D&D 5E Broad vs Narrow Classes


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Aldarc

Legend
From my perspective... for the Wizard to be Broad like the Fighter and Rogue... we would need to be able to name all manner of different types of magic-users and they should fit in nicely under the Wizard umbrella-- the same way we can name all these different thematic identities like Thief, Assassin, Mastermind, Swashbuckler, Inquisitive, Scout, etc. and they all fit under the umbrella of 'Rogue'. But if we start going through a lot of the different caster identities? The ones we already don't have full classes written up for? The thematics of the Wizard doesn't really fit them.
IMHO, this is what the Traditions perform. The Wizard was the ONLY class in the PHB with eight subclasses, which includes entire archetypes that could be stand-alone classes like Enchanters, Illusionists, Necromancers, Conjurers, Diviners, etc.
 

Vaalingrade

Legend
I prefer classes as strong archetypes that don't allow much, if any, mechanical choices within the class itself. This speeds up character creation, avoids the issues that come with "builds" and makes it simpler to get into the game.
I haven't met a simplification to the game I wouldn't throw over a bridge in front of it's mother for more mechanical choices.
 


DEFCON 1

Legend
Supporter
IMHO, this is what the Traditions perform. The Wizard was the ONLY class in the PHB with eight subclasses, which includes entire archetypes that could be stand-alone classes like Enchanters, Illusionists, Necromancers, Conjurers, Diviners, etc.
Yeah, I can see what you're saying. And I don't disagree... I just think for me personally, other than the Necromancer (which does have its own kind of "feel" of a completely different thematic identity than the traditional Wizard)... the other seven I just can't help but visualize as your traditional Wizardly guy who just focuses on a different type of magic.

When I visualize a Samurai and a Banneret, I get two wholly different ideas and looks about who these people are, how they behave, and what their focus is on. Same with say the Thief and the Scout. I personally do not get that same sort of differential between an Illusionist and a Transmuter (for example). To me I still just see a guy in robes in a lab with open books on different tables, a familiar curled up in the corner, inkpots and feathers here and there. Now maybe that's just my bias showing-- I will not deny that this is indeed perhaps all just on me-- but that's where my head goes when I see Wizard. You quite rightly perhaps see something completely different.
 

CreamCloud0

One day, I hope to actually play DnD.
I think understand what you are saying. What I'm getting is you are thinking "Broad" in terms of what the Wizard can do-- with such a large spell list, the Wizard can cast almost anything and thus be almost anything. And I don't disagree with that necessarily. But that appears to me to be coming from a mechanical expression, rather than a thematic one.

From a thematic expression I see the Wizard to be very constrained. The class is all about bookworms. Scientists. The smartypants who has to sit in their laboratory working out formulas to figure out how this magic stuff works, and then writing it all down in their spellbooks. And even their Subclasses don't actually change this identity, all they do is tell us what Major they took when they went to school (to incorporate a metaphor.)

From my perspective... for the Wizard to be Broad like the Fighter and Rogue... we would need to be able to name all manner of different types of magic-users and they should fit in nicely under the Wizard umbrella-- the same way we can name all these different thematic identities like Thief, Assassin, Mastermind, Swashbuckler, Inquisitive, Scout, etc. and they all fit under the umbrella of 'Rogue'. But if we start going through a lot of the different caster identities? The ones we already don't have full classes written up for? The thematics of the Wizard doesn't really fit them.
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.
 
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Yeah, I can see what you're saying. And I don't disagree... I just think for me personally, other than the Necromancer (which does have its own kind of "feel" of a completely different thematic identity than the traditional Wizard)... the other seven I just can't help but visualize as your traditional Wizardly guy who just focuses on a different type of magic.
And I read this and I see the 5e Necromancer as occupying a perfectly good sorcerer subclass while being a bad fit for the wizard. Far from being a generalist their entire subclass is literally centered around one single spell that they improve. That's a sorcerer. In addition because the sorcerers are now getting custom lists and wizards aren't you can add Revivify and Raise Dead to your sorcerer spells for the double edged necromancers that are far more thematic.

Meanwhile the wizard generalist for the school should be the Nethermancer - the debuff specialist. Who does things with almost every other spell in the school. The only way a Necromancer buffs their other spells is through Grim Harvest which leaves out the good low level spells, namely Cause Fear, Blindness/Deafness, Ray of Enfeeblement, Bestow Curse, Life Transference, and Speak With Dead.
 

Reynard

Legend
And I read this and I see the 5e Necromancer as occupying a perfectly good sorcerer subclass while being a bad fit for the wizard. Far from being a generalist their entire subclass is literally centered around one single spell that they improve. That's a sorcerer. In addition because the sorcerers are now getting custom lists and wizards aren't you can add Revivify and Raise Dead to your sorcerer spells for the double edged necromancers that are far more thematic.
I think warlock is a better fit for "does one thing increasingly well." You could easily build a suite of invocations around animating, enthralling and communicating with the undead, along with a very focused spell list.
 

I think within the 5e framework of classes with subclasses every class should have both subclass options that are narrowly focused and thematic, and subclass options that are generalist or multifaceted with lots of additional decision points along the way.
 

I think warlock is a better fit for "does one thing increasingly well." You could easily build a suite of invocations around animating, enthralling and communicating with the undead, along with a very focused spell list.
Honestly, why not both. If it was about existing necromancy spells and probably empowering them the sorcerer would be a better fit. But invocations are great for custom spells, and a couple of invocations for non-specialist necromancers to give them necromantic overtones would be excellent.

Actually now I come to think of it the warlock could really do with a servitor invocation that's not quite as ... willful ... or even combat effective as the Pact of the Chain.
 

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