Dragonlance DRAGONLANCE LIVES! Unearthed Arcana Explores Heroes of Krynn!

The latest Unearthed Arcana has arrived and the 6-page document contains rules for kender, lunar magic, Knights of Solamnia, and Mages of High Sorcery.

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In today’s Unearthed Arcana, we explore character options from the Dragonlance setting. This playtest document presents the kender race, the Lunar Magic sorcerer subclass, the Knight of Solamnia and Mage of High Sorcery backgrounds, and a collection of new feats, all for use in Dungeons & Dragons.


Kender have a (surprisingly magical) ability to pull things out of a bag, and a supernatural taunt feature. This magical ability appears to replace the older 'kleptomania' description -- "Unknown to most mortals, a magical phenomenon surrounds a kender. Spurred by their curiosity and love for trinkets, curios, and keepsakes, a kender’s pouches or pockets will be magically filled with these objects. No one knows where these objects come from, not even the kender. This has led many kender to be mislabeled as thieves when they fish these items out of their pockets."

Lunar Magic is a sorcerer subclass which draws power from the moon(s); there are notes for using it in Eberron.

Also included are feats such as Adepts of the Black, White, and Red Robes, and Knights of the Sword, Rose, and Crown.

 
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Russ Morrissey

Russ Morrissey

Supernatural Gifts in the DMG don't include feats as written; instead, they are typically described as mimicking the properties of magical items. Nothing says you couldn't just make a feat into a Supernatural Gift, of course, but that would be a homebrew choice.

Perhaps you mean Epic Boons, which do explicitly include feats as an alternative to the listed options? But those are only available to PCs over level 20, not at level 1.

Or maybe you're thinking of the Supernatural Gifts from Theros, which do work the way you describe. But (so far) those are only officially available to Theros characters.
There are also draconic gifts from Fizban. Which can explicitly be feats, and have no level requirement.
 

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Hussar

Legend
And, let's be honest here. A Supernatural Gift that mimics a magic item isn't really all that different from a feat. There are more than a few magic items that do, more or less, what a feat does.

How different is a Elven Cloak from the Skulker feat after all? So on and so forth. There are magic items that run the range from weaker than a feat to much, much stronger. So, it's not really much of a stretch for a Supernatural Gift to be a feat (or at least something close enough)
 

And, let's be honest here. A Supernatural Gift that mimics a magic item isn't really all that different from a feat. There are more than a few magic items that do, more or less, what a feat does.

How different is a Elven Cloak from the Skulker feat after all? So on and so forth. There are magic items that run the range from weaker than a feat to much, much stronger. So, it's not really much of a stretch for a Supernatural Gift to be a feat (or at least something close enough)
Indeed. A feat is just a magic item that is glued to the character.

I might be tempted to include "heirloom" magic items in some backgrounds, as an alternative to a feat equivalent. "Inheritor" from SCAG almost goes there.

If you are worried about legacy characters falling behind, just give them a feat as a quest reward.
 

JEB

Legend
Indeed. A feat is just a magic item that is glued to the character.
And a magic item is just one or more standalone class features, in a sense (even the ones that replicate specific spells are arguably fixed spell slots). And an ASI is literally a class feature. Which is in turn equivalent to a feat. Or a boon. Or a Supernatural Gift. Or a background.

Honestly, this being the case, surprised no one's tried publishing a point-buy 5E variant ruleset, after nearly eight years. It only took a few years to get Mutants & Masterminds out of 3E. (I know homebrew efforts exist, of course.)
 

And a magic item is just one or more standalone class features, in a sense (even the ones that replicate specifically spells are arguably fixed spell slots). And an ASI is literally a class feature. Which is in turn equivalent to a feat. Or a boon. Or a Supernatural Gift. Or a background.

Honestly, this being the case, surprised no one's tried publishing a point-buy 5E variant after nearly eight years. (I know homebrew efforts exist, of course.)
It runs against the KISS philosophy of 5e.
 


