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5e Unearthed Arcana: Barbarian Primal Paths


5th Edition (And Beyond)

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RPG Superstar Season 9 Top 16

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Exciting UA news today!

Three new archetypes for Barbarians (Spirits, Enviro-Storm, Zealot) which are pretty neat.

Also sounds like bountiful times for UA going forward, as in, higher frequency.

"We have a bunch of D&D content for you to playtest, discuss, and mull over. We have enough material, in fact, that we will be releasing Unearthed Arcana multiple times a month for the next few months. Look for the material on Mondays, and get ready to answer surveys about what you see here."

My group usually accepts UA stuff, we've found it fairly balanced overall.


Awesome!!

RPG Superstar Season 9 Top 16

So, what classes have the fewest archetypes now, if UA stuff is counted?


Gotta say, my favorite path of the three was the Stormborn path. You could totally flavor things as your Barbarian's hair bursting into flame when he rages.


WotC made archetypes? Hmm...

I would say Druid. I believe they still only have 2 (land and moon). Bard might be next (2 phb, 2 in "kits of old").

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

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So glad WOTC gave me so many new ways to rage after this election!!!

RPG Superstar Season 9 Top 16

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You thought we would be getting Druid Circles, but it was Bard Colleges all along!

Glamour and Whispers join our options, as well as a survey for last week's Barbarian paths.


Barbarian + Bard? It'll be Clerics next week, then.

Grand Lodge

According to the announcement from Gamehole Con, it sounds like they will be releasing these UAs for every class. They made it sound like this was something that they just wanted to do as a pet project, but I wouldn't be surprised if they will eventually use these for an actual book in the future...

RPG Superstar Season 9 Top 16

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Alphabetical class order is correct, Cleric Domains: Forge, Grave, Protection this week.


Petty Alchemy wrote:
Alphabetical class order is correct, Cleric Domains: Forge, Grave, Protection this week.

I really like the flavor of the Grave and Protection domains. But the Forge? That's incredibly niche. Why not a Woodworking domain too?


I have to disagree with that. Gods of the forge are common and important in D&D settings, and the skill of a blacksmith was always favored in cultures that inspired many aspects of the D&D.

It's also a domain of artifice, craft, and flame harnessed in the service of the civilization.


Drejk wrote:

I have to disagree with that. Gods of the forge are common and important in D&D settings, and the skill of a blacksmith was always favored in cultures that inspired many aspects of the D&D.

It's also a domain of artifice, craft, and flame harnessed in the service of the civilization.

Fletchers and carpenters are people too ;)


Good to have some free 5e barbarian, bard, and cleric stuff out there. ;)

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

As with many things D&D, sometimes you have to be a little loose with the fluff to use the crunch differently.

The Forge domain works for cooking fires, various craftfolk, invention and innovation, labor and toil, and the wilderness-taming aspects of harnessing fire.


I think this basically proves the major character option expansion is coming soon. It's been teased for a bit and there is a huge new push for character option UAs.

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

I hope so.

The classes are so elegantly modular, it's kind of crazy they don't have additional official options for them.

Well, it's been driving me crazy.


Mearls said a while back they were planning their first major expansion for as early as 2017. They are certainly ramping up the potential printable options.

But I'm the DM and allow UA and 3rd party. It's a lot easier to rebalance things I don't like in 5e.

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

You know that's right!


With these new domains one (and only one) of the deities in my setting now has 3 domains. That bothers me. Everyone else has only one or two. Except for the two gimmick deities, out of which one is all about balance and hence clerics get to choose two opposing domains which are combined (spells from one, class abilities from the other), and one is the goddess of the moon, whose alignment and domain depend on the phases of the moon (the cleric chooses which phase to worship).


hiiamtom wrote:

Mearls said a while back they were planning their first major expansion for as early as 2017. They are certainly ramping up the potential printable options.

But I'm the DM and allow UA and 3rd party. It's a lot easier to rebalance things I don't like in 5e.

I doubt these show up in early 2017. It's unlikely they'd be able to collect the feedback, redesign the class options, and deliver a finished product in just 4-6 months.

They probably are already doing finishing touches on their early 2017 product.


I feel like "Heavy Armor Proficiency" is the lazy "This domain is short on abilities, but I don't know what else to give them" option. Forge and Protection, I can see, but Grave? (Though nothing beats the Nature domain for the Heavy Armor headscratcher.)

Also, Forge feels like it gives too much. I think the only other class or racial ability that flat-out gives immunity to a damage type is Druids and Poison.


Kalshane wrote:

I feel like "Heavy Armor Proficiency" is the lazy "This domain is short on abilities, but I don't know what else to give them" option. Forge and Protection, I can see, but Grave? (Though nothing beats the Nature domain for the Heavy Armor headscratcher.)

Also, Forge feels like it gives too much. I think the only other class or racial ability that flat-out gives immunity to a damage type is Druids and Poison.

