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Unearthed Arcana WotC Removes Latest Unearthed Arcana

WotC has removed this week's Unearthed Arcana from its website. Not only has the article's web page itself been removed, the actual PDF has been replaced with last month's "Subclasses, Part 1" PDF (although it's URL still reads... /UA2020-Subclasses02.pdf).

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WotC has removed this week's Unearthed Arcana from its website. Not only has the article's web page itself been removed, the actual PDF has been replaced with last month's "Subclasses, Part 1" PDF (although it's URL still reads... /UA2020-Subclasses02.pdf).

The article included three new subclasses, the bardic College of Creation, the cleric's Love Domain, and the sorcerer's Clockwork Soul.

[NOTE - NSFW language follows].

I don't know if it's linked, but WotC came under criticism on Twitter for its treatment of the Love Domain. The main argument isn't that mind-control magic has no place in the game, but rather that coercive powers should not be described as "love", and that the domain might be poorly named.

People like game designer Emmy Allen commented: "It seems WotC have tried to create a 'Love' domain for clerics in 5e. By some sheer coincidence they seem to have accidentally created a 'roofie' domain instead. Nothing says 'love' like overriding your target's free will to bring them under your power."

That domain was introduced as follows: "Love exists in many forms—compassion, infatuation, friendly affection, and passionate love as a few facets. Whatever form these feelings take, the gods of love deepen the bonds between individuals."

The powers were Eboldening Bond, Impulsive Infatuation ("Overwhelm a creature with a flash of short-lived by intense admiration for you, driving them to rash action in your defense”), Protective Bond, and Enduring Unity.

Whether the criticism was a factor in the article's withdrawal, I don't know. It might be that it just wasn't ready for prime-time yet. It seems the domain itself would be better named a "control" or "charm" domain than a "love" domain, which seems to be the main thrust of the criticism on Twitter.

WotC's Jeremy Crawford commented: "The official version of the Unearthed Arcana article “Subclasses, Part 2” is still ahead of us, later this week or sometime next week. Our team will hold off on answering questions until you’ve seen the real deal!"

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Tension, apprension, and dissension have begun
Eh. It's a near-miss. Most of the domain abilities are pretty decent, though the Impulsive Infatuation thing is ... a little creepy (at least potentially. I can see why one might not want to conflate Love with Mind Control, though. I'm ambivalent about adding Love as a domain in my setting, anyway, but I'm willing to consider it (without actual mind control in the domain spells, by preference).


World Traveller (She/Her)
I would say that's probably exactly what happened. The designers had good intentions but when the possibly problematic nature of it was highlighted the pulled it back. They might re-release it with tweaks, but I don't know. What else can a "Love Domain" do but use charm effects? Especially since, unlike other charm spells which are mostly friendly, this is specifically targeted at desire and may remove a character or NPC's agency if they fail a save.

I've often considered the unsavory or uncomfortable aspects of charm spells before. I've never had them come up, and hopefully I never will but it has occurred to me. Though I've considered highlighting in in the legal code of say a large city-state.

honestly making a love domain seems like it would be a fools errand.

Either you got charm spells all day or you're someone who has basically no reason to adventure.

And now with this iteration, people are gonna be upset no matter what. Either they stick to this idea and the people currently upset stay upset, or they change it and people get upset for them changing it.


I'd still be interested in seeing it, if only to use for a certain type of BBEG. Did anyone get a copy while it was still available? If so, can you PM me?

ETA: Got a copy, thanks!
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I get the backlash, but I also get why it was in the domain from a trope perspective.
How often in literature and other media do we see people seeking "love" potions to get so-and-so to fall in love with them? And the village witch/apothecary obliges. Usually this ends badly for our protagonist and they learn a life lesson. Huzzah. But... maybe this one is ... awkward.

And I agree with @lowkey13, I'm not sure there is an easy answer to this either.


Tension, apprension, and dissension have begun

So, on the one hand, I can definitely understand why there is a ... desire ... for a love domain. You can't shake a stick at real-world pantheons without running into some sort of Love Deity. And given the prevalence of various Love Deities, there should be a corresponding Love Domain.

And there is a long tradition of various charm spells that continues in 5e. So, yeah, it almost seems like a no-brainer.

But on the other hand ... it makes EXPLICIT what is a usually un-remarked aspect of those various charm/domination/command/compel spells. It's one thing to charm the guard to get into the city, it's another to specifically flag these abilities for their ... well, rape-y and roofie aspects.

I'm not sure that there is an easy answer to this.

As I said, the Domain abilities (except for Impulsive Infatuation) seemed unobjectionable to me, though I'm willing to hear other opinions; it was the Domain spells that had problems (and were kinda creepy). I'm not sure I see an easy answer, either.

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