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Level Up (A5E) Class redesign

Morrus

Well, that was fun
Staff member
We‘ll do an actual survey on this later, of course. This is just in the spirit of getting the discussion going. This is a general approach discussion not one about any specific class, or about subclasses at this stage.

One thing I’ve personally found is that levelling up isn’t as exciting as it has been in some other editions. I don’t know how much others share this, but that’s what surveys are for!

So here are some initial thoughts:
  • meaningful choices at each level so you look forward to your level up every time
  • balanced with the original core classes to ensure compatibility
  • strong capstones for all classes
General thoughts welcomed!
 

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I would agree with the general sentiment. There is a very strong power up from levels 1-5 maybe 6. Each level feels pretty good. Then the scaling falls off a cliff.

the worst offenders are the “scaling powers” thatare just so laughably stupidly weak. An example, the bards “song of rest” is a nice little class feature. The fact that I get slightly higher die with the ability asa part of my core level up is stupid (and I say that noting that’s bards have full spell progression so they get better scaling than most classes.

I think you also need to redefine the “capstone”. We need to remember that for most games, the game is over at 10-11th level. There should be a capstone at 10th, and one at 20th. 4e had the right idea with paragon powers it just wasn’t the best execution, but something in that vein is a proper “capstone”
 


prabe

Aspiring Lurker (He/Him)
Supporter
Do you mean "meaningful choices" or "meaningful benefits" here? I remember the 3.x conversation about "dead levels" and I understand how having something to look forward to on level-up (heh, heh) would be good, but I'm not sure that having a decision-point at every level is consistent with 5E's relatively streamlined approach to D&D.

I'm also not sure that having every level gained result in a choice among competing goods is an ideal I want. Maybe meaningful benefits every level but actual choices two or three times (over twenty levels, not counting ASIs/Feats/multiclassing) a little more important than picking a Totem as a Totem Barbarian.
 


aco175

Hero
I also feel like some of the builds end up being bland and samey. I like the design of having low-level play for levels 1-3 before you pick your archtype. I like most of the types and over the years there has been more added. Although I still wish that there was some more split at higher levels, like another type to split into.

Are there classes that can be eliminated or 'have' to keep to still make 5e feel? I would almost just make the basic 4 and have splits off of them, but most likely we should keep the PHB classes and add to them with more types and super-prestige classes.
 


aco175

Hero
I would avoid the front-loading of 3e where one would pick a level or two of ranger to get all the cool benefits before going back to the main class.

Does it make sense to have choices along the path of each class? A rogue gets evasion at 5th level, would it be ok to give 2-3 choices to specialize them more, or is the specialization in picking the path at 3rd level and every rogue must get evasion at 5th level.
 


prabe

Aspiring Lurker (He/Him)
Supporter
When we do the survey we’ll investigate the topic throughly.
I have no doubt of it. If I sounded short, I apologize; anything longer-winded seemed as though I was picking holes in/arguing with the position, and ... it's your product and it's your decision how to handle this (and everything else) and you don't and didn't need me (at this point, anyway) nitpicking it to death.
 

TwoSix

Unserious gamer
Supporter
I would say either a meaningful feature (say, a central class feature, upgrade to that feature, or a capstone) or a meaningful choice every level (whether that be from a class specific menu or a general menu, like feats) would be ideal.

I'd note that gaining multiple new spells at a new spell level is equivalent to a "meaningful choice", to me, but just gaining a new spell or some new spells in a spellbook isn't quite enough.
 

Lefi2017

Villager
Classes are a good place or crunch!

As long as it doesn't boil to just giving boring modifiers
my player always want abilities or tools to work with in combat and out of it

Meaning full and Please choices of powers skills and abilities when Level up to create your own version of the class is the go to

the hard bard would be to make htme more or less equal in power and not creating any trap option
Something like the warlock invocation for every class
 

I agree with the general premise in the OP;, however, I don’t think you need to have choices every level but definitely a lot more choices than in 5E now. You should get a benefit every level though
 

The keys to design a new class:

- Right power balance, of course.

- Fun gameplay. Some classes had got class features may be useful, but not enough interesting for many players, for example psychic enervation by the psionic wilder. The Pathfinder version by Dreamscarred Press fixed it offering an optional list of different penalties.

