Unearthed Arcana 2022: Expert Classes Analysis

The next instalment of the One D&D playtest is out and it’s enormous.

No, seriously. The previous one was 21 pages and it was exhausting to write its analysis. This one is almost double the length, sitting smugly at 37 pages. Bahamut, give me strength.

This playtest package contains three classes and a subclass for each of them. We have the Bard, the Ranger, and the Rogue. Since that’s not enough, we also get some more Feats. And last, before we begin, keep in mind this is just playtest material. We may not see them again like that…and we may not see them ever again, since some material may get thrown into the limbo of unwanted stuff. And now we can begin.

Parts of a Class

First, we get a paragraph that each class has a Primary Ability. This was sort of a thing already but maybe now it’s more important? But the best part is that we now get a new keyword called Class Group. Groups by themselves don’t have any mechanics or rules but it’s going to be used in other mechanics, an easy example being Feats. The groups are the following:

  • Experts. Contains the Bard, Ranger, and Rogue classes. Artificer is also here but, based on the note, I guess it won’t be in the PHB. These classes have the Expertise feature and are something like allrounders.
  • Mages. Contains the Sorcerer, Warlock, and Wizard classes. They are Arcane people who most usually blow stuff up.
  • Priests. Contains the Cleric, Druid, and Paladin classes. They are Divine or Primal people who can heal.
  • Warriors. Contains the Barbarian, Fighter, and Monk classes. They are the people good at hitting things and taking hits.

This gives me vague 4e vibes. I don’t mind that at all and am looking forward to what sort of shenanigans Class Groups will allow. The rest that’s mentioned here is, I believe, pretty much the same. So let’s move to the classes.

Bard

I like that the flavour text for the Bard tries to give the idea that not all entertainers are Bards. Those who are Bards “harness the Words of Creation”.

  • Class Group. Expert
  • Primary Ability. Charisma.
  • Hit Dice. d8
  • Saving Throws. Dexterity, Charisma
  • Skills. Deception, Performance, and Persuasion, or any three you like. The change here is that we get a suggestion
  • Weapons. Simple Weapons. So we are missing some weapons here, including the rapier.
  • Tools. Any three Musical Instruments
  • Armor Training. Light Armor.

So, an interesting thing is that Features now have the level you acquire them in front of the name. Not sure I like the all caps, though.

1st Level: Bardic Inspiration. Your die initially is a d6 but increases to d8, d10, and d12 at levels 5, 10, and 15 respectively. The number of dice is equal to your Proficiency Bonus and they refresh after a Long Rest. A thing to note here is that using Bardic Inspiration now requires your Reaction instead of your Bonus Action. But what does it do?

  • Boost a failed d20 Test. Someone has to fail a Test before you can give them Bardic Inspiration. Then they can roll and add the result to the existing result, hoping to change the outcome.
  • Heal someone who has just taken damage.

So that’s why you need to use your Reaction. Bardic Inspiration now is a response to either someone failing a d20 Test or someone taking damage. I think I like this change. There was a point when a lot of classes were getting a lot of Bonus Action options and was feeling tired by it. Maybe now we will get options for all Actions a bit more evenly.

1st Level. Spellcasting

It took me a moment (or five) to get it but that’s why am here; to get confused so you don’t have to. The nice table at the beginning of the class that shows features and spell slots per spell level now doesn’t just show spell slots per level. It also shows “Prepared Spells per Spell Level”. Now let me get a glass of water because my brain kinda overheated. I have become rusty.

Other than that, things are pretty straightforward. Bards have access to Arcane spells and, more specifically, to the schools of Divination, Enchantment, Illusion, and Transmutation.

2nd Level. Expertise

You choose two of your Skill Proficiencies and they gain Expertise. Expertise is a known Feature, which hasn’t changed, I believe. We will see that later. Oh, and you get this feature again at level 9.

2nd Level. Song of Restoration

At levels 2, 4, 6, 8, and 10 you get some extra prepared spells that are focused on…restoration. Just to be clear, they do not count towards your prepared spells. The spells are Healing Word, Lesser Restoration, Mass Healing Word, Freedom of Movement, and Greater Restoration.

3rd Level. Bard Subclass

I will talk about the subclass right after the Bard’s core features. The Bard gains Subclass Features at levels 3, 6, and 14.

4th Level. Feat

So the Ability Score Improvement is now a Feat. So the Ability Score Improvement Feature has been renamed. That’s all. Oh, you get this Feature at levels 4, 8, 12, 16, and 19.

