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5E Classes that Suck

It makes sense to me to! I just think it's not very friendly to casual players, people less confident in their math skills, and people less confident in their rules skills. And the complication is basically that the character sheet makes it easy to not really think about your proficiency bonus as a thing in and of itself, especially if some person or some website helps you fill it out. Basically I end up explaining what numbers to use each time we do a variant ability skill check, which is fine by me, but keeps it very much as a once in a while thing.
Definitely depends on your players. All of my skill changes were in direct response se to player requests, so fortunately for me I don't have that problem.
 

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Minigiant

Legend
Supporter
It makes sense to me to! I just think it's not very friendly to casual players, people less confident in their math skills, and people less confident in their rules skills. And the complication is basically that the character sheet makes it easy to not really think about your proficiency bonus as a thing in and of itself, especially if some person or some website helps you fill it out. Basically I end up explaining what numbers to use each time we do a variant ability skill check, which is fine by me, but keeps it very much as a once in a while thing.

I think some of that is presentation.

If you look at a D&D beyond char sheet, the ability mods are prominent, the skills have abilities associated to them, and tools are hidden away in a menu,
If Strength looked like this:

STRENGTH 14 (+2)[+4 if proficient]
Maybe new or shyer players would get
understand a system where ability and skill/tool are not tied together.

But that's beyond the point of classes sucking themselves and more that the system and presentation accidentally hurts certain classes.
 

Undrave

Hero
I regularly use different stats associated with skills if it makes more sense to me. The classic is Strength for Intimidation, but I also allow Intelligence for Medicine. Admittedly, the character sheet doesn't help make this clear.

I think it's a big failing of the rules that it's just a small aside instead of a core feature. The skills, for exemple, are all detailed in the section of the book relating to their default ability instead of being explained in their own section.
 

I think it's a big failing of the rules that it's just a small aside instead of a core feature. The skills, for exemple, are all detailed in the section of the book relating to their default ability instead of being explained in their own section.
Yeah, this whole argument could've been stopped by a much louder disclaimer/sidebar saying that you can mix and match skills and ability scores fairly freely if you feel it makes sense.
 

I think it's a big failing of the rules that it's just a small aside instead of a core feature. The skills, for exemple, are all detailed in the section of the book relating to their default ability instead of being explained in their own section.
I think that was intentional. They didn't want to spend a lot of page space enumerating exactly how to use each skill because that goes against the core concept they're trying to communicate that the DM should just pick an ability, pick a DC, and have the player roll.
 

Undrave

Hero
Yeah, this whole argument could've been stopped by a much louder disclaimer/sidebar saying that you can mix and match skills and ability scores fairly freely if you feel it makes sense.

Feels like they weren't willing to fully commit to the idea, for fear of pissing of the grognards o something.
 

Undrave

Hero
I think that was intentional. They didn't want to spend a lot of page space enumerating exactly how to use each skill because that goes against the core concept they're trying to communicate that the DM should just pick an ability, pick a DC, and have the player roll.

They didn't need to change anything page-space wise. You just place all the sub-headers about skills under a single 'skills' eader and then keep the rest of the Ability score descriptions under their header. It's literally a single additional header.

The reality is that nobody plays it the way we're supposed to. Everybody say "Can I roll Persuasion" and the DM goes "Ok." and nobody ever goes "I want to convince the NPC to let us help""Alright, make a Charisma Persuasion roll for me."

NO ONE. Because we've spent too much time on the old way in the previous edition and this one barely made any effort to teach its new paradigm.
 

Minigiant

Legend
Supporter
I think that was intentional. They didn't want to spend a lot of page space enumerating exactly how to use each skill because that goes against the core concept they're trying to communicate that the DM should just pick an ability, pick a DC, and have the player roll.

Well they could have put the skills under the ability scores but reused skills


  1. Strength
    1. Athletics
    2. Intimidation
  2. Dexterity
    1. Acrobatics
    2. Performance
    3. Sleight of Hand
    4. Stealth
  3. Constitution
    1. Acrobatics
    2. Athletics
    3. Perception
  4. Intelligence
    1. Arcana
    2. History
    3. Investigation
    4. Medicine
    5. Nature
    6. Religion
  5. Wisdom
    1. Animal Handling
    2. Insight
    3. Investigation
    4. Medicine
    5. Perception
    6. Survival
  6. Charisma
    1. Deception
    2. Intimidation
    3. Performance
    4. Persuasion
Incomplete but that's the premise...
 

Asisreo

Archdevil's Advocate
I think it's a big failing of the rules that it's just a small aside instead of a core feature. The skills, for exemple, are all detailed in the section of the book relating to their default ability instead of being explained in their own section.
I think it would certainly help and I'd love to see it as you described, but I don't think it's necessary to fulfill the need to be involved while a social encounter is happening.

