Todd Talks - Unearthed Arcana 'Class Feature Variants' - With Jim Davis (WebDM)

  • Published: 06 November 2019
  • Todd Kenreck talks with Jim Davis from WebDM about the new Unearthed Arcana class features.

    Every character class in D&D gets one or more class feature variants in this new Unearthed Arcana! These variants replace or enhance a class’s normal features, giving you new ways to enjoy your character’s class.

    Unearthed Arcana is playtest material put out by Wizards of the Coast for potential future D&D products, and trying it out can not only help that process and gain insight into new products, but be a lot of fun!

    Todd Kenreck is a host and Creative Manager for D&D Beyond, as well as the DM of Heroes of the Vale. Follow him on Twitter:

    WebDM creates original D&D and RPG content to help make games more awesome! Co-host Jim Davis ( ) offers enthusiastic insight, analysis, suggestions, and live games on Twitch ( ) YouTube ( ) and Patreon ( )

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Comments • 352

  • Spartacus547
    Spartacus547  2 months back

    I wouldn't mind seeing Advanced crafting tables for tailoring, herbalism, Alchemy and potion making and poisons, armorsmith making weapons, making the tools to create the effects themselves detailed list of each component piece that could potentially have an effect, across table list of multiple layered effects I'd like to see a chart for crafting that is bigger and more expensive in the crafting tables then World of Warcraft

    • Kelly Rush
      Kelly Rush  2 months back

      I wasn't a real big fan of the spell versatility on the sorcerer myself. It may be a mechanical fix, but I feel like sorcerer filled a specific niche and need and now this is impeding on the wizard a little. Like spell versatility was literally the point of a wizard, wasn't it?

      • Kelly Rush
        Kelly Rush  2 months back

        Just listening to your comments about primal awareness and it makes me envision Snow White as a badass ranger that takes no man's sh*t. "Prince Charming? No thanks, I'm good."


        • Hades Zero
          Hades Zero  2 months back


          • ThatGuyMontag
            ThatGuyMontag  2 months back

            Unarmed Fighting Style becomes borderline stupid when you add Tavern Brawler.

            Woohoo! Brand new Str Brawler class by the back door buddies!

            Alternatively a Brawler Giant Soul Sorcadin could get silly.

            • Kaleb Breault
              Kaleb Breault  2 months back

              Mithral Full Plate would help out your hexblades, but thats a tall order no matter the campaign.

              • Kaleb Breault
                Kaleb Breault  2 months back

                Everyone is concerned with stacking hex and hunter's mark... why not just stack hunter's mark with hunter's mark? It says nothing about having more than one mark active at a time. you could spread them out or put them all on one creature.

                • Kenneth Gentry Powder Keg

                  I think the Sorcerers need even more spells than the few they gave them and they should come from all the lists since they have the fewest spell known as a full caster and less than the half casters. As an innate spell caster they could come up with any spell beyond maybe the cleric/divine type spells that have a faith flavor. On another note, we home rule that the sorcerer can change out same level spells during down time (beyond a long rest) due to experimenting with ideas they have seen or filling a need they feel necessary from their past experiences.

                  • Alan David
                    Alan David  2 months back

                    How about the Favored Foe keeps the concentration characteristic, but it only allows to cast another concentration spell if said spell is a Ranger spell? That way we don't have multiclassing issues. Besides, the Ranger damage spells that use concentration are few, and it would be a shame they keep being tossed aside because of the concentration requirement.

                    • nate tron
                      nate tron  2 months back

                      Too much cross over through classes and subclasses imo. I know WOTC is trying to please everyone but it just leads the homogenization of all classes. Everyone gets cantrips, everyone can switch out spells.. oh, you want a superiority die too? Not happy w your spell list? Here ya go...

                      • Jordan Carlson
                        Jordan Carlson  2 months back

                        Hex and Mark totally stack, according to Jeremy Crawford

                        Of course, we DMs do what we do. So rule to your game's balance!

                        • Life from the Loamly
                          Life from the Loamly  2 months back

                          Probably already mentioned but the warlock still needs the 15 strength for plate

                          • Thezerowulf
                            Thezerowulf  2 months back

                            Who is thos beardless man???

                            • DutchDread
                              DutchDread  2 months back

                              Unarmed fighting lodoxen brawler might be even more interesting now.

                              • DutchDread
                                DutchDread  2 months back

                                It's steelwind strike, and I WISH Warlocks had it.

                                • DutchDread
                                  DutchDread  2 months back

                                  "They don't contribute their pool of HP to the pool of HP that is at jeopardy", Honestly, I've never noticed this, people always claim the wizard or whatever shouldn't be getting into melee but I've NEVER been able to avoid getting into melee with ANY character unless I waste my turns running away from melee.

