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D&D General 6 Core Classes: You are in charge


Hypothetical: you have been put in charge of a new D&D PHB, but you have a mandate: there shall be but 6 core classes, each tied to one of the 6 Ability Scores (ie that's their "prime stat"). You are allowed to create however many subclasses that will fit in the book, but you MUST maintain 6 core focused on individual stats.

What are your 6? What subclasses do you include?

Mine with some subclass notes:

STR: Fighter. Subclasses focused on weapon mastery versus heavy armor versus niche archetypes (like a mounted knight).

DEX: Rogue. Subclasses include both thief things and scouty things.

CON: Ranger but really "survivalist". I would tie both the beast master and the berserker to this class, plus maybe a Tarzan variant.

INT: Wizard. Instead of schools, the Subclasses would focus on fictional and literary archetypes, from Gandalf to Harry Potter to Dresden.

WIS: "Cleric" though I hate the term. "Channeler" maybe? Anyway, this class covers clerics, druids, warlocks and paladins in its archetypes. If you get your powers from some otherworldly entity, this is your class.

CHA: Sorcerer. If you power comes from within, this is your class. Bards would be a sorcerer subclass, not wizard, and I might be inclined to warrior Monks into this space. The problem is Charisma is really wonky as a stat and simultaneously covers guile and straight up id. It's a tough one. Maybe the monk is a Con subclass?

Anyway, what would you do?

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The Cha class is going to be Personality, with subclass options that emphasise different aspects of Charisma-ing (military leadership, cha-fueled magic, inspiration, interpersonal manipulation, firebrand preaching, etc etc). Probably a 2-dimensional matrix to allow for customisation, like the warlock has pact and patron currently.


Str: Fighter
Dex: Rogue
Con: Warlock
Int: Wizard
Wisdom: Cleric
Cha: Paladin

The rest are falling into subclasses, its just how it is.

I'm A Banana

So many folks are going to do WIS/Cleric, INT/Wizard, STR/Fighter, DEX/Rogue. What would it look like if I yeeted those obvious answers, I wonder...?
  • STR = Barbarian
  • DEX = Ranger
  • CON = Monk
  • INT = Artificer
  • WIS = Paladin
  • CHA = Warlock
Fighters get broken up by archetype. Want to play a knight in shining armor or a military strategist? Be a Paladin. Want to play a wandering mercenary? Barbarian is right there. Want to play a leader type? Go Paladin.

Thieves are just urban rangers.

Wizards get rolled into Warlocks - pact of the tome indeed. It's all a matter of where you devote your loyalty. They might also find some home with Artificer - alchemy, "spellcraft", making runes...

Think you're a cleric? No. Go with your god. God of healing and life might be a Paladin. God of secrets and shadows might be a Warlock. God of war is Paladin, again.

Druids become "rangers who trade weapons for more magic." Rangers have a broad remit here, likely rolling a few Rogues into their world as well. Or "barbarians who shape-shift."

Sorcs might be Warlocks - bloodpact.

This "keyed ability score" format is a little weak on some things - not a lot of 5e classes go for CON, INT, or STR.


Str: Barbarian and Paladin
Dex: Ranger
Wis: Druid
Cha: Sorcerer and Warlock

Limiting classes to 6 is needlessly restrictive - I could be convinced to swap out Bard for Warlock or swap out Monk for Ranger. Nothing of value would be lost though by deleting Fighter, Rogue, Blood Hunter, Cleric, Wizard, Artificer, I'm fine with purging those

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