Multiclassing, but which style?

So obviously NEXT will have multiclassing.  But it occured to me that there are several approaches.

In the beginning, D&D had, instead of multiclassing, hybrid classes to represent the approach other races took to adventuring, such as the Elf class, an arcane caster who could mix it up in melee.

When AD&D came out, this concept was expanded, allowing "demihuman" races to have two, or sometimes even three distinct classes simultaneously.  There were some hard limits on how far you could proceed in a given class, and some concepts were hard to play in practice (anything with Wizard resulted in not enough hit points, and some AC woes at low levels).

And then there was "dual-classing" and the original Bard, which required some very high attributes and a lot of patience.

3.5 changed the paradigm, by presenting a level-by-level multiclass system that anyone could partake in.  Want to be better at melee combat?  Take a level of Fighter!  Are you trying to build a complex concept, like a fantasy Ninja?  Admix Monk and Rogue, or maybe Sorcerer...the sky was the limit, as long as you were careful to avoid taking a 20% hit to your earned xp.

This was, in theory, a good thing, but some people (mostly DM's) seemed to reject this, finding characters with levels in 3 or 4 classes somehow "munchkin" (I hate the term, but that's pretty much the reaction I saw).  It didn't matter if you were trying to build a concept there wasn't a class for- it was considered gaming the system.

True, most classes were "front-loaded"- the worst examples being the "take 2 levels of Fighter" and "take one level of Ranger, then go Rogue", so I'm sure there's SOMEONE who did this just to make a more powerful character, but even if you did- did that really make you stronger than a full spellcaster?  (Hint: No, it didn't).

So, ok, fine, some tables didn't care for excessive multiclassing to build a concept.  That was all well and good, but then when WotC made a specialized class to allow someone to play a concept, people began to mutter about "class bloat".

This confused me, I mean, one or the other, people!

Regardless, for NEXT, the question, I think, is what would we rather see as a system to allow people to build specialized, "concept" characters.

1) Broad 'meta-classes' that have a wide array of options.  Like a base "Fighter" class, that can be built to have rages, heavy armor use, favored enemies, or the ability to revive fallen allies by screaming at them.

2) Freestyle multiclassing, that treats classes like LEGOS, so that you can build a "Conan" style character by admixing levels of Fighter, Barbarian, and Rogue.

3) Lots and lots of specialized classes to fill every possible niche.  Want to play a "Gish"?  Well there's Bladesinger and Spellsword, and Duskblade, and Hexblade, and...

4) All of the above, possibly as "modules".

I'm seeing a lot of discussion lately about folding concepts into various classes, like making Warlord or Ranger a package for Fighters, and also backlash against this, saying Warlord needs to be distinct, Ranger has always been a distinct class (well, not always, but for a very long time), etc..  So which is it?  Do we want dozens of classes?  Meta-classes?  Freestyle multiclassing?

                                          
"You can always judge a man by the quality of his enemies." -The Doctor, Remembrance of the Daleks
If there are two classes that exist, then there will be a concept between them that also exists.

This is a property of the real number line, re-appropriated to the topic at hand.

What does this mean?  To put it simply, there are an infinite number of character concepts, and the goal of the class system is to support as many of them as feasible given the limits of what it takes to actually develop them.  I'll use some examples to illustrate.

Fighter exists.  Cleric exists.  What do you get when you mix Fighter and Cleric?
Paladin.  Okay, this one is easy.

Fighter exists.  Cleric exists.  Paladin exists.  What do you get when you mix Fighter and Cleric?
Not Paladin, because Paladin is over there, and not the same as either Cleric or Fighter, and not the same as if you mix the two of Cleric and Fighter.  You get something different.  The only option is to go to multiclassing, Fighter/Cleric. 

Fighter exists.  Cleric exists.  Paladin exists.  Fighter/Cleric exists.  What do you get when you mix Paladin and Fighter/Cleric?  Honestly, I don't know.  But the only way to find out is a Fighter/Cleric/Paladin.


The solution to all of this is to find the things that stand well enough on their own, and call them classes.  For the rest of the concept space, all those infinite interstitial spaces between the things we call "classes," multiclassing fills that role.  Now, certainly, whether a concept is robust enough to be a class is subjective, and a judgment call.  But that's okay, because there's no other choice.


