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

mortwatcher

Explorer
In general, I ban 3PP stuff, because it's usually untested and I don't want to review everything. Officially releases classes are fair game.

For new players, I usually recommend that they play a martial class, but I wouldn't ban a caster because they want to play it.

As far as setting goes, if there is not much of that class, they can come from a unique and secluded tribe or something, never had an issue incorporating a class into a setting.
 

Helldritch

Explorer
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".

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

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.
The necromantic school does not limit itself to animate dead. There are other spells that are necromantic and are quite useful. It is the prolong exposure and usage of spells such as animate dead that turns the necromancer into an evil person. The person/character who falls into using evil spells (even if they are not presented as such) will find any reasons to justify his/her actions.

Summoning demons and devil isn't evil per say. It is not said in the book. And yet...
And by the way. My favorite class in Diablo 2 and 3 is the necromancer. Even in the world of sanctuary, people are wary of necromancers. Do not confound belief and logic. My real world beliefs have nothing to do with my position. The pitfalls of animate dead are there. Not acknowledging this is like veiling your face to the obvious.

As said earlier, some fantasy cultures do embrace necromancy. We saw that with the Aereni elves. They animate their ancestors so as the ancestors can help defend their lineage. They do this willingly. The key word here is willingly. A necromancer can start lawful good in my games. I've had two or three of these. Two of them never used the animate spells. One did... At first it was only the enemy that fell in battles. They were evil anyways, I needed a body guard, we needed extra attacks to help us out and many other justificiations were coming not only towards me but also toward other players. Yet she retained his original alignment. Then she started animating fallen comrades (NPCs) during combats where there was no enemy body to animate. Again she was justifying her actions with the need of the moment. "See? My skellies turned the tide of battle in our favor!" and so on. She lost her lawful good alignment not by my ruling, but at the request of the other players. (she was no longer good in my book but I was not telling her.) That was during the 3.5ed era.

Again, you don't have to say something is evil for it to be evil.

As with evil assassins and lawful-stupid paladins, it's all holdovers from earlier editions.
Just like in real life. An assassin can be good at the start (and it was as such in the 1ed of the PhB). As long as he does not use his skills for personal pleasure but for a just cause, nothing is wrong. Then, he starts killing people that are nuisance for him. That is the slope of evil. A sniper is not an evil person. That is as long as he is using his skills for the good of his country. But when he starts shooting random people in the streets... These are not holdovers from earlier editions, these are hard facts. We see this in in litterature, in everyday life, the moral adjudication and justification of evil acts always lead to evil.
 
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Lanefan

Victoria Rules
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.
Actually, if one considers that "all D&D" includes all editions then yes, the 2e-3e-4e rules would be part of the multiverse*.

* - side note - I've come to despise the term "multiverse" (except as a descriptor of a poem), as people always want to use it to imply multiple universes. Thing is, the universe - remember, 'uni' means one - is what all those smaller "universes" sit in. The problem stems from using the term 'universe' to mean something smaller than the biggest - kind of like trying to say that infinity is made up of smaller infinities without bothering to define the difference.
 

Eltab

Adventurer
A Good necromancer might be a mid-ranking priest in an Egypt-clone society who takes the bodies of individuals who expressed willingness to be re-created as mummies after their death, and performs the needed rituals.

Of course he has to work out 'of his/her own free will' vs 'tricked / compelled / framed / hearsay' somehow. Presumably he also learns Zone of Truth, insists on a personal interview, &c.
 

Cap'n Kobold

Adventurer
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).
IIRC, animating a body does not trap the soul of the being that used to occupy it, except for very specific, unusual undead which would have specific rules.

The reason animating dead is evil is that basic undead are fairly mindless, but they are of Evil alignment. They will default to killing living beings unless carefully restricted.

Many settings also have beliefs that the negative energy used to create and animate most undead has unpleasant effects on the world itself. This is the reason the elves of Eberron despise most undead and view that sort of necromancy as evil.

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.
The Aerenal Deathless aren't your standard undead: they are sustained by positive energy from an manifest zone on the island and the beliefs of their ancestors. You can't create them with an Animate dead spell. They are also free-willed and capable of having non-evil alignments.

The Blood of Vol are the ones that regard raising undead as being acceptable: they specifically believe that the souls passes on and the body is just a shell. Note that even though most of its believers are not Evil, in 3e terms, a cleric of the BoV would default to channelling negative energy and have an evil aura, even if not Evil themselves.
 

Jd Smith1

Explorer
I only allow PHB classes, and ban Sorcerers, Monks, and Warlocks because they do not fit with my current campaign.

