This post is a simple index of WotC Unearthed Arcana articles.
“You can think of the material presented in this series as similar to the first wave of the fifth edition playtest. These game mechanics are in draft form, usable in your campaign but not fully tempered by playtests and design iterations. They are highly volatile and might be unstable; if you use them, be ready to rule on any issues that come up. They’re written in pencil, not ink.” As of April 2016, new Unearthed Arcana materials appears once every two months. Currently we are seeing several per month.
- UA-01 Eberron (02 February 2015; Mike Mearls). As promised, the Unearthed Arcana article series on the official D&D website has launched! The first in a monthly series, an article by Mike Mearls takes a look at the Eberron campaign setting, with rules to help you convert your Eberron campaign to D&D 5th Edition. So, what do you get? A 6 page PDF which includes new races – Changeling and Warforged, the Artificer wizard tradition, action points, and dragonmarks.
- UA-02 When Armies Clash (02 March 2015; Mike Mearls). The D&D combat rules in the Player’s Handbook are designed to model conflict between small groups—an adventuring party of perhaps three to six characters against monster groups that rarely exceed a dozen creatures. Combat on this scale keeps the focus squarely on the adventurers. In some D&D campaigns, though, the story might hinge on battles involving dozens or hundreds of monsters and warriors. In this second installment of Unearthed Arcana, we build on the standard combat rules to model conflict on a much larger scale, allowing players and DMs to control whole armies. At the same time, these rules for mass combat allow individual adventurers to lead an army’s charge against an enemy regiment, rally dispirited soldiers to rejoin the fray, or defeat powerful enemy monsters or leaders.
- UA-03 Modifying Classes (April 2015; Rodney Thompson). WotC’s Rodney Thompson takes a look at how to customize and modify character classes in the latest Unearthed Arcana article, including an example of a spell-less ranger similar to Lord of the Rings’ Strider (an often asked-for class option). There are also notes about each of the other classes, discussing what to be careful about changing.
- UA-04 Waterborne Adventures (04 May 2015; Mike Mearls). The new character options presented in this month’s Unearthed Arcana showcase a simple design approach to adventure on the high seas. These rules include new options for the Fighting Style, Roguish Archetype, and Sorcerous Origin class features, as well as a playable minotaur race from Dragonlance’s world of Krynn. Created to be specifically useful for nautical D&D campaigns, these rules are general enough that they can be useful in any campaign.
- UA-05 Variant Rules (08 June 2015; Mike Mearls). The latest Unearthed Arcana article by Mike Mearls presents variant rules for your game, including players making all rolls, a vitality variant for hit points, and custom alignments.
- UA-06 Awakened Mystic (06 July 2015; Mike Mearls). This month, Unearthed Arcana goes big with a look at the first draft of psionics rules for fifth edition D&D. This article provides a quick overview of how psionics works and presents a new class – the mystic. Similar to how the cleric represents a wide variety of divine magic users, the mystic encapsulates a variety of characters who wield psionic power.
- UA-07 Modern Magic (03 August 2015; Dan Hemick). A few months ago, Daniel Helmick described his adaptation for d20 Modern in a Behind the Screens article. He expanded on the rules for using firearms and explosives in the Dungeon Master’s Guide. Now, what if we extended the D&D rules to cover a campaign not only touched by, but actually set in a modern era? The newest iteration of D&D features various archetypes, traditions, domains, and other options for the base classes, all of which present opportunities for customization. With that in mind, this article presents new rules for expanding the repertoire of spellcasting characters in a modern setting.
- UA-08 Ranger (09 September 2015; Mike Mearls). This installment of Unearthed Arcana presents a revised design of the ranger that builds on the class’s unique traits, creating a new set of class features for 1st level to 5th level. These features are designed to make the ranger feel distinct and interesting while still remaining true to its identity within the game.
