D&D (2024) How to fix multiclassing?

I personally like the idea that multi-classing slows you down via experience. The fact that PCs are almost superhero like in many descriptions (not your average person is how it is often described) shows that they are hyper-focused - a person born with the right attitude, genes, and luck to become this great (fill in your class). But also a person who is intensely focused on their craft, like Serena Williams or Tiger Woods. Make them study soccer as well at a high level, and, well, things slow down.
 

log in or register to remove this ad

ECMO3

Hero
5e rejected the slower power for greater eventual power elements once present in d&d. Using it to justify unrestricted no cost multiclass rules calls into question the wisdom of both choices. Even beyond that though the GM at the table needs to handle a problem wotc deliberately created when faced with a table where Alice just got or lost the one big distinction setting her single class apart from bob's MC dip on top of her same class with the game expected to continue. I've seen this regularly where Alice has a sorcerer & bob has a sorcerer with 2 levels of warlock...
  • an at will 120ft (1d10+5)*3
  • Hex to often make that (1d10+5+1d6)*3 whenever the damage is important enough to matter.
  • either each of those 3 blasts include a 5 foot no save knockback rider or bob is probably sporting devils sight. Given 5e's efforts to obliviate the impact of darkness it's probably going to be the knockback from repelling unless as a GM I've done things to somehow make the darkness bob now obliviates have an even greater impact for Alice to feel
  • 3 warlock spells
  • two 2nd level pact slots
  • A warlock patron boon like an at will invisible imp or the ability to cast ritual spells from a book.
  • Two sorcerer spells known (one less than the 3 warlock ones Bob got)
  • A single metamagic choice (till Bob has one more level
  • Two sorcerer spells known (1 less than bob got from his warlock dip)
  • A single level 6 spell slot
  • Two sorcery points/long rest (this is four less than the six bob can pull from those pact slots each long or short rest)
As levels continue Alice will continue seeing very little gain over Bob's loss & certainly nothing that makes up for the massive gains Bob already collected

With a 2-level dip I disgree with this on many levels. Obviously specifics matter but in General at 11th level I think Alice will be about as powerful as Bob, less in a couple combinations, more in a couple others. Not all the stuff you list for Bob is accurate though for a 2-level dip (see below).

To start with at level 11 Alice has 6th level spells, but Alice also got 3rd level spells 2 levels earlier, she also got her 6th level subclass ability 2 levels earlier. Having Hound of Ill Omen for example at 6th and 7th level puts her well ahead of Bob at those levels as does having access to Fear, Haste or Fireball at levels 5 and 6 instead of waiting to level 7.

When you make it to 11th level Hex is generally a poor use of concentration. Yes you are multiclassed, so you can use 1st level slots on it, so it is probably worth keeping on the list but an extra 1d6 per attack is not nearly as powerful as say Animate Objects or Summon Fey (which the 11th level character can upcast to 6th level) or even a lower level concentration spell like Fear or Wall of Fire.

Let's go through this point by point:

Bob
  • an at will 120ft (1d10+5)*3
  • Hex to often make that (1d10+5+1d6)*3 whenever the damage is important enough to matter.
This is really the best thing Bob has but EB/AB and Hex is most effective at tier 1 and tier 2 but tier 1 and tier 2 is when you are also paying the highest price for being behind in spell level and sorcerer subclass abilities. Eldritch blast/Agonizing Blast are an extra 15 DPR (25 with Hex) but that is not very relevant at 11th level unless you were trying to build a blaster and then you would have been better off staying Warlock and getting a bunch of other invocations to enhance EB

  • either each of those 3 blasts include a 5 foot no save knockback rider or bob is probably sporting devils sight. Given 5e's efforts to obliviate the impact of darkness it's probably going to be the knockback from repelling unless as a GM I've done things to somehow make the darkness bob now obliviates have an even greater impact for Alice to fee
You only have 2 invocations, you spent one on Agonizing Blast so it is either devils sight or Repelling Blast, not both.
  • 3 warlock spells
Three more first level spells known.
  • two 2nd level pact slots
INCORRECT! You have two 1st level pact slots on a 2-level Warlock Dip
  • A warlock patron boon like an at will invisible imp or the ability to cast ritual spells from a book.
INCORRECT! You do not get this on a 2-level Warlock dip. Pact Boon comes at 3rd level. Additionally to cast rituals from a book requires both a Pact Boon and the Book of Shadows Invocation which means a 5-level Warlock dip if you want to do this and also have agonizing blast and repelling blast or Devils Sight. Having all 4 of these things (Rituals, Agonizing Blast, Repelling Blast, Devils Sight) requires 7 levels in Warlock which would make you a Warlock 7/Sorcerer 4

