I tried to ask a question, but it was closed as opinion based. The version of the question at time of writing is given here:

The tiers as defined here https://1d4chan.org/wiki/Tier_System

Tier 1: Capable of doing absolutely everything, often better than classes that specialize in that thing. Often capable of solving encounters with a single mechanical ability and little thought from the player. Has world changing powers at high levels. These guys, if played with skill, can easily break a campaign and can be very hard to challenge without extreme DM fiat or plenty of house rules, especially if Tier 3s and below are in the party.

Are the new Bard class options Tier 1? New class options: college of glamour, college of swords

I'm looking for a detailed analysis of the new bard colleges (and bard base class features) compared to the capabilities of all other classes and class options.

An easy way to answer would be to show a single thing the bard can't do that another class, class option can.

I'm looking for mechanical analysis of features. Mainly the result of features. Such as healing word having nearly identical results as the fighters second wind. It takes the same resources (something the fighter and bard can only do a few times a day)

The tier system can be applied to any game system. For instance a queen is clearly a tier two piece in chess because it can do almost everything other pieces can do.

My goals with this question are to get a sense of what I should expect of the new Bard Colleges (Glamour and Swords) over the course of a level 1-20 campaign and how they compare to the other classes. I'm willing to remove mentioning of the Tier system as it seems to offend a lot of people. I really don't want one character intentionally or not intentionally showing up other character on a regular basis, which I've seen from a few builds.

In the past in 5E I've seen the Battle Master Fighter outdone at almost every turn by a Bladesinger Wizard unintentionally. It was built in such a way to have an AC of 24 when necessary and could dish out as much damage as the Fighter round by round in the official adventures (It used a combination of haste and two weapon fighting).

I've seen PHB Bards nearly do this to casters (but in general all my caster players have held back for the sake of non-casters, so it was hard to tell).

I mainly want to know if I need to keep an eye on these class options.

How can I frame this for it to work on the stack? What do I need to provide, add, or clarify for it to be answerable?

  • \$\begingroup\$ I was told to post here as a discussion from the normal RPG stack exchange. \$\endgroup\$
    – Lokiare
    Dec 20, 2019 at 0:06
  • \$\begingroup\$ I assume you are referring to my comment, so I will clarify: I suggested you ask for workshopping here, not repost it. If anyone though it should have been migrated to meta, they would have said so, and the question would probably have been migrated for you. \$\endgroup\$
    – Someone_Evil Mod
    Dec 20, 2019 at 0:09
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Someone_Evil How do I do that? \$\endgroup\$
    – Lokiare
    Dec 20, 2019 at 0:12
  • \$\begingroup\$ You do your best to state what you want your goals are, what probems you (or others) have found, and ask how it might be structured/framed to fit (= be answerable on) the stack. \$\endgroup\$
    – Someone_Evil Mod
    Dec 20, 2019 at 0:14
  • \$\begingroup\$ Examples: Workshopping my question about Armor Class ranges and Question Workshop: GM Types \$\endgroup\$
    – Someone_Evil Mod
    Dec 20, 2019 at 0:15
  • \$\begingroup\$ So add the text "I'm asking for workshopping?" \$\endgroup\$
    – Lokiare
    Dec 20, 2019 at 0:15
  • \$\begingroup\$ Better yet, how would you phrase this question for workshopping? \$\endgroup\$
    – Lokiare
    Dec 20, 2019 at 0:15
  • \$\begingroup\$ Those links don't really help except to ask a question about my question, which I see you already did. \$\endgroup\$
    – Lokiare
    Dec 20, 2019 at 0:23
  • 6
    \$\begingroup\$ I made an edit to give it a basic structure which should be workable. You should probably add more on what you perceived the question was versus how it was received and most importantly, what your goals are with the question. What you want an answer to cover and what to base it with. There are probably other things you should add too, but I'm going to let other chime in with that. \$\endgroup\$
    – Someone_Evil Mod
    Dec 20, 2019 at 0:23
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ Thanks for the revision Someone_Evil. This looks fine, and I hope meta can supply you with good guidance. \$\endgroup\$ Dec 20, 2019 at 0:25
  • 3
    \$\begingroup\$ Here's the chat room for comments that erupted under the originating question, in case anyone wants to do some spelunking: chat.stackexchange.com/transcript/102394 \$\endgroup\$
    – nitsua60 Mod
    Dec 20, 2019 at 1:43

2 Answers 2


The question is either Too Broad or Opinion-based

The first step in getting a question reopened is to identify what is wrong with it in the first place. You have received some comments to that effect, but it appears not all of them were as clear as they could be. Therefore, I will try to lay out the issues some users have with the question in its current form.

