Multiclass system

on of the thing i always loved in D&D is the fact that we're not tied to only one class, we could always mix classes together and i'm wondering if 5th will put multiclass in the system.

here is an overview of the old system used up to now:
2nd edition:
character leveled both classes at the same time but divided xp in 2, while the penality looked drastic, the experience chart was exponential and the multiclass characters were usually one level behind others pure class characters meaning that on higher tiered level a multiclass character would usually be overpowered compared to single class.

3.x edition:
Each time a character gain a level, he would have the choice to either continue gaining level in his actual class or opt to get a new class or prestige class (considering he meets the requirements).  This actually gave bigger advantages to pure classes like wizards or cleric since they get their higher spells at a faster pace, but made it fun for other classes like fighter that had more options as they gained levels. but this brought troubles of sometime dump classes like a first level rogue to optimize skill points, two levels of fighters for the extra feats, tools for players that love to take every possible edges.

4th edition:
at the core the multiclass system was crap (sorry but this is entirely a personal view on my part), considering of a couple feats that gave you some limited access to another class abilities.  Later on they took out the ability to make hybrids and mix two classes together, I only saw it on the character builder and was very confused as to why i could take this and not that, but it seemed well made, planned and balanced.

On a personnal matter, i'd love to see multiclass like 3.x back along with prestige classes.  I loved to make characters with a unique feel like my barbarian-druid or my cleric-chameleon.
Why multiclass? What purpose does it serve? Simple: to recreate mechanically different and divergent character concepts.

What purpose does 3.X multiclass serve? It serves the purpose of simulating character growth: being able to branch into different classes as you progress. What flaws does it have? Unbalance, mainly, and a few others.

Character growth can be simulated in other ways too - multiclass feature swap options for instance (trading in your level 11 fighter feature for a level 3 cleric feature, or similar). Do you see other benefits of the 3.X system that warrant the risks (unbalance) involved?
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Reflavoring: the change of flavor without changing any mechanical part of the game, no matter how small, in order to fit the mechanics to an otherwise unsupported concept. Retexturing: the change of flavor (with at most minor mechanical adaptations) in order to effortlessly create support for a concept without inventing anything new. Houseruling: the change, either minor or major, of the mechanics in order to better reflect a certain aspect of the game, including adapting the rules to fit an otherwise unsupported concept. Homebrewing: the complete invention of something new that fits within the system in order to reflect an unsupported concept.
Ideas for 5E
You can mix the styles.

Meaning fighters, clerics, rogues and wizards have 10 levels, but characters max level was 30 (or perhaps, no max level).

Then add Paragon Paths...  like "archmage: requires level 8 wizard".  And "weapon master: requires level 8 fighter".

Possibly a few epic destinies... like "litch: requires level 8 archmage".  And "immortal: requires level 8 weapon master".


ect... 

guides
List of no-action attacks.
Dynamic vs Static Bonuses
Phalanx tactics and builds
Crivens! A Pictsies Guide Good
Power
s to intentionally miss with
Mr. Cellophane: How to be unnoticed
Way's to fire around corners
Crits: what their really worth
Retroactive bonus vs Static bonus.
Runepriest handbook & discussion thread
Holy Symbols to hang around your neck
Ways to Gain or Downgrade Actions
List of bonuses to saving throws
The Ghost with the Most (revenant handbook)
my builds
F-111 Interdictor Long (200+ squares) distance ally teleporter. With some warlord stuff. Broken in a plot way, not a power way.

Thought Switch Higher level build that grants upto 14 attacks on turn 1. If your allies play along, it's broken.

Elven Critters Crit op with crit generation. 5 of these will end anything. Broken.

King Fisher Optimized net user.  Moderate.

Boominator Fun catch-22 booming blade build with either strong or completely broken damage depending on your reading.

Very Distracting Warlock Lot's of dazing and major penalties to hit. Overpowered.

Pocket Protector Pixie Stealth Knight. Maximizing the defender's aura by being in an ally's/enemy's square.

Yakuza NinjIntimiAdin: Perma-stealth Striker that offers a little protection for ally's, and can intimidate bloodied enemies. Very Strong.

Chargeburgler with cheese Ranged attacks at the end of a charge along with perma-stealth. Solid, could be overpowered if tweaked.

Void Defender Defends giving a penalty to hit anyone but him, then removing himself from play. Can get somewhat broken in epic.

Scry and Die Attacking from around corners, while staying hidden. Moderate to broken, depending on the situation.

Skimisher Fly in, attack, and fly away. Also prevents enemies from coming close. Moderate to Broken depending on the enemy, but shouldn't make the game un-fun, as the rest of your team is at risk, and you have enough weaknesses.

Indestructible Simply won't die, even if you sleep though combat.  One of THE most abusive character in 4e.

Sir Robin (Bravely Charge Away) He automatically slows and pushes an enemy (5 squares), while charging away. Hard to rate it's power level, since it's terrain dependent.

Death's Gatekeeper A fun twist on a healic, making your party "unkillable". Overpowered to Broken, but shouldn't actually make the game un-fun, just TPK proof.

Death's Gatekeeper mk2, (Stealth Edition) Make your party "unkillable", and you hidden, while doing solid damage. Stronger then the above, but also easier for a DM to shut down. Broken, until your DM get's enough of it.

Domination and Death Dominate everything then kill them quickly. Only works @ 30, but is broken multiple ways.

Battlemind Mc Prone-Daze Protecting your allies by keeping enemies away. Quite powerful.

The Retaliator Getting hit deals more damage to the enemy then you receive yourself, and you can take plenty of hits. Heavy item dependency, Broken.

Dead Kobold Transit Teleports 98 squares a turn, and can bring someone along for the ride. Not fully built, so i can't judge the power.

Psilent Guardian Protect your allies, while being invisible. Overpowered, possibly broken.

Rune of Vengance Do lot's of damage while boosting your teams. Strong to slightly overpowered.

Charedent BarrageA charging ardent. Fine in a normal team, overpowered if there are 2 together, and easily broken in teams of 5.

Super Knight A tough, sticky, high damage knight. Strong.

Super Duper Knight Basically the same as super knight with items, making it far more broken.

Mora, the unkillable avenger Solid damage, while being neigh indestuctable. Overpowered, but not broken.

Swordburst Maximus At-Will Close Burst 3 that slide and prones. Protects allies with off actions. Strong, possibly over powered with the right party.

