D&D Next Q&A: Modular Features, Paladin Alignment & Legendary Creatures

You'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 D&D Next questions you're asking.

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 toCustomer 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.

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1 Will we see modular features that actually change the core abilities of a class?

Almost certainly, though likely this will appear only in rules modules that affect significant changes to the game’s mechanics. For example, if we have a robust, point-and-bonus-based skill system module, that will need to alter some class features for classes that are traditionally thought of as skill-focused, like the bard, monk, ranger, or rogue. When possible, we’ll want to make other rules modules (especially those that add to the game’s mechanics, rather than changing them outright) function with no changes to the base classes, which should help integrate the module into the game more smoothly.

2 In the Legends & Lore, Mike mentions decoupling alignment from the rules. In the current packet, paladins are still required to be lawful. Is that something that you guys will change to decouple the alignment from the rules?

Yes. It simply has not been changed yet in the public playtest packets, because we are working hard to present some major changes across all classes in an upcoming packet, and we want to make sure that everything is interacting properly.

3 How does Legendary status affect the "army of peasants vs. dragon" scenario? Can the army of peasants still beat a Legendary creature (albeit with heavy losses)?

The concept of legendary creatures is still being worked on—even the dragon that Mike posted in his Legends & Lore column was nothing more than a proof of concept, and it hadn’t been developed or playtested beyond the initial encounter. So, keeping in mind that what you saw was very early in the process, I imagine that the answer to the question is this: It depends on what we need to be true of that particular legendary creature. For example, take the Tarrasque, which might well be a legendary creature. The Tarrasque is described as an engine of destruction that rampages across the land, destroying anything (including towns and armies) in its wake. It typically has incredible resistances, regenerates, and cannot be truly killed by anything short of incredible circumstances or resources. If I were building the stats for the Tarrasque right now, given all of that information, I would probably build safeguards into both the basic stats, and any legendary mechanics, that do things like ignore damage from lower-level creatures, regenerate any minor wounds, and even prevent the creature from dropping below 0 hit points in the first place, on top of being able to ignore death magic under all but exceptional circumstances.

That’s sort of an easy example, because in both the story of the Tarrasque, and the Tarrasque’s role in the game, the monstrous creature is something that only high-level heroes should even have a chance of defeating, much less destroying. For something like a legendary dragon, it might not be so cut-and-dry; I could see, in one instance, a legendary dragon might not have any special resistances to minor damage, meaning that yes, it’s true, an army of peasants with crossbows could keep the creature at bay. I would want to do this mostly for creatures that are meant to be major threats to adventurers, but yet also not able to reshape the world at their whim. A dragon that terrorizes the Borderlands might be this kind of dragon. On the other hand, if we want a dragon that challenges cities and can face down entire armies of non-adventurers, that one would be built very differently, and it might ignore damage from nonmagical weapons, or ignore damage below a certain threshold, or be able to repel ranged attacks, or be able to break the initiative order and interrupt readied actions, and so forth. It all comes down to the role the dragon needs to play in the world and in the game; this role will determine the exact function of its legendary mechanics

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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 boardsTwitter feed, and Facebook account. You can also submit questions directly to dndinsider@wizards.com. 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!

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