5E What classes should be restricted?

What are the reasons why you would not want a class in your game?

  • The class doesn't fit the game world setting

    Votes: 112 78.3%
  • The class doesn't fit with what I think D&D is

    Votes: 29 20.3%
  • There isn't enough of a historical precedence for it

    Votes: 4 2.8%
  • Too weird for me

    Votes: 41 28.7%
  • Creates in game issues (balance, etc)

    Votes: 85 59.4%
  • Introduces too much class bloat

    Votes: 33 23.1%
  • The theme is counter to a heroic RPG (e.g. a class that is primarily an "evil" class)

    Votes: 46 32.2%
  • It's a 3PP class, not an official one

    Votes: 56 39.2%
  • other (please explain)

    Votes: 8 5.6%
  • Bonus option: I don't want to see it in the official game

    Votes: 11 7.7%
  • Bonus option: I don't care what others play, I just don't want them in my game

    Votes: 42 29.4%
  • Bonus option 2: No class should be restricted in any of my games

    Votes: 12 8.4%
  • Bonus option 2: No class should be restricted in any official game

    Votes: 12 8.4%

  • Total voters
    143

Lanefan

Victoria Rules
I force some classes (e.g. Paladins, Cavaliers, Monks, Assassins, Necromancers) to be particular alignments or alignment ranges, but in my games any PC alignment is allowed.

I won't allow some particular race-class combinations, partly for setting reasons, partly personal preference, and partly because I've learned that when certain races can be certain classes balance kinda goes out the window.

Were I to DM different editions of D&D there's some classes I'd flat-out never allow: Gunslinger (hard to be one without gunpowder, which don't exist 'round here); Warlord (at least as written, as I don't like martial healing); and a bunch of prestige classes that just seem a bit OTT. I'd also look at combining some classes e.g. Sorcerer and Warlock into just one, and try to cut down overall the number of caster classes while maybe adding a few non-casters.

All that said, the classes that are allowed or not allowed do help inform various elements of the setting, and vice-versa e.g. the Gunslinger example above.
 

Vael

Adventurer
My general rule is any WotC class should be fair game, so no restrictions except for 3rd party classes. And if a player came with a 3rd party class, I still might allow it. Now, specific exceptions might be made, like no Clerics/Paladins in Dark Sun, for example, but my general rule is not restrict choices.
 

Helldritch

Explorer
I voted for non official classes (like 3PP) and other. Other, in my mind means: "Psionics classes!"

I hate these classes as they always bring some imbalance, inconsistency and I am sure that I am allergic to them. (Just writing the word psionic makes me sneeze like hell...).
 

Helldritch

Explorer
Why? It's not like those bodies are being used anymore. It's just recycling.
It is an act beyond the evil of evilness. Animating a body traps a part of the soul in the animated body (as far as D&D cosmology works). This prevent the soul to go on its journey toward its paradise/hell/final rest or whatever you call it. This means that the soul is now trapped in either the plane of shadow (where it might become a shadow) or trapped in the Concordant Oppositions plains where they are likely to get captured by evil entities (such as Night Hags, Yuggoloths and others). These entities will either use these souls to barter for services or feed upon them, thus destroying the immortal soul in the process.

In a world where gods exist and paradises/hells are a real thing, destroying a soul is a crime beyond evil itself as even evil would like to be in his paradise/hell or whatever. (Think of the Goblin never ending war in Archerus). Creating undead is a sure way to prevent the soul from reaching its destination.

I do not recall where I learned that. Maybe it was a dragon article I don't remember but it was quite an explanation that I was happy to have.
 
It is an act beyond the evil of evilness. Animating a body traps a part of the soul in the animated body (as far as D&D cosmology works).
Setting specific fluff, not a universal rule.

I do not recall where I learned that. Maybe it was a dragon article I don't remember but it was quite an explanation that I was happy to have.
Quite. It's someone writing stuff to justify why, in their setting, necromancy is inherently evil. But it's not inherently a part of D&D. If you want to say - in your setting - it's evil, that fine. But no setting is required to be that way, and some - Eberron for example - are canonically not.
 

TheCosmicKid

Adventurer
Setting specific fluff, not a universal rule.
So is "animating dead bodies is a thing that happens".

