D&D 5e: Unearthed Arcana - Eberron


4th Edition


Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber

This just popped into my facebook feed.

Eberron

First up in the new Unearthed Arcana column is Eberron. In the PDF, it contains the changeling, shifter (beasthide, cliffwalk, longstride, longtooth, razorclaw) and warforged races; a new Wizard subclass (artificer); action points; dragonmarks (plus a new feat: dragonmarked).

Thoughts on this? Try to keep the "Eberron is terrible and the worst campaign setting ever" comments out, as this isn't about the setting itself, but the things in this pdf.


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Looks decent. Nothing really-really shinny, though. I think I would prefer actual artificer class instead of wizard tradition, though.


What Drejk said. Exceedingly interesting... but nothing of substance, and the tradition thing is kind of "meh".


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I think it's a fantastic approach, personally. I could easily see myself running an eberron campaign using this and the 3.5 campaign books.

It does feel underdone though - even some recycled art would be preferable to none. In addition, I feel like a dozen pages would have been a better size.

If it were me, I think I'd have included the world map of whatever setting was being featured. That's not giving away much IP and would probably drive some sales of the older edition PDFs. As it is, I can't imagine someone getting enthused by this document and becoming a new Eberron fan, which just feels like a missed opportunity to me.


Exactly. What I wanted was something to make new Eberron fans instead of just "hey, cool, I get to be there again, using all my old stuff" - which is cool, by the way, just... not what I was hoping for.


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Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber

Well, this is apparently a "playtest" version of the material. Which is why the warforged is just a copy/paste of what it was in the old playtest packets. I still haven't truly read through the whole thing, so not sure how to give feedback on this to get it improved. If you even can.

The thought of the artificer as a wizard tradition, I don't know how I feel. I can understand why they did it (they are giving it away for free, so making it a subclass option instead of a full class), but it feels cheap to me. It makes me feel like we are getting cheated out of a unique class, as if they would have placed the barbarian as a fighter variant or the paladin as either fighter or cleric variant instead of them being the full class.

Glad we got something, but it feels underwhelming.


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What interests me most is the v1 at the end of the pdf download.

As for the whole UA monthly column, I LOVE of WotC produced free/open access content for the rest of us to tinker with as we see fit. Here's hoping we get Spelljammer! And, y'know, everyone else's favorites too, but after Spelljammer. :P


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One major thing seems missing: 5e psionics.

Even if it's just a reflavoring of existing casting classes, it still needs to be acknowledged as a thing in Eberron.


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There's been a ton of discussion about psionics and their necessity to Dark Sun, too, on WotC's boards, not that we've seen Dark Sun yet. Given that the Artificer was a wizard subclass (oops, that should be tradition at this point) I won't be at all surprised if Psion is too, and half the customer base's heads explode.

Then again, this very UA says "once such rules become available" about psionics, so who the hell knows, right?


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Hitdice wrote:

There's been a ton of discussion about psionics and their necessity to Dark Sun, too, on WotC's boards, not that we've seen Dark Sun yet. Given that the Artificer was a wizard subclass (oops, that should be tradition at this point) I won't be at all surprised if Psion is too, and half the customer base's heads explode.

Then again, this very UA says "once such rules become available" about psionics, so who the hell knows, right?

If Psion is a subclass, it will be of the Sorcerer, since Sorcerers already have power points, essentially. I'm planning on making a quick-and-dirty Sorcerer path of that eventually...

As for the Artificer, I couldn't agree more. I'm actually in the process of (slowly, between pro comissions) creating a 5e Artificer class. I do think this version brings in some cool mechanics that I'm going to steal for the base class, but it won't be ~lol wizard subclass~ that's for sure.

The three paths I'm going to have for Artificer will be Golemancer (make construct friends! whee!), Alchemist (based on the Pathfinder class), and Tinkerer (MacGuyver meets Jackie Chan).

But yeah, overall I found the Artificer sorta disappointing. This also makes me nervous that they're never really going to release splat books. Combined with the news that there are now only 8 designers/writers TOTAL working on D&D (and NO WOMEN on that team, wtf) , I have a lot of reason to be nervous :\ I get the feeling that Hasbro doesn't care about D&D beyond having an IP to sit on.


Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber

I can see them placing the psionic classes into the existing classes. Psychic warrior as a fighter subclass, psion for sorcerer, a healing focused one for the cleric, and soul knife (I think it is?) for rogue. Only 2 I would have no real problem with is the fighter and rogue subclass versions (like the eldritch knight and arcane trickster). Maybe the psion being a sorcerer subclass. Maybe.

WotC finally got D&D right, and it will be the most barren edition yet. Single digit designers/writers on the team, and a sparse release schedule that makes Blizzard's patch cycle for their MMORPG look excessive, really makes me worry about the future of D&D.

I really love this edition, moreso than I did with 3rd edition, and moreso than I did when I found Pathfinder. Yet I am worried and scared.

TealDeer: Your artificer idea sounds interesting, and would like to see it when you have it finished, if possible.


