D&D: Arcane Archer and Divine Soul in Xanathar’s Guide

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The Arcane Archer and Divine Soul (née Favored Soul) make their way to Xanathar’s Guide.

For those of you playing along at home, that’s two new previews for the price of one, which means we now have three confirmed Fighter Subclasses in Xanathar’s Guide to Everything, plus a second confirmed Sorcerous Origin. Formerly the Favored Soul, the Divine Soul brings divine magic to the Sorcerer. While the Arcane Archer, having been through some changes, brings arcane might to a fighter’s repertoire. There’s a lot of information floating around about Xanathar’s Give to Everything now, so stick around ’til the end for a roundup.

For now though, let’s dive into the Arcane Archer, an archetype that many would consider the very first prestige class. Certainly so if we’re talking alphabetically.

I’m glad to see the final version of the Arcane Archer will still have a different arrow for each of the schools of magic. The last time we saw the Arcane Archer, they had a variety of specialty arcane focuses, and what they chose to determined their abilities. Their power still comes from magical shots, but it takes on a flavor inspired by the schools of magic. The end result is very much a magical sniper that has extra effects they can reliably inflict on their enemies. And with the changes made, each Arcane Archer will get 5 out of 8 specialties, so you’ll be able to have a variety of powers on top of the other abilities granted by the subclass.

The other big mention here is that the Favored Soul is in Xanathar’s Guide, though now they ate the Divine Soul. This is another one that’s seen some changes.

As you might expect, they’re a sorcerer who gains Divine powers and, in addition to casting divine spells and cure wounds, can invoke the favor of their deity,  allowing them to manipulate or even reroll dice when they need that extra little pick-me-up on the tabletop. All in all pretty solid, and since both of these options came from the same revised classes guide,  it feels like it’s not too much of a stretch to go ahead and say that the Ancestral Guardian Barbarian and Kensei Monk will ALSO be in Xanathar’s Guide.

So for those of you playing along at home, that brings our 25 new subclasses, plus some SCAG reprints (and possible updates) to the following:

These may change, because we know a few classes are getting three and that there’s only at least 25 new subclasses, along with the rules for downtime, life events, traps, and 95 new spells and options (which we should see previewed here shortly). The takeaway is that this book is going to be big. As it should be. It’s the first expansion for this edition, and boy does it seem poised to help grow those character options.

We’ll be getting more confirmed subclasses in the coming weeks, and I’m very excited to see what this month’s Unearthed Arcana has in store.

In the meantime, stay tuned for more previews from the upcoming Xanathar’s Guide to Everything.

  • Rainthezangoose

    As someone whos been DM 5th edition for a while and his group is coming to the end of the mines of mines of phandelver starting campagin, when do the subclasses activate, are they for example all an alternative set of skill for each class at say level 5? Do they replace all the stuff they would have gotten if they just choose to level up normally and how do they work with the multiclass system. Thanks to anyone who answers in advance.

    • Xodis

      Subclasses should be automatic once you hit anywhere betweel lvl 1-3.

      A level 3 Fighter automatically gets to choose between his subclasses, otherwise he received nothing for his level 3 level up.

      • Rainthezangoose

        Oh wait so these things are like when the Barbarian chooses his totem spirit animal or a rouge chooses between being an assassin or an arcane trickster?

        • Drew

          That’s my understanding, yes. They did some similar things in the Sword Coast Adventurer’s Guide for a few classes.

        • Xodis

          Exactly, yes.