Excerpts: Multiclassing


4th Edition

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Shadow Lodge

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More from the 4th Edition Player's Handbook

For those with no care to link:

Spoiler:
“We'll get to you,” we'd tell it, “but first we have these shiny new classes to finish first. You used to push classes around and tell them how they had to be designed. Well, now the tables have been turned, you bullying jerk.”

This made multiclassing very sad. Even game mechanics hate being called jerks, but deep down it knew it was true. Back in the old days, it was a great tool for building what amounted to your own class. Magic-user/thieves, fighter/clerics, and even the rare but potentially awe-inspiring fighter/magic-user/thief walked the land, like chimeras wrought by strange rites involving Player's Handbooks, an overactive imagination, and a DNA splicer.

3rd Edition gave us a simpler, elegant, and intuitive solution that worked wonderfully… for characters who didn’t cast spells. 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.

The 4th Edition design had three primary goals for multiclassing:

Design the classes, make them cool, then force multiclassing to play nice with them.
Institute controls to prevent abusive combinations.
Institute controls to make every combination as playable as possible.
In 4th Edition, we strived to make each character option useful. Since D&D lacks a competitive or deck building element, it's silly to hide bad choices in the rules. Multiclassing had to obey this rule in order to justify its existence.

In the end, we came up with a system of feats that allow you to borrow abilities and powers from other classes. At 11th level, you can choose to forgo your paragon path in order to further specialize in a second class. This approach lacks the intuitive elegance of the 3E system, but it allows us to tone down or boost a class's multiclass options as needed. If everything works as planned, you have the flexibility to mix classes without making your character into a juggernaut or a cripple. Combos like fighter/wizard now work much better, while traditional choices like fighter/rogue still function just fine. Going forward, we'll introduce new feats for new classes, ensuring that all classes play well together.

So, that's multiclassing. Whether you missed playing a cleric/wizard from older editions or liked the flexibility of building a fighter/rogue in 3R, we've got you covered.

Multiclass feats allow you to dabble in the class features and powers of another class. You might be a fighter who dips his toe into wizardry, or a warlock who wants a smattering of rogue abilities. Each class has a class-specific multiclass feat that gives you access to features from that class.

Class-Specific Feats
There are two restrictions on your choice of a class-specific multiclass feat. First, you can’t take a multiclass feat for your own class. 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.

A character who has taken a class-specific multiclass feat counts as a member of that class for the purpose of meeting prerequisites for taking other feats and qualifying for paragon paths. For example, a character who takes Initiate of the Faith counts as a cleric for the purpose of selecting feats that have cleric as a prerequisite. These feats can qualify you for other feats; for example, a warlock who takes Sneak of Shadows can use the rogue’s Sneak Attack class feature, which means that he meets the prerequisite for the Backstabber feat.

Power-Swap Feats
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.

You can’t use power-swap feats to replace powers you gain from your paragon path or epic destiny. If you use retraining to replace a power-swap feat with another feat, you lose any power gained from the power-swap feat and regain a power of the same level from your primary class.

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Be sure to return Friday for a look at racial benefits and a new monster from the Monster Manual!

Shadow Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Well appearantly I can't post the Multiclass Feat Table from the article. It shows up perfectly when I preview it, but looks like total crap when I post. So for those wanting to see it I apoligize, and recommend just using the provided link to see it.


Before I reveal my opinion on this, let me first say that it attends to its stated goal wonderfully.

Now then, bleh! Not at all enjoyable to me. Even if they didn't restrict you to one class "dip" - which is the biggest turn off to me - I still wouldn't like it much.

But again, it does do its intended job well. It keeps multiclassing from making terrifying, or gimped, characters. But I think it goes too far, nearly removing any real use of multiclassing...


Just to get this out of the way so we (hopefully) don't have to waste any more time on it:

(1) This is totally inferior to the way 3E/2E/1E did it.
(2) Who cares? I have Pathfinder RPG. And yet for some reason I'm posting in this thread...
(3) WOTC has gouged out my eyes with a hot poker and raped my livestock. They have betrayed 30 years of gaming history and should be executed posthaste! KHANNNNNNNNNN!

Ok, on to the article:

I like it in theory, but I wonder if the "swap" feats aren't sub-par. I think we'll have to see how it interacts with paragon paths and epic destinies to really tell for sure.

The rules do seem to encourage taking powers only from one other class, which I'm actually ok with. In my experience, once you start reaching third or fourth base (or second prestige) classes it is usually more about optimization than it is about character concept anyway.


Frankly, I can't tell what a character would look like under this system... I guess I'll need a sample character to examine before I can decide if this is any good or not.


I really like this, as it does exactly what multiclassing is intended to do without allowing for overpowered combos or characters that are just too crappy to function properly.
It fixes the problems of previous editions by allowing some iconic characters to be feasible and functional (such as a fighter/wizard). Even better, it allows for spellcasters in general to effectively multiclass.

