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D&D 5E Multiclassing

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Tersival

First Post
I never understand why many DM's feel the need to dictate arbitrary restrictions on rules as written in the core books since the core rules are the foundation for everyone's shared hopes and expectations for the game experience. The rules you use are a lot less important than recognizing the effect your players' preferences can have on the game experience.

If your players get more enjoyment from multi-classing they will be more invested in their characters and start each session from a happier baseline than if they're forced to make characters that are less than what they *perceive* as being allowed by the PHB rules. That extra investment is fuel and an opportunity for the DM to build tension and drama into the gameplay.

If the option truly leaves you feeling like you're being taken advantage of, is it because you don't think the proposed concepts fit into *your* preconceptions and personal preferences, or because you feel challenged and insecure over your ability to run a game with optimized characters? One option is you putting what you like above what your players like which can fester into personal conflicts, the other is an opportunity to build rapport with players through open discussion, maybe a middle ground compromise both sides can live with (if both sides give a little neither side feels unappreciated or disrespected), plus the second option might be something that pushes you to grow and develop into a better DM.

I have my share of house rules, but I present each one to the group, discuss why I think its an improvement and only put it into play if my players agree its an improvement for all - or at least worth testing. I also have a mix of munchkin/optimizer players and players who are happy to just be at the table with someone else doing the nuts and bolts character creation (they have a concept and someone else hands them a fitting character sheet). Indulging each player's preference give me happier players at the table leading to happier games.

If you're concerned the min/maxers will dominate play and spoil the experience for the rest of the group, share that with the group and seek buy in from the players that everyone gets a veto if things get out of control. Everyone will appreciate being considered.

That's my 2 cents worth anyway. Every group is a little bit different and YMMV.
 

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ad_hoc

(they/them)
No. Please don't put words in my mouth.

I haven't put words in your mouth. You should read what I wrote again.

I've already explained how multiclassing detracts from neither of those things.

No you haven't.

Between the two of us, you're the only one who is expressing dissatisfaction with a part of the D&D rules. If you don't like multiclassing, then why not make it much better for you by playing something else?

There is a reason why multiclassing is an optional rule in 5e. It's an option I don't use. I also don't like flanking.

I'm not going to stop playing a game just because there are bad optional rules.

That's silly.
 

I haven't put words in your mouth. You should read what I wrote again.
You thought I didn't like the class system. You suggested I quit the game based on the assumption that I didn't like the class system. This reads to me like you were putting words in my mouth.

No you haven't.
*sigh* Bare contradiction is not a productive discussion technique, especially not when it's so easily refuted:
me said:
Secondly, the archetypes can also be mixed in a way that adds meaning to them. A barbarian walks the path of the thief. (Conan.) A ranger becomes a leader of men. (Aragorn.) A bard and a wizard's apprentice seek adventure as swashbucklers. (Fafhrd and the Gray Mouser.) An itinerant singer learns the ways of magic. (Kvothe.) Archetypes don't have to be static. Transitions and juxtapositions between them only enhance their value as tools for character development.

Thirdly, a templated freeform system is a more complicated way to produce a simple character than just saying, "Here's a class", and generally provides less guidance for players when it comes time to advance. Looking at games like Mutants & Masterminds and GURPS, their templates are just a couple of pages in contrast to the chapter after chapter spelling out the freeform option. Contrast with D&D 5E, which does the reverse: the bulk of the rules present the classes, complete with prepackaged advancement paths, with only a couple of pages for multiclassing which you can just ignore if you don't want to do it.
That's me explaining exactly what I said I was explaining. The explanation was the entire point of those paragraphs. Now, if you don't think I explained adequately, that's fine. Raise specific questions about what I said and I'll happily clarify. But don't try to tell me I didn't do it. I did. I remember. I was there.

There is a reason why multiclassing is an optional rule in 5e.
What reason is that, do you think? Note that 5E is the first edition of the game for which this is true.

I'm not going to stop playing a game just because there are bad optional rules.

That's silly.
Then what makes you think I'm going to stop playing a game when I don't even think those optional rules are bad?
 

Dausuul

Legend
I never understand why many DM's feel the need to dictate arbitrary restrictions on rules as written in the core books since the core rules are the foundation for everyone's shared hopes and expectations for the game experience.
Multiclassing is specifically called out as an optional rule; it's hardly an arbitrary restriction to choose not to use a particular option.

