Class Stereotypes In D&D That You Need To Forget

In Dungeons & Dragons, you’ll likely come across jokes and stereotypes of the numerous classes. Although, like most jokes, these are just for the sake of humor and memes, there are some who take it a bit too far and genuinely think that some classes should act like their stereotypes or don’t even take characters seriously if they’re in that class.

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Oftentimes, it can also confuse new players who may revert to class stereotypes as a way to play their characters or assume other players who are playing that class will submit to that stereotype. Here are a few class stereotypes and how you can do your best to avoid them.

1 Bards Are Seducers

A stout bard strums a lyre for a happy crowd in a tavern
Tavern Bard by Rob Rey

It’s perhaps the oldest joke in the book, but it’s a page that people still open to: Bards are the seducers of Dungeons & Dragons. Whether it’s a dragon, a construct, or even the villain, the Bard will supposedly somehow charm the wits out of a creature and probably derail the whole campaign.

Well, sorry to burst your bubble, but no, not every Bard is going to go around trying to romance everything. Although it’s a fun joke, it’s important to remember that Bards are multifaceted. With a ton of subclasses available, you don’t have to worry about doing anything but giving a good performance.

2 Rogues Will Always Be Edgy

A hooded figure stands atop rooftops in a city at night
Half Elf Rogue by Daniel Castiblanco

There are definitely some horror stories out there about people who try to play the edgy kind of character, and they’ll almost always be a Rogue, because of course they would. However, that doesn’t mean that every Rogue is going to be edgy or that Rogues even necessarily need to be in the slightest.

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When creating a Rogue, you should ask yourself why they are a Rogue and what subclass would be best. They don’t have to be some hooded thief or assassin. They can be a detective, a scout, a spy, or any other kind of occupation where their skills may come in handy. Once you figure that out, you can flesh out the character and not subscribe to making them dark and brooding.

3 Paladins Are Moral Crybabies

A row of figures stand in front of coloured pane glass
The Sundering by Tyler Jacobson

Another big complaint in Dungeons & Dragons is that Paladins will always be Lawful Good arbiters of morality that will be more annoying than useful. It’s to the point where there’s even a term for this, Lawful Stupid.

However, one should remember that Paladins don’t really have to be Lawful Good. Some subclasses, such as the Oath of Conquest, actually lend themselves better to evil alignments, even. In fact, many players don’t tend to focus on moral alignment, so if you’re a newer player worried that you have to act a certain rigid way due to your alignment or class, then don’t. Morality is very subjective, and that’s true for Paladins too.

4 Wizards Must Be Academic Or An Old Man

A woman in a witch's hat stands before a cauldron holding a magical book
Tasha’s Cauldron of Everything by Magali Villeneuve

Although wizards are meant to be scholarly, there are definitely different types of intelligence. Wizards are meant to study their spells. However, academia and what that looks like in a character doesn’t need to be very narrow, especially concerning cultures outside a Western perspective.

A wizard is likely to be book-smart and academic. But that doesn’t always have to look the same. Wizards especially don’t have to be old men with long beards and no social cues, either. They can be farmers with a knack for spells or hermits that taught themselves.

5 Dumb Barbarians

A green troll that growls towards something off-screen
Troll via Wizards of The Coast

Yes, barbarians tend to be big meatheads with little Intelligence score. However, that shouldn’t always have to be the case. Barbarians are often heralded as masters of combat, so it may be interesting for you to look at ways you can incorporate that in an intelligent character.

Perhaps your Barbarian is tactical, and their Rage is some sort of boost to their own morale? One prime example can be found in Kratos from God of War. He is by no means unintelligent, but he uses his rage as a tool to achieve victory. Either way, while playing this character is fun, don’t think being dumb has to be necessary.

6 Druids Are Tree Huggers

A stout tanned figure sits in a forest as green magic swirls in their hands
Druid of the Emerald Grove by Edgar Sánchez Hidalgo

Similar to Paladins, it’s a known stereotype that Druids can be a bit overzealous when it comes to protecting the environment and try to do everything, even if it goes against the party, to ensure they don’t tamper with their ideals.

While it makes sense that Druids are intrinsically linked with nature and may want to protect it, nothing says druids are overzealous in this regard. Circle of Wildfire druids, for example, may actually encourage things like committing arson in the forest. There are many facets and ways of dealing with nature, so it’s best to remember that if you decide to try out this class.

7 The Evil Warlock

A woman in dark clothing poses as shadowy magic emanates from behind her
Tasha, the Witch Queen by Martina Fackova

No, Warlocks are not always evil and trying to find some way to betray the party. They may have connotations of someone villainous, with them making illicit pacts and dealing with a patron. But you should know that warlocks do not have to be some shady person craving power.

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In fact, there are plenty who can have interesting relationships with their patrons, including having them be a mentor figure or some sort of lover who bestows them power. Try not to fall into the trap of thinking Warlocks are just automatically villainous and play what you want.

8 Rangers Suck

A hooded woman holds a longbow in a forested environment
Ranger’s Longbow by Marcela Medeiros

So this is perhaps one of the worst stereotypes of Dungeons & Dragons and also the most prominent, especially concerning fifth edition. Rangers have a negative stereotype, not just associated with a certain playstyle but the entire class, making some players scared to even touch it.

However, there have been more subclasses and even a remastered version of the class that has come out since then. After a few years, the Ranger class is more or less on par with the others and can even result in some very impressive builds.

9 Fighters Are Boring

A bulky man in steel armour walks with tons of treasure around him
Triumphant Adventurer by Alexander Mokhov

Thankfully, this is an assumption that has mostly died out in recent years. But yes, some think Fighters are boring, and god forbid you were to play something like a Human Fighter. However, you don’t have to worry.

There’s nothing wrong with playing a Human or just playing a Fighter. They are a really great class for new players because they are simple mechanically, but a character is not limited by their mechanics. You could have an outlandish go-lucky character concept out there and still make them a Fighter. And when you consider the more bizarre subclasses like Rune Knight and Psy Warrior, you can have an interesting, hard-to-kill champion you never knew could exist.

10 Clerics Can Only Heal

A man being fed a healing potion
Potion of Healing by Pauline Voss

Clerics can be some of the most powerful characters in the party, and yet at the same time, almost every time someone says they’re playing one, you can practically hear the other party members sigh in relief because it must mean the Cleric is the designated healer. While yes, Clerics can be very great healers and get access to some good spells for it, being a Cleric doesn’t automatically mean you have to be the healer.

Pick up a few spells and be a team player, of course, but don’t think you’re just the designated healer. There are all sorts of playstyles that fit better depending on the subclass you choose, such as the Grave Domain and War Domain subclasses, which excel at removing hit points, if anything. Don’t be afraid of trying out Cleric if you’re worried about forever being locked into a support role.

NEXT: The Strongest Dungeons & Dragons Classes, Officially Ranked

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