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

Should D&D 5e have more classes?


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Now if I were to be cheeky (and I am!) then this would be a perfect opportunity to point out that if the concept doesn't even have a readily recognisable name derived from history, mythology or even literature then perhaps it is a thematically weak concept that has been artificially created to fulfil a gamist role.
Do classes in D&D have to be based on real world or pop culture concepts? Does D&D not allowed to make a class that didn't exist in real world mythologies? If so, that's severely limiting imagination and creative freedom.
Though come think of it, there are actually is one well known version of gishes. The jedis!
They're psionic, if anything, not a gish.
But I don't think that calling them 'swordmages' would be a problem. It's just a name and doesn't mean they have to use sword. Eldritch knight is good but already taken. Battle-mage? A bit generic, but does what it says in the tin and doesn't have a weapon type in its name.
It's just my preference, I don't want to name anything too specific, even if the mechanics don't match that restrictive title.
 

Crimson Longinus

Adventurer
Do classes in D&D have to be based on real world or pop culture concepts? Does D&D not allowed to make a class that didn't exist in real world mythologies? If so, that's severely limiting imagination and creative freedom.
Of course they're allowed, but things that are based on recognisable imagery and tropes are going to resonate with people better.

They're psionic, if anything, not a gish.
But that's still the same thing. Force is just different word for magic. So is psionics.

It's just my preference, I don't want to name anything too specific, even if the mechanics don't match that restrictive title.
So battle-mage?
 

Of course they're allowed, but things that are based on recognisable imagery and tropes are going to resonate with people better.
It makes it easier to imagine it at first, but that shouldn't play a factor in game design, IMO.
But that's still the same thing. Force is just different word for magic. So is psionics.
So, only jedi, but this is nowhere near a jedi class. Jedi would use psionics, not spellcasting.
So battle-mage?
Unless a better name is proposed. I haven't decided on any specific one as the final name yet.
 

Undrave

Hero
I love your posts, Undrave, and could read what you write all day. But, hear me out: I think there is legitimacy in a game designed around archetypes from literature, films, mythology, and so forth...and not necessarily to fill "design space." I started playing in 1980 and up through the 2000s, no one that I was playing with (and I played in conventions in three or four states as I researched a book) was using terms like "tank" or "blaster" (unless it was West End's Star Wars game!), or "buff flavor." I think I know what you are referring too when you use these now (especially here) common terms. But, could it be that trying to go under the hood and impose those terms does a disservice?

For example, I think that there is nothing wrong with trying to create a class that emulates Bruce Lee. Bruce Lee is enough of a "design space," I think.

I have played a few different monks, in fact they are my favorite class, and I have never had my monk "fall flat" at the table, nor have any of my fellow players suggested as much.

I played 4th edition and enjoyed it. Wizards was very forward at the time that its classes were designed to fulfill its four combat roles. From a game designer's POV, I am sure it is rewarding. But, from a player's POV, it is fun to play the monk who can do things like I see in Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon, Ipman, and what have you.

I have seen almost every class criticized for its design except the warlock. Either Wizards is completely incompetent, which I do not think is the case, or this way of looking at the game might be more trouble (= leading to dissatisfaction) than it is worth.

But, maybe I am wrong, maybe I simply have been lucky with my monks or something. I sure do like monks, though.
This is very strongly how I feel. I have played a lot of MMOs, and I do love them, but frankly it bugs me when the MMO terminology and design logic creeps into tabletop RPGs. If I want to play a MMO, I'll do that on my computer. I seek a fundamentally different things from tabletop RPGs.This of course is very much a personal preference type of a thing, but I think this difference in attitude is one of the reasons why people disagree on what should or shouldn't be a class.
The game ALWAYS had roles, only in 1e it was Fighting-Man, Magic User, Cleric and Thief. The class were the roles. In other edition you had stuff like 'The healer', 'the Face', 'the Melee' and so forth. Class and roles are intrisinctly linked. You can't have a class be good at EVERYTHING (because then, why have aclass?), so it's important to know what you want your class to be good AT. you have to have an idea of what that character would look like, either in terms of narrative ("Okay, so the Thief is sneaky and can pick lock or disarm traps.") or mechancally ("The Rogue gets Sneak Attack instead of extra attacks") then you build from there.

