Unearthed Arcana 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.”

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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Salthorae

Imperial Mountain Dew Taster
But popular SUBCLASSES is different from popular classes.

For example, the top three Wizard subclasses were Spellsinging, War Magic, and Evocation, each at 14%. Since only the top three subclasses were considered, the remaining (many) Wizard subclasses werent included in the
statistic.

Meanwhile, the top three Warlock subclasses were Hexblade 37%, Fiend 17%, and Celestial 15%. So its top three subclasses under consideration totaled up to more characters than the top three Wizard subclasses.

Yet the Wizard still appears to have more characters created when all of its subclasses are included, not just the top three.

That's... not how that chart works.

The % next to the class is the overall % of that class for all players. The % of the subclass is the highest three subclasses.

So of the 8% of wizard characters, 14% of those are Bladesingers, 14% are War mages, and 14% are Evokers. That's only 42% of all wizard's, the other subclasses are counted, they all add up to 8% of the total # of character classes being made on DND Beyond.
 

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Hexblade should be a base class in my opinion.

I can't avoid it but sometimes I imagine warlocks, or a subclass, as reboot of the vestige pact binder, with a game mechanic where the vestige would be like a softer of "advanced class" but as wearing armour you could to wear a different one every day if you want.
 

Jay Verkuilen

Grand Master of Artificial Flowers
The only thing that really raised my eyebrow was the snipe maneuver. So now the bow fighter can make another attack a round (with extra damage) for several rounds in a fight. People have already been saying that bow fighters are a bit too strong, this seems to even further the gap.
In my view one of the big problems with Archery is the +2 to hit. +2 damage would have been much, much more balanced. Anything that really affects bounded accuracy needs to be thought of very carefully.
 

Yaarel

🇮🇱He-Mage
I feel all spells for all classes must divide by theme.

The themes organize into four overall sectors: Matter, Mind, Life, and Spirit.

Matter subdivides into the following themes:
• Earth-Fire-Forging theme
• Water-Air-Weather theme
• Ether-Ethereal-Fey-Shadow theme

Mind subdivides into:
• Telepathy-Phantasm-Enchantment theme
• Telekinesis-Force-Fly theme
• Prescience-Luck-Knowledge theme

Life subdivides into
• Animal-Plant-Shapeshifting-Poison theme
• Teleportation-Conjuration theme
• Healing-Resurrection theme

Spirit subdivides into
• Ether
• Prescience
• Healing

A Cleric can pick a theme as a domain.

A Wizard picks any two themes, and the highest spell level slot available can only have spells from one of these two themes.

And so on.
 

Jay Verkuilen

Grand Master of Artificial Flowers
ILetting the Battle Master switch a maneuver should also reset after a long rest.

I'm actually cool with the Battlemaster switching things out. The various maneuvers can all be ones that all Battlemasters learn when the choose to become Battlemasters. However, they require practice so the reason only a limited number can be in the fore at any one time is that they need to review their battle manuals (which did exist in real life!) and practice the moves. (Honestly given that the limiting reagent is Superiority Dice it probably wouldn't be a huge deal to allow all Battlemasters to have all maneuvers, not just a limited list of them... would need to think about that more.)

Another way to allow some between-levels respec would be as a Downtime activity, which has the benefit of involving an in character rationale and opportunity cost to the character.
 

Yaarel

🇮🇱He-Mage
That's... not how that chart works.

The % next to the class is the overall % of that class for all players. The % of the subclass is the highest three subclasses.

So of the 8% of wizard characters, 14% of those are Bladesingers, 14% are War mages, and 14% are Evokers. That's only 42% of all wizard's, the other subclasses are counted, they all add up to 8% of the total # of character classes being made on DND Beyond.

I suspect you are misinterpreting the statistics.

More precisely:

Only 8% of characters are Spellsinger, War Magic, or Evocation.
 

MoonSong

Rules-lawyering drama queen but not a munchkin
I am one of those who always complained that Sorcerers (but not others) have too few spells known.

Still, giving them access to ALL the spells on their list is atrocious for a very different reason: it kills diversity.

This is something many gamers do not understand, but diversity (in this case, having many possible different ways of creating a sorcerer PC or NPC) is key for longevity of the game. If you can easily change your character during the game, you'll deplete your options and get bored more quickly. Diversity is also a wonderful tool for adventure design and world building. If every Sorcerer can change all her spells given time, who cares if you're part of the fire sorcerers society or the frost sorcerers cabal, you're always potentially the same character.
I agree.