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The core design team is 8. In a recent post on EN World about 24 other people were named who are involved with D&D in other ways (art, R&D, layout, play testing, data etc.). While they may not be core designers they contribute as have a number of freelancers. So, not as small as some fear, not as large as some hoped for. We'll see how it goes. Myself, I don't buy adventures. Core books and some other material if it looks interesting. And free downloads with ideas are nice :)

D&D Team

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It does look a little sparse, but remember it's an first (?) version of a playtest, and they haven't developed any psionics rules.

Yet.

I think the alchemist might work better as an Intelligence-based warlock re-skin, with Discoveries replacing Invocations, and maybe using the Wildshape rules for Mutagen. The spell-list would also have to be ReMade, emphasizing self-buffs and ranged-touch spells, like Chromatic Orb, and re-fluffed as alchemical extracts. There could be different archetypes that emphasize bombs, mutagens, or poison use.

EDIT:

I would give warforged an Armor bonus to AC equal to their Proficiency bonus. This bonus would NOT stack with regular armor.


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Adjule wrote:

I can see them placing the psionic classes into the existing classes. Psychic warrior as a fighter subclass, psion for sorcerer, a healing focused one for the cleric, and soul knife (I think it is?) for rogue. Only 2 I would have no real problem with is the fighter and rogue subclass versions (like the eldritch knight and arcane trickster). Maybe the psion being a sorcerer subclass. Maybe.

WotC finally got D&D right, and it will be the most barren edition yet. Single digit designers/writers on the team, and a sparse release schedule that makes Blizzard's patch cycle for their MMORPG look excessive, really makes me worry about the future of D&D.

I really love this edition, moreso than I did with 3rd edition, and moreso than I did when I found Pathfinder. Yet I am worried and scared.

TealDeer: Your artificer idea sounds interesting, and would like to see it when you have it finished, if possible.

I'm either going to try to sell it to ENWorld's new 5e magazine, or just release it as a free PDF when it's done :) I'm buried under a copyediting job right now though x_X Either way, I'll send you a message when it's done. I do like some of the MECHANICS Wizards introduced for handling Infusions, I just think there can be more flair there.

I also agree with you on ALL other points. I've played every edition of D&D -- I was introduced to the game through my mom's old Blue Box -- and this one is my favorite. It combines the flexibility of 3rd / OGL with the streamlined simplicity of the original 1st edition stuff. Other folks in other threads have pointed out other reasons this edition is so good. I'm just so worried that they're just not going to bother to support it, simply because for Wizards and Hasbro, it isn't a cash cow or a priority at all :(

Also as a lady in the tabletop industry it grinds my gears to see that they have NO WOMEN on that core design team :( That's a place Paizo has always done so much better, mostly because Lisa Stevens.

SmiloDan -- the Proficiency to AC is an interesting idea :|a I think 5th got rid of the concept of bonus stacking though, like, there's no typed bonuses (like Insight vs Natural) there's just straight up armor bonuses. You COULD probably just say "this bonus doesn't stack with any other armor bonuses though."

I'm acquaintances with Keith Baker over on Google Plus, I may poke him a bit about that idea (he's kind of busy with his new game though)

Sovereign Court

New game?

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I don't have the DMG right now, so I'm ignorant on whole suites of rules sets. :-P

There are some things I can't tell if they're super-simplified or a rule set that hasn't been explained yet. :-P

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Warforged in the current iteration is boring. The shifters are cool/good.

I was never a big fan of artificers as a separate class, so folding it into Wizard makes sense for me.


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Petty Alchemy wrote:

Warforged in the current iteration is boring. The shifters are cool/good.

I was never a big fan of artificers as a separate class, so folding it into Wizard makes sense for me.

What would you change about Warforged to make them more interesting?

I think a lot of the light touch on Warforged (both here and in the original playtest) is that people are afraid of making them overpowered. Which to me is odd, since the Dragonborn beat the bejesus out of Warforged in terms of power scale right now.

*e* that and I've never cared much about mechanical balance, so much as I have cared about leeway for the DM to go "Oh no you don't do the thing" which this edition seems to emphasize above all else.

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I think Warforged need something like Mask of the Wild or Lucky, some unique mechanic options.

Right now they're a boring stat ball. And not even a good stat ball, they're dwarfed by the dwarf.

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Yeah, the warforged should really have a unique ability. Maybe:

Fortification. When an opponent rolls a critical hit against the warforged, the opponent must make a second attack roll against the warforged to confirm the critical hit.

Something like that.

Or maybe make the warforged be super Lawful and orderly (kind of like 2nd Edition rogue modrons) and have the ability to Take 10 on d20 rolls a number of times per day equal to their Proficiency bonus. Or maybe take 8 + Proficiency bonus.

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Keith Baker's Warforged.

Still mostly a stat ball, but a little more interesting.


Adjule wrote:

This just popped into my facebook feed.

Eberron

First up in the new Unearthed Arcana column is Eberron. In the PDF, it contains the changeling, shifter (beasthide, cliffwalk, longstride, longtooth, razorclaw) and warforged races; a new Wizard subclass (artificer); action points; dragonmarks (plus a new feat: dragonmarked).

