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.”

B080A4DE-6E00-44A2-9047-F53CB302EA6D.png


 
Last edited:
Russ Morrissey

Comments

NotAYakk

Adventurer
I think they aren't ambitious enough with this Artificer.

They should be a prepared-gadget, short-rest recharge caster.

In a long rest you can build an Invention. Inventions have spells they can cast and other effects. You have a limited number of Inventions.

Over a short rest you can recharge your Invention, giving them new charges.

So a Cannon would be a Invention. It can be used as a weapon (stats). You can set it up as a Turrent (stats). You can also use an action to get it to cast (list of spells), but you need to recharge it after it casts a spell.

The Artificer would have a list of known Inventions, and a number they can keep running at a time.
 

Chaosmancer

Adventurer
Looking over Warlock stuff, and I have to ask... is Investment of the Chain Master even close to worth it?

It can only be taken by Chainlocks, so it is most likely to apply to the special familiars: imp, pseudodragon, quasit, or sprite.

The Invocation has 4 effects.

It can gain a flying or swimming speed equal to 40ft -> Imps and Sprites already have 40 ft fly, Psuedodragons have 60. So, it either applies rarely when swimming matters or it applies to Quasit's that do not have a flying speed.

The familiar no longer needs to breathe -> Super rare to come up, might end up allowing them to avoid specific poisons while scouting? Poison which the Imp and Quasit are immune to. I suppose it works for holding your breath underwater, if you end up needing an extended scouting mission underwater instead of using your flight.

The Familiars weapon attacks are considered magical ->This is a straight boost by allowing your familiars to ignore the resistance of higher level enemies (or fiends)... of course, all but one are doing a measly 1d4+2/3, with a poison rider sure, but this doesn't overcome the poison resistance or immunity that most things with resistance to nonmagical damage have. (Sprites by the way get really shafted, only dealing 1 point of damage period, so this doesn't help them at all)

Your Familiar uses your DC for their Saves -> This is big, every creature on the list can inflict the poison condition on a failed save, so this is a buff. If they aren't immune of course. And, interestingly, the Psuedodragon comes out on top. They knock unconscious if the target fails by 5 or more. The Sprite gets a bit shafted, since they only knock unconscious on a result of 5 or lower, they might possibly make it up with increasing Heart Sight but... eh.

So, if you are in Imp user... this is nice for going underwater or poisoning.

Quasits can fly, go underwater and poison better

Pseudodragon go under water and poison..

Sprite... you get the idea.

So... is this really worth an invocation?

Edit: Especially since you can likely have the Imp or Sprite be invisible and just provide the help action instead of attacking for minimal damage, attempt to poison, and be visible to the enemy
 

SkidAce

Adventurer
Looking over Warlock stuff, and I have to ask... is Investment of the Chain Master even close to worth it?

It can only be taken by Chainlocks, so it is most likely to apply to the special familiars: imp, pseudodragon, quasit, or sprite.

The Invocation has 4 effects. ....

.... So... is this really worth an invocation?

Edit: Especially since you can likely have the Imp or Sprite be invisible and just provide the help action instead of attacking for minimal damage, attempt to poison, and be visible to the enemy
I feel i was intended to buff the other familiars, so they would be chosen more often.
 

Salthorae

Imperial Mountain Dew Taster
I'd say it was a failure in that respect. 95% of the other familars don't do saves and nothing you get is better than invisibility
I guess? Sure from a pure optimization standpoint, yes nothing is better than invisibility. That doesn't mean that this Invocation doesn't bring significant boosts to normal familiars.

Purely from an RP perspective, can you imagine the horror of a Great Old One (or the Lurker in the Deep UA) Pact of the Chain calling for their familiar from the ether and suddenly an Octopus appears next to an enemy flying through the air and grapples someone with your Save DC?

Speaking of horrors from an RP perspective, I have two words for you.

Flying. Freaking. Spiders. (yes I know, more than two, they're that terrifying).

... plus spiders & snakes get your DC to their poison damage.

There is tons of flavor to be had with the normal familiars and this invocation that isn't available to any other class in any way on top of the normal benefits of your suped-up familiar options. A swimming Owl or flying Cat.

And you can change your familiar every 10 minutes if you want to get back an invisible whatever option.
 
I know that Treatmonk is going gaga for the Blind Fighting fighting style....but I don't see what the fuss is about.

Is it a solid ability in several areas? Absolutely. Is it as good as a +2 dmg or +1 AC all the time? I would say yes...but I certainly wouldn't consider it OP, as its going to be a lot more limited.
 

