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D&D 5E Matt Mercer Just Changed My Mind About Multiclassing


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Myzzrym

Explorer
For me it was [MENTION=55582]Treantmonklvl20[/MENTION], completely overturned my distaste for magic users. Made me rethink about the whole spell catalogue outside just "save or fail" - my old players tended to only pick damage / save or fail spells, and it made for very "meh" experiences where they would often complain when they failed (I used a slot to do nothing this sucks blablabla).
 

S'mon

Legend
After being in a game with no recap (except what us players could manage to cobble together) this article resonated with me: https://theangrygm.com/the-art-of-the-recap/

How often do you play?
It seems to me that players who don't remember what happened last week must be incredibly bored/disengaged. I have one guy like that in one online game who just sort of tags along. But most players pay attention.

IME all I need to do is say "So, you are heading into the hills to look for the evil temple" or wherever we ended last week. No way am I going over important npcs etc pre game - if the players care, they will remember. If it comes up in game and they ask "Who is that guy?" their PC can have an INT check. I really dislike the idea of opening the session with a mini lecture on what's going to be important this session. It sounds like one of Angry's many bad ideas, like his cargo cult approach to megadungeon play. He only seems to be able to think in terms of linear narratives and squishing everything to fit that style.

Edit: I do provide lots of resources like maps npc lists session summaries pics etc which players can access if they want. I think that's different from a compulsory lecture.
 
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robus

Lowcountry Low Roller
How often do you play?
It seems to me that players who don't remember what happened last week must be incredibly bored/disengaged. I have one guy like that in one online game who just sort of tags along. But most players pay attention.

Well it used to be once a week, but now every two weeks. But I still do the recap every session, because players, in my experience, are not keeping track of the big picture. When the session ends they’ll discuss what happened a bit but then not think about the game for the rest of the week. Me, on the other hand, I spend the entire week thinking about the next session and what threads I want to weave together to challenge and excite the players. They might remember some bits from the last session, but from three sessions ago? Ten?

A short but useful recap (not a lecture but presented in an engaging, inviting manner) is the perfect way to ease the players back into the session (and the campaign as a whole) and smoothly lead into the first actions, IMHO.

Regardless of how we each feel about our personal games, surely we can agree that a recap is essential for a streaming game? :)
 

S'mon

Legend
Yes I would think a recap would be necessary for passive entertainment like streaming, unless the campaign was highly episodic.

I guess re players I would worry it would tend to push them further into the passive recipient role, which ime Angry's advice assumes. imo the players are there to entertain me and each other just as much as I am there to entertain them. If they follow what is happening that gives them a lot more power to shape events so imc paying attention is rewarded in-game. If a player does not pay attention that is a signal they are not interested in the big picture. Maybe they just want to kill things; maybe they want to do something else.
 

robus

Lowcountry Low Roller
Yes I would think a recap would be necessary for passive entertainment like streaming, unless the campaign was highly episodic.

I guess re players I would worry it would tend to push them further into the passive recipient role, which ime Angry's advice assumes. imo the players are there to entertain me and each other just as much as I am there to entertain them. If they follow what is happening that gives them a lot more power to shape events so imc paying attention is rewarded in-game. If a player does not pay attention that is a signal they are not interested in the big picture. Maybe they just want to kill things; maybe they want to do something else.

I hear you, I just remember my time on the other side of the screen and getting quite lost after a number of sessions with no recap. Now I'm not a great note-taker so that might have been part of it, but I'm not at a session to go back to school (and copious note-taking seems like work, rather than aiding immersion?) :) I'm there to have fun exploring, fighting and interacting with a motley crew of NPCs. And I sure like to think that I was interested in the big picture, it just got more fuzzy as the time went on (because there was never a recap in the middle of a session either), it was just seemingly random encounter after random encounter, the mission objective had become totally obscured.

Anyway we should probably agree to disagree at this point. I'm glad you've got a group of players that are so heavily invested.
 

S'mon

Legend
I do think players should be taking notes during play if they expect to do more than just hit things. I certainly do when playing, and some of my players are much better than me. My son doesn't need to take notes but he's young with a great memory. Adults really need to record NPC names, town names and such.

If the game is all blending together that might be the GM's fault and a recap might help I guess. I think the kind of player who doesn't pay attention in game is even less likely to listen to recap though . I think a poorly written AP may especially benefit from frequent recaps.
 
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MNblockhead

A Title Much Cooler Than Anything on the Old Site
For me the main purpose of the short recap is to transition from settling in and socializing to the game.

We only meet once per month for an eight-hour game. I don't bother summarizing everything that happened in the last game. But I'll do a short "where we last left the party..." and describe the current situation or scene to get to the "what do you do?"

Sometimes someone may have a question about something that happened in a prior session and I'll either just tell them or have them make an INT check depending on the nature of the question.
 

Reynard

Legend
(As a side note, if you aren't watching the "Handbooker Helper" video series, you are really missing out. Yes, they are campy and cringy for seasoned gamers, but they are also insightful and fun. I've learned a great deal from watching them, and not just about multiclassing.)

