Unearthed Arcana Revived, Noble Genie and Archivist Revisited in UA

The latest Unearthed Arcana replaces the Revived, Noble Genie, and Archivist subclasses with new versions called the Phantom, the Genie, and the Order of Scribes.

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Tales and Chronicles

Jewel of the North, formerly know as vincegetorix
Short analysis:

- I dont like the Phantom. The revived had a bunch of thematic and quirky features, but those new features are way wordier while doing less.

- The genie's pretty good. I'd play one.

- The Archivist is pretty cool, the last features is hardcore!
 


Loving the Scribe Wizard. It's like the old UA Loremaster except not broken in half and a lot more flavorful.

The Genielock is pretty cool, too, though if it makes it to print that pretty much eliminates any chance Limited Wish will be a spell.

Didn't like the Phantom Rogue when it debuted and don't like it now.
 

J-H

Hero
The Phantom is creepy. Bonus psychic damage to other targets is unique and useful, and the soul trinkets are...handy? It doesn't look unbalanced at first glance, and is pretty unique.

The genie Warlock class looks great at first pass. Very unique genie-like abilities, including the ability to take a 10 minute short rest inside your lamp for the whole party at level 10. Shenanigans MUST ensue! Limited Wish is a good clutch play.

Archivist: On-the-fly damage substitution at level 2 with no limit is pretty powerful. Force-damage Burning Hands? One upcast low-level spell per day free via scroll is good, effectively a committed bonus spell slot. Spectral mind is blah, looks like a pain to track. Permanently losing spells known from resurrecting through the book is...also a pain. Easier to wait for Raise Dead unless you're in a critical situation. I'd only using that in a TPK or final boss fight. Do not like.
 

Spectral mind is blah, looks like a pain to track.
It's no more of a pain than a standard familiar.

Permanently losing spells known from resurrecting through the book is...also a pain. Easier to wait for Raise Dead unless you're in a critical situation. I'd only using that in a TPK or final boss fight. Do not like.
The meat of that feature is the teleportation. The resurrection part of it is a dead-last-resort emergency button and clearly a ribbon. I'm OK with that.
 

I think the Archivist's spell damage substitution thing should be "When you cast a wizard spell with a spell slot, you can replace the damage type with another damage type of a spell you know at the same level"

So, for example, if you know both Burning Hands and Magic Missile, you can replace the damage type of Burning Hands with Force, but not Fireball.
 

I think the Archivist's spell damage substitution thing should be "When you cast a wizard spell with a spell slot, you can replace the damage type with another damage type of a spell you know at the same level"

So, for example, if you know both Burning Hands and Magic Missile, you can replace the damage type of Burning Hands with Force, but not Fireball.
This makes the feature a lot less flexible. Many spell levels are lacking damage types.

If I were to change the feature, I'd require that the Wizard have the spell they want to rip damage type from prepared, thus potentially making them spend one of their precious preparations on a spell they otherwise wouldn't.
 

dave2008

Legend
Caught this bit at the end of the UA:

"Regarding other wizard subclasses, we can share that neither of the wizard subclasses we’ve presented in Unearthed Arcana recently—Onomancy and Psionics— will be moving forward in our development process, since they didn’t appeal to enough people and we can explore those subclasses’ themes in other ways. "
 

Kurotowa

Legend
This makes the feature a lot less flexible. Many spell levels are lacking damage types.

If I were to change the feature, I'd require that the Wizard have the spell they want to rip damage type from prepared, thus making them pay a preparation tax and an opportunity cost vs. preparing a spell they'd otherwise prefer.

That doesn't meaningfully change the problem of "All my attack spells are force damage, whee!", it just adds the small tax of having to prepare Magic Missile every day. And really, in what world does a Wizard complain about having to prepare Magic Missile?

Honestly, I think the problem is specifically force damage being better than every other type of damage. If the Wizard was playing matching games so they can throw poison Fireballs and thunder Burning Hands, that's kind of interesting and arguably acceptable as a no-cost ability. But that's not what players are going to do, they're just going to convert everything to force damage because it means never having to worry about damage resists again.

So either the list of acceptable damage types has to be narrowed to not include force damage or there has to be a use cap on the ability so that it isn't a "set it and forget it" toggle.
 

