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

I'm teaching macro right now :)

Given the specialization of various fantasy races it points to a trade system existing (and in mine it always has) even if it was not explicitly mentioned. Trade has always existed at whatever level transportation, production and markets allow for. It doesn't have to be ultra long range. Modern transportation does create larger markets and increase the benefit but the benefit has always been there. Medieval cities existed based on trade with surrounding villages, funneled through market towns. Long range trade tended to be in durable luxury goods. This wouldn't be any different. It means that the races would be much closer to each other geographically than modern nation states are. Dwarvish cities or Gnome steadings (or what have you) would rely on near by human or Halfling villages / towns for food. This doesn't mean Gnomes (and others) would produce none of their own food, just that they would be reliant for much of it on other communities. As for hidden Gnome villages they might just send caravans out to pick it up themselves or act through some trusted intermediaries. The ancient world supported a city of over 1 million people (Rome) on a highly organized system of long range trade with technology no better than the typical D&D world. Trade also offers numerous possibilities for adventure, which is another good, in game, reason for it.

Yeah, I was mostly thinking about it in terms of long distance trade, which as you say, tended to be more durable items. Shipping food stuffs over a multi-month journey with limited preservation technology is incredibly difficult.

Also, most DnD worlds have far deadlier wildernesses than our did, the chances of being accosted by dangerous elements is at least double.

But, reducing the geographic scale, and having a well patrolled and protected highway system would make things easier. As well as finding ways to use magic to cheat and make such systems more durable to fluctuations caused by weather and monster attacks.
 

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R_Chance

Adventurer
Yeah, I was mostly thinking about it in terms of long distance trade, which as you say, tended to be more durable items. Shipping food stuffs over a multi-month journey with limited preservation technology is incredibly difficult.

Also, most DnD worlds have far deadlier wildernesses than our did, the chances of being accosted by dangerous elements is at least double.

But, reducing the geographic scale, and having a well patrolled and protected highway system would make things easier. As well as finding ways to use magic to cheat and make such systems more durable to fluctuations caused by weather and monster attacks.

When you say "trade", long distance / international trade is what most people think of. Essentially though, we all do it daily. And, yes D&D provides a more dangerous environment for it. It's one of the reasons my nations are feudal. Knights patrol their lands, especially the roads. Kind of "Arthurian". You go out on the road and you will run into the local knight whose responsibility it is to maintain the peace and security of the road. You could do this with numerous regular soldiers, but levelled knights and small groups of men at arms work better for less resources. That role is pretty much what medieval knights did. They honed their combat abilities in training and tournaments and pined for the "glory of war", but, really, it was about the King's Peace on the highway.

As for long distance trade, the Silk Road (from Europe via the Middle East, and Near East to Asia) provides the best ancient / medieval example of it. Expeditious Retreat Press did a really nice book on it. Great stuff.

*edit* To plug Expeditious Retreat Press! Their sourcebooks are awesome.
 


Corpsetaker

First Post
I think most people here have pretty much hit the nail on the head with regards to the three classes.

When I saw the Inventor I was thinking Troibrand the Metal Mage but then the actual mechanics stole that dream away. I'm seeing way too much overlap with the classes to the be honest. It's like being able to do something in 6 ways that are very similar with only a small difference distinguishing them from the other.

I hope they haven't reached the limits to the mechanics.
 


By the way, this is a Bard sub-class we are missing:

 


DEFCON 1

Legend
Supporter
I think most people here have pretty much hit the nail on the head with regards to the three classes.

When I saw the Inventor I was thinking Troibrand the Metal Mage but then the actual mechanics stole that dream away. I'm seeing way too much overlap with the classes to the be honest. It's like being able to do something in 6 ways that are very similar with only a small difference distinguishing them from the other.

I hope they haven't reached the limits to the mechanics.

Rather than a mechanical limit, I think where they've been going has been to extend outwards from the path they set with the Eldritch Knight, Arcane Trickster, and Way of the Four Elements. They've been leaning in towards the internal "multiclassing" via subclasses. Whereas the PHB gave us those three "wizard + X" multiclass subclasses... Xanathar's gave us three "cleric + X" multiclass subclasses with the Barbarian Zealot, Sorcerer Divine Soul and Warlock Celestial. And they actual even playtested the Theurge "cleric + wizard" multiclass subclass in UA. Then you can throw in the Monk Kensai "monk + fighter" and Bard Blades "bard + fighter" subclasses too.

Then past those multiclass subclasses... they also delved into thematic doubling as well. So a storm-based barbarian to go with the storm-based sorcerer, a shadow sorcerer, shadow warlock, and shadow ranger to go along with the shadow monk, and a fey-based bard and druid.

So I don't think that it's they are running out of mechanical ideas, it's that they seem to rather want to give players multiple ways to skin each cat before going way out off the reservation to create completely new and out-there concepts. And whether or not a person likes and appreciates that design decision probably has a lot to do with whether or not they actually like and use actual multiclassing to begin with. If you don't like or use real multiclassing, then these internal multiclass subclasses might be more your speed.
 
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Rossbert

Explorer
That was a bit of my issue with some of Xanathar's subclasses. I think it would have bothered me less if they were in the core book. The College of Blades especially because it looked just like multi classing fighter.
 

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