What Do I Know About First Impressions? Unearthed Arcana 2022: The Cleric and Revised Species (D&D 5e)

DnD_Ampersand_4c_8_RGBThat last One D&D Playtest took a lot out of me. Three pages, two podcast episodes, and a whole lot of online analysis. This time around, things are going to be easier to digest. The third One D&D Unearthed Arcana is primarily looking at three species, one class, one subclass, and a few changes in the Rules Glossary.

What’s Up From Last Time?

If you read the blog regularly, and not just the first impressions of the UA, you may have seen some of my observations from running a playtest of 3rd-level characters. As of this writing, I’ve got another playtest coming up, with the players making up 6th-level characters, and when I have a chance to summarize that game, you’ll be able to find that write-up here on the blog as well.

How Big Is It This Time?

This month’s playtest is 26 pages long, but fifteen of those pages are the updated glossary, which gets reprinted in every one of the playtests, along with whatever gets added to the glossary that might have been changed from last time, or may be relevant to the material added. This time around, there isn’t too much extra going on, but we’ll touch on that towards the end of the post.

Class Overview

There isn’t a lot that changes in this section of the playtest. Class Groups are still a thing, so the Cleric is the first class we get to see from the Priest group. One of the concepts introduced with the class groupings is that all the subclass levels for classes in a group will match up. Given that Clerics picked their domain at 1st level, Druids picked their circle at 2nd level, and Paladins took their oath at 3rd level, and it felt a little odd for Paladin’s to believe in a concept without knowing what vow they were taking, I assumed that the Priest group would be shifting their 1st subclass feature down to first level. That’s not the case. Instead, we get the following progression:

  • 3rd
  • 6th
  • 10th
  • 14th

What’s interesting is that those are the same subclass levels as the Expert group. From the way the concept was introduced, I thought the commonality would be within the class group, but it looks like they may standardized across the different class groups . . . which makes me wonder how important the class groups are actually going to be.

An interesting addition to the general class section is that it still recommends that if you are using an older subclass with the new class, you use the older rule’s subclass levels, but there is an additional section that says that there will be rules to address how to adapt new classes to old subclasses once the final forms of these classes has been determined. I think this may be a response to the number of people questioning the design’s degree of backwards compatibility when the last packet arrived.

For Your Viewing Pleasure

Unearthed Arcana: Cleric and Revised Species Playlist

Because I may be referencing why some of these changes were made as well as my thoughts on if those changes will work, I wanted to make sure that I added in the link to the videos where Jeremy Crawford is discussing some of the thought process behind the work being done.

Regarding classes, Crawford indicates that the current plan is for all of the classes to pick up their subclass at 3rd level. The explanation for this is multifold:

  • To give players more time to get used to the concept of the class before specializing
  • To remove additional options that need to be chosen at 1st level when creating a character
  • To make multi-classing a single level less attractive for those classes that get a subclass at 1st level

I’m interested to see how the design progresses with these goals; however, I do have some trepidation about this approach. I’m not as opposed to clerics not picking up a subclass until 3rd level, because I can visualize a cleric of a particular god waiting to see what “order” or “aspect” of that god they will serve. That said, it’s really hard for me to picture sorcerers or warlocks in this paradigm.

Without changing the story of what the class is, how do you model someone making a deal with a powerful entity to gain magical power without having any narrative traits of that entity enter the game until 3rd level? If you are a magical superhero that got exposed to some form of power, or whose family has been altered by some form of magic, do you not reflect the source of your magic until after 3rd level? That feels strange to me.

In the priest group, D&D 5e currently doesn’t have the paladin swear an oath until 3rd level, but that feels odd to me in the present because paladins gain their abilities from their faith in a concept. It makes more sense that a Paladin will have an idea what their Oath is if they believe strongly in it, but a cleric might know they serve a god, without knowing what aspect of the god they are most drawn to reflect.

I’m not sure I can comment on if players need more time to learn the core of their class concept before picking a subclass. In some cases, characters are still deciding about what “kind” of class they are early on. But I’m saying this as someone that already has strong concepts of what classes are, so I’m going to skip this one.

