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

FreeTheSlaves

Adventurer
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.

I think the 1st level class should be treated differently as it currently being done. The starting character is at least a young adult with a history captured through racial features, background and class choice. The next level gained through experience typically has nowhere near as much time spent before it occurs.

In the case of the Dex based 1st level fighter, I'd consider that more a perk of choosing Fighter at 1st level. Sure they've still got a Str save, exposure to heavy weapon & armour training, i.e. Fighter basics, but they've shot off on their specialization. The Rogue multi-classing into Fighter doesn't have the benefit of x years development. I'm not too concerned to see they effectively need to pump Str to gain proficiencies & features. Maybe they'll need to wait until after level 4, which is perfectly viable given the frequency of ability bumps and how the games seems to be built around a 16 prime stat.

As it stands Dex is simply waaay too good. Multi class restriction here and heavy armour negating it there have lowered its value slightly but it still needs a smack with the nerf hammer every time.

Even so, maybe Barbarian or Ranger are more suitable choices? Each has one requirement you probably already satisfy.

I agree that prime stats need a bit more empowering. My favourite class, the Paladin, seems to almost get more value from Con than Cha. For spell-casting I prefer the 10+spell level route and class features should draw on the stats a bit more. Maybe not so heavily as say 3E/4E, but just a touch more. Imo seeing a viable 9 Wis Cleric 10 is a bit of a travesty.

Idiot proofing doesn't need to be done too much throughout the game. The advice in the class descriptions is generally enough. However I do agree that the gloves should come on somewhat when it comes to multi-classing. I remember one player getting into his 3E Rogue/Sorcerer character but then the spells came slowly and weakly and the skills couldn't get enough development. Those edition specific problems may have been solved - though there's a question of 5E skills unresolved in my mind.
 

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Kobold Stew

Last Guy in the Airlock
Supporter
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.
<snip>
Because it's really not fun to play someone who sucks at something you want to do

There's a couple of ideas that should be disentangled. On the one hand, there's the right to suck -- deliberately underpowered options, which will be fun for some. There will always be ways to pursue underoptimized routes, and this doesn't need to be a design goal.

More interesting is the diversity of builds for a certain class. I can imagine lots of fun STR 8 fighter builds. I might think (okay, I do think, but this is just an example) a halfling fighter shouldn't have a 20 STR ever. Can I build an effective fighter without any STR? I sure hope so. Or a WIS-focused Ranger, or a low-WIS archer or laser cleric, or a low-STR paladin. It might be that these aren't ideal, but it would be nice if there weren't only one correct way to build a given class.*

More than anyone else, the rogue should excel in this kind of versatility: for me, one sign of a robust game system will be if I can build a DEX rogue, a STR rogue, a CHA rogue, or an INT rogue, and have fun with a viable build of all of these. Earlier playtests looked like that might be the direction they were heading, but as options for the rogue have been removed, that's decreasingly the case.

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.

A DEX based fighter is pretty straightforward, and should be possible. This isn't true for all classes, however. Spellcasters especially are being presented increasingly as single-ability builds. Two things in particular do this (imo):
1. spellcasting bonus when using implements. The bonus is too easy to get, and there is so little cost in pumping your spellcasting stat as much as you can.
2. attack spells only use the spellcasting stat: rays aren't ranged attacks (for example), and so again there is no need for a spellcaster to make a choice between ideal builds. This is the handholding in design that I feel is reducing available options.

Not to pump the single spellcasting stat is deliberately underoptimizing: fun for some, but for others not something even to think about. Which is unfortunate, because it is in that choice that there will be good fun, for some of us at least.


* To me, this is the heart of the ever-elusive "system mastery": being able to create effective diversity rather than overpowering a single strong build.
 
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vagabundo

Adventurer
Y
I find this ongoing assumption to be odd: that a majority don't like this rule and won't follow it anyway. Where are you guys getting this sense from, if not from the very forums which vote to support the rule? Or are you basing your sense on your own instincts and the voices of your gaming group, which is an even smaller sample than a forum poll?

You've seen lots of people post that they like the ability score requirements for multiclassing. Why are you doubting that a substantial number of people like this rule?