Quite. It's someone writing stuff to justify why, in their setting, necromancy is inherently evil. But it's not inherently a part of D&D. If you want to say - in your setting - it's evil, that fine. But no setting is required to be that way, and some - Eberron for example - are canonically not.
It's pretty inherently a part of D&D inasmuch as alignment is in general. The animate dead spell no longer has an [Evil] tag, but that's probably got more to do with such tags not existing anymore than a reevaluation of reanimation in particular. Even in Eberron, the "non-evil" necromancy is... on the sketchy side. Can you write a setting where necromancy is an unambiguous good? Absolutely. Lots of people have done it. I've done it. But in the context of D&D, that's very much the exception rather than the norm. To characterize necromancy as it is presented in this game as without moral valence by default strikes me as inaccurate.
 
Last edited:

Helldritch

Explorer
Setting specific fluff, not a universal rule.


Quite. It's someone writing stuff to justify why, in their setting, necromancy is inherently evil. But it's not inherently a part of D&D. If you want to say - in your setting - it's evil, that fine. But no setting is required to be that way, and some - Eberron for example - are canonically not.
The planes are supposedly universal. The old Legend and lore (and 2ed, 3ed and to some extent 4ed) tend to agree with that statement. I wonder what you would think of someone coming at the funeral of your child, saying I need that body as fighting entity and animating it as a zombie. In Eberron, these necromancers are despised. In fact, only the Aeranal venerate undead and they are their ancestors (a religion of ancestors of some sort).

The acceptance of animating undead is relatively new in RPG. The elves in Eberron venerate their ancestors but they are the exception, not the norm and they do not animate random persons. They litteraly join the undead to better protect their families. This is something akin to the mummies' role in some setting. Most of the mummies are created to protect the tomb of their liege. They make a willing sacrifice. So are the Aereni. This is entirely different.
 

Saelorn

Adventurer
Setting specific fluff, not a universal rule.
The rules of the game define a fairly specific sort of setting. Some settings may have necromancy that works differently, but most settings also don't have Vancian spellcasting. It doesn't really matter how things work in other settings.

The DM is free to change how necromancy works in their own world, of course, in exactly the same way that they're free to change how spellcasting works. It's just another house rule.
 
Last edited:
The planes are supposedly universal.
Depends on which version of the multiverse you set you game in. There is no 5e rule: You must treat the planes as universal - it's suits WotC to set their 5e products in a shared multiverse, that's it.

And if you do buy into the idea that "all D&D takes place in a shared multiverse" then you also have to accept that in 5e necromancy is not inherently evil, since the 5e rules do not make it so. In earlier editions, yes, the rules made necromancy inherently evil, and I have no problem with people using lore from earlier editions their game, but that doesn't make your version the "correct" version.
The old Legend and lore (and 2ed, 3ed and to some extent 4ed) tend to agree with that statement.
So what? I cut my teeth on 1st edition, which did not. And I believe even in 2nd edition FR still used the "World Tree" cosmology, with the "Great Wheel" being a Greyhawk specific cosmology, and therefore existed within a separate multiverse.
I wonder what you would think of someone coming at the funeral of your child, saying I need that body as fighting entity and animating it as a zombie.
So what? If upsetting someone's sensibilities makes you evil that makes pretty much everyone evil.
In Eberron, these necromancers are despised.
That depends upon which part of Eberron, you are in. The narrow minded religious fanatics of Thrane certainly despise necromancy, but being unpopular is not the same as being evil.
 

Helldritch

Explorer
Depends on which version of the multiverse you set you game in. There is no 5e rule: You must treat the planes as universal - it's suits WotC to set their 5e products in a shared multiverse, that's it.

And if you do buy into the idea that "all D&D takes place in a shared multiverse" then you also have to accept that in 5e necromancy is not inherently evil, since the 5e rules do not make it so. In earlier editions, yes, the rules made necromancy inherently evil, and I have no problem with people using lore from earlier editions their game, but that doesn't make your version the "correct" version.

