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[poll] Which classes should be core

Choose 6 core classes

  • artificer

    Votes: 10 10.2%
  • barbarian

    Votes: 13 13.3%
  • bard

    Votes: 32 32.7%
  • cleric

    Votes: 88 89.8%
  • druid

    Votes: 21 21.4%
  • fighter

    Votes: 89 90.8%
  • monk

    Votes: 20 20.4%
  • mystic/psionic

    Votes: 15 15.3%
  • paladin

    Votes: 34 34.7%
  • ranger

    Votes: 30 30.6%
  • rogue

    Votes: 87 88.8%
  • sorcerer

    Votes: 6 6.1%
  • warlord

    Votes: 8 8.2%
  • warlock

    Votes: 16 16.3%
  • wizard

    Votes: 91 92.9%

  • Total voters
    98

Sacrosanct

Slayer of Keraptis
Thematically, almost every class are variations on the Core 4. Barbarian, Monk, and Warlord are all types of Fighters. Druids are Nature Clerics. Sorcerers and Warlocks are variants on the Wizard (the original magic user). Bards, Paladins, and Rangers are variants of Rogue/Wizard, Fighter/Cleric, and Fighter/Rogue/Cleric. Pretty much only the Artificer and Mystic are actual new themes, and even those are tenuous (not to mention neither is really appropriate for all campaign worlds).
I don’t think monks are a variant of fighters. They are completely different. What makes a fighter a fighter? The ability to wear armor and use all weapons. Things monks can’t really do. I think monks are unique as much as any other class is.
 

Jer

Explorer
I don’t think monks are a variant of fighters. They are completely different. What makes a fighter a fighter? The ability to wear armor and use all weapons. Things monks can’t really do. I think monks are unique as much as any other class is.
Personally I think collapsing classes down is folly - but if you're starting down the path of "all classes are just subclasses of some core idea" then the monk could be viewed as a warrior who wears no armor and fights unarmed, a rogue is a warrior who wears light armor and uses sneaky tactics, a ranger is a warrior who wears light armor and focuses on ranged attacks and/or two weapon fighting and gets some nature spells, a barbarian is a warrior who wears light armor and gets a magic rage ability and a paladin is a warrior who gets to wear heavy armor and cast cleric spells. Under this perspective the traditional fighter is a warrior who wears heavy armor and is proficient in all weapons - the core idea of "warrior" crosses all of these classes, and creating a new class is just a matter of swapping some abilities for others. So all of these classes could be realized as subclasses of this overarching "warrior" class - it just takes sitting down with the mechanics and hammering them into shape to make it work.

I personally think that down this path lies madness. Take it to extremes and you end up with some kind of D&D inspired version of GURPS or Champions. But take it in moderation and there's always going to be one more set of classes you can collapse together and suddenly my joke about only having one class named "Adventurer" and everything else is a subclass of it starts to sound like a workable approach.
 

Saelorn

Explorer
I don’t think monks are a variant of fighters. They are completely different. What makes a fighter a fighter? The ability to wear armor and use all weapons. Things monks can’t really do. I think monks are unique as much as any other class is.
Is it that monks can't use weapons or armor? Or that they don't? IIRC, the original fighting monks were trained by soldiers who had converted; and even 5E allows a monk to use weapons as proficiently as they fight unarmed.

There's no reason why you couldn't have monk as a sub-class of fighter, as long they had a sub-class ability which gave them a good reason to eschew heavy armor. The main gimmick of both concepts is that you're strong, and you're tough, and you hit dudes in melee combat.
 
I voted only the core four. In fact, you only need two classes: one with spellcasting and one without it, and everything else could be done using multiclass and subclasses. I don't believe that would be an improvement of the game, though. Quite the opposite, in fact.
 

Sacrosanct

Slayer of Keraptis
Is it that monks can't use weapons or armor? Or that they don't? IIRC, the original fighting monks were trained by soldiers who had converted; and even 5E allows a monk to use weapons as proficiently as they fight unarmed.

There's no reason why you couldn't have monk as a sub-class of fighter, as long they had a sub-class ability which gave them a good reason to eschew heavy armor. The main gimmick of both concepts is that you're strong, and you're tough, and you hit dudes in melee combat.
For all that is holy, please don’t start the can’t vs don’t argument. There is a whole Druid thread about that, and I’m still suffering the SAN loss ;)
 

Tony Vargas

Adventurer
Thematically, almost every class are variations on the Core 4. Barbarian, Monk, and Warlord are all types of Fighters. Druids are Nature Clerics. Sorcerers and Warlocks are variants on the Wizard (the original magic user). Bards, Paladins, and Rangers are variants of Rogue/Wizard, Fighter/Cleric, and Fighter/Rogue/Cleric. Pretty much only the Artificer and Mystic are actual new themes, and even those are tenuous (not to mention neither is really appropriate for all campaign worlds).
Or, to dice it differently: The Barbarian, Fighter, Monk, Rogue & Warlord are all Warrior classes. The Cleric, Paladin, Druid, and Ranger are all Religious classes. The Wizard, Warlock, Sorcerer and Artificer are all Magic-using classes.
And, of course, the Psion is a science-fiction class.


