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."

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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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.
 

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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.

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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

"Diegetics", by L. Ron Gygax
* 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.
 

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