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    Default Which Classes Would You Find Most Interesting to Read About?

    I'm planning on trying NaNoWriMo this year, and have been hit with a bit of writer's block. To that end, I've put together a survey to try and get a bit of inspiration, and to also see if there are any trends in what people are interested in a main character. this survey includes the official classes I can recall from 3e, 3.5, and Pathfinder. I put the core classes in section one, the D&D non-standard but official classes on the second, and the remaining Pathfinder on the third (including the hybrid ones on a separate question). None of the questions are required to answer, but I've provided them all in case you have an opinion on all of them.

    And who knows? This may inspire to realize what you find interesting.

    Feel free to discuss below what you find interesting as well, including 3rd party material (I didn't include those classes, but may do something for the Spheres stuff as well; I also have surveys for 4e and 5e as well).

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    Default Re: Which Classes Would You Find Most Interesting to Read About?

    No classes. That would be the most interesting.
    This reminds me of the time a new player asked an NPC: "Are you a fighter?" All you're doing is just putting labels on characters and that is entirely unnecessary. Sometimes Shalelu Andosana is just Shalelu Andosana.

    And maybe try a classless RPG sometime? I don't think it could hurt.

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    Quote Originally Posted by the_david View Post
    No classes. That would be the most interesting.
    This reminds me of the time a new player asked an NPC: "Are you a fighter?" All you're doing is just putting labels on characters and that is entirely unnecessary. Sometimes Shalelu Andosana is just Shalelu Andosana.

    And maybe try a classless RPG sometime? I don't think it could hurt.
    I can appreciate that. I've done a few classless games (though I do have a few that are truly splatless altogether that I haven't gotten to try yet... mean to try Knave). The problem is, I have too many ideas in my head and can't commit easily enough to develop a character to the point of being Shalelu. This is an test of this sort of tactic to see what might interest people in terms of archetypes and character concepts in D&D proper (since I'm thinking of doing a high-fantasy type world this time around) and how I react to those responses, creatively speaking.

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    Default Re: Which Classes Would You Find Most Interesting to Read About?

    Is it okay to say what we voted for?

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    Quote Originally Posted by ChaosStar View Post
    Is it okay to say what we voted for?
    I don't mind. I'm not tracking any identifying information in the survey but if people want to discuss the classes they chose and what they find interesting, it may further discussion, so feel free to discuss at your comfort.

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    Default Re: Which Classes Would You Find Most Interesting to Read About?

    I went with Savage Bard, Sha'ir, Medium, and Swashbuckler. I have little knowledge of Pathfinder so those were based on just looking at the names of the classes.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ChaosStar View Post
    I went with Savage Bard, Sha'ir, Medium, and Swashbuckler. I have little knowledge of Pathfinder so those were based on just looking at the names of the classes.
    ... of which only a single class, to my knowledge, is pathfinder.

    As to OP, why not write about something that is in stark contrast to something you would normally write about or play?

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    Pactmaker/Binder/Medium would be my ideal to read about. Why make one story when you can make dozens?

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    Default Re: Which Classes Would You Find Most Interesting to Read About?

    is there a reason you specifically want a mechanical class? are you explicitly writing litrpg? if not, I second the suggestion to just give the character the traits and special powers you think are cool and interesting rather than worry if they all come from a specific class.
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    Default Re: Which Classes Would You Find Most Interesting to Read About?

    I'd like to see a story centered around a proper high level wizard. That is a wizard who has the power to manipulate the rules of reality in some properly spectacular ways, not just a guy in a robe that can put you to sleep if you let him get too close. I could see the latter at a dive-bar in the wrong part of town.
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    Default Re: Which Classes Would You Find Most Interesting to Read About?

    Quote Originally Posted by Buufreak View Post
    ... of which only a single class, to my knowledge, is pathfinder.

    As to OP, why not write about something that is in stark contrast to something you would normally write about or play?
    Swashbuckler was listed as a hybrid class in the Pathfinder section. Savage Bard is a Variant Core class, Sha'ir is a non-core class, Medium is Pathfinder.

