Unearthed Arcana Unearthed Arcana Subclasses Part III: Artificer, Druid, and Ranger

The third in the recent spate of D&D subclasses from WotC! "Continuing our series of new D&D subclasses in 2020, Unearthed Arcana presents three more for you to playtest: the Armorer for the artificer, the Circle of the Stars for the druid, and the Fey Wanderer for the ranger. Today’s article also includes some new infusions for the artificer."

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Ok...thoughts on the Artificer; if it's your thing, you'll probably like it. I am not a big fan of the Artificer, so having a power mech is not my idea of D&D.

Moving on...

The Druid: I like the idea behind it. This is reminiscent of the old Gaelic druids of old (think Stonehenge). I am not sure about the implementation, though. Starry Form? Just seems like a weird mechanic. Cosmic Omen seems like an OK mechanic, but Diviners do it better. Full of Stars (2001 reference...HA HA) is meh. Star Flare is an OK teleport with mild damage...not terribly impressive.

Rating: Meh

The Ranger: Fey based. Nice little level 3 power that lets you make your weapon attacks magical for one turn and do some psychic damage once on your turn. Doesn't scale, but it is nice that you can use this as part of the same bonus action to use two weapon fighting (first time I've seen this in use, so I like it). Level 7 feature is kind of nice...a mini-smite that causes your enemy to be scared of you. The level 11 feature is neat...when an ally makes its saving throw against a charm or fear effect, you can force another target to make a saving throw or either be charmed, or take some damage. Not bad. And their capstone? You are invisible and inaudible to a single target until they make a saving throw? Holy Shiznitt!!!

Rating: Interesting, though I would be interested in possibly reskinning this.
 

Arilyn

Hero
The armourer is maybe too close to Iron Man? Also, I feel the armour is too slick and modern. It doesn't have a steampunk feel. It's Iron Man, right out of the box. 🙄

I like the starry druid, but feel the constellation actually appearing on the druid's body is a bit much. But that's just fluff, so no biggie. Love the flavour of the star map.

I really like the fey ranger. Ideas for characters immediately started brewing, so that makes me happy.

Overall, a good set. I'll even let my Avengers fans play the armourer.
 

MonkeezOnFire

Adventurer
I've been of the opinion for a while now that the ranger subclasses should have been based on favoured enemies rather than vague archetypes. While the fluff for this fey ranger is not much a hunter of fey and instead is powered by them its not a far cry off. It's not hard to picture a character who gets powers from their quarry as they have grown to know them so well.

What I'm saying is that it feels like it validates an idea I have so I like it conceptually. Mechanically it is a bit of a shame that rangers require getting a bit of a damage boost from their subclasses as Dreadful Strikes feels kinda forced into the theme.
 

Umbran

Mod Squad
Staff member
Supporter
I've been of the opinion for a while now that the ranger subclasses should have been based on favoured enemies rather than vague archetypes.
[

You do realize the design issue with that, though, right? That works well in a novel or movie where the author makes sure the story has a whole bunch of those favored enemies around. In an RPG, though, you can all-too-often be stuck with these cool powers defined by an opponent.. and the opponent doesn't show up. Powers based on the type of opponent are pretty situational.
 

MonkeezOnFire

Adventurer
[

You do realize the design issue with that, though, right? That works well in a novel or movie where the author makes sure the story has a whole bunch of those favored enemies around. In an RPG, though, you can all-too-often be stuck with these cool powers defined by an opponent.. and the opponent doesn't show up. Powers based on the type of opponent are pretty situational.
Yes. Let me clarify. I would make each subclass inspired by the chosen favoured enemy but not necessarily have powers that are only active against them like in 3rd edition.

For example take this fey ranger. They get advantage vs charm and proficiency in a social skill along with some other mind affecting powers. These powers are useful against fey but not restricted to fey, they can be used in other scenarios. The bonus spell list further solidifies this: banishment and dispel magic for dealing with fey, charm person and mislead as fey-like inherited powers.

For a dragon slaying ranger I would give them powers and bonus spells that grant resistance to energy damage types, bonuses to area of effect saving throws, maybe a feature to counter fear. Maybe add in a feature that gives bonuses to attacks when made a certain distance away from your target. These are things that are undeniably useful against dragons, but also generally useful in fighting other things as well.
 


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