                                  • DutchDread
                                    DutchDread  2 months back

                                    Wizard didn't get much, which is really annoying considering how much sorcerer and warlock received. Especially versatile spellcasting seems unfair since it basically turns their entire spell list into "spells know", which is effectively a better version of one of the wizards specialties (that he could THEORETICALLY, get access to his full spell list eventually).
                                    And they didn't give the wizard a similar boon, such as switching out a prepared spell during a short rest, or being able to cast spells known by adding a 1 minute preparation time to the casting time.

                                    • Stefan Beck
                                      Stefan Beck  2 months back

                                      I would change the new Ranger Favored Foe Variant as follows: 1st level - You know the spell Hunter's Mark and may cast it without using a spell slot a number of times equal to your Ranger level or Wisdom modifier, whichever is lower. Hunter's Mark does not count against your total number of spells known and is always prepared. 6th level - The spell Hunter's Mark no longer requires concentration for you.
                                      I figure this keeps the fact that the original ability had 1st and 6th level features and addresses some of the multi-class concern that a one-level dip gives such a powerful ability.

                                      • Timothy Hayes
                                        Timothy Hayes  2 months back

                                        I really like the Eldrich Armor for being able to stealth but have your armor in a bag of holding so you don't get disadvantage during stealth checks but it's an instant don by touching it.

                                        • Agan Mardrus
                                          Agan Mardrus  2 months back

                                          please for the love of god get these into an actual book. i would hate for gold like this to be stuck in limbo forever

                                          • Kurt Terfloth
                                            Kurt Terfloth  2 months back

                                            One of my players is a Fighter-Battlemaster + Monk. She will be swap out her current fighting style for Unarmed Fighting to boost her Martial Arts damage and is salivating over the expanded and additional Maneuvers.

                                            • Denver Miller
                                              Denver Miller  2 months back

                                              I think it's important to remember (with Hunter's Mark not being concentration in this) that it still takes a bonus action to apply. Then if you want to layer something else, that's another bonus action. That's two turns where you never made your potential off hand attack, if you're doing what the ranger do. And now, as combat averages to 3 rounds most often, you get one round to do all the things. Was it really worth it?

                                              • Jawik2
                                                Jawik2  2 months back

                                                I am not so sure about this beardless variant of Jim. It’s an interesting concept for sure, but it does not scratch the itch.

                                                • Lux Star Guardian
                                                  Lux Star Guardian  2 months back

                                                  The class idea you're talking about around 23 minutes in is basically Blue Mage from Final Fantasy

                                                  • Eric Snyder
                                                    Eric Snyder  2 months back

                                                    Dwarf and Mythril Armor don't need to meet the Str for Heavy Armor. Hill Dwarf now makes a pretty potent Hex Blade Warlock

                                                    • Writer Bluck
                                                      Writer Bluck  2 months back

                                                      Man Jim Davis looking SLICK clean shaven!

                                                      • Chris Ericksen
                                                        Chris Ericksen  2 months back

                                                        so no link to the thing you're talking about?

                                                        • DontShowMyNameonYoutube
                                                          DontShowMyNameonYoutube  2 months back

                                                          I never got this idea of Rangers not being magical. To me it makes more sense for a Ranger to be more focused on caster than it does for a Paladin.

                                                          • Nick G
                                                            Nick G  2 months back

                                                            probably late to the party. The eldritch armor, you can wear the plate, you would just move slower by 10ft. it's the proficiency is only needed to be able to cast spells, so this would ignore that. Goes with your iron man analogy well.... I have a paladin who isnt strong enough to wear plate, but it plays into the roleplay fantastically that she is slow into the battle.

                                                            • iamntbatman
                                                              iamntbatman  2 months back

                                                              The obvious answer to that new Eldritch Armor invocation are dwarves, who ignore the strength requirement for armor. Full plate dwarven hexblades!

                                                              • Elias Patrikis
                                                                Elias Patrikis  2 months back

                                                                Will these variant options be added to dndbeyond?

                                                                • D&D Beyond
                                                                  D&D Beyond   2 months back

                                                                  Yes, the new UA class features are being worked on being added, but it's a bit more complex than previous UA. We'll announce when we have more details!

                                                              • Malus Mingle
                                                                Malus Mingle  2 months back

                                                                WOW JIM! You look AMAZING! <3
                                                                I LOVE the new UA very much! HOWEVER, I really feel that HEX should have been made a 'slot-less' spell for Warlock, like a Class feature similar to Hunter's Mark for Rangers! This would have gone a LOOOOONG way to relieving the pain of lacking spell slots for us Pact Casters! <3
                                                                Thoughts?!? <3

                                                                • Bromos, Sunstar Ranger
                                                                  Bromos, Sunstar Ranger  2 months back

                                                                  The Psionic class would be cool to use the reverberator spell attack ability

                                                                  • bakapolice
                                                                    bakapolice  2 months back

                                                                    So an answer to the armor issue, Mithral Plate could be worn by the low strength Hexblade with Eldritch Armor.

