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D&D 1E AD&D two weapon fighting


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Voadam

Legend
My favorite was the Bard - The bard could be a half-elf or a human. To be a bard you first had to dual class in fighter and Thief, then you could take your third class in Bard ..... but half-elves were not allowed to dual class ..... so they could be Bards, but they could not earn the class prerequisites to be a Bard!

That's not it for bard issues.

1e PH page 117: "BARD ABILITIES A bard must have scores of 15 or better in the following abilities: strength, wisdom, dexterity and charisma. Furthermore, a bard must have at least a 12 score in intelligence and a 10 in constitution."

So if you meet those stats you can be a bard right?

Not quite.

Again page 117 "Bards begin play as fighters, and they must remain exclusively fighters until they have achieved at least the 5th level of experience. Anytime thereafter, and in any event prior to attaining the 8th level, they must change their class to that of thieves. Again, sometime between 5th and 9th level of ability, bards must leave off thieving and begin clerical studies as druids; but at this time they are actually bards and under druidical tutelage."

Page 33: "In order to switch from one class to another, the character must have an ability score of 15 or more in the principal attribute(s) ability of the original class and a 17 or 18 in the principal attribute(s) of the class changed to."

Thieves only have a major attribute of dexterity so the dexterity minimum is actually 17 not 15 to get to bard prerequisite training step 2.
Page 26: "The major ability for a thief is dexterity, and a character must have not less than a 9 to become a thief."

So you in fact might need a 15 strength, 17 dexterity, 10 constitution, 12 intelligence, 15 wisdom, and 15 charisma.

And then depending on how you interpret the beginning clerical studies as a druid versus being an actual bard the principal attributes might be the druid's.

Page 20: "As priests of nature, they must have a minimum wisdom of 12 and a charisma of 15. Both of these major attributes must exceed 15 if a druid is to gain a 10% bonus to earned experience."

This would mean you in fact need a 15 strength, 17 dexterity, 10 constitution, 12 intelligence, 17 wisdom, and 17 charisma.

However if you interpret it as then switching to bard class under druid tutelage and not druid, you would need 17s in the major attributes of the bard class, which are not specified, but you do need 15s in four attributes, and minimums in the two others. Conceivably this could be interpreted to mean you need 17's in every stat, or four stats, or since bards do not have the 10% experience options listed, they have no major attributes, just high minimums and just need the 17 dexterity to get to the thief class intermediary training.

Of course it is possible to interpret it as the bard rules are their own thing so human and half-elves can both take the bard class at first level, which are effectively but not actually fighters at that point, and follow the path of the bard without meeting the stat and race requirements of standard dual classing, in which case the stat requirements are as listed under the bard class and the character must switch over to thieving after 7th level fighter progression without having other options to continue as fighters or to dual class to other classes.
 
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Nikosandros

Golden Procrastinator
Of course it is possible to interpret it as the bard rules are their own thing so human and half-elves can both take the bard class at first level, which are effectively but not actually fighters at that point, and follow the path of the bard without meeting the stat and race requirements of standard dual classing, in which case the stat requirements are as listed under the bard class and the character must switch over to thieving after 7th level fighter progression without having other options to continue as fighters or to dual class to other classes.
This. Bards are their own thing. Why try to apply rules for other situations? They are not dual-classed characters and are not fighters, thieves or druids.
 

Voadam

Legend
This. Bards are their own thing. Why try to apply rules for other situations? They are not dual-classed characters and are not fighters, thieves or druids.
Because a natural reading of the fighter to thief section of the bard rules is that you use the existing dual class rules for switching from one class to another:

"Bards begin play as fighters, and they must remain exclusively fighters until they have achieved at least the 5th level of experience. Anytime thereafter, and in any event prior to attaining the 8th level, they must change their class to that of thieves."

It is not the only way to reasonably interpret that section, but it is a natural way to read it. And if that is how it is read they are literally dual classed fighters to thieves, then going on to special druid/bard class.
 