If they are looking to remove additional options at 1st level, I’m curious if they are removing additional options to remove additional options, or if they are introducing more decisions at first level by asking players to custom-build a background and add a feat to that concept.

When it comes to multi-classing, it feels like if the problem is with multi-classing, the fix is in the rules surrounding multi-classing, not in the rules that govern a class that someone may be taking without considering multi-classing. I don’t want to try to design things, but if the problem is one level dips, what if multi-classing commits you to at least three levels? I don’t know, it just feels odd to spend a lot of design effort on what is technically an optional rule, especially with the number of subclasses and feats that simulate multi-classing on a smaller level.

Yeah, I know, I probably just shot my credibility in the foot, because everyone should expect everyone to multi-class all the time and it should be a core part of the game or something. All I can say is we all bring our own perspectives to the game.

And Now, The Cleric

First off, the spell progression for the cleric is the same as it ever was. Same as it ever was. Same as it ever . . . was.

Hit points and hit dice, saving throws, skills, weapons, and armor training are all the same as the current version of the Cleric. The starting equipment references a Priest’s Pack, which is defined in the Rules Glossary, and it continues the trend of not letting you choose between A or B, but just having a set list of things you get.

Spellcasting is unchanged, but the Cleric doesn’t get to pick a domain at 1st level, and Channel Divinity is moved down to 1st level. This has two functions, Turn Undead and Divine Spark. Turn Undead does what it always has, but Divine Spark allows you to burn your Channel Divinity to either harm or heal a creature within 30 feet of you for 1d8 times your proficiency bonus.

Channel Divinity

The purpose of this change, adding Divine Spark, was to make it more likely that the Cleric will have some option for Channel Divinity that they want to use. The problem is, the proficiency bonus per long rest, for one enemy or ally, is sparse. The real problem isn’t “oh, I still have Channel Divinity uses that I haven’t used,” it’s more “don’t I have better things to use my action on?” I’m not sure it’s going to be worth it to spend more of a resource that still ties up an action.

A few choices are coming down the road that modify this. If you pick Thaumaturge as your Holy Order (we’ll get to that), you get back a Channel Divinity on a short rest, but it’s still a matter of how much you do with the action that you are spending, resource or not. At 5th level, you get Smite Undead, which adds damage to your normal Turn Undead in addition to its normal effect. That’s fine, as it’s an extra benefit that you didn’t have before, but it also makes it way less attractive to use the standard damage option for Channel Divinity. That said, you don’t automatically destroy any undead with your turn undead, it’s just the relatively minor kicker of damage when they fail their save. Even some lower CR undead are going to be less likely to be destroyed by, say 4d8, than they would be by just automatically shuffling off their necromantic coil.

Holy Order

Because Channel Divinity moves down a level, and the cleric doesn’t have a subclass yet, the cleric now picks a Holy Order at 2nd level. This choice is between the following:

  • Protector (martial weapon proficiency and heavy armor)
  • Scholar (extra skills, + Wisdom bonus in addition to other bonuses on those skills)
  • Thaumaturge (extra cantrip and one Channel Divinity use back with short rest)

I think this is an interesting range of priestly roles, and this frees up some of the subclasses from providing these benefits. That makes sense for some of them (Twilight gets heavy armor why?), but it didn’t seem too strange for others (War). I do think it’s interesting that with all the other Expertise flying around, the Scholar gets a different mechanic that probably works out similarly. I like the idea of a more “magical” Cleric, but something feels like it’s missing in Thaumaturge. That said, I think the utility of the additional Channel Divinities that the Cleric picks up in their domains is going to determine if this Order is worth the choice.

At 9th level, you get a second choice for a Holy Order, which seems to go against the concept of belonging to a Holy Order, versus having multiple Holy Offices.

Blessed Strikes

Instead of having the 8th level Divine Domain class feature that defaults to adding extra damage to your melee attack, or adding your ability score bonus to cantrip damage, you get an extra die of Radiant damage when you make an attack with a weapon or a cantrip. I think Radiant is a little restrictive given the wide range of themes you’ll probably have with clerics, and I know my cantrip-throwing Grave cleric would be a little sad to get +1d8 instead of a solid +5 to damage on cantrips. This ability is clarified as only working once on your turn. No extra damage from War Caster if you get an opportunity attack or an off-turn attack.

