I'm new to D&D 5e. I don't understand how to engage with the information of the Classes Summary table on page 45 of the PHB.
How do you read and contextualise this table?
Role-playing Games Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for gamemasters and players of tabletop, paper-and-pencil role-playing games. It only takes a minute to sign up.Sign up to join this community
I will go through each column of the table and give more details about what it indicates.
From the introduction to Chapter 3:
Your class gives you a variety of special features, such as a fighter’s mastery of weapons and armor, and a wizard’s spells. At low levels, your class gives you only two or three features, but as you advance in level you gain more and your existing features often improve. Each class entry in this chapter includes a table summarizing the benefits you gain at every level, and a detailed explanation of each one.
This column gives a flavorful description of each class.
Hit dice are described in Chapter 1:
Your character’s hit points define how tough your character is in combat and other dangerous situations. Your hit points are determined by your Hit Dice (short for Hit Point Dice).
At 1st level, your character has 1 Hit Die, and the die type is determined by your class. You start with hit points equal to the highest roll of that die, as indicated in your class description. (You also add your Constitution modifier, which you’ll determine in step 3.) This is also your hit point maximum.
Record your character’s hit points on your character sheet. Also record the type of Hit Die your character uses and the number of Hit Dice you have. After you rest, you can spend Hit Dice to regain hit points (see “Resting” in the Adventuring section).
This column indicates which ability score usually serves as the most important ability score for that class. There are some exceptions, and there are some classes that make significant use of two or more ability scores, but this column will be generally correct about which single score each class uses the most.
This column indicates which Saving Throws each class is profiecient in. Whenever your character makes a saving throw they are proficient in, you may add you profieciency bonus to the result.
This column indicates which armors and weapons the class is proficient in.