Unearthed Arcana WotC Removes Latest Unearthed Arcana

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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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Russ Morrissey

Russ Morrissey


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Panda-s1

Scruffy and Determined
Okay. For me, the first game mechanic that springs to mind to represent "being desirable" would be advantage on Charisma checks.

Which is literally the effect of the charmed condition. The swashbuckler rogue charms people with Panache, to give a concrete example.
...no, first of all charmed also has the bit about not being able to attack the charmer (yikes). also making someone more attractive != mind control, there's a HUGE difference between making someone more attractive and forcing someone to find someone else attractive. Eagle's Splendor is still a thing (just not its own spell)

also let's bring sexuality into this because you can make a woman (in very broad terms) an 11 and a gay man might not care. using a spell to make them attracted to the woman? that's weird and wasn't possible otherwise (also is an example of "turning" and oh hey it's gotten real bad now huh?)
 

Whizbang Dustyboots

100% that gnome
If they did the changes for that reason, then I am disappointed in their disingenuous tweet about it "not being ready yet", and then changing it. Because then it's blatantly an attempt to avoid bad PR.
While working for a major videogame company, I had a colleague accidentally post a draft of a document that wasn't ready to be released and which included factual errors. When we said the posting was premature, we had fans who were sure it was spin.

All three subclasses received changes. It's entirely likely this was a much earlier draft than they intended to publish. That would help explain how quickly these changes were made -- they just went to the proper version that they meant to publish, glanced at it using the feedback they'd received already, and then posted it.
 


...no, first of all charmed also has the bit about not being able to attack the charmer (yikes). also making someone more attractive != mind control, there's a HUGE difference between making someone more attractive and forcing someone to find someone else attractive. Eagle's Splendor is still a thing (just not its own spell)

also let's bring sexuality into this because you can make a woman (in very broad terms) an 11 and a gay man might not care. using a spell to make them attracted to the woman? that's weird and wasn't possible otherwise (also is an example of "turning" and oh hey it's gotten real bad now huh?)
I don't know how you run charms, but "advantage on Charisma checks" implies to me "they're not going to do anything that a normal Charisma check wouldn't convince them to do".
 


Whizbang Dustyboots

100% that gnome
It's also worth noting that you don't have to look at Charm to find evidence that NPCs in the RAW understand and get upset about being mentally manipulated.

Look at Friends, which was a pretty innocuous (and maybe seldom-used) spell in previous versions of the game. By the RAW, WotC has clearly stated that most NPCs in 5th edition are not OK with people using magic to manipulate their behavior.
 

Bolares

Hero
While working for a major videogame company, I had a colleague accidentally post a draft of a document that wasn't ready to be released and which included factual errors. When we said the posting was premature, we had fans who were sure it was spin.

All three subclasses received changes. It's entirely likely this was a much earlier draft than they intended to publish. That would help explain how quickly these changes were made -- they just went to the proper version that they meant to publish, glanced at it using the feedback they'd received already, and then posted it.
I find this discussion of the designers intent on the changes rather pointless. We can only guess and look for possible causes...
 

Celebrim

Legend
Bearing false witness isn't accorded the same weight as murder.

Depends on the witness. We're talking slander, which is a specific case of bearing false witness. However, I'm not going to construct the essay or cite the texts for you. Feel free to research the connection if you are really interested, but if I were going to construct a sermon for you as to why slander carried the same weight of sin as murder and was acquainted in scripture as such, in addition to the chapter and verse, I'd probably enter into a discussion of the 1921 Tulsa race riots. And with that, to avoid really derailing this, I'm going to stop going down this thread and return to the main topic.
 


Salthorae

Imperial Mountain Dew Taster
The fact that it's so unbelievable to some that quite a few people have an issue with giving a "Love" Domain the ability to mentally dominate

This is what I'm talking about with exaggerated or hyperbolic reactions.

The domain in no way gave complete mental domination or control. It let you try to force someone to make an attack against a target you designated. And it gave the Charm Person spell.

Charm Person, "The charmed creature regards you as a friendly acquaintance.", the charmed can't attack the charmer, and charmer has adv. on Charisma checks.

Also not mental domination. There's a spell for that... Dominate Person. Wasn't on the list.
 

