Sure, I’m lagging behind with this First Impression of the latest Unearthed Arcana within the One D&D Playtest. Not solely did I get busy breaking down the person chapters in Keys from the Golden Vault, but it surely was additionally a little bit of a problem getting again within the swing of One D&D after the January of Damaged Desires. Plus, it is a fairly in depth playtest doc.

What’s Within the Packet

This time round, our One D&D playtest supplies deal with the Druid (and the Circle of the Moon subclass), the Paladin (and the Oath of Devotion subclass), up to date Epic Boon feats (simply three of them), some revised spells related to the Druid and the Paladin, and the Guidelines Glossary, which lists some modifications within the change log part.

Format and Ease of Use

I used to be actually proud of the earlier playtest doc for including within the change log for the Guidelines Glossary to make it simpler to search for what has really been modified, and what’s there to have an entire Guidelines Glossary for the playtest.

In case you are new to this, the Guidelines Glossary in every of those packets is supposed to be the Guidelines Glossary, which means that the Guidelines Glossary in the latest packet is the one you utilize, even in case you are utilizing lessons, species, and backgrounds from earlier UA packets. Since the whole lot will get reprinted that’s meant to be “present,” it’s very useful to know what’s really new and what has modified.

Sadly, within the earlier guidelines packet, they moved all the new spells and the spell lists into the Guidelines Glossary. This elevated the scale of the Guidelines Glossary, but it surely made sense since spells doubtlessly have an effect on a number of lessons, and aren’t going to be stuff you “pull ahead” when taking a look at only one class in a earlier playtest.

Besides now, on this doc, spells and spell lists are as soon as once more pulled out of the Guidelines Glossary, and there’s a Spells part that reprints solely the Divine and Primal spell lists, and the brand new spells offered on this Unearthed Arcana. So technically, the best way that is presupposed to work is that you simply ignore the Guidelines Glossary part from earlier Unearthed Arcana paperwork. However now you possibly can’t do this, as a result of if you wish to use the earlier playtest spells, or have the Arcane spell record in case you are utilizing the Bard subsequent to the lessons on this doc, you must type via the Guidelines Glossary.

Basically what I’m saying is, it actually seems like this method is getting too unwieldy for simple use. My desire can be for each UA to be a operating doc with the latest data at this level, however that may require somebody not simply to format the present playtest, but additionally to deliver ahead all the earlier playtest materials. I don’t know if WotC needs to dedicate the hours to that job, however I’m questioning how a lot goes to slide between the cracks, particularly with the shifting of sure guidelines out and in of the Guidelines Glossary that will or could not seem elsewhere within the doc.

DND_PHCoverThe Druid

I discussed this when discussing this Unearthed Arcana on social media, however these playtests are actually reinforcing to me what was true within the 2014, that will not have been as evident till we begin to decide issues aside. I had beforehand seen, and agreed with, the evaluation that the Artificer is a category that will get loads of its id from its subclass. It by no means occurred to me how a lot that’s true of the Druid as effectively.

A lot of the lessons within the One D&D playtest up to now haven’t tinkered an excessive amount of with the opening part of the category, i.e. hit factors, hit cube, proficiencies, and so forth. The largest change we’ve seen  has been a a lot heavier reliance on weapon teams as a substitute of particular person lists of weapons. For instance, the brief sword bought thrown into easy weapons so the Monk might operate with solely easy weapons, and the Bard and the Rogue misplaced rapier and lengthy sword respectively as a result of new weapon group paradigm.

Druids observe this similar sample, and lose entry to scimitars. So far as I can inform, the primary justification for druids gaining access to scimitars in earlier editions is that the scimitar sort of seems like a sickle blade, so it appeared like an applicable weapon for the theme. I don’t assume dropping the scimitar is devastating for the druid, however I don’t like all the weapon proficiencies for lessons being fairly so inflexible. It’s a part of the general design development of One D&D that as a substitute of telling you what a category can do, a discreet a part of the principles is outlined, after which you’re referred to that definition. This was already evident with weapons and armor in 2014, however allowed for lots of thematic exceptions.

