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Unearthed Arcana Latest Unearthed Arcana Introduces Rogue & Ranger Archetypes

New UA (1/16/2017): Ranger and Rogue The new UA is up, you can see it here:http://media.wizards.com/2016/dnd/downloads/2017_01_UA_RangerRogue_0117JCMM.pdf

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I like that the Forest Guardian gives you a way to play the class that is completely different from other Rangers. I like when subclasses do that. I think it makes the subclass decision really meaningful.

YUP! This! I really think thats how most archetypes should go, with a few class exceptions (Like Cleric or Wizard). Overall, I love the different playstyle options.


I was really hoping the UA Ranger Revised would become book errata, and these dont mesh with that leveling scheme.

In what way, they have specifically called out in the text how to make it compatible with the neo-Ranger?

Note that when done, it will be in a new product, not as errata.


First Post
Meh. At 15th level, that trick is already possible via Regeneration spell; and Lore Bards have been doing essentially the same thing to their allies since 6th level w/ Aura of Vitality. Variant humans may have been doing it since level 1 with the Healer feat.

With the exception that this one is completely at will, with no action requirement other than entering guardian form (something you would already do anyway as it is the whole reason for playing the archetype). It also garanties that your party would enter any fight with at least half HP. It is like giving Survivor feature from Champion Archetype for the whole party. And it also heals fallen allies. So, no matter how many hit points anyone within 30 feet of the ranger has, they will have a turn.

You're still vulnerable to insta-death, and getting grappled/kidnapped by a dragon to kill in isolation (away from help, including the aura); you're still vulnerable to petrification from a Medusa, or brain-eating by an Intellect Devourer, or getting Plane Shifted by a Rakshasa to the Elemental Plane of Fire, or getting shredded by a horde of zombies who auto-crit you to death and then start eating you on the same turn you go down to zero HP.

If your argument is that the dungeon master can still kill you if he wants, that is true to anything. Giving someone the ability to cast Wish at will still let the dungeon master kill you, but it does not stop it from being OP. (This was an intended exaggeration)

Bellow are my thoughts about the subclasses:

Horizon Walker

Nothing here caught my attention, other than highlighting the problems of TWF again.
Most of the spells are situational.

I think Planar Warrior should deal the extra d6 with no action requirement and the bonus action is only necessary for ignoring resistances.

Portal lore is completely campaign dependent, but that was probably the intention anyway.
Ethereal Step and Distant Strike are interesting, but the latter encourages kiting, one thing that I find very annoying.

Spectral Defense is Uncanny Dodge but better.

Primeval Guardian

My favorite from this UA, but it really needs some changes because it’s overpowered.

The spells are much better and less situational than the Horizon Walker ones, especially Entangle and Conjure Animals.

Guardian Soul is incredible thematically, but also incredibly overpowered. It really needs to specify that you can’t use Large Weapons. Although the Temp HP does not do much at low levels, but it kind of outclasses the only saving grace of the Champion archetype at high levels. I think this should go and they should add some kind of armor class to the Groot form. Something like:

“At guardian form your armor class becomes 17, unless it is higher, as your skin becomes as strong as wood. This counts as armor for the purpose of Defense Fighting Style. You can benefit from wearing a shield”
This gives the form a defensive benefit and stimulates strength builds, a thing I would really like because “Dexterous” and “Trees” aren’t two words commonly associated.

I also think they should add the ability to cast Thorn Whip while on Groot form. Maybe using your Strength Modifier for the DC.

I would also prefer to limit the usage of ranged weapons at this form. This should be the tanking archetype, and you’re not tanking if you are 100 feet away with a long bow. At least they should add an advantage for being melee.

Piercing Thorns is fine. Maybe the advantage to melee I just suggested could be here. Just make it only work with melee weapons.

They made a sneaky update to Ancient fortitude. I have the pdf open both on my PC and on my tablet. On the tablet it says it is only once per rest, on the PC it does not. That considered, I think it’s fine.
Rotted Defense is good.

Guardian Aura is giving Survivor Feature to the whole party 3 LEVELS EARLIER. This needs to go.