Snarf Zagyg

Notorious Liquefactionist
This. Bards are their own thing. Why try to apply rules for other situations? They are not dual-classed characters and are not fighters, thieves or druids.

Maybe! That's definitely a ruling that makes the half-elf make sense.

....but then you have a different problem (as I jokingly alluded to in my other post). You've created a new category - the pre-Bard. And the trouble with creating this special pre-Bard is manifold- what happens when something happens along the way and you suddenly lose the ability to continue on and become a Bard? There are innumerable ways this can happen, from an alignment shift (either purposeful or magic), to reincarnation that changes your race, to the loss of a point of your ability score as prerequisite, to the player just saying, "I realized, finally, that Bards are the worst. I want to be a part of the solution, not the problem. I refuse to switch to Bard."

The solution, as always? Get rid of the bards.
 

Alzrius

The EN World kitten
The solution, as always? Get rid of the bards.
Which isn't to say that they don't serve a purpose once you've gotten rid of them.

Ttrpg Zombieorpheus GIF by zoefannet
 

Because a natural reading of the fighter to thief section of the bard rules is that you use the existing dual class rules for switching from one class to another:

"Bards begin play as fighters, and they must remain exclusively fighters until they have achieved at least the 5th level of experience. Anytime thereafter, and in any event prior to attaining the 8th level, they must change their class to that of thieves."

It is not the only way to reasonably interpret that section, but it is a natural way to read it. And if that is how it is read they are literally dual classed fighters to thieves, then going on to special druid/bard class.

But the problem is that that doesn't work. The Bard description never explicitly says "use the dual class rules for this". What it does say is that the prerequisites to be a bard are noticeably lower than those of being dual class, and that half-elves are allowed to be bards, in spite of half-elves not being allowed to dual class. A natural reading might mean that you should use the dual class rules, but a natural reading of bard as a whole makes it clearly logically inconsistent with the rules for dual class. The bard class as written is not compatible with the dual class rules as written. It's clear, then, that the bard rules must be an exception.

The specific can override the general in D&D. Otherwise, things like percentile strength don't work. The rules for bard are primarily in the entry for bard. Anything the bard entry says is true must be so for bards because it literally defines how to play a bard. If any more general rules contradict the bard entry on how to play a bard, we should favor the bard entry as the correct one.

Remember that the 1e AD&D PHB came after OD&D, where demi-human races would switch between classes in a modal manner at the start of an adventure. The idea of switching to a new class was already not limited to the language in the AD&D PHB. The language of the bard entry may wholly pre-date the existence of the dual class and multi-class rules entirely.
 

David Howery

Adventurer
The solution, as always? Get rid of the bards.
not hard, since it's an optional class anyway.

One of the things that always disappointed me about 2E was that, while they did what they could to make it compatible with 1E, it wasn't more of a 'cleaning up 1E and getting rid of the inconsistencies and making the rules a lot more clear' and a lot more 'let's rewrite a lot of stuff and kowtow to the 'Satanic Panic' crowd by removing stuff they won't like'.... I would have liked to see a polished up 1E....
 

Mannahnin

Adventurer
Remember that the 1e AD&D PHB came after OD&D, where demi-human races would switch between classes in a modal manner at the start of an adventure. The idea of switching to a new class was already not limited to the language in the AD&D PHB. The language of the bard entry may wholly pre-date the existence of the dual class and multi-class rules entirely.
I agree with your other paragraphs, but I don't think the above is supported by the evidence we have. Only elves had the "switch between classes" language in 1974, and that went away when Sup I: Greyhawk came out in 1975.

A version of the Bard was originally published in The Strategic Review or The Dragon prior to AD&D's publication, but we don't have any evidence to suggest that the weird version in the PH predates OD&D by any means.
 

Snarf Zagyg

Notorious Liquefactionist
But the problem is that that doesn't work. The Bard description never explicitly says "use the dual class rules for this". What it does say is that the prerequisites to be a bard are noticeably lower than those of being dual class, and that half-elves are allowed to be bards, in spite of half-elves not being allowed to dual class. A natural reading might mean that you should use the dual class rules, but a natural reading of bard as a whole makes it clearly logically inconsistent with the rules for dual class. The bard class as written is not compatible with the dual class rules as written. It's clear, then, that the bard rules must be an exception.

