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

ehren37

Legend
I like a lot of these additional invocations, but I'd rather see them revise the original invocations that never get used before we add more. All of those 'once per LR, but use a warlock slot' need the obvious fix.

My homebrew fix was to add the spell to their list of spells known, and let it be case for free once per long rest. I also think some should scale to be usable more often, but that's a bridge to be burned later...
 

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Mistwell

Crusty Old Meatwad (he/him)
Note that Hex does not in fact decrease your ability scores.

No, it does worse. A simple -2 to an ability score would be one thing, but disadvantage to an ability score is "experienced" like roughly a -5 to that ability score. And, as how you "experience the effects" is the key, I'd say that's meaningfully worse and definitely "experienced". Would anyone seriously argue you don't "experience the effects" of disadvantage to an attack for instance? Of course not. Does your DM not tell you, as the player, that your PC is under the effects of disadvantage only after you try and make an attack? I bet they don't, because your character is experiencing the disadvantage even before they attempt to make the attack and it's information used to make the choice over whether or not they're going to attack or do something else like use the help action instead. When your character has disadvantage to attacks, they know it right away, even before they choose to make an attack.

And you're constantly making ability checks with your intelligence, they're just passive and versus low DCs such that you wouldn't roll against them. But if you have disadvantage, you'd notice. Much like you'd notice disadvantage to any other ability score. You're experiencing it, however you as a DM would normally describe that experience.
 
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Happiness for a DM in 5e is realizing that you can add warlock levels to a high CR monster, and not change the CR. Tarrasque warlock 3 is well equipped to deal with the flying acid dropping wizard and the maddening warlock.:devil: I am pretty sure that if the warlock maddening hexes the Big T, and the Tarrasque maddenly hexes the warlock right back (what else is the Big Guy going to use his bonus action for?) that the Tarrasque's nice con score means It will make a bunch of con checks, and its lot of hp's means it will outlast the warlock.
 

Chaosmancer

Legend
The Paladin will usually have the unenviable position of spending the first turn of many fights casting Bless. They can't just drop all of their spells on smites when they are such an important support class. If your DM is using kiddy gloves, maybe they can get away with it. But Bless is the biggest DPR boost for most parties.

I've never seen a paladin cast bless, btw.

Anecdotes and all that. But Bless has never been cast at a table I've played at, and we've had plenty of paladins and at least one cleric. Actually, my cleric I play has never cast bless, because it isn't worth concentration compared to my other choices.

I have seen paladins spending every single spell slot on smites. For some players, if their paladin could never learn a single spell they would still be perfectly happy because they only use those slots for smiting and nothing else.

It doesn't have to be a king per se. Note that the scenario you posit (Hex and then run like mad/teleport away) works equally well against, say, an ancient red dragon or the Tarrasque. If Maddening Hex as written gets introduced to your game, you'll have to either live with letting warlocks kill the Tarrasque at level 2 (I think) using Hex and a reasonably fast horse, or you'll have to modify the Tarrasque to be immune to Maddening Hex.

IMO it needs to be limited to the same range and line-of-sight as Hex: 90', and you have to be able to see the creature.


I'd say just limit it to line of sight for now. One of the biggest problems with Witch Bolt is the fact that if the enemy runs away your spell is wasted


Though, again, there is nothing wrong with the ability being used in combat while the warlock does other things. So, personally, I'll try the "Gentleman's agreement" method first of just asking the players not to abuse this and then if it becomes an issue, limit it as needed.
 

Pauper

That guy, who does that thing.
These and last months revised classes all safe bets to make the next crunch book!

I'll take that bet on the side that says these past two months of classes won't be in the new book -- it seems more likely that the shift from monthly to weekly Unearthed Arcanas was meant to gather rapid feedback on the subclasses intended for this book, with the shift back to monthly presaging subclasses that will be slated for a future product.

This is even more likely given the subclasses that are confirmed to be in the book: the horizon walker (from the Jan 16, 2017 UA), the cavalier (originally from the January 2016 UA but renamed the Knight in the December 5, 2016 UA), and the inquisitive (the only one of the three that wholly predates the weekly UAs, coming from the April 2016 'Gothic Heroes' UA).

