Elf as a class


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For such a concept I would go for an association for race and sub class.
one race <—> one subclass or some few choice.
for example
elf eldrith knight fighter, enchantment school wizard.

you may add sub race into the process if you need.

that may not fit for all players, but NPC must obey the rules!
 

Ancalagon

Dusty Dragon
So after a few years of trying (and burning out on) pbp, in early 2021 finally got to play 5e "for real" as a player (not as a DM) and I decided that I wanted to start with something very iconic, almost cliche. The party didn't have a scout, and I told myself "I'm going to make my PC legolas!"

So of course I'm going to make him a ranger right? But then I thought about it... and I went with a Kensei Monk. A lot of monk powers can be very easily be be reskinned as "elf powers". I will leave the details to imagine for the reader, but once you've done that, you'll see that it really, really "fits"
 

JThursby

Adventurer
Race as class.
I don't think this will ever return nor should it. A major complaint I have and see repeated with 5e is character homogeneity. Making races as classes basically takes one of the few ways you have of customizing a character and removing it entirely by folding it into the primary character choice, which is your class. I'd rather see more choices within a race that are iconic to that race, ideally beyond just character creation as well. We already have that with some of the racial feats but they compete for the extremely valuable feat/ASI slots, I'd rather have them be their own thing you can pick from at certain points in your career.
 

So after a few years of trying (and burning out on) pbp, in early 2021 finally got to play 5e "for real" as a player (not as a DM) and I decided that I wanted to start with something very iconic, almost cliche. The party didn't have a scout, and I told myself "I'm going to make my PC legolas!"

So of course I'm going to make him a ranger right? But then I thought about it... and I went with a Kensei Monk. A lot of monk powers can be very easily be be reskinned as "elf powers". I will leave the details to imagine for the reader, but once you've done that, you'll see that it really, really "fits"
monks give great mobility and versatility and Legolas has both.

this goes back to my theory that every pop culture character turned into a D&D concept could be run at least 2 most 3-5 different builds.
 

Ancalagon

Dusty Dragon
monks give great mobility and versatility and Legolas has both.

this goes back to my theory that every pop culture character turned into a D&D concept could be run at least 2 most 3-5 different builds.

Absolutely - say you want a "swashbuckler". Sure you could play a rogue swashbuckler.... but a kensei monk, a dex-build battlemaster would also work well too.
 


aco175

Legend
I'm not sure making a race a class would work. Tasha's has the new rules for making a race and making a variant race/elf class might not work. I have seen some discussion on if the new 'race' you make to get the variant build is a member of a race or a separate thing.
 


cbwjm

Legend
The alfheim becmi book brought in the elf wizard which was a specialisation for the elf where they could continue to boost their magical abilities at the expense of their warrior abilities. You could add this as a specialisation option at level 11 so that they choose to gain more fighter options or increased spellcasting capacity (perhaps increasing from half-caster to full-caster) but losing out on things like extra Attack at higher level.
 

Grantypants

Explorer
Mechanically, I like it. It's no different at the table than a custom class with a strict racial prerequisite.
Story-wise, I don't like it. It implies a setting where elves are all the same, in contrast with humans that have their choice of class. If you like it, have fun, but it's not something I'd want to use at my table. (That's assuming you continue to use the Basic rules on 5e. If not, trying to write "human as class" raises some interesting questions.)

Makes more sense for monsters that are only "one thing".
Where I would use race as class is on playable monsters. You could design a Beholder PC race as class, for example, and balance it to be playable alongside PCs of equal level.
 

kapars

Explorer
I’ve never played one so I cannot comment mechanically but the race as class appeals to me from a narrative perspective if you want to play an accidental adventurer, much like the Hobbits of LotR.
 

Li Shenron

Legend
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)



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:
Is this for theorycrafting or practical use? Because if it is for the latter, then at least don't worry too much about filling 20 levels.

To recreate an older-edition Elf class (but without the original idea of being actually a gestalt and having to pay by slow XP progression) you definitely want to end up with a fighter-wizard hybrid, but instead of using other class as basis my first choice would be to base it on the Bard class, which is already an arcane-style full-caster class with some martial capabilities. You can remove Bardic Inspiration and other too-bardic-sounding features, and replace them with some from the Fighter, Ranger or Rogue class, or from some interesting subclasses e.g. the Swashbuckler. One 5e thing that definitely plays in favour of your character concept, is the rule that having armor proficiency allows to cast spells in armor (which IIRC is not actually allowed in BECMI so will make this even better than the original Elf class).
 

