History of the Classes

Writer and game designer Brandes Stoddard explores the history of each of D&D’s classes, from OD&D to 5e.

13th AgeACKSD&D 1eD&D 2eD&D 3.5eD&D 4eD&D 5eDungeon WorldHistory of the Classes

Hit Points, Dying, and Death

Quite some time back, the estimable Tim Baker sent me this: I had an idea for a topic or maybe even a series that you could consider covering in the future.  I'd love to hear your take on damage, dying, and ...
D&D 3.5eHistory of the ClassesWuxia / Oriental Adventures

The Monk Class, Part Eight

At a reader’s request, I’m going back to the 3.0 Oriental Adventures and covering the monk prestige classes found there. In this series’ broader conversation on monks, this and the 1e Oriental Adventures are our only examples of settings that ...
D&D 3.5eHistory of the Classes

The Monk Class, Part Seven

At the request of a reader, this article in the History of the Monk offers an overview of the monk-friendly prestige classes of 3.x D&D. In the interest of keeping this manageable, I’m really only addressing 3.5; just about everything ...
13th AgeHistory of the Classes

The Monk Class, Part Six

As promised in the comments of last week’s article, today I’m covering the monk class in 13th Age, which was released in the 13 True Ways expansion. As a general rule, no two classes in 13th Age have much in ...
D&D 4eHistory of the Classes

The Monk Class, Part Five

We come now to the monk of Fourth Edition D&D, which as I have been hinting for a long time is a very unusual presentation of the class. In the source-role jargon of the edition, it is the only Psionic ...
D&D 3.5eHistory of the ClassesPathfinder RPG

The Monk Class, Part Four

After a hiatus of more than two months, welcome back to the History of the Monk Class. Last time, I covered 2e, which has an awkward and widely varied approach to the class. I think that for a lot of ...
D&D 2eHistory of the Classes

The Monk Class, Part Three

As we have another week without Unearthing any Arcana, I can at last return to our discussion of the monk class in D&D. Today I’m looking at AD&D, Second Edition, and like all even-numbered editions, the monk is not a ...
D&D 1eHistory of the ClassesWuxia / Oriental Adventures

The Monk Class, Part Two

Another Monday without a UA article, so another Thursday with a new History of the Classes article: to every cloud, its silver lining. (Just a few hours late; I have a pretty unforgiving head cold.) Today I’m tackling one of ...
History of the Classes

The Monk Class, Part One

It’s been, um, a little while now since the History of the Classes column covered character classes rather than social classes. Other than the Warlock, Part Zero, back in October, I haven’t covered classes since February of last year. Thanks ...
D&D 5eHistory of the Classes

Unearthed Arcana: Ranger & Rogue Breakdown

This week in Unearthed Arcana we have three new subclasses: two for the ranger, one for the rogue, and one for the little boy who lives down the lane. They’ve drawn themes from a 3.5e prestige class, a 2e kit, ...