Greetings Nerdarchist, Nate the Nerdarch here back from a baby break (my son Elliot was born Oct 27th).
What would any sensible nerd do after such a break from the internet?
Well, one of the first things I did to get back on track was to visit one of my favorite sites. When I go there I am rewarded with a sweet piece of free content from Mike Mearls for D&D 5e. It gets better from there.
In just the first paragraph that describes what is in this free content we get several good pieces of news.
“Two new fighting styles for fighters, paladins, and rangers focus on close quarters combat, whether defending allies or unleashing deadly ranged attacks at nearby foes.
Both styles are handy for dungeon delving and for battles in the confined environments of the Underdark.
The Deep Stalker is a new ranger archetype, scouting out Underdark threats using a combination of cunning and magic.
Deep Stalkers use magic and other tricks to infiltrate Underdark settlements and spy on their inhabitants. After gathering intelligence on growing threats to the surface world, they engage in hit and run battles to eliminate those threats.
The shadow sorcerer is a creepy spellcaster who commands the power of darkness. Though not always native to the Underdark, these sorcerers are often drawn to the dismal gloom of the world below.
Finally, the Undying Light is a new warlock patron. By forging a compact with the energy of the Positive Plane, a warlock vows to bring light into the darkest reaches of the world…”
Want more? Read the rest here.
Free Content from Mike Mearls for D&D 5e | Lighting up the Underdark
Mike Mearls, you had me at the description of the article.
The mechanics are great while being very thematic (judging by my first read thru). Below are some of the things I want to highlight from the new archetypes and fighting styles.
The close quarter shooter makes me think that Mike Mearls has mind reading powers.
Many of us ranged fighters who don’t use crossbows needed a thing and this style is it.
Not having disadvantage when someone is in your face while ignoring cover is worth the +1 that is sacrificed when choosing this over the Archer fighting style found in the Player’s Handbook.
The Tunnel Fighter is the fighting style for defenders, especially at the lower levels where some creatures can be dropped in one or two attacks.
You won’t be spending your reaction to make opportunity attacks, and on top of that you can smack one of them twice because this fighting style lets you spend your reaction to hit a target that moves more than 5ft while in your reach.
You have to spend a bonus action to do this but I say it is a bonus action well spent.
The Deep Stalker is a ranger that does the guerrilla style, hit and run tactics, the best out of all of the ranger archetypes without front loading the class (Ambuscade).
They also get Darkvision of 90 ft which is a big plus if you want to shoot at people, with a chance of hitting them, in the dark.
Stalker’s Dodge is one of the best ways to spend your reaction on and it can be done every turn. Disadvantage is huge, especially against deadly foes with a power attack.Overall, a fantastic addition to Rangers.
When I read the quirks for shadow sorcerer I wanted all of them. It is a simple roleplaying ribbon but it is something I would like to see done with more of the strange supernatural classes, maybe as a possible backlash to twisting magical forces.
Anyway, I absolutely agree with Mike Mearls’ utilization of sorcery points in this new origin. It is nice to have powers linked to your spell power rather than having the powers linked to short and long rests.
The Undying Light’s optional flaws are funny while staying true to the powers. Seeing a warlock with healing powers helps me break the stigma that warlocks are 1 action away from the dark side.
The Undying Light is an excellent counterbalance to the rest of the darker patrons. One of the best things done for this class is having the phoenix like power of searing vengeance be a feature of the class at such a low level. I think if it was pushed back it would dull the impact of this fantastic ability.
Healing Light is a power that I think could have just used the paladin’s lay on hands. I don’t have an issue with reusing powers, especially when the power goes to the same destination.
Healing is healing. I am glad that this warlock archetype has it but I am not in favor of making extra mechanics when there are perfectly serviceable ones available.
Nerdarchy’s Videos Discussing the Free Content from Mike Mearls for D&D 5e | Lighting up the Underdark
If this sounds like something you want to check out, click the link at the top of the article. A big thank you to Mike Mearls and all of the other writers who keep the free content for D&D 5e flowing.
Until next time, Stay Nerdy
For more free content for D&D 5e written by Mike Mearls, and others, check out dnd.wizards.com