Multi-Classing

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So, going by the information presented in the multiclassing excerpt, and information released elsewhere, we're looking at ~18 feats over 30 levels. A goodly number of the feats we've been shown so far have, quite frankly, been underwhelming (as expected, with that much feat access available to every character).

But what's been strong so far? Powers.

With the abundance of feat slots, and the seeming weakness of the previewed feats so far, it really seems like there will be little reason *not* to Multi-class. Even if you're just snagging two or three feats, a 1/encounter Heal or Feather Me Yon Oaf on every party member will likely be superior to the small benefits of other feats.

It can also open up whole new venues of playstyle. The Intelligence-Based Warlord, for instance, could Multiclass into Wizard, and grab some AOEs for synergy with his Class ability of +(1/2)INT to party damage. The multi-class feats seem like a goodly source of ranged powers for those who don't get them from their base class (Although this risks MAD).

My only concern is that it seems like a bad idea *not* to Multiclass. But then, book isn't out yet, so we don't have the full picture. There may be really strong Paragon/Epic feats that require multiple Heroic/Paragon teir "meh" feats.
None of the feats we've seen so far have had any listed feat prerequisites, just a prerequisite of tier and sometimes ability score or class.

While it will almost invariably be worth it to drop one feat on a splash of another class, the power swap feats are more nebulous. They gain you no power, only versatility, so any power gain at all that you could get from that feat slot trumps it.
None of the feats we've seen so far have had any listed feat prerequisites, just a prerequisite of tier and sometimes ability score or class.

While it will almost invariably be worth it to drop one feat on a splash of another class, the power swap feats are more nebulous. They gain you no power, only versatility, so any power gain at all that you could get from that feat slot trumps it.

The question, then, is: How to optimize the power-swap feats? ;)

I mean, there's bound to be people asking how to effectively make a fireball-slinging rogue...
The class dabbling feats seem excellent, because you just trade a feat for them and they seem to pack more punch than many of the other feats.

The power swap feats might be good under certain assumptions.

a) That there's powers you can combo together so that
Power(A+B) > Power(A) + Power(B)

b) That there's cross-class combos that are more powerful than combos within a single class
Power(A1+B2) > Power(A1+B1)

c) That the difference is greater than the power of the feat you're giving up on. Which would be the least powerful feat available at that level, since we assume you start shaving off your least powerful availabe feat.

Power(A1+B2) - Power(A1+B1) > min(Power(Feat))

These assumptions don't seem too far out.

There's also the fact that the Power Swap feats are neatly subdivided into Encounter, Utility, Daily. So for certain class combos, you may be looking at only giving up one feat (say, for a Utility swap), for others the optimal builds might use the full multiclassing feat suite.
The real question is going to be if you can take the feats multiple times; otherwise, we won't be opping the feats, but instead opping the power selections.

That being said, the Justicar ability Just Radiance (Melee weapon burst, cha vs will, 2d8 +Cha, those hit cannot make an attack that does not include you) requires the targets be marked; the fighter might be better at marking, so a Fighter with the paladin multiclass going into the Justicar paragon path can perhaps utilize this ability better.


Especially if it's a dragon born, assuming that the breath weapon (which is an attack) works the way it should with marking (should mark all since he attacked).

I think these are the combos that we're going to be looking at; they seem focused on roles, though, so looking at things that share a role or part of a role will be good. For instance, the cleric ability that marks for a paladin multiclass...
It seems to me that a new assumption was made that most characters will want to pick up one base multiclassing feat (fighter, ranger, cleric, and warlord look like they'll be more popular, with the rogue, warlock, wizard, and paladin multiclass feats being a little more concept- or goal-specific). I think it's fine; it makes sense to me that most adventurers would actually end up stepping outside of their predefined class just a little bit. And in any case, it beats the bloody daylights out of 3.x's "Either you want to multiclass to excess or not at all" problem; "Everyone is multiclassed just a smidge" is pretty inoffensive.

