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5E Really concerned about class design

Class bloat was never a thing.
Oh yeah, there totally isn't any bloat in 3e. I mean, you only have, for the base classes: barbarian, bard, cleric, druid, fighter, monk, ranger, rogue, sorcerer, wizard, adept, aristocrat, commoner, expert, warrior, archivist, beguiler, binder, crusader, dragon shaman dragonfire adept, dread necromancer, duskblade, factorum, favored soul, healer, hexblade, incarnate, knight, marshal, ninja, samurai, scout, shaman, shadowcaster, shugenja, sohei, soulborn, spellthief, spirit shaman, swashbuckler, swordsage, totemist, truenamer, warblade, warlock, wu jen, mariner, master, mystic, nightstalker, noble, artificer, magewright, psionic artificer, urban adept, ardent, divine mind, erudite, lurk, psion, psychic rogue, psychic warrior, soul knife, and wilder.

I mean, that only covers so much, which is exactly why Prestige Classes exist. If you want, I can also list the absolute dearth of options that has if you want me to.
 

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Zardnaar

Legend
Oh yeah, there totally isn't any bloat in 3e. I mean, you only have, for the base classes: barbarian, bard, cleric, druid, fighter, monk, ranger, rogue, sorcerer, wizard, adept, aristocrat, commoner, expert, warrior, archivist, beguiler, binder, crusader, dragon shaman dragonfire adept, dread necromancer, duskblade, factorum, favored soul, healer, hexblade, incarnate, knight, marshal, ninja, samurai, scout, shaman, shadowcaster, shugenja, sohei, soulborn, spellthief, spirit shaman, swashbuckler, swordsage, totemist, truenamer, warblade, warlock, wu jen, mariner, master, mystic, nightstalker, noble, artificer, magewright, psionic artificer, urban adept, ardent, divine mind, erudite, lurk, psion, psychic rogue, psychic warrior, soul knife, and wilder.

I mean, that only covers so much, which is exactly why Prestige Classes exist. If you want, I can also list the absolute dearth of options that has if you want me to.
Difference is 5E is bloating with archetypes. They're the new PrCs and it's getting to the point they're about as interesting as a PrC.

There's only so many ways to dress up extra damage options on martial types and 1/3rd this or that class added to an existing class.

Artificer went down well I suppose because it's new, even if conceptually it can be folded into the wizard which wasn't a popular move.
 

Hawk Diesel

Adventurer
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.
Personally, when I look at a large majority of the classes and prestige classes from 3e/3.5, much of it was just rearranging where mechanical bonuses would go. The mechanical abilities themselves really didn't represent the thematic elements espoused by the lore or fluff tied to a class.

Looking at 4e, it was somewhat similar. Many of the abilities between classes were the same, and they largely differed only in their name, the defense they hit, the type of movement they allowed, or the status they instilled.

I think that the designers of 5e learned the lesson early on that there is a difference between the mechanics and how it is skinned. Nothing about the mechanics of a zombie stat block inherently scream zombie, nor do the mechanical elements of a fighter's ability scream fighter. You can describe a fighter as a berserker. You can call a barbarian an alchemist that takes a potion to change form rather than the defacto fluff around what rage is. The designers seem to understand this. And because many of the existing mechanics can be tweaked in how they are skinned to become something else thematically, I think the designers are wise to limit how many classes there are. By preferring to rely on subclasses, they are effectively showing players how an existing class can be redefined with only a few tweaks. Additionally, they seem to try and put out new subclasses only when they have some robust mechanical ideas that are really represented elsewhere in what already exists. They don't want multiple classes or subclasses having a majority of their abilities to be the same, or to rely on just changing where the bonus goes. They seem to hold out for mechanics and ideas that can stand on their own. I think that is why they finally came forward with an artificer as a core class, rather than a wizard subclass as it was originally presented. They realized that within the concept of an artificer, there was room for mechanics that really haven't been seen elsewhere in the game. One that could stand on their own and be distinct enough to make the artificer as a core class distinct. And if they can't create something that meets that standard, they then attempt to find a place within the subclasses of a class that can replicate the concept.

At least, that's how I see it. YMMV.
 

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.
Pretty much this. Lazy is how I'd describe most of their recent efforts. The artificer, which is probably the greatest innovation in an official sourcebook since the release of 5e, is not exactly a huge breakthrough. The edition is almost six years old and I've replaced my fear of rules bloat with a feeling of stagnation that makes me want to reevaluate the options for my next game. This coming from someone who actually loves the 5e core engine.
 

Mistwell

Legend
Regardless, I could easily turn this around and ask you the same question about classes.
I have not had any experience with the current class and sub-class selection to be a problem. And I think if you want to house rule in some more classes or grab some from third party sources, I am sure it will work out fine for your game as well. I just don't see it as a problem for the existing game. I have not seen a meaningful number of people with this issue. But I am willing to listen if people are experiencing this problem.
 
