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

Yaarel

He Mage
No they don't. You can "participate in magical culture" with a first level magical adept feat. Or the Eldritch Knight can learn as a result of defeat.
That might be your character concept.

My character concept for an Eldritch Fighter is an Elf who grew up in a High culture, where there is a military force that specializes in blending magic and soldiery. This military institution is where the tradition of some elves growing up proficient with sword, bow, and cantrip, comes from. The High elven culture strongly associates the Eldritch Fighter tradition and the Bladesinger Wizard tradition. These are patriotic institutions that the High culture values and makes prestigious.

What needs to be available at level 1 depends on the character concept.



magical adept feat
Which is why telepathy and telekinesis should be first level feats.
For me it is a nonstarter, to require a feat tax in order to make a Psi Knight a Psi Knight.

To require a feat tax to make an Eldritch Knight an Eldritch Knight, would make the game unfun for many fans.
 
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That might be your character concept.

My character concept for an Eldritch Fighter is an Elf who grew up in a High culture, where there is a military force that specializes in blending magic and soldiery. This is military institution is where the tradition of some elves growing up proficient with sword, bow, and cantrip, comes from. The High elven culture strongly associates the Eldritch Fighter tradition and the Bladesinger Wizard tradition. These are patriotic institutions that the High culture values and makes prestigious.

What needs to be available at level 1 depends on the character concept.
Your character concept is someone who grew up as a trained spellcaster as a part of their background. There is literally a feat to do that that is availabe as a part of your background. It is a feat that you have the full ability to take and that will cover what you say your character concept is.

Therefore with the D&Done rules your character concept and mine can both be covered if the Eldritch Knight starts at level 3.

Edit: And you don't need a feat to make a psi knight a psi knight. You don't need to unlock the psychic potential at level 1. It's there if "I could always do this" is part of your concept.
 

Yaarel

He Mage
Your character concept is someone who grew up as a trained spellcaster as a part of their background. There is literally a feat to do that that is availabe as a part of your background. It is a feat that you have the full ability to take and that will cover what you say your character concept is.

Therefore with the D&Done rules your character concept and mine can both be covered if the Eldritch Knight starts at level 3.

Edit: And you don't need a feat to make a psi knight a psi knight. You don't need to unlock the psychic potential at level 1. It's there if "I could always do this" is part of your concept.LO
I disagree with your character concept. I dont want to play it.
 

I disagree with your character concept. I dont want to play it.
And I don't give a monkeys whether you want to play it there are plenty of concepts I don't want to play that I'm glad other people can. The thing is you don't want me to play it.

I am fine with your character concept - but you can play it. You said that your background involved learning magic - so you learn magic in your background - which is what backgrounds are for. You are asking for the rules to be changed not because you want to play an already playable concept but because you want to make sure no one can play certain concepts. It's pure gatekeeping that makes the game smaller, weaker, and less flexible.
 

Yaarel

He Mage
Eldritch Knight is a specific approach to combat. It needs to happen at level 1 and to continue to develop further.
 

Mistwell

Crusty Old Meatwad (he/him)
Funny thing is WotC agree, they even said so in I believe the previous playtest video.

The idea that people need to "learn their class" is obviously laughable. Most classes don't even get some of their core abilities until L3 anyway, and a lot of classes play virtually identically at L1.

As @Parmandur said, this seems to be a backwards-compatibility thing. If they did move it to L1, which I believe they agree makes sense, they'd invalidate all existing subclasses, which, honestly they're going to do anyway, eventually, but doing it instantly might cause er... some uproar?

As for multiclassing, pfft, who cares? If that really matters either:

A) Disallow or limit multiclassing (i.e. maybe you don't let people pick another class until they've done three levels in this one, for example).

or

B) Make it so that you only get the "subclass" for one class (I've seen games do things like this).

To be honest disallowing multiclassing in 5E/1D&D does basically no damage to the game. There are very few genuine RP concepts which benefit from multiclassing, and 95% of multiclassing is either:

A) System experts exploiting synergies to attempt to make an OP character.

or

B) System noobs/ninnies picking "kewl" classes because they're allowed to and usually creating barely-playable junk characters full of anti-synergy.

Neither of those is a good things and that's the overwhelming majority of 5E multiclassing.
As you have zero objective data for the claim that multiclassing is not used as a genuine RP concept, I disagree. I think a great deal of multiclassing is done for genuine RP concepts. And my evidence is exactly as varied and deep as yours for that contention. So all we have is WOTCs surveying and playtesting on the concept - and they clearly think it's valuable as they are not even including it directly in each class.

Which means we need to account for it. Whether you personally like and use multiclassing or not.
 

Eldritch Knight is a specific approach to combat. It needs to happen at level 1 and to continue to develop further.
This would appear to be something you have completely invented.

If you want it to start at level 1 you have the new Magic Initiate feat as part of your background to give you cantrips and a first level spell Meanwhile the Eldritch Knight at third level gains cantrips and two first level spell slots and the Weapon Bond ability.

Given that the Magic Initiate feat gives you a slightly lesser version of everything except Weapon Bond are you claiming that Weapon Bond is the core of Eldritch Knight? And there's nothing meaningful about Eldritch Knight without it?

And are you saying apprentices can never learn swordplay before magic?

Because if all that is not true then you are inventing things. And inventing them with the only effect of trying to prevent other people playing what they want while not actually enabling your concept.
 

Mistwell

Crusty Old Meatwad (he/him)
I am fine starting subclasses at level 1, provided again that if it's not your first class (you're multiclassing) then the first level subclass feature gets moved to level 3 of the 2nd and following classes for you.
 

Yaarel

He Mage
For the Fighter class, I want the heavy armor to instead be part of the Fighting Style section.

This increases the size of the Fighting Style design space. Thus the Fighting Style can become a more impactful and flavorful choice for the many different kinds of Fighter concepts.

Dex Fighters can thereby eschew the heavy armor proficiency, and instead pick a Fighting Style that expresses their agility combat better.

Many cultures wont even have heavy armor, and it makes less sense for their Fighters to have trained in it.

The Fighting Style with heavy armor (with ways to synergize even enhance heavy armor) should be the default Fighting Style, alongside the other Fighting Styles that players can choose instead.
 

Marandahir

Crown-Forester (he/him)
I know this was said in somewhat jest - however why is it a PC can change classes but not change sub-classes? There doesn't seem to be a narrative reason why that I can think of
They could in 4e Essentials - there were intra-class multiclassing feats that let you gain subclass features of another subclass of your class. So Protectors (summoner Druids) could take the feat for the Sentinel's animal companion or the 2008 Druid's Wild Shape, and vice versa versa.

I'd really like to see something like this come back.

That said, there ARE 5e suggestions for changing sub-classes wholecloth - it's in the 2014 DMG, and built into the example of a Paladin Oathbreaker subclass. You break your oath, and instead of losing all your abilities until you repent, your subclass is replaced with the Oathbreaker one.
 

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