Chaosmancer

Adventurer
I guess? Sure from a pure optimization standpoint, yes nothing is better than invisibility. That doesn't mean that this Invocation doesn't bring significant boosts to normal familiars.

Purely from an RP perspective, can you imagine the horror of a Great Old One (or the Lurker in the Deep UA) Pact of the Chain calling for their familiar from the ether and suddenly an Octopus appears next to an enemy flying through the air and grapples someone with your Save DC?

Speaking of horrors from an RP perspective, I have two words for you.

Flying. Freaking. Spiders. (yes I know, more than two, they're that terrifying).

... plus spiders & snakes get your DC to their poison damage.

There is tons of flavor to be had with the normal familiars and this invocation that isn't available to any other class in any way on top of the normal benefits of your suped-up familiar options. A swimming Owl or flying Cat.

And you can change your familiar every 10 minutes if you want to get back an invisible whatever option.
Fair for rp, but Imps can turn into spiders.

Flying. Freaking. Invisible. Spiders. :D

But yeah, I get and love the flavor, In just think it could stand to get a little juice to make it more obviously an improvement. Pact of the Chain doesn't get almost any good invocations, and it would be nice to make your familiar more of a threat by mid-levels.
 

NotAYakk

Adventurer
I know that Treatmonk is going gaga for the Blind Fighting fighting style....but I don't see what the fuss is about.

Is it a solid ability in several areas? Absolutely. Is it as good as a +2 dmg or +1 AC all the time? I would say yes...but I certainly wouldn't consider it OP, as its going to be a lot more limited.
Unlike every other traditional fighting style, except archery, it can crazy compound with other abilities.

+2 damage, rerolling 1s, a point of AC, disadvantage on a reaction; those don't really combo to non-linear effects. (archery does a bit more, because that +2 to hit compounds with sniping and xbow expert in a unique way; plus hitting is awesome in general)

Blind Fighting in theory generates a big return once comboed with other stuff. How big of a return is unclear.
 

Chaosmancer

Adventurer
Unlike every other traditional fighting style, except archery, it can crazy compound with other abilities.

+2 damage, rerolling 1s, a point of AC, disadvantage on a reaction; those don't really combo to non-linear effects. (archery does a bit more, because that +2 to hit compounds with sniping and xbow expert in a unique way; plus hitting is awesome in general)

Blind Fighting in theory generates a big return once comboed with other stuff. How big of a return is unclear.
I haven't checked Treantmonk yet, what does it compound with?
 

Salthorae

Imperial Mountain Dew Taster
what does it compound with
Basically anything that would impose heavy obscurement on an area

A heavily obscured area—such as darkness, opaque fog, or dense foliage—blocks vision entirely. A creature effectively suffers from the blinded condition when trying to see something in that area.
  • A blinded creature can't see and automatically fails any ability check that requires sight.
  • Attack rolls against the creature have advantage, and the creature's attack rolls have disadvantage.
So drop a fog cloud or darkness, etc and even without being able to see someone, your attacks now all have advantage while your opponents have disadvantage.
 

Chaosmancer

Adventurer
Basically anything that would impose heavy obscurement on an area




So drop a fog cloud or darkness, etc and even without being able to see someone, your attacks now all have advantage while your opponents have disadvantage.
By the strictest and dumbest of RAW, I'm not sure that works.

Heavy Obscurement is patently ridiculous, because it cancels itself out. You are being attacked by a creature you cannot see, so they have advantage, but they cannot see you, so they have disadvantage.

So, RAW as I understand it means that two creatures fighting in heavy obscurement are rolling normally (I change this because I find it stupid, but that is RAW as I understand it)

Blind fighting only says "Being unable to see a creature doesn’t impose disadvantage on your attack rolls against it, provided the creature isn’t hidden from you."

So, you would have advantage, but you don't get to ignore they advantage an enemy gets from being unseen. So, they would still be attacking you normally.

It is an edge, but not a huge one if you are following RAW instead of homebrewing the interaction.
 

Ashrym

Hero
I just let everyone flail about in the darkness with disadvantage because they cannot see whom they are attacking to grant advantage. IIRC there was a dev comment along those lines on twitter too but it never hit errata or sage advice that I can see.

