D&D 5E Organic Multiclassing and Feats

So this is a new one for me!

I have taken a level or dipped to fit a playstyle before: most famously taking a level in a class with armor so I could be more melee oriented. But this has been fun and new.

I was playing a dwarven blade boon fiend patron warlock. The dwarf seems to be insane since his axe talks to him. It’s really a demon patron tricking him. The dwarf has no crack a skill and really picked up a weapon that has been guiding him. At first the patron talked through his beloved battle axe and later his pact weapon.

I had not planned dwarf it was a last minute change…fast forward to now and he is wild and panting like Animal from the muppets. So I took a level of barbarian. It was not planned.

I hade taken great weapon master. But then found a sword of sharpness (long sword). So now I fight with it and a shield. At level seven, I have taken warlock 5 (all invocations are related to the weapon which he casts spells through) as his improved pact weapon/focus.

It’s been a wild ride but super fun.

If you would, share some of your “unplanned” character choices. (Feats and multiclassing)
 

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ECMO3

Hero
If you would, share some of your “unplanned” character choices. (Feats and multiclassing)

Our 4-person party was playing Tomb of Annhilation (Dwarf Cleric, Human Fighter, Half Elf Warlock, Human Rogue). I was the Rogue. None of us had the survival proficiency and our so called "guide" did not have a high enough survival not to be lost most of the time. We were wandering around the jungle aimlessly lost most of the time.

I multiclassed my Rogue to Ranger 1 so we would stop being lost most of the time (a Ranger is never lost in favored terrain). My Rogue was the only character with a high enough Wisdom and Dexterity to multiclass to Ranger.

That is probably the most unplanned.

I typically do not get the GWM feat due to the example you made - too often you find an awesome weapon that it does not work well with and at that point you are down an ASI.
 

Mad_Jack

Hero
Well, this one didn't happen in play, but during character creation...

A lot of times I find myself radically changing the character's backstory when making a mechanical decision or taking some mechanical choice I otherwise wouldn't have considered because of what's happening/happened in their backstory.

I wanted to make a character based on a Reaper miniature I had, 02541 Darbin the Deadly.

Obviously, the figure is a Wizard. But I've always sort of felt he looked more like a druid than a wizard, so I decided to make him a human druid, very much in the traditional real-world mold. I named him Fionn mac Tadg (which is pronounced Finn McTeague). I'd thought going about variant human for the feat at first level, and maybe taking Magic Initiate. But I wasn't sure which class to choose for the feat.

Then inspiration hit - I thought to myself, why not go all in on the whole traditional Irish thing... :cool:

It's hard to tell from the pic, but up close in person he has a very spry and somewhat mischievous look to him for someone who's also an older gentleman - a very "Fey" look... And Irish mythology and folklore is full of people suddenly finding themselves on the other side of the divide between our world and that of the Sidhe, accidentally, willingly, or otherwise.

I switched my Wisdom and Charisma scores around, gave him a custom background I called "Underhill*", and I went with Warlock for the Magic Initiate feat, with the intention of multiclassing into Feylock further down the road.

So now he's a druid 2/warlock 1, with the intention of going mostly warlock for the rest of his levels.
Narratively, he's primarily a "face" character, having served as a skilled diplomat and negotiator for a Fey Lord for decades, with an air of wisdom yet a very puckish sense of humor, and he definitely has the social skills/spells to back it up.
His Wild Shape is mostly reserved for out-of-combat use, since he only turns into animals traditionally associated with the Irish Druids (horse, bird, fish, stag, etc.), but a druid/warlock multiclass also doesn't do too bad in combat even without Wild Shape - he's got both Eldritch Blast and Shillelagh, so he's covered for both ranged and melee...

When I started out to make the character, I had no idea that it would turn out the way it did.



* As a druid he'd been invited to party with some fey and woke up the next morning to find himself in the Feywild, a "guest" of some Fey Lord. Eventually, he worked his way up to becoming a trusted friend of the Lord and gets released from their service. But when he returns to this world, he finds that although he's only aged about thirty years in the Feywild, close to 100 years have passed out here...
 