The power-swap feats, however, do look like they won't be as much a matter of course as grabbing an initial multiclass feat, but will instead be more for characters with a more particular concept or build in mind. Also fine.
Sounds like it may be fun mixing and matching classes with paragon paths. For example, a paladin with fighter training picking up the kensai path, or a fighter taking the battlemage path (assuming they have someone tweaked their builds to be able to maximize those benefits).
Sounds like it may be fun mixing and matching classes with paragon paths. For example, a paladin with fighter training picking up the kensai path, or a fighter taking the battlemage path (assuming they have someone tweaked their builds to be able to maximize those benefits).

Bah, I've been maintaining that the best use of Kensai would be to produce a swashbuckler rogue. Rogue your butt off, take some stuff from Fighter, then take Kensai :D
Bah, I've been maintaining that the best use of Kensai would be to produce a swashbuckler rogue. Rogue your butt off, take some stuff from Fighter, then take Kensai :D

I dunno, for a swashbuckler rogue I'd think there'd be a paragon path for it (native to the rogue, I mean). I wouldn't be surprised if it does to the rogue what the warpriest does to the cleric, assuming the devs didn't decide somewhere along the line that it's OK for clerics to get a defendery streak without multiclassing but not OK for rogues to get a defendery streak without multiclassing.
I dunno, for a swashbuckler rogue I'd think there'd be a paragon path for it (native to the rogue, I mean). I wouldn't be surprised if it does to the rogue what the warpriest does to the cleric, assuming the devs didn't decide somewhere along the line that it's OK for clerics to get a defendery streak without multiclassing but not OK for rogues to get a defendery streak without multiclassing.

Truthfully I wasn't even considering it giving the Rogue a defender'y streak. I was just thinking it'd be just like multiclass or gestalting Fighter/Rogue to get the BAB and fighter feats (weapon spec, etc)
Truthfully I wasn't even considering it giving the Rogue a defender'y streak. I was just thinking it'd be just like multiclass or gestalting Fighter/Rogue to get the BAB and fighter feats (weapon spec, etc)

Y'mean the 1/2 levels bonus to attack rolls that all classes get?

And what are these... fighter feats?
Y'mean the 1/2 levels bonus to attack rolls that all classes get?

And what are these... fighter feats?

Don't be deliberately obtuse. I was clearly making a 3e analogy for comparison purposes. I shouldn't have to specify that.



To wit, taking rogue with fighter multiclass and kensai paragon path in 4e results in nearly the same net effect as gestalting a rogue and fighter for the express purpose of taking the Weapon Focus/Spec tree of feats in 3e.
Don't be deliberately obtuse. I was clearly making a 3e analogy for comparison purposes. I shouldn't have to specify that.



To wit, taking rogue with fighter multiclass and kensai paragon path in 4e results in nearly the same net effect as gestalting a rogue and fighter for the express purpose of taking the Weapon Focus/Spec tree of feats in 3e.

Actually, I... was being accidentally obtuse.

I'll leave my post up as a lesson to others about posting when you've only half-read a thread and are sleepy. It leads to looking like a jerk, just like I just did.
That being said, the Justicar ability Just Radiance (Melee weapon burst, cha vs will, 2d8 +Cha, those hit cannot make an attack that does not include you) requires the targets be marked; the fighter might be better at marking, so a Fighter with the paladin multiclass going into the Justicar paragon path can perhaps utilize this ability better.

Maybe, but check out "Challenge the Unjust", the Justiciar Daily Power. THAT is the real power combo.

Challenge the Unjust Justiciar Attack 20
Your enemies surround you, and the purity whin you calls out for justice. You focus a powerful prayer through your holy symbol, sending forth a radiant burst of punishing force that no enemy can ignore.
Daily ✦ Divine, Implement, Radiant
Standard Action Close
burst 10
Target: Each enemy in burst
Attack: Cha vs Will
Hit: 3d8 + Charisma modifier radiant damage, and the target is marked until the end of your next turn.
Miss: Half damage, and the target is marked until the end of
your next turn.

