D&D (2024) Unearthed Arcana Playtest Packet 7 Live on D&D Beyond

Wizards of the Coast posted the seventh playtest packet for the 2024 update to Dungeons & Dragons. The new playtest packet includes updated class material for the Barbarian, Fighter, Sorcerer, Warlock, and Wizard classes.

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Highlights for each class:

Barbarian
  • New Path of the World Tree subclass and updated Berserker, Wild Heart (formerly Totem Warrior), and Zealot subclasses.
  • Attack recklessly for a full round rather than just one turn.
  • Path of the Wild Heart (formerly Path of the Totem Warrior) has updated options.
  • Brutal Critical gets damage buffs.

Fighter
  • New Brawler subclass excels at using improvised weapons and unarmed strikes.
  • Tactical Mind and Tactical Shift expand the use of Second Wind.
  • Studied Attacks grants advantage on an attack roll against an enemy after you've missed an attack against them.
  • Battle Master and its maneuvers have been updated.

Sorcerer
  • Innate Sorcery empowers your spellcasting for a limited time.
  • Sorcery Incarnate and Arcane Apotheosis boost your Metamagic while Innate Sorcery is active.
  • Sorcerous Restoration is available at 5th level and scales with your sorcerer level.
  • Wild Magic Sorcery now more reliably allows you to roll on the Wild Magic Surge table.

Warlock
  • Pact Magic is back.
  • Eldritch Invocations are now available at 1st level and your options have been revised.
  • Pact Boons are now invocations, and Mystic Arcanum is once again a class feature.
  • Patron Spells are always prepared.
  • Updated Archfey Patron, Celestial Patron, Fiend Patron, Great Old One Patron subclasses.

Wizard
  • Spellcasting feature now allows you to swap out a cantrip each long rest.
  • Memorize Spell is now a feature. Modify Spell and Create spell have been nixed.
  • Updated Abjurer, Diviner, Evoker, and Illusionist subclasses.
Universal changes include a return to class spell lists, more features from Tasha’s Cauldron of Everything, and update to some of the spells including arcane eruption, sorcerous burst, counterspell, and jump.

The official Dungeons & Dragons YouTube account also posted an almost 90-minute-long video doing a deep dive on the playtest packet.

 
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Darryl Mott

Darryl Mott


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Ive been saying for years that Tasha's was a soft rules update and seeing so many of the abilities from there become part of core seems like this was the intention the entire time.

Ok. WHY. WHYYYYYYY. WHY do Draconic and Wild Sorcs not get expanded spell lists? They acknowledge in the document to use aberrant and clockwork, so they can clearly acknowledge the design of those two classes represent the future of the sorc. Give draconic and wild the same love
Because both of them are the baseline or "vanilla" sorcerer subclasses. I want more "gish-potential" out of the draconic sorcerer rather than an expanded spell list tbh. I want them to be the sorcerer that as well as being the tough boomstick also has claws and an extra attack and can play cantrip-and-claw. And the Wild Sorcerer make spells weirder. There's no obvious extension in either case - although I'd prefer draconic sorcerers could steal any spell from any class that's typed with their damage type. And possibly a few other spells like Barkskin.

Also to take things across from the Warlock thread:
His video will come out soon I assume but here is a brief summary. Sorry if I miss something.

He did his usual assessment set to 13th level. The level is arbitrary but it's held consistent for his analysis for each class/subclass as a simple test case comparison so he can put them all on one chart. He's not claiming it's completely fair or representative, just a simple test to sort of hold his finger in the air initially. Once they settle on stuff he does a much deeper dive at multiple levels and varies his assumptions.

His quick sample build, not fully optimized.
...
2d8 Sprit Shroud
This of course is huge. That's 9 extra damage per hit, or across three attacks and factoring in chance to hit, more than 10 DPR more than Hex would do. With three attacks Spirit Shroud is a busted spell.
Great Weapon Master (Applies proficiency bonus to damage once per round): Chance of hitting at least once with 3 attacks = 94% x 5 (proficiency bonus) = 4.7 damage average per round.
This is, as mentioned, contentious as to whether it's legal.

Take away GWM and drop Spirit Shroud to Hex and that's 15 DPR lost, making the Hexblade who spends all their spell slots on buffing much more reasonable. And a glass cannon compared to the other challengers even if they can Jump around like a frog.
I think it's implied, but he doesn't state it, that maybe this is too many weapon attacks per round with weapons for a spellcasting class?
And mine is that Spirit Shroud should be errata'd for this version of the warlock.
 

Remathilis

Legend
And mine is that Spirit Shroud should be errata'd for this version of the warlock.

Why? Spirit Shroud is notoriously bad EXCEPT in niche cases like this. It's best compared to spirit guardians of the same level, which is strong but no one is calling nerf on. The problem is that for most characters, you have to use very specific builds (soradin, crossbow expert bladesinger, etc) while this is busted on a bog standard bladelock. Which tells me the problem is with the lock since every other gish in the game gets average results with it.

