New Classes for 5e. Is anything missing?

Is there a good case for additional class for the base experience of 5th edition D&D

  • Yes. Bring on the new classes!

    Votes: 28 19.9%
  • Yes. There are maybe few classes missing in the shared experience of D&D in this edition

    Votes: 40 28.4%
  • Yes, but it's really only one class that is really missing

    Votes: 9 6.4%
  • Depends. Multiclass/Feats/Alternates covers most of it. But new classes needed if banned

    Votes: 3 2.1%
  • Depends. It depends on the mechanical importance at the table

    Votes: 3 2.1%
  • No, but new classes might be needed for specific settings or genres

    Votes: 11 7.8%
  • No, but a few more subclasses might be needed to cover the holes

    Votes: 13 9.2%
  • No, 5th edition covers all of the base experience with its roster of classes.

    Votes: 9 6.4%
  • No. And with some minor adjustments, a few classes could be combined.

    Votes: 23 16.3%
  • Other

    Votes: 2 1.4%

I talked about this in an earlier post. If I were in charge, I'd get rid of those redundant subclasses. We don't need an Eldritch Knight (which barely functions mechanically as a gish), a Bladesinger (super restricted in armor/weapon types), and possibly even an Arcane Trickster if there is a base class for the "Arcane Gish" idea. There is still a design space for the Arcane Gish class in D&D 5e, but there also is too much overlap with subclasses that don't fulfill that niche.
The thing is that there's enough variety between the classes that you propose removing that I don't think that a single hypothetical class can cover them all. It's never existed in any edition (although some Gish-types have) and the balance between spell and sword is so different for the different subclasses that you'd need something very fiddly.

And you say the bladesinger is "super restricted". I'd say that's part of why it works thematically. A sword in one hand and spell in the other is iconic. And that even most sword wielding mages don't wear much armour either because they can't wear it because the armour interferes or simply because they are protected by magic. It's an iconic combination - and if it didn't have to do this most wouldn't.

And @Frozen_Heart I can't agree that the duskblade, that capped at 4th level spells, was anything other than very slightly better than the Eldritch Knight. Meanwhile the swordmage was pretty good - and is an entirely different class and approach from the magus. And a duskblade certainly didn't cover the same sort of gish as the bladesinger.
 

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The thing is that there's enough variety between the classes that you propose removing that I don't think that a single hypothetical class can cover them all. It's never existed in any edition (although some Gish-types have) and the balance between spell and sword is so different for the different subclasses that you'd need something very fiddly.

I don't think anyone really wants to make sure all gish-like options fit into one class, though. Any more than people are arguing that divine soul sorcerers and celestial warlocks should be clerics.

The argument is there's a lot of subclasses, but they all largely fail to do what's being asked for. Someone counted 26 gishy subclasses - I don't think the idiom is "27th time's the charm." It seems that to build a good gish class, you need to build it to be a gish from the ground up. That's why duskblade, swordmage, and magus work, is the theory.
And you say the bladesinger is "super restricted". I'd say that's part of why it works thematically. A sword in one hand and spell in the other is iconic. And that even most sword wielding mages don't wear much armour either because they can't wear it because the armour interferes or simply because they are protected by magic. It's an iconic combination - and if it didn't have to do this most wouldn't.
And it could be a swordmage subclass, or stay a kind of wizard if that works better. (But the opinion I most often hear is it's so restricted on fighting and so open on magic it actually doesn't make sense to use your weapon at all.)
And @Frozen_Heart I can't agree that the duskblade, that capped at 4th level spells, was anything other than very slightly better than the Eldritch Knight. Meanwhile the swordmage was pretty good - and is an entirely different class and approach from the magus. And a duskblade certainly didn't cover the same sort of gish as the bladesinger.
So maybe duskblade stays a rogue subclass or whatever, if that more accurately reflects the concept.
 

Minigiant

Legend
Supporter
Making the Bladesinger a Gish subclass with Swordmage and Duskblade would have been the best option.

My personal crack theory is that the Bladesinger subclass only exists because designing subclasses for Wizard is hard due to its inherent power. So the Bladesinger was used as a cheap and easy lore source for a wizard that doesn't buff its magic.
 

edosan

Explorer
I voted "Other" as in "rebalance all the classes and subclasses first, and then we'll talk."