Whereas we’re at it, it’s been an ongoing a part of the druid class that they’ll’t put on metallic armor for so long as I can bear in mind. That’s not referenced in One D&D, and druids solely have entry to mild armor. One of many points with druids gaining access to medium armor in 5e is that there aren’t actually any medium armors which might be naturally non-metal, so this seems like a “repair,” however I’d argue that in case you nonetheless need the idea that druids don’t encase themselves in metallic, it’s not a “meta” consideration that outweighs your mechanical choices. In different phrases, you possibly can have a druid study to make use of heavy armor within the 2014 guidelines, however they nonetheless needed to discover a approach to get non-metal full plate armor, for instance, to utilize it. Now, in the event that they study medium or heavy armor, there isn’t a restriction.

These are loads of phrases to spend on class options that will not even have an effect on most gamers, but it surely’s sort of necessary to me, as a result of by defining guidelines segments, after which constructing lessons out of outlined segments, a number of the narrative will get misplaced within the extra “environment friendly” presentation. Is the story of the druid that they’ll put on metallic armor, and that isn’t a consideration, or is the story presupposed to be implied from the sunshine armor use, however in case you get medium and heavy armor coaching, you simply occur to be an exception to the rule?

Since it is a roleplaying recreation, we’re utilizing guidelines to facilitate a collaborative storytelling expertise. Implying story components by together with or excluding sure guidelines “constructing blocks” is an oblique method of offering storytelling instruments.

Story of the Desk

In case you have a look at the 2014 desk for the Druid, it has loads of “useless ranges,” i.e. ranges the place there aren’t any class options, and the category is simply getting extra hit factors and spell slots. In case you have a look at the UA One D&D Druid, you don’t see any “useless ranges.” We’re going to take a look at that with a little bit of scrutiny, nevertheless, as a result of lots of these useless ranges are stuffed with issues that 2014 Druid bought at decrease ranges as a part of different class options.

Class Options

1st Degree–The Druid beneficial properties a capability referred to as Channel Nature at this stage. That is primarily Wild Form, moved as much as 1st stage from 2nd stage, however expressly defining that Channel Nature is a useful resource that may be spend on a number of choices, not simply Wild Form. This isn’t an enormous change by itself, as a result of Wild Form was already getting used to energy completely different results in varied subclasses which didn’t contain form altering.

Channel Nature additionally will get its solely entry within the Class chart, as a result of we’re designing for multi-classing on the similar time we’re designing to see if the category itself works, and we don’t need folks to take one stage of those lessons to get a Channel function that scales with proficiency bonus. On this case, you might have a set quantity per lengthy relaxation, however you may get again a single use of the flexibility on a brief relaxation. It’s good to see some useful resource refresh on a brief relaxation working again into design, and this alteration goes to be labored again into the cleric design as effectively.

This does make me marvel if this wouldn’t be a greater resolution for the Bard as effectively, who actually will get squeezed on the low finish for Bardic Inspiration as at present designed, and giving them a brief relaxation recharge can be a least a nod in a extra beneficiant course.

Wild Form

I wished to name this out right here, as a result of it’s the place the category function first seems. Spending Channel Nature to alter form might not be radically completely different in idea, however how Wild Form works is certainly completely different.

As a substitute of turning into completely different animals with a CR threshold and a limitation of motion sorts based mostly on stage, there may be are three base stat blocks, that are gained at completely different ranges. These are the Animal of the Land, Sea, and Sky. Your stats don’t change, you simply get a unique motion pace, armor class, Darkvision, benefit on notion checks, and an assault.

You’ll be able to’t have a climb pace you attain fifth stage. After all, you probably have the Athlete feat, you have already got a climb pace in your common kind, at 4th stage. You by no means get Spider Climb as a part of that climb pace, so in case you are a literal spider, by no means attempt to cling from the underside of one thing. I’m primarily brining this up as a result of there may be loads of performance that’s misplaced with this strategy.

I can perceive not wanting a participant character to make use of the Monster Guide as a Catalogue of Class Options. However Wild Form was usually a puzzle fixing state of affairs for Druid gamers that engaged with the form altering side of the category. What particular options of the animal are going to be helpful to do the job at hand? These stat blocks are fairly mild on particular options. Animal of the Sky will get Flyby, which may very well be useful. Animal of the Sea nonetheless offers you a strolling pace, so that you generally is a dolphin that inexplicably can virtually sustain with all of the folks within the occasion with legs, I suppose?

