D&D 5E NPCs/Monsters being able to use PC classes.

1of3

Explorer
The farther away we can get from the idea that there is some difference in some in-game mechanics because of who is controlling the character in the real world, the better.

True. And one might argue: The more we embrace this idea that rules show the narrative function of the character, the better.
 

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am181d

Adventurer
From a practical standpoint, NPCs built as PCs will have distinct mechanical advantages over PCs because of daily resources, but there's nothing to say that a fight between a single PC and NPCS of the same level needs to be even.

The toolbox to create NPCs with class levels will come with the game. Guidelines for use could come in a module or a Dragon Magazine article or a particularly productive Enworld article.
 

howandwhy99

Adventurer
There are elves who are grand wizards, not just elves without classes in the Monster Manual. They tend to rule by knowledge. Dwarves have many NPC crafter classes and tend to work together as a crafting community. Hobgoblins, Orcs, Bugbears, and plenty of other races have corporals, serjeants and chiefs with Fighter class levels. They rule by force. Many primitive races like orcs and goblins, but also lizardfolk and cavemen have NPC classed shamans or witches as tribal advisers. And human monsters have all sorts of classes both PC and NPC, from the lowly linkboy to the high powered fighters, wizards, and clerics.

The issue isn't whether or not monsters will have classes (the PCs are monsters and have classes!), but how easily will DMs be able to create or generate monsters and monsters with classes.
 

Paraxis

Explorer
The npc's of the world don't need a full character build, just a couple powers to use in the fight.

It doesn't matter if the elf wizard has knock or detect magic, only if he has charm person and fireball.

So give him a charm person power that might work completely different than the normal spell written up in his stat block along with a fireball power that may or may not follow the normal rules for fireball.
The elf wizard npc might be someone who is supposed to be a huge challenge all by himself to the party so maybe he acts twice a round, and has 8 times the hit points of the party fighter. I don't need to know what his proficiencies are or how he gets his AC of 18 he just has it, maybe its a mage armor like spell, maybe he can cast in plate, maybe something the PC's could never have.

The point is NPC serve a role of challenging the party, they should be built with those guidelines not the same rules as player characters.

As a DM I hope I never have to pick up a player's handbook to reference any monster/npc ability it should all be int the stat bloc and work on it's own rules.
 

Morrus

Well, that was fun
Staff member
The farther away we can get from the idea that there is some difference in some in-game mechanics because of who is controlling the character in the real world, the better.

The closer we get to the acknowledgement that the GM and a given player have different workloads and needed breadth of expertise, the better. :)

I can't possibly hope to run a dozens of newly created NPCs to even a fraction of the optimal way one of my players can run the single character he's been playing for two years. Some people may be able to, but that's not a superpower I possess!
 

Storminator

First Post
The closer we get to the acknowledgement that the GM and a given player have different workloads and needed breadth of expertise, the better. :)

I can't possibly hope to run a dozens of newly created NPCs to even a fraction of the optimal way one of my players can run the single character he's been playing for two years. Some people may be able to, but that's not a superpower I possess!

There are a lot of other differences, but these are the most serious. PCs usually have a whole set of "just in case" abilities - some PCs are built entirely around this idea - that 90% of NPCs don't need. And when an NPC needs one of those abilities, a DM can just add it in without the inherent audit trail that PC levels implies.

PS
 

Kinak

First Post
I don't particularly care if it's an option. I mean, I doesn't seem like it would be hard to houserule even with the current material.

But, if published monsters are as complex as PCs, that zeroes out my interest in 5th Edition.

My group likes tactically challenging combats. So I have four (well, at least three) players around the table who are fully engaged with their PCs in a tactical sense.

As such, I can't really get behind the idea that, to run a combat, I have to be able to pick up a set of new PCs and run them. I'm not smarter than all of my players put together and I'm certainly not so much smarter that I could run multiple characters that I'm not familiar with at a reasonable speed.

From the DM side, I feel like simple monsters are really their best chance to distinguish themselves from Pathfinder. But maybe that's not their goal, I can't really say.

Cheers!
Kinak
 

zoroaster100

First Post
As a DM, I want monsters that simulate the standard version of the monster with a PC class, but I absolutely don't want this simulated with rules for tacking on PC levels. On the contrary, the further we get from that way of doing things the better. I want simple easy to use monsters designed as monsters. Monsters that only last a few rounds in a fight don't need a ton of daily and utility powers. They need at-will powers and a few encounter powers. Maybe a few ritual/daily type powers for the big villains that challenge the players outside of combat as well. I want my monsters designed as monsters and not frankensteins of monster rules mashed with player rules.
 

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