D&D (2024) Are You Happy with the Selection of Subclasses?

Minigiant

Legend
Supporter
Yeah I dont get the issue with the Sorcerer thematically, nor the issue with Clockwork.

Wizards study.
Sorcerers 'are'.
Warlocks borrow.

They are all different in how they access magic.
It's not that Clockwork doesn't fit.

It's that Clockwork Sorcery isn't iconic enough to take a spot over more iconic Sorcerer types. FavoredSoul/Divine Sorcery, Storm Sorcery, and Shadow Sorcery are more iconic or have more history. Even sorceries that aren't in 5e like Cosmic Sorcery or Arcana Sorcery are more iconic.
 

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Parmandur

Book-Friend
Spell selection is lacking, meta-magic nickel and dimes the pc’s sorcery point pool for everything and you know too few at a given level, and tbh the subclass is pretty much good at level 1, and then I’m not that impressed by any of them.
Yes, Spell selection is limited, burning practice this is fine: it's not a Wizard, the flexibility is in use of metamagic. The Metamagic options are a half-Level 1 option, seem to be costed pretty exactly.
Oh and of course spell slots cost too many sorcery points, especially low level slots, but I already know from many Monk discussions you and I won’t agree there. Like the elements monk, the sorcerer is fine on paper.
The cost is exact with the Spell point variant: a Level 2 Sorcerer essentially has an extra Level 1 Slto, and a way to use a half slot for a unique magical effect that is very useful.
The sorcerer spell list is weak and geared towards blasting
Yes, it's a blaster.
So an aberrant and clockwork sorcs are in a good spot; they get 10 bonus spells that are on theme plus more spell choices from the more restricted Sorc list. Wild magic and draconic are in a far worse spot: they are down 10 spells (with no additional options like others) and are stuck with the limited spell list of the sorcerer. Dragon sorcs still lack good elemental spells unless you're a fire dragon, and wild doesn't have access to awesome chaos spells to compliment wild surge.
The Draconic and Wild Mage get major features thar are worth the Spells prepared: Wild Surges and the Dragon abilities which are always on Spells are worth the difference.
 

Parmandur

Book-Friend
Spell selection is lacking, meta-magic nickel and dimes the pc’s sorcery point pool for everything and you know too few at a given level, and tbh the subclass is pretty much good at level 1, and then I’m not that impressed by any of them.
Yes, Spell selection is limited, burning practice this is fine: it's not a Wizard, the flexibility is in use of metamagic. The Metamagic options are a half-Level 1 option, seem to be costed pretty exactly.
Oh and of course spell slots cost too many sorcery points, especially low level slots, but I already know from many Monk discussions you and I won’t agree there. Like the elements monk, the sorcerer is fine on paper.
The cost is exact with the Spell point variant: a Level 2 Sorcerer essentially has an extra Level 1 Slto, and a way to use a half slot for a unique magical effect that is very useful.
The sorcerer spell list is weak and geared towards blasting
Yes, it's a blaster.
So an aberrant and clockwork sorcs are in a good spot; they get 10 bonus spells that are on theme plus more spell choices from the more restricted Sorc list. Wild magic and draconic are in a far worse spot: they are down 10 spells (with no additional options like others) and are stuck with the limited spell list of the sorcerer. Dragon sorcs still lack good elemental spells unless you're a fire dragon, and wild doesn't have access to awesome chaos spells to compliment wild surge.
The Draconic and Wild Mage get major features thar are worth the Spells prepared: Wild Surges and the Dragon abilities which are always on Spells are worth the difference.
 

At this point, we have a pretty good idea which subclasses will be in the new PHB, though we don't know all of them yet. What do you think of the ones they ultimately decided to include? Are there any excluded that you think are unfortunate omissions?

You're welcome to answer in mechanics or thematics terms but, for me, the main question is whether they captured the major fantasy archetypes.

