D&D classes guide: choosing the best DnD class for you and the candle to go with it!
In the land of dungeons, dragons, and dice, the player's handbook contains twelve classes; Ranging from the robed spellcaster classes to the powerful martial classes. During character creation for a new adventure, the list of classes available might seem overwhelming, but each DnD class offers unique mechanics and exciting role-play options that govern the way you progress through a campaign.
What To Consider When Choosing a Character Class?
The first thing to consider when choosing a class will be your ability scores (Strength, Dexterity, Intelligence, Constitution, Wisdom, and Charisma). Different Dungeon Masters handle ability scores differently, so work with them on this! Your character class for D&D 5e is the most important attribute, as each class choice gives you unique abilities and proficiencies in at least two saving throws. The rules define the abilities of these individual classes to cast spells, their martial prowess and in some cases, animal forms. With each of the 20 levels, the different classes offer you new ways to deal damage and assert battlefield control. You should take a few things into consideration while choosing a class, since which class defines your hit points you receive per level, your combat abilities, spell slots, and altogether combat prowess.
Selecting a Subclass
Character development in D&D 5e has extremely linear character progression that allows players to set themselves on a simple, predetermined route from level 1 to 20. Similarly, choosing a particular class can change the way D&D feels when playing. The choice of a particular subclass will further focus your playstyle and offer more primary abilities and passive abilities. In addition you can multiclass, which requires combining two classes to creating its own new, unique, and versatile class. While we won't cover subclasses time around, they are definitely something to keep in mind when deciding your path.
Character's Class Roles: Thinking about Playstyle, the Party, and Class Features
Let's talk about the way characters feel when playing, then we can decide what experiences you want at the table. What appeals to you when you think of a battle? Do you want to fight with an axe or in ranged combat? Using divine magic, or a brutal sneak attack? What sounds like the type of character you would want to be; a savage blood hunter, or a drunken master fighter?
Do I like it?
The most important part of choosing a class is whether or not you like it, so pick the one that appeals to you, and just have fun with it! Without further ado, we will get into the classes and their features now!
The Martial Classes DnD 5e
All of the classic action hero archetypes in one class, the fighter class is a specialized battle master. This makes a perfect choice if a player loves dealing damage to single targets during combat. The Fighter is great for new players and a suitable base class if you're trying to multiclass.
Fighters provide various benefits like action surge, dual wield, re-roll 1s and 2s with great weapon fighting, and healing using second wind. Like other classes, their is a specific base stat that benefits the fighter the most, so prioritize strength or dexterity.
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Unlike other martial archetypes, the Paladin specializes in both spellcasting and melee fighting. Their main focus is following their chosen Oath. This Oath defines your character’s playstyle; Oath of Redemption, Oath of Conquest, Oath of Glory, and Oathbreaker among others. While Paladins have fewer spell slots than the wizard class, they can still be a great damage dealer for your adventuring party. This class also succeeds in diplomatic and social circumstances, as emphasis is usually on the strength and charisma stats giving your character a strong personality.
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Okay, this one has a bit of a chip on their shoulder, the incarnation of anger management, the barbarian is an aggressive warrior that just about anyone can enjoy playing. Similar to figures like Conan or Boudica, they are strong hitters with excellent fighting potential. They can take devastating amounts of damage when attacked and are almost impossible to take down. The class has the highest hit dice, determining the amount of health you add each level. Since the barbarian is a tank, you will want to focus on the strength and the constitution modifier when rolling stats. From the wild magic barbarian to the totem warrior, the various types of barbarian give you lots of room to pick.
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The Ranger might get a bad wrap as the least effective class, but something to take into account is the fun you could have roleplaying. In addition to range and melee combat, they can cast control spells and have incredibly useful tracking abilities. A real bonus that a lot of players enjoy about The Ranger is the fact that you can choose an animal companion to accompany you on your adventure. The stat focus for this is unlike the other classes we have covered, with emphasis on dexterity and wisdom.
