Dungeon Master Assistance

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Tag Archives: D&D

D&D 5E vs. Castles & Crusades

Comparing Dungeons and Dragon to Castles & Crusades.

This is one of several reviews I am doing this year of various table top roll playing games. I am specifically comparing them to D&D 5e. I am doing this with the assumption that my readers are already familiar with D&D 5e. The following review is based only upon my reading of the rule-book. I haven’t played this yet, but I will be posting my opinion after I get a chance to play test it.

Below I am referring to the fifth edition of Dungeons and Dragons as 5E, Castles & Crusades as C&C, and the Player’s Handbook as the PHB. The information below is for evaluation purposes, it should not be considered official rules of the game. Where C&C uses different terminology than D&D, I will tell you what terms C&C uses but will use D&D terms in the descriptions. You can assume that things I don’t list here are basically like 5E with only minor differences.

In C&C the Dungeon Master is called the Castle Keeper.

Summary of the game system

C&C is a popular table top role playing game published by Troll Lord Games that uses a modified d20-based system they call the SIEGE engine. It is a table top fantasy role playing game based on the D&D 3.0 system but it has an AD&D feel.

Primary differences between C&C and D&D 5e


  • You can choose to play a Dwarf, Elf, Gnome, Half-Elf, Halfling, Half-Orc, or Human.
  • These are basically the same as in 5E, but they have more features and there are no sub-races.
  • Darkvision [Gnomes and Half-Orcs] & Deepvision [Dwarves]: Darkvision extends 60’ and Deepvision extends 120’. Neither can be used near a light source. They both require one minute before you can use it when the light source is extinguished.
  • Twilight Vision [Elves]: Can distinguish color and detail under starlight, moonlight or torchlight for up to one mile but only if they are outside.
  • Dusk Vision [Halflings]: Can see in starlight and moonlight just as a human can at dusk.


  • Your character can be an Assassin, Barbarian, Bard, Cleric, Druid, Fighter, Illusionist, Knight, Monk, Paladin, Ranger, Rogue, or Wizard.
  • There are no sub-classes. Generally, the number of features that you get with your class doesn’t increase as you advance in level. Some features increase in power at certain levels.
  • Some classes advance in level faster than others because the number of hit points required is based on you class.
  • A character may wear any armor, but if the armor type does not appear in the list for their class, the character cannot use any of their class features while the armor is worn unless the description of the feature states otherwise.

Multiclass [optional rule]

  • The decision to multiclass must be made at level 1.
  • You can combine any two classes (any 3 classes if your character is human).
  • There are rules and charts to determine an average for things like starting gold and hit dice.
  • You get all of the features for each of the classes.
  • You are considered a single class and advance in levels as a single class.
  • The XP required to advance in level is calculated by adding together the XP required for each class plus an additional amount that increases with each level.

Class and a Half [optional rule]

  • The decision to have a class and a half must be made at level 1.
  • Pick a principle class and a supporting class.
  • Experience points needed for level advancement are determined by adding the XP of the principal class to one half the XP of the supporting class.
  • You will advance in the supporting class, and perform skill checks of that class, at half the rate of the principal class (rounded down).
  • There are some additional restrictions including restrictions on some features for each of the secondary classes.

Abilities [Attributes in C&C]

  • Ability Scores: C&C and 5E both use the same 6 ability scores.
  • Ability Modifiers: Each ability has a corresponding ability modifier. These numbers differ only slightly from 5E.
  • Primary Abilities: You assign one to be a “primary” ability based on your class. Then you select 1 or 2 other prime abilities. The others are considered secondary abilities.
  • Proficiencies: C&C doesn’t have proficiencies. Instead, in addition to your ability modifier you add your character’s level and racial bonus (if any) to your ability checks.

Difficulty Class (DC) [challenge level in C&C]

  • For ability checks, the Castle Keeper sets the DC which usually ranges between 0 and 10. He then adds 12 if the PC is using a primary ability or 18 if he is using a secondary ability .

Character creation

Roll abilities, choose a class, select primary and secondary abilities (see above), chose a race, choose an alignment, choose a deity (optional), roll starting money, purchase equipment, determine hit points, and give your character a name. These are all basically the same as in 5E except as noted below.