So yes, we should have a lot of classes, but also a robust multiclassing system.  That way, anybody who has any style of play and any character concept has a good chance of finding a way to mechanically represent that concept in a way that they can be proud of.  That's the goal, and anything short of that is not acceptable.
D&D Next = D&D: Quantum Edition
I'm largely indifferent to any particular style, so long as none of them have attribute prereqs and/or racial mandates and/or a feat-tax buy-in.
I'd like to see Multiclassing similiar to a balanced Gestalt (or 4E hybrid) in that you can take a few options from Class A and a few options from Class B (but not ALL options from both). So, for example a Dual-Class/Multiclass/Hybrid/Whatever Fighter|Wizard might only get Light armor, proficiency with Martial weapons, a d8 HD, a choice between the Fighter Weapon attack progression OR Wizard Spell Attack progression and maybe MDD OR Wizard Tradition. And when you progress to X level, you get another choice or increase an already chosen option (like increasing armor to Medium or getting a bonus to your Spell DCs).
I like lego's. 

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

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

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

King Fisher Optimized net user.  Moderate.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

I think there should be multiple forms of multi-classing.

Dual classing like in second where a character starts as one thing and then switches to something else. Unlike the restrictions from 2nd though I think the only restriction should be the two classes should have to have about the same amount of levels. Perhaps a maximum of three levels difference.

3.5 Gestalt / 4E hybrid bits from two different classes taken at the same time.

I think that 3.5 level dipping should be replaced with a better set of 4E multi-classing feats. It should be done thoroughly enough to give that little bit of another class that a person wants.

I think that would cover just about any mix that could be wanted.

______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

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

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

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

 

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

Dual classing like in second where a character starts as one thing and then switches to something else. Unlike the restrictions from 2nd though I think the only restriction should be the two classes should have to have about the same amount of levels. Perhaps a maximum of three levels difference.

Sooo... Monopoly Hotels?

No edition has done multiclassing in a way that I find to be acceptable. Hopefully D&D Next does it right.
Khyber is a dark and dangerous place, full of flame and smoke, where ever stranger things lie dormant.
No edition has done multiclassing in a way that I find to be acceptable.

Alright...

Elaborate.

No edition has done multiclassing in a way that I find to be acceptable. Hopefully D&D Next does it right.

Now, to be useful:  how did you not find them acceptable, and what would they need to remedy to have it "right" to you?
D&D Next = D&D: Quantum Edition
We do all ready know that 5e's multiclassing is starting with a 3e style. Whether it'll end that way is a whole other thing but that's the starting point.
No edition has done multiclassing in a way that I find to be acceptable.

Alright...

Elaborate.




4E's system of multiclassing was feat tax/bloat hell at its worst. You had to spend four feats and your paragon path in order to do it. It was introduced in the early part of the edition waaay before 4E hit its stride so it felt really rickety. It was rarely worth taking more than the first entry level feat (which was often just used as a free skill training with a bit extra), and giving up your paragon path at the end just felt unrewarding compared to what all you gave up. The system needed to give you more for what you paid into it and it never quite did. You could also hybrid but that system was even more useless unless you had a specific idea in order to optimize. If you didn't know precisely what you were doing it was one of the few trap options in the edition. The new way to multiclass that was introduced this month could be worthwhile. I haven't had enough time to grok it fully. I think 4E would've been served a lot better had it started out with themes and used them to incorporate multiclassing.

3.5's system was the system I liked best, but it was like the hybrid system where you either had something completely broken from the getgo or you were trapped into something way worse than what someone would be if they had just taken one class level all the way through. Also if you were a spellcaster it was never worth taking the hit to your spellcasting progression in order to multiclass. Also "class dipping" where you went Class a 3/Class b 2/Class c 3/PRC a 1 was a major problem that I didn't like. The best things a class has to offer should be some of it's higher level effects, and should not be readily accessible by multiclassing into it once.

I'm not as familiar with the older editions. But I have played AD&D a couple times and the people who did "multiclass" didn't seem like they were different enough from their base class for it to be worth it.

A multiclassing system I would like would be one that isn't just a tool for optimizers, but something that when you use it leads to more interesting character designs and a quirky character mechanically. In this regard every edition that I have played has failed.
Khyber is a dark and dangerous place, full of flame and smoke, where ever stranger things lie dormant.

2e multiclassing ticks almost all the boxes. Fully autonomous classes working in one character? Tick. Full access to all abilities within each class? Tick. Synergy? Not like we think of it in 3e but there was plenty of it, so tick. Reasonable advancement price that's proportionate to the rewards? Tick.


3e multiclassing fails to tick many of those boxes, but it brings in a massive tick for being open ended and freely available to all at any stage in the game.


It occurs to me that feats also get in the way of some of the things we want out of multiclassing because if the game assumes we're using feats to augment our class abilities and we're multiclassing but get no extra feats, we automatically have to decide which class is less important.

IMO (subject to change):

Each class has an alternate first level.  Which looks alot like the hybrids of 4e did, as in you get watered down class features.  But also gives rules for scaling (i.e. Fighter 1/ Wizard 1 might have a single level 1 slot, and a fighter19/wizard 1 might have a single level 6 slot).

