• The VOIDRUNNER'S CODEX is LIVE! Explore new worlds, fight oppressive empires, fend off fearsome aliens, and wield deadly psionics with this comprehensive boxed set expansion for 5E and A5E!

Level Up (A5E) Multiclass Extra Attack

In this post I want to dissect the current situation with Extra Attack when multiclassing and discuss why I find the wording and implementation a bit clumsy, inconsistent or confusing. I'll also propose a few alternatives that aim to be much simpler yet obtain the same results.

At the moment (latest version of AG, downloaded Dec 1), the classes that obtain Extra Attack are
  • Adept, at level 5. At Adept level 11 can take the Additional Attack focus feature to attack 3 times.
  • Berserker, at level 5
  • Fighter, at level 5. At level 11 can attack 3 times, but the feature explicitly says "The number of attacks increases to 3 when you reach 11th level in this class
  • Herald, at level 5
  • Marshal, at level 5. At level 11 can attack 3 times. The feature says "The number of attacks increases to 3 when you reach 11th level", without mentioning in this class.
  • Ranger, at level 5
I won't consider the Warlock with Extra Blast since that feature excludes weapon attacks, only works with Eldritch Ray, Scythe or Whip, only on warlock levels, and is not mentioned for multiclassing (i.e. is totally independent of the rest).

I find the asymmetry of wording between the Marshal and Fighter a bit irritating, but that may only count when multiclassing is at play, if at all.

Now, when we get to the multiclassing rules for Extra attack, the text says:
"You cannot stack multiple instances of the Extra Attack feature from multiple classes, and additional instances of the feature do not add additional attacks.
Fighters and Marshals. The additional 11th level Extra attack feature gained by fighters and marshals are both exceptions to this rule (a fighter 5/marshal 6 can attack 3 times with the Attack action.)"

This is where things get confusing and a bit clumsy IMO:
  • As written in the text, a Ftr5/Mrs6 can attack 3 times. It seems the Extra Attack features of both classes stack (+1 attack respectively). This bypasses the need for the fighter to be level 11, but it's ok since it's more specific, thus it takes precedence.
  • Would thus a Ftr5/Mrs5 be able to attack 3 times too, since both Extra Attack features are gained at level 5 in each class? If so, this multiclass combo can make 3 attacks earlier than any single class, so I guess the answer is no. Thus Extra Attack features from these two classes do not really stack this simply.
  • What about a Ftr10/Mrs1? It does not have the levels for gaining extra attack(2) from the fighter, nor the Extra attack from the Marshall, thus it shouldn't be able to attack 3 times. Is this multiclass combo less valid than Ftr5/Mrs6 then? Same for all other combinations that sum to 11 but where one class stays at level 4 or below.
  • What about a Ftr3/Mrs2? Can it attack twice instead of once, using the same rationale of the multiclass rule? Even if neither class gains the Extra attack feature? This is not written, so the answer is probably no, but it clashes with the rationale of the multiclass rule above.

I'd really like a simpler, more streamlined system, with a unified progression similar to that of spells for multiclassing.
After fiddling a bit I came up with the following:
Rule 1, variant a: You can attack twice when one of your classes gains the Extra attack feature. Extra Attack features from different classes do not stack, except for Rule 2a or 2b.
Rule 1, variant b: You can attack twice when the sum of your (Adept/Berserker/Fighter/Herald/Marshall/Ranger) classes is equal to or greater than 5.
Rule 2, variant a: You can attack tree times when the sum of your Fighter and Marshall class levels is equal to or greater than 11 and you gain the Extra Attack feature from both classes, or you gain the Extra Attack(2) feature from either class.
Rule 2, variant b: You can attack tree times when the sum of your Fighter and Marshall class levels is equal to or greater than 11.

Rule 1a+2a should encompass all the cases of the AG, with more clarity IMO. If these are applied, A Ftr3/Mrs2 would not gain an extra attack, and neither a Ftr 10/Mrs1, but a Ftr5/6Mrs6 would. This is the stricter set of rules.
Rule 1a+2b gives more flexibility to the Ftr/Mrs combo. A Ftr10/Mrs1 would attack 3 times, albeit neither class gains the Extra Attack (2) nor they both gain Extra Attack (1). Slightly more flexible than the previous point, but still within the general scope of the AG.
Rule 1b+2a gives way more flexibility to all classes to get 2 attacks (like Ftr3/Mrs2), but limits the capabilities of a Ftr10/Mrs1. Wacky, I wouldn't use it.
Rule 1b+2b gives the maximum flexibility to anyone. Would very likely use this one, as the total number of attack is still limited to 3 and only if you have enough fighter or marshall levels, and only when your total level is at least 11.

What do you guys think?
 

log in or register to remove this ad

VenerableBede

Adventurer
I like the idea behind your variant rules and I already toy with this idea when I DM, essentially using 1b + 2b. I mostly run it this way because the second attack for martial classes is so critical to just make them feel playable as levels progress.
That said, multiclassing is intended to come with increased flexibility but slowed progression in 5e (O5e or A53), so I think 1a + 2a fits the design philosophy a little better. I just don’t think it’s as fun as 1b + 2b, so I don’t run with it. I do try to keep an eye out for potential (unfun) multi class shenanigans this opens up, though.
 

tetrasodium

Legend
Supporter
Epic
What do you guys think?
Looks deliberate for level 11 but level 5 doesn't stack.
EXTRA ATTACK
You cannot stack multiple instances of the Extra Attack feature from multiple classes, and additional instances of the feature do not add additional attacks.

