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DnD Classes 5e

Last Updated on January 10, 2023

The first step of any incredible DnD journey is character creation. There are dozens of different combinations and subclasses to choose from, but before all else, players will need to choose their class. It determines your character’s abilities and playing style. We’re here with our detailed guide to Dungeons & Dragons 5e Classes.

Looking for guides on DnD Classes in 5e? Read our list and guide below:

What are DnD Classes?

Classes in DnD represent the job and abilities of your character. A character’s Class determines the abilities that they’ll learn when they level up, their hit points, and their overall style of play in the game.

DnD class is probably the most important decision you can make about your character other than what race you choose. It’s the difference between playing a character that’s a scholar, possessed by a demon, or just a musician.

They are the major influence on all of your character’s stats and abilities.

Why do DnD Classes Matter?

Choosing which class to play is an important decision when making any DnD character. It affects everything about your character, playstyle, and the game itself.

If you’re not a fan of fighting hand-to-hand then it won’t make sense to pick a Monk character. The same goes for magic. If you have no interest in magic and want to RP as a seasoned veteran or soldier you wouldn’t necessarily pick a Sorcerer.

Your character and class are extensions of yourself as you play. Remember that DnD is an RPG game that includes a fair bit of roleplaying. If you absolutely don’t enjoy your character and abilities, then that’s going to lessen the enjoyment of the game.

You’re going to want to pick something that interests you and connects you to your character.

Ability Score Modifiers

One of the first things a player should always look at when making a character is Ability Score. These determine the actual attributes and characteristics of your character and can honestly make or break your character class. 

There are a few ways to choose how you do it. You can roll all of your primary Ability Scores randomly and match a character class to the Ability Scores. This is usually done by more experienced players looking for a challenge. 

The most common way is to roll stats for Ability Scores and then assign them to the different values in order to create your character

The primary ability scores are:

  • Strength
  • Dexterity
  • Constitution
  • Intelligence
  • Wisdom
  • Charisma

There’s an easy way to explain what each ability score does using tomatoes.

  • Strength is being able to crush a tomato.
  • Dexterity is being able to dodge a tomato.
  • Constitution is being able to eat a rotten tomato.
  • Intelligence is knowing a tomato is a fruit.
  • Wisdom is knowing not to put a tomato in a fruit salad.
  • Charisma is being able to sell a tomato-based fruit salad.

DnD 5e Classes Explained

Artificer 5e Class

Primary Ability ScoresIntelligence + Strength / Dexterity
Saving ThrowsIntelligence & Constitution
Hit Dice1d8
Party RoleCrowd Control, Support

The Artificer class was first introduced in Tasha’s Cauldron of Everything

If you’re a fan of clockwork machinery and tinkering, then the Artificer Class is the way to go. They’re able to create multiple machines and objects that are incredibly useful in and out of combat. 

Artificers are able to create items that store spells, give bonuses, or even create clockwork automations. 

Barbarian 5e Class

Primary Ability ScoresStrength
Saving ThrowsStrength & Constitution
Hit Dice1d12
Party RoleTank, Damage

Barbarians are some of the best tanks and damage dealers in the game. Their rage ability lets them withstand more damage and deal it out in turn. They have the highest hit dice of all the classes and specialize in close-quarters combat. 

Bard 5e Class

Primary Ability ScoresCharisma
Saving ThrowsCharisma & Dexterity
Hit Dice1d8
Party RoleCrowd Control, Support

The Bard’s defining feature is their Inspiration ability. They’re able to give bonus dice to other players to boost their rolls. 

The Bard is one of the best support characters to have in the party. They have several damage-dealing abilities, their inspiration ability, and a host of spells. 

Their spell set is rather unique among the other classes. They’ll get abilities as they level up to mix and match their spell list giving them one of the more versatile spell lists outside of the Wizard. 

Cleric 5e Class

Primary Ability ScoresWisdom
Saving ThrowsWisdom & Charisma
Hit Dice1d8
Party RoleHealer, Support, Damage

Clerics are the most efficient healer class in DnD. Their spell lists include some of the most potent healing spells. They’re not just squishy healers, though. Several of the Cleric subclasses include builds for potent melee fighters combined with their impressive healing abilities. 

Cleric spells also have some incredible damage spells when it comes to fighting the undead. 

Druid 5e Class

Primary Ability ScoresWisdom
Saving ThrowsIntelligence & Wisdom
Hit Dice1d8
Party RoleCrowd Control, Support, Healer, Tank

Druids can do a little bit of everything. Their Wild Shape ability lets them take on the form of other animals and creatures that they’ve seen. 