- UA-09 Prestige Classes & Rune Magic (05 October 2015; Mike Mearls). Prestige classes build on the game’s broad range of basic options to represent specialized options and unique training. The first of those specialized options for fifth edition D&D is the rune scribe—a character who masters ancient sigils that embody the fundamental magic of creation.
- UA-10 Light, Dark and Underdark (02 November 2015; Mike Mearls). Two new fighting styles for fighters, paladins, and rangers; the Deep Stalker ranger archetype; the shadow sorcerer; and the warlock pact of the Undying Light all offer exciting options for adventuring in the endless gloom of the Underdark.
- UA-11 That Old Black Magic (07 December 2015; Mike Mearls). Taking a new look at the tiefling race, this article breaks down the Player’s Handbook tiefling into a modular variant, allowing players to create tiefling characters tied to either a diabolic or a demonic ancestry. Additionally, a new suite of conjuration spells allows casters to call forth demons to do their bidding.
- UA-12 Kits of Old (04 January 2016; Mike Mearls). This month, Unearthed Arcana converts a few of the more popular kits from that era to new class options for the bard and fighter—and wants to know what other classic kits you’d like to see converted to fifth edition.
- UA-13 Psionics and the Mystic – Take Two (01 February 2016; Mike Mearls). This month, Unearthed Arcana returns to the mystic character class and the rules for psionics.
- UA-14 Gothic Heroes (04 April 2016; Mike Mearls). This month, Unearthed Arcana takes a look at a few new character options appropriate to gothic horror. The revenant subrace provides an interesting way to bring a character back from the dead—a useful option if you’ve lost a character in the mists of Barovia. The Monster Hunter and the Inquisitive are two new archetypes for the fighter and rogue, respectively, well suited to the challenges of Ravenloft or any other gothic horror campaign.
- UA-15 Feats (06 Jun 2016; Mike Mearls with Jeremy Crawford) Based on feedback from our surveys and a number of requests on Twitter, this month’s Unearthed Arcana introduces new feats for fifth edition D&D. In addition to those new feats, this instalment also talks about feat design and the place of feats in the game. Using design examples, we highlight what we want new feats to accomplish—and what they need to avoid, so as to not slow things down or interfere with the DM’s ability to run the game.
- UA-16 The Faithful (01 August 2016; Mike Mearls with Jeremy Crawford) This month, Unearthed Arcana presents two new options that allow arcane casters to express their faith in the gods. For warlock characters, the Pact of the Seeker defines a bond to a mysterious, inscrutable deity dedicated to gathering knowledge and lore. For wizards, the Theurgy arcane tradition creates a magic-user whose arcane instruction is guided by the teachings of a deity, and who gains the benefits of a divine domain.
- UA-17 The Ranger, revised (12 September 2016, Mike Mearls) Over the past year, you’ve seen us try a number of new approaches to the ranger, all aimed at addressing the class’s high levels of player dissatisfaction and its ranking as D&D’s weakest class by a significant margin. Those two factors combined to put us on the path to this revision. Though the revised ranger retains many of the elements of the existing class, a lot has changed, so it’s best to simply dig into the new material to get a sense of how it feels. But at the same time, the release of this revision gives us a chance to talk about how a revised class can best be implemented as part of the D&D game—and how the game will evolve in the future.
- UA-18 Encounter Building (10 October 2016, Mike Mearls) This edition of Unearthed Arcana introduces an alternative set of encounter-building guidelines for D&D. Though this approach uses the same basic math underlying the encounter system presented in the Dungeon Master’s Guide, it makes a few adjustments to how it presents that math to produce a more flexible system. These guidelines will be of interest to DMs who want to emphasize combat in their games, who want to ensure that a foe isn’t too deadly for a specific group of characters, and who want to understand the relationship between a character’s level and a monster’s challenge rating.
