Unearthed Arcana June Unearthed Arcana: Druid Shepherd, Fighter Cavalier, and Paladin of Conquest

The latest Unearthed Arcana from Mearls and Crawford revisits four subclasses from earlier UA articles. "Part of the fun of playtesting is seeing how feedback and play can push a design in new directions. In this month’s Unearthed Arcana, we revisit class material that appeared in previous installments: four subclasses for various classes, along with Eldritch Invocations for the warlock. This material was all popular, and the revisions to it were driven by feedback that thousands of you provided in surveys. The updated subclasses are the druid’s Circle of the Shepherd, the fighter’s Cavalier, the paladin’s Oath of Conquest, and the warlock’s Celestial (formerly known as the Undying Light). One of the main pieces of feedback we got about the Eldritch Invocations is that most players didn’t want them exclusive to particular Otherworldly Patron options, so we’ve opened them up to more warlocks, tweaked them, and cut the least popular ones."

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Russ Morrissey

Russ Morrissey

pukunui

Legend
That's odd. How does that work with stealth?

To clarify: Say my target isn't aware they are being attacked. Hypothetically speaking, let's say I'm a sniper using a crossbow. Attempting to pull the trigger = roll initiative?
Technically yes, although I know plenty of DMs who would just give you that first attack for free and *then* ask for initiative rolls.
 

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Corwin

Explorer
That's odd. How does that work with stealth?
Pretty neatly, if you ask me. See below...

To clarify: Say my target isn't aware they are being attacked. Hypothetically speaking, let's say I'm a sniper using a crossbow. Attempting to pull the trigger = roll initiative?
So you'd prefer the monk not have even the slimmest chance to feel that incoming crossbow bolt, and at the last second bat it away? Or the sorcerer to instinctively bring up a shield spell just as she turns to spot the bolt mid flight straight for her? These things seem pretty cinematically standard fare to me. And the 5e rules, as written, allow for those cool moments. The method you say you tend to favor would not.

The monk or sorcerer in those examples are still losing out on their turn for the round, because the sniper was stealthy enough to avoid detection. So surprise still happened. They were just quick enough to have a chance to react to the sniper. Which is a subtly cool, IMO, part of how 5e handles surprise.
 

R_Chance

Adventurer
So you'd prefer the monk not have even the slimmest chance to feel that incoming crossbow bolt, and at the last second bat it away? Or the sorcerer to instinctively bring up a shield spell just as she turns to spot the bolt mid flight straight for her? These things seem pretty cinematically standard fare to me. And the 5e rules, as written, allow for those cool moments. The method you say you tend to favor would not.

The monk or sorcerer in those examples are still losing out on their turn for the round, because the sniper was stealthy enough to avoid detection. So surprise still happened. They were just quick enough to have a chance to react to the sniper. Which is a subtly cool, IMO, part of how 5e handles surprise.


What you're describing sounds like they weren't surprised to me. It just sounds like they lost initiative but were still able to act. Surprise was always a bit more than that. And should be, imho of course.
 

Argyle King

Legend
Pretty neatly, if you ask me. See below...


So you'd prefer the monk not have even the slimmest chance to feel that incoming crossbow bolt, and at the last second bat it away? Or the sorcerer to instinctively bring up a shield spell just as she turns to spot the bolt mid flight straight for her? These things seem pretty cinematically standard fare to me. And the 5e rules, as written, allow for those cool moments. The method you say you tend to favor would not.

The monk or sorcerer in those examples are still losing out on their turn for the round, because the sniper was stealthy enough to avoid detection. So surprise still happened. They were just quick enough to have a chance to react to the sniper. Which is a subtly cool, IMO, part of how 5e handles surprise.

The monk is a unique case which is already covered by their class abilities. The same may also be true of the sorcerer with some spells.

Outside of that and baring a miraculous perception, I'm unsure how they're even aware of the attack.

Sure, there are some examples like Carlos Hathcock supposedly seeing the glint of an enemy scope, but it's somewhat odd as a normal rule.
 

Corwin

Explorer
What you're describing sounds like they weren't surprised to me. It just sounds like they lost initiative but were still able to act.
5e distinguishes a special type of action called "Reactions" that you can take, once your initiative comes around, even during the first turn when you happen to be surprised. As has been pointed out, one of the features of the Assassin subclass requires that you not only surprise your target, but beat them on initiative. If that helps.

And no, again, the monk in my example was indeed "surprised". He did not see the sniper prior to the shot being taken. He will not get to take an action even though he happened to roll higher on initiative than the sniper. He can't choose to move and dash away around a corner before the shot is fired, for example. No, he cannot leap into the tree and attack the sniper first.

