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Unearthed Arcana Unearthed Arcana Returns to Monthly With Some Revised Subclasses



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I hate them all.

I want a Kensai monk so bad.

IMG I just let weapons picked up with the Weapon Master feat be monk weapons if they lack the Heavy property.

Problem solved.
 

Xeviat

Hero
Supporter
And here I thought we were going to get a revised Champion ...

But in all seriousness, I like these. The arcane archer still feels a little limited in not getting more special shots per short rest, but at least they get a constant +1 enhancement bonus to make them feel more magical.

Interestingly (because I can't let up), just the +1 to hit and damage from the Arcane Archer is better than the Champion's Improved Critical, and they get 2 specials and they get a skill. Woops.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

hejtmane

Explorer
This implementation of the Kensai doesn't seem bad, per se. The wording of the rules seem a bit clumsy, though. I think I like it better, over all, though.

Better and I like that you get more weapons with level and now in melee you get your bonus martial arts attack still and it is not Martial weapons only which is good; this is a better version even without 2 handed heavy weapons being no longer an option
 

I really like how the bard turned out. However, i still think that the AA fighter should get more uses of the ability per short rest, this way it feels too restrictive. Maybe, change the name of the sorcerer subclass to radiant soul? :)
 

Maybe, change the name of the sorcerer subclass to radiant soul? :)

Please do, WoTC. This is nothing like the Favored Soul I know and love. The one they originally made way back when they mad the article on the spell-less ranger was perfect, and embodied the best aspects of the class. It was also a perfectly viable and very good theurge subclass, unlike the new overtuned one they're trying to shove down our throats. I don't get why they had to make a new favored soul that plays nothing like how I would expect a Favored Soul to do. I've loved almost everything to come out of Unearhted Arcana, even the sharpshooter, more than this terribly played-out and hackneyed rebranding of what was a great subclass the first time around with strictly inferior and less flavorful changes. I'm surprised that people actually said they liked it, especially in comparison to the original one, but I wager a guess that it's because not many people may have been aware of it because it was tucked away in a kind of forgettable article that didn't provide much mechanically for players.
 

Leatherhead

Possibly a Idiot.
This probably means they aren't going to redo the Lore Wizard, which was the Best Concept with the Worst Rules. And that makes me sad. Also noticeably absent, the Mystic and any mention of a Warlord.
Anyway, lets see the changes:

Barbarian: Path of the Ancestral Guardian

Ancestral Protectors
No longer a Bonus Action, which is good because Barbarians suffer from Bonus Action Scarcity. Instead, it's applied on the first attack of each round in a rage, so basically Marking.
No longer hinders movement, instead has the much more useful feature of everyone else gaining resistance to all attacks from the creature. Yes, even Psychic

Ancestral Shield

No longer transfers Resistance, instead it grants a 2d8 (scaling with level) damage negation for the barbarians reaction.
It's not as powerful, but it doesn't need to be due to the above changes. However, this means that you would rather use your reaction for an OA.
Kind of a filler now (it's no Eagle Vision) but it has it's uses. And it's streamlined, so no more headaches about who has what resistance.

Consult the Spirits
Instead of granting advantage on mental checks, it lets you cast Clairvoyance , once per rest even.
A total upgrade, but you have to wonder what the thought posses for such an upgrade was.

Vengeful Ancestors
Now a damage rider for your Ancestral Shield, makes using Ancestral Shield a no-brainer.

Thoughts:
Good changes over all, streamlined the rules, cleaned up Action Economy, and made the ribbon really good. Before I would have scoffed at the idea of playing one, not so much any more.

Bard: College of Swords
This one was in UA:Kit's of Old, for those confused about it, I know I was for a moment.

Bonus Proficiencies
You can now use your Melee Weapon as a Casting Focus.
This is really great, because casting with your hands full is kind of a problem for Gish types.

Fighting Style
Now you can also pick the Dueling Style. Which may be better, if you plan on casting a bunch of bonus action spells. Even if it kinda negates the above change.
Still no option for two-handed users though.