My next fantasy campaign I will allow all three and ban Wizards.
 

thorgrit

Explorer
Player comprehension is biggest for me. If I'm running a game, I've got a lot to keep track of, and I can't memorize every class, subclass, spell, feat, etc. in even the core book, not to mention supplements, including third party.

I encourage newer players to play simpler classes. I ask everyone to have the full text of their abilities at hand, whether that's a bookmarked page, a printout from a digital source, or phone/tablet access, etc. If I can't remember what something does, and the player can't remember or quickly refer to what something does, then it's got no business at my table.

I'm wary of third party stuff, but if I can read it over, the player knows what it does and can explain it to me, then I'm usually fine. I've got a couple exceptions. Absolutely everything from dandwiki is out, I'm not even going to waste my time looking. Anything gotten as a reward for donating to charities doing good works is always in, no matter what it is I will make room for it at my game. (Players who would use this as an excuse to abuse broken mechanics, however, may find they don't have room at my game.)

I may even houserule in slight bonuses for player options that might better fit a specific setting to encourage players to choose them.
 

Tallifer

Adventurer
The Aerenal Deathless aren't your standard undead: they are sustained by positive energy from an manifest zone on the island and the beliefs of their ancestors. You can't create them with an Animate dead spell. They are also free-willed and capable of having non-evil alignments.
Yeah ... that sounds to me like evil necromancers twisting words to justify their foul deeds ... as written by a game designer who clearly feels that there are no fixed notions of good and evil. Which is fair enough given how our own world keeps changing its morality through cultures and generations; but not my cup of tea for a fantasy campaign (even when I use the setting of Eberron for its cooler bits).
 

Cap'n Kobold

Adventurer
Yeah ... that sounds to me like evil necromancers twisting words to justify their foul deeds ... as written by a game designer who clearly feels that there are no fixed notions of good and evil. Which is fair enough given how our own world keeps changing its morality through cultures and generations; but not my cup of tea for a fantasy campaign (even when I use the setting of Eberron for its cooler bits).
Note that in Eberron, standard undead are one of the few things called out as having a fixed Evil alignment.
 
Yeah ... that sounds to me like evil necromancers twisting words to justify their foul deeds ... as written by a game designer who clearly feels that there are no fixed notions of good and evil.
Really? Because it reads as the exact opposite of that. The idea of ancestors that protect their family or clan after death is a very common component of real religions. There we are talking about spirits or ghosts. The only difference with the Aeternal is the substitution of a fantasy undeadness for existence as a protective spirit. No evil necromancer rhetorical shenanigans needed.
 

Greg K

Adventurer
I don't run 5e, but the following applies to any edition of D&D that I run.
  • The class doesn't fit the game world setting
  • The class doesn't fit with what I think D&D is
  • Too weird for me
  • Creates in game issues (balance, etc)
  • The theme is counter to a heroic RPG (e.g. a class that is primarily an "evil" class)
  • other (please explain)
  • Bonus option: I don't care what others play, I just don't want them in my game
Now for the explanations.
Other involves classes that I might like conceptually, but dislike for the game mechanics. The monk has been an example in every edition of D&D (although in 3e, I substituted Hong's variant of the OA Shaman for the monk). In 3e, several official supplemental classes also fell into this category as would several 5e PHB subclasses and Xanathar subclasses.
 

Flamestrike

Explorer
Animating the dead being an evil act is not inherently a part of D&D.
Erm, yes it is. Says so in the PHB, in the magic section, under the necromancy seb header.

Animating the dead is an evil act.

The MM entry for skeletons and zombies also is clear that they are brought into existence by magic described as 'evil, black magic, foul sorcery etc.'

I have nothing wrong with a heroic necromancer, but their alignment is going to be evil. An anti-hero.

I have nothing wrong with a heroic assassin who goes around usong torture and murder on the 'bad guys' either. But his alignment will also be evil.
 

Flamestrike

Explorer
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".
Check the back of the PHB, in the magic section under the necromancy school sub heading.

Animating the dead is evil. By its very nature (black magic etc). No good character does so more than infrequently, if at all, and if they do then they're not a good aligned character.
 

hawkeyefan

Adventurer
In my group, anything published in a product by WotC is available. Anything in UA or a third party is considered if someone wants to use it, subject to revision if needed. Same with homebrew stuff.

We haven’t really played in any settings that would disallow any of the core material yet. But my leaning is to always allow things even if they seem to not mesh perfectly with a setting.

There’d have to be a really compelling reason for something core to be banned.
 

Ath-kethin

Explorer
Worlds are defined as much or more by what isn't in them as what is. I've banned half the Player's Handbook at times based on what seemed right for a campaign.

That said, I also believe that you can find a way to make almost anything work in almost any setting. So if a player has a really great idea for a character, I'm open to working out how to make it for within the campaign's constraints.
 

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