Elf as a class

In another thread or 50,000,000 threads we have been talking about older styles of gaming in 5e and the idea of bringing them in. Now I (and a few others) spend a lot of time focused on 4e, and I personally push some (select some) from 2e... but basic had an idea I think could be fleshed out (and believe it or not my least fav edition) 3e even worked on it a bit.

Race as class.

SO I am sure someone here is better equipped to discuses what the elf class and dwarf class were in basic, but in 3.5 we had a type of prestige class that was a paragon of elfeness... is that a work?

as the title says though, I want to address if it is possible in 5e to have a class 'elf' for this I pulled this from the interwebs (reddit)

The Basic D&D Elf class was essentially nearly identical to a 1st Edition AD&D fighter/magic user mutliclass.
They needed roughly double the xp to level compared to other classes - I remember 4000xp for level 2 in Basic, and in AD&D that was 2000xp for Fighter, 2500 for Mage, with xp split between classes.
In AD&D they started with (d10+d4)/2 hitpoints, in Basic D&D they got 1d6 per level.
They were unlimited in terms of weapons and armour in both versions. In AD&D they got +1 to hit with swords and bows, I can't remember if this carried over to Basic D&D.

So my first thought was to make an eldritch knight or a bladesinger... then I thought why be basic just cause I am making a basic class...

so this is not play tested, this is not something I would plan on letting into my next campaign... but as a conversation starter and proof of concept:


HD d10
prof: all simple weapons long sword, and long bow, all light and medium armor
Saves: Dex and Cha
skills: arcana and one of Acrobatics, History, Insight, Perform, stealth
tools: 1 artesian tool and 1 instrument

half caster (like artificer so at 1st level still has 1 1st level spell and 2 cantrips)

2 extra attacks 1 at 6th and 1 at 15th level... with a mix of eldritch knight/blade singer you can give up 1 attack to use a cantrip... or at 15th+ can give up 2 attacks to cast a spell of 1st or 2nd level slot...

they use Int as there casting stat, and they have the spell book feature of the wizard... BUT only learning 1 spell by default per level

there are 2 subclasses (1 for being more warrior and 1 for being more caster) I assume at some point you might want to add extra spells... like maybe the warrior subclass would get some smites and/or hunters quarry but the wizard subclass would get more druid spells

at 2nd level they get cunning action (OMG that isn't fighter OR wizard)

at 5th level they get uncanny dodge (OMG that is from rogue too)

at 7th level they get a variant of Feral Instinct (OMG now barbarian too) just the advantage to initiative since they don't have rage.

at 11th level they get telepathy as a language...

beyond that I don't know. part of me wants to expand the wizard's spell mastery so the elf will have more spells preped... but that feels like it should maybe be one of those subclasses
 

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delericho

Legend
I'm afraid I'm not a fan of "race as class" in pretty much any form. Even with races that are just too powerful to play at level 1, I'd be inclined to model them as a weak variant that is then optionally enhanced either with a subclass or, probably better, a feat chain.

That said, in the case of the "Elf class" specifically, that is something I'd like to see added - the lack of a Mageblade/Eldritch Knight/whatever base class is something of an oversight, IMO. And what you have presented here looks like a good base for that - the major thing that I think is missing is a dedicated spell-list, which I think such a class really does need.
 


the major thing that I think is missing is a dedicated spell-list, which I think such a class really does need.
yup... in my perfect world it would have a list that was VERY similar to wizard but also have a few spells from other classes and like I said it's subclasses would open up more...

having said that I would most likely just be 'wizard'
 





the Jester

Legend
So you're taking the fighter chassis, slapping on eldritch knight subclass goodies, and adding in a few of the abilities available to other classes, including the rogues' signature ability, on top of it? I don't think this is balanced very well and I'm not sure how splashing in things like telepathy helps evoke the classic elf feel.

Race as class takes away from meaningful choices, so I'm not a big fan. The interaction of race and class is one of the big choice points in character creation.
 

So you're taking the fighter chassis, slapping on eldritch knight subclass goodies, and adding in a few of the abilities available to other classes, including the rogues' signature ability, on top of it? I don't think this is balanced very well and I'm not sure how splashing in things like telepathy helps evoke the classic elf feel.
well I was going for a a moble spell casting warrior, and yes I took both barbarian and rogue abilities, but I didn't give them everything a fighter gets (no second wind no action surge no indomitable) it is MORE a factor that the fighter doesn't have much going for it that ANY new class can be said to have 'it's chassis'.

I didn't even give it the full 4 attacks, and by the time you get your 3rd fighters are ready for there 4th.

as for giving 11+ telepathy I actually meant it as a joke cause LotR movies gave them all mind speak.
Race as class takes away from meaningful choices,
how?
The interaction of race and class is one of the big choice points in character creation.
yes, but as I have been told over and over again, people like simple.
 

Remathilis

Legend
I can't see "elf" as a class either as a base class like basic or a paragon/prestige class like 3e. Elf is barely able to be a race with a defined cultural and appearance traits, there is 0% chance it could define a class.

That said, I'd like a gish class like duskblade that is supposed to represent the old elf f/m mix. Something with more magic than an ek, less than a bladesinger.

