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Chico’s Guide to D&D classes

18/08/2018

Some weeks ago I wrote a short guide to the D&D classes for my friends who were going to play RPG for the first time. It was something in between an invitation for them to read more about the game, and a reference manual for those who were lacking time.

Since all of them picked a class, and I got some nice comments about it, I felt it was quite successfull. Therefore, I decided to post it here, sharing my thoughts and opinions with you all:

Hello dear friends and volleyballers!

As I wrote to you earlier, I am here to help you choose your character :)

My point here is not make a literature review about styles, characterization and roles, but give a brief introduction to the available D&D classes. This might help those of you who are short on time to make a choice, and, perhaps, stimulate others to do research on your own! To help you with that, I will also add some useful links. Check them if you want, but unless Alex says it’s a must, I wouldn’t say it’s required.

So, before I actually start talking about classes, I will highlight a very important thing: This is Chico’s view on D&D classes. Thus, it’s  non official, non recognized by the community and probably labeled as heretic by some hardcore gamers… Still,  I hope it can be useful for you :)

.

BARBARIAN

Think on Conan.

And now, please picture him: few clothes, loads of muscles, broad ‘n sharp sword, enemies being cut like butter…

The Barbarian is the most brutal class in Dungeons and Dragons, and I do not use this word in vain…

Yet, besides strength, they also have some very nice traits!

Inspired by the Viking berserkers, Barbarians can enter on rage to receive special powers, pursuing their hunger for… something (which you decide!)

Being raisen far from cities, they can be a very nice source of roleplaying, especially in an environment which requires finesse and etiquette. Lots of fun :D

This doesn’t mean Barbarian are stupid guys, but they have their own tribal traditions and views of the world: the Goldmoon character in the Dragonlance chronicles is a perfect example on this.

Short guide: https://merricb.com/2018/02/13/playing-a-first-level-barbarian/

Very complete guide – http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?389546-I-ll-NEVER-Die!-(A-Guide-to-the-5E-Barbarian)

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BARD

I always like to imagine bards as Cacofonix (from Asterix).

It’s not like they all sing badly and scare other people, but it’s to show how different they are, and how uncanny their powers can be.

For those who haven’t read Uderzo and Goscinny’s books: it rains everytime Cacofonix sings… (definitely a protest from the Gods).

Bards are great classes for those who enjoy being diplomats, scoundrels or – why not – musicians.

They have lots of Charisma, and few tricks under their cuffs which can be very useful. Considering the 5.0 edition of D&D, I simply LOVE the Vicious Mockery attack: You make a joke of an enemy and it gets disadvantage on his/her next attack roll!! Hahahaha

Bards are usually good on skills and some type of spells, so I would say it’s a quite flexible type of class.

Short guide: https://geekandsundry.com/the-complete-beginners-guide-to-starting-a-bard-in-dd/

Very complete guide: http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?427508-Player-s-Gonna-Play-A-Bard-s-Guide

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CLERIC

You might not want to follow the celibate life of a catholic priest, but clerics in D&D are actually very interesting, since they have a wide range of deities to pick, including Gods of Luck, War, Light, Forests and so on (check with Alex about different gods in his own scenario). Differently from other spellcasters, Clerics use divine spells, since their gods provide their magic, based on their faith.

Think on holy symbols. Think on a class which can have very powerfull spells and still wear a fucking huge armour.

Think on the inquisition if you like…

Until very recently I wasn’t fond of clerics, but I decided to have a cleric character in my first 5.0 campaign, and I had a lot of fun with him.

They can be very useful in the parties, healing allies, blessing their comrades and giving more damage to undead creatures.

Besides, it can be a great opportunity to annoy your friends to pray with you, or shout a God’s name in the most odd opportunities.

Believe me, do not think clerics are dull!

Short guide: https://geekandsundry.com/the-complete-beginners-guide-to-starting-a-cleric-in-dd/

Complete guide: http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?374604-The-Devout-and-the-Dead-a-guide-to-Clerics

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DRUID

My current class in a RPG campaign I’m playing, and one of my favourites classes in D&D.

Think on those old chaps with long beards and hippie tattoos on their body… Druids are directly related to nature, and while they might see a panther killing a deer as something trivial, they probably don’t think the same about that lumberjack who is cutting down that old oak.

