Back in August, Wizards of the Coast announced their plans for One D&D, the Dungeons & Dragons system to end them all. They say One D&D is intended to be the final, penultimate system for Dungeons & Dragons, which will create all future content. It will rework the fundamental rules of D&D with new versions of the Player’s Handbook, Dungeon Master’s Guide, and Monster Manual slated for release in 2024. The first Unearthed Arcana document featured the rules used for determining a player character’s origins and WotC says they anticipate releasing another document every 1-2 months. We just got our first look at their next batch of rules.
The second Unearthed Arcana to feature the playtest material for One D&D, titled Expert Classes, was released on September 29th, 2022. This document focuses on the rules for building a character using one of the three Expert classes, the Bard, Ranger, and Rogue. This is the third and final article in which I’ll focus on the Rules Glossary and breakdown each and every change that has been made to any rules as well as going over any new rules that are presented. You can find my review of the rest of this release in One D&D Expert Classes: Classes and Subclasses, and One D&D Expert Classes: Feats.
There is a ton going on in the Rules Glossary of this Unearthed Arcana as Wizards of the Coast is redefining a lot of keywords with these new rules. Because of that, I’m only going to focus on highlighting what has changed. That means any new changes they present here and any changes from the Character Origins document. Any rules that have stayed the same I am going to leave out as we know how those work. Let’s get to it!
As we already know by now, the way spells are being divided among classes is changing with the introduction of the Arcane, Divine, and Primal spell lists instead of class-specific lists. I’m not going to list every spell that is in each list. Instead, some spells have had their schools of magic redefined so below I will show which spells those are, what their original school of magic was, and what their new one is.
|Spell Level||Spell Name||Original School||New School|
|0 Level||Dancing Lights||Evocation||Illusion|
|0 Level||Produce Flame||Conjuration||Evocation|
|1st Level||Cure Wounds||Evocation||Abjuration|
|1st Level||Healing Word||Evocation||Abjuration|
|2nd level||Flaming Sphere||Conjuration||Evocation|
|2nd Level||Prayer of Healing||Evocation||Abjuration|
|3rd Level||Aura of Vitality||Evocation||Abjuration|
|3rd Level||Mass Healing Word||Evocation||Abjuration|
|5th Level||Mass Cure Wounds||Evocation||Abjuration|
|9th Level||Mass Heal||Evocation||Abjuration|
|9th Level||Power Word Heal||Evocation||Abjuration|
Armor Training is the new name for armor proficiency. Any existing rule that involves
armor proficiency now applies to Armor Training.
If you wear light, medium, or heavy armor and lack Armor Training with that type of armor, you have disadvantage on any d20 Test you make that involves Strength or Dexterity, and you can’t cast Spells.
If you equip a shield and lack armor training with shields, you don’t gain the armor class bonus of the shield.
- Pretty simple, Armor Training replaces armor proficiency.
The Attack Roll is one of three types of d20 tests. This Unearthed Arcana article uses the rules for attack rolls and critical hits found in the 2014 Player’s Handbook.
- This is being included because it walks back on the new rules they had released involving critical hits in the Character Origins document back in August. They had originally decided that DMs would no longer have the option of critical hits with monsters and NPCs which made a lot of people very unhappy. They have since decided to move away from this ruling.
Here’s a new version of the Barkskin Spell.
2nd-Level Transmutation Spell (Primal)
Casting Time: Bonus Action
Component: V, S, M (a handful of bark)
Duration: Concentration, up to 1 hour
You touch one willing creature to protect it with regenerating bark. Until the Spell ends, the target’s skin assumes a bark-like appearance, and at the start of each of the target’s turns, the target gains a number of temporary hit points equal to your spellcasting ability modifier plus your proficiency bonus.
At Higher Levels. When you cast this spell using a spell slot of 3rd level or higher, you can target one additional willing creature for each slot level above 2nd.
- This new version of the Barkskin spell turns the casting time from an action to a bonus action and grants someone temporary hit points instead of making their AC 16.
- It lasts for the same duration but this version also allows you to spend higher spell slots to cast it on additional creatures.
If a space is difficult terrain, every foot of movement in that space costs 1 extra foot. For example, moving 5 feet through difficult terrain costs 10 feet of movement. difficult terrain isn’t cumulative; either a space is difficult terrain or it isn’t.
