5.5E What if you were in charge of reworking classes for 5.5?

d24454_modern

Explorer
Lets admit it we know what subclass we are going for and set up their background from the start 99% of the time so why wait until 3rd level until you get to be who you are pretending to be for the first few sessions.
Alternatively, you can just start out at Level 3 anyways since backstories are often elaborate enough that you should’ve gained a level anyways.
 

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Parmandur

Book-Friend
Lets admit it we know what subclass we are going for and set up their background from the start 99% of the time so why wait until 3rd level until you get to be who you are pretending to be for the first few sessions.
Yeah, I've heard the designers admit that their initial "training Levels" idea didn't work out, and people were choosing their Subclass at Level 1. So fixing that would be nice, if they do anything so drastic. Maybe rename them "archetypes" instead of "Subclass"
 

d24454_modern

Explorer
Yeah, I've heard the designers admit that their initial "training Levels" idea didn't work out, and people were choosing their Subclass at Level 1. So fixing that would be nice, if they do anything so drastic. Maybe rename them "archetypes" instead of "Subclass"
So, basically Pathfinder?
 


Eltab

Lord of the Hidden Layer
I liked the Druid wildshape from 4e, where you changed your fluff but kept your stats. (I may be weird that way.) At higher levels you can add Fly or Swim or Desert Adaptation or Hold Breath to yourself. When every L3 druid from every corner of the world turns into Grizzly Bear as first choice, the mechanics are not working with the story.

Rangers should get bonuses from Favored Terrain and Favored Enemy, in combat and in exploration / travel. Hunters Mark should be a class feature, like the monster slayer's Ire is.

Sorcerer would get Spell Points, rechargeable per rest (half per short rest?). Each subclass should add themed spells - hhhhhhhhellllllo, Dragon Breath - and the base class lets you pick more. I would put Dragonblood and Elemental subclasses in the PHB.
 

Instead of mechanical changes in the PHB, I focus on the greatest factor in the game; the DM! I would have a chapter in the DMG on how to run/adjust the game with the presence/absence of the classes. Tips like how to encourage the Fighter to stunt, why you need anti magic zones, how to incoporate a Cleric's gods, etc.
 

Minigiant

Legend
Supporter
Lets admit it we know what subclass we are going for and set up their background from the start 99% of the time so why wait until 3rd level until you get to be who you are pretending to be for the first few sessions.
How bout not play complex concepts at level 1?

Really the #1 thing I'd do is make ever class have 3 parts like the Warlock (Class Subclass Specialty) over the first 3 levels.

  1. Level 1
    • Choose Race or Lineage
      • Choose Subrace
    • Choose Class
    • Determine Ability Scores
    • Choose Background or Feat
    • Choose Setting Specific Boon if Applicable
  2. Level 2
    • Choose Subclass (ie Life, Light, Nature, etc)
  3. Level 3
    • Choose Specialty (ie Healer, Inquisitor, Runepriest, or Warpriest,)
  4. Level 4
    1. Choose Ability Score Increase or Feat
 

Undrave

Hero
Yeah, I've heard the designers admit that their initial "training Levels" idea didn't work out, and people were choosing their Subclass at Level 1.
What did they expect?! They playtested with people who would plan out every level of a 3.X character before bringing to the table. Did they REALLY expect people to not even look at the subclasses before playing and building their characters?? Talk about not knowing your audience...
Tips like how to encourage the Fighter to stunt, why you need anti magic zones,
Or maybe design a game where that stuff's not needed?
 

Parmandur

Book-Friend
What did they expect?! They playtested with people who would plan out every level of a 3.X character before bringing to the table. Did they REALLY expect people to not even look at the subclasses before playing and building their characters?? Talk about not knowing your audience...

Or maybe design a game where that stuff's not needed?
Per Mearls, yes, they expected that people would think about it at Levek 2 or 3.
 


Parmandur

Book-Friend
lolwut?

Oh yeah, I'll build my Bard and only choose my college at lv 3, so what if I want to go for the College of Valor and I didn't invest into my DEX or STR at all?
That's what he said the design expectation was when he discussed it on the Happy Fun Hour, aonce the vast majority of players don'tplan out their builds. But he admitted thst it didn't work with Subclass, since it was too central to character ide Tiny for more narrative focused players, oa he would have made all Subclasses Level 1 if he could do it over.
 

d24454_modern

Explorer
lolwut?

Oh yeah, I'll build my Bard and only choose my college at lv 3, so what if I want to go for the College of Valor and I didn't invest into my DEX or STR at all?
Well, when did you decide what you career you? Middle school? High School? College?

They probably expected you to be molded by the campaign you’re in rather than choose before you had a good feel of what’s going on.
 

