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5E Class choices that didn't sync well with the campaign.

Sacrosanct

Legend
So, I had been wanting to play a shadow sorcerer for a while. When I got the chance to be a players that's what I chose.

It was Descent into Avernus.

I found out quickly my choice in class was starting with a handicap. Don't get me wrong, I enjoy the character, but the key features of the class are rendered useless when most of the enemies you fight are devils who have devil's sight (rendering your darkness and darkvision features useless), and they all have magic resistance, so while your hound of ill omen helps, it doesn't meet it's goal of imposing disadvantage on your targets saving throws. It just cancels out their normal advantage. Against these types of opponents a support or blaster caster would be better, but a shadow sorcerer is more control via saving throws.

So I'm curious if anyone else had similar experiences. Did you play a class only to find out your class features didn't fit well with the campaign?
 

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This is why I allow characters numerous choices as to what adventures they undertake instead of funneling them in one direction. The problem isn't your character; the problem is the railroad format.

If I were you, I'd retire the character and play him/her in a more appropriate setting.
 

I have not, but that's because we discuss the general concept of the campaign in advance. The only time we've had any issues was a player who insisted on playing a wizard in 3E, when we knew we were going to start as slaves. He was all but useless until we recovered his spellbook, but whenever he complained we all reminded him he knew what he was getting into.

We're currently running Avernus, and the bard and wizard are having more difficulty than normal, but that was to be expected. The bard is completely a control character, with a bit of in combat healing, and he just keeps using the spells as normal. The wizard is mostly control, with a touch of blasting, and does the same thing.
 

TerraDave

5ever
This is why I allow characters numerous choices as to what adventures they undertake instead of funneling them in one direction. The problem isn't your character; the problem is the railroad format.

A DM has to do what a DM has to do.

BUT, especially if you are doing a planned series of adventures, its always good to mix things up. Variety serves many purposes in an ongoing campaign, including allowing all characters to have their moments.
 

This is why I allow characters numerous choices as to what adventures they undertake instead of funneling them in one direction. The problem isn't your character; the problem is the railroad format.

If I were you, I'd retire the character and play him/her in a more appropriate setting.
Come on... Railroad format? Is that really all you have to say?
The fun of playing a character is not when he is optimum for the adventure at hand, it is when it has to work against the odds.
His character is perfectly fine. He has to work around the problem by being more than what he is now and strive to find "his" way around Devil Sight. Not all enemies in DiA are devils (though most are) but the shadow sorcerer is not limited to "shadow stuff" either. A shadow sorcerer is still a sorcerer and this means that spell selection can be used to "cover" for the weaknesses.
 

Coroc

Hero
So, I had been wanting to play a shadow sorcerer for a while. When I got the chance to be a players that's what I chose.

It was Descent into Avernus.

I found out quickly my choice in class was starting with a handicap. Don't get me wrong, I enjoy the character, but the key features of the class are rendered useless when most of the enemies you fight are devils who have devil's sight (rendering your darkness and darkvision features useless), and they all have magic resistance, so while your hound of ill omen helps, it doesn't meet it's goal of imposing disadvantage on your targets saving throws. It just cancels out their normal advantage. Against these types of opponents a support or blaster caster would be better, but a shadow sorcerer is more control via saving throws.

So I'm curious if anyone else had similar experiences. Did you play a class only to find out your class features didn't fit well with the campaign?
Hah, that once more proves my grognard dm attitude to limit every selection so that such things among others do not occur.
But even if, like in your case, you go the modern anything goes way, your dm should have discussed your choice upfront with you, and made you aware, that your selection -while he allows it - would be more than suboptimal.
 

Coroc

Hero
This is why I allow characters numerous choices as to what adventures they undertake instead of funneling them in one direction. The problem isn't your character; the problem is the railroad format.

If I were you, I'd retire the character and play him/her in a more appropriate setting.
That is your solution? Instead of telling players upfront that certain subclasses will not work well with the adventure?
Just to keep unlimited class selection , no matter what?


I mean i do have more time to prep a campaign than maybe some other dms, but i prep one campaign not five, just because player x wants to portray a hobbit ninja turtle in an all-players-should-be-drow- campaign.
 

akr71

Adventurer
I don't ever want my players to be unhappy or dissatisfied with their characters. If they mention it to me, we try to find a solution - if the class is underwhelming, maybe we try to home-brew something that is more what they were hoping for. However, switching characters is usually an easier, faster solution. I ask them to save the character and try it in a side game or one shot, which we try to have semi-frequently.

