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

Kurotowa

Adventurer
Looking over Warlock stuff, and I have to ask... is Investment of the Chain Master even close to worth it?
It doesn't seem to be. They're obviously trying to buff Pact of the Chain a bit, but I don't think this goes far enough yet. Right now the Chain pet is good for scouting and the Help action and that's about it. Really, I think they have to go all-in on one of those supplied stat blocks to be able to offer up a viable combat pet option. It works well enough for the Artificer and Ranger, Warlock is the logical next step.
 

CleverNickName

Limit Break Dancing
@doctorbadwolf Most of the items presented in this UA are described as "enhancements," and enhance means "to raise to a higher degree; to intensify, magnify, or increase." So I think many of these items could fairly be called 'power creep.'

I'm not saying that's a bad thing; I'm only saying it's accurate. (I kinda like what they've done here, tbh.)
 

Salthorae

Imperial Mountain Dew Taster
the Chain pet is good for scouting and the Help action and that's about it
I've seen this kind of a statement a few times in this thread and others.

What is so wrong with Pact of the Chain being only good at scouting, help, and support roles? Why do they NEED a combat-capable pet??

Warlock already has a combat version or two: Hexblade and Pact of the Blade.

It seems like un-necessary blending within a single class that already has so many ways to be variant within itself.

So I think many of these items could fairly be called 'power creep.'
In one sense. In another sense, while yes 'power creep', many of them are more 'power something up to the level of other things'.
 

CleverNickName

Limit Break Dancing
In one sense. In another sense, while yes 'power creep', many of them are more 'power something up to the level of other things'.
Which is impossible to measure in most cases. What does "powerful" even mean in D&D, anyway? more hit points? more damage output? higher stats? more useful? compared to what?

And it has negative connotations, too, which I think is unfair. Making something more powerful, however you decide that is measured, isn't necessarily bad.
 

Kurotowa

Adventurer
What is so wrong with Pact of the Chain being only good at scouting, help, and support roles? Why do they NEED a combat-capable pet??
I think there's two factors.

One is that it feels like the Chain Pact is weaker than the other two. The Chain familiar isn't better enough than the normal Find Familiar results a Tome Pact Warlock can get to justify giving up the spell library that Tome Pact gets. I don't think I've ever seen someone suggest a Chain Pact character outside of a pure flavor build.

The other is that some people just really want to be a Warlock Pokemon master, standing back lending support and encouragement while their magical pet does a lot of the fighting. And I'll agree that it's a major character archetype that 5e doesn't currently offer elsewhere. Beastmaster Rangers are a completely different type of character. So those people are hungry for options that let them promote the Chain pet to an actual combatant.
 

Salthorae

Imperial Mountain Dew Taster
Warlock Pokemon master
Why can't those people play a Circle of the Shepherd Druid or a Conjuration Wizard to achieve that?

Those two both focus on summoning things to do battle for you, the wizard comes with Find Familiar built-in, no need to stretch to get it even. Why does the Warlock have to expand to accommodate that concept?
 
Which is impossible to measure in most cases. What does "powerful" even mean in D&D, anyway? more hit points? more damage output? higher stats? more useful?
Versatility corresponds strongly to power, and more flexible or versatile and more useful tend to correspond pretty strongly. Hit points? Sure, if one PC has 7 hps and another 700 the latter is more powerful, but the difference between d8 & d10 HD, pretty minor. DPR, certainly, it's easily measured & compared - as little as and additional half a point of average damage difference will have a weapon judged superior to another, for instance - 5e paid attention to that and, if anything, probably has single-target DPR balanced more closely than it needs to be, or even should be, considering how imbalanced many other factors are.

compared to what?
Compared to what it was before it crept up?

And it has negative connotations, too, which I think is unfair. Making something more powerful, however you decide that is measured, isn't necessarily bad.
If it's already too powerful - like, say, every full caster in the game, or the Paladin - it's bad.

If it's already underpowered, OTOH, sure.

while yes 'power creep', many of them are more 'power something up to the level of other things'.
If those other things are already near the middle of the pack, and the class being powered up to that level is, overall, lacking, sure, that'd even be a good thing. The Ranger getting any kind of boost, or even just coherence. The Fighter getting any kind of versatility, the Rogue any sort of resources, etc.

