"Your Class is Not Your Character": Is this a real problem?

Saelorn

Hero
Which is true for the most part. For most people the order of importance is a factor. Spell slots are crunch first and fluff second because of balance considerations where the colour of a PCs hair is fluff first and crunch almost never.
Didn't the Mattock of the Titans require someone to be at least six feet tall in order to use? I might be thinking of a different item, and I'd be surprised if they kept that requirement in 5E, but the principal still stands. The crunch is only valid because it accurately reflects the fluff. If you change the fluff, then you need to change the crunch to reflect that, or else it undermines the validity of the model.
 

Maxperson

Morkus from Orkus
Your insistence that fluff changes be classified as homebrew comes across to me as an assertion that changing fluff is impermissible within the rules. In other words, it sounds to me like your position is that, unless the DM permits homebrew, it would indeed be wrong to play a character against type. Am I misunderstanding?
Major fluff changes are home brew. Minor ones wouldn't be. Any change to fluff, though, should be run past your DM just in case it goes against something in the setting or would be disruptive in some way unknown to the player. Unless of course the DM gives free reign. I give my players quite a bit of leeway to come up with stuff. We've been playing together for anywhere from 13 years to 36 years, depending on the person.
 

FlyingChihuahua

Adventurer
it's completely possible for the warlock pact to act exactly like the relationship a Paladin already is in. Ancient pally/ fey pact seems perfectly fine.

The warlock class does not have any built-in 'consequences' than any other class. if you don't like the mechanical implications of the multi-class then just don't allow it.
Or I could just homebrew in consequences to people's actions. Seem like that would be a lot easier.
 

FlyingChihuahua

Adventurer
Still just sounds like being blind to the storytelling possibilities of more benign or even benevolent patrons because of dogmatic one-true-wayism.

Come to think if it, this entire thread stinks of one-true-wayism.
Because you can never, ever cross your patron, even accidentally, right?
 

Phazonfish

Explorer
You'll excuse me if I think this is just someone wanting to avoid the consequences of going into a warlock pact, right?
I'd certainly excuse you for that being your first thought, but surely you realize this isn't the only possibility? I picked this example because I knew it is polarizing. Personally I love the flavor baked into the Warlock's pact, but if I had a player that had made a Warlock and played out the idea before, and if they pitched me a more interesting character concept, but the Warlock's features modeled it the way they wanted, I wouldn't tell them "no".
 
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Didn't the Mattock of the Titans require someone to be at least six feet tall in order to use? I might be thinking of a different item, and I'd be surprised if they kept that requirement in 5E, but the principal still stands. The crunch is only valid because it accurately reflects the fluff. If you change the fluff, then you need to change the crunch to reflect that, or else it undermines the validity of the model.
The accuracy needed of any giving fluff fitting it's corresponding crunch is purely subjective. I could make my spells magical potatoes and the only people who needed the connection is that table.
I don't think there is a model to uphold
 

prabe

Aspiring Lurker
Why is allowing an official printed player subclass option a house rule?
Allowing anything outside of the corebooks is technically a house rule, innit? The fact I'm using the UA version because I'm not going to buy a setting book for the five or so pages I'm interested in is a side issue.

EDIT: Sorry; replied before reading the whole thread. I believe we're good.
 

Xetheral

Three-Headed Sirrush
Didn't the Mattock of the Titans require someone to be at least six feet tall in order to use? I might be thinking of a different item, and I'd be surprised if they kept that requirement in 5E, but the principal still stands. The crunch is only valid because it accurately reflects the fluff. If you change the fluff, then you need to change the crunch to reflect that, or else it undermines the validity of the model.
That would only be true if you assume the model involves a one-to-one correspondence between fluff and crunch. A model with a many-to-one correspondence, however, could also satisfy your criterion that the crunch accurately reflects (models) the fluff, yet wouldn't lead to your conclusion that changing the fluff requires changing the crunch.

Personally, I don't see any reason to assume that D&D 5e is intended to be such a one-to-one model. I also don't see any advantages from choosing to constrain the model that way. For one thing, a one-to-one model limits the complexity of the fluff to the complexity of the crunch. (In other words, two characters with identical mechanics would necessarily be identical characters.) I'd much prefer that the crunch instead be an abstraction of the fluff, so that the fluff can have far greater complexity and nuance than exists in the crunch.
 

Maxperson

Morkus from Orkus
So, I allow the Order Domain in my setting/campaigns, but I call it the Command Domain, because I think that better reflects what it does. I probably changed the names of the Domain abilities here and there to reflect the domain name I'm using. How am I changing how the domain works in the game by changing those names? Allowing the domain is a house rule; that's not in question here.
You've changed the entire domain with that. It went from a domain about the order of things to one of dominance over others.
 

Sabathius42

Adventurer
Didn't the Mattock of the Titans require someone to be at least six feet tall in order to use? I might be thinking of a different item, and I'd be surprised if they kept that requirement in 5E, but the principal still stands. The crunch is only valid because it accurately reflects the fluff. If you change the fluff, then you need to change the crunch to reflect that, or else it undermines the validity of the model.
So, let's say I wanted to create a character who was chosen by the god Krom to be their champion. I want them to be a paladin ruleswise. I want to slavishly devote myself to everything the god stands for.