I'll second the comments of those suggesting Spell Versatility is a poor design decision. It boosts the spellcasting versatility of classes that have no need of additional versatility (they have adequate class features outside of spellcasting) and undermines the key design role of the wizard - which is to be the absolute best generalist spellcaster in the game. (Although, since everyone has been hating on wizards since the ridiculousness of 3.5E, the fact they're being power-creeped and role-creeped by every other spellcasting class at every opportunity no longer surprises me).
The class is just that thematically barren. And well "the best spellcaster" isn't that good of a niche to begin with. I don't see those changes as being "poor wizard gets left behind" but more of the other casters catching up.

Sorcerer - A solid class that doesn't need extra spellcasting bennies, and Spell Versatility goes against the whole design ethos of the sorcerer anyway.
I half agree. Spell Versatility feels very unsorcerey. But sorcerer isn't that solid. 1 or two alpha builds don't mean the class is solid.

Sorry, but this seems more of a personal problem than an actual balance issue.
Kind of agree. I don't have any problems with the wizards getting essentially nothing. But again it is well known that I hate wizards.

Not to be entirely uncharitable... but it makes me strongly suspect none of these people have played a Sorcerer or Warlock. I have. I played a Warlock in a 2+ year campaign and tried a Sorcerer for a few months in another one. And this change is one that has me wishing had always been available.
I can live with the change, I don't like it though. Sorcerers and Warlocks do need a bit more versatility. I'm just not convinced a few more spells known wouldn't do the trick.

Well to that I say Malarky.

Almost every character I build seems to be Sorcerer or Warlock either fully or multiclassed into.

I'm playing a Warlock in a long-running TBT game who is 8th level. I'm playing a Sorcerer in a long-running PBP game. Plus others who have come and gone over the years.

I would prefer having a handful more spells known for a sorcerer, but I like the locked-in nature of the class and having only level up swaps.

It makes you really think about your spells, their selection and whether you want to spend a spell known on something that is more broadly usable or something that is keyed into your concept/theme in some way.

These options just remove much of the requirement to think about what spells you want or need for your character's sorcerous origin and path. Because "oops" that spell isn't' right, oh well, I'll just swap it out tomorrow. Instead of having to live the with consequences of that spell selection for a whole level.

If I wanted an arcane class that did that, I would have played... a Wizard!

Warlock works just as intended. If you wanted a broader spell selection or spellcasting ability, then Warlock wasn't the right choice. Or at worst go Tome-lock (like I did) and pick up all those tasty rituals from all the other classes.

Tome-lock with Book of Ancient Secrets has always left me feeling just fine in Warlock spells known and utility options.
I agree, I like the more static nature of the sorcerer. (I could live with Warlocks being a bit more dynamic, because it doesn't contradict the fluff)
Under either of my proposals the sorcerer would have an avenue of getting the needed spell without needing a level up. And given that the sorcerer and wizard share more overlap than any other two classes I'd argue that preserving what makes each distinct becomes even more important. Otherwise why even have both?
Cause the wizard is an extremely specific kind of caster that doesn't support a lot of stories that the sorcerer do? Don't get me wrong, I don't like Spell versatility on a sorcerer, but something is needed in place. And, well I could live with it as a compromise instead of, say, more spells known. But I'd rather have something distinct in place.
 

tglassy

Adventurer
And I'm hearing

For: Thank god I don't have to think about spell selection anymore

Against: No! That is the point of hte limited spell known classes.

YMMV and now I'm done talking about this one. For real this time.

"The point" of a class is subjective. It's what YOU want the point to be. It was a design choice, and it turned out to be a bad one. Paladin know all their spells, why don't Rangers? Why do Clerics get to know all their spells, which are often the most useful healing and buffing spells, at all times, but the Warlock, who's spell list rather sucks, have to select a very small portion? Why do Bards, who only have mostly illusion and enchanting magic anyway, not get to know all their spells, when a Druid can, and Druids have an amazing spell list?

The answer to all of these questions is "Because Reasons." There is literally no real answer other than people expect them to be that way because they were that way in the future.

As for the argument that "All Sorcerers will essentially be the same", no, that isn't true, unless its also true for all Clerics, Wizards, Paladin and Druids. Again, why is it ok for a Paladin to know all their spells, but for a Warlock not to?
 


cbwjm

Seb-wejem
Yup! Saying "live with the consequences" is basically punishing players with low system master for picking situational spells that might not even do what they thought it did just because they thought the name sounded cool. A modicum of flexibility allows them to repair their mistakes without having to wait sessions upon sessions.
I actually wonder a bit about this as in, how many tables don't allow a player to respec their spells if it turns out that the spells they've chosen aren't as fun/effective as they thought. Even in AL, you can respec up until you hit level 5 I think.
 

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