opposed to multiclassing?

From another thread:
147454227 wrote:
141176621 wrote:
I am a massive advocate of moving class variety into specialities. That way you can have minimum rules for maximum variety. So yes, I agree with this. Actually I dont even want multiclassing as its more unnecessary rules.

I totally agree with this sentiment. I am staunchly opposed to multi-classing.

Why? Numerous people on the boards are eager for multiclassing, some for mechanics reasons and some for character story reasons. I'm interested to hear from both of you on this -- and any others who agree that there should be no multiclassing.

In memory of wrecan and his Unearthed Wrecana.

Most who object to multi-classing do so on the basis of the fact that it was horrendously broken in 3.x.

The assumption is:  It was done so badly there, that there must be something inherent in the concept which makes it problematic.

However, the counter argument is that their approach (as described) seems to be designed to avoid at least some of the problems that plagued 3.x - so it is at least worth waiting to see whether their approach works.


Personally, I would have rather seen something closer to 4E hybrid multiclassing (which is really just a more modular and open version of AD&D multiclassing).

Carl
What i see that gives me pause is the specialtys already give access to other classes abilities, now you multi class on top of that and you end up with the "party of one" character that can do everything.

I am not saying I don't want to see it, but I will reserve my opinion untill I see how they actually do it. 
Personally, I thought multiclassing in 3.x was a step in the right direction for multiclassing. Yes, it is easily abusable but still better than dual classing in 2nd. I do find the hybrid class idea to be another step in the right direction. I personally don't know how it plays, as I don't play 4e. Having read the rules I find it to be a sound idea.
As with anything with this I take the wait and see approach.
however, I do want them to make staying within one class be a better, slightly, choice than multiclassing. 
 




I have a complex take on multiclassing. To best sum it up I would say in three words- mimic the novels. If you can make a case for it then it should be possible. the challenge is balancing the usual so its uncommon yet viable under relative circumstance. 3e did a decent job of it.




Back in the early AD&D days, I was all about multiclassing because it was basically the only way to cross-polinate classes. Now, characters have so many options available to them to customize their classes (esp. in Next) that it just seems like a klunky and obsolete concept to me. Not to mention the fact that it is rife with potential abuse if the rules are not handled very carefully.
 
While multiclassing is banned from my table, I don't mind if they release a module for it for players that happen to like it. I just would prefer that it's not in the core rules for simplicity's sake.
D&D Next - Basic and Expert Editions

I firmly believe that there should be two editions of the game; the core rules released as a "Basic" set and a more complicated expanded rules edition released as an "Expert" set. These two editions would provide separate entry points to the game; one for new players or players that want a more classic D&D game and another entry point for experienced gamers that want more options and all the other things they have come to expect from previous editions.

Also, they must release several rules modules covering the main elements of the game (i.e., classes, races, combat, magic, monsters, etc.) upon launch to further expand the game for those that still need more complexity in a particular element of the game.


Here's a mockup of the Basic Set I created.



(CLICK HERE TO VIEW LARGER IMAGE)
  

Basic Set

This boxed set contains a simple, "bare bones" edition of the game; the core rules. It's for those that want a rules-light edition of the game that is extremely modifiable or for new players that get intimidated easily by too many rules and/or options. The Basic Set contains everything needed to play with all the "classic" D&D races (i.e., Human, Dwarf, Elf, and Halfling) and classes (i.e., Cleric, Fighter, Rogue, Wizard) all the way up to maximum level (i.e., 20th Level).

The Basic boxed set contains:

Quick Start Rules
A "choose your own way" adventure intended as an intro to RPGs and basic D&D terms.

Player's Handbook
(Softcover, 125 pages)
Features rules for playing the classic D&D races and classes all the way up to 20th level.

Dungeon Master's Guide

(Softcover, 125 pages)
Includes the basic rules for dungeon masters.

Monster Manual
(Softcover, 100 pages)
Includes all the classic iconic monsters from D&D. 

Introductory Adventure
(Keep on the Borderlands)
An introductory adventure for beginning players and DMs.

Also includes: 

Character Sheets
Reference Sheets
Set of Dice


Expert Set

A set of hardbound rules that contains the core rules plus expanded races and classes, more spells and a large selection of optional rules modules — that is, pretty much everything that experienced players have come to expect. Each expert edition manual may be purchased separately, or in a boxed set. The Expert set includes:

Expert PHB (Hardcover, 225 pages. $35 Includes core rules plus 10 playable races, 10 character classes, expanded selection of spells and rules modules for players.)
Expert DMG (Hardcover, 250 pages. $35 Includes core rules plus expanded rules modules for DMs.)
Expert MM (Hardcover, 225 pages. $35 Includes an expanded list of monsters and creatures to challenge characters)


Expansions

These expansion rules modules can be used with both the Basic and Expert sets. Each expansion covers one specific aspect of the game, such as character creation, combat, spells, monsters, etc.) 

Hall of Heroes (Hardcover, 225 pages. $35 Includes a vast selection of playable character races and classes, new and old all in one book)
Combat and Tactics (Hardcover, 225 pages. $35 Includes dozens of new and old optional rules for combat all in one book)
Creature Compendium (Hardcover, 350 pages.$35 Includes hundreds of monsters, new and old all in one book)
The Grimoire (Hardcover, 225 pages. $35 Includes hundreds of new and old spells all in one book)





A Million Hit Points of Light: Shedding Light on Damage

A Million Hit Points of Light: Shedding Light on Damage and Hit Points

In my personal campaigns, I use the following system for damage and dying. It's a slight modification of the long-standing principles etsablished by the D&D game, only with a new definition of what 0 or less hit points means. I've been using it for years because it works really well. However, I've made some adjustments to take advantage of the D&D Next rules. I've decided to present the first part in a Q&A format for better clarity. So let's begin...

What are hit points?
The premise is very simple, but often misunderstood; hit points are an abstraction that represent the character's ability to avoid serious damage, not necessarily their ability to take serious damage. This is a very important distinction. They represent a combination of skillful maneuvering, toughness, stamina and luck. Some targets have more hit points because they are physically tougher and are harder to injure...others have more because they are experienced combatants and have learned how to turn near fatal blows into mere scratches by skillful maneuvering...and then others are just plain lucky. Once a character runs out of hit points they become vulnerable to serious life-threatening injuries.

So what exactly does it mean to "hit" with a successful attack roll, then?
It means that through your own skill and ability you may have wounded your target if the target lacks the hit points to avoid the full brunt of the attack. That's an important thing to keep in mind; a successful "hit" does not necessarily mean you physically damaged your target. It just means that your attack was well placed and forced the target to exert themselves in such a way as to leave them vulnerable to further attacks. For example, instead of severing the target's arm, the attack merely grazes them leaving a minor cut.

But the attack did 25 points of damage! Why did it only "graze" the target?
Because the target has more than 25 hit points. Your attack forced them to exert a lot of energy to avoid the attack, but because of their combat skill, toughness, stamina and luck, they managed to avoid being seriously injured. However, because of this attack, they may not have the reserves to avoid your next attack. Perhaps you knocked them off balance or the attack left them so fatigued they lack the stamina to evade another attack. It's the DM's call on how they want to narrate the exact reason the blow didn't kill or wound the target.

