Thoughts on the LevelUp 5e Playtest X – Adept

I’m running a bit behind on these, so let’s see if I can catch up quick!

It’s another new class! Sort of.
The Adept replaces the Monk, since the latter has some weird connotations regarding monks and leans into some orientalist tropes. The Adept is a focussed unarmed fighter in all regards, using different fighting styles.

First of all, a quick few of notes.
The term ki that monks use in various ways is replaced by focus. Happy with that.
Second, the exertion mechanic that powered a lot of the fighter abilities is back. Makes sense.
Last, the archetypes are missing. So whilst I know that the monk I’d be familiar with from 5e and previously is still around (but what powers will it take from previous archetypes?), there’s also an Olympian athlete and a brawler that I have no clue about. That’s less than useful for a playtest.

Right, on to the rest. You all know the drill by now.

Things that stay the same up to level 10:
Martial Arts at level 1, Ki at level 2 (now renamed Exertion Focus, though there’s some caveats), Adept Tradition at levels 3 and 6, ASI at levels 4 and 8, and Extra Attack at level 5.
Things that are gone (lots!):
Unarmoured Defence is gone (but replaced with Adroit Defence), Unarmoured Movement (partially folded into Exploration Knacks), and Deflect Missiles, Slow Fall, Stunning Strike, Ki-empowered Strikes, Stillness of Mind and Purity of Body all get folded in to Focus Features.

So what new stuff are we getting instead?
At character creation (!), we can also choose Perception as a trained skill, at level 1 we get the previously mentioned Adroit Defence, at level 2 we get Manoeuvres and Exploration Knacks, then Battlefield Etiquette at level 3 and Focus Features at level 3 and every level after, Bonus Exertion at level 4, and Empty Mind at level 7.

So, adding Perception makes perfect sense. Next.

Adroit Defence gives a choice between Unarmoured Defence per the Player’s Handbook or Brutal Defence which lets an Adept use their Strength modifier for Armour Class whilst wearing light armour, and allows the bonus movement Exploration Knack even in light armour.

Combat Manoeuvres available come from the Mirror’s Glint, Rapid Current, Razor’s Edge and Unending Wheel flavours. Adepts have a +1 DC modifier for their Manoeuvre Save DCs, which is pretty cool.

Exploration Knacks all make a lot of sense for this kind of character.
One option that replaces the Unarmoured Movement can be taken multiple times, so a character could get the +30 ft. speed boost cap from the Monk class as early as 6th level, rather than 18th. By 10th level, that could be a +50 ft. movement speed.
Others let the character use Dexterity in place of Strength for Athletics checks, and Strength in place of Dexterity for Acrobatics checks (both cool options), and temporary use of the spells spider climb or water walk.

Battlefield Etiquette mean that after fighting against or beside a creature for one encounter, future encounters offer advantage on Charisma checks against it. I assume this is useful for bargaining with NPCs mostly, but it’s interesting.

Focus Features are the mainstay of the class.
Some have level or proficiency requirements so that the features removed from the monk are available here in more or less the right timing (Slow Fall could be taken a level earlier, but then you’d miss out on Deflect Missiles).
They all seem pretty fun. Deflect Magic at level 9 could lead to some fun interactions, and the Hook Sword Dance gives a dual-wielder of shortswords reach and potential for bonus damage. It’s also a fun way to add in unusual weapons with the Weapon Skill feature.

Bonus Exertion adds more exertion to the pool. Simple as.

Empty Mind is a state entered by spending exertion and lasts for an hour. For the duration, an adept has advantage on saves against enchantment spells, resistance to psychic damage, and Insight checks against them have disadvantage.

And that’s the adept. Short, sadly lacking for the archetypes so not much use to test past level 2. I’d like to see the archetypes please.

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