Certain class and race combinations in D&D just seem to make sense. They are the old favourites and the stereotypes that define the genre. We know them all, the sturdy Dwarven Fighter, the nimble Elven archer, the cunning Halfling Rogue and so on. These combinations are fun to play because they work and they are safe. Occasionally, a new wrinkle will be added to give these old classics some new flavour.
One of our original articles discussed Overplayed Characters, today I want to look at combinations that aren’t typical. I’m sure there are many other combinations beyond the ones I present here. The options listed below are ones where the racial attribute modifiers play towards the particular class or where engaging role playing opportunities are presented.
Dwarves are the best race and one of my favourite races in D&D. I was surprised at some of the similarities that Dwarves share with Elves when I took a look at some of the combinations here. These two races are often seen as having an historic feud, so recognizing that both excel at similar classes was refreshing.
Dwarves are known for being stoic Fighters. One of the greatest fantasy stereotypes is the Dwarven axe-wielding Fighter. While this stereotype exists for a reason, Dwarves are also very good at certain other roles. I’m constantly astounded by the versatility that this race provides when it comes to class choice.
In addition to melee combat, Dwarves excel at several primal and divine classes. The Seeker, Druid and Invoker all work off of Dwarves bonus to Wisdom. Dwarven Druid’s aren’t the typical stereotype that are associated with this race. Nor are longbow wielding forces of nature the typical thought we have of Dwarves, but the Seeker is a great fit for this race.
Another interesting options that keeps the Dwarf in the martial tradition is the Ranger. With the racial modifier to Wisdom that Dwarves receive, the secondary modifier for this class is well in hand. The Dwarf bonus to Constitution makes a great melee Ranger, but I think a ranged option could also have some intriguing possibilities.
The first class that comes to mind when I think Halfling is the Rogue. However, this need not be the case. In fact there are a great deal of classes that work with the Halflings attributes and they are far from typical, though some of them still incorporate the mischievous nature of this race.
While the Halfling could be adept at any number of roles the Sorcerer and Warlock both fit perfectly into the mold of a character who is looking to have a little fun at the expense of his foes. Halflings aren’t typically known for being connected to the arcane power source, but these two classes fit nicely with the bonus to Charisma that the Halfling receives.
Another interesting choice for the Halfling is the Paladin. The Halfling Charisma bonus ties in nicely with the Paladin’s secondary attributes. To me this combination presents some interesting role playing possibilities. The Halfling stereotype doesn’t portray most Halflings as being very serious and the Paladin is seen as a class that almost takes itself too seriously. Some fun and interesting opportunities present themselves to me with this combination. What drove the Halfling to the life of a crusader on behalf of a deity?
Created for war, this race best fits within the martial tradition. Two interesting class choices for this race that has been created are the Cleric and the Wizard.
The Cleric is an interesting choice as the Warforged are created in the forge and developing a relationship with a deity makes for a very interesting back story full of great role playing opportunity. How did the character come to faith? How do they reconcile being created to being born?
The Wizard offers another great role playing opportunity for a race created through arcane power, but built for just the opposite purpose. How did the character develop his understanding of arcane power?
While neither of these classes builds on the Warforged racial bonuses they present great role playing possibilities. Additionally, these two builds could result in well rounded and balanced characters.
What other class and race combinations break the traditional mold that you’ve had fun playing with?