So like...

MC fighter:  Weapons, Manuver, Parry.

MC Wizard: Spellcasting, Slots per day (special).
*Special: You get 1 spell slot based on your total character level.
 
MC Barbarian: Iron Hide, Reckless Attack, Rage (1/day).

MC Rogue: Skill Mastery, Skill Trick (1).


And then allow people to dual class by taking 2 at first level.  So you'd start with 1 rage, and 1 spell.  Or you could start with a manuver and a rage.  Or a maunver and a spell.

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

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

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

King Fisher Optimized net user.  Moderate.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Completely agreed on 4e multiclassing, but I disagree with your characterization of 4e hybrids.  Not only were they not useless, but the 'bad' ways of hybriding were not trap options.  Why?  Because it takes two things to be a trap:  to be bad, and to be hidden.  It wasn't hidden in the slightest, in fact it was stated outright in the section explaining hybrids that they were very easy to screw up if you didn't know what you were doing and picked things with limited compatibility.

Personally, I'd like to see both hyrids and multiclassing happen, so that it's possible to be:

FTR 1
WIZ 1
FTR|WIZ 1  (the vertical bar | denotes hybrid, using 4e forum nomenclature)

FTR 10
WIZ 10
FTR|WIZ 10
FTR 5 / WIZ 5

And have them all be unique and distinct.
D&D Next = D&D: Quantum Edition
A multiclassing system I would like would be one that isn't just a tool for optimizers, but something that when you use it leads to more interesting character designs and a quirky character mechanically. In this regard every edition that I have played has failed.

1E/2E Dual-classing does that, but the arbitrary requirements and brutal screwjobs ruined the whole deal.

The only system I liked was the one in AD&D where you leveled your classes up together.

The later versions of multiclassing are rediculous from an ingame point of view. 

"My fighter killed some orcs with his 2h sword and so now he is also a wizard" or "My wizard killed some orcs by casting magic missles and so now he is also a paladin.".

Multiclassing in 3.x either crippled a player for poor choices or rewarded a player to much for looking up min-max builds onlline.

Multiclassing in 3.x either crippled a player for poor choices or rewarded a player to much for looking up min-max builds onlline.

Hey!

Some people genuinly found those combo's themselves, and then POSTED them online.

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

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

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

King Fisher Optimized net user.  Moderate.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

I'd argue that they rewarded a player too much for genuinely finding those combos themselves, regardless....
D&D Next = D&D: Quantum Edition
Honestly, 2e dual class, for me, got the closest to doing Multiclass right.  You pick your classes and become a hybrid of them.

3e had a good concept, too: you get to take levels independant of one another and build up your character as you so desire.  But the execution was fundamentally flawed in that most classes are naturally front loaded, allowing "Dips" like Fighter 2/Other Class X to be straight up more effective and chosen for reasons other than themeatics, while hybridizing classes almost always gimped them both (Alternating fighter and wizard levels, for instance, will leave you virtually incapable of competing against level 20 monsters, much less more optimized PCs)

Perhaps this could be fixed by having a level get you the traits and gains of hitting level X in a class when you take it as your Level X, regardless of whether it's your first level of that class or your Xth.  But, unless accomodations were made, this would break caster multiclassing in half: take early levels that give you a good base frame and high levels that get you maximum casting ability.  That's probably worse than dips.

"Enjoy your screams, Sarpadia - they will soon be muffled beneath snow and ice."
On Worldbuilding - On Crafting Aliens - Pillars of Art and Flavor - Simulationism, Narritivism, and Gamism - Shub-Niggurath in D&D
THE COALITION WAR GAME -Phyrexian Chief Praetor
Round 1: (4-1-2, 1 kill)
Round 2: (16-8-2, 4 kills)
Round 3: (18-9-2, 1 kill)
Round 4: (22-10-0, 2 kills)
Round 5: (56-16-3, 9 kills)
Round 6: (8-7-1)

Last Edited by Ralph on blank, 1920

I'd prefer if the developers geniunely found out about the combinations they created before the players do.

Big Model: Creative Agenda
Love 4e? Concerned about its future? join the Old Guard of 4th Edition
Reality Refracted: Social Contracts

My blog of random stuff 

Dreaming the Impossible Dream
Imagine a world where the first-time D&D player rolls stats, picks a race, picks a class, picks an alignment, and buys gear to create a character. Imagine if an experienced player, maybe the person helping our theoretical player learn the ropes, could also make a character by rolling ability scores and picking a race, class, feat, skills, class features, spells or powers, and so on. Those two players used different paths to build characters, but the system design allows them to play at the same table. -Mearl

"It is a general popular error to suppose the loudest complainers for the publick to be the most anxious for its welfare." - Edmund Burke
I'd argue that they rewarded a player too much for genuinely finding those combos themselves, regardless....

