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D&D (2024) Subclasses at first level and multiclassing

mellored

Legend
Lots of people are talking about subclasses at 1st or at 1st & 2nd. No one is talking about the other half I laid out needed for that - a different multiclassing schema that doens't allow cherry picking. What would you suggest for that which would feel like a good 5e-esqe style fit?
Cherry picking is exactly the reason to multiclass.

You want to play an unarmored rogue who use their fists. You need to "cherry pick" a level of monk.
Want to make a fighter who is charismatic who encourages allies, take a level of bard.
Etc...

That said. I see no reason why you couldn't also have bardic inspiration as a feat.
 

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Horwath

Legend
In this sort of thing you aren't planning for any one particular player, you are looking for the lowest common demoninator among all of the players. If everyone who wants to play can, but a bright player exceeds the bar and plays more advanced characters from the start that's not a bad thing. That's not what we're measuring against.
maybe we should plan little above lowest common denominator?

I mentioned fighter(champion) as a half-joke, but it's really is a good way to have a character for people that do not want to invest too much time into optimization and rules, and still have a decent character.

Fighter(champion), Barbarian(bear totem), Rogue(scout) are all simple and viable options. Sorcerer(draconic) can be an option for a simple caster introduction character.

champion and draconic sorcerer need a little buff, but that is another topic
 

Horwath

Legend
Lots of people are talking about subclasses at 1st or at 1st & 2nd. No one is talking about the other half I laid out needed for that - a different multiclassing schema that doens't allow cherry picking. What would you suggest for that which would feel like a good 5e-esqe style fit?
one solution could be:

you cannot multiclass before having 4 levels in your primary class.
you cannot multiclass out of your new class before getting 4 levels in a new class.
 

tetrasodium

Legend
Supporter
Epic
Lots of people are talking about subclasses at 1st or at 1st & 2nd. No one is talking about the other half I laid out needed for that - a different multiclassing schema that doens't allow cherry picking. What would you suggest for that which would feel like a good 5e-esqe style fit?
the 2e rules for it had a lot of one off & hard coded stuff for individual combos making it a good place for inspiration but needing work to convery into a formulaic framework I put together this little setup for accomplishing that while sanding down issues that were present in 2e dual/multiclassing a while back & it seems to work well
I'm going to get technical for simplicity & clarity of explanation without examples
  • The terms class1 & class2 are used for simplicity un description. Class1 is whichever class higher or equal in level to class2 (the lower or equal level one)
  • class1 & class2 have their own parallel to the single class exp tracks starting at 0->300->900->etc ones but are subject to a 2.5x multiplier (0->750->2,250->etc) REMEMBER: experience needed for each level increases at a nonlinear pace so there will be some slowdown in progression but not cripplingly so
  • You can dual class at any time (including level 1 with zero exp) but both classes are subject to the 2.5x multiplier & you must makeup the 2.5x gap if not starting at character creation.
    • If bob is level two with 300xp he can immediately pick up level 1 in a second class If bob wants to reach level 3/1 first he needs to fill the 150exp deficit he just created & continue till he advances to 2,250 in class1. If bob wants to first aim for 2/2 I'm not sure if class2 should need 450exp for level 2 or 600(450+the 150exp deficit class1 started with). There are merits for either method. Forcing the deficit to be filled is probably good just to avoid "I don't plan to advance class1 beyond this level" type cheese
  • hitpoints from each class are divided by 2 & added together.
  • Dual classing impacts proficiency bonus (immediately). Take the proficiency bonus for class1 & subtract the difference between class1 & class2 proficiency bonus values.
    • If bob is level 10/2 he has class1 proficiency of +4 & class2 proficiency of +2 making his final proficiency bonus +2. If he advances to 10/5 that will increase to +3 because 4-(4-3)=3
    • There might be a way for someone who knows the math terms involved better than I do to more concisely write that.
  • level one for both classes uses max for the hit die+con or whatever is being used by the game normally for single class characters Both are divided by 2 & added together though.
  • Casters can dual class but track spells & slots separate (3.x style) rather than having them stack 5e style
  • You get all abilities from each class at each level but only if they can combine under other circumstances so sneak attack & extra attack combine but extra attack & extra attack do not.
  • Giving both sets of saves might be ok because of the hit to proficiency bonus & somewhat lagging progression. I'm not sure about skills since there are so few skills in 5e
It discourages cherry picking because of the proficiency bonus hit under those circumstances & hp/prof bonus pressures to take advantage of the ability to snag a bunch of levels in class2 for less than or similar to the cost of one more level in class1 as soon as they start diverging . A dual class can be competent at both sides of their split but will almost always lag behind a straight class of either in levels hp & sometimes proficiency bonus to (hopefully) make it a tough choice either way rather thana no brainer they feel pressured into
 


Clint_L

Legend
maybe we should plan little above lowest common denominator?
There are lots of new players who have never played anything like an RPG before. That is the reality. I work with tons of them. A lot of them are trying D&D because they've heard about it, and a significant number are looking at it as a way to meet people and make friends. Some of them have learning challenges of various sorts. There's a lot going on and each kid has a unique story. This is not about "intelligence" and I really wish you'd stop trying to make it like kids who can't immediately suss out which sub-class they'd like from the first moment they play D&D are dumb.

