No multiclassing penalties?

Should there be multiclassing penalties?

  • Yes, multiclassing penalties are an important balancing factor

    Votes: 68 20.9%
  • No, even without multiclassing penalties it would be balanced.

    Votes: 236 72.6%
  • Other (state below)

    Votes: 21 6.5%

icedrake

Explorer
I think you could drop them from your game without much issue. Most people in my group don't go mutliclassing silly so its not much of a problem. Just be careful with PrCs rather than base classes, you want to talk with your players to see what they invision for their character and come up with a compromised solution to bring that vision to life using the rule set.
 

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Voadam

Legend
In my Wildwood game I dropped multiclassing penalties.

I did not beef up humans to compensate and they are still the most popular PC race, despite not being the default race of the setting or campaign.
 

Slaved

First Post
Korgoth said:
Oddly, I don't know that many Olympic Gymnast / Fencer / Astrophysicist / Codicologist / Oncologist / Theologians. ;)

In d&d terms this would be something like Rogue 2/Monk 1 with a good int, human, and a penchant for choosing lots of knowledge skills and dexterity skills up to at least 5 ranks? I have actually seen this.
 


Lanefan

Victoria Rules
Voted "other" - I'd like to see multi-classing Go Away completely. Need two classes? Play two characters...

Lanefan
 

Voadam

Legend
I would recommend also adopting multiclass rules to smooth out multiclassing BAB and save progressions using fractions. BAB would then either be poor (.5) medium (.75) or good (1.0) so that a monk1/rogue1/cleric1 has a BAB of +2 (2.25) instead of +0.

Same for saves being either good (2.5 at 1st then .5 at every other level) or poor (+ .333- at every level) This way a fighter/barbarian/ranger has the same fortitude as an equal level barbarian.

This removes a lot of mechanical oddities for multiclassing.
 

pizzaboy_15

First Post
Other

There shouldn't be any due to the idea that the character can't become as powerful as others of the same classes due to the level difference anyway, let alone due to the loss of 20% of xp for not being the same levels in them all.
 

Laurel

First Post
I've played a few games now where we did not enforce mult-classing penalties. It really has not seemed to effect the game much. We have not ended up with anyone way over powered due to multiclassing without penalities. And in some casses even without the penalties we have made characters less powerful, as thier skills etc. are spread out. They are no longer the best fighter, since they took that one class of druid. But it was a good character hook that made sense.
 


tylermalan

First Post
Nail said:
Done.

Multiclassing penalties:
  • Tailor races to specific roles,
  • Restrict excessive multiclassing,
  • Reward fore-thought,
  • Allow PrCs,
  • Encourage higher-level PCs.

I like 'em, and I've kept 'em through all of my games. There's never been a complaint.

NAIL! Always coming through (no pun intended). That's why I like you.
 

Koewn

First Post
Harmon said:
Emm- never heard that one, I like it. :)

I believe Conan is like so:

For any of your favored classes; your 1st, 5th, and 10th level in those classes net you a bonus feat.

So a 10th level...Cimmerian Barbarian would have 3 extra feats from this; a 5/5 Cimmerian Barbarian/Soldier would have 2, and so on.

And yea, there was a race with Favored Class:Any.
 


MoogleEmpMog

First Post
Removing multiclassing penalties makes half-elves marginally weaker (humans, too, but they're on the strong side of LA +0 to begin with and so it's no problem at all), but it doesn't have much, if any, other effect on game balance.

I always remove the penalties IMC, and most GMs I've played with do so as well. It's never caused a problem. I've taken to using the Conan the RPG system - every five levels in your favored class nets you a bonus feat. This completely changes the meaning of 'favored class' and makes for a somewhat interesting dynamic, but I suppose it does slightly up the power of the PCs in general, and make fighters marginally weaker.
 

airwalkrr

Adventurer
Multiclassing is already too easy with not enough of a penalty or disincentive. Ever seen a fighter without levels of barbarian and/or ranger? Me neither. The game mechanically favors multiclass characters in many cases, especially with the application of prestige classes.
 