Personally I love the 4E Multiclass system, less for its mechanical value, and more for its story value.

Explanation:
It never really made sense story-wise that a level 1 character with Fighter 1 suddenly got Wizard spell slots just because he had points in INT and got Wizard 1 when he hit level 2 (making him Fighter 1/Wizard 1).  I mean, full features of a class within a far shorter timespan than it took to get to your original class?  Favored classes were a strange and klunky means of enforcing limitations on multiclassing... which never really worked in the long run.  So in effect, multiclassing was a bit more "let's see how we can best represent a certain character that we know is level A, by adding X, Y and Z to existing class C".

In 4E -- with the full recognition of fluff vs. mechanics separation, removing the need to mechanically represent character concepts by using multiclassing rules -- the multiclassing system makes a lot more sense story-wise.  For instance, Berta the Militia Farmer decided to go adventuring.  During her adventures she acquired a spell tome.  She wanted to learn more about it, but didn't have the time to do so, given how magic schools take decades to graduate from (if at all), so she finds someone willing to give a crash course on the matter -- taking hours or days instead of years -- pay her dues, then continue on her way.  With what little she learned, she continues to visit various schools of magic from time to time until she finally masters the art (somewhat).  She might not be as skilled a warrior as John her fellow Militia companion -- who spent his time honing his fighting skills in the bars -- but she's an adept caster as well, so it evens out.

Mechanical representation: level 1 Thane Barbarian, multiclasses to Warlock at level 4 (and eventually acquiring Arcane Implement Proficiency [tome]), paragon multiclasses or takes a Warlock/Arcane paragon path [like Academy Master] at level 11.  Usually takes months to a year in-game (and in real life) to reach that point.

Because seriously, unless we have to represent a person's life in terms of stats (which means we have to take aging, puberty, etc. into account), I'm not seeing that "real" a character development when you gain a secondary class' full class features the moment you multiclass into it.

I'm guessing that D&D Next will take a hybrid approach to the matter: something like pre-4E (choosing class levels each time you level) but with a 4E twist (classes get very few features at level 1, and progressively gain more features as you go along... and multiclassing does not get you the full benefit of the class(es) you multiclass into).

[ Honestly while I do like Hybrid classes in 4E (the closest to pre-4E dual/multiclassing in 4E), I don't like the idea of having to be a certain level to represent a particular character.  I'd rather have levels -- levels + category, for monsters -- represent relative strength difference between opponents, as opposed to being a character creation tool. ]
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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
3rd edition multiclassing was flexible, but definitely had it's problems. Not the least of which was, when taking a level in a 2nd class, characters immediately gained some abilities they had no intention of using, in addition to the abilities they wanted. Which is why there ended up being hundreds of prestige classes, most of which were simply a more effective way of combining 2 or more classes, than was possible w/ multi-classing.

Instead of frontloading classes w/ a bunch of abilities given automatically at 1st level, I think what would work much better is to have different pools of abilites available to each class then giving players a set # of points per level to spend on gaining new/or improving upon class abilities.
If a character wanted to pick up abilities from another class, they could multi-class for 1 or more levels, each level exchanging one of the points from their main class to pick up an ability from a secondary class.
Personally I love the 4E Multiclass system, less for its mechanical value, and more for its story value.

The 4e multiclassing system is good for representing dabbling in another craft, situations where a character is 90% main class/10% secondary, while hybrids are good for characters who want to be 50%/50% split between two classes. The system handles anything in between badly.

For example, one of my 3e characters started as a fighter. He died at a low level and had a religious experience. He then became a cleric and never took another level of fighter. The problem is that 4e really has no mechanical way to represent this character. The multiclassing system can't do it because after a couple of levels he is far more cleric then fighter, but he isn't a hybrid because he started as a fighter.

Of course, no system can cover everything. Many 4e hybrids can't really be done in 3e because a 3e character with levels equally split between two classes ends up with all of the powers of both classes but only the low level ones, while a 4e hybrid ends up with a few high level powers from both classes.

Because seriously, unless we have to represent a person's life in terms of stats (which means we have to take aging, puberty, etc. into account), I'm not seeing that "real" a character development when you gain a secondary class' full class features the moment you multiclass into it.

Which was always the problem with 3e multiclassing. People would jump around to several classes to get the initial burst of class powers. D&D next does have to do something to stop this, possible as simple as having levels below 1 so that characters going into another class don't get everything at 1st level.

Ultimately though, there should be a way to represent a characters life in their stats, because that is what the stats are there for. They are a way to quantify a characters life development so they can be used in the game.



For example, one of my 3e characters started as a fighter. He died at a low level and had a religious experience. He then became a cleric and never took another level of fighter.




I would seriously just rebuild as the new class... I mean died physically and reborn emotionally/spiritually both? And at low level that is trivial on wheels.
  Creative Character Build Collection and The Magic of King's and Heros  also Can Martial Characters Fly? 

Improvisation in 4e: Fave 4E Improvisations - also Wrecans Guides to improvisation beyond page 42
The Non-combatant Adventurer (aka Princess build Warlord or LazyLord)
Reality is unrealistic - and even monkeys protest unfairness
Reflavoring the Fighter : The Wizard : The Swordmage - Creative Character Collection: Bloodwright (Darksun Character) 

At full hit points and still wounded to incapacitation? you are playing 1e.
By virtue of being a player your characters are the protagonists in a heroic fantasy game even at level one
"Wizards and Warriors need abilities with explicit effects for opposite reasons. With the wizard its because you need to create artificial limits on them, they have no natural ones and for the Warrior you need to grant permission to do awesome."

 

The 4e multiclassing system is good for representing dabbling in another craft, situations where a character is 90% main class/10% secondary, while hybrids are good for characters who want to be 50%/50% split between two classes. The system handles anything in between badly.

Hybrids can handle 35%/65% easily enough.

But yea... 10-35%/ 90-65% (~25% of all combinations) is missing.

guides
List of no-action attacks.
Dynamic vs Static Bonuses
Phalanx tactics and builds
Crivens! A Pictsies Guide Good
Power
s to intentionally miss with
Mr. Cellophane: How to be unnoticed
Way's to fire around corners
Crits: what their really worth
Retroactive bonus vs Static bonus.
Runepriest handbook & discussion thread
Holy Symbols to hang around your neck
Ways to Gain or Downgrade Actions
List of bonuses to saving throws
The Ghost with the Most (revenant handbook)
my builds
F-111 Interdictor Long (200+ squares) distance ally teleporter. With some warlord stuff. Broken in a plot way, not a power way.

