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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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Tony Vargas

Legend
One of my favorite characters (long ago) was Buckminster "Bucky" Burrmaster II, the "half-thing" who was a dart throwing specialist! It totally fits for a halfling or gnome fighter
Oh, definitely not crazy. But previously more filled by the Rogue as a Class.
The previously it actually appears to have been would have been a post-UA 1e or 2e Fighter, using the double-dipping of that era's weapon specialization: moar bonuses and moar attacks. Darts were funny because, if you had, er 'STR darts' - like pili, I guess - the bonus per dart could easily eclipse their base 1-3/1-2 damage, and the RoF starting at three was multiplied by the specialist's enhanced attack/round progression. So, like 9/2, 6, 15/2...
The Rogue (Thief) of that day, though, 1-3/1-2, RoF 3, just like the magic-user or anyone else.

The class that models it best has changed, but the knife-thrower archetype had been workable in D&D from about '83 through 2010, mostly as a fighter.

'74-83: not really a great idea
83-99: specialization, TWF, (and RoF) makes knife (or dart) thrower work for the Fighter.
2000-2008 (or present, if you count PF): doable with a bit of system mastery & lotsa feats, 3.0 Fighter/Ranger was the fastest path.
2008-10: Fighter goes melee defender, Rogue takes up the archetype thanks to some fun multi-target powers.
2010-12: Fighter(Slayer) and Rogue(Thief) both drop the ball - or knife.
2012-19: No Combat Style support for throwing, Rogue locked out of multiple attacks, archetype doesn't work well.
2019: New throwing Combat Style, fighter supports it again.
 

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Yaarel

He-Mage
No he isn't, you are.

Perhaps the most important piece you are missing is that this data includes multiclass characters.

If so, there is a serious discrepancy between the statistics when not including locked classes versus statistics for when all classes are unlocked.

It would seem, customers of D&DBeyond are precisely purchasing the unlocks, in order to use them. This would inherently skew the results.

At the same time, forcing people to only use SRD available options and locking everything else, would also skew the results.

So, it is hard to define how popular Wizard, Warlock, and Sorcerer are. In the case of counting ALL characters, Wizard is most popular. In the case of counting only the full-paying customers, Wizards are the least popular.



[edit]

I see you added the point about multiclass characters. (Can you link the source for me to read it?)

It probably is true that Warlock and Sorcerer are more popular for multiclassing, since Charisma is a more useful casting ability.

But I dont consider multiclasses to be representative of a single class.

So, among pure Wizard characters, and pure Warlock characters, I suspect Wizard is still the more popular class.
 
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MonkeezOnFire

Adventurer
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.
The two classes absolutely tell different unique stories, but I also believe that mechanical distinction is equally as important. If they get too close together I don't think it would be too hard to refluff them into a single class that encompasses both formal magical study and someone who can just make things happen through feel. Much in the same way that the fighter class can represent anything from a career soldier who breaks away to adventure to a farm hand who felt exhilarated after seeing a bit of action in the local militia. That's not my ideal for the game but it's a possibility.

I do agree with you that sorcerers need something and that spell versatility isn't quite it. It's frequency and lack of cost go just a bit too far. While they do achieve the goal of allowing respeccing after making some poor choices it also opens up abuse in being able to prepare a curated list of spells to counter whatever the next adventure is.
 

Garthanos

Arcadian Knight
And 4e was an odd duck for any kind of ranged Fighter
Ranged fighter oh yeh that's called a "Ranger" ... even has it in the name ;)
Also no chanting an mumbling in tongues tricks to do stuff and you do not even have to have the nature skill if you do not want it

Of course there was also some really cool Ranged Warlord things ... ever try "defending" from a range
 
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Courtesy of V2Blast from the dndnext Discord server:
The latest D&D 5e UA was updated to fix a few things: https://media.wizards.com/2019/dnd/downloads/UA_ClassFeatures.pdf
Phantasmal Force was removed from the bard's spell listing in the PDF (since it's already on the bard's spell list), they added a parenthetical to Immolation under druid spell listing marking it as being from Xanathar's, Aid was moved to 2nd level on the Ranger's spell listing (it was previously incorrectly listed as 1st level), and Greater Invisibility and Phantasmal Killer were removed from the warlock's listing (they're already on the archfey's and hexblade's expanded spell list respectively).

For some reason, the file I'm getting still has phantasmal force on the bard list.
 

Parmandur

Book-Friend
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.

I think this might be an acknowledgement of a common house rule, in the service of fun.
 

BookBarbarian

Expert Long Rester
Ranged fighter oh yeh that's called a "Ranger" ... even has it in the name ;)
Also no chanting an mumbling in tongues tricks to do stuff and you do not even have to have the nature skill if you do not want it
triggered by use of ranger to mean someone that attacks at range

gets on soapbox

ahem
Looking at the history of the word and archetype from Tolkien to the Texas Rangers of the american west...

On second thought, I think I'll take my blood pressure medication and avoid this one.
 

Parmandur

Book-Friend
The previously it actually appears to have been would have been a post-UA 1e or 2e Fighter, using the double-dipping of that era's weapon specialization: moar bonuses and moar attacks. Darts were funny because, if you had, er 'STR darts' - like pili, I guess - the bonus per dart could easily eclipse their base 1-3/1-2 damage, and the RoF starting at three was multiplied by the specialist's enhanced attack/round progression. So, like 9/2, 6, 15/2...
The Rogue (Thief) of that day, though, 1-3/1-2, RoF 3, just like the magic-user or anyone else.

The class that models it best has changed, but the knife-thrower archetype had been workable in D&D from about '83 through 2010, mostly as a fighter.

'74-83: not really a great idea
83-99: specialization, TWF, (and RoF) makes knife (or dart) thrower work for the Fighter.
2000-2008 (or present, if you count PF): doable with a bit of system mastery & lotsa feats, 3.0 Fighter/Ranger was the fastest path.
2008-10: Fighter goes melee defender, Rogue takes up the archetype thanks to some fun multi-target powers.
2010-12: Fighter(Slayer) and Rogue(Thief) both drop the ball - or knife.
2012-19: No Combat Style support for throwing, Rogue locked out of multiple attacks, archetype doesn't work well.
2019: New throwing Combat Style, fighter supports it again.

Sure. And if 70% of people like it, might get into a book. Early days, yet.
 

Garthanos

Arcadian Knight
triggered by use of ranger to mean someone that attacks at range

gets on soapbox

ahem
Looking at the history of the word and archetype from Tolkien to the Texas Rangers of the american west...

No second thought, I think I'll take my blood pressure medication and avoid this one.
Humor humor humor...
Pushing the humor further for more triggery fun - Aragorn is better as a Warlord (who did have ranged power options) and the Texas rangers most definitely used ranged weaponry
 

BookBarbarian

Expert Long Rester
Humor humor humor...
Pushing the humor further for more triggery fun - Aragorn is better as a Warlord (who did have ranged power options) and the Texas rangers most definitely used ranged weaponry
In either case their tracking ability defined them as Rangers far more than choice of weaponry.

Hey how did I get back on this soapbox?

Edit, Pedantic nitpick!: in the Novels, Aragorn never uses any weapon beside Anduril, though he does pick up a shield in Edoras. I'm sure he was trained in the use of all the weapons common to the cultures of men and elves in his day
 

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