Unearthed Arcana New Unearthed Arcana - Subclasses 2 [UPDATED]

The latest Unearthed Arcana contains three new subclasses: the bardic College of Creation, the cleric's Love Domain, and the sorcerer's Clockwork Soul.

UPDATE - WoTC appears to have removed this PDF. The link now leads to the previous Unearthed Arcana.


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Prakriti

Hi, I'm a Mindflayer, but don't let that worry you
Just conjure up a gem worth about 100 GP and sell it to a hapless merchant for quick gain.
Yes, that's one problem this subclass has that the Conjuration wizard doesn't: its summoned items don't appear as "obviously magical," as the Conjuration wizard's do. So you can't argue that potential buyers immediately recognize them as the temporary creations that they are, leading to all sorts of economic shenanigans. Seems like an oversight to me.
 

RSIxidor

Adventurer
The hour-long duration is the strongest part of the L1 love cleric feature. The ability checks are gravy.

In one of my campaigns I play an Arcana cleric, and we've got a house rule where I get to upgrade spells when I gain new spell levels. My upgraded bless also boosts ability checks. My grappling ally benefits from this, but it doesn't add that much more on top of what he's already got from his build.

This does stack with bless, though, doesn't it? That's also significant.
 

Leatherhead

Possibly a Idiot.
College of Creation
Not quite Ainulindalë

Note of Potential
Your Bardic Inspiration gets more powerful, which is nice. Also, the Character with the inspiration uses their action economy to activate the powers.

Note of Destruction. A small PBAoE added to an attack (which can be a spell attack). It comes in nice but will taper off in the long run. It isn't a Smart AoE, so whomever is using it needs to mind their positioning, which might be a bother for someone locked in melee.

Note of Protection. Adds temp HP on a saving throw, provided you don't already have temp hp. A really weird rule restriction considering temp HP doesn't stack anyway.

Note of Inspiration. A free re-roll of your inspiration die. Not as good as advantage, but if you roll low to begin with, you don't have anything to lose.


Performance of Creation.
And yet again, nobody can create plate armor with their class ability. At worst, this looks like it could be used to swindle someone really nicely due to lasting for a minimum of 6 hours once you concentrate on it, but that's nothing new for PCs to be honest. Note that unlike the Fabricate spell, you don't have to know what you are making, nor do you need the raw materials for it. So you can make things like low-end Poisons, boats, or supplement the cost of a Revivify.

Animating Performance
After you have been fleecing the entire planet for 8 levels, and subsequently been banned from every market and black market by the combined efforts of the unified Merchants and Thieves guilds, you gain a more practical use for your Creation: A combat pet. And one of the new-style combat pets at that, uses your bonus action to attack for a decent amount of damage.

So right off the bat we have an action economy problem: It takes an action to create an item, and an action to maintain an items existence. Granted, this doesn't matter if you spend 10 min at the beginning of each day to make a pet, but it prevents the pet from being effectively summoned in combat. Also, as a bard with a souped up Bardic Inspiration, you want to spend your bonus actions to boost your party. It can also be used when you use your Bardic Inspiration, which is nice.

Thoughts:
I don't have any real complaints about this subclass other than the 14th level power, which comes out of nowhere and conflicts heavily with the action economy. And even then it's a minor nitpick. Though I am a bit worried that it will encourage a host of bards to go out in the world and commit fraud on every merchant they see.


Love Domain
What is love? (Baby don't hurt me)

Domain Spells.
Greater Restoration. That's a spell that implies some things~
Actually, most of the spell list is just implying things. Fortunately, the spells are generally useful as well.
Ceremony would be a good fit for this Domain, more so than Heroism anyway.

Emboldening Bond
This seems like it was left over from the Genie Warlock. Also it's a concentration free Bless (though it also stacks with Bless), which is powerful. Also you can expend a spell slot to get it back.

Channel Divinity: Impulsive Infatuation
So, you can willingly fail this saving throw. An interesting mechanic, mostly because it confirms that you cannot normally do so for most things. But ultimately, this will be used to trigger an OA, which your Rogue party member will legitimately love you for.

Protective Bond
Because Emboldening Bond wasn't good enough, this lets your lovebirds use their reactions to give resistance to all damage types to each other. Granted, a reaction is a premium price, but you will be glad to have the option.

Potent Spellcasting
Yes, this is not a melee cleric.

Enduring Unity
Unlimited range on your Bonds. Also can be used to turn anyone into a Paladin. Which is totally abusable. Imagine using your bond on the Party Fighter and their pet mouse, then keeping the mouse unconscious to give the Fighter advantage on all attacks and resistance to all damage for 60 seconds. It's an instant John Wick!

