Legends & Lore - Multiclassing in D&D Next

Legends & Lore: D&D Next Goals, Part 3
by Mike Mearls



 This thread focuses on the descriptions of multiclassing in this weeks L&L article.

“The characters in the standard game are a more diverse lot, with a focus on options to build unique stories, combinations of abilities, and so forth. Most notably, we see multiclassing and prestige class rules as part of the standard game. Advancing to 3rd level as a fighter, then grabbing a few levels as a rogue before becoming an executioner of the Dusk Shadow Guild, is a great way to use the game rules to customize your character.”

“Create 3E-style multiclassing that creates balanced characters within reasonable mixtures of class levels, if not all such mixes. In other words, we might not get a fighter 19/wizard 1 right, but a fighter 3/wizard 2 should feel like a fully effective character. By the same token, rein in abuses that make DMs regret allowing multiclass characters.”



Note, there are three layers of game rules.
• Basic rules: the core minimalist gaming rules
• Standard rules: options for character customization, and monster customization
• Advanced rules: options for playstyles, such as grid mechanics

Multiclassing is part of the character building options in the Standard rules.

Wizards, shave and a haircut

Being able to play a fighter 3/ wizard 2 without it feeling like a complete joke is way up there on the list of things I look for in a system.
The metagame is not the game.
More reason to ditch classes.
There was some discussion in an earlier Legends and Lore about how it might work - and this seemed consistant with that approach.  I wonder if they will finally roll out those rules as well in the next packet.

www.wizards.com/dnd/article.aspx?x=dnd/4...



Carl

This description of multiclassing in D&D Next, seems to be a blend of previous editions: 1e multiclassing, 3e multiclassing, and 4e hybriding.



Explicitly, Next looks to 3e for multiclassing, to combine classes in a freeform manner, according to narrative considerations. Next works well for combining two classes, such as “Fighter 3/Wizard 2”.

However, the description warns, Next system will only work well where levels are comparable. 3/2 works well, but 19/1 will be less effective. This suggests that characters that “dip” into several classes will be less powerful than characters that dedicate themselves evenly between two classes. On the one hand, this is a good thing because it discourages a known abuse of the 3e system. On the other hand, this is a less good thing because it makes choosing classes on the fly - for narrative reasons - riskier. Choosing a class seems to need a commitment to dedicate oneself to it.

The pressures of mechanical optimization tend toward a Next multiclassing that chooses two classes and then maintaining levels evenly. Therefore it resembles 1e multiclassing that likewise requires the multiclass character to split experience points evenly between classes.

The Next multiclassing also resembles 4e hybriding because of its ability to “blend” two classes together, in a way that works effectively.

It seems the Next multiclass system will vaguely remind players of all of the systems in previous editions, yet function in a new way.
3e multiclassing or 1e 'character with two classes' suggests that a character is of a given class then changes, learning a new class.  1e/2e multiclassing or 4e hybriding suggests the character is a unique concept that is simply half one class, half another. 

Both sound nice to have.  If a character envisions a character thats a little more bad-ass in combat than a rogue, but a little more sneaky outside of combat than a fighter, he shouldn't have to alternate levels of fighter and rouge, then take some half-assed prestige class to cement the combo and not really feel like the character he's going for at 1st level or maybe even not until he gets that PrC. or if you want to play the Grey Mouser, he was was an aprentice mage who became a theif, but in 3e, starting as a wizard then going to rogue kinda sucked because you missed out on a couple of hps and a lot of skill points, so he'd probably do it the other way round for mechanical reasons in defiance of his backstory. 

I understand a lot of people like the 3e "builds' but a lot of us also just want to play the character we envision from first level on. 

Enough good classes could allow that but if multiclassing is required to make a character concept work itd be nice if it could work from first level not require you to walk some build tightrope

Based on what they said, there will probably be little to no resemblance to AD&D or Hybrid multiclassing.


It will be (going on the earlier article) a 3E system - with measures in place to both avoid the pitfalls (gimped characters) and exploits (cherrypicking) of the 3E approach.


