RPGBOT.Podcast Episode 12 – Unearthed Arcana: Travelers of the Multiverse

Show Notes

In this episode of the RPGBOT.Podcast, we discuss the recently-released Unearthed Arcana: Travelers of the Multiverse article. We look at the mechanics, discuss things from an optimization perspective, and discuss the implications for next year’s product releases.

Special thanks to @Nack287 for this week’s question of the week.

Materials Referenced in this Episode


Randall  00:23

Welcome to the RPGBOT.Podcast. I’m Randall James, your chili cook off champion. With me is Tyler Kamstra

Tyler  00:29

Hi everybody,

Randall  00:30

and Random Powell.

Random  00:32

Good evening.

Randall  00:33

Welcome, welcome. Welcome to Episode 12, the 13th episode of the RPGBOT.Podcast. Tyler, what are we gonna do tonight?

Tyler  00:41

Well, today we’ve got a very exciting article, Unearthed Arcana: Travelers of the Multiverse was released recently, and we’re gonna take some time to explore it and find some cool stuff. And we’re gonna talk about the exciting things that we can expect from D&D next year.

Randall  00:58

Awesome, awesome. I think it makes sense. So let’s kind of set the stage for what this Unearthed Arcana really is. So travelers at the multiverse, they’re introducing six new playable races. And I think we’re gonna dive into each one, but maybe to go from the top, I’ll just read kind of the content that they gave us. We have the astral elf, an elf denizen of the astral plane who is likely thousands of years old. The autognome, a mechanical gnome gifted with free will. Is it Giff or Giff? I always feel like we have this argument all the time.

Tyler  01:30


Random  01:31

So do they.

Tyler  01:33

There’s a paragraph in there that says they’re divided 50/50 on which one is correct.

Randall  01:38

Okay, I hear the person who created it named it giff. So we’re gonna go with giff. A hippo-headed being of impressive size. How can you… Okay, is it an impressively small size or impressively large size? Because you can have a hippo head and then like a mouse body. That’s impressive! Imagine that upper neck strength, like, that’s awesome. Okay, uh, hadozee?

Random  02:02

I’ve always pronounced it hadozee?

Randall  02:03


Random  02:04

and I say “always” because they were actually reprinted in a 3.5 book, which I’ll talk about later.

Randall  02:09

Okay, awesome. I’m realizing now that me volunteering to read the strange names wasn’t our best move. We’re gonna keep going with it. A highly adaptive simian being who uses wing-like membranes to glide.

Tyler  02:23

They sure do.

Randall  02:25

No, sorry. I feel like I went into, like, a Christopher Walken for one second. A highly adaptive simian being, uses’s wing-like membranes to glide. The plasmoid, an amoeba-like being. And, uh, thri-kreen?

Tyler  02:41

I think so.

Randall  02:43

A six-limbed telepathic insectoid. Wow.

Random  02:48

Yeah, there’s a lot to unpack here. And so some of these I’ve actually experienced as characters or in books. Thri-kreen in particular, is a favorite from previous editions, where monks actually cared how many attacks you got to make based on your body instead of just like, the way that monks work, which they don’t work nearly as well for monks now. But we’ll get to that later.

Tyler  03:18

Yeah. So for people who’ve been playing D&D Long enough to recommend… to recognize settings that haven’t made it made it into fifth edition yet, a lot of these races might look familiar and the words Spelljammer and Dark Sun are going to come up a whole bunch in this episode. We’ll… we’ll go into those once we’ve gone through the races and the mechanics and stuff.

Randall  03:43

Okay, let’s, let’s debate that right quick. Does it make sense maybe we lay out like what each of those settings are and then when we get to the character we can say like yeah, this is from this space.

Tyler  03:52

Yeah, okay. So quick touch on the settings. So I believe the settings that these races came from originated in second edition, which was kind of peak, like… uh, company before Wizards of the Coast, someone…

Random  04:09


Tyler  04:10

TSR, thank you. Oh my goodness. It was peak TSR coming up with cool settings, so that’s that’s when we got things like Dragonlance and Ravenloft and Spelljammer, Birthrite, Dark Sun. Like, all those cool iconic settings that have been around since forever all came out of second edition. So the races in this Unearthed Arcana all come from Spelljammer with the exception of the Thri-Krin, which comes from Dark Sun. Spelljammer is basically D&D in space, and Dark Sun is basically D&D But Mad Max.

Randall  04:47

Okay, good. Good. Good summaries. So D&D in space, as in there’s literal, like, interstellar travel or is it more using like the, the planar travel idea that we’re more used to in modern day.

Random  05:02

No, it’s literal interstellar travel. Like, Spelljammer, the name of the setting is “The Spelljammer.” It’s a spaceship slash entity. We’ll get there.

Randall  05:20

I actually ran into one of these, like, very recently playing a… spoiler? No spoiler? I don’t know what the rules are.

Tyler  05:29

Yeah. Hey, if you’re if you’re planning to play Icewind Dale, or if you’re currently playing Icewind Dale, cover your ears for about 30 seconds.

Randall  05:37

Yeah. So playing Rime of the Frostmaiden, we ran across a spaceship where we were approached by… oh, what were they? They were mindflayer gomes?

Tyler  05:48

Yeah, cenomorphs.

Randall  05:50

Yeah. And that was terrifying. But they gave us goodies and laser gusn. So that was exciting. Yeah, yeah. I’ve had an encounter with a spelljammer in fifth edition.

Random  06:00

Yep. But no, no actual settings as of yet.

Randall  06:06

Okay, well, and then just to do the callback. So when we when we talked about the Tarrasque episode, again, like the world that the Tarrasque was from where the the interior was filled with mindflayers? That was a Spelljammer setting.

Random  06:19

Yeah, that was that was part of the Spelljammer setting was, you know, they they got the opportunity to to write a lot of interesting worlds like, Shalx? Falx? Falx.

Randall  06:30

That sounds right. Okay.

Random  06:32

Like that, because, you know, what I mean, basically Spelljammer. I mean, I didn’t get a lot of time to explore the content, but it, it never really felt like a big focus was… it, like, ship to ship combat or anything like that it was all about using travel to get you to these other interesting places, it was basically just an excuse to write more interesting settings, all in one setting, with a, you know, logical mechanism to get you there.

Randall  07:05

Yeah, that sounds really attractive. Because like I, the way that I take like I, I don’t even get, I don’t even have a good handle on all of the settings available in fifth edition published content. Like, what are the gods that are supposed to exist here? What is the terrain supposed to look like? What are the cities that are in this setting versus that setting? I say that to say like, that’s a really attractive solution of like, oh, that’s just a different world, and it’s still on the material plane, you can still get there. But that’s a different world. And maybe the gods over there don’t come over here. I don’t know.

Tyler  07:36

It’s something like that. The… I’m, I’m not super up on the mechanics, but basically, each world is a crystal sphere, quote, unquote, that you can and you can only cross the membrane of that crystal sphere in a spelljammer ship. So that’s how you travel between worlds. But yeah, I’m not clear on how big a crystal sphere is. So like, Eberron is a crystal sphere. But does that include just the planet? Does it include the moons, the solar system, the galaxy, the universe? Like, I’m not clear on where that line is. So someone who knows, someone who knows the setting better than me is going to have to come along and correct us.

Randall  08:18

So it almost sounds like you could you could really just say it’s like multiple planes of existence. But there’s actually an interface, there’s a surface where you have to have a Spelljammer across it.

Random  08:28

Yeah. And, I mean, basically, there’s this… so they call it… actually forget that the the specific thing they call it, but basically there is a medium that you travel between, that you that you travel through to get between these crystal spheres. And it’s not instantaneous. I mean, it is an actual thing you have to navigate. There are currents…

Randall  08:50

In the ether?

Random  08:52

It’s not.

Tyler  08:53

The phlogiston, it’s yes, a… some kind of gas. It’s also exceptionally flammable.