It also helps alleviate the complaints of, "It took my character years to become a wizard, how come Bob the Fighter got all the same spells I did in only a few weeks time?!"
You can cite RPing all you like, but its certainly not required: characters can apparently spontaneously acquire arcane powers instantly. Generally in my games I always assumed that such research or practice was taking place behind the scenes, even if I had to do so retroactively, but having a character gain a single power at a time (or other powers in place of the ones that they would get) makes far more sense/is more reasonable in the narrative context.

I dont mind the one-class limitation, either. I cant think of many people who spread themselves out into more than one other class anyway, not counting prestige classes.


Well, I like how multiclassing is reworked and the end result seems better.

What I couldn't understand is why anyone would want to use a feat and just exchange powers.

Feats seem to add something on a character and now this doesn't hold.

So why multiclass when you can be more effective with your own class?


I'm currently playing a fighter/knight/paladin (1 level in each) and was worried about converting her over. But this is great, now I can emulate her powers by just taking the multiclass feats; perhaps main class paladin and take fighter and warlord multiclass feats. Wow, that eased one of my worries for 4E.


FabesMinis wrote:
I'm currently playing a fighter/knight/paladin (1 level in each) and was worried about converting her over. But this is great, now I can emulate her powers by just taking the multiclass feats; perhaps main class paladin and take fighter and warlord multiclass feats. Wow, that eased one of my worries for 4E.

You can only dip in ONE extra class. And only dip.

These rules are stupid. I know a ton of people who will simply ignore this style of multiclassing and go back to the way it's supposed to be done in 3E. No one I know "dips" into a class. And many people I know grab more than one, to better suit their style of play and character.

These multiclass rules are RESTRICTIVE. If I want a Ranger 5/Rogue 5/Fighter 10, I should be able to have that. 4E is becoming as restrictive as 2e, it seems.

I am surprised some of you even like this, because I know tons who will hurl at the sight of this. There's no point in multiclassing in this game anymore with those rules.


bugleyman wrote:
KHANNNNNNNNNN!

Exactly how I feel!

Razz wrote:
These multiclass rules are RESTRICTIVE. If I want a Ranger 5/Rogue 5/Fighter 10, I should be able to have that. 4E is becoming as restrictive as 2e, it seems.

Can we not equate the glorious days of my childhood and 2nd Ed. with 4E please? ;p

Seriously though, I like to keep up to date on the 4E reveals as they happen, but I've refused to buy anything WotC since the cancellation of Dungeon and Dragon magazines. The more I see, the more I shake my head. I saw the preview they did with the 'power cards' and, combined with a bunch of miniatures on a beautifully painted battle mat, just makes me think "Heroquest" in the worst possible way.
These rules seem like just another step towards an overly simplistic yet impossibly arbitrary and ludicrously mushroom inspired rule set.

I can't equally split my training between the priesthood and honing my larcenous talents? My arrows fire further if I aim diagonally? Seriously, WTF?

(/threadjack/ How does this work in 3D e.g. in an ariel battle? Can I fire arrows further at 11 o'clock up than 10 o'clock down? /end threadjack/)

tfad


Razz wrote:


You can only dip in ONE extra class. And only dip.

These rules are stupid. I know a ton of people who will simply ignore this style of multiclassing and go back to the way it's supposed to be done in 3E. No one I know "dips" into a class. And many people I know grab more than one, to better suit their style of play and character.

These multiclass rules are RESTRICTIVE. If I want a Ranger 5/Rogue 5/Fighter 10, I should be able to have that. 4E is becoming as restrictive as 2e, it seems.

I am surprised some of you even like this, because I know tons who will hurl at the sight of this. There's no point in multiclassing in this game anymore with those rules.

Here you are not correct. Wotc mentioned that you can exchange your paragon path to take a second class, so it is not that restrictive.

And I cannot understand the point in creating that type of character except for min/max. This style can be created through the use of prestige classes (for 3rd) and (I suppose) paragon paths much easier.

On the other hand, spending just a feat you can dip (liked the word) at a feature of another class that you like without so much as creating unbalanced characters. Perfect.


Yeah I think it sounds pretty cool. It does explain how the pregen Warlock gets her Wizard attack. I'm curious what skill training does, since pretty much every multiclass offers it.

I'm not sure about the feats to just trade powers, although perhaps you can get some good synergies out of it. Without a full power list, it is too much conjecture to guess.

Cheers! :)


Razz wrote:

These multiclass rules are RESTRICTIVE. If I want a Ranger 5/Rogue 5/Fighter 10, I should be able to have that. 4E is becoming as restrictive as 2e, it seems.

I am surprised some of you even like this, because I know tons who will hurl at the sight of this. There's no point in multiclassing in this game anymore with those rules.

So, the only "point" in multiclassing in increasing the power of your charactter?

