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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darjr

I crit!
Yeah. Both reasons are valid for why they are doing it. Either way, though, it's too early to think that the language being used is going to be the same or even resemble what will be used when 5.5 is released.
True, but I think it shows that the intent is for the same kind of use with the final revision.
 

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doctorbadwolf

Heretic of The Seventh Circle
On what basis for you have anynsuspicion this is not meant for final text in the PHB...? Per WotC own FAQ, their goal is to keep all 5E Supplements viable with OneD&D, and after 2 packets we see that both Races and Subclasses remain perfectly usable by design.
It wouldn’t even make any sense to say to test the class with old subclasses unless that was intended to work. It’s just suspicion for the sake of suspicion.
 


The animal companion is less generally desired than the magic, apparently. But magic is core to the Rangers identity.
There's no evidence or real logic to support that belief. It's purely inductive reasoning on your based the behaviour of a company that hasn't been behaving rationally about the Ranger class for, well, the entire time they've owned D&D. Also inductive reasoning of that kind easily turns into circular reasoning, which is particularly dodgy imo.
 
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TwoSix

Unserious gamer
There's no evidence or real logic to support that belief. It's purely inductive reasoning on your based the behaviour of a company that hasn't been behaving rationally about the Ranger class for, well, the entire time they've owned D&D.
Is there any compelling evidence to support ANY one particular interpretation of the Ranger? I mean, tradition carries some weight, I guess, but I don't think it's particularly determinative.

Honestly, you could sell me on a noncaster, half-caster, full-caster, even pact-caster version of Ranger, as long as its overall feature set is compelling.
 

Is there any compelling evidence to support ANY one particular interpretation of the Ranger? I mean, tradition carries some weight, I guess, but I don't think it's particularly determinative.

Honestly, you could sell me on a noncaster, half-caster, full-caster, even pact-caster version of Ranger, as long as its overall feature set is compelling.
I mostly agree.

As said much, much earlier the main thing is WotC need to "pick a lane" on the Ranger, and they've resolutely refused to do so. Absolutely refused. They just come up with all sorts of conflicting and unconvincing visions of the Ranger.

It's like, if you want the pop-culture and fantasy literature Ranger, you want someone who by default doesn't have magic (but there could absolutely be subclasses that did), and whose main deal is they're a competent, sneaky warrior, who knows absolutely everything about nature, and is totally in tune with their environment, and maybe with animals too.

If you want the videogame take on the Ranger, well, it's basically Beastmaster taken 2 THA MAX, with PETS PETS PETS, animal summons, magic but only relating to the summons and the like, and so on.

If you want the old-skool D&D version of the Ranger, you want something a lot like the pop-culture/fantasy lit Ranger, but who maybe always eventually (at a fairly high level) gets some access to magic.

If you want this strange basically multiclass Druid/Fighter but with skills take that 5E is doing, that can work, but change the lore so it matches with what's described, rather than being a huge mismatch. And ditch the existing subclasses that don't match this vibe. Like, keep Fey Wanderer, it's a good match, as is the one with the bees, but ditch stuff like Hunter, Beastmaster and so on, which are a totally terrible match for this guy (as well-illustrated by the bizarre and weakly-drawn Hunter subclass we have here).

Pick one. Stick with it. Right now WotC are just making a weird mess that is absolutely falling between two chairs. And this isn't new to 5E. 3.XE's vision of Ranger was messy as hell (though they at least got that animal companions were popular, something they don't really get in 5E despite their own polling showing it). 4E just presented starkly conflicting visions of the Ranger, none of them convincing or engaging. 5E has this mess, and 1D&D is making an even bigger mess than 5E (and really doubling down on replacing abilities with spells, something they've done the opposite with in virtually every other class in 5E and 1D&D).
 

I know I'm into Ranger just for the pet!

Even if for the longest time a single conjure spell was better than it...

and it feels weird to watch the class get patched one feature at a time...
 

Levistus's_Leviathan

5e Freelancer
I mostly agree.

As said much, much earlier the main thing is WotC need to "pick a lane" on the Ranger, and they've resolutely refused to do so. Absolutely refused. They just come up with all sorts of conflicting and unconvincing visions of the Ranger.

It's like, if you want the pop-culture and fantasy literature Ranger, you want someone who by default doesn't have magic (but there could absolutely be subclasses that did), and whose main deal is they're a competent, sneaky warrior, who knows absolutely everything about nature, and is totally in tune with their environment, and maybe with animals too.

If you want the videogame take on the Ranger, well, it's basically Beastmaster taken 2 THA MAX, with PETS PETS PETS, animal summons, magic but only relating to the summons and the like, and so on.

