D&D 5E Loss of genericity

Kurzon

First Post
Just re-skin Draconic.

Runic Power: Choose one Rune of Power. The damage type associate with each Rune of Power is used by features you gain later [name the various Runes]

Rune of Resilience: As runic magic flows through your body, it causes physical manifestations of your power to emerge. At 1st level, your hit point maximum increases by 1 and increases by 1 again whenever you gain a level in this class. Additionally, your skin slowly becomes covered with faintly glowing runes of power. When unarmored, these runes provide an AC equals 13 + your Dexterity modifier.

Rune of Elemental Might: Starting at 6th level, when you cast a spell that deals damage of the type associated with your Runic Power, add your Constitution modifier to that damage. At the same time, you can spend 1 sorcery point to gain resistance to that damage type for 1 hour.

Rune of Flight: At 14th level, as a bonus action you gain the ability to draw a rune on your chest that grants you the power of flight. You gain a flying speed equal to your current speed. Your flight lasts until you dismiss the rune as a bonus action on your turn. You cannot draw this rune while wearing armor, unless the armor is made to accommodate a space on your chest to allow for the drawing of the rune.

Rune of Dread: Beginning at 18th level, you can draw the Rune of Dread, causing those around you to become awestruck or frightened. As an action, you can spend 5 sorcery points to draw on this power, and exude an aura of awe or fear (your choice) to a distance of 60 feet. For 1 minute or until you lose your concentration (as if you were casting a concentration spell), each hostile creature that starts its turn in this aura must succeed on a Wisdom saving throw or be charmed (if you chose awe) or frightened (if you chose fear) until the aura ends. A creature that succeeds on this saving throw is immune to your aura for 24 hours.

That's pretty good. Cheers.
 

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MechaPilot

Explorer
But they're not options. Like with the sorcerer, you have to choose one. You can't just have a sorcerer without a draconic or wild origin. Same with the bard schools, druid circles, etc. It's all built into the class.

You can have a sorcerer without a draconic or wild origin. The problem you're describing is this:

1) they didn't launch the game with an origin that fits your homebrewed world, and

2) you can't have a sorcerer without an origin unless you want to be underpowered compared to other characters

Both of these problems can be fixed by creating your own origin or reflavoring an existing one, but those fixes do require one to put in some work.
 

Ruzak

First Post
I also find the subclasses a little specific, particularly the sorcerer. I wish every class had a "generic" subclass, like the champion fighter.
Mistwell's tattoo reskin does look pretty great.
 

Kurzon

First Post
You can have a sorcerer without a draconic or wild origin. The problem you're describing is this:

1) they didn't launch the game with an origin that fits your homebrewed world, and

2) you can't have a sorcerer without an origin unless you want to be underpowered compared to other characters

Both of these problems can be fixed by creating your own origin or reflavoring an existing one, but those fixes do require one to put in some work.

That's not the problem I'm describing. The sorcerer was an example of a larger observation about 5E.
 

Parmandur

Book-Friend
But most of the Greyhawk specific stuff in 3E was just names and fluff, not mechanics that are hardwired into classes, etc. That stuff is much easier to change.



To be honest, I haven't given the DMG a thorough read-through. Although I am aware that it has alternate rules and suggestions for changing stuff around. It just feels like with 5E we got more options, but less flexibility?


I dunno: Druids who shape change, metaphysical requirements that Paladins be Lawful Good, 8 Schools of Wizardry ( no more, no less), Clerics with specific Domains that affect their abilities, all Sorcerers are implied to be of Dragon heritage (the 3E books and media really pushed on that, if anything 5E opens the Sorcerer up thematically), Humans breeding with Elves and Orcs as such a regular turn of course that Half-Bloods of both types show up in regular demographic charts, Gypsy Halflings, etc. 3E had a strong flavor, in my reckoning. On a lot of these points, 5E is less restrictive, actually.
 

SirAntoine

Banned
Banned
You can have a sorcerer without a draconic or wild origin. The problem you're describing is this:

1) they didn't launch the game with an origin that fits your homebrewed world, and

2) you can't have a sorcerer without an origin unless you want to be underpowered compared to other characters

Both of these problems can be fixed by creating your own origin or reflavoring an existing one, but those fixes do require one to put in some work.

It is more concentrated, but with some work any class can bring out the flavor you want. Don't be reluctant to change anything you wish, literally.
 

It's very easy to reflavor a lot of these classes and abilities to fit in with a homebrew setting. I don't think it's necessarily that much of a problem.

Now, it might be with subclasses to come later, depending.
 

Li Shenron

Legend
I also find the subclasses a little specific, particularly the sorcerer. I wish every class had a "generic" subclass, like the champion fighter.

I think the OP indeed has a very good point about this. Some classes could have definitely benefitted from a more 'generic' subclass.

Sorcerer: the draconic subclass is mostly the same concept as the original 3e sorcerer, but while the 3e class did not have any distintively 'dragon-flavored' features, the 5e has, which makes the concept more difficult to ignore. The wild mage as a concept could be generic enough, but the mechanic associated to it is definitely not.

Wizard: there is no generalist, but in this case IMO it's not a big deal since your choice of spells is what really makes you a specialist. You can choose several among the subclasses and still end up with a pretty generalist.

Rogue: I suspect that most people will instinctively say that Thief is generic enough, but it isn't. For me the quintessential Rogue character is Indiana Jones, who definitely is not a Thief and neither an Assassin! The Rogue is missing a generic subclass more than any other class.

