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5E Should 5e have more classes (Poll and Discussion)?

Should D&D 5e have more classes?


  • Total voters
    209
I understand you desire for an "arcane" version of a half-caster, a kin to Paladins (divine) and Rangers (primal), but the last thing I want to see (personally) is more classes in D&D.
Why? Why do you not want more classes? Does it harm anything to add more? I'm honestly asking.
It actually got me thinking a bit about going the other route... Make a warrior/half-caster class, with subclasses of "Gish", Paladin, Ranger; where by choosing the subclass you are choosing whether your half-caster is all about arcane, divine, or primal.
It could work if they decided to nuke half the classes in D&D 6e, but I personally don't like that route.
 

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cbwjm

Hero
@AcererakTriple6

I understand you desire for an "arcane" version of a half-caster, a kin to Paladins (divine) and Rangers (primal), but the last thing I want to see (personally) is more classes in D&D.

It actually got me thinking a bit about going the other route... Make a warrior/half-caster class, with subclasses of "Gish", Paladin, Ranger; where by choosing the subclass you are choosing whether your half-caster is all about arcane, divine, or primal.
That would work if you can choose your subclass at level 1. There is a dmsguild product called the magus which does something kind of like this, choosing your subclass at level one sets your entire spell list among other things so would be a fairly good model.

However, a half-caster that lets you focus on arcane, divine, or primal powers I feel like it might be missing a bit of specialisation that the current paladin and ranger get. Unless you add in something like the pacts that warlock get to help differentiate them.
 

Saelorn

Hero
Why? Why do you not want more classes? Does it harm anything to add more? I'm honestly asking.
It shifts the focus of the game even further away from the actual table, and toward the character creation mini-game.

It's good if a player knows what type of character they want to play. It's bad if they have to spend any amount of time figuring out how to "build" that character.
 

It shifts the focus of the game even further away from the actual table, and toward the character creation mini-game.

It's good if a player knows what type of character they want to play. It's bad if they have to spend any amount of time figuring out how to "build" that character.
I fail to see how adding 7 more classes would change that. It takes 1 minute explaining a class to a new group of players, and they will remember what they are when making other characters.
 

Saelorn

Hero
I fail to see how adding 7 more classes would change that. It takes 1 minute explaining a class to a new group of players, and they will remember what they are when making other characters.
If a player decides that they want to make a gish, then adding a gish class to the game is the worst thing you could do, because there are already three arcane-magic sword-wielders in the PHB alone. They already know what they want to make, but instead of being able to pick that option and go, they're forced to learn all of the obscure minutiae that differentiates them from each other just so they can make an informed decision. Adding even more options to the mix does not help. You're just giving them more homework that they need to read through before they can start playing.
 

If a player decides that they want to make a gish, then adding a gish class to the game is the worst thing you could do, because there are already three arcane-magic sword-wielders in the PHB alone. They already know what they want to make, but instead of being able to pick that option and go, they're forced to learn all of the obscure minutiae that differentiates them from each other just so they can make an informed decision. Adding even more options to the mix does not help. You're just giving them more homework that they need to read through before they can start playing.
And they have to do that one time, and then they're done. If they want to be a wizard that can gish, they can be a Bladesinger. If they want to be a fighter that can gish, they can be an Eldritch Knight. If they want to be a Warlock that can gish, they can be a Hexblade. If they want their whole class to be based around gishing, they can be the Gish class, if there was one in the official game. You already have to do that for War Clerics, Paladins, and Celestial Bladelocks. Adding that for gish characters doesn't make anything worse.
 

Minigiant

Legend
Supporter
I've pondered this briefly once or twice in the past and then found myself thinking it wouldn't be very good.

Re-reading Glen Cook's Dread Empire series has two characters that makes me wonder how it would work though... the spectacularly written Magelin Radetic in the prequels, and then the more superficial Michael Trebilcock at the end of the main sequence and in the sequels. That they apparently teach fencing at the Rebsamen University in Hellin Daimiel would probably be important to making them playable. The former has also has some "rally the troops" skills when pressed and the later is good at being a sneak. (I can't imagine de Camp and Pratt's Harold Shea being nearly as useful without fencing either -- although his magical aptitude helped).

I'm more familiar with 2e and PF than 5e, and in those, I probably would have started with a Bard and nuked the magic, or a Rogue without sneak attack but who could give suggestions to colleagues (like a mini-Warlord).

It's hard to imagine but I can't help but see the gap in the fantasy archetypes where it could lay.

The D&D Rogue could have toook on the role but edition after edition focuses and doubles down the clases underhandedness, sneakiness, and skullduggery. The skills aspect gets covered in the dirty slime of SNEAKATTACK, thieves tools, and Thieves Cant.

There is a space for the learned researcher or wise man who isn't a 12th rank thief of the local criminal organization to adventurer and explorer the ruins of a lost civilization, tomb of an long dead king, or the mansion of an evil vampire.

Now I'm not saying the class would be a defenseless wimp. I'd gofor a war cleric like base assumption. I'm just think the class would not go the full assassiny route of the rogue nor display the supreme combat prowess of the fighter.

Because that's the other part: fighters aren't just guys who fight anymore. Fighter are combat masters perform the most incredible feats of martial prowess. If Professor Scotch is a 10th level fighter, he can outfight 99% of the knights in a kingdom 1v1. That's why I am tempted to meld the Truenamer and Warlord into the class. Only a big stinking nerd would study enough Truespeak to make it combat capable. And I could see someone with expertise in History and a geek for thefamous battles of history bringing that to the table in an orc fight.

Push come to shove the Scholar class would have the subclasses of Detective, Duelist, Medic, Truenamer, Warlord.
 

Cadence

Legend
Supporter
If a player decides that they want to make a gish, then adding a gish class to the game is the worst thing you could do, because there are already three arcane-magic sword-wielders in the PHB alone. They already know what they want to make, but instead of being able to pick that option and go, they're forced to learn all of the obscure minutiae that differentiates them from each other just so they can make an informed decision. Adding even more options to the mix does not help. You're just giving them more homework that they need to read through before they can start playing.

Do most new players read through all the supplemental books before playing for the first time?

Is four that much more than three?

If your against having to do more homework because of more options, does that mean you are also against any new sub-classes and archetypes?
 

dnd4vr

The Smurfiest Wizard Ever!
Why? Why do you not want more classes? Does it harm anything to add more? I'm honestly asking.
IMO yes and here is why:

Let's go back in time... many years ago... to 1E AD&D. You had the Player's Handbook, and later Unearthed Arcana and Oriental Adventures. Other than some settings books (like Dragonlance), for making your character concept and deciding your races, etc. that was pretty much it. Nearly all the additional books were meant to build on the rule systems for the game: Dungeon Master's Guide, Monster Manuals 1 and 2, the Fiend Folio, Deities & Demigods, The Manual of the Planes, The Wilderness Survival Guide, the Dungeoneer's Survival Guide, etc.; and thus revolved more around building the "game world" and the adventure. The adventure is what was important. The excitement of the quest! Not what new feature your PC was about to get, or what other class you should take to maximize your damage potential or try to break the system.

Now, I blame 2E when the bloat came and starting this. Every race and class eventually had a guide book of one sort or another, there were so many new things with kits and such it was ridiculous in the end. I hope 5E never gets to this point, but it has a healthy start in that direction.

Don't get me wrong, there was plenty of stuff in AD&D that had its issues as well! :)

Now, we come forward to the present. Today I was discussing house-rules with one of my online players. He started mentioning a race I and some spells I never heard of! Later, he told me they were from Acquisitions Incorporated. Sigh... When players want to play things that, as a DM, I have no access to and really don't want to add more stuff to my games, it becomes an issue. Their happiness is lessened because they want to be something I'm not prepared to approve and frankly don't want to add. More subclasses, more bloat. More races, more bloat. More everything, more bloat. There is enough, already.

