log in or register to remove this ad

 

5E Variant Multiclassing (AD&D/Gygax Style), help with play balance

Coroc

Hero
No you are not.

8d6 fireball is very good at 5th level but pretty bad at 10th level. At 10th level it's more of a mook mop-up spell.

Same with extra attack.

Not to mention that you still can't do 2 things at once(except one instance of Action surge). You can either attack or cast a spell.

at 11th level(start of tier 3) every 6/5 split is worse than any single class of 11th level(well, maybe not ranger or monk :p ).
you can maybe make some cheesy 3/8 or 2/9 dip that could go above 11th single class power level, but this suggestion is also to prevent 1-3 level dips.
You might be right, but by theory it should still be a playable char, eventually a bit weaker but still able to be run with single class of the same total level. Or do i read to much into 5e s principles?
 

log in or register to remove this ad

dmhelp

Villager
One issue you'll have is that giving them the hit points from the lowest class creates a similar issue to giving them the hit points from the highest class--it makes the other class in the combination irrelevant. Part of the feature of a barbarian is that it has d12s, etc. You're really best off finding a way that feels satisfying to make the hit points more or less in the middle. You might want to use a chart where it tells you what HD to used based on what the HD of the 2 classes are, if you don't want to end up with things like D7s and D9s. One way you could handle odd averages is to give them the hit points per level from one class's hit die, but the actual HD size (for rolling HD) of the other class. You might say you take the average HD, and if it's an odd number you round down, but then give them one extra hit point per level. So a fighter/wizard just has d8s, while a barbarian/wizard also has d8s, but gains 6 hp per level (9 hp at 1st level) rather than 5 hp per level and 8 hp at 1st level.
How about:
  • Take the average dice size (rounded down to the closest even sided die) for hit points gained on each character level (e.g. a Fighter/Rogue would receive 1d8 sized hit dice instead of 1d9)
I kind of think the multiclass level cap should be 14 (similar to Horwath's ended up at 13). Initial feedback on Giant in the Playground was that that was too weak and it wasn't worth playing.
 

How about:
  • Take the average dice size (rounded down to the closest even sided die) for hit points gained on each character level (e.g. a Fighter/Rogue would receive 1d8 sized hit dice instead of 1d9)
I kind of think the multiclass level cap should be 14 (similar to Horwath's ended up at 13). Initial feedback on Giant in the Playground was that that was too weak and it wasn't worth playing.

Just rounding HD size down is simplest, but it might not be totally satisfying, as a Fighter/Rogue gets the same hit points as a Fighter/Wizard, for instance.

I agree that 14 is too weak.
 

Horwath

Hero
How about:
  • Take the average dice size (rounded down to the closest even sided die) for hit points gained on each character level (e.g. a Fighter/Rogue would receive 1d8 sized hit dice instead of 1d9)
I kind of think the multiclass level cap should be 14 (similar to Horwath's ended up at 13). Initial feedback on Giant in the Playground was that that was too weak and it wasn't worth playing.

if you go with my suggestion, then you average dice on "dual-levels". first round down, then round up.

I.E. 8th level fighter rogue(5/5 split), would have 4d10 and 4d8 for HD. at 5th level d8/d10 would round down to d8 and at 8th level it would round up to d10.

8th level fighter/wizard would have 3d10, 3d6 and 2d8 as average on 5th and 8th level

8th level barbarian/wizard would have 3d12, 3d6, one d8 as round down on 5th level and one d10 as round up on 8th level.

or if you do not want to hassle yourself with adding 3rd or 4th size of HDs just have lower HD on 5th, 11th, and 17th level. And higher HD at 8th, 14th and 20th level.
 

NotAYakk

Legend
I'd approach this from the other side.

Fix baseline 5e MC, then enforce balance.

1. Your caster slot progression is as written in 5e
2. Max spell level is your class level, plus half of other class levels, capped at 2x your class level.
3. Extra Attack(2) can be moved up if you have 2 core classed that get it ehen their level sums to 5. You delay other class festures by a level.
4. If you get a 2nd extra attack(2), you skip it and get 1 level higher class features.

A cleric 10/wizard 10 has full slots and 8th level spells of both; that is close to L20 character power.

Now do some charts and mandate MC to be within 1 level of each other.

Barb 3/Fighter 2 has L2 Barb/Fighter features and extra attack(2). At level 5/5 they have L6 fighter L5 barb or vice versa.