Thought Switch Higher level build that grants upto 14 attacks on turn 1. If your allies play along, it's broken.

Elven Critters Crit op with crit generation. 5 of these will end anything. Broken.

King Fisher Optimized net user.  Moderate.

Boominator Fun catch-22 booming blade build with either strong or completely broken damage depending on your reading.

Very Distracting Warlock Lot's of dazing and major penalties to hit. Overpowered.

Pocket Protector Pixie Stealth Knight. Maximizing the defender's aura by being in an ally's/enemy's square.

Yakuza NinjIntimiAdin: Perma-stealth Striker that offers a little protection for ally's, and can intimidate bloodied enemies. Very Strong.

Chargeburgler with cheese Ranged attacks at the end of a charge along with perma-stealth. Solid, could be overpowered if tweaked.

Void Defender Defends giving a penalty to hit anyone but him, then removing himself from play. Can get somewhat broken in epic.

Scry and Die Attacking from around corners, while staying hidden. Moderate to broken, depending on the situation.

Skimisher Fly in, attack, and fly away. Also prevents enemies from coming close. Moderate to Broken depending on the enemy, but shouldn't make the game un-fun, as the rest of your team is at risk, and you have enough weaknesses.

Indestructible Simply won't die, even if you sleep though combat.  One of THE most abusive character in 4e.

Sir Robin (Bravely Charge Away) He automatically slows and pushes an enemy (5 squares), while charging away. Hard to rate it's power level, since it's terrain dependent.

Death's Gatekeeper A fun twist on a healic, making your party "unkillable". Overpowered to Broken, but shouldn't actually make the game un-fun, just TPK proof.

Death's Gatekeeper mk2, (Stealth Edition) Make your party "unkillable", and you hidden, while doing solid damage. Stronger then the above, but also easier for a DM to shut down. Broken, until your DM get's enough of it.

Domination and Death Dominate everything then kill them quickly. Only works @ 30, but is broken multiple ways.

Battlemind Mc Prone-Daze Protecting your allies by keeping enemies away. Quite powerful.

The Retaliator Getting hit deals more damage to the enemy then you receive yourself, and you can take plenty of hits. Heavy item dependency, Broken.

Dead Kobold Transit Teleports 98 squares a turn, and can bring someone along for the ride. Not fully built, so i can't judge the power.

Psilent Guardian Protect your allies, while being invisible. Overpowered, possibly broken.

Rune of Vengance Do lot's of damage while boosting your teams. Strong to slightly overpowered.

Charedent BarrageA charging ardent. Fine in a normal team, overpowered if there are 2 together, and easily broken in teams of 5.

Super Knight A tough, sticky, high damage knight. Strong.

Super Duper Knight Basically the same as super knight with items, making it far more broken.

Mora, the unkillable avenger Solid damage, while being neigh indestuctable. Overpowered, but not broken.

Swordburst Maximus At-Will Close Burst 3 that slide and prones. Protects allies with off actions. Strong, possibly over powered with the right party.

The 4e multiclassing system is good for representing dabbling in another craft, situations where a character is 90% main class/10% secondary, while hybrids are good for characters who want to be 50%/50% split between two classes. The system handles anything in between badly.

Hybrids can handle 35%/65% easily enough.

But yea... 10-35%/ 90-65% (~25% of all combinations) is missing.



Are we counting themes , backgrounds and reflavoring in there? ... I mean I can construct a character that really seems to be well who knows what percentages.
  Creative Character Build Collection and The Magic of King's and Heros  also Can Martial Characters Fly? 

Improvisation in 4e: Fave 4E Improvisations - also Wrecans Guides to improvisation beyond page 42
The Non-combatant Adventurer (aka Princess build Warlord or LazyLord)
Reality is unrealistic - and even monkeys protest unfairness
Reflavoring the Fighter : The Wizard : The Swordmage - Creative Character Collection: Bloodwright (Darksun Character) 

At full hit points and still wounded to incapacitation? you are playing 1e.
By virtue of being a player your characters are the protagonists in a heroic fantasy game even at level one
"Wizards and Warriors need abilities with explicit effects for opposite reasons. With the wizard its because you need to create artificial limits on them, they have no natural ones and for the Warrior you need to grant permission to do awesome."

 

Couldn't the alleged problems of 3E multiclassing be quickly fixed by sticking all the 'frontloaded' stuff into a "level 0" of any given class?  That's kinda-sorta how Saga Edition did it.

But usually, the biggest reason someone in 3E took a level of a different class was to get some specific skill at x1 instead of x0.5.  The biggest reason to do so in Saga Edition (and sometimes also 3e) is to pick up some arbitrary talent (or other class ability) prerequisite for a prestige class.
Eliminate the concept of "Class Skills", and loosen up PrC entry requirements, and this particular need to multiclass goes away.
I would prefer a system where every class had multiple sets of "tracks". Each track granted abilities, powers and other benefits as you leveled up in that class.

If you want to multiclass, you can forego one of your own classes tracks for another classes track...thereby keeping the balance and "mixing" things up. For example, lets say the Fighter has tracks Blue-A, Blue-B and Blue-C. The rogue has tracks Red-A, Red-B and Red-C. Your fighter wants to learn how to be a rogue, and exchanges Blue-C for Red-B. Now they have access to certain powers and abilities. 

Its important that the designers of the game balance these tracks so they are roughly equivalent. It may be necessary to restrict certain tracks based on various requirements to maintain balance (or make them unobtainable via MC).

By designing the system this way, you are building a flexible system that is still class-based...with balance in mind. You are unlikely to create a loophole in the system that players might abuse via hybrid/MC rules...since they are all restricted to what tracks are available.
To my mind, 3.x multiclassing suffered from a fundamental flaw: the system was forced to either deny single class characters access to class-defining features until 3rd or 4th level, or to grant them to dabblers who found ways to break the system with unexpected combinations.  You can get a certain amount of mileage out of restricting certain features to "level 0" of a class, but it only takes you so far.  First of all, what features don't you get?  What if that feature was the one thing you liked about the class that made you want to MC into it?  What if the one they'll give you is still totally broken when given to another class (how many builds are on the charop boards trying to give twin strike to an avenger?)  How can this work in a core system where fighters may not have any features at all besides weapon/armor proficiencies? Is the same expenditure of PC-building resources (a feat, a level, what have you) going to get you a fighter's weapon/armor proficiencies as would get you the spellcasting abilities of a wizard?  A first level wizard, or a wizard of your level?  If you started out as a fighter but decided to switch over to a cleric at 2nd level, are you still going to not have basic cleric features at 20th level?  Are your fighter features really going to make up for that, given that you fulfill the party role of leader not defender?