Don't hold your breath, is all I'm saying.

--
Pauper
 

GarrettKP

Explorer
I'll take that bet on the side that says these past two months of classes won't be in the new book -- it seems more likely that the shift from monthly to weekly Unearthed Arcanas was meant to gather rapid feedback on the subclasses intended for this book, with the shift back to monthly presaging subclasses that will be slated for a future product.

This is even more likely given the subclasses that are confirmed to be in the book: the horizon walker (from the Jan 16, 2017 UA), the cavalier (originally from the January 2016 UA but renamed the Knight in the December 5, 2016 UA), and the inquisitive (the only one of the three that wholly predates the weekly UAs, coming from the April 2016 'Gothic Heroes' UA).

Don't hold your breath, is all I'm saying.

--
Pauper

You realize that the Cavalier was actually in this months UA and is nothing like the Knight at all right? The fact that the Cavalier is confirmed in the book AND was in this UA is the main reason why these revised subclasses are safe bets for being in the book.
 


Happiness for a DM in 5e is realizing that you can add warlock levels to a high CR monster, and not change the CR. Tarrasque warlock 3 is well equipped to deal with the flying acid dropping wizard and the maddening warlock.:devil: I am pretty sure that if the warlock maddening hexes the Big T, and the Tarrasque maddenly hexes the warlock right back (what else is the Big Guy going to use his bonus action for?) that the Tarrasque's nice con score means It will make a bunch of con checks, and its lot of hp's means it will outlast the warlock.

Even better, you can reduce the Tarrasque's HP by 150 HP and add Regeneration: 50 HP at the start of every turn, and that doesn't change the CR at all.

You also also give the Tarrasque a flying speed of 10,000' per round, and that doesn't change the CR, and a burrowing speed of 1000', and Expertise in every skill, and 30 in every attribute, and the ability to cast Wish and Counterspell at will, and none of that will change the CR.

CR in 5E is an incredibly crude metric.
 

Gadget

Adventurer
Circle of the Sheperd - like the idea, but I agree that some of the Totem auras are too finicky and lacking. Faithful Summons sounds cool, but, like someone above said, it is basically a free cast of 'protection from DM coup-de-grace'.

Cavalier - Really, while the super trip/knock prone may be nice, but I really don't see much here that could not be done with a Battle Master that takes the Noble background and right maneuvers (provided the new ones are added to the general list, which they probably should be).

Paladin of Conquest - Other than the fact that this seems to be an NPC (or at least evil PC game) geared sub-class, it looks fairly solid.

Celestial Warlock - I like it better than 'Undying Light', though I do admit there is a discrepancy in having a Celestial Patron and having all the curse/hex/evil eye type powers.

Eldritch Invocations - I can see why they opened up the list to allow more general access and choice, though I admit that this may make some story inconsistencies. Unlike others, I don't think this means other Invocations we saw are 'gone'. I'm disappointed that the Hexblade still seems to be in, as I thought most of that class could have been cannibalized for new Invocations/features for the blade'lock. Ghostly Gaze needs a bit longer duration, Improved Pact Weapon feels like a mechanical patch, Maddening Hex needs a line of sight or range limitation. Eldritch Smite is nice, but with the limited spell slots a Warlock has, combined with the Warlock's greater dependence on their Spell Slots might make it more difficult choice to use.
 

Even better, you can reduce the Tarrasque's HP by 150 HP and add Regeneration: 50 HP at the start of every turn, and that doesn't change the CR at all.

You also also give the Tarrasque a flying speed of 10,000' per round, and that doesn't change the CR, and a burrowing speed of 1000', and Expertise in every skill, and 30 in every attribute, and the ability to cast Wish and Counterspell at will, and none of that will change the CR.

CR in 5E is an incredibly crude metric.

Almost as crude as complaints about how X feature is "too powerful."
 

Yunru

Banned
Banned
Even better, you can reduce the Tarrasque's HP by 150 HP and add Regeneration: 50 HP at the start of every turn, and that doesn't change the CR at all.