Roll Abilities: Roll 3d6 six times and assign to abilities as desired.

Starting Gold: The amount you start with is determined by a dice roll based on your class.

Purchase Equipment: Purchase your weapons, armor, etc. from the equipment lists.

Armor Class

  • Unarmored: AC 10 [like 5E]
  • Touch: AC 10 regardless of armor worn.
  • Armor: Each armor type has a specific AC adjustment which is added to your unarmored AC. Example: Leather armor is +3 so your AC would be 13.
  • Shields: There are 8 different shields.
    1. Bucklers, small steel and small wooden shields: Add +1 to AC against 1 foe each round.
    2. Medium steel or wooden shields: Add +1 to AC against 2 foes each round.
    3. Large steel or wooden shields: Add +1 to AC against 3 foes each round.
    4. Pavis: Made to be rested on the ground and fired over, like a mobile wall. Adds +6 to AC against all foes in front of the shield.
  • Helms: There are 5 different helms which provide different AC bonuses from +2 to +7. This is used instead of any other armor or shield to blows directed at your head.
  • Dexterity: Your DEX modifier is added to your AC if you can physically react to an attack.


Combat Round: 10 seconds.


  • The initiative die is a d10
  • Initiative is rolled each round.
  • Exception to initiative: In the first round only, a creature using a weapon with a reach of greater than 10 feet against an opponent with a weapon with less than a 6 foot reach, or a large creature fighting a medium or smaller sized creature, attacks first if the other creature approaches within ten feet.


  • On your turn in the round, you can move, attack, cast a spell, use a class feature [class ability in C&C], use an item, or perform a non-lethal or some other mundane action.


  • You can move 1/2 your speed [move rate in C&C] and still attack. If you take no other action, you can move your speed, or twice your speed (jog), or 4 times your speed (run).


  • You can move up to double your speed and then attack. A successful charge attack adds +2 to damage, but you have a -4 penalty to your AC for the entire round.

Melee Combat: Basically the same as 5E.

Ranged Combat:

  • Your STR modifier is added to the damage of thrown weapons and your DEX modifier of propelled weapons.
  • Range weapons have a close range listed. Attacks made at twice that (medium range) have a -2 on the attack roll, at 3 times that (long range)] are at -6.
  • If you miss, there are rules for possibly hitting something else in the path.

Unarmed Combat:

  • There are rules for grappling, pummeling, overbearing, and touch attacks.

Magic and spell casting

  • Types of Magic: In addition to arcane magic and divine magic, C&C also had illusion magic that is only casts by Illusionists.
  • Casting Spells: Spells are cast the same way they are in 5E.
  • Spell Slots: Basically the same as in 5E. The spell levels go up from level 0 to level 9. At each class level you get more spells, and higher level spells, than you do in 5E.
  • Level 0 spells: These are like cantrips but you don’t get unlimited castings of them.
  • Acquiring and preparing spells: Basically the same as in 5E.
  • Concentration: If something interrupts the character’s concentration while the character is casting, the spell is lost and marked off the character’s list of prepared spells.
  • Saving Throws: The DC to save against a spell is always the spell caster’s level.
  • Spell Focus: If a special focus or divine focus is required, it is unique to the spell and cannot be used as the focus for other spells.
  • Spell descriptions: Each spell is clearly described and easy to use. There is no option to cast a spell at a higher level.

What you need to get started

Everything you need is available on Troll Lord’s web site.

You can download the Quick Start Rules for free that includes a one-shot adventure and pre-rolled characters.

There is a free official C&C character sheet.

There is a free official D&D 5 to C&C conversion document .

If you decide you want to run a C&C campaign, two books (Castles & Crusades Players Handbook, and Castles & Crusades Monsters & Treasure) get you all you need to play up to level 12.

You will want to have the Castle Keeper’s Guide for higher level play.

Final Thoughts

  • Ability checks don’t scale well at higher levels.
  • Setting the DC for ability checks could be made much simpler. You could set the challenge to between 12 and 22 in the first place and simply have the player add +6 to his roll if he is using a primary attribute.
  • C&C has no skill system – no ranks or skill points.
  • C&C has no feats.
  • C&C has no Advantage/Disadvantage.
  • C&C has no attacks of opportunity.
  • C&C has no critical hits.
  • This is a newer style of game that still feels like AD&D.
  • I like it (mostly). I will have to see how some of this plays at the table.

