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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
It is allowed, but with restrictions usually. No dips. If you add a new class, you have to stay that class for 3 levels before switching again. And sometimes no multi-classing as two casters of the same power type, meaning not being two different classes that are both divine magic or two that are both arcane, which is mainly for a homebrew setting.
 

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cbwjm

I can add a custom title.
Pathfinder rewards people for taking levels in their favoured class (I believe you choose it at 1st level rather than having it dictated by race). You gain extra hit points, skill points, or additional uses of class abilities.

D20 Conan had a system where if you stuck with a racial archetype (such as barbarian for cimmerians) you'd gain additional feats, I think, at levels 1, 5, and 10.

With adjustments (It would be crazy to hand out an extra 3 feats unless you were going for a high powered game), either of these systems might work to encourage more single classes.
 

oreofox

Explorer
Pathfinder, you chose what your favored class was, and if using the optional variant, gain extra bonuses depending on what that class was, and what your race was. I haven't played it in over 5 years, so can't remember, but I'm pretty sure that at least the default, you got a thing for every so-many levels in the class. Default you got like +2 skill points (or was it +1?) each time you took a level in your favored class. I think there's one where you deal an extra 1/3 damage when doing something from the class (so every 3 levels, you deal an extra +1 damage). Much better than 3e's version, where all half-orcs had a favored class of barbarian, thus shoehorning them into that steretype (same with gnome illusionists/bards, elf wizards, halfling rogues, etc).

As for multiclassing, I tend to disclude it from the games I DM. Though, my players seem to be more story oriented than power oriented, which then I wouldn't have a problem with MCing. The game I play in, I MCed, but it was story reasons. Unfortunately, I am not having fun, as the new players added after previous players left have all been power oriented, making every choice based on the numbers, which makes my MCed character not fun at all (she's not the best at pumping numbers, being a redemption paladin/fiend warlock/barbarian (one level) ). Thinking of retiring her.
 

ART!

Adventurer
We always allow it, but not many players have ever chosen to go that route with any of their characters. It's not rare, but it's definitely uncommon.

I'm seriously considering multiclassing to be required in the next game I run, as a way to offset the lagging behind effect/sensation that often comes with multiclassing when most other players aren't.
 


FrogReaver

As long as i get to be the frog
I think the biggest cause of drawing players to multiclassing is that most capstones are exponentially less useful than the first lv of another class.
Most games don't get to 20 but I think it would help.
Maybe in those games that get to high level play - but most don't and in anything below level 12 - multiclassing just isn't a straight up power upgrade anyways.
 

Fenris-77

Small God of the Dozens
Supporter
I have absolutely no issues with multiclassing in general. I like concept driven characters and if a MC is the way to do that, cool. I'm down on MC strictly for mechanical advantage though because, well, it's boring. Tell me a great story and good with most MC ideas.
 

FrogReaver

As long as i get to be the frog
I have absolutely no issues with multiclassing in general. I like concept driven characters and if a MC is the way to do that, cool. I'm down on MC strictly for mechanical advantage though because, well, it's boring. Tell me a great story and good with most MC ideas.
But multiclassing adds virtually no mechanical advantage till level 12+...
 

Fenris-77

Small God of the Dozens
Supporter
I'd say 8 for anyone who wants an extra attack and X, whatever X is. Assassin builds for example. I think you can squeeze some mechanical benefit out of full casters MCs before 12 too, although that from memory, not because I have hard numbers in front of me. Paladin 5 full caster 3 springs to mind. I'm sure you have some pretty specific thoughts on the matter though.😜
 

FrogReaver

As long as i get to be the frog
I'd say 8 for anyone who wants an extra attack and X, whatever X is. Assassin builds for example. I think you can squeeze some mechanical benefit out of full casters MCs before 12 too, although that from memory, not because I have hard numbers in front of me. Paladin 5 full caster 3 springs to mind. I'm sure you have some pretty specific thoughts on the matter though.😜
You have to look at what you are giving up for every level of the multiclass and every level thereafter.

For example, fighter's are certainly just as well off in combat staying fighter (2 ASI's and possibly more superiority dice or level 2 spells). At that point the rogue 3 route is more of a sidegrade - that ends up slowing down the third extra attack if your plan is to continue down the fighter path.

Paladin 5 full caster 3. Gives up the paladin aura, an ASI, possibly a subclass aura, a spell slot and 3 levels of progression toward level 3 spells and 3 levels of progression toward improved divine smite, . It's a huge tradeoff. Even the infamous hexblade isn't coming out clearly ahead in this kind of trade.

As I was saying, I've not seen any multiclass characters pre level 12 that aren't just a sidegrade in terms of power. At best you get ahead at a specific level only to fall behind again for just as many as you pull ahead.
 

Fenris-77

Small God of the Dozens
Supporter
If I know, or even strongly suspect, that the campaign isnt going past a certain level that standard whiteroom math about MC doesn't really hold. I'm not delaying something im not get to anyway, and lots of campaigns dont get there. If you know you have 8 levels to work with, or ten, or whatever you work with that.
 

