D&D Next Chat

Here are some tidbits from the chat that I enjoyed:

  • Mearls: Hmmm... let's see. I've been DMing mostly, and the rules have changed a lot over the past few days. Probably the funniest thing was guest starring as a librarian in a playtest game at DDXP. Also, I got to test the DR rules when the players had to cut open a dead wererat's stomach to find a gem it had swallowed. That was not how I expected to test those rules.
  • The packet will have five pregen characters, Caves of Chaos adventure, bestiary for the adventure, and rules for DMs and players. The pregens are the "core four" races and classes, plus an extra cleric to test out the armored and mystic types. They also have backgrounds and themes. "When you pick a race, such as dwarf, you also pick what kind of dwarf."
  • The fighter is "relatively" straightforward, while the wizard is implied to be the most complex. There will not be initially any customization, though they say that we should have that before the end of the Summer.
  • The current document will look fairly different from what people saw at PAX; it incorporates feedback and design adjustments.
  • Spellcasters have at-wills without having to spend anything to get them.
  • Mearls is not a fan of giving people extra turns. Wants to focus on terrain and things to move to and around, instead of flanking and positioning. Mentions that a character might need to take a feat to gain opportunity attacks, while a rogue might get an ability that lets her move out of turn, but she cannot move on her next turn (so, hey, looks like Cook's idea of one action per turn is thankfully out).
  • Bestiary will have short blocks. Longer ones will come. Includes both mechanics and lore.
  • Conditions will probably have a slimmer list. Prone, intoxicated, invisible, paralyzed, and ethereal are in. Paralyzed stops you from casting spells because "Spellcasting specifies that you need to move your arms to cast a spell".
  • Rogue schemes and cleric domains mentioned.
  • Mearls: Yes, cantrips that you use to attack are basically utility cantrips that have a way you can use them against creatures. The ignite cantrip lets you start fires, whether its lighting a torch or a goblin's butt.
  • Mearls: The biggest thing is making it OK for one character to own a particularly encounter. If the wizard casts sleep and KOs a group of six kobolds, that's OK. In the next encounter, the rogue might sneak up on the kobold shaman and gank him, or the fighter blocks a doorway and takes down a wave of attackers. Same goes for characters with good social abilities, and so on.
  • Mearls: It also means that "unbalanced" options are more viable. For instance, in one adventure the characters fought a gang of hobgoblins. One of the hobgobs was a beast master who used a whip and a prod to drive a pair of giant scorpions forward. The rogue sniped the beast master, so the scorpions turned around and had their revenge on the tribe.
  • Mention of 2-3 different magic systems, including spell slots, points, and powers.
  • Fighters can spend a single feat to unlock a bunch of maneuvers. The main reason for giving wizards at-wills and not fighters is that feedback was "overwhelmingly in favor of, and not edition dependent". Not so much for fighters, I guess...
  • Tanking I guess is built into a theme instead of class. Creatures can also grant cover, so "cowering behind people is a good idea". The idea is to let anyone choose to be a tank regardless of class.


  1. Cleric domains should be something to recreate 2E's specialists priests (and in fact we'll have 2 pregen clerics).

    Maybe I've read that in the wrong way, but it seemed to me that each magic system should fit a specific template (wizard, sorcerer or warlock).

  2. That was the impression that I got, and hopefully the magic systems in place will fit with the concept of the spellcaster. For example, sorcerers should have a severely limited spell list with limited flexibility, while warlocks should be able to contact their patron (potentially offering services or sacrifices for extra power, or even swapping out spells granted).

  3. I think the interesting part about conditions was related to their philosophy on rules presentation: more natural language. Mike said paralyzed means you can't move your limbs (thus you can't cast spells among other things).


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