What the earlier comments were construed to mean was that there would be a Class Feature progression table for a character that starts out as class X  (which is frontloaded because frontloading is good if that is your only class because it lets you feel like that class from the start) and a different Class Feature progression table for a character that multiclasses into class X  (which spreads the various iconic class features out over several levels because frontloading is bad for multiclassing because it rewards dipping into many classes to exploit the multiclass system).



In the context of the latest system:  A 3/2 character would have all of the frontloaded features of one class and some of the frontloaded features of the second class (more than they would have had as a 4/1 but less than they might have as a 3/3) but the 19/1 character might have only a few of the class features of the new class.


But this is all speculation at this point.  I am anxious to see what they did (if only so we can tear it down and rebuild it into something that works).


Carl       
We are already discussing this topic, multiclassing in next, elsewhere, namely in the thread for the L&L article, having multiple threads on the same exact subject makes the conversation hard to track.  
I liked AD&Ds multi-classing, but the system only really worked because each class had different XP charts. Conceptually 3E Multi-classing was great, until you realized that all spellcasting classes failed miserably at it, and there were several abusive combos as well. I didn't like the 4E Hybrids, because they were either too strong or pathetically weak (no balance whatsoever). I think a limited form of 3E multi-classing might work, but they need to make sure all the Standard Classes work with it.

A simple solution to playing a split character out the gate at Level 1 would be to create a 1/2 Level for each Class that grants about half the benefit of that Class. At Level 2, you gain full benefit of both Lv 1 in each Class. 3E had an option for this, but I don't know of anyone who used it.
With bounded accuracy, and the idea that most level gains add maneuvers, skill tricks or abilities (spells being included) that don't become irrelevant as a PC advances levels, the 3e multiclassing should work better with D&DNext than it did with 3e.  

Two specific things made a lot of multiclassed PCs inadequate in most of the previous versions:  1) "to hit" disparity vs. monsters that gained higher and higher AC, and 2) sacrificing a super ability from the core class that was all but necessary to defeat new threats to gain a minor ability in the fledgling class.  If multi-classing in D&DNext gives manaeuvers, skill tricks, abilities and spells that can be used through many levels of play (not just for low level) multiclassing will add more versitility that is useful not irrelevant, and the trade-off will be that the PC doesn't gain a maneuver, skill trick or ability from his core class, which if done properly won't gimp a multi-class PC as badly as it might have done in previous editions. 

On the other hand, to prevent abuse, WotC will need to make sure that multi-classing does not gain too much from front loading too many class features, maneuvers, skill tricks and spells.   

I'm interested to see how it all works out.    

A Brave Knight of WTF

 

Rhenny's Blog:  http://community.wizards.com/user/1497701/blog

 

 

With bounded accuracy, and the idea that most level gains add maneuvers, skill tricks or abilities (spells being included) that don't become irrelevant as a PC advances levels, the 3e multiclassing should work better with D&DNext than it did with 3e.  

Two specific things made a lot of multiclassed PCs inadequate in most of the previous versions:  1) "to hit" disparity vs. monsters that gained higher and higher AC, and 2) sacrificing a super ability from the core class that was all but necessary to defeat new threats to gain a minor ability in the fledgling class.  If multi-classing in D&DNext gives manaeuvers, skill tricks, abilities and spells that can be used through many levels of play (not just for low level) multiclassing will add more versitility that is useful not irrelevant, and the trade-off will be that the PC doesn't gain a maneuver, skill trick or ability from his core class, which if done properly won't gimp a multi-class PC as badly as it might have done in previous editions. 

On the other hand, to prevent abuse, WotC will need to make sure that multi-classing does not gain too much from front loading too many class features, maneuvers, skill tricks and spells.   

I'm interested to see how it all works out.    



This has been my thought as well. +1

I'd like to add in the skill die as well, since it universally scales. I can see great potential in this as well. 
My two copper.
We are already discussing this topic, multiclassing in next, elsewhere, namely in the thread for the L&L article, having multiple threads on the same exact subject makes the conversation hard to track.  



And having it here makes far more sense than having it there since there are many different conversations in that thread.



