5E How many classes in multiclass is to much?

delph

Explorer
Hello, I'm playing for almost 3 years, but from time to time. Two campaigns with:
Halfling Wizard (finished in 11th lvl)
Dwarf Druid (almost done, now 9 lvl and max will be 10)

And now I'm on start a new campaign with Halfling Warrior/Rogue (1+1 lvl). And I'm now in whole new word with multiclassing. I'm thinking about Warrior (5)/Rogue (12) /Ranger (3)

But sometimes I found something interesting in other classes and my brain starts mix "what if..."

So I'll welcome some constructive posts for my build and any discussion how many class did you have in multiclass and why and how it works.
 
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Blue

Ravenous Bugblatter Beast of Traal
[FONT="]Hello, I'm playing for almost 3 years, but from time to time. Two campaigns with: [/FONT][/COLOR]
[COLOR=#1C1E29][FONT="]Halfling Wizard (finished in 11th lvl)[/FONT]

[FONT="]Dwarf Druid (almost done, now 9 lvl and max will be 10)[/FONT][/COLOR]

[COLOR=#1C1E29][FONT="]And now I'm on start a new campaign with Halfling Warrior/Rogue (1+1 lvl). And I'm now in whole new word with multiclassing. I'm thinking about Warrior (5)/Rogue (12) /Ranger (3)[/FONT]


[FONT="]But sometimes I found something interesting in other classes and my brain starts mix "what if..." [/FONT][/COLOR]

[COLOR=#1C1E29][FONT="]So I'll welcome some constructive posts for my build and any discussion how many class did you have in multiclass and why and how it works.[/FONT]
For me, multiclassing is a great tool for building a concept that falls between some classes. I've seen multiclassing to two and even three done quite well.

On the other hand, I've seen multiclassing being used to cherry pick advantages from various classes - those can fall flat with even just 2 if you're doing it for mechanics instead of for a concept. "My paladin is going to take a level of warlock (hexblade) so I can use CHR to attack." (Mind you, I could see a hexblade/paladin with great concept - that's not saying you can't be effective AND have a strong concept.

I played with a player who was 7th level and had 4 classes. That ... well, that was likely too much. He was so spread that he wasn't getting any advanced features, no ASIs, and all in all the rest of us were heroes and he fulfilled his concept but was just far behind in helping to support the rest of the party even with a bunch of good abilities.

As a side note, I worry a bit when I see 20th level builds like Fighter 5/Rogue 12/Ranger 3 - if you are playing up the levels it's very easy to shoot yourself in the foot with multiclassing. If you have a character that doesn't come together mechancially until the campaign is nearly over (and most campaigns don't get up to 20) then you'll be feeling sad that you ever multiclassed. I'd suggest keeping number proportional to your character level, potentially not even grabbing a second calss (or just 1 level) until after the power bump at level 5. And don't forget to get your ASI (unless you are rolling and rolled like a god).
 

Esker

Explorer
What concept are you going for? What subclasses do you have your eye on? What fighting style? And lastly, what are the key features you're after by multiclassing?

As a general matter, I disagree somewhat with Blue about multiclassing for mechanical benefit. I think 5e does a good job of not baking in too much RP concept into its classes, and makes the tradeoffs involved in multiclassing for the most part well balanced enough, that I don't see any problem with multiclassing purely for mechanical reasons, and simply imposing your own flavor on the mechanics as befits your concept. As long as you understand what you're delaying or giving up by multiclassing, go for the mechanics you want (even if that's the old Hexblade dip).

That said, I absolutely agree with Blue that you need to build to have fun and be effective at every level, not just at the theoretical endpoint of your build. Among other things that means keeping an eye on your ASIs, and keeping your eye on a reasonably focused niche.
 

MNblockhead

A Title Much Cooler Than Anything on the Old Site
Most campaigns never get anywhere near 20. If you are not expecting to play to high levels, you are not likely to shoot yourself in the foot.

Multiclass as much as it takes to build the character concept that you are going for, whether that is for story, for power gaming, or both.

One thing I am thinking about is doing one shots or mini campaigns at Tier 2 or Tier 3 levels. I would tell the players some basic info about the adventure and that it will be trend towards challenging/deadly. They can build up whatever character they would like and would think is fun for that adventure.

Don't get me wrong, I love to play a character over a long period and develop a long story arc. In those cases I usually do not multiclass or MAYBE take two classes.

But I don't get to play enough to play as many character types as I want. I'm afraid to go gonzo with a character in a main campaign, so a one-shot or mini campaign would be a fun way to try some crazy combos.
 