D&D 5E – Quick Play Character Folios

Ready-To-Play First Level Character Folios

If you want a ready-to-play first level character for fifth edition dungeons and dragons, simply select the class you want, download the filled-in character sheet/folio and you will be ready to play.

Down your free first level character sheet/folio here:
Artificer (Gnome), Barbarian (Half-orc), Bard (Half-elf), Cleric (Dwarf), Druid (Elf)
Fighter (Dragonborn), Monk (Halfling), Paladin (Human), Ranger (Human), Rogue (Halfling), Sorcerer (Half-elf), Warlock (Tiefling), Wizard (Elf)

This is an update to the Quick Play Character Sheets I posted in 2020 (find them HERE).

I completely overhauled them, primarily by putting them onto the latest version of my form-fallible character sheet/folio (find that HERE). You may want to download the box by box instructions that are also on that post.

While I was at it I corrected mistakes and added more information.

I used the suggested quick build from the Player’s Handbook as a guide to fill in the information. I used my best judgement to create what I thought would be a “typical” race and build for each class.

You can easily modify these. Simply use the PDF file for the class you want to start with.

To change the race:
This folio clearly identifies where each feature, skill, proficiency or modifier comes from. Delete the ones that came from the race and replace these with the ones that come from the race you prefer to use.

To change the background:
Same as for the race, delete the ones that don’t apply and add the new ones.

To change the starting ability scores:
On the “Skills and Abilities” sheet (page 3), in the “Abilities” box, the line of ability scores at the top labelled “Base” are the original unmodified ability scores. You can re-arrange these or replace them if you choose to. All subsequent adjustments to the scores and the modifiers will be applied automatically.

To start at a higher level:
I suggest you add one level at a time, choosing the class for each level and adding the new features as you go.



D&D 5E – Character Sheet and Folio

Character sheet – Top half (Above the Fold)
Contains all the information you typically need to reference during play.
Character sheet – Bottom half (Below the Fold)
Contains a list of all your Traits, Feats, Features and Proficiencies as well as all your armor, weapons, equipment, treasure and magic items – tracking your wealth and weight carried.

Download your free 8 page “D&D 5E Character FolioHERE.
Download complete box by box instructions on filling in the folio HERE.
If you need more room for trait, feat or feature descriptions, a separate “Traits – Feats – Features” page can be downloaded HERE.
Go to the “D&D 5E – Class Reference Sheets” page HERE to download your Class Reference Sheets. These were created to be companion sheets to the character folio.

This Folio provides you a way to track each entry on the first page “Character Sheet”. Everything on that page can be described and tracked on the following pages. This includes all the information required to come up with all the values and modifiers as well as information as to what character level you were when you received it and where it came form.

You can fill them out by hand.
Although you will be missing out on the automatic calculations, if you choose to print out blank sheets and fill it all out with a pencil you can. The instructions walk you through every box with instructions on how to fill them by hand as well as on a computer.

It works for any race or background.
You can use any home-brew race or background. It makes no assumptions based on race or background.

It works for any subclass.
You can use any official class (including Artificer) but it makes no assumption regarding subclass, so you can use subclasses from any source or home-brew.

This works just as well for single class as it does for multi class.
Most character sheets (including the previous ones I have made) that are made for multiclass are more complicated than necessary for a single class character. And those made for a single class don’t work at all for a multiple class character. I tried hard to make this one work for both and still remain simple for single class characters.

You can fold them or cut them in half.
These pages are sized to print on 8 1/2” x 11” paper. There is a horizontal line in the center of each page. You can fold the page along this line, or cut the page in half along this line turning these into 8 1/2” x 5 1/2” sheets.

You can turn off the lines.
On each page, wherever you can enter notes, there are lines you can use. These lines are on a separate layer for each page. If you are not filling these pages in by hand, you may want to turn off these layers. (How to turn layers off varies with the PDF viewer you are using – you can look up how to do that on-line.)

You also need a Class Reference Sheet.
In addition to this Character folio, I recommend that you also use a separate sheet for spells and other information in regard to your specific class and subclass. I have created “D&D 5E – Class Reference Sheets” as a companion to the Character Folio. You can find them on the “D&D 5E – Class Reference Sheets” page HERE.