Kobold Stew

Last Guy in the Airlock
Supporter
I have a samurai archer, who became embroiled in an intra-party conflict over a magic item (she took it from an NPC [whom she thought was a villain], but the party insisted on it going back). It was a cold-themed ring, and so at her next level-up, she took a level of white-dragon sorcerer, to reflect the impact her momentary possession of the ring had on her. She is still on the lookout for the NPC, and if given the opportunity will try to get it again.
 

Lord Mhoram

Adventurer
This was in third and so not especially optimal. I decided to play a fighter who happened to be devoutly religious. Juts for flavor - one of the other PCs was a cleric of that deity, and they had many talks, so he moved more and more that direction and at 3rd level multiclassed into paladin. Then at 4th (IIRC) when paladins gain spells, he decided that he felt closer to his deity with that and took orders and became a cleric. Not what I had in mind for him, but it was how something I put in to be a quirk slowing became his primary motivation. The game ended shortly thereafter, but he was basically front line, using cleric buffs on himself, and doing extra minor healing when needed.
 

Ancalagon

Dusty Dragon
organic change is good I think - and it's what worries me about some of the multi-class builds proposed, the story/RP implied is often almost ... tortuous. I'm bothered particularly by the "multi masters" aspect, where a PC has more than one "master" (a cleric-warlock for example), or more than one source of power. If you are a wizard, why would you need to make a pact?

It's why I like it better sometimes with multiclass characters to start at higher levels - the decisions, the paths that lead to multi classing already occurred, and don't have to be woven into the story of the game. (I'll note that perhaps the best multi-class PC concept I've played is one you and I designed together)

Anyway, this wasn't multi classing, but it's definitely in the spirit of your question...

I was playing a psi-warrior in SKT. He was a wizened old man, a sword-sage. The DM gave me a headband of intellect, he was the "lore master" of the party. Mechanically he was a dex build sword and board melee specialist. He had the chef feat preflavored as alchemy, and ritual caster. We started at level 5.

But it felt like the rune knight would have been a best fit - why wouldn't my sage specialize in giant study? and mechanically, the defensive powers of the rune knight were needed to protect my party from the hard-hitting giants - the psi warrior can. So at level 7, my PC died, and he was "re-built" in an improvised and convoluted plot by the DM. So I didn't change anything about the PC - still a dex built etc etc, but changed to Rune Knight.

And even though rune knight is much better on a strenght built, story wise this really fit, and went well.
 

organic change is good I think - and it's what worries me about some of the multi-class builds proposed, the story/RP implied is often almost ... tortuous. I'm bothered particularly by the "multi masters" aspect, where a PC has more than one "master" (a cleric-warlock for example), or more than one source of power. If you are a wizard, why would you need to make a pact?

It's why I like it better sometimes with multiclass characters to start at higher levels - the decisions, the paths that lead to multi classing already occurred, and don't have to be woven into the story of the game. (I'll note that perhaps the best multi-class PC concept I've played is one you and I designed together)

Anyway, this wasn't multi classing, but it's definitely in the spirit of your question...

I was playing a psi-warrior in SKT. He was a wizened old man, a sword-sage. The DM gave me a headband of intellect, he was the "lore master" of the party. Mechanically he was a dex build sword and board melee specialist. He had the chef feat preflavored as alchemy, and ritual caster. We started at level 5.

But it felt like the rune knight would have been a best fit - why wouldn't my sage specialize in giant study? and mechanically, the defensive powers of the rune knight were needed to protect my party from the hard-hitting giants - the psi warrior can. So at level 7, my PC died, and he was "re-built" in an improvised and convoluted plot by the DM. So I didn't change anything about the PC - still a dex built etc etc, but changed to Rune Knight.

And even though rune knight is much better on a strenght built, story wise this really fit, and went well.
It is fun this way! I have in the past thought about what I am doing selecting feats for 4th etc.

However this was really fun! I usually like variant human but a day before the game remade him as dwarf. I played up a very unsophisticated Elric—-a greataxe from a demon patron that he “found.”