5th Level. Jack of All Trades

If you do not have a Skill Proficiency and need to make an Ability Check using it, you can add half of your Proficiency Bonus to the roll. This is now a level 5 Feature instead of a level 2 one. Moreover, since the wording has changed, you don’t get to use this in Initiative Rolls. I don’t remember if 5th Edition’s version was intended to affect Initiative but it does, so maybe this is a fix?

7th Level. Font of Bardic Inspiration

Now you get back your Bardic Inspiration uses in Short and Long Rests. This was an existing 5th level feature and I don’t really know why it was moved to level 7.

11th Level. Magical Secrets

Another previously existing feature that has been tweaked to fit in the new framework. You choose a Spell List of the three existing ones. Then, when you prepare your spells for the day, two of those spells can come from that Spell List. This adds even more versatility to the class. You get to do this again at level 15.

18th Level. Superior Bardic Inspiration

When you roll Initiative, you regain two uses of Bardic Inspiration. You must have expended some to get them back, it doesn’t go above your maximum, which seems logical.

20th Level. Epic Boon

You can choose one Epic Boon Feat. So if you stick with one class you can get an Epic Boon. But what are these? Well, they are Feats, but cooler? We will see them soon. However, there is another way to get them.

Okay, so I see things I like and things that I am not sure they work. I like that the Bard is getting a bit more of a support flavour, and in a way that actually works. However, shifting some features to higher levels makes it harder for the class to do what it’s supposed to do. Plus, Bardic Inspiration is going to become a very precious resource with all the possible uses it has.

College of Lore

These are the bookworm Bards. If I were a Bard, I’d be this one.

3rd Level. Bonus Proficiencies

You gain Proficiency with Arcana, History, and Nature. Reading does help, you see. But if you are already proficient with any of those you can just pick something else.

3rd Level. Cutting Words

When a creature within 60 feet of you (and that you can see) succeeds on an Ability Check (not d20 Test, pay attention please) or an Attack Roll, you can use your Reaction, roll your Bardic Inspiration die, and subtract the result from the creature’s roll. It was a good feature. It still is a good feature.

6th Level. Cunning Inspiration

It gives advantage to the Bardic Inspiration rolls. But don’t call it advantage because it can be confusing. I like this because your Bardic Inspiration is limited and this helps it to actually make a difference when it’s used. Oh, and it was an existing feature.

11th Level. Improved Cutting Words

Now the target of your Cutting Words also takes Psychic damage equal to your roll plus your Charisma modifier. I like this a lot because it goes pretty well with the flavour of the feature.

14th Level. Peerless Skill

This one allows you to use Bardic Inspiration on your Ability Checks. Oh, and the Bardic Inspiration use isn’t expended if you still manage to fail the roll. Sweet.

I kinda like this College, I’m not going to lie. But, again, my issue is that it’s going to take a lot of work for the Bard to be able to do what it’s supposed to do and also managing Bardic Inspiration will be tricky.

Ranger

This is a once-per-edition chance for WotC to create a really nice Ranger from the start of the edition.

  • Class Group. Expert
  • Primary Ability. Dexterity, Wisdom.
  • Hit Dice. d10
  • Saving Throws. Strength, Dexterity
  • Skills. Choose three from Animal Handling, Athletics, Insight, Investigation, Nature, Perception, Stealth, and Survival (with Athletics, Stealth, and Survival being the suggested ones)
  • Weapons. Simple and Martial Weapons
  • Tools. None. Sadface
  • Armor Training. Light and Medium Armor as well as Shields.

1st Level. Expertise

We know what this feature does at this point. We get more Expertise at level 9.

1st Level. Favored Enemy

So this version of the feature gives you Hunter’s Mark as an automatically prepared spell. The best part is that you don’t have to concentrate on this spell. And, to be honest, it makes sense because Rangers can be melee friendly.

1st Level. Spellcasting

Rangers now get Spellcasting at 1st level. Maybe because of how Favored Enemy works now. You have access to the Primal Spell List, excluding Evocation School spells. Your Spellcasting Ability is Wisdom and you need a Druidic Spellcasting Focus.

2nd Level. Fighting Style

You can choose between Archery, Defense, and Two-Weapon Fighting. Moreover, you have access to Fighting Style Feats. We are slowly getting examples of what a Feat prerequisite can be.

