Unearthed Arcana UNEARTHED ARCANA Index

This post is a simple index of WotC Unearthed Arcana articles. "You can think of the material presented in this series as similar to the first wave of the fifth edition playtest. These game mechanics are in draft form, usable in your campaign but not fully tempered by playtests and design iterations. They are highly volatile and might be unstable; if you use them, be ready to rule on any issues that come up. They’re written in pencil, not ink." As of April 2016, new Unearthed Arcana materials appears once every two months.

UPDATE -- There is now an Unearthed Arcana category on the news page which lists all the articles. You can also reach it using the "News" dropdown in the navbar, above.

  • Eberron (February 2015; Mike Mearls). As promised, the Unearthed Arcana article series on the official D&D website has launched! The first in a monthly series, an article by Mike Mearls takes a look at the Eberron campaign setting, with rules to help you convert your Eberron campaign to D&D 5th Edition. So, what do you get? A 6 page PDF which includes new races - Changeling and Warforged, the Artificer wizard tradition, action points, and dragonmarks.
  • When Armies Clash (March 2015; Mike Mearls). The D&D combat rules in the Player’s Handbook are designed to model conflict between small groups—an adventuring party of perhaps three to six characters against monster groups that rarely exceed a dozen creatures. Combat on this scale keeps the focus squarely on the adventurers. In some D&D campaigns, though, the story might hinge on battles involving dozens or hundreds of monsters and warriors. In this second installment of Unearthed Arcana, we build on the standard combat rules to model conflict on a much larger scale, allowing players and DMs to control whole armies. At the same time, these rules for mass combat allow individual adventurers to lead an army’s charge against an enemy regiment, rally dispirited soldiers to rejoin the fray, or defeat powerful enemy monsters or leaders.
  • Modifying Classes (April 2015; Rodney Thompson). WotC's Rodney Thompson takes a look at how to customize and modify character classes in the latest Unearthed Arcana article, including an example of a spell-less ranger similar to Lord of the Rings' Strider (an often asked-for class option). There are also notes about each of the other classes, discussing what to be careful about changing.
  • Waterborne Adventures (May 2015; Mike Mearls). The new character options presented in this month’s Unearthed Arcana showcase a simple design approach to adventure on the high seas. These rules include new options for the Fighting Style, Roguish Archetype, and Sorcerous Origin class features, as well as a playable minotaur race from Dragonlance’s world of Krynn. Created to be specifically useful for nautical D&D campaigns, these rules are general enough that they can be useful in any campaign.
  • Variant Rules (June 2015; Mike Mearls). The latest Unearthed Arcana article by Mike Mearls presents variant rules for your game, including players making all rolls, a vitality variant for hit points, and custom alignments.
  • Awakened Mystic (July 2015; Mike Mearls). This month, Unearthed Arcana goes big with a look at the first draft of psionics rules for fifth edition D&D. This article provides a quick overview of how psionics works and presents a new class - the mystic. Similar to how the cleric represents a wide variety of divine magic users, the mystic encapsulates a variety of characters who wield psionic power.
  • Modern Magic (August 2015; Dan Hemick). A few months ago, Daniel Helmick described his adaptation for d20 Modern in a Behind the Screens article. He expanded on the rules for using firearms and explosives in the Dungeon Master’s Guide. Now, what if we extended the D&D rules to cover a campaign not only touched by, but actually set in a modern era? The newest iteration of D&D features various archetypes, traditions, domains, and other options for the base classes, all of which present opportunities for customization. With that in mind, this article presents new rules for expanding the repertoire of spellcasting characters in a modern setting.
  • Ranger (September 2015; Mike Mearls). This installment of Unearthed Arcana presents a revised design of the ranger that builds on the class’s unique traits, creating a new set of class features for 1st level to 5th level. These features are designed to make the ranger feel distinct and interesting while still remaining true to its identity within the game.
  • Prestige Classes & Rune Magic (October 2015; Mike Mearls). Prestige classes build on the game’s broad range of basic options to represent specialized options and unique training. The first of those specialized options for fifth edition D&D is the rune scribe—a character who masters ancient sigils that embody the fundamental magic of creation.
  • Light, Dark and Underdark (November 2015; Mike Mearls). Two new fighting styles for fighters, paladins, and rangers; the Deep Stalker ranger archetype; the shadow sorcerer; and the warlock pact of the Undying Light all offer exciting options for adventuring in the endless gloom of the Underdark.
  • That Old Black Magic (December 2015; Mike Mearls). Taking a new look at the tiefling race, this article breaks down the Player’s Handbook tiefling into a modular variant, allowing players to create tiefling characters tied to either a diabolic or a demonic ancestry. Additionally, a new suite of conjuration spells allows casters to call forth demons to do their bidding.
  • Kits of Old (January 2016; Mike Mearls). This month, Unearthed Arcana converts a few of the more popular kits from that era to new class options for the bard and fighter—and wants to know what other classic kits you’d like to see converted to fifth edition.
  • Psionics and the Mystic - Take Two (February 2016; Mike Mearls). This month, Unearthed Arcana returns to the mystic character class and the rules for psionics.
  • Gothic Heroes (April 2016; Mike Mearls). This month, Unearthed Arcana takes a look at a few new character options appropriate to gothic horror. The revenant subrace provides an interesting way to bring a character back from the dead—a useful option if you’ve lost a character in the mists of Barovia. The Monster Hunter and the Inquisitive are two new archetypes for the fighter and rogue, respectively, well suited to the challenges of Ravenloft or any other gothic horror campaign.


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