Personally, I see the main issue as one of system mastery. If some of your players have a shaky grasp of the rules, I would advise against allowing MCing, for two reasons:

  • Multiclassed characters are significantly harder to run. Players who already have trouble with the rules will need a lot of coaching from the experts in the group, which is not fair to the experts in question.
  • Multiclassing is hard to do well, and playing a badly-built MC character is frustrating and boring. Less-skilled players who make multiclassed PCs are likely to discover in play that they can't do any of the cool stuff they imagined doing.
I wouldn't worry about overpowered MC characters. There are only a couple of interactions to watch out for, and most revolve around exploiting the warlock's fast-refreshing spell slots. If you rule that warlock spell slots can only be used for spells gained via the warlock class (no burning them for sorcery points, thankyouverymuch), you shouldn't have problems there.

Balance-wise, feats are the thing to worry about.
 

ad_hoc

(they/them)
You thought I didn't like the class system. You suggested I quit the game based on the assumption that I didn't like the class system. This reads to me like you were putting words in my mouth.

Again, you should read my posts again before you put words in my mouth.

*sigh* Bare contradiction is not a productive discussion technique, especially not when it's so easily refuted:

Exactly. You can't just say that you explained it. You failed to explain it. Asserting otherwise doesn't change anything.

What reason is that, do you think? Note that 5E is the first edition of the game for which this is true.

Because subclasses fix the problem. Subclasses are an elegant way to handle multiclassing.
 

I never understand why many DM's feel the need to dictate arbitrary restrictions on rules as written in the core books since the core rules are the foundation for everyone's shared hopes and expectations for the game experience. The rules you use are a lot less important than recognizing the effect your players' preferences can have on the game experience.

Because the GM is a person at the table as well.

Just because the players get enjoyment from something is not a sole reason to use it at the table - the GM has to be having fun as well.
 

Exactly. You can't just say that you explained it. You failed to explain it. Asserting otherwise doesn't change anything.
"Now, if you don't think I explained adequately, that's fine. Raise specific questions about what I said and I'll happily clarify."

It's clear to me at this point that you're not interested in having a real discussion in good faith. You can complain about multiclassing to yourself -- I'm done.
 

Arial Black

Adventurer
Because the GM is a person at the table as well.

Just because the players get enjoyment from something is not a sole reason to use it at the table - the GM has to be having fun as well.

Which of these is the way forward?

* nobody is allowed to play any character that any other player doesn't like

* each player makes the choices for their own character

"I don't like playing clerics. So I don't play clerics; simples!"

OR

" I don't like playing clerics. If someone else plays a PC who has any cleric ability at my table it completely ruins my fun, so they shouldn't be allowed to play clerics."
 

[MENTION=6799649]Arial Black[/MENTION]

It depends if the other players were the ones expected to provide appropriate challenges for the Cleric character, and to be put under pressure to understand and adjudicate the rules for it during game play. They are not, so their concerns are fairly minor.[1] When the DM is the one who does have to handle a given character, their decision to veto certain options is of an entirely different worthiness than the player-concern you described there. If the DM decides to run Dark Sun, and a player wants to play a Cleric, the DM is entirely right to say no; just so, if a DM's view of the game / world / whatever doesn't include multiclassing, then (s)he is entirely right to say no to that, too. The players, naturally, are entirely right to walk away from the game if that is a deal breaker for them, and to find a different table instead.


[1] Though we might suggest that 'I want to play a Yuan-Ti Necromancer who eats children' is something that many players will want to veto, since it risks totally changing the tone of the campaign, and will cause conflict if anyone wants to make a Paladin or whatever. However, that's more to do with overall storyline, I guess, not something in the same nature as this discussion; just wanted to mention it.
 

Mercule

Adventurer
Well, that and warlock/cleric always seemed odd to me from an RP perspective since the PC is basically serving two masters at that point.
Fiction is rife with corrupt priests, some of whom have literally made a deal with the devil. It all depends on how "hands on" your campaign setting gods are in giving out spells. In Eberron, for example, Cleric spells are just shy of being another school of magic (oversimplification) and there's absolutely no reason why a full-on Cleric of the Silver Flame (filled with true-blue Paladins) couldn't be a seething, evil demon worshiper actively working to corrupt the church.
 

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