5E So what happened to like, the PrCs/Paragon classes and the multi-class classes?

I mean, obviously, I don't expect a solid answer, but having followed 5E for it's entire history, it seems like two things they used to talk about quite a lot have gone MIA - specifically PrCs/Paragon classes - i.e. classes you go into at a level above first, and one thing Mearls was talking about a fair bit a while back - classes which basically simulated a multi-class combo, like Fighter/Mage (3.XE was full of these, for basically the same reason 5E might need them). The last MC rules I saw still kind of necessitated them for some character concepts.

Do we know anything about this? Have they been casually mentioned in Mearls' twitter or an interview I didn't read hard enough, or is it radio silence on them? Which doesn't mean they won't be in the PHB/DMG, of course, but I do wonder...
 

Saelorn

Adventurer
Due to the way scaling works, specifically with spell slots and proficiency bonus, you can make a fairly viable hybrid character just through multi-classing. There's no need for a Mystic Theurge, when a multi-class mage/cleric actually works.

For more niche concepts, they're either sub-classes or feats.
 

fjw70

Explorer
I believe there is suppose to be a warrior/mage subclass.

i also remember them saying that PrC/PP would not be in the initial release and is something they would look at down the road.
 
I
I believe there is suppose to be a warrior/mage subclass.

i also remember them saying that PrC/PP would not be in the initial release and is something they would look at down the road.
I belive the eldritch knight sub class has some magic like powers and counts as a caster for multi classing

I think we were told prestige classes where coming just not in the core three books
 

DEFCON 1

Legend
I

I belive the eldritch knight sub class has some magic like powers and counts as a caster for multi classing

I think we were told prestige classes where coming just not in the core three books
I personally would not be surprised if we saw prestige classes make their first appearance in the Rise of Tiamat adventure. Tying prestige classes directly to groups or duties directly related to the events of the campaign. That seems to make the most sense, and what I seem to recall was their original idea behind them in 3E. They were "classes" meant to be specific to the story of your campaign.

Since Rise of Tiamat I believe is meant to start at level 8(?)... having specific prestige classes for the character to go into that are a direct result of membership in the different factions dealing with the Cult of the Dragon, or as a result of what happened to them during Hoard... that pulls the characters even tighter into the story. Then... DMs can use the rules in the DMG to design their own prestige classes for their own campaigns if they find the concept of them to be useful or necessary for their own worlds.

But I think the era of books upon books of "generic" prestige classes which are really nothing more than dressed up regular classes with a Background or Theme-like "story hook" and a couple new abilities is long since past. We have Backgrounds now that cover the same generic fluff ground, and we get to use them at 1st level.
 
[MENTION=98938]DeF[/MENTION]con1 from your lips to gods ears


Even if that makes it harder to DM it would make them be so much better
 

lkj

Adventurer
I mean, obviously, I don't expect a solid answer, but having followed 5E for it's entire history, it seems like two things they used to talk about quite a lot have gone MIA - specifically PrCs/Paragon classes - i.e. classes you go into at a level above first, and one thing Mearls was talking about a fair bit a while back - classes which basically simulated a multi-class combo, like Fighter/Mage (3.XE was full of these, for basically the same reason 5E might need them). The last MC rules I saw still kind of necessitated them for some character concepts.

Do we know anything about this? Have they been casually mentioned in Mearls' twitter or an interview I didn't read hard enough, or is it radio silence on them? Which doesn't mean they won't be in the PHB/DMG, of course, but I do wonder...
Ok-- so I'm risking being one of those folks who say 'I know I heard it somewhere . . .' I do remember Mearls answering a question about PrC and Paragon in some medium fairly recently. Maybe a podcast or some such? My recollection is that they were taking a 'wait and see' on how to use and design them. I got the impression that they wouldn't appear right away.

But, darn it all, it's best not to rely on my flawed memory. Take from this that the info is out there-- I believe in an audio form-- and someone should be able to dig it up.

AD
 

Jeff Carlsen

Adventurer
Personally, I think prestige classes are unnecessary in 5E. That design space is adequately filled by full classes, subclasses, and the new, larger feats.

The prestige portion lends itself very well to feats with setting based requirements. Membership of a particular guild or order, for example. Subclasses fill in for prestige classes that are variations on a base class. Finally, concepts that are two big for feats should probably be fleshed out into full classes.
 

DEFCON 1

Legend
Personally, I think prestige classes are unnecessary in 5E. That design space is adequately filled by full classes, subclasses, and the new, larger feats.

The prestige portion lends itself very well to feats with setting based requirements. Membership of a particular guild or order, for example. Subclasses fill in for prestige classes that are variations on a base class. Finally, concepts that are two big for feats should probably be fleshed out into full classes.
Well, the point of Prestige Classes have always seemed to me to be for two reasons:

1) To bring in new mechanics to the game that are powerful enough to begin with that you wouldn't want to start them at 1st level (thus them not being actually classes).