I don’t think monks are a variant of fighters. They are completely different. What makes a fighter a fighter?
Martial skill, in his case, proficiency (and beyond) with weapons, shields, & armor - mostly, arms & armor of a certain place & time.

What makes a Monk a Monk? Illuminating manuscripts, praying multiple times a day, vows of celibacy and poverty... Oh, no, wait, wrong Monk, that'd be a Monk from the same place & time as the Fighter's armor & weapons, sorry.
I meant: Martial skill, in his case, proficiency in a tight group of weapons not proscribed for common people in a certain time & place, and a fighting style employing those weapons and various unarmed techniques often referred to as "Martial Arts."
 
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doctorbadwolf

Explorer
Bard, Druid, Monk, Paladin, Ranger, Warlock.

Of the core 4, in an 8 class game, I’d only add the Rogue. The other would be the Warlord.

IMO the Fighter isn’t a concept literally at all. Cleric is a Paladin with a Priest background. Wizard is a Tome Warlock or elementalist Druid. The fighter doesn’t even have that sort of cache, AFAIC. It exists entirely by tradition.

The only way Id include a fighter in a class limited game is if there are only the Warrior, Sorcerer (my preference for a generic name for a magic user), and Expert.
 

Hriston

Explorer
Core 4 + monk. I cast my extra vote for bard, but it could have gone to psionicist or druid (or artificer if it had been listed as alchemist instead).
 

doctorbadwolf

Explorer
Or, to dice it differently: The Barbarian, Fighter, Monk, Rogue & Warlord are all Warrior classes. The Cleric, Paladin, Druid, and Ranger are all Religious classes. The Wizard, Warlock, Sorcerer and Artificer are all Magic-using classes.
And, of course, the Psion is a science-fiction class.


Martial skill, in his case, proficiency (and beyond) with weapons, shields, & armor - mostly, arms & armor of a certain place & time.

What makes a Monk a Monk? Illuminating manuscripts, praying multiple times a day, vows of celibacy and poverty... Oh, no, wait, wrong Monk, that'd be a Monk from the same place & time as the Fighter's armor & weapons, sorry.
I meant: Martial skill, in his case, proficiency in a tight group of weapons not proscribed for common people in a certain time & place, and a fighting style employing those weapons and various unarmed techniques often referred to as "Martial Arts."
The fighter doesn’t exist, and the monk is an esoteric mystic warrior.
 

Yaarel

Explorer
You can vote for fewer. If we're talking redundancy, certainly and option.

Maybe:

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

Matter (Elemental)
Life (Primal)
Mind (Psionic)
Force (Universal)
 

Arilyn

Explorer
Personally, I believe that a class based system like D&D, should have, you know, classes. I don't get the reasoning behind paring them all down to just three or four. Sure, I can build a fighter, give him some outdoorsy skills, and call him a ranger, but he's not going to have cool ranger abilities. Class based games give us a menu system with features created by the designers. This puts some limits on my imagination, therefore, the more choices I have, the more likely I will be able to create a unique character, or one closer to what I'm picturing. It opens up the game to more possibilities. It's easier to play with time periods, moods or other genres. As a GM, it's far easier to cut down on unwanted classes, because they don't fit the campaign, than to have to create new ones to fill up a "weird west" genre, for example. If your game suits a more down to earth feel, then you can remove the gunslingers, psychics, alchemists and puppeteers. But they are there for when games are more free wheeling, or have a specific feel.

On top of all this, D&D is kind of a crazy mash up of oddball rules, an ecology that makes no sense, with monsters everywhere and a strangely democratic medieval setting, where peasants are free to wander away from their responsibilities to become adventurers. Rangers that are more than skilled outdoorsy fighters, monks, New Age druids, dragonborn paladins, halfling barbarians, artificers, half-elf investigators...sure, why not?
 

dnd4vr

Explorer
I am sure someone mentioned this but I don't have time to read through the thread:

So, big surprise, there aren't 6 core classes, there are 4. And really, there are 2 IMO but anyway... there it is. :)
 

Blue

Orcus on a bad day
You can vote for fewer. If we're talking redundancy, certainly and option.

Maybe:

One martial.
One Arcane.
One Divine.
One Psionic.
Maybe, one Nature (if you consider it separate from divine).
I did 3 martial - none of them the (boring) fighter. Each has it's own niche and specialty. And then others.

