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UA Unearthed Arcana: Spirits Bard and Undeath Warlock

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The Undead Warlock is basically a non-crap version of the Undying. It's ... OK.

College of Spirits is interesting, but I don't like that Tales from Beyond takes both your bonus action and your action. Terrible for action economy. I feel like the Bardic Inspiration spending part of it should require no sort of action type at all and the tale activation take a bonus action.
 

jmartkdr2

Adventurer
Spirits bard looks okay - nothing crazy cpmpared to normal bard shenanigans, and the flavor isn't bad on it's own (although I can see it being handled very poorly.)

Undead warlock doesn't impress me. I don't like the temporary form change, especially as a first level feature. That's a barbarian idea, and really tracks poorly with undeath. I'd rather see a smaller permanent change (necro resitance and advantage against fear?) and just have the shift increase as new subclass features are applied.

On top of that, Grave Touched highly favors greataxes, but mostly favors eldritch blast, because that obviously needed a boost. It should probably be once per turn.

Edit: after thinking some more, I'm not so sure about needing to nerf the damage boost. It's not better than sorlock nonsense, and should be balanced by the fact the you only get a few uses of Form of Dread anyways - unless you have short adventuring days, that is.

Plus I really want to make a half-undead barbarian/warlock dragonborn now...
 
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Part of me really wants to change the title of College of Spirits to Dirge Singer.

Ala the 3.5 non Eberron version. I did it with Battle Master->Warblade, so it would be something I'd do.

Ironically I was just checking the whole UA subpage here on Enworld yesterday too!
 
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doctorbadwolf

Heretic of The Seventh Circle
I hate random effect tables, so I'm going in with that bias already. HOpefully it's a pleasant surprise!
Yep, I hate it.

Edit: I misread it. NEvermind.

Okay, it's good. It's like portent, in that you roll early on (beginning of the day, after a short rest, whatever, and then decide based on the effect who to target with it. This is an example of the only good kind of randomly determined class ability effect.
 


Kobold Stew

Last Guy in the Airlock
I like the looks of College of Spirits.

A skull or a candle as a spellcasting focus is nice flavour. Spirit Session allows the bard to get a familiar, and a steed -- without needing to devote spells from Lore Bard/Magical Secrets.
 

Sacrosanct

Legend
OK WotC, first of all, scrap this spirit bard. Then, create an actual shaman class. If this subclass is a nod to the shaman class, then it's gonna suck as much as the PDK was a nod to the warlord.
 

The Undead Warlock is basically a non-crap version of the Undying. It's ... OK.
I'm not sure it has to be better than OK. An undead patron is a rich thematic pool to draw from that's been utterly wasted by how mechanically lacking the Undying Warlock was. If we're taking this as part of a package deal with the Class Features UA from last year, then Animate Dead is already on the Warlock spell list and you've got everything you need for a classic necromancer.

But speaking of the Class Features UA, I note that nothing in the Undead Warlock specifically keys off Eldritch Blast. It's just "Hit a creature with an attack" triggers. So you could definitely roll a Blade Pact Undead Warlock, take the new Eldritch Armor invocation, grab a weapon, and start stomping around the battlefield as a heavily armored death knight swinging a necrotic damage greataxe.
 

doctorbadwolf

Heretic of The Seventh Circle
College of Spirits is interesting, but I don't like that Tales from Beyond takes both your bonus action and your action. Terrible for action economy. I feel like the Bardic Inspiration spending part of it should require no sort of action type at all and the tale activation take a bonus action.
To be fair, you can roll for it whenever you want. You can and should roll for it at the start of the day, and after each short rest if you've already used it. It lasts until you finish a short or long rest.
 



I'm not sure it has to be better than OK. An undead patron is a rich thematic pool to draw from that's been utterly wasted by how mechanically lacking the Undying Warlock was. If we're taking this as part of a package deal with the Class Features UA from last year, then Animate Dead is already on the Warlock spell list and you've got everything you need for a classic necromancer.

But speaking of the Class Features UA, I note that nothing in the Undead Warlock specifically keys off Eldritch Blast. It's just "Hit a creature with an attack" triggers. So you could definitely roll a Blade Pact Undead Warlock, take the new Eldritch Armor invocation, grab a weapon, and start stomping around the battlefield as a heavily armored death knight swinging a necrotic damage greataxe.
While summoning Undead mooks to provide support/flanking bonus in the middle of the total chaos that is happening.
 



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