I'm not impressed with blind fighting. It seems useful but things like darkness or fog cloud create their own obscurement to let the opponent hide after disengaging. That nullifies the benefits blind fighting granted. A good game of marco polo in the dark could be interesting, but given the heavy armor granting disadvantage trying to sneak in the dark while paladins and fighters are often not that perceptive it doesn't play out that well in my mind. Rangers work out better because of synergy with WIS and typically armor suited to stealth, but they eventually get feral senses anyway.

Blind fighting strikes me as too situational.

2cp
 

DrC

Villager
I suspect I am a quiet voice alone here. The changes in D&D from 1st edition to 5th edition are significant, but for me, one of the big ones that I really like is that, despite having most of the same magic items, you don't really meet that many - the 'power' of the game is with the players, not their items. But the limitations of the characters make the party make-up important, and teamwork is particularly important when different characters have the different skills needed to meet the challenges thrown at them.

For me, this change is the slow slide of the game to becoming unbalanced. It is the equivalent of a TV show having to have 'Special Guest Stars' because it is not considered as popular any more. This change for D&D will move towards another change and split the community I fear.

Further (phew!), I worry it is driven by the need to keep selling books. If so, Wizards need to open their eyes to the fact that their world is not just the Sword Coast - there is a massive continent for us to explore and there must be the potential for literally 100s of adventures across its landscape - something of course, that has been noticed by others,

I would not like to embrace these changes ... the limitations of the characters are part of the game (apart from the fact that I do feel a little sorry for the Ranger).
 

Leatherhead

Possibly a Idiot.
I know that Treatmonk is going gaga for the Blind Fighting fighting style....but I don't see what the fuss is about.
It's one of a handful of abilities that ignores disadvantage. That's the long and the short of it.

The main use will be a Melee character partnering up with your Devil Sight + Darkness using Hexblade without being totally screwed. I still wouldn't use that tactic, as you lose the ability to make OA's which are the only point of stickiness most melee builds have.
 

Chaosmancer

Adventurer
I suspect I am a quiet voice alone here. The changes in D&D from 1st edition to 5th edition are significant, but for me, one of the big ones that I really like is that, despite having most of the same magic items, you don't really meet that many - the 'power' of the game is with the players, not their items. But the limitations of the characters make the party make-up important, and teamwork is particularly important when different characters have the different skills needed to meet the challenges thrown at them.

For me, this change is the slow slide of the game to becoming unbalanced. It is the equivalent of a TV show having to have 'Special Guest Stars' because it is not considered as popular any more. This change for D&D will move towards another change and split the community I fear.

Further (phew!), I worry it is driven by the need to keep selling books. If so, Wizards need to open their eyes to the fact that their world is not just the Sword Coast - there is a massive continent for us to explore and there must be the potential for literally 100s of adventures across its landscape - something of course, that has been noticed by others,

I would not like to embrace these changes ... the limitations of the characters are part of the game (apart from the fact that I do feel a little sorry for the Ranger).
I'm not sure if these abilities (which remove limits on some classes) remove limits on characters.

For example, I had a game not too long ago where the party consisted mostly of rogues, a druid, and a ranger.

If I had introduced the Wild Companion rule to that game, it would have changed the dynamic by giving the Druid a Familiar... but you could accomplish the same thing if one of the two rogues had decided to play a wizard instead. The class being able to cover more concepts does not neccesarily mean that the characters no longer have limitations, it just means that roles can be filled differently.

And, just because you have an option doesn't mean you will end up using it. The Interception Fighting style is really cool for a Fighter to take on the role of defender more, but if I want to build a Fighter who is an agile duel-wielder, this Fighting Style doesn't offer me anything that I want, so I would choose the option I have always had.
 

Gadget

Explorer
I would be hesitant to dismiss the whole UA as out right power creep or perfectly okay. There are a lot of features in there, probably some in one catagory and some in another. It is an effort to re-calibrate some of the classes after years of play experience; and that is an effort I can applaud even if the implementation may have some rough edges.

Finally, yes, WOTC's desire is to sell books. That is pretty much the purpose behind publishing the game in the first place. They really are bending over backwards to avoid invalidating outright the PHB & DMG. On the whole, they have showed remarkable restraint, especially compared to prior editions, with regard to splat content, so I'm willing to cut them a little slack in that area.
 

Yaarel

Adventurer
I like the customization that the Class Features bring.

I would even be ok with two separate categories, one for fixes, and one for variants.

This would make the intent of the designers clearer for a specific feature.

Also, the neutrally balanced variants would remain a clearer standard for future balance.
 

In Our Store!

Advertisement

Advertisement

Top