Blade Flourish
Made more complex, sadly.
No longer part of the Attack Action. Which means no more two weapon fighting, among other things.
Now You get a 10' speed bonus, which is mostly useless by itself unless you are using a reach weapon. And Bards don't automatically know how to use reach weapons, not even the Whip.
Defensive Flourish.
The same.
Slashing Flourish
Replaces Trick Shooter’s Flourish Instead of a bonus to ranged attack damage with dagger (kind of useless) it gives you a Smart PBAoE melee attack. Probably more useful.
Mobile Flourish.
Replaces Unnerving Flourish An automatic Push that triggers when you hit a target. The distance moved is really dumb: 5' +x' where X is your bardic die roll, meaning the X push distance is absolutely useless unless you roll a 5 or greater. Also, you can spend a reaction to get back into their face.
Still, it is a no-save push that works on any target of any size, so have fun knocking dragons into pits.

Cunning Flourish
It's basically Extra Attack, only named differently for ambiguous reasons that will inevitably lead to problems with rules interactions.

Master’s Flourish

Replaces Battle Magic, which I liked better.
Unlimited d6's for your Flourish attacks. Giving you the option for spending Bardic Inspiration on other things. It's Something I guess.

Thoughts.
The Focus as a weapon is good, the extra fighting style is good, Slashing Flourish is good.
Everything else is changed for the worse.

Fighter: Arcane Archer

Magic Arrow
Now grants +1 damage and +1 to hit because all of your ammo can be Magic +1 ammo. No longer Requires a Bonus action.

Arcane Shot

Also Benefits from the lack of a Bonus Action, but still limited to Once Per Turn.

Archer’s Lore
Nerfed! Now Only grants Arcana an Nature as skills.

Curving Shot
As a bonus action, you can re-roll a ranged attack miss, this re-roll must be against a different target. Arguably more useful than Conjure Arrows (which it replaced) because you can re-use magic arrow shots, but I still like the idea of being able to summon your weapon better.

Ever-Ready Arrow
Instead of being on a 60 second timer, you simply get one trick arrow per combat. Easier for the bookkeeping, but it kind of screws you over in Epic Battles with long duration. Oh well.

Arcane Shot Options
Of note, Arrows can Now require Saving throws in addition to hitting the target in the first place. Not cool, because now you have twice the opportunity for your resources to be wasted.
Banishing Arrow
New! Cha Saving throw (boo) or be banished for one turn. Poster child for the problem I was talking about before.
Beguiling Arrow.
See Mind-Scrambling Arrow.
Brute Bane Arrow
Now does extra Necrotic damage, hooray. Also has a Con saving throw (against Brutes? It should be CHA or INT to be the Bane of Brutes). But at least it reduces all damage dealt now.
Bursting Arrow
Largely unchanged, however the AoE does get a damage boost at level 18, so that's nice.
Grasping Arrow
Now does poison damage in addition to all the other things. Also the check to remove them is now based on your Save DC. So, yeah, this got beefy.
Mind-Scrambling Arrow.
Once known as Beguiling Arrow. Now has a WIS saving throw, but has extra psychic damage to compensate.
Piercing Arrow
Streamlined into a DEX (save for half) saving throw that ignores cover, and gets a smattering of bonus damage. But no longer gets the benefit of things that boost attack damage rolls, like Sharpshooter.
Seeking Arrow.
Also changed into a Dex (save for 1/2) saving throw that ignores cover. Also also has the same problems with no longer counting as an attack roll.
Shadow Arrow
Now a Wis save, vision only extends 5' and deals extra psychic damage to compensate for the save.

Thoughts.
Appending an extra saving throw on top of an attack roll is less than fun. The changes to Piercing and Seeking Arrow makes them less desirable, even if they are streamlined.

