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.
Group stealth, while simplified, still seems to have the basic problem of the armor-wearing or clumsy guys making it impossible for the group to hide. Are there any aspects of the group stealth rules that address this?
The only aspect of those rules that addresses this comes in where we talk about splitting the party into two (or more) smaller groups, one of which scouts ahead (taking full advantage of the ability to sneak), and the other of which comes behind more slowly. We are aware of the challenges of having party members who are bad at sneaking when everyone is trying to get somewhere stealthily. On one hand, we think this is an acceptable tactical challenge when dealing with an adventure, something that players may need to be creative to overcome. At the same time, we know splitting up the party (or, worse, simply leaving some characters out of a scene entirely) isn’t always very satisfying. We’re choosing to address this in character abilities, not in top-level rules; see the ranger’s hunter’s veil spell for an example of a spell that addresses this very issue, and it is not the only place we’re doing so. This also has the benefit of making certain classes more appealing due to the way they create engaging interaction between multiple characters in the same party.
With high Strength negating the penalties of heavier armors, what kinds of incentives are there for warrior types to use medium armors like scale?
We’re not trying to specifically incentivize using a lower tier of armor, but there are reasons for, say, a fighter to choose to wear scale instead of chain. If you’re a Dexterity-based fighter, you probably want to wear light or medium armor so that you can put your other good scores in Constitution, Wisdom, or even Charisma (as you might if you want to play a charismatic general) and don’t have to invest in Wisdom. Alternatively, you might choose medium armor if you want to avoid having disadvantage on Dexterity (Stealth) checks, which all heavy armors (and some medium armors) have. If you have a good Strength score and proficiency in heavy armor, though, heavy armor is going to be your most appealing option.
Are the changes to extra actions meant to discourage rogues from using two-weapon fighting?
The intent of the rule is exactly as Mike said: to speed up play and prevent players from stacking up actions on their turn, which can slow things down and create potentially overpowering combinations. We’ve elected to fold two-weapon fighting into this rule (along with things like the monk’s multiple unarmed strikes) because those extra attacks take time and because we collected a lot of feedback from our surveys that clearly indicated that people liked being able to fight with two weapons without penalty, but many were also concerned that it overshadowed fighting with sword-and-shield, or fighting with only a single weapon. Limiting you to a single bonus action at least makes choosing to fight with two weapons more of a tactical choice, instead of an automatic option, and we see it as a good thing if this makes weapons such as the single rapier more appealing to the rogue.
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.