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5E Worst Classes Level 1.

LOL then you want the players to all justify every tidbit of information their character might ever had reason to be exposed to?
No, I expect the player to narrate the action, and (in part) justify to me why the check is not [auto pass/ fail].

Would you allow Snookums the Chimapanzee animal companion a DC 15 Religion check to know the inner workings of the Church of Nerull (Religon), or the arcane forumlae needed to create a pentagram of binding (Arcana)? Obviously the answer is no, not because Snookums lacks the Religion or Arcana skill or only has an Intelligence of 6, but because there is simply no way known he could know that fact.

Would you allow a PC wild shaped into a Great White Shark a DC 10 Athletics check to climb a rough hewn wall? He has a Strength score high enough to make it. Obviously the answer is (also) no.

You can take a different approach and simply allow everyone a check at everything. The RAW after all is 'The DM decides when to allow a check'. In games you DM, you can allow Athletics checks to jump to the moon, or however you want to do it. It's not my game, and you're the DM.

In my games, when I read 'The DM decides when to allow a check' means that I expect a collaborative effort with the player. They describe their actions, and then I determine if they need to make a check, if such a check is possible for them, and if so I then set the DC for that check.
 

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Minigiant

Legend
Again, I'm not. By the rules, lacking proficiency (IN ANYTHING) allows the player to attempt it with only their ability score.

I'll give you a perfect example. During my lifetime I have studied (in addition to my native English) Spanish, Latin, Romanian, and Ukrainian, each for at least a year. I am also familiar with many phrases in other languages as well. However, I would not have "proficiency" in the sense of 5E except in English and maybe Ukrainian (even that is doubtful since it has been a long time). But, I can easily make Intelligence checks to see if I recall a phrase or understand what someone is saying (at least the jist of it).
I was more talking about holding a conversation in a language you don't know. A Charisma Persuassion check to make a deal.
Recalling a phrase in a language you don't know is something I would allow.

Languages aren't profieciencies. Nothing in the books I've found bans gatekeeping rolls due to not knowing a language. It's the action itself. If the PC attempts something they are impossible to succeed at, there's no roll.
 

@Flamestrike , @Minigiant ,

Here: May 2016 – Page 27 – Sage Advice D&D

QUESTION: When a skill check is easier for one character instead of another do you adjust the DC?

JC's response: "Differences in ability between characters is represented by their stats and things like advantage/disadvantage."
No, again I am not penalising Thokk for his ability scores, or for his lack of proficiency which is want that tweet refers to.

I am simply saying (without evidence to the contrary) that Thokk simply cant know some things without justification in character. Any more than his animal companion Chimanzee can know them either.
 

If the PC attempts something they are impossible to succeed at, there's no roll.
And, as always it's up to the DM to determine what is possible (or impossible) relative to the creature in question.

Fish cant climb. They cant check at all. Monkeys can climb (in fact they have a climbing speed). They dont even need a check.

If a player has a reasonable reason or explanation as to why their PC could do a task, or know a thing, then they can make a check.
 

Undrave

Hero
I think we've gotten way of course here...

I think the Sorcerer makes out a LITTLE better than the Warlock just because they get 4 Cantrips and thus can put more into utility stuff.

But it's not a huge edge and the Warlock can counter it by being somewhat tougher.

Looking at it again... the Druid only gets wildshape at level 2 and they only get 2 known spell as well... If they had one more then maybe their Ritualist ablity would come into play. As it is I don't think a Druid is that great at level 1 either. They too only get 2 Cantrips and 2 Spells known... And the only damaging level 1 spell they get in the PHB is bloody Thunderwave... I think if I were making a Druid my two Level 1 Spells would be Goodberry and Detect Magic. All my attacking power would come from Produce Flame because I'm not passing on Guidance.

But that'd still be rough going. You'd still be contributing but mostly in a support role.
 

I think we've gotten way of course here...

I think the Sorcerer makes out a LITTLE better than the Warlock just because they get 4 Cantrips and thus can put more into utility stuff.

But it's not a huge edge and the Warlock can counter it by being somewhat tougher.