Surprise was always a bit more than that. And should be, imho of course.
Your use of past tense here did not go unnoticed. Nor how that fact would obviously influence your second sentence. I've found a not infrequent cause of 5e consternation stems from past edition players coming to the table with their past-edition-colored glasses on.
 

Corwin

Explorer
The monk is a unique case which is already covered by their class abilities. The same may also be true of the sorcerer with some spells.

Outside of that and baring a miraculous perception, I'm unsure how they're even aware of the attack.
But that's the whole point. Given that you have to win initiative, and can only use a reaction (if you even have one), we are only talking about the exceptions anyway. Otherwise, what's the difference? If a particular character has no beneficial reaction option to help them in that scenario, and/or lost initiative, they effectively do nothing the first round. Just like they would have in the way you say you'd do it. No?

My argument is for the exceptions. For things like that quintessential example of the lightning fast monk catching the sniper's bolt just before it hits. Because that's something we've occasionally seen in action movies, or read in adventure books. It requires two things to happen in the character's favor. 1) They beat their would-be assassin on initiative. And 2) they have an applicable reaction that helps them mitigate whatever just happened.
 

Argyle King

Legend
I don't feel the argument helps highlight those exceptions. All of that is still possible regardless.

On the other hand, the shooter's abilities might not work for a reason which is slightly odd to justify.

I'm away from books at the moment, but it's come to my attention that I need to re-read the rules.

Admittedly, some of my own struggle comes from playing other games in which the situation would be handled a lot differently. 5th Edition D&D is a rule set that I don't have as much familiarity with.
 

Chaosmancer

Legend
That's odd. How does that work with stealth?

To clarify: Say my target isn't aware they are being attacked. Hypothetically speaking, let's say I'm a sniper using a crossbow. Attempting to pull the trigger = roll initiative?


It's been a matter of a lot of debate. That's why I didn't respond to Corwin, didn't want to derail the thread

^^^ See Above^^^^ :p
 

Corwin

Explorer
I don't feel the argument helps highlight those exceptions.
Who's argument? Mine? I thought I was pretty thorough in detailing why/how they are exceptions.

All of that is still possible regardless.
What is still possible? Using your version of surprise? How so? Maybe I'm not understanding what it is you are saying you would do differently.

On the other hand, the shooter's abilities might not work for a reason which is slightly odd to justify.
Just as the reacting character's abilities might not work. I guess I just don't see the distinction. <shrug>
 

gyor

Legend
Bringing the thread back on focus, a 1 level dip into Favoured Soul would net a Celestial Warlock free cure wounds known, two other spells that could be chosen from either the cleric or sorceror spell lists, 4 cantrips from sorceror or cleric spell lists , Favoured of the Gods.

A 1 level dip into Celestial Warlock would net the Favoured Soul 4 cantrips (Sacred Flame and Light, along with 2 others from the Warlock list) and Healing Light, 2 d6 dice, and a couple of spells known, and 2 1st level pact magic slots.
 
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Argyle King

Legend
Who's argument? Mine? I thought I was pretty thorough in detailing why/how they are exceptions.


What is still possible? Using your version of surprise? How so? Maybe I'm not understanding what it is you are saying you would do differently.


Just as the reacting character's abilities might not work. I guess I just don't see the distinction. <shrug>



I see no reason why reactions to an attack cannot be used outside of an initiative order.

In contrast, there are attack abilities which require hitting before the target can take a turn. With the way things currently work (which I'm not necessarily advocating against) it would appear that taking a turn to do nothing still counts as taking a turn. In such a case, the hypothetical shooter's abilities cease to work for no reason other than because the game says it doesn't. I'll again admit my unfamiliarity with the nuances of 5E, so it may be that I am not clear on how it is supposed to work.
 

Kurotowa

Legend
Yeah, I do run with old surprise rounds rules. Because the idea of someone declaring "I draw my sword" and then an entire round of combat going off then they get to draw their sword is just too weird for me.

I just picture it like a gunslinger duel. The guy who goes for his weapon first isn't guarantied to be the fastest on the draw. As soon as he reaches for that sword everyone's combat instincts kick into high gear and they start scrambling to draw a weapon or ready a spell themselves. So maybe that guy who drew first gets the first strike in. Or maybe he's so nervous his sword jams in the sheath (rolled a low Init) and before he gets it clear the cold as ice Rogue has pulled a knife and shanked him in the kidney (rolled a high Init).

This is why I always try to narrate the result of the dice rolls. It turns the numbers into a story with highs and lows, setbacks and victories.
 

Yeah, I do run with old surprise rounds rules. Because the idea of someone declaring "I draw my sword" and then an entire round of combat going off then they get to draw their sword is just too weird for me.

'Chaosmancers eyes suddenly narrow, and his hand goes for his sword! Roll initiative.'

Its really not hard mate.