Salthorae

Imperial Mountain Dew Taster
Look at Friends

Friends automatically make a target hostile when it ends. I believe that is saying less about in-world assumptions than it is about game balance given that it's an unlimited per day cantrip

Charm spells, the target knows they were charmed by you. It does NOT explicitly make the charmed target hostile. Maybe, maybe not. Up to the DM.
 

Gradine

Final Form (she/they)
This is what I'm talking about with exaggerated or hyperbolic reactions.

The domain in no way gave complete mental domination or control. It let you try to force someone to make an attack against a target you designated. And it gave the Charm Person spell.

Charm Person, "The charmed creature regards you as a friendly acquaintance.", the charmed can't attack the charmer, and charmer has adv. on Charisma checks.

Also not mental domination. There's a spell for that... Dominate Person. Wasn't on the list.

All of this is incredibly pedantic and totally besides the point. The insinuation with the original archetype and abilities is that you're mentally forcing people into falling in love with you, which, again, has all kinds of a icky implications that I'm sure WotC did not intend and would have preferred to avoid altogether.
 

Panda-s1

Scruffy and Determined
I don't know how you run charms, but "advantage on Charisma checks" implies to me "they're not going to do anything that a normal Charisma check wouldn't convince them to do".
"A charmed creature can’t Attack the charmer or target the charmer with harmful Abilities or magical Effects."
but I guess the concept of agency is meaningless to you. if someone is charmed not only do you have influence on them they also can't do anything about it. having high Cha might give you a level of influence on someone, but that influence can be easily broken for whatever reason, see: the trope where a woman throws a glass of wine in a man's face.

(and again, "turning" is some gross naughty word, but is doable with enchantment spells, not so much with making someone attractive)
 

generic

On that metempsychosis tweak
"A charmed creature can’t Attack the charmer or target the charmer with harmful Abilities or magical Effects."
but I guess the concept of agency is meaningless to you. if someone is charmed not only do you have influence on them they also can't do anything about it. having high Cha might give you a level of influence on someone, but that influence can be easily broken for whatever reason, see: the trope where a woman throws a glass of wine in a man's face.

(and again, "turning" is some gross naughty word, but is doable with enchantment spells, not so much with making someone attractive)
It's a subclass, not something that actually happened to someone. No one was harmed by the creation of this subclass.
 


Gradine

Final Form (she/they)
It's a subclass, not something that actually happened to someone. No one was harmed by the creation of this subclass.

implication.jpg
 


Salthorae

Imperial Mountain Dew Taster
The insinuation with the original archetype and abilities is that you're mentally forcing people into falling in love with you,

So if it'd been called the Charm Domain or the Enchantment Domain and had the same spell list and the Instant Infatuation channel divinity option, everything would be a-ok?

If that is your opinion, that seems just as pedantic to me.

I guess the concept of agency is meaningless to you. if someone is charmed not only do you have influence on them they also can't do anything about it.

So your issue is really with Charm and enchantment school spells it seems like. Not their inclusion on this list.

Charm Person is already present on the: Bard, Druid, Sorcerer, Warlock, Wizard, and Trickery Domain spell lists. It's everywhere.

If you have a problem with this the Love Domain as originally published, where is the hate from everyone for the College of Glamour Bard?

College of Glamour:
  • Level 3 - Enthralling performance, no concentration Charm against Charisma Mod creatures who can see/hear you. Usable 1/short rest
    Each target must succeed on a Wisdom saving throw against your spell save DC or be charmed by you. While charmed in this way, the target idolizes you, it speaks glowingly of you to anyone who talks to it, and it hinders anyone who opposes you, although it avoids violence unless it was already inclined to fight on your behalf. This effect ends on a target after 1 hour, if it takes any damage, if you attack it, or if it witnesses you attacking or damaging any of its allies.
  • Level 6 - Mantle of Majesty, 1/Long Rest, doubles down here
    During this time, you can cast command as a bonus action on each of your turns, without expending a spell slot.
    Any creature charmed by you automatically fails its saving throw against the command you cast with this feature
  • Level 14 - Unbreakable Majesty. 1/Long rest
    For the duration, whenever any creature tries to attack you for the first time on a turn, the attacker must make a Charisma saving throw against your spell save DC. On a failed save, it can’t attack you on this turn, and it must choose a new target for its attack or the attack is wasted. On a successful save, it can attack you on this turn, but it has disadvantage on any saving throw it makes against your spells on your next turn.


That subclass takes away other character's (PC or NPC) agency in a WAY bigger manner than anything the Love domain threw out there.
 

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