Use 'Challenge the Unjust' and you inflict 3d8 + Cha Radiant damage on all enemies within 10 squares of you, and then follow up (either next round, or in the same round with a use of an Action Point) with Just Radiance, and all those Marked enemies within 5 squares take 2d8 + Cha Radiant damage. Now that's awesome.

Hmm, just to throw a little extra kindling on that particular fire, let's add in a Holy Avenger. A Paladin could potentially have a +5 Holy Avenger by 21st-level (one level after getting Challenge the Unjust). Let's assume our Paladin has Cha 22, for a +6 bonus. He'll do the following:

Challenge the Unjust: +16 Vs. Will, 3d8+6 Radiant damage
Just Radiance: +16 Vs. Will, 2d8+6 Radiant damage

With a +5 Holy Avenger, he'll be doing this, instead.

Challenge the Unjust: +21 Vs. Will, 3d8+1d10+11 Radiant damage
Just Radiance: +21 Vs. Will, 2d8+1d10+11 Radiant damage

And if he scores a Critical Hit, he'll inflict another 5d6 Radiant damage. Wow. Having a Level 21 Justiciar with a Holy Avenger walk into a horde of undead would be like dropping a mini-nuke into their laps.
Challenge the Unjust is a huge combo; I won't disagree with you there. But it's a daily ability, while the Just Radiance is an encounter, I believe; the Fighter(Paladin)/Justicar has a lot more chances to mark, and so can get the use out of the encounter "Nuke All Marked."

And yeah, Justicar + Holy Avenger = All You Can Take Radiant Damage.
We also have no real way of judging the combo, damage-wise. As far as we know , 55~56 damage is a pittance at level 21 for someone using their daily.
I suspect there are going to be two schools of thought: One will focus on utilizing Daily abilities to nova out extreme damage; while the second will focus on using combinations of encounter and at will abilities, using Dailies as a burst.

Of course, everyone will want the dailies to work well in their power combos; but we're going to look at it from the perspective that we are building around the dailies, or we're building around the encounters.
Of course, everyone will want the dailies to work well in their power combos; but we're going to look at it from the perspective that we are building around the dailies, or we're building around the encounters.

Chalk me up in the Encounter/At-Will school of thought. Your Dailies, of course, shouldn't suck, but the combos you can make out of Encounters/At-Wills can be used every encounter, rather than only once per day (or a few times, assuming more Dailies later on).

Consistency is key, IMO.
I suspect there are going to be two schools of thought: One will focus on utilizing Daily abilities to nova out extreme damage; while the second will focus on using combinations of encounter and at will abilities, using Dailies as a burst.

Of course, everyone will want the dailies to work well in their power combos; but we're going to look at it from the perspective that we are building around the dailies, or we're building around the encounters.

That is where knowing your DM and the campaign come in.

Does your DM throw you lots of fights per day or jump you with something after you have dealt with the BBEG? In that case, having powers that you can use over and over will be the way to go.

On the other hand, some DM's group everything up into one or two big fights. In which case maximizing your dailies is the way to go.

Jay
It probably depends on the class in question somewhat, but when I was looking over the Warlord dailies, it looked like you'd want to spread your daily abilities out as much as possible.

Most of the Warlord daily powers that I saw (all of them maybe) changed the ground rules for an entire battle...the benefit lasted until the end of the encounter. How often do you really need to change the ground rules for a fight twice? Due to that, I was planning to build a Warlord with daily powers for a number of different types of battles...one for dealing with a bunch of mooks perhaps and one for dealing with Solo monsters.

By the time you're high level, you should have a daily power available for almost every battle.

Other classes looked like their daily powers tended to last a shorter amount of time.

--> Back on topic.

I think we'll still see a lot of characters that stick to a single class. From what I've seen, each class will provide almost everything it needs just in the one package. Those that multiclass will be wanting something from another package and that's fine. I do think that we may be underestimating the value of feats, though.

