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5E To MC or not MC? That is the question!

Does your game allow multiclassing or not?

  • Multiclassing is a way of life.

    Votes: 4 3.4%
  • Most PCs are multiclassed.

    Votes: 4 3.4%
  • Maybe half the PCs pick up a second class or more.

    Votes: 15 12.7%
  • Sometimes a PC will multiclass.

    Votes: 46 39.0%
  • It is pretty rare for a PC to multiclass.

    Votes: 34 28.8%
  • We don't play with multiclassing (or no one does it anyway).

    Votes: 14 11.9%
  • Other. Please explain below.

    Votes: 1 0.8%

  • Total voters
    118

Istbor

Dances with Gnolls
I don't generally put such restrictions on my games. The typical player doesn't worry about multi-classing. I only see someone multi-class if they are clearly building towards something. Whether that be a specific concept they feel MCing accomplishes, or numbers porn.

In my current home game, there are 6 players. Only one is MCing and it is 100% due to story reasons. (He drank some Eldritch corrupted Dragon's blood, and it is going to open up the Aberrant Mind sub-class of sorcerer to his current Ranger). It was something we discussed, and thought sounded fun and tied him closer to the story unfolding.
 

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trentonjoe

Explorer
I am currently playing a Barbarian 1/Bard 2/Sorcerer 1/ Warlock 1. None of the guys at my table (including the DMs) know what I can do. It's a lot of fun.
 

dnd4vr

Tactical Studies Rules - The Original Game Wizards
I am currently playing a Barbarian 1/Bard 2/Sorcerer 1/ Warlock 1. None of the guys at my table (including the DMs) know what I can do. It's a lot of fun.
LOL nice! :)

I had a Bard/Cleric/Rogue/Sorcerer/Wizard 1/1/1/1/1. It was fun, but at that time, the DM decided we were done with 5E RAW and it was time to implement house-rules, etc. It allowed everyone to revamp their characters with our new house-ruled multiclassing and I changed to a Cleric/Rogue/Wizard 3/3/3.
 

Oofta

Title? I don't need no stinkin' title.
I do get a bit tired of the [insert class here]/warlock 2 builds. It's not hard to adjust for from a encounter perspective because I've found you have to do that anyway. For me it's more of a thematic issue; I envision a warlock's relationship with their patron to be quite personal. In some ways even more-so than with a deity.

But if you've only dipped your toe into the powers of the Fey, how beholden to the summer queen are you? I guess I just want certain classes like warlock and paladin to mean something more than just what abilities they grant. Well, and it just seems like most people that do the [insert class]lock builds are just doing it for cheese. But again, it's their PC.
 

Xetheral

Three-Headed Sirrush
I do get a bit tired of the [insert class here]/warlock 2 builds. It's not hard to adjust for from a encounter perspective because I've found you have to do that anyway. For me it's more of a thematic issue; I envision a warlock's relationship with their patron to be quite personal. In some ways even more-so than with a deity.

But if you've only dipped your toe into the powers of the Fey, how beholden to the summer queen are you? I guess I just want certain classes like warlock and paladin to mean something more than just what abilities they grant. Well, and it just seems like most people that do the [insert class]lock builds are just doing it for cheese. But again, it's their PC.
In a light-hearted game I once had a Warlock whose "pact" was swapping a prize-winning brownie recipe to the summer queen in exchange for Eldritch power. :) They never met again.

Even in a more serious game I'd probably be fine if a player wanted to describe their pact as a one-time trade (and fluff any future Warlock advancement as honing the ability to use that existing power) if it makes sense for the patron and the character.
 

CleverNickName

Limit Break Dancing
I like the house rule that someone suggested earlier, that "all class levels must be within 1 level of each other." This forces characters to multiclass by 2nd level if they are going to, and prevents cherry-picking or level-dips. But it might be a bit too restrictive; I'd probably want a way to soften it a bit.

Then, if you were to bring back the "Favored class" mechanic from earlier editions, you could waive that restriction for a race's favored class (and waive the ability score requirements for that class in the PHB.) Like, a High Elf Wizard 10/Monk 1 would be fine, since Wizard is the High Elf's favored class. A High Elf Bard 10/Monk 1 wouldn't be, and the player would have to bring that Monk level up to at least 10 before they could take another level of Bard.

