Hello and welcome back to Big Natural 20’s! This is a blog about Dungeons and Dragons and if you haven’t read my blog before, feel free to go back read my two other articles, titled All the Dice and Grab Your Dice and Roll.
Article by Sara Gann
Today we are talking about character classes! This is a pretty lengthy subject, so I’m going to break this down into four smaller bite-size articles. There are twelve classes in all, so that means three classes per article and you’re going to get everything you need to know about how to make one, equipment, the dice you need and everything else!
I decided to go with classes instead of races because these two go hand and hand so you will be getting both, which is another reason I am splitting these into separate articles.
So I am just going to go straight down the line from the Player’s Handbook and the first three are Barbarian, Bard, and Cleric!
- Hit Die: 1d12
- Ability Scores: Strength, Constitution
- Suggested Background: Outlander
The tank! The strongman! The viking! Whatever you want to call him (or her, cause women can be strong too) you definitely want one of these in your group. Barbarians are known as natural leaders and live a life full of danger and they thrive in it.
Typically Barbarians are sturdy characters, but the great part about DnD is that you can make any type of character you want. So when looking to make this type of hard hitting strongman, normally this class paired with races like half orcs, humans and dwarfs. Each of these have different modifiers depending on what race you choose, but we will come back to that.
Proficiencies: Barbarians are proficient with light armor, medium armor and shields. They are also good with simple weapons and martial weapons. When choosing skills, stick with things you think a barbarian would be good at. The Player’s Handbook suggests skills like Athletics, Intimidation, Perception, and Survival.
Rage: So the interesting thing about Barbarians is they have this thing called Rage. So when your character is in combat, Barbarians can use this Rage as a bonus action. This is a primal attack and it is fierce and becomes more and more deadly as you level up. So what is Rage? If your character is not wearing heavy armor, they can do some awesome things when raging, for example, you have an advantage on strength checks and saving throws. Barbarians deal more damage when using melee weapons. The damage your character can inflict increases as you level them up. As a Barbarian, you also have a resistance to certain weapons in the bludgeoning, slashing, and piercing categories. However, there are some drawbacks. Rage only lasts a minute and when you are a level one Barbarian you can only use Rage twice, and then your character must take a long rest to regain their strength.
- Hit Die: 1d8
- Ability Scores: Charisma, Dexterity
- Suggested Background: Entertainer
This would be your musical friend who is actually super knowledgeable and charismatic. Bards are very personable and can make adventuring so fun if you have one in your group. Bards are spellcasting characters and can help influence NPC’s. If you are looking to make a bard, consider races like Drow, Halfling, Human, and Half Elf.
Proficiencies: Bards specialize with simple weapons and wear light armor. Bards are proficient in three instruments but only get one or two depending on their background.
Magic: Bards are spellcasting characters. They can use these spells differently depending on the situation they are in. We will cover spellcasting in a whole different article, but right now I will do the best I can to explain some of it. Bard spells are different from other spell casting characters and have a limited set of known spells as they level. They get to change one spell if they want.
So every spellcasting character has spellcasting slots. In the Player’s Handbook, there is a table on page 53 to help you with this. At a first level, Bard’s know four spells and two cantrips, but have only two available spell slots. So what does this mean? And what is a cantrip?
Let’s start with the easy question. What is a cantrip? A cantrip is a spell, but it is not the same as a spell. Does that make sense? The main difference between a cantrip and a spell is that cantrips do not use a spell slot. Cantrips are weaker spells that can be used as much or as little as you want. You acquire more Bard cantrips, spells, and spell slots as you level up. You can cast a spell and a cantrip on the same turn IF you cast the cantrip as a bonus action.
Bardic Inspiration: This helps you influence creatures around you with your words or music. When you use Bardic Inspiration, the creature you are trying to inspire gains a Bardic Inspiration die, which is a d6. Whoever you are trying to inspire can only have one inspiration die at a time, so within the next 10 minutes after, this creature can roll the inspiration dice and add that number to a saving throw, ability check, or attack roll. Perk: You can wait to use your Inspiration die after you roll a d20 to decide if you want to use the inspiration or not.
Jack of All Trades: At level two, you can start using Jack of all Trades. This means, in super easy terms, that everything you’re good at gets your proficiency bonus and everything you aren’t good at get half your proficiency bonus. For example, at level one if you don’t have a certain skill, like animal handling, Jack of All Trades makes it so it is a +1.
- Hit Die: 1d8
- Ability Scores: Wisdom, Strength or Constitution
- Suggested Background: Acolyte
We all have that friend who always has band aids or aspirin when we need it. This would be the Cleric. Clerics are divine casters, which means they derive their power from their deity and that includes healing! Woot! Having someone who can heal your team is essential!
When making a Cleric, the races to look at would be Dragonborn, Elf, and Dwarf.
Proficiencies: Clerics are proficient with light armor, medium armor and shields as well as simple weapons. When choosing skills, The Player’s Handbook recommends History, Medicine, Insight, and Religion.
Magic: Since Clerics are divine casters, they can use cleric spells. At a level one, clerics have two spellcasting slots and know three cantrips. Clerics have a massive spell list and depending on the domain they choose there are some minor differences between other spell casting characters.
Divine Domain: Once you have chosen a deity, you get to choose a Divine Domain. This includes Knowledge, Light, Life, Trickery, War, Nature and Tempest. Depending which one you choose, you get certain domain spells. This is a good feature because once you gain these spells, they are always ready and they don’t count against the spells you can cast each day. If you want to know what each domain does, you can look at DnD Beyond.
Channel Divinity: At the second level, you get the ability to channel divine energy directly from whichever deity you chose. The first one you start with is Turn Undead. Which means any undead that can see or hear you within 30 feet are affected and have to make Wisdom saving throw. When you get Channel Divinity, you also get an effect from the domain you chose. You have to rest after you use Channel Divinity.
Creating a character can be super overwhelming, but I want to help! This is just the first of a series of class blog posts and I hope I covered everything!
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Ok so it’s time to wrap this up! Next time I’ll be covering Druids, Fighters and Monks in Kickin’ Some Class! Part 2, so gather your tribe and make some awesome characters!
Featured image credit: dnd.wizards.com