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D&D 5E What is the best class for a single class only campaign?

What is the best class for a single class only campaign?

  • Homebrew/Other

  • Artificer

  • Barbarian

  • Bard

  • Cleric

  • Druid

  • Fighter

  • Monk

  • Paladin

  • Ranger

  • Rogue

  • Sorcerer

  • Warlock

  • Wizard

  • Eric Noah is my half-fiend love child.


Results are only viewable after voting.

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TwoSix

Unserious gamer
No consideration for it being an interesting story, though, which is why we get checks notes an all-cleric campaign.
If you're going with a campaign that would actually be interesting, all-rogue, all-bard or even all-monk would be a lot better.
I think every campaign is interesting as long as the players and DM are good.

That being said, I do think that cleric is powerful but not really compelling. People have made pretty strong arguments for rangers, fighters, and wizards, above, that feel more compelling to me.
 

Zardnaar

Legend
I think every campaign is interesting as long as the players and DM are good.

That being said, I do think that cleric is powerful but not really compelling. People have made pretty strong arguments for rangers, fighters, and wizards, above, that feel more compelling to me.

Clerics probably the best but yeah it's kinda boring. Bard for example more interesting.

Clerics can have more HP than the fighter types similar ac and similar damage and throw in a light, twilight, arcane etc and you've got all the bases covered.

Sacred flame and toll the dead spam gets old fast though.
 

CleverNickName

Limit Break Dancing
Ugh, one bard in the party is annoying enough. If all five of my players rolled up bards all at once, I'd roll up a bard also and then sit down on their side of the table. "So which one of you is going to be our DM?" I'll ask. Because I sure as heck won't. :)
 

Oofta

Title? I don't need no stinkin' title.
One thing I'll note is that when it comes to what the group can and cannot do is that with backgrounds classes can be more flexible than in past editions.

I'm mentioning it because someone was saying that paladins "can't" be stealthy. I have a dex based paladin in my group that would beg to differ. With studded leather and a shield his AC is almost as good as the guys wearing plate. Along with the criminal/spy background to give him stealth he does pretty good. Not as good as a rogue, but against the passive perception of most creatures? It doesn't really need to take high.

My point is: don't discount any class because of typical or "optimal" builds.
 

squibbles

Explorer
Assumptions:

1) 5 player characters in the campaign.
2) The bulk of the game will be Tier 2-Tier 3.
[...]​
c) Shared class synergy (wizards sharing spells, druids being able to group wildshape, mass first round fighter action surge, etc.)
Warlocks are clearly the best.

Just imagine, being a warlock player that gets to use those two 3rd level spell slots more than once a day. TIMES 5!... No greater synergy is possible.
 

One thing I'll note is that when it comes to what the group can and cannot do is that with backgrounds classes can be more flexible than in past editions.

I'm mentioning it because someone was saying that paladins "can't" be stealthy.
I didn't say that. I said the fighting styles pushed against people being stealthy. Dex/studded leather with the interception, protection, or duelling fighting styles and a rapier do actually work. It's just fighting a bit against the way the class is pushed. Compare, for example, to the ranger which basically has all the dex based fighting styles plus the ability to grab shillealagh as a cantrip to go wis-based.
 

see

Pedantic Grognard
The problem with artificer is that you will never get any spells past 4th level, and you have to wait till the final third of the campaign to even get those.
Yeah. The OP specifies there'll be Tier 3 play, and well.

In Tier 3, there's a major difference in capability between a five-man party that collectively starts with 0 fourth-level slots (11th level) and eventually grows to have 10 fourth-level slots, and the five-man party that collectively starts with 15 fourth-, 10 fifth-, and 5 sixth-level slots.
 

Artificer battlesmith.
If you don't mind high level spells.
I always prefer versatility that does not just rely on spells.
Also an extra damage soak and defender is always nice.
Being able to share magic items is also in the specifications.
 

Oofta

Title? I don't need no stinkin' title.
I didn't say that. I said the fighting styles pushed against people being stealthy. Dex/studded leather with the interception, protection, or duelling fighting styles and a rapier do actually work. It's just fighting a bit against the way the class is pushed. Compare, for example, to the ranger which basically has all the dex based fighting styles plus the ability to grab shillealagh as a cantrip to go wis-based.
I think with a single class party, you're going to have to think a bit outside the box for at least some of the PCs no matter what.

I just think there are a lot of viable options and you will likely make some PCs that are not "typical" builds.
 

Vote as per the title.

Assumptions:

1) 5 player characters in the campaign.
2) The bulk of the game will be Tier 2-Tier 3.
3) Feats Yes, multiclassing No. (No dips!)
4) Assume you're trying to strike a balance between these goals:
a) Diversity in character concepts and builds.
b) Overall group effectiveness.
c) Shared class synergy (wizards sharing spells, druids being able to group wildshape, mass first round fighter action surge, etc.)
I'd say it was real close between Bard, Druid and Cleric.