A space is difficult terrain for a creature if the space contains any of the following:
A creature that isn’t tiny
Furniture that is small or larger
Liquid that’s between shin-and waist-deep (any deeper and you need to swim)
Narrow opening that is sized for a creature one
Pit or another gap of 2–5 feet
Slope of 20 degrees or more
The DM may determine that other things count as difficult terrain based on the examples here.
- Everything here is pretty much the same rules except for one small part. Moving through the space of ANY creature that isn’t tiny counts as difficult terrain. This means that you can now move through the spaces of hostile creatures by counting it as difficult terrain and is confirmed later on under the update for the Move rules.
While you are subjected to the exhausted condition (known in older books as Exhaustion), you experience the following effects:
Levels of Exhaustion. This condition is cumulative. Each time you receive it, you gain 1 level of exhaustion. You die if your exhaustion level exceeds 10.
d20 Rolls Affected. When you make a d20 test, you subtract your exhaustion level from the d20 roll.
Spell Save DCs Affected. Subtract your exhaustion level from the spell save DC of any spell you cast.
Ending the Condition. Finishing a long rest removes 1 of your levels of exhaustion. When your exhaustion level reaches 0, you are no longer exhausted.
- They took Exhaustion and turned it on easy mode with this. Originally, it only takes 6 levels of exhaustion to kill you and each level of exhaustion had its own detrimental effect. Now it takes 10 levels to kill you and you just subtract your level from your d20 rolls and spell save DCs. I’ve never seen anyone die from Exhaustion and this just makes it even easier to deal with.
Here’s a new version of the Guidance Spell.
0-Level Divination Spell (Divine, Primal)
Casting Time: Reaction, which you take in response to you or an ally within 30 feet of you failing an Ability Check
Range: 30 feet
Component: V, S
You channel magical insight to the creature who failed the ability check. That creature can roll a d4 and add the number rolled to the check, potentially turning it into a success.
Once a creature rolls the die for this spell, that creature can’t benefit from the spell again until the creature finishes a long rest.
- This spell functions primarily the same except that its casting time is now a reaction that must be used at the moment when someone fails an ability check. It used to be an action that would allow the creature the spell is cast on to use the bonus to an ability check any time in the next minute.
- Guidance also used to be a touch spell but now has a range of 30 feet and also adds that limitation that a creature can benefit from this spell only once per long rest so it can’t be spammed over and over to assist everyone all day long.
When you take the Help Action, you do one of the following:
Assist Ability Check. Choose one of your skill proficiencies and one ally who can see or hear you. You give advantage to the next ability check that ally makes with the chosen skill. This benefit expires if the ally doesn’t use it before the start of your next turn. To give this assistance, you must be near enough to the ally to assist verbally or physically when the ally makes the check. The DM has the final say on whether your assistance is possible.
Assist Attack Roll. You momentarily distract an enemy within 5 feet of you, granting advantage to the next attack roll by one of your allies against that enemy. This benefit expires at the start of your next turn.
- Both parts of this action work the same way, but the Assist Ability Check action now makes the distinction that you can only help with an ability check that uses a skill you are proficient in.
When you have Heroic Inspiration (also called Inspiration), you can expend it to give yourself advantage on a d20 Test. You decide to do so immediately after rolling the d20.
Gaining Heroic Inspiration
A player character gains Heroic Inspiration if the character rolls a 1 for a d20 Test. That 1 must be on the d20 used for the test’s total, not on a d20 that was rerolled or discarded. This Heroic Inspiration represents a character’s resolve to do better after fumbling an attempt.
The DM can also award Heroic Inspiration to a player character who’s done something that is particularly heroic or in character.
Only One at a Time
You can never have more than one instance of Heroic Inspiration. If something gives you Heroic Inspiration and you already have it, you can give Heroic Inspiration to a player character in your group who lacks it.
- They’ve changed Inspiration to Heroic Inspiration and it’s for some reason now used to award players for critically failing a d20 test. You can still only have one instance of Inspiration at a time and you can award it to someone else if you were to gain a second instance of it as normal.
- However, now Inspiration is automatically awarded to any player that rolls a 1 on a d20 test and not a 20.
- This version also doesn’t mention anything about losing your Inspiration if you complete a long rest.
While you are Hidden, you experience the following effects:
Concealed. You aren’t affected by any effect that requires its target to be seen.
Surprise. If you are hidden when you roll initiative, you have advantage on the roll.
Attacks Affected. Attack rolls against you have disadvantage, and your attack rolls have advantage.
