Diving into Dungeons & Dragons can be an exciting journey into magical worlds and adventures. But deciding what class your character should pursue can really change up the entire gameplay. It’s important to remember that a character’s class can affect your character’s race as well and vice versa. There are 12 main classes to be chosen from within base game in 5e (5th Edition). These classes are Barbarian, Bard, Cleric, Druid, Fighter, Monk, Paladin, Ranger, Rogue, Sorcerer, Warlock, and Wizard. Dice Domain has got you covered with learning everything you need to know about these interesting classes. So grab your character sheet and your favorite set of dice and let’s get started rolling a character and learning the main classes of 5e!
Before diving into class explanations, let’s have a refresh on ability scores!
There are six ability scores that can really create the character’s skills.
STR is Strength (Physical Power)
CON is Constitution (Health and Endurance)
DEX is Dexterity (Agility and Speed)
INT is Intelligence (Deductive Reasoning and Logic)
WIS is Wisdom (Insight and Perception)
CHA is Charisma (Personality and Influence)
Does Conan the Barbarian ring a familiar bell? Considered the most powerful class where the skills of strength and constitution lie. The Barbarian is a great tank and one of the most dominant damage dealers, too. Barbarians typically use bludgeoning weapons, large weapons, and axes; all axes are excellent choices. Don’t worry too much about armor though, if your Barbarian has enough strength and constitution points, armor won’t be needed. You could equip a half plate for some protection if you want.
When rolling stats for the Barbarian class, you will want very high Strength and Constitution to deal the most damage as well as be able to receive damage. Dexterity and Wisdom can be helpful but Intelligence and Charisma are technically not needed for building a your and savage warrior.
Whether you enjoy the class of the Bard or not, there is no denying that the Bard is a powerful and influential class within the realm of Dungeons & Dragons. There’s a true sense of storytelling that can be a magnificent imaginative experience during gameplay. Bards are considered the historian of the group. A chronicler of the now and the past. Communication is key with this poetic character and influencing every race and circumstances is of utmost importance. Many situations can happen where the Bard’s skills can be useful within the party. Say your party finds a mysterious tower, the Bard may be able to recognize it within the fables and lore of their songs. And speaking of songs, singing can help aid bravery within the party, and also singing within a town can show how mighty and legendary the party is. A Bard can truly improve situations by embellishing stories with poems, songs, and theatrical measures.
Charisma needs to be the highest stats as this plays out with the songs and stories your Bard will conjure up during gameplay. Intelligence should be the next highest stat followed by Dexterity and Wisdom. Strength and Constitution aren’t very important for your bard build.
Clerics are more than just the party’s healer. Although most of the time, they are only utilized as one with their divine magic. Devoted to the Spiritual and Holy elements, Clerics are dedicated to protecting themselves, as well as their party, against elements, corruption, and evil. Clerics have healing and defensive spells but also have buffs for the party. It’s important to think of what deity that your Cleric worships and serves, as that is an important factor in a Cleric’s journey. Deities and the spiritual path may have your cleric aid and find answers in different situations.
There are many different ways to build a Cleric but Wisdom should be the highest stat for the spellcasting they will create. Either Charisma and Constitution should be the next highest if you want your Cleric to have influential guidance or enough endurance for intense battles. Having Strength is only important if you choose to have your Cleric wielding weapons, but if not Dexterity should be chosen first.
Intuned to nature and magic, the Druid is a very immersive class to play. With having the ability to shape-shift and the power of elemental skills, the Druid is an empath to the environments of nature and the outside world. There’s a huge sense of knowledge and understanding with animals, uncivilized individuals, creatures, trees, and weather when playing a Druid. They are considered a priest to the natural domain of forests and beasts. Druids may not have full power in dungeons and towns, but they completely flourish and thrive within the woodlands, desert, mountains, and other natural environments. Shape-shifting is possible due to the Wild Shape and Circle of the Moon abilities. It’s essential to read up on the guidelines for these abilities to know exactly how to execute these actions.
As a Druid, Wisdom, and Constitution are the main ability scores you want to advance in. Wisdom will help with all the spells the Druid will have to conjure during gameplay. Dexterity would be your next focus.
Typically without the use of spells, the Fighter relies on its power and strength. Perfectly ideal for combat during battles and protecting the party, the Fighter has many options of utility and abilities to use. A Fighter will need good armor for defense as well as weapons that suit their customizations. Depending on the archetype of the character, you will want to have ability scores based on that.
Let’s say that you want to create a typical warrior, or a character resembling King Arthur. You would want to have high Strength and Constitution to always be prepared for intense battles and to combat and conquer. But, if you prefer more of a Swashbuckler character like a Musketeer, then putting your high ability scores as Dexterity and Constitution would be more efficient. Strength could be the third-highest ability score because a Swashbuckler’s weapon would need more agility. If your Fighter will be joining the party horseback, then Dexterity and Strength would be more important. It certainly depends on how you build your Fighter to provide the best potential for the party and for all the battles ahead.
