D&D 5E Broad vs Narrow Classes

Dausuul

Legend
To me the warlock feels perfect how it is. Warlock magic is literally your patron cheating the system to get you magic so it should not be Vancian or NeoVancian.
If by "not (neo-)Vancian" you mean "not using the standard spellcaster progression," then I agree*; but there are literally infinite ways to build a caster who doesn't use the standard progression. The way that was chosen for the warlock would fit the sorcerer much better IMO.

If it were up to me, I'd give the warlock a couple more top-level spell slots and remove the focus on at-will abilities. Then I'd give them the ability to regain spell slots by spending hit dice (or hit points if out of hit dice), supplemented with other options specific to the pact. The idea would be to center the warlock on making dangerous sacrifices for power, with the mechanics reinforcing the concept of the class.

*All spellcasters in 5E include a neo-Vancian component -- a set of spell slots, usable for any spell known/prepared, which recover after a period of rest. All of them also have non-Vancian magical abilities usable at will, including but not limited to cantrips. The warlock is the same, it just has faster recovery time, fewer spell slots, and more of its power allocated to the at-will options.
 

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Minigiant

Legend
Supporter
If by "not (neo-)Vancian" you mean "not using the standard spellcaster progression," then I agree*; but there are literally infinite ways to build a caster who doesn't use the standard progression. The way that was chosen for the warlock would fit the sorcerer much better IMO.

If it were up to me, I'd give the warlock a couple more top-level spell slots and remove the focus on at-will abilities. Then I'd give them the ability to regain spell slots by spending hit dice (or hit points if out of hit dice), supplemented with other options specific to the pact. The idea would be to center the warlock on making dangerous sacrifices for power, with the mechanics reinforcing the concept of the class.

*All spellcasters in 5E include a neo-Vancian component -- a set of spell slots, usable for any spell known/prepared, which recover after a period of rest. All of them also have non-Vancian magical abilities usable at will, including but not limited to cantrips. The warlock is the same, it just has faster recovery time, fewer spell slots, and more of its power allocated to the at-will options.
By NeoVancian I mean Prepared Spells + Long Rest Spell Slots + Spontaneous Casting

To me and how D&D does it, the warlock doesn't sacrifice strength for power. The premise is that their magic isn't the "correct" path. They cheated via a patron or a patron's lore to make a bastardized connection to the Weave/Aether/Force/Fade. And they their magic is not NeoVancian. The Sorcerer has a proper connection to the Weave/Aether/Force/Fade. It is just innate and tied to their blood or soul.. They have better control of the limited spells they do know.

In laymans terms: A D&D Warlock is a Marvel mutate and has a collection of unnatural unconnected magicks from an outside source. A D&D Sorcerer is closer to a Marvel mutant and has a collection of "natural" connected magicks from an internal source. A D&D Wizard is a Marvel Science/Tech Hero. They maybe gifted but that gift doesn't make magic. Basically Marvel Wakandans.

If it were up to me.
Mage ClassCasting StatSpells Prepared or KnownSpell Slots RestoredAlter CantripsAlter Spells (Metamagic)Arcane AccessGimmick
ArcanistIntSubclass onlySubclass OnlyYesNoCantrips OnlyArcanist Boosts
BloodmageConPreparedLong RestNoNoAlmost FullBloodmagic
SorcererChaKnownLong RestYesYesPartialSorcery, Sorcery Points
TruenamerIntKnownShort RestNoNoFullUtterances
WarlockChaKnownShort RestYesNoPartialInvocations
WizardIntPreparedLong RestNoYesFullSpellbook

I like broad.
 

ECMO3

Hero
When thinking about 5E in general and what you prefer and/or would like to see, do you want classes that are broad or ones that are more narrowly defined.

For the purposes of this discussion, by "broad" I mean lots of options as you create and level a character so that a single class can cover a lot of different archetypes or party roles. Note that I mean this in an ongoing way. That is, you continue to make those choices throughout character advancement and development and can always switch gears.

Conversely, by narrow I guess what I mean is "focused": fewer choices (at least after the initial ones) but a high degree of fidelity toward one particular expression of that class. Assume effectiveness and solid balance here. Presume a well designed focused archetype.

So I guess the question comes down to how much control do you want over progression? How much freedom versus focus?

This is largely a player facing question but GMs should feel free to discuss how such a choice might affect a campaign they run.

For my part, when I am a player it kind of depends on the nature of the campaign. If we are playing a canned campaign, I definitely prefer a focused character advancement track. But if it's a more open, unpredictable campaign i want the freedom to switch gears if the game goes in an unexpected direction.

As a GM I actually prefer if both options are available to players who have different preferences, and hope I can manage to juggle both.

I really like the game design in 5E and with the feats and backgrounds available I feel like you can build a really broad character or a really narrow character.

As far as broad - Want a caster that rocks in melee you can do it, want a Ranger face - mechanically a Ranger can be built to be the best face in the game bar none. Want your wizard to pick locks and slink around or wear heavy armor it is easily doable. Want a Bard that can run around using battlemaster maneuvers every 3 or 4 turns in combat and you can do that. All of those can be fully in by level 4. All of that can be fully in by level 4 and much of it in level 1.

The only real limit I see is in healing and there are 3 classes that do that well and another two that are passable, most other themes are there for the taking with the current classes, subclasses, races and feats.

As far as narrow - You can min/max dump everything into your main 2 stats and get feats like Sharpshooter, CBE, GWM-PAM-Sentinel, take a Human Bard with skilled, prodigy and skill expert (although some might call this broad). Halfling Rogue with skulker and expertise in stealth.
 

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