In any event I thought why him? The demon wanted to drive him to increasing violence while he attempted to good…so wilder he got. Impulsive and a bit unhinged—-he party laughs at his antic. Level 6 was barbarian and the rage fits!

As it turns out it’s also good for combat. But it really just happened. I had to look up multiclass prereq for Barbarian and was pleasantly surprised.

I took great weapon master and every invocation I could relate to the blade pact. He is a little bit of a one trick pony but it’s been fun thematically.

I don’t know what will ultimately happen or where we he character will end up. It’s been fun not having a true desired end.
 

Mad_Jack

Hero
organic change is good I think - and it's what worries me about some of the multi-class builds proposed, the story/RP implied is often almost ... tortuous. I'm bothered particularly by the "multi masters" aspect, where a PC has more than one "master" (a cleric-warlock for example), or more than one source of power. If you are a wizard, why would you need to make a pact?

For a lot of things, it really depends on the individual combination, and often on the subclasses involved.

It's not too difficult to find archetypal examples in fiction of multi-classed characters - the warrior-priest, the green knight, the wizard whose studies led them astray into the dark arts, the holy character who is willing to stain their soul by using the dark arts to fight evil...

Most mainly non-magical classes can be thought of as a particular skillset that can be acquired by anyone. Those with a bit of a theme to them often fit well with magical classes of similar theme (ranger/druid or barbarian/druid, paladin/cleric) or perhaps the two classes simply work well together to model a particular archetype - the magical trickster (rogue/mage) or the arcane warrior (fighter/mage).

For many arcane classes, multi-classing into another arcane class is merely a matter of expanding their magical studies beyond mere book-learning or simply seeking greater magical power. Perhaps the wizard was originally tutored in book magic by an extraplaner being, or their warlock pact magic is a boon given them by some being they've done a service for, or perhaps (particularly for one whose patron is a fiend, fey or genie) it wasn't a matter they necessarily had much choice in. For a wizard/warlock, the pact of the tome class feature is particularly thematically appropriate.
My gnome illusionist/fiend warlock used to belong to a notorious mercenary company of siege engineers famed for their use of incendiaries, and he made his pact in the middle of a particularly fierce battle in order to survive. The being who bestowed his magic upon him was simply massively entertained by his capacity for chaos and mayhem and now watches him like some reality tv star.

For a divine class, adding in a non-magical class can often be attributed to the particular god they worship - cleric/barbarian, cleric/fighter, or cleric/paladin for a war god, cleric/ranger for a nature god, cleric/rogue for the god of thieves.
This also can cover some of the divine/magical combinations - cleric/mage for the god of magic, cleric/druid for a nature god, or even cleric/rogue for the god of thieves... (In fact, in previous editions, the lore for certain gods specifically stated that they had multi-classed cleric/mages and cleric/rogues among their clergy.)

For those with two "masters", such as a cleric/warlock or paladin/warlock, this often isn't much of an issue if both masters are allied either literally or at least in spirit and goals. For a cleric/warlock, if the pact patron is a servant of their god it's simply an additional blessing they've had bestowed upon them to help them further their god's aims.
Alternatively, maybe the cleric/warlock was unwillingly forced or tricked into a pact by a fiend, and now use the fiend's power in the service of Good. Or they may have taken it upon themselves willingly, using the pact as a means of draining their patron's power.
For a paladin/warlock, depending on their oath and alignment, they may take up a pact as part of their oath. An oath of the ancients paladin may well become a feylock - and that fits with the Arthurian "Green Knight" archetype. (I have a druid/feylock character whose backstory involves being shanghaied into the Feywild after being invited to a fey revel and ending up spending years in service to a Fey Lord - his devotion to Nature and his service to his Lord are not in any way in conflict.)
An oath of vengeance paladin may well decide that the ability to literally rain down hellfire on their enemies is a useful tool. This is well-represented in comics and movies by Marvel's Ghost Rider, a good man literally possessed by a spirit of vengeance - and even the Punisher, at one point, was gifted divine power in order to serve the greater good.
 
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