Looking at it again... the Druid only gets wildshape at level 2 and they only get 2 known spell as well... If they had one more then maybe their Ritualist ablity would come into play. As it is I don't think a Druid is that great at level 1 either. They too only get 2 Cantrips and 2 Spells known... And the only damaging level 1 spell they get in the PHB is bloody Thunderwave... I think if I were making a Druid my two Level 1 Spells would be Goodberry and Detect Magic. All my attacking power would come from Produce Flame because I'm not passing on Guidance.

But that'd still be rough going.
Paladins are bit meh at 1st level compared to Fighters. Lay on hands is nice, but Second wind is arguably better at this level, and the F/S of the Fighter is much better than Divine Sense.

Agree re Druids. Definately lackluster at 1st. Then Moonies hit 2nd and all hell breaks loose.
 

Cute argument, but what has it to do with the worst level 1 classes?

Not much.

As a gentle suggestion: Someone is wrong on the internet, you made your case, either let it rest or argue about it in a thread it is on topic for?

---

An interesting distinction between monks and rogues is that the rogue;s 13.5 damage is mire reliable. While sneak attack sometimes fails to be triggered (ready an action!), in melee you get 2 attempts to deal 1d6 of it.

At 60% accuracy, the rogue gets .6*(10)+.1*3.5 + .84*3.5+.07*3.5=9.535 DPR.

The monk gets .6*(13)+.05*4.5+.05*3.5=8.2 DPR.


The 0.5 point gap, a mere 4% based on "everything hits" becomes a 1.3 point gap, or 16%, after accounting for misses.

And expertise is better utility than "I can fight naked" usually.
 

Minigiant

Legend
I think if I were making a Druid my two Level 1 Spells would be Goodberry and Detect Magic. All my attacking power would come from Produce Flame because I'm not passing on Guidance.
Guidance is so useful that Clerics and Druids avoid worst class just by having it.

It boosts you in exploration and social pillars by itself.
 

Mort

Adventurer
Supporter
Allowing a check is relative to the creature in question.

I would actually encourage Thokks player to come up with such details when requesting a check.
So basically you and @dnd4vr aren't actually disagreeing that much; you just require a bit more player creativity to get there.

When Thokk wants to "know the secret inner rites of a foreign alien religion" it seems he would rule the religion check is just a straight int check to see if he can recall the knowledge - if yes then justify it by saying Thokk used to sit at the feet of the tribal shaman as the shaman spouted stories of weird and alien religions.

It seems you, on the other hand, would require Thokk's player to come up with the reason (such as - that he sat at the feet of the tribal shaman...) - so has a chance at knowing this bit of religious knowledge (and any future one too - as the justification continues).

So other than a bit more player creativity required for one of the methods - they're pretty much the same.
 

Mort

Adventurer
Supporter
Paladins are bit meh at 1st level compared to Fighters. Lay on hands is nice, but Second wind is arguably better at this level, and the F/S of the Fighter is much better than Divine Sense.
Somewhat agree, except Lay on Hands can be used on someone else AND you don't have to use it all at once. So you can bring multiple people up to 1 HP (or the same person multiple times)

Agree re Druids. Definately lackluster at 1st. Then Moonies hit 2nd and all hell breaks loose.
As just mentioned, Guidance alone makes them pretty good at 1st - plus they get a decent skill selection. I'd classify them as a decently strong support class at 1st.
 

So basically you and @dnd4vr aren't actually disagreeing that much; you just require a bit more player creativity to get there.

When Thokk wants to "know the secret inner rites of a foreign alien religion" it seems he would rule the religion check is just a straight int check to see if he can recall the knowledge - if yes then justify it by saying Thokk used to sit at the feet of the tribal shaman as the shaman spouted stories of weird and alien religions.

It seems you, on the other hand, would require Thokk's player to come up with the reason (such as - that he sat at the feet of the tribal shaman...) - so has a chance at knowing this bit of religious knowledge (and any future one too - as the justification continues).

So other than a bit more player creativity required for one of the methods - they're pretty much the same.
More or less.

My method encourages the player to engage with the story (his own backstory) and the environment. The player tells me what he is doing, and I determine if a check is warranted, needed or permitted based on that narration from the player.

