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D&D General What kind of class design do you prefer?

What type of class design do you prefer?

  • Few classes with a lots of build choices

    Votes: 53 62.4%
  • Lots of classes with narrow build choices

    Votes: 32 37.6%

  • Total voters
    85

Scribe

Hero
The sorcerer idea is fine. We just need to get the community to not see it as a discount wizard.

The 5e playtest had an idea where the sorcerer had spell like abilities similar to invocations based on their bloodline. The community didn't buy into the idea high enough to get over the very very high bar of acceptance needed to make the PHB.

I mean in 5e's dragon book, the one class with an OG dragon subclass gets no exclusive spells. It ties with the favorite Marcia: wizard.

/Rant
The Bloodlines in PF are much more interesting to me.

If Sorcerer had that, and didn't need components, I'd be quite happy with them.
 

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The sorcerer idea is fine. We just need to get the community to not see it as a discount wizard.
Sure, the idea is fine. A person imbued with magic so that they're an inherently magical person. We have class that perfectly represents this. It's called Warlock. Always-on magical effects and rapidly recharging magic fits the theme perfectly. And we don't need separate class depending on whether you were imbued with magic at birth or via a pact later. The end result is the same.
 

cbwjm

Hero
The Bloodlines in PF are much more interesting to me.

If Sorcerer had that, and didn't need components, I'd be quite happy with them.
I love the ideas around magic in PF2 with 4 different spell lists that you draw upon depending on your class, the coolest thing with sorcerer is that depending on their bloodline, they use different spell lists. I think this would make things much easier than having a spell list for each class.
 

Scribe

Hero
I love the ideas around magic in PF2 with 4 different spell lists that you draw upon depending on your class, the coolest thing with sorcerer is that depending on their bloodline, they use different spell lists. I think this would make things much easier than having a spell list for each class.
I havent looked too much at PF2 spell lists, but for sure I dont like how 5e is doing it. :D
 

Minigiant

Legend
Supporter
Sure, the idea is fine. A person imbued with magic so that they're an inherently magical person. We have class that perfectly represents this. It's called Warlock. Always-on magical effects and rapidly recharging magic fits the theme perfectly. And we don't need separate class depending on whether you were imbued with magic at birth or via a pact later. The end result is the same.
I'd go to the sorcerer having more monster powers whereas the warlock just getting the magic of their patron. Like Final Fantasy Blue Mages.

I see a dragon sorcerer turning their whole arm scaley and big and clawing the heck out of some ogre's face. A divine soul sorcerer would summon angel or devil wings and blows foes away with blessed or foul winds.

Whereas the warlock is zapping with eldritch blast or cutting with hexblades.

I think D&D is still missing a "monster-man" class and the sorcerer should be it. Death/Shadow sorcerers to be vampires. Clockwork sorcerers to be robots. Dragon sorcerers to be dragons.

I think the "Warrior Rogue Priest Mage" pillars is frankly old thinking as many fantasy ideas don't fit in them. I can respect someone thinking an idea doesn't fit the scope of D&D and it does fit in Warrior/Rogue/Priest/Mage it should be in D&D. However I'm totally against liking a archetype and forcing it into an existing class just to not create a new one.

That's why I can't get down with the "Few classes with a lots of build choices" option. Because the people who what it want build options that have almost nothing in common. And that point, you might as well created 2 different classes. How are X and Y the same class if X and Y have nothing similiar.
 

I'd go to the sorcerer having more monster powers whereas the warlock just getting the magic of their patron. Like Final Fantasy Blue Mages.

I see a dragon sorcerer turning their whole arm scaley and big and clawing the heck out of some ogre's face. A divine soul sorcerer would summon angel or devil wings and blows foes away with blessed or foul winds.

Whereas the warlock is zapping with eldritch blast or cutting with hexblades.

I think D&D is still missing a "monster-man" class and the sorcerer should be it. Death/Shadow sorcerers to be vampires. Clockwork sorcerers to be robots. Dragon sorcerers to be dragons.
Still sounds like it should be same class with the warlocks. Vampire powers, dragon arms and whatnot all sound like they would make sense as invocations. Warlock has solid mechanics, except it is pigeonholed to be an eldritch blaster. This would also widen its scope.
 