Phantom Rogue. Okay, the flavour here is much better, as you haven't returned from the dead (which was weird for a subclass, and made for an odd decision three levels into play).
And I love the Tokens of the Departed ribbon. That's ridiculously fun.

Genie Warlock. It might be nice not to limit these to noble genie. Many warlocks have a pact with evil entities. But I adore being able to go into the lamp.

Scribes Wizard.
While originally an artificer build, this not only perfectly fits the wizard but feels like the "generalist" people have long been asking for.
I wonder if instead of an awakened spellbook at L10 &14, it could just be your familiar.


It sounds like the psionics wizard subclass was dropped. So despite it appearing this fall's book was planned to be "the book with psionics" we might not get a psionic spellcasting class.
 

jgsugden

Legend
The big news is in small print:
Regarding other wizard subclasses, we can share that neither of the wizard subclasses we’ve presented in Unearthed Arcana recently—Onomancy and Psionics— will be moving forward in our development process, since they didn’t appeal to enough people and we can explore those subclasses’ themes in other ways.

That sounds to me like they heard the outcry against just making psionics a subclass of magic and are going to release a true psionic class.
 

Mistwell

Crusty Old Meatwad (he/him)
Phantom
On the weak side overall.
Whispers of the Dead - This is fine.
Wails from the Grave - Probably needs to be usable more often. Perhaps even every short rest.
Tokens of the Departed - particularly weak. Sure you can ask a question but almost all souls you grab will lie, likely in a language you don't know. The only real use is when an allied NPC dies in 30 feet of you, which is extremely situational. This alone is not worthy of a 9th level ability.
Ghost Walk - Oh so this was the purpose of the tokens. Why pretend they were useful for talking to the dead when they're not? This mechanic needs some tweaking.
Death Knell - The damage is so low for 17th level as to be a non-impressive capstone ability.

This this sub-class could use: 1) Quiet as the Grave (expertise or advantage sneak skill); 2) Sense Life (detect life behind a barrier like a wall X times/day); 3) Hide in Shadows (hide in light obscurement that is shadows).

Genie
OK, but needs some tweaks.
Dao Spell list needs some work, as they are weaker than other genie types on the list
Bottled Respite - A tad weak but not bad
Genie’s Wrath - damage is a tad weak
Elemental Gift - fine
Sanctuary Vessel - his should come at a lower level, or at least the pull allies in when you get Bottled Respite.
Limited Wish - fine, but it should be once a day. Maybe a charisma battle each use?

Order of Scribes
Wizardly Quill - Meh. Not even invisible text only you can read?
Awakened Spellbook - fine
Master Scrivener - Spells created this way should last 24 hours
Manifest Mind - it's just a slightly enhanced familiar, roughly a 2nd level spell but as a 10th level ability? Too weak. Should be able to do something more.
One with the Word - fine
 


The big news is in small print:

That sounds to me like they heard the outcry against just making psionics a subclass of magic and are going to release a true psionic class.
This playtesting is almost certainly for a book this November. Like how we were playtesting/ giving feedback on sublcasses in 2017 for Xanathar's Guide. It's probably to late to get a full psionic class out for this winter. Especially as their previous 2-3 attempts weren't well received...

Popular features of the Order of Psionics might be moved to the sorcerer, warlock, monk, and rogue psionic options or turned into spells.
 

Fenris447

Explorer
Both the Phantom and Genie are so much better than their predecessors. Somehow they managed to make each much more coherent archetypes, while also making sure they fit better into their respective classes. I really, really hope they make it to print.

I dig the Archivist. I can see a lot of fun RP coming from Manifest Mind, and the crunch of the features compliment the Wizard well. It's interesting to see official confirmation that the Onomancy and Psionicist Wizards are scrapped. The latter was pretty obvious but the former was still up in the air as far as I can tell. I'd love for them to give us more UA status info like this in the future.

Also, has anyone noticed how many features key off your proficiency bonus in this UA? Things like the amount of damage done, uses/day, etc. That seems to be a newer direction than we've seen previously. I don't hate it, but I'm wondering if that's a shift in their design philosophy. It makes the features friendlier to MAD characters.
 
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G

Guest 6801328

Guest
Not a fan of the Scribe. The idea of sentient spellbook is cool, but conceptually I don't like "touch your pen to paper and have a scroll appear" and "re-write your spellbook in one hour with your magic pen". I get why they did that, but it's....hokey.
 

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