5e Unearthed Arcana: Barbarian Primal Paths


5th Edition (And Beyond)

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I will say the Paladin of Conquest serves a thematic purpose, but I don't see how Treachery fulfills a niche that wasn't already covered by the Oathbreaker.

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I like Treachery as it doesn't have tenets or any requirement to actually backstab allies, its goals are power and survival.

That strikes me as the Black philosophy from MTG.

Spoiler:
Black wants power.

Black looks at all the other colors and feels that each of them sees the world as they wish it to be. Black is the only realist, the only color to look and see the world as it is. An individual is free to have whatever they want, provided they have the power to obtain and keep it. This makes power the most important resource, because it's the one thing that can guarantee your ability to control your life and thus your happiness.

It's important for everyone to understand that black didn't make the world greedy. The world was already greedy; black has just learned how to thrive within it. Black has two big things on its side. One, it understands and accepts the system better than anyone else. And two, black doesn't place any restrictions on itself that make its success more difficult.

Black's philosophy is very simple: There's no one better suited to look after your own interests than you. Therefore, if everyone looks out after their own interests, you've created a system where everyone has someone looking out for them. In addition, black's system allows everyone the opportunity to succeed. Will everyone succeed? Of course not—but once again, that's not black's doing. That's just how the world works.

The weak will fail. That's what makes them the weak. Doing anything to help them is both prolonging the inevitable and risking failing alongside them. It's not personal to black. Black does what it needs to do to succeed. If others can't do the same, well, then they deserve their fate. Others see this as black being heartless, but black realizes it's just being pragmatic.

There will always be those who suffer. Once again, this isn't black's doing. It's an inevitability of life. Black's just the one color that owns up to the truth and acts accordingly.

So it could fit right in to a non-evil party, especially if the players are more of a mercenary company.

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I'm fine with evil paladins, as blackguards are a bit of a precedent. I would argue that it is more of a "reskin" than a paladin per se, but even the DMG had the oathbreaker.


Conquest could easily be neutral, it's an authoritarian focused class so it's all Lawful all the time - I can even see setting specific good Paladins being like this if they are from a country constantly under threat. Much like Vengeance it's such an extreme oath that it can be pulled in many directions.

Treachery does have less reason to exist, but it fills a much different niche than Oathbreaker. One has succumbed to evil by having their good extinguished, while the other chose to forsake others for their own power hungry aspirations. There is more than one evil knight trope after all.


Good to have some free 5e Druid, Monk, and Paladin stuff for 2016. ;)


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Next week is Ranger, then Sorceror, Warlock, and Wizard and eventually a full 20th level Mystic.


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You left out Rogue. :)


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I knew I left one out!


20th level mystic? Finally...


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Following the alphabet is for fools apparently, as this week we have the Artificer 20-level class.


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Drejk wrote:
20th level mystic? Finally...

I think you mean "Eventually..." :P

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Booo, artificer! Looks like we are getting an "Advanced Player's Guide". I'm not sure if that is something I want to see. I'm sure many others do, though. Hopefully this will end the cries of "5e isn't varied!"

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Tough to evaluate, the Artificer is a jack of all trades class. There's more complexity than a lot of classes deal with.

It's the first non-rogue class to lack either Extra Attack or full casting.

The attack options for the most part are (non-Warlock) cantrip-tier damage, but maybe the pet is a take on Extra Attack?

The spell selection is fairly small. Bonus attunement slots probably won't come into play because even though the Artificer gets to make some magical items, I feel like a number of tables will use them as loot substitutes (either less loot is generated, or the artificer gets less loot than his teammates because he made his own).

So...hm. That's how it reads to me, but I could see it surprising me in play.


The spell selection is small, but they're all winners on there.

I like it, but it needs some work. This is at least an interesting take on Artificer instead of a wizard school, but Eberron fans will still hate it. It's a good start on a very different class, and using the EK/AT track is an odd choice for spells.

The damage is basically rogue though. You have 2d6+9d6+DEX with a gun or a 10d6 AoE depending on specialty.

EDIT

It seems fine, but I can't figure out how good the class is on paper, Inwould have to test this one.


I'm as unimpressed as i am disappointed with the artificer. It does something very similar as what I hate about the pathfinder alchemist and its derivatives: class-featurized items.

Pathfinder wanted a class that can do alchemy but needed an excuse to stop it from filling the party's inventory with unlimited free potions, so they slapped vancian casting on it and alled it a day.

This class has you just producing magic items at certain level-ups, basically out of thin air. Yes you are "assumed to have been working on it for a while" but the material still comes out of thin air, was never in your inventory and never weighed you down. This becomes especially ridiculous with the mechanical servant. Level 6: you suddenly have a fully functional robot dire wolf. Never mind that it weighs ten times as much as you do, you've just been carrying it around no problem the last couple weeks and tinkered on it from time to time.