Yeah, but what about "touch" attacks that rely on physical contact?
Making physical contact with a target is a lot different than striking them, so these types of attacks are the exception. If a touch attack succeeds, the attacker manages to make contact with their target.

If hit points and weapon damage don't always represent actual damage to the target, then what does it represent?
Think of the damage from an attack as more like a "threat level" rather than actual physical damage that transfers directly to the target's body. That is, the more damage an attack does, the harder it is to avoid serious injury. For example, an attack that causes 14 points of damage is more likely to wound the target than 3 points of damage (depending on how many hit points the target has left). The higher the damage, the greater the chance is that the target will become seriously injured. So, an attack that does 34 points of damage could be thought of as a "threat level of 34." If the target doesn't have the hit points to negate that threat, they become seriously injured.

Ok, but shouldn't armor reduce the amount of damage delivered from an attack?
It does reduce damage; by making it harder for an attack to cause serious injury. A successful hit against an armored target suggests that the attack may have circumvented the target's armor by striking in a vulnerable area.

What about poison and other types of non-combat damage?
Hit point loss from non-physical forms of damage represents the character spitting the poison out just in time before it takes full strength or perhaps the poison just wasn't strong enough to affect them drastically, but still weakens them. Again, it's the DMs call on how to narrate the reasons why the character avoids serious harm from the damage.

If hit points don't don't represent actual damage then how does that make sense with spells like Cure Serious Wounds and other forms of healing like healer kits with bandages?
Hit points do represent some physical damage, just not serious physical damage. Healing magic and other forms of healing still affect these minor wounds just as well as more serious wounds. For example, bandaging up minor cuts and abrasions helps the character rejuvenate and relieve the pain and/or fatigue of hit point loss. The key thing to remember is that it's an abstraction that allows the DM freedom to interpret and narrate it as they see fit.

What if my attack reduces the target to 0 or less hit points?
If a player is reduced to 0 or less hit points they are wounded. If a monster or NPC is reduce to 0 or less hit points they are killed.

Why are monsters killed immediately and not players?
Because unless the monsters are crucial to the story, it makes combat resolution much faster. It is assumed that players immediately execute a coup de grace on wounded monsters as a finishing move.

What if a character is wounded by poison or other types of non-physical damage?
If a character becomes wounded from non-combat damage they still receive the effects of being wounded, regardless if they show any physical signs of injury (i.e., internal injuries are still considered injuries).

Ok. I get it...but what happens once a character is wounded?
See below.
 

Damage and Dying

Once a character is reduced to 0 or less hit points, they start taking real damage. In other words, their reserves have run out and they can no longer avoid taking serious damage.

  1. Characters are fully operational as long as they have 1 hit point or more. They may have minor cuts, bruises, and superficial wounds, but they are are not impaired significantly. 
  2. Once they reach 0 or less hit points, they become Wounded (see below).That is, they have sustained a wound that impairs their ability to perform actions.
  3. If they reach a negative amount of hit points equal or greater than their Constitution score, they are Incapacitated. This means they are in critical condition and could possibly die.
  4. Characters will die if their hit points reach a negative amount greater than their Constitution score, plus their current level.

Unharmed: 1 hp or more
Wounded: 0 hp or less
Incapacitated: -(Constitution) to -(Constitution+Level)
Dead: Less than -(Constitution +Level)

Wounded
When the character reaches 0 or less hit points they become wounded. Wounded characters receive disadvantage on all attacks and saving throws until they heal back up to 1 hit point or more. This allows for a transitory stage between healthy and dying, without having to mess around with impairment rules while the character still has hit points left.

Incapacitated
Characters begin dying when they reach a negative amount of hit points equal to their Constitution score. At which point, they must make a DC 10 Constitution saving throw on each of their following turns (the disadvantage from being wounded does not apply for these saving throws).

If successful, the character remains dying, but their condition does not worsen.

If the saving throw fails, another DC 10 Constitution saving throw must be made. If that one fails, the character succumbs to their wounds and dies. If successful, the character stabilizes and is no longer dying.

Finally, if a dying character receives first aid or healing at any point, they immediately stabilize.

Dead
Characters will die if they reach a negative amount of hit points equal to their Constitution, plus their current level. Thus, if an 8th level character with a Constitution score of 12 is down to 4 hit points then takes 24 points of damage (reducing their hit points to -20) the attack kills them outright.

I am typically pro multiclassing as one of my favorite characters was a natural multiclasser. He was a lastborn prince of a society were the royal family had to be trained clerics. He was forced out his home (By the DM) and housed by a rogues guild in another city. So he and the entire party save the wizard took rogue levels. So I liked 3.X's version.

Now I could understand the hatred for it. It was either unbalanced (Pre4e) or no really multiclassing (4e).

To my belief, this is because multiclassing was an afterthought. Like something thought about after everything else was set in stone.

But Next is thinking about multiclassing BEFORE the game is 90% done so it might ACTUALLY come out right.

Orzel, Halfelven son of Zel, Mystic Ranger, Bane to Dragons, Death to Undeath, Killer of Abyssals, King of the Wilds. Constitution Based Class for Next!

I'm not opposed to it. I just want it to be done properly, so that it becomes a tool for diversification of skills to create interesting characters, rather than powerbuilding to create characters that pwn.

That said, I'm not desperate to have it either, and won't cry if it's not included.
Everything expressed in this post is my opinion, and should be taken as such. I can not declare myself to be the supreme authority on all matters...even though I am right!
I play alot of 3.5 and 1e. Multiclassing in my favorate edition which is 3.5 was brocken if you allowed the players full range of building characters. not that building characters from multi-class was bad, but I played with some who powered game which took the fun right of the game. So when I was the one running I implemeted 1e rules on multi-class and dual classing, which balanced the game out. So if they added some of 1e rules with 3.5 it might not be bad for 5e.
The problem with 3e multiclassing was the class design itself.  If the classes hadn't been so horribly unbalanced, the multiclassing wouldn't have been so bad.
Another day, another three or four entries to my Ignore List.
The problem with 3e multiclassing was the class design itself.  If the classes hadn't been so horribly unbalanced, the multiclassing wouldn't have been so bad.


exactly. 3.x multiclassing is actually the most realistic.

oh, i want to train as a fighter now, i will spend time practicing to become one (next level, takes L1 fighter) oh good, i now have the basic training of a fighter
The problem with 3e multiclassing was the class design itself.  If the classes hadn't been so horribly unbalanced, the multiclassing wouldn't have been so bad.


exactly. 3.x multiclassing is actually the most realistic.

oh, i want to train as a fighter now, i will spend time practicing to become one (next level, takes L1 fighter) oh good, i now have the basic training of a fighter



Most realistic? 

Player 1:  I'm a wizard.  I spent years studyingj and training to learn how to cast the basic spells of my craft.  Finally, after years of study I'm a L1 wizard.  Yay!
Player 2: I'm a fighter.  I fight stuff.  After a few levels of being a fighter, on a whim I decide to become a wizard.  The next day I have the same set of skills as player 1 spent years to learn.  Hmm...

It has advantages - nut realism is not one of them.

If you want realism - go with a hybrid class.  You have two classes, you use the abilities of both classes and you advance in both classes at the same rate.  That is the 'realistic' approach.