Thoughts on this? Try to keep the "Eberron is terrible and the worst campaign setting ever" comments out, as this isn't about the setting itself, but the things in this pdf.

You talk'n to me? :(

Well, ok.

I think they nerfed the Artificer. In theory, one of the major appeals of Eberron was the magi-tech. Folding Artificers into an existing class is just meh. If anything they should have made Artificers the norm and Wizards an obscure sub-genre of Artificers. And hey, with 5E you can do that fairly easily in your own campaign.

Warforged are also meh. But then that's what I've always thought, so this isn't a complaint as much as an observation.

Changlings are meh.

Shifters are nicely done. A real option with helpful RP potential built in.

Dragonmarks. All things old are new again. Seems like before. I only ever played one once, briefly, and this design fits the feel they had in 3.5 IIRC.


TealDeer wrote:
Petty Alchemy wrote:

Warforged in the current iteration is boring. The shifters are cool/good.

I was never a big fan of artificers as a separate class, so folding it into Wizard makes sense for me.

What would you change about Warforged to make them more interesting?

I think a lot of the light touch on Warforged (both here and in the original playtest) is that people are afraid of making them overpowered. Which to me is odd, since the Dragonborn beat the bejesus out of Warforged in terms of power scale right now.

*e* that and I've never cared much about mechanical balance, so much as I have cared about leeway for the DM to go "Oh no you don't do the thing" which this edition seems to emphasize above all else.

Make Warforged bloody hard to kill. They were built for close combat. Period. Make them that.

If making them hit harder/more often "unbalances" the game, then, like I said, make them hard to kill. They regenerate 1 hp every segment of time (minute, hour, whatever) until they are at positive and can begin proper maintenance of themselves.

Maybe give them a flaw/weakness that, once they are down, defacing their Makers Mark (sorry, couldn't help myself:) actually snuffs them. Something like that.


Quark Blast wrote:
Dragonmarks. All things old are new again. Seems like before. I only ever played one once, briefly, and this design fits the feel they had in 3.5 IIRC.

Every other change safely feels like a first draft so anything that feels out of place (for example, Artificers as Wizard variants) doesn't worry me. The choice to make dragonmarks race-specific again does.

In 4E, any given dragonmark could be on a member of any given race. If the race in question was the race that, historically, was supposed to have it (Gnome with a Mark of Scribing, Half-Orc with a Mark of Finding, etc.), then it just used the usual fluff. But you could also have a Human with a Mark of Warding or a Kalashtar with an Aberrant Mark (or even a Dragonmarked Warforged). IMO, this was a brilliant change. It was explained by possibly being a direct manifestation of the Draconic Prophecy, and the book also listed some natural consequences of being, say, a Mark of Making holder and existing outside House Cannith's employ.

I found this to be an inspiring plot hook. What would cause this to change? Does it relate to when the Dragonmarks first manifested hundreds of years ago? Can the cause be directed a third time? What does the Chamber think of this?

But going back to 3.5's "our selection only" bums me out. I mean, you create a setting showcasing an interesting take on merchant-princes and magical power, and then write in all these new races, and then turn right around and institute a "never the two will meet"? What gives?

I know I can always houserule it, but I'm still displeased.


Tectorman wrote:
Quark Blast wrote:
Dragonmarks. All things old are new again. Seems like before. I only ever played one once, briefly, and this design fits the feel they had in 3.5 IIRC.

Every other change safely feels like a first draft so anything that feels out of place (for example, Artificers as Wizard variants) doesn't worry me. The choice to make dragonmarks race-specific again does.

...4E stuff...

But going back to 3.5's "our selection only" bums me out. I mean, you create a setting showcasing an interesting take on merchant-princes and magical power, and then write in all these new races, and then turn right around and institute a "never the two will meet"? What gives?

I know I can always houserule it, but I'm still displeased.

In a serious attempt not to violate the rule set up by Adjule in the OP (Try to keep the "Eberron is terrible and the worst campaign setting ever" comments out) but still trying to answer your question:

Like Twilight, like Divergent, Eberron suffers acutely from having been largely sketched out by a teenage mind *, and not improved on much afterward.

Your complaint is just one of many for the setting. All of which sum up to the statement:
Official Eberron is astoundingly unimaginative given the breadth of options the setting has for roleplaying characters in.

So, yeah, houserule away. It's your only serious alternative.

The reason the Artificer-as-Wizard worries me is that the Artificer class is what tied the many borrowed elements of Eberron together - Warforged, Elemental Ships, and all the other magi-tech revolved around this class. Wizards were on the outside looking in, except in their narrow area of speciality. Same with the other casting classes. Artificers, as Artificers, were fluent in it all. They could deconstruct any spell effect and build better than a Magewright to boot. Woot!

Only Shifters, and especially Psion-Shifters, were so well fit to the setting. And maybe the Silver Flamer Paladin/true-Clerics. Or the Inquisitive prestige class, depending on your DM's style.

* and yes, I realize the irony of this "accusation"

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