Monk: Way of the Kensei
Path of the Kensei
No more Greatweapons or Nets, for arbitrary reasons. However they do count as monk weapons, which lets them actually work with Monk powers.
"Pummel" has been reworked into a generic damage bonus for Ranged weapons. Because they can't Flurry, you know.
One with the Blade
Precise Strike is now a Ki point cost that gives you an extra damage die. Solving two problems with one stone, I suppose.
Sharpen the Blade
Can now only work on one weapon at a time.
Unerring Accuracy
Now only works on monk weapons. So no siege weapon mastery for you!

Thoughts:
Mostly just cleanup, which this subclass badly needed. The restriction on weapons was likely to quell the gnashing of teeth over Dex-Greatswords (I didn't think they were of great concern to begin with) and nip any confusion about nets in the bud. (seriously, when are Nets going to be viable main weapons?). I also don't get why they gain more weapons over the levels, it seems unnecessary.

Sorcerer: Favored Soul
Divine Magic
Same as the last one, with the exception that you get Cure Wounds for free (bonus spells are cool, but Cure Wounds itself kind of sucks)
Favored by the Gods
The same as before.
Supernatural Resilience
Deleted!
Empowered Healing
I see where this is going and I don't like it. Anyway, you get Empower with your healing spells for no cost to your normal metamagic picks. Can we get a ribbon up in this slot please?
Blessed Countenance
See Angelic Form
Angelic Form
At level 14, you get spectral wings! Hooray! They aren't actually a part of your body, so the anti-body-mod crowd can't disprove of them because they are obviously magical energy.
Gone is the immunity to disease thing, that wasn't really useful anyway. Unfortunately, some will still disaprove of this due to the supernatural face lift part of the fluff.
Unearthly Recovery
The same as the last time, again.

Thoughts:
Why healing? I dunno. Divinity has so much more going for it than healing. At least they get the one mandatory healing spell for free . But I feel the need to reiterate: Being a healer involves more than just HP Damage, you have to be able to cure conditions, stat damage, and even death. Perhaps granting Lesser/Greater Restoration for free if you really want to hammer the healer thing in?
 
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Thurmas

Explorer
These all seem like improvements over their last UA attempt, but I think they still need a little work. Favored Soul is closer, but I still like the first UA Favored Soul the best. Domain spells really capture the aspect of having different deities, not just healing. And some armor and weapon proficiencies make sense. This one is closer though and it sort of has the wings back. Real wings over spectral would be nice though.


I know it doesn't really fit the name, Arcane and all, but I'd rather the Arcane Archer be a Ranger subclass and use Wisdom instead of a Fighter subclass and use intelligence. I think that might be because I just don't like any of the Ranger subclasses though. Still, this is improved over the last version.


The Kensei seems to fix a lot of the problems of the last version. I would really enjoy the subclass, playing with a longsword and darts (now 2d4 each!).


I would probably not play the bard or barbarian versions so I'm not really sure if I believe they are better or not.
 

guachi

Explorer
I'll settle for people spelling kensei properly.

As to the subclasses: I like the Barbarian and Bard subclasses. I'm indifferent to the Fighter and Monk subclasses. I don't really like the Sorcerer subclass.
 

Gadget

Adventurer
Well, well, well. Ancestral Guardian - Kind of like the story, but the protect other people with my ancestor Spirits does not really follow from the story and seems to be kind of meta-gamey ( A glorified mark). Okay I guess.

Arcane Archer - Seems to be streamlined and cleaned up. Like how all your arrows are now magical, but I kind of miss the flavor of the never-ending quiver. @Leatherhead I think the following feature is meant to mitigate the addition of a Saving Throw:

You decide to use the option when the arrow hits, unless the option doesn’t involve an attack roll.

So you never expend the ability when you miss your shot.

Kensai - Okay, I guess.

Favored Soul - Not really loving it. I liked the older version quite frankly. I don't see the point of the enforced healing angle really.
 

pukunui

Legend
Ancestral Guardian: I'm not too fussed about this one. This version is probably better than the previous one. It's certainly been streamlined quite a bit. I doubt I'd ever pick this subclass no matter what it does, though, as the concept just doesn't appeal to me. Meh.