Aldarc

Legend
If I was in charge of reworking classes for 5.5, I would hammer out and polish the classes rather than reinventing the wheel. Anything more than that would risk the game becoming closer to a 6.0 edition rather than 5.5e, as per the OP. To that end, I would look to addressing recognized recurring class/subclass issues and sore spots from community feedback and internal testing, while also trying to increase new player accessibility and friendliness that may have been outside of the original scope of 5e D&D as a "legacy edition." As an example, I would utilize level-scaling wildshape templates that decreases druid player book-keeping, which should also even-out the power spikes of the Moon Druid.
 

Minigiant

Legend
Supporter
Well, when did you decide what you career you? Middle school? High School? College?

They probably expected you to be molded by the campaign you’re in rather than choose before you had a good feel of what’s going on.
But this is D&D, you don't get to respec your ability scores after. You really can't because you don't usually record your original rolls and would have to reverse engineer the math.

And really, D&D classes are not Jobs. Real life occupations are simplified to just single skills with proficiency and expertise. A doctor has expertise in Medicine and 16 INT and WIS.

The issue was 5e was designed as if every PC's ability scores were stereotypical and traditional. So the designers asssumed every bard, cleric, druid and warlock has 13+ STR or DEX.
 

Horwath

Hero
Yeah, I've heard the designers admit that their initial "training Levels" idea didn't work out, and people were choosing their Subclass at Level 1. So fixing that would be nice, if they do anything so drastic. Maybe rename them "archetypes" instead of "Subclass"
They can keep the name sub class no problem, and as most subclasses at 3rd level gets several things, some can be split between 1st and 3rd level.

I.E. Scout rogue can get Nature and Survival proficiency at 1st level with reaction movement at 2nd level and expertise at those skills at 3rd level.
 

Minigiant

Legend
Supporter
They can keep the name sub class no problem, and as most subclasses at 3rd level gets several things, some can be split between 1st and 3rd level.

I.E. Scout rogue can get Nature and Survival proficiency at 1st level with reaction movement at 2nd level and expertise at those skills at 3rd level.
My point was that some features are linked together in subclasses when there really should be 2 choices like how Warlock work.

What if my scout isn't a Nature scout but an Urban Military scout or an Organized Crime Lookout?

Like the Tempest Cleric is a Heavy Cleric. But you really should be able to choose if you want to be Thor (Heavy armror, martial weapons, Divine Strike) or Storm (Bonus Cantrip. Potent Spellcasting).
Monks should be able to choose Dex based Martial Arts, Str based Brawling, or Wis based elementalism.
Wizards should be able to choose Scholary, Bladesinger, War, or Witchy wizard at level 2.

It also lets every class get specialized and complex at the same pace.
 

Horwath

Hero
My point was that some features are linked together in subclasses when there really should be 2 choices like how Warlock work.

What if my scout isn't a Nature scout but an Urban Military scout or an Organized Crime Lookout?

Like the Tempest Cleric is a Heavy Cleric. But you really should be able to choose if you want to be Thor (Heavy armror, martial weapons, Divine Strike) or Storm (Bonus Cantrip. Potent Spellcasting).
Monks should be able to choose Dex based Martial Arts, Str based Brawling, or Wis based elementalism.
Wizards should be able to choose Scholary, Bladesinger, War, or Witchy wizard at level 2.

It also lets every class get specialized and complex at the same pace.
sure. That is also a way.

IMHO. all classes should get one armor proficiency less and an option to take that armor proficiency or one skill proficiency.
 

Parmandur

Book-Friend
They can keep the name sub class no problem, and as most subclasses at 3rd level gets several things, some can be split between 1st and 3rd level.

I.E. Scout rogue can get Nature and Survival proficiency at 1st level with reaction movement at 2nd level and expertise at those skills at 3rd level.
Yeah, not saying that the powers need to kick in, but the selection should be baked in at Level 1, since everyone does thst anyways.
 

Undrave

Hero
Well, when did you decide what you career you? Middle school? High School? College?

They probably expected you to be molded by the campaign you’re in rather than choose before you had a good feel of what’s going on.
Molded how exactly? You get one ASI. If your stats don't line up with your subclass you'd be an idiot to take it. This isn't high end optimization, this is just 'my best scores go to the ability I'm gonna use the most'. That's pretty baseline stuff.
sure. That is also a way.

IMHO. all classes should get one armor proficiency less and an option to take that armor proficiency or one skill proficiency.
Fighters would need more skills
 

Parmandur

Book-Friend
Molded how exactly? You get one ASI. If your stats don't line up with your subclass you'd be an idiot to take it. This isn't high end optimization, this is just 'my best scores go to the ability I'm gonna use the most'. That's pretty baseline stuff.

Fighters would need more skills
Most people aren't doing even this "baseline" stuff, which is why WotC thought they could put off the choice. But because Subclass is important to the narrative of a character, people who aren't rising to minimal optimization care.
 

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