Not - I wake up one day and decide I want a new set of abilities - so I choose a new class out of the blue and suddenly have all of that classes starting abilities.

Carl
The problem with 3e multiclassing was the class design itself.  If the classes hadn't been so horribly unbalanced, the multiclassing wouldn't have been so bad.


exactly. 3.x multiclassing is actually the most realistic.

oh, i want to train as a fighter now, i will spend time practicing to become one (next level, takes L1 fighter) oh good, i now have the basic training of a fighter



Most realistic? 

Player 1:  I'm a wizard.  I spent years studyingj and training to learn how to cast the basic spells of my craft.  Finally, after years of study I'm a L1 wizard.  Yay!
Player 2: I'm a fighter.  I fight stuff.  After a few levels of being a fighter, on a whim I decide to become a wizard.  The next day I have the same set of skills as player 1 spent years to learn.  Hmm...

It has advantages - nut realism is not one of them.

If you want realism - go with a hybrid class.  You have two classes, you use the abilities of both classes and you advance in both classes at the same rate.  That is the 'realistic' approach.

Not - I wake up one day and decide I want a new set of abilities - so I choose a new class out of the blue and suddenly have all of that classes starting abilities.

Carl


Im really getting sick of this

you dont gain a new level "the next day"
you gain experience over time, thus Experience Points. You don't become a wizard the next day, instead what has happened is all the experience points you have gained have gone towards you learning the skills of a wizard

and how is training your spellcasting ability and being able to fight with weapons better than anyone else at the same rate REALISTIC? that makes even less sense
For that matter, who says you have to train for years and years to be a starting wizard?  You know a handful of crappy spells.  You're practically on the short bus to Hogwart's.

It takes a long time to become a master (aka high level) wizard, but there's no reason it should take 'years and years' to learn the basics of 'say this word, make this gesture, stuff explodes'.
Another day, another three or four entries to my Ignore List.
For that matter, who says you have to train for years and years to be a starting wizard?  You know a handful of crappy spells.  You're practically on the short bus to Hogwart's.

It takes a long time to become a master (aka high level) wizard, but there's no reason it should take 'years and years' to learn the basics of 'say this word, make this gesture, stuff explodes'.


so we are in agreement then?
For that matter, who says you have to train for years and years to be a starting wizard?  You know a handful of crappy spells.  You're practically on the short bus to Hogwart's.

It takes a long time to become a master (aka high level) wizard, but there's no reason it should take 'years and years' to learn the basics of 'say this word, make this gesture, stuff explodes'.



I dunno.


Maybe the 3.5 PHB?


These simple acts make magic seem easy, but they only hint at the time the wizard must spend poring over her spellbook preparing  each spell for casting, and the years before that spent in apprenticeship  to learn the arts of magic.


Carl
For that matter, who says you have to train for years and years to be a starting wizard?  You know a handful of crappy spells.  You're practically on the short bus to Hogwart's.

It takes a long time to become a master (aka high level) wizard, but there's no reason it should take 'years and years' to learn the basics of 'say this word, make this gesture, stuff explodes'.



I dunno.


Maybe the 3.5 PHB?


These simple acts make magic seem easy, but they only hint at the time the wizard must spend poring over her spellbook preparing  each spell for casting, and the years before that spent in apprenticeship  to learn the arts of magic.


Carl



it only says they are an apprentice for years, it doesnt actually say years are required

For that matter, who says you have to train for years and years to be a starting wizard?  You know a handful of crappy spells.  You're practically on the short bus to Hogwart's.

It takes a long time to become a master (aka high level) wizard, but there's no reason it should take 'years and years' to learn the basics of 'say this word, make this gesture, stuff explodes'.



I dunno.


Maybe the 3.5 PHB?


These simple acts make magic seem easy, but they only hint at the time the wizard must spend poring over her spellbook preparing  each spell for casting, and the years before that spent in apprenticeship  to learn the arts of magic.


Carl



Which is non-binding fluff text, not rules text, and thus easily alterable.  In other words, irrelevant. If I want my character to learn Magic Missile in a week, he does.
Another day, another three or four entries to my Ignore List.
For that matter, who says you have to train for years and years to be a starting wizard?  You know a handful of crappy spells.  You're practically on the short bus to Hogwart's.

It takes a long time to become a master (aka high level) wizard, but there's no reason it should take 'years and years' to learn the basics of 'say this word, make this gesture, stuff explodes'.


so we are in agreement then?



I think so, though I think we're looking at it from different directions.  My view is more that simple (aka low level) magics aren't particularly difficult to master.  It's not uncommon in my games for shopkeepers to know a few basic spells like Prestidigitation for doing basic housekeeping and such, or a spell that lets them instantly count or weigh something accurately.
Another day, another three or four entries to my Ignore List.
For that matter, who says you have to train for years and years to be a starting wizard?  You know a handful of crappy spells.  You're practically on the short bus to Hogwart's.

It takes a long time to become a master (aka high level) wizard, but there's no reason it should take 'years and years' to learn the basics of 'say this word, make this gesture, stuff explodes'.


so we are in agreement then?



I think so, though I think we're looking at it from different directions.  My view is more that simple (aka low level) magics aren't particularly difficult to master.  It's not uncommon in my games for shopkeepers to know a few basic spells like Prestidigitation for doing basic housekeeping and such, or a spell that lets them instantly count or weigh something accurately.


and of course, this is where the magic user feat comes in :P


you dont gain a new level "the next day"
you gain experience over time, thus Experience Points. You don't become a wizard the next day, instead what has happened is all the experience points you have gained have gone towards you learning the skills of a wizard



If there was a requirement to announce your intention to multiclass, and therefore receive in-game training, before you level up, then I'd understand this argument.

However, there isn't. Unless the GM explicitly decides to impose this requirement on players, a player can quite easily have nothing whatsoever to do with wizardry, spending all of his time working on his downward strokes, and then suddenly decide to become a wizard, at which point he just has the ability to cast spells.

It takes a long time to become a master (aka high level) wizard, but there's no reason it should take 'years and years' to learn the basics of 'say this word, make this gesture, stuff explodes'.



So, are we to believe that 1st level characters have been doing nothing for all but the last two months, until they decided to take a couple of months' training in their class? Or are the PCs all children? I was under the impression that PCs begin the game aged 16 at the very youngest, and have trained for a good proportion of their lives to become what they are, hence the first class level is supposed to reflect this training. If this actually only represents a few months' training then characters aged 20 should start the game at level 8, otherwise they only began combat training when they were 19 (which is VERY old for someone in a pseudo-medieval world to start learning a new trade).

Level 1 is supposed to represent the fundamental training and skills that take years to develop, while the other levels represent putting those skills into practice. If a 20 year old man is a soldier but only has the level of skill of a child, then I would be very worried.

Also, Harry Potter can't compare with this because it's a completely different genre. Therefore, what works in Harry Potter does not necessarily work in D&D. Besides which, Harry Potter kind of sucks!
Everything expressed in this post is my opinion, and should be taken as such. I can not declare myself to be the supreme authority on all matters...even though I am right!
If there was a requirement to announce your intention to multiclass, and therefore receive in-game training, before you level up, then I'd understand this argument.

