Granularity (and the lack thereof) in 5th edition D&D

There seems to me to be a serious design choice made in 5e, at least in comparison to 4e.  This is the area of character granularity.

In 4e, you make a choice at every level, 1-30.  You choose a feat on even levels, and a power on odd levels. As such, the leveling experience is a bonanza for min-maxing.

In 5e, this is much reduced, and dramatically reduced for certain classes, like the barbarian.  Yes, you have a lot of granularity for all classes from 1-4.  After that, spell-casters have important leveling choices at every odd level, as they get new spells.

Non-spell casters, depending on archetype, don’t get that as much.

I think this is good for the game, as it allows for non min-maxers to play a class, and when they level, they get hit points and a feature that was decided back at level 1 or 2.  The characters that result are still powerful and viable.  In 4e, these players would have had to pour through the compendium or the character generator, sweating over a power or a feat every level.

The only thing I would change is that these kinds of players, my wife being one of them, be steered towards these classes and archetypes.  I’m not sure how that can be done politically, but if you have new players in a group, tell them they should play “assassin rogue” or “fury barbarian” rather than wizard.



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