What about a Baron? A Duchess? Isn't it kind of strange if all nobles have that level of magical defense?

A Hallow spell (dimensional lock) and a thin lining of lead built into the walls? It would be weird if they didnt have this.

In a world where your rivals can (and obviously do) hire roving bands of murderhobos capable of casting teleportation/ scying/ divination magic let alone having them on staff as permanent retainers, then yes, I would expect anyone capable of forking out the tens of thousands of GP for walls and hundreds each week maintaining those wallson a keep or similar to have both of those (basic) defences installed.

Even more-so in FR or Greyhawk or Eberron where magic is relatively commonplace (enough that whole battalions of magic users are fielded by kingdoms).

If YOU were building a keep in F/R wouldnt you hire a spellcaster for their professional advice on how to fortify it against magical threats?

Mage: 'We can keep out the enemy army and spies with walls my leige, but anyone with any magic can listen to everything you say, and teleport in here past the walls and murder you with a word'

King: 'Well that sounds pretty messed up! What can be done about it?'

Mage: 'Easy fixed m'lord. You'll need a few hundred gp in lead, an additional 1,000gp for rare herbs, oils and incense, and a freindly 9th level Cleric.'

King: 'Castellan; fetch the High Priest of Lathander. (whispers) also... what is is a level?'​

(I dont know why but the Mage was speaking in the voice of Baldric from Blackadder there).

This is why the agreement is necessary. Someone important to your campaign is vulnerable to guaranteed death via Maddening Hex.

So? They're vulnerable to death by having their head caved in by an axe. Donald Trump is vulnerable to a bullet to the head.

Try it and see what happens. (Dont actually try it!).

In DnD, the King just gets raised. Unless he cant afford a 500gp diamond for some reason. And then he hires NPC murderhobos (presuming he doesnt have any on permanent retainer on staff) to track down the Warlock with (scrying and teleportation magic).

Long story short, King lives, PC Warlock dies. Actions have consequences.

Yet more proof that Australia is really Hell and somebody forgot to tell us.

Seriously. I've heard it's pretty there, but everything else I've heard makes it sound like the absolute worst place ever.

Its both if that makes any sense.

The biggest myth is that we all live in the outback. We're actually one of the most urbanised (read: live in cities on the coast near the ocean) societies on earth.

As an ex soldier that worked out there in the north and centre of Australia, I can speak from experience when I say it is one harsh place to be.

It is a gorgeous country in its own way though. I forget how alien it must look to everyone else. Who designed the Platapus anyway? What kind of messed up animal is warm blooded yet lays eggs, has the bill of a duck but the body of a beaver, and is poisonous?

Kick ass lifestyle over here though. Its like the States, but with no guns, the climate of LA, good wages, better beaches, free healthcare, and at least 4 weeks paid leave each year. Sucks we're so far away from everything though. Although 200 dollar flights to Asia are pretty cool.

If you ever feel like visiting drop me a line. You can do a guest appearance in our weekly 5E Campaign.
 
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That's odd. How does that work with stealth?

To clarify: Say my target isn't aware they are being attacked. Hypothetically speaking, let's say I'm a sniper using a crossbow. Attempting to pull the trigger = roll initiative?

Yes. Then you take turns in initiative order.

On round 1, the 'mark' is surprised on his first turn (and cant take any actions on turn one, nor can he move). He also cant take any reactions (like a Shield spell to protect himself) until after his 1st turn ends.

So its largely irrelevant who wins initiative. Either the target goes first (and does nothing) and gets shot in the head, or the sniper goes first and shoots him in the head before he gets the chance to (do nothing). Either way the sniper shoots him.

Unless the target has some special ability to never be surprised of course (Ioun stone of Alertness, or the 'Alert' feat).

Initiative in this example is only relevant to see if the 'mark' can act quickly enough to possibly use a reaction (deflect missiles or shield spell or the parry manouver) to the snipers attack after it gets launched.

Its also relevant to see if the sniper can get in a second shot before the target can act.
 

I see no reason why reactions to an attack cannot be used outside of an initiative order.

They can, but a surprised creature cant take reactions until after it has finished its first turn in combat (see the PHB).

Example:

An Orc is creeping down a cluttered warehouse flitting from from crate to crate (Stealth check result 17), and spots two PCs (Passive perception 10) 30' away. The PCs fail to notice the Orc as its Stealth check > their Passive perception.

The DM decides the Orc lifts his crossbow to his eye, aims at the 1st PC and pulls the trigger. He states to the players:

'Suddenly from out of the darkness near the crates to the South, you hear the twang and whistle of a crossbow bolt being launched! Roll initiative.'

The DM now resolves that action. He rolls initiative to see if the PCs can react in time to the Orcs action.

Lets have two examples (one where the Orc goes first, and one where it goes last):

Example 1:

Initiative: Orc rolls 15. The PCs roll 10 and 5. Orc goes first.

