Unearthed Arcana: Subclasses Revisited

Sharing new playtest possibilities for the rogue, warlock, and wizard.

By Jeremy Crawford, Dan Dillon, Ben Petrisor, with Bill Benham, Adam Lee, Taymoor Rehman, and F. Wesley Schneider

Playtest Material

The material here is presented for playtesting and to spark your imagination. These game mechanics are in draft form, usable in your campaign but not refined by final game development and editing. They aren’t officially part of the game and aren’t permitted in D&D Adventurers League events.
If we decide to make this material official, it will be refined based on your feedback, and then it will appear in a D&D book.

Three subclasses have reappeared in Unearthed Arcana following player feedback. The Phantom updates the rogue subclass previously called the Revived; The Genie is a revised version of the Noble Genie warlock subclass; and Order of Scribes reimagines the artificer Archivist subclass for the wizard.

Rogue: Phantom

Many rogues walk a fine line between life and death, risking their own lives and taking the lives of others. Some even discover a mystical connection to death itself, as echoes of those who have died begin to cling to them. Phantom rogues may eventually become so immersed in negative energy they become like ghosts, making them highly prized within thieves’ guilds as information gatherers and spies.

At lower levels such rogues can borrow skills from the dead as ghostly presences share knowledge with them, making them proficient in one skill or tool of their choice. At higher levels the Phantom is able to snatch a token from a departing soul when a life ends in their presence. This sliver of life essence takes physical form as a soul trinket that gives advantage on death saving throws and Constitution saving throws. As an action, the rogue can destroy a soul trinket and ask one question of the spirit associated with it.

The Phantom can also cause deathly wailing as they nudge someone closer to the grave, damaging another nearby creature when they deal Sneak Attack damage to their target. At higher levels this ability deals the additional psychic damage to both the first and the second creature.

This rogue subclass eventually learns to phase partially into the realm of the dead, becoming like a ghost. While in this spectral form they can hover, have a flying speed of 10 feet, and attack rolls against them are made at disadvantage.

Warlock: the Genie

This warlock subclass has made a pact with a noble genie. Rare among their kind, such entities are rulers of vast fiefs on the Elemental Planes and they have great influence over lesser genies and elemental creatures. Noble genies are varied in their motivations but all are arrogant and wield power that rivals lesser deities. Each kind of genie (dao, djinni, efreeti, or marid) is associated with a particular element and their followers can choose from an expanded list of relevant spells. At higher levels the warlocks who make these pacts begin to take on the characteristics of their patron, gaining resistance to certain kinds of damage (bludgeoning for dao, thunder for djinni, fire for efreeti, or cold for marid). They can also gain a flying speed of 30 feet for 10 minutes as a bonus action.

The Genie subclass also receives a magical vessel as a gift from its patron, granting them a measure of the genie’s power. This tiny object can be used as a spellcasting focus for warlock spells, dealing extra damage equal to their proficiency bonus when they hit with an attack roll. While the warlock is touching the vessel, they can magically vanish and enter it. At higher levels they can invite up to five willing creatures to join them and everyone who remains within the vessel for at least 10 minutes gains the benefit of a short rest (adding additional hit points if they spend hit dice).

Warlocks who progress to high levels can entreat their patron to grant them a limited wish, fulfilling the traditional role of a genie in folklore. The warlock gains the effect of one spell of 6th level or lower from any class’s spell list without needing to meet the requirements of that spell, including costly components.

Wizard: Order of Scribes

It’s rare to see a wizard traveling without books and scrolls sprouting from their bags, and a wizard would go to great lengths to plumb an archive of ancient knowledge. The primary mission of a wizard subscribing to the Order of Scribes Arcane Tradition is to record magical discoveries in tomes and scrolls so that wizardry can flourish.

These wizards can create a writing quill that doesn’t require ink to function. The gold and time they must spend to copy a spell into their spellbook is halved when using this quill. At higher levels they can use it to transcribe one 1st or 2nd level spell with a casting time of one action from their spellbook to a scroll. Once in the scroll, the spell’s power is enhanced to one level higher than usual and they (but no-one else) can cast it by reading the scroll as an action.

While every wizard values their spellbook, an Order of Scribes wizard tries to turn theirs into a trusted companion by awakening an arcane sentience within it. This awakened spellbook can be used as a spellcasting focus and the caster can temporarily replace the damage type of one spell with another that appears within the same pages. Once per long rest they can also cast a ritual spell using that spell’s normal casting time.

At higher levels these wizards can conjure forth the mind of the awakened spellbook as a tiny spectral construct, which looks like a ghostly tome and can hear and see. They can cast wizard spells as if they were in the spectral mind’s space, instead of their own, a number of times each day. At higher levels while they are holding the book and its spectral mind is manifest, they can use an action to teleport and swap places with it.

If a high-level Order of Scribes wizard dies but at least one spell remains in their awakened spellbook, they can return to life one minute later within five feet of the book. They revive with one hit point and roll 3d6. The book then loses spells of their choice that have a combined spell level equal to that roll or higher. Short of returning them using a wish spell, the wizard is then incapable of casting those lost spells, even if they find them on a scroll or in another spellbook.

Access the new playtest options for the rogue, warlock, and wizard by downloading the PDF.



To see the full treasure trove of Unearthed Arcana articles, covering new classes and feats, conversions of rules from previous editions, and much more, visit the archive.