D&D 5E Multi-Multi-classing

I read it different. Versality is power. Having the ability to nova once in a while is power.
Yes...and that was explicitly one of the things the poster cited. Being able to nova so hard it startles the DM.

Sustained damage is a different kind of power, which is porably the barbarian and the pure paladin´s expertise.
Yeah...and Barbarian isn't that much better at it than a Hexblade/Paladin multiclass.

Warlock Hexblade (including the shield spell you seemed to be unaware of) is undoubtedly a very strong multiclass option combined with paladin, especially if you interpret the multiclass rules that you can power smites with warlock spells, which is not cristal clear, as multiclass rules only allow cross casting of spells between spellcasting and pact magic, and I tend to say, it was not designed that way (the first printing of the PHB explicitel spelled out paladin slots for smiting).
From 2016, when Sage Advice tweets were still considered official, the answer is yes, you can. Which makes sense, since Eldritch Smite is literally identical to baseline Divine Smite except with a superior damage type (force vs radiant) and knocking most targets prone.

The crux of my response here is the following:
1. Two of the three parts of this multi-multiclass are much stronger for MC than any other option. The third is weaker, except that they chose the one subclass which compensates.
2. The poster downplays things and speaks about versatility....and then takes pride in the power they can employ.
3. Even given all of that, I'm skeptical because this is an 11th-level character making use of 5th-level-or-lower features. That's a pretty big gap, and if the DM is actually getting caught with their pants down despite it, that seems to say more about the DM's actions than the player's.

The vast majority of multiclass combos are a downgrade in 5e, and of those that are not, most are one-level or three-level dips. Versatility is rarely actually worthwhile, unless the versatile bits align quite nicely.

I don't want to demean or downplay the poster's experiences. They're having fun, and that's great. But their experience is objectively not representative of most multiclassing choices, and even accounting for that component, I strongly suspect that there are other reasons their experience isn't representative.
 
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From 2016, when Sage Advice tweets were still considered official, the answer is yes, you can. Which makes sense, since Eldritch Smite is literally identical to baseline Divine Smite except with a superior damage type (force vs radiant) and knocking most targets prone.

Which is limited to warlock slots.
Also, sage advice bounced back from one interpretation to a different in otger cases.
So no, I see it differently.

And my first printing tells me, that was the original intend. YMMV.
 

Which is limited to warlock slots.
Also, sage advice bounced back from one interpretation to a different in otger cases.
So no, I see it differently.

And my first printing tells me, that was the original intend. YMMV.
The original printing also allowed 2-level-dip Warlocks to take Eldritch Invocations so long as their character level met the requirements, which was explicitly not the intent and got changed. The first printing is nowhere near as reliable as you portray it to be.
 

The original printing also allowed 2-level-dip Warlocks to take Eldritch Invocations so long as their character level met the requirements, which was explicitly not the intent and got changed. The first printing is nowhere near as reliable as you portray it to be.

No. But same goes for sage advice. As I said, it is my interpretation. YMMV which is OK. We might see the original intend in OneDnD. Or never. Does not matter.
The good thing about D&D is, that we can perfectly well use our own brain to decide which reading is better for our own game and just play it that way.

Instead of complaining in a forum how imbalanced short rest smite is, when I use the more generous interpretation, I decided to use the more restrictive variant and am happily playing with balanced characters.
 

I once played a bard/paladin/sorceror/warlock - it wasn't awful, but it wasn't good either. It really only made sense because she was an eladrin and the idea was for her to change style-of-play with seasons, but in practice she was a hexblade with a lot of cantrips and low-level spells but no high-level powers.
 

ECMO3

Hero
Hey folks.

I wouldn’t mind getting a take on people's experiences who have multi-classed their PC’s into at least three classes. I am looking at a build with three classes to fully capture a flavour but am mindful of
M.A.D., ASI issues and potentially feeling underpowered compared to other PC's.

What are people’s experiences with 3 or more classes in one? (especially M.A.D. builds) How did they feel to play?

Cheers, for your time and replies.
I almost always do 2 classes, but I've only done three classes one time.

Arcane Trickster-Arcane Archer-Shadow Sorcerer At games end I was level 8-6-1

This is fairly mad. I started out V. Human Rogue with S8 D16 C10 I16 W10 CH14 with Fey touched intelligence (with Hex). I finished with Intelligence 18 - Shadow Touched feat intelligence (with Cause Fear), Martial Adept (Menacing Attack), Telekenetic (Intelligence)

Progrssion was Rogue 1, Sorc 1, Rogue 2, Fighter 6, then Rogue 8.

