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Best D&D Class and Race Combinations for Beginners

Updated: Feb 15



I. Introduction for new players


Welcome, fledgling adventurers, to the wondrous world of Dungeons & Dragons! This beloved tabletop role-playing game has captivated the imaginations of millions worldwide, and now it's your turn to experience the thrill of creating your own unique character and diving headfirst into a realm of high fantasy.


With D&D 5th Edition (5E), the game has been streamlined and made more accessible to newcomers than ever before. However, it can still be daunting when you're faced with the myriad of options for races and classes. Fear not! This guide is here to help you navigate the sea of possibilities and present you with 15 of the best race and class combinations, tailored to help beginners find their footing in this fantastic game.


The race and class you choose for your character will significantly impact your gameplay experience, defining your character's abilities, strengths, and weaknesses. It's essential to select a combination that suits your desired playstyle and complements your party members. With that said, let's delve into our list of the best race and class combinations for first-time D&D players. Happy adventuring


II. D&D Best Race Class Combinations 5E Guide


A. Human Fighter


Strengths

  • Versatility: Humans gain a +1 bonus to all ability scores, making them adaptable to various roles.

  • Extra Feat: Variant Humans gain an additional feat at 1st level, allowing for customization and unique builds.

  • Proficiencies: Fighters have access to a wide range of weapon and armor proficiencies, making them well-rounded combatants.


Weaknesses:

  • Lack of specialization: Humans don't possess unique racial abilities, unlike other races.

  • Simplicity: The Fighter class is relatively straightforward, which might be less appealing to players seeking complexity.


Tips for gameplay: Utilize your bonus feat (if playing as a Variant Human) to tailor your Fighter to your desired playstyle. Choose a fighting style that complements your party composition and character concept. Focus on your physical ability scores (Strength, Dexterity, and Constitution) to maximize your combat effectiveness.


Sample Character: Azranthe Shieldbearer


Race: Variant Human

Class: Fighter

Background: Soldier

Alignment: Lawful Good


Ability Scores (after racial bonuses):


Strength: 16

Dexterity: 14

Constitution: 16

Intelligence: 10

Wisdom: 12

Charisma: 12

Feats:


Shield Master (bonus feat)

Fighting Style:


Protection

Proficiencies:


Armor: All armor, shields

Weapons: Simple weapons, martial weapons

Skills: Athletics, Intimidation, Perception, Survival

Equipment:


Chainmail armor

Longsword

Shield

Light crossbow and 20 bolts

Dungeoneer's pack

Insignia of rank, trophy from a fallen enemy, set of bone dice, common clothes, belt pouch with 10 gp


Description:

Azranthe Shieldbearer is a loyal and steadfast protector. As a Variant Human Fighter, he excels at defending his allies, making use of his Shield Master feat to shield bash enemies and protect his teammates from harm. With his high Strength and Constitution scores, Azranthe can take and deal damage effectively. His background as a soldier has shaped his sense of duty and discipline, further enhancing his role as a reliable front-line combatant.



B. Elf Wizard


Strengths

  • Keen Senses: Elves possess darkvision and have advantage on Perception checks, making them excellent scouts and perceptive characters.

  • Bonus to Dexterity: Elves gain a +2 bonus to Dexterity, which helps improve their Armor Class and initiative rolls.

  • Arcane Tradition: Wizards choose an arcane tradition at 2nd level, allowing them to specialize in a particular school of magic.

Weaknesses

  • Fragile: Wizards have a low hit point pool, making them vulnerable in close combat.

  • Limited spell slots: Wizards initially have limited spell slots, requiring strategic use of their spells.

Tips for gameplay


  • Choose spells that offer versatility and utility to support your party in various situations.

  • Position yourself wisely during combat, staying at a safe distance from enemies.

  • Consider selecting spells that do not rely on your ability score for their effectiveness, such as utility spells or those with guaranteed effects.


Sample Character: Lirael Moonshadow


Race: High Elf

Class: Wizard

Background: Sage

Alignment: Neutral Good


Ability Scores (after racial bonuses):


Strength: 8

Dexterity: 16

Constitution: 14

Intelligence: 16

Wisdom: 12

Charisma: 10

Cantrips:


Mage Hand

Prestidigitation

Ray of Frost

Spells:


1st Level: Detect Magic, Identify, Magic Missile, Shield, Sleep, Thunderwave

Arcane Tradition (at 2nd level):

Evocation


Armor: None

Weapons: Daggers, darts, slings, quarterstaffs, light crossbows, longswords, shortswords, shortbows, longbows

Skills: Arcana, History, Investigation, Perception


Equipment:

Spellbook

Arcane focus (crystal)

Scholar's pack

Dagger

Bottle of black ink, quill, small knife, letter from a dead colleague posing a question you have not yet been able to answer, set of common clothes, belt pouch with 10 gp


Description:

Lirael Moonshadow is a High Elf Wizard, combining her natural grace and keen senses with her mastery of the arcane arts. With a focus on Evocation magic, Lirael specializes in dealing damage and controlling the battlefield. Her high Dexterity and Intelligence scores make her effective at casting spells, while her Sage background gives her a deep understanding of the arcane world. Lirael's keen senses and elven agility make her an asset to any adventuring party, providing magical support and excellent scouting capabilities.