Alice
  • Two sorcerer spells known (one less than the 3 warlock ones Bob got)\
Yes one less total spell known, but Alice's two extra Sorcerer spells are 6th level spells, Bob's three Warlock spells are 1st level spells. Alice also has 2 more 5th level spells known than Bob has.
  • A single metamagic choice
  • A single level 6 spell slot
  • Two sorcery points/long rest (this is four less than the six bob can pull from those pact slots each long or short rest)
Yes, but only if Bob does not use those slots to cast 1st level spells.

So when you get down to it to simplify this discussion Bob has a better at will damage option in exchange for a 6th level spell slot and another metamagic option. He also has either 4 more SPs or 2 less SPs and 6 more 1st level spell casting. That is all, and he either waited late to bring this online or he was well behind Alice at 3rd-8th levels.

Finally a single-class optimized 11th level Wizard, Fey Wanderer Ranger or a number of Cleric options will still blow this multiclassed character out of the water.
 
Last edited:

With a 2-level dip I disgree with this on many levels. Obviously specifics matter but in General at 11th level I think Alice will be more powerful than Bob, less in a couple combinations, more in a couple others. Not all the stuff you list for Bob is accurate though for a 2-level dip (see below).

To start with at level 11 Alice has 6th level spells, but Alice also got 3rd level spells 2 levels earlier, she also got her 6th level subclass ability 2 levels earlier. Having Hound of Ill Omen for example at 6th and 7th level puts her well ahead of Bob at those levels as does having access to Fear, Haste or Fireball at levels 5 and 6 instead of waiting to level 7.

When you make it to 11th level Hex is generally a poor use of concentration. Yes you are multiclassed, so you can use 1st level slots on it, so it is probably worth keeping on the list but an extra 1d6 per attack is not nearly as powerful as say Animate Objects or Summon Fey (which the 11th level character can upcast to 6th level) or even a lower level concentration spell like Fear or Wall of Fire.

Let's go through this point by point:

Bob
  • an at will 120ft (1d10+5)*3
  • Hex to often make that (1d10+5+1d6)*3 whenever the damage is important enough to matter.
This is really the best thing Bob has but EB/AB and Hex is most effective at tier 1 and tier 2 but tier 1 and tier 2 is when you are also paying the highest price for being behind in spell level and sorcerer subclass abilities. Eldritch blast/Agonizing Blast are an extra 15 DPR (25 with Hex) but that is not very relevant at 11th level unless you were trying to build a blaster and then you would have been better off staying Warlock and getting a bunch of other invocations to enhance EB

  • either each of those 3 blasts include a 5 foot no save knockback rider or bob is probably sporting devils sight. Given 5e's efforts to obliviate the impact of darkness it's probably going to be the knockback from repelling unless as a GM I've done things to somehow make the darkness bob now obliviates have an even greater impact for Alice to fee
You only have 2 invocations, you spent one on Agonizing Blast so it is either devils sight or Repelling Blast, not both.
  • 3 warlock spells
Three more first level spells known.
  • two 2nd level pact slots
INCORRECT! You have two 1st level pact slots on a 2-level Warlock Dip
  • A warlock patron boon like an at will invisible imp or the ability to cast ritual spells from a book.
INCORRECT! You do not get this on a 2-level Warlock dip. Pact Boon comes at 3rd level. Additionally to cast rituals from a book requires both a Pact Boon and the Book of Shadows Invocation which means a 5-level Warlock dip if you want to do this and also have agonizing blast and repelling blast or Devils Sight. Having all 4 of these things (Rituals, Agonizing Blast, Repelling Blast, Devils Sight) requires 7 levels in Warlock which would make you a Warlock 7/Sorcerer 4

Alice
  • Two sorcerer spells known (one less than the 3 warlock ones Bob got)\
Yes one less total spell known, but Alice's two extra Sorcerer spells are 6th level spells, Bob's three Warlock spells are 1st level spells. Alice also has 2 more 5th level spells known than Bob has.
  • A single metamagic choice
  • A single level 6 spell slot
  • Two sorcery points/long rest (this is four less than the six bob can pull from those pact slots each long or short rest)
Yes, but only if Bob does not use those slots to cast 1st level spells.