However, there isn't. Unless the GM explicitly decides to impose this requirement on players, a player can quite easily have nothing whatsoever to do with wizardry, spending all of his time working on his downward strokes, and then suddenly decide to become a wizard, at which point he just has the ability to cast spells.

At least in 3.x, this was an actual requirement.  They put it in the DMG, but it was still an "official" rule.  The only question was whether the DM wanted to enforce it or not, same as any other rule.

The metagame is not the game.
Not everything that occurs in a character's life happens 'on camera'.  There's no issue with retroactively deciding that you've been reading over the wizard's shoulder for the last X-ty game days.
Another day, another three or four entries to my Ignore List.
I'm not opposed to it. I just want it to be done properly, so that it becomes a tool for diversification of skills to create interesting characters, rather than powerbuilding to create characters that pwn.


I pretty much want to echoe this!

Yan
Montréal, Canada
@Plaguescarred on twitter

Not everything that occurs in a character's life happens 'on camera'.  There's no issue with retroactively deciding that you've been reading over the wizard's shoulder for the last X-ty game days.


considering TECHNICALLY you gain experience at the end of the adventure, so your levelling is done in down time

  The issue with multi-classing in any of the editions is that the ability to gain new abilities from the new class doesn’t take in the account the time it would take to learn the abilities and that some classes didn’t make sense to multi-class into. I set rules when running, that if you wanted to gain the new class change you had to train into it before you got the level. I also would not let a player cross class "into" a barbarian and sorcerer due to the origins of those classes. If you wanted to start with those classes you could and you could cross class out. But I tended to try to run a realistic game. But the issue of the multi-classing is the time it should take to learn how to do something. A fighter may not take as much time in learning to fight but a wizard does take a while to learn and if you add the novels into the picture, they show it takes the time to train as well. But this a particular style there are others who like to instantly have abilities and what not, such as in the video games where you gain levels and abilities in a matter of minutes. So how do you fix a problem that ultimately falls on the DM to judge, but where the rules don’t give a defenition?

  I found that 1E rulings, at least limited the multi-classing which was more realistic to a characters career as opposed to 3E, were there was no limit. Players that I dealt with and generally had the most problem with multi-class was power gamers. If your running a game that was suppose to be meant to be played that way, its cool, but when you try to run a Forgotten realms setting it hurts the game. Grant you my favorate edition is 3.5, but some rules I had to modify in my campaigns with 1E, just so other players could injoy the game and stop the power gaming.

What if, your first level of a new class is a 0th level.

A 3rd level fighter studies with his wizard ally while adventuring. He later take a wizard level and gains the benefits of a 0th level wizard.

Orzel, Halfelven son of Zel, Mystic Ranger, Bane to Dragons, Death to Undeath, Killer of Abyssals, King of the Wilds. Constitution Based Class for Next!

Actually, proper fighter training takes a good deal of time, too. Not just how to hit a foe for the best effect, but physical training and toning, horsemanship if riding is included, maintenance of your own weapons and gear (unless you have a squire or man at arms or something), etc. Each class has its initial training in the basics that can start as early as when the person is the equivalent age of human 8 or 10. We (our Friday night group) figure it as the years to about 14 (human) are basic all-around education, and then the person starts getting more and more training in whatever profession fits the skills and aptitudes, heading out into the world as an adventurer at about 20. (Some start into the profession earlier or later, but that's our starting point for the character backstory.)

I, too, have a problem with the concept that a person spends six or more years learning to be a 1st level whatever, but then can add another class after a few months of adventuring, even if he's been getting training on the side from the party's wizard or fighter or whatever. I love multiclassing, but no system to date has been really good. WotC needs to find a way to make it flexible, but account for the fact that any class added after the initial one won't have those years of training.

Exception: there should also be a way to allow for multiclassing right off the bat that would cover situations like a warrior priest (mediaeval Templars), fighter mage (Forgotten Realms Bladesinger), and other combinations. For that, our group uses the 1st Ed multiclass system (without the stat requirements or level restrictions). If they can't do that, I'm hoping for a way to create our own classes, and I'll build a Bladesinger class and anything else we need.

In memory of wrecan and his Unearthed Wrecana.

Multiclassing, much like THAC0, was a mechanic introduced into the game to compensate for the game's inherent flaws. However, with the amount of features and customization available to new characters with backgrounds, specialties, feats, etc. I really don't see much of a need for multiclassing in Next.

As far as I'm concerned, if they have a full multiclassing system, they might as well have rules for a classless system where players can point-buy features and build their own class...since that's what players that want to multiclass are after anyway.
D&D Next - Basic and Expert Editions

I firmly believe that there should be two editions of the game; the core rules released as a "Basic" set and a more complicated expanded rules edition released as an "Expert" set. These two editions would provide separate entry points to the game; one for new players or players that want a more classic D&D game and another entry point for experienced gamers that want more options and all the other things they have come to expect from previous editions.

Also, they must release several rules modules covering the main elements of the game (i.e., classes, races, combat, magic, monsters, etc.) upon launch to further expand the game for those that still need more complexity in a particular element of the game.


Here's a mockup of the Basic Set I created.



(CLICK HERE TO VIEW LARGER IMAGE)
  

Basic Set

This boxed set contains a simple, "bare bones" edition of the game; the core rules. It's for those that want a rules-light edition of the game that is extremely modifiable or for new players that get intimidated easily by too many rules and/or options. The Basic Set contains everything needed to play with all the "classic" D&D races (i.e., Human, Dwarf, Elf, and Halfling) and classes (i.e., Cleric, Fighter, Rogue, Wizard) all the way up to maximum level (i.e., 20th Level).

The Basic boxed set contains:

Quick Start Rules
A "choose your own way" adventure intended as an intro to RPGs and basic D&D terms.

Player's Handbook
(Softcover, 125 pages)
Features rules for playing the classic D&D races and classes all the way up to 20th level.

Dungeon Master's Guide

(Softcover, 125 pages)
Includes the basic rules for dungeon masters.

Monster Manual
(Softcover, 100 pages)
Includes all the classic iconic monsters from D&D. 

Introductory Adventure
(Keep on the Borderlands)
An introductory adventure for beginning players and DMs.

Also includes: 

Character Sheets
Reference Sheets
Set of Dice


Expert Set

A set of hardbound rules that contains the core rules plus expanded races and classes, more spells and a large selection of optional rules modules — that is, pretty much everything that experienced players have come to expect. Each expert edition manual may be purchased separately, or in a boxed set. The Expert set includes:

Expert PHB (Hardcover, 225 pages. $35 Includes core rules plus 10 playable races, 10 character classes, expanded selection of spells and rules modules for players.)
Expert DMG (Hardcover, 250 pages. $35 Includes core rules plus expanded rules modules for DMs.)
Expert MM (Hardcover, 225 pages. $35 Includes an expanded list of monsters and creatures to challenge characters)


Expansions

These expansion rules modules can be used with both the Basic and Expert sets. Each expansion covers one specific aspect of the game, such as character creation, combat, spells, monsters, etc.) 

