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5E Really concerned about class design


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Einlanzer0

Explorer
I think what people are trying to say is: each new class that we add needs to be justified on its own. You really can't argue "there should be more classes" or "there should be fewer classes" without arguing for specific classes to add/remove. Starting with a number is just an butt-pull. (If you're gonna do that, I suggest 8.)

Now, I can and have made the argument that Eldritch Knight should be its own class (with arcane archer, hexblade, and rune knight as core subclasses) because the existing classes don't have the structure to make that particular fantasy or playstyle work. That's a class we should add (but that's a retcon, which WotC won't do.)

But that's the only way to make the argument: note which class is missing. (And witch is a poor example class because no one agrees on what a witch is.)
What you're describing is exactly what I'm proposing. I'm not sure how you extracted anything different from my posts. Just because no one agrees on what a witch is doesn't make it a poor example. In fact, it makes it a really good example because of all the different possible directions you could go in with it - hence why it would need a lot more design space than a subclass would provide.
 

I don't remember. One minute loading screen.

Page 22 no witch. The create a class rules are basically point buy with an xp multiplier for progression table.
Nod. I finally remembered: the example of class-building was in 3e, even though there was no system or it, per se.

I didn't remember the Kit, either, though, FWIW - was there any sort of 'theme' to it? Or was it the stereotypical broom-riding cackling crone of 0e/1e unofficial-NPC-class tradition?
 

Parmandur

Legend
What you're describing is exactly what I'm proposing. I'm not sure how you extracted anything different from my posts. Just because no one agrees on what a witch is doesn't make it a poor example. In fact, it makes it a really good example because of all the different possible directions you could go in with it - hence why it would need a lot more design space than a subclass would provide.
But the concept can be done without even a Subclass, just using the PHB. Same with Shaman. If anything, the game could be fine with fewer Class options, and I haven't seen a really strong case for any new ones.
 

Zardnaar

Legend
Nod. I finally remembered: the example of class-building was in 3e, even though there was no system or it, per se.

I didn't remember the Kit, either, though, FWIW - was there any sort of 'theme' to it? Or was it the stereotypical broom-riding cackling crone of 0e/1e unofficial-NPC-class tradition?
Paraphrased
Not proficient in weapon, you make a pact. Get detect and read magic for free.

Find familiar level 3 for free
Brew sleep elixir in an hour (basically a poison save negates 8hd or less) level 5

Level 7 brew poison type L
Level 9 charm monster type ability no save
11 brew fly ointment roughly as spell.
13 witches curse roughly as bestow curse no save
And some hindrances.

Curses and potions kinda.
 

TiwazTyrsfist

Adventurer
Seems like we have this particular heated thread every few months.

Should there be more Classes?
You already have an opinion and it's either Yes or No, and you won't be shifted by discussion.

Personally, I favor new classes. There are a lot of things that cannot be done via subclasses. For example, neither the 5e cleric nor paladin can be altered via subclass to be the Pathfinder Warpriest. It has to many different powers. So if we wanted to do that, it would have to be a new class.

I think that a LOT of options can and should be done via subclass. Psionic Warrior and Mind Blade for example work very well as they are in the UA.

I think Psion should be a class on it's own, with subclasses for the old Psionic Modes.


Basically, I think that if a concept allows for even 2 subclasses, it stands up to being a Class.
 

Arilyn

Hero
I feel that there are not enough entry points in the archetype design to give strong flavour to sub classes. It can be a long wait to get goodies that make your archetype unique.

In a game like D&D, where you choose from a menu of predetermined abilities, having lots of full classes is a boon. They shouldn't be churned out too rapidly, because that can lead to carelessness, but I believe the game could have benefited from more than one new class addition by now. More classes means you can tailor your world, and well, most players enjoy a wide variety. If WOTC brought out a book adding 4-6 new classes, I guarantee it would be a huge seller.

The class books EN publishing brought out, for example, have been very welcome at my table. Adds more inspiration, and more choices to get the creative juices flowing.
 

Parmandur

Legend
Seems like we have this particular heated thread every few months.

Should there be more Classes?
You already have an opinion and it's either Yes or No, and you won't be shifted by discussion.

Personally, I favor new classes. There are a lot of things that cannot be done via subclasses. For example, neither the 5e cleric nor paladin can be altered via subclass to be the Pathfinder Warpriest. It has to many different powers. So if we wanted to do that, it would have to be a new class.

I think that a LOT of options can and should be done via subclass. Psionic Warrior and Mind Blade for example work very well as they are in the UA.

