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Unearthed Arcana New Year Unearthed Arcana Brings Back Those Old 2E Kits

The scout fighter looks like yet another take at a ranger, but one I'm personally more likely to use. For the Cavalier I might want some more feature related to social interaction, not just the horse part and a proficiency. Something along the lines of what the Banneret/Purple Dragon Knight got in SCAG or a new use of superiority dice.

The bard colleges seem nice, but "Tumble" might have a bit too many benefits compared to Rogue Cunning Action.
 

SailorNash

Explorer
I think most kits should be statted out...however I think most could be done with a background or perhaps a feat.

I'm not as concerned overall with power bloat, mostly because choosing Cavalier means you will never choose Scout. Options are good in parallel; it's just the stacking that can be bad.

For the BM-lite subclasses, just roll them up into Battemaster. Make it similar to the build-your-own-Fighter from 3rd. Champion is already there for the easy-mode Fighter anyway. If something looks like a maneuver, then it probably is. And there's nothing wrong with having so much versatility in a single subclass...better than the confusion of subsubclasses, at any rate. Just look at Dynasty Warriors for an example...(almost) every character there is a single-class Fighter, but every one has a unique enough personality and options to stand out.

For subclasses in general, I think it is theme (rather than mechanics) that should define them. However, subclasses do need something unique to stand out. It could be heavily RP enforced, like gods/patrons/oaths, or mechanically driven like Bladesinger or Arcane Trickster. Jester compared to Bard is a good change. Blade versus Valor Bard not so much. And for Fighters specifically...between the fighting style and the extra feats, building "Fighter that's good on horseback" seems easy enough to do without making a somewhat redundant subclass. (Perhaps "suggested builds" could be added for newcomers, with an example package for mounted/archer/etc. including equipment as well as styles/feats?)
 

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Hussar

Legend
I think most kits should be statted out...however I think most could be done with a background or perhaps a feat.

I'm not as concerned overall with power bloat, mostly because choosing Cavalier means you will never choose Scout. Options are good in parallel; it's just the stacking that can be bad.

For the BM-lite subclasses, just roll them up into Battemaster. Make it similar to the build-your-own-Fighter from 3rd. Champion is already there for the easy-mode Fighter anyway. If something looks like a maneuver, then it probably is. And there's nothing wrong with having so much versatility in a single subclass...better than the confusion of subsubclasses, at any rate. Just look at Dynasty Warriors for an example...(almost) every character there is a single-class Fighter, but every one has a unique enough personality and options to stand out.

For subclasses in general, I think it is theme (rather than mechanics) that should define them. However, subclasses do need something unique to stand out. It could be heavily RP enforced, like gods/patrons/oaths, or mechanically driven like Bladesinger or Arcane Trickster. Jester compared to Bard is a good change. Blade versus Valor Bard not so much. And for Fighters specifically...between the fighting style and the extra feats, building "Fighter that's good on horseback" seems easy enough to do without making a somewhat redundant subclass. (Perhaps "suggested builds" could be added for newcomers, with an example package for mounted/archer/etc. including equipment as well as styles/feats?)

The problem with rolling it all up into the Battlemaster is that you wind up with all these options for Battlemaster, but no guidance on how to achieve what you want. Which is great for an experienced player. You want to make X? Take Y and Z manoeuvres is fine when someone has already got a fair bit of D&D under the belt, but, for a new player? It tends to be a bit overwhelming.

And, like 3e, you had a bajillion fighter feats, but, 99% of them never saw play because the big name feats (Power Attack, etc) were so versatile and applied virtually all the time that a more limited feat was generally passed over.

So, you wind up with, say, mount based manoeuvres, that players never take because they know that they will only apply in limited situations, and, because you have such a limited number of manoeuvres, you want to take the ones that apply as broadly as possible. Who's going to take a mounted manoeuvre, which only applies in limited situations, over, say, Precision attack, which applies any time you miss?

Making things packages, and then balancing out the manoeuvres that you get with things like extra skills, for example, balances out the package much better. It's okay that your manoeuvres don't apply all the time, you got some stuff that applies in other situations and makes you more useful. Differently useful is a good thing.
 

