Unearthed Arcana: Four New Subclasses

There's a new Unearthed Arcana from Ben Petrisor, Dan Dillon, Bill Benham, Jeremy Crawford, F. Wesley Schneider. This one has four new subclasses Path of the Beast (Barbarian), Way of Mercy (Monk), Oath of the Watchers (Paladin), Noble Genie (Warlock).


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Russ Morrissey

Comments

Prakriti

Hi, I'm a Mindflayer, but don't let that worry you
I usually hate UA subclasses, but most of these are actually pretty good.

The Path of the Beast is neat and doesn't seem over- or under-powered. Conceptually, I think it works best with the lycanthropy origin. You're halfway to playing a werewolf at that point. The fey origin doesn't make as much sense to me, because I don't associate rage with fey creatures (most of the abilities are tied to rage).

The Way of Mercy, a healer monk, is a nice concept. But the Noxious Aura ability seems off-theme. Why would a healer have a poisonous aura? This needs to be replaced with something more on-theme. And I can't think of too many in-game uses for the Hand of Mercy. It almost seems like a ribbon. (Ah, it can be used on enemies. I see its usefulness now. You can basically spend 4 ki to banish an enemy from a fight.)

The Oath of the Watchers is decent, but I have to say: the Paladin class doesn't really support very many subclasses. This one doesn't feel different enough from others (either conceptually or mechanically) to really justify its existence.

The Noble Genie Patron is the one dud in the group. I just don't get it. The concept makes no sense (you serve a genie, and other creatures serve you?). Is this from a book or movie or something? Why would anyone want to play it? Bizarre.
 
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TwoSix

The hero you deserve
Beast Barbarian. Thumbs up. Tail is a little less useful than the others, but bite and claw are both nice. Permanent swapable movement boost is great. Con scaling damage booster at 10th is nice, and being able to give party members reckless attack is just icing on the cake. Really like this one.

Mercy Monk - Ki point for a touch range cure wounds is nice. Being able to chain it with flurry of blows is even better. Hands of Harm synergizing with Stunning Touch and the poison aura looks great. Ki point restoration at 11th level adds to the kit, and the 17th level imprison/preserve is nice and flavorful. Another thumbs up.

Watcher Paladin: Initiative Aura, turn ability against a decent range of creatures, mental stat save bonus with Channel Divinity are all pros. Obvious intent as anti-caster/anti-outsider paladin. Spell list is kinda blah, though, and the overall package is pretty underwhelming compared to some of the other paladin subclasses. Not bad, overall, just not super exciting.

Noble Genie: Not a big fan. The expanded spell list is pretty bland, and the low-level tether is pretty awful. (Maybe if you can can self-only spells on the tethered target?) The once per long rest banishment is decent at 10th. Making a Persuasion check against your own DC is a weird mechanic for the 14th level feature, and once per long rest usage even if you fail is really not fun.
 

lowkey13

I'm sorry, Dave. I'm afraid I can't do that.
All four could be put AQ.

That said, Monk, Way of Mercy.

(reads)

Oh, yet another healer class in an edition that already had tons o' healing?

I like some of the extras (masks, etc.).

But then ideas of both healing/harming (the 3d level ability) get muddied, because it's all harm on 6th level, and everything else is healing.

Eh.
 

Prakriti

Hi, I'm a Mindflayer, but don't let that worry you
Hot take on Noble Genie Patron - would have liked this better if you could choose which genie-type was your patron, and your spell list reflected that choice: Earth, Wind and Fire!...oh, and Water :)
This would make a lot more sense to me. Then we'd have something like an Elementalist Warlock.

I also understand the concept of a Warlock serving a genie, but the whole tethering thing throws me off. What does soul-linking yourself to other creatures have to do with the concept? I'd rather see more Arabian Nights/Al-Qadim-themed abilities. Flying (carpets), granting wishes, etc. (The "wish" in Protective Wish is just fluff.)

Oh, and something amusing in the Collector's Call ability: "As an action, you can implore your patron for aid by making a Charisma (Persuasion) check against your warlock spell save DC." That's right, you have to roll against yourself! Which means that the lower your spell DC is, the better this ability is! I don't dislike this; it's actually pretty funny. But it's definitely odd.
 

TwoSix

The hero you deserve
The Path of the Beast is neat and doesn't seem over- or under-powered. Conceptually, I think it works best with the lycanthropy origin. You're halfway to playing a werewolf at that point. The fey origin doesn't make as much sense to me, because I don't associate rage with fey creatures (most of the abilities are tied to rage).
Eh, D&D has been throwing the moon, lycanthropy, Faerie/the Feywild, druids and primal magic, and barbarians into a thematic hodgepodge for a decade now. It's pretty on-brand.