Hall of Heroes (Hardcover, 225 pages. $35 Includes a vast selection of playable character races and classes, new and old all in one book)
Combat and Tactics (Hardcover, 225 pages. $35 Includes dozens of new and old optional rules for combat all in one book)
Creature Compendium (Hardcover, 350 pages.$35 Includes hundreds of monsters, new and old all in one book)
The Grimoire (Hardcover, 225 pages. $35 Includes hundreds of new and old spells all in one book)





A Million Hit Points of Light: Shedding Light on Damage

A Million Hit Points of Light: Shedding Light on Damage and Hit Points

In my personal campaigns, I use the following system for damage and dying. It's a slight modification of the long-standing principles etsablished by the D&D game, only with a new definition of what 0 or less hit points means. I've been using it for years because it works really well. However, I've made some adjustments to take advantage of the D&D Next rules. I've decided to present the first part in a Q&A format for better clarity. So let's begin...

What are hit points?
The premise is very simple, but often misunderstood; hit points are an abstraction that represent the character's ability to avoid serious damage, not necessarily their ability to take serious damage. This is a very important distinction. They represent a combination of skillful maneuvering, toughness, stamina and luck. Some targets have more hit points because they are physically tougher and are harder to injure...others have more because they are experienced combatants and have learned how to turn near fatal blows into mere scratches by skillful maneuvering...and then others are just plain lucky. Once a character runs out of hit points they become vulnerable to serious life-threatening injuries.

So what exactly does it mean to "hit" with a successful attack roll, then?
It means that through your own skill and ability you may have wounded your target if the target lacks the hit points to avoid the full brunt of the attack. That's an important thing to keep in mind; a successful "hit" does not necessarily mean you physically damaged your target. It just means that your attack was well placed and forced the target to exert themselves in such a way as to leave them vulnerable to further attacks. For example, instead of severing the target's arm, the attack merely grazes them leaving a minor cut.

But the attack did 25 points of damage! Why did it only "graze" the target?
Because the target has more than 25 hit points. Your attack forced them to exert a lot of energy to avoid the attack, but because of their combat skill, toughness, stamina and luck, they managed to avoid being seriously injured. However, because of this attack, they may not have the reserves to avoid your next attack. Perhaps you knocked them off balance or the attack left them so fatigued they lack the stamina to evade another attack. It's the DM's call on how they want to narrate the exact reason the blow didn't kill or wound the target.

Yeah, but what about "touch" attacks that rely on physical contact?
Making physical contact with a target is a lot different than striking them, so these types of attacks are the exception. If a touch attack succeeds, the attacker manages to make contact with their target.

If hit points and weapon damage don't always represent actual damage to the target, then what does it represent?
Think of the damage from an attack as more like a "threat level" rather than actual physical damage that transfers directly to the target's body. That is, the more damage an attack does, the harder it is to avoid serious injury. For example, an attack that causes 14 points of damage is more likely to wound the target than 3 points of damage (depending on how many hit points the target has left). The higher the damage, the greater the chance is that the target will become seriously injured. So, an attack that does 34 points of damage could be thought of as a "threat level of 34." If the target doesn't have the hit points to negate that threat, they become seriously injured.

Ok, but shouldn't armor reduce the amount of damage delivered from an attack?
It does reduce damage; by making it harder for an attack to cause serious injury. A successful hit against an armored target suggests that the attack may have circumvented the target's armor by striking in a vulnerable area.

What about poison and other types of non-combat damage?
Hit point loss from non-physical forms of damage represents the character spitting the poison out just in time before it takes full strength or perhaps the poison just wasn't strong enough to affect them drastically, but still weakens them. Again, it's the DMs call on how to narrate the reasons why the character avoids serious harm from the damage.

If hit points don't don't represent actual damage then how does that make sense with spells like Cure Serious Wounds and other forms of healing like healer kits with bandages?
Hit points do represent some physical damage, just not serious physical damage. Healing magic and other forms of healing still affect these minor wounds just as well as more serious wounds. For example, bandaging up minor cuts and abrasions helps the character rejuvenate and relieve the pain and/or fatigue of hit point loss. The key thing to remember is that it's an abstraction that allows the DM freedom to interpret and narrate it as they see fit.

What if my attack reduces the target to 0 or less hit points?
If a player is reduced to 0 or less hit points they are wounded. If a monster or NPC is reduce to 0 or less hit points they are killed.

Why are monsters killed immediately and not players?
Because unless the monsters are crucial to the story, it makes combat resolution much faster. It is assumed that players immediately execute a coup de grace on wounded monsters as a finishing move.

What if a character is wounded by poison or other types of non-physical damage?
If a character becomes wounded from non-combat damage they still receive the effects of being wounded, regardless if they show any physical signs of injury (i.e., internal injuries are still considered injuries).

Ok. I get it...but what happens once a character is wounded?
See below.
 

Damage and Dying

Once a character is reduced to 0 or less hit points, they start taking real damage. In other words, their reserves have run out and they can no longer avoid taking serious damage.

  1. Characters are fully operational as long as they have 1 hit point or more. They may have minor cuts, bruises, and superficial wounds, but they are are not impaired significantly. 
  2. Once they reach 0 or less hit points, they become Wounded (see below).That is, they have sustained a wound that impairs their ability to perform actions.
  3. If they reach a negative amount of hit points equal or greater than their Constitution score, they are Incapacitated. This means they are in critical condition and could possibly die.
  4. Characters will die if their hit points reach a negative amount greater than their Constitution score, plus their current level.

Unharmed: 1 hp or more
Wounded: 0 hp or less
Incapacitated: -(Constitution) to -(Constitution+Level)
Dead: Less than -(Constitution +Level)

Wounded
When the character reaches 0 or less hit points they become wounded. Wounded characters receive disadvantage on all attacks and saving throws until they heal back up to 1 hit point or more. This allows for a transitory stage between healthy and dying, without having to mess around with impairment rules while the character still has hit points left.

Incapacitated
Characters begin dying when they reach a negative amount of hit points equal to their Constitution score. At which point, they must make a DC 10 Constitution saving throw on each of their following turns (the disadvantage from being wounded does not apply for these saving throws).

If successful, the character remains dying, but their condition does not worsen.

If the saving throw fails, another DC 10 Constitution saving throw must be made. If that one fails, the character succumbs to their wounds and dies. If successful, the character stabilizes and is no longer dying.

Finally, if a dying character receives first aid or healing at any point, they immediately stabilize.

Dead
Characters will die if they reach a negative amount of hit points equal to their Constitution, plus their current level. Thus, if an 8th level character with a Constitution score of 12 is down to 4 hit points then takes 24 points of damage (reducing their hit points to -20) the attack kills them outright.

Not everything that occurs in a character's life happens 'on camera'.  There's no issue with retroactively deciding that you've been reading over the wizard's shoulder for the last X-ty game days.



There are a few problems with this, and other multi-classing aspects from a storyline realism point of view. First of all, dealing with the above post, there is no requirement that there be a wizard in the party for you to multi-class. Secondly, I strongly disapprove of the "Harry Potter" view of magic. Saying words, waving a stick, and then reality warps doesn't feel like magic to me. I much prefer the "Harry Dresden" view of the words and gestures largely being mnemonic devices for how your brain proccesses and directs the power of the magic. It is possible to go without, just incredibly dangerous and possibly suicidal. I believe it is possible for a fighter to be taught magic, to a small degree, but in most fantasy settings magic isn't just something everyone "picks up" becuase it is more than the words and gestures.