Ending the Condition. The condition ends on you immediately after any of the following occurrences: you make a sound louder than a whisper, an enemy finds you, you make an attack roll, you cast a spell with a verbal component, or you aren’t heavily obscured or
behind any cover.
- This is a new condition being introduced in these rules because of the way the Hide action now works.
With the Hide action, you try to conceal yourself. To do so, you must make a DC 15 Dexterity check (Stealth) while you’re heavily obscured or behind three-quarters cover or total cover, and you must be out of any visible enemy’s line of sight; if you can see a creature, you can discern whether it can see you.
On a successful check, you are Hidden. Make note of your check’s total, which becomes the DC for a creature to find you with a Wisdom check (Perception).
- This works like the old Hide action rules but like with all the other conditions they are changing, they have set a specific DC for becoming hidden instead of it being dependent on the stats or abilities of what they are hiding from.
With the Influence action, you can try to influence another creature to do something you request or demand. This action can be used only on creatures controlled by the DM, and it isn’t mind control; it can’t force a creature to do something that is counter to the creature’s alignment or that is otherwise repugnant to the creature.
This Action has three main parts: Attitude, interaction, and a Charisma check.
A creature’s attitude determines how a character can influence that creature. Each DM-controlled creature has one of the following attitudes toward the player characters:
Indifferent. This is the default Attitude for DMcontrolled creatures. An Indifferent creature might help or hinder the party, depending on what the creature sees as most beneficial. A creature’s indifference doesn’t necessarily make it standoffish or disinterested. Indifferent creatures might be polite and genial, surly and irritable, or anything in between. A successful Charisma check is often necessary when the adventurers try to persuade an indifferent creature to do something.
Friendly. A friendly creature wants to help the adventurers and wishes for them to succeed. For tasks or actions that require no particular risk, effort, or cost, friendly creatures often help happily. If an element of personal risk is involved, a successful Charisma check might be required to convince a friendly creature to take that risk.
Hostile. A hostile creature opposes the adventurers and their goals but doesn’t necessarily attack them on sight. The adventurers need to succeed on one or more challenging Charisma checks to convince a hostile creature to do anything on the party’s behalf; however, the DM might determine that the hostile creature is so ill-disposed toward the characters that no Charisma check can sway it, in which case the first check fails automatically and no further Influence attempts can be made on the creature unless its attitude shifts.
When you take the Influence action, either roleplay how your character interacts with the creature or describe your character’s behavior— focusing on your character’s request or demand. If the interaction is especially suited to the creature’s desires and outlook, the DM might grant advantage to your subsequent check or might temporarily shift a hostile creature to indifferent or an indifferent creature to friendly.
Similarly, if the interaction is particularly irksome to the creature, the DM might impose disadvantage on your subsequent check or might temporarily shift a friendly creature to indifferent or an indifferent creature to hostile.
To determine whether your request or demand is successful, you make a Charisma check (Animal Handling, Deception, Intimidation, or Persuasion); the applicable skill depends on the interaction, with Animal Handling being reserved for beasts and monstrosities. Also, each request or demand requires a different check.
The creature’s attitude determines the DC required to achieve a specific response, as shown in the Influence Responses table.
|DC||Indifferent Creature’s Response|
|10||The creature does as asked, as long as no risks or sacrifices are involved.|
|20||The creature accepts a minor risk or sacrifice to do as asked.|
|DC||Friendly Creature’s Response|
|10||The creature offers no help but does no harm.|
|20||The creature accepts a significant risk or sacrifice to do as asked.|
|DC||Hostile Creature’s Response|
|10||The creature offers no help but does no harm.|
|20||The creature does as asked, as long as no risks or sacrifices are involved.|
- A lot is going on with this new action. When it comes down to it, it’s just a way for them to gamify how trying to influence an NPC works instead of just telling the DM to set an appropriate DC for the Charisma check you deem applicable.
While you are Invisible, you experience the following effects:
Unseeable. You can’t be seen, so you aren’t affected by any effect that requires its target to be seen. Any equipment you are wearing or carrying also can’t be seen.
Surprise. If you are invisible when you roll initiative, you have advantage on the roll.
Attacks Affected. Attack rolls against you have disadvantage, and your attack rolls have
- This is the new wording of the Invisible condition and grants the same effects of the Hidden condition without clarifying what ends this condition as that is normally determined by the effect that caused it.
