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Blog (A5E) Level Up: Let’s Talk About Archetypes

We’ve shown you several draft Level Up classes (and we’re busy revising those based on the extensive survey feedback we received). What we haven’t mentioned yet, though, is archetypes.

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As you have seen, Level Up classes have feature slots where archetypes plug in just like Original 5E (O5E) does. Every O5E archetype, past, present, and future, can be used with Level Up, which gives Level Up an immense amount of support out of the gate, along with ongoing support from a range of companies. This has been one of our most important goals all along — while Level Up is a standalone game, you can use O5E classes, characters, monsters, spells, archetypes, adventures, and everything else with it.

However, we are also writing our own archetypes. Over the last few weeks we’ve been hammering out a list of 40 archetypes which will be included in the Level Up core rulebook.

Level Up archetypes work in a similar way to O5E archetypes, but may sometimes offer a bit more choice or depth.

While it’s important to reiterate that this list is not final, it’s fairly close to final. Additionally, some names (*) are currently placeholders. With that said, here’s the current list.

Adept​

  • Warrior-monk
  • Brawler
  • Olympian*

Bard​

  • Minstrel
  • Warchanter
  • Loremaster
  • Mountebank

Berserker​

  • Primal*
  • Dreadnought
  • Tempest

Cleric​

  • Healer
  • Warpriest
  • Oracle
  • Sun/Light*

Druid​

  • Skinchanger
  • Treespeaker
  • Guardian

Fighter​

  • Brute
  • Knight
  • Gladiator
  • Sharpshooter
  • Swashbuckler/Duelist

Herald​

  • Holy Champion
  • Inquisitor

Ranger​

  • Beastmaster*
  • Warden
  • Wildborn*

Rogue​

  • Assassin
  • Burglar
  • Trapsmith
  • Investigator

Sorcerer​

  • Dragon
  • Wild
  • Planar

Warlock​

  • Spellbound
  • Diabolist
  • Alienist

Wizard​

  • Traditionalist*
  • Mage
  • Firemage

Continue reading...
 
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Russ Morrissey

Russ Morrissey

Faolyn

Explorer
All in all, definitely an interesting sneak peak and I can't wait to see examples!

Adept: This looks like you've turned monk into a more generic hand-to-hand fighter and moved away from Asian-style martial arts. I like this--I ran a game where one of the players turned an Open Hand monk into a professional boxer--although I wonder if that'll annoy people who prefer their wuxia. If someone wanted to play, say, a Drunken Master, would that map to the Adept class? Or would you consider them to be separate enough classes that you wouldn't use a monk archetype with the Adept.

Since you're potentially looking for new names, perhaps Olympian could become Hero?

Cleric: I hope there will be a few more archetypes, for people who are servitors of other types of gods--or, other than Sun/Light, are you moving away from the Domains concept entirely?

Fighter: Is Gladiator going to be a big, showy-type fighter, or is this a net-and-trident type?

Herald: A replacement for paladins?

Warlock: Aw, no Feylock? I'm intrigued by Spellbound, though.

Wizard: Based on nothing but what I can extrapolate, Traditionalist sounds like a fine name. Since I assume this means you're studying one or more of the basic schools of magic (illusion, evocation, etc.), then you're casting traditional magic.

That said, you've introduced so many new sub-schools, I'm interested in if you're going to have archetypes for some of them. If you have firemages, why not icemages and shadowmages!
 

DeviousQuail

Explorer
Adept is a nice reclassification for the monk. Gives us some more western style hand-to-hand combatants while keeping the more eastern influenced archetypes found in 5e already.

Can you give any insight on the move from Paladin to Herald? Or do I need to wait for the Herald playtest?

Otherwise it all looks fun.
 

Morrus

Well, that was fun
Staff member
Can you give any insight on the move from Paladin to Herald? Or do I need to wait for the Herald playtest?