Moving away from the fighter and the wizard though, we can see similiar... confusion between other classes. Fighter-cleric for example, if a guy is religous and worships kord his whole life, but never gets any training from the clergy, why does he suddenly develop divine powers? You can say Kord just decided to grant him power, but why doesn't he do that for every worshipper? What then makes a cleric's power different if it is simply the whims of the gods and not some sort of learned, deeper communication and purpose. Fighter-Rogue, this one should be the easiest, yet somehow I can't seem to make it work nicely. Why does a fighter suddenly get sneak attack damage? Learning to spot an opponents weak spot, wasn't he already learning that from deadly strike and other fighter abilities.

We can explain this stuff away, but it takes a little more effort while, right now, warlocks are the easiest class to multi-class because all their abilities derive from making a pact with a powerful being. Also, unlike the other classes where they suddenly "figure it out", a warlock could have easily found some lost lore. Actually I guess if you want to go with the "blessed by the gods" sort of line clerics are pretty easy as well, but should they gain all the benefits of a first level cleric or should they gain things that compliment whatever it was that drew their gods attention?

I really like the idea of a seperate table for multi-classing characters, and I also like the ability to start out as a multi-classed character, but multi-classing needs more explaining than "he read the wizards books and figured out how to cast spells" because that does belittle the work that the wizard has put into learning his craft. Just like saying "he swung a sword at a tree" belittles all the training that goes into a fighter learning his craft.
I really don't see how many can't see basic multi classing in short amount of time.

I roleplayed a royal refugee Cleric in a 3rd level starting game. The DM let us join the rogue guild he created and everyone but the wizard had a rogue level after a year of game setting time.

I think 0th levels is an option to deal with the front loading of base classes though.

Orzel, Halfelven son of Zel, Mystic Ranger, Bane to Dragons, Death to Undeath, Killer of Abyssals, King of the Wilds. Constitution Based Class for Next!

Not everything that occurs in a character's life happens 'on camera'.  There's no issue with retroactively deciding that you've been reading over the wizard's shoulder for the last X-ty game days.



Yeah, I never liked that reasoning. Last time I checked, I couldn't become a nuclear physicist by watching over the shoulder of a nuclear physics student while he writes his dissertation.

I'd be more willing to accept that you can gain a lesser version of the class that way, but a few months watching over somebody's shoulder should NOT substitute for years of fundamental training, otherwise people wouldn't need to go to university - why bother, when you can just watch over the shoulder of another student?

...downtime...



Again, the problem with this is that it's not enforced. There's nothing in the rules that says "gaining a new class will take several months", and nothing to stop players doing it when they've got to set off and save the world tomorrow, unless the GM specifically decides to enforce it. GMs shouldn't be forced to write their own rules to make the game system make sense, they should already be there (possibly with the option of removing them if you want to).
Everything expressed in this post is my opinion, and should be taken as such. I can not declare myself to be the supreme authority on all matters...even though I am right!
Since the OP asked...

I'm opposed to multi-classing, and my reasoning is grounds of balance. Whatever features are provided to a particular class, whether it is restricted feats, paragon paths/prestige classes, spells or powers or what have you, they are balanced within the context of the class. Allowing other classes to cherry pick these things can create some serious issues where a character is either significantly less effective or significantly more effective than someone playing a straight class.

I'm not going to go posting threads advocating this view, because I know it's something most people disagree with, and I don't really care enough to try to sway people to my point of view. But again, since the OP asked why people would be opposed to multiclassing, for me, that's why.
I'm not going to go posting threads advocating this view, because I know it's something most people disagree with, and I don't really care enough to try to sway people to my point of view. But again, since the OP asked why people would be opposed to multiclassing, for me, that's why.

And I appreciate it! I'm always interested in hearing multiple viewpoints. Thank you for posting!

In memory of wrecan and his Unearthed Wrecana.

Many of the arguments against multiclassing make little sense to me.

1)  It is 'unrealistic':
  So is most advancement in D&D if you want to take that position.  If you don't enforce some kind of down time and training, level advancement in a single class can go at ludicrous speed ("buckle this!") with characters going from basic recruits to epic heroes in very short periods of time.  If you want to create a greater sense of time investment then do so within the context of your game, but using it as an argument against multiclassing means that you may as well end level advancement altogether.

2)  It is only for 'powergamers':
  Many people (myself included) use multiclassing rules because we like the flexibility it provides.  On more than one occasion I have created a multiclass character that is less powerful than a single-class character might be, simply because I liked the concept and playstyle.  After all, in 3.5 the vast majority of multiclass characters may be better than a single-class fighter but still don't hold a candle to single-class casters.  The power issue is really about...

3)  It creates a mess:
  Many of the multiclass issues in 3.5 were actually byproducts of the way the game handled advancement in general.  This was particularly true in the case of saving throws, BAB, spellcasting and other areas that developed in an uneven fashion.  4E handled this better to some degree in that abilities gained through multiclassing were aimed at character level rather than class level, but a number of other issues made the system clunky.  If the overall game handles advancement in a better fashion then not only will multiclassing be much smoother to implement, but the game as a whole will improve.

4)  Next already has other mechanics for customization:
  But it is unlikely that specialties and backgrounds will provide the degree of flexibility that multiclassing can.  These mechanics are more like a sprinkling on the top rather than having two scoops of different flavours of icecream.  
Many of the arguments against multiclassing make little sense to me.

1)  It is 'unrealistic':
  So is most advancement in D&D if you want to take that position.  If you don't enforce some kind of down time and training, level advancement in a single class can go at ludicrous speed ("buckle this!") with characters going from basic recruits to epic heroes in very short periods of time.  If you want to create a greater sense of time investment then do so within the context of your game, but using it as an argument against multiclassing means that you may as well end level advancement altogether.

2)  It is only for 'powergamers':
  Many people (myself included) use multiclassing rules because we like the flexibility it provides.  On more than one occasion I have created a multiclass character that is less powerful than a single-class character might be, simply because I liked the concept and playstyle.  After all, in 3.5 the vast majority of multiclass characters may be better than a single-class fighter but still don't hold a candle to single-class casters.  The power issue is really about...

3)  It creates a mess:
  Many of the multiclass issues in 3.5 were actually byproducts of the way the game handled advancement in general.  This was particularly true in the case of saving throws, BAB, spellcasting and other areas that developed in an uneven fashion.  4E handled this better to some degree in that abilities gained through multiclassing were aimed at character level rather than class level, but a number of other issues made the system clunky.  If the overall game handles advancement in a better fashion then not only will multiclassing be much smoother to implement, but the game as a whole will improve.

4)  Next already has other mechanics for customization:
  But it is unlikely that specialties and backgrounds will provide the degree of flexibility that multiclassing can.  These mechanics are more like a sprinkling on the top rather than having two scoops of different flavours of icecream.  



1) I agree, using the same logic level advancement makes very little sense. I mean, how often have you just been walking down the hall, then realized you could do something completely new. However, we need level advancement and I much prefer "level up when you reach X expeirence" to "level up by going to a trainer after accumulating a set number of expeirence points, then lose the remainder". I'm not saying we shouldn't have multi-classing, but to take Orzel's example of a cleric spending a year hiding out with a thieves guild I would still wonder at him gaining all the advantages of a lv 1 theif. A cleric would take a completely different set of skills out of the theiving life than someone who was a rogue. That's why I like the proposed concept of a seperate advancement table for multi-classing, I can study all the books and theories I want, and gain some understanding of chemistry, but I will never gain the exact same skill set that a trained and experienced chemist has, just like he will never think the same way a physcist will.