Personally I picked Bard, because I think individual Bards have a bit more diversity and synergy than Clerics and Druids, but there's not a whole lot in it. Bards have more at-the-table build diversity than Clerics/Druids because they have Sorcerer-style casting, so each individual Bard is looking at different spells he can cast, much moreso than a Druid/Cleric.
My gut feeling is that healing magic isn't really necessary in a 5e game (with the possible exception of Healing Word), as Hit Dice can handle most of the out-of-combat healing. I also imagine a lot of people don't feel the same way, which impacts the rankings.
Healing doesn't factor into me suggesting Bard/Cleric/Druid, even though all three can heal. I agree that healing magic isn't vital.

However, spellcasting in 5E is extremely powerful, and these classes are well-rounded in ways that other casters and non-casters are not.

Unlike a lot of editions, everyone being the same class is likely to work pretty well with most classes. Fighters and Paladins are likely to be good, Barbarians okay.

Less well would probably be Rangers and Monks (and I'm not saying that just to be mean to Rangers/Monks), because there's a lot less synergy there, and a lot more "trying to do the exact same thing in slightly different ways". "Stop! I can only get so stunned!" to paraphrase Archer. And whereas all Rogues are likely to be strong at stealth and creating opportunities for each other, Rangers/Monks will be less so. They'll still work though.

All Warlocks would be fun but I think potentially very swingy and vulnerable to melee monsters. Even if one or more of them is a Hexblade, it's unlikely they can tank everything and still be useful when their most powerful attack is Eldritch Blast, a ranged attack, and thus given Disadvantage by an adjacent enemy character. Incantations and various spells can provide okay ACs (ish) and temp HP that would probably make them somewhat survivable.

Very least well would probably be Sorcerer/Wizard. Mostly poor ACs, and poor HP would mean that, even spamming cool leveled spells every encounter, you'd likely have budding Harry Potters bleeding out all over the place. All it takes is a few goblins winning initiative.
 
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Yeah. The OP specifies there'll be Tier 3 play, and well.

In Tier 3, there's a major difference in capability between a five-man party that collectively starts with 0 fourth-level slots (11th level) and eventually grows to have 10 fourth-level slots, and the five-man party that collectively starts with 15 fourth-, 10 fifth-, and 5 sixth-level slots.
Yes. But having x slots of level x does not make for a nice play experience.
There is notging wrong with having characters with different kind of abilities. Especially over a longer day, where casting your highest spells is not the solution. Of course you can't argue, that high level spells can give you a distinct advantage in many situations, but sometimes you just want a fighter.
 

TwoSix

Unserious gamer
Personally I picked Bard, because I think individual Bards have a bit more diversity and synergy than Clerics and Druids, but there's not a whole lot in it. Bards have more at-the-table build diversity than Clerics/Druids because they have Sorcerer-style casting, so each individual Bard is looking at different spells he can cast, much moreso than a Druid/Cleric.
Yea, I voted homebrew/other, but focusing on the PHB, I think those are definitely the strongest overall contenders. I favor Bard over Cleric for reasons I explained earlier, but I think Druid is my choice out of the PHB classes. I just can't get over how many shenanigans you can pull when everyone can wildshape. Who's going to notice 5 crows flying over a bandit keep, or 5 mice sneaking into a cave?
 

Ancalagon

Dusty Dragon
The problem with artificer is that you will never get any spells past 4th level, and you have to wait till the final third of the campaign to even get those.
Well, level 5 spells now, they are half casters, not 1/3 casters like the original UA...

buuuut your point remains true.
 

Ancalagon

Dusty Dragon
Yea, I voted homebrew/other, but focusing on the PHB, I think those are definitely the strongest overall contenders. I favor Bard over Cleric for reasons I explained earlier, but I think Druid is my choice out of the PHB classes. I just can't get over how many shenanigans you can pull when everyone can wildshape. Who's going to notice 5 crows flying over a bandit keep, or 5 mice sneaking into a cave?
Druid is certainly a strong contender...

I think warlock is better if you aren't sticking to the PHB. Making a "rogueish" warlock is easy, you can make a healing warlock, a somewhat tanky warlock (hexblade), a blasting warlock...

But what will make it more interesting is philosophical. The druids are all nature-focused. The warlocks may have a lot more philosophical differences because of their patrons.
 

Galandris

Foggy Bottom Campaign Setting Fan
If it was to play in any campaign I'd vote for the boring clerics are they are full casters and quite well rounded.


However, provided the gm notices that all his PCs are artificer, he would hear the unmissable subtext of "we wanna build things." A party of 5 artificers at level 10 can crank out an uncommon item every day or a very rare item every 5 days working 8 hours a day. Magic item replicating spells can overcome the need for utility high level caster. I don't they would be lacking so much on the offense front either in this situation. Harder to play than a Clerix group of assorted domains but doable if there is sufficent (but not extraordinary) downtime and the opportunoty to acquite reciped and schematics.
 

TwoSix

Unserious gamer
But what will make it more interesting is philosophical. The druids are all nature-focused. The warlocks may have a lot more philosophical differences because of their patrons.
Well, I do think druids can oppose one another philosophically, if built that way. I'm thinking of Eberron's different druid sects as an example.
 


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