Jeremy Crawford Explains 'Unearthed Arcana: Class Feature Variants'

  • Published: 07 November 2019
  • Jeremy Crawford explains design and philosophy beyond the new Unearthed Arcana Class Feature Variants for Dungeons and Dragons 5th Edition.

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Comments • 398

  • Moses Lord
    Moses Lord  15 hours back

    Thanks for the subs!

    • Austin Palmer
      Austin Palmer  2 days back

      Put every race/class one book so don't need spend $300 for extra 10 subclasses

      • rallaa
        rallaa  2 months back

        Best part is giving non-battlemasters the option to get a maneuver without sinking a feat into it.

        • William Pennington
          William Pennington  2 months back

          Some games are slow, so we'll wreck class balance versus Wizards and Sorcerers. Yep, Spell Versatility not ever going to be allowed at my table. Over a short period of time, a Sorcerer can switch out every spell he knows, and specialize far better than a Wizard could ever hope to.

          • K Dolo
            K Dolo  2 months back

            Christ, just make a classless roleplaying system.

            • TheZzzznake
              TheZzzznake  2 months back

              Very nice. The Fighter feels much improved, but a bit flimsy. Don't make it too adaptable day to day for the player, or you don't have a "character" to play, it's too flexible. Make the player choose what kind of fighter he plays instead. With options to change up level by level instead (you can always homebrew anyway). Maybe add some other interesting options. Hope they make the skill option for Barbarian come true, love it, but also improve the other option and keep it, The Danger Sense. I love it when character classes of 5e have more options. (though I think Pathfinder has wayyy too many) Thanks, Wizards, brilliant work! Hope it gets published soon!

              • djman256
                djman256  2 months back

                Love the background for this video. Would love to see it more.
                Also, this UA concept is mind blowing and I love it. Wizards continues to impress... on occasion X"3c

                • Chase Skibeness
                  Chase Skibeness  2 months back

                  When can we expect these variants on DnDbeyond?

                  • HeyItsDingo
                    HeyItsDingo  2 months back

                    It took Todd and Jim Davis 2 hours just to talk about all of the options. If I had to guess, it'll probably take about a full month to get them all fully implemented into D&D Beyond. (If not longer)

                • Neil NJK
                  Neil NJK  2 months back

                  Definitely the best UA ever. Should really put out a book full of class feature variants. Not just UA, but full books. I'd pay so much for that.

                  • Michael Flotten
                    Michael Flotten  2 months back

                    I really liked most all these, except the spell versatility for the sorcerers and bards. Giving it to them to me makes wizards feel way more useless. Sure in theory wizards have a wide range of spells to chose from to prepare, but that's all based on A) Have they found new spells B) DO they have the money to scribe them C) Have they had the time/money to research something new for themselves. A sorcerer and bard in downtime between adventures can completely change up who they are from a spell stand point.

                    • Nicole Lavigne
                      Nicole Lavigne  2 months back

                      It would be nice if D&D Beyond made it easier to use the unearthed arcana with our characters on the site.

                      • Benjamin Claymier
                        Benjamin Claymier  2 months back

                        Any updates on when this is going to hit the d&d beyond site so I can change up my characters?

                        • Tom Gibson
                          Tom Gibson  2 months back

                          Total newbie here folks. Excuse the question. How do I get my hands on this release?

                          • Ian Bailey
                            Ian Bailey  2 months back

                            It is directly on the D&D site. Look under articles and you will find Unearthed Arcana.
                            Mostly just look up "Unearthed Arcana"

                        • Henrik Myran
                          Henrik Myran  2 months back

                          You kind of ruined wizards know. Seeing as every other magic class now knows all spells from their class and can switch them up.

                          Sure you can switch cantrip when you level up. But that doesn’t happen to often, and you usually already picked the right cantrip for your character anyway so you shouldn’t need to switch it.

                          Maybe make it a little more difficult for other class to switch spells then just a long rest. Or make it easier for wizards to switch between spells seeing as they actually have to work and spend gold getting their spells

                          • Henrik Myran
                            Henrik Myran  2 months back

                            I agree but you have to work a loot more whit a Wizard to get more spells then the 2 spells you learn each level.

