Unearthed Arcana October 2017: Fiendish Options
  • Unearthed Arcana October 2017: Fiendish Options


    This month's Unearthed Arcana (they are on the second Monday of every month now) deals with "fiendish options". "In time for the lengthening shadows of autumn, we present a collection of fiendish options for you to playtest: new subraces for tieflings, ways to customize diabolical cults, and demonic boons that wicked NPCs can receive from the denizens of the Abyss."



    Comments 128 Comments
    1. Elon Tusk's Avatar
      Elon Tusk -
      So a bunch of fiendish subraces but only a point of ABS besides Charisma moved to other skills and some Legacy spells swaps, plus some cult spells and features.

      It doesn't do much for my game.
    1. IchneumonWasp's Avatar
      IchneumonWasp -
      I like it. It's not something huge and actually quite minor, but it is something that expands player options and makes it easier to customise your character.

      I'm also going to look at this document, the next time my players will have to face an evil cult.
    1. CrimsonCarcharodon's Avatar
      CrimsonCarcharodon -
      Quote Originally Posted by IchneumonWasp View Post
      I like it. It's not something huge and actually quite minor, but it is something that expands player options and makes it easier to customise your character.

      I'm also going to look at this document, the next time my players will have to face an evil cult.
      Agreed. I'm a huge fan of tieflings, so I'm always up for having more customization options for them.
    1. jgsugden's Avatar
      jgsugden -
      Demonic boons? Mostly benefits with no downside (Zuggtmoy and Jubilex aside)? Well, that is interesting. I think they need to have a downside that comes into play when the boon is taken away, and perhaps an 'upkeep' requirement (sacrifices, etc...) to keep the booned entity loyal to their master.

      The Tieflings are fine, but the more versatility you offer, the less reasons there are to have anything specific in place. Why not make it: You get +2 to Charisma and +1 to an ability of your choice. You gain an appropriate cantrip at 1st level, a 1st level spell you can cast as a 2nd level spell at 3rd level, and a 2nd level spell you can cast as a 3rd level spell at 5th level, but they must be spells appropriate to the Diabolic entity from which you are descended.
    1. Parmandur's Avatar
      Parmandur -
      More planar racial options, and DM monster/NPC options of a planar nature?

      Eliminster' Guide to the Cosmos, 2018?
    1. flametitan's Avatar
      flametitan -
      I like the boons. Definitely might have to snag a few for the gnoll warbands plowing across the lands.

      I'm still iffy on breaking up tieflings on subrace lines, rather than doing more of what the SCAG did, and providing a mishmash of options.
    1. gyor's Avatar
      gyor -
      Quote Originally Posted by Parmandur View Post
      More planar racial options, and DM monster/NPC options of a planar nature?

      Eliminster' Guide to the Cosmos, 2018?
      I was thinking Nezram World Walker, but the idea is the same basically, a 5e version of the Manuel of the Planes. First Gith and Elderin and now Devil and Demon themed stuff.
    1. gyor's Avatar
      gyor -
      Needs fewer repeated can trips and spells between Archdevil Tieflings.
    1. ChapolimX's Avatar
      ChapolimX -
      Spell Leech.
      As a bonus action, this creature chooses one ally it can see within 30 feet of it. The target loses its lowest level spell slot, and this creature gains it.
      I know this sort of thing is supposed to make a char to feel like evil but it really makes it feel like a pain in the butt, don't matter if it's a PC or NPC.
    1. Blue's Avatar
      Blue -
      Decent flavor add, though I'm disappointed that they connected it to ability scores and racial features since that means that the flavor choice can be dictated by game mechanics needs for some players, instead of going for the choice that makes the most sense for how they envision the character. I prefer if my character concept gets described by the mechanics, not that the mechanics define my character concept.
    1. dave2008's Avatar
      dave2008 -
      I'm liking the cults and boons as little templates to add to NPCs and monsters to give them an association with a devil or demon. They add to the story I think. I would use this.
    1. TheSwartz's Avatar
      TheSwartz -
      One of my favorite UA's so far. I can definitely use some of this already.
    1. castlewise's Avatar
      castlewise -
      No Lolth? Although I suppose Lolth worshippers already have their own section of the MM.

      Color me excited about whatever planar thingie they seem to be hinting at.
    1. Elfcrusher's Avatar
      Elfcrusher -
      I love the variant in SCAG (+2 Dex, +1 Int) for Rogues and Shadow Monks. Maybe I'm being too min-maxy for not liking +1 Dex, +2 Cha...
    1. Parmandur's Avatar
      Parmandur -
      Quote Originally Posted by gyor View Post
      I was thinking Nezram World Walker, but the idea is the same basically, a 5e version of the Manuel of the Planes. First Gith and Elderin and now Devil and Demon themed stuff.
      Well, Eliminster is a Planar Traveller, and an established NPC in the books: but something planar this way comes, anyways.
    1. Elfcrusher's Avatar
      Elfcrusher -
      Quote Originally Posted by castlewise View Post
      Color me excited about whatever planar thingie they seem to be hinting at.
      Infernal incursion into Feywild, of course.
    1. Elfcrusher's Avatar
      Elfcrusher -
      Quote Originally Posted by gyor View Post
      I was thinking Nezram World Walker, but the idea is the same basically, a 5e version of the Manuel of the Planes. First Gith and Elderin and now Devil and Demon themed stuff.
      You've just named my next character, a plane-traveling Spaniard. Or maybe I'll make her a girl. "Hello, my name is Manuelle of the Planes. You collapsed my portal. Prepare to die."
    1. dropbear8mybaby's Avatar
      dropbear8mybaby -
      Yet another bunch of boring, lazy options. More races with spells instead of imaginative, creative or interesting differences. And yet more power creep. Dex + Cha + minor illusion/disguise self and invisibility, really? That's 10x better than just about any other option aside from winged.
    1. cbwjm's Avatar
      cbwjm -
      The options in this are okay, I guess. I'm not really a fan of the changes made to tieflings in 4e and even though these expand on them giving an option to have a different archdevil as your ancestor, I would probably prefer something similar to 2e with variable abilities to depict tieflings as something fiendish in the blood but not quite sure what. I guess I could use the various bloodlines as just another option, not necessarily saying that the tiefling is descended from the archdevil but maybe has a bit of fiendish blood from a demon or devil that has similar roles.

      The cult templates definitely have some good ideas, but I'm not sure how much of this I would use however I do think it is a really good idea when creating a group of common abilities for NPCs for your PCs to fight.
    1. Chaosmancer -
      I'm iffy on the tiefling options, they don't do a lot for me. It's nice to have in back pocket though if someone wants to switch some spells around.


      The gold here for me are the new traits and boons for the various cults, as well as some hinted at lore for the various Archdevils. We haven't seen much of them in 5e, so it is nice to have some additional talk about what they want and how they operate for those of us who don't have a massive 2e and 3.X library to draw from.

      And some of these are nasty. Spell Leech is just mean, Path of Levistus is aggravation incarnate, Baphomet's unnerring tracker is sooo potentially useful, the MArilith Serpentine Reaction is very fun.

      Plus, this gives me something for those times when my players invariably want to make a deal with a devil or demon for more power, I can just slap some of these on there as a reward, or at least use them as a base.

      How much more tempted to make a deal would people be if I offer the ability to psychically track their foes or to turn a normal strike into a critical once per battle instead of the generic "power" and then have to scramble when I forget that yes, my players will totally start asking "how much power and what is the starting price"

      Very cool and very useful
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