D&D General Which do you prefer, character build or fixed growth?

Which do you prefer, building your character over levels or fixed development?

  • Character Building - Pick new options like feats and subclasses while leveling, pick class levels

    Votes: 56 72.7%
  • Fixed Growth - Make character choices (like multiclasses, kits, specialized classes) during creation

    Votes: 10 13.0%
  • Lemon Curry

    Votes: 11 14.3%

DEFCON 1

Legend
Supporter
For my own characters and the PCs at the tables I run... I always go with seeing where the PC is at level up and then selecting/offering the mechanical options that makes the most sense for where the character is in its life.

The only exception to this are PCs that are intended to multiclass from the beginning. If a player said they wanted to make a cleric/wizard multiclass... I would build a "new" class that sets the level pattern ahead of time and they would use that. So for instance, in my last campaign a player had in mind a forge cleric / bladesinger. Rather than let him select which levels of which class he would take upon level up... I created the Forgesinger "class" whose level chart gave out the abilities of the cleric and wizard in an established pattern (3 levels wizard, 2 levels cleric, 3 levels wizard, 2 levels cleric and so on.)
 

log in or register to remove this ad

GlassJaw

Hero
Why not both?

I would like more choice earlier on to flesh out a specific character concept. At the minimum, all classes shoudll choose their path at level 1 (with maybe an option to change or divert from that later on). But there also has to be choices as you level as well.
 

dave2008

Legend
For me, it's about making sure that the choices I make this level don't come back to bite me later on. Whatever concept I have for my character, I want to be sure that the PC I build can actually deliver on that concept throughout the campaign, and that takes some planning.
I guess my players don't have that complex of a concept that it requires planning. They tend to let the character develop organically. The only concept is: do I want to fight with a sword or magic. Sword, ok I'll be a fighter. But that is just my, very limited, experience.
 

Theo R Cwithin

I cast "Baconstorm!"
I generally decide at level-up how a PC develops within the setting and campaign events. However, usually I've got a concept in mind reflecting that PC's interests and capabilities. So I stick to a "build theme" rather than a defined "build", if that makes sense. Of course, in some systems * ahem * that's not always the best course mechanically.

Fortunately, I've never been shy about letting my sub-optimal freak flag fly high and proud! ⛳
 

Dausuul

Legend
I guess my players don't have that complex of a concept that it requires planning. They tend to let the character develop organically. The only concept is: do I want to fight with a sword or magic. Sword, ok I'll be a fighter. But that is just my, very limited, experience.
If you're playing a single-class PC, you don't generally need to plan. There aren't any options that can truly cripple your PC; even the crappiest subclasses are still built on the chassis of the base class, which guarantees a basic level of capability.

Multiclassing means you can no longer count on the base class to provide that guarantee. That's where I feel like planning is really needed.
 

mortwatcher

Explorer
I prefer the character building style, mainly because it's easier for new players to not fall into traps and the difference between someone who plans the ins and outs of the character and who doesn't, while still being there, are not that big anymore.

Previous editions really heavily favored the planning style to characters, which was not great for the new players that went for the 'cool' stuff.
 

TwoSix

"Diegetics", by L. Ron Gygax
Hmm, I think I opened up a slightly divergent topic. I was interested in the time of decision-making as primarily a rule-driven concept (in AD&D, you had to make your choices at character creation, the option to change them later simply wasn't possible, since it impacted your XP table). But, a lot of people are viewing "planning" your character build to achieve a certain endpoint as a different playstyle as picking organically at level-up, whereas I was viewing them as the same (as sticking with your "build" is still a choice you make at level-up).

Interesting perspectives!
 

dave2008

Legend
If you're playing a single-class PC, you don't generally need to plan. There aren't any options that can truly cripple your PC; even the crappiest subclasses are still built on the chassis of the base class, which guarantees a basic level of capability.

Multiclassing means you can no longer count on the base class to provide that guarantee. That's where I feel like planning is really needed.
I guess that makes some sense. My current group doesn't have any mutliclassed characters, but a previous group had a few that they just added without planning (2nd and 4th level) and it seemed to work fine. Maybe they would be more "effective" if they planned, but neither they or I seemed to notice.
 

TwoSix

"Diegetics", by L. Ron Gygax
I always thought of "build" that way too, until 3e ruined it. Seemed everyone started using "build" to mean planned out leveling from 1 to 20. I never had a 3e character take a prestige class, for example, because by the time one seemed organically relevant to my character's growth, turns out I needed to take some obscure feat or skill 7 levels ago. Ugh.

I think having some options available while leveling is good, and the ability to switch class.
3E prestige classes would have been so much better if they didn't have any requirements other than "Must be X level".
 


Voidrunner's Codex

Remove ads

Top