* Toughness essentially changes a Controller into a Striker/Leader in terms of hit points and can radically alter the character's Healing Surge value.
* Alertness grants Uncanny Dodge along with a +2 to Perception. Since the skill system is different, we'll see fewer auto-successes on Stealth and Perception checks, so the +2 won't ever go out of style like it does in 3rd edition.
* Weapon Focus apparently still exists and a +1 to hit is never unwelcome.

Non-multiclass feats will hone a single classed character to a sharper edge while multiclass feats will allow the character to break from their class boundaries a bit. I think that's a great balance and I expect to see a much better mix of single-class and multi-class characters than in 3rd edition.
D&D rules were never meant to exist without the presence of a DM. RAW is a lie.
I expect to be taking Toughness on quite a few of my rogues and such (bamf, defender HP... just not defender healing surges). There will be no hiding behind anyone here.
What about the marking character who makes everyone attack him ... but can turn invisible?

Invisilock.
What about the marking character who makes everyone attack him ... but can turn invisible?

Invisilock.

IMAGE(http://icanhascheezburger.files.wordpress.com/2007/01/2001155862081208266_rs.jpg)
My only concern is that it seems like a bad idea *not* to Multiclass. But then, book isn't out yet, so we don't have the full picture. There may be really strong Paragon/Epic feats that require multiple Heroic/Paragon teir "meh" feats.

Well, the main drawback to multiclassing is that you're really not getting anything except versatility. Remember that you're not actually getting extra powers, you're just swapping some of your powers out. So technically you're behind on power at the cost of versatility. This may or may not be worth it, but it certainly doesn't seem that 4E is going to have the kind of archetype theft that went on in 3E, where a gish could be better than a fighter AND an accomplished wizard too.

So there's a lot of problems there. In a typical warrior/wizard multiclass, it now likely means you've got to invest resources in a weapon and an implement, which will make things difficult.

Really, I tended to think the opposite of what you did, that multi-classing may indeed be too weak, since I'm paying two feats solely to swap one of my powers. I think I'd rather have toughness and dwarven weapon specialization feats.
I think the big factor that will determine how effective multiclassing will be is how ability points are generated.

Multiclassing to Wizard might not be so hot if you just have the prerequisite Int 13.

If you can't succeed with the power rolls the utility powers that might not require attack rolls might be the only ones worth anything.

I can see a Fighter taking Rogue feats to get Tumble instead of some other Fighter utility power being decent. Shift 3 squares as a move action? That is pretty awesome for a Fighter that wants to get in the thick of it.

If I had to guess the point buy for the KotS pre-generated characters, I think it is (16, 14, 13, 12, 11, 10, or 30 point buy in 3rd Ed)

Dragonborn Paladin: 16+2, 12, 10, 11, 13, 14+2 (30)
Dwarf Fighter: 16, 14+2, 13, 10, 12+2, 11 (30)
Half-Elf Cleric: 13, 12+2, 11, 10, 16, 14+2 (30)
Halfling Rogue: 12, 13, 16+2, 11, 10, 14+2 (30)
Human Wizard: 11, 13, 14, 16+2, 12, 10 (30)

The Tiefling Warlord is a bit trickier. Its stats are 16, 12, 10, 18, 10, 12. So my guess is that they get +2 to Int then +2 to either Con or Cha. That would make it also a 30 point character. I find it interesting that they dropped the odd stats. But then the Warlord did pay through the nose for both Strength and Intelligence.
So there's a lot of problems there. In a typical warrior/wizard multiclass, it now likely means you've got to invest resources in a weapon and an implement, which will make things difficult.

Well, a Holy Avenger counts as a weapon and an implement. It's not unreasonable to think that there'll be more weapons with that ability.
Yep. Staves, for one.

Plus when the Swordmage comes out ... bound to be a swordy thing.
Really, I tended to think the opposite of what you did, that multi-classing may indeed be too weak, since I'm paying two feats solely to swap one of my powers. I think I'd rather have toughness and dwarven weapon specialization feats.

You have a good point overall. However, this is untrue. The base multiclass feat gives you a lot of stuff: a new skill and a new power. It's the other three multiclass feats which only swap. So it's not two feats to swap one of your powers. It's just one feat.

