5.5E 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: 26 18.7%
  • Yes. There are maybe few classes missing in the shared experience of D&D in this edition

    Votes: 40 28.8%
  • Yes, but it's really only one class that is really missing

    Votes: 9 6.5%
  • Depends. Multiclass/Feats/Alternates covers most of it. But new classes needed if banned

    Votes: 3 2.2%
  • Depends. It depends on the mechanical importance at the table

    Votes: 3 2.2%
  • No, but new classes might be needed for specific settings or genres

    Votes: 11 7.9%
  • No, but a few more subclasses might be needed to cover the holes

    Votes: 13 9.4%
  • No, 5th edition covers all of the base experience with its roster of classes.

    Votes: 9 6.5%
  • No. And with some minor adjustments, a few classes could be combined.

    Votes: 23 16.5%
  • Other

    Votes: 2 1.4%

Frozen_Heart

Adventurer
The only non-setting specific archetype 5E can't currently do using the existing classes is the psion. Psionic subclasses work well enough for a few subtypes, but the core concept of a psion doesn't fit into any of the classes neatly enough. I wouldn't mind a true half-caster warrior-mage, but this is a nit-pick difference between a 1/2 caster and the 1/3 caster eldritch knight.
It's less the difference between a 1/3 and 1/2, and more a load of other abilities which set them apart.

As eldritch knight is tied to the fighter power budget, all the things which set the gishes apart in prior editions have had to be axed, nerfed, or delayed to high level.

Like for example due to being a subclass it has to just use the wizard list, which is awful for martial combat blended with weapons. A single class swordmage would have its own list, full of spells which it can integrate into its weapon strikes. Look at the paladin and ranger lists, and compare them to the cleric and druid lists. The theme is the same, but the spells have a different focus.
 

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Frozen_Heart

Adventurer
Which is the other problem: most suggested classes are "an existing subclass, but it doesn't suck."

Note that the argument against making a new class is rarely if ever "the subclass don't suck." No one really defends Eldritch Knight or says Battlemaster makes a perfect Warlord - they usually just don't see a whole new class as the solution.
Trouble is in 5e, the subclass is quite minor in the power budget next to the main class. So sure you can say eldritch knight or battlemaster isn't that good at replicating the swordmage or warlord.

But it doesn't matter what subclass you come up with, it still needs to be balanced against the main classes power. You can't have something with the support power a warlord should have, because it will also be getting 4 attacks, action surge, and tons of ASI increases.
 

Minigiant

Legend
Supporter
It's less the difference between a 1/3 and 1/2, and more a load of other abilities which set them apart.

As eldritch knight is tied to the fighter power budget, all the things which set the gishes apart in prior editions have had to be axed, nerfed, or delayed to high level.

Like for example due to being a subclass it has to just use the wizard list, which is awful for martial combat blended with weapons. A single class swordmage would have its own list, full of spells which it can integrate into its weapon strikes. Look at the paladin and ranger lists, and compare them to the cleric and druid lists. The theme is the same, but the spells have a different focus.
The big one is
No designer or DM designs spells for subclasses.

If ranger and paladin were subclasses, there'd be no hunter's mark, lightning arrow, beast sense, find steed, or any of the smite spells.
 



I still really thinkk D&D is missing a Super Soldier class. The Warrior version of the Warlock where you pick up minor powers and focus on classic super powers.

Mythology, Religion, Comics, Literature, TV, and Movies are filled with heroes with super powers

Hercules, Achilles, Odysseus, Atalanta, Jason, Perseus, Samson, Gigamesh, Enkidu, DC Metas, Marvel Mutants, Captian Amerian and all his wannabes, Warhammer's Chaos knight, Grail Knights, and Spess Mahreens, almost every super soldiers, seft mad scientist creations, and almost all people "Blessed by the Gods"
that witcher guy would also count as he is augmented to be super.
 

The idea of smite - using spell slots to supply damage - is so Gish that's almost criminal that it's part of the Paladin and not a Swordmage.
I'm talking the spells rather than the feature.
But having a spell mimic that feature (kinda like Hex and Hunter's Mark) for Bladesinger and Eldritch Knight makes sense
 

Frozen_Heart

Adventurer
The idea of smite - using spell slots to supply damage - is so Gish that's almost criminal that it's part of the Paladin and not a Swordmage.
Thing is it suits both classes a lot.

So there is an argument that there is too much overlap for them to both be classes.

But then that opens up the argument that in that case the class should have been designed to be able to satisfy both the divine and arcane gish characters, rather than being super thematically and mechanically focused on the divine theme.

Though the arcane gish was never about damage and only damage from their magic attacks. There were tons of other possible effects.
 

Thing is it suits both classes a lot.

So there is an argument that there is too much overlap for them to both be classes.

But then that opens up the argument that in that case the class should have been designed to be able to satisfy both the divine and arcane gish characters, rather than being super thematically and mechanically focused on the divine theme.

