PF2 How Effective Is Multiclassing?

Kaodi

Adventurer
I do not have a definitive answer - I was just hoping to start a specific discussion. I certainly think it looks interesting and allows you to make more diverse characters. Lots of the builds I have worked on used it.

Different archetypes need more or less follow up to dip do the appropriate kind of shtick.

For ones that "give you something you want" for just the dedication:
  • Barbarian gives you Rage.
  • Champion gives you trained in all armour.
  • Fighter gives you trained in all simple and martial weapons.
  • Monk gives you Powerful Fist (more or less just a better unarmed attack).
  • Ranger gives you Hunt Prey.

Then you have all the spellcasting dedications. You can do slightly different things depending on your tastes but generally you are going to need to spend four or five feats to get the spellcasting capability you want. You could stick with just the dedication, each one is basically a universal "Extra Cantrips" feat. But depending on your concept are probably going to go for the whole suite plus the appropriate Breadth feat, perhaps there is a niche scenario where you might skip Breadth though. And if you are trying to imitate something like the old Paladin or Ranger spellcasting you might skip Master Spellcasting but still get Breadth.

Then you have the Alchemist. With that class you only need three feats to get a pretty significant number of potions per day, with the only difference to the real Alchemist being you do not add your Int modifier to your daily reagents. And of course your free alchemical items are weaker, but there is value in quantity.

And then lastly you have the Rogue. While you could grab the Rogue multiclass feats primarily for the abilities and a few choice Rogue feats, the Rogue actually allows you to spec other classes hard into skills with Skill Mastery. This is the multiclass I was looking at when I decided to start this thread, because while the attraction of being "X Class, but with magic," is pretty obvious, sacrificing feats to become a more "seasoned" version of your class is not quite as straightforward. Starting at level 8 you can take Skill Mastery up to five times and every time it turns one of your trained skills into an expert skill, one of your existing expert skills into a master skill, and it also gives you a skill feat for one of those two skills. So a pretty typical endgame for most classes is probably to have a bunch of trained skills and three legendary skills. But if you go all in on Skill Mastery you could end up with some trained skills, an expert skill, four master skills, and three legendary skills, plus those five extra skill feats.

In any case I kind of think "dipping+" is the most effective way to multiclass. Get in, get the core abilities you want from that class (the shtick and its upgrades, maybe a buff to a weak save depending on the combination), probably forget about trading down for cross-class skill feats. I mean you can do it any way you want, because at the end of the day you will always be some kind of baseline effective. But that is my sense of it.


P.S. The build I was thinking about was a half-elf "Magic-User/Thief" (Spell Substitution Wizard) based extremely loosely on older edition multiclassing, with Natural Ambition/Familiar and Multitalented/Fighter Dedication in ancestry feats, then Rogue Dedication, Conceal Spell, Silent Spell, Skill Mastery, Skill Mastery, Evasiveness, Skill Mastery, Skill Mastery, Skill Mastery, Metamagic Mastery.
 
I do not have a definitive answer - I was just hoping to start a specific discussion. I certainly think it looks interesting and allows you to make more diverse characters. Lots of the builds I have worked on used it.

Different archetypes need more or less follow up to dip do the appropriate kind of shtick.

For ones that "give you something you want" for just the dedication:
  • Barbarian gives you Rage.
  • Champion gives you trained in all armour.
  • Fighter gives you trained in all simple and martial weapons.
  • Monk gives you Powerful Fist (more or less just a better unarmed attack).
  • Ranger gives you Hunt Prey.

Then you have all the spellcasting dedications. You can do slightly different things depending on your tastes but generally you are going to need to spend four or five feats to get the spellcasting capability you want. You could stick with just the dedication, each one is basically a universal "Extra Cantrips" feat. But depending on your concept are probably going to go for the whole suite plus the appropriate Breadth feat, perhaps there is a niche scenario where you might skip Breadth though. And if you are trying to imitate something like the old Paladin or Ranger spellcasting you might skip Master Spellcasting but still get Breadth.

