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.

D&D 5eHistory of the Classes

The Druid Class, Part Six

Over the course of five articles on the Druid class, we’ve seen a radical shift in theme. They began as monsters, and developed into relatively staid nature-based spellcasters, dedicated to ethical principles of Balance and, perhaps, tormented into inaction by ...
D&D 4eHistory of the Classes

The Druid Class, Part Five

In last week’s article, we saw the likely zenith of the Druid class’s power, relative to the other classes in the game. Of course, we have two more editions to get through, so if I’m wrong, I willow someone an apology. ...
D&D 3.5eHistory of the Classes

The Druid Class, Part Four

As with… most of the history of D&D, really, the 3.0 Druid is in some regards a huge break from the baby-steps of evolution that took place in the class from OD&D through 2e. The shift is thematic as well ...
D&D 2eHistory of the Classes

The Druid Class, Part Three

Last time, I picked apart the 1e Druid class and its Unearthed Arcana update. Now I’m moving on to Advanced Dungeons & Dragons, Second Edition – the earliest edition I’ve personally run or played. Superficially, the 2e Druid is so ...
D&D 1eHistory of the Classes

The Druid Class, Part Two

In my previous post on druids, we looked at how OD&D established a baseline for the class. Today, we’ll see that 1e doesn’t stray far from that, until we get into Unearthed Arcana’s revision of the class. The 1e version ...
Game SystemsGame Systems - MiscellaneousHistory of the Classes

The Druid Class, Part One

Now that I’ve said all I can think to say on the Bard class, let’s break down the Druid – a class most often defined in its contrast to the Cleric. Like the Bard, the Druid’s history goes back to ...
D&D 5eHistory of the Classes

The Bard Class, Part Five

The Bard Class, Part Five At last, we come to Act V in the drama of the Bard. The narrative arc to date has been… more of a picaresque than anything, with movements in many conflicting directions, often contradicting earlier ...
D&D 4eHistory of the Classes

The Bard Class, Part Four

Welcome back to my ongoing eccentricity obsession series about the Bard class. This time, I’ll be talking about Fourth Edition. I suspect that some percentage of my readers, devilishly attractive lot that they are, despise all things related to Fourth ...
ColumnsD&D 3.5eHistory of the Classes

The Bard Class, Part Three

Welcome back to the third post in this series on Bards. I promise that someday I will say everything I need to say about Bards and we can move on to some other class with a bizarre history across the ...
ClassesD&D 2eHistory of the Classes

The Bard Class, Part Two

This time out, I’ll be writing about the Bard of AD&D, Second Edition. The bard of OD&D started as a magical and thiefly dabbler, loremaster, and diplomat, and grew into a quite potent magic-user. The 1e bard is an end goal ...