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    Default Re: Which Classes Would You Find Most Interesting to Read About?

    Dread Necromancer wasn't on your list; although Death Master was. The classes are slightly different mechanically, but can be very different in their fluff.

    Dread Necromancer, Binder, Hexblade, and Warlock are all phenomenal for actual stories imo. Darker grittier stories are good if written well. Looking at them from the point of the antagonist sounds awesome.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Buufreak View Post
    ... of which only a single class, to my knowledge, is pathfinder.

    As to OP, why not write about something that is in stark contrast to something you would normally write about or play?
    There is also a Pathfinder Swashbuckler, which is the one cited above. It's a Hybrid class, combining Fighter aspects with the Gunslinger's Grit and Deeds. And... it's partly because to an extent I've played a lot of things. I have played more casters overall than anything else, but I've also not played a ton of D&D characters compared to other games, and in those other games I've played a wide range of concepts. My pool to sample from is very small, and many of the games I've played have had characters that inherently are several concepts at once. Also... I've had a habit of choosing certain concepts based on myself or aspects I see in myself in the past, as a way to help me meld into character more easily. The downside as I found out last month is that being too "yourself" in character can make bleed stronger. I am asking for ideas that I wouldn't necessarily come up with for myself or on my own, which may force me to stretch my creative muscle. Also, see below - I go more into why I ask these questions there.

    Quote Originally Posted by Venger View Post
    is there a reason you specifically want a mechanical class? are you explicitly writing litrpg? if not, I second the suggestion to just give the character the traits and special powers you think are cool and interesting rather than worry if they all come from a specific class.
    Thank you for the question. I have five main reasons.
    First, I actually am considering trying a LitRPG thing - I'm not committed to it, but it is on my radar.

    Second, I have a tendency to overload character concepts by default. Trying to contain them within an archetype and system when designing them helps me to focus in on limiting the abilities of the character. It's sort of an evolution of Sanderson's Laws of Magic, especially the second one - I can come up with cool abilities, but I have a tendency to make abilities more powerful than they should be.

    Third, a class gives me a touchstone to build upon and connect with, as well as a shorthand for the survey. Same with things like Themes and Backgrounds (which come up in the other two polls). I am stuck in a bit of a psychological rut with this (the writer's block), and thus need to shake myself out, but to get results more easily and more succinctly, I went with classes as a way to make it easier to respond (in the first draft of the 5e survey, someone saw text entry blocks and said, on the reddit post I put it in, that they weren't interested in writing out answers).

    Fourth, I haven't quite decided WHAT to do with the results. I'm not necessarily going to follow the survey results absolutely, as I (think?) I mention in the text. I may decide to see what happens when you take one level of each class per vote it receives; I may also see certain trends that DO lead me to a more fluid approach, and thus not use the stats. However, having the classes as a touchstone allows me quantify the data more easily - while I am reading the comments, if I get too many responses, I can look at the classes first to see what trends there are overall through those numbers. Then, I can use the data to make connections that lead to a more fluid character (in fact, that is the ideal).

    Fifth, it lets me tell others who are interested in something similar what kind of results I saw in concrete terms.

    Quote Originally Posted by Falontani View Post
    Dread Necromancer wasn't on your list; although Death Master was. The classes are slightly different mechanically, but can be very different in their fluff.

    Dread Necromancer, Binder, Hexblade, and Warlock are all phenomenal for actual stories imo. Darker grittier stories are good if written well. Looking at them from the point of the antagonist sounds awesome.
    Argh. I forgot Archivist too. I was very tired when I was pulling the list together (both times) and forgot a few things on accident. Thanks for the notice. (I intentionally left Healer off, though...). And thanks for the notes on those classes!

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    Default Re: Which Classes Would You Find Most Interesting to Read About?

    I don't mind the idea of classes so much (obviously, since I'm on a D&D forum), insofar as they certainly shape and/or reflect a character, but they also provide both a framework and a challenge to character-building (e.g. making THIS wizard not only mechanically but personally different than Some Stock Wizard build/personality).

