The most urgent thing for the next playtest is multiclassing

I know that the game should be perfectly playable without even taking multiclassing in consideration, but the point of modularity, and thus the point of Next, is that of providing options. And if multiclassing is even to be considered an option at all (and it certainly has to), it has to be engineered into the system very early on.

You could argue that we need to see all the classes to then think about multiclassing.
I argue the contrary: I think we need a solid multiclassing system to be playtested in parallel, also because this way the classes that will come in the future will already consider the multiclassing problem. Not that they'd then need to be shaped around it: they could also discover that the multiclassing needs reshaping. But that's the point of testing multiclassing early: becoming aware of the problems little by little, and shaping the system at a low level.

I kind of get this request will not be answered by the developers, but I still feel the need to post it.

Personally, although I see the dabbling potential of Specialities, I think that's only a start, and multiclassing should go muh deeper than that.
I'd give the following options, in order of "magnitude of multiclassing":

  1. Take a speciality that makes you dabble in something typical of another class, like Magic User.

  2. Take levels in another class (and this should address things like spell level nicely. For example, a Fighter/Wizard should definitely have less spell slots than a full Wizard but still have access to the same spell level of a Wizard of the same total character level, so as not to become underpowered the 3.x way)

  3. Take levels in another class and take a "multiclass speciality" that lets you truly mix the class features instead of having them too separated. For example, the above Fighter/Wizard would take an "Elditch Knight speciality" that little by little grants thing like casting with at least light or medium armor, combining maneuvers with spells and things like these.


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While not incredibly urgent, I do agree with the sentiment. Multiclassing is likely going to be difficult to balance, so getting our inout asap would be good.
Hated 4e multiclassing, love Pathfinder muticlassing, just saying.

Taking 3 in fighter, then picking up 1 in wizard, for a Class Level of 4, but a Caster Level of 1 works for me just fine.

"The turning of the tide always begins with one soldier's decision to head back into the fray"

I agree that multiclassing needs to be something that, if it's going to be a thing, needs to be something that is explicitly designed around, which means that the earlier ideas about it start to gel, the better. This is particularly true because D&D does not exactly have an existing multiclassing model that it can look back to that I would call particularly exemplary; on the contrary, I think that multiclassing rules have been some of the least satisfying aspects of the game in most editions. Trying to retrofit a multiclassing system onto a leveled class system has not produced the most awesome results in the past. (I'm assuming that that's what went on in 3&4 at least - that multiclassing was one of the last things addressed. It certainly feels that way, or else it was simply the case that it wasn't given any real attention or that the bar for it was pretty low.)
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While not my top priority, I really want my characters to be able to change concepts via the many takes on multiclassing.  My favorites were PF/3.5 style classing where you can start in a new class and go from there and 4e's hybriding where you can mash two classes together at once.  If that and more is perfected 1-2 years in advance, SWEET!  But, since it's a lesser priority, I want to see the regular classes themselves perfected and appealing first.

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I expect to see 3e-style multiclassing with elements from the 4e hybrid system. 

Watched a vid where Mearls mentions the designers learned some things about mullticlassing from the hybrid system. 

So they seem to have some ideas in their head already about how to approach it. 
/\ Art
I honestly hope there is zero NEED for multiclassing. I'd rather see more flexible classes so you can build the concepts that you want.

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I know that the game should be perfectly playable without even taking multiclassing in consideration, but the point of modularity, and thus the point of Next, is that of providing options. And if multiclassing is even to be considered an option at all (and it certainly has to), it has to be engineered into the system very early on.

You could argue that we need to see all the classes to then think about multiclassing.
I argue the contrary: I think we need a solid multiclassing system to be playtested in parallel, also because this way the classes that will come in the future will already consider the multiclassing problem. Not that they'd then need to be shaped around it: they could also discover that the multiclassing needs reshaping. But that's the point of testing multiclassing early: becoming aware of the problems little by little, and shaping the system at a low level.

I kind of get this request will not be answered by the developers, but I still feel the need to post it.

