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5E Archetypes to add to 5e

While talking about the most recent UA, Jeremy Crawford said they have covered most of the standard D&D tropes at this point in the editions life.
I mean, /Standard/ D&D tropes sets the bar. That's the big 4 and maybe a few other things that were well-established before WotC even took over the property. The 5e PH, alone, covered most of the standard D&D Tropes.

Can you do a band-aid cleric, meatshield fighter, trapfodder rogue, and all-powerful wizard (Elminster or Mordenkainen or the like) in 5e? Yep. Standard D&D PC tropes covered! For bonus points, throw in ironically-annoying high-CHA Bards and Paladins, hippie Druids, raging magic-hating barbarians, skulking assassins, two-bit-Aragorn/magical-Grizzly-Adams Rangers and orientalist Monks. And, you still get 3e Warlocks & Sorcerers on top of that.

...really, 5e goes far beyond the Standard D&D Tropes.

Also, I'll say it here so that we don't need to have the thread get into a huge discussion on it: Warlord.
A martial class with mechanical support for what most martial heroes in myth/legend/literature - and even history - were actually good at?

Soooo NOT-Standard-D&D-Trope. Completely off-topic, really.
 
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doctorbadwolf

Adventurer
In 4e, hexblades didn't just get generic magical weapons, but got specific magical weapons, and I think that is what MM was going for in terms of


If they were to do something like this, I would prefer they combine the bladelock, melee-focused cleric, and paladin into a magical melee class (maybe crusader since champion is a fighter in D&D and a similar class in PF), the non melee-focused clerics and tomelocks into a separate caster class, and the chainlock become part of a pet class, but more focused on the 4e idea of warlock's ally
I’d much rather none of that, and make the cleric more distinct and interesting, and mostly leave the warlock alone.

And this just came up in the most recent UA article, along with an ancient of the deeps Warlock.

Sacred Night that warlock is cool!

Still not as cool as the 4e Star Pact Warlock, but it’s close!
 

Yaarel

Explorer
The archetype of the nonpolytheistic Cleric is somewhat available, via Xanathars Guide.

However, this freedom of the player to choose the religion of their Cleric character concept, remains hamstrung. Also the core rules still lack freedom to choose.
 
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Yaarel

Explorer
The Cleric class is weird in the D&D tradition.

Essentially it is a healbot with lots of staying power (defenses, hit points, etcetera) but with weak offensive powers (sub par weapons, sub par spells).

Its only ‘flavor’ is problematic: the baking of a specific multiverse setting into its mechanics.

In other words, the Cleric actually lacks its own character concept, and the setting flavor replaces it.



Aspects of the Cleric traditions that could be useful are:

• gish − full caster with melee combat survivability
• domains − ability to choose a thematic set of spells
• healer − access to healing spells and features as one of the domains

Flavorwise, both the Warlock and Cleric can derive their powers from powerful creatures.

The Warlock makes a ‘bargain’, a pact, to gain powers. This is its distinctive character concept.

Perhaps what could give the Cleric its own character concept is, it gains its powers from a specific spiritual community.

The themes of the specific spiritual community, then determine the spell list.

Potentially, the Cleric is the most ‘linguistic’ character concept. The powers come from the semiotic language of symbols, ideals, and themes.

Ultimately, the character concept is the magical power of words, in the language that a specific spiritual community speaks.

If so, the player needs the freedom to choose from a diversity spiritual communities, or pioneer a new spiritual community, in order to give the player latitude to personalize ones own unique character concept.
 
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DEFCON 1

Legend
That's why we have the DMs Guild... so that someone who feels this should be an option can design it and make it and sell it to people, while the WotC designers do other stuff. There's no need for them to do every single possible idea for people, especially if some of those ideas will only be useful to several dozen folks.
 

vincegetorix

Jewel of the North
Perhaps what could give the Cleric its own character concept is, it gains its powers from a specific spiritual community.

The themes of the specific spiritual community, then determine the spell list.

Potentially, the Cleric is the most ‘linguistic’ character concept. The powers come from the semiotic language of symbols, ideals, and themes.