But I also want to say that a farmer went to bed one night and woke up the next day possessed with the divine spirit of Krom and that is the source of all his paladiny powers. No training. No paladin school. Literally a momentary transformation of thought and knowledge.

Are you saying I am now asking to play a "Homebrew" character because my origin story doesn't match the basic description of paladins in the PHB? Are you further saying that if I do want to play a character with this background I can't use the rules for paladins because "that's how paladins work, not possessed divine champions"?

I literally could pick ANY class and use this same origin story "I am possessed by Gord, the trickster god, now I'm a rogue."
 

Coroc

Adventurer
The Arcane Archer is a perfect example of why every member of a class would have access to the same set of abilities. If you want to learn how to launch a Cone of Cold from your arrow, then you need to belong to one specific organization of elvish archers, where they teach you. Otherwise, that specific knowledge is unavailable. And if you do belong to that organization, then they have a standard set of tricks that they teach all of their members.

Other classes are similar. If you want to be a Cleric of Wee Jas, or an Eldritch Knight, then you belong to an organization where they teach you a standard set of tricks. It's just a thing about how the setting works. For generic classes, like Fighter, there are a lot of different organizations that get you to a similar-looking endpoint. And while I suppose you could play in some other setting, where you don't learn your class abilities from an organization, such a setting would really be better represented with a non-class-based system.
Yes, and those arcane archer or Cleric of Wee Jas "Special tricks" are part of the fluff, as well as that elves, arcane archer class or Wee Jas exist in your world (as fluff)

Cone of cold is also fluff. The ruleset has Cone of cold as one example of fluff as how to resolve a fifth level spell with a cone shaped area effect, aka how much damage dice, what progression if upcast, what saving throws.

I could refluff that in an instance to arcane slingers, prerequisites being halflings and be able to cast a cone of poison by using their slings (Same damage dice different damage type same save just other name)
 

Coroc

Adventurer
So, let's say I wanted to create a character who was chosen by the god Krom to be their champion. I want them to be a paladin ruleswise. I want to slavishly devote myself to everything the god stands for.

But I also want to say that a farmer went to bed one night and woke up the next day possessed with the divine spirit of Krom and that is the source of all his paladiny powers. No training. No paladin school. Literally a momentary transformation of thought and knowledge.

Are you saying I am now asking to play a "Homebrew" character because my origin story doesn't match the basic description of paladins in the PHB? Are you further saying that if I do want to play a character with this background I can't use the rules for paladins because "that's how paladins work, not possessed divine champions"?

I literally could pick ANY class and use this same origin story "I am possessed by Gord, the trickster god, now I'm a rogue."
If your DM is cool with it yes to both cases. No to homebrew, because you chose standard PHB classes with teir standard mechanics.
It is just a backstory. Whether your DM requires your Paladin to go to the next church to learn his skills is his decision. It is not mandatory, since you might have had a life before the campaign starts where you accumulated some of your tricks alraedy.

Let us asume you went to bed, dreamt of Gord, and in the next morning you are a single class rogue, but your character also wants to be able to lay on hands, like a paladin. That is homebrew.
 

Maxperson

Morkus from Orkus
Way to miss the point.

Because the player decided to roll a paladin.
It depends. If there's a class or subclass that is actually called Samurai, then he's not a Samurai. Samurai were more than just honorable warriors. Samurai had very specific training and requirements.

If there is an actual class or subclass that fulfills those, then a Paladin will be unable to fulfill them and it will be obvious to real Samurai that this Paladin is not one of them. Outside of some rare event like happened in the Shogun mini-series or the Last Samurai. Even then, those outsiders still received Samurai training. If Samurai is reduced to just a background or even less, then any fighting class will serve as a kludge, so the Paladin could be one.
 
It depends. If there's a class or subclass that is actually called Samurai, then he's not a Samurai. Samurai were more than just honorable warriors. Samurai had very specific training and requirements.

If there is an actual class or subclass that fulfills those, then a Paladin will be unable to fulfill them and it will be obvious to real Samurai that this Paladin is not one of them. Outside of some rare event like happened in the Shogun mini-series or the Last Samurai. Even then, those outsiders still received Samurai training. If Samurai is reduced to just a background or even less, then any fighting class will serve as a kludge, so the Paladin could be one.
This is, frankly, rubbish.

The most important feature to make someone a samurai (real world) is noble birth (and gender). The training goes along with that, and there is nothing in the paladin class (or a rogue swashbuckler, or a battlemaster fighter, etc) that contradicts that.

Suddenly adding a subclass called samurai in a splat book does not mean the noble born paladin from Kara-Tur is no longer a samurai. Because class describes what the character does, not what the character is. So our dwarf, who is not from kara-tur, is not a noble, and does not use a katana, is a samurai (subclass), because he is good at sudden bursts of accuracy and ignoring minor wounds.
 

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