The issue of "what to do about humans?" would keep coming up, though, and I'd be inclined to set it up so that humans don't have a favored class. They are already a stats-and-options smorgasbord as it is...they don't need extra help in the Multiclassing Department.

Maybe something like this?

Race (Favored Class)
Aasimar (Paladin or Warlock)
Arakocra (Fighter)
Bugbear (Rogue)
Centaur (Druid or Ranger)
Changeling (Rogue)
Dragonborn (Sorcerer)
Dwarf (Fighter)
Elf, Drow (Cleric or Wizard)
Elf, High (Wizard)
Elf, Wood (Ranger)
Firbolg (Druid)
Genasi, Any (Sorcerer or Druid)
Gith (Psion? or Monk)
Goliath (Barbarian or Fighter)
Gnome, Forest (Druid)
Gnome, Rock (Artificer)
Goblin (Rogue)
Halfling, Lightfoot (Rogue)
Halfling, Strongheart (Fighter)
Human (no favored class)
Half-Elf (Bard)
Half-Orc (Barbarian)
Hobgoblin (Fighter)
Kalashar (Monk)
Kenku (Rogue)
Kobold (Rogue or Sorcerer)
Lizardfolk (Ranger)
Locathah (Fighter)
Loxodon (Cleric)
Minotaur (Barbarian)
Orc (Barbarian)
Orc, Eberron (Barbarian)
Shifter (Ranger)
Simic Hybrid (Druid)
Tabaxi (Rogue)
Tiefling (Warlock)
Tiefling, Feral (Warlock or Sorcerer)
Triton (Paladin)
Vedalkin (Monk)
Verdan (Psion? or Wizard)
Warforged (Fighter)
Yuan-ti Pureblood (Sorcerer)
 
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Fanaelialae

Legend
From the responses so far, I am thinking if I allow multiclassing, I would only ban dual-full-caster combos unless you do it from the beginning and keep them equal as you advance.

So, no sorcerer/warlock, no cleric/wizard, etc. unless at 2nd level you take the second class immediately. Then, if the two classes are ever more than 1 level apart, the lower class can no longer advance as the separation represents your decision to focus on the stronger class.

Other multiclass combinations, up to two classes only, and with any degree of difference in level, would be allowed as normal.

I am not sold on it, myself, just something I came up with this evening. What do people think about the idea?
I think it would put them extremely behind the power curve. The character will be 5th level before they can cast a 2nd level spell. 9th level before they can cast a 3rd level spell. Only someone with zero grasp of the game is likely to opt for it, making it a trap option in the extreme.

IMO, you'd be better off simply banning it than going this route.
 

Undrave

Hero
People I know very VERY rarely use MC rules. I find them way too easy to mess up and end up with characters that feel like two lower level character sharing the same action pool.

Also, SURPRISE, it works better with the addition of magic and martial classes get nerfed when they MC.

My experience is that multiclassing tends to become really tempting to players around about level 6 or so. At that point a lot of classes start falling into a bit of a dead zone, where they don't really get all that much to hold on for and the temptation to pick up something now becomes stronger.
The only MC character I'm in a game with is a Barbarian/Fighter and he waited until level 5 or 6 become starting to take levels in Fighter... and he'll probably stay a Fighter for the rest of the campaign.

The Paladin in the same game is considering MCing into something else just so we get more healing but I don't think it would be worth it.
 

Fanaelialae

Legend
I like the house rule that someone suggested earlier, that "all class levels must be within 1 level of each other." This forces characters to multiclass by 2nd level if they are going to, and prevents cherry-picking or level-dips. But it might be a bit too restrictive.

Then, if you were to bring back the "Favored class" mechanic from earlier editions, you could waive that restriction for a race's favored class (and waive the ability score requirements for that class in the PHB.) Like, a High Elf Wizard 10/Monk 1 would be fine, since Wizard is the High Elf's favored class...but a High Elf Bard 10/Monk 1 wouldn't be. If you were a high elf Fighter, you wouldn't need to have an Int of 13 to take levels of wizard, but you probably would want to anyway.

The issue of "what to do about humans?" would keep coming up, though, and I'd be inclined to set it up so that humans don't have a favored class. They are already a stats-and-options smorgasbord as it is...they don't need extra help in the Multiclassing Department.

Maybe something like this?