If you want the old-skool D&D version of the Ranger, you want something a lot like the pop-culture/fantasy lit Ranger, but who maybe always eventually (at a fairly high level) gets some access to magic.

If you want this strange basically multiclass Druid/Fighter but with skills take that 5E is doing, that can work, but change the lore so it matches with what's described, rather than being a huge mismatch. And ditch the existing subclasses that don't match this vibe. Like, keep Fey Wanderer, it's a good match, as is the one with the bees, but ditch stuff like Hunter, Beastmaster and so on, which are a totally terrible match for this guy (as well-illustrated by the bizarre and weakly-drawn Hunter subclass we have here).

Pick one. Stick with it. Right now WotC are just making a weird mess that is absolutely falling between two chairs. And this isn't new to 5E. 3.XE's vision of Ranger was messy as hell (though they at least got that animal companions were popular, something they don't really get in 5E despite their own polling showing it). 4E just presented starkly conflicting visions of the Ranger, none of them convincing or engaging. 5E has this mess, and 1D&D is making an even bigger mess than 5E (and really doubling down on replacing abilities with spells, something they've done the opposite with in virtually every other class in 5E and 1D&D).
I wouldn't be surprised if the identity crisis that the 5e Ranger has is the fault of the community disagreeing on what Rangers should be. Some people think that they should be near-Witcher Monster Hunters, some think that they should be nonmagical scouts/hunters like Katniss, Aragorn, and mountain men (which probably doesn't need to be a full class), some think that it should be the summoner/Pokemon-trainer class (with the Beastmaster and Drakewarden), and others think that it should be a magical Warden of nature that protects nature and civilization from destroying one another.

It's like the Psionics problem. People can't agree on what Psionics/Rangers should be . . . so WotC tries to please everyone and fails every time.
 

darjr

I crit!
I wouldn't be surprised if the identity crisis that the 5e Ranger has is the fault of the community disagreeing on what Rangers should be. Some people think that they should be near-Witcher Monster Hunters, some think that they should be nonmagical scouts/hunters like Katniss, Aragorn, and mountain men (which probably doesn't need to be a full class), some think that it should be the summoner/Pokemon-trainer class (with the Beastmaster and Drakewarden), and others think that it should be a magical Warden of nature that protects nature and civilization from destroying one another.

It's like the Psionics problem. People can't agree on what Psionics/Rangers should be . . . so WotC tries to please everyone and fails every time.
Every time?! Not for this person.
I dint really have a stake in either camp. I think a magic using ranger is fine, and I would be happy with a non magic using one.

But I had to share this meme from someone that seems excited about it. Mainly because it’s attached with Aragorn.
View attachment 262666
 

UngainlyTitan

Legend
Supporter
I wouldn't be surprised if the identity crisis that the 5e Ranger has is the fault of the community disagreeing on what Rangers should be. Some people think that they should be near-Witcher Monster Hunters,
That is kind of what I want but
some think that they should be nonmagical scouts/hunters like Katniss, Aragorn, and mountain men (which probably doesn't need to be a full class),
I have no issue with this but
some think that it should be the summoner/Pokemon-trainer class (with the Beastmaster and Drakewarden), and others think that it should be a magical Warden of nature that protects nature and civilization from destroying one another.
I have absolutely no interest in this but would not complain as long as I would get something else.
It's like the Psionics problem. People can't agree on what Psionics/Rangers should be . . . so WotC tries to please everyone and fails every time.
While I have no interest in psionics (it is just another magic system to me) I did follow those UA threads here and my impression was that there was a lot less acceptance of "the thing I do not like".

To be completely honest I would not have an issue of a magic less ranger (although I do not see the point, it is just a fighter with more skills) if it had a nice exploration pillar to show off its toys in. I just do not see it happening because a spellless base class is going to mess up the spell progression for multiclassing.
 

Levistus's_Leviathan

5e Freelancer
Every time?! Not for this person.
I said that they fail to please everyone. Not that there aren't people that enjoy the updates or older versions of the Ranger (in my experience, often younger/newer players).

I once had someone online try to convince me that there was absolutely nothing wrong with how the 2014 Ranger was designed and that if it was unbalanced at all, it was because it was too good/powerful, and that the Class Feature Variants for the Ranger in Tasha's Cauldron of Everything were "contaminating" the pure awesomeness of the PHB's version of the class. And that person had that opinion because they played a PHB Ranger in a campaign where the DM told them ahead of time exactly which terrains the campaign would take place in for the entirety of the campaign and he railroaded the campaign so much that the players never got an option to go to any terrains other than the ones that the Ranger had chosen as their Favored Terrain (the DM also told them exactly what enemies they would be fighting so the player could use Favored Enemy for the majority of enemies in the campaign).

