D&D 5E Homebrew Super Simple Class: The Prodigy

Undrave

Legend
It's not popular with newbies though!

It's popular with ancient D&D-playing dudes in their 30s and 40s who just have a beer and chill whilst they play.

This is was discussed at some length in another thread. Personally I've introduced a number of new people to D&D in 5E, and none of them have expressed the slightest interest in Champion. It's got zero distinctiveness, it doesn't have any pop-culture equivalent, and if you tell people it's simple, and for newbies, they don't want that (also, frankly, it's not meaningfully easier to play than say, a Warlock). Even the boringest most man's man vanilla "straight white guy" man I ever played with, who likes soccer, cars, holidays in Spain, the suburbs and so on, and had never played an RPG before didn't pick a Fighter, he went straight for Spellblade or whatever it was called in 4E. And in my experience most new players circle around Ranger (so many Rangers), Druid, Warlock, Bard, and a few others. Wizard if they really like Harry Potter.

Going back to 2/3/4E I likewise saw (and the thread agreed on this) pretty much zero new players wanting to be "Basic Fighters" or the like.

Sure, and that's a valid concern but newbies love them. If there is a class with "pet animal" as a feature, newbies from around the world will flock to that class. It's not even a Pokemon thing, it like waaaaay predates that.

Personally I'd say just give them a familiar that does basically nothing mechanically and most of them will be happy. Just don't make it easy to kill.

Re: Talent of magic, if they don't get 'em level one, they ain't going to pick that class, because other classes do get them level 1. Just telling ya.

Well I created the Prodigy to fulfill the niche of the Champion without weighting down the Fighter (do you think it fulfills that?)

But you make some good points in regard to the Newbie and I think I'll see about mixing your perspective with my simple magical class concept!

Do you think the animal companion needs to be at level 1 or would level 2 work? Thinking it could be a refluffed Mage Hand that can give you help on a specific skill.
 

log in or register to remove this ad

Well I created the Prodigy to fulfill the niche of the Champion without weighting down the Fighter (do you think it fulfills that?)

But you make some good points in regard to the Newbie and I think I'll see about mixing your perspective with my simple magical class concept!

Do you think the animal companion needs to be at level 1 or would level 2 work? Thinking it could be a refluffed Mage Hand that can give you help on a specific skill.
Yeah that's a good question re: level, I think part of it is that people love thinking about it, so if there's a way to make it level 1, then make it level 1, because so many heroes in books etc. have or acquire an animal companion very early on, but 5E is reluctant to frontload (which I think also influences which classes newbies pick, because some newbies will assess the entire class and act like they're going to get to 20, and others will see the L1 stuff as all they're ever getting, I think that's psychology and I see no easy fix for it). In terms of mechanics that doesn't sound bad.
 

Vaalingrade

Legend
Are we absolutely certain new players will be able to add 1 to their AC or damage rolls?

Also, Prodigious Talent has four options. Four! We might melt their tiny little brains. We all know people who have yet to play D&D can't handle making character choices.

That aside, it's a pretty decent class chassis and could be very versatile with subclasses.
 

Undrave

Legend
Are we absolutely certain new players will be able to add 1 to their AC or damage rolls?

Also, Prodigious Talent has four options. Four! We might melt their tiny little brains. We all know people who have yet to play D&D can't handle making character choices.

That aside, it's a pretty decent class chassis and could be very versatile with subclasses.
Four is less than the number of fighting styles you can pick for the Champion :p

I didn't build it for subclasses though.
 

Quartz

Hero
Here is my proposal, live from Homebrewery: the Prodigy!

Interesting. My initial thought is that either you mandate no feats or that the capstone becomes all stats are treated as 20 for saves and defensive skill rolls. As is, imagine the difference in power between two level 20 PCs of this class (perhaps generated for a L20 one-off) one having taken all feats and the other having taken all ASIs.

And you need something at level 1.

If newbies don't like heavy armor and like magical stuff, why is the Champion the designated newbie class and apparently popular?

It's a great class for your second PC when you're playing more than one PC.
 

I'm going to second @Ruin Explorer explorer and say a pet class will actually attract newbies better than a "simple" class. Pets can be complicated, (two whole stat blocks) but they also eat up all of your power budget and design space so there's no need to add much else. You get a cool pet and either weapon proficiency or magical zap. You need to make two attacks per turn, but each half of the character has only one main option so that's not too hard - just pick your target.

Note that if you don't use monster stat blocks, pets aren't hard to manage. Look at how 13th Age or PF2 handles them.

I would say a feature for getting clever with your attacks would be good, because I see a lot of new players who don't want to do basic attacks but also don't want to parse a list of pre-defined special attacks. They want to do something creative in the moment. A feature that says "if you use the environment, you get bonus damage dice" would probably help.