                            And yea you kind of convinced me to still want to play Wizard. But I still feel like Wizard are great for DMs. But as a player depending on the story you are playing you might not always have the time to sit down and do you Wizard stuff like making a new book or learning new spells.

                            But yeas Wizards still have the most divers subclasses, and more spells if you can get them all

                          • Sindal55
                            Sindal55  2 months back

                            @Henrik Myran
                            -More spells prepared and more spells known at any time. Playing a sorceror, even with the ability to change 1 spell per long rest, is still playing surgery with your choices. you HAVE to pick the most optimal spells or be handicapped in some way. (You will always. ALWAYS have more spells to choose from in any encounter) At lvl 6, most wizards will have a minimum (because you can get more) of 16 spells in their book with 9 or 10 spells prepared at one time. A sorcerer will have 7 or 8, period.
                            -More spells are still exclusive to wizards. Sorcerors, i think, have a single spell that's unique to them. Chaos bolt.
                            -Familiars are cool.
                            -Ritual casting (The ability to cast spells for free if time is allowed) allows for free magical utility
                            -Arcane recovery (getting slots back at a short rest. Sorcerers have to use their SP to get spells back, so you HAVE to choose)
                            -The subclass abilties (Divination is amazing. Necromancers can get scary, evocation wizards are argubly better at blowing up stuff than sorcerers)

                            In reply, sorcerers have metamagic, which is great but is resource bound, and some neat subclass features of their own. They sacrifice alot of 'magical leeway' for 'magical fluidity' in their spells. Their subclasses are pretty cool too.

                            Wizards are awesome, ROCK solid and are NOT to be taken lightly at all for all they can pull out from their versatile tomes of magic . They can, and still do, alot of things other classes can only dream of. And this is coming from someone who loves Sorcerors.

                          • Henrik Myran
                            Henrik Myran  2 months back

                            All that is true, I just had a hard time seeing why I would play a wizard now if i can go a safer rout with sorcerer.

                            And seeing so many other classes getting fixes and better ability's I was, and still kind of am frustrated seeing wizard's getting more or less nothing.

                            So I was mainly hoping that they would make some small changes to fix for example the issue with the spell book.
                            No buffs just some small tweaks to make me want to play all classes just as much.

                            And with the changes coming now i just don't see why i would as a player chose wizard over sorcerer.

                          • Sindal55
                            Sindal55  2 months back

                            @Henrik Myran
                            I suppose that's a fair fear. But it's not exactly related to the reason sorcerers and eveyrone else are getting spell versatility. They're getting it because they could get into a situation where they are just STUCK. Like, compete and utterly stuck through normal level progression. And even so, spell versatility is still limited to one spell and same level spells. The wizard version, while taxed by money for extra spells, is still near twice as expansive as the rest of everyone else's at any given time.

                            A wizard losing their spellbook is certainly not ideal. But a wizard who's 'concerned' about losing their spell book currently has a way to get around it: Make a backup. It's entirely supported by the rules and depending on your DM, you can create logical explanations on how to waver the costs of doing so. It is simple to say "This wizard belongs to or has relations to a guild. The guild is able to provide you with the materials to reproduce your spell book at a cheaper or non existent cost because that's just the perks of being a member."

                            It's also worth nothing that you don't need your spellbook to cast spells. You only need it to 'change and record' your spells. So a wizard who has lost his spellbook through some means is not automaticly useless. They will still maintain every spell they prepared.

                            Everyone else? There's no mechanic for flopups. A DM who's targeting your spellbook early on is trying a bit too hard to stop you from having fun anyway.

                          • Henrik Myran
                            Henrik Myran  2 months back

                            No not real. But i only started playing last year. And I am always scard that i migh lose the book.
                            This whould just put my mind at ease. And stop a Rogue snatsing all my spells white a slight of hand trick

                        • Joren Perez
                          Joren Perez  2 months back

                          When will we see these on dnd beyond?

                          • Sean Murray
                            Sean Murray  2 months back

                            I seriously can't wait to see this unearthed arcana to be released into dnd byond.

                            • Josh H.
                              Josh H.  2 months back

                              2.5 minutes to say "These are optional rules."

