D&D: Mike Mearls AMA-teur Hour

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Mike Mearls, Senior Manager for R&D at D&D sat down with Reddit for an AMA. Here’s what we learned.

D&D’s Senior Manager sat down to talk to the internet, providing some insight into the design process for D&D, some behind-the-scenes look at the reasons for certain mechanics we know and loathe, and even recommended a few things from his personal campaign and some advice for new players. It’s all pretty fascinating stuff and from it, we can get a sense of the shape of D&D to come.

There are a few choice bits below, take a look!

via Reddit

Advice for New Players

It’s true. Sometimes taking a big risk can lead to failure–or everyone dying–but even then, just because everyone’s dead doesn’t mean the game is over.

What works and what doesn’t

Agreed about the Ranger. Of all the classes, it definitely feels like it’s lacking something. I had always thought it was in the spellcasting myself–after all there are plenty of levels where the only thing the Ranger gets is a new spell, and it definitely feels lackluster. But, later in the AMA Mearls talks about a possible Ranger rework, saying that if it were up to him, he’d make it a little more like the Paladin.

Another thing that’s worth mentioning is the wish to play up more of the shapeshifting for Druids. Maybe there’ll be a cool shifter style subclass in whatever the UA playtest expansion ends up being called.

On getting involved with D&D

How does a Bill Become a Law Unearthed Arcana Content get finalized?

Alternate title: today I learned that the Unearthed Arcana team super depends on your feedback. There are still a few surveys up over at the Unearthed Arcana repository, so if you’ve playtested anything, go fill out their surveys.

Also worth noting–the lifecycle seems to be UA test survey and revision towards the very end of the dev cycle–again I’m betting that Midway, due out in November is the product that’ll have all the UA content in it.

Speaking of Midway, there were a few times that the topic of 6th Edition came up. But for now, the prognosis seems to be waiting until “the warts on 5th Edition were bad enough that people want them excised” and that a 5-6 year edition cycle is not the rule by default.

On 5th Edition’s longevity

Parting words of wisdom

Let me leave you with this last bit of parting wisdom from Mike Mearls. It’s pretty fantastic.

Indeed, there are few things you can threaten a corpse with.

Read the rest of the AMA here

Happy Adventuring!

  • euansmith

    D&D has an R&D Department? I’m thinking they could do with a Health & Safety Department; some of those dungeons are feckin’ death traps!

    • Red_Five_Standing_By

      Mike has always been that way, even back when he was doing the D&D Podcast. He was always thinking of ways to improve the game.