D&D 5eReviews

Unearthed Arcana: Three Subclasses Breakdown

We’re off to the races for 2018 with a new Unearthed Arcana, this one offering one subclass each for druids, fighters, and wizards. It… feels kind of weird to even be commenting on UA subclasses with XGTE still so fresh off the presses, but I salute their commitment. Let’s see if I say the same after I read the subclasses.

The Circle of Spores

Decay and blight themes are one of the great inevitabilities of druid content, so sure, let’s do this. What I don’t get is the third paragraph of the flavor text here, which suggests both that they’re okay with undeath, but not with spreading or long-lasting undeath. Other than, arguably, revenants and some ghosts, there are no kinds of undead in D&D that come to a natural end (“natural” here meaning “other than getting their asses kicked by adventurers”). Let’s see if the features shed any light on this paradox. Let me also say that there is nowhere in extant D&D cosmology that undeath is the key to creating new life, so there’s just no support for this subclass’s core assertion.

  • Their Circle Spells are mostly necromancy, including that most necromantic of all necromancy spells, animate dead. But spare a moment gentle repose, the precise opposite of their subclass concept… well, there just aren’t that many necro spells to even offer. Also you pick up chill touch.
  • Halo of Spores is weird, in that it’s fixed, auto-hit damage against one nearby opponent, and that you spend your reaction on your own turn to use it. Sure, the druid action economy doesn’t care much about reactions, but it also doesn’t care much about bonus actions. I guess it’s overall easier to deny reactions than bonus actions? Anyway. Very much not a fan.
    • Also, for later discussion – this is functionally a very strong single-target damage kicker.
  • Symbiotic Entity gives Spore-bros a different Wild Shape effect. It gives them temporary hit points to be on par with melee brutes, boosts your melee weapon damage (since you don’t get Extra Attack, give some thought to two-weapon fighting I guess), and doubles the damage output of your Halo of Spores. Because of its duration works, you can never stack this with Wild Shaping, not that you have combat-friendly forms anyway. Because this retasks the Wild Shape feature, it takes an action to use, which is kinda steep for what it accomplishes.
    • This piles on the damage kick. With melee weapons, you’re looking at, let’s say, main hand d6 + Dex + d6, off-hand d6 + d6, plus a can’t-miss 6, 12, 18, or 24 poison damage. This is a real strange combat turn, though.
  • Fungal Infestation is a hot mess of a feature. I’ve talked in the past about the problems of last-hit or on-kill effects, right? This thing where your teammates might accidentally stop your cool feature from working because they attacked something instead of passing their turn and waiting for you to do it? Well, Fungal Infestation has all of those problems and then a much worse one: it only triggers if the creature dies from your Halo of Spores damage. Congratulations, you can kill-steal from yourself, Spore-bro. I mean, it’s bad enough that it only works on humanoids. Your exact order of operations in your turn matters. Precisely guessing how many hit points your enemy target has left matters. On the rare cases that you succeed, you get a 1 hit point creature. Just… no. Unless your DM practices hit point transparency, which is far from common.
    • Or, and I honestly don’t know if this is as-intended, you ask your melee teammates very nicely to only strike for nonlethal damage – i.e., knocking humanoid enemies to 0 hit points but not killing them, so you can Halo them as a reaction on your next turn. I mean, it sure increases the likelihood of this working. Still kind of needlessly complicated.
  • Spreading Spores lets you turn your spores into a 10-ft-cube AoE that still deals your Halo damage. This is a huge improvement, as it shifts Halo’s action economy to your bonus action, it’s an AoE with no save, and it doesn’t disable any part of Symbiotic Entity.
    • The duration here is a little weird. It turns off your Halo, right? From that point on, your two options are to let its 1-minute duration run out, at which point your Halo comes back to you, or to use this feature again. What you can’t seemingly do is just draw the spores back to you and start using your Halo again normally.
  • Fungal Body is delicately tuned to send me into a frothing rage. Immunity to frightened, blinded, deafened, poisoned, and critical hit extra damage. Seriously? Frickin’… seriously? Four immunities and ignoring critical damage? No, guys. Really, really no. My even, it can’t.