This class function additionally not helps you to use the animal’s kind till you run out of hit factors. There isn’t any hit level buffer. While you change form, you’re simply you. It’s bizarre to image a skinny, slight of body druid turning right into a bear to struggle, at which level they proceed to be fairly frail, however they get a barely higher assault than they may have in the event that they hit somebody with a stick. A traditional stick, not a magic stick that they’ll conjure with a cantrip. Even with the Multiattack function you get at fifth stage, it seems like this isn’t almost as attractive as simply casting your Shillelagh or Thorn Whip. The principle profit of every of those types is transferring barely quicker on land, or gaining a swim or fly pace.

The largest scratching my head second with this class function is that not like the 2014 Wild Form, you lose the magical properties of any gadgets that you simply merge with your self. So you probably have that good set of +2 leather-based armor on, in case you go into battle as a lion, a tiger, or a bear, you’re most likely placing your self at extra danger.

In typically, you possibly can describe your animal kind nevertheless you need, so long as it includes animals, so your druid can appear to be an owlbear. I’m unsure how I really feel about film trailer based mostly recreation design. And truthfully, the best way these stat blocks work, you’ll really be higher off to only say Druids can appear to be no matter they need, each time they need, they usually work identical to they usually do, however perhaps you spend Channel Nature to get a motion pace they don’t have.

This function is de facto lacking performance. There must be one thing that addresses each the puzzle fixing (hey, this animal can do X, that is perhaps useful) side and the fight side (perhaps I want extra hit factors if I’m expressly turning into one thing for fight functions). There are another points developing as effectively, however these bought minimize out of this class function and patched into useless ranges as new “choices.”

2nd Degree–The Druid beneficial properties the Nature’s Help operate of Channel Nature, which permits the Druid to spend Channel Nature makes use of to both solid Discover Acquainted with out materials parts, or to generate Therapeutic Blossoms, that are magic vegetation that may heal allies in a ten foot radius, the place the Druid has to allocate the hit factors from this function amongst these eligible.

As with utilizing Channel Nature as a useful resource for different skills, the Discover Acquainted side of this isn’t model new. This was an optionally available function that was launched in Tasha’s Cauldron of Every little thing, but it surely’s formalized as a category function as a substitute of an optionally available class function.

I’m not an enormous fan of Therapeutic Blossoms, for 2 causes. One, it’s not loads of therapeutic for burning a restricted useful resource like Channel Nature. Two, whereas Druids can heal, and have at all times been in a position to heal, I’d virtually quite Therapeutic Blossoms was about eradicating situations than getting again hit factors. Summoning a magical plant feels much more like an herbalism operate, and I believe it feels extra satisfying if that’s used to take away an impact quite than being one other approach to get again hit factors.

third Degree–Druid subclass strikes as much as third stage, as a part of the standardization of subclass options throughout all lessons. So like all the different One D&D lessons we’ve seen up to now, the subclass ranges transfer to third, sixth, tenth, and 14th from the Druid’s authentic 2nd, sixth, tenth, and 14th, which is nearly a negligible change for this class.

fifth Degree–This was a “useless stage” for Druids beforehand, and the category function you achieve is a climb pace in your Animal of the Land form and multiattack, so that you now have two assaults in your animal kind per assault motion. So mainly simply layering on stuff that may have been dealt with by CR will increase within the 2014 Druid.

seventh Degree–Aquatic Kind offers you entry to the Animal of the Sea kind. The 2014 model of the druid allowed you to start out taking animal types with a swim pace at 4th stage. I don’t assume it is a commentary on how “highly effective” a swim pace is, however feels extra like the primary useless stage to patch with one thing extracted from an present means.

ninth Degree–Aerial Kind offers you entry to the Animal of the Sky stat block, which pushes your means to alter into an animal that may fly one stage greater than the 2014 Druid, which bought it at eighth stage. Not fairly as drastic as pushing a swim pace again by three ranges.