- Interesting background or concept. Each class has its own marks of identiting, like the clothing by the different urban tribes. If you are reading a title, or watching a media production, without gameplay at all, and you can notice that character is a different class, then this has got its own style. A couple of example of failed concepts are the soulborn and incarnate classes from "Magic of Incarnum", soulmelders too close to paladins. The totemist (shaman) had got its own identity.

* Should the assasin to be a base class (stealth with some magic tricks)?

* Should primal and divine to be different power sources, like in 4th Ed and in Pathfinder 2?

* I miss the vestige pact magic and the martial adept classes.

* Does the incarnum/akasha game mechanic deserve a new chance?
 

vincegetorix

Jewel of the North
So here are some initial thoughts:
  • meaningful choices at each level so you look forward to your level up every time
  • balanced with the original core classes to ensure compatibility
  • strong capstones for all classes
General thoughts welcomed!
I think you are off to a good start.

I would add:
  • Gain subclasses at level 1 for every class.
  • Remove ASI from the class progression to give more design space for meaningful feature.
  • I'd consider having classes only spread over 10 level instead of 20, to avoid having to create 2-3 choice per level/per class all while keeping them meaningful and balanced. But its maybe to far-removed from 5e?
  • Classes should interact in meaningful and fun way with the subsystems, not override them. EX: the ranger features that makes journey automatic successes.
  • If A5E offers new subsystems, classes should have a way to interact with them without being penalised if a DM do not use said subsystems. EX: stronghold rules.
  • Capstones should be strong an on par with what the other classes can do at the same level. EX: A 4th attack for fighter is pretty strong, a probably better than the Wizard capstone, yet you have to keep in mind that a wizard is already casting Wish and Meteor at that level.
  • Capstones should be interesting for every archetypes. EX: The druid capstones (and general high level abilities) are really focused on wildshape, which only one one of the PHB's archetype makes full use of.
  • High level abilities should be meaningful at the level they are gained. EX: gaining a bonus against beast and plants at 14th level, when there's few chance you'll encounter those creatures and be challenged by them, is a little meaningless.
 

ThatGuySteve

Explorer
I'd like to see all classes able to pick up options that allow them to use their full set of actions. Some classes (rogue, monk) are going to use their bonus action every round without fail, others only very occasionally.

More options for reactions as well, with a range of triggers. Again, some classes see more use than others.
 

So here are some initial thoughts:
  • meaningful choices at each level so you look forward to your level up every time
  • balanced with the original core classes to ensure compatibility
  • strong capstones for all classes
And customizability to easily swap out one feature to get an other feature.
 


There's a good point up there.......is it good or bad that some classes do the same thing most every fight/every round? Me? I find that boring, and would like a game where a monk or rogue or whatever really did do something different every round.

Oh. Get rid of attack of opportunity for every class, or assume that movement happens all the time, and only truly leaving fight does that, or something. I get why they are there, but they don't seem "real" to me at all.......

tactical feats, where if everyone has the same feat you work better together. If a group of characters fight together for months/years, they should get better at working together.
 

The design is, every level gets one feat. This feat can be used to purchase a class feature, archetype feature, species feature, background feature, or a feat to specialize.

All classes normally use the feat to get class and archetype features at specific levels. But a player can swap these out to get a different feat, including a feat from a different class.

At level zero, there is a setup, where the character already comes with feats, including basic proficiencies and so on, and where the "feat" is normally used to gain an additional species feat. A cantrip is swappable for a martial weapon proficiency, or a light armor proficiency.



The normal schedule is from an other thread.

LTIERCLASSSPECIESOPEN FEATBACKGROUND
Species
0ZEROArchetype
0Feat (Level 0 for Species)
0Class
0Background
1BASICArchetype
2Feat
3Class
4Species
5EXPERTArchetype
6Feat
7Class
8Background (Followers)
9MASTERArchetype
10Feat
11Class
12Species
13OFFICIALArchetype
14Feat
15Class
16Background
17LEGENDArchetype
18Feat
19Class
20Species
21IMMORTALArchetype
22Feat
23Class
24Background
 
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