Unearthed Arcana Unearthed Arcana Takes On Theurgy & War Magic

In the latest Unearthed Arcana from WotC's Mike Mearls and Jeremy Crawford, the wizard gets another look. This week's short two-page PDF includes two Arcane Traditions - Theurgy (wizards with divine patrons) and War Magic (wizards who use evocation and abjuration in combat). "After releasing the 28-page mystic last week, we have a short Unearthed Arcana installment this week: two Arcane Tradition options for the wizard. The Theurgy tradition has appeared in Unearthed Arcana before, but this time we’d like to gather playtest feedback on it. War Magic is an option we’re exploring after reading your feedback on Lore Mastery and seeing interest in a war mage option."


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Dire Bare

Legend
Not seeing much love for the Theurge, including complaints Wizards are getting too much love.

In the history of the D&D game, there have been many popular "subclasses" (in various rules incarnations) of the Wizard that haven't even been touched on yet. The Theurge is one of them, as the "Mystic Theurge" in 3E. It is intended to blend the Wizard and Cleric. I'm liking the version they are giving us so far, but of course, some real playtesting rather than armchair quarterbacking should toughen up the archetype a bit. The War Mage is another, also from 3E, and again seems good. I'm liking both archetypes so far.
 

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LapBandit

First Post
Just like every wizard option outside of the PHB, I won't allow full casters any more power (except for the warlock) until martial characters are made more powerful.
 


Eubani

Legend
Just like every wizard option outside of the PHB, I won't allow full casters any more power (except for the warlock) until martial characters are made more powerful.
I think increased utility/agency + number of available options is what you are trying to get across or do you believe that martial characters do not have enough raw power? They are certainly falling short on the flavour front.
 

jrowland

First Post
Mechanics and Balance aside, one could name the various Domain Theurge Wizards along the lines of:


  • Light Order - Magic Order dedicated to the Lore of Light (Life Domain)
  • Celestial Order - Magic Order dedicated to the Lore of the Heavens (Knowledge Domain)
  • Gold Order - Magic Order dedicated to the Lore of Metal (Is there design space for an alchemy like domain?)
  • Jade Order - Magic Order dedicated to the Lore of Life (Nature Domain - or maybe Circle of the Land Druid....)
  • Amber Order - Magical Order dedicated to the Lore of Beasts (Nature Domain - or Maybe Circle of the Moon druid...)
  • Bright Order - Magical Order dedicated to the Lore of Fire (Light Domain)
  • Grey Order - Magical Order dedicated to the Lore of Shadows (trickery Domain)
  • Amethyst Order - Magical Order dedicated to the Lore of Death (Death Domain)

In any event, a Warhammer - 5E D&D crossover is doable, despite being blasphemous and prone to burning by witch hunters....
 


Chaosmancer

Legend
So, from what I can see the Theurge is exactly the same, with exactly the same problems.

The Wizard gets the cleric's capstone first, because the beloved servant of the Gods is less beloved than the wizard I guess (Really, it's because of the spacing of the subclasses, wizards have all their own stuff going on 17-20 so their subclasses end at 14, but it is still bad design)

In a High magic setting like Faerun, the "trade off" of learning cleric spells instead of wizard ones could be non-existant, because the Wizard can just learn by buying new spells or copying from another wizard's book while using their level ups to pick the cleric clean.

And the cardinal sin, it is boring. All your abilities are the same abilities as another class, you just happen to also be a wizard.


Now, Warmagic is new.

First thing I notice, War Mages are the best at Concentration checks. Concentration checks are Constitution saving throws so Arcane Deflection and Durable Magic both apply, giving them a +6 to the check before con mod and war caster get brought into the mix.

The potential for +4 AC isn't bad either to avoid the hit in the first place.

Tactical Wit makes some sense, so why not.

Power Surge I'm not sure about. It seems very good, once per short rest your AOE spell is counted as 2 levels higher, which could be devastating as an opening move.

Again though, this is a bit boring. Better AC and saves are nice, more damage is okay, but these don't really change the nature of the beast like other traditions do, so I'm not sure if War Mage is worth taking over Bladesinger or Evoker, or really anything else.

I am glad it seems that the Lore Wizard is either gone or being heavily edited though.
 

Regarding the Theurge, I don't consider Light and Knowledge domains 'especially appropriate', more like 'especially stupid' choices. Maybe alternate spell school traditions, as those in the PHB, would be interesting? All traditions should compete with Evocation (actually Sculpt Spell) and Divination (actually Portent), as they're simply inferior. There are tons that could be done with the Wizard, not sure why it's considered so good really. Though Sculpt Spell, and to a lesser extent Portent, are great.
 

MarkChevallier

First Post
If a Theurge takes the Tempest domain, they can maximise lightning bolt damage. +20 damage per opponent for using a divine channeling (+2.5/spell level thereafter). That's extremely snacky, verging on too good.

EDIT: +35 damage/target on a Chain Lightning.
 
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Tony Vargas

Legend
. It seem the old Wizard that lives by the sea has a bit of bias that he cannot seem to throw. We get it WotC you love wizards .
They're not 'Sorcerers of the Seaside,' 'Fighters of the Fjord,' 'Warlords of the Warf,' or 'Rangers of the Riparian Ecosystem.'
 
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