Mephista

First Post
What's great about the Scout and Cavailier is that not only do they have Superiroty dice, but they have abilities beyond combat maneuvers. To think of it, Battlemaster had a non-maneuver ability or two, didn't it? Swapping those out alone is worthy of a new subclass.
 

jrowland

First Post
College of Satire seems weak at first blush. Though VERY mobile, it's not lucky or wacky enough for my preferences for a "jester" class.

I am thinking they need a "wild magic table" roll when spell-casting, but can use bardic inspiration to move it up or down the list, or some such nonsense.
 

jrowland

First Post
What's great about the Scout and Cavailier is that not only do they have Superiroty dice, but they have abilities beyond combat maneuvers. To think of it, Battlemaster had a non-maneuver ability or two, didn't it? Swapping those out alone is worthy of a new subclass.

Here I am thinking the Martial Adept feat suddenly looks real good.
 

Achan hiArusa

Explorer
Yes! College of Swords! Now I can remake Priscilla Pyrimestes from my 2e game (could never find a decent conversion to 3e) as a Half-elf Bard (College of Swords)/Fighter (Battlemaster). Now hopefully they do Psionics and make a Psychokineticist Order (Order of the Knife?) so I can remake her partner Aidan Buckledown Halfling (Lightfoot) Mystic/Rogue (Thief). I had a lot of fun with them.
 

SailorNash

Explorer
The problem with rolling it all up into the Battlemaster is that you wind up with all these options for Battlemaster, but no guidance on how to achieve what you want. Which is great for an experienced player. You want to make X? Take Y and Z manoeuvres is fine when someone has already got a fair bit of D&D under the belt, but, for a new player? It tends to be a bit overwhelming.

It is great for an experienced player, as you say. Too many options of course would be a bit overwhelming for a new player, and that's why there's the Champion.

Alternatively, similar to suggested race names or class equipment, a table or list could be added with suggested load outs for level 3. Sample Archer gets a bow as their starter weapon plus these maneuvers usable at range, whereas Paladin-lite would get a lance plus these leader-ish ones. Which is similar to the UA approach here, but easy enough to do without a largely-similar subclass.

And, like 3e, you had a bajillion fighter feats, but, 99% of them never saw play because the big name feats (Power Attack, etc) were so versatile and applied virtually all the time that a more limited feat was generally passed over.

So, you wind up with, say, mount based manoeuvres, that players never take because they know that they will only apply in limited situations, and, because you have such a limited number of manoeuvres, you want to take the ones that apply as broadly as possible. Who's going to take a mounted manoeuvre, which only applies in limited situations, over, say, Precision attack, which applies any time you miss?

I definitely agree with you there. That's the one downside to the expanded Battlemaster approach. But, the options would be there if desired. If you're more concerned about optimization than cool/fun factor, you're making that choice yourself. Though that's largely human nature, and hopefully each option itself would be balanced well enough to make the choice meaningful.

The biggest problem is that BM already exists. Had it contained a few abilities, other classes could similarly contain a few other abilities. But since it's already the build-your-own-Fighter, it makes most sense to continue with that existing framework.

There's a few ways they could go with this. They could give it a different named mechanic, similar to how Bards also have a scaling extra die bonus. In that case they'd want to give them different uses or restrictions to make them not feel like BM bonus dice.

The other extreme would be to go all-in with this mechanic. Provide it to enough different classes and subclasses that it no longer feels like a BM exclusive. Make it similar to Fighting Styles where you have access to many but not all of them. Too much and you'd still have the problem of only selecting the strongest and most versatile ones, but done right and it could be similar to a melee "spell list", with universal moves appearing often and specialty moves (Cavalier horseback riding, Pit Fighter kicking sand into the eyes) being added to it excluded from lists where it's thematically appropriate.
 

Connorsrpg

Adventurer
Is it just me or are people seeing BM as the CLASS, not subclass? Having such a broad subclass is making it very hard to introduce new ones. Sad that any cool conceptual idea just gets the old 'roll it into BM'... like they don't already have enough.

Some people want these extra concepts but do not want a BM. Why is that so hard to understand? We will never need another fighter at this rate. Just put everything in the BM already exhaustive list. :(
 

Saeviomagy

Adventurer
Is it just me or are people seeing BM as the CLASS, not subclass? Having such a broad subclass is making it very hard to introduce new ones. Sad that any cool conceptual idea just gets the old 'roll it into BM'... like they don't already have enough.