It doesn't mean you can't have options to break out of the box, but you need to start with a box if you want to give your class an actual identity and you want to be able to tell WHERE to break from the box and what options to offer that would do so.. And you need your class features to syngerize if you want the character to feel like its progressing at what its good at.

I think the fact that Wizards COULD do everything in the past was always a problem with the design, with the flimsy explanation that "It's magic, it can do everything!" and leads to a Wizard that, frankly, has no identity that isn't wrapped up in its mechanical idiosyncracies.

Archetypes in story and media fullfill a role too, but their role is dependant on their relationship with the narrative. It,s why TV Tropes has lists of things like the Four Humors or the Five-Man Band and all the rest.

In D&D you interact with the resolution system and the type of obstacles the game can put in your way. You got the guy who uses pure physical abiliy, you got the guy who is more subtle and skill based, and you got the D&D Magic User who breaks the rules.

Bruce Lee, to me, was a Striker, a DPS, a damage dealer, whatever you want to call him. He hit hard and fast and you couldn't touch him because he was too fast and too strong!

The 5e Monk hits about as hard as a wet paper bag and is about as resilient. It's a weird grab bag of abilities that all have legacy value but don't super build up on each other. You got defining features like Stunning Strike coming up after other classes already got their schtick and it over values the impact of Ki, making a ton of important abilities compete for your meager supply.

The 'role' is a design tool, it doesn't need to be player facing. If you do a good job, players will be able to instinctively understand what they're supposed to do with that character just from reading the class features and seeing them in play. They won't even realize the role was there! Honestly, when I play a Monk I never know what the heck I'm supposed to be doing.
 

It might be possible in a pitch but I just don't think there is enough design space to pull it away from the rogue's sneaky, acrobatic, and underhanded base assumption.

The scout is still sneaking around and stabbing beings in the back.

At it's base, the rogue relies primarily on sneakiness, acrobatics, or underhandedness defeat obstacles. The class is heavily Dexterity base by default as it's many combat strategy uses it for offense, defense, and setting itself up. Again in combat, rogues with shoot from afar, attack from shadows, or flank in light armor. All dexterity based. In exploration, the main aspects of rogues are based on dexterity as well: acrobatics, lockpicking, and sleight of hand.
That "sneaky, acrobatic, and underhanded base assumption" is your assumption. Rogues don't have to use Dexterity to attack, or even have proficiency in Stealth, acrobatics or sleight of hand.
There's a whole lot of baggage from stereotypes and previous editions that simply aren't required for the 5e rogue. The only fairly important thing that rogues need Dex for is AC, but that is true of most classes.

Yeah but it doesn't have Sherlock's wealth of knowledge and lore nor applications of arts and sciences. It's not bringing special uses of Arcana, History, Nature, Medicine, Animal Handling, Religion, Deception nor Intimidation to the combat nor exploration phases as tools to defeat challenges.
It was bringing Sherlock's wealth of knowledge about anatomy, psychology and fighting techniques into the combat.

I want a character with a vast array of knowledge and techniques that can be brought to combat, exploration, and social encounters in some way.
Do you want the character to just be really good at skills, or do you want them to be able to do things with skills that no other class can?
Do you want to be able to analyse a foe and determine its general capabilities with an Int check of the appropriate type, or do you want to actually be using your Int score for attack and damage rolls?

That's why I like the concept of the truenames scholar. They comb times and books to learn the scraps of the secret language in the structure of the universes. In combat they can use their knowledge to guess parts of a foes truenames to alter it or an ally's truenames to enhance them. They can use truenames on objects why exploring to open new avenues or have secrets reveal themselves. And in social interaction, they can attempt to drop words in speech to affect those they speak to.
That is basically a Wizard. Or maybe Bard. Invoking the true names of things or people is a classical concept of spells.

If the artificer wasn't a thing, that's where I would have put alchemy and kept it nonmagical. Or at least as fantasy science.

Maybe a Frankstien type with their own monster made with science.

An herbalist whose special diet of herbs and roots give themselves and their allies all kinds of enhancements. Put your frontline warriors on a regiment of special teas.
In Eberron for example, fantasy science is magic. Or perhaps more accurately, magic is fantasy science.
 