3rd Level. Ranger Subclass

The Ranger gains Subclass Features at levels 3, 6, and 14. We’ll check out the Hunter in a bit.

4th Level. Feat

Feats at levels 4, 8, 12, 16, and 19.

5th Level. Extra Attack

Nothing to say here.

7th Level. Roving

You are kinda rewarded for not wearing heavy armor. This reward comes in the form of a 10 feet increase in your Speed. Moreover, you get a Climb and Swim Speed equal to your Speed. This somewhat fits the flavour of the Ranger, or at least, as I imagine it.

11th Level. Tireless

This one grants two benefits.

  • Temporary Hit Points. After a Short or Long Rest, you can get Temporary Hit Points equal to 1d8 plus your Proficiency Bonus. This is nice, but I am not really sure how often this amount of temp hp will play a role in the game. It’s fine, though.
  • Decrease Exhaustion. After you finish a Short Rest you reduce your Exhaustion by 1. This fits the flavour of the Ranger, I believe. It’s nice to be able to reduce Exhaustion. However, this affects only you so it’s going to be useful in very specific situations.

13th Level. Nature’s Veil

You become Invisible until the end of your next turn in exchange for a Spell Slot. This is kinda meh. I think this was in Tasha’s Cauldron of Everything (I haven’t been following the publications closely, even though I buy them – don’t judge me) but it has been changed for the worst. If I am wrong on this, because I didn’t check the supplement, please correct me.

15th Level. Feral Senses

You get 30 feet of Blindsight. This is pretty much a rewrite of the feature.

18th Level. Foe Slayer

Hunter’s Mark gets an upgrade and now deals 1d10 damage. Again, I think this is an attempt to make features cleaner (and maybe leaner?). Still, it’s a nice upgrade.

20th Level. Epic Boon

This will be at every class.

With a quick look, the Ranger looks fine. The fact that Hunter’s Mark doesn’t require concentration helps a lot, I believe. Expertise also adds more versatility. Damage wise, I am not sure. This will require some testing. But let’s take a look at the Hunter.

Hunter

3rd Level. Hunter’s Prey

So, they removed Giant Killer and Hoard Breaker. At least they kept the best one. But what did Giant Killer and Hoard Breaker ever do to them? Oh well…

6th Level. Hunter’s Lore

This one reveals Immunities, Resistances, and Vulnerabilities of the target of your Hunter’s Mark. It’s fine and all but, I don’t know, I’m not feeling it with this one.

10th Level. Multiattack

Wait. Isn’t this a monster trait? Well, in this case, it’s a Feature that prepares for free the Conjure Barrage spell. What I like here is that you can use spell slots lower than level 3, with the drawback that damage is reduced by 1d8 for each level below level 3. I am not against this as long as you get the weapon you threw into the air back easily. I wouldn’t want to be a melee ranger and suddenly be left without my weapon in front of enemies that I just pissed off by shooting projectiles at them. Also, please change the name. Seriously.

14th Level. Superior Hunter’s Defense

When hit with an Attack Roll you can use your Reaction to halve the damage and move the other half to an enemy near you, as long as it’s not the one that hit you. I like this one. It’s both useful and fun.

I am not sure I like this one. Why remove the options of Hunter’s Prey? Why use the name Multiattack? B for the effort but, please, redo this.

Rogue

The third, and final, class we are getting in this document is the Rogue. Let’s take a look.

  • Class Group. Expert
  • Primary Ability. Dexterity.
  • Hit Dice. d8
  • Saving Throws. Dexterity, Intelligence
  • Skills. Choose four from Acrobatics, Athletics, Deception, Insight, Intimidation, Investigation, Perception, Persuasion, Sleight of Hand, and Stealth (with Acrobatics, Investigation, Sleight of Hand, and Stealth being the suggested ones)
  • Weapons. Simple Weapons and Martial Weapons that have the Finesse property. Makes sense.
  • Tools. Thieve’s Tools
  • Armor Training. Light Armor

1st Level. Expertise

Well, this was expected. More Expertise at level 7, which is 2 levels earlier than the Bard and Ranger.

1st Level. Sneak Attack

If I read this correctly the only change is that you can use Sneak Attack on each of YOUR turns. This means no Opportunity Sneak Attacks. Rogue fans, how do you feel about this?

1st Level. Thieves’ Cant

You learn Thieves’ Cant and another language.

