Cleaning Up the AMA with Mike Mearls, Part 2


Mike Mearls answered questions for two days in the Ask Me Anything he began on Tuesday, November 4, 2014. Many of his answers on the second day were hidden behind load more comments links and so much of this may be new to those who have already been reading through the AMA. While I have included most of the questions that received answers there are a few that I skipped because they were either incidental (i.e. Great job Mike!) or the question had already been more fully answered previously.


Classic Settings and New Ones?

Wohoooooooooo!

Providing you're really Mike I simply wanted to say "thanks". 5th rocks. :]

And now, the question: could you confirm both Darksun and Ravenloft coming back? - JesterRaiin

I can't confirm anything, but I can say that we're big fans of the classic D&D settings. When we created the core 5th system, we new that it had to be flexible enough to both cover past D&D settings and have the ability to stretch to cover new ones. - Mike Mearls

[While Mike will not confirm any future plans for the edition it has not stopped other members of the D&D team from doing so. In April Chris Perkins told Forbes "The Forgotten Realms is our flagship setting for the new edition, however we are supporting, or will support, all of our key settings in the future . . .That includes Ebberon, says Perkins, and . . . you are going to see more Ravenloft stuff very soon . . .” (Secrets from the 'Tyranny of Dragons'). Interestingly this is the first time that he's hinted at new settings being brought into Dungeons and Dragons. - Charlie]




Mike, 5th edition is the best D&D I've played. I run an after school Games group and it's what we're playing now, not to mention my two weekend games.
My question is:

When do we get to find out what's going on in the Forgotten Realms!? I feel like I'm going in blind, I have no dates, I don't know what's currently happening or has recently happened in the Realms!

Great job on an awesome product, and thanks! - mutants4life

We definitely want to provide a broad update on the Realms, but nothing to report yet. Sorry! - Mike Mearls



Heya Mike!

What is the timetable for conversion documents for classic settings? I'd LOVE to play Eberron but it needs a lot of moving parts like Dragon Marks, Psionics, etc to work. DarkSun is friendlier, but I still need something for how magic works in the setting. Stuff like that. - mostlyjoe

We looked at each setting and what it needed, and have done some work quantifying the work effort each would need. Sorry I can't be more specific right now, but we are looking at it. - Mike Mearls


General Questions for Mike

Hi Mike,

I hope I'm not too late to ask this - work is busy so it's hard to take time out to write a post. I'm really curious about your thoughts on the design behind (and niche filled by) Paladins and clerics. I don't want to prime your answer by putting my thoughts, but I do see some overlap with things like the 3rd level war specialization on the priest (sorry, no book in front of me) that make it hard for me to distinguish between the two classes. Love 5e. It's been a breath of fresh air and it has definitely rejuvenated my gaming group.

Thank you for all you do! - cirot88

One of the things we tried to do was make paladins distinct by adding in the concept of the oath. A paladin doesn't need to be tied to a deity to wield power, and in a future product we present a paladin who uses spells but has an oath tied to a kingdom or crown, rather than a god. - Mike Mearls




What are your thoughts on the homebrewing of classes? I would love to see some basic class templates or guidelines in the DMG. - TorchedBlack

We'll be tackling that in a future web column. We thought about covering it in the DMG, and did write up some material, but given how the game can evolve we didn't want to have outdated info in a core rulebook in a few years. I'm a big fan of homebrewing - it's part of what makes D&D great. - Mike Mearls



Dunno if you're still looking at this, but:

You guys did a good job on this one...and goes to show that execution is just as important as the mechanics themselves; lots of needless overcomplication that didn't add anything thrown out the window. It almost feels like 3 was 'how can we make the best simulation', 4 was 'how can we bring in new blood from similar hobbies [big box board games / MMOs]' (Edit: Or possibly 'How can we get the tactics without the crunch'), and now 5 is 'screw it. Let's just make a good game.'

As someone trying to teach himself how to do the probability of and in turn create a good underlying model for a game's mechanics: How do you arrive at that original playtest prototype, balance-wise? One of the things I've struggled with is getting the mechanics and math to where I'm happy taking it to a table, feeling reasonably sure it'll play ok and need tweaked, rather than being so far out in the weeds the numbers need redone. I'm sure experience comes into play [other devs have even stated as such], but there has to be a rhyme or reason to it. - foxden_racing

We started with the game design and then focused on the math second because it helps to start by looking at the effect you want a mechanic to have in play.