You also also give the Tarrasque a flying speed of 10,000' per round, and that doesn't change the CR, and a burrowing speed of 1000', and Expertise in every skill, and 30 in every attribute, and the ability to cast Wish and Counterspell at will, and none of that will change the CR.

CR in 5E is an incredibly crude metric.

Well now, that sounds like a monster worth its name.
 

Staffan

Legend
If your thinking is impaired it's not going to be immediately obvious, because your thinking is impaired.
In other words, Hexing someone's Intelligence is the Curse of Dunning-Kruger.

As for whether the disadvantage on ability checks is notable, I guess it depends on whether it's expressed as getting weaker/clumsier/dumber etc., or if it's a form of bad luck. Given that it only affects ability checks and not attacks or saves, I'd rule the latter. That also allows for the non-combat use where the warlock subtly hexes a target's Wisdom, and proceeds to trick/persuade them because they now have disadvantage on Wisdom (Insight) checks.
 

gyor

Legend
Circle of the Sheperd - like the idea, but I agree that some of the Totem auras are too finicky and lacking. Faithful Summons sounds cool, but, like someone above said, it is basically a free cast of 'protection from DM coup-de-grace'.

Cavalier - Really, while the super trip/knock prone may be nice, but I really don't see much here that could not be done with a Battle Master that takes the Noble background and right maneuvers (provided the new ones are added to the general list, which they probably should be).

Paladin of Conquest - Other than the fact that this seems to be an NPC (or at least evil PC game) geared sub-class, it looks fairly solid.

Celestial Warlock - I like it better than 'Undying Light', though I do admit there is a discrepancy in having a Celestial Patron and having all the curse/hex/evil eye type powers.

Eldritch Invocations - I can see why they opened up the list to allow more general access and choice, though I admit that this may make some story inconsistencies. Unlike others, I don't think this means other Invocations we saw are 'gone'. I'm disappointed that the Hexblade still seems to be in, as I thought most of that class could have been cannibalized for new Invocations/features for the blade'lock. Ghostly Gaze needs a bit longer duration, Improved Pact Weapon feels like a mechanical patch, Maddening Hex needs a line of sight or range limitation. Eldritch Smite is nice, but with the limited spell slots a Warlock has, combined with the Warlock's greater dependence on their Spell Slots might make it more difficult choice to use.

If your worried the curse/hex powers, don't pick them, focus the spells the subclass grants, or rename the powers divine or angelic retribution instead of hex, make it very biblical sounding or ancient Greek if ones Patron is an Empyrean
perhaps, like you don't cast hex you cast "Pandora's Box" on a target.

As for Hexblade, I honestly thought Hexblade would have been better as a Fighter subclass that granted the Pact Blade Feature, eldrich blast, limited invocations, automatic hex spell know and Pact Magic casting.

Sort of like the Eldrich Knight, for warlocks instead of wizards.
 

gyor

Legend
I'll take that bet on the side that says these past two months of classes won't be in the new book -- it seems more likely that the shift from monthly to weekly Unearthed Arcanas was meant to gather rapid feedback on the subclasses intended for this book, with the shift back to monthly presaging subclasses that will be slated for a future product.

This is even more likely given the subclasses that are confirmed to be in the book: the horizon walker (from the Jan 16, 2017 UA), the cavalier (originally from the January 2016 UA but renamed the Knight in the December 5, 2016 UA), and the inquisitive (the only one of the three that wholly predates the weekly UAs, coming from the April 2016 'Gothic Heroes' UA).

Don't hold your breath, is all I'm saying.

--
Pauper

I hope your wrong about that, because that would be a deal breaker for me.
 

Paladin of Conquest - Other than the fact that this seems to be an NPC (or at least evil PC game) geared sub-class, it looks fairly solid.

Maybe it's the way they re-parsed the paragraphs from the first draft, but it doesn't seem so edgelord-ish anymore. The Hellknight part was clearly partitioned off into its own subset, and I even like the part they added about other Paladins of this Oath being the fiercest opposition to the Hellknights.

