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Shoe Horning the Races by Class?

ccs

39th lv DM
Every edition had attribute bonuses. Every single one. They also had attribute penalties which the current edition does not have. The current edition also has attribute caps which previous editions did not. That means it is both easier and more feasible to play against type than it has been in ANY previous edition of D&D.
Would you like me to quote my 1e PHB or will you just concede that you're wrong?


Probably the only race in the whole PHB that wasn't built in this way but unfortunately grants only bonuses towards playing a small handful of particular classes is the Half-Orc. Aside from that singular example, none of the races are built in a way that encourages a person towards any particular class--
Except for those Ability Score bonuses.


or 3rd edition smacking the player with an attribute penalty that ensured they would never remotely be feasible in a ton of classes. Especially since there was no attribute limit cap, so even if one gained attribute points, the race that started +4 points above the other was always going to be +4 points higher which meant a +2 on all abilities.
Oh please. Assuming you've not rolled poorly, there's enough ways to gain +s in 3x/PF to make any race decent at any of the classes.
I know because I've spent the last 12.5 years doing it.
And if a character is non-viable to you because you're missing another +2 to a die roll? Then I'm afraid that you're just not a very good player....

In fact, when it comes to Wizards, AD&D and 3rd edition both had bonus spells and maximum spell levels which made the Intelligence attribute so much more important to boost as high as possible. Such things do not exist within 5E.
Well, your casting stat does effect the Save DCs of your spells.
Though it'd be nice if it still gave bonus spells & affected max spell lvs.


And not just Wizards, because 3rd edition also had attribute limits on all of the feats which meant unless you already had super high attributes in your class's chosen attributes-- something that just could not happen if you started at a penalty-- you would be forbidden from taking the important feats making you far, FAR worse than the race that got a bonus there.
Ah, but there were so many feats you could surely find something useful. :) I know I did. Again, I've been doing it for these past 12.5 years.... And I've done it mostly with rolled stats. So sometimes I started golden, many times fair to middling, sometimes....well you end up with my special needs 1/2ling Garth.
See, there's billions (figure of speech) of ways to make a viable character. Every ______ I make doesn't need the same feat package. Or set of stat bonuses. If I end up forever +2 points behind some hypothetical paragon example of my class? "Eh, I'm fine. Nor am I at all concerned vs my fellow PCs.

No matter how you cut it, 5E allows for a far greater range of race/class combinations to be viable.
Eh, depends upon your definition of viable. But Ok.

Anyone who says otherwise has literally never picked up and looked through the books of any other edition.
Well I say otherwise & have played every edition save OD&D (though I do have a copy on the shelf - sadly no one I play with wants to go that retro)

 

5ekyu

Explorer
Would you like me to quote my 1e PHB or will you just concede that you're wrong?




Except for those Ability Score bonuses.




Oh please. Assuming you've not rolled poorly, there's enough ways to gain +s in 3x/PF to make any race decent at any of the classes.
I know because I've spent the last 12.5 years doing it.
And if a character is non-viable to you because you're missing another +2 to a die roll? Then I'm afraid that you're just not a very good player....



Well, your casting stat does effect the Save DCs of your spells.
Though it'd be nice if it still gave bonus spells & affected max spell lvs.




Ah, but there were so many feats you could surely find something useful. :) I know I did. Again, I've been doing it for these past 12.5 years.... And I've done it mostly with rolled stats. So sometimes I started golden, many times fair to middling, sometimes....well you end up with my special needs 1/2ling Garth.
See, there's billions (figure of speech) of ways to make a viable character. Every ______ I make doesn't need the same feat package. Or set of stat bonuses. If I end up forever +2 points behind some hypothetical paragon example of my class? "Eh, I'm fine. Nor am I at all concerned vs my fellow PCs.



Eh, depends upon your definition of viable. But Ok.



Well I say otherwise & have played every edition save OD&D (though I do have a copy on the shelf - sadly no one I play with wants to go that retro)

"Eh, depends upon your definition of viable. But Ok."

For me, capable of working successfully; feasible.

In an RPG (say 5e) that includes fun for me, enjoyable for others, able to contribute meaningfully in two of the three pillars.

And yeah, dwarven wizards or other spellcasters classe are fine at that.
 

gyor

Adventurer
You might want to check that: dwarves could be Clerics, too. (In addition, when the classes were added, they could be alchemists and psionicists as well.)

