D&D (2024) The state of Multiclass-Dips in One D&D

tetrasodium

Legend
Supporter
Epic
Couldn't you reframe this as a problem with higher level class features? If level 1-2 abilities are more compelling and interesting than level 8-10 ones, then why shouldn't players prefer them? That feels more like you really need better mid-high level class abilities.

The only real stand out abilities (barring the coffeelock stuff that's mostly just poorly written short rest mechanics in the warlock than anything) are things like paladin smite that live outside the action economy. You could just move those back in (maybe introduce a 4th action type, like 3e's swift or 4e's minor actions) to give them a real cost.
Yes and no but those are secondary to a common root. ttrpgs fall into lots of groupings but the important & relevant one here is pointbuy systems & class based systems. Pointbuy usually tries to value the cost to buy a given ability so that it's comparable to those with equal cost & better/worse than those with lower/higher cost & that works great but (in a nutshell) has problems with a higher bar to get started & a need for more oversight to prevent unchecked munchkinism that goes outside the spirit of expectations. Class based systems are usually easier to get into & provide some rails in the form of classes that allow characters to be a little more front loaded & not all equally balanced at every level. That's fine & good for both types as long as they have rules that work within & support their mix of strengths & weaknesses.

The 5e style multiclassing tries to give players the strength of both without acknowledging the weaknesses of either. To a degree 3.x style did as well but at least tried to do things that raise the bar a little bit like oddball prerequisites all over the place & tools the gm could use to dial back on Bob's excess without crippling Alice's utter averageness on top of ways the GM could enhance Alice while being fairly confident the effort wouldn't be given to Bob to further widen the gap. (DR/SR/body slot conflicts/magic item churn/various forms of weapon specialization*/etc)

* the feat, crit fish many attacks with high crit range high crit multiplier weapons vrs fewer attacks with a freight train/etc


Still a bad idea as the base option. Make it a different option: medium multiclass: you need to take the 4th level multiclass bard feat to take levels in the bard class. No new system needed.
That's a good solution in pf2 but that solution depends on the syste,'s structural framework to make it work. I think that would just result in a quagmire of design incentives that ultimately avoids being a solution. It works in pathfinder2 because there are a lot more feats & taking something like bard dedication or the 4 feats that for of it & the advanced versions that fork of those you do so at the cost of things from your own class. 5e & so far oned&d don't have anything like that so it creates incentive to say "well this is a feat so it should give something cool" leaving you with something cool on top of an overly good front loaded class dip and all the stuff from their primary class.
 

log in or register to remove this ad

Yes and no but those are secondary to a common root. ttrpgs fall into lots of groupings but the important & relevant one here is pointbuy systems & class based systems. Pointbuy usually tries to value the cost to buy a given ability so that it's comparable to those with equal cost & better/worse than those with lower/higher cost & that works great but (in a nutshell) has problems with a higher bar to get started & a need for more oversight to prevent unchecked munchkinism that goes outside the spirit of expectations. Class based systems are usually easier to get into & provide some rails in the form of classes that allow characters to be a little more front loaded & not all equally balanced at every level. That's fine & good for both types as long as they have rules that work within & support their mix of strengths & weaknesses.

The 5e style multiclassing tries to give players the strength of both without acknowledging the weaknesses of either. To a degree 3.x style did as well but at least tried to do things that raise the bar a little bit like oddball prerequisites all over the place & tools the gm could use to dial back on Bob's excess without crippling Alice's utter averageness on top of ways the GM could enhance Alice while being fairly confident the effort wouldn't be given to Bob to further widen the gap. (DR/SR/body slot conflicts/magic item churn/various forms of weapon specialization*/etc)

* the feat, crit fish many attacks with high crit range high crit multiplier weapons vrs fewer attacks with a freight train/etc



That's a good solution in pf2 but that solution depends on the syste,'s structural framework to make it work. I think that would just result in a quagmire of design incentives that ultimately avoids being a solution. It works in pathfinder2 because there are a lot more feats & taking something like bard dedication or the 4 feats that for of it & the advanced versions that fork of those you do so at the cost of things from your own class. 5e & so far oned&d don't have anything like that so it creates incentive to say "well this is a feat so it should give something cool" leaving you with something cool on top of an overly good front loaded class dip and all the stuff from their primary class.

I don`t mean only feats, I mean, take that feat and then multiclass normally as in 5e.
 

tetrasodium

Legend
Supporter
Epic
I don`t mean only feats, I mean, take that feat and then multiclass normally as in 5e.
Yea that's why there would be pressure to design feats that give something beyond just opening the door.

Even if it did only open the door the ranger & cleric dips give wayyy more than any feat & would even be questionable if they showed up as an epic boon... Ranger is a d10 hit doe & cleric a d8 hit die. Even if someone was multiclassing out of a d12 class like barbarian it's only a 3hp loss & a one level delay on some minor class feature you might not have ever gotten in exchange for a whole bunch of awesome stuff for the rest of the campaign.
 

Yea that's why there would be pressure to design feats that give something beyond just opening the door.

Even if it did only open the door the ranger & cleric dips give wayyy more than any feat & would even be questionable if they showed up as an epic boon... Ranger is a d10 hit doe & cleric a d8 hit die. Even if someone was multiclassing out of a d12 class like barbarian it's only a 3hp loss & a one level delay on some minor class feature you might not have ever gotten in exchange for a whole bunch of awesome stuff for the rest of the campaign.

With that approach (although I don´t think it is needed if you design first level abilities better in the first place), your maximum level in the first class is 16 at most.