Blade: This was my favorite bard kit from 2e. I quite liked the previous version. This one has some improvements in some areas (like being able to use a weapon as a spellcasting focus) but I'm not sure about the flourishes. I liked the Trick Shot one, as I liked the idea of being a dagger thrower (I even built a carnival knife thrower pregen for a one-shot once using this subclass). Also, the Mobile Flourish is kinda odd ... if you're using a grid, rolling under a 5 on the inspiration die is useless.

Arcane Archer: This is a lot better, but I still don't like the arbitrary 2/rest limit on Arcane Shot. I'm also not sure that the basic magic arrow needs to be +1. Why can't it just be considered magical, like a level 6+ monk's fists?

Kensei: Sounds like a neat class in concept. I'm not that familiar with the source material, so I don't really have a horse in this race, but I can understand why some people are upset that you can't use a polearm with it. I also don't get the need to increase the number of weapons. Seems a bit extraneous.

Favored Soul: Meh. Still not doing it for me. I want to see them take the plunge and make it so you use the cleric spell list instead of the sorcerer spell list, rather than in addition to. You can add in a chosen domain's bonus spells to help differentiate favored souls by patron deity, too.
 

I haven't read through them all, yet, but I've got a Favored Soul, in my game. I think I'll be sticking with the previous version. I hate having cure wounds hardwired into the class. Totally ruins it, IMO. The backstory for the FS in my game would have worked extremely well without cure wounds (he had an extra slot, so took it, but sure didn't need to). Having it forced upon the class seems so very limiting.

Empowered Healing compounds the issue, even further, by turning cure wounds from a bonus ability to a forced focus. While there's the possibility that Blessed Countenance could be milked a bit (I'd rather see "pick two Cha skills and gain expertise"), I liked it much, much better.
I like how they handled that, by adding that one spell rather than having it come at the expense of spells known. So healing isn't coming at the expense of other spells. A solid compromise from knowing too many cleric spells but still having the option to choose to heal.
(You still have to opt into lesser restoration and greater restoration though...)
 

This probably means they aren't going to redo the Lore Wizard, which was the Best Concept with the Worst Rules. And that makes me sad. Also noticeably absent, the Mystic and any mention of a Warlord.

Considering they said this in the intro for the UA:

"We’re also tinkering with other subclasses from the previous series, but we thought these five subclasses would be particularly interesting for you to revisit."

I would expect to see more in the coming months, along with other revised material to review.
 

I don't know where others are getting that you can't use Blade Flourish and Two-Weapon Fighting at the same time. Blade Flourish is "As an action", there's no mention of using a bonus action so therefore one could make an attack using their off-hand weapon, as they still have a bonus action left after using the Blade Flourish action, which can be used regardless of how many inspiration uses are left as the options are well optional.
 

Mercule

Adventurer
I like how they handled that, by adding that one spell rather than having it come at the expense of spells known. So healing isn't coming at the expense of other spells. A solid compromise from knowing too many cleric spells but still having the option to choose to heal.
(You still have to opt into lesser restoration and greater restoration though...)
I kinda agree, kinda not. If the demand is "sorcerous cleric" then it makes a ton of sense. That only appealed to me, in 3.5 because I hated the psuedo-Vancian magic (and still do). 5E preparation rules have evolved to the point where that mechanical drive for sorcerer is gone; you would do just as well by having a cleric who never prepared different spells.

If you're going for sorcerer with divine origin, then forcing cure wounds kinda sucks. If your heritage is from the god of pestilence, then why would you have cure wounds? You're "paying for" the ability, in terms of design balance, presumably. But, you don't get to use it without running counter to concept. I'd rather see them do a sub-origin, like they did with dragon blood. Pick a Cleric domain, get one of the listed 1st level spells for free. Granted, some of them kinda suck, but it at least gives an option for someone who likes the idea of divine blood magic without having to be the healbot. Or, skip the domains and have them pick a "divine nature" that's not perfectly aligned with the domains and grants a bonus spell and a 6th level ability.
 