I will start with the negative: The main problem with the build was Strength of Grave triggers on a Charisma save, so it was pretty much worthless near the end since I did not have proficiency. If I started as sorcerer I would have had Charisma proficiency, but I would have lost a skill and lost the interplay between dexterity proficiency and evasion. The other negative is I had far more bonus actions then I could use (Telekenetic, Quick Toss, Hex, Cunning Action, Mage Hand Legerdemain, Misty Step, steady aim), although the flip side is I always had a useful bonus action available.

Sorc got me awesome darkvision, shield, absorb elements, Booming Blade, Friends, Message and Mending.

With Rogue I got expertise in Deception and Persuasion, late in game I added Athletics and Perception. For AT I picked up Tasha's Laughter, Disguise Self, I initially picked up Find Familiar and summoned a Raven, then level 4 I traded that for Catapult after I got my Raven. Later I picked up Charm Person for a couple rounds then got rid of it for Shadow Blade and Tasha's Mind Whip. I also had Cause Fear, Hex, Misty Step and Invisibility from feats. Cantrips were Green Flame Blade, Minor Illusion and of course Mage Hand.

Fighting Style was Superior Technique with Quick Toss and I got the Prestidigitation cantrip from Arcane Archer. Arcane Shots were grasping arrow and seeking arrow.

As far as play, it was a cool build with a crap ton of bonus actions. A Raven is an awesome familiar if you have a high deception because of its mimicry ability. I got a ton of use out of this combining mimicry with Hex (Wisdom), Disguise Self, Minor Illusion and the awesome deception I had.

As far as combat, with extra attack, 2 battlemaster maneuvers, 2 arcane shots and an action surge per short rest there was a lot I could do. With quick toss I could cast a spell like cause fear, tasha's Laughter or mind whip and use quick toss to throw a dagger, dart or shadowblade for a sneak attack. Or I could use action surge to do the same. If I was at the top of the order and could not sneak attack, I would catapult a net to cause restrained and then follow with sneak attack either using quick toss or action surge. Initially she started out melee oriented, but later went to being primarily ranged.

I also used mage hand legerdemain a lot, pickpocketing enemies in combat, dropping caltrops, pouring oil or just moving a vial of acid alchemists fire or a net to line it up for catapult.

I used Telekenetic with grasping arrow to drive up damage, but not as much as expected when I got the feat.

I pretty much ALWAYS had a good use for my bonus action and towards the end of the game I actually got to where it was hard to get in my free cast of Hex and Misty Step in combat because I lacked the spare bonus actions. I ended up with Hex mostly being used for role play and misty step usually went unused.

Overall it was a really fun build. It was not the most powerful combat build I have ever made, but it was so versatile and that has an effectiveness all its own. In social situations it was one of the most powerful builds I have ever done. In exploration - well she had awesome darkvision from shadow sorc and was good with traps and locks but that is about it.
 
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Wrong. I did NOT explicity state that at all. Read my post again.
You literally said you were the best tank in the party, able to do so much nova damage it's shocked your DM on the regular, and healing good enough for it to be one of your main contributions. Oh! And you have the sneaky skills of a Rogue on top. How is that not describing being extremely powerful at basically everything?
 

jurrubin

Villager
1. What class(es) had you picked at level 5? It's the lower levels where multiclassing really leaves characters behind other characters, missing out on ASI and the level 5 power bump. Was it all 5 levels of Paladin, or perhaps Warlock 2-3 and an EB focus while everything else came together?
2. Did you roll ability scores and do well? Because for a MAD character (wanting DEX, CHR, and decent CON), at 11th level you only have a single ASI really should hurt at this point.
Progression was Rogue 1, Paladin 1 & 2 then Warlock 1 & 2 for the EB focus and Devil's Sight because of the campaign story. I really missed that level 5 Extra Attack but the character development is being story-driven not optimization-driven. As for ability scores, I rolled them. Base rolls were STR 13, DEX 16, CON 14, INT 10, WIS 12, CHA 16 with racial adds of +2 to DEX, +1 to WIS, and another +1 to WIS from the Resilient feat at Paladin level 4 instead of the ASI (he got hit by a Fear effect and I wanted a better chance to avoid future occurrences).