Then you have the Alchemist. With that class you only need three feats to get a pretty significant number of potions per day, with the only difference to the real Alchemist being you do not add your Int modifier to your daily reagents. And of course your free alchemical items are weaker, but there is value in quantity.

And then lastly you have the Rogue. While you could grab the Rogue multiclass feats primarily for the abilities and a few choice Rogue feats, the Rogue actually allows you to spec other classes hard into skills with Skill Mastery. This is the multiclass I was looking at when I decided to start this thread, because while the attraction of being "X Class, but with magic," is pretty obvious, sacrificing feats to become a more "seasoned" version of your class is not quite as straightforward. Starting at level 8 you can take Skill Mastery up to five times and every time it turns one of your trained skills into an expert skill, one of your existing expert skills into a master skill, and it also gives you a skill feat for one of those two skills. So a pretty typical endgame for most classes is probably to have a bunch of trained skills and three legendary skills. But if you go all in on Skill Mastery you could end up with some trained skills, an expert skill, four master skills, and three legendary skills, plus those five extra skill feats.

In any case I kind of think "dipping+" is the most effective way to multiclass. Get in, get the core abilities you want from that class (the shtick and its upgrades, maybe a buff to a weak save depending on the combination), probably forget about trading down for cross-class skill feats. I mean you can do it any way you want, because at the end of the day you will always be some kind of baseline effective. But that is my sense of it.


P.S. The build I was thinking about was a half-elf "Magic-User/Thief" (Spell Substitution Wizard) based extremely loosely on older edition multiclassing, with Natural Ambition/Familiar and Multitalented/Fighter Dedication in ancestry feats, then Rogue Dedication, Conceal Spell, Silent Spell, Skill Mastery, Skill Mastery, Evasiveness, Skill Mastery, Skill Mastery, Skill Mastery, Metamagic Mastery.
Goodness - it really depends on what you mean by effective, because if you don't define that rather quickly this thread is going to get derailed pretty fast!
 

CapnZapp

Hero
Let's first agree there is no multiclassing in PF2, at least not in the sense created by 3rd Edition (and then supported in major games such as Pathfinder 1 and 5th Edition), okay?
 

CapnZapp

Hero
Then you have all the spellcasting dedications. You can do slightly different things depending on your tastes but generally you are going to need to spend four or five feats to get the spellcasting capability you want.
The obvious question here is:

Is it worth it? (in terms of opportunity cost)

That is, not having 4-5 feats of your actual class, is that as big a drawback as it first appears? Or are feats mainly giving you breadth in PF2 (as opposed to the depth real minmaxers value)?

In the latter case, gaining the real versatility only magic spells can provide might be a better option to merely learning new ways to stabbity-kill monsters, since after all, a minmaxer only needs one way, and will then look at options of doing it again and again, only better, harder, faster than anyone else.

(Disclaimer: I am neither derisive or supportive of minmaxing in this post. I just state basic facts of minmaxing with no judgement)
 

zztong

Explorer
How Effective Is Multiclassing?
Short Answer: It is hit and miss, but then that's pretty much always been the case.

It seems to depend on your character conception and the class features exposed via the Dedication feats. My own experiences were that the PF2 multiclass rules did really well with a Wizard who wanted to tote a sword, were mediocre in making a classic Ranger, and flopped with my Shadow Weaver concept.

I'm okay with the Dedication Feats as an option for multiclassing, but I'd like to put the D&D3.5/PF1 approach with it and have both options. It needs to be part of a toolbox, not the only multiclass option.

Also, spell lists are too constraining. This isn't new with PF2, but since the game is still early in its releases it could get better. This plays out most obviously to me when trying to make a classic Ranger -- the Druid's spell list isn't close enough to the Ranger spell list -- and the Shadow Weaver, where all spell lists include spells that aren't part of the theme.
 

Rhianni32

Explorer
It depends on how you look at them.

