How Many Classes Is To Many?


 As the title says. I'm not talking about the core rules as I am going with the assumption that the D&DN PHB will have 14 classes- the 11 3.5 ones, Warlords, Warlock and Assassin.

 Anyhow how many classes do you feel D&D really needs and what type of classes do you think are stupid?

Classes we do not need IMHO.

Job/title descriptions.
An assassin would be one example although complaining about that one is pointless. I would include the Samurai as well (its a fighter) and Ninja (its a Rogue or fighter/Rogue) and Gladiator. 2nd ed got these ones right with kits IMHO. From 3.5 I would add the scout (Fighter/Ranger or Ranger/Rogue works) and Knight as well. Some of these classes are great as class varients that can be offered in splat books (PHB2, Complete Fighter Handbook, Complete Arcane, Martial Power, Advanced Players Guide type books).

Silly Classes.
A bit harder to define. The Mystic from 2nd ed, the 3.5 Dragon Shaman, Seeker from 4th ed. Not a massive fan of the Gunslinger in PF either (fighter with guns works, nope design a class for it). Often the name alone is silly odds are PCs almost never choose these classes or even know they exist (or care). I offer a virtual cookie to anyone who knows what 2nd ed book the mystic came from. Apologies to anyone else who likes these classes, just not my thing. Don't care to much if they turn up somewhere though. Doesn't float my boat, may float yours.

 Classes that Are Obsoleted By Other Classes.
3.5 Samurai, Swashbuckler and Healer come to mind here. 4th ed offered the Runepriest which probably should have been a cleric varient.

 Classes I Do like.
Gish type classes seem popular (Duskblade, Swordmage, Magus) although some can be covered by multiclassing they do offer stuff that Fighter/Wizards do not. I liked the Beguiler in 3.5 as well. I also liked classe that have been designed specifically for a setting such as the Gladiator in 2nd eds Darksun, Artificer in 3.5 Eberron, and Swordmage in 4th ed FR. As long as that class makes sense for the setting anyway. I also like Specialty Priests in 2nd ed espicially the ones in Faiths and Avatars, Powers and Pantheons and Demi Human Deities. New classes should be interesting and do something that is not easily covered by a varient of another class. New classes are kewl but we don't need 8 of them per year. IIRC 3.5 ended up with around 60 classes, IDK how many 4th ed has.

 Fear is the Mind Killer

 

N/A

The only time it becomes 'too many' is if the pagecount for the PHB grows to a point where manufacturing costs force an unacceptably high price point.

We could add all of the classes that the "Every Class Under The Sun" types are wanting, and still not hit it.  If, of course, we pay attention to condensing the classes appropriately.  4e did a terrible job of this, Next is on a far better path.
D&D Next = D&D: Quantum Edition
While they are still playtesting I say get in as many classes as the devs can.  If that means 50 classes sussed out during the playtest but they release them by 10 in 5 books, fine.  Just as long as we can all really work out all the kinks whilst we are playtesting.  Or at least work out as many of the kinks as possible.  For me personally the way character creation works now I would be fine with four to six classes, but why not use us while they have us so to speak.
N/A

The only time it becomes 'too many' is if the pagecount for the PHB grows to a point where manufacturing costs force an unacceptably high price point.

We could add all of the classes that the "Every Class Under The Sun" types are wanting, and still not hit it.  If, of course, we pay attention to condensing the classes appropriately.  4e did a terrible job of this, Next is on a far better path.



This.

There is no amount of classes that I feel is too many, unless the laws of physics intervene.

(for example, I don't have enough free time to read two million different classes.)
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42. By then you are seeking the question instead of the answer.

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fewer classes, but much broader class customization.

we don't want 30 base classes in 3.5E that are cast in stone and to fix that they published 5 alternate class features for every class through 4234132 later source books.
Anyhow how many classes do you feel D&D really needs and what type of classes do you think are stupid?

It depends on how Next is designing classes. Are they big and general, with a lot of options? Then 15 or even fewer classes might be all that is ever needed. If they are narrow and don't have a lot of class options, then more classes are needed. Either way is fine as long as the game mechanics are well written and work with that.

An assassin would be one example although complaining about that one is pointless.

For the most part I agree on taking out the job title classes. However, I might make an exception for assassin because there are a specific set of assassin abilities that don't fit well in rogue unless the class is pretty flexible. The assassin needs a much more hard hitting death strike ability then the skirmishing sneak attack that the rogue normally gets and a rather different set of associated skills and abilities to support it.