Think of a mechanic like its own, short story. What story does it tell? What emotions do you want to evoke?

Advantage and disadvantage grew out of that approach. I wanted you to hate that second d20 on disadvantage, or see that second die as your best friend with advantage. If the emotional pay off is strong enough, you can twist your math around to make it work. - Mike Mearls



What's your favorite 5e Rule Variant that DIDN'T make it into the core rulebooks? - Polythello

I've mentioned dice for proficiency, but let throw in another - I liked it when warlock pacts gave you a cosmetic drawback. Like, if you had the ability to see in the dark you had creepy devil eyes, or some such. - Mike Mearls




Hey Mike! I'm an aspiring writer and game developer in NYC, aka I make absolutely no money. Jokes aside, I've gotten into DnD lately, and 5e was my first tabletop rpg I've ever played. After a few sessions I started to think about making something like a DayZ rpg, really focused on the DayZ world and some of the mods too. I know it's a huge question, but where do I get started? What should I think about going in, what kind of mechanics are absolutely key to pin down early? How do I start this massive journey!

Thanks in advance, really loving 5e! - SalubriousStreets

The best way to start is to throw together some basic mechanics and try playing. For something like DayZ, think about the stuff in the game that's important to you. If you were to tell someone the most exciting story you can imagine about playing DayZ, what are the things you talk about?

That stuff is the key to your game - make sure your mechanics support it, and let everything else fall aside from now.

From there, try running a session or two. As GM, take note of stuff you need and stuff that turns out to be bothersome and revise as needed.

If you get stuck in a rut, try this mental exercise - think about stuff that would be absolutely terrible ideas for your game. Then, think about why they're bad ideas. That can help shed light on what your game needs or is missing.

Finally, err on the side of simplicity. It's much easier to start simple and add what you need than wrestle with complex rules. - Mike Mearls




I've been playing DnD since the mid 90's and back then the campaign settings felt more like they were each their own game systems rather than just a couple new races and a different map and feel. Some examples are things like Birthright and Darksun. When 3e came out the settings felt like they still needed to "fit" inside the game system to me. More about small tweaks to generate a feel and less about sweeping changes.

What's your take on campaign setting design? Do you like it when it makes the game almost unrecognizable or do you prefer DnD to have a more stable core? - Sparticuse

I think a stable core is useful, because it makes it easier to focus on the differences. The administrative stuff in a system - AC, hit points, checks, etc. - I'd prefer to remain stable.
With that in mind, I think it's reasonable to ask one of two things from a setting (though a setting can have both):

  • What game mechanic does the setting use that I don't see elsewhere?
  • What's the one big thing I put on my character sheet for this setting that I don't see elsewhere?
I think the best settings have interesting answers to those questions. That said, something like FR is what establishes the baseline from which other settings deviate. You do need that foundation for everything to play off of. - Mike Mearls



Salutations, Mikey-boy!

What other tabletop/table games do you enjoy playing in your off-time? - IWishIWasATurnip

My wife plays lots of board games, so we have a number of two-player games in our rotation:

  • LotR: The Confrontation
  • Battle Line
  • Lost Cities
  • Pecking Order
A few others we play: * Ticket to Ride * Carcasonne * Puerto Rico * Dominion
For more hobby game stuff: * X-Wing miniatures game * Battletech * Car Wars * Ogre * Arkham Horror * Elder Sign

I used to be a huge Warhammer 40k player and collector.

For RPGs, I've played the following in the past year, in addition to D&D: * 13th Age * Dungeon World * Numenera * Call of Cthulhu * Descent

RPGs have been a little thin lately, due to D&D playtesting.

I own and really want to play: * Battle Lore 2e * Combat Commander * Fire in the Lake * Twilight Struggle * Mage Knight board game * Eldritch Horror * Commands & Colors: Ancients - Mike Mearls



Is it too late to ask if I can get a job? ;)

Also, what was the hardest thing to let go of when converting the older (3.0, 3.5, 4.0) rules to 5.0? - VetMichael

Hardest thing - don't sweat the details. 5e is fairly streamlined. Focus on capturing the essence of a monster or magic item, rather than every element of it.