Quick Start
I will soon be posting a set of ready to play first level Character Folios, one for each class.




D&D – Upcoming changes to the OGL

This Is Important!

In a post I made in 2021D&D 5E – How to Publish D&D ContentI gave an overview on the Open Gaming License (OGL) and the System Reference Document (SRD). It looks like recent developments by Wizards of the Coast will be changing all of this.

If you haven’t heard about the upcoming changes, I refer you to these excellent posts.

here is a good overview by Noah “MyLawyerFriend” Downs 

And here is An open letter to WotC

D&D 5E – Class Reference Sheets

D&D 5E – Class Reference Sheets

These “D&D 5E – Class Reference Sheets” were created to supplement my new “D&D 5E – Character Sheet and Folio” (You can find it on the “D&D 5E – Character Sheet and Folio” page HERE.) but you may find them useful regardless of the Character Sheet you are using.

There is a separate file that you can download for every subclass in the Player’s Handbook (PHB). There is also a “Generic” sheet for each class for you to use if you haven’t yet decided on your subclass – or if you are using a subclass from some other source. There are also files for the Artificer Class published in Eberron: Rising From the Last War. I have tried to keep each of these to one page, but several are two pages.

Artificer: Alchemist, Artillerist, Battle Smith, Generic
Barbarian Path: Berserker, Totem Warrior, Generic
Bard College: Lore, Valor, Generic
Cleric Domain: Knowledge, Life, Light, Nature, Tempest, Trickery, War, Generic
Druid Circle: Land, Moon, Generic
Fighter: Champion, Battle Master, Eldritch Knight, Generic
Monk Way: Shadow, Four Elemens, Open Hand, Generic
Paladin Oath Devotion: Ancients, Vengeance, Generic
Ranger: Beast Master, Hunter, Generic
Rogue: Arcane Trickster, Assassin, Thief, Generic
Sorcerer: Draconic Bloodline, Wild Magic, Generic
Warlock Patron: Archfey, Fiend, Great Old One, Generic
Wizard School: Abjuration, Conjuration, Divination, Enchantment, Evocation, Illusion, Necromancy, Transmutation, Generic

These will calculate spells known, cantrips known, spell save DC, spell attack modifier and other things for each spell casting subclass. It also calculates things like rages, bardic inspiration, channel divinity, wild shape, Ki points, divine sense, sneak attack, sorcerey points, arcane recovery, and more.

For it to do the calculations, you must enter your character’s class level. Note that if your character has levels in multiple classes this will be the levels you have in this class and not your total character level. For some calculations you may also need to enter your proficiency bonus and an ability modifier.

There is room for you to list your spells. There should be enough room for more than just the spell name. What I do is enter a symbol to indicate if the spell is (C) concentration, (R) ritual, or sometimes (T) casting time. If the spell isn’t from the PHB there is room to indicate which book it is in. For the Cleric, and some others, when you get to higher levels there may not be enough room to list all available spells, but there should be room enough to list the ones you use the most.


5E MultiClass Character Sheets (with Artificer)

After many requests, I finally got around to adding the Artificer to my MultiClass Character sheet.

Download your free 17 page MultiClass Player Character Sheet HERE.

This has 4 general pages plus an additional 13 pages – one for each class.

I posted the single class Artificer Character Sheet a couple of years ago. You can find it HERE.

This can all be printed blank and filled out with a pencil, or you can fill in the forms on your computer and most of the calculations will be done for you. You can download box-by-box instructions on filling this out HERE.


One D&D – Expert Classes (Heroic Inspiration)

In the second Unearthed Arcana playtest document for the upcoming new rulebooks scheduled for 2024 they re-defined the Inspiration rules. I have some issues with the new version.

These are my thoughts on the latest play test version of INSPIRATION.

Currently the Player’s Handbook says “you can give up your inspiration to give [another] character inspiration.” (PHB p.125)  They left this out of the new proposed rules. Perhaps they think it is no longer needed because the players will be getting it much more often. I think it should be included.

