Unearthed Arcana Unearthed Arcana Gives You Subclasses For Monk, Ranger, and Paladin


Greg K

Legend
A Is there really a subset of people who want to play a drunken master who doesn't actually drink?.

Right here. Out of the three subclasses presented, this is the only one I liked and could see in a campaign that I would run. It is also the first Unearthed Arcana Monk subclass that I liked. In fact, I even prefer it to the Shadow Monk and the 4 element monk- neither of which fits the campaigns that I run.
 

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Li Shenron

Legend
I mostly like all three classes, the concepts are sound and they are mechanically interesting.

I would have expected a Monk subclass based on a martial arts style to be more complex than this however, for example I would like archetype features to give more than one ability (perhaps to be activated with ki points), to represent the fact that a martial art style is not a small set of techniques but something quite large.

My favourite is the Redemption Paladin, it has a very clear tactical twist compared to the usual hack-and-slash default, and the archetype features represent it very well. It's also better to see some "good" Paladin archetypes, considering that the previous UA article tipped the class more towards evil.

I don't have a clear preference over a Monster Hunter/Slayer being a Fighter's or Ranger's subclass (I prefer "Hunter" as a name, but I can see the conflict with the PHB Ranger's main archetype). It could be both, but I appreciate having more Ranger's subclasses in general, since it has so few.
 

FitzTheRuke

Legend
It makes sense to me to give any "hunter" style subclasses to the Ranger, while a weapon-focus subclass such as a spell-less Archer should go to the Fighter, in spite of it feeling like a Ranger.

As far as the Monk goes, it seems pretty likely that few people involved in its design know very much about martial arts. Probably not enough to really be terribly clear about the style that any given subclass uses.

Sent from my LG-D852 using EN World mobile app
 

Leatherhead

Possibly a Idiot.
Drunken Master

Because Dwarves needed a monk tradition.

Drunken Technique
Performance? I mean, I guess it technically counts.
On the bloodier side of life: Flurry Of Blows granting 10' move and the disengage action is rather good. Unfortunately, the timing on Flurry requires you to make an attack before you can get the movement bonus. However, you can cheat this a bit by attacking with a ranged monk weapon, triggering Flurry, and then using the ambiguous nature of movement to get where you need to be. Or you could just use it with Polearm Master and a quarterstaff to generate some Free OAs. Not necessarily better or worse than the Open Hand Technique, but far more reliable.

Tipsy Sway
As a reaction, one melee miss against you automatically hits the target of your choice within 5' of you, once per rest. This kind of sucks. It suffers from too many restrictions, the 5' limit (should be limited to the range of the attack that missed you) the attack has to miss you in the first place (should be allowed on any attack, turning something into a miss), and the fact it can't hurt the attacker (it's silly making creatures bite themselves, but dammit this subclass is supposed to be silly like that)

Drunkard’s Luck
This, is absurdly good when it stacks with the level 14 power. Yes, it stacks. Spend one point: Get advantage, if you somehow fail after having proficiency and advantage, spend another point and roll it again, with advantage. I don't know what the exact math is for such events, but I imagine most will pass one out of 4 saves.

Intoxicated Frenzy

Up to 5 attacks with your flurry of blows, but only if you attack 5 different targets. It's impressive, for minion mashing, but not much else. Considering other Monk Capstones, it's perhaps better than average.

Thoughts:

It's Alright. Probably better than Open Hand over all. I get why it doesn't require you to drink, but I don't really think it would have been bad to have something that did.

Oath of Redemption

Speak softly and carry a big stick.

Tenets of Redemption
Lets you know you have to smack people around sometimes. I guess that's OK from a gameplay standpoint.

Redemption Spells
That's quite a haul, some very nice control and defensive buffs.

Armor of Peace
A Dex based Paladin will have an AC of 21, more than a Paladin with Plate + Shield. More than a Monk, but less than a Dex-Barbarian with a shield. It's even OK at low levels if you don't have a good Dex, being better than most forms of Medium Armor, and potentially on-par with Splint or Plate by themselves. I know multiclassing is the hook everyone is salivating over, but really that's going to be rather hard to multiclass out of a paladin and into anything else that isn't dex-based. So I guess be on the lookout for Peace-Rogues.

