OneDnD UA Groups: Expert, Mage, Priest, Warrior

Micah Sweet

Legend
The term "priest" is problematic, because it ethnocentrically specifies theism in the context of a temple or church. For example, there is a reason why the sages of Jewish "rabbi" and Muslim "imam" avoid term priest. Likewise a nontheistic animistic "shaman" avoids the term priest, as does a Buddhist "monk".

A more multicultural term is "clergy", which is any official religious function, including priest, teacher, psychic, sibling/monk/nun, and so on.
I doubt there are nearly enough people with that specific objection to make a difference to WotC.
 

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Horwath

Hero
Experts: Bard*&, Ranger**, Rogue^&, (Artificer&^)
Warriors: Barbarian, Fighter^, Monk
Mages: Sorcerer%, Wizard, Warlock
Priests: Cleric, Druid, Paladin**


*Will count as Mage as well
**Will count as Warrior as well
&Will have subclasses that counts as Warrior
^Will have subclasses that count as Mage
%Will have subclasses that count as Priest
Barbarian could have a subclass that is an expert: Totem barbarian with extra skills at 6th level and maybe sooner. Expertise at 10th level.
 

Tutara

Adventurer
I am not a massive fan of ‘priest’ - for me, it’s like calling them rabbis or vicars, because the word is the word for an ordained member in a specific real world religion. I’d prefer a term that relates to faith or devotion that doesn’t invoke either Father Ted or a need to be part of an organised religion. Trouble is, I can’t think of anything I like - devotee? Bit naff. Zealot? Utterly perjorative. Hmmm.
 

Aldarc

Legend
I am not a massive fan of ‘priest’ - for me, it’s like calling them rabbis or vicars, because the word is the word for an ordained member in a specific real world religion. I’d prefer a term that relates to faith or devotion that doesn’t invoke either Father Ted or a need to be part of an organised religion. Trouble is, I can’t think of anything I like - devotee? Bit naff. Zealot? Utterly perjorative. Hmmm.
Mystic - see Starfinder
 


Aldarc

Legend
Mystics are specifically religious people who seek spiritual truth outside of organized religion, though.
Actually, no. The meaning of "mystic" is not that narrow. It does deal with divine experiences, which may or may not be outside of organized religion. The Oracle of Delphi, for example, was a female mystic who was a part of the organized religious and cultic practices of the ancient Hellenes.
 

Actually, no. The meaning of "mystic" is not that narrow. It does deal with divine experiences, which may or may not be outside of organized religion. The Oracle of Delphi, for example, was a female mystic who was a part of the organized religious and cultic practices of the ancient Hellenes.
Ah, thank you. I did not know that.

I guess we still don't have a defined term, though. It's tricky to come up with something culture-neutral because religious practitioners are such a huge part of culture, and differ a lot from culture to culture.
 

Marandahir

Crown-Forester (he/him)
In D&D though, Mystic means Psionics. I'd very much expect that if they create a new Psionic class later on, it would be in the Priest group, and be called a Mystic.

I HIGHLY doubt they're going to drop Priest, unfortunately. I'd personally just go with Healer.

Also, I lament the loss of the Thaumaturge.

In the Sidekick classes, we have Expert, Warrior, and Spellcaster - but there are subclasses for these. Expert's subclasses are essentially which saving throw they are proficient in (and thus likely are focused on for their skill monkeying) - Dex, Int, or Cha. So, Artisan, Bookish, or Face. Warrior subclasses are Attacker or Defender (roughly equivalent 4e Striker and Defender roles).

Meanwhile, Spellcaster subclasses are Mage, Healer, and Thaumaturge - Int, Wis, and Cha, respectively, as well as Wizard, Cleric/Druid, Bard/Warlock spell lists. These are the equivalent to the Arcane Spell List / Mage Class Group, Divine & Primal Spell Lists / Priest Class Group, and a missing Spell List / Missing Class Group.

I've been frustrated since 2015 when they gave the 4e Swordmage spells in SCAG to just Wizard, Sorcerer, and Warlock. That design was carried over to their updates in 2019's TCoE. But clearly, TO WOTC, Mage & Arcane mean specifically those three classes. But clearly Bards are Arcane because they've been Arcane since 3e kinda, so we'll give them access to just that spell list… but give them some bonus healing spells and access to other spells of their choice at Paragon levels… this does allow warrior Bards to get the Swordmage spells (assuming they make it into the 2024 PHB). But I think it really would make more sense in general to create a Thaumaturge spell list and let Sorcerers, Bards, and Warlocks access it, while Wizards and Artificers use the Mage spell list. Maybe these 4 class groups are forced chassis that causes more problems than it solves - akin to the power source x party role matrix in 4e.

Actually, this is more like how 4e turned Alignment into a line from a grid than the 4e character grid - roles and power sources are getting confused and forced together in weird ways. I think class groups COULD work as long as they really don't try to Grid fill. Grid Filling is the danger here - where you want your spreadsheets to look balanced so you move options around into places that don't make sense for those options and thus restrict them from their archetype's fun.
 