A lot of this is just impossible to discuss without more knowledge of what the underlying classes are going to look like.   But I will put in a plug for the PP's idea, which is actually what Legend D20 does.  In the end it's fairly similar to MerlinMansin's idea, but mechanically simpler and easier to balance than trying to handle it at the individual feature level.

The specific mechanic is less important to me, though, than the underlying principle.  Ultimately, my preference is for  swapping features, not swapping levels (which can result in feature explosion or epic adventurers stuck with low-heroic powers) or spending feats (which become prohibitively expensive if you want to pick up more than flavor).
Whoa hey here's a crazy idea.

What if all classes are multiclass by default? What? How? Who? Huh? Hear me out. Remember Gestalt Multiclassing from UA? Unbalanced you say? Wait there's more.

Let's say you want to play a fighter. You don't want to do anything but be a fighter. So you play as just a fighter. Except that you're not a fighter, you're a fighter + fighter. It all adds up to pure fighter. But if you want to multiclass, you could instead choose to be a fighter + rogue, or a fighter + druid. This effectively gives you as many class options as there classes multiplied by itself. Not so much multiclassing as choosing between a pure class and a blended class.

I literally just thought of this while reading this thread and have put no previous thought into it.
Whoa hey here's a crazy idea.

What if all classes are multiclass by default? What? How? Who? Huh? Hear me out. Remember Gestalt Multiclassing from UA? Unbalanced you say? Wait there's more.

Let's say you want to play a fighter. You don't want to do anything but be a fighter. So you play as just a fighter. Except that you're not a fighter, you're a fighter + fighter. It all adds up to pure fighter. But if you want to multiclass, you could instead choose to be a fighter + rogue, or a fighter + druid. This effectively gives you as many class options as there classes multiplied by itself. Not so much multiclassing as choosing between a pure class and a blended class.

I literally just thought of this while reading this thread and have put no previous thought into it.


I think there's something to this. Guild Wars assumes that everyone will take a second profession (class) and there is no penalty for doing so. In fact, I was excited about 4e multiclassing because it sounded similar to GW but in execution it fell flat.
Owner and Proprietor of the House of Trolls. God of ownership and possession.
So here's my thoughts on the various editions:

2e and earlier: Too rigid, you had to choose at 1st level (except for humans, but they had their own problems). MC characters often ended up stronger unless you played until high levels and actually enforced level caps, in which case there was no point in continuing to play a character that couldn't advance any further.

3e: Classes were diluted heavily by the MC system. It sounded awesome on paper, but in execution it led to extremely ineffective builds or optimizers squeezing out every last bonus they could get.

4e: Sounded good before its release, but I wasn't impressed with the final product. I prefer it over the other two systems since it can be implemented at character creation, or at any other level, and is mostly balanced. However, the power swap feats are too expensive (feat + power for a power and must be taken in sequence). Only 1 MC feat is allowed for most characters. Hybrids increased options but then you were back to having to map that out at character creation.

I would prefer either a 4e-like system where each MC feat was more effective (all power swap feats rolled into the base MC feat), less effective (and thereby allowing you to have multiple MC paths through feat chains without being overpowered), and I think they should have explored the possiblity of multiclass themes which had the potential to be much better than hybrids.
Owner and Proprietor of the House of Trolls. God of ownership and possession.
I honestly think Themes are the best way to handle multiclassing. Low opportunity cost, you don't have to sacrifice your main class levels or feats, and they provide that extra flavor and mechanics that come from MC'ing. 

I wouldn't even be opposed to multiple themes, like primary and secondary ones. Primary gives the big benefits/powers/whatever. Secondary ones could look more like 4e backgrounds.

In any case, each step away from the primary should give diminishing returns. 
A blog relevant to the current discussion - community.wizards.com/crazy_monkey/blog/..." title="community.wizards.com/crazy_monkey/blog/...">Monkey's Musings: On Multi-Classing.

Edit: Linking isn't working, here's the URL - community.wizards.com/crazy_monkey/blog/... 

All around helpful simian

A blog relevant to the current discussion - community.wizards.com/crazy_monkey/blog/..." title="community.wizards.com/crazy_monkey/blog/...">Monkey's Musings: On Multi-Classing.

Edit: Linking isn't working, here's the URL - community.wizards.com/crazy_monkey/blog/... 


I like the idea of a MC theme, but I think you're making it too hard by saying you need an individual theme for every class. I think you could have a generic multiclass theme that will work with every class more or less. Powers at least would be simple (you gain an at-will power from the class as the theme's granted encounter power, similar to Dilettante, and beyond that you could swap out x number of powers). The only hard part would be finding a way to handle class features, but I think with some trial and error it could be done.
Owner and Proprietor of the House of Trolls. God of ownership and possession.
Well I've had a couple thoughts on this myself.

The first idea is pretty similar to 3e, but things like weapon prof, armor, extra skills, defense bonuses, and much of the frontloading that happened to make the classes functional at low level are not put in the first level of the class, but rather determined by the first level you take, for example rogue grabs a level of fighter doesn't get all armor and weapons, or even the level 1 fortitude boost a fighter generally racks up, he gets the bonus-feat/basic features of a fighter but not all the other stuff. While a person who starts off as a mage probaby has a few extra spells to make up for not getitng weapons or armor and stuff, and won't suddenly become proficient with rapiers and might not automatically gain stealth training when he picks up that first level of rogue. 

This requires the least extensive multi-classing rules.


The next one is to use feats/talents/whatever to add specific abilities from another class. The catch is that these abilities will be abit weaker in this form so an ability that gave you +3d8 on damage against undead, only hands out +3d6, or even +3d4 in the feat version. The full form may or may not be available with extra feats.

The key feature to both of these is we avoid feature/power swaps. The problem with those is that they're only balanced  if every class has features and powers that are equivalent to features and powers possessed by every other class.  

For example, one of my 3e characters started as a fighter. He died at a low level and had a religious experience. He then became a cleric and never took another level of fighter. The problem is that 4e really has no mechanical way to represent this character. The multiclassing system can't do it because after a couple of levels he is far more cleric then fighter, but he isn't a hybrid because he started as a fighter.



