The class you choose is an important part of your character. Probably the most important, in terms of rules. It determines what your character can contribute to the adventure party in both problem solving and combat. In this article, you’ll learn how Dungeons and Dragons classes differ and which one would be best for your character!
Since I expect this post to be read mainly by newer players, I will cover classes that aren’t available for free last. Here you can find the Basic Rules as a free PDF, which contain four classes. The website D&D Beyond has a more comprehensive overview of the classes. There you will find all twelve classes which I will cover here.
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Dungeons and Dragons Classes Overview
Just click on one of the Dungeons and Dragons classes to find out more about it! Besides the Artificer, all classes can be found in the Player’s Handbook 🛒.
You can imagine Barbarians as stereotypical Vikings, who intimmidate opponents with a huge weapons. Characters with this class can use their rage in combat to take less damage and get various other bonuses.
Barbarians often take the role of “tank” in a group. This means that they try to keep enemies away from the rest of the characters and protectively stand in the way during attacks.
Bards are singers, musicians, or other forms of entertainers. They use their art to create magic that they can use to aid allies as well as harm enemies. They can also inspire themselves and others to manipulate dice rolls.
Bards often take a supporting role in groups, reinforcing the other characters in what they do best. Additionally, in social interactions, they can often use their usually high Charisma values to act as the face of the group.
Clerics are priests of a deity and can cast magic through their faith. They heal allies and cast spells on enemies to gain the upper hand in battle. They can also contact the gods for advice and support.
Clerics can take a hit or two, but tend to play a more supportive role in groups.
Druids work magic by harnessing the power of nature for themselves. They can control plants and animals as well as the elements to solve problems. In addition, they can transform themselves into animals to crawl under a door as a small ladybug or intervene in a fight as a massive bear.
Druids often have a supporting role in groups, though there is a lot of flexibility here. With their control of the elements, they can often unleash tremendous forces to significantly change history.
Fighters are the most popular class, since they are great all-rounders. They use their combat experience to be fast, strong and able to handle any weapons and armor.
In groups, fighters are often the ones who really put the heat on the opponents and thus decisively influence fights. They can also take command and lead the other characters to victory.
Monks are masters of their bodies and the spiritual world. They can knock out opponents in battle with well-aimed blows, and are so fast that they don’t even notice.
Monks can quickly take out many opponents in battle and often remain unharmed themselves, which often makes them most effective in a group on the front lines.
Similar to clerics, paladins are also on a mission in the name of a god. These heavily armored warriors, however, are somewhat less inclined toward magic and more toward physical strength. They can put divine power into their blows to destroy enemies, but also use healing hands to tend to wounds.
Paladins often take the role of “tank” in a group. This means they stand in front of their allies to protect them, but they can also deal a lot of damage to enemies.
Rangers are nature-loving warriors. They have some magical abilities, which they can use to find paths in the wilderness or to communicate with animals, but also to strengthen their weapon attacks. They also have a special knowledge of certain monsters, which gives them many advantages for tracking and combat.
In a group, Rangers are often the guides, as they often know which paths are the fastest and safest. In battle, they know how to defend themselves with magic as well as with force of arms, which makes them dangerous warriors.
Rogues avoid open confrontations whenever possible, preferring to sneak around enemies to get to their target. If it does come to a fight, they can take out opponents with targeted attacks from the shadows.
Rogues, as part of a group, can often scout the way to gather information. They are also good at executing targeted attacks and taking out single enemies.
Unlike Wizards, Sorcerers are born with magical abilities. They can manipulate the spells they cast in unique ways, for example, to create a fireball that doesn’t harm allies or is completely silent.
Sorcerers often take on the role of magical damage dealers in groups. In addition, they can sometimes solve problems in creative ways by manipulating their own magic.
Warlocks have made a, pact with a powerful being to gain their magical abilities. This can be anything from a dragon, demon to an eldrich horror. They can cast incredible magic through this being, but must also abide by their pact, which can often lead to interesting roleplaying moments.
Warlocks can often deal a lot of damage in a fight and summon beings from other worlds to assist the party. In addition, with their often high Charisma values, they can speak well for the party in social interactions.
Mages are scholars who decipher the riddles of magic and use them for their own benefit. They usually focus on one school of magic and collect spells in a big spellbook. This wealth of knowledge gives them the power to shake the world to its foundations.
Mages often take on the role of magical damage dealers in groups. They can also be very helpful when the group is faced with a puzzle and intelligence and knowledge are required.
This class is not included in the Basic Rules, but can be found in Tasha’s Cauldron of Everything 🛒.
Artificers are able to create magic items. They can use them in different ways: As armor, weapons, or in the form of potions, which have various effects on the person drinking them. They can also create useful items such as bags that are larger on the inside than on the outside.
In groups, Artificers can take on different roles, depending on what kind of items they specialize in. They can deal tons of damage but also take a hit if needed.
Dungeons and Dragons Classes aren’t everything
You are going to need to find a group to play! Now, you have the option to play online or find a group to play in person. If you don’t have a goup you can even play a Solo-RPG and experience your very own story!