• Justin Handlin

Unearthed Arcana: Subclasses: Part 5



Crit Academy discusses the newest Dungeons and Dragons playtest material. Unearthed Arcana: Subclasses 5. The two new subclasses; Way of the Ascendant Dragon monk and Drakewarden bring a breath of fresh dragon fire to the two classes.


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Unearthed Arcana 2020 Subclasses, Part 5

Way of the Ascendant Dragon, a new monk subclass that emulates the power of dragons

Drakewarden, a new ranger subclass with a drake companion


Way of the Ascendant Dragon

Monks who follow the Way of the Ascendant Dragon revere the power and grandeur of dragons. They alter their own ki to resonate with draconic might, channeling it to augment their prowess in battle, soar through the air, and to bolster their allies.


Draconic Disciple

3rd-level Way of the Ascendant Dragon feature

You can channel your draconic ki to imbue your unarmed strikes with the essence of a dragon’s breath and to use your connection with draconic creatures to magnify your presence. You gain the following benefits:

  • When you damage a target with an unarmed strike, you can change the damage type to acid, cold, fire, lightning, or poison.

  • If you can’t already, you learn to speak, read, and write Draconic.

  • If you fail a Charisma (Intimidation) or Charisma (Persuasion) check, you can use your reaction to reroll the check, as you tap into the mighty presence of dragons. Once this feature turns a failure into a success, you can’t use it again until you finish a long rest.

Breath of the Dragon

3rd-level Way of the Ascendant Dragon feature

You can channel your ki into destructive waves of energy like the dragons you emulate. When you take the Attack action on your turn, you can replace one of the attacks with an exhalation of draconic energy in either a 20-foot cone or a 30-foot line that is 5 feet wide (your choice). Choose a damage type: acid, cold, fire, lightning, or poison. Each creature in the area must make a Dexterity saving throw against your ki save DC, taking damage of the chosen type equal to two rolls of your Martial Arts die on a failure, or half

as much damage on a success.

At 11th level, the damage of your breath increases to three rolls of your Martial Arts die.


You can use this feature a number of times equal to your proficiency bonus, and you regain

all expended uses when you finish a long rest. While you have no uses available, you can spend

1 ki point to use this feature again.


Wings Unfurled

6th-level Way of the Ascendant Dragon feature When you use your Step of the Wind, you can

unfurl spectral draconic wings from your back that vanish at the end of your turn. While the

wings exist, you have a flying speed equal to your walking speed.


You can use this feature a number of times equal to your proficiency bonus, and you regain all expended uses when you finish a long rest. While you have no uses available, you can spend 1 additional ki point when you activate Step of the Wind to use this feature again.


Aspect of the Wyrm

11th-level Way of the Ascendant Dragon feature The power of your draconic ki now radiates from

you, protecting your allies from harm and punishing any who raise arms against them. As a bonus action, you can create an aura of draconic power that radiates 30 feet from you for 1 minute. Choose acid, cold, fire, lightning, or poison damage, and for the duration, you gain the following effects:

  • You and your allies within your aura gain resistance to the chosen damage type.

  • Waves of destructive energy flow out from you and your allies when any of you are attacked. When you or one of your allies in the aura is hit by an attack made by another creature within the aura, the target that was hit can use their reaction to deal an amount of damage of the chosen type equal to one roll of your

  • Martial Arts die to the attacker.

Once you use this bonus action, you can’t use it again until you finish a long rest, unless you expend 4 ki points to use it again.


Ascendant Aspect

17th-level Your draconic ki reaches its peak. You gain the following benefits:

  • You gain blindsight out to 30 feet. Within that range, you can effectively see anything that isn’t behind total cover, even if you’re blinded or in darkness. Moreover, you can see an invisible creature within that range, unless the creature successfully hides from you.

  • When you damage a creature with your Breath of the Dragon, the energy clings to the target.At the start of each of the creature’s turns, it takes damage of the type your breath dealt equal to one roll of your Martial Arts die. At the end of its turn, the creature can repeat the save, ending the effect on itself on a success.

  • When you activate your Aspect of the Wyrm, draconic fury explodes from you. Choose any number of creatures you can see within your aura. Those creatures each take 4d10 acid, cold, fire, lightning, or poison damage (your choice).

Drakewarden

Drakewardens are rangers who use their magical connection with nature to form an enduring bond with a minor dragon, a drake. This bond allows the ranger to summon the drake to their side and to share in the awe-inspiring power wielded by dragons.


Draconic Gift

3rd-level Drakewarden feature The bond you share with your drake creates a deeper connection to dragon kind, granting you understanding and empowering your presence. You gain the following benefits:

  • If you can’t already, you learn to speak, read, and write Draconic.

  • You learn the thaumaturgy cantrip, which is a ranger spell for you.

Drake Companion

3rd-level You can magically summon the drake bound to you. As an action, you can summon the drake,

which appears in an unoccupied space of your choice that you can see within 30 feet of you.


The drake is friendly to you and your companions and obeys your commands. See its game statistics in the Drake Companion stat block, which uses your proficiency bonus (PB) in several places. When you summon the drake, choose a damage type listed in its Draconic Essence trait. You can determine the cosmetic characteristics, your choice has no effect on its game statistics.


In combat, the drake shares your initiative count, but it takes its turn immediately after yours. It can move and use its reaction on its own, but the only action it takes on its turn is the Dodge action, unless you take a bonus action on your turn to command it to take another action. That action can be one in its stat block or some other action. If you are incapacitated, the drake can take any action of its choice, not just Dodge.

Once you summon the drake, you can’t do so again until you finish a long rest, unless you expend a spell slot of 1st level or higher to summon it.


The drake remains for a number of hours equal to your proficiency bonus, until it is reduced to 0 hit points, until you use this feature to summon the drake again, or until you die. Anything the drake was wearing or carrying is left behind when the drake vanishes.


See Unearthed Arcana for Drake Statblock here


Bond of Fang and Scale

7th-level The bond you share with your drake intensifies, protecting you and stoking the drake’s fury. While your drake is summoned, you and the drake gain the following benefits:

  • You gain resistance to the damage type chosen for the drake’s Draconic Essence.

  • Choose one of the following: the drake gains a swimming speed of 40 feet and can breathe both air and water, or the drake grows wings and gains a flying speed of 40 feet.

  • The drake’s bite attack deals an extra 1d6 damage of the type chosen for its Draconic Essence.

Drake’s Breath

11th-level As an action, you can exhale a 30-foot cone of damaging breath or cause your drake to exhale it. Choose acid, cold, fire, lightning, or poison damage. Each creature in the cone must make a Dexterity saving throw against your spell save DC, taking 6d6 damage on a failed save, or half as much damage on a successful one.


This damage increases to 8d6 when you reach 15th level in this class.


Once you use this feature, you can’t do so again until you finish a long rest, unless you expend a spell slot of 3rd level or higher to use it again.


Perfected Bond

15th-level Your bond to your drake reaches the pinnacle of its power. While your drake is summoned, you

and the drake gain the following benefits:

  • The drake grows to Large size.

  • The drake’s bite attack deals an extra 1d6 damage of the type chosen for its Draconic Essence (for a total of 2d6 extra damage).

  • When either you or the drake takes damage while you’re within 30 feet of each other, you can use your reaction to give yourself or the drake resistance to that instance of damage.


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Character Concept:

Beguiler

“Now you see me, but not for long.”

You have learned to survive in this treacherous world by remaining unnoticed, staying out of sight and out of mind. Your tactics focus on clouding and confusing the minds of your foes, which misdirection, magic or both.


Choosing an array of methods to move around unseen and bedeviling your foes is the best path of a beguiler. Skills such as deceptive lies, misdirection, mastering a disguise kit or utilizing spells such as minor/major illusion, fog, charm person, and other such features making your foes vulnerable to the attack of your allies. The key to your success is to escape notice with an arsenal of techniques.


You can be sly and sneaky, or create complex illusions to hide you and your allies during day or night. Subtlety is critical and your secrecy can save your life. Then again, sometimes a forthright attack is just the right tool for the job.


Monster Variant:

Fist of the Dragon

These powerful warriors embody and revere dragons for their might and grandeur. They channel their inner ki energy to resonate like the thrumming power of the formidable dragons. Their inner strength exploding outward through their fists, feet, and maw like the trembling roar of a dragon.


Origin: Stone Giant


Lost Features: Huge size because medium, darkvision, stone camouflage, rock. Greatclub


New Features:

Skills. Insight +4


Step of the Wind. The fist of the dragon can take the Disengage or Dash action as a bonus action on its turn, and its jump distance is doubled for the turn.


Draconic Fists. When the fist of the dragon damages a target with an unarmed strike, it can change the damage type to acid, cold, fire, lightning, or poison.

Unarmed Strike. Melee Weapon Attack: +9 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 19 (3d8 + 6) bludgeoning damage.


