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Poll: Essential D&D classes

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  1. #11
    Really the only things you NEED are Fighter/Mage/Rogue/Priest, luckily they fall along the lines of the important tropes of Defender/Controller/Striker/Healer

  2. #12
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    IMO, the four essential classes are Fighter, Mage, Rogue, and Priest. Without those four, the game loses... something.

    For my own revision, I toned the list down to 8 classes:

    • Bard (master of social skills; caster with unlimited minor magic abilities - spellsongs; at-will sonic damage ability)
    • Champion ("holy" warrior who draws upon the power of his beliefs to produce spectacular effects in combat and project various auras that boost allies and hinder enemies)
    • Cleric (highly specialized caster that can fulfill a variety of roles depending on deity; best healer in the game with fast spontaneous healing; resistant to damage thanks to divine protection)
    • Druid (shapeshifter with limited elemental-based spentaneous spellcasting ability and good nature skills, including the ability to summon and bind natural creatures)
    • Fighter (master or arms, armor, and martial training)
    • Mage (fragile but highly flexible caster with a wide repertoire of spells and the ability to combine and augment those spells via metamagic)
    • Ranger (fast, deadly ambusher; relies on quick movement for protection and for placing the most effective strikes; learns special techniques by confronting different types of enemies)
    • Rogue (master of skills and tricks; most flexible of all classes when it comes to skill repertoire and use; able to deal a lot of damage to vulnerable opponents and pull off cinematic stunts)

    Looking at the standard 3.5 classes, Barbarian can be re-created as a specific fighter build. Monk can be recreated as a fighter/rogue build. Sorcerer is folded into Mage (and can be further enhanced with appropriate feats). Paladin is one of Champion's flavors.
    Last edited by Sammael; Sunday, 9th May, 2010 at 12:55 AM.

  3. #13
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    I'm pretty much with many others when I say the fighter, magic-user, thief, priest setup are required - this combination is D&D (to me).

  4. #14
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    Tier 1: The core four are absolutely required. Fighter, wizard, rogue, cleric. I could live w/o cleric, but it's D&D.

    Tier 2: Paladin and some form of ranger come in very close, though my definition of ranger means it hasn't been "D&D" since 2e was published.

    Tier 3: Psion, warlord, and witch. These aren't required, IMO, but I like the flavor and have had some variant that fits that role since the mid 1980s. In 1e, it was random psionics, the cavalier, and the witch class from Dragon. In 4e, it's psion, warlord (much better than the cavalier, but can pull the same flavor), and warlock. Editions between should be easy enough to trace.

    Tier 4: Some concepts or class names have shown up repeatedly, but inconsistently. They often catch my eye but aren't always implemented well. Sometimes, they have precious little to do with a class by the same name in a prior edition. Regardless, I like some form of the concept, but could never call them "required". The big ones are shadowcasters, assassin, barbarian (1e hardy mage-foe != 3e berserker != 4e primal warrior), and duelist, but I'm sure I could come up with others, if pushed.

    Bard is either tier 3 or tier 4. You can't say the 3e or 4e versions look much like the original, so it's inconsistent. But, the class has always been there, in some way. Usually in the PHB.

  5. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Remathilis View Post
    Ok, lets say yoAh Dangit, the Poll was supposed to be Multiple Choice! Mods?
    Yah, I thought it was odd that only one choice was possible. Still, it makes for an interesting poll!

  6. #16
    The fighter, rogue, cleric, and mage are the "essentials", but the druid and ranger, as well as specialty mages, are also inherent to the game. It isn't D&D without gnome illusionists or elven rangers. Of course, since it's a class-based game, any version of D&D has to have options beyond the essentials available.

  7. #17
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    As Green Ronin has proven in True20 and Dragon Age (actually the CRPG did it first) you can get by with three classes as long as the magic user class has access to healing magic, which makes sense to some degree. Actually several wizard themes in fantasy have access to healing.

  8. #18
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    Sure, fantasy RPGs can get by without priestly healing classes. But I think it is reasonable to say that it is iconically D&D for there to be a cleric-like class in the party to dish healing.

  9. #19
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    But it didn't start out that way, as the cleric was a Johny-come-lately, so excluding them wouldn't be a problem. If the intent is to create a new game similar in feel then the important thing is keeping the tone and not necessarily the classes. Granted they contribute, but variants can easily replace the primary classes.

  10. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by dm4hire View Post
    As Green Ronin has proven in True20 and Dragon Age (actually the CRPG did it first) you can get by with three classes as long as the magic user class has access to healing magic, which makes sense to some degree. Actually several wizard themes in fantasy have access to healing.
    Yeah, I'd say you need Fighter, Rogue and Spellcaster. Everything beyond that would be flavor/kit/subclass.

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