Random  09:01

It is exceptionally flammable, and you can’t bring it inside any material plane even by divine will. It, like, it only exists between crystal spheres.

Randall  09:13

Okay, good.

Tyler  09:14


Randall  09:16

Spelljammer. That answers that, why can’t we bring things back in? Okay, good. It’s halted, flammable gas.

Tyler  09:21

So, we’ll, we’ll touch on Spelljammer a little more once we get through the characters and stuff.

Randall  09:27

Okay, and then Dark Sun what’s what’s going on there?

Tyler  09:30

So Dark Sun is where psionics first appeared in D&D. So if you really like psionics, thank Dark Sun. Dark Sun is a world where the world is dying. The suns have gone out or something. And arcane magic steals life from the world. So, like, if you were a Wizard, you are a huge jerk. Because you are saying, “I want to cast magic missle. I know it’s gonna, like, speed the apocalypse along, but I’m going to do it anyway.” So all of the wizards are generally like your big bad evil guy or like they they run a totalitarian state and they’re bad people. And the entire planet is desert, basically. So very Mad Max. There’s very little metal so most equipment is made of bone and leather and things like that. So if you look at the art, it feels very, like, 80’s action movie in a lot of ways. Thri-krin originated from Dark Sun, they’re a they’re psionic telepathic cool stuff. And there’s some really interesting takes on iconic races, like elves are basically humanoid locusts. They run across the planet in a giant pack and basically eat anything they touch. So it is a weird setting. It’s super cool.

Random  10:55


Randall  10:55

Elves became this? Or just the equivalent… Okay.

Random  10:59

Yeah. And there’s some other interesting things. There’s a lot. I mean, in, in kind of Paizo fashion, there was a lot of content published in Dark Sun. And they really made the evolving political story kind of a central theme. So it’s another really cool place to explore that. And yeah, there’s… there’s a lot of interesting stuff in in Dark Sun, it’s… it, I’ll say it feels very, like you might expect something from the kind of late 80’s, early 90’s, era D&D to feel like, like, you know, before, they were trying to make it really accessible when they were just sort of leaning into the stereotypes.

Randall  11:51

One thing that you say that seems really interesting, like the idea that the planet actually has like a finite amount of energy, and that casting magic is actually drawing it away, therefore killing the planet. Yeah, like so Final Fantasy 7, huge game. I think it was released in ’97, but spends like years in development. Right, the idea of like, there’s a life stream, and there’s this evil company name Shinra, which is drawing energy out of the planet to make themselves rich and in the process is destroying the planet, but nobody wants to listen to it.

Random  12:21


Randall  12:23

Yeah, there’s a lot of them.

Tyler  12:25

Not the ones of the coast. Not those wizards.

Randall  12:29

The jerkey Wizard. Cool. Okay, Dark Sun. Nailed it. All right. I guess we could start stepping through here. So alphabetic order, is that the right answer?

Tyler  12:40

Real quick. Before we get into the races, I do want to touch on a couple things. Just here on page one, it talks about just kind of the core traits that all of these races share. So these changes started being introduced in Tasha’s Cauldron of Everything with the customizing your origin rules, where you get to shuffle around your skill proficiencies and ability score increases. So in here, it specifies that your character can speak common and one other language that you and the DM agree upon. Your creature type is humanoid unless specified otherwise by the race. Your lifespan is the same as a human unless specified otherwise, and your height and weight are the same as a human unless specified otherwise. So that kind of answers a lot of questions about races that didn’t get a ton of coverage. So, like, the races introduced in Volos Guide to Monsters, which is goblins, hobgoblins, Yuan-To Purebloods, and kobolds. Oh, and Orcs. There was no explanation of their height and weight, their lifespan, any of those things. So it was just assumed humanoid by default, because at the time we hadn’t seen non-humanoid races, but you never knew how long do those races live. How tall do they get, how heavy do they get, unless it specified otherwise. And technically, we still don’t officially know how tall and heavy goblins are. So this gives us an answer. Apparently goblins average about five feet eight inches in height and weigh 180 pounds on average, because that’s what humans do. That’s not actually true. I’m pretty sure it’s actually explained in the monster manual, but you get my point. So there is at least one race in here that specifies their lifespan and I think maybe their weight.

Random  14:30

Several of them do.

Tyler  14:31

Yeah, so it’s this is very classic D&D, where they say here’s the baseline. Anything that specifies otherwise is an exception to this rule.

Randall  14:42

Okay, that makes sense. I’m also imagining a five-foot tall kobold, so that’s a whole different problem I’m having.

Tyler  14:50

Well, should we start with astral elf? Just go in alphabetical order?

Randall  14:54

Yeah, absolutely.

Random  14:57

I don’t really like astral elves.

Tyler  14:59


Random  15:00


Tyler  15:01

Tell me why.

Random  15:02

So as I looked through each of these races, not each of them because I have some thoughts about some of them that they’re really not good. But if so, astral elf in particular, I looked at this. And I see this as a really good way to solve a particular problem. So, they do some, I mean they’re standard humanoid, but then they do elf things, they trance, they have darkvision, they have fey ancestry, they have keen senses, all of this are pretty standard l things. They get to choose one of three cantrips. And then they get to choose which mental stat is their ability for it. And they also do radiant soul, which is when you succeed on save, regain a number of hit points equal to your proficiency bonus plus the mental stat you chose for your cantrip once per long rest. So I see these as being fantastic Paladins. They’re going to get a sacred flame cantrip which fixes the early game Paladin problem of help, what do I do for ranged attacks? They’re going to get radiant soul to standard back up once per long rest when they’ve been tanking too hard. They get the fey ancestry they can trade in keen senses if they never planned on leveling wisdom and trans proficiencies, which is a really cool thing that the astral elves get where every long rest they get a choice of any two proficiencies, each one a weapon or skill. And you do wake up in eberron.

Tyler  16:51

Weapon or tool.

Random  16:52

Oh, yeah, wepon or tool. I don’t know what I saw.

Tyler  16:54

Skills would be awesome, though.

Random  16:55

No, no. Yes, that would Yes. Weapon or tool. Piece of equipment.

Randall  17:00

But there is definitely like a Neo waking up like you know, I now know kung fu except for it’s a lockpick or…

Random  17:06

Well, yeah, that not so much like well, I guess technically it could be thieves tools.

Tyler  17:09

It could!

Random  17:10

Huh. Well, there ya go. But yeah, so I see them as a great way to fill out a like a Paladin, or if you’re going for like a more martial cleric. Something where you’re trying to be up front. I really liked them for that. And with that said, I think that they’re gonna struggle in a lot of other roles. So that’s, that’s what I mean. I like them for that. But I also see like, they’re going to be pigeonholed a lot, I think.

Randall  17:45

Real quick, something, for some of these skills. I think radiant soul and trance proficiencies would be the two that I’ll ask. Have we seen these features on any other classes? So these are brand new things?

Random  17:56

Yeah. Brand new.

Randall  17:57

Okay. Awesome.

Tyler  17:58

The closest we’ve seen to radiant soul is the half-orc’s relentless endurance, which lets you if you’re dropped to zero once per rest, you can say no, I’m going to be at one. And then trance proficiencies, we haven’t seen that on a race. The Phantom Rogue has something similar. I think it I think that one actually does let you do skills too, which is pretty great.

Randall  18:22

Okay, so .

Tyler  18:22

Hey, you could combine the two. So I really like the design direction they went with this astral fire, which is the thing that lets you pick one of three cantrips, is an interesting design choice compared to the high elf. The High Elf, players handbook race. Basically, when the player’s handbook race was published, it’s this is the default Wizard because you get an extra Wizard cantrip and intelligence increase. And over time, the high elf has actually become less and less interesting as a Wizard as we’ve gotten other race options. And then the introduction of the cantrip booming blade made the high elf really good at not being a wizard. So like a high elf Rogue is really really good. Basically anything that’s only going to make one attack or like doesn’t have some damage boost booming blade is a really awesome cantrips so high elf is basically cheating in for a lot of easy builds. So they’ve kind of solved that problem by limiting you to three specific cantrips so they never have an issue where like, ah, we introduced a new cantrip and suddenly this one race accidentally got a huge buff. So if we ever see a republished high elf, which hopefully we’ll be talking about that next episode. If we ever see a re-published high elf, I expect that we might see something similar to this where you’ve got a choice of three iconic Wizard cantrips.

Random  19:50

One other interesting thing, I mean, so… while we get very little fluff in these UA articles, which is by design, I mean they’re… You don’t playtest fluff, right? You playtest the crunch. I do like some of the stuff that’s going on here. You know, they get to be even more long-lived than standard material plane elves, which is kind of crazy. I mean, you could you could very easily play a half-century old astral elf, and you still got time to go. I also really like, I mean, I feel like they have done a good job of tying the fluff and crunch together. So they have this divine light in them, which is how it is that they get one of these three light-based cantrips and the radiant soul. They have all the memories of all of the Elves, basically, because they just wander around in elf souls all the time. *cough* Eldar. And that’s where you get these trance proficiencies from. So I think that I mean, of the things in this article. Honestly, I think one of the reasons I’m so attracted to this is is not because I think it’s necessarily going to be super meta defining, but because they designed it really well, I feel like this is if this is the standard that we’re going to expect from races going forward, I am very hopeful about that.

Tyler  21:23

I agree.

Randall  21:24

So I have one, one, maybe nit to pick. So because nothing ages in the astral plane, astral elves from that plane are thousands of years old. And they have this longevity. If they leave the astral plane and they spend, you know, 400 years on the material plane. They don’t magically start aging faster and die earlier.

Tyler  21:46


Randall  21:47


Tyler  21:48

Yeah. There’s a couple of races that live on the astral plane, primarily githyanki. Yes. Githyanki.

Random  21:56

Both gith.

Tyler  21:58

Both gith? I thought githzerai hung out on limbo.

Random  22:02

Well, so they often go wandering, because rrakmas, spelled with two R’s. I’ll talk about that at some point.

Tyler  22:15

All right, anyway. Yes, the astral plane, basically, time doesn’t pass, you don’t age there. So gith have a thing where, you know, they need to have more children. So they go to the material plane to birth and raise children. And then when the children are grown, they come back to the astral plane. So it’s, I have to imagine that it’s pretty common to have several generations who are like, who have aged to the same point in physical development. It’s like, Ah, yes, this is my great great grandfather, who is physically about 10 years younger than me, and that’s not weird. So I imagine astral elves have something very similar.

Random  22:53

Oh, man.

Randall  22:54

I follow that. I’m just, yeah, maybe this is a maybe this is a different podcast. Cool. Is there anything else we’re saying about the astral elves?

Tyler  23:04

I think we got it.

Randall  23:05

Alright. Let’s do the autognome.

Tyler  23:10

So these ones are interesting. So the astral elf is very much, like, struck a very good balance point. The autognome is a little crazier. So right from the start, they have they have essentially natural armor 13 Plus Dex modifier, which means you can match full plate on a dexterity build, which generally is hard to do. Their built for success trait is like you get to add a d4 on a d20. Roll after you see the results. So you never need to worry about missing by one or two. Because you you have built for success. You’ve missed by one? Roll a die.

Random  23:51

Proficiency bonus times per rest.

Tyler  23:54

Right. So, we’re seeing more of those proficiency bonus times per rest instead of like once per short rest or whatever. But still, in a typical adventuring day, how many times are you going to fail by one? So, built for success adds a lot of padding to basically anything that’s hard. Mechanical nature makes sense because you’re a construct. Oh, they’re a construct, by the way. This is our first playable race that’s a construct. Even Warforged aren’t a construct. So, that’s exciting.

Randall  24:27

We should go ahead and give the background, right? So autognomes are mechanical beings built by rock gnomes to look like gnomes, so, built in their image. And then they are imbued with life.

Tyler  24:44


Random  24:45

Yeah. That imbued with life is interesting to skip ahead a second in the traits. So one of the problems that I immediately saw when reading through these guys because, you know, UA is not always super polished. So their last thing is true life. So, first off, true life is part of the completely busted package of these guys. You can, if mending is cast on you, you can expend a hit die, roll it and regain that. So basically, you can use the mending spell as a trigger to use your hit dice like you would on a short rest. Which, sure, and that’s amazing by itself. But then also, and here’s the problem with wording to get a little bit meta, your creator designed you to benefit from common spells that preserve life, but that don’t normally affect constructs, colon Cure Wounds, Healing Word, and Spare the Dying. Now, it does not explicitly say only Cure Wounds, Healing Word, and Spare the Dying. It says that normally effect comes here that normally don’t affect constructs. However, why then bother calling out those three? And so you know, it means that if you take an autognome into higher level play, if you cast Heal on an autognome, what happens? Does it get the benefit, does it not? It’s a construct. So the spell says it doesn’t. But and so this is one of those things where if you do plan to take an autognome into your game, you’re… suss that out before you get there because that could have some really severe problems.

Randall  26:16

Yeah, I mean, I would definitely read it that that kind of all spells are welcome that it… Yeah, it’s the, you know, I know this isn’t a living being but I don’t want to make this too hard. So everybody when it comes to healing spells, let’s just pretend this as a living being. So that’s how I read that paragraph.

Tyler  26:31

That that makes a lot of sense. From a from a real world biology perspective, it makes sense that Cure Wounds and things like that wouldn’t work on constructs. But in fifth edition all creatures use the same rules with regards to spells like Healing Word, Cure Wounds, etc. With some very rare exception but as as a baseline every creature is still affected by Cure Wounds, Healing Word, and Spare the Dying. So while while that is a great bit of flavor, mechanically, it doesn’t actually do anything. Constructs are already affected by those spells.

Random  27:09

No they’re not. They’re in the wording, I went and looked up Heal, at the beginning of this to make sure and it it specifies it does nothing to constructs and undead. All the cure spells do.

Tyler  27:20

Okay, Cure Wounds, says a creature you touch no effect on undead… Oh, man, I should have read the second sentence. Shame on me.

Random  27:29

But yeah, so that’s, that’s why I’m saying just like, you know, this is the sort of thing that they are looking for. So if you do plan to use this stuff, if you do plan to give them feedback, maybe give them that bit of feedback. What the heck do you mean in the second paragraph of true life? Please help.

Tyler  27:45

Can you Raise Dead on auto gnome? Or do you just repair it and give it a new brain?

Randall  27:51

I think Apple’s fighting that.

Random  27:55


Tyler  27:59

So, Random. Random. I think you and I discussed this previously. But autognome Artificers.

Random  28:06

Autognome Artificers. Yes, absolutely. If if for some reason your DM is going to allow you to use UA content but not import other planar content. So you can’t be a vedalken, because you should be a vedalken. Then yes, autognome artificers are going to be fabulous. They get the Mending spell so they can trigger their own true life and then save the real healing for other people. Centuries rest, which you didn’t get quite around to, is like warforged. Basically, you just you don’t really sleep, you just sort of go into standby, but you’re still awake. So you can perform the whole watch rotation by yourself. Specialized design, you’re getting two tool proficiencies of your choice. So they’re going to be fantastic artificers. They’re going to be fantastic kind of a lot of things. Weirdly, they actually they waste some of the power budget of an armorer artificer. But they make other good artificers because they have the the natural armor that some of that sort of wasted. But anyway.

Tyler  29:12

I’m just thinking of combining built for success with flash of genius. Like, never fail a check. Never worry about it. Be good at everything. Oh, you failed by one or two?You’re fine. You’re built for success.