Blue

Ravenous Bugblatter Beast of Traal
As a general matter, I disagree somewhat with Blue about multiclassing for mechanical benefit. I think 5e does a good job of not baking in too much RP concept into its classes, and makes the tradeoffs involved in multiclassing for the most part well balanced enough, that I don't see any problem with multiclassing purely for mechanical reasons, and simply imposing your own flavor on the mechanics as befits your concept.
I don't know that we're too far apart. I'm fine with multiclassing to get a mechanical benefit because it fits your vision of the character. It's the difference between playing a holy knight of the god of magic that you realize as a paladin/sorcerer vs. playing a grim vengance-knight where you take levels of sorcerer just to fuel your Divine Smite slots and for the CON save. I'm also big on reskinning.

Let me give a real example from a game I was in. One character had a Fighter 3 / Cleric (Forge) 1 / Rogue 1 / Bard 2. Rogue and Bard were just there for expertise (and also bardic inspiration, which was never given an in-game narrative at all, just a floating bonus he gave you). He was just cherry-picking mechanics all around without trying to tie anything into a concept outside "merchant". There was no reskinning, no cohesive idea. And because of that it made a very forgettable character.

Could you have brought all of those together? Sure. Esepcially with reskinning in order to marry a mechanic with what you are trying to project in the world.
 

ccs

39th lv DM
For me, the point where MC becomes "too much" is when it would distort the concept of the character because out-of-character it's only being chosen for the mechanical advantages.
A great example would be all those paladins who MC into warlock for the spell slot trick.

I almost never MC my own characters based on the rules. When I have it's been because:
1) In AD&D non-human characters could have multiple classes. But these had to be chosen at 1st lv & were essentially locked in from then onwards (with xp being evenly split between them). So if I wanted an Elf Fighter/wizard, etc....
2) In AD&D humans could permanently stop progressing in one class & start over in another one. The only reason I ever did this was when my character lost the ability to be the original class. For example; Paladins falling from grace. If you couldn't/wouldn't atone....
3) In 3x/PF there's plenty of Prestige Classes that all but require you to MC a few lvs of x/y/z. So mechanically you have to plan this out outside actual play.

Other than that? When I MC its because that's how the story is progressing. My last MC character was in Pathfinder, a Wizard (divination)/Paladin. My div wizard made it to lv.17 - and then MC into Paladin 1.

Here in 5e? I've considered MC twice.
* The 1st instance was with my warlock. I found a magic item that was infused with part an evil wizards spirit that would possess anyone picking it up/using it. It wouldn't affect your class mechanics, but it'd alter you personality/motivations. Those motivations/attitudes were NOT compatible with my characters patron.
The patron would not continue to teach my character magic, supply a familiar, etc.
So I was pondering what would fit going forward.
Fortunately the DM also realized that this change would not be fun for the game, would practically ruin a great character, and provided a way to reverse the corruption before I had to make any lasting mechanical change.
* The 2nd time was with a Barbarian.
The character is a barbarian because they are essentially untrained. Yes, they are tough & dangerous in combat. Yes, they rage. But that rage with its advantage to be hit & exhaustion is because of a lack of proper training. At around 6th/7th lv one of the players introduced a fighter. And through play began properly training the 1/2ling barbarian. Unfortunately the fighter was killed before managing to teach enough for me to MC into fighter (we rolled an Int save when I next lv up at 8th. I rolled poorly).
 

delph

Explorer
Hi everyone,

At the start answer I have to say: I've got a promise, that it will be 20 lvl campaign. So I've started thinking about it.

Now I change little settings. Fighters and Rangers 4th and 5th levels are same - ASI + Extra Attac. But Ranger gets more and higher slots for casting (and some heals will be necessary. We are "Fighter", Warlock and Sorcerer )

And why like this?:
Fighter Battlemaster give me maneuvers (and riposte), second wind and action surge and dueling +2 dmg
Ranger Hunter give me spells (heal and Zephyr strike), defensive +1 AC, Colossus slayer or Horde breaker
Rogue Hexblade give me sneak attack, evasion
 

Esker

Explorer
Agreed that you get more from Ranger 4 and 5 than fighter 4 and 5.

Hexblade is a warlock subclass, not rogue. Do you know what rogue archetype you want? I'm guessing given your mention of dueling style that you want to go rapier and shield, staying in light armor since you'll be maxing DEX? Arcane trickster might be a good fit, to give you a few more spells and spell slots (and a familiar, if you want one).

I encourage you to map out your progression level by level, not just the level 20 composition, and be clear with yourself about the tradeoffs involved each time you decide to level one class vs another. Even if the campaign does make it that far (which, even if everyone intends to stick it out now, is difficult to guarantee), nearly all of your play time will be at levels below 20.