Though the arcane gish was never about damage and only damage from their magic attacks. There were tons of other possible effects.
would it perhaps benefit from getting a power that leans into the alternatives?
 

The two classes I would like to see added are Warlord and Summoner. The former because it would be an olive branch to 4e fans, the latter because I just like summoning, but am aware that a summoning-specialized subclass is almost always going to either be underpowered (e.g. Pact of the Chain) or stupidly broken (thankfully no extant examples in 5e AIUI). A dedicated class allows the power of summoning to be a core thematic and gameplay focus without falling into either the Beast Master Ranger or PF "ALL the summoned minions" Master Summoner holes.

These are, not so coincidentally, the classes I've taken at least a partial swing at developing for 5e. My summoner remains woefully incomplete and the warlord has never left the "high concept" stage, but I have spent time thinking about it.
 

Frozen_Heart

Adventurer
The two classes I would like to see added are Warlord and Summoner. The former because it would be an olive branch to 4e fans, the latter because I just like summoning, but am aware that a summoning-specialized subclass is almost always going to either be underpowered (e.g. Pact of the Chain) or stupidly broken (thankfully no extant examples in 5e AIUI). A dedicated class allows the power of summoning to be a core thematic and gameplay focus without falling into either the Beast Master Ranger or PF "ALL the summoned minions" Master Summoner holes.

These are, not so coincidentally, the classes I've taken at least a partial swing at developing for 5e. My summoner remains woefully incomplete and the warlord has never left the "high concept" stage, but I have spent time thinking about it.
Pathfinder 2e has a good summoner design. It's more of a focus on a single summon which is improved over time. Almost like a dedicated pet class.
 

Rogerd1

Explorer
Why not have-
1. Fighter
2. Ranger
3. Rogue
4. Magic-User

Then the first three could have sub-classes split into: Archetypes, or Powered. These latter ones have access to magic in some form.

Now the fourth class type, Magic-User, could be further subdivided, into-

Magic
  • Arcane
  • Bloodlines
  • Chi
  • Gifted:
  • Innate
  • Pact
  • Superpowers / Metas.
 

In regard to the Swordmage, there is, technically, a 5E Swordmage. However, the issue is......


And yes: I know that's not the answer to the lack of a Swordmage. It just happens that this pretty much jacked the Swordmage's most defining trait, the Aegis, and suddenly changed the identity of the whole class from Swordmage to an Earth Bender knock-off trying to pretend to be a Swordmage.
 

AcererakTriple6

Autistic DM (he/him)
I want more classes. Not a ton more, but at least a few. An official Blood Hunter (rebalanced to be less MAD), a Warlord, an Arcane Gish class, a Psion, maybe an Oracle or Occultist/Witch class, too. Ideally, there would be 20 classes so you could easily roll to randomly decide a PC/NPC's class (D&D is a d20 system that has 20 levels, so 20 classes would also be nice), but that's not necessary.
 
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Thing is it suits both classes a lot.

So there is an argument that there is too much overlap for them to both be classes.

But then that opens up the argument that in that case the class should have been designed to be able to satisfy both the divine and arcane gish characters, rather than being super thematically and mechanically focused on the divine theme.

Though the arcane gish was never about damage and only damage from their magic attacks. There were tons of other possible effects.
Perhaps the Swordmage should flip it around then: using your attacks to cast spells, rather than using your spells to perform attacks.

You could potentially do something like Spell Combat, where with each attack you make, you add an extra "rune word" or "arcane sigil" or whatever. High-level swordmage spells require three or even four runes, while low-level ones only require a single rune. You can empower a certain number of attacks with runes per long rest (possibly with a once-a-day boost from taking a short rest, like the Wizard's Arcane Recovery). Early on, you have few runes and few attacks, so you tend to use only a small handful of spells; perhaps to liven things up, if your offhand is empty or only carrying a spellcasting focus such as a wand, you can take a bonus action to make an attack that deals lower damage (perhaps PB damage?) but counts for stringing runes together, so that you have a better chance of getting out your two- or three-rune spells.

If order matters, and especially if you must declare your runes before you roll, it becomes a very high-complexity and yet still attack-focused class. If order doesn't matter, especially if you declare your runes only for successful attacks (the way Smites work), it becomes a lot more fluid, somewhat more resembling a Sorcerer than a Wizard, and having fewer total spells but much greater flexibility in what they can use at any given time. Alternatively, perhaps multiple spells correspond to the same sequences of runes, so you have a choice as to what you cast--small spell list but most of it is regularly accessible kind of thing.