- UA-19 Barbarians Primal Paths (7 November 2016, Mike Mearls and Jeremy Crawford) Barbarians receive new Primal Path options in today’s Unearthed Arcana. But that’s not all. We have a bunch of D&D content for you to playtest, discuss, and mull over. We have enough material, in fact, that we will be releasing Unearthed Arcana multiple times a month for the next few months. Look for the material on Mondays, and get ready to answer surveys about what you see here. We’ll take the things you love and refine them, and we’ll take the things you don’t like and either toss them out or rebuild them. Either way, your feedback will be invaluable.
- UA 20 Bard: Bard Colleges (14 November 2016, Mike Mearls and Jeremy Crawford)
Bards receive new Bard College options in this week’s Unearthed Arcana. The College of Glamour and the College of Whispers are ready for their debut! We invite you to read their descriptions, make characters with them, and see whether they strike your fancy.
- UA 21 Cleric : Divine Domains (21 November 2016, Mike Mearls and Jeremy Crawford)
Clerics are blessed with new Divine Domain options in this week’s Unearthed Arcana: the domains of the Forge, the Grave, and Protection. We invite you to read their descriptions, make characters with them, and see whether you like them.
- UA 22 Druid Circles and Wild Shape (28 November 2016, Mike Mearls and Jeremy Crawford)
New options sprout for the druid this week: three new Druid Circle options and an optional rule for gaining different beast shapes for Wild Shape. We invite you to read the options’ descriptions, make characters with them, and see whether you like them.
- UA 23 Monk and Monastic Traditions (12 December 2016, Mike Mearls and Jeremy Crawford).
Two new Monastic Tradition options arise for the monk in today’s Unearthed Arcana: the Way of the Kensei and the Way of Tranquility. We invite you to read the options’ descriptions, make characters with them, and see whether you like them.
- UA 24 Fighter: Martial Archetypes (05 December 2016, Mike Mearls and Jeremy Crawford)
The fighter faces four new Martial Archetype options this week: Arcane Archer, Knight, Samurai, and Sharpshooter. We invite you to read the options’ descriptions, make characters with them, and see whether you like them.
- UA 25 Paladin: Sacred Oaths (19 December 2016, Mike Mearls and Jeremy Crawford)
Paladins have two new Sacred Oath options to ponder in today’s Unearthed Arcana: the Oath of Conquest and the Oath of Treachery. We invite you to read the options’ descriptions, make characters with them, and see whether you like them. Next time we’ll provide a survey so that you can let us know what you think.
- UA 26 Artificer (9 January 2017, Mike Mearls and Jeremy Crawford)
Unearthed Arcana greets 2017 with a new character class: the artificer, a master of magical invention. In a previous installment of Unearthed Arcana, we experimented with the artificer as a subclass of the wizard. Now the artificer stands on its own, based on the feedback we received about the previous experiment. Give the new class a read, try it out in play, and let us know what you think in the survey we’ll provide next week.
- UA 27 Ranger and Rogue (16 January 2017, Mike Mearls and Jeremy Crawford)
Two classes—the ranger and the rogue—discover new playtest possibilities this week. The ranger receives two Ranger Archetype options: the Horizon Walker and the Primeval Guardian, both of which work with the Player’s Handbook ranger and the Unearthed Arcana ranger. The rogue receives one Roguish Archetype option: the Scout, which joins the other options the rogue has gained in Unearthed Arcana.
- UA 28 Sorcerer (6 February 2017, Mike Mearls and Jeremy Crawford)
The sorcerer unearths new magical possibilities this week. The class receives four playtest options for the Sorcerous Origin feature: Favored Soul, Phoenix Sorcery, Sea Sorcery, and Stone Sorcery.
Give the new options a read, try them out in play, and let us know what you think in the survey we’ll provide next week.
- UA 29 Warlock and Wizard (13 February 2017, Mike Mearls and Jeremy Crawford)
The warlock and the wizard reach new arcane horizons this week. The warlock receives two playtest options for the Otherworldly Patron feature: the Hexblade and the Raven Queen. That class also gets a collection of playtest options for its Eldritch Invocations feature. Meanwhile, the wizard receives a playtest option for the Arcane Tradition feature: Lore Mastery.
