Wizards of the Coast has finished sending out Unearthed Arcana for its updated version of the Players’ Handbook, after Playtest 8, which made final tweaks to the last three DnD classes, met with high approval ratings. “It really ended this UA series on a high note,” said designer Jeremy Crawford, in a video published January 30.
According to this update, Wizards of the Coast is now deep in the internal development process for the revised Player’s Handbook, as well as the revised Monster Manual and Dungeon Master’s Guide. All three of these DnD books are expected to release some time in 2024. However, a graphic suggesting a May release, accidentally posted to social media during PAX Unplugged late last year, was incorrect. “That was never the release date,” says Crawford.
The three DnD classes tackled in this latest playtest were the DnD Druid, 5e Monk, and 5e Barbarian, and even before the feedback came in, Crawford suggested that this might be the last UA, as the rest of the classes were moving to internal development.
It seems DnD fans were generally happy with the new versions of these classes, with even the controversial druid achieving above a 70% satisfaction score – the threshold Wizards says it’s been aiming for, as a floor to build upon.
According to Crawford, the Monk has now become the “most improved class”, beating out the 5e Ranger. It received a significant power buff in Playtest 8, from more features not tied to Ki or Discipline, to the ability to deflect melee attacks. Apparently the new Monk features got a 90% approval rating, which the designers say is very rare because of the TTRPGs large and varied audience.
The latest playtest also had some D&D spells to look at, from buffs to healing spells like Cure Wounds that might make them worth using, to radical reinterpretations of various conjuration spells. These all reportedly scored in the 80s.
Now Wizards says it is giving the new content “a very careful polish” and “working on all three of the core books together”.
Crawford hints at some revised monsters, and a new, much more streamlined encounter building technique – which may address the problems an ex-WOTC employee recently identified with CR. There’ll also be some new spells in the Players Handbook that fans haven’t seen yet.
It seems like this content will not be coming to players early in the form of Unearthed Arcana however, and we might have to wait for a DnD release schedule for our next bit of news on the 5e changes (formerly known as One DnD).