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


First Post
An somewhat varied option list here this week, but a lot of duds abound.

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?

Drunken technique: I like this one a lot, helps the monk stay mobile and out of danger without relying on the mobility feat.

Tipsy Sway: thoroughly mediocre. Even if the creature can target itself with the attack, few enemies have truly devastating melee attacks in isolation so this will be a tiny damage add once per short rest.

Drunkard's Luck: Really good, in my opinion, and combos beautifully with Diamond soul.

Intoxicated Frenzy: neat in theory, but can already tell it's a wash. it requires you to have a huge number of adjacent enemies, which is bad news for a monk, especially at high levels. The damage on it isn't great either.

Drunken master needs some tweaks but seems salvageable.

Paladin of Redemption
: Another dumpster fire of a class option in a game where combat is a core feature. Additionally, this kicks in at level 3, so at levels 1-2 I guess your character was totally down with the killing and whatnot. I hate classes like this because striving for pacifism, while incredibly annoying in the context of D&D, should be an RP decision and not a mechanical one. Is a pacifist rogue going to get his own subclass?

Armor of Peace: Does pacifism prevent you from protecting yourself? The thematic necessity here of being unarmored doesn't make much sense, but at least it still seems to be a difficult dip.

Warrior of Reconciliation: Oh, okay, there it is. The tacit acknowledgement that you can't reliably have a D&D character without violence. You don't sway minds and hearts, you beat the hell out of them until they submit. Also, it lasts for 1 minute and then they can come back at you, so it's not even like you tossed out your ethos for something actually good.

Aura of the guardian: I can see this one being abusable, particularly if you have means of adding resistances into the equation.

Protective Spirit: Oh look, this paladin is part wizard, because he just decided to steal a champion subclass feature...3 levels before the champion gets it.

Emissary of Peace: a terrible capstone to a terrible class. You can't even make the bullying attacks you got at level 3, and since the paladin is not a full caster I'm sure your party will totally enjoy having what is essentially a 9th level cleric with some nice auras as a level 20 team mate.

Overall, it's a crap class option that seems tailor built to cause inter-party drama and doesn't even do its prescribed goal correctly, much like it's equally terrible monk equivalent.

Monster Slayer: Looks like they're trying to roll all the "X hunter" themes into one class option. Kinda bland but there's some good stuff here.

Slayer's Eye: Annoyingly metagamey and questionably necessary, but otherwise fine I guess.

Supernatural Defense: I really like this one, really fits the implacable hunter vibe.

Relentless Slayer: A neat shutdown ability. Situationally useful of course but no real complaints here.

Slayer's Counter: This one is great, letting you choose between locking down an enemy and resisting being locked. It's worth noting that they both take reactions though, so canny enemies can fake you out with one and then launch the other.

Slayer is a bit generic but probably the best of the bunch, since it has some cool new ideas and isn't obviously imbalanced with their inclusion.

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This Ranger class exacerbates a problem I have noticed with the Ranger class in general: it auto-succeeds its own mini-game. My players attracted to the class want to play a survivor, a wilderness expert, and a resourceful monster-problem solver. Those systems are pretty weak in 5e, specifically wilderness survival, navigation, monster-knowledge creating interesting gameplay advantages, etc. Instead of improving on those systems in an interesting way, the Ranger class and especially this sub-class simply auto-succeed on those challenges. They can't get lost, they automatically find food, they aren't hindered by difficult terrain, etc. In this subclass, they don't even need the nature skill or personal experience to fight monsters, they get to know everything automatically as a bonus action. A lot of Ranger players want to play a Witcher-like monster-hunting mini game, or a Mouse-guard like struggle against their environment. Instead, 5e basically says "you win that game," and then they don't really do anything else except fight.

Gardens & Goblins

First Post
OK, so what's the trope of archetype behind Drunken Master?

I wondered about it when it showed up in Sword & Fist back in 3E; it finally occurred to me to ask about it.

Jackie Chan's film 'Drunken Master' comes to mind. Though as far as I know, the style doesn't actually rely on the practitioner being drunk or even drinking, simply mimicking the actions of a drunk - swaying, moving in unpredictable ways and so on.

The trope seems to focus on the fantastical idea of a martial artist who becomes more powerful the more intoxicated they've become, which can be fun.


OK, so what's the trope of archetype behind Drunken Master?

I wondered about it when it showed up in Sword & Fist back in 3E; it finally occurred to me to ask about it.

Guessing you don't watch Jackie Chan? Drunken Fist is an old Kung fu style, relying on unpredictable motion, using momentum to your advantage, and drinking so that you don't feel pain (Probably an American bastardization of the concept, but that is basically what I see this subclass is supposed to be. It is enjoyable to see done, as it excels at poking holes in normal Martial Arts styles, using odd attacks like sitting down and kicking upward, or swinging your bottom around to bludgeon someone with it. If you don't like old kung fu movies, maybe watch the recent Iron Fist on netflix instead, as they have a Drunken Fist user as well.


Why make a drunken master that gets no benefits from drinking and doesn't really do anything fun?

They seem to have made a "realistic" drunken master.

Which is boring.

Well Drunken Master was a style that didn't require drinking ... it was fake drunk. But, in movies they made it seem like alcohol gave them superhuman damage resistance ... basically more they drank the tougher they got but more off-balance they became, which was harder to hit & land a clean blow.

Yes it doesnt sound as "fun", I agree with that but I dont know if promoting "heavy drinking" to the point of vomiting to get super-powers is something they want to promote

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