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D&D Q&A: 09/27/2013
Rodney Thompson

Y 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.

1 Will the updates mentioned for the druid and the paladin be updated in the public playtest packet, or are those changes only going to be seen internally and in the private playtests?

They will be released publicly in the near future. We just needed a little more time to finish polishing those mechanics up, and we wanted to address other pieces of feedback before the latest release on the 19th.

2 Do you think we’ll see another racial option for humans other than the +1 to all ability scores or are people happy with the +1 for the most part?

We definitely recognize that there is some dissatisfaction with this expression of the human, and yet at the same time we know that it does some really positive things for the game, including providing a quick and easy option for character generation. Right now we’re exploring some options to address the dissatisfaction without losing the potential for a simple, easy-to-use race in the game. This is something that we will continue to test with our more limited pool of playtesters.

3 Will you have internal and private playtests for all the modules and bits Mike mentions in Legends & Lore?

Yes. Though the public playtest process is ending, that does not mean we are ending the playtest process. Throughout the process up to this point, we’ve used a more limited pool of playtesters—known casually as our Alpha playtesters—for more focused, advanced playtesting. These folk often saw several iterations of game content before something was released in some form to the public. We’re going to continue that process going forward, but we’ve greatly expanded our pool of Alpha playtesters recently, and we plan to continue using them heading into the next phase of the game’s development. From this point on, playtesting needs to be much more focused, and the material being playtested needs to be better matched up to the needs of playtesters to make sure the material is adequately serving its intended audience.

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 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
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.
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With +1 in all stats, humans easily give a start for good score in secondary and tertiary ability, and for repair weak score. To someone, secondary ability isn't so important, thanks others racial traits, but some classes like Druid, Monk and Paladin needs more than one primary good score to work at the best, so humans seems the perfect choice for them.
It's powerfull, and also it's annoying, because... that's all folks! And miss the point of the adaptability of our race.

I suggest this: Two +1 points to assign to ability of choice, one extra language, one extra skill or tool proficiencies and three +2 bonus to assign a different task like dice rolls to hit with a specific weapon, to a specific saving throw, to checks of one specific skill or to a DC of one specific spell.
Not cumulative.
Three +2 bonus and extra skill/tool it's possible to assign immediatly or later.
This remain simple but more interesting to me.
Posted By: Eilistraecomeback (9/29/2013 8:18:42 AM)


I like the idea of putting off choosing skills as it's one more step that holds up starting the game. As far as simplicity Tirwin's suggestion that humans augment just 3 or 4 abilities is better, although an extra language, skill or tool proficiency sounds good! We might also look for something humans are more resistant to than other races, as all the others have some kind of defensive bonus.
Posted By: RadperT (9/29/2013 9:33:33 AM)


Some things to keep in mind:

The human stat bonuses can easily be a "placeholder," especially as an easy race so you can just jump in and play. WotC has been getting plenty of feedback on the types of abilities granted by the other raises, when it comes to proficiencies, stat bonuses, or advantage/disadvantage. I'm guessing that, by now, they have a good idea of what constitutes a "balanced" race.

When 5e/Next is released, I'm guessing there has to be at least a *few* surprises so that people have a reason to pay $100+ for rules that are no different from the playtest. Holding back on a final decision for the Human abilities may or not be a part of this. It's what I would do, anyway. ;-)
Posted By: Germytech (9/27/2013 11:39:55 PM)


I think there are a couple of details people are overlooking on the issue of human stat bonuses. A dwarf is tougher than a human with the same constitution as seen by the number of additional racial features. Furthermore, I think it is a mistake to assume the average stat distribution, pre-bonuses, will be the same for all races. On average I suspect dwarf characters will have a higher con than human characters because even though they have the same stat bonus to con, dwarf characters will in general have a higher base stat.

If people are worried that a human could have the same constitution as a dwarf, as opposed to what would happen on average, then I think the human +1 to all stats is a mistake. However, I think it is both possible and uncommon at the same time and so am not bothered by it.
Posted By: ffleming (9/27/2013 4:15:54 PM)


Posted By: ffleming (9/27/2013 4:12:31 PM)


I apologize for the 'test' post, it should be deleted but I cannot figure out how.
Posted By: ffleming (9/27/2013 4:18:00 PM)


When you actually make a character, you quickly realize that the human +1 to all stats is not all that powerful and doesn't generate characters with awesomely better stats than characters than other races. A human stat array might look like 16, 14, 14, 14, 12, 12 while a nonhumans would look like 16, 14, 12, 12, 12, 12. The human basically gets a net +1 at two secondary or tertiary stats, while the nonhuman is gets more focussed non-stat bonuses like advantage on important checks, more hit points, better AC, Darkvision, etc. A human makes a better wizard than a hill dwarf, but he makes a worse one than an elf. He just has better numbers in stats wizards don't care about anyway.
Posted By: Salamandyr2000 (9/27/2013 3:50:44 PM)


