Greetings, Shackers. It's Friday and that means it's time for another installment of Shack Chat! After all the Baldur's Gate 3 news last week a lot of us here at Shacknews have been jonesing to play some D&D. So we thought it might a good time to dust off our d20's and dungeon master guides to answer the age-old question: What is your favorite class or race in Dungeon & Dragons?
Half Orc - Asif Khan, Dah boo
Half Orcs get a strength buff and are nerfed in the charisma department. This seems right up my alley as I tend to be a brute force sort of player in any roleplaying game. Half orcs are a little more friendly with other races like elves and dwarves, so that is also my jam. Despite that more friendly attitude, I want to be able to wreck fools when I do battle. So Half Orc it is.
Human Wizard - Ozzie Mejia, Senior Editor
I'm a sucker for wizards, mostly because I think of Gandalf yelling out, "YOU SHALL NOT PASS!" And that's funny because I'm not even a Tolkien fan!
There's also something fun about powerful mages, who can be average Joes like myself, who train themselves to become all-powerful through sheer will and dedication. It's why I gravitate towards Doctor Strange in the Marvel Universe, why I like playing the Mage in Hearthstone, and why I'll lean towards any magical class in something like Dungeons & Dragons.
Tiefling Barbarian - Blake Morse, Reviews Editor
The last time I played a campaign I was Bjorn Skullcrusher, a badass barbaric Tiefling who fancied themself a musician. While I wasn’t any good at playing my lute made of bones, I could conjure up some pretty brutal tones using my race’s inherent abilities. Before I would charge into battle I would use my cantrips to make songs that sounded similar to bands like AC/DC or Metallica play and cause the ground to shake in the hopes of intimidating my enemies. It was probably one of the more creative characters I’ve ever come up with.
There’s just something about the demon-like Tieflings that feels super hardcore D&D to me and I usually tend to play as straight-forward characters like a warrior or barbarian so I don’t get in over my head with spells and other things I don’t have a good grasp on. Combining the more mystical Tieflings with a class that was sort of against type was a really fun experience and a good way for me to dip my toe in the more mystic aspects of the game while keeping myself in familiar territory.
Goliath - Bill Lavoy, Bearkiller
If I remember correctly, I played D&D one time in the 90s, but that’s it. Still, I’m all in on Baldur’s Gate 3, and this Shack Chat question was an opportunity for me to explore that world a bit more.
After looking up D&D races, Goliath immediately jumped out at me. I enjoy physically strong characters in any game, but some of the race details are what sold me in the end. Goliaths wander a bleak realm of rock, wind, and cold, which could just be called Canada. They also believe in fair play, which is in line with my own values.
In the end, though, it was a nickname that caught my eye. From now on, just refer to me as Bearkiller. If you know anything about my gaming preferences, this will make sense.
Bard? - Chris Jarrard, Feels he is above this nerd stuff
Disclaimer: I have never played D&D in my life and wouldn’t know where to begin. I can barely read at a third grade level and all my board game friends think that I am a loser. I asked my work husband Sam Chandler what I should do and he said to take a Bard all the way, so this is my plan. Merriam-Webster defines bard as a poet, traditionally one reciting epics and associated with a particular oral tradition. I’m all about oral, so I think Sam knows what he’s talking about. It’s always good to have friends you can trust.
Human Paladin - Sam Chandler, Guides Editor
I like being the good guy and I like being able to more easily understand the physiological properties of my character. While elves and giants and dragons are cool, and although I can empathize with them and pretend to be one, I like projecting myself into the world.
I also enjoy the virtues and honor associated with the paladin class. I love the idea of going on a journey for some righteous reason and helping those along the way.
Human Rogue - Donovan Erskine, Repairing relationship with David Craddock
I have never played a single session of D&D in my life. That being said, my best guess is that I’d enjoy an adventure as a human Rogue. Their characteristics and skill sets typically fall in line with what I lean towards in video games of a similar nature. Reading these other answers, I think we’ve got the makings for a Shack Staff D&D campaign!
Human Paladin - Brittany Vincent, Senior Editor
I've never played Dungeons & Dragons, but obviously the character archetypes are rooted in most games I have. With that in mind, I'd probably choose a paladin or a ranger because they seem the closest to the character types I would play in similar games. I'm also interested in seeing what a bard could bring to the table, but I'm not really interested in tabletop games so much. Maybe one day if I create a character I'll stick to one of these archetypes because they seem the most closely aligned. Also, I really dig being human.
Tiefling Rogue - Josh Hawkins, Guides guy
Tieflings are by far one of the most interesting races for me when it comes to Dungeons & Dragons. As a people that have spent their lives being eyed by everyone, and accused of any mischievous doings, the race just feels perfect for a good storyline that offers plenty of conflict within the party as players come to trust it. That being said, I’ve always been drawn to the rogue class in video games and D&D. I don’t know what it is about rogues that make me feel so great, but I love the sneakiness that comes into play with this particular class.
