Excerpt: Multiclassing

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It's up here

Not sure what I think. I hope there's more feats than just the ones listed in the excerpt.
I'm a little confused. If I'm understanding this correctly, you have two options:

1. You may forgo a paragon path, instead gaining abilities from a second class.

2. You can take a multiclass feat, which gives you a few bonuses and a level 1 power of another class. You may take additional feats which let you exchange a power from your main class for a power from your second class. You may change what that power is whenever you gain a level.

Can you use both these options to essentially triple class?

Personally, I'm not sure how I feel about this. A lot of the flexibility from 3e came from picking and choosing classes as you saw fit. Hopefully 4e will have enough character options to make up for it.
As I understand it so far, a class in 4e has the following elements:

1) A skill list
2) Class features (always-on things and the at-will powers)
3) Class powers (encounter, utility, and daily)


Multiclassing gives access, in very limited form, to the first two with one feat. You get one skill, and a class feature as a per-encounter or per-day ability.

Subsequent feats give access to one each of the encounter, utility, and daily powers. These require a minimum level (4, 8, and 10, respectively). This means at 10th level, 1/3 or your powers may be from your other class. Later, it's a bit less than 1/4, not counting:

At 11th you may take class features instead of a paragon path. We have very limited information on how this works or what exactly you get from it.



It seems fair to say that much of what separates one class from another is its suite of powers. One expects a Fighter to have abilities relating to melee combat, for example. The question for multiclassing is: how much does said fighter benefit from adding powers from another class to his repertoire? That's a question we're not likely to be able to answer until we've seen the entirety of the PHB, though I like the idea of a fighter with a fireball.

I read in another thread that there are people who want a character that is equally one class and another. Clearly, that is not going to happen before 11th level, and we don't have enough information to know if it will after. A fighter/cleric is mainly a fighter, but with the religion skill and a 1/day heal. I'm not sure I'd feel like a cleric, with that. Of note, a cleric/fighter is a completely different animal. That's good from a differentiation point of view. This system does allow for a staggering diversity of characters.

That same thread questioned the worth of spending feats for the ability to replace one power for another. I suspect those people still won't think it's worth it, but being able to reevaluate the power choice at each level at least means that you won't be stranded with a low-level ability.
The initial feat actually seems like a good value, as it includes a skill and a power. Of course, without seeing other feats, it's hard to say.


There are two base reasons to multiclass: concept and power.

People who want to multiclass to achieve a concept such as the Gish alluded to above, are likely to be disappointed by this system. People who want to play a rogue-y fighter or a magic-dabbling warrior should be happy enough. I suspect that happiness will depend on the concept in question and how picky the player is.

People who want to multiclass for power are likely to be disappointed to some degree. The designers' clear intent is to tone down the stacking that made some 3e combinations, uh, broken. There will likely still be room to find combinations that will be satisfactorily powerful, though.
I'm a little confused. If I'm understanding this correctly, you have two options:

1. You may forgo a paragon path, instead gaining abilities from a second class.

Right, but they didn't give us any examples of this, so still not sure how that works. I imagine there's some sort of table that lists what you get for each class.

2. You can take a multiclass feat, which gives you a few bonuses and a level 1 power of another class. You may take additional feats which let you exchange a power from your main class for a power from your second class. You may change what that power is whenever you gain a level.

It appears to be a skill and a class feature. Unfortunately, it doesn't appear you can choose which class feature, however, unless there are more multi-classing feats than they've listed. Hopefully there are, or I'm not sure how I'll make my dual-wielding, magic throwing minotaur character.

Can you use both these options to essentially triple class?

No, they specifically said
Second, once you take a multiclass feat, you can’t take a class-specific feat for a different class. You can dabble in a second class but not a third.

and since you apparently need the multiclass feat to take the power substitution feat, you can only ever get powers from your base class and one other (the one you took the multiclass feat for).

Personally, I'm not sure how I feel about this. A lot of the flexibility from 3e came from picking and choosing classes as you saw fit. Hopefully 4e will have enough character options to make up for it.

Yeah, I'm not sure either. I'll have to see what other options are available feat-wise and how the paragon path part works. But if you have to be, for example, a ranger as your primary class to get dual-wielding, I'm not going to be happy.

Subsequent feats give access to one each of the encounter, utility, and daily powers. These are level limited (4, 8, and 10, respectively).

Actually, I think those levels are supposed to be a part of the requirements. They apparently had art issues with this excerpt. This is because the article says
When you take one of these power-swap feats, you give up a power of your choice from your primary class and replace it with a power of the same level or lower from the class you have multiclassed in.

which implies that the level of your power from a second class is not at all restricted.
hmm, am I disappointed?
somehow, yes.

what do we lose?

