Here's how the new D&D class changes buff or nerf your favorites

 Dungeons & Dragons Rules Expansion Gift Set
Dungeons & Dragons Rules Expansion Gift Set

A raft of new D&D class changes have just arrived, and they really shake things up for the tabletop RPG.

Available as a PDF at D&D Beyond, this update is being presented for player feedback so that tweaks can be made ahead of the new core rulebooks that are launching in 2024. This time around, the focus is on Barbarian, Fighter, Sorcerer, Warlock, and Wizard classes (in other words, all those that were absent from the last rules playtest). While these D&D class changes aren't final and may be altered again during playtesting, they give a pretty good indication of how these options might handle in the future.

The biggest change revolves around spells. In earlier playtests, you were able to use a wide range of magic no matter your class. (The Bard could use the Arcane, Divine, or Primal spell lists, for example.) However, those changes have been walked back because they made certain classes feel less special. As noted by game architect Jeremy Crawford, even though these updates "worked well for certain classes - for instance, it was a big boon for the ranger to gain access to the entire Primal list - we found for other classes that shifting to those big lists tended to dampen their identity."

To give you the lowdown on what's different compared to the current Dungeons and Dragons books, you'll find all of the other important D&D class changes listed below.

  • Barbarians: Alongside a new subclass ('Path of the World Tree' that eventually lets you travel along the roots to different planes), these warriors now hit much harder than before. For example, the 'Reckless Attack' ability now gets advantage on attacks using Strength until your next turn. In other words, your opportunity attacks can now benefit from it.

  • Fighters: With this update, one of the most reliable classes is better outside of combat. You can now use Second Wind to add a d10 to any check you failed, and it isn't expended if you fail again. There's also a new 'Brawler' subclass that's all about grappling, improvised weapons, and making a general mess of your foes.

  • Sorcerers: This class hasn't seen the biggest change, but there are some notable alterations. Namely, 'Innate Sorcery' gives advantage on your sorcerer spells as well as increasing their Difficulty Class by 1 for a single minute. The unpopular Twinned Spell tweaks have been jettisoned too (you can now target an additional creature with a spell so long as it can be upcasted to hit extra people in the first place), and you're more likely to get something from the Wild Magic Surge table if you choose that subclass.

  • Warlocks: Pact Magic is back after it proved very popular, and 'Magical Cunning' lets you regain half their Pact Magic spell slots so that you don't get caught with your trousers down in a fight. In addition, patron spells are always prepared, while invocations are now available from the first level.

  • Wizards: Because they didn't go over too well, the create and modify spell option is gone. However, the 'Savant' feature for numerous subclasses has been altered so that you get more spells when you gain new spell slots.

Now that 2024 is drawing closer, it feels like these playtest changes are starting to solidify - we're getting a much better idea of how one of the best tabletop RPGs will look when its new rulebooks launch. Unfortunately, we still don't know when that'll be, so will just have to keep our ears to the ground in the meantime.

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