Subclasses should start at 1st level

Charlaquin

Goblin Queen (She/Her/Hers)
I love that they seem to be standardizing subclass progression, but why start them at 3rd level instead of 1st? Even for the 2014 classes that get their subclasses after 1st level I have never actually seen a player wait until then to choose their subclass anyway. They always pick at character creation. Plus, having all subclasses start at 1st level would allow subclass to transform the base class more. Sorcerers could get access to different spell lists depending on subclass. Bards could get different options for their set of always-prepared spells depending on subclass. Rangers could have some subclasses that cast spells and some that don’t. Waiting until 3rd level makes it so that if your subclass is a significant part of the character concept, you have to spend two levels not playing that concept, at least not to its fullest extent.
 

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Mistwell

Crusty Old Meatwad (he/him)
There are already rules for not getting all the same features if a class isn’t your first. Easy enough to extend that to subclass abilities if they anticipate that being a problem. Moreover, multiclassing is still an optional rule.
How? How do you extend that to subclass if it's not your first class, if you intend to continue in that second class and gain abilities which modify that first level subclass ability? It would wreck the entire design scheme of subclasses and force them to modify the first level subclass ability to be something that isn't modified by a later one.
 



TwoSix

Unserious gamer
Right now, I'm guessing that subclasses will be standardized across classes within a role, but not completely harmonized across all classes.

I thought they might be harmonizing to the point of being swappable between classes, but Thief breaks that idea.
 

darjr

I crit!
I like subclasses coming later. I agree that the cherry picking thing could be solved in other ways but not the simplicity thing.

It does bring to mind an idea, what if you just jumped to third level when multi classing as an option? Already I’ve seen campaigns auto start at higher levels, why not multiclassing.
 


Not everyone starts their campaigns at 1st level though nor is it required to start a campaign at 1st level so it begs the question of whether it really matters if subclasses are started sooner or later; personally, I think it should really depend on the class on a case-by-case basis if the mechanics of classes are not going to be as homogenous as in 4e.
 

Lojaan

Adventurer
No thank you. The first two levels are learning how to play the class. Once they get the hang of it, they can specialize. I don't even think clerics should get their subclass at lvl 1. Make them prove themselves to their deity a bit first.

Plus you want players to look forward to the good stuff. Not start with it.

Plus that means EVERYONE would be doing gross one level multiclassing dips. Yuck.
 

Charlaquin

Goblin Queen (She/Her/Hers)
How? How do you extend that to subclass if it's not your first class, if you intend to continue in that second class and gain abilities which modify that first level subclass ability? It would wreck the entire design scheme of subclasses and force them to modify the first level subclass ability to be something that isn't modified by a later one.
Just limit what you get from the subclass at 1st level.
 

I don't even think clerics should get their subclass at lvl 1. Make them prove themselves to their deity a bit first.
I definitely don't think clerics have any particular reason to get level 1 subclasses. 5e is so loose about the link of cleric domain to deity, that there's just no reason they can't pick it later.

The ones that most beg to get level 1 subclasses, under current lore of what subclasses are for each class, are Warlocks, whose subclass is their patron, Sorcerers, who need to pick their birthright (really you shouldn't even be able to multiclass into one later without some sort of story event), and, actually, Paladins, who aren't really Paladins until they swear their oath. Of course that lore could be changed.

I would also argue that it would perhaps make more sense for Wizards to start with a subclass because it's presumably whatever they studied at Wizard school, but then again it would make more sense for Wizards to remain at Wizard school rather than trying to expand their bookish learning through a life of adventuring. Similar things are true to varying degrees of several classes.
 



aco175

Legend
I could see getting rid of subclasses altogether. Give enough meaningful choices along the class levels to make different PCs. Have enough feats to tailor the PC to fit in the party. I get that subclasses allow for newer players to make the concept work better without picking the powers to make it themselves.
 



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