In fact, a non-Hellknight Paladin of this Oath is pretty much exactly what historical Crusaders were, Charlemagne's actual Paladins included. They weren't so much about virtue and doing good deeds and stuff as they were about just flat waging a holy war, killing Saracens and conquering the Holy Land.
 

gyor

Legend
I'll take that bet on the side that says these past two months of classes won't be in the new book -- it seems more likely that the shift from monthly to weekly Unearthed Arcanas was meant to gather rapid feedback on the subclasses intended for this book, with the shift back to monthly presaging subclasses that will be slated for a future product.

This is even more likely given the subclasses that are confirmed to be in the book: the horizon walker (from the Jan 16, 2017 UA), the cavalier (originally from the January 2016 UA but renamed the Knight in the December 5, 2016 UA), and the inquisitive (the only one of the three that wholly predates the weekly UAs, coming from the April 2016 'Gothic Heroes' UA).

Don't hold your breath, is all I'm saying.

--
Pauper

If the past 2 months of subclasses weren't in this book, it would not have anywhere near 20 subclasses from UA, because prior to that, they didn't produce anywhere near that number of Subclasses, ten maybe, excluding the Artificer and Mystic subclasses of course.
 

gyor

Legend
Maybe it's the way they re-parsed the paragraphs from the first draft, but it doesn't seem so edgelord-ish anymore. The Hellknight part was clearly partitioned off into its own subset, and I even like the part they added about other Paladins of this Oath being the fiercest opposition to the Hellknights.

In fact, a non-Hellknight Paladin of this Oath is pretty much exactly what historical Crusaders were, Charlemagne's actual Paladins included. They weren't so much about virtue and doing good deeds and stuff as they were about just flat waging a holy war, killing Saracens and conquering the Holy Land.

I actually thought a Hell Knight of Belial could be fun, but it's not AL friend because you can't choose a Archdevil except Asmodeaus to worship, then I thought, hey Lovitar could be cool for a Hellknight, she's not from the Hells, but she does dwell in the lower planes, perhaps a Painknight as she's the Mistress of Pain.

Imagine a armoured Knight in black, with glowing red eyes, a whip unholy symbol on his shield, riding a fiendish horse that smells like tears and fresh blood and has glowing red eyes, with glowing red symbols on his armour and sword.
 

Argyle King

Legend
I see conversations about Eldritch Smite and Divine Smite.

I'm not worried about Eldritch Smite. Yes, it has the potential to use higher spell slots. However, it can only be used once per turn. A paladin can smite with every attack if they wanted to do so.

Though I'm curious how things play out with a Warlock/Paladin who is able to to stack both smites onto one attack. It's not something which could be done often, but I'm intrigued by the idea.
 

Mephista

Adventurer
But the warlock isn't even present when the king is taking damage. That's what makes Maddening Hex remarkable: it has no Line-of-Sight or range requirements.
Immaterial. There's a million ways to drop Hex on a person through stealth or some other tactic. The problem is that, nine times of ten, its going to be pretty quickly found out that a curse hit him. And there will be clerics divining who done it through auguries and similar spells, and then there will be people after the warlock after the answer was found through literal dues ex machina magic.

The end result is not favorable for the warlock, no matter how I twist this scenario. And, even if you replace King with some other monster or critter... its always going to be the same. There are answers to this kind of scenario, including search and destroy or supporting cultists. Hex is still a concentration spell, after all. The key is arranging a situation where a solution to the curse isn't possible.

But 6-8 encounters just dont often happen organically in play.
You know, if you count traps and social encoutners, I find its pretty close. I never seen anything that says that the 6-8 encounters must be combat.
 

Chaosmancer

Legend
Celestial Warlock - I like it better than 'Undying Light', though I do admit there is a discrepancy in having a Celestial Patron and having all the curse/hex/evil eye type powers.

I doubt this will help with the discrepancy, but just off the top of my head I can think of The Mark of Cain from the Bible, and I'm sure if I actually dug around I could find plenty of "You made the gods angry and they cursed you" type stories.


Actually, I really like this Celestial Warlock as an agent of a God. They made a deal with a god for power, and they travel the world with a sacred book, blasting evil in the face with magic bolts and healing the wounded with but a touch.

It could be horribly abused by the wrong player, but man it could be a blast in the right context.
 

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