I loathe it when a player tells me 'I perception check the room' or 'I stealth down the hallway' and then rolls. Narrate your action, and then I'm the one that tells you if you need to make a check, and what the DC is if so.
 
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As just mentioned, Guidance alone makes them pretty good at 1st
Depends on when you allow Guidance. The Druids character doesnt know when a an allied creature is 'making a skill check'. I personally only allow it for clutch checks, or when its obvious someone is in need of guidance in a chancy task (disarming a trap, escaping a grapple etc).
 


Mort

Adventurer
Supporter
Depends on when you allow Guidance. The Druids character doesnt know when a an allied creature is 'making a skill check'. I personally only allow it for clutch checks, or when its obvious someone is in need of guidance in a chancy task (disarming a trap, escaping a grapple etc).
Those situations are more than worth it!

And you can plan ahead with guidance - up to one minute. So with Clerics and Druids, asking them to wish you luck actually works!
 

Those situations are more than worth it!

And you can plan ahead with guidance - up to one minute. So with Clerics and Druids, asking them to wish you luck actually works!
I had a Paladin of Bane who refused Guidance from the party Druid.

He was a heathen after all.
 

Zardnaar

Legend
Or the DM doesnt let the Barbarian roll that Religion check in the first place.

Thokk the barbarian from the Outlands of Hyboria doesnt get a check to know the inner workings of the Church of Torm. Egbert the Wise, Acoloyte of the Seven Heavens, gets a check.

It's a judgement call depending on player background, skills and class. I dont always allow checks for some PCs to do some tasks, and I certainly dont allow all PCs to make a check. The PC with the highest bonus can attempt the check (or alternatively the PCs can nominate one of their members to do so).

If he or she doesnt know/ cant do the task, and he's the best in the party at that task, no-one else can do it either.
I ran an Egyptian themed game.
We had a couple of foreign PCs. The DCs for the locals were lower and/or they had advantage on the roll.

Thokk would have DC 15 or 20 vs the locals 10.
 

Zardnaar

Legend
In my experience as a player/ DM for 40 odd years, the overwhelming context of 1st level adventuring is 'enter dungeon, slay kobolds/ goblins (and maybe some skeletons), defeat the Kobold/ Goblin king, maybe face an Ogre in there somewhere' and hopefully survive.

This seems to be largely the same format used in most adventures published so far as well.

Nothing wrong with 'only being good at combat' at 1st level. In fact, a lot of people are rating the Fighter very high at 1st level, and that's literally all the Fighter can do.
Fighter can heal itself. Also at level 1 the difference between proficient and not proficient is minimal.

Fighters also SAD so they can easily have a 14 tertrtiary stat. They won't be that much worse than whoever else with default array.

Good at fighting, heals itself, good AC ok at skills.
 

Undrave

Hero
Fighter can heal itself. Also at level 1 the difference between proficient and not proficient is minimal.

Fighters also SAD so they can easily have a 14 tertrtiary stat. They won't be that much worse than whoever else with default array.

Good at fighting, heals itself, good AC ok at skills.
So... how would we rate all the PHB classes at first level?

  • Fighter, Cleric and Rogue
  • Barbarian and Wizard
  • Paladin and Bard
  • Druid
  • Ranger and Monk
  • Sorcerer
  • Warlock

Something like that?
 

Zardnaar

Legend
So... how would we rate all the PHB classes at first level?

  • Fighter, Cleric and Rogue
  • Barbarian and Wizard
  • Paladin and Bard
  • Druid
  • Ranger and Monk
  • Sorcerer
  • Warlock

Something like that?
Probably not to far off. I confused the artificer as well would put them at the top or with wizard.
 

Sacrosanct

Legend
No class that gets it's subclass at level 1 should be towards the bottom. You get extra features right from the start, many of which are pretty good. I gave some examples of the level 1 sorcerer above. If you want another, myself as a level 1 shadow sorcerer was significantly more effective at stealth and exploration than the rogue. Between stealth proficiency and minor illusion cantrip, it was no contest.

And having played wizards and sorcerers, I found the sorcerer to be better at level 1 for the reasons I gave up thread.
 

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