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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Comments

gyor

Hero
Also, once upon a time, Native American socalled ‘mythology’, Japanese, and other cultures, were also an official part of ‘D&D lore’.

Sometimes it is necessary to think more clearly and respectfully − and accurately − when D&D lore traditions, in fact, refer to other cultures.
Or you can realize it is just a game that takes inspiration from different sources and not confuse it with an essay on a culture. There is this concept called free speech, and their is nothing disrespectful about borrowing inspiration in fiction for various cultures, all cultures have done it, and been better for it, it's called multiculturalism and cultural exchange and it's the life blood of cultural evolution and innovation.
 

Yaarel

Adventurer
this is the last I’m going to comment because I don’t want to derail further. Literally every article I could find has the origin of Nordic myths starting from the northern Germanic paganism. Which makes sense, since people migrated from south to north. Unfortunately there is very little written record prior to the romans getting involved, but all evidence, and all the articles I could find, have those myths of Woden starting in northern Germany.

but let’s say for sake of argument you’re right. Even if it started in Scandinavia, it is undeniable that much of the pagan peoples of Northern Europe worshipped the same gods. Ergo, someone from Northern Europe would not be culturally appropriating that religion since they have the same shared beliefs culturally.

so...either way, your position is mistaken.
By ‘northern Germania’, the archeologists mean ... Denmark.

Germania is an exonym that Romans invented. Indeed, the ‘Germanii’ tribe is probably a Celtic tribe. Most of Germany (Latin Germania) is Celtic tribes, especially from the previous Celtic La Tene culture that covered most of Germany.



Notice where the socalled ‘Proto-Germanic’ language originated! Norway, Sweden, and Denmark! It originated in Scandinavia. Socalled Proto-Germanic is a Nordic parent language that is indigenous to Scandinavia that developed from within Scandinavia.



Notice there are two separate colors. The red is the Nordic cultural zone. The magenta is the ‘Germanic’ cultural zone, associating archeologically with Jastorf culture. It is uncertain if the Jastorf ‘Germanic’ culture is actually speaking any ‘Germanic’ language at this time. Perhaps, they might have adopted the Nordic language from their northern Nordic neighbors. Or the ‘Germanic’ culture might be speaking a Celtic language from their southern Celtic neighbors. Or some other language.



Notice which direction the Nordic (‘Germanic’) language spreads, from Scandinavia into Continental Europe.

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Continental Europeans adopted a Scandinavian language for unclear reasons that appears to radiate out of Denmark.

When these ‘Germanic’ tribes adopted the Nordic language, they also imported, borrowed, and reinterpreted indigenous Nordic traditions.

Scandinavia is the origin of the wrongly named ‘Germanic’ language. But every Nonnordic culture that adopted this language, no longer had the original Scandinavian context. In the new Nonnordic contexts these Nonnordic cultures completely reused and reinterpreted things like Nordic sacred names, according to local Nonnordic traditions.
 
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Xenonnonex

Adventurer
By ‘northern Germania’, the archeologists mean ... Denmark.

Germania is an exonym that Romans invented. Indeed, the ‘Germanii’ tribe is probably a Celtic tribe. Most of Germany (Latin Germania) is Celtic tribes, especially from the previous Celtic La Tene culture that covered most of Germany.



Notice where the socalled ‘Proto-Germanic’ originated! Norway, Sweden, and Denmark! It originated in Scandinavia. Socalled Proto-Germanic is a Nordic parent language that is indigenous to Scandinavia that developed from within Scandinavia.



Notice there are two separate colors. The red is the Nordic cultural Zone. The magenta is the ‘Germanic’ cultural zone, associating archeologically with Jastorf culture. It is uncertain if the Jastorf ‘Germanic’ culture is actually speaking any ‘Germanic’ language at this time. Perhaps, they might have adopted the Nordic language from their northern Nordic neighbors. Or the ‘Germanic’ culture might be speaking a Celtic language from their neighbors.



Notice which direction the Nordic (‘Germanic’) language spreads, from Scandinavia into Continental Europe.

View attachment 114960

Continental Europeans adopted a Scandinavian language for unclear reasons that appears to radiate out of Denmark.

When these ‘Germanic’ tribes adopted the Nordic language, they also imported, borrowed, and reinterpreted indigenous Nordic traditions.

Scandinavia is the origin of the wrongly named ‘Germanic’ language. But every Nonnordic culture that adopted this language, no longer had the original Scandinavian context. In the new Nonnordic contexts these Nonnordic cultures completely reused and reinterpreted things like Nordic sacred names, according to local Nonnordic traditions.
Okay. That is great. How does it relate to these classes?
 

vpuigdoller

Explorer
Wow.

Kind of like the heroic paladin, the rune knight feels pretty mythic. The rune things makes me think dwarves, and the giant part, goliaths, but if I was going to play one, it would probably be a dragonborn who is convinced he is growing into a "real dragon." Oh yeah, fire shackles are a nice image.

I predict this thread will degenerate into 30 pages of complaints about (and defenses of) the beast master because of the swarm keeper. I don't suppose I could appeal to anyone's good nature to skip it this time.

So that is what become of the revenant race from the Old Black Magic UA of many years ago. Nice use of sneak attack.
I thought of a Dwarven Rune Knight and reflavour the runes to dwarven runes!
 