In fact, the oak is called George, and they know each other for more than 30 years now. I hope the lumberjack can run very fast…

Druids have nature-theme spells (like controlling plants, talking to animals, charming beasts), and a very special and nice ability: they can transform themselves in animals, which can be a very handy ability in several environments (who would look twice at a stray dog around the duke’s castle?), and also, depending on the choices you made, a very deadly combat skill, since you might be able to transform in a brown bear already at level 2.

Short guide: https://geekandsundry.com/the-complete-beginners-guide-to-starting-a-druid-in-dd/

Complete guide: http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?545558-5e-Druid-Handbook-Dreams-Land-Moon-and-Shepherd&p=22693950#post22693950

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FIGHTER

A soldier. A mercenary. A knight. A peasant with a sword and a shield…

Everyone can be a fighter, but not many can keep being a fighter for long: that’s the difference between heroes and guards.

Fighters are martial warriors, being able to follow different fighting styles… Do you wanna protect your friends with a long shield? Ok. Do you wanna be a bow master? Ok. Do you wanna use two swords and spin like a helicopter? Go for it.

In fact I have rarely played as a fighter, but they have learned my respect.

Fighters quickly learn to have more than one attack (which is nowadays quite rare for a character in 5.0), being very fierce warriors.

Fighters are usually spellcasters’ best friends: It’s always good to have a reliable person next to you when your strong spells have all been used :P

Think on Boromir of Lord of the Rings, Dwalin in The Hobbit… these dudes know how to put fear in the heart of their enemies!

Short guide: https://geekandsundry.com/the-complete-beginners-guide-to-starting-a-fighter-in-dd/

Complete guide: http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?373134-Know-Your-Enemy-A-fighter-s-handbook

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MONK

Shaolin. Barefeet. Barehands.

One-hit, one man down. Secret knowledge. Ninja. Avatar (bald one). Zen. Moving as fast as lightning.

“Don’t worry, I do not carry any weapon with me :D”

Monks are martial artists inspired by asian traditions of kung fu and other martial arts.

They either use no weapons or those wierd ones which Western-people naturally fail into mastering.

There are different monastic traditions in D&D 5.0, broadening the monk options, giving them a short (but interesting) range of spells to use, besides kicking, punching, elbowing and kneeing enemies. They use their “Ki” to use these abilities, so you can randomly shout IT’S OVER 9000!!! while playing, and at least your friends who have watched Dragon Ball Z will laugh.

Your enemies probably won’t, because a fucking monk can use a Ki to attack 3 or more times in a row.

It hurts.

Short guide: https://geekandsundry.com/the-complete-beginners-guide-to-starting-a-monk-in-dd/

Complete guide: http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?430328-The-Good-the-Bad-and-the-Monk-a-5e-Monk-guide

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PALADIN

Now that I have stopped to think about it, in my 15 years experience playing D&D, I have never played as a Paladin!

I simple dislike their concept and overpower skills, but I will do my best to not be (much) biased here.

So, do you remember the cleric?

Paladins are similar, but instead of praying and using spells, they pray and smash enemies.

Paladins are earth representatives of the gods, “following their will and guidance”.

My favourite paladin is Miko Miyazaki, of the great Order of the Stick series. She was so blindly certain about her god’s will that suddenly she turned into a villain (perhaps now it’s the best time to think on the inquisition…)…

Ok, fuck, I am biased.

But hey, if the concept is appealing to you, do some research about it :D

Short guide: https://geekandsundry.com/the-complete-beginners-guide-to-starting-a-paladin-in-dd/

Complete guide: http://www.enworld.org/forum/showthread.php?468742-GUIDE-Oathbound-The-Paladin-Guide

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RANGER

Aragorn. Strider. Elessar. Estel. Thorongil.

As any Tolkien fan can notice, Aragorn is a great example of a ranger: skillfull fighters who can use melee and range weapons to damage enemies, besides knowing enough about the environment to be able to track hobbits in a warzone. Yep, they have my respect.

Moreover, in D&D you will be also able to use some spells, nature-themed ones.

Although I have played as a ranger several times in the past editions, I haven’t played or played with one in the 5th, so I don’t know much about it now.

Rangers are my favourite class though, I like the idea of being able to cut someone with my sword, shoot it with my arrow or just calling for my wolf to bite its ankles.