2) and 3) I agree it is not just for powergamers, though I would say it is more complicated than a single class character. It simply has to be since 2 is more complex than 1. Is this an issue, probably not as long as you are willing to put in the extra work, but being a lv 10 fighter/ 4 rogue/ 3 wizard / 3 cleric is going to be a nightmare for anyone, if it is even allowed. lv 10 fighter/ 10 rogue could even be complicated depending on where the expertise dice and sneak attaack mechanics end up.

4) I agree and disagree, right now they are not the same, but some people have argued they could easily be made into a multi-classing mechanic, especially when you consider arcane dabbler and Acolyte. Should they be the multi-class aspect... probably not, but I think they could be
4)  Next already has other mechanics for customization:
  But it is unlikely that specialties and backgrounds will provide the degree of flexibility that multiclassing can.  These mechanics are more like a sprinkling on the top rather than having two scoops of different flavours of icecream.  

Anything more than a "sprinkling on the top" and you're entering "building your own class" territory. Which is fine, if they present balanced rules for building your own class. They should just stop calling it multiclassing...since that seems to connotate being more than one class — which is an absolutely absurd and broken concept that promotes powergaming. Especially when multiclassing with classes beyond the "core four" — which are already hybrid classes to begin with.

In other words, without having balanced and fair drawbacks to "multiclassing", then multiclass characters would be far superior to single class characters in every way. A balanced system for building your own class would be preferable to simply mashing together a bunch of classes separated only by a series of virgules.
D&D Next - Basic and Expert Editions

I firmly believe that there should be two editions of the game; the core rules released as a "Basic" set and a more complicated expanded rules edition released as an "Expert" set. These two editions would provide separate entry points to the game; one for new players or players that want a more classic D&D game and another entry point for experienced gamers that want more options and all the other things they have come to expect from previous editions.

Also, they must release several rules modules covering the main elements of the game (i.e., classes, races, combat, magic, monsters, etc.) upon launch to further expand the game for those that still need more complexity in a particular element of the game.


Here's a mockup of the Basic Set I created.



(CLICK HERE TO VIEW LARGER IMAGE)
  

Basic Set

This boxed set contains a simple, "bare bones" edition of the game; the core rules. It's for those that want a rules-light edition of the game that is extremely modifiable or for new players that get intimidated easily by too many rules and/or options. The Basic Set contains everything needed to play with all the "classic" D&D races (i.e., Human, Dwarf, Elf, and Halfling) and classes (i.e., Cleric, Fighter, Rogue, Wizard) all the way up to maximum level (i.e., 20th Level).

The Basic boxed set contains:

Quick Start Rules
A "choose your own way" adventure intended as an intro to RPGs and basic D&D terms.

Player's Handbook
(Softcover, 125 pages)
Features rules for playing the classic D&D races and classes all the way up to 20th level.

Dungeon Master's Guide

(Softcover, 125 pages)
Includes the basic rules for dungeon masters.

Monster Manual
(Softcover, 100 pages)
Includes all the classic iconic monsters from D&D. 

Introductory Adventure
(Keep on the Borderlands)
An introductory adventure for beginning players and DMs.

Also includes: 

Character Sheets
Reference Sheets
Set of Dice


Expert Set

A set of hardbound rules that contains the core rules plus expanded races and classes, more spells and a large selection of optional rules modules — that is, pretty much everything that experienced players have come to expect. Each expert edition manual may be purchased separately, or in a boxed set. The Expert set includes:

Expert PHB (Hardcover, 225 pages. $35 Includes core rules plus 10 playable races, 10 character classes, expanded selection of spells and rules modules for players.)
Expert DMG (Hardcover, 250 pages. $35 Includes core rules plus expanded rules modules for DMs.)
Expert MM (Hardcover, 225 pages. $35 Includes an expanded list of monsters and creatures to challenge characters)


Expansions

These expansion rules modules can be used with both the Basic and Expert sets. Each expansion covers one specific aspect of the game, such as character creation, combat, spells, monsters, etc.) 

Hall of Heroes (Hardcover, 225 pages. $35 Includes a vast selection of playable character races and classes, new and old all in one book)
Combat and Tactics (Hardcover, 225 pages. $35 Includes dozens of new and old optional rules for combat all in one book)
Creature Compendium (Hardcover, 350 pages.$35 Includes hundreds of monsters, new and old all in one book)
The Grimoire (Hardcover, 225 pages. $35 Includes hundreds of new and old spells all in one book)





A Million Hit Points of Light: Shedding Light on Damage

A Million Hit Points of Light: Shedding Light on Damage and Hit Points

In my personal campaigns, I use the following system for damage and dying. It's a slight modification of the long-standing principles etsablished by the D&D game, only with a new definition of what 0 or less hit points means. I've been using it for years because it works really well. However, I've made some adjustments to take advantage of the D&D Next rules. I've decided to present the first part in a Q&A format for better clarity. So let's begin...

What are hit points?
The premise is very simple, but often misunderstood; hit points are an abstraction that represent the character's ability to avoid serious damage, not necessarily their ability to take serious damage. This is a very important distinction. They represent a combination of skillful maneuvering, toughness, stamina and luck. Some targets have more hit points because they are physically tougher and are harder to injure...others have more because they are experienced combatants and have learned how to turn near fatal blows into mere scratches by skillful maneuvering...and then others are just plain lucky. Once a character runs out of hit points they become vulnerable to serious life-threatening injuries.

So what exactly does it mean to "hit" with a successful attack roll, then?
It means that through your own skill and ability you may have wounded your target if the target lacks the hit points to avoid the full brunt of the attack. That's an important thing to keep in mind; a successful "hit" does not necessarily mean you physically damaged your target. It just means that your attack was well placed and forced the target to exert themselves in such a way as to leave them vulnerable to further attacks. For example, instead of severing the target's arm, the attack merely grazes them leaving a minor cut.

But the attack did 25 points of damage! Why did it only "graze" the target?
Because the target has more than 25 hit points. Your attack forced them to exert a lot of energy to avoid the attack, but because of their combat skill, toughness, stamina and luck, they managed to avoid being seriously injured. However, because of this attack, they may not have the reserves to avoid your next attack. Perhaps you knocked them off balance or the attack left them so fatigued they lack the stamina to evade another attack. It's the DM's call on how they want to narrate the exact reason the blow didn't kill or wound the target.

Yeah, but what about "touch" attacks that rely on physical contact?
Making physical contact with a target is a lot different than striking them, so these types of attacks are the exception. If a touch attack succeeds, the attacker manages to make contact with their target.

If hit points and weapon damage don't always represent actual damage to the target, then what does it represent?
Think of the damage from an attack as more like a "threat level" rather than actual physical damage that transfers directly to the target's body. That is, the more damage an attack does, the harder it is to avoid serious injury. For example, an attack that causes 14 points of damage is more likely to wound the target than 3 points of damage (depending on how many hit points the target has left). The higher the damage, the greater the chance is that the target will become seriously injured. So, an attack that does 34 points of damage could be thought of as a "threat level of 34." If the target doesn't have the hit points to negate that threat, they become seriously injured.