Carl
For multiclassing I think it would be best to have two ways to do it (you know this being a modular system and all)

The first being a modeified 3e multi-classing as we all know and love except the class you get when multiclassing is a different one than the single class one...IOW it uses a different table...one of the biggest flaws with 3e multiclassing was you could usually squeeze out alot of power from the first few levels in a class and makesing a charcater look something like this: 7/2/1/1/1/1/1/1/1/1/1/1/1/ but not having frontloaded classes sucks for the single class people cause ther very limiterd to satart...so if you have seperate tables than you can solve both problems single classes get to be front loaded whilst multiclasses still get to have their phone but not look like the spokeperson for ADHD career wise.

The other one I'd like to see is similar to 2e Multiclassing or 4e Hybriding where both characters level as you go obviously you'd end up a level or 3 behind but could still compete since you have two classes (you'd be 5/6 whilst a single class would be Level 7)

Now on top of that we have prestiges classes which I personally hate but I know spme people like them so I say keep but offer an alternative in the form of something similar to kits for 2e or themes from 4e so their more of a template that is applied on top of your current class as opposed to a new class entirely (ie. Assassin for Rogue more SA but less skill points) both of these ideas though I'd like to see feat,skill,etc. requirements removed and have roleplaying elements replace it like you have to accomplish something releated to the prestiges class or kit to earn the right to have that...the prestige classes you could choose to get at level up since its a class and the kits/themes the DM could offer to the player as almost a reward similar to gold or magic items
Solving the 3e Multiclassing issue is easy. Simply state certain bonuses are only given if the class is selected at creation. Fighter gains additional maneuver, Rogue gains additional Trick, Cleric gains additional Channel, Wizard gains Tradition bonus. That tones down what 1st level gives you when you select it later.

Disclaimer: Wizards of the Coast is not responsible for the consequences of any failed saving throw, including but not limited to petrification, poison, death magic, dragon breath, spells, or vorpal sword-related decapitations.

I'd like to see 2nd/4th style Multiclassing/Hybrid as an option as well.

Though, as long as they can solve the frontstacking AND the "oops this combo turns out to suck" factor I do appreciate the flexibility of 3.X multiclassing.

I find that ditching XP gain and doing story driven leveling helps a LOT with some of the potential disassociation (eliminating the "how the hell did you just learn to be a Wizard while we are trapped in this dungeon" factor).   
I'd like to see 2nd/4th style Multiclassing/Hybrid as an option as well.
 



Many people share this opinon.  I just hope the designers are reading all these threads about multi-classing and it causes them to rethink what they are currently proposing.   

 


I'd like to see 2nd/4th style Multiclassing/Hybrid as an option as well.
 



Many people share this opinon.  I just hope the designers are reading all these threads about multi-classing and it causes them to rethink what they are currently proposing.   

 



Yeah, it's one of the few places where I find my opinion matches that of people who otherwise disagree with pretty much everything I want D&D to be.

If WE are agreeing then it's likely that this is something they should be doing. 
Being able to pick feats a-la-cart and taking backgrounds and specialties functions like a mini-Hybrid option at least at 1st level.  They could definitely add on to that to make crossing class lines to gain certain abilities, maneuvers, skill tricks, and even spell casting ability, a possibility as PCs level up with DM permission.   I could see some campaigns where cross-class training would be allowed if it fits the narrative, just like picking a background or specialty works at 1st level, but it would most likely have to be an option for the "Standard" or even "Advanced" version of the rules.

Right now, with the right skills, and feats, we can create stealthy fighters, or ranger-esque fighters, or warrior priests, etc.   Many of those options are like hybrid class concepts.

A Brave Knight of WTF

 

Rhenny's Blog:  http://community.wizards.com/user/1497701/blog

 

 

Personally, I loved hybrid classing. I thought it was, mechanically and flavor-wise, one of the best forms of multiclassing ever. I'm really not crazy about the "3 levels of this, 2 levels of that, 5 levels of this" way of doing things.
First off, a lot of people seem to prefer hybrid/2e-style multiclassing. The downside to this is that you're locked into your "hybrid" class from level 1, which means that it doesn't allow for the narrative changes in character style that 3e-style multiclassing does. There are two advantages that I see: first, that it's simpler and/or more balanced, and second, that it works from level 1. Personally, I see no reason that 3e-style multiclassing couldn't be just as simple to implement and balanced in play as a hybrid system, if they do it right (and that's a big if). I see the level-1 character scenario as less of a problem than some. The biggest issue seems to be for fighter/mages or rogue/mages, who would seem to look odd sprouting a whole new skillset at second level (whereas a fighter/rogue or ranger/paladin or whatever might be easier to pull off). But first level is so short that I'd think they could come up with a quick module for first-level multiclassing that would work well enough to get you to second level, where you can be a fighter1/wizard1 and start alternating class levels from there.

