At the time of posting, Wizards of the Coast has just released the second One D&D Playtest Unearthed Arcana. It is not surprising that many rules appearing in the first article, Character Origins, have been changed or removed in the second article, Expert Classes. For example, the rules for critical hits were changed significantly:

Weapons and Unarmed Strikes* have a special feature for player characters: Critical Hits. If a player character rolls a 20 for an attack roll with a Weapon or an Unarmed Strike, the attack is also a Critical Hit, which means it deals extra damage to the target; you roll the damage dice of the Weapon or Unarmed Strike a second time and add the second roll as extra damage to the target. For example, a Mace deals Bludgeoning Damage equal to 1d6 + your Strength modifier. If you score a Critical Hit with the Mace, it instead deals 2d6 + your Strength modifier. If your Weapon or Unarmed Strike has no damage dice, it deals no extra damage on a Critical Hit.

-"Critical Hits", Character Origins

This Unearthed Arcana article uses the rules for attack rolls and critical hits found in the 2014 Player's Handbook.

"Attack Roll", Expert Classes

Given that there will be significant changes to individual rules from article to article, I think it may be a good idea to keep answers to question about a particular playtest article focused on the particular article asked about in the question, instead of providing new answers about playtest material released after the playtest material asked about in the question.

How should we handle newer playtest materials that change rules we've asked about from older playtest materials?


1 Answer 1


Here are some things that I think are best practices moving forward as new One D&D playtest articles are released.

1. Questions should clearly identify which playtest material is being asked about.

I've read through some of the D&D Next playtest packets (dropbox link), and of course, we see the same phenomenon occurring: some rules are changed significantly packet to packet. However, reading through our questions, it does not appear as though we really documented which packet the questions and answers were working from. Of course, there's nothing to be done about that now, but I think we can learn from that experience moving forward, which we have; the first round of One D&D questions about the Character Origins article are identified as such. So as more One D&D materials are released, we need to be sure that it is clear in the question what source document is being asked about.

2. Questions about one playtest article should stay about that playtest article.

If a rule asked about in a question changes in a newer playtest release, the question should not be updated to reflect that change. Instead, a question about a new rule should be a new question, because a change to the rule could (usually will) invalidate any answers given, and might even invalidate the question entirely (for example, the wholesale deletion of a rule invalidates the question). We know that the playtest rules are evolving, but I think there is value in preserving the original context of these questions. Further, even if a particular rule does not change from one article to the next, it is very likely that the context of that rule will. For this reason, a question about an unchanged rule in a later document is not a duplicate of the earlier question, as the rule is appearing in a different context, with answers needing to consider different material.

3. Answers to questions about one playtest article should stay about that playtest article.

This is similar to the last point about questions. Since a question asked about a rule from a particular document, answers to that question should be about that particular document. This is different from changes to rules in the official ruleset of the game. Answers to questions about the official rules should be updated to reflect the most current official rules, since generally, everyone is using the official rules at least as the foundation of their game. Since we shouldn't be updating questions to reflect the most recent playtest release, we generally don't need to be updating answers either. We don't need to be going back and checking all of the existing questions for updates every time a new playtest document is released. If you think it is valuable to mention a rule change from a later release that changes the answer to a question, this is best done as an end note or even a comment, and should not become the focus of the answer.

4. Use good judgment.

Finally, I don't want to give the impression that we should be perfectly rigid about these things. These points are what I see as general best practices for approaching questions about the playtest, but there may be exceptions. There may be questions or answers where straying from these practices would be best. So use your good judgment, do not hesitate to grab a second opinion in comments or in chat, and start a meta discussion if that doesn't work things out.

  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ If this ends up being a policy-- and I think it does-- that mitigates or curtails "churn" (in this case, a desperate scramble to keep updating every article to keep on top of ever-shifting rules in flux) then I agree 100%. \$\endgroup\$
    – Novak
    Commented Oct 1, 2022 at 3:03
  • \$\begingroup\$ We may also want to clarify how the different articles interact and how questions may legitimately cover multiple articles. Crawford specifically encouraged trying out Expert Classes alongside Character Origins (with the latest Rules Glossary taking priority). For example, I'd say it's fine to ask about how the balance of Ardling Celestial Legacies in Character Origins shifts due to the changes to guidance in Expert Classes. \$\endgroup\$
    – Red Orca
    Commented Oct 1, 2022 at 4:23
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Novak That is definitely something I want to avoid. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Oct 1, 2022 at 7:33
  • 3
    \$\begingroup\$ @RedOrca I had tried a few times to write “article(s)” but it felt weird. But yes, of course we can ask questions about how features from different articles relate. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Oct 1, 2022 at 7:36

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