A post in support of revising multiclass feats

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From this week's Rule of Three:
As far as what I might change now about the 4th Edition multiclassing system, I would be tempted to take a hard look at the “setup” feats that open up multiclassing. They are generally very strong, and in many cases offer better options for improving your character than non-multiclassing feats. It’s simply too tempting to take a multiclassing feat with no intention of ever moving your character concept in that direction. For example, I’ve made plenty of characters who eventually wind up with Warrior of the Wild, because it’s Skill Training plus 7 (or 14, or 21) points of damage per encounter. On the “back side” of those initial access feats, making characters pay a feat for each power swap is pretty expensive; I wish the buy-in was a little less good or a little pricier, and the continuing investment a little cheaper. I don’t see a way to do that without singling out specific feats and nerfing them, however, and I suspect that is not something the audience wants us to do.


If what it takes to create a more functional and less feat intensive multiclass system is the nerfing of some or all of the multiclass entry feats, then I would be completely in favor of such a change. The current state of feat based multiclassing, especially paragon multiclassing, is just screaming out for revision.
Well you could also look at the multiclassing rules in general.

would there be a way to make the sytem better with changes to the multiclassing section without having to errata a lot of feats.

for example in the multi classing section it is determin that you get acces to the feats of a class when you take the initial feat for that class.
so you could move gaining acess to class feats to another spot in the multiclass advancement without having to change al the initial feats.

also what feats you need to have to qualify for paragorn multiclass is in this section.

an idea you could play with would be somthing like this:
1 new feat that counts as an initial multiclass feat, granting you access to feats of i class.

the current initial feats stay as they are ( with exepton they no longer give feat access.

Novice Power Acolyte Power Adept Power, would be erratad with the line that you could take them multiple times and all would be available from lvl 4

in the multiclass rules the qualification for paragorn multiclass would be changed to you must have at least 3 multiclass feats.

so you could qualify with difrent feat combinations.
feat acess, the normal initial feat and 1 power swap.
Feat acess and 2 power swaps.
normal initial feat, 2 power swaps
3x novice power switching out 3 encounter powers.

would al be valid ways to qualify for paragon multiclass.







 
I proposed an idea for multiclassing to dragon magazine back in the spring and they never got back to me on it. I got an e-mail saying they would send it up the line but nothing after that. I think it was quite a good idea too, but I do have to keep it under my hat in case they ever DO get back to me.
Entry multiclass feat: You count as that class for the purposes of meeting requirements. You may select utility, encounter, and daily powers from your second class when you gain a new power or retrain an old. You may only have one utility, encounter, and daily power from your second class.

Additional multiclass feats: Gain partial class features of your second class, or turn partial class features into full class features.
I am absolutely of the mind that the state of multiclassing right now is really quite poor. Every potentially exciting combination is just shut down by the high cost of entry either of hybridization or the feat cost. While in the past it might've been too free to multiclass here, there, and everywhere... I just think you aren't really getting enough bang for your buck as it stands right now.
Entry multiclass feat: You count as that class for the purposes of meeting requirements. You may select utility, encounter, and daily powers from your second class when you gain a new power or retrain an old. You may only have one utility, encounter, and daily power from your second class.

Additional multiclass feats: Gain partial class features of your second class, or turn partial class features into full class features.


This is pretty much exactly what I do. I have two MC feats per class written out as part of my house rules.

I think I actually like that.  I don't think I'd ever allow 'full' class features, since the general idea is that the multiclasser is the 'dabbler' (the guy who in 3e took 9 levels of Fighter and 1 level of Thief), as opposed to the Hybrid's more involved set up (5/5 Fighter/Thief).  My only caveat is that I would probably still offer skill training, if only because getting extra skills is rare, and no one really takes Skill Training.
Every potentially exciting combination is just shut down by the high cost of entry either of hybridization or the feat cost.



There are many things that could be done to make multiclassing work better without making it overpowered, but if anything hybrids are overpowered as it is right now.  Not every hybrid combo works, even ones where it looks like it should.  But charop has come up with scores, and probably hundreds, of mechanically sound and interesting hybrid combinations.  And those are just the ones that get posted on these boards.

