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Bring Gen Con Home!
Guidelines by Class

By Monte Cook

Want to be a barbarian?

  • Choose half-orc (+2 Strength is +1 attack and damage on all melee attacks -- that’s better than any bonus feat you could choose as a human and easily outweighs –2 Intelligence and Charisma, which you won’t care about).
  • Put your best ability score in Strength, your second best in Dexterity. Do not have a Constitution penalty.
  • Multiclassing? Consider taking two levels of rogue for the skill points and evasion or one level of fighter for the bonus feat.

Want to be a cleric?

  • Choose human (Unlike other classes, you can’t afford to have a bad Charisma.)
  • Put your best ability score in Strength, your second best in Wisdom. Do not have a Constitution penalty. Don’t worry about Dexterity, your heavy armor will negate a big bonus anyway.
  • Multiclassing? Don’t. It’s probably not worth losing a level of cleric spells.

Want to be a druid?

  • Choose halfling (+1 AC and +1 attack for size and +2 Dexterity easily makes up for the –2 Strength penalty)
  • Put your best ability score in Dexterity, your second best in Wisdom. Avoid having a penalty in Charisma. Since you can’t wear good armor, you are going to want to have a good Dexterity.
  • Multiclassing? Don’t. It’s probably not worth losing a level of cleric spells.

Want to be a fighter?

  • Choose half orc (+2 Strength is +1 attack and damage on all melee attacks -- that’s better than any bonus feat you could choose as a human and easily outweighs –2 Intelligence and Charisma, which you won’t care about)
  • Put your best ability score in Strength, your second best in Con. Avoid having a penalty in Dexterity, but beyond that don’t worry about it. Your heavy armor will negate a big Dexterity bonus anyway.
  • Multiclassing? Consider taking a level of cleric for the healing spells.

Want to be a monk?

  • Choose human. Halfling is another very good choice, but the lowered unarmed damage and speed makes human your best bet.
  • Put your best ability score in Dexterity, your second best in Wisdom. Avoid having a penalty in Strength.
  • Multiclassing? Consider taking a level of sorcerer to be able to cast mage armor and true strike (but take this level first, since you can’t go back as a monk).

Want to be a paladin?

  • Choose human (Unlike other classes, you can’t afford to have a bad Charisma. Use your bonus feat to take Weapon Focus.)
  • Put your best ability score in Strength, your second best in Charisma. Make sure that by 4th level you will have a Wisdom high enough to cast spells.
  • Multiclassing? Don’t.

Want to be a ranger?

  • Choose elf (for the +2 Dexterity bonus and the bonuses to Spot, Search, and Listen).
  • Put your best ability score in Dexterity and your second best in Strength. Avoid a penalty in Intelligence.
  • Multiclassing? Consider taking two levels of rogue for the sneak attack and evasion.

Want to be a rogue?

  • Choose halfling (+1 AC and +1 attack for size, +4 to hide, +2 to climb and move silently, plus a +2 bonus to Dexterity makes the halfling the best rogue)
  • Put your best ability score in Dexterity, your second best in Wisdom (lots of rogue skills are keyed to Wisdom). Make sure you don’t have a penalty in Intelligence (you don’t want to lose the skill points).
  • Multiclassing? Consider taking a level of fighter for the hit points and bonus feat.

Want to be a sorcerer?

  • Choose halfling (+1 AC and +1 attack for size and +2 Dexterity easily makes up for the –2 Strength penalty).
  • Put your best ability score in Dexterity, your second best in Charisma.
  • Multiclassing? In general, don’t. But you might consider taking a level of monk for the AC and evasion.

Want to be a wizard?

  • Choose gnome (+1 AC and +1 attack for size easily makes up for the –2 Strength penalty)
  • Put your best ability score in Dexterity, your second best in Intelligence.
  • Multiclassing? In general, don’t. But you might consider taking a level of monk for the AC and evasion.

About the Author

Monte is one of the designers for the Third Edition of Dungeons & Dragons, working on the project from the beginning. He attempts to address the concerns of those who have left AD&D to play other games, as well as those of the long-term player. Aside from the core conceptions of the changes to the game, Monte contributed most heavily to the new Dungeon Master's Guide, serving as the primary writer for that product.

 

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