• Welcome to this new upgrade of the site. We are now on a totally different software platform. Many things will be different, and bugs are expected. Certain areas (like downloads and reviews) will take longer to import. As always, please use the Meta Forum for site queries or bug reports. Note that we (the mods and admins) are also learning the new software.
  • The RSS feed for the news page has changed. Use this link. The old one displays the forums, not the news.

Archetypes

WolfhillRPG

Villager
I just recently got into 5e coming from AD&D2e. When you reach 3rd level you get to pick a archetype which steers you down a more specific road. This seems to be very limiting from what I can tell. I've always liked playing a dwarf locksmith. by name he was a thief, but he was always played as a lawful good character who focused all his roguish skill into lock picking and the hobby of traps. Loves learning about them and how to disarm them. In 5e I cant play this character. It seems like 5e limits your choices and forces players into a predefined idea of what that character should turn out as.

Am I missing something?
 

Imaro

Adventurer
I just recently got into 5e coming from AD&D2e. When you reach 3rd level you get to pick a archetype which steers you down a more specific road. This seems to be very limiting from what I can tell. I've always liked playing a dwarf locksmith. by name he was a thief, but he was always played as a lawful good character who focused all his roguish skill into lock picking and the hobby of traps. Loves learning about them and how to disarm them. In 5e I cant play this character. It seems like 5e limits your choices and forces players into a predefined idea of what that character should turn out as.

Am I missing something?
Why can't you play this character? A Rogue/Thief with expertise in Tools: Lockpicking & a LG alignment...
 

WolfhillRPG

Villager
You cant play this character because at level 3 you are forced to pick either a Thief/assassin/arcane trickster archetype. None of which are conducive to the character I described
 
I believe the thief archetype can work as the locksmith you want to play. Obviously, not each and every feature of the archetype will build upon your concept, but, unless your DM houseruled something specific for you, your 2e locksmith could still backstab enemies to their grave, right? That's not a very locksmithy thing to do... :D
 

akr71

Explorer
As stated above, taking the Rogue Thief archtype describes what you want perfectly. At level 1 take Expertise with Thieves Tools (for unlocking locks, disarming traps) and Investigation (for finding traps and figuring out how they work). The Fast Hands 3rd level ability allows you to use disarm a trap or open a lock as a Bonus Action.

Your alignment preference doesn't even factor into the equation.

Or pick up Xanathar's Guide to Everything and choose the Inquisitive archtype. At level 9 you get Advantage on those Investigation checks (hopefully still with Expertise).
 
Last edited:

WolfhillRPG

Villager
makes sense lads/ladies. I guess iam just coming from a time when you put % into the skills you wanted or used. never did backstab with that character. quarterstaffs were way more useful at triggering traps when they couldn't be disarmed
 

akr71

Explorer
True enough. In 5e, all your 'old' Thief skill are basically handled by your Thieves Tools, Investigation skill, Stealth skill or Acrobatics skill. Perception is pretty handy too, but that puts you investing heavily into Dex, Int & Wis.

I play a LG Thief with the Soldier background (which gave me Athletics skill proficiency). At level 6 you get Expertise again and I added Athletics and Acrobatics. For a STR 10 character he's mighty good at grappling and escaping grapples! Just food for thought for non-lethal options.
 
W

WhosDaDungeonMaster

Guest
I agree with the OP on archetypes. When I have been pondering different character builds, many times I examine the archetypes and usually my response is *meh*, not anything fits or is that appealing IMO. I know there are a lot of homebrew stuff, but most of it seems silly, OP, or just stupid.

As much as I like many facets of 5E, I catch myself glancing over at my 1E books a lot LOL! :)
 

Lapasta

Villager
One thing you can do for this character is either to multiclass him away from rogue after getting expertise to something that you find more fitting, or even to just skip the rogue class altogether, as you can get the thieves tools proficiency from another source.
Besides being good with locks and traps, what else was this character good at? More specifically, what he used to do while in combat? That can help you choose another class. In 5e you don’t need to be rogue to open locks.
Maybe go to Ranger and set some magical Snares?
 

