D&D (2024) Subclasses should start at 1st level


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Charlaquin

Goblin Queen (She/Her/Hers)
I'm in charge of the D&D Club at my school, so every term I run two short campaigns for beginners (one for 9/10 students, another for 11/12 students). I cannot emphasize enough how important it is to keep the game as simple as possible at first level. If you have never played D&D there is an ENORMOUS learning curve. Normally level 1 is just one game, but it's about teaching them the basics of rolling dice and role-play. Level 2 adds a few more options, and then at level 3 (typically game 4-5) they are ready to choose a sub-class.

I think hitting them with all that at level 1 would be very difficult.
So do you just ban classes that gain their subs at 1st and 2nd?
 


Li Shenron

Legend
I love that they seem to be standardizing subclass progression, but why start them at 3rd level instead of 1st? Even for the 2014 classes that get their subclasses after 1st level I have never actually seen a player wait until then to choose their subclass anyway. They always pick at character creation. Plus, having all subclasses start at 1st level would allow subclass to transform the base class more. Sorcerers could get access to different spell lists depending on subclass. Bards could get different options for their set of always-prepared spells depending on subclass. Rangers could have some subclasses that cast spells and some that don’t. Waiting until 3rd level makes it so that if your subclass is a significant part of the character concept, you have to spend two levels not playing that concept, at least not to its fullest extent.
In a standardised class system, I'd prefer subclasses start all at 3rd or 4th level so that you have more time before making your final choice.

There's already too many choices to do at 1st level, I think 1st level should be designed around the needs of beginners, not expert players who soon enough will want to start the game at higher level (or at least level up past the first couple of levels quickly).

Besides, the actual subclass starting point is only for the first mechanical feature, nothing prevents you to think of your Wizard as a Necromancer or Rogue as a Swashbuckler since level 1.
 

Sounds like good optional rules for the DMG.
I just want some really solid optional rules that give me 2E-style multiclassing in 1D&D, honestly. It would be a hell of a handful but as I recall 4E managed it somewhat (admittedly the AEDU structure helped a lot). I seem to remember someone here came up with such a system.
 

payn

I don't believe in the no-win scenario
I just want some really solid optional rules that give me 2E-style multiclassing in 1D&D, honestly. It would be a hell of a handful but as I recall 4E managed it somewhat (admittedly the AEDU structure helped a lot). I seem to remember someone here came up with such a system.
PF2 went that route very similar to 4E. Thats not what I want at all though.
 

Why not?
Or maybe "if you multiclass, you need to keep both classes at the same level as much as possible."

This is terrible.
A fighter druid is just a ranger with extra attack at level 10 instead of 5.
Multiclass is nice, because you can dip to gain the features that are worth paying for. 5/5 is terrible in most cases. 3/7 and 5/15 or 4/16 or 3/17 are all worth considering.
 

Horwath

Legend
I just want some really solid optional rules that give me 2E-style multiclassing in 1D&D, honestly. It would be a hell of a handful but as I recall 4E managed it somewhat (admittedly the AEDU structure helped a lot). I seem to remember someone here came up with such a system.
Dual classing 5E.jpg


We use alternate Multiclass rules.

You pick your 1st class normally, then on 2nd level you multiclass normally as per rules.
From then on you MUST be within one level with both classes.

As "even split" multiclass is universally bad past 1st few levels, we add "double class feature levels" at levels 5,8,11,14,17 and 20.

at those levels you gain features of both classes, but still count as attained a single character level. you get HPs from only one class. HD from only one class and for proficiency modifier you count as only one level higher.

you class features will advance faster than single class character, but will be split on two classes.
 

In my experience, there are three kinds of multiclassing. Dips, hybrids, and mid-life crisis.

Dips are where you are primarily one class, but take a level or two of another class to support your main and remove dead levels. This is the kind of multiclassing that the current multiclass rules support

Hybrids are where you're drawing part of two classes, and merging them into one concept. This is mostly handled by subclasses like Divine Soul sorcerer, Arcana clerics or Scout Rouges.

Joking about mid life crisis aside, job changes are the third kind, and are usually story driven with little good support in terms of mechanics. I prefer just doing a subclass swap, like how fallen paladins end up as Oathbreakers. Others prefer just starting to level as a second class, irregardless of the problems that arise.
 

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