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D&D 3E/3.5 3.5 alternate ways of handling favoured classes and multiclassing

Lady Chaomii

First Post
I'm gonna be frank with you. The way 3.5 handles multiclassing... Sucks.

Giving a character a serious learning disability because they put a level or two into a different class is just stupid, mechanically and fluff wise. Mechanically because the multiclassed character is going to fall FAR behind the rest of the group without getting such a massive advantage to really warrant it. There are favored classes, but really, what if you want to put 3 levels in bard? Non of the core races have bard as a favored class. A human? But you don't want to make a human. Too bad the mechanics of the game force you into choosing a human. (And even if another did have bard as a favored class, you'd be equally forced into choosing that race)

The fluff? Don't even get me started on how this fails miserably fluff wise.

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Now that I'm done picking apart one of the only mechanics of 3.5 I don't like. Let's discuss the point of this thread.

As DM of my own game, I've just violently torn out the multiclass penalty rules and incinerated them with holy fire. But I feel it leaves the different races' favored classes un-utilized.

Are there any alternate methods of handling favored classes? I was thinking something that maybe gives a small bonus rather than a devastating penalty.

I was looking at the way pathfinder handles favored classes, but the issue is; firstly pathfinder is balanced around the favored class rules and secondly pathfinder lets you choose your own favored classes, which might make it a little too serious an advantage.
 
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Viktyr Gehrig

First Post
Seen the Advanced Player's Guide? It's got racial alternate favored class bonuses, where instead of +1 HP or +1 skill point, you get a special benefit based on your race and your class. So you only get bonuses for race/class combinations that are iconic in some fashion.

Me, I'm trying to figure out a way to make the 3.X multiclassing system work for me... and I'm bringing back the idea of racial class limits. Not the way they were handled in AD&D, which was kinda boring, but with each race getting access to a specific selection of classes and archetypes.
 

Drowbane

First Post
I have ignored "Favored Classes" and the multiclassing penality since roughly 2001.

Only "mundanes" really multiclass, and penalizing the boys who can't cast spells seemed pointless to me. For similiar reasons I have used "Fractional BAB and Saves" since UA came out...
 

Dandu

First Post
Me, I'm trying to figure out a way to make the 3.X multiclassing system work for me... and I'm bringing back the idea of racial class limits. Not the way they were handled in AD&D, which was kinda boring, but with each race getting access to a specific selection of classes and archetypes.

[ame=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RovF1zsDoeM]AVENUE Q - 'Everybody's a Little Racist,' Broadway Cast - YouTube[/ame]
 

nonsi256

Explorer
Try this:


There are no multiclassing XP penalties of any sort, for any reason.
Each race has 3 base classes that come more natural to it than other classes.
Advancing a favored class requires only 90% of the usual XP-diff from the previous ECL.
The favored classes for the PHB races are as follows:

- Dwarf: Cleric, Fighter, Paladin
- Elf: Druid, Ranger, Wizard
- Gnome: Bard, Rogue, Wizard
- Half Elf: Monk, Ranger, Sorcerer
- Half Orc: Barbarian, Fighter, Monk
- Halfling: Bard, Ranger, Rogue
- Human: Any three
 

Sekhmet

First Post
The fluff of favored classes is actually pretty solid. When the majority of the race tends toward one particular class, the way they raise their children will reflect the values and ideals represented by that class, making new children tend toward those values and therefor that class.

Warrior societies breed warriors, thieves breed thieves, and so on and so forth.

With all that said, I don't know anyone who actually uses favored class mechanics.
 

RUMBLETiGER

Adventurer
The fluff of favored classes is actually pretty solid.
Except Elves, Wizards don't fit into my idea of Elf.

I second @Drowbane , While I am a strict lover of the law and do most everything as per RAW, me and mine have ignored Multiclassing penalties.

And, coincidentally, have adopted fractal BAB & Saves as well. Drowbane, we need to play a game together.
 

Sekhmet

First Post
Except Elves, Wizards don't fit into my idea of Elf.

I second @Drowbane , While I am a strict lover of the law and do most everything as per RAW, me and mine have ignored Multiclassing penalties.

And, coincidentally, have adopted fractal BAB & Saves as well. Drowbane, we need to play a game together.