As I see it, they should be able to get rid of class frontloading fairly readily, with the new multiclass charts they're talking about. The bigger issue is how to deal with spellcasters and others whose powers are tied to class level. (This isn't a problem for, say, 5e fighters and rogues, since their maneuvers and skill tricks scale with level.) And this is a toughie, because you're often stuck with a real conundrum: a fighter10/wizard1 who can only access level 1 spells might as well not bother, while a fighter10/wizard1 who can cast one powerful spell per day just seems weird in RP terms. I'm interested to see how they solve this.
Why not have both?

I'd like to see the 4th style "dipping" style of multi via feats supported too.

It didn't work for everything but it worked well for some concepts.   
Personally I'd like to see 2 style of multi-classing with 2 styles of augmenting them

3e style Multiclassing (with the modified class tables that Mike Mearls mentioned)

2e Style Multiclassing

Than to augment them use prestige classes (as 3e) and something similar to 2e Kits/4e themes except disconnected so its works more like a template that can be earned at any time based on various achivements (ie. slay a dragon get dragon slayer template...gets better as you slay dragons)

Than you can augment you build...so for example if you take the 2e style multi and make a rogue/wizard and than meet the prerequisites and you could become a Assassin/Illusionist...I can imagine conjuring an illusion bridge across a gap...boom assassinated :P

I diliked the "multi-class" feats in 4e but I don't mind feats like arcane dabbler
I think they're already taking a stab at dabbling-via-feats with the martial training and hedge wizard type feats in the playtest - not bad so far IMO.

I'm curious how hybrid multiclassing would work in next. You can't just alternate powers like 4e hybrids because the classes aren't isometric AEDU. IIRC in 2e you split all xp between your classes, but since each class had different xp charts for leveling that meant you leveled them up at different times. In Next that would mean waiting twice as long to level and then gaining a level in each class when you do. Wouldn't it be easier to just do it 3e style after level 1 and alternate between two classes?
Personally I'd like to see 2 style of multi-classing with 2 styles of augmenting them

3e style Multiclassing (with the modified class tables that Mike Mearls mentioned)

2e Style Multiclassing

...

I diliked the "multi-class" feats in 4e but I don't mind feats like arcane dabbler



I'd like to see both.

And if not for the anti-4th bias I'd suggest we called the latter "Hybrid" for clarity (as they are essentially the same thing).

Arcane Dabbler is exactly the kind of thing I'd like to see more of, and layers of, included.  That is exactly what 4th Ed multiclassing WAS good at "just a little dip of this" and handled much better than 3.X style with one-level dips (barring front-loading abuse).   
I think they're already taking a stab at dabbling-via-feats with the martial training and hedge wizard type feats in the playtest - not bad so far IMO. I'm curious how hybrid multiclassing would work in next. You can't just alternate powers like 4e hybrids because the classes aren't isometric AEDU. IIRC in 2e you split all xp between your classes, but since each class had different xp charts for leveling that meant you leveled them up at different times. In Next that would mean waiting twice as long to level and then gaining a level in each class when you do. Wouldn't it be easier to just do it 3e style after level 1 and alternate between two classes?



No it's completely different here's I'll show you

Normal progression Lvl 2 250 XP. Lvl 3 Requires 950, Lvl 4 requires 2,250

Level 2/2 requires 500xp

Using 3e multiclassing in DNDNext a wiz2/fighter2 requires 2,250xp...a Wiz10/Fighter10 takes 460,000xp
Using 2e multiclassing in DNDNext a wiz2/fighter2 requires 500xp......a Wiz10/fighter10 takes 112,000xp

So when a Single-class character is Lvl 20 the 2e style Multiclass is 16/16.  so it doesn't get thew super powerful stuff from both classes but the combined mid-range stuff...in theory allows it to be competitive.

This is designed so the multi-class doesn't get worse and worse as the players level up

So no...its different.