eleventh Degree–Tiny Critter helps you to add tiny to your stat block. You can also’t keep in that kind so long as you possibly can bigger types, and also you halve the harm you do whereas tiny. I don’t even know the place to start out with this, since you possibly can flip right into a tiny creature from the time you bought Wild Form within the 2014 guidelines, mainly pushing this function again 9 ranges. I’ve seen folks argue that this is sensible as a result of being tiny can be extra magically taxing, and I’ve seen folks argue for this as a result of it’s area of interest safety for stealthy character lessons or lessons that may summon tiny creatures, however I’m simply going to say, I by no means as soon as in all of the years since 2014 heard of anybody complaining {that a} Druid turning right into a stoat at 2nd stage was breaking the sport.

thirteenth Degree–Alternating Kinds helps you to swap backwards and forwards between an animal kind and your regular kind with a Bonus Motion, with out expending one other use of Channel Nature.

fifteenth Degree–Wild Resurgence particularly permits you to use the Therapeutic Blossoms operate of Channel Nature once you use Wild Form, with out expending one other use of Channel Nature.

seventeenth Degree–Beast Shapes permits you to solid spells in Wild Form kind, so long as the spell doesn’t have a cloth element that’s consumed upon casting.

18th Degree–Archdruid helps you to regain one use of Channel Nature everytime you roll for initiative, and in addition, slows your ageing to 1/10 regular (which was the first operate of this class means within the 2014 model of the principles).

twentieth Degree–Epic Boon reveals us the course they’re transferring now that the suggestions for the playtest has been that the Epic Boons added to every class at twentieth stage could also be coming throughout as lackluster. Along with getting an Epic Boon Feat, you achieve a +2 Potential Rating Enhance, and your means rating cap is now 30 as a substitute of 20. I’m to see what number of means rating bonuses somebody finally ends up log jammed that break away at twentieth stage, however that feels extremely variable based mostly on magic merchandise acquisition, and so forth. It is a higher profit than simply “here’s a feat that could be just a little higher than a beginning feat.”

Earlier than we transfer on from the Druid itself, I wished to level out that the 2014 Druid had 8 useless ranges. This model of the Druid has none, however as I identified, loads of these useless ranges are stuffed with skills that have been pulled out of present skills and framed as distinctive class skills.

Druids are talked about as being related to animals, nature, climate, and the weather. Nonetheless, seven class options modify Wild Form. There was some subject with this within the 2014 Druid as effectively, however pulling out Wild Form options to fit them in later within the class development simply exacerbates the concept virtually the whole lot the category will get because it progresses, exterior of base spellcasting, revolves round altering form. And this model of the druid will get method much less utility out of Wild Form, even with all the Wild Form modification skills sprinkled in as class options.

Channel Nature was an awesome alternative to create another instructions for a nature priest to go, past form altering, however as a substitute, the design made form altering worse, then modified it in ways in which don’t even get it again to the place it was in 2014 with all the category options layered again onto Wild Form. Even the Wild Resurgence means is de facto telling, in that it doesn’t allow you to use Therapeutic Blossoms along with one other Channel Nature means, it solely works particularly with Wild Form.

It’s exhausting to say that this model of the Druid is worse than the 2014 model of the category. It positively is, in case you have been counting on Wild Form. In case you have been somebody that leaned closely on Druid subclasses that used Wild Form for Different Issues, just like the Circle of Spores or Circle of Stars, this Druid is about the identical, besides in case you did discover that one clutch utility of Wild Form that you simply determined to make use of as a substitute of these subclass skills, it most likely doesn’t work now anyway.

I typically don’t like being this destructive in my suggestions for one thing, but it surely simply seems like it is a mixture of an influence downgrade and sophistication options added simply to fill useless ranges, that don’t really rise to the extent of helpful class options.

Circle of the Moon

A lot of the playtest subclasses are the subclasses that really feel probably the most like they’re simply the core class, however much more. It’s sort of telling that for a nature priest, involved with stability, the surroundings, and the weather, that in some way probably the most “Druid” subclass is the Circle of the Moon, which is hyper fixated on Wild Form.

third Degree–Fight Wild Form helps you to solid Abjuration spells in animal kind, which, together with the college realignment within the spell lists, signifies that the Circle of the Moon druid can solid defensive spells and therapeutic whereas in animal kind. Additionally they get to form change as a Bonus Motion, and achieve an unarmed strike as a bonus motion.