So, I don’t want to overstate this, but I think this subclass is a mess from top to bottom. Its theme is going along fine until it gets mangled with a cosmology malfunction. Reactions that have no trigger beyond “when you feel like it, on your own turn” are nonsense. That’s just… not a reaction! Features that require precise guessing of enemy hit points, or nonlethal damage, to work… Well, that’s weird and pushes the theme into “when you murder helpless people instead of taking them prisoner.” Is that really what we’re looking for here? It wants to be a melee weapon-wielding druid, but handles that weirdly too. And then it grants a huge range of immunities so that you passively break a lot of encounters. Spore druids: not even once.

 

Brute Fighter

The flavor text for this could not be any more devoid of content. It’s a fighting fighter that fights real good, except they spell it fietin’ fiter that fytes reel gud, because thinking is for classes and subclasses with an actual theme. So I guess I’m starting from a place of contempt, which is something I really try not to do, but here we are.

  • Brute Force adds a scaling die to your weapon damage with every attack. Because it’s added to each attack, this favors two-weapon fighting. This is a huge sustained damage boost, as a tradeoff for the burst damage of the Battle Master and the Champion.
  • Brutish Durability adds a d6 to all of your saves, including an increased chance to stabilize and heal when rolling death saves. You can reasonably think of this as a passive +3 to all saves, even ones you’re already proficient in, and wow, that sounds super broken when you put it like that.
  • Additional Fighting Style is an existing page in the Champion playbook. It’s fine.
  • Devastating Critical adds your fighter level to your critical damage. This too favors two-weapon fighting. It’s pretty ridiculous.
  • Survivor is another page from the Champion playbook.

The problem here is that the fighter – alone of all classes – is written without any significant flavor. The three Player’s Handbook subclasses are just playstyles; they don’t say anything about your role in the setting. Champion fighters aren’t inherently champions of anything – neither lords nor arenas. Now, in isolation, that’s fine; the fighter has always been the class where you had to develop your own meaning. (I say this while still on hiatus from saying exactly the same thing in the History of the Fighter series.) The problem, then, is that this is the simple-straightforward-smashy playstyle, that is in every way identical to the Champion. Compare:

XXXXXX are simple warriors who rely on mighty attacks and their own durability to overcome their enemies. Some brutes combine this physical might with tactical cunning. Others just hit things until those things stop hitting back.

And

The archetypal XXXXXX focuses on the development of raw physical power honed to deadly perfection. Those who model themselves on this archetype combine rigorous training with physical excellence to deal devastating blows.

In a blind taste test, 10 out of 10 readers couldn’t tell which theme applied to the Brute and which to the Champion, and that’s, um, bad? At minimum, this is mechanics for the pure sake of mechanics, since there’s no new niche carved out here. Even the mechanics are almost as much re-used as new.

Trying to read between the lines, I take it as a push toward a radically simplified, stripped-down 5e that treats the Brute as the fighter subclass, much as D&D Basic does with the Champion. In fairness, if that’s actually what they’re noodling with, I would only want to see the other classes brought to the same place of vastly improved sustained damage.

 

School of Invention

The theme of the School of Invention is running in a bunch of different directions at once. The initial flavor text is fine, but the features tell one too many stories at the same time. Anyway, these guys are sort of your Mad or (Careless) Experimenter types, with unpredictable results, explosive throughput, and arcane tinkering. I’m cautiously intrigued.