Cleric: in this case perhaps the clerics of Life, Light and War could all be close enough to 'generic', particularly the Life Cleric which is in fact the one included in Basic.

Barbarian: the Berserker is only built around maximizing the usability of Rage, which is anyway the defining feature of all D&D barbarians, so IMO this subclass is generic enough.

Fighter: clearly the Champion is very generic.

IMO there is also a mechanical problem related to this: they have been saying all through the playtest that they wanted to use subclasses to also control complexity, so that every class would have at least one 'low-complexity' subclass. Then they designed the Warrior/Champion, and it worked great. Then it was all about pattin' each others' back about how good the idea was, and how well the implementation worked... and they totally forgot they had 11 more classes to do the same work about! I now expect than in a few years they will publish a '5e essentials' to fix this problem.
 

MoonSong

Rules-lawyering drama queen but not a munchkin
Hi folks. I've been going through some old notes from D&D campaign worlds I created years ago when I was playing more regularly, and thinking about using one of them for my first 5th edition campaign. One thing that struck me when looking at the twists and variants on regular races/classes I created for my world is that it seems like in 5th edition the classes are a lot less generic and mostly come heavily pre-loaded with flavour. Which can cause a real problem when you're trying to play in a original world that you have created.

For example, in one campaign world I created for 3rd edition, dwarves all belonged to a particular tribe that practised tattoo magic. They would tattoo themselves with runes, using an arcane substance that leeched into their blood and granted them the ability to cast spells. So in 3rd edition terms, they were Sorcerers. The magic was innate and in their blood, and the Sorcerer class was generic enough that this worked well. But now in 5th edition, Sorcerers have to choose between a draconic or wild magic origin. Neither of these fit my original idea, and looking at the other arcane classes, they don't either. The wizard uses a spellbook and has traditions. The warlock gets their power from an otherworldly source.

And it's the same with many of the other classes too, mostly due to the subclasses that you have to choose. Don't get me wrong - I like many of these subclasses, and some of then are generic enough to fit into almost any campaign world. I just wish they (along with the other pre-loaded flavour) were an option that you could choose to add flavour to a basic, generic class if your DM didn't already have his own world-specific options.

I'm not sure I've explained this well, but, like I said, it's just an observation.

Cheers.

Finally someone acknowledges what I've been telling all along.

Yeah, DMG has some pointers on new subclasses, make a new "Dwarf Tatoo" Heritage for sorcerers.

Honestly, hoe well has the game ever been able to handle being truly "generic?" Vancian casting is a huge preloaded assumption that makes playing, say, the Wheel of Time or Harry Potter fairly difficult, let alone something low magic like Tolkien or Game of Thrones. Dungeons & Dragons is a distinct flavor. It can be tweaked, and I'd be interested in hearing about Dwarf Tatoo Sorcery for one. That's the beauty of the TTRPG, it's whatever you make it.

I don't know you, but if you wanted a truly generic spellcaster you were looking in the wrong place, in 3rd edition the sorcerer was the most generic spellcaster around.

I think the OP indeed has a very good point about this. Some classes could have definitely benefitted from a more 'generic' subclass.

Sorcerer: the draconic subclass is mostly the same concept as the original 3e sorcerer, but while the 3e class did not have any distintively 'dragon-flavored' features, the 5e has, which makes the concept more difficult to ignore. The wild mage as a concept could be generic enough, but the mechanic associated to it is definitely not.

I don't know the passage by heart, but I know it well enough, it is funny how people just get the most superficial details of stuff. The original sorcerer was a generic sorcerer, the origin was not explicit and could be anything you wanted. The dragon thing was either something some sorcerers would brag about, something that could or not be true for some sorcerers, or a petty rumor made up by mean jealous wizards who resented not being that special anymore.
 

Parmandur

Book-Friend
I think the OP indeed has a very good point about this. Some classes could have definitely benefitted from a more 'generic' subclass.



Sorcerer: the draconic subclass is mostly the same concept as the original 3e sorcerer, but while the 3e class did not have any distintively 'dragon-flavored' features, the 5e has, which makes the concept more difficult to ignore. The wild mage as a concept could be generic enough, but the mechanic associated to it is definitely not.



Wizard: there is no generalist, but in this case IMO it's not a big deal since your choice of spells is what really makes you a specialist. You can choose several among the subclasses and still end up with a pretty generalist.



Rogue: I suspect that most people will instinctively say that Thief is generic enough, but it isn't. For me the quintessential Rogue character is Indiana Jones, who definitely is not a Thief and neither an Assassin! The Rogue is missing a generic subclass more than any other class.



Cleric: in this case perhaps the clerics of Life, Light and War could all be close enough to 'generic', particularly the Life Cleric which is in fact the one included in Basic.



Barbarian: the Berserker is only built around maximizing the usability of Rage, which is anyway the defining feature of all D&D barbarians, so IMO this subclass is generic enough.



Fighter: clearly the Champion is very generic.



IMO there is also a mechanical problem related to this: they have been saying all through the playtest that they wanted to use subclasses to also control complexity, so that every class would have at least one 'low-complexity' subclass. Then they designed the Warrior/Champion, and it worked great. Then it was all about pattin' each others' back about how good the idea was, and how well the implementation worked... and they totally forgot they had 11 more classes to do the same work about! I now expect than in a few years they will publish a '5e essentials' to fix this problem.


But alot of your ideas there of what constitutes "generic" are D&Disms; Generalist Wizards are as bad a fit for Aes Sedai as any specialist School, and Life Clerics are hard to find outside D&D fiction, specifically.
 

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