I like to have characters with lots of options. Giving up a single class 2 feat to pick up a dedication feat that gives access to new mechanics and options is powerful.

One of my players however likes to be the best at what he sets out to do. dedication feats set him back a couple levels because many of the 2nd level class feats are prereqs for later abilities. If not a firm rule they enhance or support your gimmick (fighter with shield vs fighter with ranged attacks). To him power and effectiveness is being the best at what he is building his character for.
 
They seem fine generally, but I know that its messing with some of my players heads in that they hate the feeling of "giving up" class feats that feel like natural power increases within the class itself. But I think its because they're over weighting those class feats (as opposed to the power delivered by the base chassis, which is quite high)
 

Melfast

Explorer
I like the Dedication approach. I would prefer that they do not include traditional multiclassing in PF2. Dedications added to a base class seems more organic, limit "class dipping", and allow the Player to decide how far into the new class they want to go. Dedications also seem to do a better job than multiclassing at protecting the role and capability of base classes, and being single-classed remains viable all the way through 20th level.
 

mellored

Explorer
The initial feat is genrally weak.
The basic feats are generally strong.

Overall I would say it is generally worth it, but it depends on your build.
 

GrahamWills

Adventurer
Like anything, it's a mix. Sometimes you might want to do so so that you can power game a bit. As an example, a rogue multi classing as a fighter to pick up the dual track power (two attacks at once, with on- and off-hands, both at same attack penalty, typically zero) is a nice way to pile on a huge amount of pain.

I'd say the initial feat is pretty good by itself, often giving 2 skills which is strong by itself . Take champion, for example -- a single dedication feat gives you 2 skills and training in light, medium and heavy armor. That's a lot of training for one feat!

The spell casting ones are really 2-feat buys -- one for the dedication (which gets you 2 cantrips and 2 skills, at least for sorcerer which what multi'd into) and then you pick up feat 4 which gives you one spell at each level one below yours. So at 4th you have a 1st level spell, at 8th you have spells at levels 1,2,3. Again, pretty nice.
 

CapnZapp

Hero
Short Answer: It is hit and miss, but then that's pretty much always been the case.
That answer is so relativizing it says next to nothing.

To me, it's obvious that dedication-style multiclassing is way less impactful than levels-style multiclassing. (That this likely is the point of inventing dedications is not the point here)


I'm okay with the Dedication Feats as an option for multiclassing, but I'd like to put the D&D3.5/PF1 approach with it and have both options. It needs to be part of a toolbox, not the only multiclass option.
I would be surprised if they ever created levels-style multiclassing rules. (At least if we're talking a "core-adjacent" general option)

Also, spell lists are too constraining. This isn't new with PF2, but since the game is still early in its releases it could get better. This plays out most obviously to me when trying to make a classic Ranger -- the Druid's spell list isn't close enough to the Ranger spell list -- and the Shadow Weaver, where all spell lists include spells that aren't part of the theme.
Paizo is clearly going down a different path than D&D, so this is likely intentional and not a bug. They clearly intend you to either be a spellcaster (with a good selection of spell choices) or not a spellcaster.

Rangers are clearly not spellcasters in Pathfinder 2. What you call a "classic" Ranger would in Pathfinder 2 be a character with a weirdly constricted selection of mostly Nature spells. (Not saying this because you're wrong to want a D&D-style Ranger-with-spells. Saying this to turn your assumptions on the head in order to make it easier to see it from a POV where "Druid's spell list isn't close enough to the Ranger spell list" is not considered a bug).

Also, it's unrelated to multiclassing.
 

zztong

Explorer
That answer is so relativizing it says next to nothing.
Sorry?

I hope the longer reply was clearer. Perhaps a better summary would have been:

I found it handy for some conceptions and frustrating for others. I appreciate the Dedication Feat approach as an option, but alone it seemed insufficient.

EDIT: We've stopped playing PF2, so I'm slowly forgetting the rules. It will be harder for me to speak to the details as time goes on.
 
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