Ultimately, the character concept is the magical power of words, in the language that a specific spiritual community speaks.
I could see the ''cleric'' taking the chassis and theme of the ''bard'' instead of the crusading men of gods. Something like a True Namer, using words of creation and tapping in the communal bond created by emotions and common tales to shape the world world around them. Let the player decide if their character use this power to further the agenda of a higher power or a philosophy/belief system.
 

Yaarel

Explorer
I could see the ''cleric'' taking the chassis and theme of the ''bard'' instead of the crusading men of gods.

Something like a True Namer, using words of creation and tapping in the communal bond created by emotions and common tales to shape the world world around them.

Let the player decide if their character use this power to further the agenda of a higher power or a philosophy/belief system.
Yeah, I can see the connection between Cleric and Bard.

I feel the main difference is, the Bard is an individual, whereas the Cleric is a collective.

The concept of the Bard is being an artist, a unique individual who authors and creates new realities.

Even when the concept of the Bard is being a shaman, it is still more like artist. Even in the prehistoric role of a shaman (including the historical Celtic bard), the shaman is a unique individual who reinvents and innovates. Essentially, the community is the audience of the shaman. The shaman specifically includes both the local human population and the surrounding nature spirits as parts within the wider community, literally preforming for both of them. Because of the shamans connection to different groups, the shaman can act as a mediator to help resolve any disputes between these different groups. One can see this role today among artists, popculture icons who can bring different groups together by means of their art, because of a broader point of view, of a wider community.

In any case, D&D seems on safe ground when emphasizing the flavor of the Bard as an artist, an author, an individual. The community is the audience.

By contrast, the Cleric is a collective. The Cleric takes on the identity of a specific community, its language, its symbols, its customs, its point-of-view. The community takes on a life of its own, a unique forceful reality of a unique point-of-view. The Cleric gains power from this ‘meta’. The meta is something like the Platonic realm of ideals, or ideas. The Cleric performs ceremonies and instructions to transmit this ‘meta’ to new adherents, who become able to enter this unique worldview. The adherents are literally entering into a new reality that is fabricated out of language. This meta is forceful and has power to do things.
 
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Yaarel

Explorer
Regarding the ‘meta’ of the Cleric community.

Consider Jungian psychology. (Sometimes it is hard to tell whether Jung is speaking as a scientist, phenomenologically describing the subjective experience of how ones brain processes information; or as a mystic, ontologically describing a fundamental property of the universe.)

‘Synchronicity’ is an ‘acausal cause’ that connects all things that exist. It isnt a chain reaction where one thing causes the next thing. Rather, it is a manifestation of things emerging simultaneously, holistically together. It is a kind of force, or ‘cause’.

A person can ‘engage’ and interact with this synchronicity by means of archetypes. In other words, these connections between things are formed by means of symbolic similarity. (Compare sympathetic magic.)

Jung refers to the ‘collective unconscious’ as a memory of this language of interrelating symbols. It is a language that includes symbols beyond words, such as the prelinguistic memories of being an infant.

According to Jung, this collective unconscious depends on the culture. For example, he thought that Chinese speakers were participating in a different collective unconscious − namely a different semiotic language system − than the one that German speakers were participating in.



Regarding D&D, and what it is − exactly − that the Cleric class is doing.

The Cleric is accessing this language of archetypal symbols, and utilizing the magical power of symbols (via synchronicity, sympathetic magic, etcetera). The class is all about symbols.

When the language of a culture organizes things into one category, this category is an abstraction, a concept, a symbol. This symbol inherently contains every element in this category. This symbol is the connective link between all of these separate elements. Manipulating the symbol can manipulate any or every element within it.

The way that one symbol relates to and interacts with an other symbol, is a system, a language. The symbol is text, and its meaning is the context within the constellations of other symbols that comprise the symbolic language.

The symbolic language depends entirely on the community that is speaking this language. These speakers are the ones who form, use, and understand the meanings and associations of these symbols. The community of speakers can be as small as ten people, or as large as a billion people or more.