2nd Level. Cunning Action

This is the classic Cunning Action. There are no changes to it, at least that’s what my tired brain tells me.

3rd Level. Rogue Subclass

The Rogue gains Subclass Features at levels 3, 6, and 14. We shall gaze upon the Thief features in just a moment.

4th Level. Feat

Feats at levels 4, 8, 10, 12, 16, and 19. My eyes do not deceive me. There is an extra Feat, right there at the 10th level. Can you see it? Makes a bit sense, to be honest.

4th Level. Uncanny Dodge

No changes here, either.

9th Level. Evasion

This has gone up 2 levels (it was gained at level 7 in 5th Editions PHB). It works the same way but there is the important note that you can’t use the feature when you are Incapacitated, which makes sense.

11th Level. Reliable Talent

Works pretty much the same.

13th Level. Subtle Strikes

When the target of your Attack Roll is within 5 feet of one of your allies, that is not Incapacitated, you have Advantage on that Attack Roll. This is pretty much the Pack Tactics monster trait, and I have no problem with it. It basically tells you to be a good Rogue and deal Sneak Attack damage every round.

15th Level. Slippery Mind

You gain Proficiency in Wisdom and Charisma Saving Throws. Your mind is, indeed, quite slippery. I don’t know how easy it is to get Saving Throw Proficiencies so I can’t say if it’s a good or bad feature. I think it’s just fine.

17th Level. Elusive

No changes, other than it has been moved down 1 level.

18th Level. Stroke of Luck

I think this is just written better. Now that the term d20 Test exists, we should check if it covers something it previously didn’t cover. In this case, it tells you the failed attack now becomes not just a hit, but a 20.

20th Level. Epic Boon

We will soon be taking a look at these.

While a lot of things remain unchanged, I think the Rogue has been improved. But let’s take a look at the Thief.

Thief

3rd Level. Fast Hands

While it seems the same, there are a few subtle changes here. You can do two extra things with your Cunning Action.

  • Search. Use the Search Action
  • Sleight of Hand. This is a Dex Check to pick a lock or disarm a trap (with Thieves’ Tools), or pick a pocket.

Let’s start with the easy one first. The Use Object is not an option anymore. I wonder what the Action Economy will be like.

Secondly, and most importantly, we see that Sleight of Hand now covers more things, namely using your Thieve’s Tools to pick locks and disarm traps. This makes me think that Bounded Accuracy is out of the window. Maybe we will see something else or just higher DCs.

3rd Level. Second-Story Work

I believe the changes here are made based on feedback from 5e and to also fit the new framework. So instead of saying “climbing doesn’t cost extra movement” it just says that you have a Climb Speed equal to your Speed. The second part changes a bit and now it allows you to use your Dexterity when taking the Jump Action. I like changes like these. They make the feature leaner, keep the flavour, and make minor changes that, PROBABLY, come from feedback.

6th Level. Supreme Sneak

<Insert Supreme brand joke here>

This is an interesting change. Getting Advantage on Stealth check remains the same but the condition changes. Before, you had to not move more than half your speed on your turn. Now, you can’t use this unless you don’t wear Medium or Heavy armor.

10th Level. Use Magic Device

This one has greatly changed. Now, it gives you three cool things.

  • An extra attunement slot. Because you are a cool Rogue, that’s why.
  • You can avoid expending charges of a magic item, if you roll a 6 on a d6.
  • You can use all cantrips and 1st level Spell Scrolls, no questions asked. If you want to use higher ones, you have to succeed on an Arcana Check.

Pretty useful, if you ask me.

14th Level. Thief’s Reflexes

Instead of giving you a turn, it now gives you a second Bonus Action that you have to use for a Cunning Action. You can use this a number of turns equal to your Proficiency Modifier. It refreshes with a Long Rest.

The Thief is fine. I like how it seems to be working. Lots of utility options.

And we are finally done with the Classes. What’s next? Oh, more Feats!

Feats

Since we already know how Feats work, from the previous document, and there is an unhealthy amount of Feats here, let’s just begin.

Ability Score Improvement. It is now a Feat and works the same.

Actor. Requires at least 13 Charisma. It grants three things.

  • Increase your Charisma by 1.
  • Impersonation. You have Advantage on Performance Checks to persuade others you are the person you are disguised as.
  • Mimicry. You need to make a DC 15 Performance Check to mimic (oh, that’s where it got it’s name) sounds of other creatures.