The D&D Elf is definitely Wizard. They're long lived, studious individuals with a passion for the arts and magic - perfect complement to the "book smart" Wizard archetype.
Druids are so rare that they couldn't be a favored class, and Rangers are more solitary than Elves (very social people) tend to be.
The only other thing that would make sense would be a Bard, but Elves tend to stick to their own kind rather than becoming worldly.

I can argue it, but I also don't use favored classes. I have a list of "nonstandard classes" which receive a 10% penalty to EXP for each race, but those are so absurd that it almost makes sense.

For example, Orc Wizards, Halfling Barbarians, Half Ogre Rogues, and other such combinations that are just absolutely silly.
 
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Drowbane

First Post
The D&D Elf is definitely Wizard. They're long lived, studious individuals with a passion for the arts and magic - perfect complement to the "book smart" Wizard archetype.
Druids are so rare that they couldn't be a favored class, and Rangers are more solitary than Elves (very social people) tend to be.
The only other thing that would make sense would be a Bard, but Elves tend to stick to their own kind rather than becoming worldly.

I can argue it, but I also don't use favored classes. I have a list of "nonstandard classes" which receive a 10% penalty to EXP for each race, but those are so absurd that it almost makes sense.

For example, Orc Wizards, Halfling Barbarians, Half Ogre Rogues, and other such combinations that are just absolutely silly.

Favored Class is a weak nod to previous editions. When demihumans could only reach a certain level in certain classes. Dwarves advanced furthest as Fighters (and couldn't even be Mages), Elves (iirc) advanced furthest in Wizard, Halflings as Thieves, etc. 3e swept aside the notion that the demihumans were second class citizens by letting everybody advance to 20 in whatever they want. Dwarves can now be Mages even! Anybody can be a Paladin (previously a Human-only class!)! This is a cow (probably not even sacred) that can be sacrificed, and so as I mention above I used Favored Class rules only during year 1 of 3e.

While the Fluff may be acceptable for some games, it does not match everybodies campaign anyways. And the Fluff is highly suspect when you compare the racial mechanics at times. Elf Wizard? Are you kidding me? Yeah, +2 Dex and -2 Con just screams "lets choose the class with the d4 HD!". And even if that wasn't character suicide, in my campaigns Elves are more likely to be priests of the Old Faith (read: druids and sometimes clerics with certain domains) or warriors of the Old Faith (rangers with Wild Shape at 5th level - See UA).

This leads me to another minor flaw with 3e... see in previous editions stats were simply not as important. If you got a -1 to Con (see 2e and earlier elves) is simply didn't matter all that much, even if you were a Fighter (the only class that could benefit from more than... a +1 or +2 to HP from Con - IIRC). With 3e stats are very important, and Con is perhaps the one stat that Everybody needs, so Elves getting a penalty there is now actually a big deal...

lastly, one of my favorite PCs of all time was a Halfling Barbarian. Guess what, he owned. Granted he was something like Fighter 2 / Ranger 1 / Rogue 3 / Barbarian 2... at level 8.

My point to all this? Favored Class is the purview of the DM anyways (my campaigns, Elves favor Druidism over other endeavors) and any DM worth his dice bag can do it better than WotC did. I choose to keep it a fluff thing - if you meet an NPC of a given race, they will have a 90% chance of being a certain class.
 

BriarMonkey

First Post
I agree that the multi-classing penalties are just something you ignore - they don't fit.

Tieing into that, the whole notion of favored class falls apart if you remove the multi-class penalties. So, if you really want them to still make a difference, then I think Pathfinder did it well enough. Really, the extra skill point or HP (or other option if you use the Advanced Player's Guide) does not make a huge difference - but it is noticeable over time. It is none-the-less, a nice little benne.

Similarly, at least for my games, I also removed the double skill point penalty for cross-class skills. Thus, all skills cost only one point. (Pathfinder does this.)

But, if you want to completely chuck the current construct, might I suggest instead of using the multi-class rules as written, you allow people who multi-class to use the gestalt rules from the Unearthed Arcana. But - those who use this variant also have their XP table upped.

I do this with Pathfinder and use the Medium advancement table for everyone. Those who multi-class use the Slow advancement table. On average, they are about a level behind the single classers. To keep things simple, once you multi-class, you are always a multi-class. Otherwise you will need to find a way to allow the XP table to deviate based on if they multi-class this level, but not next, then go back to it a couple levels later...

Just my two shekels.
 

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