I'm going with six.  You have the core four, a bunch of sub-classes, and one more base class that I'm probably forgetting about.  Six is too many.

The metagame is not the game.

A question to the "core four" proponents:

Are you certain that these four are the best option for "core four" or could there be a better configuration?
D&D Next = D&D: Quantum Edition
If you have a character in mind that the rules won't support, either there aren't enough classes, or the existing classes aren't broad enough.

You have too many classes when it takes an unreasonable period of time to find one in your library that represents a character, or when your library is too heavy for your floorboards.

The system can't have too many classes.

Not a massive fan of the Gunslinger in PF either (fighter with guns works, nope design a class for it).

The gunslinger actually was originally designed as an alternate class of the fighter, like the Ninja is to the Rogue and the Samurai is to the Cavalier. During development it became its own base class because they wanted to go too far afield of what the fighter does to justify making it an alternate class.

(For those not familiar with PF, it has these things called archetypes, which are sets of abilities you can swap into a class in place of its normal abilities. An Acrobat Rogue, for example, trades Trapfinding and Trap Sense for a bonus to a bunch of acrobatic skill checks and the ability to reroll failures on them. A Charlatan Rogue trades Trapfinding and Trap Sense for some bluff-based benefits. Alternate classes, of which there are only three, are basically archetypes that are too comprehensively different from their base class to be formatted how archetypes are formatted, so they're presented using the same presentation base classes are.)

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16.
 




























Cleric



Warlord



Monk



Psion



Paladin



Fighter



Barbarian



Sorcerer



Ranger



Assassin



Rogue



Warlock



Druid



Warmage*



Bard



Wizard



 *formerly known as "Swordmage"

Are you certain that these four are the best option for "core four" or could there be a better configuration?

Me personally? No, I don't agree that the core four are the best representatives of all possible character types.  It would make more sense to me if we had Defender, Slayer, Spellcaster, and Jack; as it stands, we have Combat Guy, Offensive Magic Guy, Defensive Magic Guy, and Non-Combat Guy.

I'm not certain that "Non-Combat Guy" is something that should be one of the four cornerstones of all adventurers everywhere.

The metagame is not the game.


 Not a massive fan of the Gunslinger in PF either (fighter with guns works, nope design a class for it). Often the name alone is silly odds are PCs almost never choose these classes or even know they exist (or care). I offer a virtual cookie to anyone who knows what 2nd ed book the mystic came from. Apologies to anyone else who likes these classes, just not my thing. Don't care to much if they turn up somewhere though. Doesn't float my boat, may float yours.


I thought the Gunslinger was one of the greatest things about Pathfinder - this was possibly because one of my NPCs created a firearm in my 4e campaign, and there were no rules for firearms. I'm all for fantasy worlds that show the advancement of technology - or where the stagnation of technology is a plot point for one reason or another (Mistborn by Brandon Sanderson comes to mind)

Honestly, I don't see why we have to work to a cap on classes.


They are the single easiest things to add and disregard, as long as the mechanics within the game are all covered by the class set a given table decides to use.


However, I do think that people should be mindful when it comes to classes and not assume that all are welcome everywhere. Really, this should be dictated by the campaign world.

16.
 




























Cleric



Warlord



Monk



Psion



Paladin



Fighter



Barbarian



Sorcerer



Ranger



Assassin



Rogue



Warlock



Druid



Warmage*



Bard



Wizard



 *formerly known as "Swordmage"




I completely agree with every one of these (and maybe that pretty Ex-Sorcerer comes back along the side?)

This was cool. I am intrigued what the columns and rows represent too. 

Rows:
Leader
Defender
Striker
Controller 

Columns:
Divine, Martial (Warmage only half fits), Primal (I actually can't work this one out), Arcane
However, I do think that people should be mindful when it comes to classes and not assume that all are welcome everywhere. Really, this should be dictated by the campaign world.

Which is precisely why they shouldn't be arbitrarily limited at the system level.
D&D Next = D&D: Quantum Edition
It isn´t the number but it is the qualty of design.

Think Champions Online has got 24 archetypes, and don´t forget the hundreds of prestiges classes 3rd Ed had got. 

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This was cool. I am intrigued what the columns and rows represent too.


Each class is a combination of the bolded class in that class' row and column (except sorcerer, which was just sort of stuck into a fighter-wizard slot).
Which, purely by accident it would appear, actually fit the Dragon Sorcerer we saw earlier.
D&D Next = D&D: Quantum Edition
doesnt matter to me as long as the base classes are all in the phb... i hate the idea of multiple books for the base classes.
More classes!  Does that add anything to the thread?

