All the Classes
First let's see what all our options are in the new 5e or 5th edition. Most of us that have been playing Dungeons & Dragons for years have heard or seen all of these at some point along the way. So here is the list of playable characters.
- Barbarian - Fierce Warriors
- Bard - Magician through music and words
- Cleric - Priest who wields divine magic with a bit of fighting knowledge
- Druid - Priest of nature
- Fighter - Master of Melee (Martial) combat
- Monk - Master of spiritual Melee (Martial) combat
- Paladin - The holy warrior
- Ranger - The martial combatant who protects nature
- Rogue - Stealth and trickery is usually his game
- Sorcerer - Spellcaster with a gift
- Warlock - The caster who gets his powers from a otherworldly being
- Wizard - The Scholarly magic-user
Choosing just one can be a little difficult, I will try to explain what you should chose based on what your interest are.
So, are you new to the game? If so, I would suggest maybe starting with some of the easier classes to play like Fighter, Barbarian, or Rogue.
For those that are a little more advanced maybe the Monk, Paladin or Cleric. Beyond those there are a lot of spell casting and sometimes viewed as the advanced characters. They are a little more difficult to understand and play since they have spells that you have to remember.
Below I will try to break it into groups based on the difficulty to play.
Three basic type of characters
In my opinion there are 3 basic types of characters in Dungeons & Dragons.
There are The Melee (fighters), The Versatile and the Magic-Users.
The Melee characters are what I feel is the most basic type of characters, of course in the new rules there are ways to make these characters a little more versatile than in past rules but if you want you can still keep them very simple.
The Versatile characters are made so they can step up and fight or stand back and use spells or other abilities in combat. So, you can kind of keep them simple, but they are best played using all benefits. It just depends on what your party really needs at any given moment.
The Magic-Users stand back and use their magic to fight the creatures. Spells can be quite confusing at times, and you really need to know the spells you have at hand and how to best use them to the party's benefit.
The Melee Classes
There are five classes that I would call your Melee classes. Of course, depending on how some Versatile classes are played they could drop into this group but for now we will look at the five I consider Melee classes.
- The Fighter
- The Barbarian
- The Monk
- The Paladin
- The Rogue
The Fighter, the Barbarian and the Paladin should be toe to toe with any creatures you come along. Their basic job is to prevent any creature from closing in on the rest of the party. They will be the ones that should be taking all the hits and dishing out damage in return.
The Rogue on the other hand is all about stealth and should be sneaking in and out to make surprise attacks and dealing massive damage to the creatures.
The Monk is one that is versatile in its own right. At lower levels he might be a little weak to stand toe to toe with creatures but as he levels up, he can be built to be very defensive and do quite a bit of damage either from a distance or close up.
The Versatile Classes
There are four classes which I consider to be versatile classes. Meaning they could stand back and use abilities or spells to support the rest of the party or they could step up into the battle and have a fairly good chance at survival based on the way they are built.
- The Bard
- The Cleric
- The Druid
- The Ranger
Each one of these can be built to be melee combatants or built to stay out of the fight.
The Bard and Druid have a small number of offensive spells and a fair amount of support type spells but built correctly they can have fairly decent armor class to stand in a fight. Usually, these characters are made to support the party in whatever way is needed.
The Cleric is usually made as a healer to keep the party from dying. Usually with a few protection spells and a bunch of healing spells. Running into battle to heal those who need it to keep them in the fight. However, they can also be built to stand in the fight and only heal when it is really needed.
The Ranger is a true versatile character in that they can be made several ways. They can be made as a two-weapon fighter for melee, a ranged weapons fighter standing in the back, or as a supporting caster, with limited offense, defense and healing spells.
As the Magic using class, these are the characters that would not last very long at all in a toe-to-toe battle. Their main job is to cast spells to do either massive damage to one creature or to do damage to many creatures at one time.
- The Sorcerer
- The Warlock
- The Wizard
All three of these are pretty much even when it comes to abilities, The Warlock has the least number of spells to choose from and the Wizard has the most to choose from. The Warlock probably has the best change to stand against melee attacks, the Sorcerer is more versatile in the types of spells they can use then the other two but sometimes lack the power of the Warlock and certainly does not have the number of spells to choose from like the Wizard.
Making a Party
When you're deciding on the character that you are playing keep in mind the other characters that are going to be in the party (group). It is always best to have a variety of classes in your group.
Check with your DM to see what other players are doing and what is needed for the Party. The DM will help you choose your character and what will fit well with the rest of the group.
Have fun and enjoy the game. Don't be afraid to try something new and most DM's and experience players will be more than happy to help you learn.
My Favorite Classes
Above I let you know my thoughts on how classes are broken down, here I will let you know my favorites.
To me the fighter can be the easiest to play by far. If you go with the Champion Archetype you can make this character really easy to play and not many things to remember. Of course, he might get a little boring once you learn the game a little more.
The Sorcerer in my opinion is the most difficult to play, there are just so many things going on with this class. You have magic spells, sorcery points, and the different origins to choose from, it's a lot to remember and think about during play. But they can be quite powerful and fun to play once you know the character.
As for my favorite character to play I love playing the rogue, it's a fun character to roleplay and they can in the right situation deal some massive damage. I like a character that can do a lot of things fairly well.
I will also be putting up more information on each individual class very soon.
© 2016 Thomas Bensen
Porshadoxus from the straight and narrow way on April 15, 2019:
Interesting article. I think I would switch Rogue and Ranger in categories, though. Rangers can deal out consistently higher damage in my experience.