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[5E] Un-hate my hate of classes

Dalillama

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In my experience? Talking to, well, everything, including bribing some groups to help you kill others before you betray the first group now that they're worn down.
Well, the bribing one group of enemies to fight another is classic D&D, but what's all this talking?

They tend to be the same people that praise "roleplaying over rollplaying" unironically.
Then presumably they are aware if other ststems. Why on Earth are they playing D&D when they would clearly rather be playing something else? And why are they trying to pretend that D&D has everbeen the kinda game they want?

There's also overlap with the people who think fights are for suckers, especially fair fights, and that it's better to acquire the treasure via theft or extremely lopsided ambush, or even poison in the middle of the night if they can manage it.

To some extent? People who prefer playing characters who are far more pragmatic than heroic.
Once again, why are they playing D&D? D&D is a game about heroes fighting monsters. That's what it was made for, that's what it's optimised for, if you don't want to play heros fighting monsters why play D&D?
 

macd21

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Even if the situation does call for something the fighter can do (high strength, or... uh...), odds are another class can do it as well or better.
 

macd21

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Well, the bribing one group of enemies to fight another is classic D&D, but what's all this talking?


Then presumably they are aware if other ststems. Why on Earth are they playing D&D when they would clearly rather be playing something else? And why are they trying to pretend that D&D has everbeen the kinda game they want?


Once again, why are they playing D&D? D&D is a game about heroes fighting monsters. That's what it was made for, that's what it's optimised for, if you don't want to play heros fighting monsters why play D&D?
This is pure nonsense. There are plenty of different ways to play DnD, and it isn’t a ‘game about heroes fighting monsters.’ It can be a game about talking to monsters, running away from monsters, helping monsters, being monsters...
 

Dalillama

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This is pure nonsense. There are plenty of different ways to play DnD, and it isn’t a ‘game about heroes fighting monsters.’ It can be a game about talking to monsters, running away from monsters, helping monsters, being monsters...
It can be those things, but that's not what it's designed to be, which is a game about heroes going down holes and fighting monsters. The further you get from that, the worse the D&D rules will handle what you're trying to do.
 

Shade the Lost

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Even if the situation does call for something the fighter can do (high strength, or... uh...), odds are another class can do it as well or better.
Which, again, circles back to "this is commonly described as the "for beginners" class... but it's rare the class will get a chance to stand on their own in the spotlight as the one to Save The Day... and that's terrible design." Every class, if you're going to have classes, ought to have something you can point to as a way to Be The Hero. If only to the party, being a hero in the sense of "they will build statues of you and everyone will miss you when you're gone" not required. At one point, Fighters had "can use any and all magic weaponry" as a class feature, which could give them ways (or, at least, for their magic weapons to give them ways) to Be The Hero. Now, they don't have that, and, worse, we aren't even supposed to assume magic items or feats at all, which leaves... what? Remarkable Athlete?

Class design can be done well, where there's a reason to have any given class as part of the party in a given situation. D&D, or at least most editions of it, does not adhere to this principle. Classes for the low-engagement person who just wants to roll dice in combat are fine! There ought to be something like that for arcane, divine, mundane, and (to use 4e parlance) any other power source. Ranged and melee both. If so, though, those classes should probably utterly dominate combat, as that is the only time they'll grab the spotlight thanks to their class features. If you have a class that is designed to make you a one-trick pony, that better be a damn good trick.

Sure, fine, roleplay can give characters spotlight time that isn't based on their class features... but that's irrelevant from a class design standpoint. Especially in absence of any guidance to the effect of "these classes have very little ability to proactively put themselves in the spotlight, remember to give them situations where their specific character is needed." Now, you can say "only terrible DMs need that advice," but in theory only terrible DMs would have ever made rogues/thieves useless back in the day, but the overwhelming majority of DMs, reading the books in good faith, came away with the impression that that was the case. Relying on DMs to pick up on what you see as "blindingly obvious, so that only shitty DMs will miss it" is not the best approach, in my humble opinion.
 

macd21

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It can be those things, but that's not what it's designed to be, which is a game about heroes going down holes and fighting monsters. The further you get from that, the worse the D&D rules will handle what you're trying to do.
I don’t agree with that at all. That hasn’t been what DnD is about for about 30+ years now.
 

Morty

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The "GM will fix it" answer has never satisfied me. It's a platitude that's thrown around because it's hard to argue with and easy to counter with "oh, you've just had terrible GMs/you are a terrible GM". The GM's job is hard enough without having to babysit those party members whose characters have fewer abilities of their own. Or trying to figure out how to prevent spellcasters from melting the whole plot with some cleverly-used spells.

In another system, having next to no abilities besides fighting is a choice. In D&D, the choice has been made for you when you picked fighter as your class.
 

Dalillama

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I don’t agree with that at all. That hasn’t been what DnD is about for about 30+ years now.
And yet this entire thread is about how the classes are optimised for combat and there's little or no mechanical support for noncombat utility.

And I suppose I'm imagining the Dungeonof the Mad Mage and the Lost Mines of Phandelver being the big name adventures for the current edition.
 

Nelzie

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It was things outside the skill system being discussed.

But even then, not a huge amount of skills use the physical stats (in fact, none of them use Constitution), leaving Str/Con-heavy characters in the lurch a bit. Background abilities vary in their utility - some of them are cool and might be generally useful, like the Noble getting an audience, others not so much, and they're not always applicable to the issue at hand.

And, again, it's not addressing the underlying issue - that some classes have combat abilities and impactful noncombat abilities and whatever backgrounds/skills they may have, and some classes are basically missing that middle part. And even those combat abilities may not always be useful or flexible within a combat situation - being a one trick pony can sometimes feel great if you're fantastic at that one trick, but then it's very sad if that trick is somehow negated (e.g. being a melee powerhouse faced with flying ranged or incorporeal foes).
You're correct, if you ignore whole elements of the system and only focus on core abilities of the classes, then yes. A fighter is utterly useless outside of combat and should just be ran as NPCs, because there are foes that will give all, except very powerful wizards and other casters problems.

This is again, only true if you ignore ALL of the challenges and things that can and are supposed to happen while in regular play.

A flying monster? Why wouldn't a wizard cast Fly on the party fighter(s)? What if the Fighter(s) have magic items that give flight?

What do the Spellcasters do when they are in a field of Anti-Magic? Well, they have the fighters kick ass for them.

Yes, it's still one trick, but it's a niche and it's a protected niche, because that's a core design element of the game. They've added "Super Powered" and Magic archetypes to the Fighting Classes in the game, because they have also greatly increase the power and utility of spell casters. But... in an anti-magic field, these "Casting Fighters" are going to end up better equipped to deal with the problem than a Wizard or Sorcerer will be.
 

Tanka

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Well, the bribing one group of enemies to fight another is classic D&D, but what's all this talking?


Then presumably they are aware if other ststems. Why on Earth are they playing D&D when they would clearly rather be playing something else? And why are they trying to pretend that D&D has everbeen the kinda game they want?


Once again, why are they playing D&D? D&D is a game about heroes fighting monsters. That's what it was made for, that's what it's optimised for, if you don't want to play heros fighting monsters why play D&D?

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