So what? I cut my teeth on 1st edition, which did not. And I believe even in 2nd edition FR still used the "World Tree" cosmology, with the "Great Wheel" being a Greyhawk specific cosmology, and therefore existed within a separate multiverse.
5th edition DMG seems to disagree on your view of the cosmology... And so are the planar guides so far.
And if 5ed really says that necromancy isn't evil, why don't we see any Angel with this power? It would be pretty useful. Nope, only evil outsiders have this ability so far. Not even the neutral ones possess Animate dead as a power. You don't have to specify that something is evil for it to be evil.

So what? If upsetting someone's sensibilities makes you evil that makes pretty much everyone evil.
So, can I animate one of your relatives? :)

That depends upon which part of Eberron, you are in. The narrow minded religious fanatics of Thrane certainly despise necromancy, but being unpopular is not the same as being evil.
You're dead wrong on that. Even Eberron puts necromancy on a tight spot for the Evil Ability Tag. P. 22 of the 3.5ed PG to Eberron puts the church of the Blood of Vor as a questionable religion at best. They support the Order of the Emerald Claw (an evil offshoot of that religion) in secrecy. That alone puts them on the evil side. The current King outlawed the OftEC to assure peace with his neighbors and to appease a large portion of the population (about half).

Eberron's original 3.5ed setting describe the church of the Blood of Vol as deceptive and evil... All NPC priest related to them (at least the template in p.228) are evil. Evil likes to trick people into thinking it is on the good side. That is its greatest strength. Even the new 5ed guide to Eberron depict the Order of the Emerald Claw as evil (P.225-226). The church of the Blood of Vol plays a delicate game to pass itself as somewhat neutral and useful for its country. It's a rather risky thing.

It is the same thing that happened to the Great Kingdom in Greyhawk. The church of Hextor, evil to the core, passed itself as a nationalist church. This has led to the downfall of the Great Kingdom. The King of Karrnath, Kaius III must have seen this coming has he has outlawed the most evil part of the church (or at least the most evidently evil) and that is the Order of the Emerald Claw. And this banning was also to put about 50% of Karrnath's population at ease as written in both guides to Eberron (3.5ed and 5ed, I do not know if a 4ed guide to Eberron was ever made).

If you wish to make necromancy a non evil thing, that is your choice. But do not assume that 5ed promotes it as a non evil thing. It was and it is evil to the core.
 

Coroc

Adventurer
5th edition DMG seems to disagree on your view of the cosmology... And so are the planar guides so far.
And if 5ed really says that necromancy isn't evil, why don't we see any Angel with this power? It would be pretty useful. Nope, only evil outsiders have this ability so far. Not even the neutral ones possess Animate dead as a power. You don't have to specify that something is evil for it to be evil.


So, can I animate one of your relatives? :)



You're dead wrong on that. Even Eberron puts necromancy on a tight spot for the Evil Ability Tag. P. 22 of the 3.5ed PG to Eberron puts the church of the Blood of Vor as a questionable religion at best. They support the Order of the Emerald Claw (an evil offshoot of that religion) in secrecy. That alone puts them on the evil side. The current King outlawed the OftEC to assure peace with his neighbors and to appease a large portion of the population (about half).

Eberron's original 3.5ed setting describe the church of the Blood of Vol as deceptive and evil... All NPC priest related to them (at least the template in p.228) are evil. Evil likes to trick people into thinking it is on the good side. That is its greatest strength. Even the new 5ed guide to Eberron depict the Order of the Emerald Claw as evil (P.225-226). The church of the Blood of Vol plays a delicate game to pass itself as somewhat neutral and useful for its country. It's a rather risky thing.

It is the same thing that happened to the Great Kingdom in Greyhawk. The church of Hextor, evil to the core, passed itself as a nationalist church. This has led to the downfall of the Great Kingdom. The King of Karrnath, Kaius III must have seen this coming has he has outlawed the most evil part of the church (or at least the most evidently evil) and that is the Order of the Emerald Claw. And this banning was also to put about 50% of Karrnath's population at ease as written in both guides to Eberron (3.5ed and 5ed, I do not know if a 4ed guide to Eberron was ever made).

If you wish to make necromancy a non evil thing, that is your choice. But do not assume that 5ed promotes it as a non evil thing. It was and it is evil to the core.

Well, but what about the undying court then?
Or Baelnorns if you know about the pre-Eberron elven good aligned Lichs (There was one in the EOB3 computergame) ?