I understand: it is a business and has to put out content to make money. No issues there.

But there are other things I would like to see that for 5E simply aren't going to happen. One of the players will DM for the first time soon. He was asking me how does a rule work for something (I forget exactly what, it was a couple weeks ago), but my response was "Well, there really isn't a rule. You just have to make it up and deal with it however you feel works best." Some people love that freedom in 5E, for others it is annoying as HELL! The game feels incomplete to me because of such issues. There are other things I would like to see done, but I know aren't a priority for WotC so I won't see them... :(

I've said it before and I'm sure I'll say it again: the game used to be more about what your character did, not what your character can do. That might not make any sense... it is past midnight here so I am probably just rambling anyway. I'll leave this for now and revisit it in the morning when I have time.

Before I go I'll say one more thing. I would rather see more subclasses than classes. I think the core types are already there to build out pretty much anything you can think of and I don't think you need a class for every concept under the sun. BUT (and this is a big but ;) ) what I personally don't want to see is SO much overlap and making magic even more ingrained into each subclass (I'm looking at you, Wild Magic Barbarian or whatever!). To me, personally, part of the appeal of D&D is the mundane. Because then, when the magical and really heroic stuff happens, it is much more special.

I hope that clears up some of my perspective. I'll never fault WotC for trying to make money LOL or appeal to what their market research shows is what the broadest groups want, but when it makes things harder, or more annoying for me, then I'm not happy about seeing it...

Ok, I need sleep. Until tomorrow. :)
 

MoonSong

Rules-lawyering drama queen but not a munchkin
Sorcerer is the most pointless class in the game.


The horror, the horror! T.T
 

IMO yes and here is why:

Let's go back in time... many years ago... to 1E AD&D. You had the Player's Handbook, and later Unearthed Arcana and Oriental Adventures. Other than some settings books (like Dragonlance), for making your character concept and deciding your races, etc. that was pretty much it. Nearly all the additional books were meant to build on the rule systems for the game: Dungeon Master's Guide, Monster Manuals 1 and 2, the Fiend Folio, Deities & Demigods, The Manual of the Planes, The Wilderness Survival Guide, the Dungeoneer's Survival Guide, etc.; and thus revolved more around building the "game world" and the adventure. The adventure is what was important. The excitement of the quest! Not what new feature your PC was about to get, or what other class you should take to maximize your damage potential or try to break the system.

Now, I blame 2E when the bloat came and starting this. Every race and class eventually had a guide book of one sort or another, there were so many new things with kits and such it was ridiculous in the end. I hope 5E never gets to this point, but it has a healthy start in that direction.

Don't get me wrong, there was plenty of stuff in AD&D that had its issues as well! :)

Now, we come forward to the present. Today I was discussing house-rules with one of my online players. He started mentioning a race I and some spells I never heard of! Later, he told me they were from Acquisitions Incorporated. Sigh... When players want to play things that, as a DM, I have no access to and really don't want to add more stuff to my games, it becomes an issue. Their happiness is lessened because they want to be something I'm not prepared to approve and frankly don't want to add. More subclasses, more bloat. More races, more bloat. More everything, more bloat. There is enough, already.

I understand: it is a business and has to put out content to make money. No issues there.

But there are other things I would like to see that for 5E simply aren't going to happen. One of the players will DM for the first time soon. He was asking me how does a rule work for something (I forget exactly what, it was a couple weeks ago), but my response was "Well, there really isn't a rule. You just have to make it up and deal with it however you feel works best." Some people love that freedom in 5E, for others it is annoying as HELL! The game feels incomplete to me because of such issues. There are other things I would like to see done, but I know aren't a priority for WotC so I won't see them... :(

I've said it before and I'm sure I'll say it again: the game used to be more about what your character did, not what your character can do. That might not make any sense... it is past midnight here so I am probably just rambling anyway. I'll leave this for now and revisit it in the morning when I have time.