    Having said all of that, I'd be interested in reading a bard-centric story, since.. for an iconic D&D class, they aren't very iconic in literature, movies, etc.

    You can hardly swing a kobold without hitting exemplars of many of the standard D&D classes, whether it be the paladin/knight-in-shining-armor, the underhanded rogue with a heart of gold, the wise old wizard, the impetuous blood magic of a sorcerer, the holy figure whose faith drives toward greatness or terror, the world-weary mercenary, the rugged figure of the wilds, the harnesser of nature's power, Arnold Schwarzenegger, or David Carradine. (OK, maybe that last one is a LITTLE specific, but martial arts generally, perhaps.)

    But who is an iconic bard? Picture a bard, if you will. Chances are, unless you have a very specific past character or particular story in mind there's a good chance that at least one mental picture that comes to mind is foppish, complete with a feather in a cap, and a lute is involved. OotS's Elan pretty much takes this "you spoony bard" archetype and runs with it -- because how many well-known bard iconic characters are there?

    I'm not saying there aren't any stories with bards in them - I'm just saying that bards seem to lack the well-known strong exemplars that other classes seem to enjoy.

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    Quote Originally Posted by tiercel View Post
    I don't mind the idea of classes so much (obviously, since I'm on a D&D forum), insofar as they certainly shape and/or reflect a character, but they also provide both a framework and a challenge to character-building (e.g. making THIS wizard not only mechanically but personally different than Some Stock Wizard build/personality).

    Having said all of that, I'd be interested in reading a bard-centric story, since.. for an iconic D&D class, they aren't very iconic in literature, movies, etc.

    You can hardly swing a kobold without hitting exemplars of many of the standard D&D classes, whether it be the paladin/knight-in-shining-armor, the underhanded rogue with a heart of gold, the wise old wizard, the impetuous blood magic of a sorcerer, the holy figure whose faith drives toward greatness or terror, the world-weary mercenary, the rugged figure of the wilds, the harnesser of nature's power, Arnold Schwarzenegger, or David Carradine. (OK, maybe that last one is a LITTLE specific, but martial arts generally, perhaps.)

    But who is an iconic bard? Picture a bard, if you will. Chances are, unless you have a very specific past character or particular story in mind there's a good chance that at least one mental picture that comes to mind is foppish, complete with a feather in a cap, and a lute is involved. OotS's Elan pretty much takes this "you spoony bard" archetype and runs with it -- because how many well-known bard iconic characters are there?

    I'm not saying there aren't any stories with bards in them - I'm just saying that bards seem to lack the well-known strong exemplars that other classes seem to enjoy.
    Interesting. And a good point. I think that Leader-type roles (in 4e terms) are often woefully underrepresented in main characters, likely due to the support role they tend to play - and Bards are the support-iest of the most supporting characters, with many iconic abilities only working in conjunction with other PCs.

    Some characters DO have many of the traits we associate with Bards are seen in some major characters. There is the meme on Tumblr which argues that Link is a bard, due to his versatility and gaining magic through performance. But, in general, they aren't SEEN as bards; rather, they are seen as just charismatic fighters and/or mages. So... that is a good argument for considering the bard. Thank you for that!

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    Default Re: Which Classes Would You Find Most Interesting to Read About?

    Personally I'd like to read about an Arcanist or Magus.
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    Last edited by BlueWitch; 2019-10-13 at 01:19 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by the_david View Post
    No classes.
    Or you could go the other way and embrace classes. In my campaign setting World of Prime, classes and levels are real things. People do ask "are you a fighter" or "what level are you?" I found it interesting enough to write a whole series (Sword of the Bright Lady - though it is through the eyes of a mechanical engineer from Earth).

    I've put up a bunch of free stuff on DriveThruRPG about how tangible classes and XP affects the D&D world (answer - not as much as you'd think). Can't post links yet but just search for MC Planck if you're interested.

    Making classes and levels real things fixes a whole host of problems with D&D. Why do high level people protect unleveled peasants? Why do wizards make magic swords? Why do heroes do side-quests? Why don't Shadows consume the whole world? All of these are explained under my system. And really the only rule I had to change was the XP curve (it doubles at every step, making high levels much rarer).

