D&D (2024) Jeremy Crawford Gives an Overview of the New Unearthed Arcana

The upcoming Unearthed Arcana playtest packet for One D&D gets a preview from WotC's Jeremy Crawford. This is apparently the largest of these playtest packets so far, and the biggest Unearthed Arcana they have ever done, at 50 pages long.

It contains 5 classes, new spells, new feats, a revised rules glossary, and the new weapon mastery system.

 
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The 2024 Blade Ward cantrip allows the caster to force disadvantage to a melee attack roll as a reaction. Every round, if desired.

Casting Time: Reaction, which you take in response to a visible creature targeting you with a melee attack.
Effect: You trace a sigil of warding, imposing Disadvantage on the creature’s attack roll against you.
 

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CapnZapp

Legend
The 2024 Blade Ward cantrip allows the caster to force disadvantage to a melee attack roll as a reaction. Every round, if desired.

Casting Time: Reaction, which you take in response to a visible creature targeting you with a melee attack.
Effect: You trace a sigil of warding, imposing Disadvantage on the creature’s attack roll against you.
By your rules text the decision to use or not use this needs to be taken BEFORE the monster has succeeded or even rolled.

That's a fairly big difference, analysis-paralysis wise. If you simply use it every round (against the most fearsome attack you think you'll suffer) there is no time lost to the decision point at all.

And it only helps against melee attack rolls; arguably the least disruptive kind of success.

Using Silvery Barbs to force a NPC to reroll a really great social roll is FAR more impactful on the story overall. And if three PCs team up to force a big monster to reroll no less than three verified successes (not to mention criticals) per round that's just an auto-win button right there.

So thanks Mirror. My reply to Ungehuer then becomes:

No that's not what I was thinking of, not foremost in my mind in any case. By that I mean I wasn't aware of this playtest update, but if I knew what I know now, it would not be.

(Do casters generally use their reactions? Because if they don't, this is just free disadvantage. Why ever not take this cantrip? I guess it makes counterspelling a fair bit worse since you can't semi-automatically spend your reaction on this if you want to be a counterspeller. And you probably want Shield still, for when you're swarmed by many smaller foes)

Still, it doesn't trigger my annoyance to nearly the extent Silvery Barbs does. A game where anything more powerful react-to-success-wise than Blade Ward 24 being limited to once per short rest or something (and NOT once per spell slot per day!) would be a better game than what D&D has turned into in 2023.
 

They need to kill the whole "when targeted but before you know the results" nonsense. It slows down play, because the DM has to say "the monster goes to swing at you" the player has to hem and haw about whether to use it or not. Or you say they hit (or god forbid crit) then the player goes "I was going to bladewaaaaaaard!" despite staring at you blankly when you previously announced they were being targeted. Never mind that this occurs every. single. round.

Just have everything be reroll on success or failure, including inspiration. This is the absolute worst spot they could finally decide to include some granularity in 5E. We don't need grant (dis)advantage before roll AND reroll after roll but before results AND reroll after results.

If reroll on a hit is too much for a cantrips power level, have it reduce damage by proficiency mod, or spellcasting mod, or both at higher levels. Something fast and basic.
 

CapnZapp

Legend
Abilities such as the Silvery Barbs spell are too intrusive, yes, in my opinion.

They're not broken, they're not too good, but they morph the experience of playing the game into a less fun and desirable version of D&D.

D&D is better off without asking players to make decisions each time a monster does something.

tl;dr: Magic-style interrupts interrupts (hey-o!) gameplay in a less than desirable manner
 

nevin

Hero
By your rules text the decision to use or not use this needs to be taken BEFORE the monster has succeeded or even rolled.

That's a fairly big difference, analysis-paralysis wise. If you simply use it every round (against the most fearsome attack you think you'll suffer) there is no time lost to the decision point at all.

And it only helps against melee attack rolls; arguably the least disruptive kind of success.

Using Silvery Barbs to force a NPC to reroll a really great social roll is FAR more impactful on the story overall. And if three PCs team up to force a big monster to reroll no less than three verified successes (not to mention criticals) per round that's just an auto-win button right there.

So thanks Mirror. My reply to Ungehuer then becomes:

No that's not what I was thinking of, not foremost in my mind in any case. By that I mean I wasn't aware of this playtest update, but if I knew what I know now, it would not be.

(Do casters generally use their reactions? Because if they don't, this is just free disadvantage. Why ever not take this cantrip? I guess it makes counterspelling a fair bit worse since you can't semi-automatically spend your reaction on this if you want to be a counterspeller. And you probably want Shield still, for when you're swarmed by many smaller foes)

Still, it doesn't trigger my annoyance to nearly the extent Silvery Barbs does. A game where anything more powerful react-to-success-wise than Blade Ward 24 being limited to once per short rest or something (and NOT once per spell slot per day!) would be a better game than what D&D has turned into in 2023.
I think it's going to be far more effective than they think . Probably a nerf incoming on this one. Even if it only works 50% of the time it's cast.
 


nevin

Hero
Thing's that shut down actions tend to be too powerful. I suspect it'll end up being too good and they'll lower the effectiveness of it somehow to make it work less often.
 

CapnZapp

Legend
Thing's that shut down actions tend to be too powerful. I suspect it'll end up being too good and they'll lower the effectiveness of it somehow to make it work less often.
Yes, when we faced an Ancient Black Dragon it could never hit us even once with a bite or claw attack. Every hit was redirected or negated. Silvery Barbs, Portent, Cloud Runes...

(The fight wasn't trivial; dragonbreath still exists; but it was far easier than if we had played the same encounter back in 2014 when none of these abilities existed)

The dragon faced up to three reactions each turn.

I can only hope the game in 2024 will make these rerolls and redirections far far less common. The game is simply better without them. They wreak havoc with the action economy; especially nerfing fights against single opponents (that already struggle to match 4-5 actions each turn).

We realized there is no reason not to equip EVERY hero with some sort of action denial ability. If one hero has them, that's okay. But when every hero has them, the game simply falls on its face.
 

Sir Brennen

Legend
Bladeward is weaker than Shield. Shield is a static +5 against all attacks, where Disadvantage is only equivalent to a -5 penalty when the opponent has a 50% chance to hit. Higher chances to hit actually lessen the effect of Disadvantage. Also, Bladeward doesn’t stop magic missiles.

As for the Anniversary Edition lessening the number of magical reactions, technically it will, by virtue of the PHB being a core book that doesn’t include every spell already published.

However, the edition will still have all of them, as it’s intended to be backwards compatible with all those spells in previous books. The only thing that will keep the number of such spells down is DM fiat
 

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