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6E Races as classes

DnD Warlord

Adventurer
I have been thinking more and more about basic d&d and the dwarf and elf classes.

With everything going on with race changes I wonder about going back to racial classes. Not as mandatory. Like as a multi class.

So at 1st level if you take wizard fighter ect...you basically would be a human variant with some fluff and maybe a single ribbon making you an elf, teifling ect.... then as you level you can take levels in your race making you more of that race.

So an elf might get some spells and some Fey traits if they take levels in elf...a dragonborn would get more and more draconian traits.

I remember 3.5 had mini prestige classes like this in a book...like 5 levels. I was thinking if we take almost everything from races would could make at least 10 level classes.
 

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jmartkdr2

Adventurer
If I wanted to put that idea back into 5e, I'd be more inclined towards racial subclasses - so a special dwarf fighter who's good with axes and really hard to move or move past, as opposed to an elf fighter who's great at switching between ranged and melee fighting and can add a splash of magic, and a dragonborn fighter who learns to blend their breath weapon into their weapon attack routine, and so on.

I'd want these for most races for at least fighter, cleric, rogue, and wizard, but wouldn't be opposed to them for other classes depending on how good the individual subclasses are.

In other words, battlerager and bladesinger being one-race only wasn't a bad idea, regardless of one's opinion on the execution of the idea.
 

Orcslayer78

Explorer
You could try Master of None on the DMGuild, it explains how to dual multiclass at the same time for characters, the only problem is the book says that those characters would be overpowered compared to a single class character but for me there are two easy ways to fix this problem: you bring back XP and make them level up requiring double the amount of XP compared to a single class character or you simply make them level up every two milestones instead than one.
 

Li Shenron

Legend
Never liked races as classes in old editions. I was kinda interested in UA's Paragon Classes in 3e, which were 3-levels racial classes but not standalone classes, you could only multiclassed into. The idea of those was to emphasize being an elf or an orc. Doesn't seem a good idea anymore nowadays.
 


Orcslayer78

Explorer
The idea of those was to emphasize being an elf or an orc. Doesn't seem a good idea anymore nowadays.
So basically roleplaying and differentiate characters is no more a good idea anymore? Everyone should just play humans in different shapes? Pointy eared humans? short an bearded humans? scaly humans? demonic horned humans? gray skin humans? pointy eared coal skin humans?
 

Marandahir

Crown-Forester
If I wanted to put that idea back into 5e, I'd be more inclined towards racial subclasses - so a special dwarf fighter who's good with axes and really hard to move or move past, as opposed to an elf fighter who's great at switching between ranged and melee fighting and can add a splash of magic, and a dragonborn fighter who learns to blend their breath weapon into their weapon attack routine, and so on.

I'd want these for most races for at least fighter, cleric, rogue, and wizard, but wouldn't be opposed to them for other classes depending on how good the individual subclasses are.

In other words, battlerager and bladesinger being one-race only wasn't a bad idea, regardless of one's opinion on the execution of the idea.

Eek, I disagree. No reason why the Swordmage Wizard should be only for Elves or the Spiked Armor Barbarian should be only for Dwarves.

Always disliked ancestry-restricted classes/paragon paths/prestige classes/epic destinies. It's like saying, 'nope you can't do the thing because you weren't born a special way. Too bad!'

Ancestry is about where you came from. There is no choice involved here (usually) - for the character in world. They can't help but be a dwarf, for example. But class is about who you are, what you choose to be. They CAN choose to be a Bladesinger, despite the world culturally accepting only Elves as guild-sanctioned Bladesingers. They're fighting an uphill battle, but D&D is just as much about defying the odds as it is about conforming to them.

This is why race-classes were so bad to begin with. It meant that only humans (and a rare few others) could choose to make their own destinies, if you played an Elf or a Dwarf you were stuck being like every other elf or dwarf. Defy the odds. Be your own person. That's what it means to walk the road of a class.
 


Orcslayer78

Explorer
Eek, I disagree. No reason why the Swordmage Wizard should be only for Elves or the Spiked Armor Barbarian should be only for Dwarves.

Always disliked ancestry-restricted classes/paragon paths/prestige classes/epic destinies. It's like saying, 'nope you can't do the thing because you weren't born a special way. Too bad!'

Ancestry is about where you came from. There is no choice involved here (usually) - for the character in world. They can't help but be a dwarf, for example. But class is about who you are, what you choose to be. They CAN choose to be a Bladesinger, despite the world culturally accepting only Elves as guild-sanctioned Bladesingers. They're fighting an uphill battle, but D&D is just as much about defying the odds as it is about conforming to them.

This is why race-classes were so bad to begin with. It meant that only humans (and a rare few others) could choose to make their own destinies, if you played an Elf or a Dwarf you were stuck being like every other elf or dwarf. Defy the odds. Be your own person. That's what it means to walk the road of a class.
Aaaand....who cares?