So when you get down to it to simplify this discussion Bob has a better at will damage option in exchange for a 6th level spell slot and another metamagic option. He also has either 4 more SPs or 2 less SPs and 6 more 1st level spell casting. That is all, and he either waited late to bring this online or he was well Behind Alice at 3rd-8th levels.

Finally a single-class optimized 11th level Wizard, Fey Wanderer Ranger or a number of Cleric options will still blow this multiclassed character out of the water.

Interesring to see how "overpowered" combinations are just as powerful as straight classes if calculated correctly and looked at different levels, not just the perfect one, where all abilities align.

On top, multiclass rules don't explicitely allow to convert pact magic slots into sorcery points. The paragraph only explicitely allows cross casting between pact magic and spellcasting.
 

tetrasodium

Legend
Supporter
Epic
With a 2-level dip I disgree with this on many levels. Obviously specifics matter but in General at 11th level I think Alice will be more powerful than Bob, less in a couple combinations, more in a couple others. Not all the stuff you list for Bob is accurate though for a 2-level dip (see below).

To start with at level 11 Alice has 6th level spells, but Alice also got 3rd level spells 2 levels earlier, she also got her 6th level subclass ability 2 levels earlier. Having Hound of Ill Omen for example at 6th and 7th level puts her well ahead of Bob at those levels as does having access to Fear, Haste or Fireball at levels 5 and 6 instead of waiting to level 7.

When you make it to 11th level Hex is generally a poor use of concentration. Yes you are multiclassed, so you can use 1st level slots on it, so it is probably worth keeping on the list but an extra 1d6 per attack is not nearly as powerful as say Animate Objects or Summon Fey (which the 11th level character can upcast to 6th level) or even a lower level concentration spell like Fear or Wall of Fire.

Let's go through this point by point:

Bob
  • an at will 120ft (1d10+5)*3
  • Hex to often make that (1d10+5+1d6)*3 whenever the damage is important enough to matter.
This is really the best thing Bob has but EB/AB and Hex is most effective at tier 1 and tier 2 but tier 1 and tier 2 is when you are also paying the highest price for being behind in spell level and sorcerer subclass abilities. Eldritch blast/Agonizing Blast are an extra 15 DPR (25 with Hex) but that is not very relevant at 11th level unless you were trying to build a blaster and then you would have been better off staying Warlock and getting a bunch of other invocations to enhance EB

  • either each of those 3 blasts include a 5 foot no save knockback rider or bob is probably sporting devils sight. Given 5e's efforts to obliviate the impact of darkness it's probably going to be the knockback from repelling unless as a GM I've done things to somehow make the darkness bob now obliviates have an even greater impact for Alice to fee
You only have 2 invocations, you spent one on Agonizing Blast so it is either devils sight or Repelling Blast, not both.
  • 3 warlock spells
Three more first level spells known.
  • two 2nd level pact slots
INCORRECT! You have two 1st level pact slots on a 2-level Warlock Dip
  • A warlock patron boon like an at will invisible imp or the ability to cast ritual spells from a book.
INCORRECT! You do not get this on a 2-level Warlock dip. Pact Boon comes at 3rd level. Additionally to cast rituals from a book requires both a Pact Boon and the Book of Shadows Invocation which means a 5-level Warlock dip if you want to do this and also have agonizing blast and repelling blast or Devils Sight. Having all 4 of these things (Rituals, Agonizing Blast, Repelling Blast, Devils Sight) requires 7 levels in Warlock which would make you a Warlock 7/Sorcerer 4

Alice
  • Two sorcerer spells known (one less than the 3 warlock ones Bob got)\
Yes one less total spell known, but Alice's two extra Sorcerer spells are 6th level spells, Bob's three Warlock spells are 1st level spells. Alice also has 2 more 5th level spells known than Bob has.
  • A single metamagic choice
  • A single level 6 spell slot
  • Two sorcery points/long rest (this is four less than the six bob can pull from those pact slots each long or short rest)
Yes, but only if Bob does not use those slots to cast 1st level spells.

