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D&D 5E What Character Class is D&Dx?

In a thread asking “what does D&D5e do well(?)”, I responded with the below:

5e is “the best D&D” at the most common form of D&D:

* Adventure Path/metaplot/setting tourist play

* which enables GMs to use Force/Illusionism + heavy content curation + spotlight tailoring/management to (a) keep the pace up, (b) keep a compelling story “online”, and (c) enable players’ Power Fantasies.

* where players don’t have to aggressively drive the trajectory of play (which is extremely demanding) but can toggle cognitive load/passivity on/off while being tourists to their favorite settings, experiencing a compelling story + power fantasy, expressing some skillfulness of play, engage in performative theatrics/characterization at their discretion.

* being extremely hygienic for talented characterization/theatrics + high-production live-streaming.

* being inoffensive

That collection of attributes is a recipe for D&D going mainstream as a media cash cow.

Someone responded “so it’s the Bard of D&D(?)”

I agree, that is exactly what it is:

5e is a Bard.

So that got me thinking; “what are the other editions?”

Here is my go:

4e is a Fighter or Warlord.

3.x is a Generalist Wizard or Ursine Swarm Druid.

RC is an Elf.

2e is a Campaign Setting-Wielding Katana (you read that right).

B/X is a Levitating Dwarf with a 10 ft pole.

1e is a Levitating Thief with a 10 ft pole.

Whatcha got?
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* being inoffensive
How can it possibly be a Bard if it's inoffensive? :p

Maybe you could expand on your reasoning for some of the other editions? Your conclusions are amusing but it'd be nice to see the working.

Also it feels like we should specify the edition of the class. Bards are a totally different thing in 1E (weird dual-class Celtic mess), 2E (solid all-rounder with rapid advancement - can cast higher level spells sooner than a F/M on the same XP budget, let alone an F/M/T), 3E (crap caster with crap support abilities "Sneak, sneak, sneak!"), 4E (powerful support class with strong theme-ing) and 5E (very powerful caster with decent support abilities and more). I presume 5E is a 5E or 2E Bard (which are the only two who are remotely similar). Or perhaps they go by their own edition? I'll do the latter.

I think you make a decent case for 5E as a Bard but just thinking quickly I'd say:

4E is a 4E Battlemind or 4E Avenger with a bunch of carefully-picked synergistic combat Feats - very tactical, very flashy, well-balanced, but really combat-centric even by D&D standards and somewhat head-spinning in how all the mechanics work together.

3E is a complicatedly-built high-level Half-Dragon 3E caster, original class uncertain, with various full-spell-progression PrCs, who is powerful but involves knowing a lot of pointless rules, relies on highly specific Feats and magic items and yet is somehow slightly bland.

2E is a Human 2E Speciality Priest of Torm - Clean, above-board, following very traditional devotions and practices, yet somewhat novel, and with clear ideas about right and wrong. Later on he gets into self-flagellation (Dark Sun), hallucinogenic drugs and philosophy (Planescape), and finally leaves the priesthood to become an accountant (Skills & Powers).

1E is a Half-Orc Assassin - Creepy, all about the gold, lurking in the deep shadows, ready to kill PCs at the drop of a hat, with problematic implications, and extremely scary to Middle America.

RC is a Mystic - Highly specific, really cool, works surprisingly well, and not what you expect from the title.

OD&D is a Cleric - A weird-ass ahistorical and anachronistic agglomeration of ideas and rules that doesn't really make any sense, and wasn't really designed for how people used it, but which is strangely compelling nonetheless.

(I didn't pick Warlord for 4E because my experience is that in actual play they're actually less tactically-oriented than well-build Battleminds or the like, and more just there to wildly buff the DPR of the party by making high-DPR characters do even more damage.)

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