Satyrn

Villager
I just recently got into 5e coming from AD&D2e. When you reach 3rd level you get to pick a archetype which steers you down a more specific road. This seems to be very limiting from what I can tell. I've always liked playing a dwarf locksmith. by name he was a thief, but he was always played as a lawful good character who focused all his roguish skill into lock picking and the hobby of traps. Loves learning about them and how to disarm them. In 5e I cant play this character. It seems like 5e limits your choices and forces players into a predefined idea of what that character should turn out as.

Am I missing something?
I don't really get why playing a 2e thief worked for you, but a 5e thief doesn't. Like, I don't know what the specific objection it is that makes you think the 5e thief is and must be a thief.

But regardless of that, 5e provides many ways for you to play a locksmith/trapsmith. You can pick absolutely any class you want, fighter, ranger, wizard, whatever. Then grab whatever background looks like the best fit, flavor-wise, and swap out the skills for whatever you want and take Thieves' tools and tinker's tools instead of whatever languages/tools the background gives.

The backgrounds presented are simply examples and the Players Handbook tells you to customize them as you want.
 

jasper

Rotten DM
Using the Standard array. All Locks traps would DC 20 which would equal 100% for 2E purpose. Adventure League rules apply to. Hill Dwarf Guild Artisan
Level 1 Str 12 +1, Dex 15 +2, Con 13 +1, Int 14 +2, Wis 8 -1, Cha 10 +0.
Hit points 10. AC 13 Leather armour + dex. Skills Insight +1 = 5% Investigation +6 30% Persuasion +2 = 10%, Thieves Tools +6 = 30 % of pick locks, open gates, disarm trap. Weapon Sling +4 to hit d4+2 add backstab for 1d6
Third level changes HP 24 Back Stab for 2d6, Fast Hands along the Sleight of hand = pick pockets skill to disarm trap as a bonus action.
Oh Time to level up 3 4 hour session. So level up 12 hours.
 

DM Dave1

Explorer
As stated above, taking the Rogue Thief archtype describes what you want perfectly. At level 1 take Expertise with Thieves Tools (for unlocking locks, disarming traps) and Investigation (for finding traps and figuring out how they work). The Fast Hands 3rd level ability allows you to use disarm a trap or open a lock as a Bonus Action.

Your alignment preference doesn't even factor into the equation.

Or pick up Xanathar's Guide to Everything and choose the Inquisitive archtype. At level 9 you get Advantage on those Investigation checks (hopefully still with Expertise).
What [MENTION=6801213]akr71[/MENTION] said. Plus take the Guild Artisan background as a locksmith. Pick Tinker's tools to go along with your Thieves' Tools. Maybe later, take a multiclass dip into Wizard just to learn Knock and Arcane Lock.

In the end, though, it's not up to the books to make your concept work. It's up to you to make it work. Any 5e DM should be on board - 5e is as flexible as you and your DM want it to be. Remember 5e's basic premise: have fun!
 

Gadget

Explorer
I really fail to see how 5e does not provide a way to achieve this result any more than 2e does. The complaint seems to be more along the lines of: "5e is different from 2e and I have to learn new mechanics!"
 

WolfhillRPG

Villager
I really fail to see how 5e does not provide a way to achieve this result any more than 2e does. The complaint seems to be more along the lines of: "5e is different from 2e and I have to learn new mechanics!"
I think you are taking my confusion as complaining. Like the title of the thread says, I am referring to the 3rd level archetypes provided to the class. Thief/assassin/arcanetrickster. Skills such as second-story work go against the character iam trying to build. Do I just ignore that part of the archetype? The character is supposed to be a geeky lockpicker who really enjoys the problem solving of traps, not a wall scaling, pocket picking thief who just happens to be good at locks/traps. A lot of great insight here.
 

