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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James Gasik

We don't talk about Pun-Pun
Supporter
The potential issue with doing something like that is it puts Small sized characters in a particular role. If Small characters are exceptional spellcasters, archers, and duelists, but bad at being heavy melee, then you mostly won't see them in those roles.

Now there are people who are like "yes, that's how it should be", but in the past couple years, D&D has been heading in a direction where every species can take on any role with more or less equal ability. Orcs can excel as Wizards, Goliaths can excel as Rogues, and Elves can excel as Barbarians.

There's no real room in this paradigm for races that are pigeonholed in this manner. I'm not saying that's the way it should be- personally, I have mixed feelings about it. On the one hand, I've always enjoyed playing against type, and trying to make it work. I've had successes and failures over the years, but some very fun characters have emerged.

On the other hand, it seems odd for a species to be able to pursue every role, yet be just be bad at some of them. Orc thieves, assassins, clerics, and shamans have long been a part of D&D lore, but it seems really strange for a species that has +2 Strength to follow these career paths when their natural talents lie elsewhere. Back in the d20 era, when designing races, I'd always try to give them some trait that wouldn't make a species totally typecast; sure, you get a bonus to Strength, but maybe you have an option add your Strength to spell power or something.

The gripping hand here is that WotC has taken the approach that all species have equal ability to pursue any class, and so it's no longer true that your Elf character has to be slender and agile. Dwarves can be gregarious and nimble. That's just how things are now, and in this light, there isn't much reason for small characters to have, say, disadvantages when using heavy weapons from a perspective of mechanical balance. WotC has increasingly marginalized narrative elements in this edition.

Everyone matures at the same rate, there are no aging modifiers, penalties to ability scores have been removed, ASI's are now a la carte, there are no "bad guy" species...ditching size modifiers at this point seems fairly trivial.
 

Horwath

Legend
They should add significant penalties for small creatures and significant benefits for large ones.

And then ban any species that isn't medium from being a PC.
I would not ban small PCs from game, but it should be stated with what advantages and disadvantages you will be playing.
And if you mean to play as some STR based frontliner, you will be at disadvatage.
So stick to caster or some finesse style.
 

Remathilis

Legend
I would not ban small PCs from game, but it should be stated with what advantages and disadvantages you will be playing.
And if you mean to play as some STR based frontliner, you will be at disadvatage.
So stick to caster or some finesse style.

Would you likewise penalize larger PCs from being casters? Force them to stick to melee classes?
 

Horwath

Legend
Would you likewise penalize larger PCs from being casters? Force them to stick to melee classes?
No, but penalty to Dex might lead the away from "nimble" character concepts.

I would always try to keep the 3 mental scores same, independent on size.
might add -1 AC per category penalty. simply a bigger target, easier to hit.

using larger weapons will certainly favor going melee, especially in addition with higher STR
 


Kobold Stew

Last Guy in the Airlock
Supporter
To be clear: I am not advocating a change to the rules for small or medium PCs, and I am not advocating removing small PCs from the game.

I am seeking to understand the thinking behind Small Humans.
 



Horwath

Legend
Which is really why they should get rid of the longbow, shortbow divide and change it to Warbow and Hunting Bow. There were 100lbs plus short bows historically, in the same poundage ranges as the longbow.
no matter how you want to spin it, a longer bow with longer draw length can store more energy than a shorter bow. If materials is the same, OFC.
 

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