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pukunui

Hero
I think one of the reasons we don’t tend to get a playable witch class in D&D is because hags fill the niche of the stereotypical evil witch.

A witch that’s more like the ones from Discworld could be represented fairly easily in D&D with the warlock class (and maybe some custom invocations).
 
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ClaytonCross

Kinder reader Inflection wanted
By a single subclass? I don't even know where to start. Prophecies, shawls, covens, charms, potions, familiars, white magic vs black magic, etc. The list is endless, which is why it doesn't already exist as a subclass.

You might be able to cobble together some of these features into a frankenstein custom wizard or sorcerer, but it doesn't tie together into a coherent "witch" package that leaves a good presentation to players with plenty of room for customization, which is why nothing would make my eyes roll harder than seeing an official witch appear as a subclass instead of a full class.
I pretty sure could model a witch from a warlock. Patron = Coven, Familiar = Pact of the chain, potions simply exist in D&D they are not specific enough to witches to be a class or subclass feature. Prophecies can be handled by existing spells... really you make everything you listed as a sub-class of warlock. To my mind that shows just how well constructed 5E is. I do agree they have traded class clutter for subclass clutter but It seems like while they could add some more classes witches could and in my opinion should be warlocks.
 


Salthorae

Imperial Mountain Dew Taster
Also irrelevant to the discussion. 🤷‍♂️
How is it irrelevant? The OP's entire point is calling out WotC for NOT spewing out more base classes.

My point is that the WotC design philosophy is entirely opposed to that type of design. They have their classes and they're just going to give us more subclasses.

We might get a full class Psion, but beyond that I don't really expect any more base classes for the life of 5e given that we've gotten exactly 1 in 5 years.
 

doctorbadwolf

Heretic of The Seventh Circle
If you actually didn't care, you wouldn't bother responding. Engage politely, or don't engage, please and thanks.
How is it irrelevant? The OP's entire point is calling out WotC for NOT spewing out more base classes.

My point is that the WotC design philosophy is entirely opposed to that type of design. They have their classes and they're just going to give us more subclasses.

We might get a full class Psion, but beyond that I don't really expect any more base classes for the life of 5e given that we've gotten exactly 1 in 5 years.
I don’t care, bud.

When someone challenges the status quo, reiteration of what the status quo is, is completely useless and irrelevant.
 

Salthorae

Imperial Mountain Dew Taster
When someone challenges the status quo, reiteration of what the status quo is, is completely useless and irrelevant.
It's really not though.

When they're challenging a status quo for a business that is experiencing continued double digit growth in sales doing exactly what they're doing now, there is no "challenging the status quo" on this one.

OP can state their dissatisfaction all they want, but it's not going to change the WotC design philosophy.
 

Zardnaar

Legend
It's really not though.

When they're challenging a status quo for a business that is experiencing continued double digit growth in sales doing exactly what they're doing now, there is no "challenging the status quo" on this one.

OP can state their dissatisfaction all they want, but it's not going to change the WotC design philosophy.
Depends on the feedback. Nothing set in stone yet.
 



Sadras

Hero
Oh yeah, there totally isn't any bloat in 3e. I mean, you only have, for the base classes: barbarian, bard, cleric, druid, fighter, monk, ranger, rogue, sorcerer, wizard, adept, aristocrat, commoner, expert, warrior, archivist, beguiler, binder, crusader, dragon shaman dragonfire adept, dread necromancer, duskblade, factorum, favored soul, healer, hexblade, incarnate, knight, marshal, ninja, samurai, scout, shaman, shadowcaster, shugenja, sohei, soulborn, spellthief, spirit shaman, swashbuckler, swordsage, totemist, truenamer, warblade, warlock, wu jen, mariner, master, mystic, nightstalker, noble, artificer, magewright, psionic artificer, urban adept, ardent, divine mind, erudite, lurk, psion, psychic rogue, psychic warrior, soul knife, and wilder.
WTF, what was the difference between the aristocrat and noble? 1 additional musical instrument proficiency and 2 further languages?
 


Coroc

Hero
Again, what about the witch is something that can't be represented?
You did not ask me, but I got a differentiated view on this topic. A witch can be easily depicted as a subclass of sorcerer of course, A shaman or witchdoctor not so much. Well you could eventually, by carfully selecting the spells, or you could take the cleric as a baseline and add some wizard spells as "domain spells", but you got to add mechanics eventually for things like totems or spirit animals so maybe a ranger beastmaster would serve as a better baseline, of course with different spells and a lot of refluff but otoh you had the classical halfcaster thing for shaman and witchdoctor.

You see there are many ways to do new stuff in 5e one of the options would also be to add a tribal caster class with shaman and witch doctor as subclass, why not?
 


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