                                                                    • ashley
                                                                      ashley  2 months back

                                                                      i would say that its a concentration spell but your concentration cant be broken

                                                                      • Brian Collier
                                                                        Brian Collier  2 months back

                                                                        The way they describe it, I picture Far Scribe working like auto generated subtitles.

                                                                        Warlock (vocally): Is Vecna’s treasure chest still under the tile I said it would be?
                                                                        Thief (as auto generated text on page.): Yes but its trap so only servants of baek-mae can axe cess it. I had to this are mitt. Good stuff in here.
                                                                        Warlock(vocally): ...which you will be sharing with us, of course.
                                                                        Thief (as auto generated text on page): [laughs in undercommon]

                                                                        • discomidget810
                                                                          discomidget810  2 months back

                                                                          The sorcerer fits narratively to me as I always thought of the magic they control as an energy pool within them that they manipulate in certain ways. The long rest change just allows them to focus on a way they would want to manipulate it

                                                                          • Marcus Garrison
                                                                            Marcus Garrison  3 months back

                                                                            I imagine the Sorcerer using the Spell Versatility as the innate chaotic magic constantly giving the Sorcerer new spells they don't understand, their magic is constantly shifting by nature, honestly the Spell Versatility makes the most sense as a Sorcerer feature

                                                                            • Joe Mazzola
                                                                              Joe Mazzola  3 months back

                                                                              Found a way around your heavy armor issue. WANNA MAKE A DERP TEENAGE DWARF. Hill dwarf Hexblade Warlock who is bullied and shunned for his lack of athletic ability, and finds a patron weapon while stealing a weapon from the blacksmith trying to prove his might to the bullies. STR:8, DEX:8, CON:17, INT:12, WIS:14, CHA:15. Can grab heavy armor proficiency with the new invocation, and dwarves aren't slowed down with 8 STR. Plus you still attack with charisma or you could just go full spellcaster route, except be wearing full plate and shield for 20AC and have a super high con + extra health from hill dwarf.
                                                                              Really wanted to make a chat with 8s in both STR and DEX now I think I may actually do it

                                                                              • Felix Rivera
                                                                                Felix Rivera  3 months back

                                                                                Hmmmhmmm. Well within these varient rules, Hunter's Mark doesn't require concentration, thus I can concentrate on a spell or other effect And have Hunter's Mark up. Thus I can attack the big bad with my Flame Tongue and deal 4d6+1d8+Strength on Every hit.

                                                                                • Jay Ponville
                                                                                  Jay Ponville  3 months back

                                                                                  For the warlock armor thing I want an invocation that allows a warlock to temporarily increase 1 attribute by 2 for like an hour per a rest (unsure short or long) or a version of the spell Enhance Ability that instead of what is listed increase 1 attribute by 2 so they can have a 13 strength use this to get 15 and do the armor thing.

                                                                                  • Telleryn
                                                                                    Telleryn  3 months back

                                                                                    Maybe rogue got loads, we just didn't catch them taking it. With changing damage types, I like the idea for non-sorcs being able to change a spell's damage type on a long rest

                                                                                    • Ouroboros_13
                                                                                      Ouroboros_13  3 months back

                                                                                      wouldn't a rune knight giant rather than superman be actually Shazam?

                                                                                      • Jay Ponville
                                                                                        Jay Ponville  3 months back

                                                                                        Jim - "Let me borrow your nose for a bit"
                                                                                        In my mind "boop the snoot"

                                                                                        • ryan rhino
                                                                                          ryan rhino  3 months back

                                                                                          Who is this Jim guy never seen him with out a beard

                                                                                          • Bobby Baker
                                                                                            Bobby Baker  3 months back

                                                                                            Plate armor without str req is -10 movement

                                                                                            • Kokoloko
                                                                                              Kokoloko  3 months back

                                                                                              I'm still dissapointed with some of the ranger options, mostly because the Revised Ranger had more interesting fixes... but they WERE more limiting, both for the features and the beastmaster.. idk. I understand they took a different approach but still.

                                                                                              EDIT: I think you summed it up better. It seems like the solutions here favored efficiency (REALLY fixing the issues) over originality. A fair way to go considering the new direction they took to fix the ranger with this unearthed arcana.

                                                                                              And I think the monk weapons really don't do much, and actually dangerously reaches to what makes a kensei a kensei... without adressing the way of the four elements Ki consumption issue (Is this still a problem most people want fixed?)

                                                                                              love the spell changes on long rest. Wonder how that versatility will interact with the upcoming ARTIFICER :')

                                                                                              • William Fawkes
                                                                                                William Fawkes  3 months back

                                                                                                Nice to see Jim again.