Before I go I'll say one more thing. I would rather see more subclasses than classes. I think the core types are already there to build out pretty much anything you can think of and I don't think you need a class for every concept under the sun. BUT (and this is a big but ;) ) what I personally don't want to see is SO much overlap and making magic even more ingrained into each subclass (I'm looking at you, Wild Magic Barbarian or whatever!). To me, personally, part of the appeal of D&D is the mundane. Because then, when the magical and really heroic stuff happens, it is much more special.

I hope that clears up some of my perspective. I'll never fault WotC for trying to make money LOL or appeal to what their market research shows is what the broadest groups want, but when it makes things harder, or more annoying for me, then I'm not happy about seeing it...

Ok, I need sleep. Until tomorrow. :)
So, you don't want more classes because it would cause you a minor inconvenience. Okay, then. I guess I'll continue homebrewing classes until WotC decides to do their job because certain people in the community don't want to say no to a player.
 

Cadence

Legend
Supporter
Now, we come forward to the present. Today I was discussing house-rules with one of my online players. He started mentioning a race I and some spells I never heard of! Later, he told me they were from Acquisitions Incorporated. Sigh... When players want to play things that, as a DM, I have no access to and really don't want to add more stuff to my games, it becomes an issue. Their happiness is lessened because they want to be something I'm not prepared to approve and frankly don't want to add. More subclasses, more bloat. More races, more bloat. More everything, more bloat. There is enough, already.

I understand: it is a business and has to put out content to make money. No issues there.

But there are other things I would like to see that for 5E simply aren't going to happen. One of the players will DM for the first time soon. He was asking me how does a rule work for something (I forget exactly what, it was a couple weeks ago), but my response was "Well, there really isn't a rule. You just have to make it up and deal with it however you feel works best." Some people love that freedom in 5E, for others it is annoying as HELL! The game feels incomplete to me because of such issues. There are other things I would like to see done, but I know aren't a priority for WotC so I won't see them... :(

I've said it before and I'm sure I'll say it again: the game used to be more about what your character did, not what your character can do. That might not make any sense... it is past midnight here so I am probably just rambling anyway. I'll leave this for now and revisit it in the morning when I have time.

Before I go I'll say one more thing. I would rather see more subclasses than classes. I think the core types are already there to build out pretty much anything you can think of and I don't think you need a class for every concept under the sun. BUT (and this is a big but ;) ) what I personally don't want to see is SO much overlap and making magic even more ingrained into each subclass (I'm looking at you, Wild Magic Barbarian or whatever!). To me, personally, part of the appeal of D&D is the mundane. Because then, when the magical and really heroic stuff happens, it is much more special.

I hope that clears up some of my perspective. I'll never fault WotC for trying to make money LOL or appeal to what their market research shows is what the broadest groups want, but when it makes things harder, or more annoying for me, then I'm not happy about seeing it...

Ok, I need sleep. Until tomorrow. :)

Back in 2e, we used to make all kinds of class modification proposals to our DM, and even work out entire modified spell lists sometimes to make the character we wanted to have go do things. Because it's how we pictured the character. I wonder if having more options back when would have let us find things without the cusomization.

Has cutting down on the 3.5/PF style multi-classing appeal dealt with the issue of doing vs. what they can do?

Comparing paragraph 1 to 5. Is it correct to say, you don't want any more clases or subclasses, but if you had to pick you'd much rather have the sub-classes?
 

Whenever someone proposes a new official class, people online scream "CLASS BLOAT! CLASS BLOAT! Just make it a subclass!" I don't get it. Does subclass bloat not exist? How does adding 7 more classes create class bloat? I understand if you don't want hundreds of classes, I don't want that either, but adding just over half a dozen more classes will not destroy D&D as we know it.
 

The truenamer was an interesting concept, but in the table board it was at-will power, but very limited options, and this was boring. Sometimes I wondered about a truenamer version using the dark tongue from "Book of Vile Darkness" and the words of creations from "Book of Exalted Deeds".

