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 do critical hits interact with things like Sneak Attack and Smite?
You maximize all the damage dice, including Sneak Attack dice, Smite dice, extra damage granted by spells, and so forth, except for the extra die you get for scoring a critical hit.
What is happening in the game world when a fighter deals damage on a missed attack?
Since Armor Class represents a combination of agility and the ability to absorb the impact of the weapon (for example, why a suit of plate, by default, has a higher AC than leather armor), we like to think of it as the fighter character striking the body of the target, and the armor (or hide) absorbing the brunt of the damage, but not all of it; the strike was so brutal and skillfully placed that it did more than anyone else could have done with the same attack. For anyone except a fighter with this very specific training, the armor/hide/scales would normally absorb the full impact of the strike, thus dealing no damage and being described as a miss.
Will druids be able to Wild Shape into creatures with more hit points or Hit Dice than they have?
We are carefully shepherding the specific creatures into which a druid can transform for just this reason; we want to make sure the hit points of the new form are a nice pool of bonus hit points, without completely overshadowing the druid’s own hit point pool. At this time, we’re going to look at expanding the number of creatures that a druid can use Wild Shape to change into, but we have certain guidelines and restrictions on what kinds of statistics and capabilities we want to see in player hands. At the same time, we want the druid to feel like he or she has a lot of options, so one area where we are likely to pursue some more open-ended options is in the basic forms available to all druids, not just Circle of the Moon druids. These forms tend to be higher in utility and not very useful as combat forms.
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.