Randall  29:26

Yeah, I feel like I usually fail fantastically though, so I don’t know if this is really gonna save me. Yeah, it’s interesting. So in the mechanical nature, they call out you’re immune to you have resistance to poison damage, your immune to disease, and you have advantage on saving throws against being paralyzed and or poisoned and you don’t need to eat, drink, or breathe. So if I try to heal you, it’s going to work fine. Don’t worry. If I try to magically, well, yeah, if I try to biologically dis-heal you. You have an advantage on that it doesn’t just work on you. What about like, if… would haste work? Like, what is the mechanism that allows haste to work? I’m sure rules is written it probably doesn’t call out that it doesn’t work on constructs.

Random  30:14

It just manipulates time.

Tyler  30:16


Random  30:17

I mean, there’s very… there are very, very, very few things that do care about creature type. It is mostly healing and some enchantment spells. And this was always done as an intentional balance point. So Charm Person versus Charm Monster. They are different level spells because Charm Person only works on humanoids and Charm Monster works on anything. Same with actually, I don’t know if dominate made it into this edition, I haven’t encountered that.

Tyler  30:44

It did.

Random  30:44

Okay. So, again, see what dominate because, you know, controlling the mind of a humanoid versus controlling the mind of the Tarrasque, right? These are wildly differing power levels. And so that’s one of the things where, where creature type does matter. Yeah, it’s not super important.

Randall  31:08

Yeah, see, the Tarrasque was also not famously intelligent, though. So…

Tyler  31:13

Intelligence of a dumb dog.

Randall  31:16

Yeah. And equally throws rocks just as well. When I read the autognome, the main thought that came into my mind is I want to play a campaign based around Pinocchio.

Random  31:35

That would be neat.

Tyler  31:36

I could see it.

Randall  31:38

He’s pretty sure he’s a real boy.

Random  31:41

In fact, you know what? I don’t think there’s anything wrong with re-skinning your Spelljammer to be a whale.

Randall  31:54

A space whale.,

Tyler  31:55

The only way you can get out is by burning wood and making it sneeze.

Random  32:00

Yeah. And suddenly, we’re playing Kingdom Hearts. Oh no.

Randall  32:05

Good. Okay. All right, everybody put that in your back pocket. All right, so next we have the Giff.

Random  32:19

I’m gonna share that we link in the show notes, the two minute sketch about why it’s not the Jraphics Interchange Format.

Tyler  32:27

But that is an excellent, an excellent video. The gidd slash giff. There is… the last paragraph of the fluff is they are split into two camps on how to pronounce their own names. You think they would have sorted this out by now, but whatever. So there’s some interesting things in here. Their traits are super short, like just in terms of word count, like, most of the races in here, or about half a column. Giff or like a quarter of a column which is weird, like they get almost nothing but they’re still pretty good honestly.

Random  33:08

Now I’m interested to hear you say that. So, they only have five listed lines: creature type, size, speed, they do get a swim speed equal to their walk speed. They really only have two unique traits. Damage dealer and hippo build. Now hippo build, personally, is what I have always wanted powerful build to be. It is what powerful build has always felt like it should be. I think they’re just testing it here. And then I’m honestly sort of hopeful that in the future possible 5.5 we get this as the replacement for powerful build on goliaths, centaurs, whatever. So it has your carrying capacity counts as one size larger, but more importantly, advantage on strength-based ability checks and saving throws. Now of course there is only one common strength-based stability check, that being athletics, and so these are going to be really good grapplers. They’re going to be really good people if you’re specializing in trip, that, er, shove, as trip is no longer a thing. It’s just a shove. So they’re gonna be really good for that, but damage dealer is really underwhelming to me. So are you reading that or I mean, are you seeing that differently or like what’s going on with you?

Tyler  34:23

So hippo build I think is a lot of it. Advantage on strength checks is really good. Randall and I, our last game session. My Barbarian wrestle the bullette. Those things are pretty strong. So I grappled it, I shoved it prone, and I held it in place for a couple turns while Randall slow cooked did over Create Bonfire. It was great. So the grapple shove combo is really powerful and an easy source of advantage on strength checks is massively beneficial for players. So anything that’s going to use grapple and or shove is going to be really, really good for the giff. And advantage is good enough that it can frequently offset a poor strength score. So I think the primary abuse case I would go to his rogues. So a giff Rogue is probably going to use a weapon with a small damaged die. A dagger or short sword, something like that. And then sneak attack is all d6’s. So, damage dealer would let you reroll all of the d6’s on sneak attack,

Random  35:37

But it doesn’t.

Tyler  35:39

It doesn’t?

Random  35:40

No. When you when one on a dmaage die. You can do some no more than once per turn. This is where I said I think damage dealer is honestly a noob trap. Liken if you don’t read that, you’re going to do exactly what you just did where you want to make it a Roguem but they’re terrible. They’re, like, they have they have nothing that makes them a good Rogue because you want damage dealer to apply to your, you know, your entire fireball your entire sneak attack, and they just don’t.

Randall  36:10

So how many how many common builds get multiple dice rolls for a melee attack?

Tyler  36:18

Not a ton. If you’re using a greatsword, you could reroll one of the dice. Actually, that wouldn’t be a terrible use of damage dealer since you only get to do it once per turn. Like even if even if you’re a high level Fighter with four attacks, how many ones are going to roll on a d6?

Randall  36:34

What about a Monk? Those are melee attacks.

Tyler  36:38

That’s true

Randall  36:38

Flurry of blows?

Random  36:39

Yeah. But again, so. So the thing is, it’s only one die. So okay, if you want to maximize… if you want to maximize the power of that one die, you’re rolling d12’s. Which means, you know, you’re rolling a greataxe, right? Okay, so that’s one thing. Now, I mean. So if we take the greatsword as an example, that’s 2d6, or a standard weapon is a d8. It… but only getting to reroll one of your d6’s, or one of your d8’s in a turn when you’re attacking twice, three times or when you’re rolling a pile of d6’s for sneak attack, when you’re smiting, when you’re doing two-weapon fighting because you’re a thri-kreen dual-wield Ranger, we’ll get to that in a second. It, like, only having one die, honestly, like that’s gonna feel really frustrating to me because I want it to work the way you just tried to describe it and doesn’t.

Randall  37:42

I follow, um, I’m thinking though, like, especially for… I’m actually fixated on monk right. So you’re, you’re rolling small dice, which means the likelihood of you being able to trigger this at least once per turn is higher. And you potentially… well, right, if I’m rolling d4 I have a 25% chance of rolling the one. Meaning I get to roll again. And I guess I have a 25% chance of rolling one yet again. But unless it’s roll20, in which case it’s 100% chance, but anyway. But yeah, that, you know, that feels that feels like something and the fact that you do get to use it every single turn also feels attractive. Yeah, actually, one more question. I’m just I’m stuck in haste because we were talking about it earlier. Does haste lets you technically take two turns or does it double your actions in a single turn? You could use this twice in a hasted roung.

Tyler  38:35

Extra action on your turn. Yeah, but you could use this for opportunity attacks. You, well, it only works on melee attacks. So yeah, pretty much just opportunity attacks and attacks during your term.

Randall  38:49


Tyler  38:50

Now to to compare this to something that we already have the Great Weapon Master fighting style lets you reroll a one or a two. And that works every time, so… Yeah, so Random, thank you for correcting me on you can do like only one die per turn. If anybody wonders why there are errors on RPGBOT.net. Yeah, great weapon master is basically just this but way better

Random  39:19

But way better.

Tyler  39:20

Yeah. And great weapon…

Randall  39:21

What level do you get it?

Tyler  39:22

As a Fighter one, as a Paladin two. Yeah, so, and Great Weapon Master is in my opinion, also a noob trap. It increases your average damage per hit by less than half of one, like less than half a point of damage or something small like that. I should probably go double check that before we put that in the podcast, but it’s really small. It’s one of the worst fighting styles so yeah, Random, you’re right damage dealers. underwhelming. I still think hippo build is real cool.