I feel curiosity about a remake of the shadowcaster, as a master of the dark matter, and using mysteries not only for powers linked with the shadows but the other elements (wood, metal, fire, water, air..). The mysteries by the shadowcasters could be powerful in the lowest levels even once-daily, but in the highest levels even at-will not to be enough useful. Maybe mysteries could be useful as racial traits. First as a daily power, later as a once-encounter, after you can reload it as a martial maneuver and in the end at-will or with only a concentration check.

Mage Hand Press is a good 3PP to publish about new classes.

Gunslinger could be a class for Red Steel/Savage Coast player's handbook.

My theory is after the psionic mystic we only will see three new classes until 2030, maybe the warlord, the shaman and the martial adept. Maybe in the last years of the 5th Ed will risk more with new ideas about crunch, for example a remake of incarnum.
 

Saelorn

Hero
Do most new players read through all the supplemental books before playing for the first time?
They do if they want to make an informed decision. Of course, the GM may choose to go easy on them, by not introducing extraneous supplements that would complicate matters.
Is four that much more than three?
Regardless of whether or not three is already too much, four is still a step in the wrong direction.
If your against having to do more homework because of more options, does that mean you are also against any new sub-classes and archetypes?
If a sub-class or archetype is actually unique, and not already represented in the game, then it doesn't require any work to differentiate it from existing options. If you want to introduce an entirely new concept, like a Speedster or something, then that's clearly not any of the other classes and it doesn't require any investigation to figure out what differentiates it from anything else. I'm not against new options. I'm against redundant options.
 

Saelorn

Hero
And they have to do that one time, and then they're done.
I think you're under-estimating the amount of work required to learn the rules of the game well enough to understand the distinctions between existing options, just because you've already done it.
If they want to be a wizard that can gish, they can be a Bladesinger. If they want to be a fighter that can gish, they can be an Eldritch Knight. If they want to be a Warlock that can gish, they can be a Hexblade. If they want their whole class to be based around gishing, they can be the Gish class, if there was one in the official game.
There's a lot more to it than that. Every difference between two choices will further raise the bar required to make an informed decision. Eldritch Knights and Hexblades don't even have the same casting stat, let alone the same resource model.
You already have to do that for War Clerics, Paladins, and Celestial Bladelocks. Adding that for gish characters doesn't make anything worse.
Celestial Bladelocks aren't even in the book. They're in some other book entirely. For martially-oriented divine casters, they only have to choose between paladins and war clerics. Martially-oriented arcane casters already have to choose between eldritch knights, valor bards, and blade pact warlocks; just in the PHB. In either case, there's no sense in making a bad situation even worse.
 

Maxperson

Morkus from Orkus
It shifts the focus of the game even further away from the actual table, and toward the character creation mini-game.

Um. Do you guys make one PC per X classes or something? From where I sit, it takes as long to make a PC with one class if there are 10 classes or 100 classes. You aren't using all of the rest.

It's good if a player knows what type of character they want to play. It's bad if they have to spend any amount of time figuring out how to "build" that character.
It's 5e man. There's nothing to build. You pick the class and you get the abilities for 1st level. Maybe you pick some spells.
 

I think you're under-estimating the amount of work required to learn the rules of the game well enough to understand the distinctions between existing options, just because you've already done it.
I'm not underestimating it, I know what it's like because I've done it before. It's not that hard.
There's a lot more to it than that. Every difference between two choices will further raise the bar required to make an informed decision. Eldritch Knights and Hexblades don't even have the same casting stat, let alone the same resource model.
There's more too it, but that is a minor problem.
Celestial Bladelocks aren't even in the book. They're in some other book entirely. For martially-oriented divine casters, they only have to choose between paladins and war clerics. Martially-oriented arcane casters already have to choose between eldritch knights, valor bards, and blade pact warlocks; just in the PHB. In either case, there's no sense in making a bad situation even worse.
You're being overly dramatic. The "bad situation" is merely reading and learning the mechanics of 3ish things.
 