- freedom of choice
- that's all? for example: sneak attack once per encounter? no more weapon
training for mc-ing into fighter?

what do we gain?

- a "class 1" still is effective in "class 1", while having a little bit of "class 2"
- no more level 3/2/1/5/2 cherrypicking builds

time will tell...
Actually, I think those levels are supposed to be a part of the requirements. They apparently had art issues with this excerpt. This is because the article says which implies that the level of your power from a second class is not at all restricted.

Apologies, it was a phrasing issue on my part. By level-limited, I meant the character, not the power, and lower, not upper.

I read it right, but failed to communicate.

Edited for clarity, I hope.
Apologies, it was a phrasing issue on my part. By level-limited, I meant the character, not the power, and lower, not upper.

I read it right, but failed to communicate.

No worries. I just had thought you were confused, so was attempting to clarify. No need to apologize
...

Wow. I'm speechless.

I've been a huge fan of 4E and eagerly anticipating it. But this?

This is downright terrible.

This sole system has just obliterated pretty much everything I liked about 3rd edition character building. All of it.

Two classes. Stat requirements on the feats. Multiple feat requirements just to replace a smattering of abilities. Let me emphasize that further -- replace them. I get to replace one level appropriate ability with another level appropriate ability and nothing else. That translates to an outright loss in power (other feat options would be a straight increase in power, so I lose that). And if I'm going cross-role in my power selections, then I lose, because I probably picked up an ability that I can't even use to great effectiveness with the rest of my character build. And then there's the paragon path replacement -- I get to toss the fun choice of picking a paragon path in exchange for (maybe) actual multiclassing, but not until level 11 at the earliest. Gee, thanks. That sure solves the "I want to be a fighter/wizard" at level one problem!

I really can't think of anything good to say about this. I'm not usually one at all to prejudge snippets before seeing the full system, but it's pretty clear with this one that it isn't a balanced or fun choice at all. It's nothing more than a pretense of multiclassing, an after-the-fact attempt to kludge in something that kinda-sorta works. Mearls even admitted this in the opening text.

Yeah, absolutely no part of this trash is going into my game. I'm not quite sure if I want to open the doors to full classless, but it's damn well tempting after seeing this. I don't see many other options beyond maybe obliterating the three "Power" feats, rolling them all into the class feat, trashing the stat requirement, and tossing the "only one" garbage limit.

Mearls said a month or two ago that this game works as a classless system out of the box simply by ignoring the class restrictions on granted abilities. If that's even remotely close to true, why in the world is the default system so damned restrictive?! There's just no excuse for this.

Sloppy. Downright sloppy.
Hrm. Looks kinda limiting to me. I'll have to see just what kind of stuff you can get for these powers to see if you really get enough of your second class to feel like an actual multi-classed character instead of a normal character with a few strange powers.

We'll see though.
Resident Over-Educated Ivory-Tower Elitist [You don't have the Need-to-Know for that, citizen]
I think the multiclassing is supposed to be limiting. One of they key phrases of the article is:

The system also forced the core classes to delay abilities after 1st level to avoid cherry picking, where “clever” players simply took one level of as many classes as possible (or layered single levels on to a primary class) to reap the benefits of ungodly saving throws and bizarre but ultimately frightening combinations of class abilities that—like chocolate and pickle relish—were never meant to be combined by men and women of good taste.

Essentially, they dont want a repeat of 3ed because they dont want all of their work on balancing the classes to be messed up by multiclassing. Take it how you will.
If that's the best they can come up with for a multiclassing system them I am sorely disappointed. Training feats ilimited to ONE class.

What happened to the oft-mentioned deeper multiclassing system? What of the playtest warlord who was taking levels of wizard? It has always been the case that multiclassing *could* be acheived via feats in 4e, but more importantly that wasn't to be the only way.

I don't mean to be overly dramatic, but the multiclassing mechanic was the one that would make or break the system for me. I'm still reserving judgement until I see the final product, but it's not looking good.
The Novice Power, Acolyte Power, and Adept Power feats give you access to a power from the class for which you took a class-specific multiclass feat. That power replaces a power you would normally have from your primary class. When you take one of these power-swap feats, you give up a power of your choice from your primary class and replace it with a power of the same level or lower from the class you have multiclassed in.

Any time you gain a level, you can alter that decision. Effectively, pretend you’re choosing the power-swap feat for the first time at the new level you’ve just gained. You gain back the power that you gave up originally from your primary class, lose the power that you chose from your second class, and make the trade again. You give up a different power from your primary class and replace it with a new power of the same level from your second class.