Race (Favored Class)
Aasimar (Paladin or Warlock)
Arakocra (Fighter)
Bugbear (Rogue)
Centaur (Druid or Ranger)
Changeling (Rogue)
Dragonborn (Sorcerer)
Dwarf (Fighter)
Elf, Drow (Cleric or Wizard)
Elf, High (Wizard)
Elf, Wood (Ranger)
Firbolg (Druid)
Genasi, Any (Sorcerer or Druid)
Gith (Psion? or Monk)
Goliath (Barbarian or Fighter)
Gnome, Forest (Druid)
Gnome, Rock (Artificer)
Goblin (Rogue)
Halfling, Lightfoot (Rogue)
Halfling, Strongheart (Fighter)
Human (no favored class)
Half-Elf (Bard)
Half-Orc (Barbarian)
Hobgoblin (Fighter)
Kalashar (Monk)
Kenku (Rogue)
Kobold (Rogue or Sorcerer)
Lizardfolk (Ranger)
Locathah (Fighter)
Loxodon (Cleric)
Minotaur (Barbarian)
Orc (Barbarian)
Orc, Eberron (Barbarian)
Shifter (Ranger)
Simic Hybrid (Druid)
Tabaxi (Rogue)
Tiefling (Warlock)
Tiefling, Feral (Warlock or Sorcerer)
Triton (Paladin)
Vedalkin (Monk)
Verdan (Psion? or Wizard)
Warforged (Fighter)
Yuan-ti Pureblood (Sorcerer)
This just limits interesting race/class options. The power gamer can still play their power-combo, they just need to take their race into account. The role-player who wants to play the weird, unoptimized combo is forced even further behind the power curve by having to raise their classes in parallel.

I don't think it would be beneficial to the game.
 

CleverNickName

Limit Break Dancing
This just limits interesting race/class options. The power gamer can still play their power-combo, they just need to take their race into account. The role-player who wants to play the weird, unoptimized combo is forced even further behind the power curve by having to raise their classes in parallel.

I don't think it would be beneficial to the game.
Some might say "limiting interesting race/class options," others are saying "prevents cherry-picking and problematic combos." If Multiclassing isn't allowed or abused at your table, this isn't really necessary and the optional rules are probably fine as-written.

I'm looking for a Goldilocks version, though...something that's harder to exploit, but not an outright ban on multiclassing.

Besides. Power gamers are always going to find a way to game the system--sometimes I think that part of the fun for them is finding exploits and then rubbing everyone's faces in them. But once those exploits are found, I like to reign them in a bit. Give those power-gamers a new bone to gnaw on.
 

Fanaelialae

Legend
Some might say "limiting interesting race/class options," others are saying "prevents cherry-picking and problematic combos." If Multiclassing isn't allowed or abused at your table, this isn't really necessary and the optional rules are probably fine as-written.

I'm looking for a Goldilocks version, though...something that's harder to exploit, but not an outright ban on multiclassing.
That's what I'm saying though. This doesn't do that. All it does is slightly restrict which races the the power-gamer has access to for their combo. It's only really punitive for the role-played who is going for the unplanned, unoptimized combo.

It doesn't stop the sor-lock. You just have to take a race that favors warlock (I think - I'm not an optimizer myself - so I'm assuming the low class in that combo is the warlock).

It doesn't fix the problem you set out to fix. Unless your only concern is MC/race combos, which seems odd to me. And it creates other problems, for those not seeking to abuse the rules.
 

CleverNickName

Limit Break Dancing
That's what I'm saying though. This doesn't do that. All it does is slightly restrict which races the the power-gamer has access to for their combo. It's only really punitive for the role-played who is going for the unplanned, unoptimized combo.

It doesn't stop the sor-lock. You just have to take a race that favors warlock (I think - I'm not an optimizer myself - so I'm assuming the low class in that combo is the warlock).

It doesn't fix the problem you set out to fix. Unless your only concern is MC/race combos, which seems odd to me. And it creates other problems, for those not seeking to abuse the rules.
I don't disagree, but what else would you suggest for fixing it?

Full disclosure, I'm not interested in stopping the sor-lock. I'm interested in making it harder/more restrictive to be a sor-lock.
 

Some might say "limiting interesting race/class options," others are saying "prevents cherry-picking and problematic combos." If Multiclassing isn't allowed or abused at your table, this isn't really necessary and the optional rules are probably fine as-written.

I'm looking for a Goldilocks version, though...something that's harder to exploit, but not an outright ban on multiclassing.