Divine Intervention

Divine Intervention gets pushed up a level, since 10th level is now a subclass feature. There is now a variable 2d6 days to “recharge,” and that feels . . . weird. I understand not having this feature available constantly, and a week works since it means it’s not going to come up multiple times in the same adventure. I’m not sure of a better way to phrase it but rolling 2d6 to randomize if your god decides to help you out again, versus getting their attention in the first place, just feels strange to me. I would rather have skill-based ritual if you want to randomize the recharge on this.

At 18th level, Divine Intervention works automatically (like the 20th level ability did previously), but you only roll 2d4 for the number of days to recharge.

Epic Boon

Like the other classes, the Cleric has been redesigned to give you an epic boon at 20th level, instead of working as progression for a character after they reach 20th level. This document also adds additional epic boons.

  • Epic Boon of Fate (once per initiative, add or subtract 1d10 someone’s d20 roll in 60 feet)
  • Epic Boon of Spell Recall (cast a spell 5th level or lower without using a slot per long rest)
  • Epic Boon of Truesight (Truesight for 60 feet, all the time)

Epic Boon of Fate can be used more often than it could when it first appeared in the DMG. Spell Recall is depowered a bit, as the DMG version allows you to cast any spell regardless of level. Epic Boon of Truesight is unchanged from the DMG version.

In general, I don’t know if these are worth the 20th-level redesign, but I do like these a lot better than some of the Epic Boons we got in the previous document, although “extra 5th-level spell per long rest” at 20th level doesn’t feel that “epic.” I’d almost rather see it per short rest if it’s going to keep its 5th-level limit.

Life Domain

One interesting thing about moving the Divine Domain to 3rd level is that the spell list doesn’t give you any “always prepared” 1st-level spells. That means if you like using bless and cure wounds, those are going to take up your standard prepared slots now.

Spiritual Weapon gets swapped out for Prayer of Healing, Beacon of Hope gets swapped out for Mass Healing Word, Guardian of Faith gets swapped out for Aura of Life, and Raise Dead gets swapped out for Greater Restoration. I totally get that last one, because Raise Dead isn’t exactly something you need to always be on your spell list, while you’ll likely have plenty of times you want to use Greater Restoration in the moment.

Disciple of Life

Your party is going to be waiting for two levels before you gain this at 3rd level. It remains unchanged, other than closing a loophole, where you only get the bonus healing amount when you cast a spell that directly heals someone, not indirectly (like Goodberry).

Channel Divinity: Preserve Life

Instead of getting this extra Channel Divinity ability at 2nd level, it gets pushed all the way back to 6th level. It’s almost exactly the same as the previous version of the ability, with the exception that it doesn’t limit you from healing undead or constructs. If you want to get PCs using Channel Divinity more often, pushing one of the Channel Divinity abilities that probably gets used a lot up to 6th level seems a strange change, especially since at 3rd level it would only be pushing back getting the ability by a single level.

Blessed Healer

This continues the trend of just pushing back abilities. It works a lot like the previous version of the ability, but you don’t get it until 10th level.

Supreme Healing

If you can wait out getting all your other abilities at higher levels, you get this ability three levels earlier. Being able to max out your healing is something that would be nice to see a little earlier if your primary role is going to be the main healer.

Overall Cleric Thoughts

If you look at the current Cleric, there are a lot of levels where the only thing on the chart is the increasing CR of undead that you automatically kill with your Turn Undead feature. This seems to fill in more levels with options, however, some of those options aren’t really new, they are shifting “built-in” abilities in Cleric Domains into options in the Cleric itself.

It feels like instead of really getting new stuff, the Cleric shifts some of its subclass stuff into the main class so that the subclass doesn’t have to offer as much since it starts at 3rd level. I’m not sure that the damage granted from the new Channel Divinity option will make much of a difference, and at least looking at the Life Domain, it’s not going to make up for those extra levels before Preserve Life kicks in.