  • Tools of the Inventor makes sure you have proficiency in two types of tools. All things considered, go with thieves’ tools and any one other. Smith’s tools, probably, but see how your DM feels about XGTE’s drilldown on tool use first.
  • Arcanomechanical Armor gives you a suit of +0 studded leather, which grants force resistance. You’re proficient in its use, which is good! It doesn’t ever improve, and if you find a better suit of magical studded leather, this feat boils down to “Yay, proficiency!” Anyway, this is… fine, maybe underwhelming, but the main 2nd-level feature is still coming up. I would be a lot more into this if it gave you some way to apply your Int bonus to AC, which would still be 100% on-theme.
    • I will say that reinforced clothing with a zillion extra pockets and such is a classic part of the inventor-wizard image, and I dig that.
  • Reckless Casting is the playstyle-builder of 2nd level, but I hope you like unpredictability. This lets you potentially cast spells you don’t have prepared, but you have very little control there. Heck, a good percentage of the time, you get to toss off two spells for the (action and spell slot) cost of one, and when that happens, I’m betting you just blew everything to hell.
    • I… honestly don’t know how I feel about this. Part of me wants to dislike it, but I’ll be damned if it’s not so on-message for dangerous inventor-wizards. This should probably be a little more linked to a handheld device of some time, or a flux capacitor, but you can fix that in your own roleplay. I think this feature will be a disaster in all the best ways. Uh, you’re going to have a lot of weird, difficult decisions when you wind up with a spell that has no possible use in your current tactical situation, or you have no choice but to dump Concentration on something important in exchange for something unimportant.
  • Alchemical Casting perversely makes Arcanomechanical Armor worse, because it requires you to be wearing and attuned to your A-M armor in order to use this feature. That means that finding a better suit of studded leather armor means either skipping it or sacrificing another major feature. Thumbs down, because it means you’re not in the loot chase for your armor type, and from 2nd level onward, you’re missing a precious attunement slot just to use subclass features.
    • Okay, but about this feature’s effects: it lets you dump more of your low-level spell slots to change the damage type or deal more damage. This is not great when you receive it – you just don’t have the spell slots to burn – but it gets substantially better at high levels, when your cantrips start outweighing your 1st– and 2nd-level damage spells.
  • Prodigious Inspiration lets you change a prepared spell on the fly, as a bonus action, once per short rest. This is super good for wizards, especially right at the moment when XGTE and third-party content gives a huge boost to the breadth of spells available to them.
  • Controlled Chaos is a power boost to keep you using Reckless Casting even when you’re high-level and don’t need to take chances anymore… because getting to spend one 4th-level slot for even a long shot at casting two 5th-level spells, I mean, who can pass that up?

To my great surprise, I like this subclass. I’m so used to mad inventors, reckless spellcasters, and wild mages being super close to more liability than asset, both in the source fiction and in mechanics. With the School of Invention, though, I can clearly see how the mechanics support theme, while still trading risk for a huge payoff. My only issue with the class as it stands is the function and burden of Arcanomechanical Armor, as described. If that gets retooled, I think this subclass could work out.

 

Conclusion

I’d rate the Spore druid a serious miss – it can work at the table, but only with deep intrusion on the whole flow of play. The Brute fighter is a miss in the existing metagame – it has no theme, and its mechanics are just better than the Champion, to an utterly offensive degree. In a hypothetical alternate metagame where 5e descends back into the primordial ooze and emerges once more in a simplified form, then sure, it could work. The School of Invention looks good to me, with only one significant problem – and that problem only matters if acquiring better studded leather actually happens in your game.

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  • Cuix

    By this point, I’ve kinda fallen out of love with D&D and moved on to swooning over Apocalypse World and Shadowrun, mostly due to their mechanics… But they finally, FINALLY put out some support for fungal/moss druids? Let me back inside; I swear I can change!…

    And then the actual writeup makes me spin on my heel and walk right back out the door. Come oooon! Spores are cool ’cause they take these tiny little packets of stuff and spread them everywhere; why does that mean a damage kicker? Moss is awesome because of its ridiculous hardiness and adaptation to a broad variety of terrains. How does that mean immunity to blindness? Mushrooms are great ’cause they can be anything from bland-but-edible to bizarre colors/shapes that’ll send you tripping balls. Why does “chill touch” end up on the spell list but no illusions?