Athlete. Requires at least 13 in Strength, Dexterity, or Constitution. It’s kinda similar to the 5e version, but different at the same time.

  • Increase your Strength, Dexterity, or Constitution by 1.
  • You have a Climb Speed equal to your Speed. We have seen that again in the Ranger and the Rogue.
  • You can stand up from being Prone using just 5ft of movement.
  • You have Advantage when trying to jump.

Charger. Requires being Proficient with any martial weapon. Even ranged ones?

  • Increase your Strength or Dexterity by 1.
  • Dashing increases your Speed by 10 feet for that action.
  • Moving 10 feet before attacking allows you to either deal 1d8 or push the target 10 feet.

I think you don’t need to Dash in order to charge. Moreover, this looks better in general, in my opinion.

Crossbow Expert. Requires being Proficient with any martial weapon. Even melee ones?

  • Increase your Dexterity by 1.
  • Ignore the Loading property of Crossbows.
  • You don’t get disadvantage from firing at melee range.
  • If you attack with a light crossbow for your extra attack, you can add your Ability Modifier to the damage of the attack.

So, due to the requirement, some classes don’t have access to this Feat.

Defensive Duelist. Requires at least 13 Dexterity. Other than that, it remains the same.

Dual Wielder. Requires being Proficient with any martial weapon.

  • Increase your Strength or Dexterity by 1.
  • I think I like this change here. If you wield a light weapon in one hand, then you can have a non light and non two handed weapon act as a light weapon in your other hand.
  • Quick draw is pretty much the same.

Durable. Requires at least 13 Constitution.

  • Increase your Constitution by 1.
  • Advantage on Death Saves. That’s a new one. I guess this is nice but probably a thing you wish you won’t have to use.
  • As a Bonus Action, you can actually use a Hit Die to heal.

I think this has become a really good Feat.

Elemental Adept. Requires either the Spellcasting or the Pact Magic Feature. You can pick this multiple times but with a different Damage Type each time.

  • Increase your Intelligence, Wisdom, or Charisma by 1.
  • The Damage Type part remains the same.

Should we do the Epic Boons now or at the end? Eh, let’s just go over them now. They all have the requirement of level 20.

Epic Boon of Combat Prowess. Requires your class to be an Expert or a Warrior. It turns a melee miss into a hit once every time you roll initiative. The wording is interesting. You don’t necessarily roll initiative only in combat encounters or roll initiative only once per encounter. Is it worth being a 20th level Feat? Eeeeh….

Epic Boon of Dimensional Travel. Requires your class to be an Expert or a Mage. This one lets you use Misty Step once every time you roll initiative, or finish a Short or Long Rest. I like Misty Step a lot as a spell so I am biased to say I like this Boon.

Epic Boon of Energy Resistance. Requires your class to be an Expert or a Mage. You get to choose a Damage Type, other than Bludgeoning, Slashing, Piercing, or Force. You have Resistance to that damage. Plus, you can choose again every Short or Long Rest.

Epic Boon of Fortitude. You gain an extra 40 Hit Points. Plus, when you regain Hit Points, you regain extra equal to your Constitution Modifier, but no more than once per round. Some squishier classes could benefit a lot. However, I still think the Boons so far haven’t been anything great for 20th level Feats.

Epic Boon of Irresistible Offense. Requires your class to be an Expert or a Warrior. Your damage ignores Resistance. Simple, good, and with a nice name. But why can’t all classes get access to this?

Epic Boon of Luck. Requires your class to be an Expert. You can add a d10 to a d20 Test. Again, this resets on an initiative roll, and Short or Long Rests. I am getting tired of writing this.

Epic Boon of the Night Spirit. Requires your class to be an Expert or a Mage. If you are in Dim Light or Darkness. you can use your Action and become Invisible. This lasts until you take an Action or a Reaction. Does this mean Bonus Actions are fair game? That would be interesting.

Epic Boon of Peerless Aim. Requires your class to be an Expert or a Warrior. Same as Epic Boon of Combat Prowess but for ranged attacks.

Epic Boon of Recovery. Maybe this could have been named Epic Boon of Durability because it feels quite similar to the Durable Feat. As a Bonus Action, you can gain Hit Points equal to half your maximum. This can be done once per Long Rest, which is fine because this is quite good, I believe. Moreover, all your Death Saves are successes unless they are a 1. An interesting addition would be that 1s in Death Saves act as normal failures.