The specific can override the general in D&D. Otherwise, things like percentile strength don't work. The rules for bard are primarily in the entry for bard. Anything the bard entry says is true must be so for bards because it literally defines how to play a bard. If any more general rules contradict the bard entry on how to play a bard, we should favor the bard entry as the correct one.

Remember that the 1e AD&D PHB came after OD&D, where demi-human races would switch between classes in a modal manner at the start of an adventure. The idea of switching to a new class was already not limited to the language in the AD&D PHB. The language of the bard entry may wholly pre-date the existence of the dual class and multi-class rules entirely.

"explicitly says"
"specific can override the general"

Huh. You're new to this High Gygaxian! It's more holistic than explicit. ;)


"The language of the bard entry may wholly pre-date the existence of the dual class and multi-class rules entirely."

Nope. The OG bard was in The Strategic Review, v2n1 1976 (Schwegman) and was a regular class in OD&D that allowed for human, elves, dwarves, and hobbits (race-as-class came about with Moldvay basic). This is acknowledged by Gygax in the intro ("this presentation is greatly modified from the original bard character class").

The original "dual class" rule was "changing character class" (OD&D p. 10) and remarkably similar to the later dual classing in terms of the high pre-requisites needed. I think it is more correct to say that demi-humans were given multiclassing (based on the prior Elven trait), while humans were given the dual class based on the changing character class).

Much like psionics, it was hidden away in the appendix as not being fully-baked, and not being integrated into the remainder of the book.

EDIT: ninja'd by @Mannahnin
 

I agree with your other paragraphs, but I don't think the above is supported by the evidence we have. Only elves had the "switch between classes" language in 1974, and that went away when Sup I: Greyhawk came out in 1975.

A version of the Bard was originally published in The Strategic Review or The Dragon prior to AD&D's publication, but we don't have any evidence to suggest that the weird version in the PH predates OD&D by any means.

I'm not arguing that the bard is using the OD&D rules or that the class as presented predates everything in AD&D. I'm arguing that when they wrote the AD&D PHB they were not limited to thinking of class changes in only the ways outlined by the AD&D PHB rules. Other rules already existed for class change.

Further, I'm arguing that we don't know the order that the rules in the AD&D PHB were written. The 1e bard could have been written before the dual class rules as presented existed. We can't just say, "these are in the same book they must've been developed concurrently and must reference each other." We all know that RPG design in the 1970s wasn't remotely that well organized.

"explicitly says"
"specific can override the general"

Huh. You're new to this High Gygaxian! It's more holistic than explicit. ;)

Are you arguing that the bard entry doesn't read how it does?

Look, there are many ways that the bard doesn't fit with dual class rules.

1. Different ability prerequisites. They should be Str 15, Dex 17, Wis 17, Cha 17. They're Str 15, Dex 15, Con 10, Int 12, Wis 15, Cha 15.
2. Different class levels. Instead of 2 to any time thereafter, it's fighter 5-7, thief 5-9, druid in exactly that order.
3. Note that because the restriction is 5-7 and 5-9, you can be a fighter 5/thief 5/bard (druid) X. Dual class rules normally require that you exceed your previous class. The bard entry clearly doesn't do that.
4. The class never gets better at combat than it's fighter level, regardless of what druid level it reaches.
5. It progresses as a druid, but then it doesn't cast higher than 12th level until bard level 23.

This is not how dual class works. If the class breaks the dual class rules with the above, why must it follow the others?

More than that... the entire game is filled with bespoke, one-off rules for everything. That was the whole problem with the game in the 20th century. The idea that two remarkably similar systems would use completely incompatible rules is entirely consistent with AD&D.

"The language of the bard entry may wholly pre-date the existence of the dual class and multi-class rules entirely."

