We knew it was coming, and here it is.
The final packet of the public playtest is now available for download. This is all we’re going to get between now and GenCon (aside from articles on the WotC website, of course), and there seem to be quite a number of substantive changes to the rules that will need to be absorbed and tried out before any meaningful commentary can be made.
There are new classes, like the bard. There are new races, like drow, kender (huh?), tiefling, dragonborn, and warforged (I know that’s a thing, but damned if I know what it is). There are huge changes in the way skills are done, and they reverberate throughout the whole packet. Skills are no longer optional, by the by; they’ve been moved to “core rule” status. And there are now rules for multiclassing.
I’ve already said that I think this playtest packet is going to be pretty close to the final version. I’m a little trepidatious about the skills being made non-optional, but I want to give the final playtest a thorough run-through before I make any pronouncements.
Also, I note there’s still not a peep about any sort of open licensing. I daresay that bodes ill. They’re looking more and more like they’re going to keep everything proprietary, but I could well be wrong. Six months is plenty of time to come up with an open licensing concept.
Please, WotC. Don’t screw this up.