Personally, although I see the dabbling potential of Specialities, I think that's only a start, and multiclassing should go muh deeper than that.
I'd give the following options, in order of "magnitude of multiclassing":

  1. Take a speciality that makes you dabble in something typical of another class, like Magic User.

  2. Take levels in another class (and this should address things like spell level nicely. For example, a Fighter/Wizard should definitely have less spell slots than a full Wizard but still have access to the same spell level of a Wizard of the same total character level, so as not to become underpowered the 3.x way)

  3. Take levels in another class and take a "multiclass speciality" that lets you truly mix the class features instead of having them too separated. For example, the above Fighter/Wizard would take an "Elditch Knight speciality" that little by little grants thing like casting with at least light or medium armor, combining maneuvers with spells and things like these.




1) I agree
2) The underpoweredness of a fighter/wizard more came from the inability to combine the abilities of a fighter and wizard in 3.X. You can't full attack and cast a spell for instance. That kind of thing could be fixed mostly if the combat rules were adjusted some. If you could cast a spell and take the additional attack from a full attack (like the pathfinder magus, for instance), is one way. The damage output also goes up in a non-linear way for both classes a bit too.
3) This sounds good too

I kind of get this request will not be answered by the developers, but I still feel the need to post it.


The developers answere dthis question directly in the PAX seminar from earlier today.  Next multiclassing will resemble 3e multiclassing in which you can take a new class each level.  It will be playtested in a future packet.
I kind of get this request will not be answered by the developers, but I still feel the need to post it.


The developers answere dthis question directly in the PAX seminar from earlier today.  Next multiclassing will resemble 3e multiclassing in which you can take a new class each level.  It will be playtested in a future packet.


Great to hear! I also hope that they really are considering the feel of 4e hybrids, in that they were able to fully use their class abilities, just not all at once or all combined. taking levels in a class is fine, but some additional rules are needed to clarify the interactions and synergies...

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Yay, official announcement.  Also, I hope the 4e hybrid style will pop up again.  Maybe the gestalt style as a runner up.

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I kind of get this request will not be answered by the developers, but I still feel the need to post it.


The developers answere dthis question directly in the PAX seminar from earlier today.  Next multiclassing will resemble 3e multiclassing in which you can take a new class each level.  It will be playtested in a future packet.



Yeah, we heard that one before. Problem is, 3e's MC system didnt work. The last thing we need to see is the blah/blah/PrC/PrC/blah... again. 

Applying the 3e rules to what we see in this packet actually causes MORE problems than 3e. At least back then if you MC'd a caster the loss of caster levels was a drag. DDN just hands out casting, and a LOT of casting, for free.
Yeah, we heard that one before. Problem is, 3e's MC system didnt work.


They said resemble, not replicate.  Let's at least try to hold back the nerd-rage until we see an actual playtest, ok?
+1

Indeed, they mentioned the likelihood of a separate progression block for multiclassing that spreads out unique abilities through several levels rather than front-loading them at Level 1.
2E's Dual-Class system can be pretty good, if the arbitrary nonsense is cleaned up.
Mike's explanation of DDN Multiclass system at Pax Seminar: The Future of D&D (00:55) sound to me like a crossbreed between 3E's Multiclass and 4E's Hybrid one.

''it will be like 3rd, taking levels if you want to take a level in this, the one tweak though might be instead of going with the Monk chart it might be a Multiclass Monk chart you go to'' - Mike Mearls

Classes will have variant multiclass write-up with varying progression or starting features so that classes can be frontloaded without worrying if multiclassed, and you will be able to multiclass when taking a level in a different class. Sounds interesting !

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Classes will have variant multiclass write-up with varying progression or starting features so that class can be frontloaded without worrying if multiclassed, and you will be able to multiclass when taking a level in a different class.

That seems way more complicated than it needs to be.

I agree with the OP, multiclassing needs to be a big concern, and it should be introduced early as a framework. 3E's open mutliclassing was a great innovation, the only problem was the system wasn't designed with multiclassing in mind. When we design the system for Next, multiclassing should really be something we can expect a lot of peopel will do.

I dont' want to go back to prestige classes, but the idea that somebody is going to be a fighter/mage or fighter/thief shuldn't be an alien idea.
I honestly hope there is zero NEED for multiclassing. I'd rather see more flexible classes so you can build the concepts that you want.