James Gasik

Legend
I wish that I had an exact quote for when Jeremy Crawford promised a system that was basic at the core, but would have many optional "modules" you could use to add complexity. Maybe I misunderstood him, because there is a handful of such optional rules in the DMG and then...nothing.
 



doctorbadwolf

Heretic of The Seventh Circle
I wish that I had an exact quote for when Jeremy Crawford promised a system that was basic at the core, but would have many optional "modules" you could use to add complexity. Maybe I misunderstood him, because there is a handful of such optional rules in the DMG and then...nothing.
5e is full of them.
 

Parmandur

Book-Friend
Or maybe you're thinking of the Supernatural Gifts from Theros, which do work the way you describe. But (so far) those are only officially available to Theros characters.
As do "Dark Gifts" in Ravenloft...and the Strixhaven Background Feats...and the Dragonlance Background Feats...

I wouldn't be shocked if Spelljammer also had 1st Level Feats, just like every Setting product since 2020.
 


Parmandur

Book-Friend
🤷‍♂️ If I wanted something absurdly complicated I would still be playing Pathfinder!

I see simplicity as pretty much the whole point of 5e.
That's actually what has my interest piqued about the potential of the implementation of a Background Feat system in core: it's straightforward, easy for people to grasp, but opens up some room for customization.
 




doctorbadwolf

Heretic of The Seventh Circle
We're discussing a lot of them from Setting books!
Absolutely. Not to mention feats themselves, advanced tool and downtime mechanics in Xanathar's, increased complexity character options in Tasha's, etc.

The whole edition is built as a toolkit. A sometimes poorly explained and organized toolkit, but a toolkit nonetheless.
See, I saw making as many different fans of D&D as happy as possible as being the whole point of 5e. At least back when it was released. Now, I'm not sure what the design philosophy is.
wait...
Appeal to the broadest base of players to maximize profits?
it's....
Yeah, there it is.
right there.

Those bolded bits of text are the same statement.


5e's design philosophy started out, continued to be through the years, and continues now to be:

Make a game that can be played at a very basic very simple level, while allowing for customization and "OC building" as far as it can reasonably be taken without sacrificing the ability of the "we want a simple game comparable to early dnd" players to have what they want, all designed using data gathered from social media, playtesters, survey respondents, and any other data stream we can create or take advantage of, to make an evergreen version of DnD that we can continue to add new modules to over the years without needing a reboot.
 

See, I saw making as many different fans of D&D as happy as possible as being the whole point of 5e. At least back when it was released. Now, I'm not sure what the design philosophy is.
I'm pretty sure bringing in new players without having to grapple with arcane rules was the actual point, whatever they may have said to placate the existing players.

But it brought me back to D&D after I quit at 2nd edition, so it must have some appeal for older players.
 

Micah Sweet

Legend
I'm pretty sure bringing in new players without having to grapple with arcane rules was the actual point, whatever they may have said to placate the existing players.

But it brought me back to D&D after I quit at 2nd edition, so it must have some appeal for older players.
Nothing i like better than being placated. Mollified is nice too.
 

Faolyn

(she/her)
Out of curiosity, can anyone elaborate on why the UA Strixhaven floating subclass model didn't work? Went back and looked at it, and it seemed sound to me - they only worked with certain classes, and you become eligible for the subclass features after certain minimum levels are reached (allowing the features to fill in the right slots at different levels).

Does anyone think this might work better for Solamnic Knights and High Sorcery Mages than it did for Strixhaven schools?
Part of it is because classes get their archetype abilities at sometimes vastly different levels. For instance, a bard gets them at 3rd, 6th, and 14th levels. A sorcerer gets them at 1st, 6th, 14th, and 18th. A warlock, at 1st, 6th, 10th, and 14th. A wizard, at 2nd, 6th, 10th, and 14th. So it's difficult to make any archetype that would fit two or more arcane classes--they all get abilities at 6th and 14th level, but only some of them get them at 10th, and and only one gets an 18th-level ability. So how do you make any archetypes that would allow both wizards and sorcerers? Or bards and any other class?

For 6th edition (or whenever they completely revamp class structure while keeping archetypes) they could decide that each class gets one archetype ability per tier of play (6th and 10th level are both tier two), and thus multiclass archetypes could be much more easily fit in. And I hope so, because it's definitely a good idea.
 

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