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5E Greyhawk Sub-Classes

Mistwell

Legend
Pretend for a moment WOTC was planning to publish a book which contains some setting-specific Greyhawk sub-classes.

What should they be?

Here is a list of Greyhawk-related prestige classes from 3e:

  • Suel Arcanamach (Complete Arcane)
  • Radiant Servant of Pelor (Complete Divine)
  • Shining Blade of Heironeous (Complete Divine)
  • Temple Raider of Olidammara (Complete Divine)
  • Ur-Priest (Complete Divine)
  • Knight Protector (Complete Warrior)
  • Fist of Zuoken (Expanded Psionics Handbook)
  • Fist of Hextor (Sword & Fist)
  • Ravager (Sword & Fist)
  • Doomdreamer (Return to the Temple of Elemental Evil)
  • Fleet Runner of Ehlonna (Dragon #283)
  • Mighty Contender of Kord (Dragon #283)
  • Glaive of Azharadian (Dragon #293)
  • Knight of the Chase (Dragon #297)
  • Mask of Johydee (Dragon #302)
  • Wormhunter (Dragon #338)
  • Knight of Holy Shielding (Dungeon #113)
  • Darkhagard (Living Greyhawk Journal #2)
  • Vetha (Living Greyhawk Journal #2)
  • Silent One (Living Greyhawk Journal #4)
  • Eye of Gruumsh (Complete Warrior)
  • Champion of Corellon Larethian (Races of the Wild)
  • Hammer of Moradin (Player's Guide to Faerun)
  • Fang of Lolth (Song & Silence)
  • Platinum Knight (Draconomicon)
  • Sacred Warder of Bahamut (Draconomicon)
  • Talon of Tiamat (Draconomicon)
  • Unholy Ravager of Tiamat (Draconomicon)
  • Vassal of Bahamut (Book of Exalted Deeds)

Some of these have already been turned into sub-classes, often using a different name. But plenty have not.

Which sub-classes do you think should be created for 5e in a Greyhawk-themed book? Any of these? Something else from these?
 

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Parmandur

Legend
Oh, Jeez, that's a rough question...

I dunno about all those deity specific Prestige Classes. Offhand, a "Thief-Acrobat" for the Rogue, a Crusader Divine 1/3 caster Fighter Subclass, a Fiendish bloodline Sorcerer (for the Suel), and maybe a Generalist Wizard would be appropriate.

I'd throw in Half-Ogres for old times sake as a new Race option...
 



Which sub-classes do you think should be created for 5e in a Greyhawk-themed book? Any of these? Something else from these?
I only remember those from the early splatbooks, and even vaguely since I haven't opened mine for longer than a decade...

Generally speaking, I think not many 3rd edition prestige classes would make good 5e subclasses. The reason is twofold:

1) 3e prestige classes were (mostly) meant to be usable by different classes, 5e subclasses are specializations of a single class.

So while it is OK to design a "Fist of Hextor" subclass of the 5e Fighter (because it's really only about fighting), it is not really a good idea IMHO for others. For instance the "Fang of Lolth" is really a classless concept. Better to make it a curse or something else but ad-hoc.

2) The vast majority of 3e prestige classes had very few unique abilities in the course of 10 levels, and mostly granted minor bonuses which weren't really defining features, plus bonus feats or spellcasting levels.

This IMHO makes it pointless and artificial to turn them into subclasses, because if you do so then you have to fit them into whatever number of levels the base class has available for subclasses features, and follow their progression. Well of course one way would be to figure out new abilities that fit the concept, but personally I think it makes more sense to turn them into feats.

For example (even if not Greyhawk-specific) the old Loremaster, Archmage and Hierophant were really lacking any progression. They granted +1 level in your spellcasting class, which you would have gained anyway without the prestige class. Then they granted bonus abilities which you would cherrypick at each level. What sense would it make to have these as 5e subclasses? If there's some cool cherrypick ability that would be nice in 5e, better pick only that and turn it into a 5e feat. And 5e feat are "large" enough so that they can in fact accomodate multiple benefits inspired by a 3e prestige class.

---

That said, speaking about your list (and keeping in mind I only vaguely remember some of these), I can't help but notice so many of them being some sort of "holy warrior" of a specific deity. So it might make more sense to just have a Cleric equivalent of the PHB Eldritch Knight, which then a player would tailor to a specific deity. Perhaps the spells learned by this new Fighter subclass would be from one clerical domain (of the chosen deity) + some more spells chosen from the general Cleric list. Of course this is not at all Greyhawk-specific so I can understand if this suggestion feels underwhelming... but I feel like those prestige classes were in fact mass-produced in 3e just because they liked the idea of publishing lots of prestige classes, one per Greyhawk deity, even if perhaps they had no prior history in the Greyhawk setting (or did they?).

I vaguely remember instead the Ur-Priest being something like an anti-cleric i.e. opposed to all deities? That could be an interesting concept of its own. It could be definitely a new Cleric Domain, even though it requires some special explanation on how such character would be able to cast clerical spells, but it could be done. Also, it could have a special rule similar to the Paladin's Oathbreaker, that a character could acquire the Ur Domain later than 1st-level and be retrofitted by replacing all the previous abilities with those of the new domain.
 

the Jester

Legend
Knights of the Shield and Heart. An agent of Iuz/spy kind of rogue path. Some paths related to dealing with fiends, since that's a longstanding theme in Greyhawk (hi there, Horned Society, Great Kingdom, etc). Perhaps a barbarian path relating to Stonefist or the various Ice/Frost/Snow Barbarian lands.