Minigiant

Legend
Supporter
Still sounds like it should be same class with the warlocks. Vampire powers, dragon arms and whatnot all sound like they would make sense as invocations. Warlock has solid mechanics, except it is pigeonholed to be an eldritch blaster. This would also widen its scope.
Well my personal preference would be tilting warlock back more to its 3e self and having the class be more based on tweaking its 5-6 exclusive cantrips. A patron could give you an eldritch blast, a hex, a summonable ally, a binder book, or a hexblade.

Whereas sorcery turns you more into an actual monster or force of nature if you channel your blood origin.

Basicaly at-will magical abilities vs daily monster abilities.
 

Minigiant

Legend
Supporter
I think there should be a design goal to make a warrior and a caster for every ability score if possible. It shouldn't be force but there should be an earnest attempt. So more than 10 classes would be a must.

  • STR
    • Barbarian- Rage/Reckless Attack
    • Brute-Special Moves
    • Champion-Action Surge/Second Wind
    • Fighter*- Superiority Dice/Fighting Styles
    • Ranger* -Favored Enemy/Terrain, Hunter Styles
  • DEX
    • Fighter*- Superiority Dice/Fighting Styles
    • Monk- Martial Arts/Ki
    • Ranger* -Favored Enemy/Terrain, Hunter Styles
    • Rogue- Sneak Attack/Cunning Action
  • CON
    • Saint- Divine Gifts
    • Warden- Guardian Might
    • Warlock*-Invocations
  • INT
    • Artificer- Infusion
    • Gish-???
    • Scholar- Field of Study/Coordinated Strike
    • Wizard- Wizardry Charges/Implements
  • WIS
    • Beastmaster- Animal Companion
    • Cleric- Channel Divinity
    • Druid- Wildshape
    • Shaman- Spirit Communion
  • CHA
    • Bard- Bardic Inspiration
    • Paladin- Aura/Divine Smite
    • Sorcerer- Sorcery Points/Metamagic
    • Warlock*- Invocations
 

Lanefan

Victoria Rules
I was thinking of a limited selection generic items/training/boons in the PHB, as a sort of "here's the kind of stuff you could get your hands on and what they might cost", but the DM has the more extensive listing with the crazy stuff. Just so players can have an idea what the growth of their character MIGHT look like.
Sure, OK - that works.

The other issue I have with putting the whole list player-side like 3e and 4e did is that doing so sort of soft-discourages the DM from coming up with new or custom homebrew items. And where's the fun in that? :)
 

TwoSix

Unserious gamer
Sure, OK - that works.

The other issue I have with putting the whole list player-side like 3e and 4e did is that doing so sort of soft-discourages the DM from coming up with new or custom homebrew items. And where's the fun in that? :)
Yea, I definitely don't do that. A ton of my items are custom, and the players don't know what they do until they experiment a bit.

To my mind, an ideal campaign of D&D is a lot like Talisman, the board game. (Minus spending 10 turns trying to land on the square with the items, of course.) You have a diversity of character options to start with, but how you grow is going to depend a lot on luck or what you encounter. Maybe your sorcerer ends up being really strong and getting a magic weapon and armor. Or your assassin becomes a powerful magic user. You don't know until you play.
 

loverdrive

Makin' cool stuff (She/Her)
I prefer small number of quite narrow classes, preferably with zero overlaps.

Fighters doing fighting and nobody can best them at fighting, magic users doing magic and no one can best them and magic, all that jazz.
 

Scribe

Hero
I think there should be a design goal to make a warrior and a caster for every ability score if possible. It shouldn't be force but there should be an earnest attempt. So more than 10 classes would be a must.

  • STR
    • Barbarian- Rage/Reckless Attack
    • Brute-Special Moves
    • Champion-Action Surge/Second Wind
    • Fighter*- Superiority Dice/Fighting Styles
    • Ranger* -Favored Enemy/Terrain, Hunter Styles
  • DEX
    • Fighter*- Superiority Dice/Fighting Styles
    • Monk- Martial Arts/Ki
    • Ranger* -Favored Enemy/Terrain, Hunter Styles
    • Rogue- Sneak Attack/Cunning Action
  • CON
    • Saint- Divine Gifts
    • Warden- Guardian Might
    • Warlock*-Invocations
  • INT
    • Artificer- Infusion
    • Gish-???
    • Scholar- Field of Study/Coordinated Strike
    • Wizard- Wizardry Charges/Implements
  • WIS
    • Beastmaster- Animal Companion
    • Cleric- Channel Divinity
    • Druid- Wildshape
    • Shaman- Spirit Communion
  • CHA
    • Bard- Bardic Inspiration
    • Paladin- Aura/Divine Smite
    • Sorcerer- Sorcery Points/Metamagic
    • Warlock*- Invocations
I think you can fill these with subclasses, my list is similar (I think I posted it)
 

MoonSong

Rules-lawyering drama queen but not a munchkin
The sorcerer idea is fine. We just need to get the community to not see it as a discount wizard.