Their ability set lets them do it all. Their Wild Shape gives them extra hit points and the special abilities of the animals they shift into which is excellent for tanking, damage dealing, and crowd control.

If that wasn’t enough, they also have a wide variety of nature spells to help heal, damage, and support players. 

Fighter 5e Class

Primary Ability ScoresStrength/Dexterity + Constitution 
Saving ThrowsStrength & Constitution
Hit Dice1d10
Party RoleTank, Damage

Fighters are the weapons specialist class. They can specialize in either ranged or melee weaponry. They have the widest variety of weapon usage and are great at dealing damage and their armor proficiency lets them stay in the fight. 

It’s one of the easiest classes to pick up for new players and also has some more advanced subclasses to add some magical spells into the mix. 

Monk 5e Class

Primary Ability ScoresWisdom & Dexterity
Saving ThrowsStrength & Dexterity
Hit Dice1d8
Party RoleCrowd Control, Damage, Tank

The Monk’s major abilities are Dexterity & Wisdom. Dexterity is used for all the weapon attacks and Wisdom is used as the modifier for most of their Ki abilities. 

The Monk has improved unarmed attacks and can make a viable unarmed martial arts build. They also have a separate class of weapons called Monk Weapons that use their Dexterity Modifier instead of strength when calculating attack and damage. 

Their Ki abilities let them hit multiple targets or a single enemy multiple times. They also have a high AC with their Dexterity Bonus and abilities. This lets them tank by standing in the middle of enemies and dodging their hits. 

Paladin 5e Class

Primary Ability ScoresCharisma & Strength
Saving ThrowsWisdom & Charisma
Hit Dice1d10
Party RoleCrowd Control, Support, Tank, Damage, Healer

Paladins are excellent support characters that can fill multiple roles. They typically wear Plate armor and are formidable melee fighters. They also have several special abilities that let them buff the party and their main ability modifier for spells is Charisma which lets them also take on the role of the party frontman. 

Included in their spells are an array of healing, damage, and support buffs. They’re one of the classes that are designed to fill multiple roles, and they do it well. 

Ranger 5e Class

Primary Ability ScoresDexterity & Wisdom 
Saving ThrowsDexterity & Strength
Hit Dice1d10
Party RoleCrowd Control, Support, Damage

The Ranger is another class that focused heavily on damage. They’re hunters by nature. They have an ability called Favored Enemy that lets them hunt, track, and deal extra damage to an enemy of their choice. 

Their damage dealing usually comes from their range or finesse weapons which rely on their dexterity, and depending upon the chosen subclass they have an arsenal of specialized spells at their disposal. 

Rogue 5e Class

Primary Ability ScoresDexterity 
Saving ThrowsIntelligence & Dexterity
Hit Dice1d8
Party RoleDamage

The Rogue’s defining ability is their Sneak Attack. They’re able to dish out increased damage when attacking engaged characters and have the highest damage potential among the martial classes. 

They’re able to sneak through most areas and have a lot of subclasses and abilities that let them focus on critical hits and sneaking. They are, however, only middle tier when it comes to health. 

Sorcerer 5e Class

Primary Ability ScoresCharisma
Saving ThrowsCharisma & Constitution
Hit Dice1d6
Party RoleCrowd Control, Damage

The Sorcerer is one of the more versatile spellcasters. Their magical abilities come from within through some kind of magical bloodline. Their natural spellcasting abilities come in the form of Sorcerer points that they can spend to empower spells or get more usage out of their spell slots. 

Warlock 5e Class

Primary Ability ScoresCharisma
Saving ThrowsCharisma & Wisdom
Hit Dice1d8
Party RoleCrowd Control, Support, Damage

The Warlock is probably my favorite class in DnD 5e. Warlocks gain their magical powers through a pact with some kind of otherworldly being. Their defining ability is the Eldritch Blast Cantrip. It does a lot of damage, can be upgraded as the Warlock levels up, and it can be cast over and over without any penalties. 

It’s the easiest spellcaster for new players and is incredibly easy to jump in and start playing right away. 

Wizard 5e Class

Primary Ability ScoresIntelligence
Saving ThrowsIntelligence & Wisdom
Hit Dice1d6
Party RoleCrowd Control, Support, Damage

Wizards are the spellcasters in DnD 5e. They can learn potentially every spell in the entire DnD world. They won’t last long in melee range but that doesn’t matter when they can summon creatures to fight for them, turn invisible, fly away, or simply blow up everything in their path with fireballs. 

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01/29/2023 05:00 am GMT
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D&D Player’s Handbook
$49.95 $26.10

Buy on Amazon Buy at Noble Knight
We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.
01/29/2023 05:00 am GMT