Thoughts:
I expect this domain to be popular. The capstone is great if you abuse it (though the power isn't out of line for a capstone, it can be triggered multiple times a day), but not so good if you use it as expected, because it ends the moment you heal the lover that got K.O.ed. A change that makes it works for the full duration once per lover per day would normalize the power and prevent the worst abuses of it.

Clockwork Soul
Domo arigato Mr Roboto.

Manifestations of Mechanus
One of the many contentious points I see on message boards is “Why do Sorcerers have to look weird?” Which is in direct conflict with the often toted idea that “Sorcerer are basically the X-men.” I mean, have you seen Beak?

Restore Balance
Finally, a power designed to capitalize on the rules interaction between Advantage and Disadvantage that isn't just “You ignore disadvantage.” It's really overdue. That said, it isn't exceptionally powerful (it's a tad bit less powerful than granting advantage would normally be), and this subclass doesn't get anything else until level 6 (unless you have an absolute need to be chrome). So level one still feels a bit under par.

Bulwark of Law
So you can spend some sorcery points to get a shield that stacks with Temp HP and Resistance, but it eats your reaction. At least it can be used on someone else. It's very passive, but I suppose that's fitting for a subclass powered by red tape.

Trance of Order
And now for something with teeth. You negate advantage on attacks rolls against you, and you can “take 10” on saving throws, attack rolls, and ability checks. Which include concentration checks. Also you can shout “I AM THE LAW” whenever you invoke it.

Clockwork Cavalcade
This is kind of underwhelming for a capstone. The big effects are repairing any object and dispelling level 5 (or below) magics. It just seems super situational for something that is supposed to be your ace in the hole.

Thoughts:
This subclass feels like it is lacking something at level 1. Maybe all it needs for that extra push is a list of bonus spells. And do something else with the capstone, like a reset button that turns back time a round or two, or something like that?
 
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Sacrosanct

Legend
Publisher
Yes, it stacks with bless. Also, you can get the effects of a bless for multiple combats without concentration. That means instead of using concentration for bless, you can have spiritual guardians up, or shield of faith, or hold person, or banishment, or any other number of concentration spells you wouldn't be able to do if you had bless up. That's a big deal, and why you can't just compare this with bless across board. You'd have to compare this+spiritual guardians vs bless, or this+banishment vs bless, etc.
 

Undrave

Hero
Yes, that's one problem this subclass has that the Conjuration wizard doesn't: its summoned items don't appear as "obviously magical," as the Conjuration wizard's do. So you can't argue that potential buyers immediately recognize them as the temporary creations that they are, leading to all sorts of economic shenanigans. Seems like an oversight to me.

I also wonder about things like healer's kits, healing potions, antitoxin, alchemist's fire or bags of caltrops and ball bearings... How the rulings work out?
 

Not a fan of the Bard...just seems weird and doesn't fit into what I think a Bard should be. My opinion, mind you. A little note floating in the air around someone? Being able to use music to create a non-magical item? Just seems weird...do not like.

The Love Cleric...I've actually been waiting on one of these, and I am not disappointed! The 1st level uber-bless is a bit on the strong side, but not overpowered. The Channel Divinity isn't very strong, but also not weak-sauce either. The Protective Bond is nice, and the capstone's usefulness is dependent on how deadly your higher level campaigns are; if it is pretty deadly, then this is a nice capstone.

The Clockwork Sorcerer: I like the concept of a sorcerer devoted to Order. We have a Wild Sorcerer (Chaos), so this balances it out. Restore Balance took me a minute to contemplate...I thought it was kind of stupid at first, but when I think about it, it seems like a really cool way to negate disadvantage to your party members, or to negate advantage to an enemy. Not bad. Bulwark of Law...I REALLY like that ability! Trance of Order gets rid of such nasty things like a fumble, or can turn a certain failed saving throw into a possible success...also not bad! The capstone seems a bit on the weak side for a level 18 power, but this is my only complaint about an otherwise excellent sub-class. Well done!
 

Leatherhead

Possibly a Idiot.
Cool concept, but shouldn’t they have phrased the Restore Balance feature as just straight up canceling advantage and disadvantage? It probably would have been much easier.
If it just canceled (dis)advantage, you could then get it back. The intent was to totally shut down all instances of (dis)advantage, which this accomplishes by granting both. It's quite a clever rules trick.
 

Esker

Hero
Performance of Creation is super awkward, mechanically. Way too many ifs and thens and caveats, especially for an ability that is so situational. It becomes a pet at 14, at which point you will just find 10 minutes to create it every day outside combat, but the actual pet mechanics are too samey with various other pet classes' mechanics.