At level 20 they have extra attack(3) and barb 10 features probably. That is a solid build.
 

Horwath

Hero
I'd approach this from the other side.

Fix baseline 5e MC, then enforce balance.

1. Your caster slot progression is as written in 5e
2. Max spell level is your class level, plus half of other class levels, capped at 2x your class level.
3. Extra Attack(2) can be moved up if you have 2 core classed that get it ehen their level sums to 5. You delay other class festures by a level.
4. If you get a 2nd extra attack(2), you skip it and get 1 level higher class features.

A cleric 10/wizard 10 has full slots and 8th level spells of both; that is close to L20 character power.

Now do some charts and mandate MC to be within 1 level of each other.

Barb 3/Fighter 2 has L2 Barb/Fighter features and extra attack(2). At level 5/5 they have L6 fighter L5 barb or vice versa.

At level 20 they have extra attack(3) and barb 10 features probably. That is a solid build.

this has put a small band aid on martial multiclass and big one on dual casters.
and did next to nothing to rogue/class X-martial multiclass
 

TwoSix

Unserious gamer
Supporter
2. Max spell level is your class level, plus half of other class levels, capped at 2x your class level.
I feel like "add half your other levels, cap at twice your levels in the class" is really a solid progression.

Idea I'm tossing around: Instead of gaining a subclass, you can choose to add half your levels in one class to the levels in another class for the purposes of gaining class features. The amount of levels you can add is capped at the number of levels you have in the class.

For example, you can forgo your fighter subclass to add half your fighter levels to your effective wizard level, so that a fighter 6/wizard 6 effectively has all the features of a wizard 9. If they were a fighter 6/wizard 2, they would only cast as a wizard 4 (since the levels that can be added is capped at 2 because they only have 2 wizard levels.)

You can do this for any of your classes, but you're not required to do it for every class. So if you really want your subclass feature, you can do it.
 

NotAYakk

Legend
this has put a small band aid on martial multiclass and big one on dual casters.
and did next to nothing to rogue/class X-martial multiclass
Rogue/Martial is well within the bounds of fine?

Gloomastelker Ranger 10/AT Rogue 10 works.
Champion Fighter 10/Thief Rogue 10 does as well. Admittedly Champ 11/Rogue 9 would be even better.
EK 10/AT 10 (casts like an EK/AT level 17).

As a DPR analysis, Champ 10/AT 10, elf.
Uses shadowblade for advantage and 2d8 weapon damage main hand, +2 dagger offhand (draws on turn 2).

2 attacks, 19-20 crit range, 20 dex, elven accuracy. Against AC 20.

+11 to hit, hits on a 9+. 94% accuracy, 27% crit rate with SB, 70%/10% with dagger.

Do a crit-fish where you only use a sneak attack if your miss chance is greater than your crit chance on your last attack (which is always a 94% accuracy 27% crit chance attack):

(no bonus action) is 1.88 hits and 0.54 crits 46% sneak attack crits 96% sneak attack hits. 2.42 * 9 + 1.88*5 + 1.42 * 17.5 = 56.3
(bonus action) 1.88 SB hits 0.54 SB crits 0.7 dagger hits 0.1 dagger crits 52% sneak attack crits 96% sneak attack hits. 2.42 * 9 + 1.88 *5 + 0.8 * 2.5 + 0.7 * 7 + 25.9 = 64.0

Use action surge to ready an action and attack off turn for 112.6 first round, then 64 damage per round after.

Lack of Rogue splitting is mainly, in my experience, because the Rogue doesn't optimize that well. You might dip 1 for expertise.
I feel like "add half your other levels, cap at twice your levels in the class" is really a solid progression.
Note that I'm only doing this for some of the caster class features -- namely, spell level cap.
Idea I'm tossing around: Instead of gaining a subclass, you can choose to add half your levels in one class to the levels in another class for the purposes of gaining class features. The amount of levels you can add is capped at the number of levels you have in the class.

For example, you can forgo your fighter subclass to add half your fighter levels to your effective wizard level, so that a fighter 6/wizard 6 effectively has all the features of a wizard 9. If they were a fighter 6/wizard 2, they would only cast as a wizard 4 (since the levels that can be added is capped at 2 because they only have 2 wizard levels.)

You can do this for any of your classes, but you're not required to do it for every class. So if you really want your subclass feature, you can do it.
This is a no-brainer for a 2 level dip in a class that doesn't provide subclass features.