Epiphany. This was confusing for about an hour, but I think I finally get it. It's awkwardly worded, but makes some sense.

Let's say you're level 15, and you have this setup. And your level 7 encounter power is a Fighter power, but you're a rogue.
Class Level Encounter Powers Daily Powers Utility Powers<br /> 15th P, 13, 7, 3 15, 9, 5 P, 10, 6, 2

Then let's say you hit level 17, and you trade out your level 3 encounter power and pick up one of the highest level you can learn, level 17. At every level you gain, your 'multiclass' power(s) get reset, and you get to make the choice of what power to swap out again.
Class Level Encounter Powers Daily Powers Utility Powers<br /> 17th P, 17, 13, 7 15, 9, 5 P, 16, 10, 6, 2

So now, your level 7 encounter power is a rogue power again, and you decide to lose that level 13 power in favor of a fighter power, thus advancing in fighter power and getting some of your older rogue power back... It's oddly worded but it makes sense after a fashion.
Meh, I don't have very strong opinions about this particular issue really.

On the one hand, it seems very limited, but on the other hand, it is supposed to be limited. They've said they want a "pure" classed character to be stronger than one who dips into multiple fields. That is how it should be after all; you trade in raw power for versatility.

The way I read this article, and from other things I've read, it seems to me that there will really be TWO forms of "multiclassing." EDIT: BTW at the time of this writing, the pictures are not visible, so it may turn out there was more info in the pics.

One way is by taking the feats as the article describes: you can do this at relatively low level if you meet the prereqs and gain a power and skill from another class. If you take more feats in it, perhaps you can take multiple different powers.

The other way would be by replacing your Paragon path at level 11 with a possibly watered-down version of a Base class levels 1-10 instead of Paragon 11-20. It's quite possible that if you took a multiclass "Feat," then your multiclass Paragon path has to be the same class you have the feat from though.

Someone mentioned that this system is a net decrease in power because it takes a feat to take an ability of a level you can already use: that is still the point of multiclassing in general. By using a feat to choose from a different class's abilities, you are sacrificing your specialization for versatility.

Think of it this way: In 3.5, if you had a feat which could give your Cleric a single Wizard spell for a single Cleric spell of the same level or less, and you could switch your choice each level, that would actually be a pretty darn good feat wouldn't it? There are also feats in ToB that just grant you a single maneuver 1/encounter, and you can't go around changing it whenever you want. It isn't the most popular feat choice, but some people still like it for the versatility.

It seems to me actually that these multiclass feats are maybe too powerful, and not actually a trade off. By also granting you a skill you may not be trained in, it is similar to maxxing out your skill each level (skills raise automatically in 4.0). So not only do you get to choose a power which may be very advantageous or interesting, you also get more skills. I can't really speak to how powerful feats are in general, but I can't really imagine them being much more powerful than a multiclass feat.

This may actually work out quite nicely, if you can "wait" until 11th level for more robust multiclassing (still conjecture on my part).
http://community.wizards.com/go/thread/view/75882/19670890/Keep_on_the_Shadowfell_Character_Errata
I'm one who totally DESPISES multi-classing. Mainly, because it can lead to people trying to cherry pick classes that make no sense just to grab the best abilities. I think this is something WOTC is trying to get away from like what they are doing with magic items. They don't want PC's to become diluted copies of each other. Oh, you have X feat and Y power? Me too! I agree that the PC that stays true to their class should be more powerful than the one that dabbles. I also agree with the previous poster who said that this is the price of versatility. One class baby! Pick it and stick with it!
hmm, am I disappointed?
somehow, yes.

what do we lose?

- freedom of choice
- that's all? for example: sneak attack once per encounter? no more weapon
training for mc-ing into fighter?

what do we gain?

- a "class 1" still is effective in "class 1", while having a little bit of "class 2"
- no more level 3/2/1/5/2 cherrypicking builds

time will tell...

I don't think our freedom of choice is gone. I do think our choices are a bit more limited, now. However, considering that the classes have so many different build options, I'm not really so sure that any character concept will be lacking.

As for the loss of weapons training...well, to each their own. Instead of moving over to a class and gaining proficiency in nearly all weapons and armor (something that makes little to no sense in both fluff and game balance), we'll have to sacrifice a feat or two to gain what we want. It seems fair to me. Ranger is no longer a 1 - 4 level dabble class. Fighter is no longer a 2 level dabble class and so on.

