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


There are classes (warlock) and subclasses (berserker barbarian, college of whispers bard, etc.) that seem to exist as much for DM's as for players. The brute (which I think maybe ought to be renamed the slayer) fighter and the spore druid seem to fit those bills, although the druid's bit about wildshape not being used for wildshape is pretty innovative (kind of like a paladin being "spell less" by pumping all the spell slots into divine smite, a "wild shape less" druid could pump all the wildshapes into something else; how long before the "rageless" barbarian appears?). I would have preferred a subclass feature that allowed the spore druid to get access to plant shapes for wild shape, but this is certainly more daring.

I have mixed feelings on the invention wizard. Some people on the threads have described wizards as fearless pioneers pushing magical boundaries, but mechanically, nothing could be further from the truth: wizards are basically magical auditors who spend their time stealing magic that they know will work from other wizards. So it would be nice if there was a subclass that did that. On the other hand, reaching out into the Weave and casting some random spell seems pretty sorcerer to me.
 

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AriochQ

Adventurer
The spore druid reaction mechanic is wacky. It should be a bonus action since it doesn't appear to be a reaction to anything and can only happen on your turn.
 

mellored

Legend
I like spore and brute. Brute being a replacement for the underachieving champion.

Inventor seems just odd. How is casting random spells being an inventor? Seems more appropriate for a chaos sorcerer.
 

TwoSix

Uncomfortably diegetic
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.
I think in a few cases you could end up with 2 concentration spells, I'd probably allow the wizard to maintain concentration on both at once. A little power-up for a fairly niche ability.
 

jgsugden

Legend
I did some more thinking:

Spore Druid - I think this is more likely to be a dip subclass. 2 levels of druid gets you 2 X 10 minutes of +d6 damage per melee weapon attack?

Brute is redundant with existing options - it has new mechanics, but does not fill a needed gap.

School of Invention - I just went through the last session's combats and pretended my enchanter was one of these wizards and rolled out what I'd have done. I cast four spells in that short (RPB heavy) session - and I feel like I was pretty much just as effective when I had the randomish spell rather than my banishment, fireball and mirror images. However, this feels like a sorcerer on steroids rather than a wizard. To that extent, I do not like it.
 

I would agree – either that or change it to “when an enemy moves within 10 feet of you” as the trigger.

Also, unless I misread it, the spore zombie cannot move, since it says it can only take the attack action. For lasting as long as it does, that seems a mistake – maybe it should be “can only take the move or attack action.”

Other than that, I really like the Circle of Spores Druid and the rest of them. After running through Out of the Abyss, you’d think I’d have my fill of magical fungi, but you’d be wrong.

The Brute feels more in line with what I’d like from a no-frills “basic” fighter than the Champion. The Invention subclass is neat enough, giving a nicely different type of wizard that would go well in Eberron.

The spore druid reaction mechanic is wacky. It should be a bonus action since it doesn't appear to be a reaction to anything and can only happen on your turn.
 

I hate the inventor wizard.

At first glance it looks like all the fun of a chaos sorcerer BUT with the ability to cast two spells in the same turn. Neat! But then reality sets in. The nature of the class ability it centers around tells a player that there is no real point in paying close attention and planning during other peoples turns. Then your turn comes and it goes like this:

1. Roll two d10s.
Is one a 10? 1a. YAY! Roll again! 1b. No? Ok, move to step 2.
1ac. Are none a 10 after that (best case scanerio)? Yay! You have two spells. Do step 2 twice! 1ab. Boo, lost the action, sorry dudes.
2. Resolve your spell. I hope you have the effects memorized or you;ll be spending some time in the ol book! Uh oh. Looks like you ended up with fireball in cramped corners/lightning bolt in a hall and nearly broke half the party or light on a sunny day/jump in a tunnel/rain on your wedding day, wah wah, better luck next time.

The whole class seems based around the ability to (HOPEFULLY!) take an absurdly long turn to maybe be useless or kill/maim/glitterdust your party. I see more eyerolls as a DM at this than I see cheers.

Loving the lich druid though.
 

Since the PHB (and even to some extent inside the PHB), there has been a lot of "there is more than one way to skin a cat" subclasses. Want to be a holy warrior? death-themed caster? Nature warrior? Nature caster? Sneaky assassin dude? Skeezy magic manipulator? A fair amount of options. Armored nonmagic melee guy? Still a fair amount of options, but no reason you can't have one more: thus the brute.
 

SkidAce

Legend
Supporter
I would agree – either that or change it to “when an enemy moves within 10 feet of you” as the trigger.

Also, unless I misread it, the spore zombie cannot move, since it says it can only take the attack action. For lasting as long as it does, that seems a mistake – maybe it should be “can only take the move or attack action.”

I dont think moving is an action.
 

The name "Brute" is so wrong. What is there about brutishness that they should be able to make saving throws (Int? Wis? Cha?) better than most other classes?
Survivor is a weak capstone and the name is odd for a Brute as well.

The Inventor is what the wild sorcerer should have been.

The Spore Druid is interesting. But I also wish it allowed Wild Shaping into a plant. Imagine if the 14th level ability was wild shaping into oozes. "Yeah, that's Jon, our gelatinous cube druid." "I think he's an elf." "Really? I don't remember."
 

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