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.
Can we expect to see monk traditions that allow players to differentiate between different fighting styles, like the rogue's schemes and fighter's styles?
Not at this time, and for a couple of reasons. First, the monk is already a much narrower concept than a fighter or a rogue; the class is used to replicate a much smaller swath of archetypes than core classes are. In the fighter and rogue, we use fighting styles and schemes respectively to help make it more clear how to replicate certain archetypes; in the monk, the narrower band of archetypes makes that unnecessary. The second issue is complexity. The monk’s already got a lot going on in the class, including maneuvers/expertise dice, ki, and unique class features. Adding another mechanic on top of that would push the class’s complexity beyond where we’d like it to be.
Additionally, something that we’re looking to improve on is the weight that schemes and fighting styles are carrying. Right now, they’re more organizational than mechanical, so we’re going to be looking very closely at what role they serve, and if they should be carrying more mechanical weight than they are right now. That’s down the line a ways, though, and more an element of refining the classes than defining them.
How do you make spells interesting and exciting without causing them to make non-casters obsolete (why bring a rogue when the wizard has the knock spell; why bring a fighter when the wizard can polymorph into a bear)?
We’re approaching it from many different angles; there’s no magic bullet to sweep up all of the possible issues. First, we’re keeping a close eye on durations to make sure that any given spell doesn’t allow a character to obviate another character for long periods of time. Second, we want to make sure that those spells aren’t about obviating other characters, but rather about letting the caster provide a “good enough” attempt at a certain task when no specialist is present (after all, not every party is going to have a rogue in it), while the specialist (in other words, the class geared toward that task) still does a better job of doing that task. A good example is the version of knock we are playtesting. Certainly, both the rogue and the knock spell can unlock doors. The knock spell has the drawback of being limited to one use, while the rogue can unlock multiple doors in a row, and the knock spell creates a loud noise that can draw the attention of other creatures (guards, wandering monsters, dragons, and so on). The rogue picks locks silently, meaning that, for the most part, having a rogue is still going to be far preferable to using the knock spell.
Third, we want to expand the use of the concentration rules to ensure that a spellcaster can’t stack up spells to basically step fully into another class’s domain too easily. Sure, the wizard has access to polymorph and stoneskin, but he or she is going to need to pick one or the other, while the fighter is dishing out damage and turning aside blows with the Parry maneuver every round.
When can we expect to see some information on multiclassing?
Probably not until after the new year. We’re in the process of playtesting those rules internally and with our closed playtest groups, and we still have some issues in the presentation to work out. We’re pretty optimistic that it shouldn’t be too far out in the future, though!
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!