Monks are quite an interesting class as they are both a fighter but have enchanting internal energy called ki. Harnessing from within their bodies, the ki can be a strong aid during battles.
Abilities resemble martial art style fighting. The Monk class is very strong, but that strength manifests within their mind, body, and soul.
There are two important ability scores for the Monk which would be Dexterity and Wisdom. It’s important that their ki energy reaches a powerful level with a high Dex and Wisdom. Constitution should be followed next with the third-highest roll.
The Holy warrior, the toughest of tanks, and the Divine combination between a Fighter and a Cleric is the Paladin class. The Paladin follows and believes in all that is good. The mighty Paladin is a warrior of their God as the Cleric is the voice of their God. To uphold justice and to stand for what is righteous and good, is the embodiment of this sacred soldier. This knight in shining armor has to remain healthy and strong to destroy evil and conquer all that is corrupt within the realm.
When rolling ability scores, the noble Paladin should have extremely high Strength.
Constitution and Charisma are also very crucial and important as well.
A woodsman and a warrior of nature, the Ranger is a stealthy class that defends civilization by using bows, spears, and swords. Considered a guardian for the town and woods that the Ranger protects, there is a sense of nature-inspired spells that the Ranger can use. If Aragorn, as Strider from the Lord of the Rings, comes to mind then you’re on the right path to understanding how a Ranger battles in combat and how to hunt corrupted creatures.
A Ranger’s Dexterity is the most important ability to have as agility matters most for use with a bow and stealth. Constitution and Wisdom should follow next as they are both important. If you prefer your Ranger to melee battle with two weapons, then Strength should be higher than Dexterity.
Being a sneaky and stealthy class, the Rogue is a very entertaining and enjoyable character to play. Rogues are powerful as they can deal vast damage during combat but also have very valuable skills outside of battles too. This gives the Rogue extensive expertise from the duality of environments they strive and thrive in. Rogues are more than just thieves and kleptomaniacs, they are excellent at collecting information and data that may be beneficial during a quest. Because of this resourcefulness, having a Rogue in the party is useful for the skills of disarming traps that are found, opening locks, and climbing in places most adventurers would have a disadvantage from.
Dexterity most definitely should be the highest ability score. Next, Intelligence or Charisma should be chosen depending on how the character will be played. Are you going to be investigating more or rely on the persuasions of social interaction?
The intense and robust magic of the Sorcerer lies within themselves. The spells are innate from birth and within their heritage. Because of this, the Sorcerer does not need spellbooks or a patron to cast their enchantment of magic. The Sorcerer typically gains their magical power from demons or draconic legacies. There are a vast amount of spells that can be used in combat which makes the Sorcerer a very sought-out choice for the adventures beyond. When creating the Sorcerer, it’s a helpful idea to think about the background of the character and what bloodline to choose from such as the Draconic, Wild Magic, or other bloodlines. Research the spells and what the metamagic of the bloodlines entail.
As a Sorcerer, Charisma needs to have the highest ability score. Constitution should be the next highest. Strength and Intelligence should definitely be the lowest of them all and aren’t really needed.
The Warlock is a mighty magical class that makes a pact or deal with another powerful being like demons or unknown entities to acquire their enchanting strength. Like a Master to an Apprentice, or a Cleric to a specific Deity, is the nature and essence of the Warlock and their patron that is the key to their undeniable strong magic. The Warlock is driven by the lust and voracious need for knowledge of the world and multiverse and all the power that comes with it. This may have a Warlock leading a cult or having the desire and necessity to adventure to search for what they seek. Warlocks can wear and fight with light armor to protect themselves during combat.
Just like Sorcerers, the Warlock needs a high Charisma when building this character. Constitution and Dexterity should follow after as they are both equally important.
Hardworking and studious are the Wizards. Ultimate spell casters, who are academically diligent to learn their powerful arcane magic by spell books and tombs. Wizards do not gain magic from birth thus their dedication to studying and discovering all there is to know with their enchantments and spells. Wizards undergo strict apprenticeships or schools to gain their skills or rely on the books, other wizards, magical creatures, and entities to also obtain new magic. Some Wizards become a sage, a lecturer, or may even pursue lives of corruption. When creating your character, think about what your Wizard’s background was like and how that ties into their ability to learn and pursue magic.
A Wizard needs to have a very high Intelligence as they are scholars of arcane magic. Constitution and Dexterity are important as well for your Wizard to remain vital during combat.
With all the different classes that are available in 5e, it’s an incredible journey researching and learning which of those classes would be best for your gameplay experience! The best part is that classes can have the possibility of choosing a multiclass and having different combinations with classes. The choices in classes are boundless!
We, at Dice Domain, hope you have a wonderful time creating your characters and hope our class summary has been helpful in some way. Have a fantastic campaign!