Let's name some things (regardless of edition) that managed to gain traction. Monsters, spells, magic items, classes, optional rules... you name it.

I'll start:

Githzerai and githyanki - two sides of the same coin, with an elaborate backstory, common enemies, cool appearance, and enough campaign material for DMs to be able to use them easily in their games.

Monster summoning spells - despite their oft-quoted brokenness, monster summoning spells are a staple of D&D. A lot of fiction features summoning rituals that take a lot of time and resources (and the caster's soul as often as not), but D&D has made instant summoned monsters into a trope of its own.

Bags of holding - how many adventuring parties do you know that don't own at least one? Best of all, quirky rules for interaction with other items (such as sharp objects) have spawned a number of anecdotes over the years.

The Cleric class - absent from classic fantasy fiction, D&D Cleric is one of the quadrissential classes of D&D. Love them or hate them, Clerics are here to stay in one form on another. Perhaps the best time to be a Cleric was late 2nd edition, when you could choose to specialize as one of the many different Specialty Priests who were not only powerful, but also very flavorful and diverse.

Optional rules - Critical hits (and, to a lesser extent, fumbles). Can you imagine a D&D game without crits? I sure can't.
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I think the 4e class that has gained the most amount of traction is the warlord, since it gave players the option for a mecanically supported non-magical tactician and inspirational character. I think most of the problems with the warlord stem from non-magical "healing". Change either the flavor (which could be as simple as not calling it "healing") or the mechanics (to granting temporary hit points or having a subsystem for wounds that require time or magic to heal) and I think it could be even more popular.


The shardmind. Or maybe not.

It is hard to tell about the 4th ed elements because it is still a 'newish' edition. But I also support the warlord and warlock (but I reckon the 4th sorcerer stole the arcane striker thunder a bit). I also think Tieflings may have gained some traction - not sure about dragon born.

I guess that action points have been an idea that has gained traction from 3rd to 4th (prefer the 4th ed version)


Staff member
Can't say I'm the biggest fan of the 4Ed Wizard & Sorcerer.

Hower, if 5Ed keeps the roles, I could see the Sorcerer being the AoE arcane striker and the Warlock being the precision arcane striker. The bomb & the bullet, as it were.

If so, though, they probably need to boost the damage on Warlock powers...

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