As for the actual prodigy class - because of all that, I'm not really sure who it's for. It's balanced enough that if a player wanted to use it I'd certainly let them. I would also want to see a magical zap -based option.
 

bedir than

Full Moon Storyteller
The only first level benefit that no other class gets is an extra saving throw. That doesn't fit the rule set, nor any fiction I've encountered.
 

Undrave

Legend
Interesting. My initial thought is that either you mandate no feats or that the capstone becomes all stats are treated as 20 for saves and defensive skill rolls. As is, imagine the difference in power between two level 20 PCs of this class (perhaps generated for a L20 one-off) one having taken all feats and the other having taken all ASIs.
Well I didn't design it to be playable with optional rules, so I'd say no multiclassing and no feats as a default.
And you need something at level 1.
the class gets d12 HP, every armor, every weapons, free choices on skill and proficiencies AND they get 3 saving throws instead of just two. That felt like plenty of stuff to get at level 1 and plenty of things to choose from
The only first level benefit that no other class gets is an extra saving throw. That doesn't fit the rule set, nor any fiction I've encountered.
I mean, saving throws are hardly mentionned in fiction. What's wrong with a new class getting a new benefit?

As for the actual prodigy class - because of all that, I'm not really sure who it's for. It's balanced enough that if a player wanted to use it I'd certainly let them. I would also want to see a magical zap -based option.
I guess it's for anybody who would want to play the Champion? As for a Magical option... hmm...

Talent of Magic: You learn the Light cantrip, if you don't already know it, and one Cantrip of your choice between Acid Spray, Fire Bolt, Ray of Frost, or Shocking Grasp. Constitution is your spellcasting ablity. You can select this talent multiple times, chosing a different cantrip each time.

How's that? A little magical flavor in basic elemental types.

I'm going to second @Ruin Explorer explorer and say a pet class will actually attract newbies better than a "simple" class. Pets can be complicated, (two whole stat blocks) but they also eat up all of your power budget and design space so there's no need to add much else. You get a cool pet and either weapon proficiency or magical zap. You need to make two attacks per turn, but each half of the character has only one main option so that's not too hard - just pick your target.

Pet classes are maybe out of my range of competence :p

I would say a feature for getting clever with your attacks would be good, because I see a lot of new players who don't want to do basic attacks but also don't want to parse a list of pre-defined special attacks. They want to do something creative in the moment. A feature that says "if you use the environment, you get bonus damage dice" would probably help.
Hmm... what would that even look like though? I'm not a big fan of 'just figure it out yourself' rules, so I'd like have some base ideas. Maybe bonuses like 'if you attack from higher ground you inflict 1d6 extra damage, 'if you attack while your have cover you inflict 1d4 extra damage', and 'you have a +2 bonus to shove attempts and grapple checks' that sort of things?
 

bedir than

Full Moon Storyteller
I mean, saving throws are hardly mentionned in fiction. What's wrong with a new class getting a new benefit?
I don't mind the additional saving throw. It's just not something I connect to a Prodigy.

It's also weak. The rest of the base class is a Barbarian without Rage or Unarmored Defense
 

Undrave

Legend
Are we absolutely certain new players will be able to add 1 to their AC or damage rolls?

Also, Prodigious Talent has four options. Four! We might melt their tiny little brains. We all know people who have yet to play D&D can't handle making character choices.
I've made it even more complicated now: SIX choices! Also changed the progression a little. I'm trying to come up with something for level 2.
Interesting. My initial thought is that either you mandate no feats or that the capstone becomes all stats are treated as 20 for saves and defensive skill rolls. As is, imagine the difference in power between two level 20 PCs of this class (perhaps generated for a L20 one-off) one having taken all feats and the other having taken all ASIs.

And you need something at level 1.
I've reworked the capstone to be a blanket +2 instead of a buff directly to 20, leaving you room to play with feats. I've also moved the talent pick to level 1 and I'm trying to figure out something for level 2. I'm hesitating between the 'bonus to improvised action' suggestion or a ribbon that gives you extra languages (took those out of Talent of Skills).
As for the actual prodigy class - because of all that, I'm not really sure who it's for. It's balanced enough that if a player wanted to use it I'd certainly let them. I would also want to see a magical zap -based option.
I've added the Magical Option, it gives out Light, Mage Hand and an attack cantrip... I decided not to include Acid Splash as an option but maybe I should? Or Poison Spray? Now I need something for level 2.
The only first level benefit that no other class gets is an extra saving throw. That doesn't fit the rule set, nor any fiction I've encountered.
I moved the talents pick to level 1. Might cut the extra saving throw?
 

Remove ads

AD6_gamerati_skyscraper

Remove ads

Recent & Upcoming Releases

Top