For characters, it'll basically come down to finding the best match for the options you've chosen. We'll talk about that stuff in the conversion docs we're working on. - Mike Mearls


Handling Errata 

When will we, if we will, see official errata or clarifications for the PHB, HotDQ, and subsequent books? Namely the Circle of the Moon Druid. - jmcampbell82

Starting next year, we'll issue surveys similar to the playtest ones to ferret out any issues and vet solutions. - Mike Mearls


Open Playtest

First, thanks for being so active in responding to questions! Great AMA.

I'm also a long term gamer - picked it up with the red box back in 1978. I've played a lot of games (and I'm a Runequest nerd at heart), but I'm very happy to see the new edition. I just picked up the PHB and the MM to join a friend's new campaign! My question is about process... The playtest was fascinating. What feedback surprised you from it? What are some changes you all decided to make that you weren't expecting? - stranger_here_myself

Biggest surprise - people loved complexity out of combat, and generally disliked it in combat. That ran counter to what we expected. I really thought we'd see a big call for a much fiddlier core combat system, but that never happened.

Unexpected change - I love the proficiency bonus, but there were some of us (including me!) who thought that people would not be happy with a single progression. The feedback showed us that people loved it. It was a happy surprise. - Mike Mearls



It seems like Pathfinder development is much more transparent than D&D. They have active Facebook and web blogs. They frequently visit their forums. Further, major releases all have a beta period, they release PDFs of all their sourcebooks and they have open submissions for writers. In contrast D&D doesn't seem to have a face or much of a community liaison. I believe the last Reddit AMA was a year ago. What structure is in place that causes D&D to be so opaque and mired in paper publishing? - Uverus

Bonus points for mentioning licensing character creation software rights to HeroLab.

I don't agree with your premise - we opened up the development of our core system to an audience that is larger than the audience playing any other RPG on the market.

We have over 600,000 followers on our Facebook page and post there regularly.

The core team is active on Twitter and answers rules questions.

Honestly, I think the better question is why do people think we're opaque after we spent two years conducting an incredibly open test driven by rigorously collected and analyzed data? I'm really not sure what else we can do.

IMO, a big drawback we face is that when we say we'll do something, people hold us to it. D&D is an order of magnitude larger than any other tabletop RPG. If we say we're going to do X and then don't deliver, we catch far more grief than any other publisher. - Mike Mearls


Specific System Questions

Hi Mike - probably too late for you to see this, but you never know.

I'm really enjoying 5E, much more than I had expected to given that the only other edition I really enjoy is 4E. In all honesty, the only thing I really miss is the Warlord class - I always thought it was the best addition to the game, and the tiny bits and pieces in, for example, the battlemaster Fighter and valour Bard don't really scratch the tactical itch.
Is it too much to hope for more warlord? - barnardine

Our intent is for the fighter's options to pick up the warlord concept, but as with anything we'll keep an eye on how it's working out in play. - Mike Mearls


The Pact of the Blade Warlock feature seems to imply you can form any melee weapon you want, until you make a pact with a specific weapon, at which time you can only summon that weapon with the pact. Is that correct? Also, is there any mechanical reason that you can't summon two weapons (for TWF) or ranged weapons? Wondering if this pact is limited for flavor reasons or mechanical ones. Thanks! - menkoy

That's a correct reading of the pact.

I'd allow two weapons or a ranged weapon - it's not a big balancing factor. - Mike Mearls



Out of curiosity, why are the Ranger's known spells limited to half-level + 1, while the Paladin is able to prepare spells from the entire list of Paladin spells?

Was also curious about how a Beastmaster functions as a mount. The PHB states that a mount can take the dash, disengage, and dodge actions.

This seems to be at odds with the Beastmaster requiring you to use your action to have your companion take those actions, and makes the archetype improvement at level 7 a bit lackluster. - DakAttak

Paladins vs. Rangers: It's a flavor issue, a nod to the ranger's AD&D links to the magic-user/wizard spell list.

Beastmaster Mounts: I'd allow the companion to act as either per the companion rules, or as per the mount rules each round. At level 7, that would let the beast dash/disengage/dodge with its own action as a mount, then the ranger can use a bonus action for one of the Exceptional Training benefits.

