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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RSIxidor

Adventurer
I'm sure similar things have already been said but I love the trend of having alternative uses for Wild Shape. I wish the Land Druid had something like that as well. Maybe if we ever get a revised PHB that could be something they tackle. Could even have slightly different versions for each of the lands.
 

RhinoDM

First Post
That Iron Man subclass is really, really OP. Two attacks per round and about 5+ bonus HP every round? Note, on a round where you didn't get hit, you then just make 3 attacks, one with your off hand, just for fun.

Oh, and Shield plus heavy armor is way, way too powerful. There's a reason they took shield away from Forge Priests.

I'm not usually one to talk about OP stuff, but, WOW, this is very over the top.

How is that OP? The Battlesmith also has 2 attacks, and for the cost of a 1st level slot instead of a BA every round, can cast Heroism, which they always have prepared, and get those 5 temp HP + imunity to being frightened. Oh and Shield always prepared too. And then they have their Steel Defender on top of that.

Is it just me or is the armor Smith's lv 9 feature mostly redundant other than the 2 free infusions?
both armor types attack options are categorized as weapons therefore they can already be infused.

Not just you, almost every other adventurer starts out with a weapon/attack, some armour and boots on their feet, so this is just making the Armourer equal to what every other Artificer has been able to do since level 2. And it's not even 2 free infusions, you still only know 6 at this point, so you can only have 6 infused items still. it's just you can change 5 instead of 3 items/infusions known on a long rest. Thus, I conclude the Armourer basically doesn't actually have a 9th lvl 'feature'.



I just wrote this on a discord server:

Having thought about that new UA Artificer some more, I've come to the conclusion that it's cool, but also incredibly underpowered. I'm gonna compare the ranged option to Alice, my lvl 5 Battlesmith Artificer.

  • Both get proficiency with Smith's Tools
  • Both get extra always prepared spells
  • The Armorer gets proficiency with heavy armour, but without str reqs or stealth disadvantage. That's a similar AC as Alice in light armour, but without the need for high Dex or some Str, but that'll come back to bite you later. Personally, I like being sneaky, so I'd have a high Dex regardless, so this is a moot point for me.
  • The power armour can be a spellcasting focus - pure fluff
  • The armour can't be removed against your will - 99.9% fluff
  • The Armorer gets a 5ft increase to speed, 1 point to the Armourer.
  • Weapon - the ranged Armourer can do 3d6+10 magical damage at lvl 5, Alice can do 2d8+12 magical damage thanks to Repeating Shot.
  • The Armourer can use Int for their armour weapon, the Battlesmith can use Int for any magical weapon, so as soon as the Armourer is forced to fight in melee, or Lightning damage is a bad idea, they're screwed as they don't have any Dex or Str from earlier, and can only use simple weapons, whereas Alice will draw her Vicious Rapier, and continue fighting with Int. 1 point to the Battlesmith.
  • They both get an extra attack at lvl 5.

We've now reached the end of the Armorer's features up to level 5, and I'd say they're about equal. However, we're missing the Battlesmith's main 3rd lvl feature still, the Steel Defender. So the BS gets an expendable tank, that can be used for flanking, deals 1d8+3 damage on a bonus action, and imposes at will disadvantage on one enemy attack per round, on top of being "equal". And it gets worse from here.

The Armorer's 9th level feature is that their armour now counts as 4 separate things for infusions: armour, weapon, boots and bracers. Every other Artificer has had this by default since level 1. Alice has a weapon, some armour, and has been wearing boots like every adventurer. And can infuse them all. And bracers are useless, Artificers can make bracers of defense and archery, but they're wearing armour (duh) and don't use a bow. They also get 2 more items infused per long rest, but who's changing 3 infusions per day, let alone 5? So basically, the Armorer doesn't actually have a 9th lvl feature. Meanwhile, the BS is getting an extra 2d6 damage or healing 5 times a day. Then at 15th level, the Armorer gets to give one ally attack per round advantage, and does an extra 1d6 damage. The BS on the other hand is getting 2d6 turned into 4d6, the SD gets +2 AC, and can do 1d4+5 damage on a reaction, no roll needed. That last sub feature alone is better than the Armorer's entire 15th lvl feature.

In conclusion, it's pretty terrible.
 

The two more infusions is +2 to your maximum number of infusions. A regular level 9 artificer can have a maximum of 3 infused items at any one time. The Armordude can have 5, so long as at least two of them are on his armour.
 

Horwath

Hero
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.

that SHOULD have been default base class ability of the Ranger.
 

The two more infusions is +2 to your maximum number of infusions. A regular level 9 artificer can have a maximum of 3 infused items at any one time. The Armordude can have 5, so long as at least two of them are on his armour.
It doesn't increase the number of infusions known though. So realistically the armor Smith is getting + 1 AC and weapons at lv 9.
the best part is probably the fact it's the only way to infuse already magical armor.

the real point that bugs me is it doesn't have a subclass feature that I can spend spell slots on to enhance something. Maybe they took the bonus action temporary hit points increase the value but only allow it once per long rest for free and it cost a spell slot to repeat.
 

RSIxidor

Adventurer
I don't like Fey Wanderer's Dreadful Strikes requiring a bonus action (even with the caveat for two-weapon fighting). Also, if Shield Master works as based on the Crawford tweet, you wouldn't be able to use the bonus action to get the psychic damage on all attacks, only on the bonus action attack. Once you get extra attack, that's very limiting. (EDIT: I did forget about some other tweets related to this, and the fact that Shield Master and two-weapon fighting have slightly different wordings. It still means that with Extra Attack, you would have to make one attack with your attack action without the psychic bonus, then use your bonus action attack with the bonus damage, then use your second attack from the attack action with the bonus. And before you have Extra Attack, it's only on your bonus action attack. Poor wording and probably not their intent). Also not sure how I feel about them getting a better smite that also works on ranged attacks (if using a level 1 or 2 slot, the best slots to smite with). Love the top level feature.

