Unearthed Arcana: Martial Archetypes Breakdown

This week in Unearthed Arcana, Affleck & Damon present four new fighter archetypes: the Arcane Archer, the Knight, the Samurai, and the Sharpshooter. To talk about them, though, let’s first step back and talk about how the Player’s Handbook fighter archetypes are imagined on a different axis than any other set of subclasses. This has informed later subclass designs, and it makes today’s UA a challenging contrast.

Unearthed Arcana: Druid Circles and Wild Shape Breakdown

I guess if you’re going to call any class even obliquely harvest-holiday-themed, druid is a good one. Accordingly, this week’s Unearthed Arcana offers three new druid circles and a variant Wild Shape rule. Whatever else might be said, they took more risks with new mechanics this time than last week, and so even if I wind up disliking it (spoiler: I won’t), it’s useful as suggestions for what’s “in-bounds” for third-party design. Third-party designers get read the Riot Act for venturing too far outside the borders that Smith & Wesson Mearls & Crawford lay out in official releases, you know? Anyway, let’s get to it.

Oh, and in case you’re new around here, I have done some writing about druids before. The link points to the last article in the series, with directory links to the earlier ones.

Unearthed Arcana: Bard Colleges Breakdown

Welcome to Week 2 of November Madness (which might become Indefinite Madness, depending on how long they keep up with weekly UAs), in which the Dynamic Duo give us two new bard Colleges: Glamour and Whispers. These aren’t the first bard Colleges we’ve gotten from UA, either. I’ve also talked about the 5e bard class here in Tribality before, just as a baseline. Short version: bards needed more subclasses in a bad way, so I’m glad there’s been so much support.

Fey Weapons

By request from a reader, today’s article is about the magical weapons that the fey wield, or that the Archfey grant to their leal servants. This week should have returned to Domain Rulership, but I’m stalling on that for a week, just in case Mearls releases an Unearthed Arcana that is all about late-game play, how to spend filthy lucre at high levels, and domain play next week. Also, Colin did some great work with fey magic items in a recent EN5IDER article, so if you’re an EN5IDER patron, check it out!

D&D Volo’s Guide to Monsters Previews Collection

Volo’s Guide to Monsters, a new hardcover book of monsters for Dungeons & Dragons 5th Edition, is releasing very soon (November 15, 2016 or earlier in gaming stores). The book features new monsters for a Dungeon Master to unleash on his players, lore and lairs for classic monsters, and new playable races. Here are some previews to look at while you wait to get this book in your hands.

Unearthed Arcana: Encounter Building Breakdown

Huh, new UA today, and on what is for some of us a holiday. I guess WotC doesn’t take Indigenous Peoples’ Day off? Either that, or they decided it should be a gift-giving holiday. Anyway, today Mearls is tackling an alternate approach to encounter building. Overall, we see very little expansion or revision of DM-facing content, and especially not with something as bone-dry as encounter building.

6 Ways to Save Your Campaign from the Holidays

This week is Canadian Thanksgiving and my campaign is taking a week off. Halloween, U.S. Thanksgiving, Christmas and the New Year are all right around the corner too. Holidays are awesome, but they can create challenges for GMs running a scheduled campaign in the weeks at the end of the year. Today on the Campaign Trail I’m providing 6 ways to save your campaign from the holidays.

The Schemes of the Archfey, Part Two

Last time in my series of articles on the fey, I presented story hooks for the first five Archfey. Now I’m going back to that topic, with story hooks and interactions for the Green Man, the Night Collector, the Sea Hag, and the Thornweaver. Though three of the four are Unseelie, I’m still avoiding things like “go beat this Archfey to death,” because I figure that anything that obvious, you can handle on your own.