    I’m as passionate about this as I am about insect druids. Bugs can relate to hiveminds (or extreme cooperation), vibrant and ridiculous adaptations, chitin, and bizarre body forms. Not just plagues and ooky spooky things! Ugh.

  • Manos Ti

    The Invention Wizard is really appealing. Only problem is that having to roll and consult a table all the time might hinder fast play, but then again I really like the hole idea.

    The Brute Fighter is a serious miss. Apart from the fact that the Champion is already there, the Brute is kinda out of Fighter-y context and more close to the Barbarian. But then again, there is the Berserker. Well, no room for Brute there as well. But there is still hope, what about the Brawny Rogue from 4e? A street fighter who uses muscle more than guile. Well, I’m sold for this kind of thing, so go change please.

    Thematically the Spore Druid is cool. I was planning for something similar in my own setting as well. But I’m fully on board with you Brandes, as the mechanics are really off:
    – Why make the Halo of Spores a reaction? And if so, with what trigger? Why not make it a bonus action in the first place? I’m pretty sure this is a typo as well as the “…at first level you gain the chill touch cantrip…”.
    – They could make the Fungal Infestation something like the Undead Thralls feature of the Necromancer and be done with it.
    – I do not see any reason in denying the use of Halo of Spores when using Spreading Spores. They could extend it by expending a 1st level spell slot.
    – I could get the ton of immunities, the immunity to critical damage is beyond me.
    The Symbiotic Body feature is maybe the only one I’m OK with.

  • crimfan

    I agree, just a read through made me skeptical of these.

    Spore Druid isn’t a bad idea but it seems really, really fiddly for all the reasons you lay out. If you’re kill stealing from yourself that’s a problem.

    A group of Champions are sitting around the table singing their favorite song in their favorite bar, the Mercury Lounge, the one by the famous bard Queen Fred. They come to the rising chorus, “We are the Champions, my friends!” The new guy in town, Brutus, walks up to them, “No you’re not.”

    The Invention Wizard… OK idea, but again, very fiddly and tables.

    • It goes deep on using tables, for sure, but in actual use you’d presumably copy that one page of the rules for faster reference, just as I assume people do when wild sorcery is in play. It’s not ideally quick to use, but there are ways to minimize the issue.

      You don’t even need me to agree with the rest. 😉

      You know, they could even give the Brute a viable thematic niche just by changing the added damage to (pick a kind of energy damage). For instance, change their Brute Force and Devastating Critical damage to +fire, and you’re 90% of the way to some kind of Phoenix or Dragon Knight concept. Still overpowered as shit, but that’s a separate problem to resolve.

    • crimfan

      “It goes deep on using tables, for sure, but in actual use you’d presumably copy that one page of the rules for faster reference”

      Oh sure, but boy I just hate tables.

      “You know, they could even give the Brute a viable thematic niche just by changing the added damage to (pick a kind of energy damage). ”

      I’ve long felt that the Eldritch Knight would have been pretty cool with that kind of theme but they went out of their way to make sure it wasn’t. I really like the burning spell slots mechanic to activate special class features so having it make your weapon burn for a while would have been nifty… but no.

      And yeah, Brute as written is OP, but it could be tamed without too much trouble.

    • Shawn E.

      I like your EK comment. The subclass is a real miss. My players just MC right to wizard and pick another fighter subclass or one went Bladesinger.

    • I’m enjoying the EK that I’m playing in Colin’s Planescape game, but the two adventures we’ve had since I hit 3rd have been… not really representative of “expected EK gameplay.” =)

    • crimfan

      I experimented a bit with an EK and thought it had its moments. I’m not sure the class itself is bad, but it’s rather constricted. It’s not unusual for a lot of the first classes in an edition to need some revision or opening up and I think a number of the PHB classes illustrate this. Of course, WotC seems to be incredibly reluctant to do that.