That's IMO, not an official rule. Crawford makes me say that, because he's the official rules expert. - Mike Mearls




The zombie lord Marcel from 2nd Ravenloft adventure "Night of the Walking Dead" has two abilities: one is a vile odor that affects all in 30yds with a con save against random effects, all replicated by 5e except a Weakness spell effect and a Cause Disease spell effect (Contagion is already on the list); the other is a save vs. Death-and-zombification effect. What are appropriate DCs for such effects, and how can I retool the odor? - youareanassmaggot

I'd go one of two paths:

Lower DC but a really bad effect (DC 10 or so), or a higher DC (15) that requires one save per round and has a really bad effect after three failed saves. - Mike Mearls




Are levels meant to determine a relative level of power regardless of class or are they only to determine how powerful a character is in relation to it's own class? I know ideally it's the former, but it feels like the latter. - IWantToFishIt

Ideally the former - though class power is relative to the challenge at hand. - Mike Mearls



Hello! I wanted to know more about the development of the Conjure X spells. Specifically the design behind the Conjuration Wizard. I'm a new-ish DM with about a dozen 6-12hr games under my belt, and I'm finding that the ability to create 8 or more copies of a single creature bogs down combat tremendously, and is preventing me from placing the party in scenarios that feel dangerous to them. The wizard will just summon swarms of ravens to keep multiple enemies at bay. Is there a downside to this strategy I'm not seeing that will allow me to keep combat exciting without feeling cheap?
Thank you! -  LyonArtime

Remember the concentration rule - hit the caster, and the party risks losing all of those summoned creatures. Also, for weaker creatures don't be afraid to provoke their puny opportunity attacks. Finally, remember that larger creatures can move through the space occupied by a creature two sizes larger or smaller than it. - Mike Mearls



I really like traits/ideals/etc and Inspiration, and I like how Inspiration works differently from similar mechanics in other games- I like how it isn't a point economy, and its easy to have it, use it, and award it.

When did you guys decide to add traits/etc into the game, and how did they develop? Ditto Inspiration? - monstermanual

They came in fairly late in the process, if I recall correctly. We knew we wanted to have mechanical support for roleplaying, and it was something we suspected that people would react well to.

The mechanics were inspired by two RPGs, FATE and Pendragon. They gave us some nifty models for adding a system to encourage RP without being heavy handed about it. We knew that the rules needed a light touch, because some people would really latch on to it while others would avoid it.

I'm happy with the end result - it's nifty to see it accepted by so many people. I think inspiration, along with advantage and backgrounds, are the signature elements of this edition. - Mike Mearls



Hey Mike, just a couple quick questions but wanted to get clarification.
  1. This came up at the table and I think we got it figured out, but are wizards able to end spells early if they aren't concentration?
  2. So, just to be clear, exp earned in combat is still divided amongst all participants instead of each party member getting the full xp reward, right?
Loving 5e so much. This is everything I wanted DnD to be. Well, I am a little sad that rangers are still partial spellcasters and rely on favored enemies, but oh well, fighters can now do what I want rangers to do. Otherwise, it's a lot of fun. - Ryuutakeshi

1    The rules are silent on that, but I'd let a caster end it as a bonus action.

2    Correct.
- Mike Mearls



Is there a reason there isn't a spell to summon fiends, like there is with elementals, fey and celestials? Will that be in the DMG? - Twigzy

Fiends are a special case - the nature of the Abyss and the Nine Hells makes summoning them very difficult and at the cost of a sacrifice. It's something that we leave in the DM's hands. - Mike Mearls



I've been playing 5e with my friends for over a year now thanks to the playtests and we've already houseruled a few things back in (expertise dice instead of proficiency to skills for example) but I have two major questions:
  1. The Draconic bloodline sorceror adds damage to their relevant damage type. Say we have a red dragon sorceror who casts Wall of Fire. Do they add charisma to each tick of it , or just the damage dealt on cast. Do they also add damage for each individual hit of Scorching Ray?
  2. Do teleportation effects like Dimension Door and Misty Step automatically break grapple? What about non-spell like abilities like the Shadow Monks shadow teleportation.
Also, what is your favorite ability from 5e. For me, it's the Bend Luck feature for Wild Magic Sorcerors (lots of fun to make creatures fail their saves). - BlackSol
  1. I believe it is the damage dealt on casting.
  2. I'd say any teleportation breaks a grapple, unless it brings everyone grappling along for the ride.
Favorite ability: I love the rogue's cunning action. Makes them feel tricky, like they always have something up their sleeve. - Mike Mearls



Will there be an epic tier for 5e (levels beyond 20)? Do you think the straightforward nature of character building in 5e would make it harder or easier to design? Would it break bounded accuracy? - sudsboy

For things beyond 20, I think we'd look at introducing a new mechanic to make characters feel truly legendary. I doubt it would break bounded accuracy - we'd instead focus on really powerful abilities that can alter a campaign world.

