WotC Removes Latest Unearthed Arcana

Status
Not open for further replies.
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!"
 
Russ Morrissey

Comments

Status
Not open for further replies.
They reprinted wall of water for a race (Tritons) in Volo's Guide to Monsters. They can do the same with a subclass.
Likewise, Gust was reprinted in the Eberron books as part of the Mark of Storm. Its rare, but it does happen.

More important is ceremony is a waste of a spell, esp the marriage power that lasts a week at most.
 

Panda-s1

Scruffy and Determined
More important is ceremony is a waste of a spell, esp the marriage power that lasts a week at most.
[insert joke about marriage being bad], though honestly that is about the average length of a honeymoon so...

edit: wait hang on, the inclusion of the spell is entirely thematic. also I'd imagine a cleric of the love domain would be officiating weddings on the days they're not adventuring.
 
L

lowkey13

Guest
I do not see any problem with "love" domain.

Every mind control / mind altering spells abilities take advantage of natural emotions.

Spell fear works because you can feel fear normally. It just uses that feeling, boosts it to level of paranoia and you are near useless in that state.

Having a spell or ability cause love towards you or someone/something else is exactly the same. You take normal feeling that occurs in a person and you use it. Same as fear. Same as sleep spell.

But somehow, it is immoral to cause love in someone and then use them to perform certain favors for you or sell you frakking plate armor at 1/4 price, but it is perfectly OK to cause sleep in someone and then slit their throats while they are asleep.


the level of hypocrisy in some people...
Here, let's try this.

Imagine if, instead of calling it the "Love" Domain, they had called it the Kilgrave Domain.

Too subtle?

How about the Jello Pudding Pops Domain?

Catch my drift now?

I think that people can, and do, reasonably discuss the issues of violence in RPGs in general, and in D&D specifically. For example, when reviewing Goodman Games excellent resurrection of B2 (Keep on the Borderlands) I mentioned that I ran it, and that some of the themes that I hadn't visited in years became much more uncomfortable when running it for younger teens. The whole "slaughtering of women and children thing," or the mad hermit, for example. It required some ... changes.

But the perfect should not be the enemy of the good. Just because there are credible conversations that can be had about violence or other issues in D&D, doesn't mean that everything else gets a free pass. To put it to the logical extreme, "Hey, we can kill people, so I don't understand why anyone would have a problem with Sir Rapes-a-lot." NO. Just NO.

As I wrote at the start of the thread, there is certainly a lot of history about Love Deities in pretty much all polytheistic religions. There is a lot of myths and tropes about love potions and magic enchantments of love and so on. So it's a fertile ground to explore .....in theory.

And there are already spells and effects, from control, to command, to dominate, and so on that vitiate free will. The problem (if you think there is one, as there might be here) is when you take what can be the subtext of these otherwise benign abilities and make it the actual text.

You elevate the "Hey, let's get around the guard with charm person," to "Hey, we can make people love us and do things for us and ... oh ...."

That type of ... very specific, almost always male power fantasy doesn't have a good history in either our hobby, or real life ... and that's when it's fantasy. When you add in reality, it's even less great.

So IMO it's a subject that should probably be broached with great care.
 
I do not see any problem with "love" domain.

Every mind control / mind altering spells abilities take advantage of natural emotions.
I do not believe that is in the RAW, unless you're taking halflings' resistance to fear spells and streeeeeeeeeetching that to say something about enchantment spells that's not explicitly stated.

And, for the record, "at some level, you wanted to do this thing I just forced you to do" is problematic and, for instance, not something that should be proffered in a court of law.
 

OB1

Jedi Master
So do we actually know that this was removed because the love domain was controversial or is it more likely to be because it wasn't officially announced and people found the PDF by guessing the URL? I just assumed it was the latter but most comments in this thread seem to think the former.
It wasn't "removed", someone guessed the URL of unreleased, possibly unfinished content before it was released. So they took it down.
It was never provided on purpose in the first place.

This wasn't "oh, here is some content; oh no a backlash. Let us remove that content." It was someone "hacking" their server and finding a file for future release and sharing the URL. (really tame hacking, but they didn't follow a public link to find it).

It wasn't really "the latest Unearthed Arcana", it was a leaked pre-release of it.
Just to be clear, the UA was officially released on the Wizards web site. I went there yesterday morning and accessed it through the UA sub-menu, where it was at the top of the page and had the survey to the last UA with it (and thought, "ew" when I read it).

My guess would be that after the leak, someone at Wizards made the decision to officially post it, and almost just as quickly, someone else decided to take it down, either due to the online reaction or because it really wasn't supposed to go live because it wasn't ready/approved yet, for obvious reasons.

