New UA! Which mean another frank as I read it review. So let’s go.
Bard: College of Spirts
“These bards seek the spirits of philosophers and stories beyond the marteial plane”
Huh, that’s a neat idea.
“They do this using gaming sets”
…. wat? *reads ahead* Ohh, they mean like a Ouija board. Okay, that’s a bit better than what I thought at first. I thought they were trying to find a way to force 3 dragon ante into being a thing. Instead of being gimmicky, this actually looks kinda cool
Level 3: Guiding Whispers: Free guidance cantrip? don’t mind if I do!
Level 3: Spiritual Focus: You get a role play item crucial to your class, which means it can be taken away and you lose the subclass abilities. But it can be something weird that you use to channel the voices.
Level 3: Tales from beyond. This ability was confusing the first time I read it, but I think I got it now. So you spend a BA to tell a story. This expends a BI, which you roll to see which story it is. This gives you a spell-like ability you can trigger with an action sometime before the next short rest. Some are for allies, some are for enemies. The more powerful ones are higher up, so you need to level and get a better BI die to unlock.
Normally, I don’t like random, but I think this does it well. None of the abilities are negative, and none are really game changing. If you get the tale that you need its going to feel great, but if you don’t you’ll still have some useful things.
Level 6 Spiritual Focus: Add a single d6 to a heal or damage spell. Wow. This makes bards a better leader AND a better striker.
Level 6 Spirit Session: Spend an hour to temporarily learn a spell with all sorts of limitations. It has to be of a level you can cast, equal or under your proficiency bonus, and you need to have a number of creatures to assist in the spell. Interestingly, this would be the first thing in 5e that makes a familiar useful in casting ritual magic. You know, like familiars are supposed to do.
Also, if you learn animate dead with this, you can use your undead servants to help you learn Animate dead the next day.
Looking at the spells, Divination and Necromancy are rarely game changing at low levels. Mostly, they’re problem solving. And this ability doesn’t scale fast enough to be a problem IMO.
My big concern is I want this to be more of a thing for other classes.
Level 14 Mystical Connection: Save on BI by using a free d6 to tell stories. They might get repetitive, but they’re the good ones!
Conclusion: This bard looks like fun. It’s got enough mechanics to keep it competitive and enough flavor to season the soup. And the flavor can go many ways. Have you ever wanted to play a character like Fozzie Bear in Muppet Treasure Island, who has someone living in his finger that only he can hear? Wanna play a secret agent who has a “Guy in the chair” whispering in his ear?” Done. Wanna check people’s horoscopes? Or roll to decide which way to go?
The flavor here facilitates all of that. And that just sounds fun.
“Your patron could be Acererak [Evil], Azalin [Evil], Lord Soth [Evil], Strahd[Evil], or some other ancient undead being.”
I’m starting to build a case about hating warlocks. And a big part of that is flot like this. Five examples. FIVE EXAMPLES, and all of them evil. This doesn’t season the soup, it salts the soup. One flavor. Evil.
Level 1 Spell List: This spell list is weird. I was expecting things like animate dead (which, yeah, should NEVER be a warlock spell, now that I think about it). But it looks more about being the undead threat, not making it or destroying it.
Level 1 Form of Dread: Temp HP, immune to fear, and a free fear like effect? Not bad. And it’s tied to PB, which is interesting. We don’t see enough of that.
Level 6 Grave touched: No need to eat drink or breathe. Nice undead features, there. Being able to turn an attack into necrotic is interesting, as it lets you bypass resistances, but I don’t see it being more than ribbons. Really thick ribbons, but ribbons nonetheless.
Level 10: Mortal Husk: Okay, Resistance is always good. Resistance that conditionally becomes immunity is better. Also, you’re occasionally a bomb. I can totally see the party making a play where they shoot the warlock for the boom. No save on the bomb, btws.
Level 14: Spirit Projection: Once per day, you jump out of your body and wreck face as a ghost. Enjoy.
As much as the flavor is focuses on evil undead, the actual flow looks fun. This is a self-contained warlock. Warlocks like Noble Djinn depend on the patron, but here, the warlock has been given powers and just does things himself. I like how it really focuses on the one ability and ties everything to that.
I think it’s a solid class, and I welcome it’s inclusion in a future book.
Another great set of classes of UA. I’m building a lot of hype for PHB2 or whatever it’ll be called. Can’t wait.