Nope. The OG bard was in The Strategic Review, v2n1 1976 (Schwegman) and was a regular class in OD&D that allowed for human, elves, dwarves, and hobbits (race-as-class came about with Moldvay basic). This is acknowledged by Gygax in the intro ("this presentation is greatly modified from the original bard character class").

Yes, but we don't know the order that the AD&D PHB was written. It seems unlikely that he started at page 1 and just kept writing until he reached the end. We don't know if bard came first or if dual class rules did. We know that the idea of a class change pre-dates AD&D, so we don't need to assume that the rules as they exist in the AD&D PHB for dual classing existed when bard was written.

The original "dual class" rule was "changing character class" (OD&D p. 10) and remarkably similar to the later dual classing in terms of the high pre-requisites needed. I think it is more correct to say that demi-humans were given multiclassing (based on the prior Elven trait), while humans were given the dual class based on the changing character class).

No, I disagree. I think it's much, much closer to how bards change class. There is no restriction on losing abilities or limiting your abilities until you reach a higher level or anything of the sort. The only restrictions are "unmodified 16+ in new class's prime requisite," "clerics can't become magic-users and vice-versa" and "not recommended". None of the other limitations exist. Indeed, the rules here don't tell you how to handle it at all.

Much like psionics, it was hidden away in the appendix as not being fully-baked, and not being integrated into the remainder of the book.

Yes, but that still doesn't mean that the way 1e AD&D bard works is that it must use 1e AD&D dual class rules. It doesn't mean that when the dual class rules contradict the bard rules that you must follow the dual class rules.
 

Snarf Zagyg

Notorious Liquefactionist
Are you arguing that the bard entry doesn't read how it does?

1. I am not arguing. There's not much of a point in arguing, is there?

2. The class reads exactly how it does- in an appendix, with opaque language, and an unclear relationship with many other rules. I know, it's shocking! Gygax wrote things that are unclear, and contradict each other! It's almost like I make jokes successfully on a 1 or 2 on a d6, but you can only understand the joke on a 1 on a d10. ¯\(ツ)

3. I was joking; you are employing specific D&Disms (c'mon, "specific beats general") that just don't apply to 1e. What, do you think Gygax was using expressio unius, exclusio alterius when he did the rules for Elves and spirits, and that's why the Rod works?

Look, there are many ways that the bard doesn't fit with dual class rules.

1. Different ability prerequisites. They should be Str 15, Dex 17, Wis 17, Cha 17. They're Str 15, Dex 15, Con 10, Int 12, Wis 15, Cha 15.
2. Different class levels. Instead of 2 to any time thereafter, it's fighter 5-7, thief 5-9, druid in exactly that order.
3. Note that because the restriction is 5-7 and 5-9, you can be a fighter 5/thief 5/bard (druid) X. Dual class rules normally require that you exceed your previous class. The bard entry clearly doesn't do that.
4. The class never gets better at combat than it's fighter level, regardless of what druid level it reaches.

Well, that part isn't quite correct. It's not a druid (OBVIOUSLY) since Druids are level-limited and there can be only one.

It's a bard.

5. It progresses as a druid, but then it doesn't cast higher than 12th level until bard level 23.

This is not how dual class works. If the class breaks the dual class rules with the above, why must it follow the others?

And yet ... it is how dual class works. Everything (except the half-elf) works perfectly.

The additional pre-requisites are just an application of the dual-class rules; it's no different that saying that the character has to meet Fighter or Thief requirements.

The only thing that doesn't fit ... is half-elf. The rest of this is noise, signifying nothing.

EDIT:

Gygax specifically said this about the Bard:

It was left in an appendix because it was optional and I felt it didn't fit the AD&D system and mechanics as well as it might with more work. It is a potent class, but cimbersome. [sic]

We also know that the material in the appendix was added at the end of the PHB process.
 
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Maybe! That's definitely a ruling that makes the half-elf make sense.