2) To have a "game produced and written" story or narrative evolution of your character as you become more powerful, rather than the player just stating for him/herself "My character is now a Drunken Master!" (or whatever new character narrative the Prestige Class describes.)

As far as the latter point is concerned... many examples of the "generically-named" PrCs have been subsumed by other systems. Do we need the game to spell out what a 'Justicar' is? Or a 'Blackguard'? Or a 'Duelist'? Not really. Those kind of PrCs that are really just alternate class names can more than be covered by the system as it is. We don't need the game to make us a prestige class to become a 'Dwarven Defender'... if we're a dwarf and we have the feat, we're pretty much already that if even we don't have four or five paragraphs written by WotC describing what it is.

And as far as the former point... the problem ends up being just what kinds of additional game mechanics need to be introduced into the game, and how much of that stuff do we really need? And how useful and/or balanced are those mechanics over the mechanics we could get by just taking another level of our class, or start multiclassing? I mean... if all we had was the Basic Game and there was a Barbarian prestige class that introduced a 'Rage' mechanic (which is something many people have hoped the game moved to in the past)... that would be the kind of thing we'd be looking for. But now, once you get past the mechanics found in the 12 classes we're going to have (plus all the sub-classes)... what other mechanics are there and do we really need them? If the answer is no... then the need for prestige classes has passed.

Truth be told... rather than prestige CLASSES... I think we'd be better off with prestige BACKGROUNDS. Backgrounds you take at a certain level that are based off of what you have done in the campaign up to that point-- maybe an organization you've joined, an effect you are under, a rank or job you have attained, something like that. And that's where we can have described in four or five paragraphs what being a member of 'The Harpers' means (for example), and have them give us proficiency in a couple new skills, plus a new background trait. That seems to me a little more useful, a little less book space intensive, a way to get your character more skills, and a way to avoid needing to balance new mechanics against all the mechanics already in the game.
 

I'm A Banana

Potassium-Rich
I had a think about this...

My think involved the concept of class powers as treasure, as cherries on top of your D&D sundae, as things that were not explicitly entitled to use...
 

Blackwarder

Adventurer
I mean, obviously, I don't expect a solid answer, but having followed 5E for it's entire history, it seems like two things they used to talk about quite a lot have gone MIA - specifically PrCs/Paragon classes - i.e. classes you go into at a level above first, and one thing Mearls was talking about a fair bit a while back - classes which basically simulated a multi-class combo, like Fighter/Mage (3.XE was full of these, for basically the same reason 5E might need them). The last MC rules I saw still kind of necessitated them for some character concepts.

Do we know anything about this? Have they been casually mentioned in Mearls' twitter or an interview I didn't read hard enough, or is it radio silence on them? Which doesn't mean they won't be in the PHB/DMG, of course, but I do wonder...
Thanksfully PrCs has gone the way of the Dodo, iirc in the last Q&A video chat Mike Mearls said that they want to take a wait and see attitude when it comes to PrCs and take another look at them several months after the release of the game.

Don't expect to see any PrCs in the Tyranny of Dragons adventures, they started working on those adventures more than a year ago, if there were PrCs in there than MM would have said something else.

Warder
 

Blackwarder

Adventurer
I think I understand what you mean (maybe) I currently working on an adventure where one of the characters might get 10 paladin levels until the end of the adventure (making that character effectively almost 20 level).

Is that what you had in mind?

Warder
 
Thanksfully PrCs has gone the way of the Dodo, iirc in the last Q&A video chat Mike Mearls said that they want to take a wait and see attitude when it comes to PrCs and take another look at them several months after the release of the game.

Don't expect to see any PrCs in the Tyranny of Dragons adventures, they started working on those adventures more than a year ago, if there were PrCs in there than MM would have said something else.

Warder
Jolly good, and thanks to everyone. I hope they have a few sub-classes which are MC-ish (don't mind if they're not in the PHB), but I'm fine with no PrCs.
 

Unwise

Adventurer
Although I agree with a lot of the previous comments about Paragon Classes not being necessary, I don't think that their roll is entirely covered by existing rules.

To me, one of the larger points of Paragon Paths is to allow access to some unusual and character defining abilities that are at a power level appropriate for high level characters. As a quick example, a Fighter could get "Magic Sword Dude of Fireness" Paragon Path. This path allows him to use Firebreath and Fireball X amount of times a day. A Fighter might also get "Chosen Guy of Healy Goddess" PP, which might give a Mass Cure style effect amongst other things.

