New UA Paladin and Bard.

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Blue

Orcus on a bad hair day
Hook for the Heroism Paladin: he's an incarnation of a sort of Jungian / Campbellian Universal Hero. The longer he adventures, the less he remembers about the personal history of this particular incarnation, and the more he settles into the role of Hero and remembers tales of yore as his own life. This life is the latest telling of an eternal story.

The rest of the party lives in the comparatively mundane medium-fantasy world, where you might know some magic or fight a dragon or whatever; this guy is genuinely convinced that his father was The Sky, his mother was The Earth, that he beat Old Age in a wrestling match and beat Fire in an eating contest . . . and the longer you hang out with him, the more you believe it.
I basically played next to this in a campaign that ended a few months back. The charismatic barbarian was completely convinced he was the king of this ancient land, Pal, that no one had ever heard of. The player was knew he was delusional.

Anyway, the rest of the party went along with him. Some true believers, some humoring him because he was a remarkably effective leader. He gave us all positions in his court, my fearless halfling bard was The First Herald of Pal.

And then as we were negotiating with a dragon, the DM had the dragon throw in that what was once the Kingdom of Pal was far to the north, near the arctic circle. Suddenly all of the doubters were doubting their doubts. And the player of the barbarian was like "Wow, that's cool!".

So now we had to figure out if it was true. We ended up getting there, finding that after being involved in the Dragon Wars thousands of years ago (which was a well established part of the campaign and was looking to reoccur), the King of Pal had disappeared, vowing to return when his people once against needed help against the dragons. At which point the people of Pal dispersed. And we found the legendary Hammer of Pal, which much like Mjolnir could only be wielded by the true King of Pal - and did not let the character wield it.

So we were still uncertain if we were with the true king of Pal, or just someone with delusions.

Long story short, we did some really epic things, died together and escaped the underworld, became members of a tribe of barbarians that were descended from the people of Pal and were able to convince all the tribes to come back. Then the Hammer accepted him. We returned to Pal finding several dragons and an army of their servitors trying to take Pal, fighting the barbarian families that were returning. In an Epic battle we fought and slayed them, and once again the Throne of Pal was occupied by the True King of Pal.
 
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JPL

Explorer
Outstanding stuff. I'm a little hazy on the details, but I know that in the 3rd Edition Astral Sea book, there was talk about adventuring in the "deep myth" or something like that, where you can actually participate in and maybe even alter legends. A riff on my idea would be that a mythological hero's greatest foe ended up sentencing to a fate worse than death --- he went into the deep myth and obliterated the hero's name and all the legends of his mighty deeds. But somehow, the hero is reborn into the world that forgot him, and has a chance to make things right . . .
 

Parmandur

Legend
And it screwed up the playtest feed back as a result because we lacked the right context, so subclasses were judged based on false expectations, which meant they were judged by the wrong standard.

I would rated the Izzet Wizard way differently had I known it was an Izzet wizard, but they made it out to be the new generalist wizard, and so judged it by that standard, which it was Ill suited for.
I cry for the poor Brute: people were into thinking it was an OP replacement of the Champion, when it was a mathematically equivalent flavor option.

I appreciate that they are trying to make sure all the options are broadly appealing with context removed: that's one of the ways for them to sell books. This time they are casting the net wider, so if only half of their Subclasses get public approval they'll have some options there.
 

Stalker0

Adventurer
Both classes look pretty good. I think the bard needs some tightening on the mechanics, especially the “always understood” one. Considering they can cast calm emotions x per day, I don’t know why they can’t get tongues as well.

The living myth ability to always succeed on a saving throw is awesome!!
 

doctorbadwolf

Heretic of The Seventh Circle
Well this new series of subclasses-based UA articles pretty much tell me two things:

  • the game doesn't need more subclasses after Xanathar’s
  • the gamers still want more subclasses after Xanathar’s

So it's really starting to feel like subclasses are the new prestige classes, but fortunately the extremely slow release schedule of 5e will keep us safe for a long time.
I mean, "needs" is meaningless in the context of a game.

But insofar as we all know roughly kinda what you mean by it, here, I disagree. It's not that the game doesn't need more subclasses, it's simply that they aren't going to bother with a lot of the stuff that a lot of us really want any time soon, if ever.

Honestly, I'd rather have a shadow warlock than anything they've playtested except the artificer, but because so many people see the sorcerer and claim the concept is "covered", it ain't happening anytime soon. I mean, nevermind that making a pact with The Raven Queen or with the Dark Powers, or whatever would be entirely different from the sorcerer bloodline. They're both "shadow magic subclass" ideas, and apperently each concept has to be reduced to the most uselessly broad definition and then compared to the existing game on that basis in order to have a chance at existence.
 