  • DINNERVAN

    I don’t have the PDF in front of me, but doesn’t the invention wizard allow you to touch any suit of studded armor and turn it into arcanomech armor? That way you’re not locked into the same old suit from level 2, although your options are pretty limited. Then again, armor for wizards should be pretty limited. The whole flavor of it barely makes sense to me, it seems like a take on an existing class from some other system I’m not familiar with

    • Any nonmagical suit of studded leather.

    • Craig Cormier

      Basically removing the word “nonmagical” from the text fixes this feature.

  • Marc Garrett

    I read the Brute fighter as a Champion replacement, no? It fills the role of always-on passive enhancements, it’s easy for new characters to pick up and play “I hit it with my sword” without worrying about resource management. Champion has a reputation for being underpowered so not surprising to see a bump here, even if they overdid it.

    Agreed that Brute flavor concept is colorless, odorless, flavorless.

    I can’t imagine having to sit at a table with a Wild Magic Sorcerer and School of Invention Wizard. Hell no.

  • Craig Cormier

    I have to say that my biggest problem with this document is that the School of Invention is a Wizard subclass and not an Artificer one. Its completely on theme for the Artificer as the spell tinkerer/inventive genius. I suppose it works for the Wizard, but to me the Wizard theme has always been more about careful experimentation and advancement of magical knowledge. Where as the Artificer is the one more likely to try some new incantation or spell method before figuring out exactly what the consequences would be (see Warforged).

    The Brute isn’t different enough from the Champion to warrant inclusion in anything that already uses the Champion.

    I totally expected the Circle of Spores to lean heavily on the Myconids and other existing fungal creatures in D&D. I also expected it to encourage Underdark adventuring. Disappointed that none of that appears to be in there at all.

  • Shawn E.

    Good review!

    1) Circle of Spores – I think there could be something fun here, especially with an adventure in the Underdark with myconids and Zuggtmoy running around. Needs heavy rework. They did some good flavor text with Shadowfell themes in Xanathar, I’m sure they can figure this out.

    2) Brute – I like it, but nothing new here and too much stepping on toes. Could be a good alternative for someone who wants to hit hard and take some hits without going barbarian. They need to make this subclass its own thing. They kept redoing battlemaster last year in UA and they worked that out, so I think this can be salvaged.

    3) Invention – I love the theme here and would play this for sure. I’m sure they can fix the armor after feedback. I would have it scale with a level based formula or progression on 5th, 11th, etc. It should at least be able to equal Mage Armor or Barkskin at some point, but being able to cast Shield on top can really boost AC. They seem terrified that a wizard could have and AC over 14, especially with the nonmagical keyword.

    As I started reading I was thinking this could be an Iron Man type PC, then I realized it’s even better with the reckless. I like this more than Wild Magic.

    This might be the best artificer we have seen in 5e 🙁

    • I think I didn’t make it quite clear enough that I’m completely fine in principle with decay/blight, fungus, or bug druids. It’s off the beaten path for protagonist concepts, but it’s on the money in the broader spectrum of nature casters. I think they fouled up the actual writing of the flavor text (being about decay != being pro-undead), and I don’t have anything good to say about their implementation, but the central idea is fine.

      What I didn’t really get into with the Brute is that by 10th or 16th level, Brute Force scales up to the point that you’re functionally adding your weapon damage die again to every hit. Or, to rephrase that, you’re getting the benefit of critting with every hit, as long as you’re using a d6 (10th) or d8 (16th) weapon. This isn’t true if you have a magic weapon with a +dX damage aura, but 5e is designed without an assumption of magic items, right?

    • crimfan

      I don’t have a problem with the fun guy/fun gal concept. It’s bizarre for a protagonist, but it could work. I agree with your point about the decay being pro-undead compared to natural decay. Undead in D&D has always been messy conceptually. Natural decay is something we often don’t like but totally fits with druid concerns. Undead, on the other hand, seem to be out of the cycle of life completely. If the animated foes are more like Yellow Musk Creeper or Myconid “zombies” (but statistically function like undead) I’d have less of an issue.

