Opinionated Golin: UA Class Features

Hi Beez the Goblin here. I think my compatriot had some good points but here is what I think, because no opinions more opinions than Beez! I will be talking about most of the classes but not all.

Hi Beez the Goblin here. I think  my compatriot had some good points but here is what I think, because no opinions more opinions than Beez! I will be talking about most of the classes but not all. Before we get started here are some word abbreviations you’ll need to know.

UA= Unearthed Arcana (playtest material from the creators over at D&D and Wizards of the Coast).

WotC = Wizards of the Coast (owners and publishers of all the D&D material)

PHB= Players Handbook (The book made by WotC that is great for new and old players alike for rules,races,classes, and much more).

Now lets kick it off!

Spell Options:

I don’t have very strong opinions on these either way, which comes as a surprise to me since I always have an opinion on everything! But having more spell options is always cool, and having Rangers being able to do some smites as well as Revivify is okay with me. 

Cleric

Oh boy…I loves me some Clerics, no not to eat! What are you thinking….they have too much armor, the meat is all hard to get to…what was I saying again? Ah yes! Cleric!

Cantrip Versatility

I noticed a trend with the spell/cantrip versatility amongst the classes. Honestly, this seems like a great idea. It sucks to be stuck to the cantrips and spells you chose at the beginning of the campaign. Sometimes you aren’t really feeling a spell anymore and you just want something new, same goes for cantrips. 

Pros: 

  1. Versatility always feels nice, especially for people who often change their minds about things.
  2. Clerics and Druids in particular already get to choose their spells each day, why not also their cantrips? It feels right.

Cons:

  1. Changing this on a character sheet can be pretty easy, but on sites like Roll20 and even D&D beyond I see this being a bit of a nuisance. Granted, its an option and not a requirement.
  2. You have to trust your players to not change them whenever and just say “Oh yeah I changed it I just forgot to say it until this moment when it was perfectly appropriate”. You can’t fool me Karn, I saw you do it!

Channel Divinity: Harness Divine Power

….yes…I think this simple option is magnificent! Especially in early game! Yes it does have a sorcerer like feel to it with their points but is that such a bad thing? How many times has the fighter, right before taking a short rest, used their second wind? Getting back a 1st level spell as a reward for conserving your channel divinity? Freaking yes please. I just think it’s so simple and nice that you have to have it twice. Approved by Beez!

Blessed strikes

Idk about you but I think this is really cool. The fact that it works on spells as well as attacks? Yes yes yes! You can now boost the damage of all your cantrips, attacks, and spells; you name it and you got it. Plus 1d8 of damage really isn’t that much if you think about it. It replaces the consistent raw power of Divine Strike and Potent Spellcasting to focus on a more spread out appliance of damage amongst all your options. 

Druid

And ah druid druid druid.I think druids are both one of the coolest classes out there are well as one of the most difficult to get down.That’s just a personal opinion, come at me, I’ll cut you with my bone saw Scimitar!

Cantrip Versatility 

Same as Cleric, it makes sense to be able to switch out your cantrips on long rests.

Wild Companion

I don’t hate this. I suppose it’s just nice to have the option. I specifically think of people who love pets, kids who play, and just anyone that wants a little companion. I can see some DMs telling their players “Um actually because Druids don’t get a companion in the rules then you cant have one.” I saw nay to that!!! But at least now you have an out. 

Fighter

Okay, fighters are fun, I don’t care who you are. I want to hit things so many times that even I miss half the time I still win! 

Superior Techniques

These superior techniques are really really cool, and having it as a fighting style gives fighters the options. But it is a little strange for the subclass to be lending it out to others? But at the same time, it is really cool abilities that keep things from getting stale. I think I like it overall, but I’m just a Goblin.

Maneuver Options

Just great, can’t complain. More options is always great and some of these are really cool. It’s also nice to see some nonbattle options that are more RP based. 

Rogue/Wizard

Two of the most fun classes to play in my opinion; be it the ever moving rogue badass or my second favorite class the ever studious Wizard. Okay let’s dive right in and see what they got!

….That’s it?!?!? Rogue gets another Cunning Action ability to give yourself advantage by getting rid of all your movement for the turn and Wizards get cantrip versatility and a handful of spell options!?!?

Eh both seem fitting. Both of these classes are good and fun already, I think WotC knows that too. I personally think this makes sense.

Sorcerer

The mutant gene casters, always a cool concept. I myself have never played a Sorcerer but I have a player who loves them very much. And I must say this update really brings some cool and interesting stuff for them.

Spell Versatility

Jeremy Crawford mentioned that they learned that some campaigns go a longer period of time without leveling up than they thought. So now once per long rest you can change a spell!! I just think this is so wonderfully fitting for the ever changing sorcerers that have no control of their powers. It has an amazing thematic feel of always changing. Such a small change seems to work in a big way to enhance the feel of the class.

Font of Magic

Ugh yes please! This is so cool! One for helping with checks, one for giving allies a temporary magical weapon, and one for temp HP. The beauty of this is that they are just added options for more versatility. You can feel like you are doing more this way, I think this is one of the cooler ideas that shows a great direction for future content. 

Metamagic 

More options for meta magic is also always very cool. Granted I still don’t see many people choosing anything other than subtle spell and twin spell but hey the more options the better.

Warlock

I personally have never played a Warlock but I have had a couple of players in my games choose them now….and for a power hunger Goblin that loves to torture his players for daring to come into a pact with him…it’s the perfect class. 

Spell Versatility 

Once again, cool option to have. I imagine a Warlock, with their Patron, would be allowed to switch off their spells, although I must say I think for this class in particular it would feel more fitting to have them switch off a spell on short rests. I think it would just fit the theme better, but hey that’s just one Goblin’s opinion. 

Eldritch Invocations

Now we are talking. Many of these are very cool and some are saying that Eldritch Armor might be considered very strong…but I don’t care about any of that! I only care about Far Scribe and Gift of the Protectors!! These are both for the Pact of the Tomb. Being able to cast sending to any PC, NPC, or otherwise is soooo cool! I think that idea is so amazingly perfect; mix that with the other one which allows to actually bring someone back from the dead if their names were written in your book!?!?! Think of the thematics for this and the RP potential! It is like a reverse Death Note! And think of the Patron’s price for something like this? Now your warlock pact extends to members of the party as you slowly corrupt all of them …hehehehe. 

These new options feel like the pacts really stand out. The tomb in particular feels like it is set apart from other classes now. It sort of feels like a depravity of the wizard book, really adding to that eldritch corruption of all things. Just imagine the words fading away on the pages of the tome only to give back a haunting message. I really like the idea of pages being added to the tome, creating more versatility. 

Ranger

Another one of my favorite classes. The concept of a Ranger is something that has been cool since Lord of the Rings to me. It often feels like no two rangers are alike and I love that.

Deft Explorer

Umm yes! Okay so I have to start by saying, I play a Ranger in one of the campaigns I am in and I use the Ranger UA released a while back. So even though these new changes apply to the PHB version…I can still envision them working with the UA Ranger. Natural Explorer in PHB is a bit lackluster if you ask me, and in UA it sometimes feels pretty strong. But this….this is mm mm good. Swim and climb speed? Expertise in skills plus 2 languages? Overcoming exhaustion on short rests?? This is so thematic and yet also so darn simple. And not many campaigns let a Ranger shine in their traversal or exploration aspects, so these options are perfect for those kinds of campaigns! This option also sticks with the theme of the Ranger which to me is very important. 

Favored Foe

FINALLY! I played a Star Wars d&d one shot and in it every class was reskinned and improved upon to be made better and in it, the Ranger got a full makeover and it looked soooo amazing. The main thing they did was make hunters mark a class feature…and here we have it alas! I can not wait to try this feature out! One of the weaknesses of hunters mark is that damn concentration! Now that problem is resolved! Why wasn’t Hunters Mark always a Ranger feature?? It’s so strange. But anyway, this one in particular is something I see myself permanently using with the dms that allow it. Favored enemy is a cool concept but often times if you don’t work with the dm then you’re usually screwed out of a feature or you can only use it a few times in a campaign. Favored Foe makes that problem completely moot. This feels like a feature that is a must.

Druidic Warrior

This is a new fighting style for those that want to make their Rangers feel more magical. As an option, I think it’s great for those that want that kind of thing. 

Ranger Spells

Okay I know earlier I said I didn’t care too much in any direction for the new spell options….so I lied…because the spell options for the Ranger are great!!!!!!! Now you can smite, revive, and dominate beast’s mind! This will definitely help that Ranger feel even more badass. Honestly, with this new features the Ranger is starting to really come out looking like a total badass. If WotC can bring it all together and just give us a whole new Ranger mixing and matching all the ideas that have had for them then we can finally get the Ranger we deserve…or need…not quite sure how that saying works.

Primal Awareness

Um excuse me? More free spells for no cost? Are you telling me we will be able to do the things that the primeval awareness mentioned before except in an easier way to understand, implement, and use? Deal! Give it to me now! This idea is just good, plain and simple. 

Companion

Honestly, I am a fan of the baby bestiary when it comes to companion animals (that’s a homebrew thing that someone made online, look it up, its nice) however; I am a fan of this idea! The problem with using monster stats for these kinds of things is that it equals a lot of uncertainties for the dm, same issue with the druid’s Wild Shape and the spell Conjure Animals. Having stat blocks with the class means you always know what everything is and nothing will really surprise you for the worse. Dividing it up into land and air creatures is simplistic and hopefully that’s enough. I would like to hear from people who try it what they think of it. The idea of just making the animal look like whatever beast you want is something that should have come with it from the beginning. This is such a step in the right direction! I just wonder how under or over powered it might be ‘most likely under’.

Fighting styles

Honestly, these are just cool. Specifically interception and unarmed fighting. Preventing damage from allies I think is always just such a badass thing that I always want more of these kinds of options. And who doesn’t want to be able to kick some ass in the bar brawls? So cool. I guess at this point the only real problem is not having enough usable fighting styles. I want like 5 of them! Then again that can also make for nice bonuses that players can earn in the game after training with some really strong npc master fighter for free. Just an idea. 

Conclusion

I think the words that really describe this UA are Versatility and variety. When Jeremy crawford was recently interviewed he made it known that the beauty of those options are just that, they are options. These ideas work with what already exists and you don’t have to use all of them, hell you don’t have to use any of them. But I recommend giving them a try. It’s hard to really be mad at any of this since it is all optional features. But if your player comes asking to try some of these out, let them; because it just might lead to them feeling more and more happy about your game. I think these optional changes will most definitely change the game in a big way. I look forward to see how these things work out and I hope to see more of these kinds of UAs in the future. Beeeez out!

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