The Way of Mercy, a healer monk, is a nice concept. But the Noxious Aura ability seems off-theme. Why would a healer have a poisonous aura? This needs to be replaced with something more on-theme. And I can't think of too many in-game uses for the Hand of Mercy. It almost seems like a ribbon.
Poison seems like a solid mechanic for depicting disease and malicious manipulation of ki. It's not just a healer, it's a manipulator of life energy. I quite like it, actually.

The Oath of the Watchers is decent, but I have to say: the Paladin class doesn't really support very many subclasses. This one doesn't feel different enough from others (either conceptually or mechanically) to really justify its existence.
Agreed. Paladin has way too much power baked into the class to make for interesting subclasses.

The Noble Genie Patron is the one dud in the group. I just don't get it. The concept makes no sense (you serve a genie, and other creatures serve you?). Is this from a book or movie or something? Why would anyone want to play it? Bizarre.
Yea, this one is pretty bad. I try to be positive about UA, but yea....yeesh.
 

Nikosandros

Golden Procrastinator
Oh, and something amusing in the Collector's Call ability: "As an action, you can implore your patron for aid by making a Charisma (Persuasion) check against your warlock spell save DC." That's right, you have to roll against yourself! Which means that the lower your spell DC is, the better this ability is! I don't dislike this; it's actually pretty funny. But it's definitely odd.
Not really a fan of this one. I strongly dislike it a a mechanic and I don't understand what it is supposed to represent.
 

MonkeezOnFire

Adventurer
Path of the Beast looks fun. A totem barbarian probably could have sufficed to refluff to a beast shapeshifter type barbarian, but hey it's neat.

The monk is not the class I would have chosen to give a plague doctor subclass to but alright.

For the Oath of Watchers I feel like the entire concept could be easily already modeled with the existing Oath of Devotion. We already have the holy warrior dedicated to protecting others archetype. I prefer the Oath of Heroism we got back in September.

Pact of the Genie is one I've been waiting for a while, but the mechanics here are not quite what I expected. The tether at level 3 is completely underwhelming and it focuses more on the bound servitude aspect than anything elemental.

Overall there's nothing I really have strong feelings for here except that the Pact of the Genie needs a make over.
 

MonkeezOnFire

Adventurer
Oh, and something amusing in the Collector's Call ability: "As an action, you can implore your patron for aid by making a Charisma (Persuasion) check against your warlock spell save DC." That's right, you have to roll against yourself! Which means that the lower your spell DC is, the better this ability is! I don't dislike this; it's actually pretty funny. But it's definitely odd.
It's super weird considering that both your spell DC and persuasion check scale off of charisma. So no matter how high or low you buff your charisma it cancels itself out and you have the same probability of succeeding. And you'll want to take proficiency in persuasion to ensure that your spell DC doesn't outpace your check.
 

LuisCarlos17f

Adventurer
If there is a return of al-Qadim I suggest a not-FR player handbook, something like "1001 nights" (Oriental Adventures 2), with PCs races and monsters from "Sandstorm", sha'ir as class, and soulmolder classes as guru, vizier and.. oh, wait, this is by a 3PP, Dreamscarred Press! I have heared about Disney wants to make a sequel of the action-live "Aladdin". Wouldn't it the best time?

And in the next April Fools, a Kaladesh-Transformers crossover ( :ROFLMAO: )
 

NotAYakk

Adventurer
1. Expertise makes you get ahead of your spell save DC.
2. Items that boost your spell save DC make you worse at that ability. (rod of the pact keeper)
3. Enhance ability/guidance/bard inspiration makes you awesome at that ability.

---

Is a 1d12 reach is ok I guess. But doesn't stack with any feats.

Can you claw when you have a weapon/shield in that hand? Probably not. Or when you are using a two-handed weapon? Probably.

Can you use that tail in a monk unarmed strike? Probably.
 

Weiley31

Adventurer
I usually hate UA subclasses, but most of these are actually pretty good.

The Path of the Beast is neat and doesn't seem over- or under-powered. Conceptually, I think it works best with the lycanthropy origin. You're halfway to playing a werewolf at that point. The fey origin doesn't make as much sense to me, because I don't associate rage with fey creatures (most of the abilities are tied to rage).
OAs auTE]
So in 3.5 there WAS a Fey called "The Ragewalker" and it was basically a Fey based on the aspects of war and the battlefield while commanding living spells and surrounding itself with a cloud of weapons. And it could induce Rage in other living things. Making it pretty much a Rage Fey.
So it's still possible technically.

Basically ya can rename it Path of The Ragewalker. Heck it's main weapon was spiked chains. Reflavor the tail ability as the chains.
 
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