      Brute is a decent idea that’s executed in a highly OP way and it stomps on the Champion, which really already fits the niche. Brute would be OK if it wasn’t so OP and had a better niche. It really needs to not be so OP, though.

  • Case Aiken

    I don’t hate the Brute, but it is very strong. Like Brandes said, good for a two weapon fighter, but my first thought was an unarmed fighter. Something like the Brawler hybrid class from Pathfinder. Nerf the damage kicker a little (like come online later and scale slower) as well as restrict the saving throw bonus to be a few times per short rest or maybe reduce it to a d4, and I think we have a decent non-monk fist fighter.

    • Right, if you gave them a base d4 brawling damage and Brute Force as their scaling function, and another feature that solved for “the supporting fiction doesn’t like them to wear heavy armor,” we’d be getting somewhere. The bad problem is that it looks and feels weird to be a weapons-and-armor fighter for 1st and 2nd level, and eschew them thereafter, but 1st and 2nd level aren’t really survivable without weapons and armor if you don’t have other features to solve for their absence.

      In short… probably every subclass really needs to grant its first feature at 1st level, because you wind up locking out character concepts and approaches otherwise.

  • Chris Currie

    Why so down on Arcanomechanical Armor? You still get to keep the force resistance if you get better magical armour.

  • Drow

    “Thumbs down, because it means you’re not in the loot chase for your armor type, and from 2nd level onward, you’re missing a precious attunement slot just to use subclass features.”

    Is this a trend with the technomagical UAs? Replace “attunement slot” with “spell slots,” and you have the UA Artificer. Since one of my players is using that Artificer subclass, I felt compelled to buff somewhat into relevance, since no other wizard subclass’ features actually made them worse at their primary ability.

    • In most campaigns and most levels of play, I’d argue that an attunement slot is more precious than a spell slot. It’s hard to say whether it’s a through-line trend, owing to the small number of data points. Wouldn’t be shocked if they did keep that kind of long-term investment of a resource as a design pattern, though.

    • Drow

      I have far more limited experience, but I can definitely see that, since there’s so few of them.

      I was about to express reservations about long-term investment as a game mechanic, until I realized that would make it possible to create a 5e-specific Weapons of Legacy, or maybe even Incarnum. Now, I’m intrigued.

  • Devin Brizendine

    1) I walked away from the Circle of Spores feeling like it was meant to be the Blight Druid comparison to the Oathbreaker Fallen/Anti-Paladin. I want to see it get some tweaks to play better, but it felt more like it’s intended to be a villain subclass. I don’t mind that but I thought PCs and NPCs can operate on different rules in 5e. I don’t see why we need NPC subclasses to create ideal big bads and memorable encounters.

    2) Brute didn’t really bother me, but it seems pretty middle-of-the-road as far as Fighter subclasses go. I’ve seen homebrew versions which give you additional damage, either directly sneak attack damage or something similar. I really want to see more new content for martial classes, especially Fighters, that makes me feel like I’m not just playing a different version of one of the already existing archetypes with changed out features, either new or renamed.

    3) The School of Invention was pretty great. Having been a big fan of Lei from the Dreaming Darkness trilogy, she instantly came to mind when I was reading the features. You’re essentially an Artificer but built for close combat. Some tweaking of the Arcanomechanical Armor needs to happen (like adding your Int modifier to your AC) to really separate this from the other combat casting schools, but I would be really surprised if this wasn’t in the next XGtE.

    • Shawn E.

      3) Agree! Reading that trilogy now. Just started book three.

      I commented below that the School of Invention might be the best Artificer class we have seen in 5e.

  • Episteme

    Given the timing, what’s the chance that these were part of the earlier XGTE rounds but didn’t end up going through the other UA cycles (either because they weren’t ready or because other subclasses stole their thunder), and the crew is putting them out now for perusal as a sort of addendum?

