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Unearthed Arcana 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).

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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Yes, I also get the feeling that these are great ideas, but somewhat clumsily executed:

Path of the Beast:

It's not important, but the fluff should probably mention races with natural weapons (e.g. lizardfolk). The attacks should incorporate the text which you can use to make an unarmed strike, perhaps with a sidebox explaining what that means. The claws need to clarify that you can't use a shield and get the extra attack. Speak with Animals should be an option for the Bestial Soul ability. Apart from those clarifications it seems okay, maybe the level 10 and 14 abilities a little OP.

Way of Mercy:

I think this needs it's balance point shifted further towards healing. The harming abilities should work by the monk taking the poison or disease into their own body then inflicting it on someone else. i.e based on a transference theme. The poison cloud is a magnet for fart jokes. It shows again that the monk simply doesn't get enough ki points - the basic heal should cost about half a point.

I like that it shows that monks do not have to be refugees from Oriental Adventures.

Oath of the Watchers:

This seems to be caught between two ideas: paladin-inquisitor and paladin-caster, and it doesn't go far enough in either direction, and ends up generic. As an inquisitor-din, it should be darker, as a caster-din (suggested by attack spells in it's spell list) it needs cantrips or CHA based attacks. (you could make it work with Magic Initiate Sorc or Hexblade multiclassing).

Noble Genie:

The Collector's Vessel is weird. It's a container, but you can't put anything in it. I guess the idea is to combine it with Pact of the Chain and use it with your familiar (we need more official familiar types). It's not weak - pair it with Armor of Agthys! It is just thematically strange if you don't use it with a little elemental familiar to put in your magic lamp. As already pointed out, a roll against your own spell DC is weird too.
 

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Chaosmancer

Legend
About the Warlock, I'm confused about the general reactions here. I think it reads really really fun, and feels like a character that has made a pact with a djinn, to me. Each ability speaks to that concept, from binding a willing creature to an object and gaining power from doing so, to the mini-wish (needs a rework but the actually effects of the ability are solid), to the elemental resistence and the ability to make an enemy dance for your genie patron. It's all just about perfect, IMO.

Part of it is that many of these abilities aren't terribly useful.

Starting with the level 1 ability. It does only two things. It gives the warlock a bonus to perception, and it allows them to cast spells from the space of the bound creature. They can set up the bound between 3 or 4 times a day, and it lasts an hour.

Now, casting from someone else's space does have some uses. I won't deny that. But, the example of binding the rogue and letting them scout probably doesn't work. Because the tether is visible (so the guards or monsters might wonder why a string of fire is hanging in the middle of a hall and follow it to either the rogue or the party) and while you can cast from the space, you cannot see from the space. So, let us say that the rogue is ninety feet ahead, and sees a cave full of goblins. It would be awesome to cast Hunger of Hadar into that cave and mess them up. But you likely can't. Because you don't know the spell is ready to be cast, you have no way to communicate with the rogue.

Weirdly, another limitation I thought there was was the limitation of spells being cast "to a point you can see" but both the examples I looked at (Hunger of Hadar and Shatter) just have something happen to a point within range. Which is odd, since that would allow you to cast through a closed door. But, I'm sure these are anomalies. Generally, you have to see the target to cast the spell, and that still applies whether or not you can deliver the spell from the bound creatures space.


The only two improvements on the bond include granting resistance and the Protective Wish.

The resistance is decent, it covers you and one ally. But the wish is odd. Warlocks aren't tanks, so you would rarely want to teleport and take the blow aimed at your bound companion. This warlock offers no benefits from being in melee, so they will likely be a back liner. This means not only are they less likely to be attacked, but when they use this ability to teleport say, their barbarian friend, and swap places, they are going to end up on the frontline and the barbarian ends up in the back. And, actually, that is a dangerous consideration. Let us say a single enemy charges the warlock and hits them, but the barbarian is in melee with three enemies who haven't gone yet. Tactically, you do not want to use this ability. Because it puts both characters out of position and is likely to cause your warlock to take more damage.

It can be fun and useful, but it is niche, which is why I think they get two abilities at level 10. This wish is just not terribly useful, in general. But, it is one of only two improvements to this binding, which is their only level 1 ability.

So, by level 10, the most you get out of this subclass in general, is the ability to grant a single ally fire resistance for an hour. Which, just saves someone a Protection From Energy spell slot. It just, isn't great.
 

you cannot see from the space. So, let us say that the rogue is ninety feet ahead, and sees a cave full of goblins. It would be awesome to cast Hunger of Hadar into that cave and mess them up. But you likely can't. Because you don't know the spell is ready to be cast, you have no way to communicate with the rogue.
As I said, the ability makes a whole lot more sense if you use it on a familiar.

I would probably mod it as follows: It grants the ability to cast Find Familiar, using the vessel as the material component. A familiar summoned using your vessel has the type Elemental instead of whatever it normally has. The tether is always on so long as your familiar is alive an active, invisible, but only works on your familiar (which could be a pact of the chain familiar).
 
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Chaosmancer

Legend
As I said, the ability makes a whole lot more sense if you use it on a familiar.

I would probably mod it as follows: It grants the ability to cast Find Familiar, using the vessel as the material component. A familiar summoned using your vessel has the type Elemental instead of whatever it normally has. The tether is always on so long as your familiar is alive an active, invisible, but only works on your familiar (which could be a pact of the chain familiar).

I don't think we can mod it that way for general use though, since it would take the largest part of the Chain Pact, and buff Find Familiar (if the vessel is the component, you no longer need 10 gold or whatever the cost was, which makes it easier to use at low levels)

Not saying it isn't a good idea for homebrew, but the official version can't do that I think.
 

gyor

Legend
An interesting suggestion from Reddit for the Beast Barbarian is a slight reskin with more vampire flavor. You've got claws, a life draining bite, the ability to skitter across the walls and ceiling, and can spread your blood rage to enemy and ally alike. It's a great mechanical foundation for someone suffering a lesser version of the vampire curse.

Your right, it does scream vampire, especially the healing bite.
 

RogueJK

It's not "Rouge"... That's makeup.
Oath of the Watchers:

as a caster-din (suggested by attack spells in it's spell list) it needs cantrips or CHA based attacks. (you could make it work with Magic Initiate Sorc or Hexblade multiclassing).

The recent Class Feature Variants UA included the option for Paladins to choose the "Blessed Warrior" Fighting Style, granting them two CHA-based cantrips from the Cleric list.
 

I don't think we can mod it that way for general use though, since it would take the largest part of the Chain Pact, and buff Find Familiar (if the vessel is the component, you no longer need 10 gold or whatever the cost was, which makes it easier to use at low levels)

Not saying it isn't a good idea for homebrew, but the official version can't do that I think.
I worded it to synergise with Pact of the Chain (it can turn your imp or sprite into an elemental). I don't think the financial cost of FF is a big deal, just a minor slap on the wrist for getting your familiar killed.

Gaining Find Familiar isn't itself a big deal either, it's easy to pick it up with Book Pact or feats.
 
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The recent Class Feature Variants UA included the option for Paladins to choose the "Blessed Warrior" Fighting Style, granting them two CHA-based cantrips from the Cleric list.
Yes, I thought of that. It's an interesting direction to take for a paladin that plays differently. It gets around that "core is too powerful for much variation" by competing directly with Smite for spell slots. This subclass doesn't seem to go far enough in that direction though. Something like "Oath of the Lorekeeper" could push it further.
 

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