Unearthed Arcana Latest Unearthed Arcana Introduces Rogue & Ranger Archetypes

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Possibly a Idiot.
Lets get to cracking on this one:

Extra Attack (UA Ranger Only)
Well, that's kind of disheartening. Though I guess it is to be expected that going forward, any new ranger subclass isn't going to get any cool form of alternate damage, like their pet, or sneak attack dice, because they can't retroactively make the UA Ranger the Default Ranger.

Horizon Walker
Protecting the Prime Material from Invasive Species.

Planar Magic
Handy list of stuff that is useful for fighting alien threats. Alter Self is a bit weird, but I suppose it is useful if you are trying to adapt to a different plane.

Planar Warrior
You get to ignore any targets damage resistance and deal 1d6 extra damage as a bonus action. Multi-class Sorcerers are drooling for this to make sure they don't get damage-screwed. For a single-class Ranger though? It's mostly just 1d6 extra damage, with a side of not having to get a magic weapon.

Portal Lore
Kind of a weak ribbon that gets weaker once you note that it's only 1000' range, used once per rest, and can be totally shut down by absolutely any kind of magic that obstructs information about the portal. They would have been better off getting a "Find the Outsider" detection ability.

Ethereal Step
Etherealness is the level 7 spell that just loves to be given out as a t3 ability to subclasses, and I don't know why. In theory, a level 7 spell for free each rest is really powerful, but this one ends after 6 seconds, and takes your bonus action to use. Making it more like a slightly beefed up Misty Step.
Still, it is handy, so long as you aren't on one of the numerous planes of existence where the spell simply doesn't work.

Distant Strike
Oh, wow. I am sure this was intended for melee rangers, but seriously, this is just trivializing combat for bow-using rangers. Never again will they be threatened by a melee combatant. Additionally, they can always pick the best place for cover, even alternating between a few spots to give the illusion that there are multiple archers raining down on the enemy, or even using it to "jump" up to some higher ground.

Spectral Defense
This is just Uncanny Dodge, with a new coat of paint.

The level 3 ability is potentially abusable, but not likely to outdo a Warlock in sustained damage, or an Evoker targeting an elemental weakness for burst.
The level 11 ability though, that's a game changer for any proper Ranger.

Primeval Guardian
This is what "Circle of the Sun" for Druids could have been, and they had to go and toss it to the Ranger. :(

Guardian Magic
Some Druid spells, they are ok.

Guardian Soul
It's more flash than substance, but it's workable, and interesting at least. You get 5' extra reach, temp HP each round, and large size, the downside is your movement becomes 5'. But if you are a UA Ranger you can use your bonus action to dash at level 8 and get 10' of movement~
You could use your large size to bypass some hazards or obstacles, maybe move a really heavy rock, but it doesn't do much for damage. Handy for Small Folk who want to use a greatsword or longbow at least.

You could theoretically make a Ranger Defender with this, they do have the hit die for it, and they do get shields (medium armor still isn't that good). Additionally you could use a whip, or alternatively a pole-arm for extra-extra reach to make up for that 5' move per turn. It is something to consider if your DM uses the optional Marking Mechanic in the DMG at least. Maybe just talk your DM into doing only dungeon crawls, tight spaces are to your benefit with this subclass. Or just use a Bow, Rangers get bows you know, it's not like they have to be a defender, they could just be an extra-resilient artillery.

But any way you slice it, this ability needs more speed. 15' is where I would say the sweet spot is.

Piercing Thorns
Less useful than Planar Warrior. HOWEVER, it doesn't require a bonus action, letting you dash to your wooden little heart's content at level 8. Or maybe dual wield I guess. I get the feeling there should be some kind of harassment rider on this ability.

Ancient Fortitude
It's a way better Second Wind. It heals for more, and raises to HP cap so you can Pre-buff. If you don't want to level dip into fighter for your self-healing needs, this will more than cover it.

Rooted Defense
This is much to late for a defender mechanic. Fortunately, it also works as a defensive mechanic for those tree-rangers who decided to keep using their bow. Unfortunately, tree-rangers are still stuck with 5' of movement.

Guardian Aura
That's actually quite a bit of healing for free. The main concern, however, should be how players can keep getting knocked down to 0 or less hp, then spring up fresh as a daisy for the next round of combat, perpetually Tubthumping their way though any fight. This should be an AoE temporary HP bonus simply to avoid problems with providing a source of eternal healing. Or they could scrap it for something else, like some kind of Amber-Sap-Blood that traps enemies when they strike the Ranger. That's a thing trees do.

This should be a Druid Circle. It's too slow. It seems to be a defender, but doesn't get any real defenderish abilities until level 11. The AoE heal has problems. And where is the ribbon that lets the PC photosynthesize?
The thought of a PC turing into a tree is cool enough on it's own. Gnomes becoming large and in charge is hilarious, and something exotic like a warforged getting in touch with it's inner organic parts could be an interesting character arc.

Rogue: Scout
Joining the list of ill-chosen subclass names, this subclass goes the extra mile and shares a name with a different subclass for the Fighter, which is also a Ranger-light. Making it the most confusing out of it's shared-name piers.

