Finding Unearthed Arcana (UA) PDFs for your next D&D game is an easy thing to do. In one sitting, you can access dozens of UA files like class options, custom races, custom subraces, battlemaps, spells, and even entire compilations.
In this article, we will cover some of the best Unearthed Arcana PDFs. These PDFs were personally curated and tested, and they will definitely spice up your game.
Unearthed Arcana PDFs Explored
Bloodletter – Rogue Subclass
Type: Subclass Material
Purpose: For having a Surgeon-type Rogue
The Bloodletter is an excellent subclass for Rogue players who want to deal crippling damage over time. Every sneak attack allows the Bloodletter to make the target bleed. The target will receive bleed damage based on the bleed counter that it currently has. Since sneak attacks are fairly common, they can ensure continuous bleed damage and bring down any low-level or mid-level foe.
The other traits of the Bloodletter can turn the Rogue into a seasoned hunter or killer based on the increasing number of bleed counters on a target. Despite such excellent traits, the Bloodletter feels one-sided. It doesn’t have defensive capabilities and even roleplaying traits. This can be balanced by using the Rogue’s main features or relying on pure DM fiat.
Gimble’s Grimoire of Gnomish Knowledge
Purpose: For having tons of new class options, racial options, spells, and magic items
Gimble’s Grimoire of Gnomish Knowledge may be a mouthful, but it contains dozens of useful options that can benefit DMs and players alike. Some of the things that you can find in Gimble’s Grimoire are character options, spells, races, subraces, and even magic items.
One interesting race from the book is the Sylvari. Awakened from magical pods in the Feywild, the Sylvari are driven by a deep sense of curiosity while remaining mysterious. Sylvarians also live in a timeless state, and their lifespans range anywhere from 20 to 500 years. More importantly, Sylvarians don’t need to eat but they gain more than enough nourishment from simple food and drinks.
Some of the cool magic items in the Grimoire are Dark Deliverance (has a leaping necrotic strike), Gambler’s Knife (contains tricks), and a Staff of the Beholder (contains charges and Beholder abilities). Such items can be used for deep roleplay and intense combat encounters.
Trove of Lore
Purpose: For adding fantastic biomes and monsters to your campaign
The Trove of Lore is a special collection that contains eccentric biomes like spacescapes, magical twilight tunnels, fungus forest, and mysterious lakes. There are also a handful of well-detailed monsters that can be used for your campaign.
While the Trove of Lore is still a Work-in-Progress, it can bring great value to any table. More importantly, the Trove of Lore is great for roleplay-focused campaigns with a balanced scale of exploration and combet.
Purpose: A challenging monster to stalk players during the night
The Screechwing is an exotic and challenging monster bat that can function as an effective hunter-killer. Since the Screechwing is a bat, it can unleash a powerful screech attack. Characters that are hit by the attack must pass a CON save or be stunned. To make it worse, the stunned characters can be seen by the Screechwing, rendering the cover of the night almost useless.
Using a lone Screechwing will make an encounter trivial. However, multiple Screechwings are enough to threaten a moderately sized party. As a DM, you can even scale up the encounter by modifying some Screechwings and turning them into half-casters.
The Undying Collection
Purpose: A collection of themed races and subclasses based on death and supernatural forces
Are you looking for some options to add to your Halloween-themed game? In this case, you should check out The Undying Collection. This homebrew collection has different supernatural options like the Reanimated race, Boggart, Phantom, and Symbiote.
All of the races featured in the Undying Collection have their unique traits. The Reanimated, for example, is a living machine similar to a construct. It doesn’t need to eat, drink, or sleep. Plus, the Reanimated is totally immune to lightning damage. On the other hand, the Boggart is plant-inspired while the Phantom has a geist-like nature that can possess humanoids. Lastly, the Symbiote is a living parasite that can transfer its consciousness to a creature that it recently killed.
Lolth and Her Avatars
Type: Monster Stat Blocks
Purpose: For using a deity stat block (Lolth) in an encounter
Have you ever wanted to run an encounter against the gods? Well, you can now do it easily by using a small compilation called Lolth and Her Avatars. This compilation contains the stat block of Lolth and her powerful Avatars.