The robot companion would be less of a problem for me if it was there from level 1 and started as small. Something you can justify being constructed within a short time from the moment the character hit level 1 in this class, and then you can add to it over the levels and modify it to resemble other beasts and become larger and stronger.

For the magic items, either give the class actual crafting (which isn't going to happen), or leave it out. I dont like these gamified items.

This class should go into an eberron sourcebook which reintroduces the magic item economy for that setting and makes magic item crafting a feasible option for the system.

So yeah, not a fan. Now where are my ranger archetypes?

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It looks good.

I think robot companion should be an option, not an automatic ability. Maybe 3 choices, like the warlock boons. Maybe some extra cantrips? And maybe an option that grants access to some extra non-magical equipment (kind of like the tinker version of kender pockets), like caltrops, ball bearings, and maybe even the hunting trap. Or maybe a powered armor option.

Not sure how I feel about the AT/EK-like spellcasting. I think paladin/ranger might be more appropriate.

I don't like the empty levels. Even if they're mostly "virtual" empty levels.

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I think you'll find that if you could make a Mecha-Allosaurus, you would, every time.

I guess the damage is rogue comparable, but worse in that you're less likely to hit with it (rogues have Cunning Action to hide for ranged attack advantage, or TWF for 2nd chance at sneak damage). Not too bad I suppose.

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Petty Alchemy wrote:

I think you'll find that if you could make a Mecha-Allosaurus, you would, every time.

Are you concerned that every future party will have 4 to 6 Mech-Allosauruses?

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SmiloDan wrote:
Petty Alchemy wrote:

I think you'll find that if you could make a Mecha-Allosaurus, you would, every time.

Are you concerned that every future party will have 4 to 6 Mech-Allosauruses?

These violent mecha-dinosaur delights have violent mecha-dinosaur ends.

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With flippin' LASERs on their flippin' heads!

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A party with Mecha Pre-historic Robots.

Add teenagers with attitude, a "Sentai" feat... well, you know the rest.


I kinda want to make an artificer/fighter.

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Hm, what's interesting is that Concentration spells are maintained by the person who activates them, if they were Infused Magic.

That does give the Artificer a unique opportunity to have more concentration effects active.

Edit: Another tweet says the Thunder Cannon counts as magic damage per the description of magically generated stuff. I guess that's a tradeoff, bypassing that resistance early, but unable to get a more powerful weapon via looting (and attuning, which the Artificer is good at).

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They can also cast magic weapon on their Thunder Cannon, right?

Eventually....


I think my biggest criticism of the fighter archetypes is that you could switch the names of the knight and the samurai and they would be just as applicable.


RJGrady wrote:
I think my biggest criticism of the fighter archetypes is that you could switch the names of the knight and the samurai and they would be just as applicable.

Short of tying them to very specific weapons (which is never a good idea), that won't change. Knights and samurai are just that similar. The names just serve to distinguish them so you know what someone is talking bout when they tell you about a Samurai Fighter.


Y'know, I've been thinking it over a while, and here's what I've decided: This thread is no longer about barbarian primal paths, and the title should be changed to reflect that.


No, really? What else have you discovered?

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It's beyond my power to change the thread title, even though it has become about all the weekly UAs to be released since the Barbarian paths.


Threeshades wrote:
RJGrady wrote:
I think my biggest criticism of the fighter archetypes is that you could switch the names of the knight and the samurai and they would be just as applicable.
Short of tying them to very specific weapons (which is never a good idea), that won't change. Knights and samurai are just that similar. The names just serve to distinguish them so you know what someone is talking bout when they tell you about a Samurai Fighter.

Right. But there's boxed texts about how they went out of their way to be distinctive. But they're distinctive only as far as the samurai feeds into stereotypes about samurai being obsessed with etiquette.

Tying them to specific weapons wouldn't work all that well, since the katana is a versatile, one-handed slashing weapon, i.e. a longsword. However, samurai are associated with archery in a way that European knights are not. So the most samurai thing would be to take the Archery style as a fighter.

So I think it almost would have been better if the boxed text had emphasized the names were arbitrary, and you could use samurai and knights as you saw fit for any representation of a mounted noble warrior you saw fit.


I think a single UA thread makes more sense anyways.


RJGrady wrote:
Threeshades wrote:
RJGrady wrote:
I think my biggest criticism of the fighter archetypes is that you could switch the names of the knight and the samurai and they would be just as applicable.
Short of tying them to very specific weapons (which is never a good idea), that won't change. Knights and samurai are just that similar. The names just serve to distinguish them so you know what someone is talking bout when they tell you about a Samurai Fighter.