Pretty much every RPG I’ve ever played I’ve played a rogue. The class just feels so great for working your way through massive open-worlds, or even more linear approaches. The number of things that rogues can do just fits really nicely with what I want from a character, and I’m excited to play Baldur’s Gate 3 (which obviously spurred this entire conversation) as a rogue when it releases.
Dragonkin Monk - TJ Denzer, Heart of Fire, Conveyer of News
A late addition to the D&D race list, Dragonkin have a particular stigma about them. They are proud beings like their ancestors, and yet have been sought and used by malevolent forces as pawns of war. To me, playing a Dragonkin often means coming to grips with the follies of one’s own pride and fighting against one’s solitary nature in order to aid the group cause.
I think I found my favorite form of this when playing a Dragonkin Monk in one campaign. Having been used as a weapon by more evil forces from a young age, this particular Dragonkin Monk cast off weapons and armor and strapped a boulder to their back as a method of penance for the pain and suffering caused by others for the sake of proving their strength. It had the mildly comedic effect of making them look like a giant turtle, earning them the nickname, The Sleeping Tortoise.
It was only by joining with a group that they began to let go of the past and give their strength to a better purpose, but doing so meant rolling a self-inflicted Will check to unstrap the boulder from their back and utilize their strength and Monk skills to their fullest. Otherwise, they could do little outside of basic attacks and the Dragonkin’s special breath attack. That said, there are all sorts of way to play a Dragonkin that I find to be most enjoyable, but balancing their natural strength against brashness and pride is the core conflict I find most enjoyable when playing them.
Dungeon Master - David L. Craddock, long reads editor
In life, there are drivers, and there are passengers. Put me behind the wheel of any RPG system, and you're in for a wild ride. Warriors are meatheads. Mages are eggheads. Clerics believe in mystical sky daddies. To Dungeon Masters, they are puppets that dance on our strings.
Human Druid - Greg Burke, Maker of Videos
I love Dungeons & Dragons. I played it a lot growing up, but as an adult, I can appreciate it even more. I like playing as a Human, well, because I am human, and it’s easy to look at yourself and other players that are human. I know It’s a common thing, but I was never really interested in pretending I’m a 6ft tall Half Orc, or a 4ft tall Halfling. My favorite class is Druid. Being able to do things like talk to animals makes for some hilarious DM (Dungeon Master) situations. Using nature type spells to not really damage an enemy, but rather role play through something. Like growing vines on the side of a building so you and your party can climb it, creating fog so you can sneak by something or obscure the vision of guards or other NPCs. And I’m telling you “Speak with Plants” is absolutely the single best spell ever if you really want to make you DM think outside the box. Underwater breathing, Stone Shape, Shapechange, and more... The class is just a blast to role play.
Elf - Steve Tyminski
I think everyone’s failsafe race to pick in Dungeons & Dragons is either an Orc or an Elf. I’m going with Elf as my favorite. They can be magic users as well as sword fighters. Having options in D&D is always a good thing. Elves have always been seen as an enlightened and interesting group of people. They’re also able to live for a long time and keep their youthful appearance. There are also several variations of Elf so everyone playing can have their preference.
Monk - Jan Ole Peek - Grumpy Gamer
Image courtesy of D&D Beyond
As a Dungeon Master, I despise this class in particular, so it must make for a good player’s choice, right? Monks are not only experts in close combat, but also possess several unique features that can really influence a battle. Using their Ki points, Monks can perform a variety of bonus actions ranging from the greatly effective Stunning Strike to Deflect Missiles and Extra Attack. Perhaps the biggest selling point of the Monk class is that it gets access to many of these abilities at relatively low levels, making the Monk an early powerhouse in your party. While Monks have no magic abilities, they are some of the most effective fighters and incredibly fun to play. The first time you stun that big bad evil guy, just have a look at your DM’s face, and you won’t be able to contain that smirk.
It certainly looks like there would be quite a diverse party if the Shacknews crew ever decided to campaign together. Maybe one day we'll all get to sit down and adventure. But now that you know what our favorite races and classes are, it's time for you to let us know what you play as. Feel free to the join conversation in the comments and let us know what you're into when playing D&D.
Featured image: Hearthstone
Blake Morse posted a new article, Shack Chat: Who is your favorite class/race in D&D?
Lettuce pray lol
Half Troll Barbarian, but that was Rolemaster. Drow Fighters/Rogues/Warrior-mages or Half-Elf / Wood Elf / Grey Elf Rangers (that one "Archer" from Dragon magazine was especially nice) are always reliably good.
Most fun: Human Fighter and his Human Elementalist brother. Blage The Bold and Terrax The Tamer (he's still working on the sub-name).
Will no one think of the dwarves?!
Also the shack adventurer squad is screwed without a cleric if Craddock is the DM. I feel hordes of undead is his operandi normalem.
Dang I was going to write a long winded post about Foundry Virtual Tabletop, but it looks like this thread is about to expire.
Suffice to say: if you want to play D&D or other TTRPGs online I highly recommend: https://foundryvtt.com
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