....but then you have a different problem (as I jokingly alluded to in my other post). You've created a new category - the pre-Bard. And the trouble with creating this special pre-Bard is manifold- what happens when something happens along the way and you suddenly lose the ability to continue on and become a Bard? There are innumerable ways this can happen, from an alignment shift (either purposeful or magic), to reincarnation that changes your race, to the loss of a point of your ability score as prerequisite, to the player just saying, "I realized, finally, that Bards are the worst. I want to be a part of the solution, not the problem. I refuse to switch to Bard."

The solution, as always? Get rid of the bards.
You have only dipped your toe into the swamp. What happens if I'm a Magic User and I get reincarnated as a halfling? Or if I open the Tome of Stupidity and end up with an INT of 8? Heck, what if I'm a halfling and I open the Tome of Clumsiness and end up with an 8 DEX? Do I have to switch to human? lol. Obviously there are common sense ways to approach these things (maybe involving just 'mission killing' the PC) but all these rules about who qualifies for what create a LOT of issues. That was one reason I was glad to see them replaced with a simpler "you can always be anything, but you might suck at it" sort of design.
 

Snarf Zagyg

Notorious Liquefactionist
You have only dipped your toe into the swamp. What happens if I'm a Magic User and I get reincarnated as a halfling? Or if I open the Tome of Stupidity and end up with an INT of 8? Heck, what if I'm a halfling and I open the Tome of Clumsiness and end up with an 8 DEX? Do I have to switch to human? lol. Obviously there are common sense ways to approach these things (maybe involving just 'mission killing' the PC) but all these rules about who qualifies for what create a LOT of issues. That was one reason I was glad to see them replaced with a simpler "you can always be anything, but you might suck at it" sort of design.

Thus Spaketh Gygax:

I would rule that the newly incarnated ogre mage was strictly that, an orge mage. However, as time progressed, that individual would begin to feel conflicted with past memories of being a human bard being recalled. I would periodically make checks to see if the orge mage would bury those memories or manage to develop them sufficiently to actually add some portion of bardic abilities to his repertorie of agre mage capacities.

Terry Kuntz's fighter, Terik, had subdued and had in service an ogre. In an encounter that character was bitten by a werebear and in time became an ogre werebear. A series of checks discovered that the ogre became TN in alignment becaise of the different natures involved
.

;)
 

But the problem is that that doesn't work. The Bard description never explicitly says "use the dual class rules for this". What it does say is that the prerequisites to be a bard are noticeably lower than those of being dual class, and that half-elves are allowed to be bards, in spite of half-elves not being allowed to dual class. A natural reading might mean that you should use the dual class rules, but a natural reading of bard as a whole makes it clearly logically inconsistent with the rules for dual class. The bard class as written is not compatible with the dual class rules as written. It's clear, then, that the bard rules must be an exception.

The specific can override the general in D&D. Otherwise, things like percentile strength don't work. The rules for bard are primarily in the entry for bard. Anything the bard entry says is true must be so for bards because it literally defines how to play a bard. If any more general rules contradict the bard entry on how to play a bard, we should favor the bard entry as the correct one.

Remember that the 1e AD&D PHB came after OD&D, where demi-human races would switch between classes in a modal manner at the start of an adventure. The idea of switching to a new class was already not limited to the language in the AD&D PHB. The language of the bard entry may wholly pre-date the existence of the dual class and multi-class rules entirely.
I don't think anyone disputes the possibility that this is valid, but AD&D is NOT an exception-based design, nor a 'keyword based' design. It doesn't put things in categories and it doesn't contain ANY general rules at all, but merely a large and somewhat incoherent set of statements about what the process is or requirements are to do this or that, in very loose language.

It is equally possible that the Bard simply was badly edited and reflects some earlier variation of the dual-classing rules that was later edited. Who knows? TSR itself never issued any clarifications, not even in Sage Advice or anything like that. Frankly since the Bard is not in the normal character class section of the rules, it seems to me that it is more of an experiment than any sort of coherent thing. It is like a house rule that got dropped in at the last minute. As such, PERSONALLY, I would go by what the Bard class rule in the Appendix says, but it DOES create issues, as noted by Snarf, above. A 4e-style exception-based design wouldn't do that.
 

