D&D 5E The classes of 5e (now with 90% less speculation)


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Nivenus

First Post
I'd probably opt personally for fewer classes, but D&D couldn't get away with that without pissing off a lot of people, so I'm okay with a dozen or so. I do think the game should have fewer classes than 4e ended up having by the end of PHB3, though (and Essentials if you count the builds therein as separate classes).

Well, it's not THAT simple. The gnome isn't a controversial race; it was only missing from the PHB because AFAIR the 4E design team hadn't nailed down a unique flavor for the gnome. Let's say that 10% of all players want to play an assassin. The problem is that the other 90% might protest that they don't want an evil assassin in their game. So the compromise is to make an assassin that uses the shadow power source -- not that I'm enthused about that, but at least it shows awareness of a balance between inclusion vs majority opinion. (P.S. The seminar transcript indicates that they want to move away from overtly labelled power sources, so I might actually like the 5E assassin, and who knows, maybe I'd like or tolerate the 5E warlord more than the 4E version).

But do 90% of the players really find the assassin or the warlord anathema to their vision of D&D? I highly doubt it. My guess is, at best/worst, it's closer to 20% or maybe 30%. The point, however is that WotC can't tell that for sure - not without much, much more detailed market research. All they know for sure is that a lot of players really want warlords and it's stupid for those who don't want them to think their preferences override those who do.
 

steeldragons

Steeliest of the dragons
Epic
Why are assassins necessarily evil, though?

Because killing people for money is an evil act? I mean, I know it's a game and all, but is there not SOME modicum of decency that should be adhered to?

Killing a person in D&D is not an evil act, as long as you are not doing it only for personal gain (or pleasure). As long as you assassinate people in the name of the greater good or because your superiors order you to do it, you're perfectly fine.

So, we should do away with "paladin" as a class since they're just assassins anyway? Or wizards. Or fighters. Or...

No. And you know that to be the case. There is, or should be, a presumption of what is "good" and what is "evil" (please, for the love of the gods, save your morality and situational ethics speeches for somewhere that wants them)

What I don't get is why assassins should be a separate class. ANYONE can be an assassin, by definition.

To a point this is true. Assassin is just a specialized thief/rogue. People who already have no respect for the law pushed a bit further over the edge. Very simple. Very clear. Why it is its own class vs. wrapped in under rogue, I do not understand.

Even if we go by the D&D archetype, assassins are just rogues with some minor magical ability (easily simulated through feats or such).

What?! The D&D "archetype" of assassin was a more "martial"/strength dependent thief...No magic involved! Actually, no assassin from anywhere has "minor magical ability" unless you're counting "ninja" as the automatic assassin archetype. And even their skills were not "magical" in nature, but appeared to be so.

But do 90% of the players really find the assassin or the warlord anathema to their vision of D&D? I highly doubt it.

As do I. I think...from my own observations (don't argue with me, please and thank you, I'm just commenting on what I've read/conclusions I've drawn) the "anathema" comes from A) Assassins somehow immediately assumed "magical abilities and B) the Warlord's "Im yelling at you! Stand my brother! You are HEALED!" mechanics. But that's just my own observations.

My guess is, at best/worst, it's closer to 20% or maybe 30%. The point, however is that WotC can't tell that for sure - not without much, much more detailed market research. All they know for sure is that a lot of players really want warlords and it's stupid for those who don't want them to think their preferences override those who do.

However, as you just stipulated, they have no way of knowing "for sure" [if "a lot of players really want warlords"] without "muc, much more detailed market research"...The fact that the name gets thrown around online forums like...like what? hotcakes?...what's more a buzzword than hotcakes? OH! I gottit, WARLOCKS or DRAGONBORN...does not mean "a lot of players really want warlords".

Just sayin'. (I have nothing against Warlords...though, spell-wielding assassins and "heal-yelling inspirational warriors" is another story.)

As I said in some thread around here som'place, it's all just hopes and dreams for 5e. Noone is "right" or "wrong", "better" or "worse". It's just all personal preferences and opinion.

--SD
 

Nivenus

First Post
However, as you just stipulated, they have no way of knowing "for sure" [if "a lot of players really want warlords"] without "muc, much more detailed market research"...The fact that the name gets thrown around online forums like...like what? hotcakes?...what's more a buzzword than hotcakes? OH! I gottit, WARLOCKS or DRAGONBORN...does not mean "a lot of players really want warlords".