Epic Boon of Skill Proficiency. Makes you Proficient in all Skills. This is not a great pick for classes that focus on being useful and gaining proficiencies throughout the levels.

Epic Boon of Speed. Requires your class to be an Expert or a Warrior. Your Speed increased by 30 feet. All is good but do you need this at level 20?

Epic Boon of Undetectability. Requires your class to be an Expert. If you are Hidden, you can’t be heard or seen, even by magical means. I am looking forward to checking out how Hidden works.

Epic Boon of the Unfettered. Requires your class to be an Expert or a Warrior. That looks interesting. As a Bonus Action you can Disengage. If you are Grappled or Restrained then those conditions end. This can be quite good. I believe, however, this depends on how common these conditions are.

Fighting Style Feats.

I am grouping them all together. Fighting Styles are now Feats that are available to Warriors. We have Archery, Defense, Dueling, Great Weapon Fighting, Protection, and Two-Weapon Fighting. All except Protection are pretty much the same so let’s check that one out.

Fighting Style: Protection. If a creature within 5 feet of you gets hit with an Attack Roll, you can use your Reaction to add a -2 penalty to the roll, which may cause it to fail. This requires using a shield. I get the -2, since shields give a +2 to Armor Class. Another version would be to say that it imposes a penalty equal to the shield’s bonus. That, however, would probably open a whole can of worms with magical shields giving a +99.99 bonus to AC. I am, probably, exaggerating.

Grappler. Requires at least 13 Strength or Dexterity.

  • Increase your Strength or Dexterity by 1.
  • You have Advantage when attacking creatures Grappled by you. This gave me some “why are you hitting yourself” vibes.
  • You are not Slowed when grappling creatures no larger than you. I think this makes this Feat a requirement if you really want to use grappling.
  • Once per turn, you can both hit a creature with an Unarmed Strike and grapple them.

Overall, I think this is an upgrade.

Great Weapon Master. Requires being Proficient with any martial weapon.

  • Increase your Strength by 1.
  • I think the change in Cleave is that it requires a Bonus Action.
  • Once per turn, you can deal extra damage equal to your Proficiency Bonus when you hit with a Heavy Weapon. Take note that it says when taking the Attack Action, so this doesn’t apply to other situations, like attacks of opportunity.

This has changed a bit, especially the second part. This version loses the gambling part of the Feat, which can be fun, but gives a bit more consistency to the damage from it.

Heavily Armored. Requires Medium Armor Training. The change here is that the +1 increase goes to Constitution.

Heavy Armor Master. Requires Heavy Armor Training. The concept remains the same. Now you get to choose between Strength and Constitution for you +1. Moreover, the 3 damage reduction changed to be equal to your Proficiency Bonus.

Inspiring Leader. Requires at least 13 Wisdom or Charisma. This time, it also increases your Wisdom or Charisma by 1. The idea of giving a speech and providing temporary hitpoints remains. The execution changes a bit. You still spend 10 minutes making a speech but it has to be at the end of a Short or Long Rest. Moreover, the temporary hitpoints are now equal to 2d4 + your Proficiency Bonus. I get that we are not using Proficiency Bonus more, but in some cases, it would make sense to use Ability Scores, and this is one of those times. But oh well.

Keen Mind. Requires at least 13 Intelligence.

  • Increase your Intelligence by 1.
  • You gain Proficiency in Arcana, History, Investigation, Nature, or Religion. If you are proficient in your Skill of choice, you gain Expertise instead.
  • You can take the Study Action as a Bonus Action.

This one has changed a lot. As for the Study Action, we will see what it is in a bit.

Lightly Armored. You gain Armor Training with Light Armor, Medium Armor, and Shields. This is an upgrade to the Feat because it has been combined with the Moderately Armored Feat, just without the Ability Score Increase.

Mage Slayer. Requires being Proficient with any martial weapon.

  • Increase your Strength or Dexterity by 1.
  • Concentration Breaker hasn’t changed, but it did get a name.
  • Once between Short or Long rests, you can succeed on an Intelligence, Wisdom, or Charisma Saving Throw you just failed.

Mage Slayer looks alright. It used to give an attack against someone casting a spell near you, but the Saving Throw success is quite good as well.

Heavily Armored. Requires Medium Armor Training. The change here is that the +1 increase goes to Constitution.

Medium Armor Master. Requires Medium Armor Training. It now increases your Strength or Dexterity by 1. The AC increase remains the same, but the part about not having disadvantage in Stealth checks has been removed.

