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.
How does the bard's focus on spellcasting affect bard college (specifically College of Valor)?
Going with a full spellcaster progression has taken some of the pressure off the bard colleges, actually, and let us trim them down to provide a more focused and direct set of class features. The College of Valor is still centered on providing a more combat-focused bard, who gains better armor, extra attacks, and the ability to cast spells and attack on the same round (outside of the normal swift spells, many of which appear on the bard spell list). The College of Lore concentrates more on the versatility of the bard, providing additional skills and known spells to give the College of Lore bard more flexibility. Additionally, each bard college provides a unique use of the Bardic Inspiration dice; the College of Lore focuses on debilitating enemies and blunting their attacks, where the College of Valor lets the creatures you inspire boost their damage and Armor Class.
Can a Bard's inspiration bonus dice be “banked” or saved? How long can the recipient wait before using it?
Yes. Once a bard gives another creature a Bardic Inspiration die, that creature has up to 1 minute to use that die. We think this not only makes the dice more versatile, but also allows the bard to give a pep talk to everyone in the party before springing an ambush, or inspire a character that is about to undertake a complex task, without worrying about the inspiration wearing off too soon.
Is double proficiency bonus the new expertise?
Yes. We think this provides a less jarring jump in skill than the flat +5 bonus, and also allows the character benefitting from Expertise to see that benefit scale upward. We’ve also tweaked the proficiency bonus to go from +2 at 1st level up to +6, so that proficiency and Expertise alike are more meaningful at 1st level.
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.