Unearthed Arcana – Heroes of Krynn

Apologies for the break last week, I’ve been ill!

The Dragonlance novels, and D&D adventures, all took place in the world of Krynn. Now that Wizards is finally addressing this missing setting for 5e (hey, the new novel line is important enough for a public lawsuit, so they’d better get their acts together soon…), it makes sense they’d release a playtest of some of the material for it.

Now, I’m a lot more at home with the Multiverse playtest packet they put out last year. That’s my jam. Dragonlance and Krynn aren’t places I’ve ever been too interested in. But I’d like to see what new ideas and rules they bring to the table.

The playtest packet includes one race, the Kender, one subclass, the Lunar Sorcerer, two backgrounds, the Knight of Solamnia and the Mage of High Sorcery, and a selection of feats that build off the backgrounds.

The Kender are Dragonlance halflings. That’s all I understand them as. Instead of having the luck ability in the same way as a halfling, they are lucky in that they find random items about their person – trinkets, adventuring equipment, a little cash, and so on.
They also have a taunt ability that looks fun and is pretty flavourful for how annoying I’ve always understood the race to be – it gives disadvantage to an opponent’s attack rolls, all of them.

The Lunar Magic sorcerer sounds like a lot of fun, but I’ve seen a lot of discussion over the last few days that it’s a pretty powerful build.
They get sacred flame as a bonus cantrip and the special ability that it can hit two adjacent targets at once instead of just one. This is similar to the Grave Domain cleric getting a special version of toll the dead. They can also switch around to different phases of the moon to get different bonus spells after a long rest – choosing from full moon, crescent moon, and new moon abilities (but not gibbous?). I live the variability of the subclass, and it has a similar flavour to the features of an Eladrin – actually, I’d love to play an Eladrin Lunar Sorcerer and see what kind of different combinations that throws up!
Later on, they get the ability to lower sorcery point cost on certain spells depending on school and which phase they’re in or spend sorcery points to switch phases quickly.

The backgrounds are also more powerful than those presented in the Player’s Handbook since they give normal-looking background features but also a feat on top. The knight background looks a lot like the noble and the mage looks like the acolyte. To get a better idea of the power difference, we’d need to examine the feats.

First of all, the mage feats!
Initiate of High Sorcery sees you pick a particular moon and gain bonus spells and cantrips based on that. The choice is between red moon, white moon, or black moon.
Following on from that, there are feats to further your arcane studies, based on robe colour – Adept of the Black Robes, Adept of the Red Robes, and Adept of the White Robes. In brief, black gets to spend Hit Dice to increase spell damage in certain scenarios, red gets to treat certain rolls of 9 or less as 10s a limited number of times, and white can create wards to lessen damage taken by allies by expending spell slots. There are alignment restrictions, but it looks like you could be an Initiate of High Sorcery and take the black moon option, then become an Adept of the White or Red Robes, if you really wanted to.

Knight feats!
Squire of Solamnia gives a character armour and weapon proficiencies they might be missing, advantage to avoid falling from a mount, and a way to give allies advantage on saving throws once per long rest. This feat also opens up three different feats – Knight of the Crown, Knight of the Rose and Knight of the Sword.
Knight of the Crown boost Strength or Dexterity by 1 and gives a way to throw allies advantage on attack rolls (that seems to replace a flanking mechanic if it’s in use, or creates it if not in use?), Knight of the Rose gives a boost Constitution or Charisma by 1 and throw temporary hitpoints at allies when initiative is rolled, and Knight of the Sword gives Intelligence or Wisdom or Charisma saving throw proficiency and a way to spend a Hit Die to up a failed save for the character or an ally once per long rest.

Bonus divine feats!
Divinely Favoured gives a character thaumaturgy and a 1st-level spell based on their alignment. It gives access to Divine Communication, which gives a character access to augury and commune and has a neat 1d4 long rests between free castings of them.

So, what’s the main takeaway? Alignment matters in some ways for Krynn at least (which might lead nicely into a Planescape revision for 5e…), backgrounds with access to feats seem fun and feel a bit like the free feats at character creation in 3rd edition, and I want to play a lunar sorcerer.
I think I agree with the feeling that this playtest packet at least ups the power level somewhat for low-level characters, but there are some nice flavorful moments packed in as well – lunar sorcerers with eyes that change phases with the moons in the sky, for one.

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