Create 3E-style multiclassing that creates balanced characters within reasonable mixtures of class levels, if not all such mixes. In other words, we might not get a fighter 19/wizard 1 right, but a fighter 3/wizard 2 should feel like a fully effective character.



This doesn't bode well. Why is one mixture "reasonable" and not the other? Why should a Fighter 19/Wizard 1 be less effective than a fighter 3/wizard 2? If they can't make the multiclassing rules work in such a way that any combination of classes is effective, then they need to find a better way.
Create 3E-style multiclassing that creates balanced characters within reasonable mixtures of class levels, if not all such mixes. In other words, we might not get a fighter 19/wizard 1 right, but a fighter 3/wizard 2 should feel like a fully effective character.



This doesn't bode well. Why is one mixture "reasonable" and not the other? Why should a Fighter 19/Wizard 1 be less effective than a fighter 3/wizard 2? If they can't make the multiclassing rules work in such a way that any combination of classes is effective, then they need to find a better way.



Yeah, I have to admit that worried me too.

Sounds a lot like "oops, you ruined your character" will be a risk...

Again.  
If they stick with the plan of having it modular they should be able to include both types...multi-classing, hybrids w/ prestiges classes and templates to augment (see kits or themes except granted as a reward instead of chosen at lvl 1)
Clockwork - I agree that 3e allowed for deciding a multiclass later - bu I believe when 4e hybriding came out, they explicitly mentioned that you might ask your dm to respec. And, that worked for us. So, with dms permission, I see hybrid as something you can transition into later. Now, admitedly, the wizard/fighter hybrid at level 10 who used to be a level 9 wizard may need some explaining, but in our games, we managed to tie respecs to the inevitable character downtime.

I get that mileage may vary, and frankly, if the multiclassing is balanced, interesting, and avoids encouraging /1/1/1 characters, I don't really mind if we have "3e style multiclassing" - ill just recommend that Everyone only pick two classes and stay within 1 level.
Clockwork - I agree that 3e allowed for deciding a multiclass later - bu I believe when 4e hybriding came out, they explicitly mentioned that you might ask your dm to respec. And, that worked for us. So, with dms permission, I see hybrid as something you can transition into later. Now, admitedly, the wizard/fighter hybrid at level 10 who used to be a level 9 wizard may need some explaining, but in our games, we managed to tie respecs to the inevitable character downtime. I get that mileage may vary, and frankly, if the multiclassing is balanced, interesting, and avoids encouraging /1/1/1 characters, I don't really mind if we have "3e style multiclassing" - ill just recommend that Everyone only pick two classes and stay within 1 level.




This. (except I'm fine with 3 classes + a kit/theme or two if it makes sense nor do they have to stay wothin one level)

Without going into the detail's I was playing a Paladin who with the help of her god absorbed the rampant dark energy pouring out of a dying necromancer to keep it from corrupting the the other party member and became a Paladin/Warlock hybrid...she even developed a split personality it was really funny to play with...just think smeagol but with a male and female presence...my female friend was going to play the female half for me but the DM went to university and has ZERO time...poor guy :P

Again though if both types were availible it would make it incredibly versatile.
If they know ahead of time that multiclassing will bork the game math, then why not nip it in the bud and put a cap on multiclassing? Limit a single PC to no more than 3 classes (or whatever magic number you want to insert). That way, they can expand the game-math to account for X-time-multiclassed PCs, but not have to worry about Bob the Fighter 3 / Wizard 3 / Rogue 2 / Paladin 2 / Shoe-Shiner 4. For me, personally, if you need more than 3 classes to make your "character concept" come to life, then you'd probably have a much better gaming experience playing a classless game where you can cherry-pick every aspect of your PC without having to worry about pre-packaged classes getting in your way.

I mean...what sense does it make? They know from decades of experience that multiclassing is a major contributor to imbalance. They also know that monkeying around with front-loaded classes to make them easier to multi into will make those classes less desireable to people who only want 1 or 2 classes for their PC. Put in a cap. Limit the amount of imbalance that will, inevitably, happen (and it will happen when char-oppers get a hold of the multiclass rules and tinker with them). It won't eliminate imbalance, but it also won't contribute exponentially to it, either.