Blue

Ravenous Bugblatter Beast of Traal
This probably means they aren't going to redo the Lore Wizard, which was the Best Concept with the Worst Rules. And that makes me sad. Also noticeably absent, the Mystic and any mention of a Warlord.

They said this batch were redos (no Warlord) of subclasses (no Mystic) that scored well but had a few issues (no "worst rules" Lore Wizard). Nothing prevents any of those in the future, and two of the three actively wouldn't have belonged in this article. Keep your faith alive!
 

Atlatl Jones

Explorer
I'm not crazy about the Favored Soul healing emphasis either. And to add to the dogpile, if the favored soul already has the Empower metamagic, he gets nothing at 6th level.

I like the new Kensei a lot, but I'm disappointed that they can't use glaives or longspears/pikes anymore.

The Blade is much cleaner, but I miss them being good with thrown weapons too. Also, College of the Blade is a much better name than College of the Sword.

I don't know where others are getting that you can't use Blade Flourish and Two-Weapon Fighting at the same time. Blade Flourish is "As an action", there's no mention of using a bonus action so therefore one could make an attack using their off-hand weapon, as they still have a bonus action left after using the Blade Flourish action, which can be used regardless of how many inspiration uses are left as the options are well optional.
The rule for two weapon fighting is: "When you take the Attack action and attack with a light melee weapon that you’re holding in one hand, you can use a bonus action to attack with a different light melee weapon that you’re holding in the other hand."

Blade Flourish isn't an Attack action, it's its own type of action, so the rules for two weapon fighting don't apply to it. I suspect this was an oversight, not an intentional design decision.
 

So, overall, there is absolutely no feature of the latest Favored Soul that is better than the previous one. At best, an individual feature might be a break even. Some of them are substantively worse. If this becomes the official version (assuming "big book o' crunch, 2017 edition"), it's unlikely to see play at my table.

I doubt it will be, since they are asking for further play-testing and feedback. Make sure to make your opinions known to them when the survey comes out!
 

jrowland

First Post
Blade Flourish isn't an Attack action, it's its own type of action, so the rules for two weapon fighting don't apply to it. I suspect this was an oversight, not an intentional design decision.

As written, I think that is correct. But there is no generic "action" (PHB 192 lists all the actions you can take). Given that all but two flourishes specify mention an attack, I think its a typo.

it probably should read:

"As an Attack action, you can make one melee weapon
attack, and your walking..."

That one word makes the entire feature much better.
 

If you're going for sorcerer with divine origin, then forcing cure wounds kinda sucks. If your heritage is from the god of pestilence, then why would you have cure wounds? You're "paying for" the ability, in terms of design balance, presumably.
Maybe. But probably not, as it seems to have been added to Divine Magic. The other 1st level power isn't changed. You are losing the extra hit point, but I imagine that was as much for the balance of not getting three features at level one.
Cure wounds is nice, but you're still limited by spell slots so it's not a huge power increase.

But, you don't get to use it without running counter to concept.
Which is fine. If you can play a dragon sorcerer as a buffer rather than DPS you can play a favoured soul that isn't a healbot. And since you still have access to the regular sorcerer spells, you can alternate between healing and blasting.

The existing favoured soul in my game will be very happy with this, as he's playing a Red Mage style character that both heals and drops fireballs. This is one extra spell known.

I'd rather see them do a sub-origin, like they did with dragon blood. Pick a Cleric domain, get one of the listed 1st level spells for free. Granted, some of them kinda suck, but it at least gives an option for someone who likes the idea of divine blood magic without having to be the healbot. Or, skip the domains and have them pick a "divine nature" that's not perfectly aligned with the domains and grants a bonus spell and a 6th level ability.
Could work, but much more complicated. And so many cleric domain spells might already be sorcerer spells, so it's just a free bonus spell. And giving that choice adds extra balance concerns: they need to worry about interactions with every existing domain and newly added domain.
 

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