So when you get down to it to simplify this discussion Bob has a better at will damage option in exchange for a 6th level spell slot and another metamagic option. He also has either 4 more SPs or 2 less SPs and 6 more 1st level spell casting. That is all, and he either waited late to bring this online or he was well Behind Alice at 3rd-8th levels.

Finally a single-class optimized 11th level Wizard, Fey Wanderer Ranger or a number of Cleric options will still blow this multiclassed character out of the water.
I think you are dramatically underselling the value of an at will ability that clocks in around a 4th or 5th level spell according to dmg 284. There's also the huge overselling of a couple L6 spells in a 6-8 encounter adventuring day. Don't forget the tutut about how a statement of bob likely having x or y invocation was given a note about how he could only have x or y rather than both. The point was not that Bob is "overpowered", the point was that Alice is not able to meaningfully feel like her choice to not MC mattered as much as Bob's choice to MC. At lower levels there's a gap yes but in late tier2 or tier3 that gap is more of a technicality & rarely meaningful during play.
 

ECMO3

Hero
I think you are dramatically underselling the value of an at will ability that clocks in around a 4th or 5th level spell according to dmg 284. There's also the huge overselling of a couple L6 spells in a 6-8 encounter adventuring day. Don't forget the tutut about how a statement of bob likely having x or y invocation was given a note about how he could only have x or y rather than both. The point was not that Bob is "overpowered", the point was that Alice is not able to meaningfully feel like her choice to not MC mattered as much as Bob's choice to MC. At lower levels there's a gap yes but in late tier2 or tier3 that gap is more of a technicality & rarely meaningful during play.
No I am not underselling and I have played this multiclass. I have also played at a table where we had multiclass on an Abberant Mind/Genie along with a single class Divine Soul. We went level 1-14 and the Divine Soul had plenty of meaningful moments. Honestly the sorcerer had more "significant moments" that I can recall than the multiclass did.

Moreover if you really want the at-will Eldritch Blast this is weaker than a single class Warlock or a Sorlock with fewer sorcerer levels as you can get more invocations to further enhance your at will damage and Eldritch Blast.

I also think you are undervaluing a 6th level spell slot. You are talking about spells like Eyebite, Disintegrate, Heal (on a DS) or perhaps most significant - Globe of Invulnerability which would make you immune to every spell the multiclass character can cast. Regardless of what level you are at, this 2-level dip will always be missing significant spell upgrades.
 

I think you are dramatically underselling the value of an at will ability that clocks in around a 4th or 5th level spell according to dmg 284. There's also the huge overselling of a couple L6 spells in a 6-8 encounter adventuring day. Don't forget the tutut about how a statement of bob likely having x or y invocation was given a note about how he could only have x or y rather than both. The point was not that Bob is "overpowered", the point was that Alice is not able to meaningfully feel like her choice to not MC mattered as much as Bob's choice to MC. At lower levels there's a gap yes but in late tier2 or tier3 that gap is more of a technicality & rarely meaningful during play.

The problem is, you only think in DPR, which at higher levels is nice, but you delay really world altering spells by 2 levels.
Our druid has 2 wizard levels, which he started his career with. We are currently level 11 and we feel the loss of 6th level spells. We love the fact that on good days, the diviner knows that the enemy will be polymorphed with no chance of success.

Of course, with the sorcerer, who is a known spellcaster, the loss of 6th level spells is not that dramatic, and the warlock level 2 is the best multiclass you can get. But this shows again, that the problem lies in class design, not in the multiclass rules per se.
I really loved that eldritch blast is missing from the spell list. This will provbably be great for the game, as not every "optimized" build is a warlock... although selling one's soul is thematic...
 

I also think you are undervaluing a 6th level spell slot. You are talking about spells like Eyebite, Disintegrate, Heal (on a DS) or perhaps most significant - Globe of Invulnerability which would make you immune to every spell the multiclass character can cast. Regardless of what level you are at, this 2-level dip will always be missing significant spell upgrades.