That said I love Note of Potential. Enhancing regular bardic inspiration, and in such a flexible way, is great, since unlike most other subclasses, you don't have your fancy new form of inspiration competing for uses with the regular version. And unlike the Valor bard, you get both combat and non-combat options. Great support-focused feature for a support-focused base class.
 

Undrave

Hero
Also, as a bard with a souped up Bardic Inspiration, you want to spend your bonus actions to boost your party.

Hm, when you grant your Bardic Inspiration your Pet gets to act too.

but the actual pet mechanics are too samey with various other pet classes' mechanics.

I'm not sure why this is a problem? It just makes summons a more consistent rule and you don't have to learn a bajillion variation on it all the time.
 


NotAYakk

Legend
Creating the item: maybe just give it the long duration?

Saying "you have to expend an action to sustain it" is a kind of pseudo-concentration "you cannot do this in combat usefully" thing; or rather, you can only do it in combat if you are completely desperate.
 

Prakriti

Hi, I'm a Mindflayer, but don't let that worry you
I also wonder about things like healer's kits, healing potions, antitoxin, alchemist's fire or bags of caltrops and ball bearings... How the rulings work out?
Well, the Conjuration wizard has existed since 2014, and those questions have never been resolved. I had a player once who thought they should be able to summon nearly anything that fit within the size restrictions, because their definition of "object" included things like flasks of oil, Purple Worm poison, bags of caltrops, etc. And there's nothing in the rules that really forbids this sort of thing, because "object" isn't defined within the game.

The wording in this bard subclass seems to be an attempt to resolve at least some of those issues, but it really doesn't go far enough. We really need to know what constitutes an "item" and an "object" within the game. For example, is liquid an "item?" What about a bag of full of caltrops? These questions will definitely come up in play and on Twitter, so the game designers might as well answer them now.
 

NotAYakk

Legend
Well, the Conjuration wizard has existed since 2014, and those questions have never been resolved. I had a player once who thought they should be able to summon nearly anything that fit within the size restrictions, because their definition of "object" included things like flasks of oil, Purple Worm poison, bags of caltrops, etc. And there's nothing in the rules that really forbids this sort of thing, because "object" isn't defined within the game.

The wording in this bard subclass seems to be an attempt to resolve at least some of those issues, but it really doesn't go far enough. We really need to know what constitutes an "item" and an "object" within the game. For example, is liquid an "item?" What about a bag of full of caltrops?
Sure, it is on the PHB equipment list.


The ability explicitly states "such as on that list".

Bags of 21 caltrops are a DM's call.
 

Prakriti

Hi, I'm a Mindflayer, but don't let that worry you
Sure, it is on the PHB equipment list.

The ability explicitly states "such as on that list".
The wording is unclear. It directs you to the Adventuring Gear list for examples of things that you can create, but it doesn't say that you can create literally everything on that list. The wording is a little more explicit than the Conjuration wizard's ability, but it's still not clear enough.
 

Esker

Hero
I'm not sure why this is a problem? It just makes summons a more consistent rule and you don't have to learn a bajillion variation on it all the time.

I should have phrased my comment differently. It's not the rules about controlling your pet that I find samey; I agree that uniformity here is a good thing. But there isn't anything really special about this pet: it's just a thing that can attack and take attacks. It has some nice immunities and resistances, I guess, and the ability to control it when expending bardic inspiration is nice, but otherwise just like any other pet. Don't get me wrong, it's not that having a pet isn't strong, it's just... not that interesting. IMO, obviously.
 


The wording is unclear. It directs you to the Adventuring Gear list for examples of things that you can create, but it doesn't say that you can create literally everything on that list. The wording is a little more explicit than the Conjuration wizard's ability, but it's still not clear enough.
I would say it strongly implies that anything on the list can be created so long as it is within the g.p. value.
 

But there isn't anything really special about this pet: it's just a thing that can attack and take attacks.
The thing is, it could be pretty much anything, so it's abilities need to be generic.

Depending on the DM, you might be able to do other stuff with it depending on what form it takes. e.g. a chain grapples.
 

Undrave

Hero
I should have phrased my comment differently. It's not the rules about controlling your pet that I find samey; I agree that uniformity here is a good thing. But there isn't anything really special about this pet: it's just a thing that can attack and take attacks. It has some nice immunities and resistances, I guess, and the ability to control it when expending bardic inspiration is nice, but otherwise just like any other pet. Don't get me wrong, it's not that having a pet isn't strong, it's just... not that interesting. IMO, obviously.

Ah I see. Fair enough.

Maybe if there was a handful of basic forms you could pick from with a unique power? Like, something that can grapple, or block attacks, or something fast enough to make two weaker strikes? Some other thing?
 

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