Unearthed Arcana: Heroes of Krynn Revisited Analysis

A short UA revisiting and updating the immediately previous one, about the world of Dragonlance.

If you want to get a quick reminder of the original Heroes of Krynn, here’s a link to our analysis of it – an even quicker reminder includes: Kender race, Lunar Magic Sorcerers, and some backgrounds and feats concerning some knightly and magical organizations of Dragonlance.

First off we have an update to the Kender. The Kender Ace feature is gone, and instead we have Kender Curiosity, giving you proficiency with one of Insight, Investigation, Sleight of Hand, Stealth, or Survival. Quite an improvement of the previous one in my opinion. Next up, instead of just Brave, they are now Fearless, getting a complete immunity to fear instead of advantage on saving throws. Not sure if the upgrade was necessary, but I don’t mind it. Finally, Taunt remains, but it has an important difference over its previous iteration: it’s still a bonus action, used multiple times (equal to your proficiency bonus), same WIS saving throw, but now the enemy affected has disadvantage on attack rolls that do not target you, instead of all of them. I am quite happy with this change, since I complained about Taunt on the previous UA; I think it’s the perfect adjustment, and it also makes more sense thematically as well.

Lunar Magic doesn’t appear here, so we’re moving on to the backgrounds and feats. Let’s talk about the backgrounds, and specifically the Knight of Solamnia and the Mage of High Sorcery. We have a little addendum here; we are talking about War of the Lance, so a specific campaign/storyline/however you want to call it. All characters participating in it get bonus feats. At 1st level, you choose between Divinely Favored, Skilled, or Tough. At 4th level, you get another one, choosing from Alert, Mobile, Sentinel, War Caster, or one of the Adept or Knight ones: Adept of the Black/Red/White Robes, or Knight of the Crown/Rose/Sword. You still have to fulfill the prerequisites for these feats though, meaning the Initiate of High Sorcery or Squire of Solamnia feat respectively. Those feats you get automatically from the backgrounds I mentioned earlier – or you can get them normally instead of an Ability Score Increase.

Onwards to the feats. They remain mostly the same with some adjustments, so I’ll simply talk about the differences. You can check the original review for more details, since I don’t want to make this article too long.

Adept of Black Robes has its bonus damage halved, which is a pretty big loss considering you have to spend Hit Dice for it, and Adept of the White Robes has its damage reduction ward use d6s instead of d4s. All 3 Adept feats also have had their alignment restrictions removed. I agree that Black Robes could have used a nerf, but this is a bit too much; although I also don’t know how you could have done it without adding too much unnecessary complexity.

Divinely Favored is the same, but you also learn the augury spell and can cast it once without a spell slot. Divine Communications is gone though. and to be honest I don’t miss it.

Initiate of High Sorcery also has some changes. You can now choose to learn whichever cantrip you want from the Wizard list, instead of depending on the moon you chose.As for, the 1st level spell you learn, you now get 2 instead of 1, but they now constrained to 4 specific choices instead of 2 full schools of magic. Nuitari (for the Black Robes) gives you dissonant whispers, false life, hex and ray of sickness instead of evocation or necromancy, Lunitary (for the Red Robes) gives you color spray, disguise self, feather fall and longstrider instead of divination or transmutation, and Solinary (for the White Robes) gives you comprehend languages, detect evil and good, protection from evil and good, and shield instead of abjuration or conjuration. Finally, you now need to be a Sorcerer or Wizard if you haven’t taken the High Sorcery background, but I don’t see this being much of an additional restriction. Overall, I’ll take it as an improvement; the wider choice of cantrips is definitely very good, and all spells on offer aren’t bad either – plus you learn one more than before.

Now for the Knight feats. They have been heavily changed, not patterned after the Battle Master Fighter archetype. The Squire of Solamnia feat now gives you a number of d6 superiority dice equal to your proficiency bonus, as well as one Maneuver from the Battle Master list. Each of the Knight feats increase the superiority dice to d8 and give you two more of them, as well as letting you learn another maneuver. In each case, you have a limited choice for them; for example, the Squire lets you choose between Lunging attack, Pushing Attack, or Precision Attack – however, at every long rest you can re-select your maneuvers. Overall I think it’s an improvement over the previous iteration, so I’m quite happy with them for now. Also keep in mind you can get one of them for free at level 4 – same for the Mage ones!

To wrap things up, this “revisited” UA is a great improvement over the original Heroes of Krynn, as you’ve no doubt been tired of reading all throughout the article. I’m looking forward to seeing all these things in action.

You can read the Unearthed Arcana article for Heroes of Krynn Revisited here, and download the pdf here.

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