Fighters. The additional 11th level Extra attack feature gained by fighters and marshals are both exceptions to this rule.
.
It might be to keep synergy feats involving those two from needing to carry that much punch. The two classes get a good bit of cool stuff between 6 & 11 that the multiclass character would be missing out on
edit: the v2 pdf is more explicit than the tools page when I wrote this, check post7 for that wording
 
Last edited:

I like the idea behind your variant rules and I already toy with this idea when I DM, essentially using 1b + 2b. I mostly run it this way because the second attack for martial classes is so critical to just make them feel playable as levels progress.
Same thinking here, that's why I proposed it. If my players were interested in playing multiclass characters but were refraining to due to the limitations on the attacks, I might go for this option.
That said, multiclassing is intended to come with increased flexibility but slowed progression in 5e (O5e or A53), so I think 1a + 2a fits the design philosophy a little better. I just don’t think it’s as fun as 1b + 2b, so I don’t run with it. I do try to keep an eye out for potential (unfun) multi class shenanigans this opens up, though.
1a+2a should be exactly what A5e does, just phrased in a way I find clearer and more complete.
 

Looks deliberate for level 11 but level 5 doesn't stack.
I agree, but there should be a clarification for what happens when you have 5 levels in each class.
It might be to keep synergy feats involving those two from needing to carry that much punch. The two classes get a good bit of cool stuff between 6 & 11 that the multiclzss character would be missing out on
It could be, I was mostly wondering about the unspecified/corner cases.
 

Sepulchre

Explorer
The current language also suffers from the flaw of failing to rule out something like Fighter 5/Berserker 6 getting three attacks.

The rule says the 11th-level Extra Attack feature is an exception to the rule against stacking.

Reading it most literally means that it does nothing until you get to level 11 in one class. But the Fighter/Marshal example shows that this is not the correct reading. Another plausible reading is that the Extra Attack feature of Fighters and Marshals, which increases to three at level 11, stacks with other instances of Extra Attack, such as the Berserkers. The example fails to rule this out, which I think is the intent, by using the only Extra Attack class combination in which both classes gain another attack at level 11.

The simple fix is: The Extra Attack features gained by fighters and marshals stack with each other.

In my humble opinion, however, letting a Fighter 5/Berserker 6 attack 3 times is fine, and I would vote for that rule instead. Especially with Action Surge getting deep-sixed.
 

tetrasodium

Legend
Supporter
Epic
I agree, but there should be a clarification for what happens when you have 5 levels in each class.

It could be, I was mostly wondering about the unspecified/corner cases.
My original quote was pulling from the tools site on my phone. Looking at the v2 pdf it's even more explicit on AG378
1639066901108.png
A herald berserker monk or whatever would (probably?) not be covered if they also had fighter or marshal levels under strict RAW unless they had some combination of fighter/marshal levels that added to 11. In a way I think that might also be RAI since it limits the ability of those other classes to add a third multiplicative iteration of class abilities scaled for an assumption of 2 max without a GM saying "hmm... I'm not sure but going to allow it for now with the caveat that we might need to work on some stuff if it becomes problematic" or similar. A synergy feat could even do something like declare that "your non-fighter/marshal levels count as fighter/marshal levels for the purposes of extra attack" if a particular 3&3 combo was designed to get that kind of tradeoff like a 3fighter/marshal+3rogue that has reduced sneak scaling in exchange for debuffing attacks or whatever.

What kind of corner cases are missing?
 

What kind of corner cases are missing?
Fighter5/Marshall5 is the most prominent one: the multiclass Extra Attack feature talks about level 11: The additional 11th level Extra attack feature gained by fighters and marshals are both exceptions to this rule (a fighter 5/marshal 6 can attack 3 times with the Attack action.).
At level 5/5 though both classes have the Extra Attack feature: can you stack them or not?
The answer would be no, until you gain one more level in either class.
Also, a fighter5/Marshall6 does not have the 11th level extra attack feature from either class, obviously. So the wording is really not great IMO for this case.
 

noodohs

Explorer
I think the idea is that you need 11 total levels (combined levels) between two classes that would both give you the 11th-level extra attack. So it could be 11 levels of fighter, 11 levels of marshal, or some combination of the two that total 11 levels. With that, a fighter 5/marshal 5 wouldn't qualify as you only have 10 total levels and if you had not multiclassed, you wouldn't yet have the 11-th level feature in either class. That seems intentional because otherwise a multiclass fighter/marshal would always be more powerful than just one or the other, which doesn't make a lot of sense. By a similar token, fighter 1 marshal 10 would still qualify, I think. But maybe that's not the intent, maybe you need to have at least one extra attack feature from each class and a total of 11 levels to get the 3rd attack. Personally, I think either ruling works fine in terms of balance, but having only 10 total levels and getting a third attack doesn't make much sense to me.

Edit: This wouldn't apply to adepts because it's a focus feature and none of the other classes give you a third attack at 11th level, hence being limited to fighters and marshals.
 

I thought 1b was how O5e worked, but then I looked it up and realized it is actually 1a.

My first reaction is that the best way to do it is 1b+2b if you want to encourage martial multiclassing, and 1a+2a is the best way to do it if you want to discourage martial multiclassing.

While I actually prefer the B options for simplicity, I like to discourage similar multiclassing (fighter/berserker or sorcerer/warlock) in favor of multiclassing between different types of classes (old school 1e/2e flavor), so I'll go with the A options.
 

Voidrunner's Codex

Remove ads

Top