There are many things that could be done to make multiclassing work better without making it overpowered, but if anything hybrids are overpowered as it is right now.  Not every hybrid combo works, even ones where it looks like it should.  But charop has come up with scores, and probably hundreds, of mechanically sound and interesting hybrid combinations.  And those are just the ones that get posted on these boards.



It's not that hybrids are underpowered it's just that they're not... cool... I guess would be the best way to put it. Same goes for the feats. Picking up a MC feat isn't really a bad idea from an optimizer's standpoint but they're just not really ... "shiny". At least not to me or a lot of my players, though mileage varies pretty widely in RPGs.
Pre-PH3, I suggested a change to multiclassing that would make it easier to carry flavor from both classes in one character.  In short, the MC feat would give you a skill, an at-will-as-encounter, you count as member of both classes for prerequisites, and you get access to BOTH classes' power lists at each level.  They sort of took my advice and created the "hybrid", I guess.

I found a particular Warlord feat that I am willing to spend two feats and get for my Warlock, but that is because of events at table (the feat in question affects Death saving throws), not becauae of an optimization or min/max consideration.

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While I do think that it'd be beneficial to compress the three feats into one feat or incorporate it into the multiclassing rules entirely, I'm thinking that part of the problem with multiclassing lies particularly with Paragon Multiclassing; the fact that you spend three feats and access to paragon paths to get less features than a paragon path is rather sad.  In particular, the lack of an AP benefit seems rather sad.

If multiclass = dabbler, and hybrid = dual class, then having the dabbler spend a significant amount of resources to be close to dual class seems, at least thematically, appropriate enough.  However, that expenditure should be worth each feat spent, and PMC in particular should make the sacrifice at least seem worthwhile.

I'm thinking of revising Multiclassing to such:
* Novice Power
Prerequisite: 4th level, any class-specific multiclass feat
Benefit: You can replace an encounter attack power of your level or lower with an encounter attack power from the class you multiclassed into of the same level or lower.
If your original class has the Psionic Augmentation class feature and the class you multiclassed into doesn't, you can instead replace your at-will attack power of your level or lower with an encounter attack power of the same level or lower, and you lose a number of power points based on the power's level: 1-10, 2 power points; 11-20, 4 power points; 21-30, 6 power points.
If your original class doesn't have the Psionic Augmentation class feature and the class you multiclassed into has it, you can instead replace your encounter attack power with an at-will attack power of the same level or lower, but the at-will attack power can only be used once per encounter.  In addition, you gain a number of power points based on the power's level: 1-10, 2 power points; 11-20, 4 power points; 21-30, 6 power points.
If both your original class and the class you multiclassed into have the Psionic Augmentation, you can instead replace your at-will attack power of your level or lower with a at-wll attack power of the same level or lower, but you can only use the power once per encounter.

* Acolyte Power
Prerequisite: 8th level, any class-specific multiclass feat
Benefit: You can replace a utility power of your level or lower with a utility power from the class you multiclassed into of the same level or lower.

* Adept Power
Prerequisite: 10th level, any class-specific multiclass feat
Benefit: You can replace a daily attack power of your level or lower with a daily attack power from the class you multiclassed into of the same level or lower.

Paragon Multiclass
Prerequisite: Any class-specific multiclass feat, Novice Power, Acolyte Power, and Adept Power
Paragon Hero (Level 11)
Benefit: You can replace a level 1 at-will attack power from your original class with an at-will attack power from the class you multiclassed into.

Invigorated Paragon (Level 11)
Benefit: When you spend an action point to take an action, you can instead regain the use of the power you gained via the Novice Power feat.

Paragon Skill (Level 11)
Benefit: You gain the encounter attack power of level 7 or lower from the class you multiclassed into.  If you already gained the chosen power through the Novice Power feat, you instead gain an additional use of the power, but cannot use the power more than once per turn.

Paragon Utility (Level 12)
Benefit: You gain a utility power of 10th level or lower from the class you multiclassed into.  If you already gained the chosen power through the Acolyte Power feat, you instead gain an additional use of the power if it is an encounter or daily power, but cannot use the power more than once per turn.

Paragon Flexibility (Level 16)
Benefit: You gain training in one skill from the skill list of your second class.  In addition, when choosing a utility, encounter attack, or daily attack power from your primary class, you can instead choose from the class you multiclassed into.