    Living in a world where 3rd Level Fighter is a real thing, and it means he can take three swords to the face and still kick your behind, feels to me a lot like living in a medieval world where nobles were viewed with superstition, a world where the aristocracy really are better than everyone else. That's quite foreign to our modern way of thinking, but in the middle ages it was just normal.

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    A gestalt Illithid Savant // Dread Pirate. A Dread Necromancer.

    Quote Originally Posted by Kelb_Panthera View Post
    I'd like to see a story centered around a proper high level wizard. That is a wizard who has the power to manipulate the rules of reality in some properly spectacular ways, not just a guy in a robe that can put you to sleep if you let him get too close. I could see the latter at a dive-bar in the wrong part of town.
    Or this.

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    Default Re: Which Classes Would You Find Most Interesting to Read About?

    Asking to add Dragonfire Adept (3.5) to non-core class list.


    "Tatiana is effective, devoted, and loyal, but she's disturbing. Dedicating yourself wholeheartedly to becoming something better, that I understand. Dedicating yourself to becoming something inhuman—that I don't."
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    This note of transhumanism in D&D is extremely diggable. And it is implied in the class' fluff that the transformation is not only physical and metaphysical, but psychological as well; it would be fantastic to read a story where the protagonist starts human and relatable, and has to intentionally mold himself into a wholly alien mindset in order to grow and advance.
    Last edited by Lord Haart; 2019-10-14 at 02:11 AM.
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    Default Re: Which Classes Would You Find Most Interesting to Read About?

    A Bladebound Magus has some prime potential for storytelling, anything from buddy cop with his sword to a gritty thing with the sword being the only thing keeping him on the straight path (or the thing trying to push him from it)

    A scrollmaster wizard would be great in a comedy.

    I also think a packmaster hunter would be interesting, but probably not as a main character.
    Last edited by RatElemental; 2019-10-14 at 02:53 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Lord Haart View Post
    Asking to add Dragonfire Adept (3.5) to non-core class list.


    (A rulebook quote)

    This note of transhumanism in D&D is extremely diggable. And it is implied in the class' fluff that the transformation is not only physical and metaphysical, but psychological as well; it would be fantastic to read a story where the protagonist starts human and relatable, and has to intentionally mold himself into a wholly alien mindset in order to grow and advance.
    D'oh! Thanks for noting the omission. It may be late before I get to add it but I will try to do so by tonight.

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    Default Re: Which Classes Would You Find Most Interesting to Read About?

    Alright... it's been going for a few days now. I"m going to leave it open in perpetuity most likely, but results have slowed down for now and I figured I'd do a quick share of what results came in from the first big wave. I'll mostly be focused on the classes and not the archetypes, with one major exception. No identifying information will be provided as none was collected, though voters have self-identified in this thread already; this is just in case anyone is interested in seeing the results for their own curiosity or future works. Note that these don't include any votes mentioned in the comments, though I did read those all as well.

    Core
    The Bard was far and away the most interesting core class, with six votes. Interestingly, there was was a strong tendency for Savage Bard, which carried into some of the later voting - it's the one archetype or subclass besides "vanilla" mentioned more than once in this survey. Rogue, Sorcerer, and Wizard all nabbed 4 votes for most interesting; Druid, Paladin, and Ranger each got one. No love for barbarians, clerics, fighters, or monks in this round.

    Non-Core 3.5
    The results here were far more uniform - no class received more than two votes save the Sha'ir, which got three. Archivist, Dread Necromancer, Soulknife, and Warlock came away with two each, and Artificer, Beguiler, Binder, Duskblade, Factotum, Spellthief, Spirit Shaman, Truenamer, Warblade, and Wu Jen all got one apiece. Of course, the results here may be skewed due to late additions of a few classes, including the Dragonfire Adept.