You're point still stands. We'll have to wait to see if versatility is worth it. There could be some very nice combos, or there could be a dearth of synergy.
The Expanded Psionics Group You don't have to be psychic to join, but it helps!
You have a good point overall. However, this is untrue. The base multiclass feat gives you a lot of stuff: a new skill and a new power. It's the other three multiclass feats which only swap. So it's not two feats to swap one of your powers. It's just one feat.

You're point still stands. We'll have to wait to see if versatility is worth it. There could be some very nice combos, or there could be a dearth of synergy.

If nothing else, a cleric or warlord dip for a skill and a once per day heal ability is almost invariably going to be worth a feat.
If nothing else, a cleric or warlord dip for a skill and a once per day heal ability is almost invariably going to be worth a feat.

I don't know. Remember that healing in 4E isn't as big a deal because anyone can healing surge in between combats, and I dont' think everyone wants to be bothering to use combat healing in mid-battle. It may not be terrible for a defender to perhaps invest in some healing, but your strikers and controllers you probably want dealing damage.

As far as breakdown goes, I can see the following for multi-classing:

Fighter: It really doesn't seem worth doing a multi into fighter, as anybody. The cleric may want to for a bit more combat potential, that's about it. The only really good fighter ability is the one to AoO something when it shifts, but I don't think you can get that. The powers seem fairly typical and nothing to write home about.

Paladin: If you can get ahold of paladin divine challenge, then that'll be a pretty obvious dip for a ranger. If you can't then maybe lay on hands might be the only worthwhile ability that's worth paying a feat for.

Rogue: No multi potential at all really because the rogue's good stuff requires him to use a light blade. Nobody else seems to really benefit from doing that, so I'm not sure why you'd want to waste your time with rogue.

Ranger: Wouldn't be a terrible dip to get some bow abilities for a fighter or warlord, in case you run into something flying. The rogue may also want to dip for the two weapon fighting powers (depending on how they work).

Warlord: I don't really see much reason yet to dip it. The abilities resemble the fighters for the most part, with a few powers to move people around, but nothing spectacular. Certainly not worth one or more feats.

Cleric: I could see a fighter maybe dip for healing, but I'm still not sure if it'd be all that worth it.

Warlock: Doesn't really seem to have much multi-potential, except possibly for a wizard who wants better single target blasting. Since both use implements, they may be relatively interchangeable.

Wizard: Due to there being only one controller and it likely being a rare role in a party, I can see people multi-ing for wizard powers, simply to get more area damage effects. It may not actually hurt to have a back-up wizard, and I can actually see this class being a prime choice for multi-classing, simply because it's probably going to be a needed role in your group. Even just for anti-minion abilities, wizard area attacks are nice. This will likely change when future PHBs produce more controller types.
lets see I definetly see lots of people taking the first multi class feat for an extra encounter /per day power and skill training

cleric haven't seen the 2 paths only one so far so not sure but the blaster cleric we've already seen looks like it could get a lot of use out of ranger training giving him hunters quarry 1/encounter for an extra d6 to all attacks on a single target

fighter haven't really seen what its secondary stats are going to be but once again ranger not a bad choice for 1/encounter hunters quarry

paladin could easily pick up some warlord or warlock stuff as it seems cha is important to them.

ranger archer types could pick up paladin training for divine challenge abuse
and TWF could pick up rogue training to pick up sneak attack once per encounter with the offhand weapon which could easily be a light blade.

rogue brute could pick up some ranger for extra damage with hunters quarry and possibly deepening into a few TWF Powers later charismatic could hit up warlock for eye bite when he manages to get into a position thats just a bit too dangerous or ranger once again for hunters quarry and TWF

Warlock could go for paladin to abuse divine challenge

Warlord tactical could easily pick up a bit of wizard training for ray of frost
inspiring could pick up warlock for a bit of fun as well.

and all of this is just off preview info we don't know how much synergy realy exists.