My Idea of a class feat would not be something extra, but forking out abilities you would have gained anyway if you became that class:

bard dedication would give:
light armor training, performance (or any skill) and a bard cantrip. Or something like that.

Mutliclass rules would remove the bonus skill from bard multiclass. I think, I´d keep that extra cantrip, so you got a little bit from the feat at least. You could even specify, that some abilities at level 1 are never gained by multiclass characters:

You could demote holy order to level 1, but just exclude it, if you became a cleric later. You could design such abilities for every class.
 

Pauln6

Hero
Couldn't you reframe this as a problem with higher level class features? If level 1-2 abilities are more compelling and interesting than level 8-10 ones, then why shouldn't players prefer them? That feels more like you really need better mid-high level class abilities.

The only real stand out abilities (barring the coffeelock stuff that's mostly just poorly written short rest mechanics in the warlock than anything) are things like paladin smite that live outside the action economy. You could just move those back in (maybe introduce a 4th action type, like 3e's swift or 4e's minor actions) to give them a real cost.
There don't seem to be a huge number of problematic class features as far as power combos go. Specifying that warlock spell slots may not be used for paladin smites or spell point conversion might help. Paladin spell smites more generally should probably take a bonus action and be a class feature with a hard daily limit. It remains to be seen how Eldritch Blast will be built but possibly more akin to martial class level based multiple attacks. Action surge should probably exclude casting a spell as your additional action. And you should get skill training (at the very least) if you already have multple attacks in your first class.

Whether they also want to slow front loading to reduce class dipping is another issue but not one that I have noticed causing any consternation. Gaining greater breadth at the cost of reduced power/focus seems pretty much accepted as the trade off for multi-classing.
 

tetrasodium

Legend
Supporter
Epic
There don't seem to be a huge number of problematic class features as far as power combos go. Specifying that warlock spell slots may not be used for paladin smites or spell point conversion might help. Paladin spell smites more generally should probably take a bonus action and be a class feature with a hard daily limit. It remains to be seen how Eldritch Blast will be built but possibly more akin to martial class level based multiple attacks. Action surge should probably exclude casting a spell as your additional action. And you should get skill training (at the very least) if you already have multple attacks in your first class.

Whether they also want to slow front loading to reduce class dipping is another issue but not one that I have noticed causing any consternation. Gaining greater breadth at the cost of reduced power/focus seems pretty much accepted as the trade off for multi-classing.
We have 4 classes and half of them seem to have an overly good front loaded incentive to dip them on other classes. If half is "not a huge number" where do you see the line being?
 

Pauln6

Hero
We have 4 classes and half of them seem to have an overly good front loaded incentive to dip them on other classes. If half is "not a huge number" where do you see the line being?
Overly good isn't the same as a power combo. Surely since most people don't play to higher levels the incentive to dip will remain strong unless they substantially prune level 1 features. High level class features are sometimes just enhanced versions of lower level features. Does the problem lie there?

Reducing the number of cantrips? Halving use of features? Limiting cross pollination of class features? Downgraded armour options? Would any of that make a difference?
 

Horwath

Legend
maybe all classes should get 10 proficiency points that you can spend on 1st level.
when you multiclass you get 0 of those.

proficiency costs:

skills: 1pt per skill. min 1 skill, max 5 skills
tools, languages and weapons: 1 pt per 4 proficiencies. max twice, extra 8 proficiencies for 2 pts.
martial weapon proficiency: 2 pts
armor proficiency: 0-3 pts, 1 pt per armor category
cantrips: 0-4 pts. 1 pt per cantrip
saves: 2 pts for Dex, Con or Wis save. max once
saves: 1 pt for Str, Int or Cha. max twice
 

Overly good isn't the same as a power combo. Surely since most people don't play to higher levels the incentive to dip will remain strong unless they substantially prune level 1 features. High level class features are sometimes just enhanced versions of lower level features. Does the problem lie there?

Reducing the number of cantrips? Halving use of features? Limiting cross pollination of class features? Downgraded armour options? Would any of that make a difference?

I still don't see the problem with dipping.
In ADnD, a fighter mage was only 2 levels behind in both classes...

So dipping 2 levels of fighter in exchange for abilities, which will turn the wizard into a halfway competent fighter mage seems reasonable to me. NOT getting a subclass and one/two less feats and being a bit more MAD too.
I really don't get, where all the dippophobia comes from?

Dipping is a feature, not a bug. Getting strong features is necessary. It is just that those features may not be too strong.
Channel divinity as written seems to strong. Old Hexblade always was too strong. But those are specific problems, not general ones.
 

Zardnaar

Legend
For most players, this is not a real question. Sure, at level 19 a one-level dip is helpful. This, though wold be solved if they altered the spell progression and gave a second level-9 slot at level 20. (That's just an example, but it shows that the problem is not nearly as dire as you present.)

For most players, the decision gets made at any given level as you progress, and for that the game does pretty well. It's almost never advantageous to multiclass before level 5 if you are playing for "power", because the level 5 benefits are significant. So I can tell you how a Wizard 5 is better than a Wiz 4/Cleric 1. I can also tell you how a Wiz 9 is better than a Wiz 8/Cleric1. Maybe some levels aren't as tempting -- sure -- but choosing to multiclass at 6 or 7 or 8 should be an interesting choice, and I don't think it's going to be obvious.

That is a much more interesting break point, I would suggest, to measure the value of multiclassing -- class levels 6-10.

Some MC builds switch on level 2 or 3.
 

Remove ads

AD6_gamerati_skyscraper

Remove ads

Upcoming Releases

Top