ou've got questions—we've got answers! Here's how it works—each week, our Community Manager will scour all available sources to find whatever questions you're asking. We'll pick three of them for R&D to answer, whether about the making of the game or anything else you care to know about... with some caveats.
There are certain business and legal questions we can't answer (for business and legal reasons). And if you have a specific rules question, we'd rather point you to Customer Service, where representatives are ready and waiting to help guide you through the rules of the game. That said, our goal is provide you with as much information we can—in this and other venues.
For monsters that can summon in help, like the pit fiend, do the summoned monsters count toward the pit fiend’s XP, or must they be accounted for separately when building encounters?
If a monster can summon other creatures, that ability will be accounted for in the monster’s XP value, so the DM won’t need to make any adjustments.
Is there room in the game for monsters that are immune to things like Sneak Attack or magic? As “puzzle monsters” perhaps, designed in such a way that the party has to figure out their one weakness?
Yes, but the key is that we think it’s important to look at these as individual monsters, not entire categories or types of monsters. Pure immunity to major portions of the game’s mechanics has a serious impact on game play, not only in making the monster tougher to deal with, but also in slowing down the pace of play. While puzzles (including “puzzle monsters”) can be fun, they definitely change the pacing of the game since the party needs to slow down and figure out how to deal with the monster. Slowing down the pace of the game isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but it needs to be used judiciously and where appropriate to the adventure; one puzzle is fine, but five puzzles can become tedious. When it comes to targeting individual class features not shared by multiple classes (for example, Sneak Attack), we’re far less likely to explore this in monster design, since it unduly punishes a single class.
Is the spell point system mentioned in Legends & Lore going to be something that the wizard or cleric can opt in to at character creation or will it have a separate class built around it?
Alternate spellcasting systems (for example, a spell point system) could be something you use to replace the traditional spell slot system regardless of which class you are playing. This is the kind of system that’s going to change the feel of spellcasting in your entire campaign, and it might be something that you want to apply to divine casters, arcane casters, or maybe even individual classes depending on the tone you want to set for spellcasting in your campaign. That’s really going to be up to the DM and players to decide, so hard-coding something like that into a single class wouldn’t necessarily be useful to all groups. We think that when it comes to alternate mechanics, especially those that have as big of an impact as spellcasting systems, healing systems, and the like, the best use of the mechanics is as a tool that the DM and players agree to use as they see fit.
That said, we’ve experimented with classes that use a casting system based on spell points (a previous iteration of the sorcerer was a spell point class). Each time, the feedback for those classes typically indicated a desire to use spell points for other classes. As the sorcerer class has continued to evolve, we’ve moved back to a more traditional slot-based system, though the sorcerer as currently designed also has a pool of “sorcery points” to draw on to use for metamagic and to cast extra spells.
How can I submit a question to the D&D Next Q&A?
Instead of a single venue to submit questions, our Community Manager will be selecting questions from our message boards, Twitter feed, and Facebook account. You can also submit questions directly to email@example.com. So, if you'd like to have your question answered in the D&D Next Q&A, just continue to participate in our online community—and we may select yours!
Rodney Thompson began freelancing in the RPG industry in 2001 before graduating from the University of Tennessee. In 2007 he joined the Wizards of the Coast staff as the lead designer and developer for the new Star Wars RPG product line. Rodney is the co-designer of Lords of Waterdeep and is currently a designer for Dungeons & Dragons.