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."


Screen Shot 2017-03-20 at 18.43.57.png
SaveSave
 

log in or register to remove this ad

Russ Morrissey

Russ Morrissey

Li Shenron

Legend
As far as I can tell there are no differences to the previous version except for a slight change in presentation of available domains, but it doesn't really change the fact that all domains are available for choice. It's merely represented here to prompt more feedback from gamers, and this time they specifically ask for playtest feedback (as opposed to general "do-you-like-the-concept" feedback). So please people give feedback on the Theurge this time only if you've played it or seen in play, otherwise don't complain later on if they balanced it wrong.

So, how is Theurge different from Arcana cleric or a wizard with the acolyte background?

I don't know about the Arcana domain, but it is totally different from a background. The whole Theurge is practically a variant to multiclass Cleric/Wizard. I am mostly fine with the option, but I don't think it provides a significant twist to any game. It's mostly there to satisfy players who want a Gandalf-style Wizard that can heal, but without using the multiclassing rules (which some DMs ban by default).

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)

This is the only thing that makes also me skeptic. Three levels earlier is a large benefit, and it doesn't feel right that a Wizard is better than the Cleric at this (maybe a Theurge of the God(dess) of Magic, but not the others).

Part of the idea of the Theurge is that of combining a class (Wizard) with the subclasses (Domain) of another class (Cleric). It's an interesting idea, but unfortunately it doesn't work if the two classes get their subclasses benefits at very different levels. This is the consequence of not wanting to bother with trying to design a common subclass structure for all classes. But they should have thought about it when they were still designing the original PHB classes, now it's way too late.

Personally I think it would be better and safer to drop the 14lv benefit, and replace it with something else.

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

If it gets edited, it's fine.

If it gets dropped, I would be very angry and disappointed, because IMHO it would prove that the whole UA feedback mechanism is not working as intended!

It would mean not only that people are not giving feedback about the concepts, but instead they give feedback about balance; in 99% of the cases, without of course even trying to use the material in tests... who are you kidding? who is going to believe that everyone PLAYS or RUNS the stuff in UA from level 1 to 20 in one week?

It would also mean that WotC designer listen to that kind of feedback, which is contrary to what they themselves set as its purpose.

Because there were a lot of people in the last 2 years asking for a "generalist" wizard, and concept-wise this is exactly what the Lore Wizard is. So there is no reason now that gamers do not actually want it anymore as a concept.

Clearly, the negative feedback about the Lore Wizard was all about the implementation.

Ergo, if they drop it instead of editing it, it means they asked for concept feedback but they listened to and based decisions on balance feedback -> fail.

In the highly contested niche of "fighting wizard", this school fairs better than the Evoker (but what doesn't really?) And lags behind the Bladesinger. It still has a place if you aren't an elf (or your DM doesn't let you ignore that silly restriction). But over all, I don't think we really needed it. and I would have preferred them to take a second crack at the Loremaster, who absolutely needs such a thing.

I personally think that a combat-oriented Wizard subclass is the least needed character option in the game at this point, precisely because we already have Evoker, Bladesinger, Eldritch Knight, and even just plain Wizard or Sorcerer with proper selection of spells and some optimization (such as picking a race with armor proficiencies).

Options are never bad, but this is the one with pretty much the smallest possible increment to the game.
 

log in or register to remove this ad

zaratan

First Post
So, a nature domain theurge can pick a druid cantrip at lvl 6. If I choose shillelagh I'll use it with Int or Wis?
If I choose tempest domain, I can use wrath of storm a number of times equal my Int or Wis?
Isn't just lazily designed, is really lazily designed.

Enviado de meu SM-G900MD usando Tapatalk
 

Aldarc

Legend
Which is really weird once you realize they have designed more Cleric Domains than Wizard Schools.

People just love to hate the Wizard.
Clerics are also deity-dependent for their flavor, with clerics needing enough domains to cover a broad enough range of concepts that a given set of deities represent.
 

I imagine the warmage like a sorcerer variant-class, a optional pack of class features, and wearing light armour, like the 3.5 class.

A divine spellcaster without armour isn't a cleric, but the archivist from "Tome of horror".

A spontaneous divine spellcaster (with armour) isn't a sorcerer with armour but a favored soul.

* If a wizard can cast divine magic for healer spells... how to avoid abuse by munchkins?
 

Tales and Chronicles

Jewel of the North, formerly know as vincegetorix
I'd love the theurge based on the ability to scribe clerical scrolls in his spellbook, using cleric ritual and be able to use cleric-only magic item.
 

TwoSix

Unserious gamer
* If a wizard can cast divine magic for healer spells... how to avoid abuse by munchkins?
I'm struggling to think of a situation where a wizard using healing magic could possibly be abused. The only negative possibility is a breakdown of niche protection, but that's not munchkinism.
 


jayoungr

Legend
Supporter
But is wizard the class that needs two more options (and 11? 12? 13? in total)?
Well, it sounds like people were actually asking for the war mage, so apparently there is demand for it. Besides, every class is getting new options, so why should wizards get no love at all?
 

TerraDave

5ever, or until 2024
Well, it sounds like people were actually asking for the war mage, so apparently there is demand for it. Besides, every class is getting new options, so why should wizards get no love at all?

They have gotten love.

9 subclasses in the PHB. 1 in SCAG. 1 in an earlier UA. 2 here. That is 13 options.

And its a popular class with many popular options. Its not like sorcerer or ranger. Anyways, only the cleric came close to range of options in the PHB, and its not clear they needed to add 4 more.
 

