So the new Unearthed Arcana released for One D&D, giving us 37 pages of new content changes! This document is focused on the more specialised classes, dubbed Expert Classes: Ranger, Bard and Rogue.
We also have some information on the changes to spell lists, feats and a redefined rules glossary.
WoTC have made it very clear that they are focusing on revising content solely from the Player’s Handbook at the moment, so we haven’t got news about Artificer (even though it is briefly mentioned).
“I intend for this post to be a quick glance at the new rules, and I intend to go into more depth about some of the contents later. I haven’t personally looked at the Character Origins UA yet, but plan to look at it soon-ish to form some of my thoughts.
Links to the other blogs will be posted here for future reference. Anyway, let’s dive right in!
Class Groups and Expert Classes
So, a new term being thrown around is Class Groups. In summary, it just means that these class share certain themes in common or have similar features. I doubt this term is going to be used a lot in One D&D mechanically, since its just referring to the classes together.
This UA specifically focuses on Experts, which I’ve previously mentioned but we also got a glimpse into other class groups. It’s incredibly likely that they are going to be releasing each UA with a focus on these groups.
The groups are categorised as follows:
- Experts are: Bard, Ranger, Rogue and Artificer – those who have the Expertise features and have elements other class abilities
- Mages are: Sorcerer, Warlock, Wizard – those who focus on utility and the arcane.
- Priests are: Cleric, Druid and Paladin – those with divine or primal magic, with focus on healing, utility and defence.
- Warriors are: Barbarian, Fighter and Monk – those who can endure many wounds and thrive in combat.
I think they’ve done a good job of sorting the different classes for newer players. They’ve said that rules and prerequisites may refer to the Class Groups in future. So for example, a magic item may only be used by the Warrior group.
This is going to make things less wordy I feel. Also will help people create formations for their parties more specifically. Though, I find that this can already be done in D&D 5e.
Parts of a Class
This part just refers to the makings of your characters class. So, the Class Groups, features and subclasses. But there are some notable changes to how the classes work.
- All classes are going to have new features. These may be revised old features, or completely new ones.
- Suggestions are now presented when making important Class related decisions. Such as Subclass choice, this is done in an attempt to make character creation less daunting and to make character quickly
- Each classes old 20th level ability has been moved to 18th. 20th level is now reserved for “Epic Boons”.
We’ve already been notified about some new changes, but these three fundamentally change how the classes are going to work. Not only are we getting new abilities by the way, it seems that they have scrapped some old ones.
I think the suggestions idea is neat, though it’s not going to hold much merit to those familiar with D&D 5e. We all know that there is a “typical” or “base” subclass each class has.
That 20th level change sounds big and creates a shift. Epic Boons haven’t been explained much yet, so I’m holding out for that one. It’s hard to pin my exact thoughts right now, but it’s definitely going to change the overall balance of classes.
The majority of the class is the same. What I like the most with all of these classes is that we now have more personalised class tables. I always found it weird that your Bardic Die was never shown on the table.
They have changed the term Armour Proficiency has now changed to Armour Training. I assume this is to differ the two ideas but I’m still not sure what mechanical change this would have.
Some of the proficiencies have changed, but all the base stuff seems consistent. Their spells are now prepared however. It seems with these classes they are changing their spellcasting to not be just known anymore.
Bardic Inspiration has two uses now, which was super needed. You can now heal with your inspiration.
In addition to this, Bards can prepare from the Arcane spell list only, and it has be from a specific school of magic.
Rangers are also prepared spell casters now, which means they can prepare for any and all situations.
Favoured Enemy has now been changed. They always have Hunter’s Mark prepared essentially, and it doesn’t require concentration.
They are now lacking in the Natural Explorer ability, but still retain fighting styles, extra attack and some other abilities.
Rogue’s abilities are basically the same, but Sneak Attack can only happen once on each of your turns.
In general, lots of classes have had a lot of clean up to make abilities less like big blocks of texts and more segmented. It’s more pleasing to read for certain.
I won’t be touching on subclasses in this post, I’ll leave that for another time.
All the class changes seem great, and it seems the community has had a greater reception to One D&D after these changes, and it’s nice to see the rules more streamlined.
I personally love the formatting and hope that it can translate into books more easily. I was always daunted by big blocks of text.
Additionally, they have clearly given these classes a lot of love. They still have elements of their previous iteration(s), but are still separate. I think this adds to the backwards compatible nature of One D&D. I can see myself taking a lot of these ideas for my 5e games.
I can’t wait to look more at the UA, and please tell me what you think. Also, don’t forget to tell WoTC your thoughts in their UA survey, which ends October 20th!