I liked 5E's original design aesthetic of broad classes with the ability to customize but I think they fell down when it came to making every class and subclass not suck. It got even worse as new subclasses came in. They've gotten close to ten years of data and they need to use that to rebalance the subclasses to make them viable.
 

The argument is there's a lot of subclasses, but they all largely fail to do what's being asked for.
And the counterargument is that for the overwhelming majority of people they don't. On messageboards like ENWorld there are a few people, almost all of whom were playing in the 3.X days asking for a "Gish". I'm more than old enough to remember that back in the 3.X days one of the bigger challenges on the CharOp boards was making an actually good Gish. But to the general D&D playing population and especially those with 5e I don't think that there is a gap here because there are so many different ways it's being covered. And possibly the Eldritch Knight could do with a bit of polishing - but I don't think most players would see it as a lack or the existing subclasses as "largely failing".
 

Levistus's_Leviathan

Autistic DM (he/him)
The thing is that there's enough variety between the classes that you propose removing that I don't think that a single hypothetical class can cover them all. It's never existed in any edition (although some Gish-types have) and the balance between spell and sword is so different for the different subclasses that you'd need something very fiddly.

And you say the bladesinger is "super restricted". I'd say that's part of why it works thematically. A sword in one hand and spell in the other is iconic. And that even most sword wielding mages don't wear much armour either because they can't wear it because the armour interferes or simply because they are protected by magic. It's an iconic combination - and if it didn't have to do this most wouldn't.
I listed three. The Eldritch Knight, the Arcane Trickster, and the Bladesinger.

A single class can easily cover all of those archetypes. If the class were as bland as possible (which I'm not advocating for, I'm just saying that it is possible), they could easily copy the Wizard and have the theme be largely determined by which subclass, and heavily link each subclass to at least one school of magic. There could be a Loki-themed Arcane Trickster subclass for the base class that stabs people with blades that create illusions. There could be an Evocation-themed Eldritch Knight/Duskblade that spell strikes purely using evocation magic. There could be a Conjuration-magic Swordmage that hops around the battlefield using teleportation spells and locks down enemies. There could be a Necromancy-based Death Knight that uses spells like Inflict Wounds, Vampiric Touch, and Enervation to drain the lives of their enemies and heal themselves with that life force. All of these could be a part of the same class, just like the Rune Knight, Psi Warrior, Echo Knight, and Samurai are all a part of the same base class in 5e.

The class doesn't even have to be that bland to fit all of those ideas in it. If it just has the same thematic identity in its core as, say, a Sorcerer (born with magic, warps spellcasting using metamagic, gets more powers based on their source of magic as they get higher level), it can still easily fulfill a vast variety of different playstyles and characters (Divine Soul Sorcerers, Draconic Bloodline, Aberrant Mind, Clockwork Soul, and Shadow Magic are all a part of the same base class).
 
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doctorbadwolf

Heretic of The Seventh Circle
Green Knight or Hedgeknight. Minor magics of protection, growth, animal husbandry, and healing. I’d almost accept the Ancients Paladin, if it didn’t feel a bit too Fey Knight (and Paladin oaths are much too small to fit any robust concept. You’ll always be a XYZ flavored Paladin), and no Ranger feels right.
Probably give it some manner of curse affinity, as well. Equal parts witch, knight, and forest creature. Turn into a Treant or Dryad, maybe.
 


Minigiant

Legend
Supporter
I listed three. The Eldritch Knight, the Arcane Trickster, and the Bladesinger.

A single class can easily cover all of those archetypes. If the class were as bland as possible (which I'm not advocating for, I'm just saying that it is possible), they could easily copy the Wizard and have the theme be largely determined by which subclass, and heavily link each subclass to at least one school of magic. There could be a Loki-themed Arcane Trickster subclass for the base class that stabs people with blades that create illusions. There could be an Evocation-themed Eldritch Knight/Duskblade that spell strikes purely using evocation magic. There could be a Conjuration-magic Swordmage that hops around the battlefield using teleportation spells and locks down enemies. There could be a Necromancy-based Death Knight that uses spells like Inflict Wounds, Vampiric Touch, and Enervation to drain the lives of their enemies and heal themselves with that life force. All of these could be a part of the same class, just like the Rune Knight, Psi Warrior, Echo Knight, and Samurai are all a part of the same base class in 5e.