Why do you need a mechanical way to represent a religious experience?

He found religion. That doesn't mean that he suddenly stops being a good Fighter and gains religion-based super powers. It could just mean that he fights for a diety now. Non-divine characters can be religious. If he did somehow get magic from the experience, there is no reason it can't just be a few spells (like how 4E multiclassing works) rather than him completely changing how he operates.
EVERY DAY IS HORRIBLE POST DAY ON THE D&D FORUMS. Everything makes me ANGRY (ESPECIALLY you, reader)
A blog relevant to the current discussion - community.wizards.com/crazy_monkey/blog/..." title="community.wizards.com/crazy_monkey/blog/...">Monkey's Musings: On Multi-Classing.

Edit: Linking isn't working, here's the URL - community.wizards.com/crazy_monkey/blog/... 


I like the idea of a MC theme, but I think you're making it too hard by saying you need an individual theme for every class. I think you could have a generic multiclass theme that will work with every class more or less. Powers at least would be simple (you gain an at-will power from the class as the theme's granted encounter power, similar to Dilettante, and beyond that you could swap out x number of powers). The only hard part would be finding a way to handle class features, but I think with some trial and error it could be done.

And I think the best and easiest way to deal with that "only hard part" is to have AT LEAST one multiclass theme per class. Many, perhaps most, would need more than one.

The multiclass themes would look somewhat like 4E Hybrid Talent options, with the 4E multiclass powerswaps thrown in for free.

Maybe multiclassing could come in 3 stages with each as prerequisite for the next:
1) A 4E-style multiclass entry feat - for the dabbler who picks up a trick. Include using one level-1 at-will attack power as an encounter power, or a free utility-power power-swap, or something like that.
2) A multiclass theme - for everyone from the freelance student to the true dual-classer, and your leveling-up must be divided between the two classes.
3) A second multiclass theme - for the convert, once you take this you level up as if single-classed in your new class only. You never advance further in your original class.
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And I think the best and easiest way to deal with that "only hard part" is to have AT LEAST one multiclass theme per class. Many, perhaps most, would need more than one.


That is one way to do it. I'm still working on the details, but I'm convinced that there is an easier way.
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here's an unusual idea.

What if you had some "initiation feats", which would be very similar to the Mundane zero levels like Cavaliers used to have in order to qualify for level 1.

You can then dump XP into the new class. I don't know.. I was just thinking there's different approaches on how to handle attack bonuses and Hit points. In AD&D your hit points became stupid (as in they stopped using dice) around level 9, which meant there were all sorts of Heroes and demigods with unexplainably high hit points. I figure since the player characters are supposed to become the heroes of the campaign, there's no reason they should be barred from the same advanced HP.

Perhaps if Heroic and godlike beings had Max hit points added from all levels, and then characters on an ascension or legend path could earn say, 5,000 XP to 20,000 XP per hit point to get their hit points up to their Dice maximums?

So lets' say you rolled 19d10+38, and got 168 hit points. Your technical maximum would be 228, so you would need to earn 300,000 to 1,200,000 extra experience points to fix your hit points. You could then say something to the effect of "you must max out your hit points before you can quest for immortality".

This kind of system would allow epic characters to be more consistent with Heroes, Legends, and Deities, but would also make Multiclass hit points more clean.

Complex Attack Bonus Solution
Perhaps if characters had to pay increasing increments for their attack bonus, then the lower increment bonuses you might get for multiple classes wouldn't be so horrible. Let's say Fighters got points equal to their level, while other characters got 2/3rds, 1/2, or 1/3rd.

So to get from 0 to +1 costs 1,
to get from 1 to 2 costs 2,
to get from 2 to 3 costs 3,
and so on.

to get from 0 to +10 costs 55 total.
to get from 0 to +20 costs 210 total.

Now my math is a bit fuzzy and there's probably a better way of saying what i'm saying, but the point is, if you are a level 20 fighter level 20 barbarian, you only have 420 points to spend on Attack bonuses, but 420 only buys the following:

420-210 = 210 (+20)
210-21 = 189 (+21)
189-22 = 167 (+22)
167-23 = 144 (+23)
144-24 = 120 (+24)
120-25 = 95 (+25)
95-26 = 69 (+26)
69-27 = 42 (+27)
42-28 = 14 (+28)

For a total of +28, with 14 points to spare. you might be able to buy specializations this way too - increasing the cost each time.

Other Classes at level 20:
Cleric: 140 points
Rogue: 105 points
Mage: 70 points

This math isn't perfect, and some may find it really complicated, but the idea is, when you have a bunch of levels added together, you don't end up with +60 or whatever to hit. You still get some bonuses, but they aren't broken.
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What if you had some "initiation feats", which would be very similar to the Mundane zero levels like Cavaliers used to have in order to qualify for level 1.


I like this idea a lot, and I personally feel the biggest problem with Prestige Classes in 3e was that they often lacked a real mechanical requirement ("Prerequisite: Base Attack Bonus +6" does not count as a real requirement, if you catch my drift).  I think if all classes, heroic and prestigious (and epic) had forced-feat related prerequisites (like 2 or 3 each), you would see less of the "beardyness" of multiclassing from 3e, but you would still be able to have the "dabble in another class" of 4e.

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I like this idea a lot, and I personally feel the biggest problem with Prestige Classes in 3e was that they often lacked a real mechanical requirement ("Prerequisite: Base Attack Bonus +6" does not count as a real requirement, if you catch my drift).

Those sort of things was just a roundabout way of saying "Must be Fighter or similar" (or similar, for the not-fightery PrCs).  Otherwise, I didn't catch your drift at all.

A better way of handing Prestige Classes would be to just have a single requirement, for all of them, of an arbitrary character level (like, say, ten?).  It's usally pretty obvious what basic classes are meant to go into what prestige classes, but there's really no need to overtly forbid someone from experimenting with a "wrong" one.

I like this idea a lot, and I personally feel the biggest problem with Prestige Classes in 3e was that they often lacked a real mechanical requirement ("Prerequisite: Base Attack Bonus +6" does not count as a real requirement, if you catch my drift).

Those sort of things was just a roundabout way of saying "Must be Fighter or similar" (or similar, for the not-fightery PrCs).  Otherwise, I didn't catch your drift at all.


