Dungeons & Dragons regularly releases new content for playtesting through its Unearthed Arcana, much to the delight of players who enjoy experimenting in their D&D campaigns. Today, another Unearthed Arcana document dropped, this one introducing new variant class ability, intended to either replace or improve upon the already existing class abilities.


Playtesting material for Dungeons & Dragons may or may not make it into the official rules; for now, it's intended for players to try it out and provide developers with feedback. The latest Unearthed Arcana is all about providing more versatility to characters, and every class has at least one piece of content for players to test.



Unearthed Arcana's variant class abilities offer the chance to make changes to otherwise static D&D rules, including learned spells, skills, and proficiencies. There's one introduced feature that can be applied to all classes, and that's the Proficiency Versatility feature: it allows players to switch out one of their skill proficiencies with another that their class offers, whenever they get an Ability Score Increase.


Rangers--often disparaged as the weakest of the 5th edition D&D classes--have perhaps the most content introduced in this Unearthed Arcana; the Natural Explorer and Favored Enemy features are both replaced with more useful variants (including the ability to cast Hunter's Mark at will), while Beastmasters can choose a Primal Beast of Air or Earth as their much more combat-effective companion. Spellcasters like Bards and Sorcerers also gain the ability to swap out learned spells that would otherwise remain permanent once per long rest.





Players looking for a little more excitement (and usefulness, at times) out of their D&D characters will surely make good use of this playtesting material. For spellcasters who learn spells permanently rather than prepare them daily, gameplay can get a little too routine with all the same spells all the time; the ability to replace them gives all those characters more versatility in different situations. They're not the only ones with noteworthy class updates, either--melee characters get plenty of attention too, with more options to improve unarmed combat and protect fellow party members.


Simply put, anybody with a D&D character can find something interesting to try out in this Unearthed Arcana. Wizards of the Coast is also issuing a survey later this month, which anyone with feedback about the new content can fill out when it goes live. Either way, it's good to see developers taking a look at some of the bigger character creation concerns that Dungeons & Dragons players have shared over the years.



Source: Unearthed Arcana