I have seen an episode or two of Critical Role, but I had no idea how charming that fellow was.
 

May not be the "exact" answer/solution, but Monarchies of Mau, which is a 3PP modified 5E setting where you play as cats, actually has both Darkvision and Low-Light Vision. The entries in Monarchies of Mau and read as followed on Page 102 within Chapter-Playing the Game: (All credit goes to the fine folks of Onyx Path Publishing with Pugsteady and the creator of Pugmire and Monarchies of Mau-Eddy Webb)

Darkvision: Darkvision allows for a character to see without any light at all. Characters that use Darkvision in darkness can only see in black and white (they can’t see any colors). It doesn’t give them any ability to see things they normally wouldn’t be able to see in the light, such as invisible characters or monsters.

Low-light Vision allows a character to see twice as far as they normally might be able to in dim light. They can see in color and make out details as if the area were brightly lit. They do need to take a few seconds to adjust, however — a character with Low-light Vision who suddenly has bright light in their eyes may get the Blind condition (p. 109) for a few minutes.

If you wanted to do it like that in 5E, that's probably the simplest method.
 





ECMO3

Adventurer
Required viewing: "Handbooker Helper: Multiclassing," April 10, 2019:

Here's the deal. I've always hated multiclassing in 5th Edition. The prerequisites seemed unnecessary, the "always stack except when they don't" nature of class features, and the horrible horrible nightmare of what happens when a spellcaster takes levels of another spellcaster...and for what? some weapon proficiencies and maybe a class feature or two? It just never seemed like it was worth all of the trouble.

And then I watched this little introduction/how-to video. Matt does a great job of explaining how prerequisites work, how class features stack (or don't), and how to sort Hit Dice and spells out. It's not like I'd never heard this stuff before--I've read the rules, plus several threads on ENWorld dedicated to that topic--but for whatever reason, this campy how-to made the lights come on for me. Matt did in 8 minutes what nobody else could do in half a decade: he made 5E multiclassing sound simple and interesting. I used to be a solid "no" when my players asked about that optional rule, but now I'm all "sure, let's go for it."

It was the first time the Internet has ever changed my mind about something D&D-related. I'm not sure what to think anymore. What's happening to me?? What have I become?!?

Seriously though: has the Internet ever changed your mind about the way you run your game? Tell us a story.

(As a side note, if you aren't watching the "Handbooker Helper" video series, you are really missing out. Yes, they are campy and cringy for seasoned gamers, but they are also insightful and fun. I've learned a great deal from watching them, and not just about multiclassing.)
I have been playing 5E D&D for 5 years and wizards (specifically bladesingers) are the only class I have played beyond level 4 without a dip or multiclass.

As far as spellcasters, mutliclassing gives you a ton of spells prepared, especially if you pick up spell half feats like Fey Touched, Shadow Touched and Telepathic. I am playing a 10th-level human Arcane Trickster/Bladesinger (currently 4/6) who took all three of these feats and with an 18 intelligence she has 19 spells prepared and 7 cantrips is not even a full 10th-level caster. Sure she has 4th level slots with no 4th-level spells, but she made sure to have spells that can be upcast.
 
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el-remmen

Moderator Emeritus
I love multiclassing. As a player I almost always imagine my characters doing it at some point earlier or later and as a DM I love when my players choose to do it. That said, I like it as a response to what is happening in the game and the development of the character, rather than chasing a "build."
 

Maxperson

Morkus from Orkus
I have been playing D&D for 5 years and wizards (specifically bladesingers) are the only class I have played beyond level 4 without a dip or multiclass.

As far as spellcasters, mutliclassing gives you a ton of spells prepared, especially if you pick up spell half feats like Fey Touched, Shadow Touched and Telepathic. I am playing a 10th-level human Arcane Trickster/Bladesinger (currently 4/6) who took all three of these feats and with an 18 intelligence she has 19 spells prepared and 7 cantrips is not even a full 10th-level caster. Sure she has 4th level slots with no 4th-level spells, but she made sure to have spells that can be upcast.
The two bolded portions are completely contradictory. :p
 


I love multiclassing. As a player I almost always imagine my characters doing it at some point earlier or later and as a DM I love when my players choose to do it. That said, I like it as a response to what is happening in the game and the development of the character, rather than chasing a "build."
I also love the ability to multiclass.
Everyone who says, 5e isn't customizable enough somehow misses how many (viable) combinations are possible with that simple rule.

Edit: also, many people use 1 or 2 level dip as a curse word. If you go back to ADnD, multiclassing basically was putting you about 1 level behind a single classed character.
 
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Maxperson

Morkus from Orkus
No. It is not. The mentioned character in the lower bolded part does not have to be the one mentioned in the upper one.
You have your logics mixed up.
Re-read it. He says that in his 5 years, wizards and specifically bladesingers are the only class that he has played past level 4 without multiclassing. He is talking about the entire class there, not specific characters. Then he mentioned a specific bladesinger he has multiclassed with that is past level 4. That's contradictory.
 

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