You caught my drift, which is why I said I didn't consider those to be "real prerequisites," and prestige classes like that did nothing to stop the multi-multi-multi-classing bloat.  If all classes had a 2-3 feat requirement (not necessarily dissimilar to the way 4e PHB1 handles multiclassing, but I could see other methods), and only then could you level up in that class, it would really cut down on a lot of that horizontal bloat, but still allow for ratios beyond 90/10 and 50/50.

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You caught my drift, which is why I said I didn't consider those to be "real prerequisites," and prestige classes like that did nothing to stop the multi-multi-multi-classing bloat.

And the opposite of that was the way Saga Edition handled PrC's, which encouraged "multi-multi-multi-classing bloat".

The root cause was 3E's class structure trying too hard to be "not 2E" and discarding the concept of Subclasses, which then forced the designers to use those sort of "BAB 7", "arbitrary ranks in various Rogue class skills", etc. to appear open to pretty much anyone, when what they really wanted was "seven levels of Fighter or subclass", "five levels of Rogue or subclass" etc.
But even worse were the PrC's that all but completely mandated a player's build from the very first level.

I think the best thing to do is to take the best from each edition, but slightly tweak them.


Take 2nd edition Dual Classing but remove the human only restriction and modify the no usage of previous class abilities. I’m not even sure it still needs to be there. This would portray the person starting as one thing but switching to something else. Probably needs to have a minimum level, though I’m not sure. I think this should definitely be restricted to two classes only. If you want a third you would use one of the other two options.


Take 3.5 Gestalt (which is mostly 4E hybrid). The benefit to choosing this instead of 4E’s hybrid is that it doesn’t have to happen at level one. This covers the people who want bits of two classes blended together.


Take 4E feats but make them better. I don’t have specific improvements on this one, but there needs to be more options and a better cost/benefit set up. If done right this should cover the 3.5 dipping, but not be as exploitable.


I believe this would cover just about every possibility. Though, I’m not sure. Does anyone have any examples that could not be created under this system?

______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

There is a nice little self created divide here. Shame there can't be more acceptance instead. I feel that is where the future of the game should be.

All this vitriol, pushing away, retroactive retaliation, and preemptive striking needs to stop.

I keep trying but some won't let things go. Will you?

 

Because you like something, it does not mean it is good. Because you dislike something, it does not mean it is bad. Because it is your opinion, it does not make it everyone's opinion. Because it is your opinion, it does not make it truth. Because it is your opinion, it does not make it the general consensus. Whatever side you want to take, at least remember these things.

While I agree that the 3.x ed multiclassing was bloated and overpowered, I don't think that it should be restricted to having to choose at 1st level.  I like the option of multiclassing later on in the game due to story twists and turns that you cant plan on. 

As far as prestige classes go, I agree there needs to be better more fitting requirements than BAB +6.  The idea of certain feats or class restrictions placed in the description or whatever would go along way with this.  Obvisously to veteran and experienced players, we can look at a prestige class and tell what class it was designed for, but not necessarily for a new player.
I like the way that 3ed multiclassing adds to the story of my character. A fighter can suddenly find his god and become a cleric, or a barbarian can end up in bad company and become a thief. 

But one of the problems with 3ed is the fact that the get a lot of special abilities at first level. Therefore you gain too much from starting a fighter character as a barbarian or thief.

Hopefully 5ed multiclassing can be done in a way that doesn't favour specialized builds.
DISCLAIMER: I never played 4ed, so I may misunderstand some of the rules.
on of the thing i always loved in D&D is the fact that we're not tied to only one class, we could always mix classes together and i'm wondering if 5th will put multiclass in the system.



If it does not include multiclassing at least as capable as that offered by 3.x it will be doa. They must get that slice of the pie back to be viable and that slice of the pie will not budge for a system that does not have strong multiclassing.

Now the real problem behind the issue is that you have to build the bones before you can add the meat or the skin. Gurps for instance has strong bones (makes some incorrect assumptions that made realism to important but eh). I kinda like three pillars behind any class[magic use, skills, and inherent abilities or stats].

Classes should just be a method of quick production and should be addiditve. Then you never have the problem of worrying about it.
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Why multiclass? What purpose does it serve? Simple: to recreate mechanically different and divergent character concepts.



As implemented in 2nd edition, there is no purpose to multiclass. A multiclass character was just another "class" (and a broken one). You might as well have other classes such as Swordmages.


What purpose does 3.X multiclass serve? It serves the purpose of simulating character growth: being able to branch into different classes as you progress. What flaws does it have? Unbalance, mainly, and a few others.


 
3rd edition-type multiclassing should allow you define a very broad range of classes without actually creating new classes. A swordmage would for instance be a fighter 7/wizard 3; but what if you want to play fighter 3/wizard7, or fighter 6/wizard 4?

I don't think 3rd edition did this properly because it doesn't reach that goal. For such as system to work, multiclassing needs to be at the heart of the class design. I think the way Tome of Battle handled multiclassing was the most decent version we've had so far.
 

Character growth can be simulated in other ways too - multiclass feature swap options for instance (trading in your level 11 fighter feature for a level 3 cleric feature, or similar). Do you see other benefits of the 3.X system that warrant the risks (unbalance) involved?



What I'm hoping for is a system where at each level (or a different frequency), you can choose one "special ability" that is either a class feature, a racial feature or a theme feature. If you are a multiclassed fighter 6/rogue 4, then you can select abilities from the 6th level fighter list, the 4th level rogue list, your 10th level racial list or your 10th level list of theme power. I think this is in the spirit of this option swap you're suggesting.

I think what made 3.X multiclassing unbalanced was the prestige classes. If you remove prestige classes and replace them with a single theme (or one per tier), then you'll limit the risk of broken synergies like in 3rd edition.
As implemented in 2nd edition, there is no purpose to multiclass. A multiclass character was just another "class" (and a broken one). You might as well have other classes such as Swordmages.

3rd edition-type multiclassing should allow you define a very broad range of classes without actually creating new classes. A swordmage would for instance be a fighter 7/wizard 3; but what if you want to play fighter 3/wizard7, or fighter 6/wizard 4?

I don't think 3rd edition did this properly because it doesn't reach that goal. For such as system to work, multiclassing needs to be at the heart of the class design. I think the way Tome of Battle handled multiclassing was the most decent version we've had so far.