Some people want these extra concepts but do not want a BM. Why is that so hard to understand? We will never need another fighter at this rate. Just put everything in the BM already exhaustive list. :(

If you have abilities using the superiority dice mechanic, that's what the bm is. If you hate the bm, what is it you actually hate about it?
 

jrowland

First Post
Really, all you need is a "sidebar" where it's stated, as an option (with DM approval yadda yadd) that you can use "maneuvers" from any sub-classes if you have/use superiority dice.

That way you can have multiple superiority dice sub-classes, for ease-of-play and simplified "loadouts" but allow for advanced players/DMs to open it up.
 

Jeff Carlsen

Adventurer
Is it just me or are people seeing BM as the CLASS, not subclass? Having such a broad subclass is making it very hard to introduce new ones. Sad that any cool conceptual idea just gets the old 'roll it into BM'... like they don't already have enough.

Some people want these extra concepts but do not want a BM. Why is that so hard to understand? We will never need another fighter at this rate. Just put everything in the BM already exhaustive list. :(


I think it's because the Battlemaster appeals to the kind of player who prefers a more granular method of character creation. Most classes are made up of broad strokes (excluding spells), but the Battlemaster subclass is made up of a bunch of small choices that add up to a theme. So, the Battlemaster fan would like more maneuvers and flexibility for building their character.

If you have abilities using the superiority dice mechanic, that's what the bm is. If you hate the bm, what is it you actually hate about it?

The Battlemaster is a combination of the superiority dice mechanic and the specific maneuvers the subclass has access to. Up until now, that list has been exhaustive, but that doesn't mean it has to stay so.
 

DEFCON 1

Legend
Supporter
Is it just me or are people seeing BM as the CLASS, not subclass? Having such a broad subclass is making it very hard to introduce new ones. Sad that any cool conceptual idea just gets the old 'roll it into BM'... like they don't already have enough.

Some people want these extra concepts but do not want a BM. Why is that so hard to understand? We will never need another fighter at this rate. Just put everything in the BM already exhaustive list. :(

As I mentioned above... that's exactly what I suspect people (and WotC) think.

The Champion I suspect exists for one reason and one reason only... to provide a less complex melee option in the spirit of the Fighter of old. But in terms of what many people wanted with the Fighter-- to have tactical combat options always at hand like they got in the 4E Fighter-- the Battlemaster is what was created. It has its own combat mechanic (the superiority die fueled maneuver system) that can and could be easily ported to several different classes or subclasses the same way spells are ported and used by several different classes. So the idea that SD and maneuvers wouldn't appear elsewhere seems a little short-sighted.

Sure... you could make a Fighter sub-class that just gave stuff to use at the various subclass levels. But without the underlying triggering mechanism of superiority dice... that "stuff" basically are maneuvers freely given. "At-will cantrips" for the melee set, for lack of a better comparison. Which really, we already have... in the Champion. But do we really need another Fighter subclass dedicated to throwing nothing but "melee cantrips"-- low-powered at-will attacks that avoids using the larger mechanic above it? I'm not so sure that we do. I don't really see the gain. Not when there's a fresh new melee game mechanic right there ready to be expanded upon.
 


I'm A Banana

Potassium-Rich
Sure... you could make a Fighter sub-class that just gave stuff to use at the various subclass levels. But without the underlying triggering mechanism of superiority dice... that "stuff" basically are maneuvers freely given. "At-will cantrips" for the melee set, for lack of a better comparison. Which really, we already have... in the Champion. But do we really need another Fighter subclass dedicated to throwing nothing but "melee cantrips"-- low-powered at-will attacks that avoids using the larger mechanic above it? I'm not so sure that we do. I don't really see the gain. Not when there's a fresh new melee game mechanic right there ready to be expanded upon.
My own position is that "stuff" can be more interesting and more nuanced and more specific than "ah, just chuck some maneuvers on it."

SD can be a hammer, and when every potential new fighter subclass looks like a nail, there's little thought given to how this would look and work if you removed SD from the equation, or dramatically changed how they worked. There's no innovation, no new play experience, just the BM with a new coat of paint.

