D&D 5E 5E Core Classes - According to Enworld

DonTadow

First Post
Don't confuse similar roles with similar mechanics. For example, though a Bard may seem like a rogue or wizard in many aspects, I think that the method of performance is distinctly different in how it works. And I've never seen a game where a low level Fighter can decide to just give up weapons and armor and play like a Monk without getting himself killed.

The reason people like the different classes is because they are so distinct. If they were just true hybrids like you suggest, I think you would see a lot less interest in them.
Look ati t like a blank slate.

Class is simply which tree you start in. then the branches happen.

Say you start off as rogue, and the rogue has a progression chart. The structure of the class is the same for all subclasses. The class determines if you can or can't use magic, your basic bonuses to skills, and maybe an ability that grows every level.

Then you choose your subclass, thief, bard, etc. This is where your every level abilities come from or you choose abilities from all the subclasses, mixing and matching as you choose to make your perfect bard or thief or rogue.

You can multiclass but it costs more to get abilities from other trees.
 

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Incenjucar

Legend
The thing with starting from the core four is that you narrow your concepts to extensions of those core four, even if you kit or PrC or Paragon Path your way out after, and that narrows the possibilities of the game significantly.
 


SKyOdin

First Post
Fighter, Cleric, Wizard, and Rogue
These are the no brainer, must have classes. If you are doing DnD, these four have got to be in place.

The interesting thing is that most of the other classes can be covered by just these four archtypes. About the only ones that can't do this deal with Psionic Classes (as it's a completely different power source) and Vampire (which is a monster, not a class)

Paladin - Cleric / Fighter
Druid - Nature diety Cleric
Ranger - Fighter / Rogue with nature Role Playing elements
Bard - Rogue / Wizard with performances (Rock On)
Barbarian - Fighter with RP elements
Monk - Fighter / Rogue with RP elements
Assassin - Rogue with RP elements
Swordmage - Fighter / Wizard
etc.

The Paladin is more that a multiclass Cleric/Fighter, it is a holy knight with unique Smite Evil and Lay on Hands mechanics. The Druid isn't just a Cleric, it's one that can turn into a bear, a hawk, or a snake. A Ranger is at home in the wilderness in a way that rogue or fighter aren't, and always has his animal companion at his side. A Bard is more than a spellcaster, it is someone who makes their songs truly come alive. A Barbarian isn't just a fighter, it is a warrior that ignores the Fighter's fancy fighting techniques and uses the power of rage. A Monk doesn't have a shred of Rogue in it, and draws of the power of ki to achieve supernatural effects very unlike the Fighter. A Swordmage can't just be a fighter borrowing a few wizard spells, it needs to be a mage who can channel his spells through his weapons in a way that neither class can achieve alone.

A wide variety of classes, each of which possess their own flavor and mechanics, is not a bad thing. There is a lot that can be done by creating a new class that can't be done within the framework of an existing class.
 

paladinm

First Post
But why can't all those "special abilities" be made into feats/talents/whatever? Then a character could be customized to a much greater degree than with buying into an entire "package"/class. A religious fighter could have a smite ability coupled with some bardic enthralling abilities.. the possibilities are endless.
 

TwinBahamut

First Post
Yeah, the "four core classes that every other class springs from" concepts does work for me on all kinds of levels.

For one, those four classes are not akin to the primary colors of painting. You really can't just mix and match them, or adjust them with branching talent trees, and expect to get a variety of classes that will satisfy people. The Monk and Bard are great examples of classes that don't work well, but there are countless more.

Another major issue is that this kind of set-up forces the mechanics of the game into a limiting straightjacket. Every character would be forced to base themselves on the mechanics and structure of those classes, so alternatives like the Sorcerer or Warlocks's separate mechanics from the Wizard, or completely different ideas like Psionics and Incarnum, are stifled. That would be nothing more than a repeat of 4E's biggest mistake.

One final issue is that this would cause a ton of rule bloat (at least using my definition of bloat). With such a system, new rulebooks and supplements would be forced to add options for the four classes. This means that anyone of that class will have an unbounded number of options to look through. Basically, a player would need to look through every book they own in order to understand and evaluate their options. This makes character customization and balancing a nightmare. Having options be divided heavily among a larger number of less complex classes would avoid that problem. In that kind of system, you'd only need the book that contained the class you are playing to have access to all the options for that class. It would also allow for a broader range of mechanics and a large number of meaningful choices.
 
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SKyOdin

First Post
But why can't all those "special abilities" be made into feats/talents/whatever? Then a character could be customized to a much greater degree than with buying into an entire "package"/class. A religious fighter could have a smite ability coupled with some bardic enthralling abilities.. the possibilities are endless.

Because that would fundamentally limit the scope of how much change and variation would be possible, and would dilute the four "core" classes into being more or less meaningless.

Let's look at the bard as a example. You could possibly make a bard by combining the rogue and the wizard and taking on a couple of special abilites associated with singing. Or you could expand on the idea of a character who draws on the power of song and dance and create a class that is fully realized unto itself, with all of the breadth and depth of a wizard, with a completely distinct set of abilities. The first approach leads to much shallower rules systems with less room for significant variation than the second, since the second still lets you recreate the results of the first and has a whole other class as well. Creating more classes with their own mechanics means there is more options available in the system.

I'm all for having classes that give a ton of freedom and customization, but that is no reason to limit your number of classes. You don't gain anything by declaring an absolute limit to the number of classes.
 

paladinm

First Post
The original bard started as a fighter, moved into rogue and then into druid. This is convoluted, but its an example of how good multiclassing can essentially create a new class.
 

SlyDoubt

First Post
The original bard started as a fighter, moved into rogue and then into druid. This is convoluted, but its an example of how good multiclassing can essentially create a new class.

I don't really agree there. There's a difference between a class and the amalgamation of a few classes.

From a 3.X/PF standpoint a class is defined usually by some kind of 'class feature' that only that class has access to. Just putting together the abilities of other classes does not give you a unique new ability.

If they choose to go the 4 basic class route they need to be careful. Those basic classes should just be respositories for skill/feat/power sets dropped into them. Each of those sets needs to be DISTINCT or it's just going to be 4E all over again. Because basically 4 basic classes would be the same as the 4E roles.
 

Incenjucar

Legend
The old-school bard is a perfect example of why you need to have more classes. Having to pick up a host of classes and feats to get to the basic idea of what you want to do is terrible.

Say you want to play a character that shapeshifts into monstrous forms (demons, dragons, elementals, etc) and then wades into combat with the appropriate abilities (claws, acid breath, fireballs), you can either take a shapeshifter class at level 1, or you can spend half your character's career as something completely unrelated trying to get Polymorph or a high-end Wild Shape.
 

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