Breath of the Dragon (Recharge 5-6). The fist of the dragon channels its ki into a destructive wave of energy through its hands, feet, or maw. When it makes an unarmed strike it can replace one of its attacks with a release of draconic energy of its choice in a 20-foot cone or a 30-foot line that is 5 feet wide. The fist of the dragon chooses the damage type: acid, cold, fire, lightning, or poison. Each creature in the area must make a DC 16 Dexterity saving throw, taking 22 (5d8) damage of the chosen type on a failed save, or half as much damage on a successful one.


Encounter:

Fallen from Grace

While making camp, far distant golden orb dances in the sky. After several minutes of erratic behavior, it streaks across the sky, it's light flickering in and out and slams into a nearby mountain. A character who succeeds on a DC 18 Wisdom (Survival) check is able to successfully locate the object. Upon arriving they discover a small crater, inside which is an athletic female win golden cloth with grey skin and severe battle wounds. She is haggard and has difficulty moving, but she is able to identify herself as Ayaellil (F, LG deva). A successful DC 16 Wisdom (Medicine) check confirms her wounds are life-threatening. She has four levels of exhaustion. She explains that she was on her way to share a davinci message of great import (as GM you can decide what this is).


During her flight she ran into a bone devil named Olgrogra and its minions bent on preventing her from achieving her goal. She was able to deal a devastating blow to the devil and its minions, but not before it used a strange object to capture and imprison her ‘grace’. Without her grace, her wings, magic and celestial power left her, and she crashed onto the material plane. She pleads with the characters to seek out her ‘grace’ and return it to her before she dies. With her grace gone, she won’t survive more than two or three days. A successful DC 18 Intelligence (Religion) check can confirm a general area where the devils may be hiding in the area to recover. The Olgrogra has strapped Ayaellil’s grace in an Efreeti Bottle(DMG - Instead of fire her grace is radiant). Upon returning the bottle to her, and releasing her grace, she is fully restored.


Magic Item:

Andrew Wheeler


Bolt

Weapon (Javelin), very rare (requires attunement by a god of storms)

Once held in a temple at the top of a mountain, this javelin is an exquisite weapon engraved with images of crashing lightning bolts, clouds, and creatures of the sky. Although you must worship a god of storms, Bolt grudgingly accepts new converts.


You gain a +2 bonus to attack and damage rolls made with this magic weapon. If you score a critical hit with it, the target takes extra lightning damage equal to your proficiency modifier.


This weapon also functions as a javelin of lightning with 3 charges. Each use consumes a charge. The javelin regains expended charges daily at dawn. Additionally, it can cast the sending spell once per long rest. Which it does automatically in secret every day at dawn. Reaching out to its previous owner and creator, a lich named Aumzon. Hoping to be reunited.


Sentience. Bolt is a sentient weapon of lawful evil alignment, with an Intelligence of 11, a Wisdom of 10, and a Charisma of 18. It has hearing and darkvision out to a range of 60 feet.


The weapon communicates telepathically with its wielder and can speak, read and understand Common, plus three other languages.


Personality.When an enemy is near death, bolt grows excited. It begins humming tunes of thunder and storms.


Bolt zealously desires to be reunited with its creator. Every opportunity for input is used to drive its wielder back to its old home, where it was forged by Aumzon, a damp dark temple deep in a mountain that protrudes through the clouds.


Bolt harbors a secret that it truly only wants to serve its creator. Everyone else is just a vehicle to help it find its creator.


Dungeon Master Tip:

Party Backgrounds

During the start of a new campaign, work with your players to help fit their characters into the story you’re building. Give them some parameters to work with. The simplest of these is a location. You may indicate that you want them to tie their character to the fortified city of Greenwall. You want them to have been part of the city for some time, did they grow up here, if so what was it like? Did they come from a faraway land, if so, why did they leave?


Next, you want to ask each of the players to establish a relationship with each other. These relationships can take any form the player desires. In any case, this can help the campaign start off with the players being much more engaged in the setting that they would be if they just arrived in a town. This also helps you as the DM flesh out the city and identify what is important to the players and their characters.


Player Tip: Don’t be a Dick

Racial Powers

Although your ability score bonuses have a huge impact on our optimization, sometimes this can create horse blinders to their other features that could optimally match a class or playstyle. For example, an eladrin fighter who can use fey step to teleport into and out of combat will play very different than a kobold fighter who cowers pathetically to get close to their enemy to distract them so the rogue ally can sneak attack and then follow up with an attack with advantage because of pact tactics.


Consider how your character might use the different racial powers of the various races you’re considering. The feature may out way the stat bonus for a variety of reasons. It’s worth noting, however, that some features will work well with pretty much any class, while others work best for specific classes.


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Please join us on our next episode. We will be discussing superheroes in Dungeons and Dragons with 5th Evolution.


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