In Dungeons & Dragons, your character’s classes dictate their capabilities. These include which weapons you can use, what types of spells you can learn, and more.
Each class grants a character with some gear and a few initial proficiencies. As you level up your character, however, you learn more and grow stronger.
All classes have a variety of subclasses for players to choose from. Some classes let you pick your subclass at Level 1, but most require you to wait until Level 3.
Here are all the classes from Dungeons & Dragons, and what’s important to know about each before diving into the game.
Artificers were made to accommodate scientifically minded players who didn’t want to settle for being a standard wizard.
While artificers do get spells, their primary ability is to imbue non-magical objects—like weapons, shields, and armor—with magical properties.
This then enables them or their allies to better protect themselves in a fight or gain the advantage over an opponent.
Barbarians are perfect for players who want to focus on honing their skills in combat.
They get plenty of excellent abilities like rage, which lets the barbarian channel their immense strength into their weapons to do more damage.
Additionally, they possess improved speed. This means they can blaze through the battlefield, wreaking havoc on their enemies left and right.
Bards were born to perform. Depending on the player, a bard might deliver their spells through song, dance, eloquent speeches, or other evocative art forms.
Known as a support class, bards often use their spells to assist other characters during battle. However, bards can also heal, and tend to be very helpful off the battlefield, as well.
Each cleric chooses a god or God-adjacent to worship, from whom they draw their magical powers.
Clerics are the primary healers in D&D, although they have plenty of other capabilities, too.
These range from helping allies do more damage in an attack, to channeling their divine power into campaign-saving miracles.
Druids cast spells by drawing on the power of nature. Their spells are primarily concerned with summoning animals and the elements, to help with tasks or fight in battles.
In addition to spellcasting, they possess an ability called Wildshape. This allows druids to transform into increasingly powerful creatures—and to then unleash the fury of the wild on their foes.
As the name implies, this class is for players who enjoy using awesome weapons and brainstorming tactical maneuvers against evildoers.
Fighters do their best work in battle, but the wide variety of subclasses offers players other abilities choices.
Some fighter subclasses even grant the capability to cast limited spells!
Monks may not do as much damage as fighters, but they have some fantastic capabilities.
They mainly attack bare-handed, using their magical ki points to facilitate some of their gravity-defying feats.
Much faster than other classes, monks can also scale incredible heights with ease, by finding solace with their inner spirits.
Paladins are a class that relies on both weapons and magic.
Typically, paladins fight on the front line of battle, swinging their giant swords or axes, and encouraging their allies to give it everything they’ve got.
They draw their magic from the gods themselves. This empowers their strikes, thus dealing massive damage to their foes.
Rangers draw on the power of nature for their magic but are often more concerned with hunting their quarry.
Known as a martial class—which means that they rely mainly on weapons, like bows and arrows or rapiers—rangers are also capable hunters, with unparalleled talents for stalking.
Rogues are the ultimate stealth-machines. Their main damage-dealing mechanic is to hide and fire a ranged weapon, taking their enemies by surprise.
Some subclasses are tailor-made for campaigns full of intrigue and suspense, allowing rogues to charm, manipulate…or even pick locks, to sneak into a monster’s hidden lair.
Sorcerers are unique in that they can draw on their force of will and sheer charisma to create magic. They accomplish this by tapping into the flow of essence itself.
While sorcerers have a very limited number of spells, their metamagic powers allow them to twist those spells to their liking, customizing it to the particular event or hazard ahead.
Warlocks sometimes get a bad rep, since they derive their power from strange, otherworldly entities—but they can be a lot of fun to play.
Whether your character’s powers come from aliens, monsters, or fallen gods, it’s sure to be an exciting story to explore.
Wizards are the quintessential spellcasters. They have a wide range of spells that they inscribe into their spell book, which means they can be prepared for every situation.
Like druids and clerics, wizards can choose which spells to prepare each day. Because of this, they can customize their toolkit for virtually any event.
Once you understand the classes of Dungeons & Dragons, you might decide to explore multiclassing.
This ability allows players to diversify their characters. While you might lose certain functions of one class, you can gain strengths from another.
Multiclassing can be a little complex and is therefore not often recommended for new players. It is a fun way to spice up your character, however.
For example, if your character starts the story as a rogue but, a few levels later, has a religious experience and wants to worship a god, you can also take levels in the paladin class.
Players can choose to multiclass for strategy—say, to deal the maximum amount of damage during an encounter—or simply for fun, to describe the narrative twists and turns in their story. Either way, you’re sure to end up with a completely unique character.
The classes of Dungeons & Dragons are not nearly as rigid or confining as they might seem to a brand-new player.
In fact, every class and subclass can inspire your creativity, helping you to create rich, exciting characters that ensure each campaign is better than the last. To get yourself started, be sure to look over the complete beginner’s guide to D&D.