Rangers are usually protectors, related to some area or habitant.

Why did you started an adventure life? Check the last paragraphs of this text.

Short guide: https://geekandsundry.com/the-complete-beginners-guide-to-starting-a-ranger-in-dd/

Complete guide: http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?374666-Not-All-Who-Wander-are-Lost-A-Ranger-s-Guide

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ROGUE

The rogue is usually the jack-of-all-trades of the party, with his/her broad range of non-combat skills, particularly those which only the rogue can have, such as finding traps, picklocking or pickpocketing. A bunch of strong lads is useful, but you know, without Bilbo Baggins Smaug would never been defeated.

And sneak attack… Oh yeah babe, sneak attack is sweet.

You might be short, very thin or as strong as a child, but you know where to hit: kick the balls, stick it in the eyes, stab the liver.

Artemis Entreri from the Drizzt series is a great (and scary) example of a rogue as well.

You can be the nice kind of rogue… and you can be Artemis Entreri.

Short guide: https://geekandsundry.com/the-complete-beginners-guide-to-starting-a-rogue-in-dd/

Complete guide: http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?395706-Person_Man%92s-5E-Rogue-Guide

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SORCERER

Some spellcasters receive their powers from the gods, others from spirits, others from books…

Not you. You inherited it from your bloodline [Insert kickass character background here].

Sorcerers have fewers spells options to use, but they are able to change/boost their effects, which can be very handy.

As with happens with other spellcasters, they are usually not the ones in the first row of a battle, but they are the one who can throw a fucking Fireball out of their hands, so no reason to see them as cowards. People usually see them as friends, because it’s better to befriend a sorcerer than be a future pile of ash.

Besides, since Sorcerers rely on Charisma, they can be very sympathetic.

I always enjoy roleyplaying sorcerers, and, as the bard, they can be very good diplomats (and scoundrels).

Short guide: https://geekandsundry.com/the-complete-beginners-guide-to-starting-a-sorcerer-in-dd/

Complete guide: http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?377491-Guides-Tables-and-other-useful-tools-for-5E-D-amp-D

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WARLOCK

And here I found another class that I have never tried.

Warlocks are spellcasters who have their ability due to do some pact with spirits… yes, it sounds evil and there are great chances of actually being evil, but not necessarily. There are good spirits too, and as it happens with the sorcerer, this class is great to explore you character’s background.

They have access to some wicked spells. I once had a warlock in my party which could heal himself everytime he killed an enemy. Creepy…

I know I’m not being very useful here, so please take a look at one of these if you feel interested:

Short guide: https://geekandsundry.com/the-complete-beginners-guide-to-starting-a-warlock-in-dd/

Complete guide: http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?485736-Selling-your-Soul-at-a-Premium-The-Warlock-s-Guide-to-Power

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WIZARD

Last but not least: Wizards!!!

Perhaps the closest we have to PhD students in D&D: the nerdy folks who spent hours everyday reading their books and doing research.

What do they research? The boundaries of time and space, the own nature of reality…

Wizards can use all sort of spells, thus being very diverse in their powers (D&D has hundreds of spell options. My advice: do not pick this class if you don’t want to do some research to prepare your character). You can make illusions, conjure magical beings, put people to sleep, send magic missiles, create light…  Your only restriction is your amount of spells/per day, and your low amount of hit points. As I said before, wizards are quite often best friends to fighters.

Think on Dumbledore, think on Merlin.

Think about the possibility of having magical solutions for problems which seem unsolveable (and lack solutions for other kind of problems, such as swimming to the other side of a river, for example :P).

Short guide: https://geekandsundry.com/the-complete-beginners-guide-to-starting-a-wizard-in-dd/

Complete guide: http://www.enworld.org/forum/showthread.php?450158-Treantmonk-s-Guide-to-Wizards-5e

Regardless of the class you pick, think on this: why did your character follow his/her career?

Did he/she have the option to choose, or  was it imposed upon him/her?

Why did it happen?

That’s it folks, I hope you enjoyed Chico’s guide to D&D classes.
I actually enjoyed myself writing this, I will post it in my RPG blog :)

See you guys on Monday,

Chico

D&D classes - Caverna do Dragão

Who do you wanna be? Source: 9GAG.com

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