Paragon Master (Level 20)
Benefit: You gain a daily attack power of level 19 or lower from the class you multiclassed into.  If you already gained the chosen power through the Adept Power feat, you instead gain an additional use of the power, but cannot use the power more than once per turn. 
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57047238 wrote:
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This is what I believe is the spirit of D&D 4E, and my deal breaker for D&D Next: equal opportunities, with distinct specializations, in areas where conflict happens the most often, without having to worry about heavy micromanagement or system mastery. What I hope to be my most useful contributions to the D&D Community: DM Idea: Collaborative Mapping, Classless 4E (homebrew system, that hopefully helps in D&D Next development), Gamma World 7E random character generator (by yours truly), and the Concept of Perfect Imbalance (for D&D Next and other TRPGs in development) Pre-3E D&D should be recognized for what they were: simulation wargames where people could tell stories with The Best Answer to "Why 4E?" Fun vs. Engaging
Chaosfang, I think multiclassing would still be too expensive in your version. I'd collapse the four required Heroic feats into two - probably with the entry feats also including a utility power when you're suitably high level (but only one per character, no matter how many entry feats you take), and the second feat providing both an encounter and a daily power-swap when you're at suitable levels.

Also I think you need to tighten up the wording on power-point versus non-power-point classes, put that wording in more places, and disallow acquiring the same power more than once.

Then the other non-AEDU classes need to be dealt with, but that's a bit more complex. 

Oh, also, Paragon Multiclass is to be formally defined as a Paragon Path. (Currently it's something you do *instead of* a Paragon Path. So is Paragon Hybrid. Which creates some interesting interactions...)

AND it needs to be specified that the feats to qualify for it must all involve the same target class. (That's an issue with Bards, and with the *original* Windrise Ports background.)

Now, since I've mentioned Hybrids...

Paragon Hybrid also needs to provide greater benefits (and actually be a Paragon Path). Not as desperately as Paragon Multiclass does - a Hybrid Talent equivalent path feature is pretty good - but an action-point benefit would be good. And if Paragon Hybrid would allow you to apply class-restricted hybrid-version features from one of your classes to powers that are *not* from the *other* one of your classes, that could be helpful. (Although the BA-spammers might have messed that idea up. I wish all those classes instead spammed "{Classname} Standard Attack" which could be used in place of a Basic Attack.)

And then we could allow Paragon Hybrid as an alternative to Paragon Multiclass. Specifying that the Hybrid Talent option chosen must be from the class you multiclass into.
 
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Chaosfang, I think multiclassing would still be too expensive in your version. I'd collapse the four required Heroic feats into two - probably with the entry feats also including a utility power when you're suitably high level (but only one per character, no matter how many entry feats you take), and the second feat providing both an encounter and a daily power-swap when you're at suitable levels.

Also I think you need to tighten up the wording on power-point versus non-power-point classes, put that wording in more places, and disallow acquiring the same power more than once.

I basically took the PHB and PHB3 feats and merged them together, as I saw little need to actually separate the three level 4 encounter attack power swaps.

As for allowing the acquisition of the same power, I've essentially placed the same limit as essentials classes, who have multiple uses of the same power, but can only use that power once per turn.

I personally wouldn't mind spending one feat to swap one power -- it's not just the multiclass power swap feats that swap 1:1, after all -- and frankly, if the wording of each feat isn't bad enough now, how would you word your swap-your-encounter-power-point-based-at-will-daily-and-utility feat and, as you put it, "tighten up on the wording"?

Then the other non-AEDU classes need to be dealt with, but that's a bit more complex. 

Oh, also, Paragon Multiclass is to be formally defined as a Paragon Path. (Currently it's something you do *instead of* a Paragon Path. So is Paragon Hybrid. Which creates some interesting interactions...)

That's pretty much the intent of my previous post.

AND it needs to be specified that the feats to qualify for it must all involve the same target class. (That's an issue with Bards, and with the *original* Windrise Ports background.)

Again, that was the intent of my previous post, specifying the three feat prerequisites being Novice Power, Adept Power and Acolyte Power (removing the need to specify that "the feats to qualify for it must all involve the same target class", which can be vary between "target class(es)" -- in short, aren't we supposed to simplify the process and not complicate it?).