Round 1:

The Orc goes first. Its attack is resolved against PC 1 (at advantage thanks to the Orc being hidden at the time the attack was made). It gets +6 to hit, and rolls a 3 and a 5 on its attack roll, missing the first PC (who has an AC of 18). Note that neither PC can take a reaction to this attack, as they havent had their first turn in combat yet.

PC 1 goes next on initiative count 10. He stares blankly at the crossbow bolt lodged in his shield mouth agape (he is surprised so is unable to take any actions, or move on his turn). His turn then ends, and he can now take reactions.

PC 2 goes next. He is also surprised and cant do anything on his turn. His turn then ends, and he can now take reactions.

Round 2:

The Orc loads his crossbow, and again takes a shot. He is no longer hidden (he revealed himself last round when he made at attack, and making an attack reveals your position after resolving that attack, hit or miss) so there is no advantage on this attack. He shoots at PC 2 (who isnt wearing any armor) as he looks the easier target. He rolls a 12 for a total attack roll of 18 vs PC 2's AC of 15 - a hit!

PC 2 is a Wizard with the Shield spell. He uses his reaction to cast it (crossing off the spell slot) and raises his AC to 20. The Orcs bolt is deflected by the magical barrier.

Next comes PC 1, who can finally take an action. He draws his sword, screams 'STABFELLOW JENKINS CHAAAAAAARGE! and moves 30' to the Orc and makes a melee attack...

And so on.

Example 2:

Initiative: Orc rolls 5. The PCs roll 20 and 15. Orc goes last.

Round 1:

PC 1 goes first on initiative count 20. He fumbles for his sword, mouth agape (he is surprised so is unable to take any actions, or move on his turn). His turn then ends, and he can now take reactions.

PC 2 goes next. He is also surprised and cant do anything on his turn. His turn then ends, and he can now take reactions.

The Orc goes next. Its attack is resolved against PC 1 (at advantage thanks to the Orc being hidden at the time the attack was made). It gets +6 to hit, and rolls a 15 and a 5 on its attack roll, hitting the first PC (who has an AC of 18) with a 21, dealing 10 points of piercing damage.

Unbeknownst to the Orc, PC 1 (Our hero, Stabfellow Jenkins) is a Warlock. He uses his reaction to cast Hellish Rebuke, targetting the Orc and dealing 22 points of fire damage to it. Note that this PC could take a reaction to this attack only as they have had their first turn in combat already (even though they could take no actions during that turn as the were surprised).

Round 2:

PC 1 goes first thos round and can finally take an action. He finally manages to draw his sword, screams 'STABFELLOW JENKINS CHAAAAAAARGE! and moves 30' to the Orc and makes a melee attack...

And so on.
 
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Li Shenron

Legend
So you'd prefer the monk not have even the slimmest chance to feel that incoming crossbow bolt, and at the last second bat it away? Or the sorcerer to instinctively bring up a shield spell just as she turns to spot the bolt mid flight straight for her? These things seem pretty cinematically standard fare to me. And the 5e rules, as written, allow for those cool moments. The method you say you tend to favor would not.

Even if the DM decides to allow the sniper to attack outside of combat, the target do still have a chance against the incoming bolt: it's their AC.
 

Are we really going to add yet another unrelated thread to the heap of stealth discussion casualties? The number of interesting topics that have been derailed to death by pages upon pages of that argument are already uncountable.

Please take that conversation elsewhere. I'm begging you, on bent knee.
 

Are we really going to add yet another unrelated thread to the heap of stealth discussion casualties? The number of interesting topics that have been derailed to death by pages upon pages of that argument are already uncountable.

Please take that conversation elsewhere. I'm begging you, on bent knee.

Since you asked so nicely :)

What about a discussion on alignments?

;)
 

schnee

First Post
I agree, nothing about it would be subtle. Best case scenario I could see would be with some proper RPing and the right scenario, a skill check or checks could allow it.

"Your party convinces the king the warlock is a seer, with visions of the future. The king asks for his future to be read, anxious to know the actions of his enemies. The warlock's eyes begin to glow. He casts a handful of bones and the petrified eye of a newt into a bowl on the table in front of him. As he starts to speak in infernal he points towards the king and in a harsh voice declares the king's future is full of hazards." Or he says the king's mother is a purple people eater, since no one else speaks infernal. Up to him.

"Great, roll me a performance check to see how convincing your act is."

Rolls a 22. - The warlock's voice quiets, and the king's mind slows as the hex takes effect. He stares in fear at nothing before slowing getting up to retire to his chambers.
Rolls a 7 - Roll initiative!

I prefer the 'joking not joking' approach.

"JINXED!!

...lol just kidding!"
 

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