Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Unearthed Arcana and Freeport, Part 6

As many of you already know, I periodically review "Unearthed Arcana" articles with an eye towards using this material with Freeport: The City of Adventure. (If this is your first time seeing one of my UA reviews, see the appendix at the end of this column for links to past installments.) This time, I'm reviewing columns from May to September, 2017.

Unearthed Arcana Update (5/25/2017): This short piece explains the R&D group's process for further playtesting for the artificer and mystic, two new classes that were introduced (and revised) in previous UA columns.

Revised Class Options (6/5/2017): This article presents four subclasses that have been revised based on feedback about their earlier appearances in UA: Circle of the Shepherd for the druid (11/28/2016); Cavalier for the fighter (1/4/2016); Oath of Conquest for the paladin (12/19/2016); and the Celestial (formerly The Undying Light) for warlock (11/2/2015). It also updates past eldritch invocations (2/13/2017). All remain just as suitable for Freeport as they were before.

Greyhawk Initiative (7/10/2017): This document provides variant rules for initiative, in which characters roll dice for initiative determined by the type of action(s) they wish to take that round. These rules add more drama and unpredictability to combat, at the cost of a bit more complexity. Some groups may find that added chaos fits in well with Freeport's rough-and-tumble style, while others may find the setting to be more than sufficiently unpredictable already.

Three-Pillar Experience (8/7/2017): This alternate system for XP focuses on all three of the games's pillars: exploration, social interaction, and combat. Inspired in part by the milestone system of awarding XP, it also simplifies the tracking of XP, and gives the DM more control over the rate of advancement. This system is no better or worse than the standard rules or the optional milestone rules, simply different, and as such, is just as suitable for Freeport as either of those methods. However, if you feel that exploration and social interaction get short shrift when it comes to XP awards, this system may appeal to you.

Race Options: Eladrin and Gith (9/11/2017): This article presents a revision to the eladrin subrace that appeared in the Dungeon Master's Guide. This version plays up the eladrin's mercurial nature by tying its use of racial cantrips to emotional states associated with the four seasons. As an elf subrace (albeit a rare one), eladrin are suitable for characters from Rolland.

This installment also presents the gith races--githyanki and githzerai--as playable PC races. While nearly any race can be justified in visiting the City of Adventure, gith have never appeared in any Freeport products because they have never been Open Game Content. (On the other hand, none of the UA series is open content, either, so DMs are perfectly free to use gith in their home games.) In the World of Freeport, the usual origin of psionic characters is Naranjan (Mindshadows) rather than extraplanar races.


For ease of reference, I've compiled a list of all my previous columns discussing running D&D Fifth Edition games set in Freeport.

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