• Justin Handlin

Unearthed Arcana: Heroes of Krynn

Dragon with a group of adventurers.
Art: Dragonlance: Dragons of Deceit Cover

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Crit Academy covers the newest Unearthed Arcana: Heroes of Krynn released March 2022. In it, we explore character options from the Dragonlance setting. This playtest document presents the kender race, the Lunar Magic sorcerer subclass, the Knight of Solamnia and Mage of High Sorcery backgrounds, and a collection of new feats, all for use in Dungeons & Dragons.

Download Full Unearthed Arcana: Heroes of Krynn

D&D Unearthed Tips and Tricks for DMs and Players

Character Concept: ‘Kobi’ the Adventurer - Crit Nation Member Sartrean Penguin

Description: This mop-haired kid manages to stand gangly even at a short height, almost as if on all knees and elbows. Their equipment is little more than reinforced hunting gear and a small bag of keepsakes.

Personality: Ever the optimist, Kobi often finds the bright side of any situation. Their inexperience is evidenced by the ‘fearsome’ monster they took as a name, Kobold.

History: They come from a small village many days' journey from any trade cities. As such, they rely on their hunters to defend themselves from raids instead of guards.

Motivations: Kobi was always deemed too small for hunting and defense, but when the local regent denied them protection from increased monster activity, they couldn’t take it anymore. No one should be too small to protect, and if no one else would, Kobi would. The only problem; is they have no training or experience to speak of.

Monster: Arcforge Arbalest

Origin: Gargoyle

Lost Features: False Appearance, bite, claws, fly,

New Features:

Skills Athletics +2, Perception +4

Damage Immunities poison

Damage Vulnerability lightning

Condition Immunities charmed, exhaustion, frightened, paralyzed, poisoned

Senses blindsight 10 ft., darkvision 120 ft., passive Perception 16

Antimagic Susceptibility. The arcforge is incapacitated while in the area of an antimagic field. If targeted by dispel magic, the arcforge must succeed on a Constitution saving throw against the caster’s spell save DC or fall unconscious for 1 minute.

Death Burst. When the arcforge dies, it explodes in a burst of crackling arcane energy. Each creature within 10 feet of it must succeed on a DC 14 Dexterity saving throw, taking 18 (4d8) lightning damage and can’t take reactions until the start of its next turn on a failed save, or half as much damage on a successful one.

Slam. Melee Weapon Attack: +4 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 13 (2d8 + 4) bludgeoning damage. If the target is a creature, it must succeed on a DC 14 Constitution saving throw or it can’t take reactions until the end of its next turn.

Arcblaster. Ranged Spell Attack: +4 to hit, range 150/300 ft., one creature. Hit: 5 (1d6 +2) slashing damage plus 2 (1d4) lightning damage. A target must make a DC 14 Dexterity saving throw. The target takes 18 (4d8) lightning damage and can’t take reactions until the start of its next turn on a failed save, or half as much damage on a successful one.

Arc Burst (Recharge 6). The arcforge releases a flashing orb of crackling energy that explodes on impact at a point it can see within 150 feet. The energy pulses out in a chaotic blast. Each creature in a 20-foot-radius sphere centered on that point must make a DC 14 Dexterity saving throw. A target takes 21 (6d6) lightning damage on a failed save, or half as much damage on a successful one. If a target fails the save by 5 or more they are stunned until the end of their next turn.


Retreating Counter. When an attack misses the arcforge, it can use its reaction to move up to half its speed and make an arcblaster attack.

Encounter: Unwitting Delivery

The characters are hired by a merchant named Merlug. He needs guardians to protect his precious shipment all the way to a major city. The journey by horse is a three-month journey. But, time is precious. He believes there is a teleportation circle in an abandoned wizard's tower just a single month ride from their current location. He is hoping to hire a spellcaster who can enable it. He believes this is the safest and fastest way to ensure his delivery is on time.

Most of what Merlug says is true. Though, he lies about what he is carrying. He informs the party that he is delivering goods to a medicine woman. The truth is, he is being blackmailed into taking a wagon with a glyph of warding set on it. Additionally, the glyph is designed to explode just about the end of the trip. If he doesn’t deliver it, and contacts his blackmailer, when this cart explodes, so does the one holding his family.

The reason for the wizard's tower is so that he can gain enough time to seek aid from any who will help to save his family before the time is up.

Related Article: How to Run D&D Combat that Flows

Magic Item: Blood Crown

Wondrous Item, rare (requires attunement)

This crimson crown made from crystallized blood is seen as a gift of devotion.

Your Charisma score is 19 while you wear this crown. It has no effect on you if your Charisma is already 19 or higher without it.

Also, while wearing this crown, you have advantage on saving throws on resisting fear effects and you may also approach the source of your fear while you are feared.

Additionally, as an action, you can exude the fearful presence of your deity. Each creature of your choice in a 15-foot cone in front of you must succeed on a Wisdom saving throw (DC: 8 + your proficiency bonus + your charisma bonus) or drop whatever it is holding and become frightened for the duration.

While Frightened by this effect, a creature must take the Dash action and move away from you by the safest available route on each of its turns, unless there is nowhere to move. If the creature ends its turn in a location where it doesn't have line of sight to you, the creature can make a Wisdom saving throw. On a successful save, the effect ends for that creature.

Once this special action is used, it can't be used again until the next dusk.

Dungeon Master Tip: Quick Chase Improv

Turn-based tabletop RPGs are notoriously bad at creating compelling chase scenes, but dropping the need for miniatures and maps improves the situation somewhat. If you use a list to show who is running first, second, and third, that’s enough to know how the chase is going. Ask each player for one primary action each turn, and keep it going smoothly around the table. Force the slowest character to drop out of the chase after a turn or two—the chase may be resolved one way or another much faster than you think with less formal movement and action rules.

The point is to make it feel fairly quick; I think that dragging out a chase scene is almost always counterproductive, and a quick chase can lead to a great twist or reversal. For instance, a thief fleeing with the cleric’s golden holy symbol is a clear moment that might lead right into an ambush… with the slow dwarf warrior in full plate wildly out of position. Time for quick thinking by a fleet-footed monk at the front!

-Kobold’s Guide to Gamemastering-

Player Tip: Knowing When to Fight

Almost every monster you meet while on an adventure is dangerous, but not all of them are hostile. A lot of creatures in an adventure environment attack on sight, so when something doesn’t attack, it is worth keeping your sword in your sheath for a few moments while you try and start a conversation.

Why would you want to talk to a monster? Well, there are a lot of things a friendly or neutral monster may be able tell you about an adventuring environment, such as:

  • The location of any boss monsters

  • The history of the local area

  • The location of any prisoners

  • The identity of an important enemy

  • Information about disarming or avoiding a trap

  • Instructions to open a secret door

  • The weakness of a powerful monster

  • How to get to the next level

  • The location of treasure

All of this information may be lost if you kill everything on sight. And it’s worth noting that even some hostile creatures are willing to talk to their enemies before combat is joined. Dragons are notorious for this.

-The Art of War for D&D Players-

RPG Phatloot Giveaway: Veratrem's Tribal Siege - a Storm King's Thunder Adventure

Fight off an ambitious young green dragon in this expansion for Storm King's Thunder, or can be dropped into any story! This adventure will bring your party to Wealdham, a small town located in the Westwood. There, they will face off with Veratrem, a young green dragon that has taken control of a local kobold tribe. If the adventurers think they can easily take the weak creatures, they have a surprise coming to them...

Winner: dmytroszilhan

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