Also, every race had at least one class in which their progression was unlimited. As I recall, that was Thief for dwarves. (Possibly all races.)
AD&D had a lot of bad, useless rules.
 

gyor

Adventurer
I play a half orc warlock. Am i doing it wrong?
No, you can build a viable Half Orc Warlock, no problem. People also forget that all races have the same maxium for stats, so eventually your Half Orc Warlock can be as charismatic as the Tiefling.
 

jasper

Rotten DM
In 5E virtually every new player regardless of ability score generation tends to match up their main racial bonus with their class.

This means unless your race has a plus 2 whatever orcare the variant human you will never see a Dwarf Wizard for example.

Back in AD&D you had racial restrictions and ability score negatives but you would often see races in classes where they lacked a relevent bonus. Probably due to multclass rules and racial packages.

Just something I have noticed. You can usually have a decent guess at a players class by their race.
THAT IS A FACT JACK! And why is it a problem?
 

Jer

Explorer
I play a half orc warlock. Am i doing it wrong?
No. If you're having fun with it you aren't doing anything wrong. You don't have to take the race with the highest bonus for your chosen class in 5e, just a lot of people do because it looks like the thing you're supposed to do. It's not like in 3e where it looked like you could do anything but ability score penalties for stats and increasing difficulty numbers on monster saves and AC would kill a concept dead in the water if you tried to go outside of the stereotype lanes they'd set up and your game got to a high enough level for it to start to matter.
 

GlassJaw

Explorer
This has not been my experience. I've seen two things:

1. New players want to make the character they want, regardless of optimization, or
2. Experienced players realize that the stat bonuses have a minor effect on overall power and make the character they want.

Sure, optimization sometimes comes into play (which I'm ok with) but "fixing" it is a solution looking for problem.

That said, I wouldn't mind seeing a stat choice within each race. For example, giving the Dragonborn +2 Str or Con along with +1 Cha. That would instantly make the Dragonborn a better option for Warlock and Sorcerer.
 

Blue

Orcus on a bad day
You're right. On top of being more interesting it's often flat out better.
Hmm, let me see;
I could invest 4-8 levels to get a +2 on what I can already do quite well....
Or
I could pick up two completely new abilities & have more options (both mechanically & RP wise)....
Yeah, it's very build and table dependent what is "better", and even there "better" is usually defined within a limited number of pillars of play (such as just combat). I really do pick both myself. My last two characters that leveled up were one feat and one was +2 CHR (for a bard, looking for more Bardic Inspiration uses as well as the other benefits).
 

Blue

Orcus on a bad day
In 5E virtually every new player regardless of ability score generation tends to match up their main racial bonus with their class.
I do need to throw in one exception. There are brand of new players who don't care about matching abilities scores to class at all, instead matching them to concept. For example the first character my daughter made was an elven moon druid with an 8 Wisdom because she wanted her to be impulsive and lackign common sense, and a very high Dexterity because she wanted her to be "agile like Peter Parker". (Not like Spidey, but like Peter Parker. I've always wondered at that distinction. But I digress).

Anyway, she had a concept in her head, after discussion it druid fit what she wanted the best (going for moon at 3rd), and that's how she wanted her ability scores in order to play the character as she wanted. Was it sub-optimal in terms of mechanics? Yes. But that was a lower priority then hitting her concept. It wasn't completely bad, as a moon druid when wildshaped will have less use of that Wisdom since they can't cast. Though at the same time that high Dex would also be gone.
 

the Jester

Legend
In 5E virtually every new player regardless of ability score generation tends to match up their main racial bonus with their class.
This may be your experience, but it doesn't match mine.

This means unless your race has a plus 2 whatever orcare the variant human you will never see a Dwarf Wizard for example.
One of the first 5e pcs in my game was a dwarf wizard.

I don't think this is as universal as you seem to believe.
 

aco175

Explorer
I do not mind the typecasting. It sets the world in terms of what each race is meant to represent. This tends to be typical from the early days and based a bit off Tolkien. You can make a world where elves are grumpy fighters and dwarves are dainty mages, but you may end up explaining it every time to your players why they go against their type. PCs are the ones that mostly go against their type and that is fine, buy generally when the PCs enter the dwarf citadel, they can expect certain things because the racial majority has their role to play. This may be along the lines of another thread about gnomes not fitting in for 5e.
 