The Cleric class is using the magic of symbols. These are symbols that a specific community are using as their language. This language is both verbal and nonverbal, being actual spoken words, nonverbal ceremonial performances, and experiential visions that are beyond words.

By means of words, ceremonies, and personal contemplation, the Cleric engages (and manipulates) the symbols that are the fundament of the reality that the community is experiencing. The symbols have magical power over reality. Symbols themselves are the magical power that constructs a reality. Each ‘spell domain’ of the Cleric class represents a specific archetypal symbol that resonates the deep structure of the communitys linguistic system. The domain is a focal symbol that takes priority, and organizes the other symbols in relationship to it within the semiotic system. It is a ‘deepest’ concept.

The symbols might be physical properties of the universe (such as light, fire, water), ethical principles that a culture depends on for survival (such as love, courage, honor), central institutions that enable survival (such as hunting, farming, war, marriage, legal system, government, etcetera), and so on. The symbol is always a fundamental ‘concept’. The concepts can be abstract principles (more like forces) or poetic personifications (more like persons). The common denominator seems to be, whatever it is that the community considers to be the Most Important Thing that makes existence and survival possible.

People can experientially interact with these symbols by means of introspection, reveries, dreams, visions, and other ‘mind blowing’ experiences (within a realm of ideals, collective unconscious, etcetera). Often the ‘enlightenment’ is precisely the aspects of a reality that cannot be formulated in words or things.

A person subjectively experiences these semiotic symbols as absolute truth. The symbols are powerful and autonomous, and are as real as reality itself. These symbols are what make reality possible.

In sum. A specific community uses a language of symbols (words, concepts, experiences, assumptions). These symbols cause, organize, represent, and influence reality. The Cleric takes on the identity of this semiotic community − and engages and uses its symbols magically. The Cleric employs customs, both verbal formulations and nonverbal ceremonies, to help perpetuate the language that this community employs.
 
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vincegetorix

Jewel of the North
n any case, D&D seems on safe ground when emphasizing the flavor of the Bard as an artist, an author, an individual. The community is the audience.

By contrast, the Cleric is a collective. The Cleric takes on the identity of a specific community, its language, its symbols, its customs, its point-of-view. The community takes on a life of its own, a unique forceful reality of a unique point-of-view.
I can see this: the bard power are ''for'', the cleric powers are ''from'', the community. The classic individual vs communal trope, even if in this case both are working for the positive of a group.

In both case, I feel their powers are closer to what D&D calls psionic: fuel by the individual or collective emotions and shared principles.

God I miss the 4e Ardent....I may take the avatar disciplines from the failed Mystic UA and give them as spells to the cleric and bard. Or maybe we will see a UA for the Community cleric and the Ardent bard in the next weeks to test new psionic archetypes.
 

Samloyal23

Explorer
Rogues are cool, but where are the matchstick men, the con artists, that use deceit and manipulation to get what they want? We need some larcenous experts on social skills who get people to part with their wealth under false pretenses.
 

Cap'n Kobold

Explorer
Rogues are cool, but where are the matchstick men, the con artists, that use deceit and manipulation to get what they want? We need some larcenous experts on social skills who get people to part with their wealth under false pretenses.
Why wouldn't that be a simple application of Deception and related skills. It strikes me as something that any class could do.
Pretty sure that its a background available to anyone as well.
 

Paul Farquhar

Adventurer
But bards are artists, entertainers, and loremasters, not necessarily interested in stealing. There is definitely overlap, but there should be a roguish version.
And rogues are bounty hunters, detectives and spies. They aren't necessarily interested in stealing either.

You can build a con artiste quite acceptably with a thief, swashbuckler, mastermind or arcane trickster if you don't want to be a full caster and can look past the label.
 

Paul Farquhar

Adventurer
You can say that about any archetype, it is a matter of degree, the level of dedicated specialization involved.
It's difficult to see how much further than you can go beyond Expertise in Deception, Slight of Hand, Forgery and Disguise, and/or a spell list that includes things like Friends, Charm Person and Suggestion.

And Swashbucklers get a non-magical charm ability at level 9.
 

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