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 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.
____________________________________Mike Mearls mentioned that you’ve created a list of skills to pull from when making backgrounds. Does this mean the idea of an open skill choice is gone completely, or is this just something that was added to give people a little more focus for theme creation if they need it?
We’ve never really been considering “create your own skills!” as a default option in our background and skills system. Keeping in mind that I expect that the skills system will still continue to see a lot of refinement and change going forward based on player feedback, right now the intent is that we have a relatively fixed skill list that the backgrounds draw upon. Lettingplayers and DMs create new skills because their campaigns have room for them is somethingthat definitely will fall into the realm of custom options and rules modules, rather than a default assumption. (For example, I could very easily see Chris Perkins creating a Sailing skill for his Iomandra campaign setting, which is a seafaring-heavy setting.) At the same time, our expectations about skills are a bit different in this iteration of the game, since we rely on our ability scores for primary task resolution. So creating custom skills for your campaign should be easier to do. We want to facilitate that kind of player creativity, but we can’t assume thateveryone has that level of interest in modifying the skill system.
In the next round of playtesting, we’re going to be paying very close attention to what people have to say about the skill list. Getting that list right is really important to making the system work. Right now, we especially want to look at how broad or narrow the skills should be. Should we have fewer skills, but make them broader, or many skills, but make them narrower? This is something your feedback will help us determine.
Will magic items have prices assigned (as a balancing factor when determining treasure)? Will magic item "shops" be present or implied?
We’re still working on a lot of the details of magic items right now. As you’ve heard us saybefore, we’re not assuming any particular flow of magic items into the game. That is purely up to the DM and the adventures. However, in order for that to work, that means that whether or not players can buy magic items is going to depend largely on the specific campaign.
We certainly want to give guidelines for DMs who want to let players buy and sell magic items, and make implementing that as easy as possible. That probably means some kind of pricing structure just to help the DM out, but that isn’t a concept we’re going to be leading with. Right now, we’re looking to make magic items as exciting and appealing as possible. Once we’re happy with that (and you’re happy, too!), we’re going to work on all of the variants that come with it.
What will rules for magic item creation look like (if there are any)?
This ties into my answer from the second question, but the short version is: We don’t know yet. We do have some ideas. Of course, the easiest version would be an item creation ritual that letsyou pay the item’s cost and, boom, you make the item. However, that may not be the onlyanswer (let alone the best one). One of the methods we’re looking at actually lets the DM choose some of the qualities of the item being crafted, keeping an air of mystery in the magic item despite the player’s initiation of the process. Another idea is to randomize the magic item you get with a table. Another idea is to use a more formula-like approach with components that cannot be bought, but must be quested for; collect the following rare ingredients, and then you get to make the item. Of course, we also don’t have to pick just one of these possibilities; we can present multiple methods of doing item creation rules, and let the DM pick the one that is right for his or her campaign.
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!