I didn't say it wasn't over powered...

But claiming every munchkin is lazy 

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

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

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

King Fisher Optimized net user.  Moderate.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

I'd prefer if the developers geniunely found out about the combinations they created before the players do.

I'd rather them let me find it, then have them errata it.


But i'm sure i'm in the very very small miniority here...  

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

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

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

King Fisher Optimized net user.  Moderate.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Well in 3e they claimed they found all the combos and wanted us to find them on our own.  They were wrong, of course.
"You can always judge a man by the quality of his enemies." -The Doctor, Remembrance of the Daleks
I'd prefer if the developers geniunely found out about the combinations they created before the players do.

I'd rather them let me find it, then have them errata it.


But i'm sure i'm in the very very small miniority here...  


Errata is only really meaningful to a certain segment of D&D users (the ones using online tools). For the people using books, having a online community available to hash out problems for the developers to fix has little value. 

Big Model: Creative Agenda
Love 4e? Concerned about its future? join the Old Guard of 4th Edition
Reality Refracted: Social Contracts

My blog of random stuff 

Dreaming the Impossible Dream
Imagine a world where the first-time D&D player rolls stats, picks a race, picks a class, picks an alignment, and buys gear to create a character. Imagine if an experienced player, maybe the person helping our theoretical player learn the ropes, could also make a character by rolling ability scores and picking a race, class, feat, skills, class features, spells or powers, and so on. Those two players used different paths to build characters, but the system design allows them to play at the same table. -Mearl

"It is a general popular error to suppose the loudest complainers for the publick to be the most anxious for its welfare." - Edmund Burke
Its tough...2e multiclassing worked for 2e (mostly).  2e multiclassing does not work for 3e unless you make some very wierd conversion tables.  Trust me I tried... you can make it work but it is very much a square peg/ round hole issue.  3e multiclassing works best for 3e, and if you want a "2e style" multiclassing setup in 3e, you just need to enforce a maximum level separation of 1.  If you are a fighter/wizard you can be 3/3, 4/3, 3/4 but never 5/3.

The problem in DDN is that classes are painfully frontloaded.  So you will need some reasonable way to parse up abilities.  And you can't remove them entirely, because a barbarian without rage is not really a barbarian.  

I think that a combined class could work.  Pick 2 classes.  You only get one ability score adjustment (your choice) Add attack bonuses, casting bonuses, MDD, MDB and all other static bonuses together and divide them by 2 rounding down.  When you gain hitpoints, roll both hit dice and take the average (or take the average static numbers provided added together and divided by 2 rounded down).  You take the worst of the two hit dice for rest healing.  Everytime you gain a new level, you can choose to advance one level in either the class features list for class A or class B.  You average out proficiencies rounding down again.  If you have no armor proficiencies for class A and up to heavy for class B, you get (3/2 rounded down = 1) light armor proficiency only.  Same for weapon groups, but you keep specific proficiencies.  Finally, you get all of the 1st level abilities of one class (your choice) but when you choose to advance the second class you only get 1 of the listed 1st level abilities (gained in the listed order).  You effectively would spread the 1st level abilities out over a number of levels equal to the number of abilities (excluding combat expertise and non-features like Fighting Style).

So a level 8 multiclassed fighter/barbarian with equal ability distribution who picked fighter as his primary would have:
Ability Bonus: +1 str, dex, or con
HP: (7+6)/2 rounded = 6 x 8 = 48 base HP
Attack Bonus:  (2+2)/2 = +2
MDB:  (5+5)/2 = +5
MDD:  (4+4)/2 = 4d6
Armor Proficiencies: Light, Medium, Shields
Weapon Proficiencies: All simple and martial
(so far it looks like a barbarian with slightly worse HP, but that is okay, they are both full martial classes)

Class Features
Level 1 (Fighter): Fighting Style, Maneuver, Parry
Level 2 (Barbarian): Iron Hide
Level 3 (Fighter): Maneuver
Level 4 (Barbarian): Rage, Fast Movement (RDB +2)
Level 5 (Fighter): -
Level 6 (Barbarian):  Reckless Attack (RDB +2)
Level 7 (Fighter): Maneuver
Level 8 (Barbarian):  Feral Instinct (RDB +4)
And so on....

Note that since RDB (rage damage bonus) is a static bonus not listed under features, it progresses at half rate.
Now, this is still far from perfect, but it does help alleviate the level splashing issue that will run rampant if they allow straight 3e style multiclassing.

