5E Multiclass question

dnd4vr

Hero
In order to multiclass, you are required to have 13 or better in certain ability scores, both for your initial class and any new classes you take.

Example. Cleric to Wizard. RAW a Cleric needs WIS 13 and then INT 13 for the Wizard.

While I can certainly understand the requirement for new classes you take (you need "good" ability to pick up the class quickly is my understanding), I do NOT see why you would need to have a 13 or better in your starting class.

Example. Cleric to Wizard. Cleric with WIS 10 decides to learn arcane magic and has INT 13 to quickly learn how to be a Wizard.

Other than "game balance" or some other excuse, is there a justifiable reason for the initial class requirement?

Also, why not let a character pick up a new class with downtime rules? Maybe if you don't have the ability score of 13, it requires 250 days of training per point below?

I know we can certainly house-rule it but I am really just posing the question for the sake of debate/ argument.
 

BlivetWidget

Explorer
As you noted, the real reason is game balance. To justify it in-universe, I would say if your core ability scores are sub-par in your chosen field, you have to spend so much time and energy training / thinking about your abilities to pull it off that you don't have the physical or mental resources to pick up another class without losing what you have. In other words, struggling students might still get a passing grade if they try hard enough, but deciding to double-major could lead to disaster.

So, say your low-wis, high-int cleric decides to take up wizardry. I would say he takes to wizardry like he was born for it but loses his cleric abilities because he's not a natural for them and is no longer practicing them as much as he needs to. I'd also say to just transfer the old levels over to the new class, but I'm generous, and I could see how someone else might feel otherwise.

Just my humble suggestion.
 

Leatherhead

Possibly a Idiot.
Other than "game balance" or some other excuse, is there a justifiable reason for the initial class requirement?
Not unless you think "stopping everyone from dipping into everything all the time" is somehow separate from "game balance."

Though I suppose there is a bit of verisimilitude in "Who would have wasted their time teaching you to become a Fighter, if you didn't have potential to swing a weapon better than the average commoner in the first place?"
 
In order to multiclass, you are required to have 13 or better in certain ability scores, both for your initial class and any new classes you take.

Example. Cleric to Wizard. RAW a Cleric needs WIS 13 and then INT 13 for the Wizard.

While I can certainly understand the requirement for new classes you take (you need "good" ability to pick up the class quickly is my understanding), I do NOT see why you would need to have a 13 or better in your starting class.

Example. Cleric to Wizard. Cleric with WIS 10 decides to learn arcane magic and has INT 13 to quickly learn how to be a Wizard.

Other than "game balance" or some other excuse, is there a justifiable reason for the initial class requirement?

Also, why not let a character pick up a new class with downtime rules? Maybe if you don't have the ability score of 13, it requires 250 days of training per point below?

I know we can certainly house-rule it but I am really just posing the question for the sake of debate/ argument.
I think you are missing the more obvious symmetry. Your initial class should also require at least 13's in it's main ability scores when you create it.

In fact I think this would be the games natural preference but they didn't want to push new players away or disincintivize rolling for stats too much and so they dropped that requirement for your initial class.

In this case the rule isn't for balance but for flavor and the rather gamist reason for not having that flavor for your initial class choice as well was due to a desire to be more inclusive to new players and multiple playstyles.
 

dnd4vr

Hero
I think you are missing the more obvious symmetry. Your initial class should also require at least 13's in it's main ability scores when you create it.

In fact I think this would be the games natural preference but they didn't want to push new players away or disincintivize rolling for stats too much and so they dropped that requirement for your initial class.

In this case the rule isn't for balance but for flavor.
Yeah, but it doesn't. Nothing prevents anyone from playing a character with 12 in their class ability score (or even lower). Think of a high DEX fighter who wants to use non-Finesse weapons, or even heavy two-handed ones, relying on his DEX for AC to forego a shield.
 

doctorbadwolf

Heretic of The Seventh Circle
I think you are missing the more obvious symmetry. Your initial class should also require at least 13's in it's main ability scores when you create it.

In fact I think this would be the games natural preference but they didn't want to push new players away or disincintivize rolling for stats too much and so they dropped that requirement for your initial class.

In this case the rule isn't for balance but for flavor and the rather gamist reason for not having that flavor for your initial class choice as well was due to a desire to be more inclusive to new players and multiple playstyles.
This is why I hate the rule.

I can make a perfectly good Paladin with 10 Strength. Nothing about the class actually requires Strength other than multiclassing.
 

5ekyu

Adventurer
There are an infinite number of "why didnt they build it this other way" questions. Sine most of us were not there in the final decision stages of the ddv, web likely dont know.


So, maybe a bit more answerable would be "what would happen if instead we do it this way in our campaign?"

In my games, I generally require the normal limits, just makes it easy, but I am also fine with occasional exceptions.

For example, when fighter requires either 13 in dex or strength, I allow ranger snd paladin to multi with thrir casting stat at 13 and then either strength or dex at 13. Either class might focus on dex or strength styles - certainly these elven pallys are not all defending the ancients in heavy armor and great axes.