At any rate, glad to see WotC correct the mistake quickly, and can't wait to see a proper Love domain cleric like some of the great suggestions in this thread or a renaming of the version from yesterday into something less problematic.
 

doctorbadwolf

Heretic of The Seventh Circle
I have thought about that and have come to the conclusion that those are the fun parts of the game/ the reason why we play it.

Is that bad? Could be, not my place to make that call.
Well, some of us play dnd to imagine ourselves as heroes, but sure, the violence ends up being part of that.
At least as good as any other moment. If killing people for gold is not problematic, nothing is.
And guards, soldiers, mercenaries, thieves, etc... 🤔
Not in my games. My games have never, and will never, involve killing any such people for gold.
 

Kurotowa

Adventurer
So, the domain spells. What should they be?

The fact that Ceremony was missing is a big one.

Imagine a Love Priest whose job it is to bring couples together. So spells to help with making decisions and commitments and otherwise helping others.
Well, it really begs the question what a Love domain should be about, doesn't it? At least traditionally, marriage rites are paired with a deity of family, home, and hearth. Love is more often associated with passion, fertility, and art. The two barely overlap.

So on the one hand, I'd really hate for the Love domain to be bland and domestic in character instead of the more wild character it deserves. On the other hand, I can totally see the objections to a Love domain that's all about creating artificial love through charm and other mental control effects. That hardly sets the right tone either, does it?

If I had a say in designing a Love domain, I'd probably steal shamelessly from the Bard bag of tricks. Give people faux Inspiration dice to represent inflamed passions and burning ideas. I might also dig through the Druid spell list for something to bless fertility and vital energy; Plant Growth isn't quite right, I'd have to see what else is available. As for anything involving mental influence, I'd stay well away from those. Heck, maybe throw in something to give advantage on saves against mental influence. It's a well worn trope for the power of love to let a hero shake off a malign creature's control.
 

Undrave

Hero
On another note, did anyone who saw the original posting have any more information about the College of Creation or the Clockwork Soul sorcerer? The Clockwork Soul in particular sounds interesting to me.
The Clockwork Soul was touched by Primus and the Modron in some way. Its first ability is to basically negate advantage or disadvantage (can spent Sorcery Points to recharge it if I recall?). It also had a 'manifestation' table to add to their style.

It was cool but a bit underwhelming. Its capstone ability is basically to summon spirit Modrons in a cube and negate magic and repair stuff in range... it wasn't super important.

Likewise, Gust was reprinted in the Eberron books as part of the Mark of Storm. Its rare, but it does happen.

More important is ceremony is a waste of a spell, esp the marriage power that lasts a week at most.
They could just give it three domain spells at level 1, no one would argue having Ceremony would break the bank.

Well, it really begs the question what a Love domain should be about, doesn't it? At least traditionally, marriage rites are paired with a deity of family, home, and hearth. Love is more often associated with passion, fertility, and art. The two barely overlap.

So on the one hand, I'd really hate for the Love domain to be bland and domestic in character instead of the more wild character it deserves. On the other hand, I can totally see the objections to a Love domain that's all about creating artificial love through charm and other mental control effects. That hardly sets the right tone either, does it?

If I had a say in designing a Love domain, I'd probably steal shamelessly from the Bard bag of tricks. Give people faux Inspiration dice to represent inflamed passions and burning ideas. I might also dig through the Druid spell list for something to bless fertility and vital energy; Plant Growth isn't quite right, I'd have to see what else is available. As for anything involving mental influence, I'd stay well away from those. Heck, maybe throw in something to give advantage on saves against mental influence. It's a well worn trope for the power of love to let a hero shake off a malign creature's control.
A sort of rebellious passionate kind of Love instead of the Hearth and Family one then?
 

cbwjm

I can add a custom title.
I actually think that charm spells fit the domain, it makes someone friendly towards you and can be seen as inspiring "love" within them if only briefly, while it does make them react favourably towards you (with advantage on charisma checks towards them) it still isn't mind control in that they won't necessarily do as you say. I wouldn't want to see dominate in the spell list, but charm I do see as fitting. I also think that enthrall like abilities fits with it. I've read the myths and, more recently, read the Percy Jackson books where a daughter of Aphrodite has an ability which fits with this domain's charm abilities exactly (the charm spells at least, I don't recall her getting others to attack their allies). So while I can understand the backlash based on modern sensibilities, I just don't agree with them that charm effects dont fit the domain.
 
"True Love" has been genre so long it's kinda a cliché.
D&D's never really tackled it in a genre-appropriate way.
(Though it's obviously tackled variations on the 'love potion' an 'evil enchantress' tropes plenty.)