The outdated model of this subclass elevated the CR vary that the Druid might reference for animal types, along with the bonus motion form altering. I’m not likely certain how letting the Druid solid therapeutic spells whereas Wild Formed goes to have an effect on fight, however I don’t have a direct unhealthy response to it. I actually marvel if an unarmed strike, utilizing your stats and never your spell assault bonus, goes to make up for the broader vary of beast types to make use of.

sixth Degree–Elemental Wild Form strikes up from tenth stage to sixth, but it surely doesn’t do fairly what it did earlier than. As a substitute of permitting for elemental stat blocks, you’re simply an animal utilizing the Wild Form stats, with resistance to a component, and your harm sort shifts to the factor you’re proof against. So you’re an Acid, Chilly, Fireplace, Lighting, or Thunder animal. This solely works for the assault within the stat block, so your bonus motion unarmed strike isn’t doing elemental harm.

The earlier sixth stage means gave your animal kind magical assaults, and it looks as if One D&D, and even latest D&D 5e design, needs to maneuver away from counting assaults as magical, and as a substitute making them one thing past the usual piercing, slashing, or bludgeoning, and I’d love to listen to the reasoning for this.

A part of me, upon taking a look at all the loophole closures which have come about, is beginning to marvel if one in every of my favourite bits of D&D 5e design is about to exit the window. I’ve sort of loved the concept a weapon could be magical, and not using a bonus to hit or harm, and it nonetheless counts for circumventing resistances and immunities, which means that you could present treasure that doesn’t change the underlying math in case you don’t wish to accomplish that. I’m questioning if we’re going to see one thing extra akin to “this magic weapon does pressure harm” which means that something that doesn’t point out doing one thing apart from piercing, bludgeoning, or slashing harm gained’t hurt creatures, as a result of “non-magical” isn’t going to be a resistance or immunity sort.

tenth Degree–Elemental Strike replaces the earlier variations Elemental Wild Form, providing you with additional harm based mostly in your elemental harm sort, which once more, makes me marvel if additional cube of injury make up for the particular skills that the precise elemental stat blocks had. Additionally, your unarmed strike isn’t getting this bonus harm.

14th Degree–Thousand Kinds works basically the identical method it did within the 2014 guidelines, providing you with limitless entry to Alter Self, however as a substitute of claiming you get Alter Self at will, it specifies that it doesn’t use spell slots and doesn’t rely towards your spells ready. I don’t know if I’m simply not catching on, however this seems like formality of kind making a definition extra difficult, however it might work together with another guidelines change in a method I didn’t catch.

Circle of the Moon has at all times advised a bizarre “story.” The connotation of “moon” implies a connection to have been beasts, however that typically works as a theme. The issue is, being higher at turning into animals seems like a separate story than having the ability to flip into elemental types, which bought crammed into the 2014 guidelines at tenth stage, and into these guidelines at sixth stage. From sixth stage on, it is a Circle of the Pocket Monster, and I believe it will be clearer to have two distinct form changer subclasses with extra distinctive tales, separating out “beast” and “elemental,” however the I don’t see that taking place.

Channel Nature ought to actually be capable of do greater than it does, and between the Druid class and the Circle of the Moon, there’s a lot going into Wild Form that I don’t know pays off, particularly now that there are options that encourage you going into battle whereas shapeshifted, but additionally go away you extra susceptible (no hit level buffer, no magic gadgets functioning if you are Wild Formed).

Whereas I would like all the One D&D lessons to be backward appropriate, if you’re going to go so far as the One D&D playtest druid goes, I’d quite yank Wild Form out of the core Druid fully, give them a satisfying Channel Nature that’s extra broadly “nature priest,” after which let all of these distinctive Wild Form powered skills in subclasses all be their very own Channel Nature features.

Basically, the Druid is attempting to alter Wild Form into Channel Divinity by means of Channel Nature, however is method too targeted on the legacy features of Wild Form to make it as versatile as Channel Divinity has at all times been for the Cleric.

The Change of Seasons

I’ve spent loads of phrases on the Druid, so we’re going to interrupt this First Impression into completely different components. Subsequent time round, we’ll begin looking on the Paladin, and perhaps contact on the brand new spells and Guidelines Glossary modifications. Or perhaps it is going to all be in regards to the Paladin. I gained’t know till I get there. Thanks for taking the experience with me!


%d bloggers like this: