If you have played role-playing games for more than a few years you have likely found a certain class that has your name on it. For myself it is absolutely the arcane spell casters. Wizards and sorcerers have been my bread and butter for decades at this point. Although I occasionally dabble in other classes I always come back to them at some point.
What is it that continually draws me back wanting to play something that tosses magic around? As much as I would love to say it’s simply the thought of being special and having the ability to cast magic, the truth is probably more simple than that. It’s about the strategy of playing them
Dungeons and Dragons is a game of rules. As much as the roleplaying is important, and it is, so is the function of the game. Sure, certain rules might change and each DM will have their own house rules, but the form and function of the game hasn’t really changed much since it’s creation.
I began playing with the second edition. Movement and actions were the bread and butter of the game at that time period, just as with fifth edition. How many actions per round and how far you can move have changed over the years, but the basic principles are still the same. Move, enter combat, do your actions.
Chess is an incredible game with many thousands of moves. Dungeons and Dragons is similar to chess, but it expands well beyond it. Every scenario will be different. One fight you may be on flat ground against a half dozen guys, the next fight could be hovering on a bridge over an acid pit while fending off flying creatures from all sides in a 3d battlefield. The possibilities are endless.
When it comes to choosing the class that best suits what you want out of the strategy portion of the game I recommend playing everything you can. Over time you will start to get a feel for what works best for your play style.
Some people want to keep things as simple as possible. Fighters, monks, and barbarians are great for this. Rarely any spells to worry about and they generally just want to get close to the opponent and smash them into a pulp.
If you seek a bit more complexity then try the ranger, paladin, or rogue. These classes seek to either attack up close or pepper the enemy with arrows. The strategies can vary, but it’s rarely anything too complex. Although it might take a while for the power of these classes to fully come online, you won’t be disappointed when they do.
All of the other classes take some work to get used to. When you start adding large spell lists into the mix it takes some time to get the necessary mindset to play them correctly. If you’re new and want to play them, get a little guidance from others who have run the gauntlet with them.
When you find that one type of class that really suits what you want out of the game it will feel natural. This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t play others. Sometimes those play styles can change over time, especially with different editions of the game. Plus, variety is the spice of life, or so they say.