The character concept is that of a "Forest Warden" of Silvanus; basically, a Wood Elf who roams the forests as a solo troubleshooter for Silvanus. He has enough versatility to deal with a number of problems but can also survive long enough (hopefully) to back off and get help with situations that look to require a larger assertive reaction. Having run paladins with 18+ Charisma, I do find a CHA 16 to be a bit limiting but, in my mind, it fits with a "loner" character concept. Future ASIs will be used to buff that Charisma. I'll be capping Rogue at level 4, Warlock at level 2 (maybe 3..still debating), and putting the rest into Paladin.

He can stealth, can heal (though not as good as a cleric), can get in some good damage (not as good as a dedicated fighter), and can snipe using Eldritch Blast, stay highly mobile for a few rounds using spells, can off-tank using the Shield spell along with a base AC of 20 (combination of +1 Studded Leather, Fighting Initiate: Defense feat from Rogue level 4 ASI, DEX 18, and shield use) and can use Rogue: Swashbuckler class abilities to help avoid damage while gaining some mobility and another way of getting in some Sneak Attack damage on top of Smites.

The character build is incredibly versatile but I'm always having to be careful, using tactics and forethought to stay on top of situations. As for group support, the character can be extremely disruptive for attackers..until he runs out of spell slots. Even when he's used up all his spells slots and short/long rest abilities, he can still be an annoying distraction. I learned many years ago the value of harassing enemy to the point they ignore what other party members are doing.
 

Redwizard007

Adventurer
Floki from Vikings with added land and environmental spells from the old gods and also some trickster stuff as well as a little support

He has to be melee viable (not tank) with some form of damage mitigation (5 Rogue at least)

Land Druid and Rogue are the base classes I think, and Bard and maybe even a little Fighter

I was considering Dex/Wis/Cha and something in Con. getting 14's in those is viable.

I know people will shout Arcane Trickster at me but don't really want to add Int to the mix. Landing a Suggestion spell feels reasonably important so at least 3 levels of Bard.

I have thought of many ways to do this with two classes (Paladin/Bard, Tempest/Ranger) etc. but it does not feel complete.

I know that's asking a lot for one build but I'm most interested in what I will give up
For Floki, id go Trickery Cleric/Oath of Ancients Paladin. Or maybe, just fighter, ranger or rogue with a dash of Archfey Warlock.
 

jurrubin

Villager
You literally said you were the best tank in the party, able to do so much nova damage it's shocked your DM on the regular, and healing good enough for it to be one of your main contributions. Oh! And you have the sneaky skills of a Rogue on top. How is that not describing being extremely powerful at basically everything?
Again, wrong. Here's my exact words from my original post:

"What he IS able to do is keep up with any other character build (front line, stealth, healer), heal them of wounds and disease, zip around the battlefield massively disrupting enemy attacks, survive attacks that have trashed single-class members of his party (yay, Shield spell!), and, more often than not, dish out a nova attack that can shock a DM."

There is nothing in the above about the character being "the best tank in the party"; the single-class member was a fighter in medium armor (AC18) who got bitten by a dragon. My character had AC 20 armor, backed up by a Shield spell (which other posters have already explained to you is available to warlocks), for a total AC of 25 for one turn. So the roll of 20-22 range the dragon used to bite the single-class character with an AC of 19 bounced off my character with his AC of 25. Also, "keep up" doesn't mean be better than a dedicated one-class character. It means "help out".

And, yes, being able to cast Cure Light Wound immediately after using a paladin's Lay On Hands has been extremely useful to the party. As has the ability to combine damage from Smite, Sneak Attack, and Hexblade's Curse simultaneously. And he can stealth while wearing light armor, as any character with at least one level of Rogue can.

The character will always be outclassed in any one ability by a single-class character that has specialized in that ability. But the versatility of combining lower level abilities from multiple classes allow my character to accomplish some things single-class characters simply can't. That doesn't make the character a god but it does give him a chance to be useful in most (but not all) situations.

If you want to call this "extremely powerful", fine. You haven't see my rotten dice rolls.
 

You literally said you were the best tank in the party, able to do so much nova damage it's shocked your DM on the regular, and healing good enough for it to be one of your main contributions. Oh! And you have the sneaky skills of a Rogue on top. How is that not describing being extremely powerful at basically everything?

I did not read that into it.
 

jurrubin

Villager
But their experience is objectively not representative of most multiclassing choices, and even accounting for that component, I strongly suspect that there are other reasons their experience isn't representative.
Absolutely correct. I started playing D&D 'way back in 1977 and since then I gained a few decades experience in GM'ing games using the RuneQuest/D100 game engine, which is skill-based rather than level-based. Since RQ/D100 allows characters to learn/gain any skills they put the necessary effort and resources into, I'm used to character builds with lots of different abilities. I wanted to push the envelope with 5e just to see what it's really capable of.