Except in BECMI D&D, where 'mystic' meant 'monk'. Or the Dragonlance version of it that was some kind of cleric-spell-casting sorcerer. And druids might not be healers primarily. You can't win. :(

Seems like there were a lot of fun 4e classes like the warlord and swordmage that fell by the wayside.
 

Micah Sweet

Legend
In D&D though, Mystic means Psionics. I'd very much expect that if they create a new Psionic class later on, it would be in the Priest group, and be called a Mystic.

I HIGHLY doubt they're going to drop Priest, unfortunately. I'd personally just go with Healer.

Also, I lament the loss of the Thaumaturge.

In the Sidekick classes, we have Expert, Warrior, and Spellcaster - but there are subclasses for these. Expert's subclasses are essentially which saving throw they are proficient in (and thus likely are focused on for their skill monkeying) - Dex, Int, or Cha. So, Artisan, Bookish, or Face. Warrior subclasses are Attacker or Defender (roughly equivalent 4e Striker and Defender roles).

Meanwhile, Spellcaster subclasses are Mage, Healer, and Thaumaturge - Int, Wis, and Cha, respectively, as well as Wizard, Cleric/Druid, Bard/Warlock spell lists. These are the equivalent to the Arcane Spell List / Mage Class Group, Divine & Primal Spell Lists / Priest Class Group, and a missing Spell List / Missing Class Group.

I've been frustrated since 2015 when they gave the 4e Swordmage spells in SCAG to just Wizard, Sorcerer, and Warlock. That design was carried over to their updates in 2019's TCoE. But clearly, TO WOTC, Mage & Arcane mean specifically those three classes. But clearly Bards are Arcane because they've been Arcane since 3e kinda, so we'll give them access to just that spell list… but give them some bonus healing spells and access to other spells of their choice at Paragon levels… this does allow warrior Bards to get the Swordmage spells (assuming they make it into the 2024 PHB). But I think it really would make more sense in general to create a Thaumaturge spell list and let Sorcerers, Bards, and Warlocks access it, while Wizards and Artificers use the Mage spell list. Maybe these 4 class groups are forced chassis that causes more problems than it solves - akin to the power source x party role matrix in 4e.

Actually, this is more like how 4e turned Alignment into a line from a grid than the 4e character grid - roles and power sources are getting confused and forced together in weird ways. I think class groups COULD work as long as they really don't try to Grid fill. Grid Filling is the danger here - where you want your spreadsheets to look balanced so you move options around into places that don't make sense for those options and thus restrict them from their archetype's fun.
Mystic meant psionics in a UA that didn't go anywhere. It means nothing now.
 

You know, I was realizing we've never had a secular healer. Modern medicine is a huge body of knowledge with little religious connection (though it was stronger historically), so it's not impossible. I guess they felt they needed another magic-user type to balance out the fireball-slinging wizard (sorcerer, warlock), and after that you've got path dependence.
 

Micah Sweet

Legend
You know, I was realizing we've never had a secular healer. Modern medicine is a huge body of knowledge with little religious connection (though it was stronger historically), so it's not impossible. I guess they felt they needed another magic-user type to balance out the fireball-slinging wizard (sorcerer, warlock), and after that you've got path dependence.
This is a real problem if you apply the 5e rules to any setting approaching and beyond the modern era. Doctors need to exist or those settings feel extremely false to me.
 



Aldarc

Legend
In D&D though, Mystic means Psionics.
Only in a failed psionic UA did the Mystic mean Psionics. Usually in D&D, the Psion means Psionics.

I'd very much expect that if they create a new Psionic class later on, it would be in the Priest group, and be called a Mystic.
The Starfinder Mystic (and its subtypes) covers the same thematic ground as psionics, druids, clerics, shamans, and more. It's basically the intuitive, deeper truths of the universe caster that is the counterpart to the intellectual, magic as a form of science caster represented by the Technomancer.

I doubt that they would drop the term "priest" either. But I did offer the term as something that could work for the discussion at hand.
 

Only in a failed psionic UA did the Mystic mean Psionics. Usually in D&D, the Psion means Psionics.


The Starfinder Mystic (and its subtypes) covers the same thematic ground as psionics, druids, clerics, shamans, and more. It's basically the intuitive, deeper truths of the universe caster that is the counterpart to the intellectual, magic as a form of science caster represented by the Technomancer.

I doubt that they would drop the term "priest" either. But I did offer the term as something that could work for the discussion at hand.
Right. They were trying to copy the fourfold system of 2e and to a lesser extent 1e D&D (since 3e didn't classify classes that way and 4e had different sets of roles).

Maybe 'priest' is just the best bad option. I've seen it for Buddhist clergy. I wouldn't mind seeing a 'rabbi' variant that uses Int rather than Wis, but that's a story for another day, and another user. (I would be way too tempted to stick all the Jackie Mason, etc. jokes I grew up with in.)
 

We have our four groupings and for the Experts they made all the subclass features occur at the same levels: 3, 6, 10, 14. This meant adding an extra feature for the bard, as they only had three before, and shuffling levels downward for the rogue. Assuming they decide to do something similar for the other three groups I have predictions for their subclass feature levels.

