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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Russ Morrissey

Russ Morrissey


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An evoked is likely to out damage the War Wizard potentially by a lot.

Since it is supposed to be a hybrid evoker/abjurer, we would expect it to have less damage than an evoker. Is a little more durability worth less damage? For me, I would say probably not, but I think the quest to make a "generalist" wizard (where "generalist" means something other than "overpowered") isn't a particularly good use of WotC's time.

That being said, this isn't too far from some kind of "magical gunfighter" dueling wizard, which honestly hits the Harry Potter and most military fantasy (where the wizard of army A's main job is to keep the wizard of army B from doing anything to army A) buttons. A lot more nuke the other wizard, and less kill the minions would make this a worthwhile subclass.
 

Chaosmancer

Legend
I think part of the "why are we bothering with wizard sub-classes at this point" come from the fact that wizards, unlike some of the other classes, are scraping the bottom of the barrel with this, at least IMO.

Clerics? Clerics there were clear areas where they needed some more subclasses, Forge being a big one that a lot of people were happy to see.

Or, alternatively, they introduced some new mechanics that had interesting potential, like the Warden Ranger's transformation ability.


With these wizards we have Thuerge, which has historical weight but mechanically is boring. Also, the idea of mixing divine and arcane is potentially less appealing, because clerics are no longer the only healer and they have pretty good offensive spells this time around, so there is little that the Arcane magic adds to the cleric.

Then we have the War Wizard, which is also a bit mechanically boring, and conceptually is a bit odd because "wizard trained for combat" looks very similar to "wizard who is an adventurer" to begin with. They don't really get the ability to do something new that other wizards can't, they just end up doing things better in certain respects. Every other PHB or SCAG wizard gets cool new things they can do with magic, not just things they could do anyway but better.

Then we had the Lore Wizard which seemed to be pretty roundly criticized as too much power and conceptually odd as it seemed to mash what we would expect from a war wizard with the idea of the generalist savant whose good at everything.


I think since the wizard UA material has been so poor of quality, and other than "generalist savant" there really isn't a major missing archetype from the wizard, a lot of people would just have rather seen other quality material.
 

gyor

Legend
The Shi'ar the Genie based Wizards from Al-Qadim are missing.

And people asked for a War Wizard which why they built one.

And the Problem of the Theuge was that while the idea was good 90% of it involved knocking off the Wizard and taking literally almost all it's stuff, cleric spells, domain spells, channel divinity, domain features, it left the cleric with just turn undead and the chance for a miracle as unique to the class. Even the Favoured Soul only took access to cleric spells and became a divine caster instead of arcane, but otherwise had its own unique features, it didn't try and take every thing from Clerics.
 
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MoonSong

Rules-lawyering drama queen but not a munchkin
IMO the designers should give priority to Sh'air, Defilers/preservers and wizards of high sorcery, perhaps even red wizards and incantatrixes instead of trying to steal other classes mechanics and niches.
 

Hussar

Legend
The Shi'ar the Genie based Wizards from Al-Qadim are missing.

And people asked for a War Wizard which why they built one.

And the Problem of the Theuge was that while the idea was good 90% of it involved knocking off the Wizard and taking literally almost all it's stuff, cleric spells, domain spells, channel divinity, domain features, it left the cleric with just turn undead and the chance for a miracle as unique to the class. Even the Favoured Soul only took access to cleric spells and became a divine caster instead of arcane, but otherwise had its own unique features, it didn't try and take every thing from Clerics.

Meh. Fighters already have this - very few fighter mechanics are actually truly a fighter's. Why not do the same thing to clerics?. Niche protection isn't really a thing in 5e.
 

Leatherhead

Possibly a Idiot.
Meh. Fighters already have this - very few fighter mechanics are actually truly a fighter's. Why not do the same thing to clerics?. Niche protection isn't really a thing in 5e.

Fighters have a different problem: Any good idea that could be set up as a Fighter thing gets turned into it's own class. Also, people actually want to play fighters. Clerics have never been as popular as Fighters are.

Clerics don't need niche protection, heck they never truly had one besides serving as a sort of a patch to smooth out bumpy rules like resting and recovery. What they need is an identity, a reason to be. These UA articles are made it very clear that they are exploring having a reason for multiple different classes to worship (or perhaps make a pact with, bleh) deities, by having the classes be bestowed with divine powers. The Theurge is the worst of them, not just for taking the fluff (some people like the idea of robe-wearing clerics), but also for making the Cleric class itself almost entirely redundant by actually importing their subclasses into another class.
 

Hussar

Legend
Fighters have a different problem: Any good idea that could be set up as a Fighter thing gets turned into it's own class. Also, people actually want to play fighters. Clerics have never been as popular as Fighters are.

Clerics don't need niche protection, heck they never truly had one besides serving as a sort of a patch to smooth out bumpy rules like resting and recovery. What they need is an identity, a reason to be. These UA articles are made it very clear that they are exploring having a reason for multiple different classes to worship (or perhaps make a pact with, bleh) deities, by having the classes be bestowed with divine powers. The Theurge is the worst of them, not just for taking the fluff (some people like the idea of robe-wearing clerics), but also for making the Cleric class itself almost entirely redundant by actually importing their subclasses into another class.

