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


Chaosmancer

Legend
So, I'm not entirely sure how I feel about most of these.

Spore Druid

First of all, there is one big problem here that is unavoidable. Most of this subclass is poison damage, and poison damage is the "most likely to be immune" victor. Now, I think I'd love to add poison to the Elemental Adept feat and ignore resistance, but that immunity is going to be a huge problem for this character.

After that, I'm not really sure about how the damage stacks up. I like the "triggerless reaction" that's fine with me and kind of a cool thing we haven't seen much of before, and with how very rarely I see reactions used it's cool to see abilities that will utilize them without relying on enemies to trigger OA's. I also like the burn wildshape to gain temp hp, double reaction damage, and gain a bonus to melee attacks.

The zombies... man, I just don't know. 1 hp is super low, so you'll be relying on undead fortitude to keep these things around for more than a turn. But, I love the visual and it is essentially a free rider summon minion. Now, I've currently got a necromancer in our party, so I feel comfortable saying this, Zombies are trash in combat. Maybe it is just her luck, but those things never hit anything and their damage is pitiful. I'm seriously torn on if this ability is good or too restricted. For example, humanoid or Beast would make things way more interesting, but you'd need stats for zombie beasts.

Where I think this subclass gets really interesting is level 10, and talking about synergy. Spreading Spores is a bonus action, not a spell, and benefits both from zombie creation and symbiotic entity, meaning you've got an AOE for 18 poison damage, no save every turn with the chance to make zombie minions on top of it. That is really powerful on top of your normal spellcasting.

So, early levels feel a bit lack luster to me, but late levels this starts to get kind of interesting.


Brute Fighter

The Brute is the Champion 2.0, and so the flavor is lacking and it is just pure streamlined mechanics.

But holy crap are those mechanics a little intimidating. By level 11 the pure Brute is dealing an additional 3d6 damage a turn, if everything hits. I'm not sure yet if I'd go with the static +2 from dueling or go for GWM or even PAM, but if you want pure damage this is a powerful contender. Add in their Devastating Critical and at level 16 you could easily see an attack that does 3d6+2d8+10+16+5, and at 20th it is just insane the damage output we're looking at. Combine that with an improved permanent bless to all saves in Brutish Durability and it is a strong class. Also, I want to thank this subclass for reminding me that death saves are saving throws, so a person under the effects of bless gets to add a 1d4 to them. Good note.

Not really much else to say, except they are probably a lot stronger than champions while also not being as tempting for a 3 level dip


School of Invention

Boy, I want to like this because the idea of Arcanomechanical Armor, but this subclass is definitely not for me. I really distrust and dislike random effects and the biggest thing about this class until 6th level is the ability to randomly cast spells, with a chance of casting two spells and a chance of not doing anything that turn.

Then you get Alchemical casting, which is some of the bits of the Lore Wizard packaged as needing to be channeled thru armor. I... My gut dislikes this ability, because my gut sees that ability to swap elemental types and thinks "Hey, there's that ability we keep asking the sorcerer to have, given to the wizard... again." And that's not completely fair and actually I find it less objectionable because of the armor makes for a cool visual and the force damage makes more sense.


But man the fluff is all over the place with this. You've created this armor to help you with your crazy experiments, it gives resistance to force damage... for absolutely no reason I can come up with. I think other than magic missile none of those spells on those lists even deal force damage, and you don't have an ability that causes you to take force damage if your risks don't pay off, so why force instead of fire or poison, you know, in case you fireball or cloudkill in an area where you can't escape the range. And your experiments are to randomly cast known and documented spells, it just... nothing about it really adds up to invention. It's the Wild Magic Wizard, and that's kind of it.

And, for a final nail in the coffin, why would you bother with random spells? I mean a 10% of getting a specific spell is kind of bad if you really need it, and a lot of the time you'd be better off just casting the spells you've prepared like a normal wizard. I just don't see the appeal here.
 

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Guest 6801328

Guest
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 noticed that, too. Makes me wonder if it's a typo. Otherwise very strange.
 

TwoSix

Dirty, realism-hating munchkin powergamer
I noticed that, too. Makes me wonder if it's a typo. Otherwise very strange.
Saying "reaction on your turn" makes me pretty sure it's intentional. You wouldn't need to specify "on your turn" for an action or a bonus action.
 

Elf_flambe

Explorer
Brute... Both the name and write-up make me think this is an attempt at replicating video game brutes. Which are non-bosses, but boss-like, encounters that are tough to kill. Kinda... mini-mini-bosses.

This subclass reminded me of The Princess Bride.

"I'm on the Brute Squad."

"You ARE the Brute Squad!"

He's there to just wade into a combat and bash heads, shrugging off damage that would fell others. Yup, sounds like Andre the Giant! :D
 

Charlaquin

Goblin Queen (She/Her/Hers)
I agree with Chaosmancer pretty strongly. I adore the concept of the spore Druid, but I think it’s a little underpowered until 10 - poison damage is thematic, but not super reliable. I really like the spore damage as a reaction, though I kind of wish it could be used off-turn. The 10th level feature is awesome, but seems like it comes really late for such a key part of the subclass’s synergy. The zombies are really cool in concept, but zombies already suck, giving them 1hp and limiting their actions to attacking seems overly cautious. Using Wildshape uses to do something other than wildshape is a great use of design space, and I’d love to see it used for more things. Overall a really strong concept in need of another couple of passes to fine-tune.

Brute, while poorly named, is clearly just supposed to be a fixed Champion. Seems like a bit of an overcorrection to me though, that’s some seriously high DPR potential. Could stand to be toned down just a tad. Otherwise, not much to see here. Just another super generic Fighter.

I just don’t even know with the Invention Wizard. It’s just a total miss for me on every level. In general, Wizard subclasses don’t excite me because they already have so many. Then the flavor seems like something that wants to be an Artificer but they don’t have one yet. The mechanics are all over the place... Just not for me all around.
 

G

Guest 6801328

Guest
Saying "reaction on your turn" makes me pretty sure it's intentional. You wouldn't need to specify "on your turn" for an action or a bonus action.

So it's like a bonus action, but it consumes the reaction instead?

If that's really what's intended, it's kind of hilarious in light of MM's frequently expressed misgivings about bonus actions. So they added another one?
 

cbwjm

Seb-wejem
I sometimes think people worry too much about damage types and how much they are resisted. The design team apparently doesn't worry about it when designing spells, makes sense they wouldn't when designing class abilities either.

Sent from my [device_name] using EN World mobile app
 

Yaarel

He Mage
I wonder if using a ‘Reaction on your turn’ instead of a ‘Bonus Action’, is an experiment to see if it is possible to remove all Bonus Actions from the game.
 

Charlaquin

Goblin Queen (She/Her/Hers)
I sometimes think people worry too much about damage types and how much they are resisted. The design team apparently doesn't worry about it when designing spells, makes sense they wouldn't when designing class abilities either.

Sent from my [device_name] using EN World mobile app

They definitely do worry about it when they design spells. That’s why spells that deal fire damage tend to deal more than spells that deal damage of other types - it’s the most resisted damage type.
 

cbwjm

Seb-wejem
They definitely do worry about it when they design spells. That’s why spells that deal fire damage tend to deal more than spells that deal damage of other types - it’s the most resisted damage type.
Apparently they don't. I think it was in an AMA that it was mentioned. After all, you never know what will be released, could be a number or thunder or force resistant creatures that come out in later books.

Sent from my [device_name] using EN World mobile app
 

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