In regard to heavy armor proficiency, I have a theory that the design intent was to have all cleric have heavy armor, but for some domain, it wouldn't make sense. Since it's easier to add a feature in an archetype, that removing a feature in a base class, they went with medium armor, and gave heavy armor for most domain.

As for the Grave domain, I agree that limiting to medium armor would make more sense than heavy armor.


Dustin Ashe wrote:
Drejk wrote:

I have to disagree with that. Gods of the forge are common and important in D&D settings, and the skill of a blacksmith was always favored in cultures that inspired many aspects of the D&D.

It's also a domain of artifice, craft, and flame harnessed in the service of the civilization.

Fletchers and carpenters are people too ;)

But are they gods? The real divine artisan prestige goes to blacksmiths. The best known carpenter quit his job before becoming full-time god, and it played no role in his portfolio or dogma.

Even Apollo was getting his arrows from Hephaestus, not some divine fletcher.


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smithing deities are fairly common in both real-world and fictional religions' mythologies.

RPG Superstar Season 9 Top 16

The cleric domains have a binary caster or melee divide. If the domain is meant for melee, they get heavy armor and usually some melee power later, while caster clerics eventually get Wis to cantrips.

My character preferences are always for no armor or light, so the heavy armor domains aren't for me, but I can recognize their value to others.


Drejk wrote:


The best known carpenter quit his job before becoming full-time god, and it played no role in his portfolio or dogma.

He was a stone mason actually, if you're thinking of the "J" man (not the Joker...). The carpenter bit goes back to a bad translation, as do all those parables about shaping men like wood. Given the area has a real lack of timber and a lot of stone it makes sense as well.

And you're right about smiths. Smelting metal and working it is often seen as a divine gift or magic by early civilizations. Hence the divine blacksmiths in pantheons.


R_Chance wrote:
Drejk wrote:


The best known carpenter quit his job before becoming full-time god, and it played no role in his portfolio or dogma.
He was a stone mason actually, if you're thinking of the "J" man (not the Joker...). The carpenter bit goes back to a bad translation, as do all those parables about shaping men like wood. Given the area has a real lack of timber and a lot of stone it makes sense as well.

*conducts a quick search*

Spoiler:
Apparently, the word used means a much more generic "artisan" or "craftsman" actually. The geography and geology of his home region suggest being a stone mason much more likely than a carpenter.

But... Another article about the word in question states that it was primarily meant to mean "woodworker" as both blacksmiths and masons had more specialized terms in Ancient Greek.

Also, it could mean "builder" or "skilled worker".

Being a carpenter does poetically fit the method of execution ascension, though.


Drejk wrote:
R_Chance wrote:
Drejk wrote:


The best known carpenter quit his job before becoming full-time god, and it played no role in his portfolio or dogma.
He was a stone mason actually, if you're thinking of the "J" man (not the Joker...). The carpenter bit goes back to a bad translation, as do all those parables about shaping men like wood. Given the area has a real lack of timber and a lot of stone it makes sense as well.

*conducts a quick search*

** spoiler omitted **

Is it evil to say I snorted at the 4th part of your spoilered bit? Probably :)

I'm familiar with the arguments (though not to the extent of researching it as you did), but I think stone mason / stone carver makes more sense given the severe lack of wood in the region, and the expense of importing it. Even in Lebanon, the Phoenicians had about eliminated cedar (and other woods) for shipbuilding.

RPG Superstar Season 9 Top 16

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Druid Circles!

The Circle of Dreams makes the Druid good at doing some quick healing (and helping the hurt ally get out of dodge), then some exploration bonuses (Hearth is unexciting, Hidden Paths is kind of cool but fairly late).

Circle of the Shepherd allows you to fuse with seraphim (wait, wrong game). Nope, instead you call animal spirits (sorta like one of the previous Ranger UA redesigns), and better summoning once you gain access to those spells.

Circle of Twilight takes on a drain blaster theme, and hates undead. The other abilities aren't too exciting, but usually the circles are defined by what they do at lvl 2 anyhow.

There's also an optional rule for providing guidelines about how many Wild Shape forms a druid should know, and how they might use K: Nature or Animal Handling to learn more forms (in addition to learning via leveling)

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

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Those are some pretty cool Circles.

I think Hidden Paths should recharge (5-6) on a d6 like other intermittent abilities. No need to re-invent the wheel or use 3.5's version of breath weapon recharging.


I agree with Dan on the recharge. They already put short/long rests on NPCs (which wasn't a great move IMO) over using recharges, so they should try exploring recharges on PCs.

Looking this over these are good additions, and the known beast forms is something needed as more and more books are published so that the wild shape isn't just whatever hodge-podge animal choices you want no matter what your background.

Dream is finally a decent healing option for Druids (across editions) that feels very Druid to me, and I will try to play it I think. I still think the Circle of Land is still the strongest Druid just because the spell focus, but Twilight and Dream are pretty close. Adding to spell damage, gaining necrotic resistance, and 1/hour etherealness is very good.