                              • k
                                k  2 months back

                                still waiting on fixes to sorcerer i mean come on in 20 levels only 15 spells known thats less than a paladin!

                                • GrandpaTofu
                                  GrandpaTofu  2 months back

                                  I LOVE the fighter stuff, especially the new fighting styles. I can finally make a strength fighter/monk and I love that.

                                  • Perasha
                                    Perasha  2 months back

                                    I loved looking at the class options in this unearthed arcana, but could we please get some decent max-level abilities for the classes that need them? This is new ua thing is very promising, I love the potential. The icing on the cake would be better capstone abilities for more than just barbarian and druid.

                                    • Saratogasaratoga
                                      Saratogasaratoga  2 months back

                                      Old school here. I am so happy the game is in good hands like Jeremy, Chris and others! BTW Jeremy using the word buffet is soooo smart! Most gamers are foodies so this is such a good word to use to ease their apprehension about something new. Great job Jeremy!

                                      • Something Something Username

                                        I love the steps taken in this UA but my biggest concern/think should be looked at is that a lot of the features for a main class seemed to make features for subclasses/other main classes weaker or not as worth it anymore.

                                        • My name's just Maxwell
                                          My name's just Maxwell  2 months back

                                          So... interception fighting style still works on myself right?

                                          • Loak
                                            Loak  2 months back

                                            Publish this already

                                            • GamingMad247
                                              GamingMad247  2 months back

                                              i really wanna make a heroism paladin/battlemaster fighter subclass with the unarmed fighting style and some of the new maneuvers now. biggest dudebro that smite punches and grapples everything, inspiring everyone around him as he does so, because awesomeness.

                                              • GamingMad247
                                                GamingMad247  2 months back

                                                @Lucas i believe any unarmed attack is considered a melee attack. So yes it should work.

                                              • Lucas
                                                Lucas  2 months back

                                                I'm also interested in a Punch-adin, but I'm unclear as to whether it would actually even work or not. Are unarmed strikes counted as a weapon attack? I mean, it doesn't make much sense for the unarmed fighting feature to be available to Paladins if they didn't, but I'm unclear on it.

                                            • AngryGeek Production
                                              AngryGeek Production  2 months back

                                              Is there a hardcover book of this or only pdf ?

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

                                                Unearthed Arcana is considered playtest material, so it is not in a published book yet. You can get the PDF, and we will announce when we have details about it being added to D&D Beyond!

                                            • Geordie Bailey
                                              Geordie Bailey  2 months back

                                              The variant rules have one small flaw: they're a bad idea, and shouldn't have been implemented.
                                              If its supposed to be optional, then make it optional! Don't just give classes stuff for free. Looking at you, "every fighter who is now a battle master."

                                              • Vanilla Bear
                                                Vanilla Bear  2 months back

                                                I would love this in an official book

                                                • Nolan
                                                  Nolan  2 months back

                                                  These variants as well as Rune Knight are my favorite thing to come from UA since the Oath of Treachery Paladin and Gunsmith Artificer.

                                                  • Kurt Terfloth
                                                    Kurt Terfloth  2 months back

                                                    Dear Lord, this is such a smart idea. A big book of variant rules would fly off the shelves.

                                                    • user
                                                      user  2 months back

                                                      I like the spell versatility, though I'm struggling with how to explain it from a lore perspective. My bard forgot how to Calm Emotions yesterday, but figured out how to Shatter? And then today he forgot how to Shatter but somehow remembered how to Calm Emotions? It'd be nice if that made sense in the world.

                                                      • piroshade
                                                        piroshade  2 months back

                                                        I’m excited to test this play material out when will it be on dndbeyond character creation or is that something the dm needs to turn on?

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

                                                          The new UA class features are being worked on and will be added as soon as possible, but it's a bit more complex than previous UA and will take a bit longer then usual. We'll announce when we have more details!

                                                      • How to D&D
                                                        How to D&D  2 months back

                                                        When you say variant to players you just find yourself pressed to use them.

                                                        • Daniel Kalinowski
                                                          Daniel Kalinowski  2 months back

                                                          I LOVE these new options. Would love to see them defined and added in the next official book.

