D&D 5E next playtest brings big changes to a trio of classes

Scott Baird
A Dungeons & Dragons 5E adventuring partyWizards of the Coast

D&D 5E Playtest 8 is introducing big changes to the Barbarian, Druid, and Monk classes, along with introducing new spells and tweaking existing ones.

As the next iteration of Dungeons & Dragons draws closer Wizards of the Coast are still releasing playtest documents for the few classes that still need work. This is due to fans giving feedback regarding class features that require improvement.

The playtest period before the launch of the 2024 D&D 5E revised rulebooks is crucial, as it gives the developers a chance to fix any power-scaling and balance issues. Luckily, the base version of D&D 5E didn’t have too many problems, but a few did manage to slip through the cracks.

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The next playtest document will involve revised versions of three of the base classes from the Player’s Handbook, as they still need work to bring them up to speed with the changes made to others in the game.

D&D Deck of Many Things DelayWizards of the Coast

D&D Playtest 8 will bring big changes to the Barbarian, Druid, & Monk classes

A new post on the official Dungeons & Dragons YouTube channel has announced that the D&D Playtest 8 document is coming. This new Unearthed Arcana will focus on the Barbarian, Druid, and Monk classes, along with some spell changes.

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The Barbarian class regains a use of Rage on a Short Rest; Brutal Critical has been replaced with Brutal Strike, which provides new options tied to empower Reckless Attack with new abilities; and Persistent Rage now restores all uses on a Long Rest, and it’s harder to shut off.

The Barbarian’s The Path of the World Tree subclass has also seen changes, with Vitality of the Tree providing temporary hit points, increasing the range of Branches of the Tree and allowing it to reduce the enemy’s speed to zero, and improving both Battering Roots and Traveling Along the Tree.

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The Druid class will feature a revised version of the Wild Shape-centric Circle of the Moon subclass. Druids now have more animal forms, and they’re harder to kill. The Circle of Moon can now cast certain spells in Wild Shape, which is normally restricted. Wild Shape Armor Class can also be improved.

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These Druids now always have certain spells prepared in Wild Shape, including Cure Wounds, Moonbeam, Dawn, Vampiric Touch, a new spell called Fountain of Moonlight, and a new Cantrip called Starry Wisps. Once they hit level 14, the animal forms will also deal more damage in combat.

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The Monk class has seen the most changes, especially regarding Discipline Points and Bonus Actions. Monks don’t get Weapon Mastery but can perform Bonus Action unarmed strikes with no other criteria. They can also use Dexterity stat for shoves and grappling rather than Strength.

The Discipline Points system has also been changed, with some abilities having free powers that don’t require points. If they spend a Discipline Point, they can use Flurry of Blows to make two unarmed strikes as a Bonus Action, drastically increasing their damage output.

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Monks have Uncanny Metabolism, which restores hit points when they roll initiative and can deflect melee attacks using their Deflect Attacks power. Meanwhile, Stunning Strike now deals damage, even if the enemy fails their saving throw.

Some Monk powers now don’t require any actions, including Self-Restoration, Superior Defense, and Perfect Discipline. They also gain a new 20th-level feature called Body and Mind, which increases their Dexterity and Wisdom score above the normal limit.

Many changes are planned for the next D&D 5E playtest document, with these new classes being overhauled. Hopefully, fans will be excited to take on these classes before heading off on their next great adventure.

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About The Author

Scott has been writing for Dexerto since 2023, having been a former contributor to websites like Cracked, Dorkly, Topless Robot, Screen Rant, The Gamer, and TopTenz. A graduate of Edge Hill University in the UK, Scott started as a film student before moving into journalism. Scott specializes in Pokemon, Nintendo, DnD, Final Fantasy, and MTG. He can be contacted on LinkedIn.