Saturday, February 19, 2022

Elves of Karameikos - 5E Musings

A combination fighter / mage is what the B/X BECMI elf is, essentially. So what are the options for something like this in D&D 5E?

First off, I'm not going to try to replicate super-faithfully the rules in the Cyclopedia -- If I did, I might as well be playing B/X or BECMI rules. What I'm after is something that approximates the flavor of the setting as implied by the rules.

Option 01: Elf Multi-Classing

The most straightforward approach would be to have Elves multi-class -- but only the fighter / mage combination for the most part. There's two approaches for leveling for this option.

Approach A - alternating Fighter / Mage

If we follow the standard D&D approach, then the character starts off at 1st level with either fighter or mage, then the next level they choose the other class -- and so on until the end (20th level).

Under D&D 5E, one of the implications of this would be that if you start off as a mage, you lose out on the heavy armor proficiency once you get to second level. I might rule that elves start off first with fighter, then go to mage. There is another option, though.

Approach B - combined Fighter / Mage levels

The other approach is to combine levels. 1st level elf fighter / mages are technically 2nd level already, and have to gain enough experience to clear both 2nd, 3rd, and 4th levels to get the next fighter / mage level and all the associated leveling benefits.

The downside here is that the player loses out on the experience of leveling and getting new abilities alongside everyone else. But they do get a big jump in abilities each time they do!

There's probably more to these approaches, but these are the implications I can see off the top of my head.

Option 02: Classes that can fight & cast spells

Another approach would be to select a class (or class archetype) that allows for fighting and spellcasting. In 5E, the possibilities would be:
  • Fighter (Eldritch Knight)
  • Ranger
  • Druids
The Fighter (Eldritch Knight) is primarily a fighter that casts offensive spells. This is a possibility, but shouldn't be the most common version of the elves. All out combat is at odds with the versatility of their class originally.

The Ranger would be ideal, but apparently it's one of the worst (?) classes in 5th edition. That's a helluva fall from being the 'broken, overpowered' class of AD&D 1st edition. But it may be just fine with special abilities of the elf -- or if we tweak the class a bit to improve it.

The Druid is a close second to the Ranger. It has that mystical woodland creature feel, and their abilities are certainly a reflection of that. Perhaps the Karameikos elves would be a combination of Rangers & Druids -- but they dress similarly to human eyes, so folks rarely can tell the difference between the wo.

No comments:

Post a Comment

That's my side of things. Let me know what you think, my friend.