I'm not fussed with the artificer build. It's full of fun and I'd consider playing it just to pretend to be Iron Man or Doctor Doom or Rocket Red or Lex Luthor or Blue Beetle or Guardian or Master Chief or S.T.R.I.P.E. or Black Manta or someone from MOSPEADA or a Space Marine or a T'au Fire Warrior. I think both forms of the armor should get both a melee attack and a ranged attack, just make the melee weak for the ranged armor, and the ranged weak for the melee armor.
 
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OB1

Jedi Master
Cannot say how pleased I am with this year's batch of UAs. Can't wait to hear what type of book these concepts will come out with (please let it be a guide to the planes).

Looking forward to playing the Star Druid once it releases as my first Druid. Don't care what the powers end up being, this druid subclass just speaks to me for some reason.

May have to allow one of my players to use the Iron Man Artificer even if it's just in UA form (which I normally don't), as it seems unlikely that this book will be out before summer, but this is 100% their jam.

They Fey Ranger is also cool. Including last fall's batch of UAs, it seems like we are getting close to having a Fey subclass for just about every class. If the new player option book was to have 3 new subclasses for each class (similar to XGTE) I wonder if they are looking to offer 1 Fey/Shadowfell, 1 Outer Plane, and 1 Psionic/Far Realm for each.
 

Leatherhead

Possibly a Idiot.
I suppose the power armor itself is not explicitly a magic item. So you could put ONE infusion on it prior to level 9. You could infuse the weapons or the armour, but not both.
It might not be explicitly magical, but infusions can only be put on "mundane" items, which this is most certainly not.
 

RhinoDM

First Post
The two more infusions is +2 to your maximum number of infusions. A regular level 9 artificer can have a maximum of 3 infused items at any one time. The Armordude can have 5, so long as at least two of them are on his armour.

You can have as many infused items as infusions known, the max items that can be infused is per long rest, so a 5th lvl Artificer can infuse 2 items at the end of a long rest, then a further 2 items after the next long rest for a total of 4 items. They then can then change the item that up to two infusions are in per long rest after that. If it was only a max of 2 items at a time, i.e. they reset every day, it wouldn't say infusions remain in an item indefintely, and DnDBeyond wouldn't let me have all 4 items active at once. The Armorer feature means you can change 5 per long rest.
 

It might not be explicitly magical, but infusions can only be put on "mundane" items, which this is most certainly not.
Nope, the wording is "nonmagical". and it does not say your power armour becomes magical. I believe the intent is that your power armour can receive one (armor) infusion prior to level 9. It could do with some grey box clarification though.
 

paladinn

Explorer
Wow, finally a decent UA again! I can totally see these in action. If I had an armorer, I don't know that I'd even want to MC into anything else. The Druid and Ranger options are cool too. Way to go, WotC!

Now just waiting for XgtE 2!
 

Kurotowa

Legend
You know what I think is actually a bit OP? The Armor of Tools infusion. Getting Dex Mod + Int Mod + Proficiency + Expertise to Theives' Tools is a bit of an escalation. Rather than "Add Int mod to the integrated tool" it probably ought to be "Substitute Int mod when using the integrated tool".
 



Minigiant

Legend
Supporter
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.


I suggested that very same thing during the playtest on the WOTC old forums and every ranger playtest survey. I suggested a Giant Killer, Dragon Slayer, Demon Hunter, Horde Breaker etc etc.
The hunter subclass looks like most of what I posted but smashed together and weakened.


It looks like they are just now breaking them down by type.
 

MonkeezOnFire

Adventurer
I suggested that very same thing during the playtest on the WOTC old forums and every ranger playtest survey. I suggested a Giant Killer, Dragon Slayer, Demon Hunter, Horde Breaker etc etc.
The hunter subclass looks like most of what I posted but smashed together and weakened.


It looks like they are just now breaking them down by type.
The only thing I'd add to that list is a beast master/big game hunter archetype. Ranger seems to be where they're determined to put the pet subclass and that archetype is the obvious choice for that.

Another way to fit it in would be as an alternate class feature in the base class by swapping out something like the UA demonstrated.
 

Minigiant

Legend
Supporter
The only thing I'd add to that list is a beast master/big game hunter archetype. Ranger seems to be where they're determined to put the pet subclass and that archetype is the obvious choice for that.

Another way to fit it in would be as an alternate class feature in the base class by swapping out something like the UA demonstrated.

Originally I had it them in to four groups: Hunters (favored Enemy), Pathfinders (favored terrain), Beastmasters, and Wardens (bonus spells). I offered a short list for the PHB then suggested that the rest can come in new books or developed in the DMG.

This get wanderer doesn't seem fey enough though. It's cool but it doesn't seem like you learned fey tricks. But maybe that leans too much into a fey pact blade warlock.
 

Beleriphon

Totally Awesome Pirate Brain
No, it means you can infuse your power armor with non-armor infusions. Like Enhanced Weapon, which should work with Thunder Gauntlets or Lightning Launchers in the "weapons" slot. Or Gauntlets of Ogre Power into the bracers.

I like this subclass, but I wish it weren't so obviously Iron Man, or if there were a feature or two that were a little outside of the Iron Man box. But, hey, this seems solid.

If you use a maul it becomes Steel instead.

If we're going to have an artificer for every magic item, can the one for a rings be a Green Lantern?
 


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