The next batch of playtest content for Wizard of the Coast’s new version of Dungeons and Dragons, One D&D, is just around the corner. Whereas the first Unearthed Arcana for One D&D provided fresh rules for DnD races and background, this one is all about classes. In particular, it will feature fresh material on Bards, Rangers, and Rogues, the three classes categorised as ‘Experts’ in this new material, which comes out today, on September 29.
The Rogue, Ranger, and Bard are grouped together into the ‘Expert Classes’ Unearthed Arcana thanks to a tweak to the game’s class system. This One D&D rules update is bringing back class groups, an old feature that appeared in DnD way back in 1989, in the second edition of Advanced Dungeons and Dragons.
There’ll be four DnD class groups in total: Warrior, Mage, Priest and Expert, and it seems the 12 classes from the Player’s Handbook are going to be split between them. Presumably there’ll be three classes in each, so while the Rogue, Ranger, and Bard classes are each considered Experts, perhaps the Paladin, Cleric, and Druid will be deemed Priests, and so on.
D&D designer Jeremy Crawford, explains, in a video announcing the update, that class groups will allow designers to swiftly create content that serves multiple classes at once. He says a certain feat or magic item may require a particular class group as a prerequisite, for example. It seems each class group will have its own signature feature. The Expert’s will be, predictably enough, Expertise, a 5e rule that lets you double your proficiency bonus. In D&D 5e, Bards and Rogues already get this ability, so really the new rules just bring Rangers into the fold.
Crawford says that currently, 48 subclasses have been designed for One D&D, but only three will feature in the upcoming Unearthed Arcana document, one for each class in the Expert group.
Just as before, Wizards of the Coast is hoping to collect feedback on the One D&D playtest material through surveys, and will be releasing the document for free on D&D Beyond. Apparently, 40,000 people responded to the previous survey – and Crawford plans to do a video on the feedback provided. There’s still a chance to make your voice heard if you haven’t yet though, as Crawford says the survey doesn’t close until next week. (Certainly seemed to be closed when we looked just now though).