I'm definitely filling out next month's survey.


I like the new druid circles. The Twilight druid sounds especially cool. A bit of a gloomier approach to the class is welcome.

But the best part is, Fighter should be up next week.


The fighter did at least get some love throughout UA's tenure so far; this week's three druid circles more than doubled the available selection!


That's true, which is why i worry that there will be repeats. I just like fighters and seeing new versions of the class. 5e did so much for them.

Sovereign Court

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If we see repeats, at least they will be tempered with playtests and survey results. We won't see rehash, I imagine.


Personally, as far as Fighter is concerned, I hope they go more in the direction of the two archetypes from the kits of old Unearthed Arcana. Battlemaster is fine on paper, but with no higher level abilities for combat (just more selections from those they didn't pick at 3rd level) it really feels lackluster next to Champion (which gets a second fighting style and another increase in threat range in addition to the 3rd level one) and Eldritch Knight (which eventually gets 3rd-level and 4th-level spells). Purple Dragon Knight is also more interesting because it feels more like a leader than a Battlemaster that picked Commander's Strike and Rally.

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

Too bad you can't multiclass as a Champion/Battlemaster and get Improved Critical applied to those Battlemaster extra damage dice....


HenshinFanatic wrote:
Personally, as far as Fighter is concerned, I hope they go more in the direction of the two archetypes from the kits of old Unearthed Arcana. Battlemaster is fine on paper, but with no higher level abilities for combat (just more selections from those they didn't pick at 3rd level) it really feels lackluster next to Champion (which gets a second fighting style and another increase in threat range in addition to the 3rd level one) and Eldritch Knight (which eventually gets 3rd-level and 4th-level spells). Purple Dragon Knight is also more interesting because it feels more like a leader than a Battlemaster that picked Commander's Strike and Rally.

Personally I like the battlemaster the most of all the existing fighter archetypes. Yeah it doesn't get something that wasn't an option earlier at higher levels, but just the fact that it has more choices of what to do each turn without having to become a caster makes it a lot more interesting.

A champion just does its weapon attacks. The battlemaster gets to choose various effects to add.

Grand Lodge

SmiloDan wrote:

Those are some pretty cool Circles.

I think Hidden Paths should recharge (5-6) on a d6 like other intermittent abilities. No need to re-invent the wheel or use 3.5's version of breath weapon recharging.

I think that they did this because it will definitely recharge, as opposed to the 5-6 recharge. I have gone a 10 round combat and not rolled a 5 or 6 once on a recharge. This way in a combat that long, they will at least be able to do it twice. Anyway, that was my thought.

Grand Lodge

Threeshades wrote:
That's true, which is why i worry that there will be repeats. I just like fighters and seeing new versions of the class. 5e did so much for them.

At least they didn't do that with the Bard Colleges, so I am hopeful.


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Aeshuura wrote:
SmiloDan wrote:

Those are some pretty cool Circles.

I think Hidden Paths should recharge (5-6) on a d6 like other intermittent abilities. No need to re-invent the wheel or use 3.5's version of breath weapon recharging.

I think that they did this because it will definitely recharge, as opposed to the 5-6 recharge. I have gone a 10 round combat and not rolled a 5 or 6 once on a recharge. This way in a combat that long, they will at least be able to do it twice. Anyway, that was my thought.

I think so too, the game's aim is to reduce the time players spend rolling dice. Theoretically with the monster recharge mechanic, if they're unlucky they would have to roll well after a combat finished. With the d4 there is a definite recharge after 4 rounds max and it has been determined with one roll.

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

I DO like the idea of less rolls. It really simplifies things and prevents the corner-cases where it doesn't recharge during a fight.


Kind of wish we got a Skald-like Path, but these are still pretty interesting.


Delightful wrote:
Kind of wish we got a Skald-like Path, but these are still pretty interesting.

Are you talking about a Pathfinder style skald in particular? Because otherwise I would say the College of Valor is your option to get a Warrior Poet who gets to be decent in melee and inspire their allies to hit hard.


Fighter Martial Archetypes are here!

Ha! I beat you to it this time, Alchemy.


Except not, the link to the PDF doesn't work yet. Been trying since the page went up.


It works now. At least for me. I took the druid survey and had to fix a problem with my LAN before I could actually get to looking at the pdf.

Grand Lodge

I sort of am meh at most of them, though I do like the Arcane Archer.


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I would rank them in the order they are listed. The arcane archer is great, the knight is nice, just a little convoluted with its "you can make this as a reaction, but you don't need to have a reaction left" abilities and just so many quasi-Opportunity-Attacks, i'm not really sure yet what to think of the samurai, I like where they were going with it, recognizing the samurai movie tropes here and there, but I don't see the combat niche it's trying to fill, and the sharpshooter just feels rather disappointing.

But what really bothers me is that three out of the four of them all get the same 15th level ability. Looks like a copy&paste error.

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