Unearthed Arcana
  • Unearthed Arcana


    August's Unearthed Arcana, from WotC's Mike Mearls, offers a new experience point system based on D&D's "three pillars" - combat, exploration, and social interaction. "With all three pillars in mind, Mike Mearls presents an alternative system for awarding experience points, offering a streamlined XP process based in equal part on defeating monsters, exploring dangerous sites to claim the magic and wealth found there, and interacting with NPCs to shape the flow of the campaign."

    The latest Unearthed Arcana by WotCs Mearls is up. "Mike Mearls introduces an alternative initiative system, inspired by AD&D and the journey to Lake Geneva, Wisconsin—the birthplace of D&D—for Gary Con 2017. While the initiative rules in fifth edition D&D are great for keeping the action moving and being easy to use at the table, the Greyhawk initiative variant takes a different approach. These rules add complexity, but with the goal of introducing more drama to combat."

    Last week, we reached the end of a series of weekly Unearthed Arcana installments, which came out for several months. Today Unearthed Arcana returns to being monthly, appearing on the first or second Monday of a month. To kick things off, we look back at five of the subclasses from the recent series: the barbarian’s Path of the Ancestral Guardian, the bard’s College of Swords, the fighter’s Arcane Archer, the monk’s Way of the Kensei, and the sorcerer’s Favored Soul.

    This week's Unearthed Arcana is another collection of new feats. "This document introduces new feats to playtest. As explained in chapter 6 of the Player’s Handbook, feats, like multiclassing, are an optional part of the game, usable only if your DM permits them. These feats don’t assume that multiclassing is used in a campaign, and they don’t assume the existence of the skill feats that were released in a previous installment of Unearthed Arcana. Each of these feats is associated with a race from the Player’s Handbook."

    The latest Unearthed Arcana from Jeremy Crawford and again featuring guest writer Robert J. Schwalb introduces a number of feats which make you better at skills. Each increases the skill's primary ability score, doubles your proficiency bonus, and gives you a little bonus ability. "This week we introduce new feats to playtest. Each of these feats makes you better at one of the game’s eighteen skills. We invite you to read them, give them a try in play, and let us know what you think in the survey we release in the next installment of Unearthed Arcana."

    This week's Unearthed Arcana, with Mike Mearls back after Rob Schwalb's guest spot last week, takes a look at downtime activities. "Sometimes the weeks between adventures are as eventful as the time on an adventure. This installment of Unearthed Arcana explores that in-between time by offering new and revised downtime activities for DMs to playtest in their campaigns."

    This week's Unearthed Arcana (this time by Robert J Schwalb, rather than Mike Mearls, along with Jeremy Crawford) details a section of new cantrips and 1st-level spells. In addition, WotC has announced that UA will be returning to its old monthly schedule, and Jeremy Crawford's Sage Advice column will return -- "For a while now, we’ve been releasing Unearthed Arcana multiple times a month as part of a special series of articles. That series wraps up at the end of April 2017. After that, we’ll return to releasing Unearthed Arcana once, sometimes twice, a month, and the Sage Advice column will return."

    Unearthed Arcana is back, and this week it's a trio of subclasses covering the monk, the ranger, and the paladin. "Three classes each receive a playtest option this week. The monk gets the Way of the Drunken Master. The paladin gets the Oath of Redemption. And the ranger gets the Monster Slayer, a reimagining of the Monster Hunter that we previously released for the fighter."

    In the latest Unearthed Arcana from WotC's Mike Mearls and Jeremy Crawford, the wizard gets another look. This week's short two-page PDF includes two Arcane Traditions - Theurgy (wizards with divine patrons) and War Magic (wizards who use evocation and abjuration in combat). "After releasing the 28-page mystic last week, we have a short Unearthed Arcana installment this week: two Arcane Tradition options for the wizard. The Theurgy tradition has appeared in Unearthed Arcana before, but this time we’d like to gather playtest feedback on it. War Magic is an option we’re exploring after reading your feedback on Lore Mastery and seeing interest in a war mage option."

