Variant: Multiclassing


First Post
I like the concept of an universal skeleton of level benefits for all classes. I also like the concept of taking feats to borrow class features and powers instead of level-by-level multiclassing. What I, and several people I've discussed the matter with, do not like in 4e, is the actual implementation of feat-based multiclassing in 4e.

If you feel multiclassing in 4e is too restrictive and too costly, and don't appreciate not being able to effectively make a two-weapon fighter or rogue that is not primarily a ranger (or some similar combination), I invite you to appreciate my own approach to multiclassing, and add any comments to further improve it.

So, let's set some primary points.

* Classic fighting styles should be decently availible, and very early so, to all classes, even if at a cost and even if not necessarily at 1st level.

* Swapping powers should not cost one feat per power. After all, you already paid a feat to multiclass, and you're not actually getting anything extra, you're just getting more options. The result is more likely to be of a different flavor than of a greater power.

* Powers within a same class role tend to differ merely in flavor, and very little in function. Powers from different class roles, however, usually differ greatly in function and broaden a character's tactical options. For this reason, swapping powers from different roles should face more restrictions than swapping within the same role.

Now, let's get to it.

First, the three power-swap feats become a single one, with no level requirement. Once you take the Power Swap feat, you may trade your primary class powers for powers from your second class, within the following boundaries. For each class power category (at-will attack, encounter attack, daily attack, and utility), you may not have more powers from your second class than from your primary class. This means you can swap one at-will attack at 1st level, then one encounter attack at 3rd level and so on.

Second, if you multiclass into a different role, the highest-level power in each aformentioned category must be from your primary class. This means a 3rd-level fighter/ranger can have a 3rd-level fighter encounter attack and a 1st-level ranger encounter attack, but not a 3rd-level ranger encounter attack instead. A 3rd-level fighter/paladin, however, can have a 3rd-level paladin encounter attack if he so chooses, because he multiclassed within his original role.

In the particular case of a character multiclassed into a warlock, since he already gets a pact at-will attack from the Pact Initiate feat (although as an encounter attack), the only at-will attack he may gain by swapping is eldritch blast.

So, Paragon Multiclassing now requires only 2 feats instead of 4. At 11th level, in a turn in which you use an action point, you may use the power or feature gained by your initiate multiclassing feat without expending it, and even if it is already expended. You do not have to use the power as the extra action, but you must use it in the same turn you take the action point's extra action in order to enjoy this benefit.

At 16th level, the use limitation of this power or feature becomes the same as the actual class. For example, a character multiclassed into cleric would now be able to use healing word twice per encounter, instead of just once per day. If it becomes an at-will power, you gain a +3 bonus to the attack roll when using it with an action point as described above.

In order to make this work smoothly and elegantly, we will change the benefits of Arcane Initiate and Student of the Sword as follows:

Arcane Initiate (Int 13) [Multiclass Wizard]: Gain training in Arcana, gain all Cantrips (as a matter of concept coherence) and gain Arcane Implement Mastery 1/day. (As explained above, this can become 1/encounter with Paragon Multiclassing. It also grants access to some feats.)

Student of the Sword (Str 13) [Multiclass Fighter]: Gain training in a single fighter skill, gain Combat Challenge 1/encounter. (As explained above, this can become at-will with Paragon Multiclassing. It also grants access to some feats.)

I think characters multiclassed into cleric or paladin should qualify for divine feats, but giving them Channel Divinity as well as Healing Word or Divine Challenge would just be too good. So, Turn Undead and Divine Favor become feats that require the cleric class, and Divine Mettle and Divine Strength become feats that require the paladin class. By taking one of these feats, the character then qualifies for the other divine feats.

That's it, so far. Any thoughts?
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