EyeontheMountain

First Post
I don't like multi-class penalties (And do not use the) becasue they seem to limit creativity, and any race that goes single class ignores them anyway. Or goes single-class and then prestige. I can see they would be mroe important in a game without prestige calses, but otherwise what is the point?

Now if they penalized craces form taking certian classes, then that might make more sense, but I would still not enforce it in the name of variety. My IC argument is that the players are not that 'typical' of htier race. BTW, I do tend to keep favored classes in mind when designing NPCS. A dwarf wizard would be very odd, but a barbarian, fighter or Paladin would be far far less so.
 

Psion

Adventurer
I went "NO", but I mean "mostly no".

I have seen a few exploits that it would stop, but those are much less since 3.5 nerfed front-loading in classes.

Most d20 variants without different races don't use the multi-class penalty. I feel that the multi-class limits are more about encouraging racial flavor... and AFAIAC, that's enough of a reason to keep them. Consider the implications of the favored class. It means that in play (and no reason not to follow this through to NPCs), many members of a race will have one or a few levels in their favored class, even if they have a different profession. I use this principle to help build the flavor of the race. Many elves, for example, would have some wizardly talent. Almost any elf would have one or a few members of their family with wizard levels.
 
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Metra

First Post
Multiclassing without penalties is hard to balance

Without any penalties multiclassing can easily get out of control, consider simply the +2 in saves every 1st level one picks up, added to the fact that in the first several levels of every class you get to the meat of it's main ability. Without some sort of control you end up with incredibly powerful characters who can easily over power appropriate encounters for their apparent level.

The solution is two fold, if you favor the abolishment of multiclassing penalties because of non-realism, niche the encounters that the players will undoubtedly rollover. They don't have a 7th level caster, or feat filled fighter, so throw one at them.

Alternatively I personally dislike the fact that race of all things should determine your favored class, so instead act like everyone is human. you can give humans/half-elves something to compensate (consider letting them have one skill as class skill all the time). and start having multiclass penalties not at three classes but upon the selection of a fourth.

^^^that's the way I play, and I've never had a problem.
 

tylermalan

First Post
Metra said:
Without any penalties multiclassing can easily get out of control, consider simply the +2 in saves every 1st level one picks up, added to the fact that in the first several levels of every class you get to the meat of it's main ability. Without some sort of control you end up with incredibly powerful characters who can easily over power appropriate encounters for their apparent level.

I don't think I agree with that.

+2 in saves is not a big deal - you can get that from a single feat (people might argue that feats are precious, but its still only one feat, and not a string of feats or something)

Also, I think incredibly powerful characters is a bit of an overstatement. Wiz3/Ftr4 does NOT have access to level 4 spells. Same with Clr3, Drd3... all in a party of 7th level characters (or whatever). The Ftr4 doesn't have feats, BAB, HP progression... anything. All for a whopping +2 saves in an area that they might have bad progression in and the class' main ability.

An encounter appropriate for 4 level 7 characters that are all multiclassed like that will be HARD. I don't think multiclassing makes them incredibly powerful.
 

Ranger REG

Explorer
Storyteller01 said:
We removed them. Instead of a penalty, races get an extra skill point when they take levels in their favored class. It's worked well so far.
I dunno. I personally favored individual benefit for taking favored class. For examples, give elf an additional new spell to add to their spellbook for taking the Wizard class; give dwarf +1 bonus to damage rolls for taking the Fighter class; give half-orc one additional rage attempt per day for taking the barbarian class; and so forth.
 

Deadguy

First Post
airwalkrr said:
Multiclassing is already too easy with not enough of a penalty or disincentive. Ever seen a fighter without levels of barbarian and/or ranger? Me neither. The game mechanically favors multiclass characters in many cases, especially with the application of prestige classes.
Well actually yes. Actual Fighters have rarely multi-classed.

A fair few people have added a level or two of Fighter to another class - for the BAB as much as the feats. That didn't bring the game crashing down.

In my experience the PCs that are heavily multi-classed have turned out to be broad in application but pretty weak in play. It's harder to get synergy between classes than many players realise.
 

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