Is character class an in-world concept in your campaigns?

doctorbadwolf

Heretic of The Seventh Circle
I mean, I think you already got it but, just in case - have you never heard a church choir?
I was asking how a singing cleric would be immediately recognized as singing prayers, as such, as opposed to simply songs of praise to the gods, such that an observer would know they’re a cleric rather than a very religious Bard.
 

Xenonnonex

Adventurer
At some point during our last game session, I turned to our warlock and said "I expected you to help us with that, sorcerer", and his answer was "I'm not a sorcerer, I'm a warlock". My reply was "warlock, sorcerer, wizard, conjurer, or mage, I don't care, it's all the same", to which he answered, "it's the same for you, who have no understanding of arcane matters".

So, is character class an in-world concept in your campaigns? Could the mightiest sorcerer in your world be in fact a 20th-level wizard? If my oath of vengeance paladin was trained as part of a monastic order, would other people disagree if he referred to himself and other members of his order as warrior monks and tell him that monks are supposed to fight unarmored?

To answer my own question, except for some very specific situations, like druids in AD&D 2e, I never treated character class as an in-world concept. In my own games, a light-armored fighter with a criminal background does not see himself as fundamentally different from someone with levels in the rogue class.

What about your own campaigns?
Yes. The person's head explodes. Then a new head is grown as they level up.
 
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I was asking how a singing cleric would be immediately recognized as singing prayers, as such, as opposed to simply songs of praise to the gods, such that an observer would know they’re a cleric rather than a very religious Bard.
Many contemporary Christian songs are written in such a way that you can pray along to them
 

Maxperson

Morkus from Orkus
Well, this is exactly what we've been discussing in this thread! The number of "hell, no" answers makes me believe this could hardly be considered an absolute fact about game settings. While this is not my own approach, I find it perfectly reasonable, for example, to consider each PC to be the sole representative of a given skill set described as a class in the Player's Handbook.
If you home brew your game to have them be unique, then sure. Nobody would know what you were. The DM is changing the game rather substantially at that point, though. If you read the PHB classes, it's clear that they talk about class members, indicating that there are many members of each class.
 
Paladin spells, druid spells and cleric spells are distinctively different. As are their class abilities. If you are using your stuff, you can't keep your class secret for long.
i dont know about that. I think it may be varying degrees of challenging (depending on the class actually used and the one to bw counterfeited) but depending on the character and the abilities used and infront of whom you can pull it off for quite a while.

I had a high int high cha wizard with ranks in singing and violin playing in 3.5 who SPECIALIZED (no pun intended) at times in pretending to be other classes. On the rare occasion that someone found him out for being a counterfeit they would end up thinking he was yet a different thing he wasnt (oh the layers on this ogre were many). There were many times he would emulate spells and class abilities without even using his own wizard class abilities but instead using other things he had access to (not other classes. He was not a multi classer) and sometimes mixing those with also using his wizard spells. Oh the things you can do. Man...i need to play that character again. 'Twas very fun.
 
Maybe in your campaign. The actual rules don’t determine that for us, though.
well the rules as far as ive seen in most editions do make all these things distinct. And this of course makes keeping it a secret a challenge. As to the last part i wholly agree though. The rules in no way support the notion that its impossible to keep it a secret.
 

Maxperson

Morkus from Orkus
I don't own any of the campaign setting stuff for 4e or 5e, but let's crack open the 3.X Forgotten Realms Campaign Setting.

Artemis Entreri is 18th level. STR 14 DEX 20 CON 15 INT 16 WIS 16 CHA 13.

Assume he's had the benefits of ASIs at 4th, 8th, 12th, and 16th level as standard for 3.X, assume best case scenario all four went to DEX, that's starting scores of STR 14 DEX 16 CON 15 INT 16 WIS 16 CHA 13.

That's 49 point buy, just under 200% the recommended 25 points for PCs or just over 150% of the highest suggested value of 32. That means that even if standard characters claw and bite their way to 18th level, they're going to be strictly inferior to the characters in the tie-in fiction, even though they're supposed to be the stars.

Drizzt is STR 13 DEX 20 CON 15 INT 17 WIS 17 CHA 14. First account for Drow mods, that's STR 13 DEX 18 CON 15 INT 15 WIS 17 CHA 12. ASIs, we're going to say that +2 DEX and +2 WIS.

STR 13 DEX 16 CON 15 WIS 15 CHA 12

Surprisingly, that is only 35 points, a mere 3 points above the most "high powered" variant, though he's sitting on a +2 Level Adjustment for his race.

It's galling when fiction based on game routinely features characters you can't actually play in the game.
Lots of us roll stats, you know. You shouldn't assume that these NPCs were built with point buy, or that players can't hit those stat numbers. You may not be able to, but that's your choice.
 
Lots of us roll stats, you know. You shouldn't assume that these NPCs were built with point buy, or that players can't hit those stat numbers. You may not be able to, but that's your choice.
They weremt rolled though. Npcs in d&d core literature actually do use prescribed methods of stat creation without chamce involved. This is actually known. I hadnt until recently noticed the power creep in the prescribed ability arrays though. Its well above elite array now.
 

Maxperson

Morkus from Orkus
I was asking how a singing cleric would be immediately recognized as singing prayers, as such, as opposed to simply songs of praise to the gods, such that an observer would know they’re a cleric rather than a very religious Bard.
Because a song of praise just praises. A prayer is explicitly a request for something, whether healing, bread, holy fire to come down from above, or whatever. It's easy to tell the difference.
 

Maxperson

Morkus from Orkus
Maybe in your campaign. The actual rules don’t determine that for us, though.
Have you looked at the rules? Class abilities are distinctly different, with a few exceptions such as extra attack. Spell lists are also very different, with some overlap. So yes, the rules to determine that for us. You aren't going to see a bard with Wildshape, a druid with Bardic inspiration, or a cleric with Lay on Hands. Not unless they multiclass anyway.
 
Because a song of praise just praises. A prayer is explicitly a request for something, whether healing, bread, holy fire to come down from above, or whatever. It's easy to tell the difference.
But there are prayers which include praise, requests, other things, and combinations. Im sure if you ask a religious person "have you ever prayed 'thankyou' after something good happened to your god" many of them would tell you "yes, frequently". At least thats been my exoerience around religious friends.
 

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