With the Jump action, you attempt to leap more than 5 feet (a jump of 5 feet or less is treated as difficult terrain). When you take this action, your speed must be greater than 0, and you must make a DC 10 Strength check (Acrobatics or Athletics). If you don’t Move at least 10 feet immediately before this action, you have disadvantage on the check.
On a failed check, you leap 5 feet horizontally or vertically.
On a successful check, the check’s total determines the distance in feet that you can clear horizontally, or half that total if you’re jumping vertically (round down). This jump doesn’t expend your movement, but the distance you clear can’t exceed your speed.
- The distance you can clear with a jump is no longer a static number determined by your Strength score but is now determined by the success of your Strength check. And, if the wording in these rules is correct, they are planning on making the Acrobatics skill a Strength-based skill.
When you take the Magic action, you cast a spell that has a casting time of an action, or you use a magic item that requires an action to be activated.
If you cast a spell that has a casting time of 1 minute or longer, you must take the Magic action on each turn of that casting, and you must maintain concentration while you do so. If your concentration is broken, the spell fails, but you don’t expend a spell slot.
- This is the action that is replacing the Cast a Spell action.
If you have a spell prepared that has the Ritual tag, you can cast that spell as a ritual. A special feature is no longer required for ritual casting. All the other rules on rituals in the 2014 Player’s Handbook still apply.
- Anyone can now cast a spell as a ritual for an extended amount of time without expending a spell slot if it has the ritual tag. You no longer have to have the Ritual Casting feature to be able to do so.
When you take the Search action, you make a Wisdom check to discern something that isn’t obvious. The Search table suggests which skills are applicable when you take this action, depending on what you’re trying to detect.
|Skill||Thing to Detect|
|Insight||Creature’s state of mind|
|Perception||Concealed creature or object|
|Survival||Tracks or food|
- The new wording of this action now requires the use of a Wisdom check which for some reason removes the ability to use Investigation to search for things, I’m not sure why.
- It also provides a list of skills that would be applicable in detecting certain things.
A shortsword is now a simple weapon, rather than a martial weapon.
- New weapon classification for shortswords.
When you take the Study action, you make an Intelligence check to study your memory, a book, a creature, a clue, an object, or another source of knowledge and call to mind an important piece of information about it.
The Areas of Knowledge table suggests which skills are applicable when you take this action, depending on the area of knowledge the Intelligence check is about.
Areas of Knowledge
|Arcana||Spells, magic items, eldritch symbols, magical traditions, planes of existence, and certain creatures (aberrations, constructs, elementals, fey, and monstrosities)|
|History||Historic events and people, ancient civilizations, wars, and certain creatures (Giants and Humanoids)|
|Investigation||Traps, ciphers, riddles, and gadgetry|
|Religion||Deities, religious hierarchies and rites, holy symbols, cults, and certain creatures (celestials, fiends, and undead)|
- This is a new action that is being introduced in these rules.
Teleportation is a special kind of magical transportation. If you teleport, you disappear and reappear elsewhere instantly, without moving through the intervening space. This transportation doesn’t expend movement unless a rule tells you otherwise, and teleportation never provokes opportunity attacks.
When you teleport, all the equipment you are wearing and carrying teleports with you. If you are touching another creature when you teleport, that creature doesn’t teleport with you, unless the teleportation effect says otherwise.
If the destination space of your teleportation is occupied by another creature or blocked by a solid obstacle, you instead appear in the nearest unoccupied space of your choice.
The description of a teleportation effect tells you if you must see the teleportation’s destination.
- This ruling is here to simply help clarify how general teleportation functions.
As you can see, if you’ve made it this far, is that there are a lot of changes happening throughout all aspects of the D&D rules. Some changes are huge while others are not so noticeable. It is noticeable that they are trying to make this feel distinctly different from the 5th edition rules. Some of these changes are understandable, but a lot of them feel unnecessarily forced. Hopefully, we’ll see some better updates as the next couple of months unfold.
- Though I did not feature them here, the Arcane, Divine, and Primal spell lists now have a full list of spells.
- Several spells saw changes to their schools of magic.
- This release introduces a lot of new actions, conditions, and changes to how things are defined.
- The Rules Glossary update nearly tripled in size since the first one with many rules being rewritten, including some updates on rules introduced in the previous Character Origins Unearthed Arcana.
If you’d like to read the full details of the Expert Classes Unearthed Arcana you find it with this link right here!