Right. But there's boxed texts about how they went out of their way to be distinctive. But they're distinctive only as far as the samurai feeds into stereotypes about samurai being obsessed with etiquette.

Tying them to specific weapons wouldn't work all that well, since the katana is a versatile, one-handed slashing weapon, i.e. a longsword. However, samurai are associated with archery in a way that European knights are not. So the most samurai thing would be to take the Archery style as a fighter.

So I think it almost would have been better if the boxed text had emphasized the names were arbitrary, and you could use samurai and knights as you saw fit for any representation of a mounted noble warrior you saw fit.

The archer thing is a good point I hadn't considered, but lookign over both archetypes i can at least say this: The Samurai archetype works equally well with melee weapons and ranged weapons. The Knights abilities only function with melee weapons.

As far as tying them to different weapons, I mean that knights used riding lances that don't exist in japan in this form (they did have lances but those were more like spears or pikes)

Also katanas and longswords are actually two-handed weapons that are short and light enough to be feasibly used in one hand.


Hitdice wrote:
Y'know, I've been thinking it over a while, and here's what I've decided: This thread is no longer about barbarian primal paths, and the title should be changed to reflect that.

Just for you:

I'm playing another Barbarian and going to take the Ancestor path. I might see if my GM will let me tweak it as it's a touch underpowered IMO, but the overall style fits what I want my character to be like.

My character is currently fairly well unoptimized. I'm playing a halfling Barbarian with a Str of 13. On the other hand I have Dex 18/Con 17, so at level 1, with a shield, my AC is 19. Right now my lack of optimization doesn't show, but my damage is quickly going to fall off to what it could have been were I a human (since I can't use 2-handed weapons essentially). Due to the lack of personal damage, but high defenses, I want to share those defenses with my party members, so Ancestors works well.

I took the Outlander background and have suggested that for at least part of his childhood he was raised by a bear. He's dressed in furs, wears a bear skull mask, and because it's getting near winter, he's put on some extra weight. Essentially, he looks like an ewok wearing a skull mask. I didn't realize this until someone else pointed it out to me.


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Threeshades wrote:


As far as tying them to different weapons, I mean that knights used riding lances that don't exist in japan in this form (they did have lances but those were more like spears or pikes)
That's all a lance is. The spear, not the katana, was the principle samurai weapon of war for much of their history.

Heck, lance comes from Latin lancea = javelin." Tapered lances, like people are used to seeing at Ren Fairs, are for jousting. Mounted combat with a lance has been around since the days of Alexander, existing in Asia well before the establishment of what we would consider Japan.


But the jousting lance is what D&D (and a lot of other fantasy) knights use. Just with a pointy tip.

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For the Artificer, maybe give an option for something like the Feral Mutagen? Either as an Alchemist Alchemical Formula option, or as an alternative to the Mechanical Servant option.

I know the alter self spell is a Feral Mutagen-lite, but it would be neat to have a more cinematic and dramatic version.

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Double feature - Ranger and Rogue. Horizon Walker and Primeval Guardian for Ranger, Scout for Rogue.

And don't forget to do feedback on the Artificer!

Edit:

Thoughts:

Horizon Walker - Pretty boring until you get to Distant Strike, which is totally badass.
Primeval Guardian - This is more interesting, but hold on, can you just go into guardian form every other turn once you have Ancient Fortitude to continuously heal 2xRanger HP? Aside from that, I think this is a great archetype, changing the playstyle up.
Scout - An outdoorsy rogue, Skirmisher seems like a fun ability. Ambush Master doesn't sound too fun for a lvl 13 ability though. Sudden Strike may be a potent capstone.


Okay before I read this, I'm going to hold the Artificer responsible for the rogue only getting one archetype.

Yeah I know rogues already have got a lot of archetypes both in the the PHB and SCAG and in UA, but I really don't like the the Artificer so I will start blaming it for my grievances.


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One week closer to full mystic, that's all I'm thinking.

I like horizon walker at first glance, but anytime one playing at my table uses Portal lore, everything's going to get very labyrinth-ey; it's a feature not a bug, my players will finally understand how much effort I put into all three dimensions of dungeon design! Primeval Guardian, well, I've never felt a burning need to play a weretreat, but okay, I get it. Scout is weird, if only because I really enjoyed the 3.5 scout, but that class was designed around a whole lot of 3.5 design quirks that 5e has dealt with differently. I like the idea of a nature rogue, and think this is a good example.

ONE WEEK CLOSER TO FULL MYSTIC!!!11!


Well, I wasn't expecting two classes at once. Was it so hard to wait another week and give us two Roguish archetypes? I guess it was a wilderness-themed archetype though.


