log in or register to remove this ad

 

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

TwoSix

Unserious gamer
Supporter
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)
I like this concept. Spell slot access is nice, but spell access is king. And you're giving spell slots that are slightly higher than a 10/10 split would get, but just under what a hypothetical 14/14 split would be.

I think 14th level max is probably right around the sweet spot for this; I'd probably have their progression stop at levels 2,5,8,12,15,18 (+1 every other level).

I'd say my only other thing is that I'd like to see double martial concepts get something for having 2 copies of Extra Attack. I don't know what exactly, I just think they need something to make them more compelling.
 

log in or register to remove this ad

NotAYakk

Legend
I like this concept. Spell slot access is nice, but spell access is king. And you're giving spell slots that are slightly higher than a 10/10 split would get, but just under what a hypothetical 14/14 split would be.

I think 14th level max is probably right around the sweet spot for this; I'd probably have their progression stop at levels 2,5,8,12,15,18 (+1 every other level).

I'd say my only other thing is that I'd like to see double martial concepts get something for having 2 copies of Extra Attack. I don't know what exactly, I just think they need something to make them more compelling.
If 20 = 14+14, you end up with 28 levels of features over 20 levels of advancement and you still have dead levels?

I'd rather have 1 level of advancement per level, and 8 levels where it doubles up, than 14 double levels and 6 dead ones.
 

Horwath

Hero
I like this concept. Spell slot access is nice, but spell access is king. And you're giving spell slots that are slightly higher than a 10/10 split would get, but just under what a hypothetical 14/14 split would be.

I think 14th level max is probably right around the sweet spot for this; I'd probably have their progression stop at levels 2,5,8,12,15,18 (+1 every other level).

I'd say my only other thing is that I'd like to see double martial concepts get something for having 2 copies of Extra Attack. I don't know what exactly, I just think they need something to make them more compelling.

2 copies of extra attack could be extra ASI
 

TwoSix

Unserious gamer
Supporter
If 20 = 14+14, you end up with 28 levels of features over 20 levels of advancement and you still have dead levels?

I'd rather have 1 level of advancement per level, and 8 levels where it doubles up, than 14 double levels and 6 dead ones.
It's a requirement for the OP's stated goal of a merged multiclass system. I'm not arguing it's the superior method (a patch that buffs up standard 5e multiclassing in cases of near even splits is good too), but I prefer to give posters advice based on what they say they're looking for.
 

I had very rough hybrid rules. I never went far with them because it felt too easy to abuse, I think. The drawback to this method, as always, is complexity.

The goals I had were:
  1. Multiclass characters should sacrifice overall power in exchange for increased versatility.
  2. Players should make a class selection at character creation time, and then follow that progression throughout the game.
  3. The character advancement table should be the same. The system should use the standard XP tables, standard proficiency bonuses, and standard hit dice progression. If a level 9 Wizard has a +4 proficiency bonus on weapon attacks, it doesn’t make sense that a level 10 Fighter/Rogue would have less than that. Retaining XP progression means that all experience reward methods continue to work.
  4. The system should be as simple and straightforward as possible, introducing as few new game elements as it can. The design should favor less elegant designs that reuse existing elements of the game instead of creating entirely new designs.
  5. Retain rules from a la carte multiclassing for stacking and ability score prerequisites.
Hybrid Multiclassing Rules

Select two or three classes. Then:

1. Multiclassing sacrifices the benefits of specialization, so multiclass characters never gain any abilities from archetypes (though see the feat below). You should select a subclass normally; you just don’t gain any abilities as a result of that selection. This harms some classes much more than others. Ranger in particular is significantly weaker than it would be otherwise.

2. Skill proficiencies: Select two of your classes. Select two skills from either of the skill lists for the selected classes. If one or more of the selected classes is Bard, Ranger, or Rogue, instead select three skills from either of the skill lists for the selected classes.

3. Save proficiencies: Select one of your classes. Gain the save proficiencies for that class.

4. Weapon, armor, tool, and vehicle proficiencies: Combine the weapon, armor, tool, and vehicle proficiencies of all your classes.

You gain levels normally, and your level is used to determine your proficiency bonus and hit dice. This level is referred to as you "character level". However, your class ability level is reduced, so you will not gain new abilities each character level. This second level is referred to as your "class level".

5. Proficiency bonus: Your character level determines your proficiency bonus. A level 11 Fighter/Wizard has the proficiency bonus of a level 11 character.

6. Hit dice: Alternate hit dice each level, so a Fighter/Wizard would use d10, then d6, then d10, then d6, etc. A Fighter/Rogue/Wizard would use d10 -> d8 -> d6 -> d10 -> d8 -> d6, etc. You always rotate your HD earned like this. A level 13 Fighter/Rogue/Wizard would have 5d10 + 4d8 + 4d6 Hit Dice. You always gain the largest hit die first.