Undrave

Hero
Considering that you have failed to articulate why fighter subclass cannot sufficiently fulfill the role of a warlord it seems you just want rule bloat for the sake of it.

Because a Warlord is wider than a single subclass. It's like saying we don't need the Rogue class when we can just have a Thief subclass for the Fighter. Or trying to cram all the Bard college concept into a single Wizard subclass alongside the 8 existing Wizard subclasses. Again, my own Warlord has 8 subclasses, with a 9th I'm working on:

The Ardent Soul, a Psionic Warlord who fills his allies with his inner fire
The Ballistarius, a Warlord who specializes in leading ranged attack squads
The Borderland Marshal, a Warlord who is used to limited ressources and skirmishing in the wild
The Chosen One, a Warlord with a divine spark in their soul that pushes them toward becoming a figure of legends
The Rabble Rouser, a Warlord used to facing superior forces and using dirty tricks to overcome obstacles
The Silverblade Captain, a Warlord who leads anti-caster squads and inquisitors
The Steel Protector, a Combat Medic Warlord who fights on the frontline and support their allies more than lead them
The White Raven Tactician, the classically trained Warlord and master of formations
And the new one:
The Crimson Sparrow Herald, a Warlord who can lead either a platoon of warrior or a diplomatic mission


Do you really think the Chosen One, and the Arcane Archer feel like the same class? The White Raven Tactician and the Champion? At that point the Fighter might as well be a blank slate with a few proficiencies and extra attack progression and nothing else.

plus, I feel like a Fighter is a more self-centered concept and suite of core abilities, while a Warlord‘s core abilities would be more allies-centered. The disconnect would be too jarring.
 
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It's hard to imagine but I can't help but see the gap in the fantasy archetypes where it could lay.

The D&D Rogue could have toook on the role but edition after edition focuses and doubles down the clases underhandedness, sneakiness, and skullduggery. The skills aspect gets covered in the dirty slime of SNEAKATTACK, thieves tools, and Thieves Cant.

There is a space for the learned researcher or wise man who isn't a 12th rank thief of the local criminal organization to adventurer and explorer the ruins of a lost civilization, tomb of an long dead king, or the mansion of an evil vampire.

Now I'm not saying the class would be a defenseless wimp. I'd gofor a war cleric like base assumption. I'm just think the class would not go the full assassiny route of the rogue nor display the supreme combat prowess of the fighter.
Set up another way to qualify for sneak attack, some Intelligence synergy, and allow swapping of thieves' cant and tools for another language and tool proficiency. Rogue has that niche covered fairly well.

Sneak attack is just a way of representing observing and making a single decisive strike rather than the flurry of openings that the fighter uses. Perhaps the subclass would be able to make an intelligence check and then grant an ally their sneak attack damage against an opponent?

The truenamer was an interesting concept, but in the table board it was at-will power, but very limited options, and this was boring. Sometimes I wondered about a truenamer version using the dark tongue from "Book of Vile Darkness" and the words of creations from "Book of Exalted Deeds".

I feel curiosity about a remake of the shadowcaster, as a master of the dark matter, and using mysteries not only for powers linked with the shadows but the other elements (wood, metal, fire, water, air..). The mysteries by the shadowcasters could be powerful in the lowest levels even once-daily, but in the highest levels even at-will not to be enough useful. Maybe mysteries could be useful as racial traits. First as a daily power, later as a once-encounter, after you can reload it as a martial maneuver and in the end at-will or with only a concentration check.
Conceptually, spells can work to represent Words of Power or Shadowcasting, so a new class would require a good mechanical implementation to make it actually distinct from the existing casters with a different flavour.

My theory is after the psionic mystic we only will see three new classes until 2030, maybe the warlord, the shaman and the martial adept. Maybe in the last years of the 5th Ed will risk more with new ideas about crunch, for example a remake of incarnum.
What would your Shaman class be like?
 

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