UA 1: Character Origins

In our first Unearthed Arcana for the One D&D rules system, we dive into material designed for the Player’s Handbook coming out in 2024. The playtest document presents character creation rules, including options for races, backgrounds, and feats. You will also find a glossary of new or revised meanings for game terms.

~ D&D Beyond

You can view the full video (clocking in at just over an hour) for Character Origins released by D&D below and you can download the actual PDF at D&D Beyond where you can also submit your feedback. But if you’re looking for a high-level overview than look no further.

Title: Character Origins
Released: Aug. 18th, 2022
Written By: Jeremy Crawford, with Christopher Perkins and Ray Winninger

Pages: 21
# of Sections: 7
Feedback Deadline: Sept. 15th, 2022

New Rules

  • Ardlings: A new race of celestial beings called Ardlings that are supposed to be the upper plane counterpart to Tieflings
    • They have the head of your choice of animal
    • Can create temporary spectral wings as a bonus action
    • Resistant to Radiant damage
    • Innate spellcasting
  • Orcs: Orcs are now a full race with half-orcs being removed in favor of the new “Children of Different Humanoid Kinds” rule (see below).
    • Darkvision
    • Count as one size larger for carrying capacity as well as weight limit of things you can push, drag or lift
    • Once per long rest you can drop to 1 Hit Point instead of 0 (when not killed outright)
  • Children of Different Humanoid Kinds: For deeper immersion and further character customization, your character can be the offspring of two separate races so that you can take the traits of one race and combine them with the physical appearance of another.


  • Origins and Starting Ability Modifiers: these changes are mostly just rearranging where certain parts of your character come from, specifically Ability Modifiers, so that the creation process is alot more interchangeable.
    • Character Races – as mentioned above you now have more options here for mixing and matching options.
    • Backgrounds – instead of being tied to Race, your ability modifiers are a floating +2 to one ability and +1 to another OR + 1 to three different ones. There are rules for custom building your background or you can choose from pre-made backgrounds. Because of this change, backgrounds have a larger narrative weight as your skills and abilities as a level adventurer are defined more by the life you lead before you decided to go out on said adventure.
    • Languages
  • Feats – Everyone gets to pick a 1st level Feat when building their character, oh and now Feats have ‘levels’ as a sort of perquisite system to better balance which feats you get when. They have a list of 1st level Feats that are slight variations of existing Feats or all new ones. More feats and explanation of their ‘levels’ are assumed to be coming in future UA.
  • Rules Glossary – lots of updates to rulings to make them easier to understand or more inline with the current UA process. The biggest example is the simplification of how Grappling works.
    • D20 Test – one of the bigger definition changes is the now more encompassing term that refers to any ability check, attack roll, or saving throw.
  • New Spell Lists – Seemingly in resonse to the new ‘Feats’ system, there are three new Spell Lists that are boader catagories of spells instead of labeling them as class specific (class spell lists stay in tact, but these new lists are used for certain feats).
    • Arcane Spells include those from the Artificier, Bard, Warlock, Wizard, and Sorcerer lists.
    • Divine Spells include those from the Cleric and Paladin lists.
    • Primal Spells include those from the Druid and Ranger lists.

What do you think of the new changes?

2:47: Playable races
9:55 Ardlings
17:40 Backgrounds
34:27 Feats
47:49 Rolls, Natural 20s and Inspiration

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Create a website or blog at

Up ↑

%d bloggers like this: