[poll] Which classes should be core

Choose 6 core classes

  • artificer

    Votes: 10 9.9%
  • barbarian

    Votes: 13 12.9%
  • bard

    Votes: 35 34.7%
  • cleric

    Votes: 91 90.1%
  • druid

    Votes: 22 21.8%
  • fighter

    Votes: 92 91.1%
  • monk

    Votes: 20 19.8%
  • mystic/psionic

    Votes: 15 14.9%
  • paladin

    Votes: 34 33.7%
  • ranger

    Votes: 31 30.7%
  • rogue

    Votes: 90 89.1%
  • sorcerer

    Votes: 7 6.9%
  • warlord

    Votes: 8 7.9%
  • warlock

    Votes: 16 15.8%
  • wizard

    Votes: 94 93.1%

  • Total voters


Prompted from the ranger thread, where it once again entered the discussion about how many of the D&D classes can be redundant with the way skills and feats work. So I figured I'd start a poll.

If you had 6 choices (you do in this poll), what would be the six classes you consider core above the others from the 15 options provided?


I have a feeling the core 4 (fighter, cleric, rogue, wizard) will lead the votes, but I'm curious to see how people choose the other 2 options. For me, I chose monk and warlock. Which surprised me, because druid is one of my favorite classes. However, I felt that it was easier to encompass the druid as a nature cleric, than it would be to capture the monk or warlock archetypes.


Polymorphed Self
Nailing it down to six choices had a pretty big influence on my vote, actually. Beyond the "core four" (fighter, rogue, cleric, wizard), I would include, in a game with eight classes: barbarian, bard, druid, warlock (thinking: 5e's neo-vancian casting obsoletes the sorcerer's niche, rangers never had one to begin with, the paladin's niche is tough to justify in a game with easy multiclassing, and monks always seemed out of place).

But I don't know that I could justify only choosing two out of those four. As such, since I only had two classes to add, I went with the ones that expand the idea of "core" beyond the fight/skill/divine/arcane dynamic: psion and artificer.


You young whippersnappers don't understand the concept of core classes. Back in my day, we walked to school uphill both ways in the snow with no shoes on, and we only had 3 core classes (fighting-man, magic-user, and cleric), and we were HAPPY to have them!

Now get off my lawn!!!!


I'm sorry, Dave. I'm afraid I can't do that.
You young whippersnappers don't understand core classes. Back in my day, we walked to school uphill both ways in the snow with no shoes on and had only 3 classes (the Fighting Man, the Cleric, and the Wizard), and we were HAPPY to have them!

Now get off my lawn!!!!

Clerics are for posers and hipsters.

You take your Cleric, and Sir Fang, and get yourself and your beard and your fancy coffee and apple computer and artisanal pencils back to Park Slope.

We rock it Chainmail-style here.


C4 + Paladin and Ranger.

The things we always hear are that there is "too much magic" in D&D, which means the core should have more martial ability available than full-on magic. P&R are half-casters, so they are the good middle ground between the F/R and C/W and are a much better choice than full caster druids, bards, warlocks etc.

Now yes you could go the other way and take Barbarian and Monk if you really wanted more martial than caster... but P/R gives you other things than B/M doesn't. One, the Paladins use Charisma, which would be the only class to do so. Two, Rangers give a wider variance of fighting style choices than Barbs do-- Barbs are STR-based great weapon fighters and that's it. Three, Rangers have more of a sociological place as a known adventuring identity in most setting worlds than the Monk does. If you are going out into the wilderness to adventure, what type of character is more likely to do so? The scout and hunter dressed in leathers with the bow and arrow, or some weird ascetic dude wearing robes that goes around kicking things? One seems like a "core" archetype of D&D adventuring, the other does not.

However... I also think 6 choices is indeed too much if you are trying to make some sort of "core" experience. "Core" D&D should either be the four standards, or the full normal Player Handbook suite of 12 (although honestly I'd probably ditch the Sorcerer myself since we already two other CHA-based casters and metamagic would be better served as usuable for the four full casters-- Cleric, Wizard, Bard & Druid, but that's just me.)
Six choices? What is this, the cereal section of the supermarket?

Four choices is probably two choices too many.
You can vote for fewer. If we're talking redundancy, certainly and option.


One martial.
One Arcane.
One Divine.
One Psionic.
Maybe, one Nature (if you consider it separate from divine).

Gladius Legis

I voted Fighter, Rogue, Cleric, Wizard, Paladin, Bard.

If I could, I'd just vote for all 12 classes in the 5e handbook. Excluding just one of those classes makes the game not D&D as far as I'm concerned.


Poll is flawed.

I need nine core classes.


It forces the viewpoint that paladin and/or ranger should be fighter subclasses, which I do not ascribe to.

Neither should druid be a cleric subclass.

All IMHO of course.
I have a feeling the core 4 (fighter, cleric, rogue, wizard) will lead the votes, but I'm curious to see how people choose the other 2 options...
I have to expect them to rank in approximate order of introduction:

Fighter (Chainmail, 1971, as "Hero")
Wizard (chainmail, 1971)
Cleric (0e D&D, 1974)
Rogue (Greyhawk supplement I, 1975, as "Thief")
Paladin (Greyhawk supplement I, 1975)
Monk (Blackmoor, supplement II, 1975)
Ranger (The Strategic Review volume 1, number 2, 1975)
Bard (The Strategic Review Volume 2, Number 1, 1976)
Druid (Eldritch Wizardry, supplement III, 1976)
Mystic/Psion (Eldritch Wizardry, supplement III, 1976, though technically "psionics" were not a class, they occupied no small part of the book).
Barbarian (Dragon #63, July 1982)
Artificer (Player's Option: Spells & Magic 1996)
Sorcerer (3.0 PH1, 2000)
Warlock (3.5 Complete Arcane, 2004)
Warlord (4e PH1, 2008)
Last edited:


I went with the core four plus barbarian and bard. That gives three martials and three casters, where the casters each have different casting stats (and therefore a natural coverage of the corresponding skills) and are closely associated with those stats. The casters also span arcane, divine, and whatever the bard is.

Among the martials you have one with a DEX focus and a signature ability to avoid getting attacked, one with (prototypically, anyway, I recognize DEX fighters are a thing) a STR focus and heavy armor to avoid getting hit, and one whose signature is being able to take hits (and who, correspondingly, has a feature keyed off of CON). The three martials also have different offensive styles (the cerebral sneak attack, training-oriented fighting styles, and raw power).

You also get two classes with each ST proficiency.

(much of this is 5e based, obvs)


I went with the classic four + monk. Everything else would either fit better as a classic class with an appropriate background, or is completely unnecessary.

If I was forced to pick six, then I could add ranger, but only if the fighter was limited to being a melee class so that ranger could be the ranged class.
I went with the core four, as pretty much everybody else did. For the final two, I chose Bard and Artificer. Bard because depending on build they can fill in for any of the core four, and the Artificer because their niche falls outside of what the core four can do. The other classes I felt were redundant with one of the core four but didn't have the versatility to potentially fill in for all of them.