To Multi-Class or not to Multi-Class





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  1. #1

    To Multi-Class or not to Multi-Class

    I was looking into the pro's and con's of multi-classing in D&D 3e. I think that multi-classing is great because it allows more customization with a player's concept of a character.

    One of my friends thinks that multi-classing any character ruins it, basically the cons of multi-classing, outweigh the pros.

    What do you guys think of the handling of Multi-Classing

  2. #2
    Well, it depends on what classes are involved. If you are primarily a Sorcerer, you won't want to multi-class because you are already behind the wizard in spell levels. However, picking up a level of Sorcerer can greatly enhance other classes. For instance, a level of Sorcerer before taking Monk for the rest of your career would give you True Strike for your stunning fists and Mage Armor for your AC.

  3. #3
    For instance, a level of Sorcerer before taking Monk for the rest of your career would give you True Strike for your stunning fists and Mage Armor for your AC.
    ...and one level less of monk that you'd otherwise have.

    As I understand it, conventional D&D wisdom seems to be that monks are no different to sorcerors in needing every single level in their main class that they can scrounge in order to be optimal at martial arts (or magic in the case of sorcerors, of course).

    True Strike + Mage Armor is probably worth the loss at low levels, but I suspect that it scales badly at high levels. Then again, I've never tried it. How does it play?
    Last edited by rounser; Wednesday, 10th April, 2002 at 09:29 AM.

  4. #4
    My character is only getting to 4th level, so I'm not sure how it scales, yet. I actually picked Wizard, not Sorcerer, though I think that Sorcerer would be a more "in character" choice for a Monk. Being able to cast shield+mage armor before a fight along with using Dodge/Mobility can really jack up the AC into the mid-to-high 20s. Then I can use a true strike when I really need to stun someone. Granted, I don't do much damage, but it's a sure hit, and it could stun them if they fail the save.

  5. #5
    Originally posted by rounser

    As I understand it, conventional D&D wisdom seems to be that monks are no different to sorcerors in needing every single level in their main class that they can scrounge in order to be optimal at martial arts (or magic in the case of sorcerors, of course).

    True Strike + Mage Armor is probably worth the loss at low levels, but I suspect that it scales badly at high levels. Then again, I've never tried it. How does it play?
    Mage armour isn't what you want (bracers of armour will do the job handily at higher levels), it's shield. Nothing else provides a cover bonus to AC, except tower shields, and they have their own problems. In any case, being a sorc also means being able to use all sorts of nifty items such as wands and (low-level) scrolls.

    I'm not aware that monks lose out badly when it comes to multiclassing. It depends, as always, on what you want to do. If you want to focus on weapon use, for instance, then taking some levels of fighter can only help.

  6. #6
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    Ignore Moriya
    I'd go the simple way: Multiclassing has to be character-related. Otherwise it's just like this: "take a lvl of this, one of that, so I get as much advantages as possible"
    I'm actually considering to not allow more than two core classes and one PrC. That should be enough to play almost any type of character, shouldn't it?

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    Ignore Darklone

    Uhm

    Several points:

    - Multiclassing for fightertypes (fighter, barbarian, paladin, ranger) is fine: They don't lose BAB progression and usually only win extra abilities. Ranger and Paladin lose spells, but if you head into fighter or barbarian direction... the high level abilities there suck, you don't lose anything while multiclassing.
    - Multiclassing anything else: Monks suck multiclassed. They don't have BAB and they need it desperately. Every level wizard, sorcerer or whatever lowers their to hit and True Strike does not help there since you lose too many other attacks. One or two level monk before multiclassing to wizard or sorcerer makes a fine thing though you lose spell progression. You win: Evasion, some nice hitpoints, horrible good saves and AoOs with your hands as well as possibly some AC bonus due to Wisdom plus better skills.
    - Multiclassing bard, rogue and other things: You win something and lose mainly BAB. A rogue that multiclasses with ranger wins some feats but loses a bit sneak attack progression and skill points. Bard rocks multiclassed, you don't rely so much on your spells anyway and new abilities are always worth it.