As an example, rather than giving you a big bonus to attacks or damage, we might look at stuff a character can use to alter world events. A fighter might be able to turn the tide of a mass battle singlehandedly, stuff like that. - Mike Mearls



You mentioned above about such features as domains and owning business. Can you elaborate what that entails? I attempted to do this with a party back in 4e, and it didn't work out well. - kboy101222

It works through the downtime system and gives you options for spending your time and money between adventures to build up a domain or run a business. Think of it as your character's job when not adventuring. - Mike Mearls



Couple of questions:

What, exactly, are the advantages of bounded accuracy and what does it add to the game?

Where are all the modules we were promised in the Legends and Lore columns?

Why is the DMG release date being pushed back if you had two years to work on it with no product being pushed out the door?

Where are the stealth rules?

As a player and a DM, I value consistency in the game world highly. For example, if my fifth level fighter can drop-kick a guy from a chandelier, I want to be able to use that manuever with another fifth level fighter in a game with another DM. Given 5e's philosophy (as you have stated in this thread) that every DM should change everything from skill DCs to multiclassing rules, what exactly does 5th edition have to offer me? - The_Great_Evil_King

  1. Bounded accuracy simplifies the math, speeds up the game, and makes it easier for all characters to have at least a chance of success in most situations. It also simplifies character creation and leveling.
  2. DMG.
  3. We were still making products during those two years, just not many. Also, the book needed the additional work to hit our quality goals.
  4. PHB
  5. If you need every DM to run the game exactly the same, 5e is probably the wrong game for you. 5e is focuses on giving DMs the tools and flexibility to run the game they want. - Mike Mearls
Why Convert to 5e

I played and enjoyed 3rd Edition (and 3.5), but 4th Edition left a bitter taste in my mouth. The game felt like a tabletop MMORPG, which is not what I'm interested in. Since then, I've moved on to Pathfinder. Why should I now consider looking at 5th Ed.? - ArthurTrollington

5th is designed from the ground up to account for everything we've learned about RPGs in the 14 years since 3e launched. Those lessons are expressed both in the design in the rules and will be apparent as we start to roll out the product line.

The biggest thing, IMO, is that 5th focuses a lot on delivering similar depth of play as the d20 system with a much more compact, easier to grok, and easier to handle system. For instance, let's take designing NPCs. In 5th, we don't assume that NPCs need magic items. Feats are optional. Skills are either a thing you have or you don't. If you want to make a 10th-level NPC fighter, it takes a sliver of the time as it does in d20 because those details are no longer necessary. As a DM, you can delve into them if you want, but you don't have to. 

That philosophy is infused throughout the system. We've basically taken out hoops you had to jump through or elements of the system that evolved into barriers. As another example - all characters now have a basic competence in two-weapon fighting. We eliminated the default penalties and the multiple feats needed to become good at it. Instead, we simply balanced core TWF against sword & board or two-handed weapons. In essence, the game is built to move quicker, get results faster, and work in a compact manner that makes it much easier to mod or take apart.

Hope that helps! - Mike Mearls


Wizards of the Coast Questions 
& Future Plans


Hi Mike,

I really like how the Players Handbook was an "all stars/best of" D&D and fantasy worlds. All the main classes were there and all the usual suspects in terms of races, elves, orcs, halflings, etc. My question is: what about getting a bit 'out of the box' with some of the races and classes. For example, having a class that's based on a renaissance-style inventor like Leonardo da Vinci or a race seldom seen in fantasy tropes. (You mentioned centaurs in a different question). - FlyBlueGuitar

That's the kind of stuff that will come in as we produce books to support specific campaigns and story arcs. For instance, you could imagine that the githzerai as a playable race would make a lot of sense in a psionics book that supported a mind flayer-based campaign. Fey options would fit into a Feywild campaign, and so on. - Mike Mearls



Is there still plans to write articles for the D&D website providing advice on topics such as Dungeon Mastering? - JesterDavid

Yes, we have exactly that kind of thing planned for next year. - Mike Mearls



Is there any hope of seeing 5e as a video game?

