D&D 5E What I Don't Like About Subclasses, and Potential Solutions.

Reynard

Legend
Supporter
:rolleyes: You asked for thoughts about class design, and I gave it, and the only response is to nit over some unrelated detail?

Well, have a good game and enjoy PF2, since it seems clear that you're not happy with 5e. I'm out. Tata,
I mean, I was pretty clear that folks who only had "nuh uh" to offer probably wouldn't get high quality engagement from me in this thread.

You literally made a point to tell me where you stopped paying attention, and now you're mad I didn't engage you more deeply?
 

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An idea I'm going with in increasing player options is giving out magic items with built-in feats or features from other subclasses, amongst other things. IMO it's the easiest player-facing part of 5E to mod, if you introduce something that doesn't work you can just give them another magic item, and if a player doesn't want additional complexity they don't have to take it.
 

Reynard

Legend
Supporter
An idea I'm going with in increasing player options is giving out magic items with built-in feats or features from other subclasses, amongst other things. IMO it's the easiest player-facing part of 5E to mod, if you introduce something that doesn't work you can just give them another magic item, and if a player doesn't want additional complexity they don't have to take it.
That's certainly a safe bet but it doesn't solve the underlying problem of subclasses.
 

TwoSix

"Diegetics", by L. Ron Gygax
You want to overburden new players by forcing more build decisions before they even play?

You want to alienate old schoolers by implying level one isn't just a regular person who hadn't yet earned class features or whatever?

You want to punish free formers by hanging more mechanical junk around their necks they have to manage?
If we can do all three at once, I'd call that a "Wambsgans".
 


TiQuinn

Registered User
The first, biggest problem with subclass in 5E is that you are forced to choose it and have it define your character ever forward, but you explicitly don't get to do that at 1st level. So, what? You just build plan to 3rd instead? It is a very strange choice that does not seem to have much of an upside. It simply locks you out of your defining features until you have bypassed the "squishy" phase of the game. Folks who paid attention during the Next playtest might be able to shed some light on the design intent here, but I haven't read anything that makes it make sense.
I agree, I’ve never saw the point of this but because I also dislike the swinginess of low level D&D, my solution has always been very simple: start at level 3.
 

Yaarel

🇮🇱He-Mage
Sometimes, a character concept requires choosing the subclass at level 1 − the concept is there from the beginning even before gaining levels in a class.

Maybe the 2024 background, might allow the subclass choice to happen at level 0. For example, if someone is an Eldritch Knight, perhaps a background feat grants a cantrip and swaps the armor training for always-on Mage Armor instead. Then the character concept can start as a level 1 Fighter with the flavor and mechanics of an arcane warrior.

Likewise, Sorcerer, Warlock, Bladesinger Wizard, etcetera can have background feats to choose from that give them a headstart to build their character concept.
 

Zaukrie

New Publisher
I share your feelings, but I'm sure the current intent is not to make you game more modular,alas.

I think things like maneuvers are the answer. Abilities you get access to, that slow you to define the type of character you want to play.
 

Quickleaf

Legend
D&D has had some version of "a new class option unlocks" throughout its history. In BD&D there was name level stuff at 8th/9th, like a (traveling) fighter choosing to become an Avenger/Knight/Paladin. In AD&D you could become a Bard or Druid iirc, or dual-class if you were human. In 3e there were prestige classes. In 4e there were paragon paths and epic destinies. In 5e it's subclasses.

Delaying these add-ons can benefit more casual players & newer players who are still learning the game. While we can criticize 5e's onboarding of new players in many ways, the idea of delaying some complexity vis a vis subclasses is following through on the idea of easing onboarding and encouraging increased investment as players learn the game.

And it's also just a matter of personal preference! Some players (even new ones) just like more modularity and digging into the character building game - PF2e is a great choice. Others (even old ones) just want to shut up and play already, and they'll figure their character out as they go – several OSR games are a great choice.
 


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