    Hmm. Summary: Spellcasting classes suck multiclassed if you wanna go for the high power spells. Jack of all trade types love it and don't lose much but win versatility.

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    Ignore Darklone
    Originally posted by Moriya
    I'd go the simple way: Multiclassing has to be character-related. Otherwise it's just like this: "take a lvl of this, one of that, so I get as much advantages as possible"
    I'm actually considering to not allow more than two core classes and one PrC. That should be enough to play almost any type of character, shouldn't it?
    I don't really agree... 3rd edition was the first where I was able to play a character concept that I loved in other systems. But I have to pick 5 (!!!) core classes for it. Ok, I don't play with PrClasses, they suck IMHO

    But I would have had to build my own PrClass for him anyways and that sucks more than multiclassing.

    As for gathering advantages by multiclassing: Ask high level parties. The multiclassers die first. I often heard this: "A party consisting mainly of multiclassed chars does not last long."
    I can only agree. High power characters are usually singleclassed. (Except for fighter/ranger/barbarians).

  9. #9
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    Ignore Garmorn
    I like multiclassing my self and have found them to be just as usefull and surviveble as a single class character.

    There is just one rule to follow. You must have a design for them from the start. You have to work at covering their weekness and maximize their strengths. For example I had a fighter/wizard. His spells, skills, and feats were designed to maxinize his use of magic in melee. He used primary buff spells or spells like True Strike that enhance melee combat. Another one I am running is a Fighter/Phyic Warrior. I started him with two levels of fighters because of the story line but it works quite well. He has extra hit points, feats and BAB over a simialr level Phyic Warrior at the cost of delayed powers and power points. Not a bad trade off and in character.
    Garmorn


  10. #10
    The below has nothing to do with character concept. Character concept is completely different from efficiency. I do not claim that character concept should take a back seat to efficiency.

    However, it is important for people to understand the mechanics so that they don't end up with a "useless" character (In their opinion.)

    Do not, I repeat, do not tell me I am a twink/munchkin/rollplayer etc. (I already know.)

    This assumes you are not taking any PrCs.

    Good Multiclassers:

    Fighter
    Barbarian
    Rogue
    One level of Ranger

    When multiclassing, always take one of the above classes and either:

    1) Combine with another "good" multiclasser.
    2) Combine with one of the other classes.

    Do not take any of the following classes and combine them, unless you are prepared to have less power than a single class character. i.e:

    No Sorcerer/Cleric/Wizard

    Bad Multiclassers:

    Cleric
    Monk
    Bard
    Paladin
    Multiple Levels of Ranger

    Worst Multiclassers:

    Wizard
    Sorcerer
    Druid

    In order of the most effective characters:

    1) Single Class
    or
    1) Best + Best

    3) Best + Bad
    4) Best + Worst
    5) Bad + Bad
    6) Bad + Worst
    7) Worst + Worst

    I have only ever seen one effective three or four class character:

    (Fighter + Barbarian + One level of Ranger + Rogue)

    When PrCs are added into the mix, and the PrC requires a multiclass decision, make sure that what you are giving up by multiclassing is balanced by the effectiveness of the PrC.

    For example:

    The True Necromancer gains the ability to Create Undead at CL 14. A Single Classed Cleric, on the other hand, gains the same ability at CL 11. In effect, with this PrC, you are giving up the highest level of Cleric Spells for the lowest level of Wizard spells. IMHO, this is just not worth it.

    Now on to reality:

    Each roleplaying group is different. Meaning: Not all of the above is the same from group to group. In some groups, Diplomacy is the best skill and Weapon Specialization is a wasted feat.

    In your group, if everyone multiclasses, and the DM drops the difficulty of encounters or tailors the encounter specifically to the PCs, then the multiclass issue will be less of a burden.

    However, in my experience, players like their characters to have one thing that they are really good at that sets them apart from the other PCs; be it disarming traps, bluffing the guards or slaying the beasts.

    And just like in the real world, specialists are better at doing specialized tasks, and generalists don't excel at any one thing.

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