D&D 5E What if everyone in the setting had a [Class]?

Yaarel

He Mage
This feels like you are missing the point of what I was saying.



Okay. How do they have those things? I'm just going to take the System from Primal Hunter. Jake Thayne has skills in tracking and Survival because of his class: Primal Hunter. Carmen has ritual skills for worshipping her pantheon and taking trophies from killed enemies because of her Class. So, where does Miranda get her skills for managing a city from?

Are you going to set up a world where skills and proficiencies are different than skills and proficiencies? Are we saying that classes are special and whatever this other thing is more common? Are we saying that everyone has the same thing, but only the ones that give combat abilities are called classes?

This is what I'm trying to get across with your answer being frustrating within the genre of the idea of everyone having a class. If that premise is true, you are now creating a distinction that needs to be addressed.



Why are you assuming any training is needed at all? If a level 5 Fighter gets the ability "Double Attack" then they get the ability Double Attack when they reach level 5, no training needed. Maybe training with the skill to use it to its fullest potential, but that is different.

Now, sure, there are stories within this genre where training is important, but that isn't what you are doing here. You are saying that the [Sorcerer] Class can exist, but you only get that class if you train your magic to combat, but if you use it for controlling cloth, you can never use it for combat? Stitch Witches are AMAZING in fiction, and you are dismissing it out of hand, because you are focused on this idea that classes can ONLY exist in the context of combat and ONLY exist in the context of DnD combat. But this is a world-building excersise.



....

You just didn't understand the question, did you? Of course a [Farmer] class is weaker in combat and not viable for a player to have. That is a game mechanical concern. We aren't talking about that. We are talking about world building a world where everyone has classes. They don't need to be balanced. The world isn't a balanced place. Bears eat salmon and no matter how high level that salmon is a bear of lower level is likely eating that salmon (until you get into evolutions, but that's a whole different section of the genre). That has zero bearing on anything, because we aren't discussing making a class for everything FOR PEOPLE TO PLAY. We are discussing making a class for everything FOR STORY AND WORLD BUILDING REASONS



And there is no need to faerie realms or ocean monsters either. This isn't about need or writing a statblock. This is about thematic storytelling in a specific genre.
Much of what you are saying here doesnt make sense.

A class must be balanced. That is precisely a game mechanical concern. Especially for combat.

Where do NPCs get their skills? I assume you know about the 2024 background from the playtest. Every background gains three languages, two skills, one toolset, and a feat. The background has nothing to do with a class. Moreover, statblocks can be anything.

Yes, we are discussing a setting where every character has a class. This means, in world, EVERY farmer has levels in a class and therefore is competent in combat.

And classes MUST be balanced. Or they arent "classes".

I am unsure why you have difficulty reading what I said.
 

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FrogReaver

As long as i get to be the frog
Much of what you are saying here doesnt make sense.

A class must be balanced. That is precisely a game mechanical concern. Especially for combat.

Where do NPCs get their skills? I assume you know about the 2024 background from the playtest. Every background gains three languages, two skills, one toolset, and a feat. The background has nothing to do with a class. Moreover, statblocks can be anything.

Yes, we are discussing a setting where every character has a class. This means, in world, EVERY farmer has levels in a class and therefore is competent in combat.

And classes MUST be balanced. Or they arent "classes".

I am unsure why you have difficulty reading what I said.
NPC and PC classes need not be balanced.
 

le Redoutable

Ich bin El Glouglou :)
D&D is a combat game, and D&D classes represent fighting styles.

It is what the D&D rules are.

Meanwhile, translating every nonplayer character into a class, defacto means every nonplayer character is competent in combat.
Weapons are for the Weak;
at high levels you use Diplomatic skills ( social ? )
the ultimate goal is to bring Harmony to the world, and Bosses note ( and welcome ) good diplomats :)
 

Yaarel

He Mage
NPC and PC classes need not be balanced.
The "nonplayer classes" are a mechanically useless concept. Just make a statblock and assign its proficiency.