Is there any chance 4e will ever get the turn based tactical rpg game treatment it seems to emulate?

I love both editions for different reasons and I'd rather see 4e digitized than 5e, because 5e is a far more nuanced and enjoyable table game. You guys knocked this one out of the park. - krymsonkyng

Hopefully we'll have some cool 5e-based video games to announce in the near future.

A 4e tactical game is tricky - we couldn't get one into production during the edition's run, and I think the chances of that happening have only gone down since. It'd be cool, but it's tough for digital RPGs and funding these days. - Mike Mearls

:D

:c

:D

Thank you for answering my question, even if the answer hurt a bit. Like i said, I'm a huge fan of your team's work - krymsonkyng



Will D&D Next go more international in the coming years? Us here in the Far East are craving some D&D action, but the decision not to allow localization in Korean/ Japanese / etc. made us very sad.  I'm asking because I saw a screenshot of an official D&D webpage with Korean / Japanese / etc. on it. :D - szp

We definitely want to expand our reach - no plans to announce, but it's something we're working on. - Mike Mearls




Have you thought about releasing paperback versions of the Player's Handbook? - kekker_crane

Formats and such are things that we'll look at as the edition matures, but not in the near term. - Mike Mearls


Coming late to the party, perhaps too late. But nevertheless, I don't see it mentioned anywhere else . . .

Do you think we'll ever see a meta-game math document anywhere? For example, you very obviously have target numbers for damage (incoming and outgoing, with varying accuracy) at each level (or at least certain levels). And you clearly are willing to deviate from them a bit for various reasons. I'd really like to know how to design a monster, class, magic item, or trap. I'm told the DMG is likely to have the basics of monster design, but what about the rest?

Second question. I forgot to cancel it, so my annual DnD magazine subscription renewed for another year. Given that you are continuing to charge for the magazine, is it safe to say that we can expect new issues soon? How do the magazines figure into your avoidance of system-bloat and fewer splat-books? In 4e, the magazines published a lot of material, which was great, especially for niche content. How is this likely to work for 5e? - alficles

The DMG will cover that for monsters. For stuff like spells, that's something that will evolve with time. I'd like to address it via a regular web column.

The magazines will present much less material in 4e, and I do not expect them to be tied to the DDI [Dungeons and Dragons Insider - Charlie] subscription. We'd look more to adventure content and a DM focus. - Mike Mearls




Ooh, this looks fun!

1- Will there be a faster item crafting variant for people who want to be able to make moderately simple items in just a couple days' work? A lot of us think item crafting is fun and wish it were more integratable into the smaller periods of downtime that crop up in the middle of adventures rather than in between adventures. For instance, I have an alchemist character, but spending 5-10 days working on a single-use weapon that is only moderately powerful if it successfully hits the enemy seems like an uneven tradeoff.

2- On a related note, will we get any additional crafting options for the more unusual artisan's tools, like alchemist and tinkerer? There aren't many examples of items they can create, and it's harder to guess what else might be craftable with them. - Fralexion

1.    Not an official variant yet, but really you can chop time down by a lot as long as you account for it in your campaign.

I'd really love to have a robust, interesting crafting system. I was never too into WoW
[World of Warcraft - Charlie], but I loved collected materials and creating gear. It's tricky, because such a system can become fiddly, but it's part of the game I'd like to see expanded upon.

[2.]    The rules are vague in that area for now. Definitely have me thinking, though, about how we can expand on them . . .
- Mike Mearls




Congratulations on the epic release of 5e. Loving everything about it so far. My gaming group prefers to keep playing 4e, so I found a second group to run a 5e campaign for and I'm going to run Adventurer's League soon too as well. I'm 100% sold.

But a quick question concerning 4e. I know you probably can't say anything about this but is there anything - anything at all - in the future for 4e? A simple yes, no or ''can't say'' will suffice.