The first playtest document was called “Unearthed Arcana 2022 Character Origins”. This new one is called “Unearthed Arcana 2022 Expert Classes”. Here are the differences in the versions in regard to Inspiration.

1) They renamed it, now calling it “Heroic Inspiration”. Evidently they are calling it “Heroic Inspiration” to differentiate it from “Bardic Inspiration” or “Cunning Inspiration”, both also defined in this new document. This is consistent with many other minor wording changes to make the rules more consistent. This is good.

2) You can roll your d20 before deciding whether or not to use your Inspiration. I think this is a good change. It is how I have been doing inspiration for years.

3) They previously had you loosing inspiration at the start of a long rest. They have removed that. I have no problem with that change.

4) They previously had you getting inspiration when you rolled a 20 for a d20 Test. I liked that. They changed it to rolling a 1 instead. This is the one I have a problem with. Here’s why I disagree with the way it is currently presented:

Let’s say I don’t have inspiration and I roll a 1 on my d20 Test. I receive inspiration. I use it re-roll my d20. If I do this every time, I will always just re-roll any time I roll a 1. This would be the same as making it a rule that you get to re-roll whenever you roll a 1. I don’t like it.

Let’s say I do have inspiration. I roll a 1 on my d20 Test. I would receive inspiration, but I already have it, so I give it to another player. I then use the one I have to re-roll my d20. If 2 the players agree to do this every time, they will always just re-roll any time they roll a 1.

They need to be careful if they intend to fix this. If they try to fix it by adding “You don’t receive Heroic Inspiration until the end of your turn.”  Or “You can’t use Heroic Inspiration on the same turn that you receive it.”  Or something similar. That might fix it.

But, what if they add back the ability for one player to give another their inspiration? I like it when someone rolls a 1 and another player gives them their inspiration so they can re-roll. If you can’t use your inspiration on the same turn you receive it that could never happen.

I think the best way to fix this is to change it back to receiving inspiration on a roll of 20 instead of a roll of 1. Then allow players to give their inspiration to another player. I understand trying to make a critical fail not sting so bad, but not at the expense of removing the player’s ability to give their inspiration to someone when they need it.

What do you think?

D&D 5E – Are Dead Creatures Objects?

This question comes up quite often. There is no official clarification in either the Player’s Handbook or the Dungeon Master’s Guide. Jeremy Crawford said “A non-undead corpse isn’t considered a creature. It’s effectively an object.” But, dead creatures are not simply objects. If they were not still creatures they would not be valid targets for Revivify.
Time for another house rule.

House Rule:  A dead creature (non-undead corpse) can be either a creature or an object, depending on the situation. It is immune to poison and psychic damage, but otherwise can be affected by physical and magical attacks.

As a creature:

  • The creature has 0 hit points.
  • The creature is unconscious.
  • The creature can’t move, hear, see or speak, and is unaware of its surroundings.
  • The creature can’t take actions or reactions.
  • The creature is not affected by magical or mundane healing.
  • The creature is an “unwilling target” for spells that target creatures.
  • For any spell that requires an “unwilling target” to fail saving throw to be effected, the creature automatically succeeds on its save.
  • The creature automatically fails all other saving throws.
  • Attack rolls against the creature automatically hit.
  • Any attack that hits the creature is a critical hit.

As an object:  

  • The DM determines its Armor Class and hit points. For example: if the object is a dead unarmored human it might have 3d6 Hit Points and an Armor Class of 15.
  • The DM might decide that certain dead creature objects have resistance or immunity to certain kinds of attacks.
  • A dead creature object always fails Strength and Dexterity saving throws, and is immune to effects that require other saves.

As a weapon, it is an object.

“An improvised weapon includes any object you can wield in one or two hands, such as broken glass, a table leg, a frying pan, a wagon wheel, or a dead goblin.” (PHB p. 147)

As a target for a spell, it depends.

If a spell specifically says it works on creatures, it works on dead creatures.

What the target of the spell can be, as defined in the spell description, determines whether or not a dead creature can be a target for any specific spell.

If the spell describes the target as a

Does that include a dead creature?

Dead creature




Creature or Object




Willing Creature




Some specific spell examples:

Animate Object cannot be used on a dead creature.

Revivify, Raise Dead, Resurrection and True Resurrection all work on dead creatures.