The class doesn't even have to be that bland to fit all of those ideas in it. If it just has the same thematic identity in its core as, say, a Sorcerer (born with magic, warps spellcasting using metamagic, gets more powers based on their source of magic as they get higher level), it can still easily fulfill a vast variety of different playstyles and characters (Divine Soul Sorcerers, Draconic Bloodline, Aberrant Mind, Clockwork Soul, and Shadow Magic are all a part of the same base class).

The Arcane Trickster to me doesn't fit.

The Archetypes could see for the class (I'd calll it Adept)
  • Arcane Archer/Elf- ranged adept that extends spell range and boosts DCs with bows.
  • Swordmage- light armored teleporting adept with an aegis
  • Deathknight- heavy tanking adept focus on vampiric/ghoulish/mummy strikes.
  • Dragonfire- adept focused on red/gold dragons. Claws, Wings, Scales, Firebreath
  • Duskblade- medium/heavy armored adept with evocation tipped strikes.
 

Frozen_Heart

Adventurer
Yeah arcane trickster should definitely stay under rogue, and not get put as a theoretical swordmage sublass. It's not about blending magic and combat at all. It's about being sneaky and pulling empowered mage hand shenanigans.

I'd put it under artificer before I put it under swordmage. And I wouldn't put it under artificer.
 

Minigiant

Legend
Supporter
Yeah arcane trickster should definitely stay under rogue, and not get put as a theoretical swordmage sublass. It's not about blending magic and combat at all. It's about being sneaky and pulling empowered mage hand shenanigans.

I'd put it under artificer before I put it under swordmage. And I wouldn't put it under artificer.
Yeah I'd keep the arcane tricker and eldritch knights under their current parent classes. They each are there just to give a tiny bit of magic and infuse magic into the class's main gimmick (their and attacking respectively)

The Gish class to me be magic and martial intwinned.

Again my personal idea would be burning spell slots to add riders to attacks. Different weren't subclasses would have bonus riders.

  1. Fire- Fire damage plus AOE Knockback
  2. Ice- Cold Damage plus immobilize then slow
  3. Lightning- Lightning damage plus daze and disarm
  4. Thunder- Thunder damage plus deafened and knockback (Duskblade only)
  5. Acid- Acid damage plus Attack disadvantage (Duskblade only)
  6. Vampiric- Necrotic damage plus HP drain (Duskblade and Death knight only)
  7. Ghoulish- Necrotic damage plus paralyzed (Death knight only)
  8. Poison - High poison damage (Death knight only)
  9. Ghostly- Necrotic Damage plus frightened (death knight)
  10. Dragon breath- Fire Damage AOE cone (dragonfire)
  11. Dragon Fear- Psychic damage plus frightened (dragonfire)
  12. Dragon Wings- Bludgeoning plus launcher into AIRCOMBOOOOOO
gishes should be able to air combo it's the only class that makes sense doing it.
 

Frozen_Heart

Adventurer
Ok aircombo sounds awesome. Also goes with the whole mobility teleporting theme.

It's also something which doesn't really exist as a mechanic.
 

doctorbadwolf

Heretic of The Seventh Circle
Yeah arcane trickster should definitely stay under rogue, and not get put as a theoretical swordmage sublass. It's not about blending magic and combat at all. It's about being sneaky and pulling empowered mage hand shenanigans.

I'd put it under artificer before I put it under swordmage. And I wouldn't put it under artificer.
I’ve often seen ATs used as a gish, especially since SCAG came out. Lots of using magic to get advantage on attacks and lock an enemy down. Recently I saw a Shadowtouched Elf Arcane Knight that was quite lethal.
 

doctorbadwolf

Heretic of The Seventh Circle
Yeah I'd keep the arcane tricker and eldritch knights under their current parent classes. They each are there just to give a tiny bit of magic and infuse magic into the class's main gimmick (their and attacking respectively)

The Gish class to me be magic and martial intwinned.