Character Species

I don’t know that I want to touch on the “official for now” term of Species over Race. Race was bad, Species doesn’t feel right to me, but I’m not the primary person that imprecise language in this space is hurting. I don’t think I was wrong when I was saying that the reason, they haven’t changed the term before now is that they were getting more input than just a majority vote online. For now, I’m going to do some more listening, and be glad that the conversation is being had.

The species in this document are updates from the previous UA, as well as a new addition:

  • Ardling
  • Dragonborn
  • Goliath

From the videos linked above, it seems like the Ardling was well-liked, but in its dual purpose as a “celestial animal person,” people wanted it to be more of an “animal person that is connected to celestials,” to give it some design space away from Aasimar.

Crawford also mentioned that while the Dragonborn in the 2024 rules isn’t meant to be the only Dragonborn option, the fact that many people wondered about the Fizban’s Dragonborn led them to realign the breath weapon a bit more in that direction. They also decided that Goliaths in the core rules could lead them towards having a “giant” option for PCs in the same way that Dragonborn gave them a “dragon” option.


Ardlings can still be medium or small, live for 200 years or so, and have a 30 ft. movement speed. Every Ardling gets Thaumaturgy now, not just “Exalted” Ardlings, which is good, because there are no more “Exalted” Ardlilngs.

Instead of the “animal” bit being more flavor, and the decision points being if your native plane was LG, NG, or CG, the decision point is now what animal group you come from, with the flavor being that you are descended from a humanoid animal person from the upper planes.

The new decision points are:

  • Climber (Climb speed, bonus damage to unarmed damage once per turn)
  • Flyer (Gliding and advantage on jumping)
  • Racer (Bonus burst of speed on a Dash action)
  • Swimmer (Hold breath, swim speed, resistant to cold)

These don’t all feel equal to each other, and not quite in the same league as the version that got abilities at 1st, 3rd, and 5th level. I think the Swimmers are getting just a wee bit more useful abilities, with Climbers getting a bit of a boost specifically for Monks. It feels like Racers should get a more permanent increase to speed, and an AC bonus until their next turn when they Dash. Flyers feel like they should at least get a round or so of flight, and I wonder what the reticence to give them flight means for other species already designed with that capability.

I do think it is the right direction to go with these to make them more “Animal People that Are Celestial Adjacent” than “Celestial People that are Animal Adjacent.” I also like some of the example animals they slipped into the categories, which makes it clear that this is meant to be the Omni-animal Humanoid species.


Dragonborn still get resistance to one damage type, and darkvision. They don’t automatically know Draconic as the previous version of the UA Dragonborn. Their breath weapon now works more like the Fizban’s Treasure of Dragons version, where they can replace one attack in an attack action with a breath weapon, but they can choose a cone or a line for this ability.

They also gain the 5th-level ability to fly for 10 minutes with spectral wings that have a movement rate equal to your normal movement. According to Crawford, this is meant to be more of a “generic” Dragonborn than the specific Metallic, Chromatic, or Gem Dragonborn in Fizban’s, and it does feel like kind of an amalgam of those three versions.

Since this was brought up while Jeremy Crawford was discussing Dragonborn, it may be worth noting that Crawford went out of his way to point out that the intention is that one person can use Dragonborn out of Fizban’s next to someone that is using the 2024 Dragonborn, and both should work at the table, which feels like another instance where they wanted to reiterate that the plan is still meant to aim for backward compatibility.


So, I was surprised by this inclusion. I’ve been a big fan of Goliaths since they were introduced in Races of Stone in D&D 3.5. I like giants and giant lore in D&D, even as it serves as an example of a messed-up culture that needs fixing in the setting itself.

Goliaths retain Powerful Build, although it gets a little redefined considering other rules. You have advantage on your saves to end the Grappled condition and you count as one size larger when carrying things, pushing, pulling, or dragging things. All good.