Random  39:53

It is. It super is. Yeah, and and like i said, it feels like they budgeted a lot of power for the giff into hippo build. And that’s, that’s cool. But I mean, on the one hand it is access to advantage on strength-based stability checks, again primarily just athletics, and strength saving throws. So the strength saving throws is neat ,but realistically there’s very few of those and, you know, athletics it can only do a few things right? If you compare the the power budget on the giff, where a lot of it went to hippo build, to something like, I mean, even in the same document, autognome or astral elf, you know, like, where you get things that are meaningful at various points in you have to build your character around hippo build to have the power budget of this race matter. And that’s weird.

Randall  40:54

What if I give you an additional action, which is chomp?

Tyler  41:01

Like, like give them a natural weapon to  attack?

Randall  41:06

Yeah! Like a Hungry Hungry Hippo. Just *pantomimes chomping*

Tyler  41:11

I mean, there’s plenty of races that done that tabaxi Leonin there’s there’s several races that have natural weapons and honestly, I’m a little surprised that giff don’t attack with their teeth. But…

Randall  41:20

Dragonborn breath weapons, right? Like why not? I think like if I gave you damage dealer, give you hippo build, and I gave you like once per short rest bite.

Tyler  41:35

Could be good. It could work. Maybe. Let’s see, so giff famously can’t use magic, which isn’t listed in the traits. Which maybe they decided oh, yeah, players, they are an exception to the rule by nature, so giff players can use magic. Like, their whole deal is we are musket-wielding hippos in space. We can’t fly our own ships, because we can’t use magic, so we have to go kidnap people to fly our spaceships to keep doing our space musket nonsense. And none of that’s really reflected here, which feels feels like an omission. But I agree putting in some kind of bite attack would be neat.

Randall  42:15

Okay, they gave the the intern the project. This is what they came up with. Okay. Well, yeah, that’s, uh, we’ve set a lot of words for not a lot of words on the page. So the random say the word for me.

Random  42:30


Randall  42:31

Hadozee. Alright, yeah, simian features, membrane-like wings. So like flying squirrels, but monkeys.

Random  42:39

Yeah, that’s…

Randall  42:40

Isn’t the flying monkey, the name of a bar in Key West?

Tyler  42:44

That feels right, that feels very Key West.

Random  42:47

So one interesting thing that we get about hadozee, and I don’t know if we’re going to start seeing some more races, it’s also really weird that they chose this race to start doing this. You choose medium or small on character creation.  New world, old world? You still have a 30-foot walk and climb speed in either option. Dexterous feet, so you get to take the use an object action as a bonus action, which I could see trying to make some interesting stuff around. And then they glide. So and these are glide rules taken straight from other things that used to have glide. So for every foot you descend, you can move up to five feet horizontally. And if you would take damage for a fall, you can use your reaction to reduce the fall damage to zero. So once again, much like the giff, I think these got a lot of power budget into glide, which is sort of nonsensical given that aarakocra are race. And also, fairies are now a race. Like, we have literal actual flight. And these guys are weird. Now, this is not the first printing of hadozee since second edition, hadozee he showed up in Stormrack, which was a 3.5 supplement about boats and like aquatic campaigns, naval campaigns, naval combat, and hadozee showed up because they were often if they were in a crew used as lookouts, because their ability to glide meant that they could be up the crow’s nest and be very safe if they happen to tumble out for some reason. And also, the dexterous feet meant that they were really good at climbing stuff. So yeah, weird to see hadozee show back up. I mean, obviously with Spelljammer it does make some sense but if you If you want a little piece of hadozee history, there you go. Stormwrack. You could, you too can be the fourth person to own that book.

Tyler  45:09

Now do we, do we know what setting hadozee originally appeared in? Were they from Spelljammer? Because if they appeared in Stormwrack, I’m suddenly questioning myself, I probably should have, like checked Wikipedia or something.

Random  45:20

They are definitely from an older edition. I, I did go look them up at one point. And yeah, they are from Spelljammer. Where they were even then called “deck apes,” because of course, Spelljammer has a kind of, you know, because it’s spaceships that has that vaguely nautical theme. So I see why they brought it in, to Stormwrack. But yeah, just just a little piece of weirdness.

Tyler  45:53

Now I’m looking at dexterous feet, and I’m pretty sure that’s where the power budget went on this. They use an object as an action, as a bonus action. The only other character option I can think of that can do that is the thief rogue, and thief gets overlooked a lot, because the features don’t sound super exciting. But I wrote, I wrote an article called The Practical Guide to Fast Hands, which we’ll link in the show notes, which was basically, you can use items as a bonus action. What do you do with that? And the answer is, how much gold to spend? Because use an item includes things like throwing alchemists fire. So basically, as long as you’re willing to pour gold into the feature, using an item as a bonus action is super powerful. The the most, the most budget-conscious version is using oil. You throw oil, and then you have someone in the party deal fire damage, and they get an extra d6 fire damage. Like that, that racks up pretty quickly. Alchemist’s fire does ongoing damage. There’s a ton of great options, and you basically just turn your bonus action into the ability to turn money into damage.

Random  47:08

Pretty sure that’s how octopath traveler works, right? Isn’t that just literally summon,,, pay money to summon damage?

Tyler  47:17

Gacha games, right?

Randall  47:19

I haven’t actually tried this yet. Because it is so I I know almost. I’m almost certain that I’m crossing my rulesets. I think Pathfinder has a really good class for making your own explosives, right?

Tyler  47:34

The alchemist.

Randall  47:34

But fifth edition list. Yeah. Fifth Edition doesn’t give us anything like this yet, right?

Tyler  47:40

The artillerist kind of pretends, but not really.

Randall  47:43

Okay. Because that would be, that’d be a powerful combination, right? And maybe that’s something that would be coming. You know, maybe they’re they’re taking notes.

Random  47:51

I would be sort of surprised. I mean, alchemist has always been one of Paizo’s babies. You know that they, they showed up in Pathfinder first edition. They double down in Pathfinder second edition. And WotC has never really touched anything like it. The, honestly, the Artificer is kind of the closest they’ve come. And it still feels nothing like there’s there’s nothing like mutagens there’s nothing like, like a, you know, the way that Alchemist made bombs to throw them. So I sort of don’t think that we’re ever going to get that and yeah, I get that you can, you know, just eat money and it does damage. And yes, that you know, that that’s certainly a thing you can use dexterous feet for. But I also I mean that the way that you wrote it already feels like an edge case. And I I think that you know that the intended use for something like fast hands is like oh, yes, I’m so practiced that I’m going to pick a lock while we’re fighting so that we can escape down this alleyway, you did like through a locked gate, or something like that. And yes, obviously, you can turn it into throwing a bunch of money at the problem. But I that’s a weird flavor call.

Randall  49:24

So, so I think like this is actually worth hitting on. And now it’s worth talking about, like, how do we play the game? And how, how should DM’s be handling this? So the situation you just described where there’s a locked door that needs to be picked mid-fight. It almost feels like, you know, it’s a conversation between a player and a DM of like, Hey, I took this feat, so I’d really like to do this once. Cool. You need to run away, I locked the door, you have to unpick the door. Like, how often is that the situation that’s naturally occurring in a setting?

Tyler  49:52

Not often, honestly.

Random  49:53

I mean, that’s really dependent on the campaign, right? You know, and and that’s sort of begs the question like, are you creating your character for the campaign? Or are you creating the character because you have this concept, and then trying to jam it into the campaign where maybe it doesn’t, strictly speaking, fit as well. So, this is something that we didn’t really touch on in the optimizing episode. But you, again, when I say don’t optimize in a vacuum, but that doesn’t just mean, you know, ignore your players and your DM when you’re optimizing, optimize for the campaign as well. Like, if, you know, if I am going to be Amiable Jack, in a zombie setting, like we’re, you know, that the entire problem is zombies, and there’s no, like, no other people to communicate with, then a lot of my power is wasted. Because, you know, like, great, I can talk to the zombies. This doesn’t help.