I have a feeling that this will work out well. I just hope there are more multiclassing feats to choose from. Also, as pointed out earlier, automatically gaining +5 in another skill along with a couple of powers is a powerful thing not to be dismissed.

EDIT: I'm not picking on you or anything. Your post just seemed to stand out to me for some reason.
I have mixed feelings about the new multiclass system.

On the one side it does limit the choices we have in trying to create powerful characters. The two class limit thing sounds interesting...however the article did not seem to explain what happens when I take a level in rogue after taking 4 levels in ranger (other than the hint about the paragon stuff)

On the other side it sounds like WoTC wants to make everyone viable and limit the amount of min-maxing needed.

I think that character optimization will be combos of powers rather than combos of classes which starts to make things more like creating a Magic deck than going through a ton of books and loop-holes to create pun-pun...
First off, I agree with those with mixed feelings. We were told there'd be "true" multiclassing, but it seems we'll have to wait 'till 11th level to see how true that is.

But to play devil's advocate, I also agree that the sacrifice of power for versatility can be a fair exchange. And regarding the feats merely "replacing" a power you already have, this is more a semantics argument.

Though you are replacing one power with another, another way of looking at it is just that you can choose your new powers from a new source. If you have the Novice Power feat, then when you get a 4th level power, you can choose it from either class list (provided you retrain previous powers so as to have only one power from the "additional" class.

While it may not seem worth a feat to say "I lose a fighter power and gain a cleric power of equal level," it sounds much more worth it to say "I can choose my next power from either the fighter or wizard list." Especially when you add "I can retrain every level to ensure that my highest level power is from whichever class I choose."

On a final note (and back to my mixed feelings) my interpretation of the power feats is this: Novice Power grants an encounter power from an additional class. The feat can be taken at any level, but the power granted by the feat cannot be higher than 4th level. Acolyte Power does the same, but for utility powers and the power can't be higher than 8th. Adept for dailies with a max power level of 10th.

This is just an interpretation. Does anyone know differently? Or are other guesses just that - guesses and interpretation?
...however the article did not seem to explain what happens when I take a level in rogue after taking 4 levels in ranger (other than the hint about the paragon stuff)...

I think that's the point; you can't take a level in Rogue after taking 4 levels in Ranger. Instead, you are a Rogue who takes Feats to gain some of the Ranger's abilities (or vice versa). The more feats you devote to taking on Ranger-type abilities, the more versatile you become, until you're basically a Rogue/Ranger. This is, of course, presumably at the cost of not being able to use those feat slots to further enhance your Rogue abilities.

AIUI, this is how stuff is going to work in the Heroic tier. I'm less clear on what happens in the Paragon tier. It says that you can multiclass in the Paragon tier instead of taking on a Paragon class, but I haven't seen any details of what that means specifically yet.

In the abstract, I think all this stuff sounds like a good idea. IMHO, the 3.x multiclass system has gotten too complex and prone to abuse. But I agree that the Multiclass Preview released to today is very light on details. And the devil is, as always, in the details. . .

*Shrug* I'm open to trying something new. And if it sucks, I can just go back to playing 3.5. Heck, there are folks out there still playing 1st ed. I've long since bartered my 1st ed. books away, but I certainly don't look down on those who prefer it and are still playing it. To each their own.

Cheers,

EQ17.
Sounds fine. The days of cherry picking are evidently over... and good riddance!
Haiku Police
What happened to the oft-mentioned deeper multiclassing system?

There's still the "multiclass instead of taking a paragon path" option, which has been mentioned twice but not detailed yet.

Like a few others, I suspect that such multiclassing will follow a similar progression to the paragon paths themselves -- take an appropriate power of the second class in each of your paragon power slots, and possibly gain some full-use class features in place of the level 11 paragon path features.

What of the playtest warlord who was taking levels of wizard?

Didn't that playtester actually say that his warlord had "picked up some wizard powers"? Which is actually what this system allows. The idea of taking levels in two different classes was something the readers incorrectly concluded based on 3rd edition assumptions.

If you can find a place where he actually said he was taking levels in wizard, then presumably the multiclassing system changed between then and now, much as "second wind" used to be a minor action for everyone (with dwarves apparently getting 2/encounter) but was changed through playtesting to be a standard action for most characters and a minor for dwarves.

Deadstop
I like that by taking a single cross-class training feat, you now qualify for things that require that class. So, as a fighter, if you want a rogue's PP, simply take one feat and poof, you can take the rogue's PP.

Cheers

Never argue with an idiot, they drag you down to their level and beat you with years of experience.

