Here’s the Classes and Specializations in the D&D Player’s Handbook

players handbook cover

Everything you can be in the new D&D.

With the release of the 5th edition Dungeons & Dragons Player’s Handbook a little more than a week away in select stores, Wizards of the Coast released a bit of information about the various classes and their specialties. We weren’t quite satisfied, and gathered some more information from an anonymous source involved in late stage playtesting of the new edition. After running the information by Wizards of the Coast to ensure that it’s accurate to the new book, we’ve got a bit more information to share about the specializations and their abilities. These are the classes and their specializations, along with descriptions of some of the abilities that each gets.

Very much the D&D Barbarian of older editions, whose key power is the ability to go into rages. Their specializations are called Paths.

  • The Path of the Berserker gains powers to make their rages more potent, as well as powers to terrify and dismay their enemies.
  • The Path of the Totem Warrior gains powers based on a spirit animal, like a Bear, Eagle, or Wolf

A potent spellcaster – peaking with 9th level spells – with the ability to give comrades inspiration dice and hold their own in light combat. Their specializations are called Colleges.

  • The College of Lore is the traditional D&D Bard, with lots of skills and versatile magical talents.
  • The College of Valor is a warrior bard, with heavier armor and abilities that boost both their melee combat and ability to cast spells while making attacks.

Pretty much the cleric you know and love – almost all of their unique features come from choice of their deity’s divine domain.

  • The Knowledge domain conveys more powerful spellcasting and an abundance of information gathering powers.
  • The Life domain was already revealed in the basic rules, and gives potent healing powers.
  • The Light domain conveys lots of (literal) firepower and defensive abilities that blind opponents.
  • The Nature domain gives natural world controlling spells, protection from the elements, and friendship with the beasts of the wild.
  • The Tempest is the storm gods: Lightning, Winds, Flying, Heavy Armor – you’re basically Thor’s backup singer.
  • The Trickery domain conveys the ability to improve others’ sneaking abilities, become invisible, and invoke illusions.
  • The War domain gives Heavy Armor, spells for melee combat, some extra attacks, and resistance to battle damage.

Powerful spellcasters with the ability to turn from their natural form into that of particular wild beasts. Their specializations come from what Circle of Druids they learned in.

  • The Circle of the Land gains extra spells and abilities based on their home terrain type, like Mountain, Coast, or Arctic.
  • The Circle of the Moon gains enhanced abilities to transform into a wider variety of beasts and creatures, as well as the ability to fight harder and longer while in beast form.

The guy who is really good at taking a sharp thing and putting it in people you don’t like. Their specializations are called Martial Archetypes.

  • The Champion is the warrior’s warrior, already in the basic rules.
  • The Battle Master is the more complex fighter, using a pool of “superiority dice” spent to fuel abilities like feinting attacks and rallying their allies.
  • The Eldritch Knight is a spellsword who gains access to a pool of up to 4th level wizard spells and the ability to fight while simultaneously wielding magic.

An armored martial artist who can fight with bare fists or weapons, and gains a pool of Ki points to fuel various supernatural abilities. Slowly gains the whole suite of 3.0 Era monk powers like immunity to disease, agelessness, and stunning strikes. Their specializations are called Monastic Traditions.

  • The Way of the Open Hand teaches powers that emphasize unarmed combat.
  • The Way of Shadow teaches powers that give the monk sneaking and magical powers while in darkness – like teleportation.
  • The Way of the Four Elements teaches users to harness their Ki to cast a variety of elemental abilities and spells – from Burning Hands to Stoneskin.

A warrior with innate healing abilities – the classic Lay on Hands – and limited spellcasting up to 5th level. Their specializations outline their unique code of required behavior and their missions in life.

  • The Oath of Devotion is the classic paladin, with the ability to turn undead and channel radiant power.
  • The Oath of the Ancients is a paladin devoted to the natural order of the world, called horned knights and often elves. Particularly powerful against evil magic.
  • The Oath of Vengeance is for paladins who fight their sworn foes, whose powers slow them down and ensure they’re brought to justice at any cost.

Powerful warriors who roam the wilds beyond civilization and keep their friends safe while travelling, they gain some spellcasting abilities like the Paladin and bonuses against types of favored enemies. Their specializations are called Ranger Archetypes.

  • The Hunter gains a variety of abilities that make them more powerful in combat against not just their favored enemies, but a variety of foes like them.
  • The Beast Master has an animal friend who fights alongside them and acts when they command it to.

Consummate tricksters, with abilities that make them hard to catch in addition to their classic sneak attack. Their specializations are Roguish Archetypes.

  • The Thief was already unveiled in the Basic Rules, their powers focus on getting where you want to go.
  • The Assassin has a suite of abilities based around impersonating, infiltrating, and murdering.
  • The Arcane Trickster gains limited spellcasting abilities, up to 4th level wizard spells, and the ability to steal from others using their Mage Hand cantrip. Can eventually steal spells from the minds of other casters.
Mordenkainens Sword

Channels the natural magic of their person into spellcasting prowess. They use a pool of sorcery points to twist their spells through a process called metamagic. Their specializations are called Sorcerous Origins.

  • A Draconic Bloodline Sorcerer gains breath weapons, wings, scales – the whole nine yards.
  • A Wild Magic Sorcerer has potent surges of power in exchange for the chance to roll on a table of random effects – not all of which are things you’d like to happen.

A spellcaster who has a deal with a powerful supernatural creature for their might, they use a unique spellcasting system based on a limited number of spells known combined with a maximum power level of spells available.

  • A pact with The Archfey grants powers based on beguiling and tricking opponents.
  • A pact with The Fiend grants powers based on hellish luck and dark blessings.
  • A pact with The Great Old One grants powers based on madness, the mind, and the great beyond.

The consummate studier of magic, the wizard has a greater variety of magics available to them than anyone else. Their specializations are called Arcane Traditions and all gain boosts to spells categorized into their schools.

  • Abjuration Wizards are the masters of spells that protect, ward, and banish. They gain innate protection from attacks.
  • Conjuration Wizards are the masters of spells that create and summon, they also sideline in teleportation.
  • Divination Wizards focus on seeing the future and the hidden, they can glimpse the future to affect and alter die rolls.
  • Enchantment Wizards focus on beguiling and dominating their foes, enchanters can even reactively convince foes not to attack them.
  • Evocation Wizards are already in the basic rules – the master of destructive magics.
  • Illusion Wizards are creators of tricks and falsehoods, who can produce illusory doubles and twist their illusions already cast.
  • Necromancy Wizards gain power from the souls of those killed by their magic and command and create the undead.
  • Transmutation Wizards have spells that modify the world around them, allowing them to change shapes and use alchemy to change the world – even create a philosopher’s stone!
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