D&D 5E Broad vs Narrow Classes

Minigiant

Legend
Supporter
Broad, but I don’t think you need to reduce classes, just broaden what they are good at.


My point was that many fans of Broad want to reduce classes and the game accuracy become less customizable aas you try to uppackage things and try to put them back together in a balanced way.

Rage & Reckless Attack are a packaged deal along with LOH and Divine Smite for flavor and power.

If you break them apart, it's unbalanced.
If you pull them out and put them together, you didn't do anything. You went from Barbarian (Class) Berserker (Sublcass) to Warrior (Class) Barbarian (Subclass) Berserker (Subsublcass). Big Whoop.

Druids get wildshape. I have several concepts for druids that are ill-served by turning into animals . Funnily, so does D&D, but instead of replacing Wildshape, it just bolts something on.

Star Druids that replace Wildshape with their Constellation-shape. Muck Druids that replace their Wildshape with their Aura of Detritus.

The narrower a class is, the more likely my concept won’t fit in it.
That's how I'd like it.

Choose class features of similar power and flavor and offer options.

Druids have Wildshape. Moon Circle get Wildshape (Beast), Star Circle gets Wildshape (Constellation) Fire Circle gets Wildshape (Fire Elemental)

Create a new class for companions and aura: the shaman
Shaman gets Primal Companion. Land Shaman gets Primal Companion (Beast), Spore Shaman gets Primal Companion (Spore Swarm), Spirit Shaman gets Primal Companion (Ancestral Warrior)
 

log in or register to remove this ad



Vaalingrade

Legend
Such systems already exists, and not having classes has consequences. So much so that you're essentially advocating not playing D&D but some other fantasy systems. Which is fine, but this is a thread about D&D 5e and about classes, so...
Nope. If it's the D&D Brand, it's still D&D. None of us get to gatekeep or declare what is and isn't D&D and should stop pretending we do.
 

Ancalagon

Dusty Dragon
Nope. If it's the D&D Brand, it's still D&D. None of us get to gatekeep or declare what is and isn't D&D and should stop pretending we do.
If coca cola decides tomorrow to sell pea soup and call it Coca Cola...

... nothing wrong with pea soup, but I am not calling it Coca Cola
 

Vaalingrade

Legend
If coca cola decides tomorrow to sell pea soup and call it Coca Cola...

... nothing wrong with pea soup, but I am not calling it Coca Cola
And you still aren't the one to get to decide if it's Coca Cola or not, only whether you say the words or not.

I can call the Sun 'Ol Burny Pants, that doesn't make it so.

The 'not D&D argument is not just a bad one, it's an active poison to the game.
 

Reynard

Legend
Such systems already exists, and not having classes has consequences. So much so that you're essentially advocating not playing D&D but some other fantasy systems. Which is fine, but this is a thread about D&D 5e and about classes, so...
I would go so far as to say classes are one of the strongest selling points of D&D for folks trying to get into the hobby.
 

Vaalingrade

Legend
I would go so far as to say classes are one of the strongest selling points of D&D for folks trying to get into the hobby.
That or...

Dungeons
Dragons
The Whole of the Fantasy Genre
Its pop cultural presence
Friends who play it
Fantasy races
Escapism
[list continues]

... Nashville Hot Chicken
Porridge
The Little Piggy Who Had None
then Classes.
 

Minigiant

Legend
Supporter
Classes is a big selling point.

Removing classes from is a quick path everyone being either full caster wizard/clerics and fighter/rogue/wizard/clerics half-casters.

Which matches no one's fantasy.
 

Vaalingrade

Legend
Classes is a big selling point.

Removing classes from is a quick path everyone being either full caster wizard/clerics and fighter/rogue/wizard/clerics half-casters.

Which matches no one's fantasy.
Not if you make non-casting also good.

Which is also decried as 'not D&D' just like pretty much everything good.
 

Isn't that what we already have?
Yes and no. When I say "a few" I mean 3 (warriors, mages, and experts). And when I say subclasses I mean classes.

I may be interested in a system where warrior, mage, and expert are three different classes of features that can be mixed and matched instead of picking a class and/or subclass.

In the end I would like options and optional systems that can support different styles of play.
 

James Gasik

Legend
Supporter
One benefit to classes is that it's easy to present flavor and a role to a player, if used correctly. When I play in games without classes (and worse, without levels), players generally make one of two major mistakes.

They either make a character who is ultra specialized to do one thing well, at the expense of all other things, or they make a character with points spread randomly all over the place to the point that they are ineffectual.

A class should present the player with "this is what you do, and this is generally the kind of character you are portraying". And be it levels or some kind of benchmark mechanic, players should easily be able to gauge how good is "good enough".

Now I'm not saying there shouldn't be wiggle room; some people are competent enough to generate their own flavor, and reject mechanical boundaries. But not everyone is. Furthermore, some people seem to work better within boundaries than being told that they can truly do anything they like.

As a result, I'm much happier playing in class-and-level based systems. Are they perfect? No, but enough people have problems with not having these guidelines that I'd rather keep them.

As an aside, every so often, you see a game that presents, along with classes, a generic "non-class" that allows you to build the exact character you want; Rolemaster's Non-Profession or Earthdawn's Journeyman. While not for the new player, having this as an option seems to be the best possible compromise.
 

Minigiant

Legend
Supporter
Not if you make non-casting also good.

Which is also decried as 'not D&D' just like pretty much everything good.
It's more that D&D is the most broken spell casting system in the entire TTRPG World and classes is pretty much the main way to keep it reined in.

So once you take out classes you pretty much give access to the most broken spellcasting system and gaming to anyone.
 


