Unearthing subclasses

DnD_Ampersand_1c_Red_V1_RGBBefore Wizards released the Fifth Edition corebooks, the rules were playtested for many months under the code “D&D Next”. Exactly in the same way, before “Xanathar’s Guide to Everything” saw the light in November 2017, much of its contents were previewed as a playtest in a section within Wizards’ website named Unearthed Arcana. These releases came always with a disclaimer stating it was provided for “playtesting and to spark your imagination”, that they were not officially part of the game, and as such, they were not legal in D&D Adventurers League events.

Well, if you head to Unearthed Arcana, you will notice there has been brand new content since August, covering all the core classes for the game. I think that there is a new Guide to Everything being worked and refined at Wizards of the Coast, and we can be part of the process. After you play with any of these subclasses, you just need to fill a survey about it.

Let’s have a quick look at everything we’ve seen in the latest weeks.

August: Barbarian and Monk

On August 15th, the barbarian got a new Primal Path: the Path of the Wild Soul. In the same article, the monk gained a new Monastic Tradition: the Way of the Astral Self. The Path of the Wild Soul brings chaos magic to the rage mechanic: the basic concept is cool: since you can’t cast spells because rage doesn’t allow you to concentrate, what if there’s some uncontrolled magic around you, fueled in that energy? The Way of the Astral Self gives the monk an astral body which is different from his physical one.

You can find the rules and the link to the survey here.

September: Sorcerer, Warlock, Bard and Paladin

On September 5th, the sorcerer class saw a new Sorcerous Origin feature: the Aberrant Mind. The warlock received a new Otherworldly Patron feature: the Lurker in the Deep. There was also a new cantrip included: mind sliver. All of these are linked to the Far Realm in the flavor text. The idea here is that an extraplanar entity is giving you arcane power. Even the cantrip can be represented as a mind assault of sorts, imposing not only damage but also a penalty to a following saving throw.

You can find the rules and the link to the survey here.

Later that same month, on the 18th, a new Bardic College showed up along a new Sacred Oath: the College of Eloquence and the Oath of Heroism. An orator bard makes me think immediately of a diplomat, while the idea behind the oath looks at a more greek-style godly-given destiny involving training, self-confidence and divine luck in the best Hercules style.

You can find the rules and the link to the survey here.

October: Cleric, Druid, Wizard, Fighter, Ranger and Rogue

October brought with it not only special flavors at your local Starbucks, but three new sub-class options. We’ve got a new Divine Domain, a new Druid Circle and a new Arcane Tradition: the Twilight Domain, the Circle of Wildfire and Onomancy, respectively. The Twilight Domain is all about the ambiguity in the middle stage of a rite of passage, while the Circle of Wildfire is all about fire and regrowth as parts of a natural cycle. Onomancy is a new attempt of bringing Truename Magic to D&D. The last time we saw something like this was, I think, in the Tome of Magic, for 3.5e, which I loved, but it wasn’t very practical, to say the least.

You can find the rules and the link to the survey here.

Getting further into the month, on the 17th the last entry so far arrived to Wizards’ website, offering three new archetypes, one each of Martial, Ranger and Roguish: the Rune Knight, the Swarmkeeper and the Revived. The first one seems more linked to Giant magic than I’d like to use, but I’m not a fan of the Fighter class anyway. It looks a little too powerful after a quick read, though. The second one is about a flock of fey spirits that help you hunt, while the third and last is an attempt to a Revenant that can be reborn and probably not only once. You can find the rules and the link to the survey here.


As I said above, I think that there is a new Guide to Everything being worked and refined at Wizards of the Coast. The first releases made me think about a Manual of the Planes for 5e, but the theme was not followed with the latest ones. I’m still optimistic, though. Do you think a new book is coming with lots of new options for players? What do you think it’s themed around? Drop your wildest theories in the comments below!

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