Minigiant

Legend
Supporter
RaceClassesHouserule
DragonbornFighter/Sorcerer (Dragon) GestaltGet Extra Attack at Fight3/Sorc2
Dwarf (Hill)FighterAdd Wis mod to crossbow and thrown axes and hammer attacks
Dwarf (Mountain)Fighterd12 HD, Only has axes, hammers and crossbows as weapon proficiency
Elf (High)Fighter/Wizard GesaltGet Extra Attack at Fight3/Wiz2
Elf (Wood)Fighter/Cleric (Nature) GesaltGet Extra Attack at Fight3/Cler2
Gnome (Forest)Fighter/Wizard GesaltFighter levels count to spell slots. Can only learn Illusion spells
Gnome (Rock)Fighter/Artificer Gesalt2 bonus cantrips
Halfling (Lightfoot)RogueAdd Cha mod to sneak attacks
Halfling (Stout)Fighter/Rogue GesaltGet Extra Attack at Fight3/Rog2, can sneak attack with longswwords and battleaxes
Half OrcFighter/Barbarian GesaltGet Extra Attack at Fight3/Barb2
TielflingRogue/Warlock Gesaltd10 HD for both classes

Made a quick chart if I were to do it.
 

RaceClassesHouserule
DragonbornFighter/Sorcerer (Dragon) GestaltGet Extra Attack at Fight3/Sorc2
Dwarf (Hill)FighterAdd Wis mod to crossbow and thrown axes and hammer attacks
Dwarf (Mountain)Fighterd12 HD, Only has axes, hammers and crossbows as weapon proficiency
Elf (High)Fighter/Wizard GesaltGet Extra Attack at Fight3/Wiz2
Elf (Wood)Fighter/Cleric (Nature) GesaltGet Extra Attack at Fight3/Cler2
Gnome (Forest)Fighter/Wizard GesaltFighter levels count to spell slots. Can only learn Illusion spells
Gnome (Rock)Fighter/Artificer Gesalt2 bonus cantrips
Halfling (Lightfoot)RogueAdd Cha mod to sneak attacks
Halfling (Stout)Fighter/Rogue GesaltGet Extra Attack at Fight3/Rog2, can sneak attack with longswwords and battleaxes
Half OrcFighter/Barbarian GesaltGet Extra Attack at Fight3/Barb2
TielflingRogue/Warlock Gesaltd10 HD for both classes

Made a quick chart if I were to do it.
I like it
 

Tonguez

A suffusion of yellow
Basics use of race = class was specifically to make Mage-Fighters and Dwarfs Fighter-Defenders, and Halflings = Thieves. There was no reason other than the game being human-centric. ADnD broke out race from class and allowed for more customisation - that is a good thing.

if anything Race these days should just be a Background that gives a basic ASL and a couple of racial feats.
 

Eltab

Lord of the Hidden Layer
If I wanted to introduce grade-school-aged new players to D&D, pregen characters with race=class and names familiar from pop culture would help them get the 'feel' of what their character can do, quickly.

The idea is ... well, Basic (pardon the pun) ... so it best fits when you want to remove some of the game's variables to concentrate on other parts - like teaching newcomers how the combat round works.
 

Race as class implies that every member of that race is that class. That means every elf is exactly the same. Their are no clerics, warlocks, sorcerers, barbarians, etc. That's just really boring.

And are you going to do the same things for every other race? So then why bother wit a system that has both race and class? I guess if you wanted a really predefined system with very few character build options.

Not for me.
 

Minigiant

Legend
Supporter
Race as class implies that every member of that race is that class. That means every elf is exactly the same. Their are no clerics, warlocks, sorcerers, barbarians, etc. That's just really boring.

And are you going to do the same things for every other race? So then why bother wit a system that has both race and class? I guess if you wanted a really predefined system with very few character build options.

Not for me.
Race as class doesn't assume every member of a race is the same. It assumes ever adventurer of a race comes from specific backgrounds and are the same.

The rule implies a specific type of setting. The truth is in very traditional and feudal setting, the training required to be a "D&D style adventurer of a PC class" would only come from specific backgrounds. And in classic settings, only certain types of those people would leave "normal" society and become adventurers.

An issue is most DMs suck at making said settings work or highlighting them so that people by into it. Very often PCs are setting agnostic and lack setting specific hooks before submission to the DM.
 

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