D&D General How to Read a Rule: Dueling Canons in D&D

Tony Vargas

Legend
An elf with 300+ years experience under her belt can be a terrifying and perfectly synthesized practitioner of magic and swordsmanship, because that's the kind of thing human-like-but-not-human beings do.
OT1H, a 1e AD&D elf PC would top out at Fighter 7/Magic-user 11.
OTOH, NPC write-ups of that era were untroubled by such things as rules. 🤷
 

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Lanefan

Victoria Rules
What is an adventure?

From when you leave home until you return home, or any place you can rest. And not camping overnight; resting for a prolinged time in a safe place - your home, an inn, a castle. Essentially any place you could regain HP through rest. That's how Gary played it.
One quick and easy way to define an adventure is "from one training-treasury-downtime break until the next". It's not perfect, but it's a start.
 

Lanefan

Victoria Rules
As noted by someone upthread, the salient question is "why do Humans and non-Humans use different systems?"; a question to which I've never seen or heard a sensible answer.

A corollary question, particularly as Gygax favoured a Human-centric game, is "if he wanted to promote Humans, why did he make the Human system more restrictive than the non-Human system?"

Also, if a character has all 18s for stats and thus meets every requirement for everything, is there anywhere a written rule that says a dual-classed Human cannot pick up a third class after the second class' level has caught up to the first? I don't recall ever seeing one, though as I ditched dual-classing ages ago it's a long time since I paid much attention to the minutae of it. And Elves can potentially triple-class, so the game does have precedent for three-classed characters.
 

James Gasik

We don't talk about Pun-Pun
Supporter
As noted by someone upthread, the salient question is "why do Humans and non-Humans use different systems?"; a question to which I've never seen or heard a sensible answer.

A corollary question, particularly as Gygax favoured a Human-centric game, is "if he wanted to promote Humans, why did he make the Human system more restrictive than the non-Human system?"

Also, if a character has all 18s for stats and thus meets every requirement for everything, is there anywhere a written rule that says a dual-classed Human cannot pick up a third class after the second class' level has caught up to the first? I don't recall ever seeing one, though as I ditched dual-classing ages ago it's a long time since I paid much attention to the minutae of it. And Elves can potentially triple-class, so the game does have precedent for three-classed characters.
I think simply because the rule is labeled "the character with two classes" that people assumed it wasn't allowed. I know I was floored when I tried to switch classes a second time in Baldur's Gate 1, because it hadn't occurred to me that you couldn't do it, if you met the requirements!

What really strikes me is, with all these arcane rules for multiclassing and "dual-classing", Unearthed Arcana introduced the Hat of Difference, which instantly allows you to pursue a new class just by doffing or donning it! In my old group, we had a crazy character who kept getting kicked out of parties, only to return in a new guise claiming to someone completely different with a totally different class thanks to dual-classing and using a Hat of Difference (at some point he died, got reincarnated as an Elf, and sweet talked the DM into letting him multiclass...somehow...)!
 

Voadam

Legend
A corollary question, particularly as Gygax favoured a Human-centric game, is "if he wanted to promote Humans, why did he make the Human system more restrictive than the non-Human system?"

I think this is because he thought humans' big power mechanically was from unlimited levels and access to all classes and subclasses.

Multiclassing was first an elf thing in OE but then generally a demihuman thing for expressing more of their niches. I think characters with two classes was an after thought narratively for one off Gray Mouser or Conan types or generally for somebody who wanted to become a magic user later on. Mechanically fighter to magic user is the way to go to mechanically synergize some benefits. I think Snarf is likely right that someone wanted a multiclass human and he came up with an option to fit them in but that is balanced by being ridiculously gatekeeped.
 
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Lanefan

Victoria Rules
n my old group, we had a crazy character who kept getting kicked out of parties, only to return in a new guise claiming to someone completely different with a totally different class thanks to dual-classing and using a Hat of Difference
I love characters like this!

Early in my current game we had a guy do similar stuff only without the dual-classing and without the Hat - he just faked it. He started as a "Magic User" and lasted half an adventure before getting run out of the party. He disguised himself, changed his name, and came back in a few months later as a "Thief". That didn't last long either: in the next adventure he died during a rather murderous round of party infighting. (his real class was Illusionist)

They left his corpse behind, however, and later in the same adventure had to fight him as a ghoul. :)
 

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