FROM 1e.

3e was a reset, it changed a lot, 3.5 grew from 3e... but 3e had huge flaws that 4e fixed... 4e though had to compete with pathfinder (3.75) with an established base but still stayed #1, 5e was a step back in many ways between 3.5 and 4e but it also was new and different... now I am saying that adaptive changing state might have helped it stay #1 in a way basic D&D would not still be #1 if it haden't become AD&D
By 2e D&D had already cemented its market leader position. And the network effect of being the 800lb. Gorilla in the room smooths over any rough edges the system has.
and yet the d10 system from WW somehow got close, and if WotC hadn't bought TSR it was a sinking ship, D&D would be gone.
Because as the market leader, D&D was/is Good Enough, that most players do not feel a compelling reason to go to a different fantasy RPG.
again, we don't know that we just FEEL like that is true.
It takes a unique set of circumstances for Being First + Good Enough to not be a winning advantage.
This is why Ford with the Modal T is still the #1 best selling car... my modal T is so awesome.
 


MGibster

Legend
I'll have you know that Google slept with my girlfriend.
That explains all the photos Google has of your girlfriend.
Be right back, creating an Irritable Bowel Syndrome feat.
It's a spell called Stinking Cloud.
this is reductive... how do we know how powerful being first is "because D&D is popular"
Why is D&D popular? "Because it was first.
I've heard it argued that D&D is the most popular because it was the first, but that's never tracked for me. Oreo is just an imitation Hydrox, but the latter became much more popular than the former. Moxie was one of the first mass produced sodas in the United States, and it's actually still produced today, but have you ever had one? Don't. It tastes like used motor oil. The point being that many things which were original were overtaken by their imitators.
 

Before I google search this I am going to say that doesn't feel right...
D&D 3.0 publications says 39
All 53 DnD 5E books published & to be released | Dice Cove says 53...

So okay, more or less (not counting 3pp) 5e has 1.5x the number of books 3.0 did when 3.5 came out
So, the rate was quite a bit faster. About 2 years and 9 months for 39 books means around 14-15 books a year. By comparison, 5e has been out about 6-7 books a year (though it sounds like some of these aren't actually out yet, so it may be closer to 6.)

Overall, I'm actually surprised that I underestimated the amount of 5e books. As a function of the span of time involved here, this changeover isn't so far removed from the 3.5 shift.
 

mamba

Hero
and 4e out sold 3e/3.5e so it has the 'not good enough' to be the second best selling D&D, and holding #1 against it's own predecessor being retro cloned by a company with a huge head start by having run Dragon and Dungeon magazine...

Did it outsell 3e ? I have no absolute sales figures, but that sounds incredibly hard to believe, esp. since the second part of the above is patently false. Maybe it did for the first month or quarter, I doubt it did so in the long run.

The Retroclone became #1 during the 4e period while 4e gradually slid to third place

Fall 2008: 4e launched, at the time #1
Q3 2009: PF1 launched, instant #2
Q3 2010: tie between 4e and PF1
Q2 2011: PF1 #1
Fall 2012: 4e sliding to 3rd place
Fall 2013: 4e sliding to 4th place
Spring 2014: 4e no longer in top 5
Summer 2014: 5e launched
Fall 2015: 5e in #1, replacing PF1

So you have a solid 4 years with PF1 as #1 while 4e gradually slides into oblivion

source: Top 5 RPGs Compiled Charts 2004-Present
 
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Did it outsell 3e ? I have no absolute sales figures, but that sounds incredibly hard to believe, esp. since the second part of the above is patently false. Maybe it did for the first month or quarter, I doubt it did so in the long run.
nobody has sales figures... we have statements form wotc (D&D 3E/3.5 - 4E vs 3E Sales Figures: The Facts) that 3.5 out sold 3, that 4e outsold 3.5 and that 5e out sold 4e... we also have been told in general all of them outsold 2e/1e but that comes with the covet that those numbers are not clean... so all we know is that the only source we have says each edition sold more then the last.
The Retroclone became #1 during the 4e period while 4e gradually slid to third place
why do you want to turn this into an edition war? do you have an axe to grind?
Fall 2008: 4e launched, at the time #1
Q3 2009: PF1 launched, instant #2
Q3 2010: tie between 4e and PF1
Q2 2011: PF1 #1
Fall 2012: 4e sliding to 3rd place
Fall 2013: 4e sliding to 4th place
Spring 2014: 4e no longer in top 5
Summer 2014: 5e launched
Fall 2015: 5e in #1, replacing PF1

So you have a solid 4 years with PF1 as #1 while 4e gradually slides into oblivion

source: Top 5 RPGs Compiled Charts 2004-Present
I have already spent too much time on pointless edition wars you will ignore and tell me I am wrong, but pF was a strong 2nd place (like world of darkness before it) up until 4e's last book or two and then a dead zone and the next playtest...
 


mamba

Hero
why do you want to turn this into an edition war? do you have an axe to grind?
no, I am simply pointing out that your statement was wrong.

pF was a strong 2nd place (like world of darkness before it) up until 4e's last book or two and then a dead zone and the next playtest...
If that is true that would mean the last 4e book came 2.5 years or so after the 4e launch, which would mean by then it was clear that 4e was dead in the water (and we are still 5+ years away from 5e at that point)

EDIT: looks like the 4e books came out over about 4 years, but the core books all do fall in a 2.5 year span, including the Essentials version
 
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