D&D 5E Race as Class in 5E


Unserious gamer
I'd kinda want to see how the other classes are being modified to be BECMI-like before making a bunch of suggestions for race classes. Like, is XP to level going to be a balancing mechanic?

log in or register to remove this ad


I did make an elf class that incorporated the 3 elven races in the PHB as sub(race as)class. This was ages ago, but I can try and hunt it down.

The one that blows my mind consistently is how much of an absolute deal breaker descending AC is. More than anything else, that is what stops people from signing on to classic editions IME.

I understand, though. Descending AC is so illogical and needlessly inconvenient that it kind of offends me. That, in spite of the fact that all my nostalgic D&D memories from my youth were under that very system.


Mind Mage
Has anyone done the work to design races as classes (aka the Elf class) in 5E. I am thinking about putting together a 5E game heavily inspired by BECMI/RC and before I set to designing the Elf, Dwarf and Halfling classes, I wanted to see if anyone else had already done it.

To the original post, kinda.

Some race concepts are very powerful, complex, and diverse with different possible powers. For example, I feel a playable vampire can only be done by means of a class. The concept requires a huge design space. It would start the lowest tier as spawn and advance to the highest tier as an earth-shaking immortal legend. Meanwhile, there are many kinds of traditions about vampires, each one a separate subclass to choose from.

Oppositely, I did create a playable werewolf. To my surprise, I created a satisfactory werewolf within the design space of a single feat. This feat is a solid basis if I wanted to create a werewolf race, with a little bit more design space to play with.

I would avoid making the elf a race, because it would be too reductive when the elf is too many different possibilities.

That said, if I wanted to create an individual elf whose character concepts models the 1e elf archetype, I would just make it a high elf Eldritch Knight. If a "grey elf", I would make it a Bladesinger.

For a BECMI concept, I would make sure the high elf Eldritch Knight is Strength, not Dexterity.

Dwarf is a Fighter, Champion or Battlemaster.

Halfling is a Rogue.

I would make it clear that not every elf, dwarf, or halfling is like this. Some are other classes. But it might be fun for a party to play out characters representing the classic tropes.


Currently it is going that we will have a bonus feat at 1st level in 2024 rework, and maybe at 4th level also(hopefully), so maybe the way for this is via racial feats.

We have few of them now, but with added bonus feat(s), we could have 3 or 4 (half)feats for every race.

Level Up: Advanced 5th Edition Starter Box

An Advertisement