D&D (2024) How to fix multiclassing?

Multiclassing is in theory an optional rule, but I have seen it at 100% of games that I played.
So, in my experience it's a core rule. Same as feats.

Problem with multiclassing is that classes need to be defined early on.
That is have lot's of features at levels 1-3.

early on, that is not a problem, most of the time 6th level single class is better than 3/3 split. but 5/1 could be "cheesed" into some OP combo.
at 10th level 5/5 split will mostly be horrible compared to 10th level character, but 8/2 or 9/1 or 7/3 could again be a problem.

also, to me, even split of two classes would be perfect representation for multiclassing.
And only two classes.

within one level of eachother.

But, how to deal with the power problem of missing higher level features?

solution could come from 3.5e multiclass feats from Complete adventurer/scoundrel.

feat: raging shifter:
requires 3 levels in barbarian and druid.
+1 ASI,
Your barbarian and druid levels stack for calculating rage damage and number of usages.
Your barbarian and druid levels stack for calculating wild shape CR and types used.
You can enter rage and wild shape as a same Bonus action if you are moon druid.

some class feature might be too strong so classes could only add half(round up) of their level to other class faetures.

Feat: martial stalker:
requires 3 levels in fighter and rogue.
+1 ASI,
Half your fighter levels(round up) add to your sneak attack progression.
half your rogue levels(round up) add to your fighters Extra attack progression.

feat: mystic theurge:
+1 ASI
requires 3 levels in two full casting classes:
Half levels in one class adds to levels in other class for availability of spell levels.
Spells prepared and known stay the same.

that is 6th level wizard/6th level cleric with this feat would both have available 5th level spells as both classes would count as 9th level(6+3) for access to spells.
both classes could still prepare only 6 spells plus their respective casting modifier.
Spell slots would be of a 12th level caster per normal multiclass rules.
Interesting. Now I know where Level Up: A5e got the idea behind it's multiclass Synergy feats. ;) From 3.5's Complete Adventurer/Complete Scoundrel. I'll have to revisit my copy of Complete Adventurer now.

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I would be onboard with making the classes a subclass. At 3rd level, my fighter wants to take wizard as a subclass instead of champion. He gets some stuff but keeps his 2 attacks at 5th level and such. If he wanted to cast more spells, he could have taken wizard as his class and at 3rd level taken fighter as his subclass.

The problem is that we want to give cool stuff at low levels to make a class and then penalize/reward (depending on your perspective) people that take the cool stuff from a couple classes and are sitting at 3/3 instead of 6th level.


Jedi Master
Here is an idea: multiclass is subclass. If you want to multiclass you are taking a version of the other class as your subclass.
I get the sense that this is where the PHB subclasses are going in 2024. Each class will have it's first subclass be in the same class group, and then the other three subclasses for that class will be from the other three class groups. IE Rogue (Expert), Rogue (Priest), Rogue (Warrior), Rogue (Mage).


I get the sense that this is where the PHB subclasses are going in 2024. Each class will have it's first subclass be in the same class group, and then the other three subclasses for that class will be from the other three class groups. IE Rogue (Expert), Rogue (Priest), Rogue (Warrior), Rogue (Mage).
I was thinking that they would go with allowing certain abilities to stack if you multiclass in the same group. For instance, if you take wizard and sorcerer from the mage group, then tour levels stack for highest spell level known. A fighter/barbarian would still get 2 attacks at 5th level even if he split 2/3.


Dirty, realism-hating munchkin powergamer
I think the first part of adjusting multiclassing is recognizing some of the narrative complications.

First, you have the people who want multiclassing right out of the gate, because their character is someone who doesn't color within the lines and doesn't follow a normal class progression. So for that narrative, you need something like AD&D gestalt multiclassing or 4e hybrids.

Then, you have the characters who want to switch gears during the course of play because they're pursuing a new path. I'm a ranger, but I want to focus more on primal magic, so I decide to multiclass to druid. Or I picked up a spellbook from that evil necromancer, and now my rogue wants to learn magic and multiclass to wizard. For that kind of narrative, you need something like 2e "dual-classing" or 3e/5e level-by-level class choice.

And then, you have the training complication for the "switch gears" narrative, what I like to call the "multiclass wizard" problem. This case is where a character wants to take a class that has an assumed narrative of years of training. This complication primarily impacts wizards, but sometimes other classes that often carry narratives of in-game membership in an organization, such as druids.

How would I handle it while still keeping to paradigm that resembles 5e:

1) Something like 4e hybrid is the standard class design. Classes are thinner, but everyone picks 2. Instead of class/subclass, characters are all class 1/class 2. You might pick Fighter/Eldritch Knight if you want to be a warrior with some spell tricks, or Wizard/Eldritch Knight if you want to be a caster that's a bit more front-line.

2) Backgrounds give more oomph, and 1st level class picks give less. Your training time as an apprentice mage is explained by your Sage background, not your wizard class. A 1st level Sage background wizard might know 4-5 spells and have proficiency in Arcana thanks to their background; a 1st level Charlatan wizard might only know 1 spell from their class, but has Stealth and Deception proficiency and some other roguish tricks.


For the record we already have multi-class subclasses - the Arcane Trickster and the Eldritch Knight. I don’t think there is enough power in subclasses to provide the kind of punch that people seem to want from the multiclass options. A 5/5 sorcerer/fighter has substantially more spellcasting chops than a level 10 Eldritch knight. Not to mention the fact that the level 5 fighter can also be an eldritch knight and so gain 7th level spell casting power.

It seems that the new feats in 1D&D are linked to a character stat increase so I would be very surprised if they had the punch to fill that gap. Let’s reiterate - Multiclass characters that are as good at spell casting as single class characters is not a virtue!

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