The 5e playtest had an idea where the sorcerer had spell like abilities similar to invocations based on their bloodline. The community didn't buy into the idea high enough to get over the very very high bar of acceptance needed to make the PHB.

I mean in 5e's dragon book, the one class with an OG dragon subclass gets no exclusive spells. It ties with the favorite Marcia: wizard.

/Rant
It was worse than that. It was well liked in th feedback. The problem were the wizard players nagging "where's mah SpellPoints!!" and the design team retiring sorcerer "because we can't work on the sorcerer when the default caster obviously needs more work"
That's why I can't get down with the "Few classes with a lots of build choices" option. Because the people who what it want build options that have almost nothing in common. And that point, you might as well created 2 different classes. How are X and Y the same class if X and Y have nothing similiar.
reminds me of the old "monk is a priest subclass" nonsense...
Sure, OK - that works.

The other issue I have with putting the whole list player-side like 3e and 4e did is that doing so sort of soft-discourages the DM from coming up with new or custom homebrew items. And where's the fun in that? :)
They weren't player facing in 3e and 3.5. On PF though...
 

Vaalingrade

Legend
It was worse than that. It was well liked in th feedback. The problem were the wizard players nagging "where's mah SpellPoints!!" and the design team retiring sorcerer "because we can't work on the sorcerer when the default caster obviously needs more work"
Which is why the answer is getting rid of wizards.

Once they're gone, the game is free of the whims and demands of wizard fans.
 




TwoSix

Unserious gamer
Wizards are out now too? What's next?
Once wizards are gone, then you can ADD specialized necromancers, warmages, abjurers, etc. Honestly, each of the 8 schools could support its own class with multiple subclasses.
 
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I think there's really a few systemic questions you need to ask about character creation and growth before making this kind of decision; every system weights these questions a bit differently.

1) How much differentiation between characters, mechanically, should there be at character creation? [Assuming everyone wants characters with different personalities, so just focusing on mechanical differentiation.]

A good microcosm of this question is: how many different kinds of magic are there?

When a wizard and a cleric both cast detect magic, are they doing fundamentally the same thing (the same essential gestures and words) with slight stylistic differences, to manipulate the same magical energies into roughly the same weaves, or are they doing two very different things: using two very different sets of materials to build different tools that happen to serve the same purpose?

If the former, it doesn't make as much sense to split casters into discrete classes by where they learned. If the later, you need at least one class per type of magic present in the setting.

I would say martial classes should be about as broad as caster classes, which could mean either "just two" or half a dozen depending.
Classes are really a means to an end for these questions; the real benefits to classes over point-buy is trope protection and dispersion of special abilities.
Also classes are easier to balance against each other, if you care about balance. Point-buy has exponentially more combinations to think about.
 

TwoSix

Unserious gamer
When a wizard and a cleric both cast detect magic, are they doing fundamentally the same thing (the same essential gestures and words) with slight stylistic differences, to manipulate the same magical energies into roughly the same weaves, or are they doing two very different things: using two very different sets of materials to build different tools that happen to serve the same purpose?
Agreed, although I was thinking of it more from a gamist perspective than a worldsim perspective.

A good number of players simply prefer low amounts of mechanical weight, and are fine with 2 human fighters being different merely because of how they're roleplayed (the OD&D perspective). But I could absolutely see a crunchier game where starting characters are pretty much tabula rasa and all the mechanical weight is leveraged in choices you make during the leveling/advancement process. (Not to keep bringing the game up, but Shadow of the Demon Lord is very much like this.)

Also classes are easier to balance against each other, if you care about balance. Point-buy has exponentially more combinations to think about.
Agreed. I don't NOT like point-buy, but classes have their own charm.
 

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