For reference, here's a list of all the subclasses we've seen in the playtests so far:
  1. barbarian--4 subclasses so far​
    1. path of the berserker (playtest 5 & 7)​
    2. path of the wild heart (i.e. totem warrior, playtest 7)​
    3. path of the world tree (playtest 7)​
    4. path of the zealot (playtest 7)​
  2. bard--4 subclasses so far​
    1. college of dance (playtest 6)​
    2. college of glamour (playtest 6)​
    3. college of lore (playtest 2 & 6)​
    4. college of valor (playtest 6)​
  3. cleric--4 subclasses so far​
    1. life domain (playtest 3 & 6)​
    2. light domain (playtest 6)​
    3. trickery domain (playtest 6)​
    4. war domain (playtest 6)​
  4. druid--3 subclasses so far​
    1. circle of the land (playtest 6)​
    2. circle of the moon (playtest 4 & 6)​
    3. circle of the sea (playtest 6)​
    4. circle of stars (playtest 6)​
  5. fighter--4 subclasses so far​
    1. battlemaster (playtest 7)​
    2. brawler (playtest 7)​
    3. champion (playtest 5 & 7)​
    4. eldritch knight (playtest 7)​
  6. monk--3 subclasses so far​
    1. warrior of shadow (playtest 6)​
    2. warrior of the elements (playtest 6)​
    3. warrior of the hand (playtest 6)​
    4. warrior of mercy (playtest 6)​
  7. paladin--4 subclasses so far​
    1. oath of devotion (playtest 4 and 6)​
    2. oath of glory (playtest 6)​
    3. oath of the ancients (playtst 6)​
    4. oath of vengeance (playtest 6)​
  8. ranger--3 subclasses so far​
    1. beast master (playtest 6)​
    2. fey wanderer (playtest 6)​
    3. gloom stalker (playtest 6)​
    4. hunter (playtest 2 and 6)​
  9. rogue--4 subclasses so far​
    1. arcane trickster (playtest 6)​
    2. assassin (playtest 6)​
    3. swashbuckler (playtest 6)​
    4. thief (playtest 2 and 6)​
  10. sorecerer--2 subclasses so far​
    1. aberrant sorcery (playtest 7)​
    2. clockwork sorcery (playtest 7)​
    3. draconic sorcery (playtest 5 and 7)​
    4. wild magic sorcery (playtest 7)​
  11. warlock--4 subclasses so far​
    1. archfey patron (playtest 7)​
    2. celestial patron (playtest 7)​
    3. fiend patron (playtest 5 & 7)​
    4. great old one patron (playtest 7)​
  12. wizard--4 subclasses so far​
    1. abjurer (playtest 7)​
    2. diviner (playtest 7)​
    3. evoker (playtest 5 & 7)​
    4. illusionist (playtest 7)​

Please let me know if I missed any, thanks!
It seems like most classes have an "odd one out" and not in a good way.

Barbarian Zealot - It's never been a subclass that made much sense, and it feels very contrived. The changes in 2024 improve it slightly but make it feel even more contrived and at odds with the general themes of Berserkers.

Bard - No odd one out, but should probably have dropped Valor for Swords.

Cleric - Trickery absolutely should not be in there. It's a bad subclass (even with changes), it's not a particularly popular theme for Clerics, nor does it fit many gods people actually want to be a Cleric of. Death would be the obvious replacement.

Druid - These seem fine, actually.

Fighter - Brawler needs to be vastly reworked to justify it's existence. As is it's not a strong subclass conceptually or mechanically (certainly before level 7 or 10, which most will never reach), despite Fighters "like that" being extremely common in fantasy fiction. The absolutely awful-ness of the design is best illustrated by giving them an unarmed attack which they can't use to attack with (only wrassle), which is completely off-beam for the fictional archetype (and weakens the class further mechanically). I'd like the theme to retained, but the mechanics just have to improve and to support the actual fantasy fiction archetype, not Crawford's eternal hate of unarmed attacks.

Monk - I mean, this class needs to go, but if it's not going, these four do represent a decent spread of themes.

Paladin - Glory is a total waste of a spot. Not only is it objectively inferior, mechanically, to all three other options, but it's an incredibly boring theme, not one people associate with Paladins, and not one that adds anything. It's just like a narcissistic/smug version of Devotion. Any other Paladin subclass would beat it - I'd suggest a darker one, even Oathbreaker (perhaps renamed).

Ranger - Hunter should go, frankly. There's no need for a "vanilla" Ranger that is absolutely packed to the gills with magic and relies on magic to even make their special attacks. If you're not going to have a non-magic Ranger, lean into the special-ness of the Ranger, and cut Hunter's intentional boring-ness (but tons of mechanical complexity) and replace it with something Actually Cool. Horizon Walker or Swamkeeper.

Rogue - I see they "improved" Assassin, but it's still basically a trap subclass, in that it's written in such a way that people will think it's really good at assassinating people - it isn't, you can't be good at that in 5E's rules (not with martial abilities anyway), it's just not possible currently - but basically it's actually worse at killing people than the Swashbuckler, arguably even than the Thief. It's particularly funny that Surprising Strikes is now a misnomer - you will only ever get the (relatively small) benefit on a single strike, rather getting to crit on every attack. Shouldn't be pluralized mate! If WotC can't see their way clear to making it good at it's "one job", then replace it with something cool and weird like Soulknife or Phantom. Fantasy fiction is full of "assassins" (many teenage or young 20s girls) right now and has been for a while - but the majority have far more in common with either Thief or Swashbuckler, or with the Phantom/Soulknife/AT (or even with Shadow Monks) than D&D's uninspired and ineffective vision of an Assassin. Don't lean into things your system is inherently opposed to - and D&D 5E is inherently opposed to letting characters - including non-trash monsters/NPCs - get one-shot.

