I'd like to have my next PC be a pirate who fences stolen goods and who is effective at her job because she can defeat her rivals in direct combat (as opposed to hiding and stabbing them or ruining their reputations). What class would be best for such a concept?

  • \$\begingroup\$ Welcome to the site! Take the tour. I edited this question to bring it closer to the site's guidelines, but without more information, this question will likely be put on hold as too broad. Were the question to provide even more detail—perhaps what you imagine the character doing, mechanics that interest you, and some campaign background—, the site may be able to help, but the question still might be better posed on a forum. No matter what though, thank you for participating and have fun. \$\endgroup\$ – Hey I Can Chan Jun 11 '17 at 15:58
  • \$\begingroup\$ @HeyICanChan I think that turned it into an "idea generation" question, but I'll remove the comment. \$\endgroup\$ – KorvinStarmast Jun 12 '17 at 12:19

Use the Criminal background, not a class

Instead of focusing on a particular class to play, you can simply select the Criminal background (PHB 129):

You are an experienced criminal with a history of breaking the law. You have spent a lot of time among other criminals and still have contacts within the criminal underworld. You’re far closer than most people to the world of murder, theft, and violence that pervades the underbelly of civilization, and you have survived up to this point by flouting the rules and regulations of society.

This background gives you the skill and tool proficiencies that are relevant to being a criminal, as well as personality traits and features that befit a criminal.

Because backgrounds can apply to any character, you can play as any of the martial classes, given that any of them could defeat an enemy in direct combat.

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