The new aspect of things is that the Goliaths that currently exist in the game are those most closely aligned to Stone Giants, and other Goliaths exist as well:

  • Cloud Giant (Bonus action teleport, 30 feet, proficiency bonus per long rest)
  • Fire Giant (Do 1d10 extra fire damage when you make an attack roll, proficiency bonus per long rest)
  • Frost Giant (Do 1d6 extra cold damage and slow target by 10 feet, proficiency bonus per long rest)
  • Hill Giant (Knock a target prone when you hit with an attack roll, proficiency bonus per long rest)
  • Stone Giant (Resist d12 + Con modifier, with reaction, proficiency bonus per long rest)
  • Storm Giant (Do 1d8 Thunder damage as a reaction to someone that damaged you, within 60 feet of you, proficiency bonus per long rest)

The Goliath also gets a new ability to turn Large at 5th level as a bonus action for 10 minutes, once per long rest, getting advantage on Strength Checks and gaining +10 feet speed.

Where I want to compare things with this species isn’t with other Goliaths, but with the Giant Options that we saw in the UA earlier this year. We’ve got a Giant-themed book coming out in 2023 that, theoretically, will be interacting with this version of the Goliath when it comes out in 2024.

So what happens when a Goliath takes the Giant Foundling background, or just picks up the Strike of Giants feat?

  • The Cloud Giant version of the feat gives you extra thunder damage and turns you invisible, so no overlap there
  • The Fire Giant version allows you to do 1d8 fire damage on your next attack after you take a bonus action to “prime” this ability–technically that works okay with the above abilities
  • The Frost Giant version does 1d6 cold damage (extra cold damage is fine), but it reduces speed to 0, which is just better than your Goliath ability
  • The Hill Giant version of the feat could get messy–it lets you do extra damage of your weapon’s type, but forces a save or become prone, which means the extra damage is cool, but the automatic prone is better than this feat
  • The Stone Giant version of the feat does extra damage, and pushes an opponent away in a straight line, which is cool, no overlap
  • The Storm Giant version does damage on an attack, and can inflict disadvantage on the opponent’s next attack, which also doesn’t overlap too much with the Goliath ability

But wait, there’s more! We have a few more giant-related feats to look at from that UA to see if we have more overlap:

  • Guile of the Cloud Giant gives you reaction teleports, which doesn’t mess with how the Goliath ability works, but it is a lot of teleports flying around
  • Ember of the Fire Giant gives you another attack option with fire that forces a save, and gives you resistance to fire, which seems to work with the Goliath ability
  • Fury of the Frost Giant gives you a reaction that does cold damage and halves an opponent’s speed, as well as granting resistance to cold–this works, but again, this is a lot of reduced movement being thrown around
  • Vigor of the Hill Giant makes you harder to move or knock down, as well as giving you some extra hit points when you eat during a short rest—that works great with the Goliath ability
  • Keenness of the Stone Giant gives you a ranged attack that can knock opponents prone and gives you darkvision, which again, doesn’t overlap too much with the Goliath abilities

I know not everyone is going to go full giant species, giant background, a giant feat at 4th level, but if someone does, I wanted to see how similar the design space starts to look. I think the Cloud and Frost Giant themes are playing with the same toys a little bit too often, but for most of the rest of the giants, I think there is still some room for all of this to work together and be interesting.

Now for my final comparison, let’s look at the UA Path of the Giant Barbarian, and the Rune Knight Fighter. Both have a low-level ability that lets them become a large-sized creature. So again, let’s go giant all the way down, with a giant species, giant background, giant feat, and giant subclass. Two of the signature supernatural abilities you learn as part of your subclasses are redundant with this new Goliath ability.

If nothing else, it starts to show that you are pulling from a limited number of tricks for giant-themed design. I think avoiding doubling down on similar design features when possible is a good idea. I think it works fine when you have two different front-line fighter subclasses with similar abilities, but not when it crosses over with your “giant” species option as well.

I actually think goliaths being 7-8 feet tall is fine without giving them the ability to magically grow. I can see their other abilities coming from being connected to giants but being 7-8 feet tall is the height “trait” that associates them with giants and growing feels like a strange add-on. It also undermines the feeling that Goliaths are their own thing, while related to giants. They don’t need to be bigger; they are as they are.