Sorcerer - I don't have a strong opinion, but Clockwork is clearly the odd one out, and doesn't seem to fit with the "innate magic" theme particularly well, so should probably be cut - albeit not for bloody Divine Soul - Shadow Magic would make sense.

Warlock - Celestial is by far the weakest, conceptually (just absolute "I want all the upsides and none of the downsides!" stuff), and undermines the entire theme of the Warlock so I'd 100% kick that out for re-worked The Genie. Honestly a lot more people would have a lot more fun with that.

Wizard - At least have one non-school! Abjurer is the most boring and least-picked, I suspect, so replace that with probably Bladesinging.

Oathbreaker and Death Domain are in the 2014 DMG as Villianous Class Options (p96-97).

So I could see the Villianous Class Options in the DMG be expanded.
It's totally bizarre and silly that either is in the DMG, especially Death, which numerous and Neutral and Good-aligned Gods have in their purview. Just absolute "apology edition" nonsense. Expanding that would be just an outright bad idea.

Hopefully there are no subclasses, races or other essentially player-facing material in the DMG.
 
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Remathilis

Legend
Eh, outside of Draconic, I'm not sure I consider any all that iconic.
The sorcerer seems to have absorbed several casters that were previously either their own thing (psionics, wild mage, shadow magic, moon magic of Krynn) or variants of its own theme (draconic, favored soul, storm sorcery). The odd man out is clockwork.

I don't have a problem with clockwork, but to me it feels a little too out there. Like wild magic barbarian, creation bard, or swarm ranger. It's interesting, but niche.
 


Remathilis

Legend
The Draconic and Wild Mage get major features thar are worth the Spells prepared: Wild Surges and the Dragon abilities which are always on Spells are worth the difference.

Draconic gets Tough (+1 hp per level) and Unarmed Defense. Plus they speak draconic and can be understood by any dragon (in case the latter doesn't speak draconic, I guess).
Wild gets a 5% chance to use a wild surge 1/day and advantage 1/day, with a mini-game that allows you to regain both.
Aberrant gets five spells (two first, two second, 1 cantrip) and telepathic contact (as per the Goolock).
Clockwork gets four spells (two first, two second) and can negate advantage or disadvantage to a roll prof-mod per day.

Wild's 5% chance of forcing a surge roll is situational, and the Tides of Chaos mini-game is interesting. Draconic gives nothing but passive buffs to a character who has no reason to be in melee. Aberrant gives actual psionic powers and appropriate spells, Clockwork does the something similar to wild (affect rolls) and four spells. The 2014 subs are outgunned.

At 6th level, they each gain the following:
Draconic: + Cha to damage spells of the appropriate element, and 1 resistance. As noted, there isn't a lot of acid, cold, or poison spells on the sorcerer list and you need Xanathar's to get cold spells to work. This ability only is great if you pick fire.
Wild: 1 SP to add retroactive guidance/bless to a single d20 roll.
Aberrant: Two more spells known (3rd level), cast spells off your bonus list for SP cost equal to spell level with no components. Plus immunity to charm/frightened.
Clockwork: Two more 3rd level spells known plus spend SP to create a ward that effectively gives 1d8 temp hp "shield" per SP to a creature.

Again, the choice is pretty easy.

I'm not going to go on to 14th and 18th, since most campaigns peter out before those levels, but suffice to say I don't think either draconic or WM makes a strong showing at either level.
 


Parmandur

Book-Friend
Draconic gets Tough (+1 hp per level) and Unarmed Defense. Plus they speak draconic and can be understood by any dragon (in case the latter doesn't speak draconic, I guess).
A full on Feat which boosts the HP die type for ghe Class, which can stack with the identical Feat whi h also ups the HP die type, and can stack with the Dwarf ability which does the same. With 2024, a Dwarven Dragon Mage can be walking around with basically a d12 for HP at Level up like a Barbarian. The AC ability is no joke, either, essentially Boiling down
Wild gets a 5% chance to use a wild surge 1/day and advantage 1/day, with a mini-game that allows you to regain both.
Yes, which is an underappreciated and powerful design. In actual play, this is bizarrely quite effective at helping the party.
Aberrant gets five spells (two first, two second, 1 cantrip) and telepathic contact (as per the Goolock).
Clockwork gets four spells (two first, two second) and can negate advantage or disadvantage to a roll prof-mod per day.
Yes, so in effect they trade as much power at word Go for some extra flexibility (whichbis a different sort of power).
The 2014 subs are outgunned.
No, not really. Sure, the others get a few more Spella known, but in building a Sorcerer I have never felt the pinch of not knowing enough Spells. Without yheSubckass bonuses, a Dragon orWild Mage knows enough Spells to do their thing.
Again, the choice is pretty easy.
I wouldn't say that, but I prefer the 2014 Subclasses.
 
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