I think ENWorld's base tends toward DMs more-so than not. If you have a survey that includes more players who don't DM you'd find a greater percentage won't like the requirements them. Even if there wasn't a majority I still think it should be an optional sidebar as a substantial minority will be ignoring the rule as standard.

As a practical matter, even if a DM does like the rule, if one of your players comes looking to multiclass, and the are not a power gamer or trying to abuse the system, and their PC doesn't meet the requirements I think many DMs will just allow it.

However it is not a big issue for me. I'll run the game I, and my players, want at the end of the day.
 

No one hinders you from building a str 8 fighter. You just can´t later decide to become a fighter if your stength is 8 (seems plausible)
I believe the downtime system will allow someone to circumvent the stat requirements as the justification is "you need to be especially adept to learn your casics fast)

Yur other point is only valid to a certain extend: A mage greatly profits from dex (AC + ini), con (HP) and wisdom (not being surprised). As I see it, there are few really SAD classes. Most are MAD, but not to such an exted, that you need every stat to be very high.
 

Dausuul

Legend
No one hinders you from building a str 8 fighter. You just can´t later decide to become a fighter if your stength is 8 (seems plausible)

Seems silly to me. First of all, why is the requirement for "dabbling" in fighter skills higher than the requirement for specializing in them? Second, why should a low Strength affect your ability to learn those skills, when it doesn't affect your ability to use them?
 

SkidAce

Legend
Supporter
Seems silly to me. First of all, why is the requirement for "dabbling" in fighter skills higher than the requirement for specializing in them? Second, why should a low Strength affect your ability to learn those skills, when it doesn't affect your ability to use them?

I don't quite agree but this was clarified somewhere;

You are getting trained to be a fighter over a period of time, so the training "overwrites" the requirement for a high str (fighter example). I've seen this in real world, a sucky troop became a decent soldeir while a skilled troop was better (with same training)

No if you choose to multiclass later, you are kinda "doing it on your own" or "have a knack" for it, which translates into a higher ability score in that area.

---

All said and done, there may be flaws in this viewpoint, and I'm not sure I'm on board totally (certainly not championing it), but you know...

I can comprehend it.
 


I'd like to understand why dabbling should be made easy. It's a class-based engine for a class-based game, which has been class-based since its very beginning. I know the game is yours and you should always play what you like, but there are better systems out there that work with "building blocks" instead of archetype-based characters, D&D is not one of those.

Not even 4E, mighty slayer of sacred cows, made dabbling into other classes something easy, which places us at a point in history where only 3E had such a mechanic, and it was broken at some points and mediocre at others, rarely managing to be "just fair".

For myself, I'd love if we return to 2E also in this subject, making multiclass and dual class different things, but neither of those treats classes as building blocks, because with the sole exception of 3E, that's not what they used to be, and they work terribly when used that way.
 

Talath

Explorer
I keep hearing people pointing to a dex based fighter as a reason against multi class ability score requirements, and it makes me think there should just be a swashbuckler base class so that two birds could be killed with one stone .

Also, put ability requirements on base classes. Fighter, Cleric, Mage, Rogue need at least a 10 in Strength, Wisdom, Intelligence, and Dexterity respectively. Somewhat higher requirements or multiple requirements (or both) for other classes. Done. Send it to press. Collect $200.
 

MoonSong

Rules-lawyering drama queen but not a munchkin
I keep hearing people pointing to a dex based fighter as a reason against multi class ability score requirements, and it makes me think there should just be a swashbuckler base class so that two birds could be killed with one stone .

Also, put ability requirements on base classes. Fighter, Cleric, Mage, Rogue need at least a 10 in Strength, Wisdom, Intelligence, and Dexterity respectively. Somewhat higher requirements or multiple requirements (or both) for other classes. Done. Send it to press. Collect $200.

Well it isn't just Dex fighters we want, we also are asking for Int fighters, Str clerics, cha clerics, Int Rogues, Cha rogues, Dex paladins, Str Rangers... Making a swashbuckler class and call it a day would not only detract from fighters customizability, would also detract from rouges, paladins, rangers, clerics, sorcerers, warlocks that can be swashbucklers too.

We have already outgrown such step and single minded stereotyping, and those who don't find it as offensive already have the originals and retroclones to have them, and they could work as an optional rule. But as the default/standard it isn't flexible enough for a game that is supposed to be "the big tent"
 

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