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.
Where are we likely to see optional rules and modules?
The majority of the optional and variant rules modules are most likely to appear in a Dungeon Master-oriented product, because it’s going to be up to the DM to determine whether or not to include them in his or her game. However, some things might appear in player-oriented products; for example, we are likely to label both feats and multiclassing as optional rules, even though they will probably appear alongside our classes, races, spells, etc. These are the kinds of optional rules that we think are most likely to see inclusion in the game, based on the last two editions’ design, so their inclusion in a player-oriented product will make them easier to introduce in a campaign.
Is there still room in the game for more radical optional rules (like doing away with ability scores and only using the modifiers or scrapping classes and going with a "build your own" model)?
Major structural changes to the rules (like the ones mentioned in the question) might be out of scope for our initial releases, if only because they speak to fundamental rules objects in our streamlined core in a way that would have a rippling effect throughout the entire system. That said, though it might be outside the scope of our initial releases (which will probably focus on the rules modules that we think are the right combination of "most likely to be of use to a large segment of players" and "able to be introduced into a campaign without causing constant headaches for the DM and players"), there’s nothing to stop us from considering more radical rules modules down the road. We just want to make sure we’re putting those tools most likely to be used into the hands of players and Dungeon Masters first.
Does the game make any assumptions about how many magic items a player character should have at a given level?
No, but that’s a “no” with a caveat. The core system design makes no assumptions about the number of magic items possessed by a character. However, we are aware that magic items are likely to be introduced into games, so we’ve worked up design guidelines to help DMs adjust their adventures based on the amount of magic items they’ve given out. Rather than trying to build assumptions into the core design, we want the DM to have total freedom in giving out magic items, and provide the tools that allow them to adjust their adventures accordingly, not some theoretical progression that the DM may or may not have followed.
That said, for organized play, it’s likely that we’ll need to create some assumptions about magic item distribution, but that would largely be handled by the campaign administrators and the campaign’s adventure designers, not the players or DMs.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org. 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.