I like classes being and feeling unique - like in 4E. The paladin, for example, shouldn't be a mix of fighter and cleric, just like the swordmage shouldn't be a mix of fighter and wizard. I like paladins smiting, laying hands, challenging foes to honorable combat, punishing the enemies that hit their allies with blasts of radiant light... Just as I like Swordmages zapping on the battlefield, shielding themselves and their allies and mixing sword techniques and magic in unique ways. They should play differently from all other classes. As such, I think multiclassing serves the purpose of actually mixing two classes - and their feel, their playstyle - in one single blend.
 
What I'm hoping for is a system where at each level (or a different frequency), you can choose one "special ability" that is either a class feature, a racial feature or a theme feature. If you are a multiclassed fighter 6/rogue 4, then you can select abilities from the 6th level fighter list, the 4th level rogue list, your 10th level racial list or your 10th level list of theme power. I think this is in the spirit of this option swap you're suggesting.

I think what made 3.X multiclassing unbalanced was the prestige classes. If you remove prestige classes and replace them with a single theme (or one per tier), then you'll limit the risk of broken synergies like in 3rd edition.



This is similar to what I have in mind, yes. With an exception: I don't think you should have to choose between race, class OR theme. I'd rather have one of each at intervals.

This is a similar complaint to what I have for choosing between combat and out of combat stuff. Why can't I have both? Why should I be more dwarf OR more fighter and not a dwarf fighter? 
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Ideas for 5E
A few other issues with multiclassing:

1) Variations in synergy. Some combinations have great synergy. For example, if two classes focus on the same ability score(s) or use the same implement (in 4E), resources aren't spread so thin. Others are very lacking in synergy, generally for opposite reasons. Rules for multiclassing may be better if they aren't terribly symmetrical - the barbarian picking up some fighter abilities, for example, already has it much easier than the ranger learning to be a bard. Combining severe MAD and weapon/implement issues with weak multiclassing would discourage a lot of concepts. In fact, the ranger/bard is more likely to be an interesting character than the barbarian/fighter. The former is more likely a quirky, genuine concept, whereas the latter is probably more mechanically motivated.

2) Dead or lame levels. In my experience, this was one of the big motivators behind multiclassing in 3E. It's tempting to wander off from your class when a few levels in a row give you nothing or very little. Pathfinder tries to solve this with special level 20 abilities, but that seems to punish more than reward (fighter 1/cleric 19? sucks to be you!). Sticking with a class for 20 levels to get a treat is extra bad when your campaign doesn't get that far and you've ditched an interesting concept for fear of losing your groovy bonus. 5E needs to avoid the dead levels that make people want to branch out, but not by having some capstone ability that makes players tolerate lots of levels with nothing or with only dull numeric bonuses.

3) Concept vs crunch. Again I'm thinking of 3E's free multiclassing. Since classes often lacked a strong concept, players multiclassed purely for rules reasons. The barb/rogue/ranger/fighter could show up because it didn't feel that weird. Some abilities fought with each other (the fighter's heavy armor made certain skills bad and certain abilities invalid) but a clever optimizer could get around that. If anything discourages multiclassing, it should be the identity of each class rather than penalties for armor type (spell failure, armor check penalty, etc).

Overall, if multiclassing looks something like the 3E model, it needs to be a lot more tied to concept. Hopping around to boost saves or pick up skills or cherry pick flat bonuses needs to be out.

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Ed_Warlord, on what it takes to make a thread work: I think for it to be really constructive, everyone would have to be honest with each other, and with themselves.

 

iserith: The game doesn't profess to be "just like our world." What it is just like is the world of Dungeons & Dragons. Any semblance to reality is purely coincidental.

 

Areleth: How does this help the problems we have with Fighters? Do you think that every time I thought I was playing D&D what I was actually doing was slamming my head in a car door and that if you just explain how to play without doing that then I'll finally enjoy the game?

 

TD: That's why they put me on the front of every book. This is the dungeon, and I am the dragon. A word of warning though: I'm totally not a level appropriate encounter.

Some have mentioned that 3e multiclassing gave too much power for taking a level or two in another class.  However, there is a real problem in the 3e multiclass that I don't think I've seen anyone mention.  In 3e, if you multiclassed into a caster, you often ended up with nothing valuable from the caster abilities.  Consider an experienced fighter that decided to take up the lute, taking a level of Bard.  If the fighter is 5th level, and takes a level of bard, he will be 6th level (duh, right?  But give me a moment).  So what casting abilities with the warrior-minstrel gain from his newfound level of bard?  In 3e, he would gain 2 level zero spell slots.  Level zero spells aren't terribly effective against level 6 threats, especially when your caster-level is only 1st lvl.

There are a great many problems that can be circumvented by players and DMs having a mature discussion about what the game is going to be like before they ever sit down together to play.

 

The answer really does lie in more options, not in confining and segregating certain options.

 

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Some have mentioned that 3e multiclassing gave too much power for taking a level or two in another class.  However, there is a real problem in the 3e multiclass that I don't think I've seen anyone mention.  In 3e, if you multiclassed into a caster, you often ended up with nothing valuable from the caster abilities.  Consider an experienced fighter that decided to take up the lute, taking a level of Bard.  If the fighter is 5th level, and takes a level of bard, he will be 6th level (duh, right?  But give me a moment).  So what casting abilities with the warrior-minstrel gain from his newfound level of bard?  In 3e, he would gain 2 level zero spell slots.  Level zero spells aren't terribly effective against level 6 threats, especially when your caster-level is only 1st lvl.



Discarding that taking up the lute doesn't require taking a level of Bard (just spend skill points) ... you're absolutely right.  Multiclassing was borderline mandatory for martial classes, and usually stupid for spellcasting classes.
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Some have mentioned that 3e multiclassing gave too much power for taking a level or two in another class.  However, there is a real problem in the 3e multiclass that I don't think I've seen anyone mention.  In 3e, if you multiclassed into a caster, you often ended up with nothing valuable from the caster abilities.  Consider an experienced fighter that decided to take up the lute, taking a level of Bard.  If the fighter is 5th level, and takes a level of bard, he will be 6th level (duh, right?  But give me a moment).  So what casting abilities with the warrior-minstrel gain from his newfound level of bard?  In 3e, he would gain 2 level zero spell slots.  Level zero spells aren't terribly effective against level 6 threats, especially when your caster-level is only 1st lvl.


3E let you use magic items relevant to your class after picking up a level, so that could be a boost at times. That's a separate issue in a way though - the pure class abilities do indeed kind of suck, as you say, and the biggest benefit comes in the form of the wands and scrolls that, IMO, were one of the worst features of 3E.