Two more skills for the Rogue (Nature and Survival) and the Rogue automatically gets double the proficiency bonus in them. This is similar to what the Fighter gets (3 skills and they get to use superiority dice on them). But the most interesting part of this ability is that it can potentially stack with Expertise. Why would you want to? I have no idea, neither of those two skills have any kind of DC that would require such a high number.

This isn't as useful for a Rogue as it would be for another class. Uncanny Dodge, and the highly coveted OA compete for the Rogue's Reaction. While Cunning Action lets the Rogue Disengage as a Bonus Action during their normal turn should they need to get away. That said, this can save you from being surrounded by enemies, but such an event is too rare to warrant making an entire class feature around it. Natural Explorer (what the Fighter and the Ranger Proper get) is a much more interesting and useful ability.

Superior Mobility
+10' to speed, but only for walking, climbing, and swimming. Aarakocra can go lay an egg. It's ok, but other classes get it earlier, better, and with better movement type coverage. All told, a bit boring and overly restricted.

Ambush Master
An interesting take on ambushes. Instead of damage, your entire party gets a speed bonus if you can get the drop on your enemies. Useful, fun for the entire group, and doesn't create highly situational and absurd DPR spikes in a few encounters. I rather like it.

Sudden Strike
At level 17 the Rogue can double their DPR, but only if they are fighting two targets and use their bonus action to do so. This, is kind of nuts, considering they have access to bows. Granted, it doesn't do nearly as much against a single boss monster fight, but who runs single boss monsters anymore?

The Scout(Rogue) suffers from a plethora of problems. It is easily confused with Scout(Fighter). It isn't mechanically interesting until level 13. And it's a beast at level 17.
But, by far and large, the worst problem with this subclass is the implication that it's the only idea that they had for the Rogue. I know the Rogue has an expanded selection of existing subclasses to pick from. But having only one thing (which is a variant of something they did for the fighter already) makes me wonder.

Then again, this could just be something they had left over from the Kits of Old UA, and stuck it on to the Ranger document so they could pad it out a bit. We will see next week.


I know the Shadow Monk has killed the roguish Shadowdancer and stole their mojo, but I was somewhat surprised that there was not a classic shadow-themed archetype for the Rogue, especially since this appears to be common, if not popular, subclass for rogues on DMsGuild.

Lets get to cracking on this one:

Rogue: Scout
Joining the list of ill-chosen subclass names, this subclass goes the extra mile and shares a name with a different subclass for the Fighter, which is also a Ranger-light. Making it the most confusing out of it's shared-name piers.

I agree. They should of called it Pathfind... er, wait. :D



now to play a decent ranger that is best in survival and nature as a ranger should be, I only need 3 levels in rogue class :lol:


Horizon walker seems like a ok start for a new ranger subclass, but the primal guardian doesnt belong there. It should have been a druid subclass. The scout is a trap right now. Its level 17 feature is nice, but thats a long way to go for some love. Im not sure the rogue really needs another subclass at this point. Not a great article.


Damage-wise, yes. However, colossus slayer will never consume your bonus action. This will *always* consume your bonus action. This feels more like compensation for a ranger who has decided to not TWF than a ranger that has decided to not go Hunter.

We could also add that there's a fair chance that both conclaves spend their first round bonus action hunter's marking, which puts us back at d8 for free vs. d6 for a bonus with the race starting at round 2 for both parties. There's decent competition for a ranger's bonus, so I think colossus finishes markedly ahead.

Maybe. The one also gives "ignore resistance", which has more going for it.

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I was confused why Guardian gave temporary hit points each round with no limit to uses, seemed an endless fount of hit points adding up.
Then I looked up temporary hit points in the PHB (p. 198) and saw they cannot be added twice.

Never my intention. Just picked the 1st 2 effects that can ignore this ability and added an etc.

If your DM wants to kill a downed character is indeed pretty easy.

But in most tables I known is kind of an unwritten rule that downed characters would be ignored while active enemies still exist. But that's very unrealistic so let's ignore it.

Even ignoring that, is normal to expect that many enemies would stop attacking the 1st time that the character fall. But as soon as it fall once or twice and comes back up, they would certainly do something more permanent.

For me, it depends very much on what the monster's motivation is for conflicting with the party. Zombies tear you apart and eat you. Gnolls IMC love destruction, and for them the payoff isn't when you fall to zero HP, it's when your corpse disintegrates--unless they are very desperate (about to be TPKed), they will always pause long enough to mutilate a dead body. A ghoul might just want to snag a meal, and as soon as it's got a dead body it tries to drag it away while the other ghouls keep fighting.

Except for organized, militaristic humanoids (who will have zero trouble dealing with a Guardian Aura after they realize what's going on), most monsters shouldn't be trying to "win" the combat or "challenge" the PCs. They have goals of their own, and those goals will dictate how they respond to a downed PC.

It will be pretty hard to grapple someone within 30 feet of the Guardian if you're not flying.

First of all the other melee members of your party are very likely to have High Dex or Str values, and is pretty common for then to also have proficiency in Athletics or Acrobatics, so it will be hard to grapple then. Also, is much rarer for monsters to have skill proficiency than PCs.