Randall  51:00

They understand the languages they understood in life.

Random  51:02

There you go, right? They can absolutely understand me and don’t care. But so that this is like, you know, if you, if you’re going to be in a setting where maybe you are trying to do a lot of subterfuge, maybe you are you know, like maybe your entire campaign takes place inside one palace, and it’s all just like intrigue and and that sort of thing, then maybe thief gets a lot stronger, because suddenly fast hands is, you know, all about, like, getting you through that lock door quickly, you know, doing your pickpocketing as you just like, accidentally bump into somebody, you know. So different places are going to be a better thing to optimize certain aspects for. And that’s where I think that like this extra speed is intended to be more like that fast hands, where it’s, you know, let’s try and do something cool quickly, rather than let me throw a bunch of bottles at all my problems?

Randall  52:01

No, I follow that. And I actually… kind of the other side of the DM coin that I want to talk about his DM’s managing coin. I feel like it isn’t very common you occasionally get it’s like a how much gold do you folks have to? I don’t know, like 7000 Platinum? Sure, yeah, that’s what you have, and everybody just goes with it. But if you build a character around the idea of like, I am going to turn all the money that I earned personally into damage. That’s what I’m going to do. What I like to do is I like to buy fire and throw it at people. All of a sudden, it adds a new dynamic where like, your DM actually has to start saying it’s okay, well, how is it? How much did you actually find? How are we going to manage this? Or the alternative, I guess, would be just working out a deal. Like, okay, look, where you’re fighting and what you’re fighting. I’m gonna say, you know, you’re able to stock up on X instances of Y per trip to town. So that’s what you have to manage. And if we get stuck in a dungeon for a month, you’re going to run out of those items.

Tyler  53:01

Yeah, that’s definitely a thing. Fifth Edition, is… is and always has been really bad about making gold useful. Since magic items don’t have an explicit gold piece price, and you can’t just be like, Oh, yes, I have 1000 Gold, I would like to buy this +1 sword, please. You end up with characters who have so much money that they don’t even bother tracking it because it doesn’t do anything useful. You already have all of your mundane gear, you can’t just buy magic items in a lot of in a lot of games. So what do you do with gold? The answer is alchemist fire. It’s very expensive, but it’s very lethal.

Randall  53:39

And you know, I feel like it’s… I think it’s a perfectly reasonable way to run it. But I feel like usually my DMs run it almost like more of a a level-based, hey everybody, over the weekend tell me one common magic item that you want. And then when we come back to play the next session, that’s what you’re going to pick up and there’s literally no gold comes into account at that point.

Random  54:01

Adventurer’s League runs like that on purpose. They they have a thing. So in addition to Adventurer’s League requiring milestone leveling, they also get basically treasure points, which you literally just you don’t get money. I mean, you you do technically also get a little bit of money on level up, but it’s practically not important. But just, you know, every so often you say, Oh, great, I have accumulated enough time spent adventuring to trade into the economy at large .oOe adamantium full plate, please. And you just get it. And so, like, it even even was organized play recognizes that, yeah, money we haven’t really figured out how to make it better.

Tyler  54:46

We should do episode on that.

Randall  54:47

And then the other thing I’m thinking about is the glide speed, like, I’m trying to imagine the the battlefield like what am I going to do? Am I going to climb 15 feet up a wall to then glide over? And if I cross over your, like, let’s say I glide over a creature. Can they reach me? Do they get an opportunity attack if I’m flying overhead?

Tyler  55:09

Yeah. If you’re, if you go…

Random  55:12

Figure out that hypotenuse!

Tyler  55:15

yes, if you go through their reach yes, they get an opportunity attack. And yes, you do have to do some geometry figure out the length of the hypotenuse.

Randall  55:24

Vertical reach? Are we going to assume a cuboid creature?

Random  55:28


Tyler  55:28


Randall  55:29

And so if I need to be at least 10 feet above a five foot creature with a five foot return order to Okay. Yeah, we’re… Yeah, DM’s, bust out your trig tables.

Tyler  55:40

Protractors for everyone.

Randall  55:42

Yeah, good. I prefer a amateur tracker anyway. Plasmoids, huh?

Tyler  55:49

Plasmoids. Internet, stop making it weird. We know you internet. Stop making it weird.

Randall  55:56

I want no rules applied to this.

Tyler  55:58


Randall  55:59

I… I’m assuming this was a popular Spelljammer race.

Tyler  56:06

I have no idea. I don’t know.

Randall  56:09


Random  56:09

Honestly, I so, I don’t know if this is intended to be Spelljammer. I honestly feel like it’s more… so there is a, because they’re owned by the same company, a Ravnica supplement for Dungeons and Dragons and plasmoids feel a lot like Weirds from the izzat guild, which are basically like…. it and I mean there there is a for instance, from Magic the Gathering the Gelectrode creature, which plasmoid feel very much like they could be sort of a take on. They have some kind of normal, you know, creature stuff. They, again like, hadozee they get medium or small. They’re oozes for their creature type instead of humanoid, which again, only applies to like, maybe 1% of spells. Dark Vision, they can hold their breath for a while, they have resistance to acid and poison. But you know, if you compare that to for instance, a yuan-ti fullblood that just laughs in the face of poison. And shapes self. They’re… they can make themselves humanoid and they can get a pseudopod. They can do a little bit. This feels, once again, a lot like a miss for me.

Randall  57:34

So I’ll say this feels like something that would be a lot of fun to play. Like the the RP on this could be a good time, especially to like spook people. I will say very quick, it is a second edition Spelljammer race.

Tyler  57:49

That makes sense.

Randall  57:51

Yeah, what surprises me is like the priority of bringing, Hey, everybody, here’s my five-foot tall amoeba friend. Look. He has arms now. Look, fewer arms. Third limb. Why not? Can you imagine a plasmoid. Attempting to look like a Thri-kreen?

Tyler  58:12

They very explicitly say one or two arms. You can’t have three, which is a shame.

Randall  58:19

What if I put my leg up here.

Tyler  58:22

It doesn’t specify how many hands! You can have hands on your leg. It works.

Random  58:27

It also doesn’t specify where your legs need to go. So you could very much just have one very wide leg and three, er, two arms and a leg sticking out of your torso.

Randall  58:38


Tyler  58:38

You know what? What’s that Isle of Man flag where it’s like a head with three legs coming out of it? That is my plasmoid character. Even better: Sebulba. Legs coming out the side. Little tiny arms.

Random  58:54

Perfect. Yeah, it’s a dugg. I love it.

Tyler  58:58

So I agree with Random on this one. It’s kind of a miss. Like, it very accurately captures the flavor. But mechanically very underwhelming. Like, they aren’t good at anything. Like, that that is the biggest problem. Like every race has some distinct thing like here’s this thing that I can do that’s better than anybody else. Plasmoids ,their coolest thing is they can go from their useless blob form into almost a humanoid. You can almost be a person.

Randall  59:36

They can reach out 10 feet to push a button or trigger a lever. As long as it’s not magical. Yeah.

Random  59:45

So what you’re saying is that you could instead just play a high elf, get better things and also take mage hand, which is like the pseudopod but way better.

Randall  59:59

Yeah, and if somebody chops like somebody chops off majors hand. It’s fine. It was a Yeah. It’s like, oh, my pseudopod. Okay. Okay, you know what, let’s stop kicking plasmoid. One more piece of labor and then we can move on. Okay, when plasmoid sleep, they lose their rigidity and spread out and are sometimes mistaken for a rock or some other feature of the environment.

Random  1:00:24

They sure are.

Tyler  1:00:26

Well, you never have to worry about sleeping in armor, I guess.