Probably a few to reflect OG D&D options that no longer exist as such, like the thief-acrobat. Probably an elemental-themed druid path.

Certainly, a few domains would be useful, such as a good Magic or Arcane domain (Boccob), a Time domain (Lendor), a Monsters domain (Erythnul), etc.
 


ninjayeti

Explorer
Personally I'd love to see a Greyhawk setting book along the lines of the Living Greyhawk Gazetteer that just gives setting info without any crunch. Greyhawk is built around the same core assumptions as the base rules so there is no real need for a bunch of Greyhawk-specific rules. Scarlet Brotherhood monks and Knights off the Heart are defined by their lore and role within the setting, not because they have abilities that differentiate them from regular monks or fighters.

Now, I don't think that will happen. I am likely in the minority here, and shiny new player options will sell books to people who have no real interest in the setting. But it would be cool to have an evergreen, edition-neutral Greyhawk setting book that I can still be using when I am playing 8E with my grankids.
 

Coroc

Hero
Scarlet Brotherhood monk. Not sure what it would get but they should be in there. It would probably be in the DM section as a bad guy option like death domain but that would be fine.
i handle them as fighters and rogues, but they are npc only in my campaign
 

Snarf Zagyg

Bargle's brother, Argle.
Greyhawk Grognard has posted some free Greyhawk-related stuff.
Particular interest are the deity-specific domains.
I third this. I had not seen this before, but I just returned from a deep dive and ... wow!

Some of these things might not be perfectly balanced, but WOW. The Cleric Options alone are amazing, but wait until you get to the feats book, the expanded PHB (how many Monks????) and the Wizards.
 

the Jester

Legend
Personally I'd love to see a Greyhawk setting book along the lines of the Living Greyhawk Gazetteer that just gives setting info without any crunch. Greyhawk is built around the same core assumptions as the base rules so there is no real need for a bunch of Greyhawk-specific rules.
I feel the need to point out that clerics of Greyhawk deities, as far back as 1e, did indeed get specific abilities and rules. For example, a cleric of Heironius, once sufficiently high level, could unleash a bolt of positive energy.
 


Pauln6

Explorer
Clerics of Murlynd are sort of Artificer-esque. I think Greyhawk specific clerics should get alternative channel divinity class features based in their 1e or 2e options.

Even if they don't get separate subclasses, a recipe to emulate them using existing options would be cool.
 

doctorbadwolf

Heretic of The Seventh Circle
What about a subclass with addition choices for the deity specific stuff? so, a paladin subclass called the Oath of The Paragon, where you choose a deity and gain powers according to that choice, like the totem barbarian?
 

Mistwell

Legend
OK let's try a different take on this. If a book were to come out with one sub-class for every Player's Handbook class, and each sub-class were to have a Greyhawk theme of some sort, what sub-classes do you think would be good ones?

Barbarian

Bard

Cleric

Druid

Fighter

Monk

Paladin

Ranger

Rogue

Sorcerer

Warlock

Wizard
 


Voadam

Adventurer
OK let's try a different take on this. If a book were to come out with one sub-class for every Player's Handbook class, and each sub-class were to have a Greyhawk theme of some sort, what sub-classes do you think would be good ones?
The things that come to mind are more 1e and 2e elements.

Off the top of my head:

Barbarian:
Rovers/Tiger/Wolf - Mongolic themed or
Fist/Snow/Ice - viking themed
I forget the rain forest themed blow dart ones.
Pomarj marauder.

Bard:
Olidamarra follower.

Cleric:
Any of the specialty cleric stuff from the 1e and 2e campaign boxed sets. Stuff for any/everybody from Boccob to Xan Yae.

Druid
Nothing comes to mind but there might have been some nature god specific specialty stuff that would be appropriate, I'd have to check for specifics.

Fighter
Some of the Knight orders would be a good base. A Kelanen follower sword saint disciple thing would be appropriate.

Monk
Scarlet Brotherhood is iconic for the setting.

Paladin
More of the knight stuff, possibly Pholtus or St. Cuthbert options. Vow of the Blinding Light. Vow of no backsliding.

Ranger
I think there was an elven woods order of knights that could fit.

Rogue
Greyhawk guild member. Freelancer. Would be easily adaptable to other worlds reflecting Greyhawk and Gord the Rogue and the Guild being a take on Lankhmar with the Gray Mouser and the Guild being a take on crime ridden fantasy New York.

Sorcerer
Nothing comes to mind but you could get creative with Backlunish and Suel magical traditions.

Warlock
Horned Brotherhood pact variant of fiends jumps to mind as most appropriate.

Wizard
Backlunish and Suel magical traditions. Valley of the Mage tradition started by his Elven apprentices.
 

Pauln6

Explorer
I always felt that Kermin Mindbender should have been built as a sorcerer. He scours the Empire looking for pupils with talent and he can use a mind blast. Sounds perfect.
 

Voadam

Adventurer
Warlock should probably be Elemental pact for the Temple of Elemental Evil. Then players can choose to play heroic renegades same as they can play heroic Cthulhu cultists of Tharizdun, or of Grazzt, or the Horned Brotherhood. Four elemental warlock pacts would be great general crunch to have. I don't have Princes of the Apocalypse so I am not sure how this would tie in there, but the ToEE was a big Greyhawk thing from 1e through 3e.
 

Helldritch

Adventurer
I concur with Magister Ludorum. Most of what I see should simply be factions. Nothing so far justify a subclass. Maybe the Scarlet Brotherhood monk might have something but even then... No factions at la Ravnica should be more than enough.
 

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