I would probably start ranger and stick with it until 5, then maybe grab a fighter level now that you have two attacks to benefit from dueling style. From there you could either continue with fighter for action surge and maneuvers, or start taking some rogue levels for sneak attack damage and an ASI. If sticking with fighter it might be worth continuing to fighter 4 before switching to rogue (or take one rogue level then back to fighter 4) so you don't fall so far behind on ASIs. The end build (5/4/11) has exactly the same features as 5/3/12, except that the ASI comes earlier (I guess except that for an arcane trickster evel 12 advances your spell slots, but that seems minor compared to getting that second ASI several levels earlier).

You wind up with the normal complement of 5 ASIs in this build, which is good. You'll obviously want to use 1.5 or 2 of those for DEX bumps (depending on starting stats; if you do start with a 17 DEX, there's a case for starting with one level of fighter for CON saves, then taking Resilient (DEX) with your first ASI). You probably also want War Caster since I assume you'll have hands full, and will often be concentrating on something. Sentinel could be good, to round out the situations that prompt a reaction: Riposte if they attack you and miss, Uncanny Dodge if they attack you and hit, Sentinel if they attack someone else. Or you could take Defensive Duelist, to help you turn some would-be hits into misses. If you've got decent Wisdom, Magic Initiate (Druid) for Guidance and Faerie Fire could be nice. And there's always Lucky.
 

delph

Explorer
Thanks Esker.

My mistake in Rogue. I was in a hurry. I't was Rogue Swashbuckler, to get sneak attack in almost every turn. But still not sure. Arcane trickster or Assasin looks fine to. And Mistermind with giving advantage to another player is good to (one player have it, and in one battle it win really hot battle)

And I've started as Fighter, then take one lvl Rogue.

And my progress is biggest problem for me now :D Now I think about get fighter to 3, then start Ranger and finish with rogue...
 

Ogre Mage

Explorer
I would not play with more than three classes. Past that I feel the PC starts to lose coherence and looks like blatant munchkinism to many DMs.
 

CydKnight

Explorer
As a DM I try to allow players to do what they want within RaR and a few minor house or campaign rules and do my best not to judge. As a PC, for me personally, multi-classing at all is too much. Call me a Class Purist? It's just that in 5E you can make the classes pretty diverse as it is (at least for me) and if you are an optimizer I feel you give up to much by even dipping a single level in this or that to justify the gains.

I do understand how it creates more character diversity for some which can be exciting for creating that unique multi-class concept. Still I don't think I will personally every play a multi-classed PC though I may in a scenario where we are playing a one-shot and that was one of the prerequisites for character creation.
 

delph

Explorer
As a DM I try to allow players to do what they want within RaR and a few minor house or campaign rules and do my best not to judge. As a PC, for me personally, multi-classing at all is too much. Call me a Class Purist? It's just that in 5E you can make the classes pretty diverse as it is (at least for me) and if you are an optimizer I feel you give up to much by even dipping a single level in this or that to justify the gains.

I do understand how it creates more character diversity for some which can be exciting for creating that unique multi-class concept. Still, I don't think I will personally every play a multi-classed PC though I may in a scenario where we are playing a one-shot and that was one of the prerequisites for character creation.
My DM is the same. He still tells single class with good feat is better than multiclass. But I'm not sure. I try to combine every possibility and no feat can give me the same result, nor stronger. They are better in some part, but I think not in full game. Maybe spellcasters can be damaged by lesser spell slots and spells. But melee/ranged classes aren't so penalized from not get 20 lvl.
 

Esker

Explorer
And I've started as Fighter, then take one lvl Rogue.

And my progress is biggest problem for me now :D Now I think about get fighter to 3, then start Ranger and finish with rogue...
Keep in mind that that progression (Fighter 1 --> Rogue 1 --> Fighter 3 --> Ranger 5 --> Rogue X) delays your first ASI until level 8, your second until level 11, and your third until level 15. Boosting your DEX is strictly better than picking up defense style. Note also that the benefit of colossus slayer, which costs you three levels of ranger, can be pretty much replicated by two more levels of rogue. Given your start at Fighter 1 / Rogue 1, I'd suggest taking at least one of those two classes (maybe both!) to at least level 4 for an ASI before starting on Ranger. And at that point, you may as well pick up Fighter 5 for extra attack, in which case... do you need any ranger levels at all? Why not just go Fighter 5 / Rogue X, taking arcane trickster and maybe magic initiate for some magic if that's an important part of your concept?
 