I liken this problem to the problem of spellcasters owning the game. The reason? The spells themselves. They know that powerful spells will take a dump on game balance. The easy fix? Take those spells out of the game! Permanently get rid of Wish, Time Stop, Gate, and all of the other major offenders. Keep the spell-casters happy with oodles of spells, but have the good sense to not put in spells that, even at a brief glance from a newb, are obviously overpowered or easily exploited. This is not rocket science. It's common sense.
"The world is indeed comic, but the joke is on mankind." - H.P. Lovecraft
3 classes? good number enough to muck around with but not too many to become ridiculous...of course to alter it more you could apply kits so instead of a Fighter/Mage/Rogue you can make a Kensai/Illusionist/Swashbuckler which would be a Duelist type character that uses illusioon to gain the upperhand...or mixing multiclass w/ kit with prestige class you could make a Kensai/Bladesinger/Swashbuckler still a duelist but instead of illusion magic to confuse and distract he uses his magic to empower his blade.

The imbalance it is obvious they know which is why the plan is to have seperate leveling tables for multiclasses this solve the front loading issue...single classes get there front loading stuff whilst multi-classes will get less out of a 7/1/1/1/1/1/1/1 type character (which is what Mike was trying to say with the fighter19/wizard1)

Lastly I must know what abilities shoe-shiner gets...definately a bonus to CHa because he boots are emmaculate
5E multiclassing is based on 3E's model, so it has already failed completely and utterly.


Well thats what they've revealed so far and early one they did say that 3e multi-classing would be the standard rule...my hopes are that the alternatives will show up within advanced rules...I won't give up until the game is officially released than if I like the rest of the systems more than 4e I'll just house rule myguild system again. If I decide its sucks I might try out pathfinder...but thats alot of ifs so for now I'll keep sharing my opinions and suggestions until those ifs become desicions
Multiclassing is going to be very tricky to balance. 

Just getting the right spell, the right feat, and the right class feature can make a character unbalance.

A Dex/Int Fighter/Wizard is the most unbalance combo I can think of.

I can get a maneuver called Composed Attack to cancel my disadvantage while being in my own Darkness Spell. At high enough level, you can get elven chain so you can cast Darkness with armor.

So a 10lv Fighter/3lv Wizard with elven chain can be nasty as he can cast darkenss on himself and dodge a lot of attacks while able to hit with his own. He can use Dodge and tank while his allies fire away at his position. 

 
You forgot the part where ASF only applies to armor your not proficient with so your fighter/mage could wear any armor you wanted also sure that SOUNDS strong but what is that fighter NOT getting because he's 3 levels behind his brethren.
I've mentioned this before, but I'll mention it again; I want to see "Dabbler" concepts -- the short dips into other classes, like the mentioned Fighter 19 with Wizard 1 -- be implemented with feats/specs.  You can give your duelist fighter a skill trick or two or your rogue can learn a couple cantrips from that stolen spellbook or your wizard can learn to cast spells in light armor.  Take a feat, dabble in wizard a bit, but otherwise remain a Fighter 20.  

To Dabble a little deeper, you could take the entire Specialty, getting cantrips, a familiar, and some 1st/2nd level spells by the time you're 10th level.  You still remain a single-class Fighter, but you sacrificed some of your martial potential in order to achieve a more potent arcane talent.

True Multiclassing would be for those that actually want parity between their two (or three) classes.  First, there'd be separate XP tables for single-, dual-, and triple-classed characters.  Second, XP would be split between all classes, so if 10xp is earned, 5xp would go to Class1 and 5xp would go to Class2, or 4/3/3xp if triple-classed.  Third, a character would only get the better version of any given feature; the Fighter 6's +2 BAB and 3d6 murder dice would trump (not stack with) the +1 BAB and 1d6 murder dice of his Cleric 6 side, but the Cleric's +2 Spell bonus would trump the Fighter's +0.  They'd also be lower level than their single-classed compatriots.

Unless they change their minds about adopting 3E MCing (and they very well might, depending on how the playtest goes), I think this idea would work best as an Advanced module for replacing the Standard multiclassing system.

 

Wounds Module [updated for Basic]

Proficiency Module

You forgot the part where ASF only applies to armor your not proficient with so your fighter/mage could wear any armor you wanted also sure that SOUNDS strong but what is that fighter NOT getting because he's 3 levels behind his brethren.