That "sneaky, acrobatic, and underhanded base assumption" is your assumption. Rogues don't have to use Dexterity to attack, or even have proficiency in Stealth, acrobatics or sleight of hand.
There's a whole lot of baggage from stereotypes and previous editions that simply aren't required for the 5e rogue. The only fairly important thing that rogues need Dex for is AC, but that is true of most classes.
Evasion, Sneak Attack, and many other rogue abilities disagree with you.
 

Hatmatter

Explorer
The game ALWAYS had roles, only in 1e it was Fighting-Man, Magic User, Cleric and Thief. The class were the roles. In other edition you had stuff like 'The healer', 'the Face', 'the Melee' and so forth. Class and roles are intrisinctly linked. You can't have a class be good at EVERYTHING (because then, why have aclass?), so it's important to know what you want your class to be good AT. you have to have an idea of what that character would look like, either in terms of narrative ("Okay, so the Thief is sneaky and can pick lock or disarm traps.") or mechancally ("The Rogue gets Sneak Attack instead of extra attacks") then you build from there.

It doesn't mean you can't have options to break out of the box, but you need to start with a box if you want to give your class an actual identity and you want to be able to tell WHERE to break from the box and what options to offer that would do so.. And you need your class features to syngerize if you want the character to feel like its progressing at what its good at.

I think the fact that Wizards COULD do everything in the past was always a problem with the design, with the flimsy explanation that "It's magic, it can do everything!" and leads to a Wizard that, frankly, has no identity that isn't wrapped up in its mechanical idiosyncracies.

Archetypes in story and media fullfill a role too, but their role is dependant on their relationship with the narrative. It,s why TV Tropes has lists of things like the Four Humors or the Five-Man Band and all the rest.

In D&D you interact with the resolution system and the type of obstacles the game can put in your way. You got the guy who uses pure physical abiliy, you got the guy who is more subtle and skill based, and you got the D&D Magic User who breaks the rules.

Bruce Lee, to me, was a Striker, a DPS, a damage dealer, whatever you want to call him. He hit hard and fast and you couldn't touch him because he was too fast and too strong!

The 5e Monk hits about as hard as a wet paper bag and is about as resilient. It's a weird grab bag of abilities that all have legacy value but don't super build up on each other. You got defining features like Stunning Strike coming up after other classes already got their schtick and it over values the impact of Ki, making a ton of important abilities compete for your meager supply.

The 'role' is a design tool, it doesn't need to be player facing. If you do a good job, players will be able to instinctively understand what they're supposed to do with that character just from reading the class features and seeing them in play. They won't even realize the role was there! Honestly, when I play a Monk I never know what the heck I'm supposed to be doing.
Love ya, Undrave, but I love the monk too. :)
 

Crimson Longinus

Adventurer
The game ALWAYS had roles, only in 1e it was Fighting-Man, Magic User, Cleric and Thief. The class were the roles. In other edition you had stuff like 'The healer', 'the Face', 'the Melee' and so forth. Class and roles are intrisinctly linked. You can't have a class be good at EVERYTHING (because then, why have aclass?), so it's important to know what you want your class to be good AT. you have to have an idea of what that character would look like, either in terms of narrative ("Okay, so the Thief is sneaky and can pick lock or disarm traps.") or mechancally ("The Rogue gets Sneak Attack instead of extra attacks") then you build from there.

It doesn't mean you can't have options to break out of the box, but you need to start with a box if you want to give your class an actual identity and you want to be able to tell WHERE to break from the box and what options to offer that would do so.. And you need your class features to syngerize if you want the character to feel like its progressing at what its good at.

I think the fact that Wizards COULD do everything in the past was always a problem with the design, with the flimsy explanation that "It's magic, it can do everything!" and leads to a Wizard that, frankly, has no identity that isn't wrapped up in its mechanical idiosyncracies.

Archetypes in story and media fullfill a role too, but their role is dependant on their relationship with the narrative. It,s why TV Tropes has lists of things like the Four Humors or the Five-Man Band and all the rest.

In D&D you interact with the resolution system and the type of obstacles the game can put in your way. You got the guy who uses pure physical abiliy, you got the guy who is more subtle and skill based, and you got the D&D Magic User who breaks the rules.

Bruce Lee, to me, was a Striker, a DPS, a damage dealer, whatever you want to call him. He hit hard and fast and you couldn't touch him because he was too fast and too strong!