There are devout fans of every version of the Ranger. The old version (strangely) has some, the Revised Ranger UA has some, the TCoE version has some, and I'm sure the newer version will have some.

What WotC is failing to do "every time" is please everyone. Because people won't agree on what the Ranger is supposed to be.
 

darjr

I crit!
I said that they fail to please everyone. Not that there aren't people that enjoy the updates or older versions of the Ranger (in my experience, often younger/newer players).

I once had someone online try to convince me that there was absolutely nothing wrong with how the 2014 Ranger was designed and that if it was unbalanced at all, it was because it was too good/powerful, and that the Class Feature Variants for the Ranger in Tasha's Cauldron of Everything were "contaminating" the pure awesomeness of the PHB's version of the class. And that person had that opinion because they played a PHB Ranger in a campaign where the DM told them ahead of time exactly which terrains the campaign would take place in for the entirety of the campaign and he railroaded the campaign so much that the players never got an option to go to any terrains other than the ones that the Ranger had chosen as their Favored Terrain (the DM also told them exactly what enemies they would be fighting so the player could use Favored Enemy for the majority of enemies in the campaign).

There are devout fans of every version of the Ranger. The old version (strangely) has some, the Revised Ranger UA has some, the TCoE version has some, and I'm sure the newer version will have some.

What WotC is failing to do "every time" is please everyone. Because people won't agree on what the Ranger is supposed to be.
Well I don’t disagree that there seems to be large bases of opposed ranger phenotype fans.

But no one succeeds in pleasing everyone.
 

darjr

I crit!
And I don’t think I’m being to pendant.

They do take on the idea the 5e is kinda most people’s second favorite game.
 


Parmandur

Book-Friend
Maybe. It's just to early to tell what form the races, classes and any conversion/usage of 2014 subclasses will look like. We can't go by what they are saying is playtest. They HAVE to allow it the way they are, really. There's too much not covered by the playtests not to.
Well, yeah, sure. They are also testing mixing all of the new options with 2014 stuff, since that is a stated design goal. That's not a temporary state.
 

Parmandur

Book-Friend
Yeah. Both reasons are valid for why they are doing it. Either way, though, it's too early to think that the language being used is going to be the same or even resemble what will be used when 5.5 is released.
Historically, UA drops have very similar verbiage to final releases, other than mechanical refinements. If anything, I expect the final product will be more conservative than anything so far.
 

Parmandur

Book-Friend
It wouldn’t even make any sense to say to test the class with old subclasses unless that was intended to work. It’s just suspicion for the sake of suspicion.
I was skeptical of how compatible Classes would be until this drop, bit now itnia clear that when they say backwards compatible, they mean business.

I do think the final version will have more clear guidelines (like changing when old Subclass options drop, or covering dead levels with a Feat), but that will come after nailing down the new Core options.
 

Parmandur

Book-Friend
There's no evidence or real logic to support that belief. It's purely inductive reasoning on your based the behaviour of a company that hasn't been behaving rationally about the Ranger class for, well, the entire time they've owned D&D. Also inductive reasoning of that kind easily turns into circular reasoning, which is particularly dodgy imo.
The evidence of what WotC said they found when surveying based on their early post release Ranger tests, which clearly informs what they are doing to this day. I see nonserious reason to dobut this.
 

Parmandur

Book-Friend
I wouldn't be surprised if the identity crisis that the 5e Ranger has is the fault of the community disagreeing on what Rangers should be. Some people think that they should be near-Witcher Monster Hunters, some think that they should be nonmagical scouts/hunters like Katniss, Aragorn, and mountain men (which probably doesn't need to be a full class), some think that it should be the summoner/Pokemon-trainer class (with the Beastmaster and Drakewarden), and others think that it should be a magical Warden of nature that protects nature and civilization from destroying one another.

It's like the Psionics problem. People can't agree on what Psionics/Rangers should be . . . so WotC tries to please everyone and fails every time.
Actually, I think k what WotC has settled on is basically just the Witcher.
 

Levistus's_Leviathan

5e Freelancer
Actually, I think k what WotC has settled on is basically just the Witcher.
That's also a Pokemon Trainer/Drizzt Do'Urden (Drakewarden, Beastmaster). That's also a master archer (see most of their combat spells). That's also a Forest Ranger that protects the wilds from civilization and civilization from the wilds.
 

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