I think Psion should be a class on it's own, with subclasses for the old Psionic Modes.


Basically, I think that if a concept allows for even 2 subclasses, it stands up to being a Class.
Mearls laid out the standard that for WotC, the standard is about ten possible Subclasses at minimum (not that all the PHB Classes are there yet).
 


dave2008

Legend
I see no legitimate reason whatsoever to just draw a line now and refuse to build on it. It really feels like a lazy "just because" that players have mindlessly adopted.
They haven't - they just released a new class. So the door is still opne; however, I think they will look to subclasses first.
 




Einlanzer0

Explorer
Can you describe actual experience you've had with this being a problem in games you've played, without using any theory about it being a problem?
Sure. Just two weeks ago I had a new player rolling up a monk. She knew she wanted a monk but was overwhelmed by subclass options. Keep in mind that I really like subclasses. I just think there are appropriate and inappropriate uses of them.

Regardless, I could easily turn this around and ask you the same question about classes.
 

Parmandur

Legend
Sure. Just two weeks ago I had a new player rolling up a monk. She knew she wanted a monk but was overwhelmed by subclass options. Keep in mind that I really like subclasses. I just think there are appropriate and inappropriate uses of them.

Regardless, I could easily turn this around and ask you the same question about classes.
I started playing during the 3E era, so yes, I have seen Class bloat cause huge problems.
 

Einlanzer0

Explorer
I started playing during the 3E era, so yes, I have seen Class bloat cause huge problems.
I started playing during 2e, and I never have. I also don't know that I would call it bloat. 20 or so class options /= 11 different class options with 60 or 70 subclass options between them. Although I actually do agree that we ended up with too many classes in 3.5 due to subclasses not being a thing. That's why I want this done right in 5e.
 

gyor

Legend
So.... I've been feeling this for a while. While, granted, we got the Artificer in the Eberron book, there's been a long term dearth of new classes for 5e. Especially in light of the new UA, it really worries me that it appears to be because WotC thinks they can/should they can simply turn every new class concept into a subclass for one of the existing classes.

I love subclasses, but I think that's a terrible approach, and it really needs to get called out as a problem IMO.

First, it attempts to solve clutter across classes by creating more clutter within classes, which doesn't really make much sense - especially when the themes representing a particular fantasy within a class get really diluted, random, or incoherent, as they are at this point. As a practical concern, this makes it more difficult for players to digest what their options really are. They have to reverse engineer a concept or go through a layered path-choosing process.

Second, subclasses aren't multi-class friendly, so tying more and more class options to them inhibits the leveraging of multi-class rules to create a unique class concept. In other words, they result in less customization, not more.

Third, there are numerous areas where it just doesn't really make thematic sense, either in terms of edition history/lore or in terms of verisimilitude. I can get on board with Psychic Warrior being a subclass for Fighter. I cannot get on board with the base Psion being a "Wizarding tradition". One of many reasons for this is the thematic need for psionics to exist as a full-enough system to potentially replace traditional magic in a more sci-fi setting based on precedents established in previous editions.

Fourth, it just feels like a lazy way to develop the system that players have weirdly adopted as a good approach when it isn't (sort of a rationalizing-the-status-quo bias). If they had started with only 4 or 5 classes, this approach might have made the most sense, but they didn't & that ship has sailed. So drawing a line now and de-emphasizing classes in favor of subclasses is starting to make the whole edition feel sloppily executed.

The bottom line is that if the concept that you're imagining is a.) very interesting, and b.) broad enough that you can easily mentally conjure many different subtypes within that class, there is no reason to not take the time to develop it into a full class instead of band-aiding it as a nonsensical subclass tacked on to an arbitrarily chosen class. My personal favorite examples of this are the witch and the shaman, but there are tons of others.
Honestly it's just starting to feel like once again WotC is being lazy, taking the easy way to solve and issue, instead of doing the work to do it right. WotC does good stuff when they put the effort in, but they take a lot of short cuts.

Why is it the 3rd party publishers with a fraction of the resources of WotC can put the effort into putting together a good Psion Class, but WotC just gives up and shoves into the Wizard?
 


doctorbadwolf

Heretic of The Seventh Circle
Again, what about the witch is something that can't be represented?
The point is almost never whether it can be represented. You’re working form an entirely different premise.

The opposing premise is that “if it CAN be done as a full class with several subclass concepts, it should be.” Whether it also could be represented as a subclass is irrelevant to that.
 

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