For the fifth edition of Wizards of the Coast, players provided extensive feedback via D&D Next. For One D&D, the evolution of 5th edition, the company will produce new versions of the games' core books in 2024 to commemorate both the 10th anniversary of 5th edition and the 50th anniversary of Dungeons & Dragons.
With the release of Unearthed Arcana: Character Origins, playtesting for One D&D has begun. The rules are backward compatible with the rest of the 5th edition, but they reflect the changes that have been gradually released in books such as Monsters of the Multiverse and Tashas Cauldron of Everything.
The game has been deconstructed, examined through the lens of the feedback weve received on D&D over the last decade, and looked for ways to enhance fun through bringing in new options and brand new content that the game hasnt previously had, according to D&D game designer Jeremy Crawford. Were reconstructing it with all of those elements in place, ensuring that it remains the game weve been loving and playing since 2014.
Nothing in the playtest is to be considered final, and Wizards will be using surveys to solicit player input on the changes. Each attribute has a +2 modifier, a skill proficiency, a weapon, and a first-level feat, as well as sample backgrounds.
According to Crawford, people have embraced backgrounds since we introduced them during the D&D Next playtest process. We want to keep them, but also have them enhance your characters so that you may experience their effects throughout your adventuring career. The background represents your life before you became an adventurer, whether you were a soldier, an acolyte, a sage, or something else.
The largest way that impact will be felt is through feats, which were a major component of earlier D&D editions but were relegated to an optional rule in the 5th edition. Today, they are considered as class-agnostic class features that are divided into levels in order to avoid overwhelming beginning players with choices.
Existing feats have been improved. The Healer feat maintains the ability to restore hit points using a healers kit or a healing spell, but characters now have the ability to reroll 1s that arise when restoring hit points with either a kit or a healing spell.
Tiefling players may maintain the same resistances and spellcasting abilities as they did in the 2014 Players Handbook, or they may choose to alter things up by playing a Chthonic or Abyssal tiefling indicating that they have traced their heritage to a different lower plane. Many races, including humans and tieflings, now have flexible sizes so you can play a tiny impish tiefling.
Aasimar, the angelic aasimar, has been replaced by ardlings, who trace their origins not to angels, but to guardians, hound archons, and the avatars of gods with animal heads. You may choose an association with different planes to receive different spells but, perhaps more importantly, suggestions for what animals your character resembles, such as a cat, elephant, or bear.
Crawford said people respond to tabaxi, giff, tortles, and the other animals we have released. We're leaning towards that even more and giving you the option to be an animal person of any kind.
The playtest also changes the way spells are organized. They are grouped by power source: arcane, divine, or primal. These terms have been used since the fifth edition, but were more widely used in the fourth edition. Future Unearthed Arcana articles will discuss how classes or subclasses may access new lists.