Maybe it needs some sort of eros/agape divide?
 

Salthorae

Imperial Mountain Dew Taster
I just don't agree with them that charm effects dont fit the domain.
I don't think it's even the charm effects per se as much as it was the name of the ability, something to do with "Infatuation" that charms someone and makes them attack your enemies.

I don't probably have an issue with it, but that would seem to be more of an Enchantment or Charm domain than "love". I'd think that a "love" domain wouldn't really have combat useful abilities, but that's just me probably.
 

Horwath

Adventurer
I have to caution you against the insulting. Really. Don't do that.

You might want to consider that there's a difference between taking away agency in the name of fear, and doing so in the name of love.
Of course there is a difference. One is fear and the other is love.

But on a basic level, they are the same. Emotions. Probably the two strongest.

Degree is only what do you do with a person when you take away their agency with either fear or love.

Do you use love for small favors like discounts or reducing your punishment for a crime or getting access to a place that normally you would be barred from(I.E. palace vault) or do you do something that @lowkey13 aimed at with Pill Cosby reference?

Same with fear, that can also be manipulated through Intimidation skill; will you use it to scare of the guard of his diligent duty, or will you use it to get a confession out of a bad guy to do some greater good.
Or will you be a Mob style and threaten a man with lives of his wife and children if he does not do your bidding. That would be praying on both fear and love at the same time.

And while we are on taking away agency, chopping someones head off is the ultimate expression of taking away someones agency over their life.


As for my remark about hypocrisy, I just stated that in a game where you can chop someone in half with a sword, burn them alive with fireball, melt their skin and flesh with acid breath, make them your puppets with dominate, torture prisoners for information(even if it is for a greater good), robbing everything, summoning and consorting with demons, etc... claiming that causing love emotion in someone is finally a bridge too far is a little hypocritical.

And I never said that it was a good thing, messing with people like that is bad, and if you mean to exploit them via those feelings is very bad. But it is not worst what this game gives you to do.
 

Demetrios1453

Adventurer
"True Love" has been genre so long it's kinda a cliché.
D&D's never really tackled it in a genre-appropriate way.
(Though it's obviously tackled variations on the 'love potion' an 'evil enchantress' tropes plenty.)

Maybe it needs some sort of eros/agape divide?
Good point on the eros/agape divide; English only has the one (commonly-used) word for love where Greek had five (if I'm remembering my college Classical Greek classes right). The over-arching use of the word can definitely cause some confusion and conflicting understanding, such as in this case. That's why I'm leaning toward the suggestions of using something less verbally imprecise like "charm" or "passsion" for the domain name.
 

cbwjm

I can add a custom title.
I don't think it's even the charm effects per se as much as it was the name of the ability, something to do with "Infatuation" that charms someone and makes them attack your enemies.

I don't probably have an issue with it, but that would seem to be more of an Enchantment or Charm domain than "love". I'd think that a "love" domain wouldn't really have combat useful abilities, but that's just me probably.
I could see it having more de-escalation abilities. For instance, Mike Mearl's Beauty domain (this was his homebrew, he wasn't worried about balance) had as the channel divinity ability: Beauty's Truce which caused everyone in a radius that failed a saving throw to be charmed by every other person also affected. They'd see each other as allies and would defend each other from outside threats. If there were no threats, they just chill out and talk amongst themselves for the duration of the ability.

Not sure how useful that would be in combat, could be quite potent, but I thought it was a nice thematic ability.
 

FlyingChihuahua

Adventurer
I could see it having more de-escalation abilities. For instance, Mike Mearl's Beauty domain (this was his homebrew, he wasn't worried about balance) had as the channel divinity ability: Beauty's Truce which caused everyone in a radius that failed a saving throw to be charmed by every other person also affected. They'd see each other as allies and would defend each other from outside threats. If there were no threats, they just chill out and talk amongst themselves for the duration of the ability.

Not sure how useful that would be in combat, could be quite potent, but I thought it was a nice thematic ability.
That's definitely a cool ability, basically a buffed Calm Emotions, although I feel it would work more for a Peace domain rather than a Love or Beauty domain.
 

cbwjm

I can add a custom title.
That's definitely a cool ability, basically a buffed Calm Emotions, although I feel it would work more for a Peace domain rather than a Love or Beauty domain.
It really like the ability. I've found that some of the stuff that Mike has come up with for his home campaign, without having to worry about balancing it for official release, is really quite cool.
 
Status
Not open for further replies.

Advertisement

In Our Store!

Advertisement

Top