Mounted Combatant. Requires being Proficient with any martial weapon.

  • Increase your Strength or Dexterity by 1.
  • You gain advantage on Wisdom Checks (Animal Handling) to handle or train horses or other Beasts (this probably refers to the monster type, maybe?) that can be used as mounts.
  • Mounted Strike, Leap Aside, and Veer are just the new names of the existing bullets of the Feat.

Observant. Requires at least 13 Intelligence or Wisdom.

  • Increase your Intelligence or Wisdom by 1.
  • You gain Proficiency in Insight, Investigation, or Perception. If you are proficient in your Skill of choice, you gain Expertise instead.
  • You can take the Search Action as a Bonus Action.

This is structured similarly to the Keen Mind Feat.

Polearm Master. Requires being Proficient with any martial weapon.

  • Increase your Strength by 1.
  • Pole Strike. I believe the change here is that the Feat doesn’t name the weapons and tells you that the weapon needs to have the Heavy and Reach properties. This means this now applies to different weapons than before. I also want to see the weapon list soon.
  • Reactive Strike. The concept remains the same. The wording changes like with Pole Strike regarding the weapons this affects. Moreover, the wording doesn’t mention Reactive Strike being an opportunity attack. It mentions you need to use your Reaction, though.

Resilient. It stays the same. Some wording changes.

Ritual Caster. Requires at least 13 Intelligence, Wisdom, or Charisma.

  • Increase your Intelligence, Wisdom, or Charisma by 1.
  • Ritual Spells. Choose 2 1-st level spells with the Ritual Tag from the Arcane, Divine, or Primal lists. You always have those prepared and you can use any spell slot you have to cast them.
  • Quick Ritual. It basically lets you cast a Ritual without its ritual casting time once per Long Rest. To say it better, free spell.

So, this one kinda changes. Of course, we also get changes in wording because there is a new framework. Moreover, note the lack of flavour.

Sentinel. Requires being Proficient with any martial weapon.

  • Increase your Strength or Dexterity by 1.
  • Guardian. This is a combination of the last 2 bullets of the previous version. The difference is that the target has to hit (instead of just attacking) and the weird part about the target not having the Sentinel Feat themselves is gone.
  • Halt. This is the first bullet of the previous version and works the same way as before.

Sharpshooter. Requires being Proficient with any martial weapon.

  • Increase your Dexterity by 1.
  • Bypass Cover. Your Ranged Attacks with Weapons don’t care about half cover or three quarters cover.
  • Firing in Melee. This is the same as Crossbow Expert. The name says it all.
  • Long Shots. Remains the same.

The gambling part has been removed just like with Great Weapon Master.

Shield Master. Requires Shield Training.

  • Increase your Strength by 1.
  • Shield Bash. I don’t think this has changed much. It’s probably more due to wording. It doesn’t cost a Bonus Action anymore, though.
  • Interpose Shield. This is the same I think.

The part about adding your Shield AC bonus to your Dexterity Saving Throws is gone.

Skulker. Requires at least 13 Dexterity.

  • Increase your Dexterity by 1.
  • Blindsight. 10 feet of it.
  • Fog of War. You have Advantage in Stealth Checks when trying to hide during combat.
  • Sniper. There is a change here but I am not sure it’s intentional. This now isn’t restricted to just Ranged Attacks.

Speedster. Requires at least 13 Dexterity or Constitution.

  • Increase your Dexterity or Constitution by 1.
  • Speed Increase. 10 feet increase in Speed while not in Heavy Armor. Well, this had to be part of a Feat called Speedster.
  • Dash Over Difficult Terrain. You ignore Difficult Terrain while Dashing.

This is the Mobile Feat minus the not imposing opportunity attacks from a creature you have managed to hit this turn.

Spell Sniper. Requires either the Spellcasting or the Pact Magic Feature.

  • Increase your Intelligence, Wisdom, or Charisma by 1.
  • Bypass Cover. Remains the same.
  • Casting in Melee. You don’t get disadvantage when casting with an enemy within 5 feet of you.
  • Increased Range. This used to double the spell’s range. Now it requires the spell to have a range of at least 10 feet and gives it an extra range of 60 feet. I think I understand this wording. It’s probably because some spells are meant to be melee-ish.

War Caster. Requires either the Spellcasting or the Pact Magic Feature. Apart from the Ability Score Increase, this has remained the same.

