Homebrew Content

Is it acceptable to use homebrew content (such as a custom Sorcerer Bloodline) or should we stick to in packet content for mechanics?
Well when filling in a survey it's probably best to stick to the materials provided, but if you wanna use home-brew material in your games go ahead.
Is it acceptable to use homebrew content (such as a custom Sorcerer Bloodline) or should we stick to in packet content for mechanics?



Depends on your DM's approval but your not going to hurt anything by making a good attempt. What sort of custom bloodlines did you have in mind? Or, rather, how could you re-flavor the current mechanics to fit your concept?

For example, I wanted to make a Necromancer-Fighter guy. The way the Necromancer specialty works stinks so I had to go with the Sorcerer for the mechanics to work. But I hated the whole Dragon-esque style it provided. What I did was reflavor the abilities of the Draogn stuff with Undead stuff. Instead of the Dragon fluff, I went with a zombie/undead flavor. When my Willpower ran out I could gain the claws of a Wight, have a strong hunger for uncooked meat, and my very skin felt as clammy and cold as the dead. The damage element was, of course, Cold (like a Tomb) and my Sorcerous Powers turned from Dragon Strength to Zombie Might and Dragon Scales to Lich Bones (if I remember correctly). The spells I took were Cause Fear (for the necromancy part) and Shield (reflavored to look like a small wall of bones).  

So, when in doubt try to reflavor the current playtest material to suit your needs so there's no question about the power of homebrew material and, when that fails, show the DM your ideas and see what he says.
Well when filling in a survey it's probably best to stick to the materials provided, but if you wanna use home-brew material in your games go ahead.



This.
If you're participating in the playtest for the purposes of providing feedback, it would probably be better to use what they give you and comment on those things. If you're playing it just for fun, then go crazy...use whatever houserules you want! 
Hocus_Smokus says it perfectly. 
Okay. I actually am the DM so I was curious of the approach that is advised. I like to allow my players large amounts of freedom (I once allowed an evil aligned paladin in 3e, for example). I'm just curious if such an approach is apporopriate in this setting or not.
Well when filling in a survey it's probably best to stick to the materials provided, but if you wanna use home-brew material in your games go ahead.



This.
If you're participating in the playtest for the purposes of providing feedback, it would probably be better to use what they give you and comment on those things. If you're playing it just for fun, then go crazy...use whatever houserules you want! 



I have to disagree with that. I think you should do what ever works for your group and talk about it. If we all try our various ways to tweak the system and share the results of our tweakings and get other fans' thoughts on our tweaks on the boards then the game creators can get some ideas outside of their inside group which is part of the point of the playtest.
Since a major part of D&D is homebrewing, I would suggest a split. Allow just ONE person use the homebrew, and the rest of the group stick with provided material. Then report on how easy/difficult it is to intergrate homebrew material with the playtest material.
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Of the two approaches to hobby games today, one is best defined as the realism-simulation school and the other as the game school. AD&D is assuredly an adherent of the latter school. It does not stress any realism (in the author's opinon an absurd effort at best considering the topic!). It does little to attempt to simulate anything either. (AD&D) is first and foremost a game for the fun and enjoyment of those who seek the use of imagination and creativity.... In all cases, however, the reader should understand that AD&D is designed to be an amusing and diverting pastime, something which an fill a few hours or consume endless days, as the participants desire, but in no case something to be taken too seriously. For fun, excitement and captivating fantasy, AD&D is unsurpassed.As a realistic simulation of things from the realm of make-believe or even as a reflection of midieval or ancient warfare or culture or society, it can be deemed only a dismal failure. Readers who seek the later must search elsewhere. - Gary Gygax. 1e DMG.
on this subject, and with keeping things easy, in terms of not mucking too much, I would like to add a svirfneblin to the party. We had a character death, and I want to add a PC in the form of a svirfneblin. The character was a cleric, and I am hoping to keep that. Any thoughts on the stat bonuses and penalties? Maybe go with human? 
Well when filling in a survey it's probably best to stick to the materials provided, but if you wanna use home-brew material in your games go ahead.



This.
If you're participating in the playtest for the purposes of providing feedback, it would probably be better to use what they give you and comment on those things. If you're playing it just for fun, then go crazy...use whatever houserules you want! 


+1

 
I have to agree with the general consensus that using the rules they provided is the best way to go if you are playing a game that will factor into your survey results.  I will break this rule in one way though.  If you come up with a tweak of an rule in the playtest, feel free to try it both ways, to explain the rule change in your survey response, and explain how play felt both with and without the tweak.

There are a great many problems that can be circumvented by players and DMs having a mature discussion about what the game is going to be like before they ever sit down together to play.

 

The answer really does lie in more options, not in confining and segregating certain options.

 

You really shouldn't speak for others.  You can't hear what someone else is saying when you try to put your words in their mouth.

 

Fencing & Swashbuckling as Armor.

D20 Modern Toon PC Race.

Mecha Pilot's Skill Challenge Emporium.

 

Save the breasts.

I once allowed an evil aligned paladin in 3e, for example.



Probably shouldn't let XunValDorl_of_HouseKilsek hear you say that.


My D&D Next Philosophy: In this age of user created content, Wizards needs to take a step toward embracing that. Modularity is certainly a start, but the best possible way for Wizards to encourage homebrew is to strip the mechanics of flavor, and to ensure that they are as balanced as possible. Players today should be able to start with a concept and build that character. They should not have to force it into narrowly-defined classes that restrict the ability to play the character you want.