Okay so, the Horizon walker feels remarkably similar to the Hunter archetype, if it chooses Colossus Slayer, Escape the Horde, Whirlwind Attack and Uncanny Dodge options. Just like this specific hunter, it gets extra damage to one hit per round, the ability to move past enemies more easily, the ability to attack more by spreading its attacks across multiple enemies and the ability to halve damage it takes from a hit once per turn.

But the Distant Strike feature alone makes me want to play this one. What I don't like is that their 3rd level damage ability requires a bonus action. So no dual wielding style for this conclave.

The primeval guardian is bizarre to me. At 3rd level you can use a bonus action to become extremely easy to outmaneuver.

A guardian that can't catch attackers isn't much of a guardian. To be fair, with large size and the extra reach it covers a larger ground at once but i still think the 5 foot movement is damning. At higher levels the guardian form becomes more useful with the difficult terrain and the healing aura, but I don't think a lot of people will like an archetype that does nothing without losing all mobility.

The Scout rogue looks like fun. I was looking at the scout class from 3-5 only a few days ago and was thinking about what would be a good way to implement it in 5e. Only thing I miss is the skirmish damage ability. Maybe the rogue should get to do sneak attacks if it moved beforehand on the same turn, but the move has to end at least 20 feet from where it started (so the rogue doesn't just run circles around the same target but must spread its attacks between enemies to get this advantage over regular sneak attacks).

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The guardian doesn't really lose mobility at all though, which is my problem with it (Edit: my problem is that it's presented as if it loses mobility, but it doesn't. If they want it to have that drawback, it shouldn't be so easy to ignore it).

You can do your turn normally, turn into a tree as a bonus action. Then if they want to get away from you, they either eat an opportunity attack or spend their action to Disengage.
On your turn, you use a bonus action to get your speed back and pursue them. Or take out your bow.

I'm not sure why they bothered with the speed decrease as is.

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OK, what CR would a level 9 artificer be, assuming the standard array.


These are interesting.

Horizon Walker is something I really like, ignoring resistance with planar knowledge is pretty great. At 3rd level there are very few options in that regard. Then you get my favorite abilities - turning ethereal and teleporting - and at high levels you have a cooler uncanny dodge. That's pretty solid. The portal lore is DM dependent, but if you play old-school gonzo fantasy like I tend to DM it would be worthwhile.

Primeval Guardian has a dull spell list, but the Guardian form is interesting for archers and even more interesting for strength based rangers with a polearm. 15ft reach hit just about anything. The lack of limit of uses seems like it would be fixed in print - then again every feature is built around it.

Scout has some useful things. Skirmisher is very useful in bad situations (my players in CoS would have loved it last session when they were overwhelmed), increasing all speeds 10 feet is pretty useful. Ambush master is really lame and situational, but then you get an additional sneak attack which is hard to complain about.


Horizon Walker's Planar Warrior needs a limit on use. Getting to ignore all damage resistance, forever, is way too good for 3rd level. The extra force damage, by itself, would be okay for that level.

The Primeval Guardian is awesome on every level. However, I think the guardian form does need some kind of usage limit, similar to a barbarian's rage. Otherwise, the ranger will stay in that form constantly, except when they "got to town," except they will stay in that form anyway and insist on hiding in the stable while the rest of the party goes and does stuff.


You're not always going to have your bonus action to use. A lot of your spells are bonus actions, TWF is a bonus action, you will want to dash and things like that. It's pretty taxing on a ranger economy.

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I played with a guy who wanted to be an old school fighter/thief/magic-user two weapon wielder. He was so frustrated because he had too many options for his bonus action. He was allowed to re-build as an eldritch knight criminal and was much happier.


Yeah 5e is a delicate balance of having bonus actions often but not too many so that you are overlapping a lot.


hiiamtom wrote:
You're not always going to have your bonus action to use. A lot of your spells are bonus actions, TWF is a bonus action, you will want to dash and things like that. It's pretty taxing on a ranger economy.

not that taxing:

Quote:


As a bonus action, you assume this guardian
form, which lasts until you end it as a bonus
action or until you are incapacitated.

so, you use one bonus action to take on the form, and you stay that way... pretty much all the time :)


RJGrady wrote:
hiiamtom wrote:
You're not always going to have your bonus action to use. A lot of your spells are bonus actions, TWF is a bonus action, you will want to dash and things like that. It's pretty taxing on a ranger economy.

not that taxing:

Quote:


As a bonus action, you assume this guardian
form, which lasts until you end it as a bonus
action or until you are incapacitated.
so, you use one bonus action to take on the form, and you stay that way... pretty much all the time :)

i think hiiamtom's argument was in reference to the Planar Warrior ability.

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