Again my personal idea would be burning spell slots to add riders to attacks. Different weren't subclasses would have bonus riders.

  1. Fire- Fire damage plus AOE Knockback
  2. Ice- Cold Damage plus immobilize then slow
  3. Lightning- Lightning damage plus daze and disarm
  4. Thunder- Thunder damage plus deafened and knockback (Duskblade only)
  5. Acid- Acid damage plus Attack disadvantage (Duskblade only)
  6. Vampiric- Necrotic damage plus HP drain (Duskblade and Death knight only)
  7. Ghoulish- Necrotic damage plus paralyzed (Death knight only)
  8. Poison - High poison damage (Death knight only)
  9. Ghostly- Necrotic Damage plus frightened (death knight)
  10. Dragon breath- Fire Damage AOE cone (dragonfire)
  11. Dragon Fear- Psychic damage plus frightened (dragonfire)
  12. Dragon Wings- Bludgeoning plus launcher into AIRCOMBOOOOOO
gishes should be able to air combo it's the only class that makes sense doing it.
Yeah one thing I’m working on in iteration of my swordmage is to have each subclass give different upgrades to the basic techniques and the Aether strike feature, as well as making the Aether strike basically like a SCAG cantrip. Basically, you can throw weapons that aren’t normally thrown, or project the force of the blow over a range, or create missiles of magic and shoot them a greater distance than normal. That’s the basic thing, at will.

Then, your subclass gives you, for instance, the ability to spend Aether and make the attacks deal Fire, add fire damage equal to your Aether strike die, and set the target on fire. Spend more, and the target also sheds bright light and grants advantage on attacks until the end of your next turn.
 

delericho

Legend
I'd be inclined to add three classes, to complete the set of "every class from every PHB(1) of previous editions". That would mean promoting the Assassin back to being a class (1st Ed), adding a Warlord class (4e), and adding some sort of Mageblade class (the BECMI Elf 'class').

I'd also remove multiclassing.
 

doctorbadwolf

Heretic of The Seventh Circle
I'd be inclined to add three classes, to complete the set of "every class from every PHB(1) of previous editions". That would mean promoting the Assassin back to being a class (1st Ed), adding a Warlord class (4e), and adding some sort of Mageblade class (the BECMI Elf 'class').

I'd also remove multiclassing.
Removing MC is a bold stroke. I’d be for it if there were more feats that give you a little bit of another class’s thing.
 

Rogerd1

Explorer
In Level Up, ki has been removed and replaced with exertion, which all martials get. Monks--renamed Adepts for them--just get some extra exertion.
I think this is a step in the right direction.

My idea is that all classes can pick from the same pool for abilities, some monks may use exertion /chi while some others may belong to a church and possess a divine power source.

And have 3-4 main classes with specialisations.

So you could have Magic-User as primary, and specialisation as Martial Artist. Their fighting would be secondary, and magic first.

But also the reverse, Martial Artist / Shugenja. While this would be the opposite.
 
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Minigiant

Legend
Supporter
Here's a Question

D&D carves out the explanation for a lot of spellcasters. Are the warrior versions of the other casters missing?


CasterWarrior
BardBardThe Bard is the warrior version of itself
ClericPaladinThe Paladin and Cleric both use divine magic
DruidRangerAlthough not one to one, the Ranger uses nature magic and a lite magic from unknown sources
Sorcerer????What happens when a PCs bloodline, racial traits, or origin doesn't manifest as spellcasting?
Warlock????Can patrons give PCs something other than magic?
WizardGish

If you great great great grandfather was a dragon, why must his bloodline show up in you as pew pew powers?
 

Here's a Question

D&D carves out the explanation for a lot of spellcasters. Are the warrior versions of the other casters missing?


CasterWarrior
BardBardThe Bard is the warrior version of itself
ClericPaladinThe Paladin and Cleric both use divine magic
DruidRangerAlthough not one to one, the Ranger uses nature magic and a lite magic from unknown sources
Sorcerer????What happens when a PCs bloodline, racial traits, or origin doesn't manifest as spellcasting?
Warlock????Can patrons give PCs something other than magic?
WizardGish

If you great great great grandfather was a dragon, why must his bloodline show up in you as pew pew powers?
what is the monk the warrior for?
 

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