This really comes down to how class abilities are handled.

In 3.5 there were many abilities that  distinct to a certain class, which often forced players into bizarre mish-mashes simply to get an ability that suited their general tone. 4e handled this much better (not perfectly, but in my opinion the best that any D&D game has thus far)  by making it a lot easier to cherry-pick certain class features without having to dump whole levels into it. Personally, I like that system. . . the costs have to be carefully measured.

Still, that doesn't exactly address the fact that some players may want to more dramatically alter their classes, either as a design concept or perhaps even just because they've changed their mind about what they'd like to do with the character. 7 rogue/thug/thug levels in, a player may actually decide that he/she really just wants to focus on this fighter thing full-time and start taking levels in it. A good system should be able to account for this not only for player fun/freedom but because it's realistic, logical and probable that people may want to fundamentally change their  class (training style, as it were).

My hope is that they borrow all three of the primary forms of diversification. I really liked the direction of Hybrid Classes in 4e, I really liked the ability to sort of "dabble" in a class  the way that 4e allowed one to spend resources to pick up other classes abilities but I also think there still needs to be the ability to truly multi-class a la 3.5. It's a tall task but it's do-able, if the fundamental groundwork of class abilities are properly designed and balanced.

One system that had a pretty decent amount of success allowing multi-classing without overpowering or gimping a character was what they did with the Tome of Battle stuff. Hopefully the designers have taken a good look at what made those books fun and useful.
currently im allowing multiclassing based off the AD&D 2 system, with a few tweaks

Use the highest BAB of the classes, gain proficiencies and all that. if you multi class spellcasters and cast a spell, only the MAB and DC from that casters table applies.

Take a feat to gain a  second class and split the experience between the two evenly
Mike's explanation of DDN Multiclass system at Pax Seminar: The Future of D&D (00:55) sound to me like a crossbreed between 3E's Multiclass and 4E's Hybrid one.

''it will be like 3rd, taking levels if you want to take a level in this, the one tweak though might be instead of going with the Monk chart it might be a Multiclass Monk chart you go to'' - Mike Mearls

Classes will have variant multiclass write-up with varying progression or starting features so that classes can be frontloaded without worrying if multiclassed, and you will be able to multiclass when taking a level in a different class. Sounds interesting !


Hey I think this is AWESOME! That's the way.

And I still think that special feats can then be made to better integrate specific combinations, just like those late 3.5 feats like the Psion/Monk that used Int for AC and the Rogue/Monk that advanced Unarmed Strike with Rogue and so on.

BTW, to those saying it's too complicated, the only other way to do it I can think about would be standardizing classes so that they get a certain amount of features at each level, and then stating that with multiclassing you get, say, 1 instead of 2 features per level. It takes a lot more effort in class design and you lose variety.
If you don't do anything like this or the separate charts, you simply end with all of 3e's issues and nobody wants that.
The point is that you have to make sure multiclassing grants the following:

  1. An overall power level that is comparable with your total character level, or you have underpowered multiclassed characters.

  2. Not ALL the features of all your classes, or not at the same degree, because that would mean overpowered multiclassing.

As I said, for example, the number of spell slots is something I'd reduce in multiclassed characters, but not the spell level or caster level. It's entirely useless to multiclass into Wizard solely to get 1st level spells when you're (say), 9th level, even if you get (for example), 4 slots. Better to have 1 slot, but a spell that is truly useful for your level.
RE-EDIT: To minimize the gamist factor of such a mechanic, you could still require a few levels of the caster class to reach the adequate spell/caster-level for your total character level: the important thing iss that you can actually reach it, instead of leaving you with the impossibility of reaching it, like in 3.x or (aka) Pathfinder.

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Here's a quick workup of a 2E-derived multiclass system:

  1. Each additional class has a level-one buy-in of 125XP.

  2. Classes level up in parallel, with XP divided among them as desired.

  3. Hit Dice at each level aren't cumulative, but can supersede each other.  Starting HP is unaffected (thus the first level of a new class doesn't affect HP totals) but short rest hitdice might be replaced as larger dice supercede smaller dice.