Pathfinder 2e has a good summoner design. It's more of a focus on a single summon which is improved over time. Almost like a dedicated pet class.
That's the core of my own summoner design as well. I even found an actual name that truly fits the concept and isn't just a word-salad invention: "Visitant," literally a word for a supernatural being believed to have crossed over from some spiritual plane. My summoner studies the secret, recondite constellations to draw power out of distant and esoteric planes. Visitants are residents of these distant planes that wish to visit the mortal world--whether out of curiosity, hunger, ambition, or desire to help. They tend to have blue-and-orange morality, even the friendly ones, so dealing with them is a complex affair.

I haven't written up the summoner spell list, but my intent would be to have the bulk of the spells that summon creatures or create entities to perform tasks, to emphasize that fluff of working through proxies. The three subclasses--Astral Signs, the "hidden constellations through which you channel the magic of the cosmos"--that I decided on were the Muses (support-heavy, likely gaining access to healing magic not available to other summoners), the Chimaera (merging with your Visitant to make one more-powerful being instead of two separate beings), and the Protean (more about skill, adaptation, and foresight/divination; ultra-flexible Visitant).
 

AcererakTriple6

Autistic DM (he/him)
Perhaps the Swordmage should flip it around then: using your attacks to cast spells, rather than using your spells to perform attacks.
This is actually exactly how I did it in my Homebrew Arcane Gish class (which I named the "Arcknight"). You can cast a spell, but choose to "Spell Strike" it in order to store it in a weapon you're wielding and delay the spell's effects until you hit with that weapon (with restrictions on how long the spell stays in the weapon, requiring concentration, a full action to store the spell until higher levels, etc). You can do it with spells like Levitate, Hold Person, Fireball, Scorching Ray, and Banishment, but not for spells that would buff them.
 

vincegetorix

Jewel of the North
I think by salvaging the discarded Prismari Mage features, the ones from Quandrix mage, the ones from the Stone Sorcerer and a few from the Mystic, we can manage a pretty decent spell blade, whether on a full class or subclass.

This is the fun part about creating player options: just by mix-matching features that did make the cut in UA, you can create pretty decent stuff.
 

Asisreo

Patron Badass
Pathfinder 2e has a good summoner design. It's more of a focus on a single summon which is improved over time. Almost like a dedicated pet class.
It's funny because that's exactly how I perceive "Beastmaster" for 5e. A summon/commander class that splits their strength with an NPC.

Whether you think they did it well is up to personal opinion, but if a player wanted me to homebrew a true summoner character, I'd absolutely use beastmaster as a base.
 

Frozen_Heart

Adventurer
It's funny because that's exactly how I perceive "Beastmaster" for 5e. A summon/commander class that splits their strength with an NPC.

Whether you think they did it well is up to personal opinion, but if a player wanted me to homebrew a true summoner character, I'd absolutely use beastmaster as a base.
I mean yeah I agree. That's exactly what the Beastmaster is in 5e.

It's also a very clear demonstration that a subclass cannot fill a concept in a manner as unique or interesting as a full class, simply because it has to balance its power budget against that of the main class.

The Pathfinder 2e summoner lets you select what creature type and abilities it has, and then develop them from there. It's not just a beast, you could select a celestial, a construct, a demon, a dragon, or tons of other options each with their own quirks and abilities. (this is permanently selected at the start, like a subclass).

From there you can upgrade it, allowing it to fly, become large enough to ride, use ranged attacks, actually merge your character into it, and lots of other traits.

Meanwhile in 5e you're just a ranger who can tell their beast to bite occasionally.
 

Frozen_Heart

Adventurer
Perhaps the Swordmage should flip it around then: using your attacks to cast spells, rather than using your spells to perform attacks.

You could potentially do something like Spell Combat, where with each attack you make, you add an extra "rune word" or "arcane sigil" or whatever. High-level swordmage spells require three or even four runes, while low-level ones only require a single rune. You can empower a certain number of attacks with runes per long rest (possibly with a once-a-day boost from taking a short rest, like the Wizard's Arcane Recovery). Early on, you have few runes and few attacks, so you tend to use only a small handful of spells; perhaps to liven things up, if your offhand is empty or only carrying a spellcasting focus such as a wand, you can take a bonus action to make an attack that deals lower damage (perhaps PB damage?) but counts for stringing runes together, so that you have a better chance of getting out your two- or three-rune spells.

If order matters, and especially if you must declare your runes before you roll, it becomes a very high-complexity and yet still attack-focused class. If order doesn't matter, especially if you declare your runes only for successful attacks (the way Smites work), it becomes a lot more fluid, somewhat more resembling a Sorcerer than a Wizard, and having fewer total spells but much greater flexibility in what they can use at any given time. Alternatively, perhaps multiple spells correspond to the same sequences of runes, so you have a choice as to what you cast--small spell list but most of it is regularly accessible kind of thing.
I really like this. It still holds true to the swordmage identity established by other editions, but switches it up and gives it a 'signature mechanic' separate from that of the Paladin.

What's also cool is that it wouldn't get in the way of the other established mechanics of a swordmage, like teleports and aegis. In fact both could even link into the rune system.
 

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