Friday, October 2, 2009

Friday Discussion: What Is Your Least Favorite D&D Class?

We're going to let it out for this edition of our Friday Discussion, and talk about character classes we just don't like. Is it the Monk? The Bard? The "That Guy" magnet, the Ninja? The Cleric? Whatever edition you call home right now, here's our question:

What Is Your Least Favorite D&D Class?

Stories/reasoning welcome! Have a wonderful weekend chock full of gaming!


Giga boy said...

I'm suspicious of any class outside of the four base classes (F, MU, C, T).

rologutwein said...

I would have to say that the Monk is my least favorite class. It has nothing to do with all the crazy powers and abilities they gain as they go up a level (just about every class has its share of that kind of wackiness). Rather, the class just doesn't seem to fit with the rest of the 'Western European' type classes (as I've always seen them). You throw them into a setting with Samurai, Yakuza and Trench-Coat wearing Ninjas? Then sure. But to have them as one of the main classes in a 'standard' D&D game just makes me think that someone liked the TV show 'Kung Fu' just a bit too much. And yes, of course this is all subjective ;)

canageek said...

Oh, oh this one is easy. At least if I restrict it to the base classes. Rouge. They need to be in melee to not suck. But the have a glass jaw. Really though I think my dilike of them comes from the games of D&D I played in high school. The rouge(s) always took it upon themselves to steal from the party, act like jerks and steal from every npc around. All becuse they 'had to play their character' after rouge its ninja since that is really a rouge but the crunchy people demand every character concept have its own implementation.

Mike said...

Depends on the edition. ;)

But I'll answer for 1E AD&D ... the magic-user. At low-levels, they're hideously weak, and if you don't pick the right spells for the day (assuming you even know them), you can be totally useless outside of combat.

One of the house rules I always used for 1E was to adapt the additional spells chart for the cleric class for magic-users. Same concept - high Intelligence = a few additional spells. Makes a tremendous difference at low levels.

Matthew W. Schmeer said...

FGHT 103: Intermediate Sword Fighting.

In this class, students will learn how to successfully use Swords +1 and Ogre-Slaying Knives in close combat quarters. Technical aspects of parrying, thrusting, hacking, and swinging wildly whilst retreating will be covered in detail. Prerequisites: successful completion of FGHT 101: Introduction to Swordplay and FGHT 102: Daggars and Broadsword Combat.
All students must be at least Level 2. This is a peanut-free classroom.

PatrickWR said...

Probably the assassin. That class (and all the expectations therein) has given rise to the stereotypical D&D character sitting with his back to every wall, refusing to march with the party, suspicious of every NPC (and some PCs) and generally acting like the odd man out.

Plus, if you're so proficient as an assassin, why do you need to go loot tombs and dungeons?

The Rusty Battle Axe said...

I'm with Patrick on this. The Assassin is the worst. The monk doesn't fit the standard campaign setting and the d4 hit dice are an oddity, considering the martial nature of the monk class. Even so, the assassin is pretty useless in most gaming situations as a character class.

John Reyst said...

Not my opinion, and granted its Pathfinder (not officially D&D) but by the statistics on, Druid is the least often visited page for classes. Half elf for races. Again, its Pathfinder though, so whatever that's worth.

Big McStrongmuscle said...

Eh, I've mellowed on assassins a little bit since seeing the Castles and Crusades interpretation. The ability to size up a potential opponents by silently watching them is a really useful talent - frankly, much handier than any Death Attack. Plus, most assassin characters seem to get that the party's going to be watching them very carefully, which generally ensures good behavior. I find that thieves actually tend to be more disruptive to the party dynamic (unless the assassin's hanging out with a paladin for some reason). Monks are pretty annoying too, though.

But if we're looking for worst class for any edition ever, I vote for the 3e prestige class Frenzied Berserker - once of the most broken classes of all time. It was a barbarian thing, with the special ability that once you went berserk, you *could not be killed by damage* until your rage ended. Which could easily be as much as 8-12 rounds later. Our DM sprung an NPC like this on us once. We dealt him more than 800 points of damage - 550 more hit points than he actually possessed, we would later learn - before we gave it up and wasted a scroll to immobilize him.

The Rusty Battle Axe said...

Hey, if we are talking Prestige Classes, then it is a whole other ballgame.

Swordgleam said...