I think that the fighter should be the default, and that one martial enough variation to balance multiple casters types, are both traps.
 

Tony Vargas

Adventurer
Sure, I can build a fighter, give him some outdoorsy skills, and call him a ranger, but he's not going to have cool ranger abilities.
Well, yeah, he's a fighter, and can't have nice things.

. As a GM, it's far easier to cut down on unwanted classes, because they don't fit the campaign, than to have to create new ones
As much as I like the theoretical elegance of a D&D with few classes - and the actual elegance of classless systems - I have to acknowledge that point.
Even as an inveterate rules-tinkerer, even at the height of my hubris, I rarely designed whole classes from scratch. It can be quite the undertaking.

Whereas, as long as you're not using MCing, and don't cut the last practical support class, trimming unwanted classes is pretty eaay.
 

Arilyn

Explorer
Well, yeah, he's a fighter, and can't have nice things.

As much as I like the theoretical elegance of a D&D with few classes - and the actual elegance of classless systems - I have to acknowledge that point.
Even as an inveterate rules-tinkerer, even at the height of my hubris, I rarely designed whole classes from scratch. It can be quite the undertaking.

Whereas, as long as you're not using MCing, and don't cut the last practical support class, trimming unwanted classes is pretty eaay.
Fighters get lots of nice things, but rangers want their own ranger nice things.😊

I like classless systems too. They actually make more sense, but if you have a class system, then there should be a wide choice, to counter the necessary restrictions which come with classes.
 

doctorbadwolf

Explorer
Fighters get lots of nice things, but rangers want their own ranger nice things.

I like classless systems too. They actually make more sense, but if you have a class system, then there should be a wide choice, to counter the necessary restrictions which come with classes.
Exactly. If you’re making a game where character advancement is on rails, at least give me many rails to choose from.
 

Ratskinner

Adventurer
I only voted for the old-timey 4. I think a lot of the subclasses in 5e are pretty weak WRT differentiation and justification. If you're going to have a game where each class takes multiple pages and are this complicated, then I would go with:

Fighter: Barbarian*, Paladin, Ranger, Warrior (maneuvers and specialization), Eldritch Knight, maybe Warlord*.
Magic-User: Wizard, Cleric*, Psionicist, Warlock, Sorcerer. Specialists*, Druid* (shapeshifter)
Rogue: Thief, Scout, Swashbuckler (a little more fight-y), Arcane Trickster, Assassin*

Each major class would feature one special mechanic. (Magic Users use spells, Rogues key off of skills, and Fighters can have battle dice or maneuver dice or something.)
For example, all fighters would gain maneuver dice as they advance, but the subclasses would change or provide the method that you use them:
Barbarians can use them to power rages,
Paladins and Rangers would have special suites of abilities to spend them on.
Warrriors get more and have a wide selection of maneuvers
Eldritch Knights can spend them to a) activate a small list of magical abilities or b) cast spells. (dunno which I prefer.)

* subclasses that I'm not sure warrant it. Possibly could be wrapped into a feat, spell suites, background, or other "rider" mechanic.
Barbarian: could rages be a maneuver? I think probably.
Warlord: ditto most Warlord things (except see the next one)
Cleric: So...he's a wizard who can heal and wear armor...crazy thought. Take healing out of class magic and make it a feat so that any party or anyone could be "the healer". Then a cleric is just an armored wizard...so reduce his spell set.
Specialists: feats, or even better...make the specialist feats work for anyone, like Healer.
Druid: Shapeshifting could just be a suite of spells...
Assassin: I could see reducing it to a feat or two....

On the other hand, if D&D were to re-simplify to the point where you could give each class a reasonable single-page character sheet again...like Blades in the Dark or any number of other games, then I say go nuts.
 

Paul Smart

Registered User
This is an interesting intellectual exercise. I was originally going to go for the core 4, but after thinking about it went with the following:

Warrior - The martial class. Uses weapons and armour.
Subclasses: Soldier, Barbarian, Ranger

Mage - The magic class. Uses Arcane Magic.
Subclasses: Wizard, Warlock, Sorcerer, Bard

Cleric - The faith class. Uses Divine magic.
Subclasses: Druid, Priest

Artificer - The technology class. Uses tools
Subclasses: Rogue, Alchemist, Engineer

Mystic / Psionic - The mind magic class. Uses internal power
Subclass: Monk, Psion, Psy Warrior

Leader - The leader class. Uses skill and knowledge
Subclasses: Officer, Sergeant, Warlord

I would add a 7th class

Gish - The magic warrior class. Combines magic and martial might
Subclasses: Eldritch Knight, Bladesinger, Paladin, Arcane Trickster
 

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