Weapon Training.

  • Increase your Strength or Dexterity by 1.
  • Gain Martial Weapon Proficiency.

This is probably here because there have been changes in who gets what weapon profiencies and maybe some weapons have changed types (?).

And that’s all for Feats. It took only 2.5k words to go quickly over them. Let’s move on.

Spell Lists

To be honest, I am not going to go over this. We know there are changes. Spells have changes Schools. The Arcane, Divine, and Primal groups are new and can offer new shenanigans. Oh, and Eldritch Blast is not here. If you find anything else that’s interesting, comment below so I can get a better look.

Rules Glossary

More rules thing that are new or have changed. I won’t go over all of them, because there is no reason to do that.

Armor Training. This is Armor Proficiency.

Barkskin. The spell now costs a Bonus Action and gives temporary hitpoints. It looks better, in my opinion.

D20 Tests. We know what they are. They give Heroic Inspiration on a 1.

Exhaustion. This has changed. There are no effects at different levels. You pretty much have an exhaustion counter. If it goes above 10 then you die. Moreover, the counter affects negatively your d20 Tests and your Spell Save DC. You subtract from them as much as your exhaustion. I like that this affects spellcasting more.

Guidance. It has changed and I think it’s better. It’s not a Concentration spell and now you use it as a Reaction when someone fails an Ability Check.

Help. It requires that you are Proficient in the Skill you want to help with. And that makes sense.

Heroic Inspiration. Is this different from the regular Inspiration? You get this when rolling a 1 at a d20 Test, you can’t have more than one, and there’s nothing about Heroic Inspiration going away after a Long Rest.

Hidden. It’s a condition that gives the following

  • Concealed. You can’t be affected by effects that require you to be seen.
  • Surprise. Advantage on Initiative rolls.
  • Attacks Affected. You have advantage on Attack Rolls and Attack Rolls against you have disadvantage.
  • Ending the Condition. How does the condition end? If you make a loud noise, if you cast a spell with a verbal component, if you make an Attack Roll, if an enemy finds you, and if you aren’t Heavily Obscured or behind Cover.

It seems balanced. It offers nice stuff but also ending the condition can be easy. At least, that’s what I get by reading it. This may require testing.

Hide. This is an action to attempt to become Hidden. You need to make a Stealth Check while Heavily Obscured or behind Cover (3/4 or full). Oh and enemies must not be able to see you while doing this. I like that the result of your Stealth Check is also the DC of the Perception Check required to find you.

Influence. This is an action that can target NPCs. This is kinda like negotiations during combat. It has three parts and it feels how socials interactions work, but maybe under a more strict framework.

Jump. This is now weirder and more complicated than I thought it had to be. I won’t spoil it for you. Go read it.

Light. This refers to the Weapon Property. This is an important change because attacking with a second Light Weapon doesn’t take up your Bonus action.

Long Rest. It fills up all your Hit Dice now. This is kinda a meh change for me.

Magic. It’s the action you take when you want to cast a spell or use a magic item that requires an Action. It covers spells with casting time longer than an Action, as well.

Ritual Casting. You can cast spells you have prepared that have the Ritual tag as Rituals, meaning you don’t need a feature. Like it ever mattered…

Study. It’s an Action that allows you to…study. Well, pretty much it groups all knowledge checks. There is also a table that shows which Skill goes with which area.

And that’s all. 37 pages worth of content isn’t something I am used to tackling after, at least, of knowledge work. My brain needs a break. And I won’t be getting it because I am late with this so the next one will be coming out soon-ish.

I want to give just an overall comment. The way how everything is worded and layed out gives me an idea of a stricter framework being applied. Moreover, I am getting 4e vibes.

HOWEVER. I am not saying this in a bad way. I started playing tabletop RPGs with 4e and I enjoyed it. I still like a lot of things from that edition, including design decisions. And I think some design elements and ideas from 4e have a lot to offer, as long as there is a limit. They say 5e design elements from all previous editions, not including 4e. Well maybe this time 4e can add some good stuff. Take that with a grain of salt, especially if you haven’t played 4e and only repeat the memes about it being bad. And I am done.

You can check out the document for yourself here. I highly suggest you do that. And I also highly suggest that you take the player survey which opens on the 20th day of the month of October.

And until next time, have fun!

One thought on “Unearthed Arcana 2022: Expert Classes Analysis

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