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D&D (2024) Subclasses should start at 1st level

Maxperson

Morkus from Orkus
It seems you haven't told us about the sorcerer. Where does it fit to you?
Sorcerer, despite getting subclasses at level 1, is like wizard. Very diverse. Aberrant Mind is very different from Draconic Bloodline, which is very different from Wild magic, which is very different from Divine Soul.

It's the cleric and warlock that have subclasses that are very samey. Who you make a pact with is much like having a domain.
 

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Marandahir

Crown-Forester (he/him)
Sorcerer, despite getting subclasses at level 1, is like wizard. Very diverse. Aberrant Mind is very different from Draconic Bloodline, which is very different from Wild magic, which is very different from Divine Soul.

It's the cleric and warlock that have subclasses that are very samey. Who you make a pact with is much like having a domain.

I feel like we have very different definitions of samey. Are you honestly arguing that heavy armored, martial weapon front line fighting War Domain Clerics are very samey with unarmoured almost wizardly backline caster Knowledge Domain Clerics?
 

DEFCON 1

Legend
Supporter
I feel like we have very different definitions of samey. Are you honestly arguing that heavy armored, martial weapon front line fighting War Domain Clerics are very samey with unarmoured almost wizardly backline caster Knowledge Domain Clerics?
I suspect you both are looking at it from two different perspectives.

You are looking at it it seems from the perspective of what the PC looks like on battlefield. And yes, in that way a war cleric and a knowledge cleric are wearing different things, are wielding different weapons, etc. They don't present as the same type of character under the same class.

But I suspect from @Maxperson 's perspective... they're thinking that all Clerics are the same narratively in that they are all divine acolytes of a specific god, each of which does the same thing and has the same categories of power-- the only differences between them is which gods they serve (and the domain that gods reside over.) As opposed to say clerics that are all different types of priests with different duties or functions-- Missionaries that go out proselytizing, Archivists that collect religious knowledge, Templars that fight on the behalf of their churches etc.

Now sure... obviously we can say that Knowledge Clerics are like Archivists, and War Clerics are like Templars... but the difference would be that EVERY domain could have Archivists and every domain could have Missionaries, and every domain could have Templars. After all... why shouldn't the priesthood of a Knowledge god have Templars who fight with weapons on the god's behalf? Or why shouldn't war gods have those priests back at their temple collecting and storing all the god's important items? And that's where changing up the subclass type would come into play. Warlocks have two different things that change them-- WHO they get their power from (their Patron), and HOW do they use that power (their Pact). Clerics could certainly have the same sort of differential.

Maybe I'm wrong with what you both are talking about... but this was my impression of the conversation and the differences between the two of you.
 

Maxperson

Morkus from Orkus
I feel like we have very different definitions of samey. Are you honestly arguing that heavy armored, martial weapon front line fighting War Domain Clerics are very samey with unarmoured almost wizardly backline caster Knowledge Domain Clerics?
How you play your knowledge and war domain clerics is up to you. A war domain cleric could be an unarmored strategist who leads armies from the command tent. That knowledge cleric could be on the front lines in plate armor smashing foes that would destroy knowledge.

A cleric is a cleric, except for the domain which doesn't really change the class in the same way that Divine Soul sorcerers are very different from a Wild Magic sorcerer.
 

TwoSix

"Diegetics", by L. Ron Gygax
I don’t see the differences 5e subclasses make as nearly that significant, but I guess that’s your opinion.
If anything, cleric domain feels more impactful; it's one of the few subclass decisions that impacts your stat choices, because it affects what kind of armor and weapons you'll be using.

I can see the point that some subclasses move the class in a more martial direction by granting Extra Attack, which is a big differentiator, and would have changed a class into a different class in 3e because the attack progressions are different. But getting Extra Attack on a caster isn't quite as big of deal in 5e, which is why they give it out fairly liberally.
 

Maxperson

Morkus from Orkus
I suspect you both are looking at it from two different perspectives.

You are looking at it it seems from the perspective of what the PC looks like on battlefield. And yes, in that way a war cleric and a knowledge cleric are wearing different things, are wielding different weapons, etc. They don't present as the same type of character under the same class.

But I suspect from @Maxperson 's perspective... they're thinking that all Clerics are the same narratively in that they are all divine acolytes of a specific god, each of which does the same thing and has the same categories of power-- the only differences between them is which gods they serve (and the domain that gods reside over.) As opposed to say clerics that are all different types of priests with different duties or functions-- Missionaries that go out proselytizing, Archivists that collect religious knowledge, Templars that fight on the behalf of their churches etc.

Now sure... obviously we can say that Knowledge Clerics are like Archivists, and War Clerics are like Templars... but the difference would be that EVERY domain could have Archivists and every domain could have Missionaries, and every domain could have Templars. After all... why shouldn't the priesthood of a Knowledge god have Templars who fight with weapons on the god's behalf? Or why shouldn't war gods have those priests back at their temple collecting and storing all the god's important items? And that's where changing up the subclass type would come into play. Warlocks have two different things that change them-- WHO they get their power from (their Patron), and HOW do they use that power (their Pact). Clerics could certainly have the same sort of differential.

Maybe I'm wrong with what you both are talking about... but this was my impression of the conversation and the differences between the two of you.
That's a very good way to describe what I'm talking about. Thanks.
 

Clint_L

Hero
I'm in charge of the D&D Club at my school, so every term I run two short campaigns for beginners (one for 9/10 students, another for 11/12 students). I cannot emphasize enough how important it is to keep the game as simple as possible at first level. If you have never played D&D there is an ENORMOUS learning curve. Normally level 1 is just one game, but it's about teaching them the basics of rolling dice and role-play. Level 2 adds a few more options, and then at level 3 (typically game 4-5) they are ready to choose a sub-class.

I think hitting them with all that at level 1 would be very difficult.
 

Bill Zebub

“It’s probably Matt Mercer’s fault.”
I'm in charge of the D&D Club at my school, so every term I run two short campaigns for beginners (one for 9/10 students, another for 11/12 students). I cannot emphasize enough how important it is to keep the game as simple as possible at first level. If you have never played D&D there is an ENORMOUS learning curve. Normally level 1 is just one game, but it's about teaching them the basics of rolling dice and role-play. Level 2 adds a few more options, and then at level 3 (typically game 4-5) they are ready to choose a sub-class.

I think hitting them with all that at level 1 would be very difficult.
Yeah I have been teaching kids, that young and younger, and it’s just an enormous amount of complexity. I make their characters for them, and have them describe what they want to do without worrying about the rules, and it’s still a lot.
 

One of the things for rogue is that if they intend to start subclasses at 3rd level, they should make thieves cant something which can be selected rather than required. It's one of the things I hate about the rogue scout, a character at home in the wilderness who understands thieves cant just seems to fight against the archetype a little. I'd much rather be able to choose so that they can have sylvan or druidic instead. This isn't an issue when using pen and paper, but since WotC is going all into the online space, it needs to be optional in DnDbeyond.
Note that Thieves Cant grants another language in addition to the actual thief speak. So you basically get both? Dunno.
 


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