D&D (2024) Upcoming One D&D: Unearthed Arcana 'Expert' Classes (Bard, Ranger, Rogue)

WotC has posted a video describing the upcoming Unearthed Arcana playtest document which will feature three of the core character classes, each with a single subclass.


This document is the second in a series of Unearthed Arcana articles that present material designed for the next version of the Player's Handbook. The material here uses the rules in the

2014 Player's Handbook, except where noted. Providing feedback on this document is one way you can help shape the next generation of D&D!

Inside you'll find the following content:

Expert Classes. Three Classes appear in this document, each one a member of the Expert Group: the Bard, the Ranger, and the Rogue. Each Class appears with one Subclass. More Subclasses will appear in Unearthed Arcana in the months ahead.

Feats. Feats follow the Class descriptions, particularly feats available to the classes in this document.

Spell Lists. Three Spell lists-the Arcane, Divine, and Primal lists-are featured here. The Ranger uses the Primal list, and the Bard potentially uses all three, thanks to the Magical Secrets feature.

Rules Glossary. In this document, any term in the body text that is underlined appears in a glossary at the end. The glossary defines game terms that have been clarified or redefined for this playtest or that don't appear in the 2014 Player's Handbook.


 
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Charlaquin

Goblin Queen (She/Her/Hers)
If it's Arcane Recovery, Warlocks only have to change a little. Warlocks would just get one more spell slot. Sorcerers and Wizards get 1/2 their level in spells slots.

If it's Metamagic, all three mages have to change a LOT. Metamagic runs on points which only Sorcerers get.
Or, instead of warlocks recovering all their spells on a short or long rest, they recover them with Arcane Recovery (which can be done on a short rest) and they get unlimited uses of it.
 

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Burnside

Space Jam Confirmed
Supporter
Ironically, I was talking about class roles a few weeks back as a way to describe how a class functions, like tanks, strikers, support, and such (but not putting classes into categories, that's different), and was told that the concept was kind of outdated, only to see that they are basically returning to this design philosophy.

That philosophy being that each class has a role to play in creating a "balanced party."

But too many "unbalanced" parties is a "problem" that I would argue hasn't actually existed in the past 8+ years of 5E.
 

Staffan

Legend
Nah. Rather make all spells ritual. End of it.
That would miss the point. 4e rituals did a few different things:
  • Silo away utility/long-term healing magic from combat magic.
  • Open up rituals to anyone regardless of class. No longer do you need a cleric to cure a disease. You might not even need a classical spellcaster – you can make a character like Elric who can deal with short-term problems with a blade and longer-term ones with magic.
  • Set a price tag on utility magic. Creating food might be useful if your supplies run out when you get lost, but it's a lot cheaper to buy food at the inn.
  • Limit magic that tries to replace skills. Sure, you might be able to open a lock with magic, but it takes 10 minutes and costs you money in components. Better to bring a locksmith if you're in a hurry.
5e rituals do pretty much none of these – a little bit of the first point, but nowhere near enough.
 

darjr

I crit!
I think the class groupings is a design grouping that they’ve decided to make public and maybe part of the rules. Maybe to make it easier for others to design classes and sub classes and people to pick classes for play.

Also I agree they are probably considering that it’ll drive things at the table too.
 

Burnside

Space Jam Confirmed
Supporter
It also could have the knock-on effect of suggested that it's "bad" to play with, say, a DM and three players (because your party won't "tick all the Class Group boxes"). But some of my best 5E sessions have been DM and three players.
 

rooneg

Adventurer
Yeah I kind of agree with that. I could see the designers thinking in terms of groupings, but I wish they wouldn’t put the label on the package.
If they don't put the label on the package they can't make other rules that care about that label. Having the groupings means you can have special feats that are only usable for that class group, for example, which is pretty useful from a design perspective.
 

Bill Zebub

“It’s probably Matt Mercer’s fault.”
Sort of depends on what they do with Ranger here: I'm sure theybwill cover the idea of "I have an animal buddy," but the form may be different.
If I had a “Ring of Three Wishes For 5.5” one of them would be for the Ranger to relegate spellcasting to subclasses, but not in base class (Some spell-like abilities, e.g. Hunter’s Mark, would be fine.)
 

Charlaquin

Goblin Queen (She/Her/Hers)
The tiny percentage of people who are responding to the survey compared to the entire D&D playerbase is probably exactly the same as the tiny percentage of people who complain about D&D having all these issues and how this and that are broken and why this rule is bad etc. etc. And that's why they're responding to the surveys in the first place. ;)

The larger percentage of players just play the game without ever worrying about it-- both what was already done and what is going to be done in the future. If none of this stuff matters to you... then responding to surveys trying to get things changed a certain way doesn't really matter either.
True, but the larger percentage of players who just play the game without worrying about it will probably continue to do so when the new rules out.
 

Burnside

Space Jam Confirmed
Supporter
If they don't put the label on the package they can't make other rules that care about that label. Having the groupings means you can have special feats that are only usable for that class group, for example, which is pretty useful from a design perspective.
Is it, though? Gating Feats by Class Group just seems like restrictions for the sake of restrictions. The thing I like about Feats is that they can allow you to "play against type" and create some outside-the-box builds. What is the upside of limiting that?
 

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