And I think subclasses aren't as strong as half another classes full class features. Except HD, of course.

Maybe if you had to do it for both branches?

So fighter(mc)6/wizard(mc)6 would have the features of a fighter 9/wizard 9 and 6 fighter HD/6 wizard HD and be a level 12 character.

A fighter(mc)10/wizard(mc)10 would be a 15/15 character, have 8th level spells and 3 attacks.
 

TwoSix

Unserious gamer
Supporter
Note that I'm only doing this for some of the caster class features -- namely, spell level cap.
Oh, I know. I was extending it as an interesting general principle to explore.

This is a no-brainer for a 2 level dip in a class that doesn't provide subclass features.
Not sure I follow. It doesn't function unless you sacrifice your subclass, it's like taking a different subclass option.

And I think subclasses aren't as strong as half another classes full class features. Except HD, of course.

Maybe if you had to do it for both branches?

So fighter(mc)6/wizard(mc)6 would have the features of a fighter 9/wizard 9 and 6 fighter HD/6 wizard HD and be a level 12 character.

A fighter(mc)10/wizard(mc)10 would be a 15/15 character, have 8th level spells and 3 attacks.
Well, that's kind of the rub, right? We don't have any metric to tell us how much some extra levels of class features are worth. We just have to build some examples and do a gut evaluation.

My gut feeling says that gaining extra levels in a class IS worth than a subclass in most cases, but that's good, because otherwise splitting your classes isn't worthwhile.
 

NotAYakk

Legend
Not sure I follow. It doesn't function unless you sacrifice your subclass, it's like taking a different subclass option.
So for a fighter, you can't pick this until level 3?
Well, that's kind of the rub, right? We don't have any metric to tell us how much some extra levels of class features are worth. We just have to build some examples and do a gut evaluation.

My gut feeling says that gaining extra levels in a class IS worth than a subclass in most cases, but that's good, because otherwise splitting your classes isn't worthwhile.
Being forced to do it for 2 classes (as a pair) reduces the combinatorial explosion a bit (having to check X level dips), and is closer to the OP's plan anyhow.

---

So, OP, a proposal:

1) When multiclassing, you cannot gain a level that is more than 1 level ahead of another class you have.
2) You can only have 2 classes.
3) You cannot start a multiclass after level 10.
4) The non-spellcasting slot features you have are equal to your level in the class, plus half of the levels of your other class. This cannot more than double the levels in a class, except HD.
5) If you are multiclasses into two classes that gain Extra Attack(2) at level 5, and their levels sum to 5, you can choose to delay class features from the higher class by 1 level and take Extra Attack(2) instead, until it catches up to level 5.
6) If you gain Extra Attack(2) again, you instead advance the non-spellcasting features of the class by 1.
7) Spellcasting slots remain as standard MC rules, but the spells you can gain access to are as rule 4. You might not have the slot to cast spells you can learn (but you could use them for ritual casting, for example) unless you are a caster/caster multiclass.

So a Fighter 4/Rogue 3 has the features of Fighter 5/Rogue 4 and is a level 7 PC. They have 2 ASIs, 2 attacks, 2d6 sneak attack, etc.

A Fighter 10/Rogue 10 has the features of a Fighter 15/Rogue 15.

An EK 10/Wizard 10 has access to 3rd level EK spells, 8th level Wizard spells, and 7th level slots (level 13 spellcasting slots). Their 8th level Wizard spells are only useful for rituals, and has 3 attacks (fighter 15 features).

---

I suspect this might help many classes in the back 10 (level 11 to 20), because of the shortage of features there. Multiclass characters never get access to Wish (level 9 spells), but a caster/caster multiclass has access to 8th level spells in both classes.
 

Lanefan

Victoria Rules
Hit dice are combined together and divided by the number of classes and rounded down.

A fighter/mage/rogue would have d10+d6+d8 for a total of 24/3 or d8. A fighter cleric would have (10+8)/2 or 9 rounding down to d8.
Picky question, but why would you round down instead of just giving the F-C a d9 hit die?
 

Lanefan

Victoria Rules
Having read through the thread, the idea - while good in principle - IMHO doesn't go quite far enough.

First off, it'll only work well if you a) use real actual xp rather than milestone and b) allow each class to advance completely independent of the other. Level-up in either class happens when it happens (or when training is done, depending on your table rules).

