An exclusive look at the new D&D Player’s Handbook—and The Warlock


1 Like

Beautiful art, especially by Wayne Reynolds. The D&D art styles had gotten weirder and more off-base by mid-4e, and with the push to smaller more compact books there wasn’t as much room for it in the 4e “Essentials” soft-reboot. Paizo courting Mr. Reynolds for continued fantasy art was one of the reasons I invested into the D&D competitor Pathfinder.

Nitpick with the title. Why is Warlock described as a new class? It’s nearly ten years old, first appearing in the third edition supplement book Complete Arcane, published November 1, 2004. I remember it being controversial at the time to some, because it was an arcane spellcasting class that could fire off an unlimited number of magical bolts, no X-per-day spell slots needed. It was made a release class in fourth edition, published in the 4e Player’s Handbook, June 6, 2008.


how do they expect to draw young boys into playing D&D without the scantily-clad/semi-nude females??

But seriously, now that I am (sorta) past that stage of my life, I look forward to seeing what Wizards brings with this new version.

1 Like

I thought that I was past it as well but parenthood has pulled me back in. The only difference is that were playing Dungeon World instead although in the next couple of years I could see trying this out.

1 Like

If you are curious about this, there is a huge amount of information about it out there because there was an open playtest. I’ve read through the majority of the rules. Basically they trying to recapture the bizarreness of the original rules (that is, doing away the the preciseness of 4e). I feel like they did a little too much trying to cater to two different audiences - new players and old grognards who essentially cannot both be satisfied at the same time.

Still, I’ll probably buy at least the base books even if I never use them because D&D is just something that will never be out of my blood at this point.


“Warlock” is not a new character class – it was introduced in, D&D 3.5 (in the Complete Arcane which, as a WotC-produced supplement, is in the official canon). Apparently it was also a core class in 4th Edition, as well (I didn’t play much 4E so I had forgotten this).

This Dungeon World, I presume? :thumbsup:

I’m going to say that it’s “new” to 5.0, having not appeared in the Playtest. Also, like most of the other classes in this “new” edition, it’s “new” insofar as having new mechanics, playability, etc. :smile:

1 Like

As I’ve replied in another post, I’m going to go with that Warlock was not in the Playtest, and it’s “new” the same way everything is “new” in this latest Edition. :smile:

Pardon my redundant comment, I missed that graf in @mycroftb 's reply.

If it’s new like everything else, then why did it get headline callout? I’m not personally damaged by this, obviously, it was just confusing to read that, since there’s not really anything new about it. Was the Warlock base class the only additional baseclass not included in the starter supplement?

One thing I did notice that was quite new was that on p70 of the starter supplement, players can now “move between attacks” which previously required the Spring Attack feat. This is somewhat significant given the former’s prerequisites: Dodge, Mobility, BAB+4.

The High Elf Wizard and the lady on the cover are begging to be Hawkeye’d. That’s just…ow…

1 Like

I’m also confused by this layout, but regardless. :wink:

Headlines are meant to draw you in, and 99% of the time are inaccurate due to the writer’s ignorance. In this case, I’m choosing to read “new” the way I see it. :smile:

I’m not sure how that would help, but all right.

Aww man, I haven’t played that game since it came in a little white box.

They’re designing the system so players get a lot fewer feats than in 3e/4e, so they’ve eliminated the “feat tax” of some basic things. Don’t need Point Blank Shot and Precise Shot to fire into melee anymore, don’t need Weapon Finesse - just some weapons you can use dex for attacks and damage. Feats themselves are even going to be optional, you don’t get them at level 1, and you can replace “Ability Score Improvement” with one - based solely on class (Warlock table shows getting first possible feat at 4). Fighters still get more opportunity to get them.


Oh, and speaking of feats, there’s an article on them today at:

And I forgot to mention opportunity attacks work differently now. Instead of being triggered whenever you leave a “square” threatened by an enemy, it’s the first time you leave his threatened area altogether. So if a skilled soldier were guarding a bridge, and you just wanted to run past him, in earlier editions it would trigger three opportunity attacks. In 5e, you can run up to and run circles around him without triggering a single opportunity attack, just the one for exiting his threatened area on the other side.

Dungeon World is one of my favorites, but it’s really perfect for brutal campaigns or slapping something together. If you want to do the real man-as-God type stuff it’s less great.

I always wished Nerd Poker would use the system.

Hmm, there are only a couple of doomed parties in that sample. One thing I remember about old D&D artwork is that 95% of the time if a picture had players in it, they were about 10 seconds away from getting wiped. It’s classic to see the Fighter in leather armor with a short sword, the wizard in a robe with a stick, and the thief wearing pajamas and some kitchen knives about to be ambushed by a Beholder or stealing from a dragon.

1 Like

Yeah, the positions are kind of ridiculous. In some ways, they’re worse than the cover of 4e - at least the 4e PHB Wizard isn’t obviously in combat.

Oh, God, are they actually doing this? What is it with gaming companies that don’t know how to fucking count? Bad enough that all the video game outfits (see: Prince of Persia, Sonic the Hedgehog, Doom) and Games Workshop are doing it; I really would have thought WotC would know better.