Some questions to Mike Mearls: Durable animal companions, Gritty, Dex-based barbarians and Dark Sun

Hey, Mike! Thanks a tonne for doing this! I just have a couple questions:

First off, on the player-character side of things, are there any plans to address the following archetypes/aspects, whether as subclasses, feats, or alternate feature-sets:

Making durable animal companions for non-ranger character (mounted knights, bounty hunters, etc), so that, say, my paladin can ride Archibald the horse into battle past 5th level without Archie being dead by the end of the first round

Gritty, non-caster wilderness warriors like Aragorn/Strider

Dex-based barbarians (I’ve got a wild-elf character in mind for this!)

DARK SUN

I totally get if you can’t give answers to these – just figured I’d put it out there that there’s at least one chap interested in seeing these things come to 5e. 🙂

Question the Second: Would it be out of the realm of possibility to get some articles discussing the design and “inner workings” of the system? As someone who really enjoys making their own material, I’d love to see the DIY aspect of the D&D hobby get more support, especially since the character options seem to leaning towards carrying narratives that are more and more specific (and thus require a bit more work to reconfigure to work for other, similar concepts). There was an Unearthed Arcana article a while back that gave a broad overview on altering the classes, and it remains one of my favorites – I just wish it went into more detail!

Question Numero Tres: At one point, you mentioned in an interview that “we live in a post-Game-of-Thrones world”, in regards to how the fantasy genre is broadening and no longer held to the old tropes. Yet, despite making some progress towards this (no alignment requirements!), 5e player options seem to still be restricted in many ways by these old tropes and some other aspects of its identity in former editions. Do you think 6e (when it finally comes) might be a little looser in how it uses tropes and in how character options are designed?

Finally, will you be attending any upcoming conventions or conferences in the North-East US? If you’re up for it, I’d love to network with you (drinks are on me!).

Thanks again for doing this AMA, and happy holidays!

mikemearls35 points19 days ago
Hitting these in order:

No, other than encouraging DMs to use higher CR creatures as mounts.

Intent was for the rogue scout to cover that.

I could see this coming, with the appropriate story to go with it.

Would love to do this…

We’re thinking of doing something like this, but to be honest our understanding of the game evolves over time. Leery about saying “This is how to do X” but then have that change.

I think so. For instance, I think I’d move ability score modifiers from race to class to make things more flexible.

No plans for the NE yet. I’m from New Hampshire originally, but travel is tricky with a toddler. Comment from discussion AMA: Mike Mearls, D&D Creative Director.

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