    It's back! The long-awaited new version of the mystic - 5th Edition's psionic class - is here. "The mystic class, a master of psionics, has arrived in its entirety for you to try in your D&D games. Thanks to your playtest feedback on the class’s previous two versions, the class now goes to level 20, has six subclasses, and can choose from many new psionic disciplines and talents. Explore the material here—there’s a lot of it—and let us know what you think in the survey we release in the next installment of Unearthed Arcana." Click the image below for the full 28-page PDF!

    This week's Unearthed Arcana deals with traps. "Traps—how to design and survive them—are the focus of this week’s Unearthed Arcana, which expands on the trap rules in the Dungeon Master’s Guide". The PDF presents 9 simple traps and 3 complex traps and presents rules for designing them.

    This week's Unearthed Arcana, a day later than usual, introduces some new mass combat rues to 5E. "This week Unearthed Arcana switches gears, going from character options to a rules option for the DM: mass combat. We’ve touched on mass combat before in this column and have created these new rules after receiving your feedback. Please give the new rules a read, try them out in play, and let us know what you think".

    This week's Unearthed Arcana from WotC's Mike Mearls and Jeremy Crawford hits both the Warlock and the Wizard! The Warlock gets two new otherworldly patron features -- the Hexblade (a sentient magic weapon), and the Raven Queen (who rules the Shadowfell from an icy palace). The Wizard gets a new arcane tradition called Lore Mastery. There's also some expansion to the Warlock's eldritch invocations feature.

    After a bit of a break, Mearls & Crawford's Unearthed Arcana is back - and this time it introduces four new Sorcerous Origins: The divinely inspired Favored Soul, the immortal flame-powered Phoenix Sorcery, the elemental Sea Sorcery, and earth magic with Stone Sorcery. As always, these are playtest rules -- "These game mechanics are in draft form, usable in your campaign but not refined by design iterations or full game development. They are not officially part of the game. For these reasons, material in this column is not legal in D&D Adventurers League events."

    The latest Unearthed Arcana from Mearls and Crawford is up. "Two classes—the ranger and the rogue—discover new playtest possibilities this week. The ranger receives two Ranger Archetype options: the Horizon Walker and the Primeval Guardian, both of which work with the Player’s Handbook ranger and the Unearthed Arcana ranger. The rogue receives one Roguish Archetype option: the Scout, which joins the other options the rogue has gained in Unearthed Arcana."

    The new Unearthed Arcana is a bit of a surprise - instead of a bunch of new archetypes for an existing class, it's a brand new character class: the artificer! "Unearthed Arcana greets 2017 with a new character class: the artificer, a master of magical invention. In a previous installment of Unearthed Arcana, we experimented with the artificer as a subclass of the wizard. Now the artificer stands on its own, based on the feedback we received about the previous experiment."

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    The latest Unearthed Arcana (and the last of 2016 - WotC's Jeremy Crawford has confirmed that WotC will be closed over Xmas) contains two new Paladin Oaths. The Oath of Conquest is for paladins who seek glory in battle; the Oath of Treachery is for blackguards, paladins who serve only themselves. The next Unearthed Arcana will be on Monday, January 9th, 2017.

    WotC's Mike Mearls and Jeremy Crawford have posted the latest Unearthed Arcana column, this time introducing the Kensai and Tranquility traditions. The Kensei trains relentlessly with their weapon to create art out of combat; the Tranquility tradition seeks peace and mercy over violence.

    This week's Unearthed Arcana column from WotC's Mike Mearls and Jeremy Crawford gives us four new fighter archetypes: Samurai, Sharpshooter, Arcane Archer & Knight. The Arcane Archer is a master of elven archery, weaving magic into missile attacks; the Knight is able to mark his foes and hold the line; the Samurai gains benefits through sheer willpower; and the Sharpshooter has various ranged combat abilities.

    This week's Unearthed Arcana, from Mike Mearls and Jeremy Crawford, presents us with three new Druid Circles along with some optional new beast shape rules. The Circle of Dreams has strong Feywild links and themes of merriment and light; the Circle of the Shepherd protects and communes with beasts; and the Circle of Twilight hunts the undead and preserves the natural cycle of life and death. Finally, the Wild Shape Forms rule trades some of the flexibility of the Wild Shape rules from the PHB for ease of use.
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