Now this I disagree with. Clerics are one of the few classes that come built in with massive amounts of flavor and ties to the setting. A cleric is a direct servant of one of the gods of the setting, belongs to a (at least in many settings) continent, or perhaps world, covering organization and is automatically, simply by virtue of being a cleric, tied to a code of behavior.

Granted, many players ignore these details. That's true. I have trouble wrapping my head around it, but, I've certainly seen it far too many times to discount it. But, it's right there in the class. You are a priest(ess) of the god X. X is a major diety with temples all over the land. People probably instantly recognize you as a priest(ess) of god X and treat you accordingly.

I think the biggest problem with clerics is the one you outline in the boldest part above. DM's and players who choose to play clerics as healbots. Playing a cleric should be as challenging as playing a paladin. And as rewarding.
 

MoonSong

Rules-lawyering drama queen but not a munchkin
I think the biggest problem with clerics is DM's and players who choose to play clerics as healbots. Playing a cleric should be as challenging as playing a paladin. And as rewarding.

Playing a healbot cleric is challenging and rewarding thank you. It is not my fault people force it on others and demean it. You dont like it, fine. Just dont go around declaring that is beneath you. Or anybody else.
 

Hussar

Legend
Unearthed Arcana Takes On Theurgy & War Magic

Playing a healbot cleric is challenging and rewarding thank you. It is not my fault people force it on others and demean it. You dont like it, fine. Just dont go around declaring that is beneath you. Or anybody else.

Umm. I'm not the one claiming that clerics have no niche other than healbot. I'm not the one claiming clerics have no identity. I'm not sure why you're having a go at me.
 

Leatherhead

Possibly a Idiot.
You are a priest(ess) of the god X. X is a major diety with temples all over the land. People probably instantly recognize you as a priest(ess) of god X and treat you accordingly.

That's not much different than a Paladin, and Paladins arguably have even more flavor baked into their class. Heck, to a different extent, even Rangers and Druids have this plus a healthy dash of wild seasoning. And now that flavor is going to be diluted between Barbarians, Sorcerers, Wizards, and even Warlocks too.

And note, this isn't just being a Priest (which is covered by backgrounds), this is being a Priest blessed with obviously divine power.
 

Hussar

Legend
That's not much different than a Paladin, and Paladins arguably have even more flavor baked into their class. Heck, to a different extent, even Rangers and Druids have this plus a healthy dash of wild seasoning. And now that flavor is going to be diluted between Barbarians, Sorcerers, Wizards, and even Warlocks too.

And note, this isn't just being a Priest (which is covered by backgrounds), this is being a Priest blessed with obviously divine power.

That's not necessarily true in 5e. Paladin's are not necessarily tied to any god. Only one type of paladin is rather explicitly tied to a god, the other two don't even need a god at all. And none of them are tied to any sort of organization.

But, clerics are. Flat out. The idea that clerics lack niche or flavor is to me, completely missing the point of a cleric.
 


MoonSong

Rules-lawyering drama queen but not a munchkin
Umm. I'm not the one claiming that clerics have no niche other than healbot. I'm not the one claiming clerics have no identity. I'm not sure why you're having a go at me.

but you are implying that healbot is wrong, disgusting and you don't want it in the game, which also means you think healbot players are wrong defective and you don't want them anywhere near your precious d&D.... (Ok exaggerating here, sorry for that. But you implied being a healbot is wrong and somehow wrecks with the game. I was contesting that)
 


Hussar

Legend
but you are implying that healbot is wrong, disgusting and you don't want it in the game, which also means you think healbot players are wrong defective and you don't want them anywhere near your precious d&D.... (Ok exaggerating here, sorry for that. But you implied being a healbot is wrong and somehow wrecks with the game. I was contesting that)

Sorry if that was what you were thinking I was implying. I didn't mean to. My point was that thinking that clerics are healbots, nothing more, is a very poor reading of the class. [MENTION=53176]Leatherhead[/MENTION] said that the only point of clerics was to smooth out the healing cycle of the game and that they lacked identity. That was the point I was contesting.

I've got to admit though. I always considered healbot to be pejorative. The idea that my character is so lacking in identity that I'm just a HP vending machine (a healing robot) was never something I would think is a good thing.
 

MoonSong

Rules-lawyering drama queen but not a munchkin
Sorry if that was what you were thinking I was implying. I didn't mean to. My point was that thinking that clerics are healbots, nothing more, is a very poor reading of the class. [MENTION=53176]Leatherhead[/MENTION] said that the only point of clerics was to smooth out the healing cycle of the game and that they lacked identity. That was the point I was contesting.

I've got to admit though. I always considered healbot to be pejorative. The idea that my character is so lacking in identity that I'm just a HP vending machine (a healing robot) was never something I would think is a good thing.

i don't doubt it was pejorative, but to me is more descriptive and a point of pride. I mean if the group is better off when somebody does the job, then it shouldn't be seen as a demeaning job. And well I'd be fine if it was the only core of the class, because it is a good core and a needed one. Though I'm weird because I prefer classes to have only as much fluff as needed and no more. The ranger could easily be a member of the rangers of the north lead by a descendant of ancient kings that protect humankind from the supernatural evils of the outsiders that rest in the wilderness, or it could be just the outdoors commando. I prefer the outdoors commando because that way I can have a character that is an individual and not having to jump through hoops to accommodate tons and tons of lore and trappings.
 

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