I had one myself in a side game - Roscoe 'Firkin' Goodbarrel the boar riding, halfling cavalier. It turns out, I don't find the cavalier to be very fun to play and there was little to no opportunity to use his mount. Roscoe continued his travels and I started playing a hobgoblin psi-knight instead.
 


Oofta

Title? I don't need no stinkin' title.
When planning a new campaign I discuss my upcoming campaign idea(s) and as a group we have a discussion about what types of PCs will fit. Beyond the no evil PCs, don't play a jerk, I also discuss regional considerations and themes. My current campaign is very city focused for example, so that hermit druid who loves the forest may not have been a great fit.

So I give people a heads up on probable direction before they ever commit.

As to the OP, yeah, sometimes the PC's schtick isn't as effective as expected. That doesn't mean they're useless. For example, cancelling out advantage is actually just as useful in many cases (if not more) than gaining advantage for a spellcaster.

In any case, I let players change PCs if they're really dissatisfied as long as they don't abuse the policy. I want people to have fun and don't force them to play something they don't want to play.
 

Sacrosanct

Legend
Hah, that once more proves my grognard dm attitude to limit every selection so that such things among others do not occur.
But even if, like in your case, you go the modern anything goes way, your dm should have discussed your choice upfront with you, and made you aware, that your selection -while he allows it - would be more than suboptimal.

I'm not sure why this example proves that DMs have to limit every selection. I'm not even sure I know what you mean by that. And I don't know about "modern anything goes" either. Our DM told us what campaign we were going to be playing before we started. This isn't on him. this is on me for not realizing that there would naturally be a lot of devils in a campaign that takes place in hell. Also, I don't care about suboptimal. Never have. As I said in the OP, I'm still enjoying the character. Just a bit disappointed I didn't think ahead and realize how many of the defining class features (that make the shadow sorcerer different from every other sorcerer) are significantly neutered in this type of campaign.
 

Sacrosanct

Legend
A shadow sorcerer is still a sorcerer and this means that spell selection can be used to "cover" for the weaknesses.

While true, they are, it's basically playing a class without a subclass. Like playing a battlemaster, but finding out your maneuvers aren't really effective for the campaign. You can still fight, and do stuff, but what makes your subclass it's subclass isn't really effective or has an opportunity to come into play.
 

Nothing recent, but....

I've played in campaigns that were mostly urban or sometimes entirely urban and one player will choose to be a Ranger or Druid. Often they would ask about their animal companion and be upset that they can't wander around the city or the Underdark with a grizzy bear in tow or somesuch.

I've played in a campaign where one player choose to play a mounted combat specialist. The campaign was based on plane hopping through portals in various hard to reach locations. I don't think we ever got back to his mount that he tied up after we found the first ladder.

I remember a campaign where someone insisted on playing an Aarakocra (which used to have de jure fear of being underground or indoors which resulted in penalties). The DM told us the campaign was going to be primarily be Undermountain.

I remember campaigns where someone would insist on playing a Necromancer or Assassin when there was already a Paladin, or vice-versa. I'm sure some people love this kind of intra-party conflict, but I'd rather it stayed in Dragonlance novels.
 

TwoSix

Unserious gamer
Supporter
Mostly when I've seen this happen, it's been around features with certain rest frequencies. Like the campaign has had less encounters per day than normal, and the character had all short rest features.

I'm pretty lax, if a player is unhappy I let them bring in a new character or retool an old one (depending on which one fits in the narrative better).
 

iserith

Magic Wordsmith
The good news is that my group just finished this module and it's so very easy that we did it 4 levels behind what was expected. So even given that some of your tricks won't work all that well, you should be fine. Our group also lacked characters with AOEs.

The two responses above that make the most sense to me: (1) The DM is well-advised to work with the players on the campaign concept so players can make informed choices about what to create; and (2) it can still be a fun challenge to figure out the optimal way to use a character who is made suboptimal by way of the fictional circumstances.
 