  4. Non-class-linked level gains only see the highest level among levels.

  5. Some level-one abilities may need to be moved the "if your first class is" block.


Four and a half rules, and a slight anti-frontloading tweak to classes.  That's all we need.


A brand new Wizard can take a level of fighter at 125XP, making him a Wizard:1 with 0XP and a Fighter:1 with 125XP.  He gains a 1d6 Expertise die, and chooses a fighting style, but gets no weapon or armor proficiencies.  His short rest Hit Die changes to 1d10, but his HP doesn't change.


A brand new Fighter can take a level of Wizard at 125XP, making him a Fighter:1 with 0XP and a Wizard:1 with 125XP.  A spellbook "poofs" into existence out of DM fiat, and he gets one spell (the five starting spells and three cantrips should be moved to the "your first level" block).  His HP doesn't change, and his short rest Hit Die stays at 1d10, because 1d4 doesn't supersede it.


A Wizard:7 Fighter:1 (125xp) can invest 525XP to become Wizard:7 Fighter:2  His HP increases by 3, because the 1d10 (6HP) gained by Fighter:2 replaces the 1d4 (3HP) of Wizard:2.  His short rest hit dice are 2x1d10 and 5x1d4, because two d4s have been superceded by d10s. Nothing else really happens, because Fighter:2 is mostly a dead level and his highest level is still 7.


The obvious problems of this approach are:



  • Slowed feat/skill/stat progress, because total class levels don't "stack"

  • It essentially mandates XP tracking to "you guys level up now" groups.

  • Rolled HPs need to be tracked for each level, to implement superseding hitdice.  Just roll the new hitdie, and replace that level's HP if the roll comes up higher.

I want 3e's multiclassing, but functional, rather than disruptive.

If they give it sufficient time, and let us dig into it for a few rounds of playtesting?  I think they could nail it.

We'll see.  *shrugs*
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I want 3e's multiclassing, but functional, rather than disruptive.

If they give it sufficient time, and let us dig into it for a few rounds of playtesting?  I think they could nail it.



The only thing that worries me is vancian casting. While I'm not one of those people that hates vancian casting outright, I feel like it's very hard to blend with a multiclass system, because when you're taking your 1st level in wizard, and you were a fighter 4, you can't just get the crappy 1st level wizard spells, you need to be getting a 5th level ability out of that, otherwise you're going to fall behind.

Now how they can do that with a vancian system, I really don't know. The problem with vancian is that it assumes you're building off of what you had, and it's not really possible to start in the middle.

The 4E system was actually somewhat better for mutlcilassing simply because you were swapping one level appropriate ability for another. I'd like to optimally see D&DN work that way, only where multiclassing is done with class levels and not feats the way it was done in 4E.

I want 3e's multiclassing, but functional, rather than disruptive.

Is that even possible?
3E MC builds were either grossly crippled or gross synergy-monsters, with pretty much nothing in between.

I want 3e's multiclassing, but functional, rather than disruptive.

Is that even possible?
3E MC builds were either grossly crippled or gross synergy-monsters, with pretty much nothing in between.




Well, yes, but it requires that the MC system be worked on from the start, as an expected part of the game. Then you need to adhere to certain design principlines.

The first thing needs to be a design principle that a single class character is always the best at its specialty. For instance, a fighter 20 should be the best possible weapon fighter for a 20th level character. While a fighter 10/ wizard 10 may have other abilities, he shouldn't be able to exceed the single class character in raw fighting potential. Multiclassing shouldn't be about getting better at your role, it should be about doing multiple roles.

As for how to do that, mainly it just relies on controlling buffing spells. Generally combat buffs need to be something used by single classed casters to be competent (but not excel) at fighting. However their implemented, there needs to be controls on how many buffs you can have on at a time, or buffs need to not work as well for semi-competent characters. Mage armor for instance is a good example of how buffs should work. It's okay for a guy who is unarmored, but doesn't provide more AC than basic armor would. So the guy in full plate is still better off. All buff spells need to work similarly.
The obvious fix for 3E MC would have been to stop shoving so much into the first three or four levels, and spread things out more.