Also, this is definitely what I was getting at with my mention of "low synergy" above. The fighter and bard focus on different ability scores, so trying to be both hurts right away. Adding level 1 bard abilities is pretty bad, except for the access to magic items and extra skill points, which feels more like a way to chase mechanical benefits than a way to make an interesting character.

I hope 5E addresses this somehow. A system with specific rules for each class combo would get painful, but maybe there could be some kind of "violent bard" option for the fighters, rangers, and barbarians who pick up a few levels. For example, maybe a bard ability would recharge every time the character took a lot of damage or killed an enemy. Whatever the mechanism, there needs to be an effort to create synergy for some tougher multiclass combos.


truth/humor
Ed_Warlord, on what it takes to make a thread work: I think for it to be really constructive, everyone would have to be honest with each other, and with themselves.

 

iserith: The game doesn't profess to be "just like our world." What it is just like is the world of Dungeons & Dragons. Any semblance to reality is purely coincidental.

 

Areleth: How does this help the problems we have with Fighters? Do you think that every time I thought I was playing D&D what I was actually doing was slamming my head in a car door and that if you just explain how to play without doing that then I'll finally enjoy the game?

 

TD: That's why they put me on the front of every book. This is the dungeon, and I am the dragon. A word of warning though: I'm totally not a level appropriate encounter.

Some have mentioned that 3e multiclassing gave too much power for taking a level or two in another class.  However, there is a real problem in the 3e multiclass that I don't think I've seen anyone mention.  In 3e, if you multiclassed into a caster, you often ended up with nothing valuable from the caster abilities.  Consider an experienced fighter that decided to take up the lute, taking a level of Bard.  If the fighter is 5th level, and takes a level of bard, he will be 6th level (duh, right?  But give me a moment).  So what casting abilities with the warrior-minstrel gain from his newfound level of bard?  In 3e, he would gain 2 level zero spell slots.  Level zero spells aren't terribly effective against level 6 threats, especially when your caster-level is only 1st lvl.


3E let you use magic items relevant to your class after picking up a level, so that could be a boost at times. That's a separate issue in a way though - the pure class abilities do indeed kind of suck, as you say, and the biggest benefit comes in the form of the wands and scrolls that, IMO, were one of the worst features of 3E.

Also, this is definitely what I was getting at with my mention of "low synergy" above. The fighter and bard focus on different ability scores, so trying to be both hurts right away. Adding level 1 bard abilities is pretty bad, except for the access to magic items and extra skill points, which feels more like a way to chase mechanical benefits than a way to make an interesting character.



Yeah, there would definitely be better synergy if a 3.5 character were a Paladin/Bard, than my aforementioned Fighter/Bard.  Although, the bardic music abilities (provided the character dumped all of his bard skill points into Perform) would be a pretty decent gain.

I hope 5E addresses this somehow. A system with specific rules for each class combo would get painful, but maybe there could be some kind of "violent bard" option for the fighters, rangers, and barbarians who pick up a few levels. For example, maybe a bard ability would recharge every time the character took a lot of damage or killed an enemy. Whatever the mechanism, there needs to be an effort to create synergy for some tougher multiclass combos.


I agree.

There are a great many problems that can be circumvented by players and DMs having a mature discussion about what the game is going to be like before they ever sit down together to play.

 

The answer really does lie in more options, not in confining and segregating certain options.

 

You really shouldn't speak for others.  You can't hear what someone else is saying when you try to put your words in their mouth.

 

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Save the breasts.

I would prefer a system where every class had multiple sets of "tracks". Each track granted abilities, powers and other benefits as you leveled up in that class.

If you want to multiclass, you can forego one of your own classes tracks for another classes track...thereby keeping the balance and "mixing" things up. For example, lets say the Fighter has tracks Blue-A, Blue-B and Blue-C. The rogue has tracks Red-A, Red-B and Red-C. Your fighter wants to learn how to be a rogue, and exchanges Blue-C for Red-B. Now they have access to certain powers and abilities. 

Its important that the designers of the game balance these tracks so they are roughly equivalent. It may be necessary to restrict certain tracks based on various requirements to maintain balance (or make them unobtainable via MC).

By designing the system this way, you are building a flexible system that is still class-based...with balance in mind. You are unlikely to create a loophole in the system that players might abuse via hybrid/MC rules...since they are all restricted to what tracks are available.



I feel like this sort of idea has some promise. The tracks could be equivalent in terms of power and variety, and then the player can choose to do sort of a semi-gestalt at a given level by taking a different class' track in the same posistion, which would give them the benefits of that other track and the penalty for not continuing in the initial one. This seems similar to some of the other semi-gestalt ideas posted previous to me, but that's just my view.

One way to have 3e multicasting without the front loading is having different first level benefits for if you started out in that class than if you later gained a level in it.

Perhaps you get more spell slots as a wizard if you start out in that class than if you gain a level in it later.

Let's say 1st level wizards have a number of spell slots equal to their int modifier plus some number. If you started out in a different class and later gained a level of wizard, you only receive slots equal to your int mod. No additional bonus.
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I would like two systems.

1. 1e/2e multiclassing for the people that want to truly multiclass.   That means you are always the same level in your classes.   There is no need for defining a bunch of hybrids using this approach either.

2. Feats can be used to snag an individual power from another class as in 4e.  I thought this approach was innovative for what it did.   



Here is how I'd implement #1

1.  Add two extra columns to the advancement chart.   A multiclass column and a tripleclass column.   So when level 10 is reached on the advancement chart you can go a find the number in the multiclass column and that is your level in both classes.  In this instance that number might be an 8.   The tripleclass column wouuld be a 7 in this instance. (Another option would be to have two numbers like such X/Y so that you could allow partial advancement but if you do this you'd need to have the player specify their most important class and have X go up before Y).

2.  The player chooses the best from each class.   So if you had a 10th level Fighter/Wizard he would have 80 hit points (for level 8 fighter which is better than level 8 wizard hit points).   All weapon proficiencies etc.. would be given if they come with either class.   Armor restrictions would remain but I would greatly lessen the penalties so that a fighter/wizard could wear armor as an option.

3.  I would make sure to provide lots of spells that made sense in context.  So while I'd have burning hands be an option at 1st level for a wizard I'd also have burning sword where the weapon could be ignited in flames.