Rules Glossary Changes

First off, I am so glad they added a change log to the beginning of the Rules Glossary section. I’d be happier if they highlighted the changes as well, but any little bit helps. The changes in this Glossary are the following:

  • New versions of the Aid, Banishment, Guidance, Prayer of Healing, Resistance, and Spiritual Weapon spells
  • Changes to the Attack Action wording
  • Changes to the Grappled Condition wording
  • Changes to the Influence Action
  • Changes to the wording of the Light Weapon Property
  • Changes to Long Rest wording
  • Changes to the wording of the Magic action
  • Introduction of the Priest’s Pack as a defined piece of equipment
  • Definition of Truesight


Aid can affect up to six creatures now, but no longer increases your maximum hit points. That makes it less useful to me, since that was a good way to bump up those front-line fighters for 8 hours. I, personally, never saw these cause problems in a game.

Banishment, on the other hand . . . this version of the spell now gives the target a save at the end of each of its turns, and even if it’s from another plane, it doesn’t get sent home unless it fails its saves for the entire minute that the spell is active. As someone that has tried to figure out what everyone could get done in a minute when the last adversary got banished, I appreciate that this still gives you some round-to-round tension while waiting to see if the banishment holds. See also “how far can we run in a minute so we aren’t here when they come back.”

Guidance retains most of the changes from the last UA, except it doesn’t limit the recipient to only benefiting once per 24 hours, and it cuts the range down to 10 feet, so you have to hover near people you expect to “guide.”

Prayer of Healing now only affects a number of people equal to your casting ability bonus (not proficiency bonus, huh), which could be the difference between two party members, depending on character generation and level. It only gives you back 2d8, without your ability bonus, but also gives you the effect of a short rest. That said, you can’t benefit from this spell again until you take a long rest. I’m not sure I like the trade-off involved in this redesign, and this is another one that I’ve seen used in game many times, and never really felt like it was being abused. You might make the Monk and the Warlock happy (depending on how they get redesigned), but with so many things being defined by long rests, I’m not sure why the objective is on this one.

Resistance has been redesigned in line with this UA’s version of Guidance. The theory with this one is that it becomes more useful if you just have it “loaded” to use as a reaction if you happen to be within 10 feet of an ally that is making a save. Hopefully, that save isn’t a fireball or dragonbreath, where you might be in the same area of effect as your friend that you are graciously helping out.

Spiritual Weapon is now a concentration spell. So, you are now not just choosing between bonus actions if you are a cleric, deciding if you are going to Healing Word someone or take a swipe with your weapon, you now have to choose between having a useful spell-like bless up to help the party, because they are both concentration spells. I’m biased, because I’ve played a lot of clerics. I don’t know if it’s a “balance” issue, but spells like this definitely make it easier to support the party without feeling like that’s all you are doing.

Attack Action

The wording clarifies that you can either draw or stow a weapon for every attack you have in an attack action, including unarmed attacks. Mostly this helps with those characters that want to throw lots of daggers or hand axes without needing to spend a feat. It does feel a little weird that this also means you could shoot someone with a crossbow, stow it, punch someone, then pull a two-handed sword and hit someone else, but I’m not sure how that breaks anything.

Grappled Condition

Wording juggled around to make it clear that the grappler has the Slowed condition when it is moving a creature it has grappled.


Oh, influence.

It’s still telling you that with a single action, you can expect an NPC to react a certain way, unless the DM decides they cannot be influenced. But if they can be influenced, they can be influenced in six seconds with a set DC. Let’s continue.

It now specifies that you can ask for “one thing” per Influence action, and you can’t make the same request again for at least 24 hours, but the DM can shorten or lengthen that time. You must ask for something specific in your communication.

The wording of the action changes where some elements of the interaction are cited. For example, depending on how you approach a creature, what you ask them could make them shift what their attitude (Friendly/Indifferent/Hostile) toward a particular action. It then mentions that if you need to make a Charisma check for a Friendly creature, it’s rolled with advantage, and if it’s against a Hostile creature, it’s rolled with disadvantage.