Powering DPR up to the level of a GWM or SorLock or the like, OTOH, not really a great idea, taking the abusive build down a peg would make more sense. Same with Spell Versatility, it makes all the classes that get it more like the already-class-Tier-1 Wizard.
 

doctorbadwolf

Heretic of The Seventh Circle
@doctorbadwolf Most of the items presented in this UA are described as "enhancements," and enhance means "to raise to a higher degree; to intensify, magnify, or increase." So I think many of these items could fairly be called 'power creep.'

I'm not saying that's a bad thing; I'm only saying it's accurate. (I kinda like what they've done here, tbh.)
You can make definitions do anything you want.

Power creep is a term for when new options increase the overall power of PCs in general, even if leaving some builds behind.

In that sense, nothing printed after the phb is power creep in 5e. Nothing makes characters more powerful than you can be with PHB options. Hell, the PHB still contains the most powerful options in the game.

Increasing the power of weak options isn’t power creep. It’s just a balance patch.

Edit: it’s like the arguments over the Hexblade. A Hexblade Warlock PC isn’t more powerful than a Fiend Warlock PC. They’re about on par in a combat focused game for damage focused players.

For control and utility focused players, Archfey and GOO win over either.

The Hexblade is only “OP” if compared as a patron in the most superficial ways possible. It “gets more”, but it doesn’t actually make a stronger character. It just allows a different type of character than what the class normally allows.
 

Kurotowa

Adventurer
Why can't those people play a Circle of the Shepherd Druid or a Conjuration Wizard to achieve that?
Completely different character archetype. The Summoner is more akin to the Necromancer, throwing waves of disposable minions at your foes. It's the opposite side of the coin from having a single powerful magical pet that has a fixed identity and personality that you bond with and fight along side. Also the summoning rules are a complete PITA.

As the Shepherd Druid is to the Beastmaster Ranger, so the Conjuration Wizard is to the Chain Warlock. At least, in theory. In practice the Chain Warlock has never satisfied in that role, and that's why some people are looking for a way to upgrade it to fit.
 

Salthorae

Imperial Mountain Dew Taster
The Summoner is more akin to the Necromancer, throwing waves of disposable minions at your foes. It's the opposite side of the coin from having a single powerful magical pet
Meh. That is all in the flavor you attach to what you summon. All the Conjuration/Summoning spells have a "single creature of X CR" option in them. So whatever you summon has the same skin again and again. Having it be the same creature with memories and such is all flavor. Nothing says that the spirits that come to form your creatures in the spells can't be the same ones and remember things.

Pokemon "level up" right?

So you summon something with the "skin" you've determined is your Pokemon but using a different/more powerful Conjuration spell.

Use the find familiar to represent your pokemon's base form and the higher level summons to depict it "powered up".

Shepherd Druid has access to all the best summoning spells on top of their boosts to the creatures: Conjure Animal, Conjure Elemental, Conjure Fey, Conjure Minor Elemental, Conjure Woodland Being. They can look like anything you want, it's all just flavor text on top of stats.

Give your Druid find familiar either through Magic Initiate or Ritual Caster (Wizard) and go forth intrepid poke-trainer!

I thought the whole point of Pokemon was to "catch them all" anyway? That doesn't sound like a "single powerful magical pet". It sounds like "whatever pet I need at the moment" which the Conjuration spells work really well to emulate.
 

tetrasodium

Explorer
Why can't those people play a Circle of the Shepherd Druid or a Conjuration Wizard to achieve that?

Those two both focus on summoning things to do battle for you, the wizard comes with Find Familiar built-in, no need to stretch to get it even. Why does the Warlock have to expand to accommodate that concept?
Because it'd nooooot faiiiiiiiir that there is some interesting niche in the game that a sorcerer warlock or scorlock can't equal or excel at doing with just their charisma.
 

Kurotowa

Adventurer
I thought the whole point of Pokemon was to "catch them all" anyway? That doesn't sound like a "single powerful magical pet". It sounds like "whatever pet I need at the moment" which the Conjuration spells work really well to emulate.
Depends if the character fantasy you're trying to realize is "Dedicated Pokemon game completionist" or "Ash and Pikachu". The latter is the image that has more demand, and the one that Chain Warlock comes closest to satisfying. It still comes up short, but then that's what people are asking for changes over.