To be a Cavalier, I'd want to be more than "BM with some Mounted Combat-style fobs." To be a Scout, I'd want to be more than "BM with some skill-enhancing fobs." I already have a BM. More/different maneuvers are nice, but it doesn't change the experience of playing the character (especially in combat). I want mechanics that match the fiction, which means that playing a tactical master like the BM should feel different from playing a courageous cavalier or a mobile scout. In combat, I don't need to be making decisions about allocating resources, I need to be charging into melee or setting up an ambush. It shouldn't be a tactical decision (Do I charge into combat, or something else?), it should be just what I do ("I charge into combat. Stuff happens.").

There's plenty of room for mechanics beyond "at-will cantrips" without just giving up and saying "I dunno, change two or three things about the Battle Master, that's good enough."
 

MechaTarrasque

Adventurer
That seems like a good way to represent him. Plus charisma is a good stat for drow.

I have been thinking of running Lolth as more of an overt goddess of strife (not just the goddess of drow, craziness, and spiders), and bards would be really good at spreading strife....and if the rest of the Underdark where in a constant state of conflict, the drow could easily use that to their advantage.
 

NotActuallyTim

First Post
My own position is that "stuff" can be more interesting and more nuanced and more specific than "ah, just chuck some maneuvers on it."

SD can be a hammer, and when every potential new fighter subclass looks like a nail, there's little thought given to how this would look and work if you removed SD from the equation, or dramatically changed how they worked. There's no innovation, no new play experience, just the BM with a new coat of paint.

To be a Cavalier, I'd want to be more than "BM with some Mounted Combat-style fobs." To be a Scout, I'd want to be more than "BM with some skill-enhancing fobs." I already have a BM. More/different maneuvers are nice, but it doesn't change the experience of playing the character (especially in combat). I want mechanics that match the fiction, which means that playing a tactical master like the BM should feel different from playing a courageous cavalier or a mobile scout. In combat, I don't need to be making decisions about allocating resources, I need to be charging into melee or setting up an ambush. It shouldn't be a tactical decision (Do I charge into combat, or something else?), it should be just what I do ("I charge into combat. Stuff happens.").

There's plenty of room for mechanics beyond "at-will cantrips" without just giving up and saying "I dunno, change two or three things about the Battle Master, that's good enough."

It's not like they actually gave up any design space for non-dice based cavaliers, though. They could easily fit both as variations of the same concept.
 

SailorNash

Explorer
Here's a question:

It's understandable that some people wouldn't like the Battlemaster, same as any subclass. Not everyone would care for the expendable dice mechanic, or maybe they'd see it as "melee spells" similar to the 4e power list. Fair enough.

But, if that's the case, then why would you want a second/third subclass that functions the exact same way? Just instead of "Battlemaster Maneuvers", you have "Cavalier Maneuvers"...either pre-selected or possibly drawn from a second list?

In theory I like the idea of having subclasses for different specialties. But I wouldn't want to see a bunch of subclasses created just for the sake of creating them, with nothing really new or unique to offer. If you like the Battlemaster setup, then a riding maneuver or something similar would help you get the flavor you want. If you don't, then having two new "Battlemaster" subclasses likely wouldn't be much of an improvement. You're left with the choice of Champion, Eldritch Knight, or three different "Battlemasters"...two with preselected maneuvers and one where you can choose your own.

My thoughts are that if you like the BM maneuvers, mechanics, everything else, then it's fair to leave this as the "build-your-own-Fighter" subclass similar to 3rd ed. The same way Champion is supposed to emulate the older Fighters from earlier editions. It might not be for everyone, but it'd be there for it's intended audience....3rd ed players and advanced folk who appreciate that granularity. On the other hand, if you don't like the BM for whatever reason? That's fine too. But since you don't care for it, then use this as an opportunity to get something completely different instead.

There are concerns that lumping everything into BM would make it too powerful, but it's still limited by action economy, number of dice, and maneuvers known. Adding more options would be similar to adding new Sorcerer spells...characters would largely feel different by how they made these limited choices.

