[5E] Un-hate my hate of classes

Daz Florp Lebam

Grand Poobah
Validated User
#1
For the most part, I do not like the feel of classes in 5E because of a structural "same-iness" they have. It seems like every class gets similar powers at the same levels. Spells offset this, and offer a way to tweak and specialize a character's style, function, utility or what-have-you. But if you don't have spells, there are very few opportunities to individualize your style, utility, etc. You're kind of locked in to a progression of powers.

Sub-classes offset this, too, but once you've chosen that sub-class, there you are - locked in.

Multiclassing is something I've been trying out with my latest couple of characters, and it's intriguing, but then of course you lose out on higher-level powers if the character and the game lasts that long.

I assume they're built that way to avoid the miasma of choices in 3E and 4E, and I found that aspect of those editions overwhelming, so...I don't really know what I want or if there's anything to do about it. I just feel a little stuck.

Thoughts?
 

Grumpygoat

Registered User
Validated User
#2
Keep in mind that backgrounds also give more character variety. The Acolyte Fighter trained in Religion and Insight won't be the same as the Folk Hero Fighter trained in Athletics and vehicle use. Of course, those differences are baked in at character creation, but I feel they add more variety to characters than would exist otherwise. Fighting styles can also make for differences between one character and the next. Although, again - the differences are baked in from the start.

Still, perhaps that change in perspective might help: the changes you make upfront are what help distinguish your character from every other one.
 

Daz Florp Lebam

Grand Poobah
Validated User
#3
Keep in mind that backgrounds also give more character variety. The Acolyte Fighter trained in Religion and Insight won't be the same as the Folk Hero Fighter trained in Athletics and vehicle use. Of course, those differences are baked in at character creation, but I feel they add more variety to characters than would exist otherwise. Fighting styles can also make for differences between one character and the next. Although, again - the differences are baked in from the start.

Still, perhaps that change in perspective might help: the changes you make upfront are what help distinguish your character from every other one.
Yeah, I totally see what your saying, they're good points (and I've argued for a little more mechanical oomph for backgrounds), and you're not wrong, but like you say: those are baked in at chargen. This is my issue here, or part of my issue, that after chargen and those 2nd and 3rd level choices, there's not much else.

The feat option every 4 levels is nice, but you're forced to choose between that and an ASI, which is just harsh.

Off the top of my head I can imagine fewer built-in class powers and more opportunities to grab a feat, and more feats to pick from, maybe?
 
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Nelzie

Registered User
Validated User
#4
5e, like 2nd, 1st and old school Basic D&D, were designed more around the idea of creating "protected" niches within a party of adventurers and it was/is up to the DM to provide opportunities for those characters to shine or showcase themselves.

The options are paired down and "locked in", in order to minimize or entirely eliminate the overwhelming feeling that you noted was absolutely present in previous editions.

NOW, with that said... there's been piles of additional Archetypes put out there, tested and confirmed as "balanced" by the community that can be used to expand the options.

Again, those would be baked in powers and skills, but doesn't that imply a simplicity that would allow a table to focus on the story and provide the DM with a clearer idea of party capabilities/power so that challenges can be given to the party that won't be under or extremely overwhelming? It helps cut down on the planning overhead, which for a DM like me... that's frickin' great! I have so many other things going on that I barely have a few hours to plan out things for our once a month 5 hour sessions.
 

Colin Fredericks

Dorkasaurus Rex
Validated User
#5
How much customization are you looking for in your ideal setup? Is it equivalent to...
  • Change from one Fighter type to another?
  • Change from Fighter to Ranger or Barbarian?
  • Change from Fighter to Rogue?
  • Change from Fighter to Cleric?
  • Change from Fighter to Wizard?
  • Change when you level up? Change slowly over the course of 2, 4, 6 levels?
  • Do you want to keep your old abilities? If so, are you (perhaps unintentionally) collecting tons of powers from every new class?
I feel like there's good space for a homebrew rule here, though it might end up being complex.
 

manwhat

Formerly 'buggritall'
RPGnet Member
Validated User
#6
How much customization are you looking for in your ideal setup? Is it equivalent to...
  • Change from one Fighter type to another?
  • Change from Fighter to Ranger or Barbarian?
  • Change from Fighter to Rogue?
  • Change from Fighter to Cleric?
  • Change from Fighter to Wizard?
  • Change when you level up? Change slowly over the course of 2, 4, 6 levels?
  • Do you want to keep your old abilities? If so, are you (perhaps unintentionally) collecting tons of powers from every new class?
I feel like there's good space for a homebrew rule here, though it might end up being complex.
Not OP, but to me a significant issue is that for many classes, once you've hit level 3 and selected your subclass, that's about it. Outside of ASIs/feats, that's the last mechanical character-building choice you're going to make.
 

Gilphon

Registered User
Validated User
#7
I'm in the same boat. Going from 4e- where there's a meaningful character-building choice every level- to 5e- where there's next to no choices whatsoever once you get your subclass- was pretty rough, and I'm still very reluctant to touch any of the 5e Martials for exact this reason.
 

Old One Eye

Registered User
Validated User
#8
Pretty common to dislike class based games. Fortunately, there are a zillion games which do not have classes. Sounds like one of them would be a better fit for you.
 

DMH

Master of Mutant Design
Validated User
#9
The feat option every 4 levels is nice, but you're forced to choose between that and an ASI, which is just harsh.
Then don't choose. Allow the players to have both. Just beware that many third party feat sources aren't true to the concept of 5e feats, esp those that tried to convert some from 3e.
 

Nelzie

Registered User
Validated User
#10
I'm in the same boat. Going from 4e- where there's a meaningful character-building choice every level- to 5e- where there's next to no choices whatsoever once you get your subclass- was pretty rough, and I'm still very reluctant to touch any of the 5e Martials for exact this reason.
Why is it "rough"? I don't understand the feelings on this. I have played a good deal of class, archetype(with plenty of progression choices) and fully classless systems. They each have their niche and itch that they scratch.

To me, if you don't like or want to play a class based system, then don't. There's so many other options out there, but if that's all that a group wants to play? Give yourself into the conceits of the system and find other ways to enjoy the game.
 
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