Otherwise it all looks fun.
Sure. A "paladin" is a specific thing - a knight of Charlemagne. A herald can be that, but it doesn't have to be. We've tended to avoid class names (monk, paladin, barbarian) which come with cultural elements and move those cultural elements into the archetypes while having the class itself focus on the abilities. Thus the Adept can be a monk, a bare-knuckle pitfighter, or an athlete who has perfected their body; and the Berserker can be the barbarian we're familiar with, or a heavily armored knight-like figure, or Thor.
 

Morrus

Well, that was fun
Staff member
If someone wanted to play, say, a Drunken Master, would that map to the Adept class? Or would you consider them to be separate enough classes that you wouldn't use a monk archetype with the Adept.
Same class. Monk archetypes work with adepts.
 

Eltab

Is this a moon, or is it a space station?
One thing I've been wanting for a while is a wrestler / grappler that can actually shut down foes without driving them to HP = 0.
(Strongly reminded of this when my group met wererats but had no silvered weapons - my Tabaxi STR Ranger tried to grab one and threatened to eat it. Because cats and mouses, you know.)
As a DM I want NPCs who are able to stick-up and rob the PCs - and make them mad - not limited to trying to kill them.

Sounds like this would be Adept territory?
 

aco175

Legend
Really like the picture.

Some of the names sound great, but things I think and thing presented will be far apart, so I need to hold out for more playtest.
 




Morrus

Well, that was fun
Staff member
Sounds like this would be Adept territory?
So here's what the Adept is.

It's an (unarmed) class which perfects the body. The monk is the traditional D&D expression of that; the brawler is another expression, one we felt that O5E never did all that well - the non-Eastern-themed unarmed warrior. The (Olympian*) is the ultimate athlete. The Adept is basically a class which trains their (or naturally has a) body to perfection. Batman multiclasses into Adept, and so does Captain America. Rocky Balboa and Hulk Hogan and Bruce Lee and Usain Bolt are all pretty much Adepts.
 
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Minigiant

Legend
Supporter
I think this list is very smooth and bright.

Here's a Q. Is the list of 40 archetypes supposed to have a range large enough to stand alone or is it intended to be supplemented with the O5E ones?
 

Morrus

Well, that was fun
Staff member
I think this list is very smooth and bright.

Here's a Q. Is the list of 40 archetypes supposed to have a range large enough to stand alone or is it intended to be supplemented with the O5E ones?
Both. It's a standalone game, and if you had just the O5E player book you'd have a smaller list (28 v 40). But O5E material is fully compatible! There's a lot of 3PP A5E publishers out there, including one owned by Hasbro! :)
 

Minigiant

Legend
Supporter
Both. It's a standalone game, and if you had just the O5E player book you'd have a smaller list (28 v 40). But O5E material is fully compatible! There's a lot of 3PP A5E publishers out there, including one owned by Hasbro! :)
What I meant is Are the A5E and O5E archetypes intended to overlap?

I see a Dragon and Wild Sorcerer A5E archetypes atm. Is the set of A5E archetypes intended to hit all the same notes as the O5E set? Most of the major ones? or just a Few of the iconic ones?
 

Morrus

Well, that was fun
Staff member
What I meant is Are the A5E and O5E archetypes intended to overlap?

I see a Dragon and Wild Sorcerer A5E archetypes atm. Is the set of A5E archetypes intended to hit all the same notes as the O5E set? Most of the major ones? or just a Few of the iconic ones?
We have ours. They have theirs. You can use either or both, even if they're thematically similar. We've hit the notes we feel are core and would make a good experience, while acknowledging that the appetite for variety is open-ended.
 


Eyes of Nine

Everything's Fine
What is O5e? The thing published by WotC? And A5e is the thing published by EN publishing (ie, Level Up)?

Is archetype == sub-class?
 



Morrus

Well, that was fun
Staff member
We'll have a warlord playtest ready soon. We're taking a short break from playtests as we did a lot of them in very rapid succession, and posting news and previews for a few weeks.
 

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