delph

Explorer
Keep in mind that that progression (Fighter 1 --> Rogue 1 --> Fighter 3 --> Ranger 5 --> Rogue X) delays your first ASI until level 8, your second until level 11, and your third until level 15. Boosting your DEX is strictly better than picking up defense style. Note also that the benefit of colossus slayer, which costs you three levels of ranger, can be pretty much replicated by two more levels of rogue. Given your start at Fighter 1 / Rogue 1, I'd suggest taking at least one of those two classes (maybe both!) to at least level 4 for an ASI before starting on Ranger. And at that point, you may as well pick up Fighter 5 for extra attack, in which case... do you need any ranger levels at all? Why not just go Fighter 5 / Rogue X, taking arcane trickster and maybe magic initiate for some magic if that's an important part of your concept?
That was my first idea. But now i wanna made it like i wrote. And about ASI - i know it's little bit late, bit I'm not in hurry. My first ASI will not ne ASI, bit feat charger. On 3th lvl ranger I'll get Zephyr strike, And on 4th lvl it will be very good combo, I think.
 

Esker

Explorer
That was my first idea. But now i wanna made it like i wrote. And about ASI - i know it's little bit late, bit I'm not in hurry. My first ASI will not ne ASI, bit feat charger. On 3th lvl ranger I'll get Zephyr strike, And on 4th lvl it will be very good combo, I think.
You should do what's the most fun for you, obviously. I can't help but note, though, that both charger and zephyr strike are less valuable when you have rogue levels. Charger is diminished since a rogue can already dash and attack in the same turn using an action and bonus action. And the three additional rogue levels you could have instead of ranger levels would be worth about 5 extra damage anyway. And of course, once you have extra attack, charger is costing you two attacks to gain back one; much better to cunning action dash and then use your full action to attack. Zephyr strike does free up your bonus action to dash if you want to do a lot of "charge-by" attacks, and advantage is nice, but it's hard to imagine needing to dash a whole *lot* of the time, and again, you're giving up a lot to get it: a DEX boost gives you an always-on +1 to hit and to damage, another +5ish damage per turn from the extra sneak attack scaling, ..., and an arcane trickster (or swashbuckler with magic initiate) with an owl familiar may be able to get advantage on a whole lot of attacks out of that 1st level spell slot.
 
Multiclassing allow to gain levels in multiple classes. Let me mix the abilities of those classes to realize a character concept that might not be reflected in one of the standard class options. And thats why so worth to use mcdvoice
 
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Dannyalcatraz

Moderator
Staff member
Hello, I'm playing for almost 3 years, but from time to time. Two campaigns with:
Halfling Wizard (finished in 11th lvl)
Dwarf Druid (almost done, now 9 lvl and max will be 10)

And now I'm on start a new campaign with Halfling Warrior/Rogue (1+1 lvl). And I'm now in whole new word with multiclassing. I'm thinking about Warrior (5)/Rogue (12) /Ranger (3)

But sometimes I found something interesting in other classes and my brain starts mix "what if..."

So I'll welcome some constructive posts for my build and any discussion how many class did you have in multiclass and why and how it works.
I multiclass a lot. Most of my D&D characters over the past 42 years have been multiclassed in some way. But it is always to serve the purpose of modeling the character.

So my answer to your question is: any class added not required to model the character concept is probably one too many.

To be clear, I’m not saying the concept can’t grow or change over time. Most do. But if you find yourself shoehorning levels of fighter onto a character you’ve always imagined as being a weak meleer, you’re probably not being true to the character’s core concept.
 

Fenris-77

Explorer
I generally approach multiclassing as a logic exercise. For every multiclass level you take you have to give up high-end abilities in your core class. For example, most assassin build go F2/R3 to start, which means no capstone in either class. So you have to balance what you're gaining with what you're losing (all assuming you go all the way to 20th). Mostly I find MC concepts work fine with just the two classes, but occasionally there's good story and mechanics in a 3rd dip.

So I start by asking myself "what do I want this character to be able to do?" Then I mess around with different dips and classes until the total package looks something like what I wanted. After that you just have to figure out what order to take the levels in and you're good.
 

Dannyalcatraz

Moderator
Staff member
So I start by asking myself "what do I want this character to be able to do?" Then I mess around with different dips and classes until the total package looks something like what I wanted. After that you just have to figure out what order to take the levels in and you're good.
Yep, that’s essentially what I do.

However, I try to look at it from the in character perspective as well. So each class, feat, skill, spell and what have you looks like a decision made by the character, not by some gamer dude.

...which is why a certain lightning-obsessed, lightning-breathing Sorcerer of blue dragon descent had ONLY electrical/lightning spells as his offensive arsenal.
 

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