FrogReaver

As long as i get to be the frog
If I know, or even strongly suspect, that the campaign isnt going past a certain level that standard whiteroom math about MC doesn't really hold. I'm not delaying something im not get to anyway, and lots of campaigns dont get there. If you know you have 8 levels to work with, or ten, or whatever you work with that.
Sure, in which case the fighter/rogue is still up 2 asi's and 1 superiority dice. The paladin rogue is still up his saving throw aura an asi and a spell slot. The monk is up 3 ki, magic unarmed attacks, an asi and evasion. Etc...

The assassain on all those classes is still a sidegrade.

The Paladin caster is also still a sidegrade.
At level 6 the pure paladin wins hands down. At level 7 the pure paladin is still hands down better. At level 8 the Paladin caster is a sidegrade. Losing out on the saving throw aura is that big of a deal.
 

Fenris-77

Small God of the Dozens
Supporter
That assassin build in the right game is not a sidegrade. As for the rest, maybe? IDK.

I'm not sure what you're basing your decision on. I have a pretty good idea how you analyze classes, but I'm not 100% sure how much of your opinion is based on damage calculations. You post about that stuff a lot, but I dont like to assume anything about what else you might be considering, and I respect the math side of what you do a lot.
 

Li Shenron

Legend
I like the "R" in RPG to be key to the whole gaming experience. Multiclassing dilutes roles, and therefore I do not like multiclassing. I do not ban it, but I do not recommend it, and I even try not to mention it to newcomers.
 

S'mon

Legend
I started off with no Multiclassing or Feats, and Default Array PCs. This is a great way to get used to 5e D&D.

I've gradually relaxed - rolled PCs, Feats, and finally multiclassing. I maintain a restriction that no more than one class can be a spellcasting class. This avoids exploits around the CHA-based casting classes where eg Sorceror Warlock & Paladin combine in weird ways.
 

FaerieGodfather

Aberrant Druid
Supporter
I made a single-class character once, in AD&D; it was my very first Player Character ever, and my Dungeon Master graciously allowed me to overlook some of the finer points of the rules to create an Elf Monk.

I made a single-class character once.

The biggest reason I skipped 4e was that it didn't have a "proper" multiclassing system until PHB3-- long after Pathfinder had proved a viable alternative-- and 5e's reversion to 3e's multiclassing rules is one of my biggest complaints about it. I'm not interested in trying to grind that axe right now, except to note that the problems most people seem to have with multiclassing are problems with that system and wouldn't apply to AD&D, Orcs of Thar, Gestalt, 4e (feat) or 4e (hybrid) systems.

My players only occasionally multiclass. I have a house rule to the effect that, barring special exceptions, you cannot multiclass unless it is with a class you took your first 3 levels in.
I don't have anything useful to comment, except that I like this. It's a meaningful restriction that ties class advancement to the original character concept-- unless, of course, that concept changes within the narrative.

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.
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.
It's a lot more than a bit too restrictive-- I'm not as familiar with 5e as I am with 3.X/PF, admittedly, but I cannot think of a single combination of two PHB classes and subclasses that would be viable past 6th level with these rules. (Except, maybe, Paladin/Warlock, which everyone seems to agree is a bad thing.)

I mean, I think we can all agree that this is the primary kind of multiclassing that we want in our games, and that we want the rules to support-- but they really just don't work that way without extensive house-ruling.

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).
I've long considered the possibility of a feat-based multiclassing system in 3.X-- like a hybrid between 3.X multiclassing (with an initial feat cost) and Pathfinder's Variant Multiclassing.

It isn't enough to restrict the kinds of multiclassing we don't want. If we want players to multiclass in "acceptable" fashion, we also have to make the acceptable kinds of multiclassing mechanically viable.

It is allowed, but with restrictions usually. No dips. If you add a new class, you have to stay that class for 3 levels before switching again.
This? This is golden. The only thing I would suggest is that instead of the mininum being 3 levels, it is some reasonable fraction of your character level-- say 1/4 or 1/5-- so that multiclassing becomes an ongoing cost throughout the character's career.

Say... maybe it costs one (half-)feat to multiclass, with the above restriction, and then a second feat that provides a sort of "multige" benefit like the theurge classes from 3.5?

And sometimes no multi-classing as two casters of the same power type, meaning not being two different classes that are both divine magic or two that are both arcane, which is mainly for a homebrew setting.
Reminiscent of AD&D, where classes were grouped into categories-- Warrior, Rogue, Priest, Mage, and Psionicist-- and valid multiclass combinations couldn't include more than one class from the same category.

I think the biggest cause of drawing players to multiclassing is that most capstones are exponentially less useful than the first lv of another class.
Most games don't get to 20 but I think it would help.
It's racial level limits all over again. The capstones are great if you're assuming the game's going to hit 20... but games rarely do and even if they do hit it eventually, it's a long way away for most of it.

SpyCraft handled this by giving each class a unique ability that was only granted to characters who took that class at first level.
 

One of my kids just discovered the multi-classing option. I told him that he had to justify how it either fit with his character's personality or how it was triggered by an in-game event.
 

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