New UA: 43 D&D Class Feature Variants

The latest Unearthed Arcana is a big 13-page document! “Every character class in D&D has features, and every class gets one or more class feature variants in today’s Unearthed Arcana! These variants replace or enhance a class’s normal features, giving you new ways to enjoy your character’s class.”

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Last edited:
Russ Morrissey

Comments

doctorbadwolf

Heretic of The Seventh Circle
In my experience paladins don't tend to use smite spells anyway. They usually prefer to use the spell slots for their smite ability.
I’ve never seen a Paladin in play that worried about saving their slots for Divine Smite, or that didn’t use the Smite Spells.
 

Ashrym

Hero
I’ve never seen a Paladin in play that worried about saving their slots for Divine Smite, or that didn’t use the Smite Spells.
I find they don't see play because of the concentration requirements on them. It's not that they need to save the slots so much as they don't need to drop bless or whatever by converting slots as opposed to using smite spells.
 

Chaosmancer

Adventurer
I’ve never seen a Paladin in play that worried about saving their slots for Divine Smite, or that didn’t use the Smite Spells.
Anecdotes aren't evidence, but I have been playing a paladin for a few years now.

I have rarely if ever used the Smite Spells. The one I used the most is Entangling Strike (I'm Ancients)

I often do worry about having enough slots for divine smiting, since our DM throws sooo much at us. For example, in a recent fight I burnt through 10 spell slots divine smiting. I only used one smite per turn (yes, it was ten rounds of combat). We have many more fights coming, and I could have also used all of those smites in any of those, since we are fighting multiple opponents with 250 to 300 hp who can dish out 75 or so points a damage a round.

People have different experiences.
 

CapnZapp

Hero
Crawford said as much: he said the design assumption of the game is that the Rogue is engineering Advantage every round for Sneak Attack. This just means Sam Riegel will go through less silliness to get his Sneak Attack in every week.
From a minmax perspective:

Get two (chances at) sneak attack damage each round or be a failure...
 

cbwjm

I can add a custom title.
I find they don't see play because of the concentration requirements on them. It's not that they need to save the slots so much as they don't need to drop bless or whatever by converting slots as opposed to using smite spells.
I think the concentration requirement might still prevent them from being used much by clerics.
 

Ashrym

Hero
I think the concentration requirement might still prevent them from being used much by clerics.
It would, but clerics also don't have the standard smites to fall back on, so I think they would see more use in the hands of clerics.
 

Hussar

Legend
I gotta admit, I've almost never seen paladins use a smite spell either. By and large, they aren't worth the straight up smite damage. I mean, take Searing Smite. Ok, you deal automatic d6 bonus damage and possible d6/round with a failed save.

Or, I can just flat out do 2d8 damage with a smite. The odds that my Searing Smite will deal more damage are pretty poor. If it fails once, the spell has now done 2d6, so, the baddy has to fail twice for 3d6 (average 9) just to equal my straight up Smite. For the spell to reliably do more damage than my straight up smite, it would have to fail 3 times and not take any actions to put itself out. The odds that a creature will live that long in combat are extremely small, never minding the odds of failing 3 Con saves.

Why on earth would I bother using a spell slot for this? It's totally not worth it. For my Forge Priest, it made sense since there were so few ways to bump my damage as a cleric. But for a paladin? Totally a waste of a slot. Completely useless spell.
 

tglassy

Adventurer
I gotta admit, I've almost never seen paladins use a smite spell either. By and large, they aren't worth the straight up smite damage. I mean, take Searing Smite. Ok, you deal automatic d6 bonus damage and possible d6/round with a failed save.

Or, I can just flat out do 2d8 damage with a smite. The odds that my Searing Smite will deal more damage are pretty poor. If it fails once, the spell has now done 2d6, so, the baddy has to fail twice for 3d6 (average 9) just to equal my straight up Smite. For the spell to reliably do more damage than my straight up smite, it would have to fail 3 times and not take any actions to put itself out. The odds that a creature will live that long in combat are extremely small, never minding the odds of failing 3 Con saves.

Why on earth would I bother using a spell slot for this? It's totally not worth it. For my Forge Priest, it made sense since there were so few ways to bump my damage as a cleric. But for a paladin? Totally a waste of a slot. Completely useless spell.
You do it for the Fire rider.

My first Paladin was a Dwarven Vengence Paladin in a Murder Dungeon of Death. All kinds of weird baddies. It was wonderful.

Anyway, one of the baddies was this huge almost steampunk guy, wearing a suit that was likely inspired by the suits in Bioshock. Anyway, we hit him, and he seemed to be leaking some black fluid. So I hit him with a Searing Smite.

And he blew up. Yeah, I was knocked unconscious and almost died, but still. It was amazing.

If you're fighting something you know will be affected by fire, or whatever, you can use the spells to have riders that you couldn't otherwise do with paladin spells.
 

CapnZapp

Hero
I mean, engineering Sneak Attack is really easy, yes.
You or I might agree.

In general, however, I believe most players find it very hard.

I mean, it was already ridiculously easy, this just reduces some corner case silliness.
Now I'm getting you're talking about sneak attack in general... and yes, that's child's play.

I am talking about the second sneak, the one that must happen outside your own turn.
 

Ashrym

Hero
You or I might agree.

In general, however, I believe most players find it very hard.


Now I'm getting you're talking about sneak attack in general... and yes, that's child's play.

I am talking about the second sneak, the one that must happen outside your own turn.
Pretty much. I never agreed with the "sneak attack is hard" sentiments. The second is where the effort comes in. In the epic tier sometimes the 3rd.
 

Gladius Legis

Adventurer
I gotta admit, I've almost never seen paladins use a smite spell either. By and large, they aren't worth the straight up smite damage. I mean, take Searing Smite. Ok, you deal automatic d6 bonus damage and possible d6/round with a failed save.

Or, I can just flat out do 2d8 damage with a smite. The odds that my Searing Smite will deal more damage are pretty poor. If it fails once, the spell has now done 2d6, so, the baddy has to fail twice for 3d6 (average 9) just to equal my straight up Smite. For the spell to reliably do more damage than my straight up smite, it would have to fail 3 times and not take any actions to put itself out. The odds that a creature will live that long in combat are extremely small, never minding the odds of failing 3 Con saves.

Why on earth would I bother using a spell slot for this? It's totally not worth it. For my Forge Priest, it made sense since there were so few ways to bump my damage as a cleric. But for a paladin? Totally a waste of a slot. Completely useless spell.
Yeah ... you picked literally the worse smite spell Paladins have to make an example of.

On the other hand, at the same level you have Wrathful Smite, which trades off damage + concentration but for a frightening effect that, past the initial save, requires a Wisdom check (i.e. without proficiency bonus) at the cost of the enemy's action to shake off. That's one I use and see used all the time, and it's quite an effective crippler against a boss.

Also at that same level you have Thunderous Smite which does good damage at least for the first 4 levels of play (2d6), and can have a Divine Smite stacked on top of it for one massively damaging hit.
 

Salthorae

Imperial Mountain Dew Taster
literally the worse smite spell
While I agree Wrathful is better, Searing isn't useless. It does a d6 of fire damage each round if the target keeps failing a Con Save OR it burns the target or some other enemy's action to douse the flames.

So potentially 10d6 fire damage as a bonus action seems pretty good to me.

Why on earth would I bother using a spell slot for this?
See above. Plus you can use a Smite Spell AND divine smite for extra extra damage. Why not?
 

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