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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

Vaalingrade

Legend
Wizards are out now too? What's next?
What TwoSix said: once the wizards are gone, we have plenty of design space and freedom to make better spellcasters without worrying about the wizard's 'everything' niche on top of better magic systems designed for the actual purpose of that given caster type.

It would be the dawn of a new Golden Age without hate or violence or traffic accidents.
 

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Undrave

Hero
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"
Augh...
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.
Yes! WOTC keeps bending over backward to please Wizard players, making the whole game worse every time. Wizard players don't care about the game being good, they just want to smugly go "Silly DM, I anticipated your clever trap and prepared the perfect spell for such an opportunity! This obstacle is now no more, thanks to my superior skills and vast intellect!" and then get orgasmic bliss from the DM going "Curses! Foiled again! Damn you Wizard!"
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.
Exactly! It's ridiculous to have the Diviner/Oracle be the same damn class as the Illusionist character. The guy with all the utility magic shouldn't be the same guy who can sling Fireball and other devastating combat spells! Fighter players keep getting told "you can't be good at both out-of-combat stuff and combat stuff, silly goose! You're good at FIGHTING so swing your sword and stop asking for non-combat stuff." by people playing characters who can TOTALLY be good at both! Wizards are too wide and they stunt the interesting stuff you could do by creating a new, robust, magic system.
 


cbwjm

Hero
I'm one of those against removing the wizard, I think we should keep it. If you want to have different types of wizards, well we already have that in the subclasses. I wouldn't mind the subclasses having a bit more weight, but I feel like that for every class.
 

Scribe

Hero
I'm one of those against removing the wizard, I think we should keep it. If you want to have different types of wizards, well we already have that in the subclasses. I wouldn't mind the subclasses having a bit more weight, but I feel like that for every class.
I'm not against Wizard's in particular, but are people net positive on the current implementation of the subclasses?

I find it extremely underwhelming.
 



cbwjm

Hero
I'm not against Wizard's in particular, but are people net positive on the current implementation of the subclasses?

I find it extremely underwhelming.
Maybe not but I still much prefer subclasses over a numerous different classes. Maybe subclasses just need to pick up more of the weight of the class, throw in another level where additional subclass abilities are gained. Might just need a going over of the subclasses, 5e design seems to have changed a bit since the PHB first came out.
 

steeldragons

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

OO! OO! <raising hand> SIX! Arcane. Divine. Nature. Psychic. Eldritch/Forbidden, and "High Magic"/ Translevel.
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?

The latter.

Mage [Wizard]: incantation, gesture, eyes glow. You see the auras of the magical things before you.
Cleric: invocation, mini-rite, eyes glow. Your deity has deemed fit to empower your sight with the ability of arcane magic. So, you see the auras of the magical things before you.
Druid: mini-rite, attunement to the pulse and flow of the natural energies of the world, eyes glow. You see the auras of things that do not adhere to the natural pulse and flow of energies of the world.
Psychic: concentration, concentration, eyes glow. You have attuned you mind to a frequency that is beyond the normal spectrum of human vision. You see the auras of items that fluctuate to a frequency that you know to be consistent with arcane (or divine or natural or psychic or unknown [eldritch]) magical energies.
"Warlock" [or whatever it becomes in later editions]: Your patron gave you this incantation and told you how to gesture. You do it. Your eyes glow. Your patron has shown you how to empower your sight with the ability of arcane magic. So, you see the auras of the magical things before you.

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.
Mage/Wizard is to Swordmage/Spellsword (whatever Fighter-Magic-user split title you prefer) is to Fighter.
As Cleric is to Paladin is to Knight/Cavalier (non-magical but faith/ideal based).
As Druid is to Warden is to Ranger.
As Psychic is to Psi-warrior/"Jedi" is to Monk/Martial Adept.
As "Sorcerer" (something weird/unknown results in you having magic power) is to "Warlock" (something weird/but known is giving you magic power) is to Barbarian (something weird/unknown or known results in you having martial prowess other non-magical folks don't have).
 


Minigiant

Legend
Supporter
With this talk of too many casters, I still think the martial power source is too unnaturally crowded. It could be split.

Martial: Power through knowledge of weapons, armors, and the art of war.
  • Fighters
  • Warlords
  • Cavaliers
  • Warriors

Athletic: Power from raw strength, speed, and toughness enhanced by inner energies
  • Barbarians
  • Monks
  • Thief-Acrobats
  • Brutes

Adroit: Power through real world knowledge, skill, and social connections.
  • Rogues
  • Rangers
  • Assassins
  • Experts

Science: Power through natural science and combination of science with magic.
  • Artificers
  • Alchemists
  • Tinkers
  • Gunslingers
  • Smiths
Italics for NPC and sidekick classes.

Because really. Are the Fighter and Barbarian the same power source? Isn't the barbarian a dude with basic weapons training who relies in their super strength, iron skin, and a power up to fight over deep martial training?
 


Aldarc

Legend
Aren't there already more than enough caster classes?
But are there more because the current ones aren't built robustly enough to handle multiple archetypes?