The OP asked for help to put racial classes back in the game, not if he should do it or if it's acceptable for the commenters or if they agree with it, if you don't like this idea why are you even commenting to this thread?
 


DnD Warlord

Adventurer
Race as class was 1) the first thing we ever house ruled in Basic, 2) was the primary reason we switched to 1e once we found it.

So no. I will not support this idea.
Even if it was an option? Again you could in this system play an elf that is basicly a human with dark vision and a ribbon with 1 less skill...and still take any class in the game, or you could take levels in elf and get Fey ancestry elven weapon training some spells and perception bonuses
 

DnD Warlord

Adventurer
Eek, I disagree. No reason why the Swordmage Wizard should be only for Elves or the Spiked Armor Barbarian should be only for Dwarves.

Always disliked ancestry-restricted classes/paragon paths/prestige classes/epic destinies. It's like saying, 'nope you can't do the thing because you weren't born a special way. Too bad!'

Ancestry is about where you came from. There is no choice involved here (usually) - for the character in world. They can't help but be a dwarf, for example. But class is about who you are, what you choose to be. They CAN choose to be a Bladesinger, despite the world culturally accepting only Elves as guild-sanctioned Bladesingers. They're fighting an uphill battle, but D&D is just as much about defying the odds as it is about conforming to them.

This is why race-classes were so bad to begin with. It meant that only humans (and a rare few others) could choose to make their own destinies, if you played an Elf or a Dwarf you were stuck being like every other elf or dwarf. Defy the odds. Be your own person. That's what it means to walk the road of a class.
Except again this problem is solved by multi classing or just not taking that class to begin with...
 

Marandahir

Crown-Forester
Aaaand....who cares?

The OP asked for help to put racial classes back in the game, not if he should do it or if it's acceptable for the commenters or if they agree with it, if you don't like this idea why are you even commenting to this thread?
That's not what the OP said.

DnD Warlord "wonder[ed] about going back to racial classes." I'm saying it's wrongheaded, even if just an option.

Even if it was an option? Again you could in this system play an elf that is basicly a human with dark vision and a ribbon with 1 less skill...and still take any class in the game, or you could take levels in elf and get Fey ancestry elven weapon training some spells and perception bonuses

Except again this problem is solved by multi classing or just not taking that class to begin with...

The problem with the above is that now humans are the second-class citizens. Why do Elves and Dwarves get special classes just for them while Humans are stuck being just empty slates?

You see the problem - it's mixing where you came from with who you are. 5e has a problem of that too, by giving out "racial proficiencies" with weapons or tools. But this makes the problem even worse.
 

opacitizen

Explorer
Always disliked ancestry-restricted classes/paragon paths/prestige classes/epic destinies. It's like saying, 'nope you can't do the thing because you weren't born a special way. Too bad!'

Ancestry is about where you came from. There is no choice involved here (usually) - for the character in world. They can't help but be a dwarf, for example. But class is about who you are, what you choose to be. They CAN choose to be a Bladesinger, despite the world culturally accepting only Elves as guild-sanctioned Bladesingers. They're fighting an uphill battle, but D&D is just as much about defying the odds as it is about conforming to them.

I'm not sure I understand you correctly, so let me know if I'm wrong, but it sounds like you're suggesting a literal fishman with both lungs and gills shouldn't be the only one with access to a "deep sea warrior" class, it should be open to humans and aarakocra etc as well, right from level one, even though they have only lungs. Similarly, a "winged bombardier" class shouldn't be limited to aarakocra and the like who have actual wings, but should be open to everyone, because… hey, in D&D you CAN be anything?

What's wrong with your character not having a certain set of choices, as long as you the player are free to choose a (different) character which would let you explore that set of choices? Want to play a "deep sea warrior"? Play a fishman! Want to play a "winged bombardier"? Okay, play an aarakocra or something with actual wings! But — without your DM's approval — don't try and play a dwarf in either case, because, frankly, dwarves can't swim underwater for hours, and they can't really fly either.

And the same goes for less physically but culturally limited stuff as well. Unless you are one now, do you think you could be a… say… a Japanese geisha in real life? Or the president of the US, if you're not a natural born citizen of the US? Could you now go and become a member of the Spetsnaz? In a totally unrealistic fantasy yeah, you could, maybe, if your GM let you. But coherent worlds based on general rules are made more interesting by limitations and unique combinations, aren't they?

Sorry if I misconstrued what you mean. Feel free to correct me.
 

DnD Warlord

Adventurer
That's not what the OP said.

DnD Warlord "wonder[ed] about going back to racial classes." I'm saying it's wrongheaded, even if just an option.





The problem with the above is that now humans are the second-class citizens. Why do Elves and Dwarves get special classes just for them while Humans are stuck being just empty slates?

You see the problem - it's mixing where you came from with who you are. 5e has a problem of that too, by giving out "racial proficiencies" with weapons or tools. But this makes the problem even worse.
I don't see the problem...although maybe you misunderstood me. Why wouldn't humans have such a class...they did in 3.5. Infact I would go so far as say half elf would NOT have one but could take BOTH elf and human.

