L&L: No Races as Classes, I reckon..

"For example, is it important that "elf" remains a class to someone who enjoyed Original D&D (1974) or Basic D&D? I'd argue, no. What's far more important for that player is an open-ended system with a lot of emphasis on the Dungeon Master, lots of exploration, and simple mechanics that enable fast combat, to name just a few things."

From the latest Legends and Lore by Monte.

Dungeons & Dragons Roleplaying Game Official Home Page - Article (Uniting the Editions, Part 1)

Very interesting broad generalisations of edition play styles.

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I hope that you can emulate these traditional types of archetype. As long as you can play and elven Fighter/Wizard. It should be cool.


First Post
If you can play a true fighter/mage and not the 3e gimped version. I like the elf class for flavor, but mechanically good multiclassing rules are more important.

Jack Daniel

Well, all it really takes is a sidebar, explaining how in basic D&D all elves were fighter/mages and all dwarves and halflings were fighters only; and with the advent of AD&D, each race had a small list of classes it could belong to, some of which were downright iconic and became "favored" classes in 3rd edition. That way, the DM has the *option* to enforce "race as class", or less stringent lists of allowed classes per race, or just note as a bit of flavor that some races gravitate towards some classes.

And, of course, it's changed over time. The elf fighter/mage and dwarf fighter have stayed pretty much the same through the ages. Halflings quickly went from being badass little fighters to favoring the thief class. Gnomes waffled from illusionist to bard after the 3.5 changeover. And, of course, half-orcs originally favored the assassin (which makes perfect sense, given that half-orcs in Tolkien were little more than thuggish spies, able to pass for human when they had to) but quickly became more barbaric and, well, half-ogreish later on.


I think race as class makes sense in RPG systems that are closely tied to a game world which is strongly human-dominated, with the non-human races living in small communities with a very strong unified culture. You would, say, have an elven forest, and almost all elves live a tribal lifestyle where they practice hunting and natural magic. Das Schwarze Auge (Germans will have heard of this system) is such an RPG.

In D&D, however, you have worlds like the Forgotten Realms, where most races are spread around the continent and freely intermingle with human culture. Elves could be urban wizards, druids, clerics, even street rabble... Race as class simply doesn't fit most of the published settings.

Btw., I really liked the article. I think it was a good analysis, and it shows that they are really trying to understand what D&D is (to all kinds of people).


First Post
Well, there is a work-around, but I don't know that I'd really suggest it. 5E will have choices of race + class + theme. It is entirely possible to create a class called Elf and a theme called Elf. You can then just choose Elf all the way down the line. However, that class and theme are probably going to look awful similar to another class and theme, so what's the point of expending work on it? If they don't, then you are creating new viable classes and themes that are limited to a single race, which seems like more work than the benefit.



It shouldn't be that hard to make a pre-part build Elf Fighter/Wizard.

They could produce a partially created character that puts in all the stuff you would expect to be in a Elf Fighter/Wizard and then you finish it off for individuality.

Personally I wish they would just make a Fighter/Wizard class. Something like a swordmage/arcane archer, but not.

And for that matter, hopefully they'll put some effort into making a decent Arcane Wizard Necromancer class while they're at it. Not some Cleric thing. If I wanted to play a Cleric I'd play a Cleric and not a Wizard. But that's off topic.

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