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Do characters like Master Burglar Bilbo Baggins, Aladdin or Sinbad pique your interest? Then consider the rogue for your character class. Whether you wield dagger or crossbow, employ the shadows to further your goals; sneak into the enemies fortress and gather intelligence, or pick the tower lock to free the captive princess. This classes strengths are derived from dexterity, so be sure to place your highest rolls there.
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A warrior wielding the martial arts, a master of the mind and spirit, the monk can be an incredibly fun class choice. Arguably THE martial class, zoom around your enemies and use ki points for extra attacks. Where most classes wield weapons, the monk is a master at unarmed combat on the same level as Bruce Lee, Jackie Chan, or Chuck Norris if that is your style. Some monks lend themselves to study, other focus their astral self to hone their ki, but if a hand to hand warrior is the right class for you, then monk is the class for you.
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Spell Caster DnD Classes
The Bard class is sometimes called the Jack-of-Every trade of the adventuring party. A versatile caster with support, utility and damage spells. With excellent roleplaying possibilities, the bard is notorious for all kinds of shenanigans. Through the power of performance, you can be your party's number one goofball, or the top tier musician who leads your friends with charisma and grace. Speaking of charisma, this should be your primary focus when rolling your character stats.
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From Merlin in the Arthurian Legends, to Harry potter, new players will be familiar with the fantastical Wizard class. Whether you want to sling fireballs, or learn to control time itself, playing this class is a hotspot for someone who wants to explore the arcane! A wizard can become one of the most effective damage-dealers of any party when utilizing their spell book mechanics. This class famously wields magic to destroy multiple enemies simultaneously, while also providing utility spells to help the party.
Although Wizard spells are impressive, there is one disclaimer; they remain vulnerable because of their very low hit dice, but fear not, for a balanced party will be able to watch your back for you! While the Wizard may be squishy, he will more than make up for it with his impressive intelligence stat.
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Fiends, Faeries, and Great Old Ones oh my! This class features a pact made with an incredibly powerful being in exchange for your very own magical powers. The iconic feature of this class is the reliance on the eldritch blast cantrip, an incredibly useful damage dealing spell. A lovely addition to the perks of this class is the built in relationship that your Patron gives you, so you might be able to gain information otherwise not available to you or your party. When rolling stats to benefit class features, focus on Charisma, with your next best stat being Wisdom.
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A holy warrior, on a mission from a god of the DnD pantheons, the Cleric is an excellent class for roleplay and support. With a wide array of spells, from mass healing to divine intervention, the divine magic of a cleric will make you the greatest asset to your party in the form of a healer. With the roleplaying opportunity this class provides, either as a war domain cleric, buffing your barbarian, or life domain, healing them, this is an attractive option to those who like to help their friends. The stat to prioritize with this class is wisdom, with a secondary focus on charisma.
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Have you ever wanted to be a bear? What about wielding the power of a raging storm? Well have I got the class for you! With the druid class, you can choose from a plethora of options. While the Ranger lets you have an animal companion, some of the druid subclasses allow you animal forms. The primary ability of the druid, is there immense knowledge and tight knit relationship with the natural world. Prioritize wisdom and intelligence when you create your character!
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Just like royalty, the powers of a sorcerer come from their bloodlines. Wielding sorcery points, the sorcerer is like no other class, as they can empower their spells. Whether it is a Wild Magic Sorcerer, or a wielder of Shadow magic, this is the first class on many player's class list. Sorcerers are another class that rely heavily on charisma for their casting, so ensure that is your highest stat.
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Whereas previous editions had supplements, 5e has the Holy Grail of all supplements: Tasha's Cauldron of Everything. As well as adding several playable character races, another character class is added; The Artificer. If you have ever wanted to be the mad scientist, or invent things like Leonardo Da Vinci, then the class features offered here will fit you like a glove! Unlike the others, this dungeons and dragons class can create their own companion, in the form of a mechanical automaton. With this class, you will utilize Intelligence to further you inventive prowess, but keep in mind your constitution modifier as well.
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A Final Word
Good dungeon masters come in all forms, some with hard and fast rules, some with homebrew worlds, but the most important thing is that they spin their story with all of their players in mind. Work with your dungeon masters to help you fill in the blanks of your characters, and watch the incredible stories unfold week after week!