January 15, 2018
Hello everyone and happy new year! I'm glad to report the team is back from the break like an Oath of Vengeance paladin.
This changelog entry will collect the major changes we've released in the last week regarding new content availability. We target another big release later this week too, so keep your passive Perception high.
I will also share some behind-the-scenes details on the big work the team has been doing with the first stage of the character sheet updates on our monthly development update/ Q&A session this Friday, January 19th at 11 am PT.
New Source Categories
You might have seen the inclusion of a couple of new types of content on D&D Beyond between last Thursday and today - the Blood Hunter class from Critical Role and the three new subclasses from January's Unearthed Arcana article.
The "undercarriage" of adding this content will allow us to both improve the planned source management system (whitelisting/ blacklisting at the account, campaign, and character levels) as well as segregate other new types of content. As an example, we could potentially include the content from the Plane Shift MtG supplements in the future and allow players to easily add or hide them.
Unearthed Arcana Playtest Content
You can read the full announcement here.
Starting with January's UA - the druid circle of spores, fighter brute, and wizard school of invention subclasses - new mechanical playtest content will be incorporated into DDB and released one week after the article goes live. "Mechanical content" includes elements that could be used directly with your characters, such as subclasses, races, feats, or spells. Basically, anything that would be included in character creation or management will be added to DDB. New rules content that might appear in Unearthed Arcana (like anything found in the "DM Tools" chapter of Xanathar's Guide to Everything) will not be incorporated until it is published, since this content would ordinarily be included in the compendium instead of the character builder or sheet.
Playtest content and availability will work a bit differently than typical published or homebrew content. The following disclaimer will be posted for any new UA options:
THIS IS UNOFFICIAL MATERIAL
The material here is presented for playtesting and to spark your imagination. These game mechanics are in draft form, usable in your campaign but not refined by final game design and editing. They aren’t officially part of the game and aren’t permitted in D&D Adventurers League events.
If this material is made official, it will be refined based on your feedback, and then it will appear in a D&D product that you can unlock on DDB.
If this material is not made official, it will be removed from DDB following the playtest period and you will need to replace it with another option.
For instance, if you choose to use the school of invention subclass for your wizard character and the subclass gets published in an official source down the road, that subclass will be removed from UA and added to the published source. Your character would no longer have access to the school of invention, but you can either unlock it from the published source, choose another subclass, or privately homebrew an approximation of it. You won't lose anything on your character outside of the playtest content option. If the school of invention subclass is not included in a published source down the road and we hear from Wizards of the Coast that it has been cut, you will also lose access to the option.
You can view the new subclass options for this month in the class detail pages for the druid, fighter, and wizard.
To use Unearthed Arcana content with your characters, you must have the Playtest Content toggle turned on in your character preferences in the Home section during character creation (the same way you toggle Homebrew content on and off). We will improve your source management options in the near future (full whitelisting/ blacklisting by source), but this is the starting point.
You can then see the new subclass options (and any future playtest content) in the character builder.
Critical Role Partnership
We are also very happy to finally share that we have entered a long-term partnership with Critical Role!
As part of the sponsorship, we will be adding some of the custom content used at the table in the show, starting with the blood hunter class by Matt Mercer.
You can also see in the screen capture above that a new Critical Role Content category has been added. To enable CR content for your character, toggle that category "on" and you will see the blood hunter as a new option in the builder. You can also see the blood hunter under the 'Additional > Classes' section in the main navigation and classes page.
We plan to incorporate more Critical Role content over the course of the partnership, so stay tuned for that here. Also, if you aren't already a loyal viewer, now is an excellent time to jump in and experience a brand new campaign with the cast of Critical Role! Check out the first episode here.
That's all for this entry - expect more soon!