Ok, but shouldn't armor reduce the amount of damage delivered from an attack?
It does reduce damage; by making it harder for an attack to cause serious injury. A successful hit against an armored target suggests that the attack may have circumvented the target's armor by striking in a vulnerable area.

What about poison and other types of non-combat damage?
Hit point loss from non-physical forms of damage represents the character spitting the poison out just in time before it takes full strength or perhaps the poison just wasn't strong enough to affect them drastically, but still weakens them. Again, it's the DMs call on how to narrate the reasons why the character avoids serious harm from the damage.

If hit points don't don't represent actual damage then how does that make sense with spells like Cure Serious Wounds and other forms of healing like healer kits with bandages?
Hit points do represent some physical damage, just not serious physical damage. Healing magic and other forms of healing still affect these minor wounds just as well as more serious wounds. For example, bandaging up minor cuts and abrasions helps the character rejuvenate and relieve the pain and/or fatigue of hit point loss. The key thing to remember is that it's an abstraction that allows the DM freedom to interpret and narrate it as they see fit.

What if my attack reduces the target to 0 or less hit points?
If a player is reduced to 0 or less hit points they are wounded. If a monster or NPC is reduce to 0 or less hit points they are killed.

Why are monsters killed immediately and not players?
Because unless the monsters are crucial to the story, it makes combat resolution much faster. It is assumed that players immediately execute a coup de grace on wounded monsters as a finishing move.

What if a character is wounded by poison or other types of non-physical damage?
If a character becomes wounded from non-combat damage they still receive the effects of being wounded, regardless if they show any physical signs of injury (i.e., internal injuries are still considered injuries).

Ok. I get it...but what happens once a character is wounded?
See below.
 

Damage and Dying

Once a character is reduced to 0 or less hit points, they start taking real damage. In other words, their reserves have run out and they can no longer avoid taking serious damage.

  1. Characters are fully operational as long as they have 1 hit point or more. They may have minor cuts, bruises, and superficial wounds, but they are are not impaired significantly. 
  2. Once they reach 0 or less hit points, they become Wounded (see below).That is, they have sustained a wound that impairs their ability to perform actions.
  3. If they reach a negative amount of hit points equal or greater than their Constitution score, they are Incapacitated. This means they are in critical condition and could possibly die.
  4. Characters will die if their hit points reach a negative amount greater than their Constitution score, plus their current level.

Unharmed: 1 hp or more
Wounded: 0 hp or less
Incapacitated: -(Constitution) to -(Constitution+Level)
Dead: Less than -(Constitution +Level)

Wounded
When the character reaches 0 or less hit points they become wounded. Wounded characters receive disadvantage on all attacks and saving throws until they heal back up to 1 hit point or more. This allows for a transitory stage between healthy and dying, without having to mess around with impairment rules while the character still has hit points left.

Incapacitated
Characters begin dying when they reach a negative amount of hit points equal to their Constitution score. At which point, they must make a DC 10 Constitution saving throw on each of their following turns (the disadvantage from being wounded does not apply for these saving throws).

If successful, the character remains dying, but their condition does not worsen.

If the saving throw fails, another DC 10 Constitution saving throw must be made. If that one fails, the character succumbs to their wounds and dies. If successful, the character stabilizes and is no longer dying.

Finally, if a dying character receives first aid or healing at any point, they immediately stabilize.

Dead
Characters will die if they reach a negative amount of hit points equal to their Constitution, plus their current level. Thus, if an 8th level character with a Constitution score of 12 is down to 4 hit points then takes 24 points of damage (reducing their hit points to -20) the attack kills them outright.

To me, a lot of it is pessimism.

WOTC screwed up multi classing before and they'll screw up again.

Power gamers broke multi classing before and they do it again.

They can make sense of it before and they can't make it sensible again.

As I read these forums and message boards, I feel like one of the minority of optimists that believe Next can do it right or close enough.

Also to me, single classing made the least sense. At least for humans as I have being learning multiple things at once and switching foci since I have learned to walk and speak sentences.

Orzel, Halfelven son of Zel, Mystic Ranger, Bane to Dragons, Death to Undeath, Killer of Abyssals, King of the Wilds. Constitution Based Class for Next!

 I had a thought of a way to keep it simple and keep it balance. The ideal is based on character concept. lets face it allot of people come in to game with a ideal of what they want, be it a fighter, a mage or whatever and when they start considering the ideal of multi-classing is during the creation concept as well. Why not have a simple rule such as; if you wish to multi-class you pick a base class and then choose from these choices and have a seperate list of specialties for it.  Basically if you are going to multiclass you do it at creation. The specialties for multi-class would be taken for the classes instead of the actual classes specialties. The specialties themselves would be a comble of the base classes but limited as in all the abilities wouldnt be there but. It would be a simplified version of each class combined. The list of specialties might sound like a lot of choices, but if you break the list to genre type, you have the basic three types of characters; fighter, caster (both divine and arcane) and rogue (these are the classes brocken down). From those three listed you can create the multi-class characters that keep the balance with the standard classes and make sense. Say you want to play a fighter-mage. 
To me, a lot of it is pessimism. WOTC screwed up multi classing before and they'll screw up again. Power gamers broke multi classing before and they do it again. They can make sense of it before and they can't make it sensible again. As I read these forums and message boards, I feel like one of the minority of optimists that believe Next can do it right or close enough. Also to me, single classing made the least sense. At least for humans as I have being learning multiple things at once and switching foci since I have learned to walk and speak sentences.




There is a lot of pessimism, but I find it at least somewhat justified, after all this is the fifth version of dungeons and dragons, seventh if you count 3.5 and essentials as different versions, and they still don't seem to have found a system for multi-classing that works really well. "the best indicator for the present is the past" as some famous guy said, not saying they can't do it right, but without anything to look at other than the past mistakes....

Also single class characters do make a lot of sense. After all a famous brain surgeon can't build rockets to the moon, study the effects of the Haldron Collider(spelling?), find a cure for AIDS, build a skyscraper, ect. Heck, there is a good chance they couldn't even make it as the owner of a restaurant or a farmer. We have a specialization of labor, people pick up lots of little things, but overarchingly there is one area of society, technology, and progress which they deal with, and others they don't. We could go to a more "build-your-own-class" system to recognize people have a more diverse skill pool than the current system allows for, but I doubt that will happen since that "isn't DnD"
I'm not opposed to multiclassing itself.  It's a great way to show how a character "switches gears" later in life, like the rogue that finds religion, or the paladin that loses his.

What I don't like is when people whose answer to the question "What class do you play?" is something like "wizard/fighter/cleric/rogue/ranger/paladin/holy liberator/true necromancer." (Just an example, as I'm sure that combo would be horrible.)  And, yes, I've known people who had more slashes in their class than letters in their character name.

I would rather there be more base classes to account for these weird combinations of features.  Like, instead of a Fighter/wizard, roll up a swordmage or bladesinger.

I like multiclassing as a vehicle for character development, rather than as a vehicle for munchkining combat abilities.