The idea of requiring a in-game time investment that is scaled to csmpaign pace... sure, possible it could work.

One I have considered and not used yet is to drop the requirement scores and replace it with a half feat.

Cross -Training
Add +1 to any one attribute
Choose one class you do not currently have. You may now multiclass into that class and gain levels in them as you level up.

What I like about that is it put a smidge of cost and delays it for most characters until tier 2.
 
Yeah, but it doesn't. Nothing prevents anyone from playing a character with 12 in their class ability score (or even lower). Think of a high DEX fighter who wants to use non-Finesse weapons, or even heavy two-handed ones, relying on his DEX for AC to forego a shield.
Let me rephrase so you can better understand.

The multiclass stat rule has a potential fictional justification on it's side.
The single class stat rule has much less fictional justification.

Therefore, the rule to change for non-gamist reasons is the single class rule instead of the multiclass rule.

Now if the argument is simply, it would be more fun to play classes and class combinations with whatever stats I want to assign them then I don't disagree and would personally like a rule that made that possible. It's just that for this discussion I don't see that version having as strong of a fictional justification as the alternative.
 
Yup cuz everybody knows all thosecrlves devoted to the path of the ancients and protecting beauty give up on those elven bows and shortswords and agility cuz beefy muscle bro is needed for that "flavor"!!!
Makes flavorful sense to me. He can still have a high or higher dex, it would just be a minimum flavor requirement that a melee focused nature protector has a bit of str.
 
Other than "game balance" or some other excuse, is there a justifiable reason for the initial class requirement?
No.

Actually, not even "game balance" is at stake here. Multiclass characters are not more powerful than single-class characters in 5e, so an extra cost is not justified. Then the extra cost is definitely low, easy to qualify. In addition, players who look at multiclass because they think they will get more power would not want a low score in the primary ability of their second class anyway, especially if it's a spellcasting ability. Also, if there are classes which are possibly more exploitable than others when multiclassing, it's those based on the same primary ability score, and this requirements actually favor those even more, compared to classes with very different ability profiles. Finally, ability score requirements punish players who voluntarily play characters with lower scores or unusual ability profiles, which are obviously more challenging to play.

So these rules basically punish the least powerful multiclassing combinations while favoring the worst. Fortunately, the worst combos are not really bad in 5e, so it's not a problem, just another proof that these requirements are useless in addition to being wrong. And they are wrong because they get in the way of non-powergamers who just want to play something different.
 

Charlaquin

Goblin Queen
I think you are missing the more obvious symmetry. Your initial class should also require at least 13's in it's main ability scores when you create it.

In fact I think this would be the games natural preference but they didn't want to push new players away or disincintivize rolling for stats too much and so they dropped that requirement for your initial class.

In this case the rule isn't for balance but for flavor and the rather gamist reason for not having that flavor for your initial class choice as well was due to a desire to be more inclusive to new players and multiple playstyles.
We know that’s not how it happened though. During the open play testing process, there was never an ability score requirement for classes at 1st level. On the contrary, your starting class gave you +1 to one of its key abilities (and races gave +1 to two abilities instead of +2 to one and +1 to another.) Multiclassing wasn’t in the early playtest packets at all, and when they did add it they were pretty explicit that ability score requirements were meant to be a balancing factor, and that was one of the things they wanted feedback on. It went over quite well, and made it to the final version pretty much unchanged.
 

cbwjm

I can add a custom title.
I remember asking about this for DnDbeyond because I don't use the requirements. Thankfully now it lets you ignore them but someone told me an obvious work around which was raise a stat to the minimum score and then adjust it back after adding the class.
 
The goal is to simply make multiclassing uncommon in 5e. In 3rd edition pretty much ever character was multiclassed, and the objective is to make a majority of characters single classed in 5e, without removing multiclassing all together.

Personally, I require a role playing justification for a character to multiclass in my game, rather than a game mechanics restriction. e.g. You can't multiclass to wizard unless you have been spending your free time studying magic.
 

doctorbadwolf

Heretic of The Seventh Circle
The goal is to simply make multiclassing uncommon in 5e. In 3rd edition pretty much ever character was multiclassed, and the objective is to make a majority of characters single classed in 5e, without removing multiclassing all together.

Personally, I require a role playing justification for a character to multiclass in my game, rather than a game mechanics restriction. e.g. You can't multiclass to wizard unless you have been spending your free time studying magic.
Curious. Do you require the same for Eldritch knights and arcane tricksters? What about Paladins and Rangers? They all suddenly gain spellcasting when they level up.

Do wizards have to spend time with a fighter to take the Bladesinger subclass at level 2?

What’s the difference?
 
Curious. Do you require the same for Eldritch knights and arcane tricksters? What about Paladins and Rangers? They all suddenly gain spellcasting when they level up.

Do wizards have to spend time with a fighter to take the Bladesinger subclass at level 2?

What’s the difference?
As a matter of fact, yes I do. All characters are expected to spend time learning the relevant skills before they can level up.
 

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