Best of luck with all your future RPG work, and don't ever stop living the dream! - UndertakerSheep

We'll keep the character builder and tools running as long as enough people subscribe, but we basically see 4e as a complete game at this point. - Mike Mearls




It seems that WotC will be subcontracting adventure design product, at least in part. What will your team be focusing on, design-wise, after the core books are on shelves? Can we expect splatbooks, or a similar release schedule to 1E & 2E with Deities & Demigods, Unearthed Arcana, et al? - sudsboy

Our main focus is on two areas:
  • Quality control of releases, especially making sure they play well with the core rules
  • Managing the ongoing maintenance and quality of the core rules, via new design ideas and regularly feedback surveys
  • Researching new products and platforms to make D&D more accessible and easier to play - Mike Mearls



Hi Mike. Will the warforged be in he DMG? Will there be support of Eberron in 5e? Many have supported Keith Baker's Eberron charity initiatives. - nicolascarrillos

Warforged are not in the DMG, alas. Cut for space reasons. However, we will be making that material available. - Mike Mearls



Would WotC ever publish an evil campaign? Maybe take some inspiration from GTA [Grand Theft Auto - Charlie]. It would be a good excess to publish a player's book on evil classes too, necromancers, vampires, blackguards, etc. - looneysquash

Probably not in the near term - it's an interesting topic, but the drow-based encounters campaign we did in 4e got mixed reactions. - Mike Mearls




Any reason for the higher price point? - NuclearOops

We wanted a premium product, especially in terms of art and book design, to ensure that the physical book had value as an object when compared to a future ebook. Obviously, that drove the cost up. We also felt comfortable with that direction knowing we'd have a free version of the game available (Basic D&D). - Mike Mearls



What are your plans for D&D in Southeast Asia (SEA)? There's a surprising lack of D&D products and events here. - charlesatan

We're looking at growing to a global audience, but for now we're making plans for translations and perfecting our organized play network primarily in North American before growing further. - Mike Mearls



Will 5e dnd next be the final edition of dnd with continous support or will there be another edition in the future? Do you think it's fair to fans/supporters to have so many editions? - JohnnyMayhem2008

I really don't like doing a new edition. IMO, new editions of D&D would focus on cleaning up trouble spots, applying lessons learned in design, and sticking to the core elements that made a thing successful in the first place. 

Basically, a new edition asks people to re-learn the game all over again. It has to be worth that effort. - Mike Mearls



Hi. I'm a big fan of D&D 5e and I'm from Brazil. I know a lot of people interested in this edition, but some are uncomfortable to get the books in english. However, this time unlike in the past, we have no news about translations. Looking on the internet I came to know that this is being a issue in others countries as well. So, for now, what can you say about translations? - FGarden

We want to adopt a plan that makes it possible for us to deliver new releases in multiple languages at the same time. That requires a lot of work on our end, and also likely ties into digital publishing.

It's definitely something we want, but it might take some time to line everything up. - Mike Mearls



Mike! Huge fan! I wanted to know what are some things people (like myself) who want to work for Wizards should do to set us apart from the pack? I want to work on one of the creative teams and would love advice! I went back to school just to finish a degree so I can qualify for most of the positions. Any help would make a world of difference. Thanks! - Chris Lynch

Big thing would be coming into a job interview with a clear outlook on what makes you unique. It also helps to have done your homework on WotC products and any future plans we've announced. If you show you've done the work to prep for the interview, it speaks well to your work ethic and initiative. - Mike Mearls



Hey Mike, I'm currently a high school student with no idea of what I want to do with my life. I am however, interested in D&D in general, so I was wondering what kind of education or training is necessary to get a job at Wizards? Also, what kind of careers are available for the long-term? - kreol0100

Getting a job at WotC working on D&D is a pretty tough prospect - we have 15 people on staff, so competition is fierce.

In general, for the gaming industry a good mix of skills is useful. Programming is good for getting into video games, but even for analog design it's a useful skill set for learning how to think about rules, their interactions, and building systems.

Math and statistics are useful for understanding the basics of probability. English and communications in general are very useful, especially for working with other people and learning to write clearly.

I'd also strongly recommend you attend GDC, PAX Dev, and similar events if possible. It's helpful to have a sense of the current trends.

Finally, play lots of games and constantly design your own.

In terms of careers, there are a lot of roles you can fill. While game design and programming are obvious paths, project management, production, and so on are all worth looking at. People on the outside don't understand how critical the people who simply make gaming companies function are on a day-to-day basis. - Mike Mearls

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