7. Use the chart below to determine your character's class ability levels. Your character has the abilities of the class ability level. Thus, a level 5 Fighter/Wizard has a class ability level of 3, and has the class abilities of a 3rd level Fighter, and the class abilities of a 3rd level Wizard. However, such a character would have a +3 proficiency bonus that a 5th level character has, and would have 3d10 + 2d6 Hit Dice from levels. Again, you never select any class paths, so you never gain any abilities tied to class paths (though, see the feat below).

Character LevelProficiency BonusNumber of Hit DiceDouble Class Hit DieTriple Class Hit DieFast Class Ability LevelFast Class ASIMedium Class Ability LevelMedium Class Ability Level RoundedMedium Class ASISlow Class Ability LevelSlow Class ASI
1+211st Class1st Class1111
2+222nd Class2nd Class1111
3+231st Class3rd Class2121
4+242nd Class1st Class3221
5+351st Class2nd Class3332
6+362nd Class3rd Class4YES342
7+371st Class1st Class544YES3
8+382nd Class2nd Class6453
9+491st Class3rd Class6554YES
10+4102nd Class1st Class7664
11+4111st Class2nd Class8YES674
12+4122nd Class3rd Class9775
13+5131st Class1st Class9785
14+5142nd Class2nd Class1088YES6
15+5151st Class3rd Class11996
16+5162nd Class1st Class12YES9107
17+6171st Class2nd Class1210107
18+6182nd Class3rd Class1310118YES
19+6191st Class1st Class1411118
20+6202nd Class2nd Class151212YES9


For the curious, the fast class level formula is character level * 0.75 rounded down. Medium is class ability level = character level * 0.60 rounded down or up (hadn't decided) and slow is 0.45 rounded down. Minimum level is 1, obviously.

8. When a character gains an ASI at class levels 4, 8 and 12, the character gains only one ASI, not an ASI from each class. Similarly, abilities described in the multiclass section as overlapping, such as Extra Attack, still overlap with hybrid multiclassing.

9. For spellcasting slots, use your character level and the combined spellcasting chart in the multiclassing chapter to determine your slots. If one of your classes is Bard, Cleric, Druid, Sorcerer, or Wizard, then your character slots are determined by your character level. If none of your classes is Bard, Cleric, Druid, Sorcerer, or Wizard and one of your classes is Artificer, Paladin or Ranger, you have spell slots equal to half your character level. For example, a level 10 Ranger/Rogue has class abilities as a 7th level Ranger and as a 7th level Rogue. However, for spellcasting, Ranger lets you use half your character level instead. You would use your character level 10 divided by 2 = 5 and would use the level 5 chart for determining your spells per level. For another example, a level 11 Fighter/Wizard has a class ability level of 8. You would use the level 11 on the spellcasting chart to determine the number of spell slots per day, but would prepare spells as an 8th level Wizard.

10. Some other class abilities may also use the class ability level instead of the character level. [I had some ideas what these should be at one point, but I've forgotten.]

At this point, I would do some playtesting. Where things are at above is what I think would be slightly overpowered. My guess is that there's some discrepancy in balance between the two class and three class level charts. I'd step down the factor 0.05 each time. The balanced factor might be closer to 0.15 lower than it is above, so two class might need to be down to 0.60 (level 20 = 12), and three class might need to go down as far as 0.45 (level 20 = 9).

The skill, save, and proficiency rules could be made a whole lot more complex to add flexibility, but I don't really feel like that's worthwhile.

Available Class Combinations and Balance

You'd have to make some special rules, I'm sure. Warlocks and clerics are a bit generic without the abilities from their paths. Certain ability combinations are really good, like Fighter/Paladin character level 15 on fast, or Fighter/Rogue/Paladin at character level 19 on medium. My guess is that there are some combinations that are simply too good, so you might need to limit the classes or class combinations in some way.

Some tables will discover that certain class combinations are significantly more powerful or less powerful than others. Therefore, it is recommended that tables restrict players to selecting class combinations from a prescribed list rather than allowing any combination of classes. Warlock and Paladin offer significant advantages, while Ranger has significant disadvantages due to the class structure.

New Feats

Hybrid Specialization
Prerequisite: Hybrid multiclassing, Class ability level of 4 or higher

Choose one of of your hybrid classes. You gain all class features and associated benefits that you would gain for your chosen archetype for that class up to your current hybrid class ability level. As your hybrid class ability level increases, you gain any new features from the chosen class’s archetype at the appropriate hybrid class ability level.
 

Lanefan

Victoria Rules
At this point, I would do some playtesting.
Some?