Really, I don't see why you're so opposed to the idea. It's not like Chain Warlocks are particularly popular as they are right now. Why not make this an option, especially if it's genuinely optional in the form of Invocations you can take or pass up as you please?
 

Kurotowa

Adventurer
Because I can already build that character in 5e without using Warlock.
Not very well, IMO. You have to twist and kludge and the result is both weak and fails to really live up to the concept. But hey, if you actually want to play that character and are happy building it a different way, more power to you.
 

tetrasodium

Explorer
Depends if the character fantasy you're trying to realize is "Dedicated Pokemon game completionist" or "Ash and Pikachu". The latter is the image that has more demand, and the one that Chain Warlock comes closest to satisfying. It still comes up short, but then that's what people are asking for changes over.

Really, I don't see why you're so opposed to the idea. It's not like Chain Warlocks are particularly popular as they are right now. Why not make this an option, especially if it's genuinely optional in the form of Invocations you can take or pass up as you please?
Much of this thread has been devoted to how warlock/sorcerer/scorlock was stomping on the toes of wizards & you are wondering why the suggestion that a full caster* warlock be granted equal footing as the pet archtype ranger/artificer options wondering why there is laughter & pushback rather than support? Your surprise is completely bewildering.

* Lets not pretend pact magic rather than slots makes them not a full caster... how many 9th level spells are on the artificer & ranger spell lists, I could six on the warlock list but zero ranger or artificer spells from 5th on up.
 

NotAYakk

Adventurer
If it's already too powerful - like, say, every full caster in the game, or the Paladin - it's bad.
Classes in 5e you consider too powerful:
Wizard, Warlock, Sorcerer, Bard, Druid, Cleric, Paladin
Classes you as yet haven't said are too powerful:
Barbarian, Fighter, Rogue, Ranger, Monk

And anyone who claims they know if the current artificer is "too powerful" isn't reliable, so I'll leave that one out.

When 5/12 classes aren't in your "too powerful" bracket, maybe the problem is 5/12 not 7/12? Because power for the most part is relative to challenges and other players/classes, and challenges can be tuned up/down.

Now, there is another sense of "too powerful": "too powerful" in the sense that you cannot build interesting adventures for them. And the full casters gain increasing numbers of "campaign altering" abilities as they gain levels, which might not be your cup of tea. But the Paladin doesn't, so I'm still confused.
 

Kurotowa

Adventurer
Much of this thread has been devoted to how warlock/sorcerer/scorlock was stomping on the toes of wizards & you are wondering why the suggestion that a full caster* warlock be granted equal footing as the pet archtype ranger/artificer options wondering why there is laughter & pushback rather than support? Your surprise is completely bewildering.
I admit I checked out of the thread for about a week there. And was ignoring that argument before then as silly. But it does add some context, thank you.
 
too powerful:
Wizard, Warlock, Sorcerer, Bard, Druid, Cleric, Paladin
not too powerful:
Barbarian, Fighter, Rogue, Ranger, Monk
...
Now, there is another sense of "too powerful": "too powerful" in the sense that you cannot build interesting adventures for them. And the full casters gain increasing numbers of "campaign altering" abilities as they gain levels, which might not be your cup of tea. But the Paladin doesn't, so I'm still confused.
"Too Powerful" can be misleading. Too versatile, or simply imbalanced might be a more nuanced way of putting it.
Or, the 3.5 class Tiers put it succinctly.

But, let's just say...

Should be nerfed: Wizard, Druid, Cleric,
Could be nerfed a bit without undue hardship: Bard, Warlock, Paladin, Monk,
====================================================================
Doesn't need a boost per se, but could be done better: Sorcerer, Ranger
Could use a boost outside it's best tricks: Barbarian, Fighter, Rogue
Needs all the help it can get: Champion, Berserker

Above the line shouldn't be getting any changes unless they rein 'em in somehow. Taking things away (like spontaneous casting from neo-Vanican), or adding back old limitations/restrictions or the like. Below the line could get some new options that improve the design, at least, but even then probably shouldn't increase raw power, at least, not at the things (or thing) it already does well.

So, yeah, a 'rising tide' or overall powercreep, not helpful.
 

In Our Store!

Advertisement

Latest threads

Advertisement

Top