Fabricate “You can fabricate a Large or smaller object …” In this case a creature would not be an object you could fabricate.

True Polymorph has no effect on a dead creature. For this spell, a dead creature is considered a creature with 0 hit points.

Telekinesis has separate descriptions for the target being a creature or an object. For this spell, a dead creature is considered an object.

D&D 5E – Astral Adventuring Revisited

An unofficial suppliant to the 5th edition D&D book Astral Adventurer’s Guide with ship-to-ship combat rules and other enhancements. Download your free copy HERE.

Last month (August 2022) Wizards of the Coast brought Spelljammer into the fifth edition when they published Spelljammer: Adventures in Space. This, for the most part, is very good. However I was disappointed in the lack of information and rules needed for actually conducting a spelljamming campaign. Specifically I was expecting clear descriptions regarding how the spelljamming helm functions and better rules for conducting ship-to-ship combat. The “Ship-to-Ship Combat” section includes boxed text with 3 sentences on “Shipboard Weapons”. Other than that, the entire section on ship-to-ship combat consists of 4 sections; “Starting Distance” (1 paragraph and a table), “Initiative” (1 sentence), “Moving and Steering a Ship” (2 paragraphs), and “Boarding” (2 paragraphs).

This document has two purposes:
1. This is an attempt to make sense out of the Astral Adventurer’s Guide for D&D players that are new to Spelljamming. Some of the terminology and many of the descriptions have been reworded to make it easier for players new to the topic to understand. It also includes a few alternative rules you may want to use in your Spelljamming adventures.
2. To make Spelljamming combat more fun this supplement provides a complete set of spelljamming ship-to-ship combat rules along with new ship statblocks, ship outlines at 1″=20′ scale, and rules that make each of the players active participants in ship-to-ship combat.

One D&D – Character Origins

I am sure you have seen the announcement by now. If you missed it, here is a link:

WotC Announcement

This is all in preparation for the new version of D&D that is scheduled to be released in 2024. They are calling it “ONE D&D” for now. They are getting away from release or edition numbers. If you are familiar with the software AutoCAD, they did the same thing some years back. After release 14 of AutoCAD came AutoCAD 2000, then AutoCAD 2002, etc. It looks like this is what they will be doing with Dungeons and Dragons. They may also change the official name from “Dungeons and Dragons” to “D&D”. I noticed that they are now referring to the fifth edition Player’s Handbook as the 2014 Player’s Handbook.

Note regarding Editions: Not referring to different releases of D&D as editions is not a new idea for D&D. The current 2014 version of the Player’s Handbook has no mention at all of any edition. We players are the ones that have christened it 5E. Looking at the covers of earlier editions I can only find two that have any mention of an edition or version: the “Advanced Dungeons & Dragons, Second Edition, Players Handbook” (1989), and the “Dungeons & Dragons Player’s Handbook, Core Rulebook 1, v.3.5” (2003). The others simply refer to it as “Dungeons & Dragons” or “Advanced D&D”.

They seem to be bending over backwards to insist that the new rules will be comparable with the current edition of D&D. There are some very good marketing reasons for this and I hope they make using existing books with the new release as painless as possible, but the new release is looking to me a lot like it should be thought of as D&D 6E. Not that that is a bad thing. I prefer the majority of the proposed new rules to the existing ones – so far.

They have started play testing the new rules, a few rules at a time. If you would like to participate in the play testing, or simply see what the new rules may look like, The first set of rules that have been released is called “Unearthed Arcana 2022 Character Origins”. It is in the form of a PDF file you can download a copy by logging into D&D Beyond. If you aren’t a member of D&D Beyond you can access it HERE.

This 21 page PDF contains new rules for Character Races, Character Backgrounds, Starting Languages, Feats, and in what they call a “Rules Glossary” where they list rules and terms that are new or changed.

Here is a quick overview:


It takes special note of the fact that each of these races have a “Creature Type” of Humanoid. Obviously, this anticipates the future inclusion of other creature types.
It looks like they will be listing Human first, which makes sense for new players. The new list of available races are Human, Ardling (a new race), Dragonborn, Dwarf, Elf, Gnome, Halfling, Orc (another new race), and Tiefling. Notice that Half-Elf and Half-Orc have been removed, but your two parents can be any available huminoid race. You get the size, speed, and special traits of one parent and mix and match visual characteristics you want from your two parents.