C. Halfling Rogue


Strengths

  • Lucky: Halflings can reroll 1s on attack, ability, and saving throw rolls, making them more reliable in crucial situations.

  • Nimble: Halflings can move through the spaces of larger creatures, providing better maneuverability in combat.

  • Sneak Attack: Rogues deal additional damage when they have advantage on an attack or an ally is within 5 feet of the target.


Weaknesses

  • Low Strength: Halflings have a -2 penalty to Strength, which can make them less effective in melee combat or physical challenges.

  • Limited Armor Proficiency: Rogues have limited armour proficiencies, relying on their Dexterity for protection.


Tips for gameplay:

  • Utilize your Rogue's Cunning Action to disengage, hide, or dash as a bonus action, enhancing your mobility in combat.

  • Focus on Dexterity-based attacks to maximize your effectiveness in combat.

  • Choose a Rogue archetype that complements your party composition and desired playstyle.


Sample Character: Pippin Underbough


Race: Lightfoot Halfling

Class: Rogue

Background: Criminal

Alignment: Chaotic Neutral


Ability Scores (after racial bonuses):


Strength: 8

Dexterity: 18

Constitution: 14

Intelligence: 12

Wisdom: 12

Charisma: 16

Rogue Archetype (at 3rd level):

Thief


Armor: Light armour

Weapons: Simple weapons, hand crossbows, longswords, rapiers, shortswords

Skills: Acrobatics, Deception, Perception, Sleight of Hand, Stealth, Persuasion

Equipment:


Rapier

Shortbow and 20 arrows

Burglar's pack

Leather armor

Thieves' tools

Crowbar, set of dark common clothes with a hood, belt pouch with 15 gp


Description:

Pippin Underbough is a crafty Lightfoot Halfling Rogue who excels at stealth, infiltration, and striking from the shadows. With his high Dexterity and Charisma, Pippin can swiftly navigate social and combat situations with ease. As a Thief, Pippin specializes in quick reflexes and dexterous manoeuvres, making him a valuable asset in a variety of scenarios.

Growing up in the criminal underworld, Pippin learned the value of stealth, deception, and sleight of hand, which he now employs to navigate the challenges of adventuring life. His innate Halfling luck and nimbleness make him a reliable companion, and his Sneak Attack ability ensures that he can deal significant damage when the opportunity arises.



D. Dwarf Cleric


Strengths

  • Dwarven Resilience: Dwarves have advantage on saving throws against poison and resistance to poison damage, making them more durable in combat.

  • Stonecunning: Dwarves have a bonus to Intelligence (History) checks related to stonework, useful in dungeons and ancient ruins.

  • Divine Domain: Clerics choose a divine domain at 1st level, granting them access to domain-specific spells and abilities.


Weaknesses

  • Slow Movement: Dwarves have a base walking speed of 25 feet, making them slower than most other races.

  • Limited Weapon Proficiencies: Clerics have limited weapon proficiencies, relying on their spells and domain abilities for damage output.

Tips for gameplay


  • Choose a divine domain that complements your party composition and desired playstyle.

  • Focus on your Wisdom score to maximize your spellcasting ability and effectiveness.

  • Utilize your healing spells and abilities to support your party during combat.


Sample Character: Morgrin Stoneheart


Race: Hill Dwarf

Class: Cleric

Background: Acolyte

Alignment: Lawful Good


Ability Scores (after racial bonuses):


Strength: 14

Dexterity: 10

Constitution: 16

Intelligence: 12

Wisdom: 16

Charisma: 10

Divine Domain:


Life Domain


Armour: Light armour, medium armour, shields

Weapons: Simple weapons, warhammer

Skills: Insight, Medicine, Religion, Persuasion

Equipment:


Warhammer

Scale mail armor

Shield

Explorer's pack

Holy symbol (silver)

Prayer book, vestments, incense, set of common clothes, belt pouch with 15 gp


Description:

Morgrin Stoneheart is a stalwart Hill Dwarf Cleric who serves as the backbone of his adventuring party. With his focus on the Life Domain, Morgrin excels at healing and supporting his allies, ensuring their safety in the heat of battle. His high Constitution and Wisdom scores make him a durable and effective spellcaster, capable of withstanding enemy attacks and channeling the power of his deity.


As an Acolyte of a prominent dwarven temple, Morgrin learned the importance of discipline, devotion, and compassion. His dwarven resilience and Stonecunning abilities grant him an advantage in navigating treacherous dungeons and ancient ruins. With his sturdy Warhammer and divine spells, Morgrin is a formidable force both in and out of combat, providing vital support and guidance to his party members



E. Dragonborn Paladin


Strengths

  • Draconic Heritage - Dragonborn gain a breath weapon and damage resistance based on their draconic ancestry, offering unique offensive and defensive abilities.

  • Bonus to Strength and Charisma: Dragonborn gain a +2 bonus to Strength and a +1 bonus to Charisma, which are both essential ability scores for Paladins.

  • Divine Smite: Paladins can use their spell slots to deal additional radiant damage with their melee attacks, making them potent damage dealers.

Weaknesses

  • Limited Racial Abilities - Apart from their breath weapon and damage resistance, Dragonborn have fewer racial abilities compared to other races.

  • Resource Management: Paladins need to manage their spell slots carefully to balance between casting spells and using Divine Smite.