Sometimes I lean towards doing away with multiclassing and just making a pantload of classes that include all the possible hybridization of mulriclassing.  Well as much as possible anyway.  Be easier for balance if not for time on the devs part and it would do away with frontloading.  Unless they have another solution in the offing for frontloading.  Who knows?

Más clases por favor! 
Which, purely by accident it would appear, actually fit the Dragon Sorcerer we saw earlier.


I knew some people would catch the irony!
I liked the armored-mage concept, and I want it back 
D&D Next = D&D: Quantum Edition
I think the more classes the better, honestly.  I find real gems in the lesser known classes, and enjoy them immensely.

I'm curious as to why the OP doesn't like Seekers, though.  I must admit to loving the concept of a Primal Archer, and thrown weapons often need love in D&D.  While the execution wasn't the best, I thought Seekers had promise as far as a class that could be made more solid in DDN.
You know what?  I can refine my chart a little more so that "romantic" heroes are "above" the boldfaced diagonal and "grim" heroes are "below" the boldfaced diagonal
 




























Cleric



Paladin



Monk



Psion



Ranger



Fighter



Warlord



Warmage*



Assassin



Barbarian



Rogue



Bard



Druid



Sorcerer



Warlock



Wizard



 *formerly known as "Swordmage"




Wel in my opinion we only have 2 classes at this point.

1) martial character with it's builds fighter,rogue and monk

2) vancian magic user with the builds wizard and cleric 

 
+1

The game only needs two classes, but can never have too many.
+1

The game only needs two classes, but can never have too many.



wel maybe you could add psionic if it has a mecanic difrent from expertise dice or vancian 2 spells per spell level advancement.
make the hedge wizard and the jester core classes
Ok, that would make sense then Wrecan. Not so sure about the Assassin being a Rogue/Cleric either, but I guess that is a contentious issue.

Honestly, I'd mash the Sorceror people want in with the Wizard - and open the Fighter/Wizard spot up for the Ex-Sorcerer again. 
In the order of most important to least important, in my eyes, the core classes should be

Fighter
Cleric
Wizard
Rogue
Monk
Warlock
Paladin
Ranger
Druid
Warlord
Bard
Psion
Sorcerer
Barbarian
Warmage/Swordmage
+2-4 more...

Yes, assassin is absent from my list...I feel it would be better implimented with a prestige class if prestige classes are in.  That doesn't mean I am right...just my opinion...

So, what also might be nice that we don't have?  This is an interesting question and one I'd like to hear what others answer.  This is what I would say myself...

1)Blackguard/Dark Knight- the antithesis of the paladin
2)A spontaneous casting divine caster class/ "Shaman" ?
3)An alternative class to Paladin that is a lot more varied in alignments(aligned with their chosen deity) and is more offensively oriented and has different casting mechanics, but still primarily a martial class:  "Templar"?

I'd just say keep it under 20 in the core books overall.  Psion maybe shouldn't be core, simply because it requires a lot of spelling out abilitys and mechanics, not to mention all the variants.  What does everyone else say?  Are there any new class types that we should have that come to mind?
An alternative class to Paladin that is a lot more varied in alignments(aligned with their chosen deity) and is more offensively oriented and has different casting mechanics, but still primarily a martial class:  "Templar"?


Or just make the Paladin available for any alignment and save space.

To the topic itself though, I only feel there are too many classes if there's too many for Wizards to make support for, like some of the later 4e classes that got barely had any support after it was released, if any at all.
An alternative class to Paladin that is a lot more varied in alignments(aligned with their chosen deity) and is more offensively oriented and has different casting mechanics, but still primarily a martial class:  "Templar"?


Or just make the Paladin available for any alignment and save space.

To the topic itself though, I only feel there are too many classes if there's too many for Wizards to make support for, like some of the later 4e classes that got barely had any support after it was released, if any at all.

I was going for divine striker archetype for templar.  A deity's loyal warrior infused with the power of that deity(which may vary quite substantially from the Paladin).

That said, if you agree that the Sorcerer is a waste if Wizard is in, I see where you are coming from.  I am just thinking that there is room for substantially different takes on traditional classes.  Before the Sorcerer, you had the wizard.  The sorcerer was inspired by the craving of a different spell casting mechanic than the wizard.  Much later, the Warlock was born as an arcane striker...just saying that there may be room for this sort of thing based off of class types other than arcane casters.

I do agree, though, that the classes that they do have need to be fully supported and polished...