Aldarc

Legend
I could definitely see there being different types of wizard archetype, being analogous to the various types of researchers or academical staff,
The Specialist: further reduces capacity for learning/casting from banned spell schools than standard in exchange for bonuses to learning/casting from a specific school(s).
The Generalist: removes limitations for learning banned schools in exchange for mid-tier access across the board.
The Librarian: reduced number of spell slots in exchange for extra knowledge proficiencies and bonuses to knowledge checks.
The Researcher: low number of spells inherently known but reduced costs to transcribing new spells and creating spell scrolls.
The Pioneer: limited access to metamagics or divine/primal magics and creating new spells.
The Battlemage: focus on combat magics, armour proficiencies and war casting.
The Supporter: limited combat magics learnt but large number and access to utility, ritual and support spells.
A critical point for creating classes to me rests in understanding the class fantasy. Why are people drawn to playing certain classes or archetypes? Not just in D&D, but in all sorts of tabletop or video games, that utilitze classes. Both playstyle and theme are important aspects of creating a good class.

I do think that they got closer to this in 4e, though I think one problem was everyone expecting the wizard to be gods. That said, 4e basically said, "Hey, you enjoy blasting with arcane spells and doing big damage? Pick Sorcerer. You enjoy using spells to be the master tactician of the battlefield? Pick Wizard. Enjoy using your arcane spells to support allies? Pick Bard."

That is more akin to what I think that WotC should do with D&D classes. Make the core class fantasy and playstyle clear. Subclasses can expand and build upon those things, but the core "Play X if you like Y theme and Z playstyle" should be clear and distinct for classes.
 

Yes and no. When I say "a few" I mean 3 (warriors, mages, and experts). And when I say subclasses I mean classes.

I may be interested in a system where warrior, mage, and expert are three different classes of features that can be mixed and matched instead of picking a class and/or subclass.

In the end I would like options and optional systems that can support different styles of play.
To be clear a mix-and-match-three-classes-of-features system would be an option for grizzled veterans, and novices would be discouraged from using it.

I like the idea of a hierarchy of systems with maybe half a dozen classes for new players, an optional mix and match system for people who want that, and a plethora of subclasses that grows over time as new books are published (but is optional, meaning we wouldn't be required to choose one).
 
Last edited:

Vaalingrade

Legend
It's more that D&D is the most broken spell casting system in the entire TTRPG World and classes is pretty much the main way to keep it reined in.

So once you take out classes you pretty much give access to the most broken spellcasting system and gaming to anyone.
What is after removing classes, we continued using good game design and fixed that too?
 


I'm about 90% convinced that the Avenger happened specifically because of the popularity of Assassin's Creed. Given the longevity of the series, if it wasn't a direct inspiration, they absolutely struck gold by accident.

It's still a real shame you can't really make an Avenger in 5e.
no, it is just a logical extrapolation if the paladin is the crusader why not have a hashshashin with the gifts of god as well?
Not if you make non-casting also good.

Which is also decried as 'not D&D' just like pretty much everything good.
look almost everyone agrees martials need to be better but getting rid of classes takes away a mixed point of the game it is equally good as it is bad in the abstract for dnd to have classes, the manifestation and execution of them are lacking is sadly true.
A critical point for creating classes to me rests in understanding the class fantasy. Why are people drawn to playing certain classes or archetypes? Not just in D&D, but in all sorts of tabletop or video games, that utilitze classes. Both playstyle and theme are important aspects of creating a good class.

I do think that they got closer to this in 4e, though I think one problem was everyone expecting the wizard to be gods. That said, 4e basically said, "Hey, you enjoy blasting with arcane spells and doing big damage? Pick Sorcerer. You enjoy using spells to be the master tactician of the battlefield? Pick Wizard. Enjoy using your arcane spells to support allies? Pick Bard."

That is more akin to what I think that WotC should do with D&D classes. Make the core class fantasy and playstyle clear. Subclasses can expand and build upon those things, but the core "Play X if you like Y theme and Z playstyle" should be clear and distinct for classes.
a fair point but what of clearly non-combat features or things so situational they are not normally combat in nature how does that stack up?
or fantasies that overlap but are also different.
 

no, it is just a logical extrapolation if the paladin is the crusader why not have a hashshashin with the gifts of god as well?
But that wasn't really the core of the Avenger idea. Yes, there is some connection to it, as I said with Ezio. But the core 4e idea was that the Avengers were not the gods' assassins, but rather their internal police. Less CIA and more FBI: policing heresy, ending subversive infiltration, and keeping the empowered accountable.

And, as stated, making a cloth-wearing heavy weapon user who focuses on dex and has crazy high AC is basically impossible in 5e. Allowing a Zealot Barbarian to use Dex with a greatsword would come relatively close, but every time I've suggested that it's gotten a hugely negative reaction, so I've just accepted that the Avenger is not part of 5e's alleged big tent.

a fair point but what of clearly non-combat features or things so situational they are not normally combat in nature how does that stack up?
or fantasies that overlap but are also different.
"Clearly non-combat features" are covered by:
  • Various baseline class features (e.g. Bards being able to infinitely multiclass, Wizards getting controls)
  • The broad utility and applicability of 4e skills (seriously, skills in 4e are mighty, at least if used as intended)
  • Utility powers
  • Rituals (and "Martial Practices" which are basically mundane things in the same wheelhouse as rituals)
  • Item powers and consumables
  • Boons and other forms of magical "reward" that aren't treasures proper
As for "fantasies that overlap," I'll need you to be more specific. E.g. the Wizard being able to do everything is out, because that's not good class design. But (for instance) the Wizard and Invoker do overlap in many ways, with the former being somewhat more reckless and scholarly, while the latter is much more party-friendly and very "Moses calling down the plagues," heavy on intuition and proselytizing.
 

An Advertisement

Advertisement4

Top