Warrior of Reconciliation
At first glace, this contradicts the Armor of Peace, because there aren't any finesse bludgeoning melee weapons. But you are a paladin: You can knock someone out with any weapon, then Lay on Hands them, then knock them out again with a club or something to trigger this power. This power is also really great because it will get around all those annoying interrogation encounters.

Emissary of Peace.
Stacking bonus to Persuasion checks on a class that has high Cha and at-will charm powers already.

Rebuke the Violent.
This is a monster-killer. Good on action economy, and monsters deal huge amounts of damage in one bite or whatever.

Aura of the Guardian
The ultimate defender power, it doesn't transfer riders, but taking a knock-out blow can really change any encounter.

Protective Spirit
This is flat out better than the Champions Survivor ability, which the Champion gets as a capstone. Which puts this on the high end of level 15 Paladin powers.

Emissary of Redemption
This sucks.
You get resistance to everything.
You get to deal damage to any creature equal to half of the damage they attacked you.
Both of these abilities shut down on a per creature basis, once you attack, force a saving throw, or even deal damage to the creature in question.

That means this ability will, at best, only work for one attack against any creature. And you have to keep track of each creature you have hurt in order to figure out if it counts for this ability, requiring lots of bookkeeping. But it is a capstone, which means it will never really come into the equation for most games, and in turn will encourage some multi-classing more than the level 3 abilities already do.

Thoughts:
This is powerful to the point where I have to consider it close to OP, if not OP. the level 3 powers don't restrict gear so much as give you extremely powerful alternative options. It only has two synergy problems: The lack of a simple finesse blunt weapon, and so many abilities that key off of your Reaction, that this may be the first subclass where Reaction Scarcity is a thing.

Monster Slayer
Wasn't this a Fighter Subclass?

Slayer’s Mysticism
The Ranger gets free bonus spells added to their list, but the Sorcerer doesn't.
That aside, there are a few windfalls for slaying monsters here, well mostly staying alive while trying to slay monsters, but it's the same thing really.

Slayer’s Eye
Hunter's Mark the Class Feature. It also stacks with Hunter's Mark, for when you have to kill something with lots of hp. This is how the Ranger should have been from the start, honestly. Maybe when they do the updated Revised Ranger in book form, it will be placed in the class proper.

Supernatural Defense
+1d6 on saving throws against the target of your Slayer's Eye. It's a very strange mechanic that will boost your saving throw potential through the roof, as it stacks with both bless and advantage. Perhaps a bit too powerful in that regard.

Relentless Slayer
This ability isn't very powerful. In fact, it's super situational, has a high chance of flat out not working when it can trigger, and foils the classic "runs away to live another day" powers.
I don't like this. It makes sense, but it isn't fun.

Slayer’s Counter
You can make an attack roll in place of a saving throw, that's really good, and you can still make the saving throw if you fail on the attack, that's amazing.

Thoughts:
I don't see this as a subclass, I see this as a testbed for getting Hunter's Mark as a class feature. But it is a very functional subclass right now, a bit on the defensive side, and hyper focused on one target at a time to the detriment of multi-target fights, but functional.
 


I do have to agree with a few people here that the Drunken Master seems a bit... Lacking

Remember, I do come at this from a Warcraft background where their equivalent of the Drunken Master is the Brewmaster, a monk spec based around tanking.

I do have to agree that Tipsy Sway should probably be Ki point based rather than once a short rest. It is exactly the type of drunken craziness you're expecting from that class, but it should be happening more often

(Also probably needs a skill where it just grabs something and it counts as a monk weapon for ridiculous improvisational scenes where they fight with a chair or something for that true kung-fu movie feel but, small steps)
 

G

Guest 6801328

Guest
Armor of Peace
A Dex based Paladin will have an AC of 21, more than a Paladin with Plate + Shield. More than a Monk, but less than a Dex-Barbarian with a shield. It's even OK at low levels if you don't have a good Dex, being better than most forms of Medium Armor, and potentially on-par with Splint or Plate by themselves. I know multiclassing is the hook everyone is salivating over, but really that's going to be rather hard to multiclass out of a paladin and into anything else that isn't dex-based. So I guess be on the lookout for Peace-Rogues.

