Unearthed Arcana Spores, Brutes, and Inventors: Unearthed Arcana Brings You Three New Subclasses

While I like the mechanics behind Brute, do we really need another generic fighter? Champion already does that pretty well.

While I like the mechanics behind Brute, do we really need another generic fighter? Champion already does that pretty well.
 

TwoSix

"Diegetics", by L. Ron Gygax
The immediate impression I get from this UA is that they had a whole handful of various game mechanics they wanted us to give our opinions on whether we liked them or not... all to be used in their various other classes/subclasses coming up. But because they weren't ready to show us the full work-ups of those classes/subclasses... they "created" these three subclasses to use as a flavor clothesline from which to hang all the mechanics from.
Agreed. I love these subclasses, but it's primarily because they're doing some new and different things. Auto-reaction damage? Wildshape as a short-rest rage-type buff? Flat dice bonuses to damage and saves? (I'm not really into fighters, but I love the brute.) At-will wild magic? (It needs much better than an 8% chance for a double-cast to be worth it, but I like the thought.) Keep it up, WotC. I'm enthused.

Edit: Low level polearm master spore druid is crazy. 2d6+Wis as an action, 1d6+1d4+Wis as a bonus action, and 6 damage as a reaction, 2/SR at level 2? (Assuming VHuman Polearm Master and using shillelagh.)

Edit 2: Is it me, or does Brute actually favor Dex fighters, specifically dual wielders with Elven accuracy? Bonus dice favor more attacks, and devastating critical is a strong incentive to go crit fishing.
 
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Satyrn

First Post
Although, a friend pointed out something to me...with the way the Circle of Spores’ Fungal Infection is worded, it seems like the zombies it creates can’t move...oversight maybe?
Well, moving isn't an action, it's just something the zombie does. But it can't Dash or Disengage or the like, because those are the actions its prohibited from taking.
 

While I like the mechanics behind Brute, do we really need another generic fighter? Champion already does that pretty well.

I personally find the champion weak and uninteresting. The champion's big thing, expanded critical, is randomly triggered. The champion in one of my games went 4 sessions without it ever making a difference. This keys every hit. Remarkable athelete is pretty lackluster, since every champion I've seen is proficient in Athletics anyways, which it doesnt even then improve (and even then is a whopping +1 for most of the game range people play). If you're going to have a boring "kid brother" button masher fighter subclass, at least Brute gives some bigger numbers attached.
 

Li Shenron

Legend
Awful, all three.

The druid is basically a few prepared spells (with the notable addition of Animate Dead, I admit) and some bonus damage. The zombie spawning is interesting but could be a mess if they become too many. It does have some narrative merit although definitely more for NPCs.

The fighter subclass has no new mechanics. I can't think of anything more boring.

The wizard mechanics are among the worst I've ever seen. Even the armor is a joke, they could have just granted force resistance. Nonsense that you need to wear the armor to augment you spells, which have nothing to do with it. And of course you always wear the armor anyway.
 

jgsugden

Legend
Brute is the 'Fixed' Champion, I'd say. People complain about how underpowered it is and this makes a correction.

School of Invention is odd - and perhaps too swingy. You give up control over which spell you cast. You have a 19% chance to try to cast 2 spells, which will fail 19% of the time. That equates to 81% chance of a 'random' (best of 2 options) spell, 15.39% chance of two 'random' spells, and 3.61% chance of no spell. Your random spell or double spells are not things you can choose, so you have to be prepared to have spells that are awkward to use in some situations (in a small room and you cast fireball?) However, it has some real power concentration appeal in converting 2nd level slots into additional damage to spike damage up. That might allow a wizard to get closer to being competitive with the melee classes on dealing damage to a single foe on a per turn basis.
 

BookBarbarian

Expert Long Rester
Is it me, or does Brute actually favor Dex fighters, specifically dual wielders with Elven accuracy? Bonus dice favor more attacks, and devastating critical is a strong incentive to go crit fishing.

Yup. Doesn't a Low strength Elf Dual-wielding rapiers seem like the textbook "Brute" to you?

Edit: I realized it's even better using Crossbow Expert. What a Brute!
 
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Mistwell

Crusty Old Meatwad (he/him)
I love the wizard subclass! Reckless casting to cast a spell you didn't prepare! Changing energy type with an added spell slot, or adding force damage! Bonus action to replace a prepared spell for unprepared on in your spellbook! Love this stuff. Particularly that last one.
 

Inventor is god awful. No full caster should EVER get the ability to burn resources faster. We have enough issues with nova/low encounter days as it stands without running a bunch of MMO grind filler encounters. So I'm auto against throwing low level slots in to deal more damage. Same with upconverting spell slots or casting multiple spells in exchange for random rolls.

This would be fine on something like the warlock's chassis (which is where the Artificer should be anyways). Not on a full caster that already gets to repick their superpowers on a daily basis.
 

Satyrn

First Post
I personally find the champion weak and uninteresting. The champion's big thing, expanded critical, is randomly triggered. The champion in one of my games went 4 sessions without it ever making a difference. This keys every hit. Remarkable athelete is pretty lackluster, since every champion I've seen is proficient in Athletics anyways, which it doesnt even then improve (and even then is a whopping +1 for most of the game range people play). If you're going to have a boring "kid brother" button masher fighter subclass, at least Brute gives some bigger numbers attached.

One minor rule nitpick that I'm pointing out because it's easily missed, and weirdly inconsistent with the rest of 5e (and D&D in general):

Remarkable Athlete gives a +2 bonus for most of the game range people play. It never even grants just a +1 because - and here's that inconsistency - you round up after halving your proficiency bonus. The whole feature is a really pointless little bit of math.
 

So the Circle of Spores Druid I like the best out of that bunch, I feel it's a good thing that they're pondering Druid subclasses that can substitute a wildshape use for something else. But for the main spore feature, I feel it's not clear what kind of reaction they can damage with spores. Was it an "action that takes your reaction for the round, because we didn't want to use bonus actions" or would it be when you take damage.

Don't like the Brute steps too much on the Champion Fighter (which I don't like either) and the Barbarian. I could see this subclass being presented again as a Barbarian subclass much in the way the Scout got moved to Rogue.

The School of Invention, doesn't have that much of an inventor feel to me. Sure it gets an Armour Proficiency, but it's Armour is worse than Mage Armour, it should be 13+dex mod, and possibly improve at later levels. Or even better make it Medium Armour (which often gets overlooked) instead of Light Armour. The Reckless Casting bit seems too much like an attempt to do another Wild Mage. I recognize the Alchemical Casting comes from the Loremaster attempt, it's been toned down at least, but nothing about it feels to me like it's something you use power armour for.
 

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