What does a setting look like, when everyone has a class? Nobody said anything about everyone needing to be the same level.

If there are some farmers (with a Farmer background) who are level 1 Fighters, and other farmers who are level 9 Wizards, this situation is fine.
 


Yaarel

He Mage
But if we do that they won’t have a class. Thus, at least in the context of this discussion it is a meaningful possibility.
Every character that has a class − Fighter, Wizard, etcetera − necessarily also has a background − Farmer, Tailor, Alchemist, Librarian, etcetera.

Thus every character with a Farmer background can have class. Every single one.
 

TwoSix

Dirty, realism-hating munchkin powergamer
What does a setting look like, when everyone has a class? Nobody said anything about everyone needing to be the same level.

If there are some farmers (with a Farmer background) who are level 1 Fighters, and other farmers who are level 9 Wizards, this situation is fine.
That was definitely the idea I was exploring in my opening post. What if everyone was granted some combat or magical ability by the Overgod/System?

My assumption is that being an adventurer is just as much a question of mindset as ability. Most people are going to take their minor magical powers, go be farmers or tradesmen or merchants, and slowly gain some new competence as they live their life. And since most classes don't get their subclass till level 2 or 3, a lot of non-adventurers would probably gain a subclass related to their chosen profession, like a Blacksmith Sorcerer or a Farmer Druid.

It's the reckless, ambitious people who go out and risk life and limb to level quickly and find powerful prestige classes and magical treasure.
 

Voadam

Legend
A class must be balanced. That is precisely a game mechanical concern. Especially for combat.
That is a design goal in 3e, 4e, and 5e for PC classes.

Even in 3e there were NPC classes not balanced against PC classes for combat.

Starting with 0e, particularly with supplement I Greyhawk and the introduction of thieves, and through AD&D and BECMI/RC Basic D&D PC class balance was at most a rough approximation goal. There were weak magic users at low levels who got really powerful at later levels, demihumans being level capped for humanocentrism, different xp rates that did not match up to class combat potential, combat superior class options gated behind imbalance enhancing stat requirements or noncombat restrictions, and other concerns trumping class combat balance as a goal in a lot of D&D.

And there is a long history of AD&D noncombatant NPC classes in Dragon Magazine (I have one with Greenwood's Smith class) and sourcebooks like the 2e Sages one.
 

CreamCloud0

One day, I hope to actually play DnD.
Every character that has a class − Fighter, Wizard, etcetera − necessarily also has a background − Farmer, Tailor, Alchemist, Librarian, etcetera.

Thus every character with a Farmer background can have class. Every single one.
a farmer NPC doesn't want or need the class of fighter or wizard though, so they can have the farmer background and the farmer class, to represent that they're far more skilled at and know how to do things about farming than that druid with the farmer background.
 

TwoSix

Dirty, realism-hating munchkin powergamer
That is a design goal in 3e, 4e, and 5e for PC classes.

Even in 3e there were NPC classes not balanced against PC classes for combat.

Starting with 0e, particularly with supplement I Greyhawk and the introduction of thieves, and through AD&D and BECMI/RC Basic D&D PC class balance was at most a rough approximation goal. There were weak magic users at low levels who got really powerful at later levels, demihumans being level capped for humanocentrism, different xp rates that did not match up to class combat potential, combat superior class options gated behind imbalance enhancing stat requirements or noncombat restrictions, and other concerns trumping class combat balance as a goal in a lot of D&D.
I think there's two different approaches here.

In one approach, you envision your fairly standard fantasy world first. And then you take your system of choice which has classes (so probably D&D), and you layer those classes into the world. This can cause some narrative gaps, quite a few of which have been discussed in this thread.

In the other approach, you start with the premise that [Class] is a concept the world is built around, and you extrapolate the setting from that premise. That allows you to close a lot of the narrative gaps, but the resulting setting might be quite different, even radically different, from the Tolkien-esque fantasy milieu that's the baseline for D&D play.
 

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