In both cases, these abilities are not at all balanced against taking 1 level in Wizard or Cleric. On the other hand though, they are, with one levels investment, giving unique abilities that are balanced at high level without the person having to go through all the prerequisites they would normally go through to get that. PPs allow people to get angel wings, breath fire, turn into trees, open/close portals etc in ways that give them a balanced ability, without having to invest heavily into the normal pre-requisites.

The Feats system does look like it would work pretty well for this. I would propose letting each character have one Paragon Feat, which is a bit more powerful than a normal one (and might even be free, as soon as they reach X total levels). This Feat gives them access to other feats designed for that Paragon Path too.

For instance, unbalanced and off the top of my head:

Magic Fire Sword Guy Path:
- Entry feat "Magic Fire Sword Guy Initiate" gives them the ability to get flaming attacks, resistance to fire and a 1/day Firebolt
- "Magic Fire Sword Guy Veteran" gives them Firebreath 1/day, Firebolt can now be used 3/day and they can put on a Fire Aura 1/day.
- "Magic Fire Sword Guy Master" lets them become a Fire Elemental 1/day and cast Fireball 2/day

This would allow people to dip into their Paragon Path as much or as little as they want. It would however, stifle the ability to do that quickly, as you cannot give up anything to get more Feats. Maybe there needs to spend levels for Prestige Class stype paths, or to swap out levels to get X feats. Maybe have a generic "Paragon Path" class you can spend levels into, it gives you your normal HP and abilities like "Gain Paragon Feat" or "Gain your third paragon class feature".
 
Personally, I think prestige classes are unnecessary in 5E. That design space is adequately filled by full classes, subclasses, and the new, larger feats.

The prestige portion lends itself very well to feats with setting based requirements. Membership of a particular guild or order, for example. Subclasses fill in for prestige classes that are variations on a base class. Finally, concepts that are two big for feats should probably be fleshed out into full classes.
Actually, I fear that PrC are going to be nightmarish to design, assuming your Ability Increases/Feats are based on Class Level. It may be that those classes are going to either not give enough, or possibly give them too early. It will be a tricky balancing act...
 

Boarstorm

Visitor
Maybe it's just nostalgia, but I like PrCs the way they were done waaay back in 1E -- specifically Dragonlance. Not only did advancing into these classes open up new class abilities or spell lists, they also doubled as a way of showing your advancement within the organizations of the world. It meant something, both in-character and mechanically, to be a black robe or a member of the Knights of the Rose.

I'm not sure what happened to that feel. I always felt that was the sort of thing 3E PrCs were meant to replicate, but I never felt like they quite hit the mark.
 

ccooke

Explorer
I really like 3e multiclassing (Well, strictly I love the set of classes and PrC in 3.0 with MotW, S&F, T&B and DotF. 3.5e went too far in the wrong direction with power creep for my taste) and I enjoy working out how I'll level up to a particular PrC.

However, when I look at 5e... Of all the (dozen or so) multiclass 3e characters I've ever played, If I take the core idea I was trying to create and try it in 5e, only *one* of them doesn't come out markedly better. The one that doesn't was based on the Lasher PrC, and the playtest material simply doesn't have a feat for better use of a whip. Maybe the PHB will, but it would be easy enough to houserule if need be anyway.

In every other case, the core idea that I wanted for my character is expressed better, earlier. In 3e the qualifications for a PrC usually mean you're taking it at level 5-8. With all of my characters in 5e, they're clearly on the path to my core concept at level 1 and every one of them reaches it by level 4. 5e seems to be much more flexible with its material than previous editions; I'm convinced that you can create a vastly wider spectrum of characters in the playtest than you could with the same pagecount of material in anything previous.

Of course, there are probably many people who wouldn't be able to recreate their characters with the playtest material. But the full game will have more material; does anyone have a (non-mechanical) character concept they are certain won't be creatable by, say, the end of the year? (I'm sure there are examples, I'm mostly curious how common my experience is)
 

Thaumaturge

thaumaturging
Truth be told... rather than prestige CLASSES... I think we'd be better off with prestige BACKGROUNDS. Backgrounds you take at a certain level that are based off of what you have done in the campaign up to that point-- maybe an organization you've joined, an effect you are under, a rank or job you have attained, something like that. And that's where we can have described in four or five paragraphs what being a member of 'The Harpers' means (for example), and have them give us proficiency in a couple new skills, plus a new background trait. That seems to me a little more useful, a little less book space intensive, a way to get your character more skills, and a way to avoid needing to balance new mechanics against all the mechanics already in the game.
I really like this idea. I might quibble with calling something you get at level 10 a "background", but overall, I like the idea of adding a new, flavorful, trait and a few more skills in line with your character's accomplishments.

Dragonslayer
Prerequisite: You slew a dragon.
Story: There was a dragon. You slew it.
Trait: You are given the best rooms in inns within 200 miles of a dragon's lair. Nobles in those areas start at "friendly" toward your character.

Thaumaturge.
 

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