Just for fun, here is a fighter/wizard same level and distibution with wizard as the primary.
Ability Bonus: +1 int, or con
HP: (4+6)/2 rounded = 5 x 8 = 40 base HP
Attack Bonus:  (0+2)/2 = +1
MDB:  (0+5)/2 = +2
MDD:  (0+4)/2 = 2d6
Armor Proficiencies: Light
Weapon Proficiencies: All simple wepons [note: (2+0)/2=1 aka simple, wizard specifics are kept but covered under all simple]
Spellcasting Bonus: (0+2)/2 = +1

Class Features:
Level 1 (W):  Spellcasting, Tradition of Wizardry, Wizardly Knowledge


  • Spells Per Day: 2 1st level

  • Spells Prepared: 2 


Level 2 (F): Fighting Style, Maneuver
Level 3 (W):  -


  • Spells Per Day: 3 1st level

  • Spells Prepared: 3 


Level 4 (F):Maneuver, Parry
Level 5 (W): -

  • Spells Per Day: 4 1st level, 2 2nd level

  • Spells Prepared: 4 


Level 6 (F): -
Level 7 (W): - 

  • Spells Per Day: 4 1st level, 3 2nd level

  • Spells Prepared: 5 


Level 8 (F): Maneuver

So, that is the best I can come up with on the fly.   
I'd like every available option and have them all be useable in tandem.

Hybrid classes combining options of multiple classes for broad stroke concepts, Multiclassing for taking a bit from another class for some fine tuning, and feats for a splash of flavor like 5e specialties were like several packets ago where you could be a fighter with a bit of useful cleric.

However it is there needs to be a way to synergize classes with bad ability match ups.
Well in 3e they claimed they found all the combos and wanted us to find them on our own.  They were wrong, of course.



Did they honestly claim that? Because I've heard from sources that the game was never playtested past level 10, and that neither paladin nor monk got any playtesting which was one of the reasons why they were given multiclass restrictions.

Speaking of which, remember racial favored classes and multiclass restrictions? I'm glad that's something that seems to have stayed buried with 3e.
In principle, I think the 3.x approach was the most elegent and certainly the most flexible. In practice it had a list of issues as long as my arm, but they relate mainly to BAB, saves and spellcaster levels which appear to be handled differently in DDN anyway. I think a lot of us assume that those same issues will be back when the designers talk about "3E style multiclassing", and there's no reason to think they will.

My preferences are as follows:
  • Select a class level every time you level up, just like in 3E.
  • Allow a "level 0" for classes that can be used to multiclass at first level. At level 2 the character becomes an X1/Y1 character that is exactly the same as if they hadn't multiclassed at level 1.
  • Use a skill system in a similar vein to SWSE or 4E, so that multiclassed skill progressions aren't quite so variable without the spending additional resources (like feats) on them.
  • Don't front-load the classes so much that cherry-picking is a no-brainer.
  • Don't back-load the classes so much that single-classing is a no-brainer.
  • Have spellcasting/martial exploit power be based on character level rather than class level.
  • Keep the base classes reasonably general. I don't need a ninja class if I want a non-magical assassin. If I wan't a magical assassin I'd prefer taking a few levels of Illusionist if that gave me enough ammunition for my concept. Or a theme or background if that did the same.
  • Write a large disclaimer that multi-classing is intended to be just as viable and expected an option for players to take as single-classing is. In the 3.x days I got sick to death of the hate that was spilled onto those that embraced multi-classing. WotC gave us a tool to make more interesting and less archetypical characters than ever before and the concept somehow got twisted into "multiclassing=munchkinism" and "munchkinism=the worst thing since Fox cancelled Firefly".
  • Drop the arbitrary restriction on multiclassing from all previous editions. If I want to play a drunken anachist monk I'd rather not have to have a Lawful alignment. Why shouldn't my Paladin of Mystra be allowed to multiclass as a wizard or sorceror? Is there really any reason my cave-dwelling Dwarf shouldn't be allowed to be a Druid?


I liked the idea of hybrid classes in 4E, but in my experience nearly every concept I came up with turned out to be too gimped to be playable under the overly restrictive (IMHO) system. I'd still be reasonably happy if the end result was similar to the 4E hybrid style but a little more forgiving. Again, see my preferences above though.

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

In principle, I think the 3.x approach was the most elegent and certainly the most flexible. In practice it had a list of issues as long as my arm, but they relate mainly to BAB, saves and spellcaster levels which appear to be handled differently in DDN anyway. I think a lot of us assume that those same issues will be back when the designers talk about "3E style multiclassing", and there's no reason to think they will.