Again the idea isnt to force elves into a slot but to allow the. Maximum amount of let way for concept.
 

Marandahir

Crown-Forester
I'm not sure I understand you correctly, so let me know if I'm wrong, but it sounds like you're suggesting a literal fishman with both lungs and gills shouldn't be the only one with access to a "deep sea warrior" class, it should be open to humans and aarakocra etc as well, right from level one, even though they have only lungs. Similarly, a "winged bombardier" class shouldn't be limited to aarakocra and the like who have actual wings, but should be open to everyone, because… hey, in D&D you CAN be anything?

What's wrong with your character not having a certain set of choices, as long as you the player are free to choose a (different) character which would let you explore that set of choices? Want to play a "deep sea warrior"? Play a fishman! Want to play a "winged bombardier"? Okay, play an aarakocra or something with actual wings! But — without your DM's approval — don't try and play a dwarf in either case, because, frankly, dwarves can't swim underwater for hours, and they can't really fly either.

And the same goes for less physically but culturally limited stuff as well. Unless you are one now, do you think you could be a… say… a Japanese geisha in real life? Or the president of the US, if you're not a natural born citizen of the US? Could you now go and become a member of the Spetsnaz? In a totally unrealistic fantasy yeah, you could, maybe, if your GM let you. But coherent worlds based on general rules are made more interesting by limitations and unique combinations, aren't they?

Sorry if I misconstrued what you mean. Feel free to correct me.
No worries, I guess I wasn't clear about it.

Some things are unique to what you are.

So a literal fishman with gills, like the Triton or say the Locathah, those are features that belong in the ancestry column. They shouldn't be mixed with a class line. All fishmen with gills should be able to breath underwater and have a swim speed.

SOME fishmen with gills may know how to use a trident and net and crossbow underwater, but this shouldn't be all of them. And some humans should be able to learn how to use those too. These are features of the "diver" class (or background). They're part of your learned skills, not your heritage.

I think ancestries can and should have ability scores, ribbon features, and mechanical features. But they should be divorced from anything that would be learned due to culture. It was wrong in 2014, it's still wrong in 2020.

Likewise, classes should not represent where you came from, but who you choose to be. Even Sorcerers only came as far as 1st level because they started dabbling with their magic, experimenting to see what happens.

As for a President of the US, that's a political situation. If the character wanted to be President really badly enough, they might dismantle the government and make new rules. They'd probably fail, but it's still something they could choose to do, not a fact of their biology.
 
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Marandahir

Crown-Forester
I don't see the problem...although maybe you misunderstood me. Why wouldn't humans have such a class...they did in 3.5. Infact I would go so far as say half elf would NOT have one but could take BOTH elf and human.

Again the idea isnt to force elves into a slot but to allow the. Maximum amount of let way for concept.

Maybe I did misunderstand you, so my apologies if so.

My point is that by crossing those streams, you start getting into a DM-may-I situation, where certain things that should be learnable, even if extremely difficult, are locked behind ancestry rather than culture.

I know about the 3.5e Prestige Class (I have a copy of Races of Destiny), and it was very weird that these were human-specific things.
 

ccs

40th lv DM
Even if it was an option? Again you could in this system play an elf that is basicly a human with dark vision and a ribbon with 1 less skill...and still take any class in the game, or you could take levels in elf and get Fey ancestry elven weapon training some spells and perception bonuses

I thought what I wrote was clear enough:
I will not support this idea.

I have no desire to play an (elf/dwarf/etc) that is "basically a human".
I have no desire to play an elf etc with less of its features.
I have no desire to waste time or character options leveling up "elf" features.
If i want to play an elf ill just skip to the chase & play an elf.

And I view rule book pages devoted to this idea as a waste of space. It was a waste of space in 3.5 & it'd be a waste in a future product.
Worse, its a waste of design time/effort. Any moment wasted on this by the designers is time/effort not being spent in a better fashion.

So no. I will not support this idea.
 

doctorbadwolf

Heretic of The Seventh Circle
I have been thinking more and more about basic d&d and the dwarf and elf classes.

With everything going on with race changes I wonder about going back to racial classes. Not as mandatory. Like as a multi class.

So at 1st level if you take wizard fighter ect...you basically would be a human variant with some fluff and maybe a single ribbon making you an elf, teifling ect.... then as you level you can take levels in your race making you more of that race.

So an elf might get some spells and some Fey traits if they take levels in elf...a dragonborn would get more and more draconian traits.

I remember 3.5 had mini prestige classes like this in a book...like 5 levels. I was thinking if we take almost everything from races would could make at least 10 level classes.
I'd be more okay with it as feat chains, with everyone getting at least one feat at level 1. 5e isn't built in a way where disrupting the class level progression makes sense for most characters.
 

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