Besides. Power gamers are always going to find a way to game the system--sometimes I think that part of the fun for them is finding exploits and then rubbing everyone's faces in them. But once those exploits are found, I like to reign them in a bit. Give those power-gamers a new bone to gnaw on.
The good new is the list of combos that really break out of the normal curve are few and can be addressed individually instead of any great overhaul of the rules.
 

Fanaelialae

Legend
I don't disagree, but what else would you suggest for fixing it?

Full disclosure, I'm not interested in stopping the sor-lock. I'm interested in making it harder/more restrictive to be a sor-lock.
I guess the first thing would be to figure out what you mean when you say you want to make it harder/ more restrictive, because that is a vague goal.

If you want to make them rare, you could have a player who wants to play one roll percentile dice and only allow it if they beat the odds. Or you could allow one sor-lock per X number of characters/campaigns. Or only allow a player who rolls a natural 18 charisma to be a sor-lock. Or allow a player who completes a complicated in game quest to have their next character to be a sor-lock. Those are just random ideas for making it more restricted to play one.
 

CleverNickName

Limit Break Dancing
The good new is the list of combos that really break out of the normal curve are few and can be addressed individually instead of any great overhaul of the rules.
True, and this is really the only recourse you have without a house rule to fix the problem. And with new races, classes, and subclasses being released on the regular, it would be nice to have some kind of rule or framework in place that would preemptively prevent known issues. (I also have the sort of players that feel attacked when I ban their Favorite ComboTM without imposing the same restrictions on others at the table. "Hey, why can't I multiclass? You let Alex do it...")

This is all philosophical, I promise. I doubt that Wizards of the Coast is going to read this stuff with anything greater than a grain of salt, and decide to add it to the next edition of D&D. I just wanted to get folks talking about house rules for multiclassing.

The percentile die that @Fanaelialae suggests is certainly one way to do it. Another would be to prepare a list of problematic combos that aren't allowed in your campaign, and update it routinely whenever issues are discovered and/or new materials are released. A third option would be to ban Warlocks. Taking that to its logical conclusion, a DM could just hand out a set of pre-gen characters for her campaign.

I wouldn't say these are any better or more desirable than the "favored class" houserule that I propose, though.
 
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prabe

Aspiring Lurker (He/Him)
Supporter
I've been pretty fortunate, in that I have a lot of players in my longer-running campaign that have multiclassed, and they've all done it for reasons that made sense outside of optimization.

That said, I think I've seen the idea of making PCs choose feats or multiclassing, and that appeals to me, as does an idea almost opposite of that, forcing PCs to take a specific feat before they could multiclass. I haven't done either of these, and if I do it'll be the next campaign I start (so as not to change the rules out from under players in an ongoing campaign).

It occurs to me that one could go for the idea @dnd4vr mentioned upthread of forcing multiclass characters to keep their classes no more than [number] levels apart, and add in a feat that would let them have one class that wasn't so close.
 

dnd4vr

Tactical Studies Rules - The Original Game Wizards
It occurs to me that one could go for the idea @dnd4vr mentioned upthread of forcing multiclass characters to keep their classes no more than [number] levels apart, and add in a feat that would let them have one class that wasn't so close.
This is what we do in our current game, but it is a bit different because we use old-school multiclassing, so by default the classes have to be the same level. IIRC, in 3E you had to keep classes within 1 level or suffered an XP penalty.
 

prabe

Aspiring Lurker (He/Him)
Supporter
This is what we do in our current game, but it is a bit different because we use old-school multiclassing, so by default the classes have to be the same level. IIRC, in 3E you had to keep classes within 1 level or suffered an XP penalty.
Fair enough. I'd missed that you were allowing PCs to take a feat to get around the limitation (or I'm misunderstanding you now, that you are). That sounds about right for 3.x, though the group I've played the most of that with doesn't multiclass, as a table rule. I wasn't thinking about XP because I don't use them in my games.
 

dnd4vr

Tactical Studies Rules - The Original Game Wizards
Fair enough. I'd missed that you were allowing PCs to take a feat to get around the limitation (or I'm misunderstanding you now, that you are). That sounds about right for 3.x, though the group I've played the most of that with doesn't multiclass, as a table rule. I wasn't thinking about XP because I don't use them in my games.
Oh, sorry, I didn't mean about requiring a feat for MCing, I meant that we keep levels within 1 all the time for MCed characters.
 


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