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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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.
 


EzekielRaiden

Follower of the Way
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?
 


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