                                                          • Friggin Paco
                                                            Friggin Paco  2 months back

                                                            Those enhancements are 100% a work of beauty. They allow for way more fluidity and customizability and frankly, offer a better level 1-3 experience, but are so nice that they help the rest of the leveling experience as well. It's just... so refreshing.

                                                            • zealot246
                                                              zealot246  2 months back

                                                              I wish they would have finally legalized ranged smite for paladin

                                                              • Sherman Ng
                                                                Sherman Ng  2 months back

                                                                Well... if you're using the term "variant", I'd assume for it to be different, you know, to introduce variety. However, most of the variant features in the latest UA was more like an improvement of the feature, making the current feature obsolete. They might as well just call it "improved features" and just print a new PHB with all these new features in it instead of what we currently have.

                                                                • Khasm
                                                                  Khasm  2 months back

                                                                  I loved the thought of these variants and immediately decided to implement them into my campaign.

                                                                  One minor nitpick of mine was with the ability to swap a known spell on a long rest, as I usually see known magic as an investment and that such freedom did away with some of that hard-set feel that I like. So I added a homebrew rule that you could only swap a spell in that way during a "safe" long rest (In an inn, where watches aren't necessary, etc.), the reasoning being that the magic given off by such a change would give away the party's position in the wilds or attract hostile attention.

                                                                  Also, love the hunter's mark change for rangers, it adds some (much needed imo) versatility early on so you don't have to choose between hunter's mark *or* other spells.

                                                                  • Patrick Gauch
                                                                    Patrick Gauch  2 months back

                                                                    So by Jeremy's reasoning, shouldn't an Arcane Trickster also get Spell Versatility?

                                                                    • Lucas
                                                                      Lucas  2 months back

                                                                      Honestly I was kind of surprised that neither the Arcane Trickster, nor the Eldritch Knight got a versatility feature.

                                                                  • Garathnor
                                                                    Garathnor  2 months back

                                                                    bait and switch is OP and the skill maneuvers are as well but everything else is pretty decent

                                                                    • crodd92
                                                                      crodd92  2 months back

                                                                      I love that enhancement for monks to use an unarmed attack as a bonus action if they used their ki in their actions. Huge help to way of 4 elements monks which I'm currently playing :).

                                                                      • KesinX
                                                                        KesinX  2 months back

                                                                        I love almost all of these. Any idea when we'll be able to use this with the other play test stuff in Beyond?

                                                                        • o0Flavio950o
                                                                          o0Flavio950o  2 months back

                                                                          Great changes in this one. Well done.
                                                                          Now we just need origin spells for the Sorcerer and then we're set!

                                                                          • Ben Shabtai
                                                                            Ben Shabtai  2 months back

                                                                            For real. This would be amazing.

                                                                        • Malus Mingle
                                                                          Malus Mingle  2 months back

                                                                          I LOVE this UA! <3 It injects fresh blood into the aging 5th edition. However, I am disappointed that HEX is still not a slot-free cast for Warlocks along the lines of Ranger’s Hunter’s Mark class feature. I feel this would go a long way to ease the pain caused by the dearth of spell slots! <333

                                                                          • James Morris
                                                                            James Morris  2 months back

                                                                            I also had a player who created a Warlock with the Patron "Raven Queen". But he didn't follow up on her when it was published from UA to MToF...

                                                                            • James Morris
                                                                              James Morris  2 months back

                                                                              The MToF guide hais some inconsitances. For example it talks about the Bugbear Race for a character. The Monster manual Bugbear has -1 CHA but no mention in MToF.

                                                                              • Nick Vog
                                                                                Nick Vog  2 months back

                                                                                that's stupid and i hope it wont come in official rules.... because the old feeling of the game will be lost....
                                                                                and all these are a big excuse in my opinion because Pathinder2 gets more interesting than DnD (again)....
                                                                                (some changes are cool but some are very bad..)

                                                                                • Arche Sworn
                                                                                  Arche Sworn  2 months back

                                                                                  First time seeing him; Jeremy look like Uncle Ian from Alvin and the Chipmunks over here.

                                                                                  Do you lead a double life as David Cross, Jeremy?