Wizards of the Coast has introduced a fresh Dungeons & Dragons playtest that includes a subclass with intriguing connections to Baldur’s Gate 3. This latest Unearthed Arcana playtest, unveiled today, serves as a precursor to updates in the core rulebooks slated for release in 2024. Among the highlights of the playtest is the unveiling of the Path of the Wild Heart Barbarian subclass, which has been given a new moniker, drawing inspiration from the original Path of the Totem Warrior subclass initially featured in the Sword Coast Adventurer’s Guide.
Of note, the decision to rename this subclass had already received a preview in Baldur’s Gate 3, with Jeremy Crawford, the lead rules designer for Dungeons & Dragons, personally overseeing this alteration. Crawford shared insights about the collaboration, stating, “I personally worked with Larian to name this subclass, and we knew we’d unify the name in the 2024 rulebook changes.”
However, it’s worth mentioning that the new Wild Heart subclass has undergone some adjustments, particularly in relation to the potent Beast Heart option. In the 2014 rules (as also seen in Baldur’s Gate 3), a Wild Heart Barbarian with the Bear Heart option possessed resistance to all damage types except Psychic damage. In the proposed rule changes, a Wild Heart Barbarian now selects two damage types, excluding Force damage and Psychic damage, to gain resistance against. While a strategic player can still effectively harness this ability, its overall effectiveness has been diminished compared to its previous iteration.
The 2024 Core Rulebooks, originally known as One D&D, represent upcoming revisions to the primary rulebooks essential for playing Dungeons & Dragons. Wizards of the Coast has previously conducted seven playtests, primarily centered around the Player’s Handbook, with a primary focus on refining the balance of specific classes, subclasses, and spell adjustments. Although earlier playtests had hinted at potentially significant alterations to Dungeons & Dragons, the 2024 rulebooks are now characterized as revisions rather than a radical overhaul. Importantly, these rulebooks will continue to serve the Fifth Edition, which has remained the beloved edition of Dungeons & Dragons since its inception in 2014.