And then we could allow Paragon Hybrid as an alternative to Paragon Multiclass. Specifying that the Hybrid Talent option chosen must be from the class you multiclass into.
 

I'd rather keep the concept of hybrids from being too intertwined with multiclassing -- the portion in bold seems to point at hybrids being able to gain a hybrid talent option from the class they multiclassed into, when multiclassing in 4E is more of dabbling rather than half-and-half.
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57047238 wrote:
If you're crossing the street and see a city bus barreling straight toward you with 'GIVE ME YOUR WALLET!' painted across its windshield, you probably won't be reaching for your wallet.
I Don't Always Play Strikers...But When I Do, I Prefer Vampire Stay Thirsty, My Friends
This is what I believe is the spirit of D&D 4E, and my deal breaker for D&D Next: equal opportunities, with distinct specializations, in areas where conflict happens the most often, without having to worry about heavy micromanagement or system mastery. What I hope to be my most useful contributions to the D&D Community: DM Idea: Collaborative Mapping, Classless 4E (homebrew system, that hopefully helps in D&D Next development), Gamma World 7E random character generator (by yours truly), and the Concept of Perfect Imbalance (for D&D Next and other TRPGs in development) Pre-3E D&D should be recognized for what they were: simulation wargames where people could tell stories with The Best Answer to "Why 4E?" Fun vs. Engaging
I am going to disagree and probably get the whole of the forum's fury rained down on me, but paragon multiclassing is fine as is the hybrid paragon option. I feel that if you are looking for your exact combo or idea that wizards has screwed you out of to work, you can make it work. If you are looking to break D&D, well, stop it. If we are truly concerned how D&D is hosing our creativity, then I guess I would say you need to persevere. Get more creative. Don't seek out ways to belittle a game we all enjoy. Work with what you have. You want to house-rule; do it, but please don't say that the system is awful and not ideal. Thank you.

(Hides under bed to hopefully avoid wrath)

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I am going to disagree and probably get the whole of the forum's fury rained down on me, but paragon multiclassing is fine as is the hybrid paragon option. I feel that if you are looking for your exact combo or idea that wizards has screwed you out of to work, you can make it work. If you are looking to break D&D, well, stop it. If we are truly concerned how D&D is hosing our creativity, then I guess I would say you need to persevere. Get more creative. Don't seek out ways to belittle a game we all enjoy. Work with what you have. You want to house-rule; do it, but please don't say that the system is awful and not ideal. Thank you.

(Hides under bed to hopefully avoid wrath)

Personally, the only reason why Paragon Multiclassing and Paragon Hybrid are lacking for me would simply be the lack of an Action Point (level 11) and Level 16 feature; in spite of what every optimizer would say regarding how expensive Paragon Multiclassing is, I've personally made a few Paragon Multiclass characters myself (none of them involving PMCing to Twin Strike, mind you), and they're not that bad when you really want to do a lot of power swapping As I mentioned before, Novice/Acolyte/Adept Power and equivalent multiclass-related feats aren't the only feats that grant power swaps, and as far as I know, those that do offer power swaps tend to do it exactly the same way as the said feats: only 1 power traded off for the power granted by the feat; technically, the Power feats are slightly better than the said feats because they grant a wider selection of powers for exactly the same cost.

The main problem with multiclassing then, would simply be the fact that you spend three feats to gain access to a relatively lackluster Paragon Path -- lackluster because the only good thing about it would be two things:

* access to a feat that grants you one of the second class' class features
* the ability to swap one of your at-wills with an at-will from the second class

Potentially -- due to the lack of a limitation on the power selection choices -- you can take up to two instances of a level 7 or lower encounter attack power (Novice Power, level 11 PMC feature) but that still doesn't remove the fact that you don't do anything special when spending an action point, and level 16 is a "dead spot" for your pseudo-paragon path.
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57047238 wrote:
If you're crossing the street and see a city bus barreling straight toward you with 'GIVE ME YOUR WALLET!' painted across its windshield, you probably won't be reaching for your wallet.
I Don't Always Play Strikers...But When I Do, I Prefer Vampire Stay Thirsty, My Friends
This is what I believe is the spirit of D&D 4E, and my deal breaker for D&D Next: equal opportunities, with distinct specializations, in areas where conflict happens the most often, without having to worry about heavy micromanagement or system mastery. What I hope to be my most useful contributions to the D&D Community: DM Idea: Collaborative Mapping, Classless 4E (homebrew system, that hopefully helps in D&D Next development), Gamma World 7E random character generator (by yours truly), and the Concept of Perfect Imbalance (for D&D Next and other TRPGs in development) Pre-3E D&D should be recognized for what they were: simulation wargames where people could tell stories with The Best Answer to "Why 4E?" Fun vs. Engaging
No, paragon multiclassing is not fine as is.  It was ok pre hybrid and halfelf support, but it is almost always better to go hybrid or half elf at this point.  There are a few twin strike and fighter mass mark builds that can only be done right through PMC, but that is about it. 

