So, first things first. The second One D&D UA, Expert Classes, reverts the rules for critical hits to the 2014 Players handbook rules we all know and love. Or, at least we like them better than the new rules that made it so only melee attacks by PCs could deal critical damage. That was lame and sad, and it seems like they’ve got the message. Hopefully that bodes well for WotC’s responsiveness in this process!
For One D&D it looks like classes are being organized into class groups. This second UA addresses what are now called the expert classes: Bard, Ranger and Rogue. Artificer is also and expert. Keep your eyes open that in a later UA. From there, we have classes and subclasses, which you are likely already familiar with if you’re playing 5e.
One big change affecting all classes is that now feats are the default feature instead of taking an ability score increase. They come at level 4, 8, 12, 16 and 19. The feat/ASI that moved to 19 went there to make room for an Epic Boon. The change isn’t that big, though because now an ability score increase is one of the possible feats. That said, I like this focus on taking optional abilities over just increasing the raw power of your character. Subclass features now come at levels 6, 10 and 14.
One D&D classes so far:
I’m not going to break down all the differences between the old classes and the new classes, but I’ll hit the highlights for each class:
Bard Expert Class
- At level 1 you take expertise in two of your skill proficiencies and have spellcasting ability.
- Bardic Inspiration can now heal.
- Songs of Restoration, which gives you specific healing/buffing spells at certain levels seems to have replaced Song of Rest.
- You get Jack of All Trades at level 5 instead of level 2, but is otherwise unchanged.
- No more Countercharm.
- At 7th level, Font of Bardic Inspiration gives you back all of your uses on a short rest.
- At 9th level, Song of Rest is out and bards now gain expertise, instead of at level 10 as they previously did
- Level 10 now grants a subclass feature and nothing else.
- Magical Secrets now comes at level 11 and 18.
- Superior Bardic Inspiration is now at level 18.
Ranger Expert Class
- At level 1 you take expertise in two of your skill proficiencies and have spellcasting ability. No more Natural Explorer.
- No more Primeval Awareness.
- Favored Enemy now gives you the Hunter’s Mark spell, without the need to concentrate. None of the text of the old feature remains.
- At 7th level, rangers now get the Roving feature, giving them an addition 10 feet of walking speed, and climbing and swimming speeds equal to their walking speed.
- Another dose of Expertise at 9th level.
- No more Hide in Plain Sight.
- At 11th level, Tireless grants the ranger Temporary Hit Points after any rest, and short rests can remove a level of exhaustion.
- At 13th level, you can expend a spell slot to become invisible for one turn, thanks to Nature’s Veil.
- At 15th level, you get 30 feet of blindsight.
- Foe Slayer now comes at level 18, and upgrades the Hunter’s Mark die to a d10.
Rogue Expert Class
- 6th level now grants an additional sublcass feature.
- Rogues gain Expertise at 7th level instead of 6th.
- You gotta get all the way up to level 9 for that Evasion.
- At level 13, Subtle Strikes bumps a subclass feature. The new feature grants advantage on attack rolls against creatures within 5 feet of an ally.
- No more Blindsense at level 14. Now you get a subclass feature.
- Slippery Mind stays at level 15, but grants advantage on Charisma saving throws as well as Wisdom.
- Stroke of Luck moved to level 18, making room for the Epic Boon. The feature now turns the dice roll into a 20, so I guess that’s a free crit, no?