For the first game, you don't want to spend hours just explaining basic rules and class/subclass options (and you don't have hours for an after school club). You want to get them playing so they pick up rules as they going along. A brand new kid to the game is still trying to wrap their head around all the race and class options without adding in 48 or so sub-classes to the mix.

So yeah, you want to keep it simple to start. If there are kids who have some experience and are picking things up fast then there are options like cleric, druid, wizard, bard at Level 1 that are plenty complicated without a sub-class. Keeping sub-classes at 3rd level give a little breathing room and costs the game almost nothing - it's very easy for those veterans who want to jump right into a sub-class to skip over those first 3 sessions and start at level 3. Or, heaven forbid, play 3 games before choosing the sub-class.
 

Horwath

Legend
There are lots of new players who have never played anything like an RPG before. That is the reality. I work with tons of them. A lot of them are trying D&D because they've heard about it, and a significant number are looking at it as a way to meet people and make friends. Some of them have learning challenges of various sorts. There's a lot going on and each kid has a unique story. This is not about "intelligence" and I really wish you'd stop trying to make it like kids who can't immediately suss out which sub-class they'd like from the first moment they play D&D are dumb.

For the first game, you don't want to spend hours just explaining basic rules and class/subclass options (and you don't have hours for an after school club). You want to get them playing so they pick up rules as they going along. A brand new kid to the game is still trying to wrap their head around all the race and class options without adding in 48 or so sub-classes to the mix.

So yeah, you want to keep it simple to start. If there are kids who have some experience and are picking things up fast then there are options like cleric, druid, wizard, bard at Level 1 that are plenty complicated without a sub-class. Keeping sub-classes at 3rd level give a little breathing room and costs the game almost nothing - it's very easy for those veterans who want to jump right into a sub-class to skip over those first 3 sessions and start at level 3. Or, heaven forbid, play 3 games before choosing the sub-class.
Excuse me, but if you read my post before, I said that lots of people underestimate new players intelligence and willingness to learn, but not me.

And with most of new players that was my experience, with few only not wanting to put time into learning the game and being there just "for the lulz" and because their friends are playing it.

my good friend was that in one campaign, he is very intelligent guy, but he simply didn't put much effort in playing the game or learning it.
From 3rd to 6th level(9 or 10 sessions) he was "just there".

Lowest common denominator are people not willing to learn the game for real. Met few of them, luckily in minority.

All the new players that like the game will learn it. Yes, first session or two they will suck at it, but that is the process of learning, you need to suck at something first before you can be good at it.
Give them option to swap spells/feats/skills/subclasses after every session if needed, it's even better way to learn.
Even if they want to make completely new character after two sessions, it's ok to let them.
 

one solution could be:

you cannot multiclass before having 4 levels in your primary class.
you cannot multiclass out of your new class before getting 4 levels in a new class.

A solution to no (general) problem.
Add it as an option:

No multiclass. (Old)
Limited multiclass. (your proposal*).
Free multiclass. (Old)

*Maybe I would add that you need to take a certain 4th level feat to enable multiclass in a different class.
Maybe the bard feat adds bardic inspiration 1/day, gives a skill point and increases charisma by +1.
The fighter feat might give +1 str or dex and give access to 2 martial weapons and light armor and so on.
 

Clint_L

Legend
Excuse me, but if you read my post before, I said that lots of people underestimate new players intelligence and willingness to learn, but not me.
That is exactly what you are doing, because you keep explicitly linking one particular task, picking a sub-class at your first game of D&D, to "intelligence and willingness to learn." Those aren't even particularly meaningful concepts to a teacher. We focus on meeting each student where they are at and recognize that every student has different attitudes, aptitudes, and motivations. Each kid will have some things that they are great at, and others where they struggle. Each kid will have some things that they are highly motivated to learn, and other things that they are not. Context is everything, and it differs for every human being.

That is why, when you are introducing complicated material, you keep it relatively simple so you can gauge where each kid is at. Some kids take to it like water, and you feed them more. Others have difficulty wrapping their head around things that you might think are obvious, so you try to figure out why and help them along. A concept as basic as "hit points" is actually quite abstract and there are students who sometimes need help with it.

Contrary to popular myth, the best way to teach someone is not to "throw them in the deep end." That might work for a few students, but for most human beings it's a good way to make them feel stupid and hate the experience.
 
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Blue

Ravenous Bugblatter Beast of Traal
Cherry picking is exactly the reason to multiclass.
Going back to the original post - I'm a fan of 3rd level subclasses. But some people want subclass 1st elvel, and for me that would need to go hand-in-hand with a multiclassing solution that prevents cherry-picking from being overpowered at any level (low and high).

So, for the purposes of this thread, can we discuss how to either prevent cherrypicking or to ensure that multiclassing a 1st or 2nd level of a class does not provide more power than advancing a class you already have while still granting subclass at 1st.
 

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