According to the poll majority of people disagree with you.
So what? If the majority of people disagreed with you about the value of alignment in a poll, would you shut up about it and be silent in your disagreement? Or would you keep trucking and say, "Nope. Toss it"?

The poll only provides me with two options, and not a lot nuance or room for explanation. I've said before, for example, that I'm in favor of either a small number of classes (i.e., 3-4) with a lot of customization options from them or a larger amount of classes. I'm fine with either, but I find that 5e tries to do both. The poll also excludes configurations like Shadow of the Demon Lord.
 

BrokenTwin

Adventurer
I think keeping the Wizard class would work if more mechanical weight was redirected to the subclasses. Do it similar to the Cleric's domains where part of their know-spells list is determined by their chosen school. They can still have their "copy spells into spellbook" gimmick, but reducing their number of chosen known spells would make that feature more than a ribbon (and a handy goldsink for characters that normally have absolutely nothing to spend their gold on).
 


Lanefan

Victoria Rules
But are there more because the current ones aren't built robustly enough to handle multiple archetypes?
Maybe, but I also wonder if the designers are over-responding to - for lack of a better way to put it - demands from players that archetypes be reflected mechanically rather than just by colour.

By this I mean instead of having just a Wizard, out of which players can make any sub-archetype they choose simply via spell choice and fluff, there instead become separate class mechanics for Fire Wizard, Summoner Wizard, Transport Wizard, Illusion Wizard, and so forth down the line. That way lies bloat, over-complexity, and various other things under which - as history shows - editions eventually sink.

The only mechanical distinction that really needs separate classes to cover is whether the spells are book-learned (Wizard) or spontaneous (Sorcerer). After that, one can argue (and I would, but not strenuously and only to a point) that anything else is superfluous.
 

payn

Legend
Maybe, but I also wonder if the designers are over-responding to - for lack of a better way to put it - demands from players that archetypes be reflected mechanically rather than just by colour.

By this I mean instead of having just a Wizard, out of which players can make any sub-archetype they choose simply via spell choice and fluff, there instead become separate class mechanics for Fire Wizard, Summoner Wizard, Transport Wizard, Illusion Wizard, and so forth down the line. That way lies bloat, over-complexity, and various other things under which - as history shows - editions eventually sink.

The only mechanical distinction that really needs separate classes to cover is whether the spells are book-learned (Wizard) or spontaneous (Sorcerer). After that, one can argue (and I would, but not strenuously and only to a point) that anything else is superfluous.
As a big fan of archetypes, I can get behind this. Bake it into the design so they are easy to add going forward and the need for a myriad of class structures dies off.
 

TwoSix

Unserious gamer
By this I mean instead of having just a Wizard, out of which players can make any sub-archetype they choose simply via spell choice and fluff, there instead become separate class mechanics for Fire Wizard, Summoner Wizard, Transport Wizard, Illusion Wizard, and so forth down the line. That way lies bloat, over-complexity, and various other things under which - as history shows - editions eventually sink.
True, but some enforcement of trope needs to happen at the mechanical level to have any staying power.

There's a big difference between a Wizard who only selects blasty Evocation spells to prepare and a dedicated Warmage class that ONLY has blasty Evocation spells on their spell list. The latter can have a bunch of additional bespoke abilities because the class doesn't the bulk of its power budgeted to spell versatility it isn't actually using.

That's my general problem with broadly versatile casters; there's a broad demand to play themed casters (pyromancers, necromancers, enchanters, etc) that aren't nearly as versatile, but the class has to be balanced with the assumption that the character is the classic "answer for everything" wizard.

Playing a wizard but only picking fire spells for "flavor" is even less appetizing than playing a race with no adjustment to the primary stat of its class. :)
 

Vaalingrade

Legend
By this I mean instead of having just a Wizard, out of which players can make any sub-archetype they choose simply via spell choice and fluff, there instead become separate class mechanics for Fire Wizard, Summoner Wizard, Transport Wizard, Illusion Wizard, and so forth down the line. That way lies bloat, over-complexity, and various other things under which - as history shows - editions eventually sink.
The problem with this approach is your best option is to go all in with a robust spell list that makes designing a full character around the theme using the spells granted the class and... they don't do that. Instead, you sometimes get on on-brand spell in a level (and rarely do you get a themed cantrip) and the spell list STILL dwarfs everything else in the PH and highlights how non-casters just don't get much design love.
 

Undrave

Hero
According to the poll majority of people disagree with you.

The poll only provides me with two options, and not a lot nuance or room for explanation. I've said before, for example, that I'm in favor of either a small number of classes (i.e., 3-4) with a lot of customization options from them or a larger amount of classes. I'm fine with either, but I find that 5e tries to do both. The poll also excludes configurations like Shadow of the Demon Lord.

It's a simplistic poll I created to stimulate conversations (which it succeeded at, since we're over the 200 replies mark), but a scientific survey. The lack of nuances is an invitation to discussion and I don't think it's results should be taken as gospel. Especially since ENworld is just a minority of the wider community.
 

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