Friday, 10 July 2020

Choosing a Class for your D&D Character

Dungeons and Dragons has a lot of character classes. Which is mostly a good thing: the game has come a long way in its character customization from its original options of Fighter, Cleric, and Magic User. But nowadays the first thing a new player encounters when creating their first character is choice paralysis. There are so many classes, and so much overlap between them, that figuring out who you want to be is now a headache and a half.

Here's my stab (no pun intended) at a solution. This flowchart asks general questions about what you want your character to do, to narrow down your options to the classes that do that thing best.

The flowchart. Transcript can be found below.

Transcript of flowchart
0. How do you usually fight?
-Close range (go to 1)
-Long range (go to 2)
-Magic (go to 3)
-Some combination of the other options (go to 4)

1. What do you rely on in combat?
-Training and discipline (go to 5)
-Emotion and instinct (Barbarian)

2. Which do you work more closely with?
-Nature (Ranger)
-Technology (go to 6)

3. What is the source of your magic?
-Academic study (Wizard)
-Innate ability (Sorcerer)
-A higher power (go to 7)

4. Do you want your enemies to know you're here?
-Yes (Paladin)
-No (Rogue)

5. Do you use weapons?
-Yes (Fighter)
-No (Monk)

6. Do you delegate responsibilities to others?
-Yes (Artificer)
-No (Alchemist)

7. What higher power gives you your magic?
-A god (Cleric)
-Nature (Druid)
-Something else (Warlock)

Once you've reached an answer, read up on your chosen class in the Player's Handbook or online. If you don't like how it sounds, read about the classes most similar to your first one and pick the one that feels best to you. You can even plan to gain levels in multiple classes if you and your DM are up for that extra complexity.

This chart isn't the final authority on character creation either. Asking different questions could group different sets of classes together. Not to mention that the way I've defined the classes follows the official guides in focusing on combat abilities, and combat is often not the primary focus of a campaign. Your best resources are usually your DM and fellow players. Work with them to figure out how best to set your character up to accomplish their goals, and to set you up to enjoy the journey.

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