You've most likely seen it in action, but it flows so naturally that it may not have been apparent. When a player hears something suspicious from the info source, even if the bard is talking, the high wis(insight) player will say "I make an insight check!" Because being aware of lies, while not explicitly charisma-based, is part of having effective conversations. Calling someone out in a lie is an effective way to change the course of the conversation. Even if you don't call them out, even if you're character never talked, your character was still involved by keeping aware of lies.

Likewise, even strength, dexterity, and constitution can be used to be involved in conversations without outright speaking. It's one thing to intimidate someone, it's another to outright break their weapons over your knee. You can use your dexterity to sneak around or steal something while they're distracted. You can use your constitution to not fall asleep when they monologue (okay, constitution is a bit hard).

Some player purposefully choose low cha characters to avoid talking, so having everyone have a feature that would require them to talk even if they don't want to to be effective probably wouldn't be fun. But there's no reason why your character is doing absolutely nothing during a social encounter unless you want them to do nothing.
 

FrozenNorth

Adventurer
And all of that stuff can be done by the paladin, or the sorcerer, or the bard, all who have potential mechanics to back them up, while the Fighter is solely at the mercy of the DM and a potential flat roll.

I agree, players play and be clever, but saying "well anyone can try to climb the mountain" kind of ignore the point of one person is likely to fall to their death, and the other has a climb speed so it is exactly the type of thing they are supposed to be doing.





But what about the people who do have the mechanics?

This is the problem. Let us say the DM lets the fighter just be charming and work the social scene, because this is a rare dice game. Then what was the use of the Bard putting their expertise in persuasion and playing a glamour bard to charm people? The fighter is doing their job, with no mechanics, so why invest in the mechanics?

It is a bit of a catch-22, either the people who invested mechanics into it feel like they wasted their time, or the people who don;t have the option to invest in mechnics feel left out.

And if it was an easy problem to solve, it wouldn't come up in every single edition of the game.



I'm curious why @Asisreo And again, if the dwarf can speak common, like most dwarves do?
Depends on the dwarf. How many people do you know that speak multiple languages? Then consider that formal schooling is not something that exists in most fantasy worlds.
 

Depends on the dwarf. How many people do you know that speak multiple languages? Then consider that formal schooling is not something that exists in most fantasy worlds.

Well, we are supposed to use the racial statblock for all NPCs, and every dwarf gets Dwarvish and Common, Every elf gets Elvish and Common, Every Gnome gets Gnomish and Common.

And every human gets +1 language.

So, I'd say most people in DnD get two languages.
 

AliasBot

Explorer
Well, we are supposed to use the racial statblock for all NPCs, and every dwarf gets Dwarvish and Common, Every elf gets Elvish and Common, Every Gnome gets Gnomish and Common.

And every human gets +1 language.

So, I'd say most people in DnD get two languages.
Honestly, as long as both racial languages and Common are a thing, Human should be a distinct language from Common anyway. Common as the de facto Human language, which pretty much everyone else conveniently speaks, feels...odd. It paints humans as the default that everyone else bends toward, and takes away one of the few possible points of distinction that could make humans feel distinct from other peoples: as is, there's basically nothing that's unique to humans.

Divorced from being synonymous with a racial language, Common would come across more like a pidgin language, or something along those lines: a simplified conglomeration of a number of different languages that lets everyone convey basic concepts to each other - if not complex, philosophical debate or the like. It wouldn't be strictly necessary to share a non-Common language to be able to converse or negotiate under that paradigm, but it would certainly help grease the wheels a bit.

(This is only tangentially related, at best, to what classes do or don't suck, but humans not having their own language when every other core species does is a long-standing pet peeve of mine.)
 

doctorbadwolf

Heretic of The Seventh Circle
The option isn't just in the DMG, it is on page 175 of the PHB. This is less a rules issue than it is a "how character sheets are set up" issue and a "what the average player can (or will) wrap their head around" issue.

Basically the normal character sheet teaches people to 100% associate each skill with 1 ability and think of the combined bonus as the skill. It's handy for learning a workable version of the system, but fundamentally it isn't the rules as written or the rules as intended. It's the rules as played.

Tool Proficiencies have avoided this on character sheets, with no primary associated ability bias encouraged, no combined bonus written down. Just the pure, satisfying, add the appropriate ability and your proficiency bonus. The result is that tables are often confused about what to do with tool proficiencies.
The default is Charisma Vheck with Proficiency bonus if Proficient in a relevant Charisma Skill. I’m literally arguing the default should change. Nitpicking where the optional rule is doesn’t change what the standard rule is.
 

Minigiant

Legend
Supporter
Honestly, as long as both racial languages and Common are a thing, Human should be a distinct language from Common anyway. Common as the de facto Human language, which pretty much everyone else conveniently speaks, feels...odd. It paints humans as the default that everyone else bends toward, and takes away one of the few possible points of distinction that could make humans feel distinct from other peoples: as is, there's basically nothing that's unique to humans.