The Tier list doesn't suit 5e

You post is built on the premise that 5e classes can be sorted into a neat tier list as they were in previous editions. As this question explains, 5e does not fit a tier list very well due to being inherently better balanced than previous editions. While you are technically correct that the tier system can be used in any game system, by being a relatively balanced system the tier list for 5e would be just a list of all the class in the same tier.

I believe almost all the issues with this post stem from this single cause, but there are still some others worth mentioning.

Comparing all class abilities is too broad

Often optimisation questions get closed for lacking a criteria to optimise for. This is a similar problem. Currently you are asking for a general analysis of entire subclasses against every other class in the game. If there was a community ranking already, this would be fine; as there is not, this makes this single question unfortunately too broad.

When a question is too broad to be answerable on every possible criteria, we are forced to choose the criteria that we personally find most important. This is an opinion-based assessment, which likely led to the question getting closed as such.

You make an inaccurate example

In your question you compare Second Wind to Healing Word. Several users have comments to explain that while on the surface these features are similar (they are healing abilities), when doing this kind of analysis they are actually extremely different in terms of action-economy, opportunity-cost and availability.

Examples should be used to clarify a question. By having a contentious example, you unfortunately have the opposite effect, making the question less clear and adding an additional source of confusion.

How to fix it

I hope you can now understand what led to your question being closed in the first place, so let's work on fixing it to get it reopened. I don't believe it is a bad question, so it shouldn't take too much work. Here are some things you might like to try.

Establish a base understanding

Linking the tier list was a good start. The next step would be to provide good examples of how you interpret it for 5e. Users don't need to agree with the ranking system to answer the question; we just need to understand how you interpret it. Particularly focus on where you rank the other bard subclasses on this list.

Once everyone is on the same page, we can answer questions even if we don't agree with the premise.

Restrict the criteria

Narrow the scope of the question by focusing on specific criteria. Lay some ground rules for comparison. For instance, you mentioned that the DMG has recommendations for the number of encounters and rests per day. Explicitly stating that answers should assume these are adhered to makes comparison simpler.

Another good restriction would be ruling out magic items and feats to only focus on the class features. Also ruling out multiclassing interactions makes analysis much simpler.

Finally, specify the level of optimisation we should be comparing against. Do we assume that all classes are maximally optimised? Giving a clear reference frame helps us write answers that will be useful to you.

Use clearer examples

If someone questions your example as unclear, it is often a good idea to swap it to a different one or remove it entirely. The last thing you want to do is distract from your core question with comment discussions around the validity of your example.

Other notes

It has always been my personal policy on SE to assume good faith from other users. Comments are short and not a great way to communicate; often they appear rude or uncaring even when we don't mean to be. When a question gets closed, try to listen to the commenters that explain the reasons, and ask for clarification if you don't understand.

If you still don't agree, bring it here to meta, and do so in a calm non-confrontational manner. Mostly of us are human and we make mistakes. Explaining your side of disagreement is a clear manner is more likely to get results you want than stating that the other side is simply wrong without supporting evidence.

Good luck. As I said, I think this is a good, valid question - but one that has some issues. Work with other users rather than against them, and it should get reopened and hopefully see some great answers.

