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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Chaosmancer

Legend
It means that when the PCs drive off (or, at later levels, kill) the enemy wizard, they don't get her spellbook.

Actually, if you are dead, you can't use a short rest to make a new one, so the book will remain.

And if you only drove them off you usually don't get a book. But, I am fine with it because allowing them to make n+1 copies of their spellbook for free is just too powerful.
 

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It means that when the PCs drive off (or, at later levels, kill) the enemy wizard, they don't get her spellbook.
If an enemy wizard is driven off, they take their spell book with them, and if they are killed they cannot use their magic quill.

But the big issue is "why would the DM give an NPC wizard this subclass in the first place"? Subclasses are aimed at PCs.

Even if the DM wanted to keep the spellbook out if the players' hands, then there are easier ways - it explodes in their faces, or it is hidden someone they will never find.
 

But the big issue is "why would the DM give an NPC wizard this subclass in the first place"? Subclasses are aimed at PCs.

The answer to that is likely pretty simple: there is a desire to have at least a casual appearance of PC--NPC equivalency. If subclasses represent actual things in the world (crunch and/or fluff), it makes sense for an NPC who participated in the same thing to have the same features.

I'm going to go further. I'm going to claim that the PHB presents at least some classes--and Wizard is one of them--as if it were an actual thing in the world amongst NPCs. The PHB describes a world where there are NPC wizards with various schools of magic. Sure, the statblock they give us for a mage in the MM doesn't include that, but I interpret that as meaning that the statblock is intended to be a quick and easy simplified statblock suitable for use with "most NPC wizards". Additional statblocks were put out in different books explictly representing mages of specific schools.

Now, you don't have to run in that way. This time around WotC tried to accomodate multiple perspectives. So they present a world where classes and subclasses can be something in the world that NPCs have, but they give us simplified NPC statblocks so you don't have to build them yourself and use all the rules. And then they let us decide what is true in our own world with those toys.

They do not present a world where classes and subclasses only exist for PCs--they just give us simplified mechanics so that we can skip using them for NPCs if we so choose.
 

The answer to that is likely pretty simple: there is a desire to have at least a casual appearance of PC--NPC equivalency. If subclasses represent actual things in the world (crunch and/or fluff), it makes sense for an NPC who participated in the same thing to have the same features.
Why that though? If the DM decides a hostile spell caster is an illusionist, or a diviner, or whatever, they must have a story reason for making them that. There are lots of wizard specialisms, the chances of encountering any specific type of wizard are statistically low.
 




Well yes, but you just keep your living spellbook in a very safe place and it effectively becomes a lich's phylactery. For a party wizard, it effectively removes the fear of death.
Different ability. I was challenging you objection to the perfectly sensible and necessary rule against infinite spellbook duplication.

I'm not a fan of that (level 14) ability, on the basis of the lost spells being a pain to keep track of. But it's a high level ability so is unlikely to actually crop up. I could actually see it becoming a running joke, with the wizard constantly dying in ridiculous accidents.
 
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Levistus's_Leviathan

5e Freelancer
I'm not a fan of that (level 14) ability, on the basis of the lost spells being a pain to keep track of. But it's a high level ability so is unlikely to actually crop up. I could actually see it becoming a running joke, with the wizard constantly dying in ridiculous accidents.
I agree. This ability needs to go. It isn't good, and you don't want to use it. It's a pain to keep track of the spells you can't cast, and just overall a crappy ability.
 

Not completely true. In the DMG, you're encouraged to use Death Clerics and Oathbreakers Paladins as villains.
And I personally feel that if a monster is classified as a "X level spellcaster", giving it class features up to that level makes sense.

Like a Lich is an 18th level wizard, giving it some Wizard class features would prolly help it be effective, not that a lich really needs help being effective.
 


TwoSix

Unserious gamer
Now, you don't have to run in that way. This time around WotC tried to accomodate multiple perspectives. So they present a world where classes and subclasses can be something in the world that NPCs have, but they give us simplified NPC statblocks so you don't have to build them yourself and use all the rules. And then they let us decide what is true in our own world with those toys.
I agree that classes and subclasses being extant in the setting is a valid perspective (not my perspective, but I recognize its validity.) However, I would argue that doesn't mean that every subclass ability has a requirement to be feasible for NPCs in order to be published for PCs. If you're set on making a factional home and organization for every subclass, then you might simply have to exclude a few subclasses as being non-feasible for that approach.
 

Chaosmancer

Legend
No reason for this one to be non-feasible though. It has a pretty minimal impact and if it becomes a plot point that the party wizard and the enemy wizard are doing a Sherlock and Moriarty routine, then that could be really fun.
 




Why that though? If the DM decides a hostile spell caster is an illusionist, or a diviner, or whatever, they must have a story reason for making them that. There are lots of wizard specialisms, the chances of encountering any specific type of wizard are statistically low.

Yeah, you're right, there would have to be a reason. If they managed to make this subclass workable as a "generalist mage" then a pretty good reason in my settings would just be that generalists are really common so they'd be one by default if none of the school specialties (or other options I might use) made sense.
 


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