But I don't see enough value in a dwarf class, a halfling class, a dragonborn class, an aasimar class, etc. I also think the audience for this would be vanishingly small. I love Basic, but even I would prefer race and class to be separate and elves be able to be clerics, rogues, single-classed wizards, etc.
 

Jer

Legend
Supporter
Speaking with experience and the benefit of hindsight - race as class worked back in the day because character customization was essentially moot. Being able to play an Elf was basically a reward in the character creation minigame of stat rolling - were you lucky enough to be able to play the character who could use a sword and cast spells? Congratulations! You rolled really well and won't be stuck playing the cleric this time. As the character creation minigame fell out of favor and character modeling became the approach the majority wanted, the race-as-class choice became less interesting. Even by the end of BECMI there was a Dwarf Cleric class and an Elf Warrior class (among others) that had worked their way into the game via Gazetteers and the Hollow World boxed set to acknowledge that the race-as-class design of BECMI was just lacking something. (Separating Races and Classes in BECMI was always one of the big house rules I'd see people make back in the day too).

I think for 5e race-as-class foils one of 5e's core design elements, which is that players should be making a small number of big choices at character creation. Race, Class, Background - rolling Race and Class into one thing removes a big choice with no return.

Having said that - I think having a class that Elves can take that represents that traditional Elven Fighter/Wizard is an interesting idea. And I do agree that the Eldritch Knight isn't quite it, so I'm interested to see where you go with this.
 

That said, I'd like a gish class like duskblade that is supposed to represent the old elf f/m mix. Something with more magic than an ek, less than a bladesinger.
I mean me too, I could even argue that my frame work could work for that too... but I am wondering if the small amount of people that WOULD like it could make it work
But I don't see enough value in a dwarf class, a halfling class, a dragonborn class, an aasimar class, etc. I also think the audience for this would be vanishingly small. I love Basic, but even I would prefer race and class to be separate and elves be able to be clerics, rogues, single-classed wizards, etc.
yeah I know elf was F/MU I assume the dwarf was fighter/cleric and the hafling was theif... maybe fighter/thief
 

the Jester

Legend
The interaction of race and class is an important decision point, even if you use the floating ASIs that are now all the rage, but even moreso if you stick to racial bonuses to specific stats.
yes, but as I have been told over and over again, people like simple.
Hey, if you like it, go for it. I just don't think your first take is very good. I'd lean harder into the fighter/mage thing and drop the stuff from other classes.
 


The interaction of race and class is an important decision point, even if you use the floating ASIs that are now all the rage, but even moreso if you stick to racial bonuses to specific stats.
I mean that defeats the purpose of the thought experiment
Hey, if you like it, go for it. I just don't think your first take is very good. I'd lean harder into the fighter/mage thing and drop the stuff from other classes.
did you read the part were the example was thrown togather on a whim and NOT something I wanted or would use?
 


Jer

Legend
Supporter
In BECMI both the Dwarf and the Halfling were basically just Fighters.
Fighters with extra traits, which were "paid for" by different XP tables and with "level caps" (that were done away with practically speaking by the Companion set rules). The Dwarf had to pay a premium to get their extra resistance to spells better saving throws overall and their sloping corridor detection. The Halfling IIRC didn't pay anything for their extra boosts - I guess the thought was that their extra abilities (better AC against man-sized or larger creatures and a bonus to attacks with missile weapons and better saving throws overall) didn't warrant an XP increase? Or were traded off against their small size which penalized them when they used weapons that were too large? Or maybe originally the level 8 level cap was seen as enough of a penalty and by the time they removed level caps they didn't really care anymore about that kind of "balance"? Could go any way...

ETA: Just looked it up - Dwarves and halflings both got a better saving throw table than the regular Fighter did. Still not sure why Halflings didn't have to pay any kind of premium for it beyond rolling well on stats though.
 

Remathilis

Legend
In BECMI both the Dwarf and the Halfling were basically just Fighters.
Basically. Dwarves were fighters with infravision, stonecunning and better saving throws, halflings were fighters with a bonus on hiding, ranged weapons, and surprise (more akin to spell-less rangers). Later books in Mystara added subclasses to racial classes that mimicked dwarf clerics, elf magic users, etc. By the time of the Princess Ark and rakasta (cat people), lupins (dog people) and tortles, they were just taking regular classes like an AD&D character anyway.

It's an idea that's time has passed, like Thac0.
 

Remathilis

Legend
Fighters with extra traits, which were "paid for" by different XP tables and with "level caps" (that were done away with practically speaking by the Companion set rules). The Dwarf had to pay a premium to get their extra resistance to spells and their sloping corridor detection. The Halfling IIRC didn't pay anything for their extra boosts - I guess the thought was that their extra abilities (better AC against man-sized or larger creatures and a bonus to attacks with missile weapons IIRC) didn't warrant an XP increase? Or were traded off against their small size which penalized them when they used weapons that were too large? Or maybe originally the level 8 level cap was seen as enough of a penalty and by the time they removed level caps they didn't really care anymore about that kind of "balance"? Could go any way...
They paid for it with a d6 HD, smaller than the fighter and dwarf d8 and on par with the cleric.
 

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