This.  Past failure does not predict future failure, not when the devs are looking specifically at what failed and why, and how to avoid it.
D&D Next = D&D: Quantum Edition
I think that the most important thing is that whatever the multiclassing system is, that the classes are designed with it in mind from the beginning. It's a big enough part of D&D and a sufficiently expected part that it's going to happen and lots of tables are going to use it, so it should be something that's thought about during design. If 3.5 thought about multiclassing during its class design, there's not really any evidence of it. As other people have said, most multiclasses are either super horrible or all but linearly better than single-classing. (I do think that it's much better to err on the side of "it's a mistake to multiclass" than on the side of "it's a mistake not to multiclass". That's how PF mostly is, and I think it's a little nicer.) Additionally, the multiclass combinations that worked the best were among the least necessary-feeling. I hope it's not too controversial to suggest that while Fighter/Paladin worked fine as a multiclass, most Fighter/Paladin characters could be represented as single-class Paladin without a dramatic loss of fidelity (compared to something like a Wizard/Fighter. )

4e, similarly, felt like multiclassing was something that just kind of got wedged in there because D&D has multiclassing, so let's have something that we can call multiclassing. Hybridding made the best of it for a system that the classes hadn't been designed around, but there were still some points of awkwardness.

While I have the least experience with it, 2e duel-classing sounds the most like what someone would expect a multiclass character to be like - good at both things, but a little worse than a single-class character, and not widely variant in potency depending on implementation details.
Dwarves invented beer so they could toast to their axes. Dwarves invented axes to kill people and take their beer. Swanmay Syndrome: Despite the percentages given in the Monster Manual, in reality 100% of groups of swans contain a Swanmay, because otherwise the DM would not have put any swans in the game.
I can't speak to 4e hybrids (never played with them), but I'd like to see good versions of 2e multiclassing along with 3e so that those who want to build a (for example) fighter/cleric at 1st level can, and those who want to build a fighter and add cleric at 2nd can do so as well.

In memory of wrecan and his Unearthed Wrecana.

I think that the most important thing is that whatever the multiclassing system is, that the classes are designed with it in mind from the beginning. It's a big enough part of D&D and a sufficiently expected part that it's going to happen and lots of tables are going to use it, so it should be something that's thought about during design. If 3.5 thought about multiclassing during its class design, there's not really any evidence of it. As other people have said, most multiclasses are either super horrible or all but linearly better than single-classing. (I do think that it's much better to err on the side of "it's a mistake to multiclass" than on the side of "it's a mistake not to multiclass". That's how PF mostly is, and I think it's a little nicer.) Additionally, the multiclass combinations that worked the best were among the least necessary-feeling. I hope it's not too controversial to suggest that while Fighter/Paladin worked fine as a multiclass, most Fighter/Paladin characters could be represented as single-class Paladin without a dramatic loss of fidelity (compared to something like a Wizard/Fighter. )



Right, the issue with 3e's "Ala Carte" multiclassing is that it means the only logical way to balance the system is to design with constant marginal utility for every level of every class. It's not a way of doing things that most designers are familiar with and it's easier said than done!
im torn on the xp advancement, i dont like taking classes after you start playing as the time involved in training is so long it dosent fit into play well, how does a fighter spend a month learning spells and become a full fledged caster it makes no sense. id rather that you pick your multi class combination on creation and then split your xp bwteen classes evenly as you adventure. now as to classes allowed in combination the restrictions on specialty classes i am partially in agreement with, having a wizard/pally/ranger combo is just not something i would want to see in the game but the powers of the specialty classes should be such that not being able to multi class wouldnt be a terrible thing.
My personal favorite would be 3E multiclassing but...

1st, we will go with a premise that classes get strong abilities at odd levels and some minor/fluff stuff at even levels.

2nd, the we can say that you must take atleast 2 levels at a time with a certain class when you level it.

that means:

no MC before level,

also no dipping as you must take atleast 2 levels when you take a new class.

So level 6 character can look like:

1; ClassA6
2; ClassA4/ClassB2
3; ClassA2/ClassB2/ClassC2

also to make those characters not suck, we can introduce MC feats that will give +4 levels of class abilities up to total character levels.

I think that the most important thing is that whatever the multiclassing system is, that the classes are designed with it in mind from the beginning. It's a big enough part of D&D and a sufficiently expected part that it's going to happen and lots of tables are going to use it, so it should be something that's thought about during design. If 3.5 thought about multiclassing during its class design, there's not really any evidence of it. As other people have said, most multiclasses are either super horrible or all but linearly better than single-classing. (I do think that it's much better to err on the side of "it's a mistake to multiclass" than on the side of "it's a mistake not to multiclass". That's how PF mostly is, and I think it's a little nicer.) Additionally, the multiclass combinations that worked the best were among the least necessary-feeling. I hope it's not too controversial to suggest that while Fighter/Paladin worked fine as a multiclass, most Fighter/Paladin characters could be represented as single-class Paladin without a dramatic loss of fidelity (compared to something like a Wizard/Fighter. )



Right, the issue with 3e's "Ala Carte" multiclassing is that it means the only logical way to balance the system is to design with constant marginal utility for every level of every class. It's not a way of doing things that most designers are familiar with and it's easier said than done!