It could be made into a competetive choice for a whole lot of other builds with a few minor tweaks.  Reducing the feat cost to 2 instead of 4 or giving a generic level 11/16 feature would be a good enough solution and make it much more competetive without breaking anything.
I suppose you are right in the optimizing realm. However, I disagree that we need to make builds "competitive". If a build is not viable for your campaign, yes, it is sad that your original idea didn't work out to be ideal. This doesn't mean that the system needs to change because your unusual build is not competitive. Build something else. Better yet, play your idea and have fun with it. Not killing/healing/hindering well enough? Who cares if you are having fun! Please take into consideration that the system is flawed on purpose. Perhaps Wizards knew the catastrophic problems that would have hindered the game with "a few minor tweaks". I feel a minor set back in the paragon multiclassing system is rather necessary. For if it were more workable, there would be far more problems than there already are.

This is my opinion and I respect yours. Thank you for producing a good argument and if you would like to discuss it further, please continue.

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I'm pretty sure "Oberoni Fallacy" claims would start flying from this point, or maybe not

In the meantime, if you want to talk suboptimal, that last post by kabooki reminded me of a player of mine whose paragon path in LFR was... absolutely nothing (at least the last time I DMed a game with him).  Not even a racial paragon path, and not even the worst paragon path available, he did not pick any paragon path, and this was a guy who seemed to be not only a veteran in D&D as a whole but had some pretty decent optimization skills both thematically and mechanically.  I did not bother asking why he didn't even pick the Fey Trickster PP -- he seemed to give it consideration after I mentioned it to him, and apparently that's his PP now -- but it reminded me how Paragon Paths were actually an optional (powerful, but optional) part of character creation.

I suppose because of how our character options have expanded, we're already taking paragon paths, themes and epic destinies for granted, and it's the reason why we lament for better multiclass support, particularly for Paragon Multiclassing.  But then again the system itself is so flexible, even though

* you would have nothing exceptional throughout your career even at paragon
* the best you'd get would be a wider power selection
* the entire multiclassing system could very well be eating through your pre-epic feat slots

you could still be contributing to any situation you specialize in.  And in the end, no matter how well-built or horribly-built your character is, it's everyone having fun that matters the most

Of course, it would be more fun for the team if everyone is on the same page (either everyone's optimized or everyone isn't), so discrepancies and conflicts between how one guy is hoarding all the killing fun or the killer can't do squat in the skill-heavy campaign etc. etc. etc. are minimized or avoided completely.

[EDIT: All of a sudden I want to try paragon multiclassing to Vampire XD] 
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57047238 wrote:
If you're crossing the street and see a city bus barreling straight toward you with 'GIVE ME YOUR WALLET!' painted across its windshield, you probably won't be reaching for your wallet.
I Don't Always Play Strikers...But When I Do, I Prefer Vampire Stay Thirsty, My Friends
This is what I believe is the spirit of D&D 4E, and my deal breaker for D&D Next: equal opportunities, with distinct specializations, in areas where conflict happens the most often, without having to worry about heavy micromanagement or system mastery. What I hope to be my most useful contributions to the D&D Community: DM Idea: Collaborative Mapping, Classless 4E (homebrew system, that hopefully helps in D&D Next development), Gamma World 7E random character generator (by yours truly), and the Concept of Perfect Imbalance (for D&D Next and other TRPGs in development) Pre-3E D&D should be recognized for what they were: simulation wargames where people could tell stories with The Best Answer to "Why 4E?" Fun vs. Engaging
I'm pretty sure "Oberoni Fallacy" claims would start flying from this point, or maybe not



I have no idea what this means. Oh well.