    • I doubt it. Considering how long they had to preview content in UA, including some subclasses coming out well over a year earlier, I’d say they declared a content freeze for XGTE a few months back, and this is the first of their new creations after that content freeze. I think we’re starting the long-long road to a putative XGTE 2.

  • Lilfut

    I adore the flavor of the Spore druid, I just wish the mechanics were handled better. We need a good disease/decay class.

  • Sporelord0179

    Mechanically spore druids suck hard for reasons you’d already said so I won’t parrot you. I’d accept Spore Druids as some kind of weird cult that the other circles don’t really like because of their views on undeath, if D&D cosmology wasn’t so unflinchingly clear that undeath=evil. If this was a game with a muddier cosmology like World of Darkness or something, I’d be more than fine with the fluff, but it doesn’t fit D&D.

    Brute is in every way a step backwards for D&D and the fact that this was made – even for a UA – makes me a little nervous. It is basically a champion fight with better damage and exists for the sake of existing. It’s nothing but power creep.

    I actually don’t like the school of invention. The flavour is a bit generic, it’s just “oooh, mad wizzzard”. Arcanomechanical Armor is a dull feature. It gives you resistance to the second rarest damage type in the game, locks you into a specific armour type and doesn’t really carry much in the way of feel or interest for me. Why can’t I have regular leather Arcanomechanical armour? It doesn’t actually provide any bonus AC compared to regular studded armour so why can’t I use it on medium or even heavy armour if I somehow have proficiency in them – a Dwarf Invention Wizard in half plate armour sounds great.
    I can’t think of a single instance where reckless casting is a viable alternative besides “everything’s gone horribly wrong, let’s go for a hail mary shot.” If I’m neck deep in trouble and reckless cast a 2nd level spell, I could want a damage spell like Scorching Ray or Shatter and get blur. For every time you roll a 10 and get to cast two great spell, you could just as likely get two spells that are irrelevant to the situation. False life and Jump are just as likely as Chromatic orb and Magic missile. In fact, some of the spells on the tables like darkness, gust of wind and the AoE damage spells centered on self can be detrimental to the party and there’s nothing in the wording of Reckless casting that says you can back out if you get spells that will endanger you and the party – in fact the name suggests that’s supposed to be a distinct possibility.
    Alchemical casting to me just seems like a much weaker version of the Lore Wizard’s core feature (which isn’t strictly bad on it’s own). Swapping between the five main damage types is situational and there’s a handful of monsters that resist all five of those types. Getting 2d10 force damage out of a 2nd level spell is good but it also strikes me as something that’s either weak or great.
    Prodigious inspiration isn’t as good as it sounds, feels more like a ribbon ability to me, because wizards can prepare quite a lot of spells anyway and in the games I’ve run myself I’ve never seen a situation where a wizard NEEDED a spell he didn’t have.
    Controlled Chaos is a great capstone, and would be potentially overpowered if it wasn’t for how likely it is for reckless casting to give you something useless for the situation you’re in.

    The school of invention as it stands leaves a lot to be desired for me. I’d like the reckless casting tables to be a little bit more evened out. I get it’s supposed to be random, but the spells are often fundamentally different. There’s a world of difference between levitate, darkness and scorching ray.

    • Sporelord0179

      Addendum of things I realised after ranting to a friend:
      When you gain spreading spores your halo of spores base damage is 9. That is enough to instantly kill any commoner. There are also no limits on the number of zombies the spore druid can have.
      The spore druid throws out the spore cloud, walks through town, slaughters the commoners, now has 30+ zombies under their command for an hour. I don’t need to say how horrible this is for simply running fights.

      This UA makes me nervous because it’s just so bad. The fact someone at WotC thought this was acceptable at any point means that someone thinks this is okay. Hopefully these classes get dropped like so many bad UAs have but these classes are just *so* egregious.

      Someone at WotC thought immunity to 3 common conditions, a damage type and *critical hits* was okay.

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