Curmudjinn

Explorer
I imagine the warmage like a sorcerer variant-class, a optional pack of class features, and wearing light armour, like the 3.5 class.

A divine spellcaster without armour isn't a cleric, but the archivist from "Tome of horror".

A spontaneous divine spellcaster (with armour) isn't a sorcerer with armour but a favored soul.

* If a wizard can cast divine magic for healer spells... how to avoid abuse by munchkins?

Don't allow your players to be munchkins. It's pretty self-explanatory.
 

Curmudjinn

Explorer
So, a nature domain theurge can pick a druid cantrip at lvl 6. If I choose shillelagh I'll use it with Int or Wis?
If I choose tempest domain, I can use wrath of storm a number of times equal my Int or Wis?
Isn't just lazily designed, is really lazily designed.

Enviado de meu SM-G900MD usando Tapatalk

The material here is presented for playtesting and to spark your imagination. These game mechanics are in draft form, usable in your campaign but not refined by design iterations or full game development and editing.

This is the introduction to the file. The file you are complaining about being unfinished and badly designed. Read it a few more times to really let it sink in.
 

zaratan

First Post
The material here is presented for playtesting and to spark your imagination. These game mechanics are in draft form, usable in your campaign but not refined by design iterations or full game development and editing.

This is the introduction to the file. The file you are complaining about being unfinished and badly designed. Read it a few more times to really let it sink in.

I'm not complaining about be "unfinished", I'm stating that is completly lazily designed, because:
-there isn't new feature, is a ctrl+c ctrl+v of cleric
-you only need to read cleric features once to see that you need to put at least one more paragraph about Wis to Int conversion
-this is a second version, 90% is the same and have the same problems. Why the hell you make a second version if you're not making real improvements?

I'll not saying anything about balance, this would be an acceptable "playtest" or "unfinished" problem, but if you can't see the lazyness problem in that archetype, don't waste your time "reading a few more times".
 

I'm struggling to think of a situation where a wizard using healing magic could possibly be abused. The only negative possibility is a breakdown of niche protection, but that's not munchkinism.
The band-aid cleric niche-protection was broken down years ago - druids, bards & paladins in 5e can all take up that burden.
Adding a wizard sub-class to that list won't change things much - it might mean that the healing needs of the party could be shared out over more casters, giving them collectively greater flexibility in managing their slots - but 5e casting is already extremely flexible.
 

jrowland

First Post
The band-aid cleric niche-protection was broken down years ago - druids, bards & paladins in 5e can all take up that burden.
Adding a wizard sub-class to that list won't change things much - it might mean that the healing needs of the party could be shared out over more casters, giving them collectively greater flexibility in managing their slots - but 5e casting is already extremely flexible.

Yes, this. Everyone should have access to heals.Nothing worse than playing a War Cleric and having every one asking for heals all the time.
 

unknowable

Explorer
Yes, this. Everyone should have access to heals.Nothing worse than playing a War Cleric and having every one asking for heals all the time.

We already have options for that. The GM can implement the healing surge variant rule from the DMG if they wish to run that sort of game.
Or they can give out a wand, staff, shield, ring or heck just let lots of potions drop and alow characters to purchase bandoliers for their potions.
 

phantomK9

Explorer
Enough has been said about Theurgy already. Not much more to add there.

For the War Mage, I think it is a good start but perhaps needs a bit more tightening of the concept, right now it seems a bit all over. In my mind what should make a "War Mage" different from either an EK, Evocation Wizard or Adjuration Wizard should be a distinct focus on mass combat, specifically spells that do area damage and protecting multiple targets at the same time. Stay at the back of the unit and cast out AoE damage, protection spells, and physical enhancement spells (like blur, haste, enlarge, etc.). While the EK, Evoker, Adjurer, or Bladesinger would be more focused on buffing themselves and single combat.

I would think that it should be 50% enhancements to damage spells and 50% enhancement to abjuration / combat buffing spells. The mix is a bit more weighted to the abjuration than I would like.

With that in mind....
Arcane Deflection A big help with Concentration checks which would fit into the concept of buffing you party, so not bad.

Tactical Wit Just not sure if this is needed. Not really a bad ability. I'd rather see some limited change to how magic works for battlefield situations, like being able to cast self only buffs onto others, but not sure if that would be too powerful at this level.

Power Surge This really does fit the description in my mind. No complaints here.

Durable Magic Nice ability but I wish it did something more to protect those in your unit rather than yourself. Also this the 2nd (possibly 3rd) ability that is about protecting yourself vs. only one so far that enhances AoE damage.

Deflecting Shroud Aside from the fact that this is another protective type ability, the Wizard just shouldn't be in the situation where a lot of attacks are coming in. Misty step, dimension door, etc. all keep the Wizard out of this situation. This would be nice against a horde of goblin, for example, but at 14th level that shouldn't be your concern. Anything with comparable CR would just laugh off the 7+ damage. This seems to be just too little too late.
 

dalisprime

Explorer
Tactical Wit Just not sure if this is needed. Not really a bad ability. I'd rather see some limited change to how magic works for battlefield situations, like being able to cast self only buffs onto others, but not sure if that would be too powerful at this level.

Giving Mirror Image to a high AC fighter is definitely broken. I get that EK could do the same but that would come at the cost of his limited spell resources whereas you as a wizard can restore some of your lost spell slots - also, paladin/barbarian tanks. So yeah, no.
 




Related Articles

Visit Our Sponsor

Latest threads

An Advertisement

Advertisement4

Top