D&D 5E Q&A: Mage Cantrips, Multiclass req., and the Psion

am181d

Adventurer
The one virtue of the ability score requirements for multiclassing is that they're easily ignorable. I imagine this'll be something (like XP, carrying capacity, racial level limits, and alignment restrictions) that I just wind up ignoring or house ruling.

I understand -- but am not thrilled with -- Wizards' attempt to idiot-proof the rules. They're like helicopter game designers...
 

log in or register to remove this ad

TwoSix

"Diegetics", by L. Ron Gygax
As I said, the only way to avoid that is remove all benefits and dependencies related to a class from the ability scores, which means that clerics have no reason particular to be high wisdom. In fact, with good Fort saves they might well be encouraged to dump stat wisdom. That isn't ideal either IMO.
It's probably not going to happen, but one area where I wouldn't mind returning to earlier versions of the game is a lower dependence on ability scores. Maybe more abilities that are (3 or Wis mod, whichever is higher)/day.
 

TwoSix

"Diegetics", by L. Ron Gygax
In my experience, unless you were making a higher level character already, nobody dual classed. It was too much work.

I like 0 thru 2nd multiclassing, which yes, is a bit like gestalting in 3e (not that I've ever had a DM who let me gestalt). I never thought 3e multiclassing was as awesome as most people did.

One of the things that 0 thru 2nd did was mandate what could be multiclassed, and what you could multiclass was always two different archetypes.

Yea, I'd like to see 2e dual-classing as the default, especially if you use multiplicative experience tables. Say you need 1000 XP to be level 1, 2000 XP to be level 2, 4000 XP for level 3, and 8000 XP for level 4. If you allow free multiclassing, you could be level 4 in a class, or level 3/3 in two classes. Attack bonuses and saves are based on your higher levels.
 

Celebrim

Legend
Yea, I'd like to see 2e dual-classing as the default, especially if you use multiplicative experience tables. Say you need 1000 XP to be level 1, 2000 XP to be level 2, 4000 XP for level 3, and 8000 XP for level 4. If you allow free multiclassing, you could be level 4 in a class, or level 3/3 in two classes. Attack bonuses and saves are based on your higher levels.

Which would you rather be, 1st level in two classes or 1st level in one class?

And at the other end of the spectrum, which would you rather be, 11th level in 1 class or 10th level in two classes? How about 18th level in one class, or 17th level in two classes?

The problem with gestalt is that it isn't remotely balanced to start the game and after a while just being a class behind isn't remotely balanced either. It's only balanced for a small level range, which incidentally, 1e enforced. In 1e, multi-classing was pretty much a no brainer.
 


I'm A Banana

Potassium-Rich
Well, in that case the requirements should apply to single-class PCs too.

But that brings up the issue that 5E PCs are not actually all that dependent on their "prime stats." As others have already pointed out, you can be a devastatingly effective fighter with a Strength of 8; just pump your Dexterity and go the dual-wielding route. As long as you steer clear of spells with save DCs and Wisdom-dependent domain powers, your cleric will do fine with a crappy Wisdom. If you're a moon druid, you are actually well advised to pump Dexterity before Wisdom.

Totally fair points. I wouldn't object to an ability score requirement for the class up-front, and if the classes are suck-proof regardless of your ability scores, then the requirements are more unnecessary (though other reasons still remain valid). Still, I don't know if we want a Fighter who can be run with an 8 STR? But maybe we do? It's a good question.

KaiiLurker said:
I seriously doubt it'll be the case that some completely new player will accidentally make a crappy cleric with a wis penalty.

Well, I'll trust WotC's market research on new players over yours.

KaiiLurker said:
Also I'm a big defender of the "right to suck", as long as I contribute to the party and to the story who cares if I'm the most pathetic cleric/rouge anything out there? why should the system protect me from myself?

Because it's really not fun to play someone who sucks at something you want to do. It's one thing to go into sucking with your eyes open -- okay, 8 WIS, I've got low will power, that's something I can choose and work with. But if I want to play a powerful healer and I have an 8 WIS and the game doesn't stop me from being a cleric with 8 WIS, and I feel like an idiot and can't do what I thought I could do because the game doesn't say I can't, why would I want to keep playing that game?

Again, dropping the requirements seems like it's a viable approach, but it's definitely not a basic-level move.
 

MoonSong

Rules-lawyering drama queen but not a munchkin
Well, I'll trust WotC's market research on new players over yours.
I doubt a new player would put a wisdom penalty on her cleric if the rules specifically say Wisdom is the most important score for clerics. (You know just like in the phbs of third and fourth edition)

Also did you ever found a new player that built a wisdom 9 or lower cleric on 3.x? Don't we have advice on the phb and the help from the DM and fellow table mates to prevent absolute noobs from gimping themselves from the get go? Why take the next step and ban underpowered characters or combos? Simple advice works, why do you want to force players with enough experience to explicitly call for special treatment in order to go for unusual combos that look underpowered but are viable even despite being restricted?

Because it's really not fun to play someone who sucks at something you want to do. It's one thing to go into sucking with your eyes open -- okay, 8 WIS, I've got low will power, that's something I can choose and work with. But if I want to play a powerful healer and I have an 8 WIS and the game doesn't stop me from being a cleric with 8 WIS, and I feel like an idiot and can't do what I thought I could do because the game doesn't say I can't, why would I want to keep playing that game?

Again, dropping the requirements seems like it's a viable approach, but it's definitely not a basic-level move.

Protecting players from themselves isn't good in my opinion, and let me tell you something, you could be an insane healer cleric on 4e while dumping Wisdom, and in the current package you still can even with a Wisdom of 3, so that criteria doesn't quite fit in here. There is no need to protect the players from being weak when there isn't any weakness to begin with, and restricting multiclassing combos because they are "suboptimal" or because they don't match with the designers prejudices and the only explanation for it we get is a "but we are restricting level dips this way"(I have already showed you can optimize scores for maximum level dips) or "we want characters to still be synergistic" (If a wisdom 3 cleric is viable then any kind of N-class x/cleric y will be)
 

Gadget

Adventurer
I must say I'm still in favor of the ability score requirements for multi-classing. I must admit I never liked the 3e style multi-classing, it was too much of 'have your cake and eat it too' situation. You want to play a class based game, play a class based game; you want a point buy game, play a point buy game. This half way thing never really sat well with me. If your rogue suddenly finds religion, role play it, you don't have to become a cleric. Maybe you could spend a few ability increases to get more wisdom, or if that is impractical, role play becoming a devout agent of the church, perhaps there is an avenger/interrogator prestige class to take.
 

FreeTheSlaves

Adventurer
Its your second class that has the requirements not your first right. So if I wanted to be say a Cleric with the Trickster domain and dump wis for dex and then multiclass into Rogue or Bard I would be able to do that right. Or are low wis clerics barred from multiclassing to another class period.

Reading the multi-class guide, I don't think you get the class bonus skill(s) when you multi into it. In the example build above you'd gain 2 extra HPs and effective back-door access to a multi-class option, but if your group uses skills, you're a bit weak in what is your de facto primary class.
 

GX.Sigma

Adventurer
Reading the multi-class guide, I don't think you get the class bonus skill(s) when you multi into it. In the example build above you'd gain 2 extra HPs and effective back-door access to a multi-class option, but if your group uses skills, you're a bit weak in what is your de facto primary class.
You get all the proficiencies of your new class. That includes skill proficiencies.
 

Voidrunner's Codex

Remove ads

Top