Absolutely. And I don't think you need to get perfect. I think it's impossible, and I don't even think you need to get nearly as close to "about as good" as you're getting with single-classed class balance, but I think that designing classes at least partially accounting for the idea of how you're going to make multiclassing work can pay dividends. I'm operating under the assumption that the 3.5 classes and the core mechanics of things like spellcasting were designed almost exclusively through a lens of what they'd look like single-classed because that's what they look like. If multiclassing was a consideration, it doesn't appear to have been enough of one. I do admire 3.5's raw boldness in making character creation so open and modular (in the classic sense of the word). It's something that pays a lot of dividends for system-inclined players with a lot of experience. It just has the unfortunate consequence of making a lot of intuitively sensible decisions surprisingly poor.

Dwarves invented beer so they could toast to their axes. Dwarves invented axes to kill people and take their beer. Swanmay Syndrome: Despite the percentages given in the Monster Manual, in reality 100% of groups of swans contain a Swanmay, because otherwise the DM would not have put any swans in the game.
im torn on the xp advancement, i dont like taking classes after you start playing as the time involved in training is so long it dosent fit into play well, how does a fighter spend a month learning spells and become a full fledged caster it makes no sense. id rather that you pick your multi class combination on creation and then split your xp bwteen classes evenly as you adventure. now as to classes allowed in combination the restrictions on specialty classes i am partially in agreement with, having a wizard/pally/ranger combo is just not something i would want to see in the game but the powers of the specialty classes should be such that not being able to multi class wouldnt be a terrible thing.



how about aprentice based system?
for the class feature collom you would basicly count as level -2 when you enter a new class
while for the other coloms you woud count as level 1

so a wizard might look like :
-1 spell casting
0 wizarly knowlage
1 tradition of wizardry.

so you would be lagging behind a bit in the class features colom compared to characters that where that class from level 1.
making the wizard kind of a bad example as he does not gain abilities in the class feature colom later on.

well ok scrap that idea


Absolutely. And I don't think you need to get perfect. I think it's impossible, and I don't even think you need to get nearly as close to "about as good" as you're getting with single-classed class balance, but I think that designing classes at least partially accounting for the idea of how you're going to make multiclassing work can pay dividends. I'm operating under the assumption that the 3.5 classes and the core mechanics of things like spellcasting were designed almost exclusively through a lens of what they'd look like single-classed because that's what they look like. If multiclassing was a consideration, it doesn't appear to have been enough of one. I do admire 3.5's raw boldness in making character creation so open and modular (in the classic sense of the word). It's something that pays a lot of dividends for system-inclined players with a lot of experience. It just has the unfortunate consequence of making a lot of intuitively sensible decisions surprisingly poor.


+1 to all of that!

I'm operating under the assumption that hindsight is 20/20, and consider the 3.x system to be an excellent rough draft of a great multiclassing system. The original 3.0 designers made some mistakes, but we've learned from those and designing the classes with multiclassing in mind is a much better option that perpetually trying to patch up what didn't work in an already published system.

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

Absolutely. And I don't think you need to get perfect. I think it's impossible, and I don't even think you need to get nearly as close to "about as good" as you're getting with single-classed class balance, but I think that designing classes at least partially accounting for the idea of how you're going to make multiclassing work can pay dividends. I'm operating under the assumption that the 3.5 classes and the core mechanics of things like spellcasting were designed almost exclusively through a lens of what they'd look like single-classed because that's what they look like. If multiclassing was a consideration, it doesn't appear to have been enough of one. I do admire 3.5's raw boldness in making character creation so open and modular (in the classic sense of the word). It's something that pays a lot of dividends for system-inclined players with a lot of experience. It just has the unfortunate consequence of making a lot of intuitively sensible decisions surprisingly poor.


+1 to all of that!

I'm operating under the assumption that hindsight is 20/20, and consider the 3.x system to be an excellent rough draft of a great multiclassing system. The original 3.0 designers made some mistakes, but we've learned from those and designing the classes with multiclassing in mind is a much better option that perpetually trying to patch up what didn't work in an already published system.




