D&D (2024) New Unearthed Arcana Playtest Includes Barbarian, Druid, and Monk

The latest Unearthed Arcana playtest packet is now live with new barbarian, druid, and monk versions, as well as new spells and weapons, and a revised Ability Score Improvement feat.



WHATS INSIDE

Here are the new and revised elements in this article:

Classes. Three classes are here: Barbarian, Druid, and Monk. Each one includes one subclass: Path of the World Tree (Barbarian), Circle of the Moon (Druid), and Warrior of the Hand (Monk).

Spells. New and revised spells are included.

The following sections were introduced in a previous article and are provided here for reference:

Weapons. Weapon revisions are included.

Feats. This includes a revised version of Ability Score Improvement.

Rules Glossary. The rules glossary includes the few rules that have revised definitions in the playtest. In this document, any underlined term in the body text appears in the glossary.
 
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Just for completeness, a list of what being Small affects...
  • cannot grapple Large enemies
  • can walk through the space of Large enemies (and they can walk through yours)
  • can use Medium critters as mounts
  • lower weight lets allies carry/throw you easier
  • jumping to reach something uses your actual height
  • can function normally in Small spaces (like goblin tunnels)
  • technically can squeeze into spaces meant for Tiny critters (yes, this means mouse holes are valid)
 
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Parmandur

Book-Friend
Just for completeness, being Small affects...
  • cannot grapple Large enemies
  • can walk through the space of Large enemies (and they can walk through yours)
  • can use Medium critters as mounts
  • jumping to reach something uses your actual height
  • technically can squeeze into spaces meant for Tiny critters (yes, this means mouse holes are valid)
I dunno about the mouse hole in practice...but that's about the run of it.
 


Kobold Stew

Last Guy in the Airlock
Supporter
In the Monsters of the Multiverse/'24 approach, the difference between Medium and Small is basically a ribbon.
I wouldn't quite say that, but the difference is not significant. I pulled what I saw together when I surveyed MotM last year, here.

The Monsters of the Multivers options that can be Small or Medium seem to fall into two categories:

1.) Planetouched, like Aasamir or Genasi, who can be of non-Human origin with a Planar connection (Call of the Netherdeep jas an Orcish Water Genasi NPC, for example). This means that a player can play a Genasi, or Tiefling with the new PHB options, who comes from any other origin, like Gnomes or Halflings.
This is a reasonable design choice.
2.) Anthropomorphic animals. They do this with a lot of the anthropomorphic here, but Tabaxi is a good primary example. The Monsters of the Multiverse flavor text for Tabaxi makes it clear that they can be any sort of feline, like a Lion or a Tiger person, not just a Leopard, and they specifically call out domestic cats as an option. So a player who wa to to be cute little Puss in Boots juat like in Shrek? A Small Tabaxi, no need for a new option.
And this is a good one. No complaints.
Oddly enough, I think that 2nd one is why they added that to Humans: a shirt person can make a Human PC and be Small, without having to choose a Gnome or Halfling to represent themselves.
This is the one I do not understand -- if it is meant to include the rare cases of adult humans under 4' tall, then a single line saying any Medium race can be played as small if the player chooses is clearer. Why exclude dwarves and elves and orcs?

(reminds me of my best friend's character when we were 14: he played a half-orc/half-halfling assassin, that was 3' tall.)
 


Parmandur

Book-Friend
This is the one I do not understand -- if it is meant to include the rare cases of adult humans under 4' tall, then a single line saying any Medium race can be played as small if the player chooses is clearer. Why exclude dwarves and elves and orcs?
Yeah, since it doesn't seem that WotC considers the difference significant, I'd day letting a Goliath be Small or a Halflong be Medium probably won't break anything. And, hey, who knows...they might do that in the end.
 

Yaarel

He Mage
Human size is more sensitive.

To say, the adult D&D Human is Medium size only, is too close to saying reallife little people arent humans.

I appreciate 2024 being more inclusive.

In my view, there are also reallife humans who qualify as Large size, generally anyone over 8 feet tall while reasonably healthy.

I prefer the D&D Human be Medium, Small, or Large.



Elf is always Medium. They are shapechangers who chose this as their persistent form.

I want to see the Dwarf be Medium or Small. Medium for the Norse dvergr, but Small for the Anglo-Saxon dweorg and German twerc.

Gnome, Small or Tiny.

Halfling, Small.

Orc, Medium or Large.
 

James Gasik

We don't talk about Pun-Pun
Supporter
I have not seen this explained or discussed anywhere. Do you know why? The races for which it applies make no sense to me. In the playtest materials it's just human and tiefling.
In the case of Aasimar or Tieflings, I believe it's because Humans are not the only species that can have planetouched offspring, so being able to pick your size lets you say you're an Aasimar Halfling.
 

Horwath

Legend
The advantage of Small size in 3.5 was as follows:

+1 to attack rolls.
+1 to AC.
+4 to Hide checks.

For this benefit, you had 3/4 the carry capacity (but most of your gear was 50% weight so this wasn't a big deal), had to use smaller weapons, and suffered when grappling or trying to Intimidate larger people (-4 on the checks in both cases).

I can understand 5e's desire to simplify all of that, but what we got was:

Disadvantage when using Heavy weapons.
No penalty to carry capacity, but your gear weighs the same as that used by big folk for...reasons.

There's some occasional side benefits like being able to squeeze into smaller areas or move through the spaces of larger creatures, but these tend to come up way less often than being unable to use a longbow or heavy crossbow effectively. And yet, lol, usually when this is brought up on this forum, you have several posters chiming in that size small should be penalized more, and there's no need to give it more advantages.

Then Monsters of the Multiverse has several races that are like "you can be Small or Medium if you want", as if these choices are 1:1 to each other.
There should be more penalties for being small, not sure if small characters overall should be equal to medium ones(pun intended) especially in weapons combat.
spellcasting no problem, skills(except athletics) no problem, maybe compensate with more skills/tool or something.


If I were to make simple template for small characters and try to keep some balance between sizes, I would put it simple:

-2 STR(max still 20)
+2 DEX(max still 20)

+1 AC
using Heavy weapons with disadvantage
-5 ft move speed
3/4th carry capacity

most equipment designed for small characters is 1/2 the weight.
 

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