Adventurers descending into the fiery depths of Avernus via the latest Dungeons & Dragons campaign just got some help in the form of new subclasses. Assuming they're a bard or paladin, that is. And assuming that they're playing in a home campaign with a Dungeon Master who allows untested content. Wizards of the Coast introduced new Unearthed Arcana for bard and paladin– the College of Eloquence and the Oath of Heroism.
Unearthed Arcana is a set of mechanics and rules for Dungeons & Dragons that is still in the testing phase. The game's publisher, Wizards of the Coast, distributes bits of these mechanics sporadically and asks players to test them in their games. Then, after some time has passed, Wizards puts out a survey for player feedback. Based on the results of the survey, Wizards will either shelve the content or include it in a future book. In its current form, however, Unearthed Arcana is not considered legal content for official D&D events.
The latest Unearthed Arcana adds two new subclasses that are aimed at making bards more persuasive and paladins more legendary.
Bards get a new Bardic College, a feature the class unlocks at level three. The new college is called the College of Eloquence, and it is all about mastering the art of persuasion. Those who follow this path instantly gain the ability to communicate with and calm the emotions of any other being, even if they don't speak the same language. Magic allows the bard to twist words to appear logical, to the point that enemies will gain disadvantage and allies will gain advantage if Bardic Inspiration is used. This one is for those bards who love talking their way out of trouble.
Paladins who dip into Unearthed Arcana can take an Oath of Heroism. Also unlocked at level three, this oath is an admission of divine will. Heroism paladins know they're part of a divine plan, and hone their bodies to be ready for when their god calls. They also fully accept that legends will be written about them as they do great deeds. Their abilities allow their reputation to precede them, inspiring others to take heart (and temporary HP) or causing enemies to run and miss attacks out of fear. This subclass will allow players to really lean into the role play.
It's wonderful to see Dungeons & Dragons continue to grow and evolve. A lot of that is due to the rise of tabletop role play podcasts, and these two subclasses seem to show that Wizards is aware of this. We expect to see many Eloquence Bards and Heroism paladins grace the tables of podcasts in the coming months.