Warrior of Reconciliation
At first glace, this contradicts the Armor of Peace, because there aren't any finesse bludgeoning melee weapons. But you are a paladin: You can knock someone out with any weapon, then Lay on Hands them, then knock them out again with a club or something to trigger this power. This power is also really great because it will get around all those annoying interrogation encounters.

The thing I like least about Oath of Redemption is that it encourages Dexadin builds, which are an abomination and an affront to the gods, primarily because Rapier exists in the game.

Fortunately there are no finesse bludgeoning melee weapons! That makes a straight Dex build less clear cut. (Of course, you could always use a rapier most of the time and just keep a mace handy for when you want to subdue. So the end result could still be more rapier-wielding paladins.)

Again, if I were going Dex I could see myself dipping one level of Monk, or even splitting the levels evenly.

Single-classing I'd probably leave Dex at 14 (until high level, maybe).

Actually, a fun and appropriate option would be to ignore Str and pump up Cha, then go Variant Human, take Magic Initiate, and get Shillelagh. (Plus Guidance and a 1st level spell.)

Variant Human
Str: 10
Int: 10
Wis: 10
Dex: 15
Con: 13
Cha: 16
Level 1 Feat: Magic Initiate (Shillelagh, Guidance, and a 1st level spell that doesn't use spellcasting bonus)
Future ASIs: Resilient(Dex), Resilient(Con), Cha, Cha...and ?
 
Last edited:

rczarnec

Explorer
The thing I like least about Oath of Redemption is that it encourages Dexadin builds, which are an abomination and an affront to the gods, primarily because Rapier exists in the game.

Fortunately there are no finesse bludgeoning melee weapons! That makes a straight Dex build less clear cut. (Of course, you could always use a rapier most of the time and just keep a mace handy for when you want to subdue. So the end result could still be more rapier-wielding paladins.)

Again, if I were going Dex I could see myself dipping one level of Monk, or even splitting the levels evenly.

Single-classing I'd probably leave Dex at 14 (until high level, maybe).

Actually, a fun and appropriate option would be to ignore Str and pump up Cha, then go Variant Human, take Magic Initiate, and get Shillelagh. (Plus Guidance and a 1st level spell.)

Variant Human
Str: 10
Int: 10
Wis: 10
Dex: 15
Con: 13
Cha: 16
Level 1 Feat: Magic Initiate (Shillelagh, Guidance, and a 1st level spell that doesn't use spellcasting bonus)
Future ASIs: Resilient(Dex), Resilient(Con), Cha, Cha...and ?

The first problem with that is that you would be using Wisdom as your attack stat for Shillelagh.

Second, you can only take Resilient once.
 

G

Guest 6801328

Guest
The first problem with that is that you would be using Wisdom as your attack stat for Shillelagh.

Incorrect. The casting stat for Paladins is Cha. The text from Shillelagh:
For the duration, you can use your spellcasting ability instead of Strength for the attack and damage rolls of melee attacks using that weapon

Second, you can only take Resilient once.

Huh...that seems to be correct. I never realize that. Ok, so no Resilient:Wis. Alternately, increase Dex and Wis each by 1 instead of taking Resilience at all. Which maybe is the best option.
 

rczarnec

Explorer
Incorrect. The casting stat for Paladins is Cha. The text from Shillelagh:




Huh...that seems to be correct. I never realize that. Ok, so no Resilient:Wis. Alternately, increase Dex and Wis each by 1 instead of taking Resilience at all. Which maybe is the best option.

Wrong.
The text from the Magic Initiate feat:
Choose a class: bard, cleric, druid, sorcerer, warlock, or wizard. You learn two cantrips of your choice from that class’s spell list.
In addition, choose one 1st-level spell from that same list. You learn that spell and can cast it at its lowest level. Once you cast it, you must finish a long rest before
you can cast it again.
Your spellcasting ability for these spells depends on the class you chose: Charisma for bard, sorcerer, or warlock; Wisdom for cleric or druid: or Intelligence for wizard.
 