The 5e Monk hits about as hard as a wet paper bag and is about as resilient. It's a weird grab bag of abilities that all have legacy value but don't super build up on each other. You got defining features like Stunning Strike coming up after other classes already got their schtick and it over values the impact of Ki, making a ton of important abilities compete for your meager supply.

The 'role' is a design tool, it doesn't need to be player facing. If you do a good job, players will be able to instinctively understand what they're supposed to do with that character just from reading the class features and seeing them in play. They won't even realize the role was there! Honestly, when I play a Monk I never know what the heck I'm supposed to be doing.
The starting point should be the fiction and the imagery of the class. Then you design rules that evoke that fiction. Mechanically successful class is one which has rules that let it perform in the game like the player would imagine such a character performing in fiction. And because classes are relatively broad archetypes, this means the design also has to be flexible. There are many different kinds of fighters, many different kind of rogues. And if you tie the class too tightly some mechanical role, that flexibility suffers. That definitely happened in 4E and a lot of people didn't like that.

As for monk, one certainly can question whether their mechanics successfully evoke the fiction, perhaps they quite don't. I for one feel that none of the monk subclasses really properly captures my mental image of very spiritual and rather magical monk. But this really has very little to do with fulfilling any specific role, more with the opposite in fact.
 


Well, my PHB disagrees with you. :p

Evasion is the only Rogue class ability that requires Dexterity.

No other Rogue class abilities require Dexterity, not even Sneak Attack.
But you're rewarded more for having Dex than any other stat. It's easier to get sneak attack if you hide before you attack, needing Dex to hide. You're rewarded for using ranged weapons, which are Dex based. It's very clear that rogues are meant to be stealth based, even if they can use Strength or Int/Cha with multiclassing.
 

dnd4vr

The Smurfiest Wizard Ever!
But you're rewarded more for having Dex than any other stat. It's easier to get sneak attack if you hide before you attack, needing Dex to hide. You're rewarded for using ranged weapons, which are Dex based. It's very clear that rogues are meant to be stealth based, even if they can use Strength or Int/Cha with multiclassing.
Not really. You sneak attack if your enemy has an enemy within 5 feet of it (very common IME) or when you make a ranged attack against such a creature, which includes thrown weapons--which is STR, not DEX. Lastly, you can use advantage--which any 2nd level Barbarian can get--again, using STR.
 

Not really. You sneak attack if your enemy has an enemy within 5 feet of it (very common IME) or when you make a ranged attack against such a creature, which includes thrown weapons--which is STR, not DEX. Lastly, you can use advantage--which any 2nd level Barbarian can get--again, using STR.
Yes, I am aware that strength based rogues are good, if you multiclass into barbarian, but Dex based ones are rewarded more.
 

Minigiant

Legend
That "sneaky, acrobatic, and underhanded base assumption" is your assumption. Rogues don't have to use Dexterity to attack, or even have proficiency in Stealth, acrobatics or sleight of hand.
There's a whole lot of baggage from stereotypes and previous editions that simply aren't required for the 5e rogue. The only fairly important thing that rogues need Dex for is AC, but that is true of most classes.
Nah. The rogue is clearly Dex biased. Sneak attack only triggers with advantage and "flanking". The main way they get advantage is stealth. Flanking relies on having good defensive state, which for Rogues mean high Dex. The book has Dexterity as the rogue's primary score.

It was bringing Sherlock's wealth of knowledge about anatomy, psychology and fighting techniques into the combat.
Sure but it is to me is rather tame. There is little espression of lore and knowledge in how Insightful Fighting works.To me at least.

Do you want the character to just be really good at skills, or do you want them to be able to do things with skills that no other class can?
Do you want to be able to analyse a foe and determine its general capabilities with an Int check of the appropriate type, or do you want to actually be using your Int score for attack and damage rolls?
I want skill to have defined worldly effects like they do in the real world and many fantasy.

I wan Nature to allow me to analyze venoms. I want Arcana to allow the character to understand and affect magical items, obstacles, and beings.. I want Religion to reinforce holy objects and items. I want Persuassion and History to allow use of special terms and laws during negotiation.

I want my character to use theirbrain to do something other than magicing some problem away.