Once you've done those you can then open up the flexibility to allow for uneven class splits - the player has to declare what % of earned xp is going into each class (can change between adventures, perhaps) such that a character can in effect have a primary and secondary class. So, I could be a 90% Fighter 10% Cleric, functioning as a Fighter most of the time with the Cleric side there mostly to provide the occasional emergency cure or, later, divination.

Every time I get xp, 90% of them go into Fighter and 10% of them go into Cleric and I run a separate xp track for each side. Yes this is a bit more math for me-as-player, so what: I brought it on myself. :) When the Fighter side bumps, it bumps. When the Cleric side bumps, it bumps.

Oh, and you get all the benefits of each class unless there's overlap, in which case you (usually) get the better. Thus when needing a save, for example, a 50-50 Fighter-Cleric would roll against whichever class gave the better result. Hit points, you take an average rounded normally. A 50-50 F-C would use a d9 hit die, the 90-10 example I use above would be about a d9.75 which rounds up to a d10.

The drawback, of course, is that after 1st level (which is the only time a two-class character really rocks) you're forever behind in level, eventually significantly so.

There'd be some tweaking required to the advancement table, particularly at higher levels, to keep the power levels vaguely the same between single-classers and double-classers. Certain class combinations would almost certainly need to be hard-banned, also a hard limit of two classes per character - no dipping.
 


howandwhy99

Adventurer
If you want to go pre-3e, you need to ditch Character Level. Something baked in 5e.

Before 2000 every class was scored separately, so a Ftr5/Clr6 was not at all an 11th level character. Rather they composited advancement along two different game paths and were perhaps balanced with single class characters of 1 level higher - at most.
 

Lanefan

Victoria Rules
Mostly because I don't have d9 dice. I could use an online die roller but otherwise, I prefer to round down to the nearest standard die size.
You've almost certainly got tons of d9s kicking around. They're cleverly disguised as d10s, only if you roll '0' you roll again. :)
 

Lanefan

Victoria Rules
If you want to go pre-3e, you need to ditch Character Level. Something baked in 5e.

Before 2000 every class was scored separately, so a Ftr5/Clr6 was not at all an 11th level character. Rather they composited advancement along two different game paths and were perhaps balanced with single class characters of 1 level higher - at most.
This is exactly what I'm getting at with my post a few upthread, with the independent advancing.

I suspect in 5e the balance point might be about 1 level in 5 (thus a 4-4 matches a 5th, an 8-8 matches a 10th, a 12-12 matches a 15th, etc.) but that's just a guess. It'd take huge gobs of trial and error to a) figure out a good balance point and b) figure out what class combinations are either bannably broken or holelessly weak.
 


dmhelp

Villager
Going along with my rules I've figured out how to tweak the spell slot progression:
  • Character level determines hp, proficiency, cantrip damage, and, if a double caster combination (e.g. Sorcerer/Warlock), spell slots per day (based on the most favorable class treating Warlocks as a full caster, see examples at end)
  • Multiclass level determines class features, spells known/prepared, and, if a caster/non caster combination (e.g. Barbarian/Druid), spell slots per day
  • Warlock double casters treat Mystic Arcanum spells as additional spells known which require spell slots and can be upcast regularly
Double Caster Examples:
A character level 20 Eldritch Knight/Arcane Trickster gains spell slots as a level 20 third caster (Eldritch Knight or Arcane Trickster)
A character level 20 Eldritch Knight/Paladin gains spell slots as a level 20 half caster (Paladin or Ranger)
A character level 20 Cleric/Paladin gains spell slots as a level 20 full caster (Bard, Cleric, Druid, Sorcerer, or Wizard)
A character level 20 Paladin/Warlock gains spell slots as a level 20 full caster (instead of pact magic progression)

Caster/Non Caster Examples (I used 14/14 as the example level 20 equivalency here):
A character level 20 Eldritch Knight/Assassin gains spell slots as a level 14 third caster
A character level 20 Four Elements Monk/Sorcerer gains spell slots as a level 14 full caster
A character level 20 Barbarian/Warlock gains spell slots as a level 14 Warlock (standard pact magic progression)
 


Horwath

Hero
An 11th level Ranger can have Hunter's Mark up all day.

in case that this isn't sarcasm...


at the cost of all 3 3rd level slots. that require concentration to mantain and ranger is without constitution save proficiencies.
Paladin at 11th level has +1d8 holy damage on all melee attacks.
 

Advertisement2

Advertisement4

Top