I've been playtesting multiclass rules for coming up 40 years and still don't have it right. Probably never will... :)

Available Class Combinations and Balance

You'd have to make some special rules, I'm sure. Warlocks and clerics are a bit generic without the abilities from their paths. Certain ability combinations are really good, like Fighter/Paladin character level 15 on fast, or Fighter/Rogue/Paladin at character level 19 on medium. My guess is that there are some combinations that are simply too good, so you might need to limit the classes or class combinations in some way.
One quick blanket ban that'll cover quite a few possibly-broken combos is to not allow multiclassing within the same class group. So, a class within the Warrior group cannot multi with another Warrior class; a class within the Wizard group cannot multi with another Wizard class, etc.

Then it's be up to you-as-DM to decide which classes fall in which group (some are obvious, others not so much) and whether a few classes could stand alone and thus multi with anything.
 


I mean I wouldn't run a campaign on it without a caveat wall mural on these rules.

I've been playtesting multiclass rules for coming up 40 years and still don't have it right. Probably never will... :)

One quick blanket ban that'll cover quite a few possibly-broken combos is to not allow multiclassing within the same class group. So, a class within the Warrior group cannot multi with another Warrior class; a class within the Wizard group cannot multi with another Wizard class, etc.

Then it's be up to you-as-DM to decide which classes fall in which group (some are obvious, others not so much) and whether a few classes could stand alone and thus multi with anything.

Yeah, that is one of the more obvious and straightforward solutions. However, at the same time I like the idea of a Fighter/Barbarian, for example, and I'm more than a little disappointed if that can't be made to work. Then you have classes like Bard and Cleric, and it's not clear how those fit in. Like level 15 Fighter/Paladin is a crazy power spike because you get Extra Attack (2) and Improved Divine Smite. However... is it really outside of the power level we'd expect from a level 15 character? That is, it it just because you'd be behind at level 14?

I think initially I'd want to limit PCs to the traditional class combinations from AD&D, but I can't imagine any of the players at my table not asking for one of the banned combinations.
 

dmhelp

Villager
Again, you never select any class paths, so you never gain any abilities tied to class paths (though, see the feat below).
I kind of like that. But it exacerbates my dead level problem and I would prefer it a little simpler than your chart. See below (the solution to dead levels I came up with is too complex for my liking).

I'd rather have 1 level of advancement per level, and 8 levels where it doubles up, than 14 double levels and 6 dead ones.

Okay here is an attempt to remove dead levels (it is a little awkward to write your levels as you have to say level 19 Fighter 14/Wizard 13). I'm not sure I like it because it feels awkward. Is there a less clunky way to not have dead levels?
  • Choose two classes to be advanced in simultaneously and write the class as 1st Class/2nd Class (e.g. a Fighter/Wizard has Fighter as the 1st Class and Wizard as the 2nd Class)


Character Level​

1st Class Level​

2nd Class Level​

Proficiency Bonus​

1​

1​

1​

2​

2​

2​

1​

2​

3​

2​

2​

2​

4​

3​

3​

2​

5​

4​

4​

3​

6​

5​

5​

3​

7​

6​

5​

3​

8​

6​

6​

3​

9​

7​

7​

4​

10​

8​

8​

4​
etcetcetcetc
 
Last edited:

Quartz

Adventurer
This all seems an awful hassle and the main issue is spell slots. What about the features of the martial classes? Why no concern over the Fighter's third attack or the Paladin's radiant damage boost? (Both at 11th level.)

It seems to me that what you really want is a spellcaster that can do other stuff. So why not borrow from 4E and use feats instead? Your primary class is the spellcasting class and to gain features from the other class you use feats. This avoids all the problems with spell progression, Proficiency Bonus, and so on.
 

dmhelp

Villager
I made a variant that gives 2 class levels at certain character levels(average HP at those levels).
otherwise multiclass as 5e rules, but classes must be within 1 level of each other.

Extra levels are at levels: 5,8,11,14,17,20

that is: level 5 is 3/3 split, level 8 is 5/5, level 11 is 7/7, level 14 is 9/9, level 17 is 11/11 and level 20 goes to 13/13 class levels.

I think I'm going to work on something like that next as it is a lot simpler. But you are giving extra hp? I'd like to have them stay at one hit die per level so I'll probably just have certain levels accelerate your class features by +1 in both classes (maybe 5, 9, 13, 17) so you still end up with 20 dice at level 20 but end up with 14/14 features.
 

Horwath

Hero
I think I'm going to work on something like that next as it is a lot simpler. But you are giving extra hp? I'd like to have them stay at one hit die per level so I'll probably just have certain levels accelerate your class features by +1 in both classes (maybe 5, 9, 13, 17) so you still end up with 20 dice at level 20 but end up with 14/14 features.

no extra HPs.

your HPs are average on levels where you get both features.
I.E. fighter wizard gets 5HPs(d8) on those levels.
 

Halloween Horror For 5E

Advertisement2

Advertisement4

Top