Go look at 3E classes.  Really, go look at them.
There's a repeated pattern that is (more or less) upwards of 4 or 5 abilities at level one (not even considering weapon/armor proficiencies), 2-3 abilities at level two, a couple of abilities at levels three, four, and five, an ability each level up to about ten, then spotty ability gains in a sea of dead levels form 11-20.   Except, of course, for caster classes, who gained abilities (spell slots) slow-and-steady over the whole twenty levels.

That's why we saw so many 8/4/4/3/1 builds, and why multiclassing casters was usually a terrible idea.  Caster classes needed dedication to keep up, and that dedication always meant something.  Everyone else got piles of awesome in the first half dozen levels, and not much after that.
I think it's possible, but it requires a deep commitment to actually thinking about how a class will work when multiclassed instead of basically not doing that at all. It's probably never going to be the case that an arbitrary combination of levels from different classes is going to be approximately as powerful, but we can at least shoot for close with some dedication to it. I don't think that there are any issues that 3.5's multiclassing had that are absolutely unfixable, especially if the game as a whole is more linear in terms of how characters grow. (If a level 8 wizard is ten hojillion times more powerful than a Wizard 4/Cleric 4, it's harder to square things than if he's, like, just a little more powerful.) Off the top of my head, fixing the Casters Multiclassing Is Always Bad thing might require making spellcasting based in part on your total character level. No BAB progression means that issues stemming form BAB progression madness in 3.5 shouldn't be issues. Making it so that every class has some stuff that scales with your levels in that class but not that everything scales with your levels in that class helps make it so that there's a proper amount of tension between multiclassing and staying single-classed, instead of having a bunch of classes where multiclassing is always wrong and a bunch where it's always right. "If X is your first class" language nips frontloading worries in the bud. I think that if it's tended to properly, it can get to a state maybe like 4e hybridding (or even better), where combinations that seem synergistic and use the same stats and stuff are pretty good and combinations that seem kind of bad are still playable in a normal party, usually.

The problem is that it does require thinking about it from the getgo. The current playtest is full of things that multiclass horribly with 3.5 multiclassing, like magic progression based pure on your class level. This is exactly why you can't just hope to staple 3.5 multiclassing on later; if you want it to live up to anything like its full potential, it needs to be designed around. (It might also be worth considering limiting the number of classes a character can have, in the vein of dualclassing or 4e multiclassing.)
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You know, I've played two long-term (as in from level 1 to level epic) casters who were both 3 caster levels down through most of their career. I didn't feel gimped because of it. One was an archlich and the second was something resembling an arcane trickster (with a variety of other PrC's to get him the abilities I wanted).

I agree that many combinations of multiclassed casters were terrible, but it wasn't always a bad idea. I had people tell me my characters had commited D&D suicide, but they were both vital to preventing TPK's, the trickster fully covered the parties rogue requirements, and both outlasted the nay-sayers PC's by a long way. 

To add something to the actual topic - I'm delighted they're using somehting that resembles the 3E system, and have faith that after 16 years of experience with the underlying issues that system they have the experience to make the 5E version more functional and fair.  

IMAGE(http://www.nodiatis.com/pub/12.jpg)

(It might also be worth considering limiting the number of classes a character can have, in the vein of dualclassing or 4e multiclassing.)

I really hope not. That limit was probably the most influencial factor behind my only luke-warm acceptence of 4E.

IMAGE(http://www.nodiatis.com/pub/12.jpg)

You know, I've played two long-term (as in from level 1 to level epic) casters who were both 3 caster levels down through most of their career. I didn't feel gimped because of it.

...because you weren't, much.  Those three other levels were likely full of front-loaded goodness, which made riding out the caster class easier (in spite of being a few levels behind) for awhile.

A curious side effect of LFQW is that the linear part is ahead of the quadratic curve for a few levels, meaning an obviously-rolled wizard benefits far more from starting with three or four levels of fighter than a obviously-rolled fighter benefits from starting with three or four levels of wizard.


Really, guys, if you think 3E multiclassing is silly, just go look at SWSE.
Ok, I have to ask: how is a balanced multi-class implementation NOT equivalent to having a class-less system? If the entire goal of multi-classing is to pick the features you want, isn't that essentially class-less? Why are the same people that are solidly against generic classes so avid for multi-classing?