I'm sure your math is quite right, and personally I've never seen the human +1 to everything as something that makes humans overpowered - to me, it's more of a flavor issue. Take dwarves, for instance. A dwarf is supposed to be more hardy than a human (and many of the other non-human races). This is represented in part by a constitution bonus. However, a human will have the same +1 bonus as the dwarf to constitution (and every other ability score), and the average dwarf will be no tougher than the average human (at least stat-wise), and to me that kills off a major bit of the flavor/feel of the game.
Posted By: FelisLynx (9/27/2013 4:02:40 PM)


Personally, I don't find the human "+1 to everything" to be "boring" - I just find it to be totally illogical. As some have stated, this basically makes humans better than any other race stat-wise. If humans have +1 to all stats it means that the average dwarf isn't more hardy than the average human, and the average elf isn't more agile than the average human, and so on, they're just equal - and worse on all other stats! To me, this is complete nonsense, no matter how "simple" or "elegant" it might be.

I would suggest solving the problem by letting humans have a +1 to two stats of the player's choice (or +2 to one stat), and maybe giving humans a bonus feat and a bonus skill in addition to this - all depending on game balance, of course. This would (at least the way I see it) be just as simple, and simulate the versatility of humans better than the existing system.

(And yes, I know feats are optional - for groups playing wit... (see all)
Posted By: FelisLynx (9/27/2013 3:36:10 PM)


@MacEochaid: Have you played with one? Or DMed one? For players who maily like to kill monsters and break things, a human warrior fighter fits the bill. There are certainly players at my table for whom an expanded crit range is not at all "boring"; they have been chasing that in 4e for years.
Posted By: CHeard (9/27/2013 2:29:12 PM)


Personally, I have never considered the "+1 all" for humans to be "boring." I rather find it to be an incentive to play humans. I would hate to see the "+1 all" human go away, and not just to keep a "simple race" in the game but because I like the results for human characters. But I would certainly not object to the "+1 all" human being a subrace alongside other kinds of humans, perhaps based on biome. If there are wood elves and hill dwarves and rock gnomes, there could also be urban humans (with +1 to all), woodland humans (maybe higher on Wis), tundra humans (perhaps higher on Con), etc. The design space is open for a win-win.
Posted By: CHeard (9/27/2013 2:27:06 PM)


Don't be. Our group loves it! Makes me want to play a Fighter again.
Posted By: strider13x (9/27/2013 2:19:18 PM)


Seems at least one of ours goals is achieved: boring +1 humans will changed.
Humans can remain simple but better expressed in flexibility giving them bonus to ability and proficiencies of choice.

But remains three major problems and other minor quirks.
Posted By: Eilistraecomeback (9/27/2013 1:16:42 PM)


With SO SO SO many iterations of the game capping ability scores at 18, why not simply cap human ability scores at 18 and let them keep the +1 to everything. It effectually makes them easy to create, but not superpowered and better than ALL other races combined.
Posted By: LostLegolas (9/27/2013 10:47:29 AM)


I was one of those railing the hardest against the +1 all humans for a long time. But now that I've spent time watching them being played and being built, I totally get it. I won't cry if they change humans, but I'm done complaining about it now that I understand the design. It's elegant and well though-out. I applaud them for such a simple effective solution that not only makes the humans clean and simple to play but then makes the other races actually make sense again. In fact, I would say that if you don't understand the human design, there's a strong chance you won't understand the decisions they made on the other races.
Posted By: mbeacom (9/27/2013 10:41:43 AM)


I agree, although giving a human the option of a +1 to three or four abilities of your choice instead would be fine too. I'm okay with either option. I must also say I like playing humans and don't get why some see them as a boring option? My players personality is to me who my character is not a series of ability bonuses or super powers.
Posted By: tirwin (9/27/2013 12:58:07 PM)


The Human isn't the only race that isn't designed well.
Posted By: AH_schulerta (9/27/2013 9:07:59 AM)


Maybe the long, dark nightmare of boring humans is over!
Posted By: Osgood (9/27/2013 8:27:04 AM)


I'm curious to know when and if the Sorceror and Warlock will make another appearance.
Posted By: Tulloch (9/27/2013 4:16:20 AM)


I'm shocked there is anyone who wants it THIS simple. A human warrior fighter right now seems absurdly boring bag of dice rolls.
Posted By: MacEochaid (9/27/2013 2:14:19 AM)


Couldn't there be a "Quick-start module" that would be assumed in the basic game, that allows easy and basic races? All races would get just like one or two things, rather than having the various complexities here.

Then these versions of races (minus the current human) could become an "advanced races" module.
Posted By: Marandahir (9/27/2013 12:38:27 AM)



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