D&D 5E Arcana Unearthed effects on 5e?


First Post
I've noticed a couple things from Monte Cookes 3.5 Arcana Unearthed that have been hinted at being in D&D Next. Just in case anyone hasn't heard of it, Arcana Unearthed was an Alternate Players Handbook for 3e, that later got expanded into a complete system Arcana Evolved(AE). I definitely recommend it as a good read, it put many options and new twists into races, classes and feats.

Anyways some of the concepts I see carried over:

Common or uncommon classes. So for example fighters, clerics, wizards and clerics might be commmon while warlocks, bards, and paladins fall into uncommon and something like the assassin might be rare. Some of the classes labeled rare might be a bit more complex or difficult to pick up.
While classes werent uncommon in Arcana Evolved, some feats and spells were "exotic", that required DM approval or were used as a story reward.

Different classes should have different levels of complexity. But also varying levels of complexity within each class. Even the wizard has a base starting point that is less complex than what you can get into if you opt into some of the options.
Many classes had an enormous about of options within them in AE. For example after you chose to be the witch class, you would have to choose what type of witch

Also I think the design of AE really fits with the modularness they've been speaking about. For example with the champion class, there were 5 or so champions (Champion of Light, Good, Death etc). But in the sidebar there were explicit rules on how to make your own champion of any cause you liked. AE was meant to be more complicated then 3e, but I almost see them using a scaled down version for 5e. For example presenting only two types of Champions/Paladins, and then having the options to create more or modules or options in appendixes. This would kind of fit the any style of game play they keep talking about.

Anyways, that's all I got. Wonder if anyone else has noticed more? I am sure there are bound to be some more similarities with Monte at the helm of 5e.

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Crazy Jerome

First Post
Anyways, that's all I got. Wonder if anyone else has noticed more? I am sure there are bound to be some more similarities with Monte at the helm of 5e.

I've mentioned this before, but the biggest similarity I have seen thus far is in the mindset. In the design diaries for Arcana Unearthed, Monte talked about how he had to break the game down into its component parts and really think about how they wall went together--then put them together as something new. You can see some of that type of thinking in several team comments thus far.

If you think about it, this is a bit tougher. For AU, it was like Monte took apart a 1990 Mazda pickup, and then turned around and made a unique car out of it. What they are trying to do now is take apart a Model T, a 1940s Chevy pickup, a 1967 Mustang, a 80's era Wrecker, and a modern transfer truck. And then make a sleek bullet train out of the pieces that makes you remember riding in all those vehicles. ;)

Edit: No chronological resemblance between vehicles and editions is implied.
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Tony Vargas

Not surprising, really. He's looking for the best of both eds, he finds some stuff he came up with... ;)

When I'm starting a new campaign or considering tweaking a rule, I don't hesitate to do stuff that's worked for me before, why shouldn't Monte?


I hope so. This was my favourite 3E book and my favourite PHB.

We really went with the classification of spells and made more use of Descriptors/Keywords.

Eg: Clerics got all Simple Spells + Uncommon Spells with certain descriptors (depending upon the deity worshipped). We did this with all casters and added a lot of our own descriptors though, inc Melee, Combat, Movement, etc

Loved the classes too. I REALLY hope some of these classes make an appearance. But then again, I hope there are Saga-style Talent Trees too.

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