5E How many classess/subclasses is too much?

How many subclasses are too many?

  • There already are too many

    Votes: 24 30.0%
  • Right now is about right

    Votes: 6 7.5%
  • I could use some more, but not many more

    Votes: 14 17.5%
  • there can never be enough!

    Votes: 36 45.0%

  • Total voters
    80

Sacrosanct

Legend
I'm not sure how many classess/subclasses there are for 5e now. Between the splatbooks, and UA, it seems like there are well over 100. At what point, if any, does it become just too much for you. Has it got to the point where there are so many subclasses that they are stumbling over each other in theme and function? Has niche protection essentially been lost (if that's important to you)? Can there never be enough, and any variation regardless of how slight is a good thing because choice is always good?
 

ad_hoc

Adventurer
I could have used fewer core classes but it's not too bad and I am okay with an Artificer class. I don't want any more classes than that though.

I like subclasses to fill the role of multiclassing/prestige classes.

That said, there are so many now. There are a good chunk that are weak so we probably won't see them in play. One downside is that those themes are now basically lost.

I don't like about half of the subclasses in XgtE and find a couple of them to be overpowered.

There is still potential for more good subclasses, I just wish there would be more care with their creation.

edit I didn't notice that you include UA in what we have. I don't think those count, they're playtest for a reason. I don't see them as any different from 3rd party products.
 
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dnd4vr

Hero
There are too many IMO, most are for flavor which could be accomplished just through role-playing and choices, etc. I've stated here repeatedly how when choosing subclass much of the time the decision is meh and which one is the least bad.
 
I don't count any UA option older than a year or that has appeared in a book as a viable sub-class to pick for one reason or another, so I don't subscribe your "well over 100" count.

That being said, there is a lot of room in 5E to expand both mechanically and narratively. I am very anti-conservative when it comes to what should be in Fantasy. Fantasy means fantastical, and just because something was in Tolkien or was in old school D&D doesn't mean that's all there can ever be. The idea of Barbarians having Wild Surges, Rogues being revived from the dead, and Warlocks making pacts with krakens all highly interest me. I want to see fantasy expand further, faster, and to reaches hitherto now never seen.

So yes, I want more. I've homebrewed my own options, and playtested them for years now. I've made some classes just for fun (Shinobi), to remix a common idea (Necromancer, Warlord), and to come up with entirely new concepts (Flesh-Eater). I plan on making more classes, and more sub-classes too. I've made Fighter archetypes (Veteran being my favorite), Sorcerers, Warlocks, Bards, and more. Though a lot of this stuff will never be published, I try my best to put it out there so that people will see that 5E need not be limited to Battlemasters and Thieves, and that the sky is the limit for classes and class ideas.

Of course, there is a limit for any system officially. The 3.5/PF era proved that no system is immune to the danger of buckling under its own weight. But 5E is not even close to that limit yet; not even half-way there
 

Sacrosanct

Legend
That said, there are so many now. There are a good chunk that are weak so we probably won't see them in play. One downside is that those themes are now basically lost.
I think this is an important point. Some of them that may have been meant to fill a role were designed pretty poorly (like the PDK and Samurai) and people won't really use them. But then whenever someone says they want to play a warlord or a samurai, they're told to play the PDK or Samurai subclass. Kind of a catch-22
 
I'm not sure how many classess/subclasses there are for 5e now.
In print, the exact same number of classes as when the PH dropped. Short by at least three, IMHO (though the Artificer's finally out with Eberron).
In all official sources (shy of DMsG), OTOH, there are /tons/ of sub-classes, surely too many if a given DM were to opt-into all of them.

But, everything beyond the PH - and some of what's in it, like feats & MCing - is optional. So the thing is to only opt-in what you need for your campaign.

So "too many" only comes into it when there's so many you can't find & evaluate the ones that'd be good for your campaign. DMsG is well past that point. WotC sources if you take in UA and whatnot may be getting there, in terms of sub-classes, but not classes (even though there's several iterations of mystic/psion).

