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At the beginning of each class description, before getting to the class features, are four sections of flavor text, the first of which is a depiction of three possible class members and a closing statement and the last of which is "Creating a [Name of Class]."

For example, for the Bard, there's the intro, "Music and Magic," "Learning From Experience," and "Creating a Bard." For the Druid, there's the intro, "The Power of Nature," and "Preserve the Balance."

I'm homebrewing a new class, and I want to make the flavor text at the beginning match the other classes' text, but I can't figure out the organization/theme/aim of the middle two sections. How is the second section of each class like the second sections of the other classes, and how is it different from the third section of its class?

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2 Answers 2

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Section 3: Why are you an adventurer?

After reading through all the class introductions in the Player's Handbook, there is a recurring theme in section 3: it is all about why someone of the class might be an adventurer. All these quotes are from the third sections of each PHB class description.

Their courage in the face of danger makes barbarians perfectly suited for adventuring.

Only rarely do bards settle in one place for long, and their natural desire to travel — to find new tales to tell, new skills to learn, and new discoveries beyond the horizon — makes an adventuring career a natural calling.

When a cleric takes up an adventuring life, it is usually because his or her god demands it.

When a significant danger arises, threatening nature’s balance or the lands they protect, druids take on a more active role in combating the threat, as adventurers.

Some fighters feel drawn to use their training as adventurers. The dungeon delving, monster slaying, and other dangerous work common among adventurers is second nature for a fighter, not all that different from the life he or she left behind.

For a monk, becoming an adventurer means leaving a structured, communal lifestyle to become a wanderer. This can be a harsh transition, and monks don’t undertake it lightly. Those who leave their cloisters take their work seriously, approaching their adventures as personal tests of their physical and spiritual growth.

Almost by definition, the life of a paladin is an adventuring life. Unless a lasting injury has taken him or her away from adventuring for a time, every paladin lives on the front lines of the cosmic struggle against evil.

This fierce independence makes rangers well suited to adventuring, since they are accustomed to life far from the comforts of a dry bed and a hot bath.

As adventurers, rogues fall on both sides of the law. Some are hardened criminals who decide to seek their fortune in treasure hoards, while others take up a life of adventure to escape from the law.

Sorcerers are rare in the world, and it’s unusual to find a sorcerer who is not involved in the adventuring life in some way.

Rather, the vast majority of warlocks spend their days in active pursuit of their goals, which typically means some kind of adventuring. Furthermore, the demands of their patrons drive warlocks toward adventure.

But the lure of knowledge and power calls even the most unadventurous wizards out of the safety of their libraries and laboratories and into crumbling ruins and lost cities.

The second section is just a general description of the class, but section 3 is unambiguously about why a person of that class might be an adventurer. Staying completely on-brand for grumpy old wizards, the only explicit instance of "adventure" in section 3 of the Wizard class description was actually the word "unadventurous", but they still cannot stay away from the adventuring life.

Section 2: How do you do what you do?

I've put this section after my explanation for section 3 because it isn't quite as plainly obvious to see as the material in section 3. The idea in section 2 is to explain the basic theme of the class and give a bit about what they do or how they do it. For example, for all of the spellcasting classes, this second section contains an explanation of the magic that class can utilize. Similarly, section 2 for the Monk is an explanation of Ki. For fighters and rogues, it speaks a bit about their training and the types of skills and combat styles they focus on.

And for barbarians, section 2, "Primal Instinct" basically just says "Uncivilized, gets mad, kills stuff.""

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  • \$\begingroup\$ For completeness, maybe include a sample of the artificer’s section 3? \$\endgroup\$
    – KRyan
    Nov 2, 2021 at 22:47
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Very roughly, the organisation of these sections seems to me to be that:

  • the second section characterises what the class is good at and why they are good at it, or what the source of their power is
  • the third section describes how members of that class fit into society and/or why they may become adventurers

For instance, the Fighter's two sections - "Well-Rounded Specialists" and "Trained for Danger" - first describe how a fighter is generally skilled at all forms of martial combat and specialises into a specific field, then describe where fighters are found in society (veteran soldiers, military officers, bodyguards etc.) and why they might take up adventuring life.

The Cleric's two sections - "Healers and Warriors" and "Divine Agents" - first describe how a cleric is empowered by the gods to cast spells by virtue of their great devotion and can both heal their allies and harm their foes, then describes how true clerics are rare within most hierarchies, and that they are typically compelled to adventure when their god demands it.

Pretty much all the class descriptions seem to fit into this general outline when looked at with this lens.

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