Randall  1:00:31

Yeah, well, you fall out of the armor. You just…

Tyler  1:00:33

Yeah. Weird. Pool green goo has a suit of full plate sitting in it.

Randall  1:00:39

Yeah, it like you try to put yourself together too much. But now the plates like embedded in your body. Okay. The Thri-kreen.

Random  1:00:50

The Thri-kreen.

Tyler  1:00:52


Random  1:00:53

So these are a great import. I have been in a party with a thri-kreen monk. And this feels like they did a really good job of importing what all I remember about thri-kreens. Another they are a monstrosity creature type. So once again, charm dominate person will not work on them. They are once again medium or small. Which is again a little weird, but there you go. Chameleon carapace is fabulous. It is the same level of natural armor as autognome. So 13 plus dex. And as an action, you can basically change what your carapace looks like. Which functionally is just you have advantage on stealth. Like any dexterity self check, you just have advantage on as long as you get to take an action before you make it, which you should always be able to do.

Tyler  1:01:46


Random  1:01:48

So that’s fabulous power budget, and then secondary arms. So that the cool thing you know they they are insects, so they do have, in addition to the two big legs and two big arms, they have two smaller arms. Now explicitly, you can use a secondary arm to wield a weapon that has the light property, but you can’t use a secondary arm to wield any other kind of weapons or shields. However, what that means is in the top two arms, primary weapon, a long sword and a shield. In the secondary arms, secondary weapon and a Ranger spellcasting focus. And they are by far the best dual wielding Rangers I can think of, for explicitly the reason I just said on top of their chameleon carapace.

Tyler  1:02:33

Now the two-weapon fighting rules do say you have to have to light weapons in your hands unless you have to do a wheelbarrow feet. But you can still get away with two short swords or two daggers or whatever in your small arms. And then when you take the attack action, you’re technically not obligated to attack with the light weapons, it’s just assumed that you will because nothing else has four arms. So you can attack with that long sword as for all of your attack actions, and then use your bonus action for whatever’s in your small hands. So it’s… they accidentally made two-weapon fighting an abuse case. It’s not huge, because the difference between a long sword and a short sword isn’t a ton, but you can use a shield while to weapon fighting, which I don’t think they intended.

Randall  1:03:18

I… yeah, I guess you probably can.

Random  1:03:22

You absolutely can. You just have to use it in the primary arm.

Randall  1:03:25

Yeah, okay, fine.

Random  1:03:27

So so this is you can get a Dex build up to 20 AC while still dual wielding. Thri-kreen.

Tyler  1:03:35

And if you if you look at art for the thri-kreen, like I’ve never understood why their hands work the way they do. If you look at art, their primary hands are praying mantis style claws. How do you wield a sword or hold a shield in that? Like, their small hands are… all of the art like they’re prehensile, human-style bug hands. But their big hands are claws. I don’t. I don’t understand. Why? Why can you use a weapon in that?

Random  1:04:07

That’s why they made great sense as monks because you just use them as actual attacks, but a reference referencing the autonome they also get sleepless revitalization so they don’t actually sleep. You still need to take a standard long rest, but you can just be awake as long as you’re not doing strenuous activity. Because bugs. And they are telepathic. So they technically speaking have a language that they make. But it’s like chitin clacking together and so other races can’t do it. So, so that they can communicate. You know, as a bit of a meta thing, they gave them telepathy and just you pick any number of willing creatures within 120 feet, they can all talk to you. They need to have a language but and you know they can leave the group call at any point There’s also some stuff like if you get incapacitated or they get incapacitated. But yeah, trhi-kreens are really good. I think we’re gonna see a decent number of dexterity-based classes. So you know, you’re, you’re more like maybe an assassin Rogue would be good. A dual wield Ranger would be really good. I could even still see them as monks, they’re… They’re a little bit less good because the additional arms, they can’t… I well, I guess, weapons did get more folded in in this edition. So you you could still use that. But like, the fact that monks don’t actually care what weapons they have to get the extra attacks because they just spend the ki on it. So it doesn’t make a lot of sense. But yeah, they’re thri-kreen, really good. I think they did a really good job of honoring what thri-kreen used to be. And I am excited to see what people use them for.

Tyler  1:05:56

I’m, I’m hoping we see a nerf on this or at least some, like, improvements to secondary arms. I think probably dex-based to weapon fighting, like fighters and Rangers are probably going to be the best builds here. Secondary arms doesn’t really help monks at all, unfortunately. But yeah, the ability to use a shield while two-weapon fighting is basically cheating. Like, it’s… I don’t know if they intended. I don’t know if they saw that one coming. And the telepathy, like, we might, we might need a debuff on that, like, make that a little weaker compared to other… like, bringing in line with other races that have telepathy, like the verdan has limited telepathy. There’s a couple other examples that have telepathy that aren’t this good. The ability to communicate with any number of willing creatures is really generous. You do have to be able to see them, which is good. So it’s not quite as good as, like, telepathic link the spell but still pretty good.

Randall  1:07:05

So do you have an issue with the fact that, like, it’ll work with more than common?Meaning that I can just put an idea in the head of another creature?

Tyler  1:07:14

No, that’s that’s pretty typical for telepathy, anything that has telepathy will typically say that the creature doesn’t need to share a language with you.

Random  1:07:22

Except the telepathic feat. It’s bad.

Tyler  1:07:25

Except for the telepathic feat, yeah. So I don’t think that part’s a problem. I think. I think there’s just too much room for abuse cases here.

Randall  1:07:35

What’s also one to one, right. The way that I read this,

Tyler  1:07:39

Well with the three crean it specifically says communicate mentally with any number of willing creatures, you can see.

Random  1:07:46

I think he said he so you don’t create the group call, right? You don’t allow two people to communicate to each other not through you. They have to talk through you. Which, yes, so it is still that. But, yeah I mean, the fact that it’s just…

Randall  1:08:02

Well, let me actually let’s make sure we’re very clear. So I’m now a thri-kreen. Congratulations to me. I, I have a link going with Tyler, I have a link going with Random. Can you, using the links that I have, directly communicate with each other in a way that I hear? Or do I have to relay?

Random  1:08:20

You have to relay.

Randall  1:08:21

good okay,

Random  1:08:22

that’s what I was saying.

Randall  1:08:23

 Yeah, good, good, good.

Tyler  1:08:25

Yeah, okay. Yeah. So it’s not as good as the spell telepathic link, but it’s still pretty good. 120 foot range is really good on a player race.

Randall  1:08:34

Okay. So I, if there’s nothing specifically about the thri-kreen, I have a question about the thri-kreen, but I think it applies to a lot of the races in this UA. As a DM, how do you handle the rarity of these creatures showing up in a typical campaign? Do you just blow it off? Like it’s perfectly fine. So we’re playing Rime of the Frostmaien right now. And part of it is, like, it’s these ornery citizens who are, you know, going through a terrible thing. And sometimes they meet you and they’re grumpy. Well imagine if I come in and our party is a plasmoid. So amoeba man, and then also thri-kreen. Like they’re gonna run you out of town, right?

Random  1:09:21

That’s… the thing is, should they? Yes. Are a lot of DM is going to do it that way? No, because it’s a lot of work. Right? Like D&D is not often intended to be used as a social encounter simulation. Some of that fits in. But again, like we’ve talked about in previous episodes, the vast majority of the crunch is around combat. And so a lot of DM’s tend to focus on the combat aspect. And, you know, the like, even so, to my own experience, you know, I this Goliath Paladin that I’ve played, got mixed it into Ravenloft. Because Ravenloft. And a Goliath is a pretty uncommon race. You know, it made sense when I was in the backstory of this character in an army because they’re very strong. And so you absolutely want one where you can get one. But, you know, even that, even in a campaign that was very social heavy. Still, nobody called me on it.,right? Now, admittedly, a thri-kreen is definitely a lot weirder. But, like, it almost seems like you need to have that conversation of, are we going to just lampshade this? Or are we going to try and roll this like people really would. Because if you try to bring a bright green into a campaign, and they’re going to try and react realistically to it, that’s going to really derail the story. Now, if that is the way that everyone wants that story to go, great. You know, if if the other 1, 2, 3, 6 players are on board for the thri-kreen derails the story every time they walk into the bar, that can be an interesting story. But, like, I tend to harp on so much, this is going to be something that you solve by planning, rather than trying to deal with in the moment.