- UA 30 Mass Combat (21 February 2017, Mike Mearls and Jeremy Crawford)
This week Unearthed Arcana switches gears, going from character options to a rules option for the DM: mass combat. We’ve touched on mass combat before in this column and have created these new rules after receiving your feedback. Please give the new rules a read, try them out in play, and let us know what you think in the survey we’ll provide in the next installment of Unearthed Arcana.
- UA 31 Traps Revisited (27 February 2017, Mike Mearls and Jeremy Crawford)
Traps—how to design and survive them—are the focus of this week’s Unearthed Arcana, which expands on the trap rules in the Dungeon Master’s Guide. Please give the new rules and traps a read, try them out in play, and let us know what you think in the survey we’ll provide in the next installment of Unearthed Arcana, which will be on Monday, March 13.
- UA 32 The Mystic Class (13 March 2017, Mike Mearls and Jeremy Crawford)
The mystic class, a master of psionics, has arrived in its entirety for you to try in your D&D games. Thanks to your playtest feedback on the class’s previous two versions, the class now goes to level 20, has six subclasses, and can choose from many new psionic disciplines and talents. Explore the material here—there’s a lot of it—and let us know what you think in the survey we release in the next installment of Unearthed Arcana.
- UA 33 Wizard Revisited (20 March 2017, Mike Mearls and Jeremy Crawford)
After releasing the 28-page mystic last week, we have a short Unearthed Arcana installment this week: two Arcane Tradition options for the wizard. The Theurgy tradition has appeared in Unearthed Arcana before, but this time we’d like to gather playtest feedback on it. War Magic is an option we’re exploring after reading your feedback on Lore Mastery and seeing interest in a war mage option.
- UA 34 A Trio of Subclasses (27 March 2017, Mike Mearls and Jeremy Crawford)
Three classes each receive a playtest option this week. The monk gets the Way of the Drunken Master. The paladin gets the Oath of Redemption. And the ranger gets the Monster Slayer, a reimagining of the Monster Hunter that we previously released for the fighter.
- UA 35 Starter Spells (03 April 2017, Mike Mearls and Jeremy Crawford)
New spells have been unearthed this week, a collection of cantrips and 1st-level spells for characters to choose from at the start of their spellcasting careers and beyond. We invite you to read these spells, give them a try in play, and let us know what you think in the survey we release in the next installment of Unearthed Arcana.
- UA 36 Downtime (10 April 2017, Mike Mearls and Jeremy Crawford)
Sometimes the weeks between adventures are as eventful as the time on an adventure. This installment of Unearthed Arcana explores that in-between time by offering new and revised downtime activities for DMs to playtest in their campaigns. We invite you to read these options, give them a try in play, and let us know what you think in the survey we release in the next installment of Unearthed Arcana.
- UA 37 Feats for Skills (17 April 2017, Mike Mearls and Jeremy Crawford)
This week we introduce new feats to playtest. Each of these feats makes you better at one of the game’s eighteen skills. We invite you to read them, give them a try in play, and let us know what you think in the survey we release in the next installment of Unearthed Arcana.
- UA 38 Feats for Races (24 April 2017, Mike Mearls and Jeremy Crawford)
Today we’re offering another batch of feats to playtest. This time, the feats are associated with the races in the Player’s Handbook. We invite you to read them, give them a try in play, and let us know what you think in the survey we release in the next installment of Unearthed Arcana.
- UA 39 Revised Subclasses (01 May 2017, Mike Mearls and Jeremy Crawford)
Last week, we reached the end of a series of weekly Unearthed Arcana installments, which came out for several months. Today Unearthed Arcana returns to being monthly, appearing on the first or second Monday of a month. To kick things off, we look back at five of the subclasses from the recent series: the barbarian’s Path of the Ancestral Guardian, the bard’s College of Swords, the fighter’s Arcane Archer, the monk’s Way of the Kensei, and the sorcerer’s Favored Soul.