In 1st ed, rogue. They sucked and were always (in my experience) played by jerks.

In 4e? All the classes seem useful so far, which is quite possibly my favourite thing about the system. I'd have to say that, as a DM, the fighter is the most personally frustrating for me, since he marks a lot of my monsters and then I can't do anything tactical with half of them. But the paladin still causes the most plot trouble, which is, as far as I can tell, their primary function.

greywulf said...

My least fun class to play is probably the Cleric, though as GM I love it when other players pick that class.

Clerics are just all about their gods and little about the character's personality itself. That just doesn't appeal to me.

Theresa said...

I'd have to say I don't like any of the classes. :) Unless that dolphin one is one of them.

I really like a certain class of man that works hard, takes out the trash, plays with his kids and spoils his wife! :) I am in love with you! xoxo

Badelaire said...

Sadly, I'd have to say the Barbarian, mostly because I've never been happy with a single implementation of how the class gets handled.

Either they are treated as some sort of "berzerker", or they're given a host of ranger-like abilities (survival, enhanced senses, etc.), or some addball combination of the two that doesn't seem to work right, with the occasional thief-like skill thrown in for some reason or another.

I think the biggest problem is that the Barbarian class was always meant to imitate Conan, and to a lesser degree, other literary barbarians like Thongor or Kothar or Brak. Of course, the problem with this is that these characters are all singular heroes in their own works, an "army of one" who's unbeatable at fighting, with the stealth of a master thief, the climbing and athletic ability of a mountain goat, and yet the worldliness and cosmopolitan savvy of a globe-trotting merchant. They are just uber-characters because they are the lone heroes of their stories, and trying to imitate that vibe in a game built around a party structure where everyone has roles just gets clonky when you're dealing with classes. Now the Barbarian is part fighter, part thief, part ranger, and supposedly as good or better than each of those classes individually because of his/her "savage vitality" or "animalistic senses" or some crap like that.

So yeah, I love the idea, hate the implementation.

Scott said...

I'm surprised no mention has been made of the joke classes Dragon magazine ran over the years. I would guess the least playable of the bunch was the Accountant.

Andreas Davour said...

I was going to say the Monk, since it fits so badly in most games. A kung fu weirdo doing wire fu? In my pseudo medieval Brownowl campaign? No way!

But, for pure uselessness nothing beats the Assasin, no.

The Rusty Battle Axe said...

@Theresa: Wow, that is fantasy.

1d30 said...

I'd say 1E Assassin for most useless. He gets Thief skills as two levels lower, but advances slower than the Thief too. He fights as a Thief. But if he can surprise a dude he gets a chance of an instant kill - but that can be made highly improbable by Mirror Image and impossible by Stoneskin. And the chance is rather low for people near his level or higher than him.

And he has to fight to gain higher levels of Assassin.

Only thing really going for him is that he doesn't top out on HD so if his CON is decent he can surpass the Fighter in HP at high levels. But that's minor.

Class I hate the most? Kensei from the 1E Oriental Adventures. I never liked the idea of weapon specialization because it's inherently a minmax rule. You specialize in longbow and longsword, you never have to use another weapon. When there's a campaign with people who have specializations I make sure to vary the types of weapon in treasure. Purchasing magic items is usually difficult in my campaigns too. So if you want to specialize in the katana that's cool, but don't count on finding many magical ones.

Well the Kensei is a class built around specialization with one weapon. If he picks up another one, he loses most of his special abilities.

OA as a whole book is overpowered compared to the 1E PHB. The Oriental Fighter (the Bushi) is like a Fighter but better. That's pretty much the standard for every class. But the Kensei gets initiative bonuses, attack and damage bonuses, etc. He's just pretty powerful. The OA Monk is more powerful than the PHB Monk, but I kind of expected that.

Kensan_Oni said...

Oh.. gee...

1st Edition, it would have had to have been the Druid. Some neat powers, but crippled almost everywhere in the game, and then you got to fight someone higher then your level to progress forward. Yeah, that wasn't horribly fun.

2nd Edition: Well, we didn't allow for kits, so I really don't have too strong a hatred for any class. I would have to say just off hand, the Knights of the Rose, from the Dragonlance game, but that's a fuzzy memory.

3rd Edition: For non-spellcaster, I hated the Barbarian. Didn't get the stuff the fighter got, didn't get the skill monkey from a Rogue. Just a HP sink. I hated it.