Esker

Explorer
I agree that the shoehorning is a thing, but I just let people swap their racial bonuses to different stats (but no stacking on the same one). I don't see anything broken that results from that, though I'm sure someone here will point out some OP race class combo that you can do with that extra flexibility.
 

LordEntrails

Explorer
To have written something this completely wrong, I can only assume that you have never actually played any other edition of D&D in your life and are just making up :):):):) up.

...

Anyone who says otherwise has literally never picked up and looked through the books of any other edition.
Either that or they are out-and-out trolling or-- as I initially suggested-- this is some Mandella Effect thing and they dropped in from some parallel universe where everything is exactly backwards.
Those comments really are not very nice or useful to the discussion.
 

GreenTengu

Registered User


In absolutely none of your "counterpoints" did you at all remotely offer a single shred of evidence that it was better, easier or that you came closer to having as effective of a character taking a non-favored race/class combination in the previous editions than it is in the current edition.

All your offered was that you were much more willing to play a character who was just had a generally worse chance of passing 95% of the rolls they would make during the game session when you were younger. But apparently you have a huge problem with it now.

If you were willing to play a statistically worse character who would perform 10-20+% worse at everything they did as part of their class back then but now you feel compelled to make the most optimized possible character-- that's you who changed, not a matter of the rules changing.

The changes to the rules have in fact made it so that the gap between the worse race/class combination and the best race/class-- outside of using a few badly designed races from Volo's Guide-- is much smaller than the 10-20+% it used to be.

It was specifically a design goal in order to make all race/class combinations as close to a fair and even field as they could. And while they could have done a better job in a handful of cases, they are none-the-less closer to parity than they have been in any edition except maybe 4th.

You cannot blame the game system for your own personal attitudes changing from "I'll just throw this random junk together and I don't care if I am rolling at a -4 compared to if I had used the streamlined route" to "I must streamline my character to eek out every last +1". That is all entirely a reflection upon you and not the game system.


Those comments really are not very nice or useful to the discussion.
It is extremely useful to any discussion to shut down people making wholly fictitious claims. Using humor and ridicule are often the quickest ways to do so.

How precisely would you imagine that one could have a useful discussion starting with

"The racial attribute of this edition make it too hard to play unusual race class combinations.
It was so much easier to make unusual race/class combinations back when races not only had attribute bonuses, but also attribute penalties and classes literally shut you down from gaining class abilities and the best feats if your attributes weren't high enough.

And it was even easier to make an unusual race/class combination in the edition before that when not only were there attribute bonuses and penalties and having even one point higher in an attribute could grant a litany of benefits, but non-human races were out-and-out banned from taking any but 2 or 3 classes and had strict level restrictions in even those.

Why back in 1991 when Dwarfs weren't allowed to be Wizards, we saw SO many more Dwarf Wizards than now... pay no attention to all those Dwarf Wizard builds you see across these boards and Reddit."

There is no possible useful discussion to be had with a person who sincerely holds such beliefs. And it is so very difficult to believe that anyone actually sincerely holds such a beliefs that its kind of got to be a troll shitpost, right?

At the same time, such a "point" stand unchallenged lest someone come alone who doesn't know a thing about the situation and mistakenly take it on face value.

There is no useful "discussion" to be had regarding whether this edition is friendlier than 1st or 2nd towards people who would want to play unusual race/class discussions. The truth at the very face value, the conclusion one would come to simply by flipping through the character creation chapters is that AD&D was extraordinarily hostile towards anyone playing anything other than what the designers strictly prescribed and only wanted people to play particular races and particular classes-- they were even hostile towards people playing female characters and found it worthy of ridicule that anyone would desire to play any race that did not appear in Lord of the Rings, let alone think that the races could ever be capable of being any but the select handful of classes and only to the extent that the designers envisioned.

Meanwhle in the current edition the designers have done what they could in order to balance things out while still giving enough racial statistics to make the old schoolers happy. They might have gone even further towards making it so that every race could play every class-- but they were so shell-shocked at the reception of 4E and Pathfinder basically ripping off the whole game wholesale to capitalize on those rebelling customers who felt too much had changed that they were trying to make everything as much "return to 3rd Edition" as possible.


One could very well take the game, simply give everyone the Variant Human stats and say "Race has no effect on your abilities or statistics at all-- feel free to use your background and 1st level bonus feat, skill choices and any multiclassing you do to support the racial aspect of your character."