Each of these subclasses was popular in the surveys you filled out, but each one also included things that you wanted to see changed. We examined the survey answers that thousands of you provided, and we revised the subclasses based on your feedback. The results are now here for you to see. We’re also tinkering with other subclasses from the previous series, but we thought these five subclasses would be particularly interesting for you to revisit. Next week, we’ll release a survey so that you can let us know what you think.
The weekly series generated tons of feedback from you, for which we are very grateful. The cleric’s Forge Domain ended up being the most popular thing we released, and the fighter’s Sharpshooter subclass was, by far, the least popular. The most satisfying options—things that were liked by at least 70 percent of you—have a good chance of appearing in future D&D books, after being revised and polished. Thanks, again, for sharing your thoughts on Unearthed Arcana and trying the material out in play!
- 📘 Unearthed Arcana: The Artificer Class (5e) [DM’s Guild]
📘 Unearthed Arcana: The Mystic Class (5e) [DM’s Guild]
- UA 40 Revised Class Options (06 May 2017, Mike Mearls and Jeremy Crawford)
Part of the fun of playtesting is seeing how feedback and play can push a design in new directions. In this month’s Unearthed Arcana, we revisit class material that appeared in previous installments: four subclasses for various classes, along with Eldritch Invocations for the warlock. This material was all popular, and the revisions to it were driven by feedback that thousands of you provided in surveys.
The updated subclasses are the druid’s Circle of the Shepherd, the fighter’s Cavalier, the paladin’s Oath of Conquest, and the warlock’s Celestial (formerly known as the Undying Light).
One of the main pieces of feedback we got about the Eldritch Invocations is that most players didn’t want them exclusive to particular Otherworldly Patron options, so we’ve opened them up to more warlocks, tweaked them, and cut the least popular ones.
- UA 41 Greyhawk Initiative (10 Jul 2017, Mike Mearls)
As anyone who’s been playing Dungeons & Dragons long enough knows, there’s more than one way to get into a fight.
Mike Mearls introduces an alternative initiative system, inspired by AD&D and the journey to Lake Geneva, Wisconsin—the birthplace of D&D—for Gary Con 2017. While the initiative rules in fifth edition D&D are great for keeping the action moving and being easy to use at the table, the Greyhawk initiative variant takes a different approach. These rules add complexity, but with the goal of introducing more drama to combat.
- UA 42 Three-Pillar Experience (07 Aug 2017, Mike Mearls)
Three pillars of adventuring make up the D&D game: exploration, social interaction, and combat. But when it comes to earning experience, the combat pillar often supports most of the game’s weight.
With all three pillars in mind, Mike Mearls presents an alternative system for awarding experience points, offering a streamlined XP process based in equal part on defeating monsters, exploring dangerous sites to claim the magic and wealth found there, and interacting with NPCs to shape the flow of the campaign.
- UA 43 Race Options: Eladrin and Gith (11 Sep 2017, Mike Mearls and Jeremy Crawford)
Two race options debut in this month’s Unearthed Arcana: eladrin (an elf subrace) and gith. This eladrin is an alternative to the version of the subrace that appears in the Dungeon Master’s Guide.
- UA 44 Fiendish Options (09 Oct 2017, Mike Mearls and Jeremy Crawford)
In time for the lengthening shadows of autumn, we present a collection of fiendish options for you to playtest: new subraces for tieflings, ways to customize diabolical cults, and demonic boons that wicked NPCs can receive from the denizens of the Abyss.
- UA 45 Elf Subraces (13 Nov 2017, Mike Mearls and Jeremy Crawford)
After the positive response to the eladrin a couple of months ago in Unearthed Arcana, we decided to explore four more elf subraces: avariel (winged elves), grugach (the wild elves of Greyhawk), sea elves, and shadar-kai (deathly servants of the Raven Queen).
📘 Unearthed Arcana material formatted like the Player’s Handbook.
Codex – Unearthed Arcana.pdf