Player feedback from the first One DnD playtest is in, and the results are looking very positive. “Over 39,000 people completed the engagement survey”, says lead D&D rules designer Jeremy Crawford, and “the majority of things in this Unearthed Arcana scored 80% [satisfaction] or higher”. Speaking to Todd Kenreck in an official Dungeons and Dragons YouTube video on November 30 (see below), Crawford adds “the satisfaction scores are quite persuasive given the number of people that participated”.
The real star of the show here is the new first-level feats that come with DnD backgrounds. Introduced in the first Unearthed Arcana (and already being put to work in the new Dragonlance book), Crawford says this feature “scored highest, almost reaching 90% satisfaction”. More precisely, the background feats scored 87%.
“Some groups prefer not to use 5e feats, which is one of the reasons we’re very carefully threading this needle,” Crawford adds. “Alright, you get this free one, so we’re not gonna require you to engage with the feats system repeatedly unless you really want to – but we also want to give you that taste so that you can then make an informed decision about whether or not you later engage with feats.”
“Feats are a great way for us to communicate some concrete things that each background is good at”, he tells Kenreck. “I’m excited to see how much the community is embracing getting a feat as part of a character’s background.”
Crawford explains how Wizards of the Coast is interpreting the satisfaction scores from the engagement survey. “70% or higher is what we’re looking for”, he says. “When something scores in the 70s, we see it as a community thumbs up, but there’s also still some tinkering for us to do.” “As soon as a score hits 80% or higher, now we’re going into the realm of not only does the community want more of that; they want exactly that.”
A score of 60% is “salvageable”, Crawford says, but “we need to really reconsider many aspects of the design”. Only three things reportedly scored this low: the D20 test rule in the rules glossary, the new Ardling race, and the One DnD Dragonborn playtest. According to Crawford, nothing in the first playtest “was in the 50s or below” – or got near the 40% mark, which is where Wizards considers binning an idea altogether.
The next One DnD Unearthed Arcana is due to drop on December 1, but until it’s out, here’s everything you need to know about the playtests so far. Much of the One DnD playtest so far focuses on four major One DnD class groups. Playtest feats have already proven popular, as has the decision to make One DnD races less focal than backgrounds. While you’re here, be sure to drop by our DnD 6e release date guide, which we’ll keep up-to-date with One D&D developments.