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.
In the last playtest document, wizards and clerics got some defining class stuff at level 1 and 2 (cleric domains at level 1 and mage traditions at level 2). Is that going to remain the same, or are those shifting to level 3?
For some classes, we need some of the bigger choices to be made earlier in a class progression. For the cleric, for example, there are both story and mechanical reasons for you to select your domain at level 1. On the story side, the god you worship and the powers granted to you by that god are critical to the cleric’s identity, and it’s tough to justify the story of a cleric who isn’t dedicated to a particular god; where would he or she be getting those granted powers and spells from? Mechanically, we also vary up some armor proficiencies in the domains, which can have an impact on how you assign your ability scores. We don’t want to end up in a situation where clerics feel like they need to invest in Dexterity for a better AC for a few levels, only to have that negated by proficiencies suddenly gained at 3rd level.
There are a few other classes where we think the story demands making that choice at 1st level, like the sorcerer (who needs to define the source of his or her innate magic right away) and the warlock (who needs to determine who is at the other end of the pact he or she made to get magical power). For the most part, we’re trying to be very sparing about how often we do this, because while it is a goal to push complexity up the levels as much as possible, we occasionally run into conflicts where the story or mechanical needs require that to happen earlier.
So 3rd level is the defining moment from going from a beginner to a hero. Do we have any more points like that? Is there another stage where complexity or options ramp up again, and what does that look like?
Nothing quite so formalized, and (as indicated by the answer to the above question) we are going to introduce choices in classes where we need to without being inflexible about 3rd level as a complexity shift. We do have some other informal break points that guide our design in a general way; for example, we consider 5th level to be a break point for complexity (as you see a fighter’s second attack coming in, or a wizard getting some iconic and game-changing spells like fireball), as is 11th level (we are far more reserved about the number of spell slots we give out for spells of 6th level and above, which allows the spells to be more complex). These are just guideposts we use when gauging whether a particular mechanic is at the right level, and in many cases we break with those assumptions when necessary.
How is Action Surge supposed to interact with Extra Attack?
When you use Action Surge, you take another action, and you receive the benefits of Extra Attack on this action as well. So, if you normally make two attacks (thanks to Extra Attack), you can use Action Surge to make four attacks in a single round.
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.