I like that by taking a single cross-class training feat, you now qualify for things that require that class. So, as a fighter, if you want a rogue's PP, simply take one feat and poof, you can take the rogue's PP.

This could be pretty powerful. I am surprised no one mentioned it before now.
I also want to know what happened to the warlord who took levels in wizard. Will we still be able to multiclass the old way, or is multiclassing done exclusively through feats now?

The article is somewhat vague on this, and other issues. At paragon level, do you gain the class features of both your classes if you choose not to take a paragon path? If so, what happens to your multiclass feats? Do you get to retrain them to something else?
I was looking fwd to 4e until this; this is beyond disappointing, only dual class multi and only by wasting feats AND swapping a power out for each power you gain...

this is the suck

I had hope until today.
I also want to know what happened to the warlord who took levels in wizard. Will we still be able to multiclass the old way, or is multiclassing done exclusively through feats now?

It didn't mention it. I would take that as meaning no. I mean, why would they print you can no longer multiclass 3.x style in the book (since these are excepts from the actual books)? Seems silly. Instead they will just tell us how things do work without referencing the old edition. ;)

The article is somewhat vague on this, and other issues. At paragon level, do you gain the class features of both your classes if you choose not to take a paragon path? If so, what happens to your multiclass feats? Do you get to retrain them to something else?

I would guess that at the levels where you gain paragon things you instead gain second class things. I would also guess that these things are restricted and will not conflict with the feats. Thus you shouldn't have to worry about that. As you said this is not mentioned. So, we cannot know for sure.
I was looking fwd to 4e until this; this is beyond disappointing, only dual class multi and only by wasting feats AND swapping a power out for each power you gain...

this is the suck

I had hope until today.

I am not surprised that people are disappointed. They specifically stated why they did it this way. I personally think it makes sense even though I am slightly disappointed too.

You give up specialty for diversity. Why should that not make you slightly weaker? To me it makes sense that a wizard should be more powerful than a wizard/x. *shrug*
Another point I think that people miss is that feats have been downsized. They aren't as powerful as they were in 3.X.

To be able to trade a feat for a power of a level appropriate to the character would make the game where it only and always made sense to multiclass. If a feat is less powerful than a power and you can trade a feat for a power, why would you ever settle for the less powerful feat? Even if you wanted to play a character of a pure role, it would make more sense to dip into a similarly roled class (fighter taking paladin powers instead of less powerful feats i.e.) and get more powerful abilities.

I think this is likely why the cross training feats are specific and limited to a single one. They let you trade a feat for in most cases an /encounter or /day ability. They increase the power of your character more than a typical feat will. Being able to do that with every single feat adds options and power without an appropriate cost to the character. A character with 5/encoutner powers is going to be more powerful and or more versatile than a character with 4/encounter powers, and the same thing occurs with an increase in daily powers.

I think its only appropriate to allow ALL characters to have roughly the same number of powers. Designing a system where some characters get to add options (but only options that are suboptimal to keep the the addition of options balanced) is an invitation to failure. It hasn't worked sucessfully for any of the prior editions of the game, and I'm glad that the designers saw that and are trying a new approach.
I think this new system is a great idea. I didn't really like the 3e system and didn't use it very often. I'm really not a fan of min-maxing, it takes away from role playing and character conceptualizations. The thing that makes characters in books and movies, and the like, memorable and endearing is their flaws.
I like it.

I see why they did what they did.

The ability to cherry pick abilities to create synergies is huge. For example, you smack something so that it triggers a combat advantage on its turn, then you get it again on its turn. Where two characters needed to cooperate, one character can now do it by himmself. That is a big power shift.

By limiting things the way that they have, you can still get the cool powers that synergize, you are just limited in how often you can use them, and that tempers the advantages in synergy.

I can still make any characters that I want. Many are now far more viable.
I don't think our freedom of choice is gone. I do think our choices are a bit more limited, now. However, considering that the classes have so many different build options, I'm not really so sure that any character concept will be lacking.

As for the loss of weapons training...well, to each their own. Instead of moving over to a class and gaining proficiency in nearly all weapons and armor (something that makes little to no sense in both fluff and game balance), we'll have to sacrifice a feat or two to gain what we want. It seems fair to me. Ranger is no longer a 1 - 4 level dabble class. Fighter is no longer a 2 level dabble class and so on.

I have a feeling that this will work out well. I just hope there are more multiclassing feats to choose from. Also, as pointed out earlier, automatically gaining +5 in another skill along with a couple of powers is a powerful thing not to be dismissed.

