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

Dausuul

Legend
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.

So... we already have a perfectly good Dexterity-based fighter option--the fighter--and now we need to get rid of it and make a new class whose purpose is "Like a fighter, but using Dexterity?" All in order to preserve one dubious multi-classing mechanic?
 

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Talath

Explorer
Dausuul said:
So... we already have a perfectly good Dexterity-based fighter option--the fighter--and now we need to get rid of it and make a new class whose purpose is "Like a fighter, but using Dexterity?" All in order to preserve one dubious multi-classing mechanic?

Yes. Yes we do.

To be fair, I'm not arguing in good faith. I don't really need the swashbuckler to preserve the dubious multi-class mechanic. I just want to preserve it anyway.
 
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Dausuul

Legend
Yes. Yes we do.

To be fair, I'm not arguing in good faith. I don't really need the swashbuckler to preserve the dubious multi-class mechanic. I just want to preserve it anyway.

Ah, okay. I'm curious: What about the swashbuckler class appeals to you that doesn't exist in the Dex-based fighter?
 

Talath

Explorer
Ah, okay. I'm curious: What about the swashbuckler class appeals to you that doesn't exist in the Dex-based fighter?

It doesn't really appeal to me, except if it's well done. Still kind of holding out for a good swashbuckler class to come about; none of the prestige classes or the base class that came out really measured up. That being said, it's just been my opinion that the Fighter is more of a brawn based archetype.
 


Li Shenron

Legend
What I find worrisome is that they seem to be coming at multiclassing from the point of view of encouraging synergistic comboes, like say Barbarian and Fighter-two very similar archetypes, and discouraging dissimilar archetypes from combining, which is exactly the opposite of what I want.

...

I want multiclassing to allow me to combine things like Fighter and Wizard, or Rogue and Cleric.

I agree. 3e multiclassing specifically delivered the worst results when combining two spellcasters, or a spellcaster and a non-spellcaster. The smaller the level spread, the worse the results, i.e. class-dipping still yielded reasonable results even with these combinations.

The option of mixing Fighter with Paladin with Barbarian with Ranger, is probably the least interesting in terms of character concept. It's interesting only in terms of mechanical optimization.

Also did you ever found a new player that built a wisdom 9 or lower cleric on 3.x?

...

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

In 3e there was a specifically harsh restriction, that you needed a minimum of 10+spell level in your spellcasting ability to be even able to cast spells of a certain level. A Wisdom 9 Cleric in 3e simply doesn't cast any spell at all.

I agree with the rest of your post.

A really good rules system would make all 6 ability scores useful and none of them truly necessary.

It is of course very acceptable that e.g. a Wizard must be at least somewhat intelligent. What is lame and boring, is a game system that makes it always unquestionably better to bump Wizard's Int a little more, than invest in another score, or that it makes certain scores practically irrelevant for some classes.

Therefore, I am not looking for a game where you can be an effective Wizard with Int 3... but I am certainly looking for a game where there is a choice between being e.g. Int 16 & Dex 10 or being Int 13 & Dex 13 or even Int 10 & Dex 16, and that choice is not trivial. What I mean is that, it is OK for min-maxing to be an option, but the game is really better when min-maxing doesn't give an edge over choosing a more balanced distribution.

5e is already much better than 3e in this regard, simply because of the absence of that minimum spellcasting stat requirement for casting spells in the first place.

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.

...

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.

I certainly want a game that strongly supports each class up to the last level, so that every single-classed PC are totally worthwhile.

For me multiclassing is secondary. As you say, D&D is primarily a class-based game, and multiclassing is an option for at least intermediate gamers. If (some) multiclassed combinations always end up being better than single classes, for me the game designers have failed a major target.
 

Celebrim

Legend
The option of mixing Fighter with Paladin with Barbarian with Ranger, is probably the least interesting in terms of character concept. It's interesting only in terms of mechanical optimization.

Yeah, I'm having a hard time imagining the character that naturally gets built that way, but mainly because three of those classes in the standard version of the game pull so much baggage from a background/personality perspective. In my opinion this is unnecessary, and in particular by pulling that baggage they are limiting access to much more generic mechanics and concepts. Not every raging character is a 'barbarian'. Not every defender of a cause is a 'paladin'. Not every monster hunter is a 'ranger'.

Suppose we changed the class combination to Dervish/Templar/Righteous Vigilante/Inquisitor. Might it dressed up in different background concepts make more sense even if the resulting mechanical possibilities were exactly the same? Do you really see the above as uninteresting as a character concept?

The equivalent in my game would be a Fighter/Champion/Fanatic/Hunter. What I get from that is some sort of 'witch hunter' or 'demon hunter' sort of build, where the concept is Fanatical Inquisitor. However, the build would nonetheless be almost impossible in my game, since 'Champions' can't freely multiclass once you have a level of Champion and build would require 15's in every stat because the cost of entry into the Champion class is so high. On the other hand, Fighter/Champion/Fanatic and Champion/Fanatic/Hunter are perfectly reasonable and doable under my rules, and I can pretty easily imagine NPCs that would be most reasonably and naturally built that way, so why not PCs?

A really good rules system would make all 6 ability scores useful and none of them truly necessary.

I generally agree, although I don't think I take this idea as far as you seem to. I'm perfectly ok with say Intelligence being absolutely critical to a Wizard, so long as the wizard is not most viable dump stating all other attributes in favor of maximizing Intelligence and there is some reason to imagine Wizards with any of the other 5 attributes favored as their second highest attribute and they aren't absolutely punished for doing so.

Where I take this is similar to the idea mentioned that the Rogue ought to be viable and interesting with almost any ability as their primary ability. I fully support the idea that there ought to be viable Strong rogues, Agile Rogues, Intelligent Rogues, and Charismatic Rogues.

Where this idea most influenced my design is I set as a challenge for myself it ought to be possible to have a party of six fighters, where each fighter was distinguished from the other mechanically and in concept. Thus, there ought to be viable Strong fighters, Agile fighters, Tough fighters, Smart fighters, Cunning fighters, and Charismatic fighters. And indeed, there might be viable builds of several sorts within those concepts. To support this idea, I started imagining combat feat trees based around each of the concepts. Right now I think I've achieved most of my goal, with only Wisdom being not particularly interesting as the fighters highest ability score. (If anyone has some ideas for what wise/perceptive fighters are particularly good at, I'd be interested to hear it. So far my problems is that mostly what they are good at is reactive, and not proactive. It's not clear how they make up for the missing damage possible under a strength build.)
 

Kobold Stew

Last Guy in the Airlock
Supporter
Therefore, I am not looking for a game where you can be an effective Wizard with Int 3... but I am certainly looking for a game where there is a choice between being e.g. Int 16 & Dex 10 or being Int 13 & Dex 13 or even Int 10 & Dex 16, and that choice is not trivial. What I mean is that, it is OK for min-maxing to be an option, but the game is really better when min-maxing doesn't give an edge over choosing a more balanced distribution.

Exactly -- only if there are multiple viable builds does it become interesting. TO this we can add Feats. As it is looking now, it is hard to imagine a reasonable build for a cleric or a mage that would benefit more from a feat than from a +2 to the casting stat. Only once the stat is at 20 does variation set in.

To me, that feels like a bad design choice, and it makes a cleric less appealing to play.
 

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