The Lolth compilation is somehow flexible. You can modify Lolth’ stat blocks and use any deity that you want. Just make a few tweaks here and there to fit the custom deity for your campaign.
How to Make Your Own Unearthed Arcana PDF?
Publishing your own homebrew material is a great creative exercise. More importantly, you can make money on the side by selling your homebrew PDFs in a nice bundle. If you are an aspiring creator, you can have a great start with the Unearthed Arcana PDF.
In this article section, we’ll show you some useful tips on making your own Unearthed Arcana homebrew material.
Begin With A Concept
You don’t need to start with a stat block or a detailed adventure prompt right away. Rather, you should take your time and flesh out a concept. Do you want to make a new zombie-inspired class? Or perhaps you want to create a tower of doom filled with all kinds of enemies? Jot down what you want to happen in a handy notebook or journal.
Once you’ve laid down the foundations of a concept, you can now proceed to the technical framework.
Build the Framework
The technical framework transforms your concept into a ‘working piece’ that can be integrated to any game or session. Consider the process of monster creation. You can begin by sketching the monster or writing paragraphs related to the monster’s background. If you don’t have a technical framework for the monster, you might have a hard time using it in any encounter.
The framework of a D&D monster is a stat block. Nowadays, you can get stat blocks online and modify them accordingly. There’s even a general advice to use the Bear stat block for your monsters because it is well-balanced around early or mid-level encounters. Plus, D&D bears are easy to scale and modify.
When it comes to battlemaps, the image file is the actual framework. After all, a map won’t be a map if it doesn’t have visual representation. However, you can take it to the next level by adding a ‘guiding sheet’ filled with bullet points or text snippets. Put this sheet somewhere in your DM screen and adjust accordingly.
Frameworks for biomes are the same with battlemaps. Still, you’re always free to make big adjustments such as long paragraph descriptions, roleplay prompts, in-game reminders, scenario triggers, lair actions (for boss battles), and side quests.
Playtest and Documentation
Playtesting is a crucial part of Unearthed Arcana PDF creation. By playtesting your material, you will learn about the specific areas that require adjustment. Perhaps a monster is too strong or a biome is too dangerous for players.
The best way to playtest your material is to invite some seasoned D&D players. Create an online group and run simulations (i.e. encounters). After the simulation, all participants must write down their thoughts about the material.
Here are some things to take note of:
- Overall difficulty rate of the material
- All the numbers (damage, healing, stacks, counters)
- Compatibility (does the material fit the genre?)
- Cohesion (is the material smooth-flowing?)
Keep in mind that all materials enter a long period of being Work-in-Progress. Unless you want to abandon a finished material, you should continue making the necessary updates. It’s true that playtesting will take a lot of time, but the process will be crucial to your progress.
Note: You can make solo simulations by using dice and online event generators. Alternatively, you can use Mythic GM emulator to run your simulations accurately.
FAQ About Unearthed Arcana PDFs
What is the best Unearthed Arcana PDF?
Answer: Finding the best Unearthed Arcana (UA) PDF can be tricky. Every now and then, Unearthed Arcana releases a homebrew material for players and DMs to explore. If you want to find the best PDF, your best shot is to check out the Unearthed Arcana subreddit and browse the latest entries.
Are options from Unearthed Arcana overpowered?
Answer: Many players and DMs think that UA options are overpowered and imbalanced. This is not always the case because some options were officially playtested. However, the real concept of balance depends is highly dependent on the DM’s table, unless that table is using Adventurer’s League rules.
Do I need to pay to get PDFs from Unearthed Arcana?
Answer: Paying for UA PDFs is optional. Most PDFs can be downloaded for free while others require donations or small fees. You don’t have to pay a large sum of money to get UA PDFs.
Can I playtest Unearthed Arcana materials anytime?
Answer: Yes, there’s no official limit on Unearthed Arcana playtesting. You can playtest any material that you want.
Unearthed Arcana PDFs will make your D&D games awesome. You can even get the PDFs from multiple repositories such as GMBinder, Google Drive, and Reddit. If you’re also a writer or worldbuilder, you can publish Unearthed Arcana files as often as possible.