For Spellcasters, the Truenamer is the absolute Worst. Didn't act the way I wanted it to, didn't feel right for any party. Just hated how it fell short.

For 4E, it has to be the swordmage. The swordmage is a class that had a neat concept, but is held back by the execution of the system. It will never play how it was intended to be played, and has even fooled others into thinking that they way they must play it was the way it was suppose to be played in the first place. Complete and total design failure.

Marcelo Paschoalin said...

Monks are really my least favorite class. I understand the appeal of the Rogues and, while I don't use them, a player could convince me of allowing a Rogue on a casual adventure.

But Monks are completely out of question.

Wimwick said...

I'd have to say the Druid. I just haven't been able to enjoy them in 4e. In previous editions they were among my favourite classes.

I feel that WotC really changed the feel of this class with 4e. It seems like to large a departure from a mechanics standpoint from previous editions.

Zachary The First said...

@Theresa: Thank you, Non-Gaming Wife! Always nice of you to show up! ;) xoxo
Don’t sell me too hard here. I have a reputation to uphold.

JB said...

No love for the assassin? Jeez, folks...obviously you've never heard of multi-classing!

Since I am strictly a B/X guy these days, I have to say that I am quite pleased with every one of the seven classes (probably the reason I like B/X!). But if I had to pick a "least favorite" there are some things about the Elf class that bug me...the high Intelligence requirement over and inability to become an excellent fighter (I like my elves more Tolkien-esque).

In AD&D it would have to be the barbarian of Unearthed Arcana as so frigging worthless. Pick an environment? Don't use magic? They might as well called it "caveman." I never understood the appeal (the only person that ever played one in the campaigns of my youth was my little brother who took the class simply because he wanted to play a hulking fighter-type with a two-handed sword).

2nd edition+ It would have to be the bard for what they did to a very cool character. Though rangers and druids also suck for a variety of reasons.

Dyson Logos said...

The 1e AD&D Barbarian.

I mean, really, WTF.

A class that is balanced by making it unplayable with a regular party for the first 8 levels or so.

Norman Harman said...

Hands down the Bard.

Fantasy RPG to me is Conan, Swords and Sorcery/Sandals. Guys in tights strumming lutes and signing don't fit.

FG I decapitate things with my battle axe.

MU I warp the laws of nature to my will!

CL I am the hand of god!

Bard I sing songs and prance about.

Maybe I could handle a bard if you called him a Skald, gave him a kilt and a claymore.

Also, I absolutely hated the poems/songs in LoTR books. Made them unreadable for me.

rainswept said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Ambrose said...

1e I only ever played with the core classes, and I pretty much thought they were all necessary, but I'd go with Thief because the people I was playing with were extreme newbies at the time who played 1e because the books were being sold for 8 bucks a piece used at the local game store. The thief, like most newbie thieves I've played with, was a prick in a more negative way than the class implies.

2e? Just depends. No major issues with most of them, but I never got the spells per diem difference between wizards and clerics. But I like playing wizards, so I'm biased.

3e I didn't like specialists. Don't like them much in 2e either, but the single extra spell slot just wasn't worth a damn here.

3.5 I pretty much dug, except for specialists and prestige classes.

Pathfinder is what 3.5 should have been, in my opinion. I love it and it is the system for my current game. Not a single issue yet.

4e I'll just say that they all work. I can appreciate that, and you really can pick up and play just about any class. Works as well as anything.

Anonymous said...

Rules-wise: the Thief.

Conceptually: the Cleric.

Tim Shorts said...

Going with 1st Ed. Bard. How come you need to have all that experience to become an unemployed musician?

Hammer said...

The Bard.

I idea of a combat class who uses magical tunes has always seemed a bit too daft for my tastes.

Avatar said...

Of course is the Monk. I don't know who thought to put oriental warriors together with mages and knights was a good idea.
It doesn't make any sense to me. Perhaps this class could fit better in a special scenario, with more explanation. But is impossible to spawn monk warriors across your world and keep some sense in your campaign...

I never allow monks on my campaigns...

Frederic said...

I think the barbarian, no specific reason, I've just never even considered playing one.

I don't get the dislike of Monks. The whole association with oriental settings goes beyond me, they make perfect sense to me as "western/medieval" monks that fit in perfectly in regular fantasy settings. Brother Tuck with less alcohol (or not)?