Valiant Design Diary #4

Valiant Design Diary #4

With the Tales of the Valiant Kickstarter launch in full swing, let’s talk about some of the exciting things you wonderful backers may have noticed about design development.

This will be a little commentary and a little bit of a change log for those of you following along closely.

The Preview Is Up!

As part of the kickstarter, we shared a free 64-page preview of the Tales of the Valiant game, showing off sample pages from the Player’s Guide and the Monster Vault! If you haven’t checked it out already, go download it.

Here are notes about what’s in that preview—because it contains changes to the material released in Playtest Packets #1–#3. All these changes are the direct result of your feedback from those playtests. We couldn’t do any of this without you.

Note: The changes you see in the preview packet are not guaranteed to be the final versions that appear in the game. Playtesting, development, and refining will continue until the books go to final editing.

So! Here are the highlights of what has changed about the game design as seen in the Tales of the Valiant Preview PDF.

Fighter Base Class

  • Last Stand is powered up. The new feature (that replaces 5E’s Second Wind) is no longer restricted to a 1/Rest use. Now you can use it until you run out of Hit Dice to fuel it.
  • Martial Action has an additional use. Now, fighters can use a Martial Action to perform actions granted by Weapon Options as bonus actions—keep your eye out for the Weapon Option mechanics in the Alpha Release shipping this summer—or perhaps, catch an early whiff of what’s in store by checking out Tome of Heroes.

Fighter Discipline: Spell Blade

  • Enchant Weapon has been empowered and clarified to address the following:
    • You can enchant magic weapons and their bonuses stack. For example, if you use Enchant Weapon on a +1 weapon, you get the weapon’s magical +1 bonus AND the +1 magical bonus Enchant Weapon grants—meaning you have a cumulative +2 bonus!
    • You can now summon the weapon to your hand.
    • You can now effectively use thrown weapons. We shifted the wording around so you don’t have to strictly hold the weapon for it to retain the benefits of its enchantment. This clarification eliminates the RAW problem of using thrown weapons with the previous version of the feature.

Fighter Discipline: Weapon Master

  • Stunts have been simplified and streamlined in the following ways:
    • You are no longer restricted by Stunts Known. You no longer have to pick which stunts you know. You can use any on the list provided you are wielding the required weapon.
    • Stunts are no longer keyed to points. Stunts now use a more straightforward uses-per-rest system.

Wizard Base Class

  • Rote Learning is a new feature wizards get at 5th level (neither 5E nor our playtest packets previously granted a wizard feature at 5th level).

Wizard Arcane Tradition: Battle Mage

  • Tactical Caster is slightly less powerful. It now includes a cap on uses per long rest.


  • The Dwarf Lineage now has a more standard base walking speed of 30 feet.
  • The Elf Lineage no longer grants Night Vision.


  • Heritages are no longer nested under their commonly associated lineages. Instead, they are listed in a distinct section of their own. The new section has a Common Heritages by Lineage table at the beginning to help players identify lineages and heritages that traditionally go together.
  • Alignment is removed from all Heritage options. PC alignment is an optional rule moving forward rather than a core element of character creation.
  • The cloud heritage feature Touch of Magic now grants only a cantrip and a single 1st-ring spell.
  • The cosmopolitan heritage feature Street Smarts is altered to have a more specific mechanic interaction with helping you become ‘unlost’—rather than just stating you can’t be lost.
  • The grove heritage no longer includes the Beast Affinity feature—but don’t worry! The Beast Affinity feature has a new home with the wildlands heritage.
  • The stone heritage no longer includes the Dwarven Armor Training feature. We heard your concerns regarding this feature in the playtesting feedback.

Magic Talents

  • Combat Casting is significantly altered. New limits are imposed on the kinds of Concentration checks you automatically succeed on. You are now limited to casting cantrips as reactions.
  • Mental Fortitude has been completely rewritten and works differently—check out the new version!

Martial Talents

  • Armor Training is no longer a talent option—it’s back to the drawing board for now.
  • Armored Combatant now rewards players who wear Medium or Heavy armor, as long as they are proficient with said armor.
  • Combat Conditioning is significantly altered. Clarity is added regarding how your max HP increases retroactively. The talent no longer changes the size of your Hit Dice—it instead allows you to ignore low Hit Dice rolls.
  • Hand-to-Hand now reflects a rollback of proposed changes to Unarmed Strike proficiency.
  • Physical Fortitude has been completely rewritten and works differently—check out the new version!

Technical Talents

  • Polyglot is rewritten to clarify when you get advantage on a CHA ability check made to interact with other creatures. It also now includes a cap on usage to bring a little balance to said benefit.
  • Trade Skills second benefit, which allowed you to ply your trade for a standard sum, is replaced with a benefit that rewards clever combinations of skill and tool proficiencies when making ability checks.


  • Flat and Variable Damage is back for monster stat blocks. We heard you loud and clear in playtesting feedback—you prefer both.

That’s all the highlights! As development continues, you can expect more changes and additions based on feedback from gamers like you.

Until then, happy rolling!

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