All true. But it won't stop certain monsters from trying--it's not like they know what the PC's Acrobatics score is. They just know they're trying to score an easy meal; or in a dragon's case, it just knows it's trying to pick off the weakest-looking PCs one at a time. It doesn't know that the spindly-looking wizard is actually a high-Dex Bladesinger with Acrobatics +9 who can just Dimension Door away even if he is caught.

That doesn't make Guardian Aura more powerful though. In fact it just indicates why it's still unexciting: it only covers a single threat vector.

That's irrelevant if they are down but even so, the monster will be carrying someone, resulting in half movement, and it is through difficult terrain area, movement is halved again. So, a 30 feet moving enemy would carry ally outstanding 7,5 feet away from you. 15 feet if they dash. Even a tree can follow that.

The difficult terrain thing is indeed a nice synergy. Spike Growth is pretty nice too for locking down movement.

Note that it's unclear when/whether difficult terrain impedes jumping movement. In some cases, some DMs may allow a monster like that toad-thing from Volo's to hop away with a PC in its gullet, ignoring 15' or so of the difficult terrain.

BTW, I am not arguing here that DMs should metagame against Guardian's Aura. I'm just arguing that Guardian's Aura isn't all that great against various things that a DM is probably already doing anyway. (At least, I am.)

Flying or very high move speeds can avoid that. I also think there is a rule somewhere that let you move while grappling someone without spending extra movement if you are at least 2 sizes bigger than the target, but I am not sure. So, Huge or Gargantuan enemies can also move away grappling easily.

Yes. Froghemoths, Giant Constrictor Snakes, etc., are not impaired by grappled Medium creatures.

Another thing that makes harder for the enemies to move away are the ranger spells. Just entangle, spike growth and ensnaring strike already make much more difficult to move away from the Ranger. Probably, there are also other spells that also work for that purpose.

And even if they actually grapple an ally out of your heal zone, the one attack they lost to use grapple is likely to deal much more damage than you can heal in one or two rounds, so that is good.

Depends on what happens after that. Remember that the point of grappling isn't just to remove an enemy from healing, it's to remove it from healing and party support. A dragon or a vampire will grapple and kidnap a PC in order to turn a 4:1 fight into a 1:1 fight. The fact that it shuts down Guardian Aura is just one more example of how 1:1 fights are harder.

I am not really much worried about the combat potential of the ability. Other than reviving fallen characters is mostly fine. What I do not like is the infinite out of combat healing... Most of that only works by spending resources or with some pre-requisite.

I'd call "investing 15 levels in Ranger" a pre-requisite, wouldn't you? And you still only get healing up to half health. I agree that it's questionable design from the point of view of Champion invalidation, but with my powergamer hat on, it's hard to think of a campaign where I would want a 15th level ranger in the party even with this ability.

A bard or a paladin can indeed use Aura of Vitality to heal everyone to full, but the paladin is using his highest spell slot available, and the Bard one of his precious Magical Secrets and one of his 3 3rd level slot that they have by that level. I am not saying is a bad use of a spell slot, it is an outstanding one, but it has a cost. And while in theory it can heal thousands HP, it will probably heal a two or three hundred at most.

I'm not sure what this last sentence means. IME, the only reason why Aura of Vitality doesn't get cast more is because the party doesn't tend to take thousands of HP of damage. By level 15, a Paladorc (say Paladin 9/Sorcerer 6) with Extended Aura of Vitality would have, what, 8 castings of Aura of Vitality available to him? That's 1120 HP of healing per long rest, and he's not even a full-time healer.

Polymorph limits highly the capabilities of the targeted PC. If it was played correctly instead of generating a tactics master 3 intelligence T-rex, it would be a much weaker spell, but that is another discussion. And again, has a spell slot cost.

And what battlerager ability are you referring to? The one that gives you up to 5 HP by giving everyone advantage to hit you? How is that even comparable?

Yes, that one. And death monks generating temp HP by killing things, and fiendlocks doing the same, and Inspiring Leader, and Necromancers sucking the life out of things with Grim Harvest. 5E isn't short on ways to gain temp HP or recover HP.

The monk and the warlock abilities are indeed pretty good, but TempHP still don’t stack and the power of the abilities will vary wildly by the presence or absence of mooks on the battle.

Death monks don't have to kill "hostile creatures". They can kill 2cp chickens in grotesque ways and still gain 10-25 temp HP from it. (And indeed, this is very much in character for them.)

Reiterating: I agree that the ability should be revised to be more idiomatic for 5E and to not eclipse the Champion. (And actually, in its current state it actually makes some of the 1/long rest Paladin capstones look exactly as lame as they in fact are.) But from a powergaming perspective, it doesn't matter if the ability is nerfed or not, because AFAICT it doesn't push the boundaries of what is already possible. The single most exciting thing it does is make melee parties more attractive/durable/fun; which is entirely a good thing BTW. But that is only a playstyle change, not a balance change. You could have killed the exact same monsters anyway, with a different party composition.

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