Now, the DC is 15. Remember, that’s our new default DC. If the creature’s Intelligence is higher than 15, that’s the DC instead. If you’re really intelligent, you can resist a request better than if you are wise. Sure.

I know Jeremy Crawford pointed out that this isn’t mind control, but that’s not really the problem. It’s a player-facing set of rules that says that it takes exactly one action to accomplish this task, and that if the DM doesn’t say it’s impossible, the DC is going to be 15 or the creature’s Intelligence, and that’s it.

Light Weapon Property

The wording makes it clear that both weapons must have the light weapon quality to get an additional attack when attacking with one in each hand. This was the case from the example in the last UA packet, but it’s really clear here, and it still strangely means that nobody in D&D land is using a rapier with a dagger, at least not yet. I really hope that fighting style doesn’t end up in class or subclass locked.

Long Rest

The time between long rests is changed from 24 hours to 16 hours, and if your rest is interrupted, you have to add an additional hour to your rest. If your first long rest is interrupted, instead of 8 hours, you now need 9 hours of peace to get a long rest. The Exhausted condition mentioned removing a level of exhaustion on a long rest, but now it’s in the Long Rest description. 

Magic Action

The only change to the Magic action is that now instead of saying you take the Magic action to cast a spell or activate a magic item, it is also the term associated with activating certain class abilities. This does make me wonder how this might be used for future rule design, since if something counters a “magic action” that could cancel out Channel Divinity or some other class abilities as well as spells.

I’m still not really comfortable with “Magic” being the name of the action. It feels like this is going to get confusing with Magic being a concept in the game world, and the name of a specific type of action.


Since one of the Epic Boons can grant you this ability, it gets defined in the Glossary. This works as Truesight does in the current rules, but the description is reorganized with each thing that Truesight grants you as its own heading in the description.

Final Thoughts

I feel better about this UA, overall, than the last one. I think the last one was just so overwhelming and had a lot of potentially shifting paradigms presented all at once.

I like the concept of the Holy Order for the Cleric and I would love to see additional Holy Orders as a new design space, much like Warlocks and their Pact Boon. I feel like pushing everything back in subclass design is potentially a shock, and maybe, just maybe, some of those 6th-level abilities might be okay to roll into the initial 3rd-level abilities they get.

It feels like the Ardling could be buffed up a little across a few of the Animal Ancestry traits. The Dragonborn seemed to work fine as the “generic” mixture of all of the types in Fizban’s, and I think some of the Giant Ancestry traits for the Goliath may need to look for other options to keep from going to the same wells over and over for every player facing giant option.

I still think the Glossary is making this iteration of the rules feel less flexible than the 2014 rules. I’m reminded of when I was trying to learn PBTA games, and how some of the first-generation books using those rules used language that felt very formal, and I felt like I was missing something even when I wasn’t. It took the more relaxed language of games like World Wide Wrestling and Monster of the Week to make me realize that things might really be as simple as I thought they were, because the language was more relaxed.

I’m afraid of a similar effect here. In trying to eliminate any misunderstanding before the game ever gets to the table, the formality of language and presentation may cause the rules to look more intimidating than they actually are.

I’m never going to be a fan of a player-facing version of Influence. I honestly think that’s the kind of thing you show multiple possible means of adjudicating in a DMG. “Here’s how you run a negotiation,” “here is how you deal with animals that might be agitated by don’t want to attack,” “here is how you deal with a situation where people already don’t want to fight, but they have to decide if you are scarier than their boss.” Those examples shouldn’t all be handled with the same single roll Influence action.

I’m not a fan of the changes to Prayer of Healing or Spiritual Weapon, but I would honestly like to hear from people that have had problems in game with them. I’m indifferent to both Guidance and Resistance, but I’m actually pretty happy with Banishment.

That’s a lot of words, but at least it wasn’t three days’ worth of work over a weekend that I’m still not sure I have recovered from, so on balance, much happier with this UA. I have a feeling a larger one is waiting down the road not too far, however. See you then!