If you take scenarios like planescape (torment) , where even the zombies have some kind of personality then it could be evil. If you take the tone of the older Ravenloft stuff then it is evil by definition.

If you take the 5e standard approach, then minor undead like zombies or skeletons are just (grisly) automatons. But everywhere where it gets to the point that the afterlife of the former owner of the deceased body gets influenced (Ghoul and upward undead) it surely has the potential to be shunned or considered an evil act-
 

Helldritch

Explorer
Well, but what about the undying court then?
Or Baelnorns if you know about the pre-Eberron elven good aligned Lichs (There was one in the EOB3 computergame) ?

If you take scenarios like planescape (torment) , where even the zombies have some kind of personality then it could be evil. If you take the tone of the older Ravenloft stuff then it is evil by definition.

If you take the 5e standard approach, then minor undead like zombies or skeletons are just (grisly) automatons. But everywhere where it gets to the point that the afterlife of the former owner of the deceased body gets influenced (Ghoul and upward undead) it surely has the potential to be shunned or considered an evil act-
I talked about the undying court in an earlier post. I'll sumerize as this: "Just like the mumies which are willingly abandonning their place in the after to protect their liege, so too do the Aereni. They submit to undeath to protect their familly. It is a conscious and willing choice to become an undead."

As for the Bealnorns. They chose to become a lich. Just like the Aereni and the undying court. It was not imposed upon them. There is a big difference between I choose do to something and I am forced to suffer the consequence of someonelse's act (as in animate dead or create undead).

As for minor undead being automatons. They are intelligent enough to carry out simple commands and use some tactics to fight. Basic tactics but tactics nonetheless. Read my previous post about the afterlife. Animating skeletons and zombies does take a bit of the soul to animate the remnants. This mean that a soul might be denied its afterlife. That alone is horrendous act. Again I do not know where I read this. I have it was in a dragon magazine but I don't remember.

And again, not saying that something is evil does not imply that it isn't. Why state the obvious? Evil is evil, period.
 
5th edition DMG seems to disagree on your view of the cosmology... And so are the planar guides so far.
And if 5ed really says that necromancy isn't evil, why don't we see any Angel with this power?
5e Player's Handbook. Necromancer class - no alignment restrictions. Spell List - Animate Dead - No "you must be evil" or "you turn evil if you cast this spell".

As with evil assassins and lawful-stupid paladins, it's all holdovers from earlier editions.

If you want to put alignment restrictions on classes in your game that's fine, but core rules any class can be any alignment.

Why state the obvious? Evil is evil, period.
This seems to be coming from your real world beliefs. I simply don't believe that - not in the game and not in the real world.
 

R_J_K75

Adventurer
When I start a campaign I tend to allow the players to play whatever they want even people new to the game. If it becomes apparent a players class is causing a problem either with other players or its proving too complicated for them to play, I'll start restricting class options.
 

TwoSix

The hero you deserve
I wouldn't exclude a class simply because the fluff didn't fit my setting. The point above about the separation of crunch and fluff is important. If you strip off the fluff all a class is, essentially, is a feat tree that provides additional rules. When I start with a character concept it very often isn't tied specifically to a class, so I'll treat multiclassing, or even single class choice, as a practical matter of what rules best represent the character concept I have in my head. This happens, for example, with the Bard class all the time for me - the crunch suits a lot of builds, and not all of them are performers who deal magic by keying up Toss a Coin on their medieval IPods.

I'm sure not everyone treats classes like I do, but I try not too get to caught up in the fuff, at least not at the expense of a good character concept.
This. Like, right now one of my PCs is an eladrin bard archer, whose spells are simply a manifestation of his inherent fey nature ("Of course I can turn invisible. Can't everyone?") and his bardic inspiration is "Hey, hold the left flank, I'm going to disappear and shoot more arrows."

As for myself when I DM, I ban nothing explicitly, although I review any new 3PP a player brings me (stuff from D&D Wiki gets a beady eye, other sources are fine.) I have a whole batch of 3PP that I let my players know I encourage them to use.

I've learned over time that trying to shape the campaign world by exclusion just tends to make players apathetic, because I'm communicating to them that I want them to run the tropes I'm interested in, not the ones they're interested in. So any new setting I run is focused around the choices they make in character building.
 

Advertisement

Top