1. I am not arguing. There's not much of a point in arguing, is there?

2. The class reads exactly how it does- in an appendix, with opaque language, and an unclear relationship with many other rules. I know, it's shocking! Gygax wrote things that are unclear, and contradict each other! It's almost like I make jokes successfully on a 1 or 2 on a d6, but you can only understand the joke on a 1 on a d10. ¯\(ツ)

3. I was joking; you are employing specific D&Disms (c'mon, "specific beats general") that just don't apply to 1e. What, do you think Gygax was using expressio unius, exclusio alterius when he did the rules for Elves and spirits, and that's why the Rod works?



Well, that part isn't quite correct. It's not a druid (OBVIOUSLY) since Druids are level-limited and there can be only one.

It's a bard.



And yet ... it is how dual class works. Everything (except the half-elf) works perfectly.

The additional pre-requisites are just an application of the dual-class rules; it's no different that saying that the character has to meet Fighter or Thief requirements.

The only thing that doesn't fit ... is half-elf. The rest of this is noise, signifying nothing.

EDIT:

Gygax specifically said this about the Bard:

It was left in an appendix because it was optional and I felt it didn't fit the AD&D system and mechanics as well as it might with more work. It is a potent class, but cimbersome. [sic]

We also know that the material in the appendix was added at the end of the PHB process.
Well, he has some point about the levels of switching. It appears that 'pre-bards' can switch from thief to bard even if thief hasn't reached the same level as fighter, which does break the rules.

ONE possible way to interpret the whole thing is, you are a fighter and follow all the fighter rules. IF you change to thief (using the appropriate rules) at 5th to 7th level, AND then you progress to at least 5th level thief, THEN you qualify to enter the Bard class, as defined in the Appendix. At that point DC rules are superseded by Bard rules (IE you simply become a level 1 bard in accordance with its rules).

This still doesn't cover half-elves though, lol.
 

Snarf Zagyg

Notorious Liquefactionist
I don't think anyone disputes the possibility that this is valid, but AD&D is NOT an exception-based design, nor a 'keyword based' design. It doesn't put things in categories and it doesn't contain ANY general rules at all, but merely a large and somewhat incoherent set of statements about what the process is or requirements are to do this or that, in very loose language.

It is equally possible that the Bard simply was badly edited and reflects some earlier variation of the dual-classing rules that was later edited. Who knows? TSR itself never issued any clarifications, not even in Sage Advice or anything like that. Frankly since the Bard is not in the normal character class section of the rules, it seems to me that it is more of an experiment than any sort of coherent thing. It is like a house rule that got dropped in at the last minute. As such, PERSONALLY, I would go by what the Bard class rule in the Appendix says, but it DOES create issues, as noted by Snarf, above. A 4e-style exception-based design wouldn't do that.

So, the whole issue of the Bard is one of those rules mysteries I honestly don't know the answer to - as in, AFAIK, there isn't a definitive answer (like why the Rod of Resurrection works on elves ....). That does make it fun to speculate!

If I had to hazard a guess, though, I think it's pretty simple-
1. Gygax wanted a rascally, thief based bard (pretty sure that he said that).
2. Gygax also thought that Bards were a very specific druid thing (he definitely has said that a few thing- something about a few types of druids, and bards are one of them).
3. Because Druids have UNLIMITED advancement for ... Half-elves (go figure, right?), Bards can be half-elves, because bards are druids.
4. Because Druids are thieves, they go through the whole dual-classing system that he had designed.
5. Because it was a lot of work already, just put out what he had!

Basically- he put out a half-baked system, and the half-elf part was a legacy from the druid thing. Hey- it's the 70s!
 

Snarf Zagyg

Notorious Liquefactionist
Well, he has some point about the levels of switching. It appears that 'pre-bards' can switch from thief to bard even if thief hasn't reached the same level as fighter, which does break the rules.

