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

cbwjm

Seb-wejem
Why do people think beginning players will struggle with selecting a subclass at 1st level? It's weird to me to think that, since they already do with some classes; or do people not allow a new player to run a cleric, sorcerer, or warlock? New players are fine with 1st level subclasses and you hardly need the 1st 1 or 2 levels to "learn your class". It honestly sounds a little insulting to me.
 

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cbwjm

Seb-wejem
Note that Thieves Cant grants another language in addition to the actual thief speak. So you basically get both? Dunno.
I did see that, but it still irks me that when selecting rogue I'm locked into Thieves cant. It's fine if I'm able to adjust things on dndbeyond, I'm fine with making manual adjustments, but annoying if I can't. It should instead be a suggested language.
 

Xamnam

Loves Your Favorite Game
Why do people think beginning players will struggle with selecting a subclass at 1st level?
I've seen it at tables. I've seen the experienced players, in the process of trying to help new players, essentially pick a subclass for them, and it's clear that the newbies are trusting the judgement more than making an intentional choice.

I've also seen brand new players have no problem building very complex characters! I'm not saying it's universal. But I have seen smart, intelligent people stressed by it, and experienced enough trouble with it already that I don't think increased choice density is an area free of consequence to move toward.
 

Bill Zebub

“It’s probably Matt Mercer’s fault.”
Why do people think beginning players will struggle with selecting a subclass at 1st level? It's weird to me to think that, since they already do with some classes; or do people not allow a new player to run a cleric, sorcerer, or warlock? New players are fine with 1st level subclasses and you hardly need the 1st 1 or 2 levels to "learn your class". It honestly sounds a little insulting to me.

I give beginning characters premades so it’s not that would struggle with the concept as much as it doesn’t leave room for their playstyle to emerge.

I’m currently running a beginner game with two rogues. One really liked the hide-and-shoot tactic and sneaking ahead to scout things out. So at 3rd level I just made her a scout without even explaining about subclasses. The other one loves running up with short swords, doing acrobatics, and climbing things. He is a Tabaxi, so I made him a modified Thief with jumping instead of climbing (not so different from the latest UA, really.). Again, I didn’t explain about subclasses, I just explained their new abilities.
 

Horwath

Legend
I've seen it at tables. I've seen the experienced players, in the process of trying to help new players, essentially pick a subclass for them, and it's clear that the newbies are trusting the judgement more than making an intentional choice.

I've also seen brand new players have no problem building very complex characters! I'm not saying it's universal. But I have seen smart, intelligent people stressed by it, and experienced enough trouble with it already that I don't think increased choice density is an area free of consequence to move toward.
then just allow new players to swap class features/skills/tools for first 2 or 3 levels if they are not happy with the choices.
 

reelo

Hero
This is terrible.
A fighter druid is just a ranger with extra attack at level 10 instead of 5.
Multiclass is nice, because you can dip to gain the features that are worth paying for. 5/5 is terrible in most cases. 3/7 and 5/15 or 4/16 or 3/17 are all worth considering.
That's the neat part, though: it undercuts dipping for purely mechanical reasons.
 

payn

He'll flip ya...Flip ya for real...
Why do people think beginning players will struggle with selecting a subclass at 1st level? It's weird to me to think that, since they already do with some classes; or do people not allow a new player to run a cleric, sorcerer, or warlock? New players are fine with 1st level subclasses and you hardly need the 1st 1 or 2 levels to "learn your class". It honestly sounds a little insulting to me.
5E has always struggled with this. It was a sort of be simple and be modern at the same time plan. So, design will always be pulling in two directions. I think its fine if you prefer a simple system, but folks often couch it in terms of "newbs need" to make it seem like tis the best approach.
I've seen it at tables. I've seen the experienced players, in the process of trying to help new players, essentially pick a subclass for them, and it's clear that the newbies are trusting the judgement more than making an intentional choice.

I've also seen brand new players have no problem building very complex characters! I'm not saying it's universal. But I have seen smart, intelligent people stressed by it, and experienced enough trouble with it already that I don't think increased choice density is an area free of consequence to move toward.
Right, I think the best approach for learning is through pregens and intro products. Just play the game first, that's what you need to learn. Then, start building your own characters. My preferred approach instead of making everyone, every time, go through the newb tube when they play.
 


View attachment 263195

We use alternate Multiclass rules.

You pick your 1st class normally, then on 2nd level you multiclass normally as per rules.
From then on you MUST be within one level with both classes.

As "even split" multiclass is universally bad past 1st few levels, we add "double class feature levels" at levels 5,8,11,14,17 and 20.

at those levels you gain features of both classes, but still count as attained a single character level. you get HPs from only one class. HD from only one class and for proficiency modifier you count as only one level higher.

you class features will advance faster than single class character, but will be split on two classes.

This is a nice idea. Probably, 13/13 seems still a bit too low, tells my gut feeling. But i guess you have more experience woth it tham I have.
 

That's the neat part, though: it undercuts dipping for purely mechanical reasons.

No. It is not neat in any way.
It does effectively shut down a lot of character comcepts and sucka the fun out of it.
It also becomes more mechanical as you can't increase the character class that firs more to the current concept.

Rating 0/10.

Horwath's idea at least recognizes the mechanical issues and uses a balancing mechanic that tips the scale to ok.
 

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