 

Why? Spirit Shroud is notoriously bad EXCEPT in niche cases like this. It's best compared to spirit guardians of the same level, which is strong but no one is calling nerf on. The problem is that for most characters, you have to use very specific builds (soradin, crossbow expert bladesinger, etc) while this is busted on a bog standard bladelock. Which tells me the problem is with the lock since every other gish in the game gets average results with it.
You do realise that the fact it's notoriously bad also says it should be errata'd because it doesn't do its job? You've just given a second reason it should be rewritten because Bladesingers and Eldritch Knights (et al) could actually use a decent spell like that.
 

Remathilis

Legend
You do realise that the fact it's notoriously bad also says it should be errata'd because it doesn't do its job? You've just given a second reason it should be rewritten because Bladesingers and Eldritch Knights (et al) could actually use a decent spell like that.
You can't make it better for other gishes without further breaking it for bladelocks. It's one or the other.
 

You can't make it better for other gishes without further breaking it for bladelocks. It's one or the other.
That just shows a lack of imagination and finesse.

The current version reads
Spirit Shroud (Level 3 spell)
...​
Until the spell ends, any attack you make deals 1d8 extra damage when you hit a creature within 10 feet of you.​
...​
At Higher Levels. When you cast this spell using a spell slot of 4th level or higher, the damage increases by 1d8 for every two slot levels above 3rd.​

Let's try the following
Suggested Spirit Shroud (Level 2 spell)
...​
Until the spell ends the first time you hit a creature within 10 feet of you you do 1d6 extra damage​
...​
At higher levels. When you cast this spell using a spell slot of 3rd level or higher, the damage increases by 1d6 for every slot level above 2nd.​

First, looking at the Level 11+ bladelock which is where the problem lies.
  • As we've been into the current Spirit Shroud does 17.75 DPR.
  • The new version does 14 damage and has a 6.4% chance to miss with all three attacks and a 1/12 chance to crit on the first attack that hits. I can't be bothered to work this out but it's a hair over 14 damage.
This is a nerf.

Now let's look at the suggested version of Spirit Shroud on a bladesinger.
  • Bladesingers never (barring Haste from someone else) get more than two attacks with Spirit Shroud - Concentration clash.
  • If you only proc on the first attack you land you have a 40% chance of missing each attack - or a 16% chance of missing both.
  • As a level 2 spell the new version is the only game in town.
  • As a level 3 spell the old version did 2 * 4.5 * 60% = 5.4 extra damage. The new version does 7 * 84% which is just over 5.8 damage not counting crits. (The chance of crits is actually higher in the new version because it only procs on a hit - and you do more damage)
  • As a level 4 spell the new version is better than the level 3 spell and the old one isn't.
  • As a level 5 spell the new version does precisely double the damage of the level 3 versio .
The same applies to if you get it on any other one or two attack class. On an Eldritch Knight ... OK it doesn't win that one except as a level 2 spell. But I'll take "buffed on any gish except a level 11+ bladelock or an eldritch knight and nerfed on the level 11 bladelock which is where it's broken". And that just by a very simple change.
 

UngainlyTitan

Legend
Supporter
That just shows a lack of imagination and finesse.

The current version reads
Spirit Shroud (Level 3 spell)
...​
Until the spell ends, any attack you make deals 1d8 extra damage when you hit a creature within 10 feet of you.​
...​
At Higher Levels. When you cast this spell using a spell slot of 4th level or higher, the damage increases by 1d8 for every two slot levels above 3rd.​

Let's try the following
Suggested Spirit Shroud (Level 2 spell)
...​
Until the spell ends the first time you hit a creature within 10 feet of you you do 1d6 extra damage​
...​
At higher levels. When you cast this spell using a spell slot of 3rd level or higher, the damage increases by 1d6 for every slot level above 2nd.​

First, looking at the Level 11+ bladelock which is where the problem lies.
  • As we've been into the current Spirit Shroud does 17.75 DPR.
  • The new version does 14 damage and has a 6.4% chance to miss with all three attacks and a 1/12 chance to crit on the first attack that hits. I can't be bothered to work this out but it's a hair over 14 damage.
This is a nerf.

Now let's look at the suggested version of Spirit Shroud on a bladesinger.
  • Bladesingers never (barring Haste from someone else) get more than two attacks with Spirit Shroud - Concentration clash.
  • If you only proc on the first attack you land you have a 40% chance of missing each attack - or a 16% chance of missing both.
  • As a level 2 spell the new version is the only game in town.
  • As a level 3 spell the old version did 2 * 4.5 * 60% = 5.4 extra damage. The new version does 7 * 84% which is just over 5.8 damage not counting crits. (The chance of crits is actually higher in the new version because it only procs on a hit - and you do more damage)
  • As a level 4 spell the new version is better than the level 3 spell and the old one isn't.
  • As a level 5 spell the new version does precisely double the damage of the level 3 versio .
The same applies to if you get it on any other one or two attack class. On an Eldritch Knight ... OK it doesn't win that one except as a level 2 spell. But I'll take "buffed on any gish except a level 11+ bladelock or an eldritch knight and nerfed on the level 11 bladelock which is where it's broken". And that just by a very simple change.
I would add that quite a few balance problems with damage enhancing spells would be solved by the damage only applying on a hit.
 

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