So I studied which triple-class character class combinations work as well as single class characters for me with literally weeks of prototyping and playtesting. Due to my personal tastes and preferences, the Paladin/Rogue/Warlock is the only one that I personally can make work well. And even then, I have to be very careful, use tactics unexpected by a DM (teleport 25 feet up to grapple a flying oni, anyone?), and stay very, very in tune with how the abilities of all three classes can work together synergistically. It is definitely not an easy character to run and is fraught with all sorts of opportunities to get dead if I don't pay attention. Or roll badly.

But when it all comes together with excellent dice rolls...ooh, BAYbee! Still, for people who want to a taste of multiclassing, I personally recommend they stay with only two classes. There are plenty of dual class combinations that provide lots of versatility and fun while avoiding some of the complexity and high level ability loss any triple class combo brings to the table.
 

ECMO3

Hero
I would not really call Barbarians or Paladins as being high on sustained damage. Paladins are very limited by spell slots and Barbarian damage is low.

I also think you need to apply a level range to this. In terms of highest sustained damage from level 8-15, the best I have seen is a level 6 Bladesinger with the rest of levels in Hexblade, agonizing blast, crossbow expert and charsima ASIs

With bladesinger extra attack you are doing a hand crossbow attack, 2-3 Eldritch blasts and then another crossbow attack as a bonus action with Charisma bonus added to every one of those. You can run spirit shroud, Hex and Hexblade curse to have some pretty serious damage above that and have enough slots to do that a lot.

The main problem with this build is it is tough going until level 8 when it comes online. If you dip fighter at start you can dump dex and go heavy armor and take Archery, that makes it a bit better for levels 2-8, but means it does not come online until level 9 in that case.
 

Redwizard007

Adventurer
I would not really call Barbarians or Paladins as being high on sustained damage. Paladins are very limited by spell slots and Barbarian damage is low.

I also think you need to apply a level range to this. In terms of highest sustained damage from level 8-15, the best I have seen is a level 6 Bladesinger with the rest of levels in Hexblade, agonizing blast, crossbow expert and charsima ASIs

With bladesinger extra attack you are doing a hand crossbow attack, 2-3 Eldritch blasts and then another crossbow attack as a bonus action with Charisma bonus added to every one of those. You can run spirit shroud, Hex and Hexblade curse to have some pretty serious damage above that and have enough slots to do that a lot.

The main problem with this build is it is tough going until level 8 when it comes online. If you dip fighter at start you can dump dex and go heavy armor and take Archery, that makes it a bit better for levels 2-8, but means it does not come online until level 9 in that case.
2d6+17 a few times per round (at advantage) is great damage for most levels of play.
 

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I've gotta say, I've never seen any characters multiclassed for "versatility", it's always because class A has some ability that synergizes with something class B and boosts the core performance of the build. Any versatility is mostly a bonus.

There is a trade off in being behind the curve at certain levels, but being ahead of the curve on most other levels makes up for it.
 

DND_Reborn

The High Aldwin
In my 2-year 1-20 level game I played a female elven Cleric (Knowledge)/ Rogue (Scout)/ Wizard (War Mage).

It was a lot of fun, with tons of utility, proficiency in every skill, expertise in eight or nine I think, spoke over 10 languages IIRC, with decent spell capability as well. Fantastic as our group scout and good in combat.

Whenever I multiclass, which is practically all the time, it is always for versatility. I have to say I would rather play a character with tons of breadth than more focused/depth.
 

mellored

Hero
I've gotta say, I've never seen any characters multiclassed for "versatility", it's always because class A has some ability that synergizes with something class B and boosts the core performance of the build. Any versatility is mostly a bonus.

There is a trade off in being behind the curve at certain levels, but being ahead of the curve on most other levels makes up for it.
I've taken a single level of wizard for several characters. Lots of good rituals, fun familiar, and the shield spell is good too.

I've also occasionally took a level of cleric to get healing word.
 


When it comes to triple-classing, there's just one word:

Sorlockadin®.

Accept no substitutes.
Honestly, with Eldritch Smite, I'm not sure the Paladin part is even required anymore!

Now imagine if we lived in a world where the playtest sorcerer survived into actual published 5e. SO MUCH MORE FLAVOR in a wonderful combo.

But yes, the "coffeelock" is a great combination.
 

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