Cognitive dissonance.

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Why are the same people that are solidly against generic classes so avid for multi-classing?

I don't think that's quite correct.

In my experience, the people strongly against classless tend to also be strongly against open multiclassing, but strongly in favor of heavily locked-down multiclassing and/or gestalt multiclassing.

Why are the same people that are solidly against generic classes so avid for multi-classing?

I don't think that's quite correct.

In my experience, the people strongly against classless tend to also be strongly against open multiclassing, but strongly in favor of heavily locked-down multiclassing and/or gestalt multiclassing.

I'm not sure I understand the difference. If the end result is that you can cherry pick the features you want, even if it requires prerequisites, then that is essentially classless. I cannot see a functional 3e-like multiclassing implementation that isn't going to devolve into "system mastery rulz!" But I guess we will see.

I proposed using martial/magical/mixed "base" classes that would allow you to build the "class" you want, but hopefully in a balanced way. I don't see how else it can be done and still maintain a semblance of balance.

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I think it's possible, but it requires a deep commitment to actually thinking about how a class will work when multiclassed instead of basically not doing that at all. .....

......The problem is that it does require thinking about it from the getgo. The current playtest is full of things that multiclass horribly with 3.5 multiclassing, like magic progression based pure on your class level. This is exactly why you can't just hope to staple 3.5 multiclassing on later; if you want it to live up to anything like its full potential, it needs to be designed around. (It might also be worth considering limiting the number of classes a character can have, in the vein of dualclassing or 4e multiclassing.)



I agree with you and also agree that, in the end, Vancian casting and non-linear spell systems are the big hurdle.

This is why I was bringing up what ToB did in 3.5. While using exactly that sort of system doesn't work in this situation, I think the concept that they are using is what will have to be done to properly multi-class when it comes to vancian/abstract magic.

For those unfamiliar with Tome of Battle, they had their own style of abilities that were scaled by initiator level. The three classes had access to different, sometimes overlapping, abilities that ended up working sort of like spells.

For an easy example, let's take the Warblade class. A person with 10 Warblade levels had an initiator level of ten when it came to the abilities within the Warblade class, which gave them access to 5th level warblade abilities (they halved your initiator level to determine what level abilities you could get too, similar to how a 10th level wizard didn't mean you had tength level spells). What made the Tome of Battle system particularly appealing was that a character's initiator level increased regardless of whether or not they actually trained in that initiator  class at a rate of 1 to 2. So a 10th level rogue had an initiator level of 5. If at 10th level he trained in one Swordsage level (another initiator class) he would have an initiator level of 10/2 for rogue + 1 for the Swordsage level. So his total initiator level would be 6, giving him access to 3rd level Swordsage abilities. Sure, a pure 10th level Swordsage would have access to 5th level abilities, but the rogue would also have their own rogue class functions to balance it out somewhat.

Now, that exact advancement system doesn't work right off the bat with this problem . . . but I think the solution could be found using a similar style of logic. 
I'm not sure I understand the difference. If the end result is that you can cherry pick the features you want, even if it requires prerequisites, then that is essentially classless.

Ah, but limiting multiclass builds to specific combinations by race makes those people happy because their "classic" fanatasy tropes are the only ones allowed.

It's not a classless system at all, but a system that makes Elf Fighter-Mage essentially a class itself.

Ok, I have to ask: how is a balanced multi-class implementation NOT equivalent to having a class-less system? If the entire goal of multi-classing is to pick the features you want, isn't that essentially class-less? Why are the same people that are solidly against generic classes so avid for multi-classing?

Cognitive dissonance.

It's a great way to organize abilities, the fluff behind classes is a great starting place for creative ideas (Ranger + monk, hmmmm….) and it makes the system FAR more approachable for people who don't want to dig through a GURPs sized list of "things."

You know, like a lot of the exact same good things that are coming from Specialties. Did this clear up some of that dissonance of yours?
I think it's possible, but it requires a deep commitment to actually thinking about how a class will work when multiclassed instead of basically not doing that at all. .....