 As the title says. I'm not talking about the core rules as I am going with the assumption that the D&DN PHB will have 14 classes- the 11 3.5 ones, Warlords, Warlock and Assassin.

 Anyhow how many classes do you feel D&D really needs and what type of classes do you think are stupid?




I don't think that there can ever be too many.  So long as they differ from the other classes, they will be the best choice for some character concepts and that's a good thing.  Even if I don't like a particular class and would never use it, I will never begrudge its existence for other people who do like it.  For example, I couldn't stand the dragon shaman, but other people I knew loved it and played it.   
Is it too late to say 42?
It is?
Aw.

There can never be too many classes. D&D has so many internal and external themes to drawn from that any "flavor to mechanics" idea can be a class. My setting has an epic paintmaster who magics with colors.

Orzel, Halfelven son of Zel, Mystic Ranger, Bane to Dragons, Death to Undeath, Killer of Abyssals, King of the Wilds. Constitution Based Class for Next!

IMO, the best way to do it is to implent core classes as the 16 stated above and to make prestige or even "themes" that we could follow with certain bonuses. 

This would reduce the number of "classes" but not the number of "flavorful characters".

The term "class" is really important, because it also states the mechanics of the game. So, instead of having to find out how to balance 42 mechanics, just focus on some of them and then give out some feat or prestige classes for the flavor.

For exemple, the assassin should be a rogue that let down his backstab in combat for a big opener and poison use. A jester could be a rogue that gave out his backstab too, but for a lot of other skills and stuff.

Again, this was just my 2 cents. 
An alternative class to Paladin that is a lot more varied in alignments(aligned with their chosen deity) and is more offensively oriented and has different casting mechanics, but still primarily a martial class:  "Templar"?


Or just make the Paladin available for any alignment and save space.

To the topic itself though, I only feel there are too many classes if there's too many for Wizards to make support for, like some of the later 4e classes that got barely had any support after it was released, if any at all.

I was going for divine striker archetype for templar.  A deity's loyal warrior infused with the power of that deity(which may vary quite substantially from the Paladin).

That said, if you agree that the Sorcerer is a waste if Wizard is in, I see where you are coming from.  I am just thinking that there is room for substantially different takes on traditional classes.  Before the Sorcerer, you had the wizard.  The sorcerer was inspired by the craving of a different spell casting mechanic than the wizard.  Much later, the Warlock was born as an arcane striker...just saying that there may be room for this sort of thing based off of class types other than arcane casters.

I do agree, though, that the classes that they do have need to be fully supported and polished...


Except there's a world of difference from two different types of arcance casters and two classes that are exactly the same except one sentance.
The Fighter, Cleric, Rogue, and Wizard are Core. We need a class dedicated to being the master at combat, a class that is built around mitigating the costs of adventuring, a class that is dedicated to skills and exploration, and a class that casts arcane spells. Out of these we can have a bunch of sub-classes or builds. With Multiclassing evern more so. So after these 4, what else would be nice that we can't build easily?

The Monk works drastically differently then these four, so I would add that.

So I suppose I could live with 5, would love to have 10, and think bloat is coming in at around 13.
I agree with Mand12 from above, there is no such thing as too many classes as long as the cost of the PHB isn't prohibitive.  I really like Wrecan's 4 x 4 chart, I would be totally on board with that model.  If they use shared spell lists (Sorcerer, Wizard, Warlock, Bard, and Swordmage would all draw from one list, Druid and Cleric would use a separate list that may or may not contain some of the same spells as the arcane list), and use a format that can condense information, they should have no problem with this.  One other thing that might drive down page count is not having large amounts of fluff.  Some is fine, but have overwhelming fluff is a non-started.  I think 16 classes and 10 races would be a great place to start.
CORE MORE, NOT CORE BORE!
I think that all of the classes from the PHB 1s is a great starting point. I would rather see additional options provided to an existing class than the creation of an entirely new class. I think fluff is just as important to the D&D as crunch and would like healthy treatments in both categories.

PHB1
+
Psion
SoulKnife(This could arguably just be Assassin options)
Psi Warrior
BattleMage(New fighter/Mage base class) 

IMO that group is all that is needed and the rest can be options provided for those base classes. Also, I could see a few of the PHB1 classes cut, although I don't think it is necessary.

WotC already mentioned this during their presentations at GenCon, but for races I think within the PHB and MM all the races needed to play FR, Eberron, Dark Sun and Dragonborn should be provided with player stats. Just to be clear I include all of the planetouched as FR races.