Spell-less Ranger take 3rd or 4th.

Nothing outstanding, but Rogue archetypes are all like that. Too much power on the base class. I think it is ok. It also stimulates kiting and as I said above, I don’t like it.


I like all 3,

Especially the guardian form's at-will bonus action toggle. It would be cool to see more stances like that for other classes.

"Stances" is something I have explicitly asked for in several surveys regarding the Fighter. Thanks for pointing out the similarity! Hopefully I remember to put it in the survey.


Ravenous Bugblatter Beast of Traal
Sure you could pick up one of those weapons I suppose on your turn, I guess it could be used in that very specific situation during a battle where you found one. You would need to drop it after your turn. You wouldn't be carrying that weapon with you afterwards, at least I wouldn't let my players do that.

You wouldn't allow your players to carry a large weapon that they found as loot?

Why not? Even if it fit in encumbrance?

Have you ever let them carry large or bulky art items or other treasure?

As a player being told I couldn't carry an oversized weapon by fiat because it would let me make good use of a class feature would rather annoy me. Especially if I found out after I had picked the class.


Ravenous Bugblatter Beast of Traal
The Guardian's ability works on PCs with 0 HP, the Champion's doesn't. Since there's no negative HP in 5E, that makes a huge difference, at least until the monsters catch on and start finishing off downed PCs :)

On the other side, it's if they drop when not in the aura the guardian form only has a speed of 5 feet. And since it's a bonus action to stop and a bonus action to start you can't drop it, move, and then start again on the same turn.


You wouldn't allow your players to carry a large weapon that they found as loot?

Why not? Even if it fit in encumbrance?

Have you ever let them carry large or bulky art items or other treasure?

As a player being told I couldn't carry an oversized weapon by fiat because it would let me make good use of a class feature would rather annoy me. Especially if I found out after I had picked the class.

Well if your not Gutz carrying around a 7'-8' long Large greatsword would be very cumbersome. I would let them do it I guess, but I would probably come up with quite a few appropriate disadvantages. That being said, i would allow them to use large weapons at double weapon die when they are large.


5ever, or until 2024
Really three rangers: two higher magic niche rangers and one very general spell-less ranger, which happens to be a rogue.


Ravenous Bugblatter Beast of Traal
Like them all.

Horizon Walker has a very distinct fluff feel. I like that, it's it's own unique niche. I'll be repeating this again for Primeval Guardian but saying it even stronger because it's also a big mechanical change.

Not as happy with bonus action for extra damage since it eliminates the possibility of playing this as a dual wielder. All the other ranger extra damage don't take any actions.

Portal Lore seems rather a limited ability for them to have to restrict usage.

Wish they had something (beside prot from energy spell) that would help taking a party through portals - divination spells to figure out where youa re, other spells to survive, and extra languages for other planes.

Love Distant Strike.

Primeval Guardian. Much kudos as mentioned above.

Questioning why guardian form is called guardian form. It in no ways helps you guard people. Even at later levels it's slowing form and healing form, which I guess might be guarding, but not for a while. At the very least, give it Protection fighting style or the sentinel power to reaction attack if foes go after someone else (though for the new reach, not just 5').

Wish there was a default change to large weapon damage like the enlarge spell.

Surprised (though not in a bad way) that Guardian Form isn't limited uses per short rest.

Rooted defense is really cool, but by 11th many foes will have alternate types of movement. Wish it came earlier, it's not overpowered to happen sooner.


Like it, but doesn't change the whole way I play like the other two.

Survivalist - very good.

Skirmisher will compete poorly with uncanny dodge for your reaction. Remember it's at the end of their round, after their attacks. So if the foes have a group initiative then can all hit you, then you can move for no real reason. If they have individual initiative then one can hit you, you can move, and then the others later can move to your new location. There are cases it's good, but generally Uncanny Dodge will get a lot more use.

Superior Mobility - great, especially when combined with bonus action dash.

Ambush Master - also really nice, and a good reason to get your initiative up really high so as not to cap what you give your friends.

Sudden Strike - nice capstone. Not allowing too much focus fire, but nigh doubling your damage assuming hits.

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