Thank you for seeing it from my perspective. To yours, I wouldn't truly mind having more options in the area of multiclassing and hybridizing. I am already pretty entrenched in the "if it is not at least two classes, I don't want to play it" mentality. I typically stay away from Magazine material (I have no CB or subscription). These materials offer "fixes" to characters that I don't like and are for the over the top optimizer. That is not how I play. Options do make the game fun and character creation is about all the fun I can have right now without a game group and about 900 miles away from my old group. All that said, yes, I see how the system is less than ideal. I just wish more gamers would focus on the fun than how to overthrow the system of D&D with a character that breaks the game.

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No, paragon multiclassing is not fine as is.

So far so good...

It was ok

In 4E it has been far too expensive from PHB1. Also being defined as something done instead of a paragon path was a hole just waiting for someone to step in it and fall down, and that happened when paragon hybrid got the same definition.

It could be made into a competetive choice for a whole lot of other builds with a few minor tweaks.  Reducing the feat cost to 2 instead of 4 or giving a generic level 11/16 feature would be a good enough solution and make it much more competitive without breaking anything.

I favor reducing the feat cost to 2 *and* giving generic level 11/16 features.

"The world does not work the way you have been taught it does. We are not real as such; we exist within The Story. Unfortunately for you, you have inherited a condition from your mother known as Primary Protagonist Syndrome, which means The Story is interested in you. It will find you, and if you are not ready for the narrative strands it will throw at you..." - from Footloose
I'm pretty sure "Oberoni Fallacy" claims would start flying from this point, or maybe not

I have no idea what this means. Oh well.

There's the old saying "if it ain't broke, don't fix it".

The Oberoni Fallacy is sort of the inverse: "if you can fix it, it ain't broke".  In other words, there is no problem with game designers producing horribly bad design (and anyone who complains about it is silly), because the DM can always do their job for them and houserule the problems away.

"The world does not work the way you have been taught it does. We are not real as such; we exist within The Story. Unfortunately for you, you have inherited a condition from your mother known as Primary Protagonist Syndrome, which means The Story is interested in you. It will find you, and if you are not ready for the narrative strands it will throw at you..." - from Footloose
Hmm, I was wondering why someone mentioned it being ok at first, given how loud the outcry was about PMC since day one...

I suppose reducing PMC's feat cost to two -- a multiclass feat, and one of the following feats (or equivalent): Novice Power, Acolyte Power, Adept Power -- is acceptable.

Even I seriously doubt that the ability to gain one of your second class' at-wills and access to a selection of feats that effectively grant one of your second class' class features is powerful enough to replace three paragon path features [and a paragon/epic tier feat slot], even though no other Paragon Path does that.
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57047238 wrote:
If you're crossing the street and see a city bus barreling straight toward you with 'GIVE ME YOUR WALLET!' painted across its windshield, you probably won't be reaching for your wallet.
I Don't Always Play Strikers...But When I Do, I Prefer Vampire Stay Thirsty, My Friends
This is what I believe is the spirit of D&D 4E, and my deal breaker for D&D Next: equal opportunities, with distinct specializations, in areas where conflict happens the most often, without having to worry about heavy micromanagement or system mastery. What I hope to be my most useful contributions to the D&D Community: DM Idea: Collaborative Mapping, Classless 4E (homebrew system, that hopefully helps in D&D Next development), Gamma World 7E random character generator (by yours truly), and the Concept of Perfect Imbalance (for D&D Next and other TRPGs in development) Pre-3E D&D should be recognized for what they were: simulation wargames where people could tell stories with The Best Answer to "Why 4E?" Fun vs. Engaging
I never PMC was good.  It was ok.  There were viable and interesting builds you could with it that you couldn't do any other way.  And there weren't that many good feats to pick from in PHB1 so the opportunity cost in feats wasn't that much.  The big opportunity cost was in loss of PP features, which were good in PHB1, but if you really wanted another classes at will it was the only way to do it and getting a new at will like that was powerful.

Now you can get that at will several of other ways.  And there are now so many good feats having to sacrifice that many  to PMC is now a huge opportunity cost.  So it went from ok to bad as more feats and powers came out, with a drop off to terrible once hybrids and half elf support were added.