To be able to cancel out my disadvantage and cause monsters in my Darkness to have disadvantage is more then enough to worth 3 levels of fighter. 

The party fights a dragon. 

My fighter/wizard can cast Darkness to protect himself and pin down that dragon. 
The cleric can just sit back and spam lance of faith and heal if the dragon hits me.
The pure wizard can just fire away until the dragon is dead.
The rogue is gonna have a field day with my Darkness as he can hide and sneak attack. 

If I can find a way to create Darkness without taking 3lv in wizard then I'll be more then happy
to get my 3 missing fighter levels, but then again some of the lv1 spells are not bad like Shield. 

  

You forgot the part where ASF only applies to armor your not proficient with so your fighter/mage could wear any armor you wanted also sure that SOUNDS strong but what is that fighter NOT getting because he's 3 levels behind his brethren.



To be able to cancel out my disadvantage and cause monsters in my Darkness to have disadvantage is more then enough to worth 3 levels of fighter. 

The party fights a dragon. 

My fighter/wizard can cast Darkness to protect himself and pin down that dragon. 
The cleric can just sit back and spam lance of faith and heal if the dragon hits me.
The pure wizard can just fire away until the dragon is dead.
The rogue is gonna have a field day with my Darkness as he can hide and sneak attack. 

If I can find a way to create Darkness without taking 3lv in wizard then I'll be more then happy
to get my 3 missing fighter levels, but then again some of the lv1 spells are not bad like Shield.



Make a Hill Dwarven Arcanist Cleric...Wis/Str Build focus on buff/blast type spells (with heals spells of course) you will not be disappointed.

@Ryan: I pretty much agree with everything you said there and next weeks DNDNext Goals article can't come soon enough I'm hoping this is where the modularity comes in. Crossing my fingers for 2e kit-like templates that can be applied to a character at any time (most of the time granted by the DM) for their accomplisments (like in-game accomplishments not feat and skills they happened to choose)

As for regular 3e-style multi-classing the two big flaws it had were 7/4/3/1/1/1/1/1/1 type builds and caster classes being very hard to multi-class...from the sound of it they've found a way to handle point the first problem but I'm really interesting in how they handle the spell caster issue without making it too OP


The party fights a dragon. 

My fighter/wizard can cast Darkness to protect himself and pin down that dragon. 
The cleric can just sit back and spam lance of faith and heal if the dragon hits me.
The pure wizard can just fire away until the dragon is dead.
The rogue is gonna have a field day with my Darkness as he can hide and sneak attack. 



Played this way, it could be overpowered.  But honestly that DM would need to be slapped a few times for not playing his dragon with half a brain and eating everyone else first.

Solving the 3e Multiclassing issue is easy. Simply state certain bonuses are only given if the class is selected at creation. Fighter gains additional maneuver, Rogue gains additional Trick, Cleric gains additional Channel, Wizard gains Tradition bonus. That tones down what 1st level gives you when you select it later.

Which they've all ready done in the packet by putting a list of features in the class descriptions that are gained "when you take this at level 1". Admittedly, that could mean level 1 of the class but I think it probably means level 1 character.
“Level Zero” is part of the D&D tradition. I hope it is a normal part of the leveling system. Level 0 is an option for when players want to start the game feeling like hyper-vulnerable students, apprentices and pages. It is also a good option for DMs to represent NPC Commoners.

I mention Level 0 here, because it seems like an excellent mechanic to dabble in another class for a multiclass, or to gently phase in the abilities of a new class, in a way that feels believable.

So, when the multiclass character takes on the new class, such as a Level-0 Wizard, there is a feeling of playing an Apprentice Wizard, learning new skills, before suddenly being a skillful Level-1 Wizard.

Introducing a new class at Level 0 seems like a good way to stretchout access to the “frontloading” of powerful abilities.

If Level 0 abilities are worth one-or-two feats, then players can choose it similar to the 4e “dabbling” multiclass feats. It would also be fine to be multiclass at Level 1: L1 Fighter/L0 Wizard.

And like I said, I like the option of Level 0 anyway. It just seems useful for multiclass mechanics too.