Unearthed Arcana: Class Feature Variants

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Tim Baker
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Unearthed Arcana: Class Feature Variants

Post by Tim Baker » Fri Nov 08, 2019 5:15 am

Have you checked out the latest Unearthed Arcana, offering a whopping 13 pages of new class feature variants?

What do you think of it?

Will you use any/all of these features in your own games?

What kind of sourcebook do you think these will appear in?

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Re: Unearthed Arcana: Class Feature Variants

Post by zontoxira » Fri Nov 08, 2019 11:20 am

I have mixed feelings about this. While it certainly is a fresh look at class features, giving more flexibility to the players and taking an alternative view at core abilities (are we looking at a draft for an updated edition?), too much customisation leads to more crunch, more options and combos to think of, and the classes now begin to feel bland and samey. Especially with spellcasters now sharing spells. Too many options isn't always a good thing.
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Re: Unearthed Arcana: Class Feature Variants

Post by CommanderCrud » Fri Nov 08, 2019 11:59 am

As for the stuff like new fighting styles, that's fine. But I truly despise the stuff that lets PCs swap out skills/spells/etc. with each level or rest.

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Re: Unearthed Arcana: Class Feature Variants

Post by Dread Delgath » Fri Nov 08, 2019 8:15 pm

Yeah. No. I glanced at the article, but I haven't had time to devote a total read-thru.

From what I've seen in this so far, coupled with what I've already experienced with 5e so far, especially swapping abilities is over the top and totally unnecessary.

At this point, WotC might as well do away with classes and have a classless system where each player builds their own character based on the abilities they want - and this is the farthest thing from Dungeons & Dragons that you can get, and I do not want to see this happen.
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Re: Unearthed Arcana: Class Feature Variants

Post by Tim Baker » Sat Nov 09, 2019 5:02 am

The feedback about swapping abilities is interesting. I viewed it as a way to ensure that players don't feel "buyer's remorse" after selecting a spell or ability. It's the type of thing I would allow if a player expressed that they didn't like an option that they'd taken. In previous editions, I believe it was called retraining, and it never caused my group any issues.

Have you experienced problems with players who change options in the past? Or it's more of a concern that it could be abused?

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Re: Unearthed Arcana: Class Feature Variants

Post by pawsplay » Sat Nov 09, 2019 6:11 am

I just feel like retraining options lead to better character options and development, rather than constant swapping. In general, this update looks like a "candy and marshmallows for everyone" approach I don't like.
I do think I might like the options that let multiple domains for clerics choose between melee and blasting.

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Re: Unearthed Arcana: Class Feature Variants

Post by Tim Baker » Sat Nov 09, 2019 6:42 am

I created a poll to gather information on the community's feelings on the retraining option. Please take a moment to vote and share your thoughts on the topic, if you have a moment.

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Re: Unearthed Arcana: Class Feature Variants

Post by Dread Delgath » Sat Nov 09, 2019 11:10 am

I hope to get around to reading the Class Feature Variants article completely by the end of this weekend, and then I'll take that poll, Tim. :)
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Re: Unearthed Arcana: Class Feature Variants

Post by Tim Baker » Sat Nov 09, 2019 8:07 pm

Dread Delgath wrote:
Sat Nov 09, 2019 11:10 am
I hope to get around to reading the Class Feature Variants article completely by the end of this weekend, and then I'll take that poll, Tim.
It's worth taking a look at for the variant Beast Master ranger alone. :)

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Re: Unearthed Arcana: Class Feature Variants

Post by timemrick » Sun Nov 10, 2019 5:03 pm

I've read it through once, but need to think it over some more before rendering judgment. So far, I'm more inclined towards the options that are simply new choices for existing frameworks (fighting styles, maneuvers) than the ones that radically change how classes work (more spell overlap, trivial retraining, etc).

I foresee needed to devote a bit more space to it than usual in my next "UA and Freeport" blog post.
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Re: Unearthed Arcana: Class Feature Variants

Post by CommanderCrud » Sun Nov 10, 2019 5:32 pm

Fine with more options. Hate the trivial retraining and power creep.

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Re: Unearthed Arcana: Class Feature Variants

Post by Tim Baker » Sun Nov 10, 2019 8:18 pm

CommanderCrud wrote:
Sun Nov 10, 2019 5:32 pm
Fine with more options. Hate the trivial retraining and power creep.
Which options do you view as contributing to power creep? I think Beast Master ranger will be more powerful if these variants are used, but I already view that sub-class as being below the nearly all other classes, so I didn't take that as a bad thing. I see a lot of flexibility in the variants, but sheer power increase across the board didn't jump out at me. It's quite possible I missed something, as 5e isn't the rule system I'm most familiar with. It's also possible that my group doesn't do much min/maxing, so I don't read things with a critical eye.

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