UA: Class Feature Variants

Okay folks, this is not a drill. We just got some maaaajor changes to our game in this latest Unearthed Arcana. We have a lot to cover so do hold onto your breeches and let this Opinionated Goblin tell you all about it.

Okay folks, this is not a drill. We just got some maaaajor changes to our game in this latest Unearthed Arcana. We have a lot to cover so do hold onto your breeches and let this Opinionated Goblin tell you all about it.

First off, am I the only one caught off guard by this?! For the last couple of months we had been getting mostly subpar UAs (don’t get me wrong, I loved the new Bard school but the rest was kind of weird and very vague) and now we are getting this bombshell? I have multiple players yelling at me about this UA in my inbox and there’s plenty to go through so let’s begin.

Repeat after me: JUST BECAUSE IT’S UA IT DON’T MEAN IT’S ALLOWED EVERYWHERE PLEASE TALK TO YOUR DM.

Barbarian: Survival Instincts + Instinctive Pounce
Alright so Barbarians get a nature based expertise, which, it’s kind of weird but still thematic I guess. What I find more interesting for this is the second ability, Instinctive Pounce. Reactions are always great!

Bards: Magical Inspiration
Those inspired by your might can now also add this inspiration to their magic damage or healing total. Definitely a neat little option, but I think we’ll stick to saving throws.

Clerics: Harness Divine Power +Blessed Strikes
Personally I like the direction that Blessed Strikes is going but I still don’t think it quite does what it should. Harness Power, however, is definitely a great way to get more out of your Channel Divinity, especially in campaigns where Turn Undead might just, not be that useful. The Channel Divinity to 1st level spellslots conversion might just be worth it for some folks out there.

Monks: Ki Features +Ki Fueled Strike
Monks get an extra unarmed strike upon spending some Ki, as well as a new ability to spend their Ki to heal a handful of hit points. Not bad over all, but nothing extremely game changing.

Fighter: Maneuver Versatility + New Maneuver Options
Sigh…look, I’m not even going to go into this one. This goblin makes no secret of their opinion on Fighters. You can just, do everything that most other classes do better and then have like 4 attacks? Cool. Cool, cool, cool.

Enjoy your new maneuvers and your newfound ability to switch them out after rests.

Druid: Wild Companion
You’re basically giving up a use of your Wildshape for a temporary Familiar. Uhhh I’m going to have to pass on this one. I feel like, if you’re making the choice to go with Druid it’s mostly because of the Wildshape. Then again I suppose for other circles that are NOT Moon Circle it might actually give them something useful to do with their Wildshape.

Regardless, I think they could have done other better things to improve and help balance some of the more underpowered subclasses.

Paladin: Blessed Warrior + Harness Divinity
Paladins get some cantrips as well as a similar ability to Harness Power from their Channel Divinity. Who needs those boring old Channel Divinities when you can just use them for free 1st level smites? Also, we haven’t talked about the changes done to spells but I feel like it needs to be mentioned here…PALADINS GET SPIRIT GUARDIANS????? I guess I know what I’m playing next.

Ranger: Deft Explorer + Favorite Foe +Primeval Awareness + Fade Away
Oh the Ranger…always the Dungeons and Dragons underdog…until now! This is a complete overhaul of what’s usually the most overlooked class in the game. For years now we’ve been struggling and have been forced to use what has now become a staple at tables, the original UA Ranger.

We’ve been wondering for a while if and when we would see the old UA Ranger appear in some of the official books and so far it’s had no luck. This most recent UA however makes me very, very excited at the possibility. Let’s have a look at what we get:

Begone, Natural Explorer! Now we have the vastly superior Deft Explorer. We get to choose between Expertise in an array some of the most useful skills, an improved speed (climbing speed too!), and a small pool of temporary hitpoints to refresh throughout the game. I don’t know about you, but to me these changes seem fitting and organic, and this goblin is here for them.

But we’re not done with the Ranger changes yet, guys….Hunter’s Mark? It’s a f**king class feature now. The WoTC Gods has finally heard our pleas to make this staple ranger spell into a class feature and I couldn’t be more delighted about it.

This rewrite of Primeval Awareness also his rangers something that they’ve lacked for a very long time: more diverse and useful spellcasting. But more on that later. For know, know that rangers get a limited list of spells from which they can cast without spending a spellslot a limited number of times. Considering Rangers aren’t full casters, this sound pretty neat.

Look, we’re still not done okay? If Rangers ain’t your thing feel free to scroll down a bit cause I still have two more things to ramble about. The first being that we can finally say goodbye to the useless Hide in Plain Sight ability. Instead we might as well all be Firbolgs as Rangers now get the ability to turn invisible as a bonus action.

Last but not least for the Rangers is specific for Beast Masters, probably one of the weakest subclasses in the game. If you’re playing a Beast Master using this newest UA you’ll get to choose from specific (and slightly better) stats for your companion depending on their type of creature (rather than say, using bear stats). I’m not sure how much of an improvement this last one is, but at least your Ranger companions will no longer feel as useless.

Sorcerer: New Font of Magic + New Metamagics
Sorcerers now get a few more choices to spend their sorcery points on as well as an expanded variety of Metamagics to pick from. This goblin is particularly interested in the Elemental Spell am Unerring Spell Metamagics. One let’s you choose the type of damage your spell does (cough cough Lore Wizard) and the second one allows you to reattempt an attack roll that you’ve missed.

Warlock: Pact of the Talisman + New Eldritch Invocations
We get a new Pact! This UA has only been out for a couple of days now and I already have players in my inbox raging about it. After having a look myself, I have too say I’m actually pretty excited to see it in action. Rather than a book, a sword, or a pet, the Pact of the Talisman gives you, well, a Talisman. This magical item can add a 1d4 to your saves or help you teleport to the wearer (since it doesn’t have to be the Warlock who wears it) as long as they are in the same plane. I’m very curious to see how this Pact will play.

Full list of changes for this Unearthed Arcana.

(ALL) Proficiency Versatility+ Expanded Spell lists:
Whenever you reach an ASI (Ability Score Improvement) you are now able to switch out proficiencies given to you by your class. I think some people might be overlooking this bit.

I don’t know about you folks but I’ve had a few players come to me after we’re a few sessions into a campaign asking if they can switch proficiencies (either because they find it’s something that doesn’t fit their character anymore or because it’s something that overlaps too much with other party members).

Speaking from a roleplay perspective, I think this could be a pretty solid way to showcase character growth and change.

This second part definitely deserves an article of it own and we shall cover it later, but for now, SPELLS sooooo many new spells to choose from for all classes! This is great for everyone around the table.

New Fighting Style for Melee classes and New Spell Versatility for Caster classes:
Melee classes now get a wider variety of fighting styles to choose from while Casters get the choice of replacing cantrips as they level up.

Conclusion:
Now that we’ve touched briefly on all of these new alternate class features I can definitely say that I think most of these are a move in the right direction. I have no doubt that we will be seeing more and more players asking their Dungeon Masters about the possibility of using this UA for their characters.

Which of these changes are you the most excited to test out? Which ones do you find mediocre? Let us know in the comments bellow!

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