Building a new character class is the most difficult design task in D&D. A class is the largest single design piece in the game. It consists of everything from new powers and class features to basic stuff like weapon proficiencies, skill lists, and hit point progressions. In a way, designing a class is like building a narrative and mechanical universe for a gamer to play around in. Someone might play a class across 30 levels, probably about 400 hours of gaming. Needless to say, that’s a bit more pressure on a designer than writing up a single feat!
While good class design is a difficult task, there are a few key, guiding principles that can help you build an interesting class.
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About the Author
Mike Mearls is the Lead Designer for the Dungeons & Dragons roleplaying game. His recent credits include H1: Keep on the Shadowfell and Player’s Handbook 2.