5E Class vs Subclass

Kurotowa

Adventurer
What is the downside to "unnecessary number of (sub)classes"? What is the bad thing that happens when there are more options?
In general, content bloat leads to quality dilution. If the options offered are clustered too close together you have redundant material and easy comparisons as to which is the stronger or weaker choice. If the options spread out too far then it becomes hard to keep things on-theme and within the intended power range. And in both cases, more options means more possible permutations, which leads to choice paralysis in the casual players and extreme minmaxing by the character optimization crowd.

I wouldn't necessarily agree that we're at the bloat point already, or that the 5e PHB has entire classes that could be cut. Well, maybe the Sorcerer. I'm not unsympathetic to the argument that it has the weakest class role and identity. But in general, I think the slow roll of new material has been paced well.
 

Eric V

Adventurer
One new class in 5 years, though...

I understand that there is a danger of dilution, but that isn't an inevitability. For the first concern, easy comparisons doesn't sound like a bad thing...for the second, careful design should take care of it, no?
 

Kurotowa

Adventurer
I understand that there is a danger of dilution, but that isn't an inevitability. For the first concern, easy comparisons doesn't sound like a bad thing...for the second, careful design should take care of it, no?
In practice, "careful design" means taking longer and ruthlessly culling the weaker ideas so you publish fewer. Which is what they've done. As for easy comparisons, it's a very bad thing. "Thing A and Thing B do nearly the same thing but Thing A does it 10% better, which means Thing A is the objectively right choice and Thing B is both a waste of development time and a trap choice for users." What you want is for Thing A and Thing B to do different enough things that you're picking between them based on those different processes and results rather than a simple benchmark comparison of performance.
 

Kurotowa

Adventurer
If you say so. 5 years to get -one- new class seems unnecessarily long.
Well that brings us back around to the premise of the thread, doesn't it. How many of the subclasses in XGE would have been stand alone classes in most previous editions? Or if not a class, a Prestige Class or the equivalent of the time? In that light, things look quite a bit different. And really, I don't know about you, but I have a backlog of characters ideas waiting for a chance to be played. So I'm finding little issue with the "higher quality material in more limited amounts" publishing model.
 

Eric V

Adventurer
I mostly DM, so I don't have such a backlog. Whether that's good or bad I don't know...probably bad.

I know I can't realistically recreate three of my fav toons from previous editions, so I'm not in a rush to make such a backlog, I suppose.

The tiny differences in subclasses just aren't satisfying my group's need for something fresh, or at least more innovative. We've seen too much sameness, even across classes (when I look at the spell selection of the group's sorcerer and warlock, for example).

Glad you're not finding issues, though.
 

Charlaquin

Goblin Queen
What is the downside to "unnecessary number of (sub)classes"? What is the bad thing that happens when there are more options?
It’s not about the number of subclasses, it’s about economy of design. When you don’t design economically, you end up with some sub/classes built around anemic concepts full of padding, and others that are crowded and over-designed. You end up with the 5e ranger sitting next to the 5e Druid.

Also, a bad thing that can happen with “too many” sub/classes is bloat. But bloat generally feels less bloat-y when the options are economically designed. I’m generally in favor of a large number of options, provided those options are designed economically.
 

gyor

Hero
I agree, 2E was the most robust in many facets. There is SO much extra material it is crazy. While I enjoy 5E, 1E/2E is still my favorite. But, we digress... :)
There was some really great things about 2e, especially in the area of world building, it's was the richest, deepest exploration of the D&D multiverse. And it's had some cool classes like Clockwork Mage, Speciality Priests of all these deities, 5e should take notes on how 2e statted out Gods, as 2e did it right.
 

Kurotowa

Adventurer
I know I can't realistically recreate three of my fav toons from previous editions, so I'm not in a rush to make such a backlog, I suppose.
See, I don't even try and do that. Different editions are different systems; trying to recreate a 2e character in 5e is like trying to port my World of Warcraft characters to D&D. Maybe you can do a loose adaptation, but it's like those movies that tag themselves as "inspired by a true story". A whole lot of changes got made in between the two.

Those characters had their stories, their time on stage came and went, best to move on.
 

Eric V

Adventurer
See, I don't even try and do that. Different editions are different systems; trying to recreate a 2e character in 5e is like trying to port my World of Warcraft characters to D&D. Maybe you can do a loose adaptation, but it's like those movies that tag themselves as "inspired by a true story". A whole lot of changes got made in between the two.

Those characters had their stories, their time on stage came and went, best to move on.
Thanks for the advice.
 

Sacrosanct

Legend
See, I don't even try and do that. Different editions are different systems; trying to recreate a 2e character in 5e is like trying to port my World of Warcraft characters to D&D. Maybe you can do a loose adaptation, but it's like those movies that tag themselves as "inspired by a true story". A whole lot of changes got made in between the two.

Those characters had their stories, their time on stage came and went, best to move on.
I think it really depends. I was able to port my halfling fighter/thief from 1e into 5e near flawlessly. Made him a straight fighter with the urchin background and skulker and dungeon delver feats. Felt almost the exact same in game play.
 

Kurotowa

Adventurer
I think it really depends. I was able to port my halfling fighter/thief from 1e into 5e near flawlessly. Made him a straight fighter with the urchin background and skulker and dungeon delver feats. Felt almost the exact same in game play.
Yeah, sometimes it works out. And I get that some people are really attached to certain characters, to the point that they want to recreate them in multiple campaigns, even if I've never understood it. But I just don't think backwards character concept compatibility is a good metric for if 5e has too few character options or not.
 

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