Divorced from being synonymous with a racial language, Common would come across more like a pidgin language, or something along those lines: a simplified conglomeration of a number of different languages that lets everyone convey basic concepts to each other - if not complex, philosophical debate or the like. It wouldn't be strictly necessary to share a non-Common language to be able to converse or negotiate under that paradigm, but it would certainly help grease the wheels a bit.

(This is only tangentially related, at best, to what classes do or don't suck, but humans not having their own language when every other core species does is a long-standing pet peeve of mine.)

Common and Undercommon should be trade languages. Only spoken by traders, merchants, adventurers, generals, and priests.

I've always been a fan of adding generic versions of Common and Elven. Low Common is the language of the commoners. High or Imperial Common is the language of Human of high class. Uncommon if you will.

Really the Noble/Knight background (a popular pick for fighters) should give you access to the better type of Common. And the fighter and ranger should get one more bonus language each from the Exotic Languages.
 

doctorbadwolf

Heretic of The Seventh Circle
What you're describing sounds basically like 5E's core conceptualization of ability checks. But (at least the way I interpret it) this idea kind of got overridden in practice by lingering 3E/PF sensibilities, and character sheets have been designed accordingly.

I'm not trying to shoot down your idea outright. I'm commenting on the effect of inertia in explaining why this game is played the way it is.
I disagree. 5e is built from the ground up around the Ability Check, and while Any mechanically that isn’t actually meaningfully distinct (as I’ve argued before), it does matter what the default assumptions are. It affects how people play.

If the system was presented as “describe your action and your method. Depending on those factors, any skill or tool might be called for, using any of the 6 Ability Score Modifiers.” Then nerds using Int Persuasion to get in with the Librarian or Int Deception to confuse a guard or fast talk as part of a con, would be seen as normal by the community, and we wouldn’t have people talking about how weird it is that the bard is the best guy to send to talk to the serious minded mercenary captain or the short tempered hermit.
 

doctorbadwolf

Heretic of The Seventh Circle
I think it's a big failing of the rules that it's just a small aside instead of a core feature. The skills, for exemple, are all detailed in the section of the book relating to their default ability instead of being explained in their own section.
Yep.
And made it a plain rule, not an optional rule. Opt out, rather than opt in.
Because my main co-DM in my group still wants to run D&D as RAW as he can, and it would be really nice to have my genius inventor character be able to outsmart people by making an Int check, rather than a Cha check.
 

Minigiant

Legend
Supporter
On a tangent but not really...

The simplicity of basic combat, the shoving of Action Options into the DMG (pg271), and the simple nature of them also makes classes suck.
Intelligence, Wisdom, and Charisma can be factors in normal weapons combat. Now I wouldn't have them as default but I would have put them in the PHB in the options chapter with feats and multiclassing. I would have also made them factor in mental abilities. Feints, Holds, and Parry as alternate attacks.
Intelligence for Disarms, Charisma for Feints. Wisdom for Opp attacks from Marks.

But I see what they did. They moved all of that to manuevers and told peopleto use subclasses, feats, and fighting styles to get these manuevers.

So in this system, I would instead have a lot more maneuvers that factor in INT, WIS, and CHA in the attack to givemartial characters incentives to having high mental stats..

This way the Ability+Stat tying would not be as harsh as the default.
 

Feels like they weren't willing to fully commit to the idea, for fear of pissing of the grognards o something.
True grognards started playing the game before Non Weapon Proficencies or Skills we're even around. The DM picked a number and an ability score and the player started rolling dice...
using "skills" with rotating ability scores isn't going to scare grognards.

What does scare grognards is percentile dice....that is why 5e does not use them...too many 'triggered' old people.

The consequence of failure was dire as a player in AD&D, when the percentile dice are out.
 

FrozenNorth

Adventurer
Well, we are supposed to use the racial statblock for all NPCs, and every dwarf gets Dwarvish and Common, Every elf gets Elvish and Common, Every Gnome gets Gnomish and Common.

And every human gets +1 language.

So, I'd say most people in DnD get two languages.
I disagree. Stat blocks are just an average. Dwarves can fight with picks or warhammers instead of battleaxes. They can speak Dwarvish and Gnomish instead of Common.

Even if they can speak Common, why would they speak Common to you. Dwarves are notoriously stubborn and insular.
 

Undrave

Hero
True grognards started playing the game before Non Weapon Proficencies or Skills we're even around. The DM picked a number and an ability score and the player started rolling dice...
using "skills" with rotating ability scores isn't going to scare grognards.

What does scare grognards is percentile dice....that is why 5e does not use them...too many 'triggered' old people.

The consequence of failure was dire as a player in AD&D, when the percentile dice are out.

Hahaha

You know the Grognards they were trying to placate where the 3.X ones though. It's why we got the Fighter back to "You get FEATS!", the Ranger is a caster by default, and the Sorcerer doesn't have that cool metamorphosis aspect from the play tests and is just a pale imitation of the 3.X one... Heck, they probably brought Performance as a skill just for them too.
 

Presents for Goblins

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