Your character’s race no longer gives you any ability score increases.

They are no longer divided into “common” and “uncommon” races.

There are no alignment suggestions for your race.

Subraces are being replaced by Lineages.

The speed for each race is now the same, 30 feet (exception: the wood elf speed is 35 feet).

All races get the Common language. Dragonborn also get Draconic. All other races get a language provided by their background and can choose one additional language. You don’t automatically get Dwarvish, Elvish, Goblin, Halfling, or Orc just because you happen to be that race.

Here is a list of what I see as the biggest change for each race. There are other changes as well.

Humans can be Small or Medium. There is no longer a variant human option. Feats are no longer an optional rule. Everyone gets a 1st-level feat based on his background. Humans also get one additional 1st-level feat.

Ardling (A new Player Race)
Ardlings can be Small or Medium. An Adling is kinda like the opposite of a Tefling. Rather than their heritage tied to the Lower Planes, an Adlings heritage is tied to the Upper Planes. Their head resembles an animal, has some innate spell casting ability, resistance to radiant damage, and can sprout spectral wings and fly a number of times equal to your Proficiency Bonus per long rest [ I will be referring to this as (PB/LR). It looks like this is replacing things that were renewing after a short rest.]

They now get Darkvision. Their breath weapons have changed a little.

You don’t get any weapon or armor proficiencies. They are moving all of those to your background. The Stonecutting feature has been improved to give you Tremorsense out to 60 ft. for 10 minutes (PB/LR).

You get a cantrip at first level and a spell at 3rd and 5th level. You can cast each of these once per long rest for free, or you can use any spell slots you may have to cast them.

You now have Advantage on all Intelligence, Wisdom, and Charisma saving throws (not just against magic). They replaced the Speak with Small Beasts trait with the Speak with Animals Spell and replaced the Tinker trait with the ability to create a Tiny clockwork device that can produce an effect from the Prestidigitation cantrip.

No more Lightfoot or Stout. No more hiding behind other creatures – you get Naturally Stealthy but it only gives you Proficiency in the Stealth Skill.

Orc (A new Player Race)
Orcs have darkvision, can Dash as a bonus action (which gives then temporary hit points PB/LR, count as large carrying capacity and push, pull, drag or lift, and drop to 1 point instead of 0 once per long rest.

Tieflings can now be Small or Medium. You get the Thaumaturgy cantrip. Like the Elf, you also get a cantrip at first level and a spell at 3rd and 5th level. You can cast each of these once per long rest for free, or you can use any spell slots you have to cast them.


This says nothing regarding Alignmant, Ideals, Bonds, or Flaws. It would be okay with me if they dropped Ideals, Bonds, and Flaws but they may show up in a future Unearthed Arcana.
Although the current Player’s Handbook has rules for customizing your background, not many players do that. These new rules makes building your own background the preferred method but also provides some pre-made backgrounds that you can use, or modify using the provided rules.
The rules to create your background are simple.
Abilities: You get 3 points to add to your ability scores, add one to 3 abilities or 2 to one and 1 to another.
Skills: You get proficiency with 2 skills.
Tools: You get proficiency with 1 tool.
Language: You get one language from your background.
Feat: you get 1 first level feat.
Equipment: You buy whatever you want. You get 50 gp to buy it with. You keep any coins that you don’t spend.


After creating your characters background you can add one aditional language. Common Sign Language has been added as a standard language and Thieve’s Cant has been added as a rare language.


The document defines several first level feats. Each feat has a level, some have prerequisites, and some can be taken more than once (repeatable).
None of the first level feats add to your ability scores.


I may give my thoughts on the new and revised rules and game terms in a future post.

One last comment:

Don’t forget that everything in “Unearthed Arcana 2022 Character Origins” is for playtesting. These are proposed new rules that they are requesting we users try out and report back to them. Based on your feedback any or all of these may change before the new Player’s Handbook, Dungeon MAster’s Guide and Monster Manual are published in 2024. There will be many more of these, possibly several different versions.

Tell me (or, more importantly, tell Wizards of the Cost) what you like or don’t like about any of this and why.