  • \$\begingroup\$ As I've explained multiple times. I reject the idea that the tier system is not suited for anything except 3.5E. This is clearly not so because its a relative ranking system and its criteria can be applied to anything from D&D to Chess. To work for 5E, you have to include the class option along with the class so a Rogue Thief and a Rogue Assassin are two different classes. After that you can compare to see if one does things better than the other. \$\endgroup\$
    – Lokiare
    Dec 20, 2019 at 3:35
  • \$\begingroup\$ I've already address "Comparing all class abilities is too broad" section in an edit to the original question. \$\endgroup\$
    – Lokiare
    Dec 20, 2019 at 3:36
  • \$\begingroup\$ "You make an inaccurate example" The example is very accurate. Both heal and both use similar limited resources. The Fighter can use second wind up to 3 times per day (according to the DMG guidelines on adventuring day) and the Bard can cast healing word (same action economy) a similar number of times. \$\endgroup\$
    – Lokiare
    Dec 20, 2019 at 3:38
  • \$\begingroup\$ I'll mark this as the answer if it gets re-opened. \$\endgroup\$
    – Lokiare
    Dec 20, 2019 at 3:41
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    \$\begingroup\$ @Lokiare 1) I tried to address why a balanced system doesn't work well for tier lists. Then explained how you could still include it in the question by explaining your interpretation. 2) You have addressed it yes. I was responding to the version in this question which didn't include those updates. Good job. 3) As I said in my post, the accuracy of the example is questionable and hence distracts from your core point. Choosing a different one or removing it may benefit your question. \$\endgroup\$
    – linksassin Mod
    Dec 20, 2019 at 3:53
  • \$\begingroup\$ I don't think 5E is a balanced system. Relative to 3.5E it is a lot more balanced, but relative to 4E it is extremely unbalanced. Its akin to saying a rocket launcher is not destructive when you are used to using nukes. \$\endgroup\$
    – Lokiare
    Dec 20, 2019 at 3:55
  • 3
    \$\begingroup\$ @Lokiare Ok, that is your view. Others disagree, hence is becomes opinion based. I'm not trying to argue for either side, merely trying to explain why it is contentious. \$\endgroup\$
    – linksassin Mod
    Dec 20, 2019 at 4:00
  • \$\begingroup\$ Others can disagree that 2+2=4. It doesn't turn it into opinion. \$\endgroup\$
    – Lokiare
    Dec 20, 2019 at 4:06
  • \$\begingroup\$ I've yet to see anyone put forward any factual or mathematical data that 5E is balanced. I've heard a lot of people say it however. When I've done my own mathematical analysis of the 5E classes I've seen huge power gaps. \$\endgroup\$
    – Lokiare
    Dec 20, 2019 at 4:07
  • \$\begingroup\$ Now people can say things like "I enjoy the balance of 5E" or something like that. I'm like ok. But when they say "its balanced" I'm like show me some math. \$\endgroup\$
    – Lokiare
    Dec 20, 2019 at 4:08
  • \$\begingroup\$ The problem with your edit just now is I asked the same question without the tier system mentioned and it still got closed. \$\endgroup\$
    – Lokiare
    Dec 20, 2019 at 4:09
  • 5
    \$\begingroup\$ @Lokiare It's still too broad. "Compare these two subclasses to every other class/subclass in the game" is just too big. \$\endgroup\$
    – Oblivious Sage Mod
    Dec 20, 2019 at 13:56
  • 6
    \$\begingroup\$ If you've done your own mathematical analysis and you trust it, then why are you asking us? \$\endgroup\$
    – Mark Wells
    Dec 20, 2019 at 18:23
  • 4
    \$\begingroup\$ @Lokiare You have had time to argue about this at length. Your "I don't have time" line is not credible. NautArchs's answer to this meta is a good one - for anyone trying to get their arms around the "comparative power" bogey that 5e has raised. I still see this as a bit of an X-Y problem, but perhaps for a novel reason: that you think comparative power matters is part of the problem. \$\endgroup\$ Dec 21, 2019 at 1:17
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ @Lokiare I've been playing the game since 1975, and I have DM'd more than I've played, all said and done. I understand what you are saying. Each table / set of players will have a particular expectation, and your groups seem to like comparing who is more powerful in the party. Seen that too. \$\endgroup\$ Dec 24, 2019 at 22:01

Narrow your scope

I think there's a way to get to the heart of your question in a very stackable manner: simply asking if the subclasses are more powerful than the existing bard subclasses.

The measuring stick

Ultimately, your premise is that the new bard classes are significantly better than any other class. However, you don't actually need to do a comparison against all other classes to see if that's true.

You can begin by comparing against the existing Bard subclasses. If the new subclasses aren't significantly superior, then that theory is disproved. If they are, then we can move on to a new question.

But by starting with a simple comparison of power between the subclasses in question against the existing ones, we have a very narrow scope and one that we've looked at previously on the stack (beastmaster ranger for example.)

This would turn the question into a very narrow comparison that may result in the answer you were looking for.

  • \$\begingroup\$ Unfortunately when I try to ask other questions they get marked as duplicate to this one so I could not ask the questions that needed to be asked in a reasonable amount of time. \$\endgroup\$
    – Lokiare
    Dec 24, 2019 at 17:53
  • \$\begingroup\$ Also it wasn't that the original Bard colleges were superior to other classes it was that they could replicate the specialties of those classes (end results) in the different areas: combat (damage), combat (healing), exploration (natural obstacles), exploration (traps), interaction, etc...etc...Sometimes they were better as in the case of comparing healing capability to any class except for the life Cleric (all other clerics they were better). \$\endgroup\$
    – Lokiare
    Dec 24, 2019 at 17:59

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