ONE possible way to interpret the whole thing is, you are a fighter and follow all the fighter rules. IF you change to thief (using the appropriate rules) at 5th to 7th level, AND then you progress to at least 5th level thief, THEN you qualify to enter the Bard class, as defined in the Appendix. At that point DC rules are superseded by Bard rules (IE you simply become a level 1 bard in accordance with its rules).

This still doesn't cover half-elves though, lol.

I think your second paragraph is exactly right. If you view "Bard" as a new kind of "prestige class," then everything works out, except the half-elf part.

Which makes sense when you think of the conception of the class as a type of druid, and that it wasn't fully baked. Which Gygax has acknowledged- that's why it's in the appendix.
 

Voadam

Legend
The idea of switching to a new class was already not limited to the language in the AD&D PHB. The language of the bard entry may wholly pre-date the existence of the dual class and multi-class rules entirely.

I'm not arguing that the bard is using the OD&D rules or that the class as presented predates everything in AD&D. I'm arguing that when they wrote the AD&D PHB they were not limited to thinking of class changes in only the ways outlined by the AD&D PHB rules. Other rules already existed for class change.

Further, I'm arguing that we don't know the order that the rules in the AD&D PHB were written. The 1e bard could have been written before the dual class rules as presented existed. We can't just say, "these are in the same book they must've been developed concurrently and must reference each other." We all know that RPG design in the 1970s wasn't remotely that well organized.

Yes, but we don't know the order that the AD&D PHB was written. It seems unlikely that he started at page 1 and just kept writing until he reached the end. We don't know if bard came first or if dual class rules did. We know that the idea of a class change pre-dates AD&D, so we don't need to assume that the rules as they exist in the AD&D PHB for dual classing existed when bard was written.

Yes, but that still doesn't mean that the way 1e AD&D bard works is that it must use 1e AD&D dual class rules. It doesn't mean that when the dual class rules contradict the bard rules that you must follow the dual class rules.

I'd say the 1e PH bard description of needing to be a fighter then changing a thief is more naturally read to be a reference to the dual classing rules in the same book where you can switch from a fighter to a thief. The HD progression when they go to thief conforms to the 1e PH dual classing rules of only adding on when the new class exceeds the old one and then notes and calls out the bard HD progression as specifically different in adding on from level 2 on and not from only after it has exceeded the prior highest level.

It is not the only possible reading, but it seems the most natural.

An interesting question if you go with the bard from fighter level 1 unified theory interpretation is whether they are limited by the bard armor, shield, and weapon restrictions (page 118 Bade Table 3) when they start as fighters, and can they use the non thief allowed bard weapons (scimitar, spear, bastard sword) and bard allowed magical chain armor when they are thieves.

For those without OD&D here is the relevant passages of switching classes that predates the 1e PH.

Page 8 "Elves can begin as either Fighting-Men or Magic-Users and freely switch class whenever they choose, from adventure to adventure, but not during the course of a single game. Thus, they gain the benefits of both classes and may use both weaponry and spells. They may use magic armor and still act as Magic-Users. However, they may not progress beyond 4th level Fighting-Man (Hero) nor 8th level Magic-User (Warlock)."

And Page 10: "While changing class (for other than elves) is not recommended, the following rule should be applied: In order for men to change class they must have a score of 16 or better in the prime requisite (see below) of the class they wish to change to, and this score must be unmodified. A Cleric with a “strength” of 15, for example, could not become a Fighting-Man. In any event Magic-Users cannot become Clerics and vice-versa."

I find the OD&D elven switching rules hard to parse. Switching from one to another on a day seems to make sense on its own, choose to be a fighter on one day and be a fighter and not a magic-user that day, or choose to be a magic-user that day and not a fighter, but then that seems contradicted by the next line of gaining both benefits including specifically wearing armor and casting spells which seems to be at the same time. The best I can come up with is that you can do both classes' stuff at any time but only gain experience and levels in one class on any one adventuring day. Would HD stack? Would they start out single class, day two switch and gain a new HD and class features for being 1/1?

I am not aware of any other switch or change class mechanics in D&D prior to the 1e PH.
 


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