EDIT: I'm not picking on you or anything. Your post just seemed to stand out to me for some reason.

no offense taken!

still I think it is a strong limitation compared to 3e.
we even play 3e with some limitations (only 1 prCl).

you are right about the weapon profs, but chosing at least one weapon would
have made sense.

we'll see.
playtesting will tell, and finding out how that paragon mc-ing will work.

or let's think about some alternative.
I totally agree that a multi fighter/wiz for example should not be as good as a pure wizard at casting or a fighter at fighting. 3e did that too well where a 10/10 ftr/wiz sucked at both, which gave rise to prc’s that tried to band-aid the problem and “fix” the fighter wizard.
BUT where 4e has now lost me is the fact that you are FORCED to “dabble” for the most part and only one class at that. 4e was supposed to be about options and that should include the option of making a fighter mage that doesn’t suck and is as much of one or the other as you wish.
Spending feats to get each power (and yes I see that a feat is less then it once was) still nets a loss as you also forgo a power in the base class… so I spend a feat(which could be used for something else) lose a power I would have gained to gain a power from another class. Weak sauce I say, weak sauce.
It would need to be tested etc but I think that a multi classing feat that gave you a secondary class IE fighter base with wizard secondary and allowed you to gain powers on a swap basis IE don’t take a fighter daily to gain a wizard daily (but with some set limitations ie you are not as good a wizard as a pure wizard… something like ¾ as good) would have been preferable. So you end up not a pure fighter (lacking powers as you decided to drop them) and not as good as a full wizard (you only have a few “spell” powers determined by how many you took + said tested limitations)
Also this would make a wizard/fighter different then a fighter/wizard different then a fighter/wizard/rogue etc…
Anyway I think that after some playtesting with my group we will run a multi class that costs ONE feat and you can then drop to gain powers as you level.
...

Wow. I'm speechless.

I've been a huge fan of 4E and eagerly anticipating it. But this?

This is downright terrible.

This sole system has just obliterated pretty much everything I liked about 3rd edition character building. All of it.

Two classes. Stat requirements on the feats. Multiple feat requirements just to replace a smattering of abilities. Let me emphasize that further -- replace them. I get to replace one level appropriate ability with another level appropriate ability and nothing else. That translates to an outright loss in power (other feat options would be a straight increase in power, so I lose that). And if I'm going cross-role in my power selections, then I lose, because I probably picked up an ability that I can't even use to great effectiveness with the rest of my character build. And then there's the paragon path replacement -- I get to toss the fun choice of picking a paragon path in exchange for (maybe) actual multiclassing, but not until level 11 at the earliest. Gee, thanks. That sure solves the "I want to be a fighter/wizard" at level one problem!

How can you expect a gain or zero loss of power when multiclassing?

You really expect your character to lose nothing and gain abilities from another class? Your suggestions of how it "should" work would be grossly overpowered. It is really the combination of powers from a different class that make them really powerful. It would be far too good to be able to take one feat and add an additional ability from another class. Everybody would multi-class if they wanted optimal characters. Just about everyone would want to spend a feat to gain another class ability. Losing one of your class abilities for one from another class is NOT this giant losing proposition. You get to spend a feat to not only get some of that classes' powers but you also gain access to feats that require you to be the class! I think you are grossly underestimating the power of a multi-classed character.

I think another thing to consider is the way that the multi-class system functions compared to 3.x. Your base attack bonus doesn't get hosed while taking levels in another class. You continue to gain powers in your current class like normal(it's not like you take some levels as fighter when you are a wizard and all of a sudden are way behind in getting your spells and have to wait an extra couple levels before getting X level spells). I mean, you get to spend 2 feats to gain access to a core ability from a class(all seem pretty good to me and about worthy of a feat in themselves...+1 to attack, and mark/encounter, 1 sneak attack per encounter, hunter's quarry/encounter) and another class power that you can SWAP for something else when you level!! I believe there is more power in having your "core" class enhanced by some nice abilities from another class than you realize. I feel like your complaint that "multi-class characters will be gimped" is way off target.

Is your primary complaint that you can't multi-class 3 different classes? Did you do this in 3.x? Either those characters were BAD or did the whole "dabble 1-2 levels in fighter/ranger etc to get the primary benefits" or they just planned their levels out so they could take an overpowered prestige class. If it is a flavor thing(my guy is a fighter who can sling spells and sneak around in the shadows!), you should still be able to accomplish your goals without specifically having that particular class title.

Are the stat requirements really that bad? You mean to tell me you want to be like a fighter and don't have 13 strength, or a rogue who doesn't have 13 dexterity? These seem completely reasonable and are NOT high requirements at all. It shouldn't be an issue to hit any requirement you need. If you build your character with the plan to multi-class, there is no way that having 13 in a particular stat is going to be any kind of challenge or force you to really gimp your character.