Barolo

First Post
(...)

Drunken Master: I find it weird how there's no requirement to actually drink. You'd think they'd give them proficiency with brewer's tools or something, but instead they get perform. Is there really a subset of people who want to play a drunken master who doesn't actually drink?

About this, I think the idea to base a fighting style on the martial artist actually drinking is silly. It seems to me the popular trope of the "drunken" style comes from the martial artist mastering the use of sudden and seemingly out-of-balance movements, similar to how drunk people move around, in order to deceive the opponent, luring them to believe the "drunken" martial artist is less dangerous, and also surprising them by the unexpected, apparently random pattern of the moves. They pretend they are drunk, as being really drunk would be detrimental to fighting, hence the perform proficiency. It would be nonetheless useful to actually carry around some booze, and to taint one's clothes with it, to improve the performance.
 

doctorbadwolf

Heretic of The Seventh Circle
Ignoring the pacificism(but not, because you still hit things, just not lethally) vibe of the redeemer, it makes a great "my faith guides my hand" Paladin. I really like the armor feature, and the spell list.

Drunk-Monk is fun. Both conceptually and mechanically. The mechanics seem to represent the concept really well. Tipsy Sway shouldn't be 1/SR. it already uses a reaction, if it needs a greater cost/restriction, making it cost 1 ki.

Slayer Ranger is fine.
 

Blue

Ravenous Bugblatter Beast of Traal
Right now, you can't multiclass into UA content, but that could change in the future.

I see several people saying this but I must have missed it somewhere. Can you let me know where this rule comes from?

Thanks.
 

doctorbadwolf

Heretic of The Seventh Circle
Also, i think the point, quite correctly, of the redeemer having a Dex armor trait and a weapon trait that has no finesse options is that a redeemer can't just ignore strength to boost the heck out of its AC. That is good design working as intended, not a contradiction.
 

Barolo

First Post
Also, i think the point, quite correctly, of the redeemer having a Dex armor trait and a weapon trait that has no finesse options is that a redeemer can't just ignore strength to boost the heck out of its AC. That is good design working as intended, not a contradiction.

The same way as barbarians and the late immortal mystic.
 

G

Guest 6801328

Guest
Wrong.
The text from the Magic Initiate feat:
Choose a class: bard, cleric, druid, sorcerer, warlock, or wizard. You learn two cantrips of your choice from that class’s spell list.
In addition, choose one 1st-level spell from that same list. You learn that spell and can cast it at its lowest level. Once you cast it, you must finish a long rest before
you can cast it again.
Your spellcasting ability for these spells depends on the class you chose: Charisma for bard, sorcerer, or warlock; Wisdom for cleric or druid: or Intelligence for wizard.

Oh oh oh....interesting. Yes, you're right, that would seem to supercede the description from Shillelagh.
 


I see several people saying this but I must have missed it somewhere. Can you let me know where this rule comes from?
I think they are misreading: "As is typical in Unearthed Arcana, the options here haven’t been tuned for multiclassing".

It doesn't say you can't multiclass into UA options.
 

The Human Target

Adventurer
About this, I think the idea to base a fighting style on the martial artist actually drinking is silly. It seems to me the popular trope of the "drunken" style comes from the martial artist mastering the use of sudden and seemingly out-of-balance movements, similar to how drunk people move around, in order to deceive the opponent, luring them to believe the "drunken" martial artist is less dangerous, and also surprising them by the unexpected, apparently random pattern of the moves. They pretend they are drunk, as being really drunk would be detrimental to fighting, hence the perform proficiency. It would be nonetheless useful to actually carry around some booze, and to taint one's clothes with it, to improve the performance.

In real life, sure.

In real life people intoning nonsense words and waving their hands about aren't actually casting spells.

But in the game they are, because it's a fantasy game.

Why not embrace the fantasy?
 


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