The other big one is that, given the choice from a list, no one would choose sub-optimal maneuvers and these wouldn't ever be used in actual play. But if they're put into a subclass instead, no one would choose a sub-optimal subclass the same way you don't see many Land Druids or Berzerkers. Even Beastmasters are a little better off, as they have a stronger theme differentiating themselves from other Rangers. Similarly, without really strong fluff, people may choose to be a Battlemaster anyway and simply call themselves a mounted knight (possibly with the Mounted Combat feat and Knight background as substitute).

If it were me, I'd probably create Cavalier as a fighting style. That would be powerful and always available, given early in a player's career, and open to Paladins and Rangers who might like that theme as well. Since it's limited to only when mounted, it would have to be a little stronger than abilities that are "always on" like bonuses to attacks or AC. For Scout, there's probably room for this as a subclass...DEX-based, abilities to use instead of heavy armor, more direct and more martial than a Rogue. Less magic and less woodsy than a Ranger. Mobile, but not super-fast and unarmed and borderline mystic like Monk. Possibly some more non-combat utility than the base Fighter. Fits a nice niche.

If I were to use the expendable dice mechanic they're proposing, that's okay but I would change it to make it feel less like "Battlemaster without the ability to choose". I'd look to Bardic Inspiration for my example...the extra dice works similarly, but it's used differently enough that it feels like something entirely new. I do love the idea others have proposed for making them refresh on moving and shooting from cover...it's great when mechanics can align both what you can do and how you go about doing it.
 
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I'm A Banana

Potassium-Rich
It's not like they actually gave up any design space for non-dice based cavaliers, though. They could easily fit both as variations of the same concept.
Sure. And if they present more options, I'll probably comment on those. In commenting on the options presented, I'm finding them disappointingly samey with the BM. (the Blade bard, too, I pointed to as being samey with the Valor bard, so it's not just the fighter subclasses, it's something the whole article has)
 

Connorsrpg

Adventurer
It is not that I don't like the battle master, it is the whole fact that it is NOT a concept. Like the 4E classes - yes there are some themes hidden in there somewhere, but most people just pick the best or most usable ones - rarely does this add up to a theme/concept, whatever.

All I am saying is that I think it is great to have some fighter subclasses actually based upon concepts (not mechanics). I don't care if they borrow stuff from the other subclasses to make a tighter concept - that is fine. I just despise the idea of keep adding endless maneuvers to an already very broad 'subclass'. So we have fighter subclasses based upon mechanics (and varying degrees of complexity), but there is also room for concepts (like pretty much all the other classes).

There is also room for other subclasses based upon different mechanics.

(I have actually written 5 fighter subclasses myself playing with each of these ideas. ie changing mechanics as well as concepts. Each is here in their own threads).

I am simply stating it is okay to have concepts that narrow the focus of the BM. These make a lot more sense to some people, especially beginners. They don't have to go through a long list of maneuvers to choose the 'correct' ones for their concepts (or be side-tracked by better maneuvers that have nothing to do with their concept).

EDIT: Though, I did not expect these subclasses adhere so closely to the BM mechanics, including superiority dice increases. That really does tie up a lot of design space, that could be better spent on new features. I actually favour new ways of gaining maneuvers like my Duelist or Fortune FIghter (but that has not proved popular with some here). But, anyway, each to their own.
 
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phantomK9

Explorer
I have a couple of specific thoughts on the Scout.


Description
The archetypal Scout excels at finding safe passage through dangerous regions. Scouts usually favor light armor and
ranged weapons, but they are comfortable using heavier gear when faced with intense fighting.

Bonus Proficiencies
When you choose this archetype at 3rd level, you gain proficiency in three of the following skills of your choice: Acrobatics, Athletics, Investigation, Medicine, Nature, Perception, Stealth, or Survival. You can choose to gain proficiency with thieves’ tools in place of one skill choice.

Why thieves' tools? There aren't going to be a lot of locks to pick while wondering about in the "dangerous regions"? Shouldn't that be cartographers' tools?

Also the choice of three skills seems a bit powerful. For a single class fighter maybe not so much, but with a multi-class rogue you are looking at 4 from Rogue + 2 from Background + 1 (generally) from race + 3 more from the Scout path, that is a total of 10 skills! Less if you choose fighter first. Maybe that really isn't over powered, but it does seem like a bit much.
 

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