Kurotowa

Adventurer
Yeah, perfect with either Mountain Dwarf or Duergar. Especially the later since their racial enlarge should stack with Rune Knight as long as you do it in the right order.
For my part I'm a big Eberron fan. When I hear "ancient giant rune magic" I think of Xen'drik, and when I think of Xen'drink I think of drow. Right now I'm bouncing between a drow finesse Rune Knight and dark skinned half-elf Rune Knight from Stormreach, even though it'll be ages before I get a chance to play either of them.
 

Ashrym

Adventurer
For my part I'm a big Eberron fan. When I hear "ancient giant rune magic" I think of Xen'drik, and when I think of Xen'drink I think of drow. Right now I'm bouncing between a drow finesse Rune Knight and dark skinned half-elf Rune Knight from Stormreach, even though it'll be ages before I get a chance to play either of them.
Definitely. Rune knight has a distinctive Xen'drik feel to it with the giant association.
 

LuisCarlos17f

Adventurer
I remember the magic runes in the first edition of Warhammer Fantasy RPG.

My vision of magic runes in D&D is a single-use magic item like scrolls, potions, tattoos or talismans. Sometimes I have thought about a incarnum soulmelder class but the chakras (body slots) would be replaced with runes in item. You would spent points of essence to get a metamagic effect. I wonder about a remake of the runepriest/scribe with game mechanic like incarnum soulmelds.

The revived is too close to the revenant class. I would like a assassin like a stealth class with some magic martial maneuvers with shadow as power source. Why not a revived warrior, like a necromantic champion, a bustuarius or tomb fighter?

Almost off-topic, but I miss the binders with vestige pact magic and the martial adepts.
 
The RevIved feels a lot like an attempt to do a Nameless One from Planescape Torment subclass.
IT's like a "Watcher" from Pillars of Eternity (from the same developers).

Mechanically, it resembles 3.5 warlock/ Pathfinder kinetisist.

...and I don't like it for a D&D rogue class.

I don't much care for the other two either. That's mechanical, the concepts are quite good, just poorly executed.
 
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Jadeite

Explorer
@Yaarel:
Out of curiosity, are you from Scandinavia or are you an american that claims to be a certain ethnicity just because their great grandfather came from a certain region? If you like celebrating St. Patricks day or Oktoberfest it's perfectly fine, but don't pretend it's your right or duty because of ancestry.
 
My more detailed impressions after taking a closer look:

Rune Knight:
Thematically fine, sound mythological basis (and we have had similar things in earlier editions). Why Fighter? We already have two "magic fighters". This theme could fit a barbarian, cleric, bard, or artificer. In particular, I think this would make a better "magic barbarian" than the exploding flumphs guy (did we ever find out what they where smoking?).

The rune powers themselves seem a bit over-complicated. I would rather have something straightforward like adds +1d6 fire damage to your attacks. The appeal of 5e is it's simplicity compared to other editions.

Otherwise I quite like it.

Swarmkeeper:
I like the idea. Why fey? I don't see any reason this concept couldn't work with actual tiny beasts (e.g. bees).

Powers: Why does the swarm do force damage? Poison or piecing would seem to fit the theme better (even if mechanically weaker). Why can't I send my swarm out to attack on it's own (i.e. a pet)? :cry:

A disappointment.

The Revived:
WHY A ROGUE?!!! Even more than flumph-arian this seems to disrespect the core class. I spend two levels sneaking around stealing stuff and stabbing people in the back, then I hit level 3 and all of a sudden transform into a pseudo-undead thing? A sorcerer would be a better fit for the concept.

Powers: Bolt from the Grave's connection to Cunning Action is weird. It's a bonus action, but in order to use it I'm required to dash, dodge or hide?! It's almost like the designer is thinking Cunning Action is a limited resource. Otherwise, it's interesting, since it allows the rogue to wield a weapon that isn't eligible for sneak attack without gimping themselves.
 
I'm still uncertain what they are going for: this is a pretty wild set of 13 Subclasses (including the Archivist).

My main bet is still a Setting book of some sort (still feeling the Magic vibes), but a XGtE or all-new format seem viable.
Man in the Moon, pyramids on Mars.

There is a very strong tendency for humans to look for patterns where no pattern exists.
 

Leatherhead

Possibly a Idiot.
Otherwise I quite like it.
I don't think you do actually. You don't seem to like anything about it other than the Growing Big power.

The Runeknight doesn't fit on the Barbarian for two main reasons:
One: Barbarians aren't exactly refined artisans.
Two: Barbarians don't word so good.

At the core of it's being, even moreso than the ability to get swole for combat, the Runeknight is a magical blacksmith. Bards, despite being great with words (hey, that's what the other UA subclass is for!) aren't exactly first on my list of potential blacksmiths. Artificers and Clerics already have a magical blacksmith subclass. Which leaves us the Fighter, and it really works too.

Think of say, a Dwarf Fighter/Blacksmith. For the longest time, Dwarves couldn't use Arcane magic but could totally make magic weapons and armor. It's one of those legacy things. Heck, even the growing in size power fits perfectly with the Duergar. This is the subclass that fills that niche.

What you want is something more like the Disaster Barbarian that never made it to UA. A Barbarian that was like a natural disaster, complete with elemental infused weapon attacks.
 
The Runeknight doesn't fit on the Barbarian for two main reasons:
One: Barbarians aren't exactly refined artisans.
Two: Barbarians don't word so good.
False on both counts. Stupidity is not a requirement for being a barbarian.

"In the Old Norse written corpus, berserkers (or "berserks"; Old Norse: berserkir) were warriors who purportedly fought in a trance-like fury, a characteristic which later gave rise to the modern English word "berserk" or "Berzerk"." -wikipeadia

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