......The problem is that it does require thinking about it from the getgo. The current playtest is full of things that multiclass horribly with 3.5 multiclassing, like magic progression based pure on your class level. This is exactly why you can't just hope to staple 3.5 multiclassing on later; if you want it to live up to anything like its full potential, it needs to be designed around. (It might also be worth considering limiting the number of classes a character can have, in the vein of dualclassing or 4e multiclassing.)



I agree with you and also agree that, in the end, Vancian casting and non-linear spell systems are the big hurdle.

This is why I was bringing up what ToB did in 3.5. While using exactly that sort of system doesn't work in this situation, I think the concept that they are using is what will have to be done to properly multi-class when it comes to vancian/abstract magic. [...]

THIS
And I also agree very much with this:
It's a great way to organize abilities, the fluff behind classes is a great starting place for creative ideas (Ranger + monk, hmmmm….) and it makes the system FAR more approachable for people who don't want to dig through a GURPs sized list of "things."

You know, like a lot of the exact same good things that are coming from Specialties. Did this clear up some of that dissonance of yours?


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Ok, I have to ask: how is a balanced multi-class implementation NOT equivalent to having a class-less system? If the entire goal of multi-classing is to pick the features you want, isn't that essentially class-less? Why are the same people that are solidly against generic classes so avid for multi-classing?

Cognitive dissonance.

It's a great way to organize abilities, the fluff behind classes is a great starting place for creative ideas (Ranger + monk, hmmmm….) and it makes the system FAR more approachable for people who don't want to dig through a GURPs sized list of "things."

You know, like a lot of the exact same good things that are coming from Specialties. Did this clear up some of that dissonance of yours?
I don't see it as all that great, especially since balancing multiclassing mechanics is problematic. I'm also not a fan of GURPS. Definately not what I'm looking for. Taking your example, what does ranger+monk mean to you? Which parts are you looking at for your concept? I'm all for standard "builds" that represent the classic tropes, but I don't think multiclassing works if the classes are too rigid (which, IMO, they currently are in DDN).

The fundamental question is how to implement multiclassing without making a character too weak or too strong? The 3e method, IMO, just completely failed in this regard. Perhaps bounded accuracy will address some of its shortcomings, but I'm not seeing it.

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(It might also be worth considering limiting the number of classes a character can have, in the vein of dualclassing or 4e multiclassing.)

I really hope not. That limit was probably the most influencial factor behind my only luke-warm acceptence of 4E.




Its also the only way to make it work. 3e style multiclassing forces every level of every class to give EXACTLY the same measure of benefit as every level of every other class or it just flat out breaks.

You end up having to balance FTR 20 with RNG 1 with CLR 10 because that option is available at some time. You either end up with an outsized benefit or no benefit at all.

On top of those issues, Vancian casting, whether its the CLR, WIZ or SOR style in this packet, is completely incompatible. Are you going to give a FTR 10 everything a CLR gets at level 1? Only the Orisons? Half the daily spells? Of a CLR1 or CLR11?

You can go with 2e or 4e style MC, but 3e's 8/1/1/4 system doesnt work.

What Mearls proposes might actually work, but only with FORCED level gap compliance, making it a version of 4e's Hybrids. If you do that you could easily have a 4/3 MC where the pc went 1-2-2/1-2/2-2/3-3/3-4/3 or even a 2e style 4/3/3 MC following a similar progression. You're going to have to split the Level chart back into class-level dependant level benefits and character-level dependant benefits. Forcing the level gap compliance means that you only have to balance the MC classes at the same levels. As long as MCWIZ 3 and MCMNK 3 are in the neighborhood of CLR 3 and ROG 3 you can reasonably expect the CLR3/MCWIZ3 to be a balanced PC6. 

It also has the advantage that none of the MC classes need to have more than 1/2 as many levels as the primary classes. 
I honestly hope there is zero NEED for multiclassing. I'd rather see more flexible classes so you can build the concepts that you want.



What he said. There's no need to give people the ability to make a Fighter/Rogue/Wizard just so people can say they are a Fighter/Rogue/Wizard.  If anything multi-classing is just a workaround make-do patch due to the archaic design and inflexability of older editions, not a feature.