Just sayin'. (I have nothing against Warlords...though, spell-wielding assassins and "heal-yelling inspirational warriors" is another story.)

They don't know for sure how many, but they do know that it's enough that it's worth supporting. WotC's playing it much more cautiously this time.
 


Alzrius

The EN World kitten
Because killing people for money is an evil act?

There's really no reason why they can't jettison the "for money" part of that. After all, you can assassinate someone for reasons other than having been paid to do so. Given how homicidal most adventurers are, I suspect that if they ditch the mercenary aspect of assassins, they'll also be able to make them non-evil just fine.
 

DonAdam

Explorer
An assassin's just someone who kills you without kicking down your door and slaughtering all your guards and other employees first.

Really they're better people than most adventurers. At least ceteris paribus.
 

steeldragons

Steeliest of the dragons
Epic
Thats actually a rather common quest for adventurers, too.

"Kill the orc warlord leading the invasion", "Kill the dragon in the mountain", "Kill the dark priest of Xlwridyth", ...

Oy. You know what I mean and deliberate "ignorance" does not alter my original point.

The "assassin" given a contract will go kill your mother. And feel nothing about it. That's their job. A "hitman." A "sniper." Whether its for gold or "god" or "country" it's all for some "price."

The "orc warlorrd" is not a "person".

The "dragon" is not a person.

The "dark priest of whozzits" is not a person.

They have, all, already proven themselves to be a threat to all others besides themselves. An "assassin" does not care about such distinctions. If they are getting paid, the evil priest, the shining paladin, the 5 year old girl with her dolly are all fair game...THAT is the archetype of "assassin." Not 'magic-wielding shadow-melding flippy guy".
 

Yora

Legend
I don't see why assassin is even a class, and not just a rogue.

Assassins are good at stealth, backstabbing, and avoiding security measures.
Rogues are good at sealth, backstabbing, avoiding security measures, spying, and lying.
An assassin is just a rogue who focuses on certain aspects of the class.

Assassins don't just kill people for others. When you are send to kill a dragon, orc warlord, or goblin marauders, you will, if the group cares about such things, ask why someone wants them dead. To heroes or adventurers, the reason is to protect innocents from them. For an assassin, the reason is "because I give you this bag of money".
If heroes don't care why they are doing it and only want the money, than it's just as evil. And if they are good characters and the DM is okay with it, than this group is simply ignoring alignment.
 
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Nivenus

First Post
Oy. You know what I mean and deliberate "ignorance" does not alter my original point.

The "assassin" given a contract will go kill your mother. And feel nothing about it. That's their job. A "hitman." A "sniper." Whether its for gold or "god" or "country" it's all for some "price."

The "orc warlorrd" is not a "person".

The "dragon" is not a person.

The "dark priest of whozzits" is not a person.

They have, all, already proven themselves to be a threat to all others besides themselves. An "assassin" does not care about such distinctions. If they are getting paid, the evil priest, the shining paladin, the 5 year old girl with her dolly are all fair game...THAT is the archetype of "assassin." Not 'magic-wielding shadow-melding flippy guy".

That depends on the assassin, though, doesn't it?

Personally, I'd be fine - if they bring back alignment (please?) - with making assassins a nongood-exclusive class.

I definitely agree that killing for money is not a particularly virtuous career choice and indeed, straddles along the dark of the gray. But I don't think assassins need necessarily be evil. I think plenty of lawful, chaotic, or simply unaligned adventurers could find plausible reasons for playing the class.

EDIT:

I don't see why assassin is even a class, and not just a rogue.

Assassins are good at stealth, backstabbing, and avoiding security measures.
Rogues are good at sealth, backstabbing, avoiding security measures, spying, and lying.
An assassin is just a rogue who focuses on certain aspects of the class.

It depends, to a certain extent, how much rogues resemble 1e/2e rogues vs. 3e/4e rogues. The former were actually pretty horrible at combat, with the occasional sneak attack to make up for their poor HD and weapon proficiencies. The latter, however, were damage demons who dealt more damage than fighters when put in the right position.

If rogues are like 3e/4e rogues first and foremost, than the assassin does begin to seem redundant, unless you decide to make it a magical ninjutsu-style class as 4e did. Personally, I'd be fine with making assassins a sub-class of rogue... but I'd also be fine making paladins a sub-class of cleric and wizards and warlocks sub-classes of a generic mage class. So my opinions are a bit heterodoxical.
 
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