    Base Pathfinder
    This race came out in a tie! I had four votes for Witch, and four for the Magus. The runner up slot ALSO had a tie, with three apiece for Summoner and Spiritualist (who are very similar concepts...). Anti-Paladin, Gunslinger, Kinteicist, Mesmerist, and Oracle each got one vote each.

    Hybrid
    This was interesting. Investigator had an early lead and maintained it for a long time with three votes; however, near the end, the Skald came up and got four to end the day. The Arcanist, Bloodrager, Brawler, Hunter, AND Swashbuckler got two each, and the Shaman and Slayer each got one.

    I still don't know EXACTLY what I"m going to do with these results. However, I DID notice some interesting patterns. There seems to be a few trends being favored - primal-type magic and deals with strange forces seem to be very popular overall (given multiple votes for savage bard AND the popularity of Skald, which has a similar role). The Summoner and Spiritualist are separate classes but with similar concepts - call upon a spiritual force to aid you in combat. The Witch, Warlock, Binder, and Sha'ir all make deals with strange entities and wield unusual powers as a result of that deal. Conversely, basic martial classes weren't common in the main class lists, with the fighter and barbarian not even getting noticed - but alternatives such as the Brawler and the Swashbuckler, did enjoy some support. Now, if I was to do this differently, as discussed here and elsewhere, I may have done ranking, thermometer scores, or other tricks to show the overall support (and relative support) for each class as "interesting." However, we're still seeing that people seem to have preferences for certain things - mostly magic, sometimes "dark magic," and combat often with either special tactics or the application of magic alongside the martial skill. Also, there's a tendency for skilled characters - bards and rogues and hybrids that include them were very popular in the grand scheme of things.

    Interestingly, the tendency for deals with dark powers does happen in 5e as well - the Warlock is by far the most voted-for class in that edition. So there's something there worth paying attention to as to what people find "interesting."

    So... definitely a few things worth considering. Thanks to all who voted! I don't know where this is going to go, but I do have some information to work with!

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    Default Re: Which Classes Would You Find Most Interesting to Read About?

    If you want interesting Races, I vote for stuff from Bastards and Bloodlines. Mainly the Kestral and Spring Child.

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    Originally Posted by Kelb_Panthera
    …a guy in a robe that can put you to sleep if you let him get too close. I could see the latter at a dive-bar in the wrong part of town.
    So Rincewind, basically?

    Originally Posted by tiercel
    But who is an iconic bard?
    Will Scarlett comes to mind.

    A more modern version might be Jon-Tom Meriweather, in that he combines music with magic, with varying results. He’s probably the only bard who’s successfully managed to cast Raise Dead.

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    Quote Originally Posted by EndlessKng View Post
    Argh. I forgot Archivist too.
    A shame. I would have voted for Archivist. I settled for Cloistered Cleric since I felt those were similar enough to not be a total let down. I don't get to enjoy too many "Divine" stories these days since it is rare for an author to actually go into any serious depths on the nature of the protagonist's religion. What do they worship, why do they worship, how do they worship, and what are their list of 10 things that they are absolutely positively not allowed to do.

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    Default Re: Which Classes Would You Find Most Interesting to Read About?

    High level and high-optimization level Wizard or Sor. I'm biased.
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    Default Re: Which Classes Would You Find Most Interesting to Read About?

    There was a particular D&D campaign where I started at 6th level and decided to play a sorcerer/elemental savant specializing in cold magic. Some catastrophic event was tearing the world apart, so my party and I hopped through some sort of planar portal to escape. The DM decided that, rather than rolling randomly to decide where we ended up, my character's attunement to cold was strong enough to act as a focus and caused the portal to send us straight to the para-elemental plane of frost.
    It made for an interesting game when, halfway through session 2, everything became immune to the energy type that all of my damaging spells were automatically converted to. I had a bit of metamagic to work around it (Piercing Cold), but rather than use the higher spell slots I generally tried to be a bit more... creative with my spells.

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    Default Re: Which Classes Would You Find Most Interesting to Read About?

    I would like to read about some "expert"-type
    Garret the Shadow from the Chronicles of Siala is one of my favorite characters

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