5.5E Theory of Class Design

I can understand that. Maybe I am not explaining things properly.

If anyone has played any of the White Wolf games, you chose primary, secondary, and tertiary attributes. Tertiary would be like a 10 to 12 stat (say strength), the secondary would be like a 14 -16 and the primary would be like an 18-20. So a front-line character like a fighter would be combat primary, chooses exploration secondary and social tertiary. A Bard might be Social primary, combat secondary and exploration tertiary. Does this make sense? Everyone can do everything but some are better at certain things while others are better at different things.
There is no classes who is tertiary or even secondary at combat in DnD. Bard are 100% useful in combat.
 

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Useful, or different, to various degrees.

Not everything should be as effective at hitting things.
Not everything should be as effective at doing damage, or taking damage.

Just as not every class should have the tools to perform exploration to the degree a Ranger would, or bluff, like a Bard or Rogue.

I worry that this push to have everyone be 'useful', can very easily push into 'homogenous' territory.
Useful is useful, not equal.
useful mean that no class wait on the bench until the combat is over because they can’t have impact on the result of the fight.
 

payn

Legend
There is no classes who is tertiary or even secondary at combat in DnD. Bard are 100% useful in combat.
I think what Paul is saying is that you are best at 1 pillar, second best at another, and third in the last. Originally it sounded like you get 2 out of 3 and are SOL on the last.
 

I think what Paul is saying is that you are best at 1 pillar, second best at another, and third in the last. Originally it sounded like you get 2 out of 3 and are SOL on the last.
I may be wrong but I feel like the actual trend is making the Social a pillar where nobody want to be last or even secondary. It may be called a Critical role side effect.
The OP propose the choice of being bad or not on Social as an on-off switch.
Nobody want to be bad in a pillar of a game, people just want to play it their own way, just like in combat you can be more offensive, defensive, sneaky, but not just plain bad.
Actually in Social a character like the bard can have all the tools. spells, various Skill like intimidating, persuade, deception. In combat he would be a full caster and a full martial at the same time!

So I go back to my first Post, what are currently the pillars of the game players want?
and how to make classes to play different roles and flavor within those pillars?
And remove the concept of having to choose a pillar over another.
 


Paul Smart

Explorer
What do you do breaks down into the following:
Note: Pick 2 of these

  • Damage Dealer
  • Tank
  • Battlefield Control
  • Support (non-heal buffing, enhancement, divination, etc.; all distinct from battlefield control)
  • Skill Expert (pick locks, sneak, create things etc.)
  • Sage (you know things)
  • Face (good in social situations)
  • Healer
  • Explorer
Based on the discussion so far, I am rethinking this step. There should be three lists here, one for combat, one for social and one for exploration.

The combat one is easy. It has:

Damage Dealer
Tank
Battlefield Control
Support ?

Social would have:

Face

Exploration would have:

Skill expert
Sage
Explorer

I am not sure where to put the healer.

Can people help me fill these out?

My thinking is whatever you choose as your primary skillset, you get x number of choices from the list. In your secondary skillset, you chose x -1 from the list. Finally, for your worst skillset, you choose x -2.

For example: Say x = 3

I chose combat as my primary skillset. I get three choices and chose:

Damage Dealer
Tank
Support

Exploration is my secondary skillset. I get two choices and chose:

Skill Expert
Sage

My final skillset is Social. I get one choice and chose:

Face.

If the list is expanded and there are more choices, does this make sense?
 

Scribe

Hero
Damage Dealer
Tank
Battlefield Control
Support ?

Social would have:

Face

Exploration would have:

Skill expert
Sage
Explorer

Combat
Tank
Control
Damage Melee
Damage Range
Magic

Social
Charm (Magic)
Persuasion
Investigation?
Intimidation?
Deception

Exploration
Librarian (Knowledge type skills)
Explorer
Delver (Traps, Locks?)

Something like that?
 

Composer99

Adventurer
Social specialities seem to me to be:
  • Silver-tongued liar (uses Deception, disguises)
  • Charmer (uses Persuasion, social graces, good nature)
  • Logician (uses Intelligence (Persuasion) and arguments based on reason)
  • Brute (uses Intimidation, good at coercing/threatening)
  • Insightful (good at reading a room/assessing a situation/getting a read on an NPC)
  • Enchanter (uses magic, either in place of or to supplement other social roles)
 

Minigiant

Legend
Supporter
The Social Pillar is still Tank Healer, Damage, and Control

Tank- Resist Lies- Insight (Wis)
Healing- Minimize Failures/MakeExcuses- Lore and Language Checks (Int)
Damage- Convince others- Deception/Intimidation/Persuasion (Cha)
Control- Mental Control and Charm (Any)

Wisdom Tank
Charisma Damage
Intelligence Healing
Magic Control

The bard convinces the noble. The druid spots the noble's true intentions. The battlemaster rescues the party from miscues. The wizard deepens everyone's voice.
 


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