WotC-published dead-tree materials, OTOH, still plenty of room to grow.
 
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Fanaelialae

Adventurer
I think this is an important point. Some of them that may have been meant to fill a role were designed pretty poorly (like the PDK and Samurai) and people won't really use them. But then whenever someone says they want to play a warlord or a samurai, they're told to play the PDK or Samurai subclass. Kind of a catch-22
That might be true for certain types of players. But I played a samurai a while back and really enjoyed the character. He was perfectly effective.

Could I have built a stronger character by choosing BM or EK? Sure. That didn't make the samurai any less fun to play. Maximal efficiency isn't my top priority.
 

LuisCarlos17f

Adventurer
The keys to design a class:

- Right balance of power, of course.

- Fun gameplay. The psionic wilder wasn't very popular because the class feature "psychic enervation" wasn't very interesting. Dreamscarred Press fixed it in the Pathfinder version allowing some changes.

- Interesting concept. The soulborn and the incarnate from "Magic of Incarnum" were clones of the paladin, champions with powers too linked to alignment. Each class needs its own mark of identity, like fashion/clothing styles of the urban tribes.

My opinion is when a concept is too good or popular it has to be a base class: shinobi, samurai, gladiator, swashbuckler, gunslinger, psionic ardent.

5th Ed needs more classes, although some 3rdP are showing their own ideas.
 

Osgood

Explorer
I think we are probably at or very near having enough subclasses. It seems like the new ideas in UA are pretty specific corner case concepts rather than broad archetypes that can it any campaign.
After the Artificer, a Psion class is about all I can see for new classes. I think there are room for feats that can support concepts that can't be achieved with the current subclasses.
 

LuisCarlos17f

Adventurer
If, at last, the mystic class is published, you can bet somebody, maybe homebred or 3rdP, will publish the psionic version of the occult pathfinder classes (kineticist, medium, mesmerist, occultist, psychic and spiritualist). I like the concept of the psionic ardent like a potential rival-ally or "friendenemy", a love-hate relation, of clerics and other standard divine spellcasters because they are like "freelance workers".

I miss the vestige pact magic (I imagine vestiges' gifts as mini-prestige class or monster template class could be changing each day as wearing a different suit) and the martial adepts (Tome of Battle: Book of Nine Swords) (It is curious but I imagine samurai, shinobi and shinobi as martial adepts, class with martial maneuvers, and also the shadow assassin or the gladiator from Dark Sun, the soulknive would be a psionic-martial adept hybrid class, and the warlord as martial adept with maneuvers of the white raven school).
 

Charlaquin

Goblin Queen
I would like to see a third level above class. Maybe call it archetype or something. The “big 4” classes could be the archetypes, which the other classes fall into, and each have subclasses. I’d also like it if more subclasses offered build choices, like Battlemaster Maneuvers and Totem Barbarian Totems. In such a setup, I would prefer the number of classes and archetypes to stay about where they are, but would be quite happy with expanding the number of subclasses.
 

pming

Adventurer
Hiya!

See the PHB? Yeah, add another one or two subclasses to some of them to bring them to 4. That's it. That's where it should have stopped. There doesn't NEED to be any more than 4 subclasses for each class...tops. What SHOULD they have done? Put more info/ideas into the DMG to help a DM create their own specific subclasses for their own specific world. I'll take playing in a DM's game where the other PC's are "A human Fighter, Witchblade; a human Barbarian, Swampie; a halfling Rogue, Shadow-Weaver; and a dwarven Cleric of Earth" over the standard "whatever-we-officially-have-now". I want UNIQUENESS...not variety, per se. All the extra classes/subclasses do is edge 5e ever closer to over-saturation of Player "options" just like 3.x did with, well, everything.

^_^

Paul L. Ming
 

Undrave

Adventurer
Never enough!

There's still plenty of room for cool stuff. I think its disingenuous to count UAs though.

Here's what I can remember off the top of my head. I probably forgot a few...