That is basically a Wizard. Or maybe Bard. Invoking the true names of things or people is a classical concept of spells.
Does Science not exist in D&D?
Does the FR have no law schools?
Does chemical reactions not happen in Eberron?
Do people not study philosophy in Dark Sun?

n Eberron for example, fantasy science is magic. Or perhaps more accurately, magic is fantasy science.
Does mundane science, arts, and diplomacy not exist in D&D?
Does fantasy science, arts, and diplomacy not exist in D&D?
Is everything magic?
 


Crimson Longinus

Adventurer
Does mundane science, arts, and diplomacy not exist in D&D?
Does fantasy science, arts, and diplomacy not exist in D&D?
Is everything magic?
It could be argued that in an inherently magical setting magic and science converge at certain level. It is not the physics that govern the universe, it is the magical laws and mystical correlations. And it is precisely that by understanding these things and manipulating them in their advantage the wizards are able to cast their spells.
 

Minigiant

Legend
It could be argued that in an inherently magical setting magic and science converge at certain level. It is not the physics that govern the universe, it is the magical laws and mystical correlations. And it is precisely that by understanding these things and manipulating them in their advantage the wizards are able to cast their spells.
It could also be argued that science and magic are essentially two different path with two difference sources and logic. Magical physics and mundane physics could only interact at the endpoint of the reaction.

Having advanced science, realistic, scifi, or pure fantasy, lag because people got reliant on magic is a common trope. But to have all high science completely disappear and be totally undiscoverable is a completely new thing to me. It's a rabbithole I find strange.

Is causing fire with flint magic? Is convincing your lover to meet with you somewhere magic? Is drawing a silly picture that causes laughter magic?

I find this also strange as many dream and call for low magic worlds. Would these world not have more expert learned men who use the arts and sciences and not spellcasting.
 


Crimson Longinus

Adventurer
It could also be argued that science and magic are essentially two different path with two difference sources and logic. Magical physics and mundane physics could only interact at the endpoint of the reaction.

Having advanced science, realistic, scifi, or pure fantasy, lag because people got reliant on magic is a common trope. But to have all high science completely disappear and be totally undiscoverable is a completely new thing to me. It's a rabbithole I find strange.

Is causing fire with flint magic? Is convincing your lover to meet with you somewhere magic? Is drawing a silly picture that causes laughter magic?

I find this also strange as many dream and call for low magic worlds. Would these world not have more expert learned men who use the arts and sciences and not spellcasting.
There are more things in heaven and Earth, Horatio, than are dreamt of in your philosophy.

There can be different paradigms of how these things work, and I'm not saying it has to be in certain way. I generally prefer highly magical settings to also be fundamentally magical though, instead of merely being normal world + magic. This means that there are not modern physics to be discovered, not necessarily even chemistry. On fundamental level mystical principles govern the universe. The world is made out of four classical elements or is the dreams of primordial First Gods or something like that. Perhaps the flint makes fire because they're are shards of Volcano God's heart, or perhaps because an ancient pact made by the first men and the fire elementals. Just think how ancient people believed the world to work; well in fantasy those beliefs can be true instead of our modern science.

This BTW is not how my brain works naturally, I'm pretty science-minded person, but perhaps exactly for that reason I find such esoteric metaphysics appealing.
 

Minigiant

Legend
There are more things in heaven and Earth, Horatio, than are dreamt of in your philosophy.

There can be different paradigms of how these things work, and I'm not saying it has to be in certain way. I generally prefer highly magical settings to also be fundamentally magical though, instead of merely being normal world + magic. This means that there are not modern physics to be discovered, not necessarily even chemistry. On fundamental level mystical principles govern the universe. The world is made out of four classical elements or is the dreams of primordial First Gods or something like that. Perhaps the flint makes fire because they're are shards of Volcano God's heart, or perhaps because an ancient pact made by the first men and the fire elementals. Just think how ancient people believed the world to work; well in fantasy those beliefs can be true instead of our modern science.

This BTW is not how my brain works naturally, I'm pretty science-minded person, but perhaps exactly for that reason I find such esoteric metaphysics appealing.
I am not for "normal world + magic" either. I like when fantasy worlds use their own made up science and stuff.
I'm not a fan of every adventurer with a brain being a spellcaster and all science in fantasy being spells.
Some worlds can do this but it shouldn't be a base assumption in D&D.
I'd be cool with a herbalist injecting a concotion into the fighter's neck that powers him up that isn't a magic potion but a mixture of extracted chemicals from special fantasy roots and leaves.
 

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