FrogReaver

Adventurer
Well this new series of subclasses-based UA articles pretty much tell me two things:

  • the game doesn't need more subclasses after Xanathar’s
  • the gamers still want more subclasses after Xanathar’s

So it's really starting to feel like subclasses are the new prestige classes, but fortunately the extremely slow release schedule of 5e will keep us safe for a long time.
I mean the game doesn't need more than 4 classes either....
 

Parmandur

Legend
I mean the game doesn't need more than 4 classes either....
The beauty of the exceptions based design means that more options don't overwhelm the game, either.

I mean, "needs" is meaningless in the context of a game.

But insofar as we all know roughly kinda what you mean by it, here, I disagree. It's not that the game doesn't need more subclasses, it's simply that they aren't going to bother with a lot of the stuff that a lot of us really want any time soon, if ever.

Honestly, I'd rather have a shadow warlock than anything they've playtested except the artificer, but because so many people see the sorcerer and claim the concept is "covered", it ain't happening anytime soon. I mean, nevermind that making a pact with The Raven Queen or with the Dark Powers, or whatever would be entirely different from the sorcerer bloodline. They're both "shadow magic subclass" ideas, and apperently each concept has to be reduced to the most uselessly broad definition and then compared to the existing game on that basis in order to have a chance at existence.
I do not think that they are unwilling to consider a Shadow Warlock: they tested one for Xanathar's, it just didn't get traction. If they come at it from another angle, maybe not zeroed in on the Raven Queen, they'll have better luck.

In regards to the recent batch of tests, once you look at it as an exercise of Magic Mana wheel coverage, they make so much sense...
 

Kurotowa

Explorer
In regards to the recent batch of tests, once you look at it as an exercise of Magic Mana wheel coverage, they make so much sense...
Here's the thing about M:tG's color wheel and existing sets. They're like those D&D Alignment charts that people do. Which is say, they're broadly drawn and try to hit the key iconic story points that show up everywhere, so you can fit almost anything into them. Showing you can describe something in M:tG terms proves absolutely nothing.

Now yes, the Ravnica book exists, but I'd honestly count that as a strike against the idea, not for it. They don't want to dilute the D&D identity by throwing out too many M:tG books too quickly. It's too soon for another one.
 

Parmandur

Legend
Here's the thing about M:tG's color wheel and existing sets. They're like those D&D Alignment charts that people do. Which is say, they're broadly drawn and try to hit the key iconic story points that show up everywhere, so you can fit almost anything into them. Showing you can describe something in M:tG terms proves absolutely nothing.

Now yes, the Ravnica book exists, but I'd honestly count that as a strike against the idea, not for it. They don't want to dilute the D&D identity by throwing out too many M:tG books too quickly. It's too soon for another one.
Nate Stewart in January's Spoilers & Swag was asked did there would be more Magic in D&D: his response was that they hadn't known about how successful Ravnica would be early enough to pull the trigger on a 2019 Magic D&D book (!), but that more would be coming soon. They will do more Magic books for D&D eventually, whatever product these tests are for: but three UA in a row for high-magic options that read like Mana themed pairs is interesting.
 

Quartz

Explorer
I'm liking the Oath of Heroism. One tweak I'd make: for Bolster Your Allies just as you can make your enemies afraid, so you can inspire your allies i.e. I'd allow targets a new save against fear effects.
 

gyor

Adventurer
The beauty of the exceptions based design means that more options don't overwhelm the game, either.



I do not think that they are unwilling to consider a Shadow Warlock: they tested one for Xanathar's, it just didn't get traction. If they come at it from another angle, maybe not zeroed in on the Raven Queen, they'll have better luck.

In regards to the recent batch of tests, once you look at it as an exercise of Magic Mana wheel coverage, they make so much sense...
I could see a Warlock Pact based on the Sworrowsworn of the Shadowfell, it's a broad enough concept, there are a bunch of Sworrowsworn types. It gives it a district enough flavour to the Shadow Sorcerer.

As for the Sorcerer taking up that roll, there are two Feywild flavoured Druids, a Fey Warlock, this Fey Barbarian, and even the Neutral version of the Divine Soul Sorcerer gets fairy wings. So there is still tons of room of Shadow Warlocks.
 

Leatherhead

Possibly a Idiot.
As for the Sorcerer taking up that roll, there are two Feywild flavoured Druids, a Fey Warlock, this Fey Barbarian, and even the Neutral version of the Divine Soul Sorcerer gets fairy wings. So there is still tons of room of Shadow Warlocks.
There is a baffling trend for people to fiercely defend any perceived niche for the Sorcerer, despite niche protection not being a thing anymore, and how many subclasses (including those belonging to the Sorcerer) poach from other classes. It's like Sorcerers have to go around with steel-toe shoes for all the worries about other Classes treading on their feet.
 
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