Sacrosanct

Legend
I've played in a campaign where one player choose to play a mounted combat specialist. The campaign was based on plane hopping through portals in various hard to reach locations. I don't think we ever got back to his mount that he tied up after we found the first ladder.

Mounted seems to be a big one. There aren't a lot of campaigns where there is ample opportunity to have mounted combat (SKT maybe?). Just a week or so ago a player said he wanted to play cavalier, and when I said that we would be doing Ghosts of Saltmarsh, he quickly changed his mind lol.
 

While true, they are, it's basically playing a class without a subclass. Like playing a battlemaster, but finding out your maneuvers aren't really effective for the campaign. You can still fight, and do stuff, but what makes your subclass it's subclass isn't really effective or has an opportunity to come into play.
You are perfectly right. At the same time the "basic" power of the sorcerer are still relevant. And though your subclass powers are kinda gimped in this adventure, there are still ways for your DM to keep them relevant. Not all enemies in DiA are devils. I bet your DM will make it so that you'll have your hands to shine.
 

Blue

Ravenous Bugblatter Beast of Traal
So, I had been wanting to play a shadow sorcerer for a while. When I got the chance to be a players that's what I chose.

It was Descent into Avernus.

I found out quickly my choice in class was starting with a handicap. Don't get me wrong, I enjoy the character, but the key features of the class are rendered useless when most of the enemies you fight are devils who have devil's sight (rendering your darkness and darkvision features useless), and they all have magic resistance, so while your hound of ill omen helps, it doesn't meet it's goal of imposing disadvantage on your targets saving throws. It just cancels out their normal advantage. Against these types of opponents a support or blaster caster would be better, but a shadow sorcerer is more control via saving throws.

So I'm curious if anyone else had similar experiences. Did you play a class only to find out your class features didn't fit well with the campaign?

Descent into Avernus gave us the same issue for multiple characters.

We had a Spores Druid (from Guildmaster's Guide to Ravnica) flavored necromantic, using Animate Dead and such. We found a lack of any humanoid bodies made the character unable to actually fulfill that.

One player really wanted to make a pyro caster, but didn't even try it.

Playing a wizard, the lack of gold economy completely screwed over all spells with expensive material components. Can't get XX GP of gem type, or a golden statue worth 1000GP, or whatever. And the DM treated me okay, but I think the default lack to buy scrolls to copy into my spellbook or friendly NPC wizards to pay to copy from their books would also have limited a class who's special feature is wide selection.
 

Sacrosanct

Legend
You are perfectly right. At the same time the "basic" power of the sorcerer are still relevant. And though your subclass powers are kinda gimped in this adventure, there are still ways for your DM to keep them relevant. Not all enemies in DiA are devils. I bet your DM will make it so that you'll have your hands to shine.
Well, we're already 80% done, so I doubt it... ;)

coincidentally, one of the subclasses that turned out to be super effective in this campaign is the grave domain cleric. The synergy between his CD (give the target vulnerability to the next attack) and the party paladin has been really good. Nulling crits has been super useful as well, as has his subclass ability to max HP gain if the target is at 0 hp. We recently had 4 party members go down to 0 from the wail of the undead dryads. One mass healing word later, and everyone was back up with decent HP since it was max'd healing.
 

Sacrosanct

Legend
Descent into Avernus gave us the same issue for multiple characters.

We had a Spores Druid (from Guildmaster's Guide to Ravnica) flavored necromantic, using Animate Dead and such. We found a lack of any humanoid bodies made the character unable to actually fulfill that.

One player really wanted to make a pyro caster, but didn't even try it.

Playing a wizard, the lack of gold economy completely screwed over all spells with expensive material components. Can't get XX GP of gem type, or a golden statue worth 1000GP, or whatever. And the DM treated me okay, but I think the default lack to buy scrolls to copy into my spellbook or friendly NPC wizards to pay to copy from their books would also have limited a class who's special feature is wide selection.

Yep. Spores druid and fire blaster were on my list of potential PCs, but for obvious reasons I didn't go with them. I toyed with the idea of going elemental master feat so fire resistance could be overcome, but I decided it would be too much of a give up just to be "normal". It is what it is, and I think every campaign has a certain pool of archetypes that wouldn't fit so well. You can't really have a specialized setting, and 100s of potential archetypes, without some being better suited than others. I think that's just the nature of the game.
 

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