Dungeons & Dragons Releases New Bard and Paladin Subclasses for Playtesting

Dungeons & Dragons has released two new subclasses for public playtesting. Yesterday, the Dungeons & Dragons team released a new Unearthed Arcana playtest for the College of Eloquence Bard and the Oath of Heroism Paladin. These are new subclasses meant to be tested and scrutinized by the D&D fans all around the world and could possibly appear (in a revised format) in a future D&D publication. This is the third set of new subclasses released in recent months, following the release of the Aberrant Mind sorcerer and the Lurker in the Deep patron for Warlocks, as well as the Path of the Wild Soul Barbarian and the Way of the Astral Self Monk.

Both new subclasses are uniquely powerful in their own way. The Eloquence Bard is basically a master arguer and debater, who quickly gains the ability to speak to any creature and cast "Calm Emotions" without expending a spellslot. At higher levels, the Eloquence Bard can deal Psychic Damage using their words alone, heal allies with the use of Bardic Inspiration, and spend their reaction to grant Bardic Inspiration on another ally whenever someone uses a Bardic Inspiration dice on a roll.

Meanwhile, the Oath of Heroism Paladin is a Paladin that embraces the idea of being a hero, granting them larger than life abilities. At Level 3, a Heroism Paladin can Channel Divinity to augment their athleticism or increase their chances of scoring a critical hit. At Level 7, the Hero Paladin gains the ability to either grant temporary hit points on an ally or cause enemies to become frightened whenever the paladin scores a critical hit or kills an opponent. The Heroism Paladin becomes REALLY overpowered when it hits Level 15, as it can use its reaction to temporarily boost its AC and counterattack. The Paladin's capstone feature at Level 20 basically allows them to become a living legend - they become super "comely," which grants them advantage on all Charisma checks, they can automatically succeed on saving throws, and they can choose to make an attack hit when it otherwise misses. While the capstone is insane, keep in mind that almost no D&D party actually reaches Level 20.

These are both really fun subclasses, and the release of three Unearthed Arcana playtests so close together seems to hint that something big is coming down the pipeline. While we had a handful of new subclasses with the release of Guildmaster's Guide to Ravnica, it's been over two years since D&D has released a substantive expansion like Xanathar's Guide to Everything, and these playtests seem to indicate that something more is brewing.

You can check out the new subclasses on D&D's website.