Imaro

Adventurer
I think you are taking my confusion as complaining. Like the title of the thread says, I am referring to the 3rd level archetypes provided to the class. Thief/assassin/arcanetrickster. Skills such as second-story work go against the character iam trying to build. Do I just ignore that part of the archetype? The character is supposed to be a geeky lockpicker who really enjoys the problem solving of traps, not a wall scaling, pocket picking thief who just happens to be good at locks/traps. A lot of great insight here.
Didn't you say you chose not to backstab in AD&D? I'm curious how did you realize this concept in AD&D that might help this conversation some...
 

bedir than

Registered User
If I was your DM I would suggest Guild Artisan, and give you access to Prodigy in Xanathar's Guide.
That would seem to handle your desired skills and free you to play the class you desire, maybe a Cleric of Knowledge, Lore Bard, or even a Drunken Master Monk
 

Satyrn

Villager
Yeah, for emphasis:

The Background is where 5e expects this part of the character concept gets expressed.
 

jasper

Rotten DM
I think you are taking my confusion as complaining. Like the title of the thread says, I am referring to the 3rd level archetypes provided to the class. Thief/assassin/arcanetrickster. Skills such as second-story work go against the character iam trying to build. Do I just ignore that part of the archetype? The character is supposed to be a geeky lockpicker who really enjoys the problem solving of traps, not a wall scaling, pocket picking thief who just happens to be good at locks/traps. A lot of great insight here.
Back in 1E my brother would only find traps. Never remove them. Why he failed most of remove traps roll. I also have players with more 5E xp than me forget part of a pc abilities. So.
Yes ignore parts of archetype.
 

ccs

39th lv DM
I think you are taking my confusion as complaining. Like the title of the thread says, I am referring to the 3rd level archetypes provided to the class. Thief/assassin/arcanetrickster. Skills such as second-story work go against the character iam trying to build. Do I just ignore that part of the archetype? The character is supposed to be a geeky lockpicker who really enjoys the problem solving of traps, not a wall scaling, pocket picking thief who just happens to be good at locks/traps. A lot of great insight here.
More or less, sure. It's your character, you decide what aspects to portray & in what degree. Afterall, didn't you just tell us you never backstabbed anything in 2e?

If it helps? Think of him as a geeky locksmith who can also do these other things. Or at least has the potential to do these things.
 

Gadget

Explorer
I think you are taking my confusion as complaining. Like the title of the thread says, I am referring to the 3rd level archetypes provided to the class. Thief/assassin/arcanetrickster. Skills such as second-story work go against the character iam trying to build. Do I just ignore that part of the archetype? The character is supposed to be a geeky lockpicker who really enjoys the problem solving of traps, not a wall scaling, pocket picking thief who just happens to be good at locks/traps. A lot of great insight here.
And of course, in 2e, you ignored Backstab? What about move silently/Hide in shadows? Climb walls? It has been a long time, but I remember these things being integral to the thief in AD&D, and many parties could reasonably expect their thief to contribute in those areas, particularly as levels rise. I mean, "geeky lockpicker" has never been a solid fantasy archetype that a class based system has exactly imitated to a tee. The Rogue class provides the basis for that skill, but there are other things that go along with that. 5e provides more options for this in the form of backgrounds/feats that can give you exactly this, regardless of class. And quite frankly, "geeky locksmith" sounds a lot more like a background or character quirk than an a Major Fantasy Archetype.

One difference between modern editions and AD&D is that it tends to go for 'big heroic' (or anti-heroic, depending on your preference) a bit more than before; so, consequently, there are more Big Heroic Fantasy things parceled out among the various classes to do. Surviving low level is no longer the huge accomplishment of many hours of careful tapping with 10' poles and lucky roles that it once was, so consequently, the Bildungsroman, "just off the farm" portion of the game tends to get glossed over more than in the old days (depending on group and preferences, ymmv). That can have the effect of leaving more mundane concepts and things behind rather quickly, as groups advance more to 'Big Hero' status. This can be somewhat counteracted by slowing advancement and sticking to lower levels (whatever your group defines as 'lower levels'), and keeping things more restrained.
 
Last edited:

Advertisement

Top