Mage: 1, 6, 10, 14
  • Currently we have Sorcerer (1, 6, 14, 18), Warlock (1, 6, 10, 14), and Wizard (2, 6, 10, 14)
  • This was discussed in another thread but for flavor and design reasons I don't think they'll wait until level 3. You could probably do that with the Wizard but it would be awkward for Sorcerers and Warlocks. Too much of what they are is tied to their subclass for them to wait.
  • Wizards get their first subclass feature at level 1 instead of 2. You could switch the subclass with Arcane Recovery to prevent an empty level.
  • Warlocks already do this if you don't include their pact boons.
  • Sorcerers are currently 1, 6, 14, 18 so you just have to push the last two up a bit. I doubt anyone will complain and it leaves level 18 open for a class wide capstone like we saw with the Experts.
Warrior: 3, 7, 10, 15
  • Currently we have Fighters (3, 7, 10, 15, 18), Monk (3, 6, 11, 17), and Barbarian (3, 6, 10, 14). Level 3 is a given but it gets tougher after that.
  • I think they do level 7 instead 6 for the next subclass feature because if Fighters switch their 6 and 7th level then they're getting back-to-back feats at levels 7 and 8. Whereas switching the Monk lets us move Evasion and/or Stillness of Mind to 6, which is fine. Barbarians move Feral Instinct and Instinctive Pounce to 6, which is also fine.
  • The next one is tricky because the Fighter and Barbarian 10th level features are very different from the monk 11th level feature. 11th level features are meant to be power jumps as you enter a new tier of play. I'd be more in favor of pushing the monk's feature down to level 10 and hope no one minds getting Purity of Body one level later.
  • Finally, while it's possible they go with 5 subclass feature levels I'm predicting they go with 4. Since level 18 will be reserved for the capstone feature I think we'll see Fighters either get new features or some combination of their 15th and 18th level features rolled into one. Moving the Fighter away from level 15 is tough because you run into the issue of potentially having back-to-back feats again. But if we move the others to level 15 then monks can switch Timeless Body to level 17 or it stays at 15 and Perfect Self and Empty Body move down to backfill. Barbarians can just switch Persistent Rage and their path feature. I don't think there is any conflict there between class and subclass abilities.
Priest (until we find a better word I guess): 2, 6, 10, 17
  • Currently we have Paladins (3, 7, 15, 20), Cleric (1, 2, 6, 8, 17), and Druid (2, 6, 10, 14). I regret doing this all now.
  • This is tough. Cleric's get their power from their god. It also affects their channel divinity. If they don't start at level 1 then they need to at least start at level 2. Starting at level 3 would be way too big of a power jump with the features and full caster spell bump. They also have an additional subclass feature compared to the others. My guess is they all get pushed to level 2. Clerics will just have to be faithful for a level before getting their reward at level 2.
    • Paladins might have to push their Divine Smite to level 3 to make room but they'll get their Channel Divinity at level 2 just like clerics. It won't hurt that their Oath Spells will also come online at the same level as their spellcasting.
    • Wild Shape is the Druid version of Channel Divinity I guess so getting that and their subclass features at the same time keeps them in line with the other two.
  • Druid and Cleric probably won't have their next feature at level 7 because that's a spell bump for them. Paladins could get their general aura and unique aura at the same time at level 6. I doubt Conquest Paladins would complain. But that leaves an empty level for them at level 7. Moving anything to fill the gap gets repetitive or wonky. A new class feature, likely a ribbon, gets added at 7th.
  • Now I'm going to work backwards. Level 20 is epic boon time. That means pushing Archdruid, Divine Intervention Improvement, and the last Paladin subclass feature down. But if we stick with class wide capstones at 18 then the Paladin needs to drop that last subclass feature even further. I'm guessing level 17 for all of them. No change for Cleric. Druids have to move Timeless Body or Beast Spells to fill in at 14. I'd vote Beast spells.
    • I'm aware this breaks the spell bump rule I set out earlier but Clerics were already doing it anyway.
  • With that done we just have to figure out the Paladin 15, Cleric 8, and Druid 10. They are all over the map in terms of power.
    • Cleric 8 could actually be replaced by the Tasha's variant. None of them were really unique enough to warrant it being a subclass feature. Perhaps an additional feature at level 10 or make the level 10 Divine Intervention feature a subclass thing. Instead of just randomly rolling and hoping your god isn't asleep at the wheel we could get a divine intervention that matches the god's portfolio. Then at level 18 they can just ask for anything.
    • Druids can just do their normal thing.
    • Paladins could have their 15 drop to 10 but they'd need to be nerfed a bit. Cleansing Touch moves from 14 to 15 and Aura of Courage gets pushed to 14. Honestly, I know that sucks but otherwise they'll need to make another new feature for Paladins. They did it in the UA so it could happen and then this all fits better.

All of this has the side effect of making every subclass have four levels worth of features. That could allow for some interesting cross class additions in the future. Particularly with level 10 being shared across all classes and two features showing up earlier and one feature happening after.
 

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