Unearthed Arcana New Unearthed Arcana: Rune Knight, Swarmkeeper, The Revived

Another new Unearthed Arcana! "In today’s Unearthed Arcana, three classes each receive a playtest option. The fighter gets a Martial Archetype option: the Rune Knight. The ranger gains a Ranger Archetype option: the Swarmkeeper. And the rogue acquires a Roguish Archetype option: the Revived."

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MarkB

Legend
Usually what people mean by "splat book" these days, and what I assume is meant here, is "book with primarily player rules in it." Not fluff, not DM stuff. This is not what WotC is doing these days, any book has to pull quadruple duty.

What the term originally meant was a hyper-focused book on a particular topic aimed at very specific players as part of a series: "Complete Book of Elves", "Complete Book of Bards, "Complete Book of " with the "" being a fill-in-the-blank that people would call a "splat" like a squished bug. That sort of book ain't happening, because it's bad business.
Which makes it interesting that they've been churning out exclusively player-facing stuff in UA for the past couple of months.
 

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Parmandur

Book-Friend
Which makes it interesting that they've been churning out exclusively player-facing stuff in UA for the past couple of months.

Well, the majority of UA articles the past five years have been Subclasses, with most of the rest being Subraces. They've never tested a single monster.

Ravnica, for instance, they only tested Class & Race options, for a rather large book with a lot of other material.

If they start doing Races, I think we'll know what's up?
 

Remathilis

Legend
I said quality. And compared to how much there is for each of the other enabled settings, it's not many.

But that's the thing, it's pretty clear to me that what people really want is splat books*. Churning out setting books instead is poor policy.



* with the exception of a few much loved settings.
To be perfectly honest, with the exception of a larger planar/Planescape book, I have all the settings I need and could subsist on adventures and supplements for the foreseeable future. Realms, Ravnica, Ravenloft, and Eberron are everything I would ever want to run.

That said, I acknowledge people will want some offical support for Dark Sun, Dragonlance, or Greyhawk at some point.
 

Aaron L

Hero
Genetically, of course, there was a lot of mixing -- there always is

I wish more people today would understand and emphasize this; it's gotten so bad lately it's like everyone is jumping up and down eagerly to define themselves by labels created by others and segment themselves into more and more fragmented warring tribes at each others' throats, sometimes over even the tiniest differences. (Hell, just look at how even music genres have fragmented in recent years, with some categories so minutely defined that only just one band qualifies for inclusion in certain genres. And the obsession so many people have developed in recent years concerning "mixing genres" in genre fiction, with some people downright hating stories that mix elements of fantasy and science-fiction [like Expedition to the Barrier Peaks] because they believe that each genre should always remain separate and "pure" in itself.) No one is "pure" anything, no culture is isolated from all others, and every culture has shared and mixed and swapped elements with its neighbors both near and far, without any need for shame or guilt or recrimination for having done so. Cultural mixing is completely natural and good and is just another way that cultures grow, and no person should ever be restricted from (respectfully) participating or sharing in a cultural tradition because they don't have the "correct" heritage. Every society on Earth has far more elements in common, both genetic and cultural, than they have differences.
 

Hussar

Legend
I said quality. And compared to how much there is for each of the other enabled settings, it's not many.

But that's the thing, it's pretty clear to me that what people really want is splat books*. Churning out setting books instead is poor policy.



* with the exception of a few much loved settings.

Why would that be clear to you? The best selling 5e books overall have to be the modules. Simply because there are a lot more modules than anything else. And the modules are selling extremely well.

It always baffles me, in light of the massive growth of D&D over the past four years, why folks would want WotC to do anything different than what they are doing now. It's not broken, stop trying to fix it.
 

Parmandur

Book-Friend
Why would that be clear to you? The best selling 5e books overall have to be the modules. Simply because there are a lot more modules than anything else. And the modules are selling extremely well.

It always baffles me, in light of the massive growth of D&D over the past four years, why folks would want WotC to do anything different than what they are doing now. It's not broken, stop trying to fix it.

I can understand people wanting, desiring something different. But asserting that preference as the obvious Will of the People in contradiction to the evidence of the market is passing odd.
 

Ancalagon

Dusty Dragon
The Hill Giant Rune is incredibly good. That plus the enlarging effect is essentially a mini-rage. This subclass just took the "best fighter tank" trophy from the eldrich knight I think...

Also, I play a fighter 3 (eldritch knight)/Hexblade 5 in a game, and wow would this have fitted the concept even better :O
 


Leatherhead

Possibly a Idiot.
Would a halfing who became a rune knight and grew to 5 feet become a medium creature and be able to wield a 2H sword without disadvantage?
They would only have to grow to 4'1" tall to qualify as medium. Which is kind of interesting for Gnomes, as they top out at 4' tall, and would gain a minimum of 3", making them automatically eligible for such a thing.

I think I would allow such character growth, if the player wanted it to happen. They would still be slow like a Dwarf though.
 

BookBarbarian

Expert Long Rester
The embiggen effect could come from a rune tattoo, for sure, but it still isn’t a rage.
I think more than half of what Barbarian subclasses get could fall under the category of "Still isn't a rage" in concept. Barbarian subclasses are a loosely stapled together lot.

So looking at the strict mechanics of it, I see extra damage, adv on strength checks a saves, and increased durability all with a minute time limit as too close to the mechanics of Rage. I think Giant rage is very in line with, God Rage, Fire Rage, and Ghost Rage.
 

doctorbadwolf

Heretic of The Seventh Circle
I think more than half of what Barbarian subclasses get could fall under the category of "Still isn't a rage" in concept. Barbarian subclasses are a loosely stapled together lot.

So looking at the strict mechanics of it, I see extra damage, adv on strength checks a saves, and increased durability all with a minute time limit as too close to the mechanics of Rage. I think Giant rage is very in line with, God Rage, Fire Rage, and Ghost Rage.
It can be, sure. But it doesn’t need to be, and niches don’t need to be jealously guarded.
 

Kurotowa

Legend
It can be, sure. But it doesn’t need to be, and niches don’t need to be jealously guarded.

That's where I'm at. Yes, the right Rune Knight build can get certain elements of a Barbarian Rage. But not the full package and with fewer uses and requiring multiple turns to fully activate. So for me that's distinct enough to not cause a fatal conflict.

Really, if you start looking at potential Rune Knight builds instead of just abilities in isolation, it's got some massive action bottlenecks. All the runes are eating up Bonus Actions, Reactions, or both. You've only got one of each of those per round, and it's not as if Fighters don't have uses for those action types from their base class features as well. Picking a set of runes you can actually use will be more than just grabbing the "strongest" set of them.
 

BookBarbarian

Expert Long Rester
It can be, sure. But it doesn’t need to be, and niches don’t need to be jealously guarded.
I don't see it as jealously guarding as much just seeing where things fit more naturally. Similar to how the Scout moved from Fighter in UA to Rogue in print, and same for Monster Slayer from Fighter in UA to Monster Hunter Ranger in print.

Except that I'm not advocating for the whole of the Rune Knight to move over (anymore), as I see a natural delineation in both mechanics and fluff between the warrior who inscribes runes on weapons and armor and thus can mix and match and swap abilities, a the warrior who has runic magic buffing themselves independent of items and in my mind choses a class option and keeps it (not dissimilar to the Totem Warrior).
 








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