I think, to really understand how disintegrate belongs to the list of good spells, you need to mention, that it is a "get out of "force" jail" spell.
 

With a 2-level dip I disgree with this on many levels. Obviously specifics matter but in General at 11th level I think Alice will be about as powerful as Bob, less in a couple combinations, more in a couple others. Not all the stuff you list for Bob is accurate though for a 2-level dip (see below).

To start with at level 11 Alice has 6th level spells, but Alice also got 3rd level spells 2 levels earlier, she also got her 6th level subclass ability 2 levels earlier. Having Hound of Ill Omen for example at 6th and 7th level puts her well ahead of Bob at those levels as does having access to Fear, Haste or Fireball at levels 5 and 6 instead of waiting to level 7.
To clarify the build unless you are desperately interested in the survivability offered by medium armour and a shield from Hexblade the optimal route to Sorcerer 9/Warlock 2 is 9 levels of sorcerer then 2 of warlock. And what makes the build arguably broken wasn't actually mentioned by @tetrasodium; it's that you get to mix Quicken Spell with a three (or four) beam Eldritch Blast that adds your Cha modifier for six beams in a turn for two sorcery points. Meanwhile the cost is currently two spell slots and from level 12 onwards will only be a single slot even if a high level one.
 

Still, the issue is warlock and eldritch blast, not multiclassing in general. Tie eldritch to warlock level, and you are good.
Also, even if 6d10+6d6+30 (84) looks like a lot, it is only damage (and pushback) on single targets. Inflicting status effects or just throwing a fireball and a sunbeam (after setting it up) be more useful.
Not to speak of globe of invulnerability which reduces your damage to zero in a duel. Mental prison will catch you by surprise and since you took sorcerer first, your will save against mass suggestion won't help you a lot.
If I feel like it, I upcast shadow blade and attack twice with greenflame blade (although this is not allowed strictly by RAW after the last errata).

That does not mean, that the multiclass character is in any way underpowered, but there are also big downsides to give up your highest spell level nilly willy.
 

tetrasodium

Legend
Supporter
Epic
No I am not underselling and I have played this multiclass. I have also played at a table where we had multiclass on an Abberant Mind/Genie along with a single class Divine Soul. We went level 1-14 and the Divine Soul had plenty of meaningful moments. Honestly the sorcerer had more "significant moments" that I can recall than the multiclass did.

Moreover if you really want the at-will Eldritch Blast this is weaker than a single class Warlock or a Sorlock with fewer sorcerer levels as you can get more invocations to further enhance your at will damage and Eldritch Blast.

I also think you are undervaluing a 6th level spell slot. You are talking about spells like Eyebite, Disintegrate, Heal (on a DS) or perhaps most significant - Globe of Invulnerability which would make you immune to every spell the multiclass character can cast. Regardless of what level you are at, this 2-level dip will always be missing significant spell upgrades.
You played it, the GM needs to run the game for all of their players. That includes aquaman getting "plenty of meaningful moments" and disguising when they are a job for aquaman so nobody notices or mentions that the GM is doing just that. 2e style & PF2 style feat based variants mitigate these issues better than 5e's.
I also think you are undervaluing a 6th level spell slot. You are talking about spells like Eyebite, Disintegrate, Heal (on a DS) or perhaps most significant - Globe of Invulnerability which would make you immune to every spell the multiclass character can cast. Regardless of what level you are at, this 2-level dip will always be missing significant spell upgrades.
I think, to really understand how disintegrate belongs to the list of good spells, you need to mention, that it is a "get out of "force" jail" spell.
If a GM's players are making build decisions for these kind of reasons it sounds like they are running a wildly different game sporting a level of knock down dragout pvp than any I've ever heard of. Very few monsters cast wall/cube of force making it an extreme edge case.

No it's not just a warlock thing. Warlock was rarely if ever even considered for great multiclass builds back in 3.5 yet it too had pages & pages of great MC builds. The big difference though is that the GM had many more tools & dials they could massage to discretely adjust the relative power between players when needed.
 

Remove ads

Top