Didn't mean to pick on your or anything, you just posted the majority of complaints I've seen so far.
Like many others, I was expecting a bit more. So I'll just look at the silver lining(s), like being able to completely swap out your secondary class for another, or ditch having a secondary class, all together. You can be xxxxx/wizard one level, xxxxx/rogue the next, and xxxxx/druid the following level. Of course, you'll probably lose the flexibility if you take a paragon path that's dependent on a specific secondary class, but even then, you still have 10 levels with which to play around with different secondary classes.
BUT where 4e has now lost me is the fact that you are FORCED to “dabble” for the most part and only one class at that. 4e was supposed to be about options and that should include the option of making a fighter mage that doesn’t suck and is as much of one or the other as you wish.
Spending feats to get each power (and yes I see that a feat is less then it once was) still nets a loss as you also forgo a power in the base class… so I spend a feat(which could be used for something else) lose a power I would have gained to gain a power from another class. Weak sauce I say, weak sauce.
It would need to be tested etc but I think that a multi classing feat that gave you a secondary class IE fighter base with wizard secondary and allowed you to gain powers on a swap basis IE don’t take a fighter daily to gain a wizard daily (but with some set limitations ie you are not as good a wizard as a pure wizard… something like ¾ as good) would have been preferable. So you end up not a pure fighter (lacking powers as you decided to drop them) and not as good as a full wizard (you only have a few “spell” powers determined by how many you took + said tested limitations)
Also this would make a wizard/fighter different then a fighter/wizard different then a fighter/wizard/rogue etc…
Anyway I think that after some playtesting with my group we will run a multi class that costs ONE feat and you can then drop to gain powers as you level.

A 4th edition fighter who spends some feats to gain spellcasting ability will be a FAR SUPERIOR character compared to a 3.x 10fighter/10wizard. Think about it...you don't lose any of your base attack bonuses like you did in 3.x. You don't have weak hitpoints from having to take 10 levels with a d4 hit dice. You get to spend a few feats along the way and you have a VERY capable fighter(who even advanced in his paragon class) who is capable of firing death from his fingertips every single encounter(or whatever fun wizard stuff you want to do).

Heck, if you wanted even MORE wizard capability, you can forgo your paragon and focus on wizard abilities(still not sure how this works). Or your primary class can be wizard while gaining secondary abilities and powers from the fighter class. I think the main thing to keep in mind, is that for the most part, you don't sacrifice that much to gain some really nice powers from other classes and now we have the option that if we want to go beyond a casual "dabble" in another class, we can forgo our paragon path to really enhance the secondary class abilities. So, we have a choice, do we want to be primarily a wizard capable of dishing out melee damage when desired? Easily doable. Do we want to be primarily a fighter who occasionally casts spells? Shouldn't be difficult. Do we want to be a fighter who swings his sword just as often as he flings the spells? No problem. Any of these characters will be more powerful compared to a 10fighter/10wizard from 3.x. The point is to make the characters VIABLE and not overpowered and it seems they did just that. You don't have all of the sacrifices from multi-classing that were present in 3.x. You spend a few feats and don't give up much from your core class.
On a final note (and back to my mixed feelings) my interpretation of the power feats is this: Novice Power grants an encounter power from an additional class. The feat can be taken at any level, but the power granted by the feat cannot be higher than 4th level. Acolyte Power does the same, but for utility powers and the power can't be higher than 8th. Adept for dailies with a max power level of 10th.

This is just an interpretation. Does anyone know differently? Or are other guesses just that - guesses and interpretation?

Mouseferatu on the enworld.org boards is a playtester and he has confirmed that the levels on those feats should've been on the prereq side, rather than the description side.

In other words, you can't take the replace encounter power feat til 4th, but you can replace an encounter power of any level (and switch it around as you level up if you wish).
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Epiphany. This was confusing for about an hour, but I think I finally get it. It's awkwardly worded, but makes some sense.

Let's say you're level 15, and you have this setup. And your level 7 encounter power is a Fighter power, but you're a rogue.
Class Level Encounter Powers Daily Powers Utility Powers<br /> 15th P, 13, 7, 3 15, 9, 5 P, 10, 6, 2

Then let's say you hit level 17, and you trade out your level 3 encounter power and pick up one of the highest level you can learn, level 17. At every level you gain, your 'multiclass' power(s) get reset, and you get to make the choice of what power to swap out again.
Class Level Encounter Powers Daily Powers Utility Powers<br /> 17th P, 17, 13, 7 15, 9, 5 P, 16, 10, 6, 2

So now, your level 7 encounter power is a rogue power again, and you decide to lose that level 13 power in favor of a fighter power, thus advancing in fighter power and getting some of your older rogue power back... It's oddly worded but it makes sense after a fashion.

