FiveThirtyEight has a fun little article about the frequency of race/class combos. You can see which are the most popular (human fighters) and which are the least (aasimar ranger). This got me thinking about race/class affinity, so I weighted the data to see which races have the strongest class identity (and, alternatively, what the strongest race/class aversions are).
The results aren't surprising - goliaths are barbarians, tieflings are warlocks - but one fun thing you can pull out is which race/class pairings are mathematical opposites (goliath barbarian and half-elf bard take the cake). This is grounds for odd couple hijinx in of itself, but to take it a step further...
Say two characters have swapped classes. The circumstances for this can be 'Freaky Friday' (maybe leaning towards 'Face/Off' for extra fighting), or drunken bets that 'anything you can do I can do better', or even just bored adventurers looking for a career change. Here are some pairings on the table:
- Goliath bard, half-elf barbarian
- Aasimar druid, elf paladin
- Half-elf barbarian, half-orc sorcerer
- Gnome barbarian, goliath wizard
- Halfling paladin, dragonborn rogue
Obviously casting these characters against type negatively impacts their proficiency, and I wonder if I can mitigate that. One thing that jumps to mind is the element of surprise - when charging a gnome, you might not expect it to respond like a barbarian. Are there any other ways these rare-probably-for-reason race/class combos might actually be viable?