Randall  1:11:24

So my attitude about a lot of these things, like, the tedious things that ought to be there, but you really don’t want to deal with them all the time, like counting money, or counting how much weight you’re carrying, or whether you’re a party of bug people, common things. I feel like it makes sense like a specific example. So in our current campaign, we have Bugbear Gryll,s played by Tyler. And I feel like there were a couple times where there were questions asked, but I think a great technique might even be making it make it an issue once and then let the rumor fly. And so like when the party comes in, it’s like, oh, you know, I’ve heard of you folks, because I’ve seen the bugbear or I’ve heard stories about the bugbear. Or the Goliath with a face tattoo, either one. You can, as a DM, you can let it be an issue for a moment. Let it be something interesting, let everybody play it out. But then kind of wave it away by saying okay, now everybody in the region is familiar with this. And the Rumors are spreading. So it isn’t. We don’t have to freak out every time.

Tyler  1:12:26

I think that’s a good plan. I think that’s kind of how our DM handled it. Like, we were figuring out my backstory. Like I was kind of a local, people sort of already know me and knew me. And as we as we started venturing around people like oh, yeah, there’s this bug bear who comes around. He’s cool.

Randall  1:12:43

Yeah, makes delicious sausage out of anything. All right, I think, did we do it?

Tyler  1:12:51

Well, so real quick before we call it a night. So from the D&D celebration panel, the very last panel every time they do celebration, they tease what’s coming up in the next year. So this year, they talked about the future of D&D and they told us that we’re getting two or three classic settings returning next year 2022. So here’s this UA with Spelljammer and Dark Sun in it, so I I can add one on one and get two sometimes, so I’m pretty sure we’re gonna see Spelljammer and Dark Sun come back in 2022 is official settings.

Random  1:13:33

And if not, my god, what masterful trolling. Chris and Jeremy, just dang, guys. Yeah.

Tyler  1:13:43

If they give us Dragonlance next year, like Dragonlance at Birthright and they’re like, why would you think Spelljammer?

Randall  1:14:00

So Question of the week this week comes from @NAC287 on Twitter. Do you think there’s enough design space to make psionics in five distinct from spell effects? If so, how would you implement them? Feat, class, or subclasses as 5e is doing? So I have never really engaged with psionics. Like I’ve always looked at psionics across various editions, like I already have magic. Why does this exist? So I have very little emotional attachment to psionics. I remember the fifth edition mystic play test, like how many times we’ve got new versions of the mystic and what a train wreck that class is. And then eventually, we got these psionic subclasses in Tasha’s Cauldron of Everything. And wizards tried to make psionics distinct from magic without needing to introduce a completely new class for it. And if I remember correctly, Jeremy Crawford described it as a hat on a hat when they did a psionic build for the Sorcerer, where they had separate sorcery points and psionic points. So it’s really difficult to mechanically distinguish magic in psionics. And honestly, I don’t know how I would do it better.

Random  1:16:06

Yeah, so I think they did a really good job with the way that they handled psychic warrior soul knife. And it just folding those into you know, being subclasses of Fighter and Rogue respectively. And psion is really hard. And because psion always was basically, this is just a Wizard that has a different way of casting spells. And without it, like, like Tyler said, without creating a whole new class that feel like that’d be hard. Now with that said, I sort of feel like psion maybe deserves it, you know, if we do go a whole separate route where? Oh, boy, here we go, lets introduce sigh points again, you know, and like, I don’t get spells per day, I just get my capacity of points, and I channeled them where I want, which is how it worked in 3.x. If you feel like looking that up, godspeed. You are braver than I am.

Randall  1:17:03

Did you say they were psionics in Dark Sun?

Tyler  1:17:07

Yeah, yeah.

Randall  1:17:08

So did that drain the world’s energy when you use them?

Tyler  1:17:12

No. That’s why psionics were such a big thing. It was the replacement for arcane magic that was more socially acceptable.

Random  1:17:20

And the way it got imported to 3.0, was it was interesting, because it was first important that in 3.0, and never updated for 3.5 specifically. But yeah, it’s it really did just feel like… so the soul knife was an interesting class. And I liked the way that they brought that in. The psychic warrior was an alright class. And I like the way that they brought that in. But psion, I mean, really is just a Wizard, but different. And it doesn’t make a lot of sense to me to try and do that. I think that, and I know that this is a little bit of a weird choice, because if with two of the big subclasses, making psion its own class feels like oh, well, why does this one get to be its own class? You know, there’s some favoritism, but I think that’s the only way that you’re really going to get the amount of mechanical difference worth making it in the game at all. So I would probably try to bring psion in as its own base class. Because, you know, like, like that problem that they talked about. There’s I don’t see a better way of trying to do that. And I think that basically, the answer is just, yes, it’s not symmetrical. Deal with it.

Tyler  1:18:41

So there is a variant in the dungeon master’s guide: spell points that essentially instead of you getting spell slots with a specific levels, spellcasters get some number of spell points. So if you liked the third edition implementation of psionics, where you have a number of points to spend on spells, or psionic abilities, whatever, you could just use that and say, like, Wizard, you have spell points, you’re now a psion. And the the big thing with psi points in previous editions was you invest your points and make, uh, make an ability more powerful, okay, that that’s the same thing as up casting a spell. So if you want to feel like a psion from previous editions, like yeah, just use the spell points variant. I think that would work.

Random  1:19:29

Yeah, and then at that point, maybe you just, you know, tweak the… the short answer is if you want to try and run that work with your DM to figure out maybe like a custom subclass that does feel more like a psion because yeah, that’s that’s probably what I would do.

Tyler  1:19:44

I could see that working.

Randall  1:19:44

Nice. All right. Awesome. Awesome. All right. So next episode. There’s been, I think, a lot of rumors, a lot of content coming from WotC. We are expecting any day now to hear a little bit more about the future of D&D. And so next episode we’re hoping some of that news is going to be out. And we are looking forward to talking about it. Alright, I’m Randall James. You can find me at amateurjack.com and @JackAmateur on Twitter and Instagram

Tyler  1:20:15

I’m Tyler Kamstra You can find me at RPGBOT.net find me on Twitter at Facebook at @RPGBOTDOTNET and find me at patreon.com/rpgbot.

Random  1:20:29

And I’m Random Powell, you won’t generally find me participating in social media although in places where people play games they often there as Hartlequint or Hartlequint but largely you’ll find me here RPGBOT on the podcast and contributing articles to the website.

Randall  1:20:43

Alright, thanks to producer Dan. All hail the Leisure Illuminati.

All  1:20:47


Randall  1:20:47

All right, you’ll find affiliate links for source books and other materials linked in the show notes. Following these links helps us to make this show happen every week. You can find our podcast wherever find podcasts are sold. If you enjoyed this podcast, please please please rate, review, share with friends. We’re super excited. We actually recently hit a huge milestone we have 10,000 total downloads. And that’s all from you. So thank you for listening. And do… Yeah, if you like what we’re doing, do tell people that you like what we’re doing. If your question should be the question of the week next week, please email podcast@RPGBOT.net or message us on Twitter @RPGBOTDOTNOT. I think we did a conclusion there. But yeah, thanks for joining us.

Random  1:21:41

I’m really waiting for that to be buried in the outro music.

Randall  1:21:46

That pregnant pause.


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