Yeah, but the problem is the designers really haven't learned how to balance that sort of multiclassing from the 3.x system because they aren't designing classes with near constant marginal utility. I agree with Lesp that you can't and don't have to get it perfect, but I disagree that such a system is less susceptible to balance issues. Essentially, if everyone is sinlge-tracking than an occasional "dud" level (instead of dead level) doesn't matter as much so long as everyone's generally advancing at the same average rate. And since utility is such an abstract notion to begin with, it's easier to dictate that every class is going to get so much of specific types of utility at specific rates. Once you introduce "ala carte" multiclassing players can circumvent fluxuations in utility that would average out to instead cherry pick levels from classes that increase their personal average utility.

Basically, the problem is that players will optimize by only taking peak levels from classes, much like how in 3.X you never take an odd number of fighter levels unless that number is one. Or how it can sometimes be very advantagous to multiclass a couple of levels for the "front loaded" class features of classes like Ranger, Barbarian, or Paladin. Unless they have class features with marginally increasing utility, such as spellcasting progression, single classed characters will become less optimal than multiclassed characters. Of course, if you introduce increasing marginal utility classes then multiclassing becomes a trap without prestige classes . . . and if we follow that course of logic we basically reopen the pandora's box of 3.X multiclass problems
Absolutely. And I don't think you need to get perfect. I think it's impossible, and I don't even think you need to get nearly as close to "about as good" as you're getting with single-classed class balance, but I think that designing classes at least partially accounting for the idea of how you're going to make multiclassing work can pay dividends. I'm operating under the assumption that the 3.5 classes and the core mechanics of things like spellcasting were designed almost exclusively through a lens of what they'd look like single-classed because that's what they look like. If multiclassing was a consideration, it doesn't appear to have been enough of one. I do admire 3.5's raw boldness in making character creation so open and modular (in the classic sense of the word). It's something that pays a lot of dividends for system-inclined players with a lot of experience. It just has the unfortunate consequence of making a lot of intuitively sensible decisions surprisingly poor.


+1 to all of that!

I'm operating under the assumption that hindsight is 20/20, and consider the 3.x system to be an excellent rough draft of a great multiclassing system. The original 3.0 designers made some mistakes, but we've learned from those and designing the classes with multiclassing in mind is a much better option that perpetually trying to patch up what didn't work in an already published system.




Wel it seems they have avoided some of the problems if they want to do 3.X style multi class when it comes to spell casting.
A problem with 3.x multi class and spells was that it was hard to get spells to efect higer level monsters.

Magic resistance needed a caster level check meaning it was hard for multi class characters who had less caster levels.
This has been changed to magic resistant creatures having advantage on saves vs magic.
so the lower caster level is no longer a issue with spell resistance.

the other issue was that save DC was based on the level of the spell.
and a dual class character only had access to lower level spels and high level monsters easely saved against them
this has been changed to
DC equals 10 + your Intelligence modifier + the spellcasting bonus [so spell level is irrelivant]

all we need is somthing like a feat that sais you get a spelcasting bonus based on your character level instead of your level in a specific class and we are good to go.







I'd like something along the lines of the 3rd edition style multiclassing, but with a bit more limitation and fine tuning.

I always felt that the unlimited class dipping led too often to characters that just didn't make sense.  At a certain point, there isn't really any reason to have a class based system if you can make a Wizard 1/Cleric 1/Fighter 1/Rogue 1/etc.

So I think I woud limit characters to 3 classes at most.

The next step is coming up with a separate multiclass advancement table.  This both prevents the issue of frontloaded classes from 3rd edition and also the issue of unequal exchange.  Unequal exchange is what happens as a result of classes getting better and better abilities at higher levels.  And yet when you take a new class, you get the level 1 features.  So a Fighter 1 taking a level of Wizard would be fine.  A Fighter 1/Wizard 1 is a fair trade from a Fighter 2.  You get some nice wizard stuff in exchange for your 2nd level Fighter feature (which isn't going to be much more powerful than your level 1 stuff).  But now flash forward.  The character is a Fighter 9/Wizard 1.  At this point, they have effectively traded the level 10 fighter feature for the same Wizard stuff.  And that is an unequal exchange.

I think when you multiclass, you are going to progress in all your classes, even if the progression isn't equal.  So, for example, the Fighter 9/Wizard 1 has spent a lot more time focusing and advancing their Fighter side, but it isn't as if they never use their magic.  So it is only natural that the Wizard part advances too. 

Mechanics wise this is pretty easy to do, it just might require some slightly complex tables.  The Fighter 9/Wizard 1 counts as a 10th level character.  So you look at the Wizard chart and see that a 10th level Wizard can cast 5th level spells; your character can thus also cast 5th level spells.  But you have only taken 1 level of wizard, so you can only prepare X spells/day (what a 1st level Wizard could prepare).  In this way, the benefit of your second class continues to improve to compensate for the features you are giving up from your other class.