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Rule-of-Three: 06/05/2012
Rodney Thompson

Y ou've got questions—we've got answers! Here's how it works—each week, our Community Manager will be scouring all available sources to find whatever questions you're asking. We'll pick three of them for R&D to answer, whether about the about the making of the game, the technical workings of our DDI studio, 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 there be a paladin class or is it going to be a theme that can be applied to a Fighter/Cleric/Rogue/Wizard?

The paladin will be a class. While the cleric of Moradin in the playtest does look a lot like a paladin (wearing heavy armor and defending his or her allies), keep in mind that this particular cleric is built with the War domain and the Guardian theme, which gears that character toward a very specific archetype that is similar to the paladin. The paladin is going to have plenty of unique features of its own to make it stand out as a class.

2 What is a good rule of thumb for a DM to use when determining to add a +/– modifier versus using the advantage/disadvantage mechanic?

In general, I would advise DMs to apply advantage whenever the player is spending an action in advance to get the advantage. The rogue spends an action to hide, thus gaining advantage on a future attack; I spend my action to help you, so you get advantage on a check. Otherwise, when a character isn't using a whole action to get the bonus, consider simply lowering the DC or (in the case of a player attacking a monster) apply a modifier to the attack or saving throw.

3 Does every race gain a bonus and a penalty as was done in previous editions, or only bonuses as in Fourth Edition?

The current design has every race (except humans) gaining a bonus to one ability score, based on a subrace choice. Humans get a bonus to every ability score, plus an additional +1 bonus to a score of their choice. Of course, when we provide the character creation rules for the playtest, we're going to be looking closely at the feedback we get on ability bonuses, so it's all the more important that people get involved in the playtest and share their thoughts on the matter.

How can I submit a question to the Rule-of-Three?

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 Rule-of-Three, 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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