D&D 5E Fivethirtyeight Article About D&D Race and Class Combos


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A. The fighter is good because so many people like it.

B. A lot of people like the fighter, so it has something appealing about it, even if that doesn't appeal to you.

Do you understand the difference?
Of course there are things appealing about the fighter! I've mentioned some. Look at the archetypes you actually see in the broader genre, from modern novels back to the mists of myth/legend. You try to take a lot of them into D&D, the fighter is the only place they fit, because they weren't spell-casters, nor sneaky glass cannons, nor savage berserkers.
 



Satyrn

First Post
That said, I have always wanted you to get everything you want from a complex martial character, seriously. For your Christmas, I hope WoTC releases a plethora of Wuxia options, a Warlord, a martial archetype that does damage on a miss, and every possible combination of martial character with all sorts of options that you have dreamed of, and even those you haven't, that rival and surpass the options of spellcasters.
Well, now I know what I want for Xmas. Thanks for writing my wishlist for me!

Now, I just need to get @Santa Claus to read this.
 


The first which I will not belabor (as I have previously) is it really bugs me when people do the whole "straw man," "ad hominem," "appeal to authority," "argumentum ad verecundiam," on enworld...
Nod, this isn't formal logic, sure, I get that. It's a convenient short-hand in this instance, but it's outside it's proper usage, yes.

That doesn't mean that the Fighter is the best class ever, or the best design of a martial class. But it definitely appeals to people not in spite of, but because of the simplicity.
Ironically, if I had to nominate a best-class-design-ever for a D&D martial class, it would unhesitatingly be the 3e Fighter. Primarily because it was not just actually simple (as opposed to choice-poor), but elegant, yet had depth. It just had the misfortune of being in the same edition with CoDzilla.

That said, I have always wanted you to get everything you want from a complex martial character, seriously. For your Christmas, I hope WoTC releases a plethora of Wuxia options, a Warlord, a martial archetype that does damage on a miss, and every possible combination of martial character with all sorts of options that you have dreamed of, and even those you haven't, that rival and surpass the options of spellcasters. Because I genuinely want people to get what they want, and people getting what they want does not impact my game.
And I in no way want to prohibit people from continuing to play their Champions.

I just found the theory about 'story vs mechanics:'
Wezerek suggests a slightly silly reason for the popularity of human fighters: human because they get +1 to everything, and fighters because they let you focus on storytelling over mechanics. He doesn't even broach the subject of the variant human and its potentially game-breaking fighter synergy in combat.
more like spin than theory. Mechanics don't get in the way of story, they can support it. OTOH, the most-relatable race, human, being the other half of that most-popular combo, points to a more meaningful reason, the concepts that necessarily fall to the fighter are more relatable than those that require a berserker, assassin, warlock, druid*, etc...​

Is that Tony?

I always associate Sorcerer rants with Cap'n Zapp!
Moonsong. I'm a sympathizer, though.













* I should really be more upset that my favorite 5e class finished dead last, but, hey, it's in the PH, and, I guess, it just means it's that much less likely I'll ever here "nah, we already have 3 druids, play something else..."
 
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Different posters eventually get associations over time.

IIRC, CapnZapp has a thing for sorcerers and magic item prices.
...and Day Length.

Tony has a strong desire for more complex martial options and/or the Warlord.
Definitely a Warlord. ;)

'More complex' is a bit of a misnomer. Complexity isn't desirable in and of itself, it has to accomplish something. In a game where most classes are extremely versatile, balancing an historically-limited class meant increasing it's complexity, some, though still nowhere near that of others, historically. The complexity was seized upon not just as a downside abhorred by those who wanted the class returned to it's former state, but as the shorthand for the balanced, versatile alternative. It's... unfortunate.

Me? I have no strong or irrational opinions. ;)
Heh. ;)
 

billd91

Not your screen monkey (he/him)
Wezerek suggests a slightly silly reason for the popularity of human fighters: human because they get +1 to everything, and fighters because they let you focus on storytelling over mechanics.

Note to those of you not actually checking into the very short article - the author doesn't attempt to infer why people play fighters from the data. At all. He's posting his thought on that topic and how it might appeal to players like himself. And he's got a point. Fighters are, relatively speaking, easy to get a handle on and play without needing to reference the rules as often as spellcasters or classes with more fiddly bits.
 

Dausuul

Legend
Two interesting observations:

  • Of the four most popular classes, three are noncasters (meaning they don't have spellcasting as part of the base class, though they might have a caster subclass). Considering there are only four noncaster classes in the game, that's pretty substantial.
  • Elves, humans, and half-elves together make up more than 50% of all characters.
 

Coroc

Hero
Ahh that feelgood when you are confirmed to be doing the right thing in preventing your players to take ridiculous combos like dwarfen wizards or Halfling barbarian gwm builds by simply banning them from your campaign in shameless and remorseless appliance of RULE ZERO yessss :]
 

Lanefan

Victoria Rules
This sort of thing always catches my interest...but what I'd really like to know is how much of that data is tainted by multiclassing. Anyone know if there's a version of this data that either strips out multiclass characters or gives a % of each total that comes from multis?

I'm surprised to see Druid so underplayed. Too weak due to design-level over-reaction to CoDzilla in 3e, maybe?

But Human Fighters for the win! Yeah, baby! :)
[MENTION=996]Tony Vargas[/MENTION] - Fighters are supposed to be simple. Failing that, there needs to be another core class that is simple and basic and mechanics-light to mechanics-none* for people like me to play when we just want to hit things and not think about it, and not fuss with feats or mechanics or anyhting else beyond plusses to hit and damage.

* - yet still vaguely capable of contributing as much to the game/party as more complex characters.

And some things never change. Even back in 1e there were articles etc. suggesting the expected split would be roughly 40-30-20-10 where 40% of the PCs would be Fighters (or subclasses), 10% would be Magic-Users (or Illusionists), 20% would be one of Cleric or Thief and 30% would be the other - I can never remember which order those two go in. Doesn't account for Monks.

Long-term data from our own 1e games shows closer to a 40-25-15-15-5 split Fighter-Cleric-Thief-MU-Other.

Lanefan
 


I will be curious to see what results they get if they do something like this around this time next year (preferably if the results are broken down by year). Trends are the key.
 

Parmandur

Book-Friend
I will be curious to see what results they get if they do something like this around this time next year (preferably if the results are broken down by year). Trends are the key.
Broadly, probably not very different, given that this mostly matches with WotC previous shared findings.

But time shall tell.
 

GreenTengu

Adventurer
Guess my next character will be an Aasimar Druid.

But, yes, I imagine that this result is because humans are the most powerful race and fighter is the most powerful class, at least at lower levels before options really start opening up for the others.
 

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