Of course people would throw a fit about that too even though it would be the most equitable way to allow people to play any race/class combination without any need for anyone to concern themselves about any bit of imbalance between the races. After all-- the races that used to be able to see in the dark will no longer have that written on their sheet and there will be no mechanical impact of being small size and Dwarfs won't have any resistance to magic or poison or whatever unless there is explicitly a feat that allows for that.
 
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Umbran

Mod Squad
Staff member
It is extremely useful to any discussion to shut down people making wholly fictitious claims. Using humor and ridicule are often the quickest ways to do so.

I strongly recommend you re-read The Rules. Specifically, the section about keeping things civil. Ridiculing people is a good way to get yourself removed from a conversation.


And it is so very difficult to believe that anyone actually sincerely holds such a beliefs that its kind of got to be a troll s***post, right?
Use of profanity, also, is a good way to get yourself removed from the discussion.

In general, we expect you to treat people with a modicum of respect, even if you disagree with them. If you aren't up for that, we expect you to disengage when you can't keep yourself on an even keel.

The fact of the matter is that the world is not going to suddenly fall apart because someone on a corner of the internet wrote something that is incorrect about RPGs. There is no crisis that needs to be averted. It can remain unchallenged, and things will be fine, really.
 

Shiroiken

Explorer
To have written something this completely wrong, I can only assume that you have never actually played any other edition of D&D in your life and are just making up :):):):) up.
You know what they say about assuming... I've been playing since the late 80s, early 90s, having done every edition except OD&D (which I didn't find out existed until I came here) and only dabbled in Pathfinder (because had serious issues with the core 3E mechanics).

No matter how you cut it, 5E allows for a far greater range of race/class combinations to be viable.
This is very true, and if you reread my comment you quoted, I never said anything to the contrary. I said there were mechanical benefits for playing to type, which several earlier editions didn't quite do very well (the 3x elf made for a terrible wizard, for example). Because of this, about 2/3 of all characters I've seen generally play to type, but that means that 1/3 DON'T play to type, which for any edition of D&D is an amazing number. The OP commented on the fact that you can probably guess the class of the character based on race, and this is technically correct (67% chance). I pointed out why this is, and why there are exceptions to it.

You then proceeded to attack me with the earlier assumption, and the following tirade. Please re-read my original post that you quoted, and tell me if you really think I said ANYTHING that even vaguely fits the nonsense you threw at me.

Anyone who says otherwise has literally never picked up and looked through the books of any other edition.
Either that or they are out-and-out trolling or-- as I initially suggested-- this is some Mandella Effect thing and they dropped in from some parallel universe where everything is exactly backwards.

And if people were playing with a group that were intentionally playing dysfunctional or rulebook-violating things 20 years ago and now they are playing with people play exclusively the most standard stereotypes-- that has everything to do with the people they are playing with and not the rules themselves. Because the rules themselves have progressively moved ever further towards allowing the possibility of matching just about any race with any class and getting some benefit from it.
 

oreofox

Explorer
I made a post last night, but by the time I hit "post quick reply", the site was down for maintenance. Anywho, to paraphrase that response:

As I have stated in various other race threads, this is why I split the ASIs. All races get a +1 to a score of the player's choice, while the classes give a +2 to one of two ability scores that is "relevant" to the class (typically, the scores the class gets save proficiencies in). Only stipulation is the +1 has to be to something different from the +2, so a barbarian couldn't get +3 to Str or Con, wizards couldn't get +3 Int or Dex, and so on. Also, the +2 from class doesn't apply to multiclassing. This way, players don't feel shoehorned into making their warlock a tiefling (or their tiefling a warlock), and can instead have a tiefling barbarian or dwarf warlock. Or, they could go for the tiefling warlock if that's what they really desire.

I haven't noticed anything horrifically broken, so it seems to be working just fine.
 

cbwjm

Explorer
I actually quite like stereotyping race class combinations, it makes things easy. So this is why when making a gnome wizard, they almost always end up in the school of illusion. When making a dwarf, they are often fighters or clerics, elves are often rangers or wizards or wood elven druids, and halflings are often thieves. I like this as a base and will often model NPCs after these typical combinations and really, if a new player wants to fit one of these stereotypes, I say go for it, let them explore the race/class combos and don't worry if they are looking at stat modifiers to base their combo on.
 

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