Yes, that's what I understood. I actually like the system. You always keep the power from the multiclassed class at your highest level or close enough, avoids the weird multiclassing of 3E (now a fighter is a figther, not a 2 level figther dip) and with the myriad of the new classes on the horizon (classes in 4E will be the new prestige classes) i think there will be plenty of options.

And for those who want a figther/wizard/thief. I think wizard/rogue (or rogue/wizards) fills the niche conceptualy.

Actually me and my friends are very happy with the new system and suddenly i'm in the minority side.
Heck, if you wanted even MORE wizard capability, you can forgo your paragon and focus on wizard abilities(still not sure how this works).

My guess is that you simply replace the paragon powers you would have gained (the number of wich is fixed for everyone) with the other class powers of the same level. Overall its seems kinda weaker that just taking the paragon path of the otherclass, because now, thanks to feat, you qualify
Regardless of how powerful there are or are not, feats are a finite resource, and you're already giving up your class powers for the "multiclass" powers anyway.

Far better would have been to just have one multiclassing feat that covered the base training AND the novice/acolyte/adept feats. You're already paying an opportunity cost and reducing your effectiveness in your primary class just by swapping out powers. Not to mention the various feats you'll need to burn to pick up the extras, like Ritual Magic for the fighter/mage or Trapfinding for the fighter/thief, etc. Assuming, of course, that they're even available as feats in the first place.

And Gods help you if you were looking at anything like a cleric/mage/thief combination. There's no pair of existing classes that will cover that one. I suppose you could houserule out the "one base multiclassing feat only" rule, but as someone else said on these boards today, if you have to houserule before the books are even released then the rules have failed.
I think our problem is that we are yet to see the whole picture.

We do not have a list of all the feats that core will have nor do we have a list of all the powers each class will have. We also do not know all of the paragon paths that will be released.

Depending on the ruling there might be the possibility of gaining 3 classes (base, multiclass feat and paragon replacement) with a final Epic path (for a total of 4) and perhaps you can replace an epic path with a paragon path.

Unfortunately the multiclass article seems to have brought up more questions than answers...
I like the system, especially from a DM stand-point of having a good idea of what the player is actually doing with their character.

For the old triple-class combos (fighter/mage/thief and fighter/mage/cleric) you now really just need to break down the concepts of what you actually want to do. Fighter was usually taken to improve your attack and maybe specialize in a weapon... for the F/M/TH that would be the brute thief (BAB is now level based, not class). For the F/M/C you would want to make a more melee oriented cleric and I am betting there will be plenty of feats... or now that paladins are much more free in their choices you go mage/paladin.

Everybody is going to have roughly the same amount of powers per day. Single-class makes you more specialized and bit more powerful AT THAT POWER, while multi-class gives you a wider selection.

Now you just need your players to do one thing BEFORE making the character... determine a concept then build form there!!!!
Regardless of how powerful there are or are not, feats are a finite resource, and you're already giving up your class powers for the "multiclass" powers anyway.

Far better would have been to just have one multiclassing feat that covered the base training AND the novice/acolyte/adept feats. You're already paying an opportunity cost and reducing your effectiveness in your primary class just by swapping out powers. Not to mention the various feats you'll need to burn to pick up the extras, like Ritual Magic for the fighter/mage or Trapfinding for the fighter/thief, etc. Assuming, of course, that they're even available as feats in the first place.

And Gods help you if you were looking at anything like a cleric/mage/thief combination. There's no pair of existing classes that will cover that one. I suppose you could houserule out the "one base multiclassing feat only" rule, but as someone else said on these boards today, if you have to houserule before the books are even released then the rules have failed.

Emphasis mine. You don't need to burn feats. You might want to burn them. For example, you could be happy with a fighter wizard having only two "burned" feats (multiclass + daily), or go full monty and take the four multiclass feats plus extras (rituals/trapfinding/skill training). This system gives you the ability to dip in different classes the way it fits your idea better.

Other than that, the "you can only take one secondary class" bit does sound strange. Maybe there is a variant rule in the DMG for people who want complete freedom to take a dozen classes.

What I feel some people might not be realizing is that classes are no longer "okay, I've had enough of plain vanilla fighter levels, now I want to multiclass and get stuff". Now, a plain vanilla fighter gets stuff.