5 Barbarian : Bezerker, Totem, Zealot, Ancestral, Battlerager

5 Bard : Lore, Valor, Swords, Glamour, Whisper

10 Cleric : Life, Nature, Knowledge, Light, Storm, Trickery, Forge, Grave, Order, War

5 Druid : Land, Moon, Shepperd, Dream, Spore

7 Fighter : Champion, Battlemaster, Eldritch Knight, Purple Dragon, Cavalier, Samurai, Arcane Archer

6 Monk : Open Hand, Shadow, Elemental, Drunken, Sun Soul, Kensei

5 Paladin : Vengeance, Protection, Ancestor, Crown, Redemption

4 Ranger : Hunter, Beastmaster, Monster Slayer, Gloomstalker

6 Rogue : Thief, Assasin, Arcane Trickster, Mastermind, Inquisitive, Scout

4 Sorcerer : Wild, Dragon, Storm, Divine, Shadow

5 Warlock : Fey, Fiend, Great Old One, Celestial, Hexblade

10 Wizard : School (8), War, Bladesinger

73 total subclass

So far I can see some weakness in number of choices...
 
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GlassJaw

Explorer
Definitely don't need many more classes, or maybe no more at all. A class should cover a wide range of archetypes AND be mechanically unique. The test for a new class concept meeting those criteria should be steep.

There can be an infinite number of subclasses with little to no harm to 5E. Subclasses are fairly noninvasive. Unlike prestige classes from 3ed for example, they contribute a small percentage to a class's overall power. They are also easy to tweak if there is a balance issue.
 

5ekyu

Adventurer
I'm not sure how many classess/subclasses there are for 5e now. Between the splatbooks, and UA, it seems like there are well over 100. At what point, if any, does it become just too much for you. Has it got to the point where there are so many subclasses that they are stumbling over each other in theme and function? Has niche protection essentially been lost (if that's important to you)? Can there never be enough, and any variation regardless of how slight is a good thing because choice is always good?
My personal druthers would be for the dedign plan to follow one of two possible schemas.

1 - Amplifier - each class gets 3-5 sub-classes that each take one aspect if the main class and amplify it. Good example is druid where land amplifies spells and moon amplifies wildshape.

2 - Diversity - each class gets 5 sub-classes each keying off a different ability score than the primary - trending to make each class have the ability to choose sub-class to suit secondary svore.

That said, that is not followed now, so...

But I dont see a real need for more than 5 sub-classes per class.
 
Definitely don't need many more classes, or maybe no more at all. A class should cover a wide range of archetypes AND be mechanically unique. The test for a new class concept meeting those criteria should be steep.
Frankly, existing classes fail those criteria. And classes that have been missing from the game for 5 years now, pass them easily - ironically, the most marginal of those is the next in line to see print: the Artificer. The Warlord, which had the equivalent of 7 archetypes in only 2 years, even when tightly restricted to the leader role, and the Psion, which could draw on all previous psionic classes for archetypes, both pass with flying colors.
The ranger, sorcerer, barbarian, and (it pains me to say) druid, all crash & burn by comparison.
 

Salthorae

Imperial Mountain Dew Taster
Never enough!

4 Sorcerer : Wild, Dragon, Storm, Divine

72 total subclass

So far I can see some weakness in number of choices...
Sorcerer is 5 - you left out Shadow

Either way, it feels left out in the dark though I know it isn’t.

Ranger is the poor lonely soul with only 4 and only 3 optimal choices.
 
What SHOULD they have done? Put more info/ideas into the DMG to help a DM create their own specific subclasses for their own specific world.
I would like to see a third level above class. Maybe call it archetype or something.
We could use fewer general-consumption sub-classes, and more setting-specific, after-1st-level alternatives, like Prestige Classes. The PDK, Battlerager, Bladesinger, and quite a few other extant sub-classes would've made more sense as restricted-entry, race/place/organization-specific PrCs.
 

TwoSix

Lover of things you hate
The more the merrier. Thank goodness there's a thriving homebrew community to counteract WotC's glacial release schedule.
 

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