For those who like to remember the "old 2E days", the goal of multi-class on 2E was to broaden the focus of your character, at the cost of sub-optimality. A multi-classed character was never more powerful than a single-character - the whole XP division/hit point division (round down)/level limit stuff was enough to put multi-classed guys on a clear power-wise disadvantage. Multi-classing was EXTREMLY restrictive - only a few race/class combinations were allowed; humans for instance couldn't multi-class at all.

On 3.5 you could make a fighter/barbarian that kicks the ass of both a fighter and a barbarian on melee combat. But without weird feats or prestige classes, you couldn't make a fighter/wizard that was even a barely decent wizard.

On 4E you can make a fighter/wizard that is both a decent melee combatant and a decent spellcaster, but will never excel a single-class fighter on melee combat or a single-classed wizard on spellcasting. Or you can make a fighter/warlord that is both a decee melee combatant and an inspiring leader, but still, without exceeding the single-classed guys in their respective fields.

It's an approach the fulfills 2E purporse of multi-classing: broaden focus of the cost of sub-optimality. But it's actually far less restrictive than 2E multiclassing, and it generates more respectable characters. Unless if you were happy with your elf fighter/wizard being permanently stuck on level 12 fighter level.


Razz wrote:
FabesMinis wrote:
I'm currently playing a fighter/knight/paladin (1 level in each) and was worried about converting her over. But this is great, now I can emulate her powers by just taking the multiclass feats; perhaps main class paladin and take fighter and warlord multiclass feats. Wow, that eased one of my worries for 4E.
You can only dip in ONE extra class. And only dip.

I only want to dip.

And you are wrong.

You can multiclass into two classes.


tallforadwarf wrote:

...My arrows fire further if I aim diagonally? Seriously, WTF?...

Yes, this one bugs me. A lot. 4E seems very "two steps forward, one step back" to me. I like a little more than half of what I see, but for almost every feature that makes me think "hell yes!" there is one that makes me say...wait for it...."KHHHAAAAANNNNNNNN!" :D


On further thoughts, I'm not entirely convinced the only form of multiclassing offered here is the 'dip'. The idea of a Fighter flying overhead dropping fireballs on the enemy before landing to engage in melee seems like a pretty even Fighter/Wizard build, and it would be doable with this setup.

Its a very simple and elegant system in my mind ... the real versatility isn't that apparent on the first perusal (or at least it wasn't to me.) In 3E to gain spellcasting from a non-spellcasting class you need to trade off huge amounts of your other class to gain any real effective spell casting. At Fighter 19/Wizard 1 gains almost nothing and loses out on a fair bit of fighting ability. To gain even reasonable spells, you need at least Fighter 15/Wizard 5 but at that point you are trading a LOT of fighting ability for again, rather limited spells. The full 50/50 isn't viable at all (you trade off way too much for too little gain) unless you use a PrC focused on fixing that matchup, but even then the builds are rarely overly exceptional.

Most multiclasses I have seen were to gain a few "iconic" abilities from one class that presented useful and interesting synergies with the abilities already possessed by another class, and this system will work beautifully with that in mind.

Cheers! :)

Dark Archive

Krauser_Levyl wrote:


On 4E you can make a fighter/wizard that is both a decent melee combatant and a decent spellcaster, but will never excel a single-class fighter on melee combat or a single-classed wizard on spellcasting. Or you can make a fighter/warlord that is both a decee melee combatant and an inspiring leader, but still, without exceeding the single-classed guys in their respective fields.

It's an approach the fulfills 2E purporse of multi-classing: broaden focus of the cost of sub-optimality. But it's actually far less restrictive than 2E multiclassing, and it generates more respectable characters. Unless if you were happy with your elf fighter/wizard being permanently stuck on level 12 fighter level.

I actually like these new rules (a first for 4E) and may adopt them for 3.5. There are 2 approaches to multiclassing: the one where you take levels in several different classes but play your character like their just one; you effectively build your own class using the pieces you like from existing ones. This is what 3.5 and prestige classes are all about. The other appraoch is, as Krauser said, taking levels in multiple classes and treating them as such. You may not be as powerful in any one thing as a character specializing purely in that field, but you make up for it with increased versatility. The 3.5 bard is pretty much a pre-built example of this approach. I like both, but the second is a lot harder to pull off effectively in 3E. These new feats remind me most of the "Ascetic X" and "Blessed X" feats from Complete Adventurer that allowed multiclassing between Paladin or Monk and another class, whilst allowing the abilities of both classes to synergize in a useful way. First good sign from WotC in a long while.

For the Khan!
TWB


Adventure Path Charter Subscriber
Krauser_Levyl wrote:


For those who like to remember the "old 2E days", the goal of multi-class on 2E was to broaden the focus of your character, at the cost of sub-optimality. A multi-classed character was never more powerful than a single-character - the whole XP division/hit point division (round down)/level limit stuff was enough to put multi-classed guys on a clear power-wise disadvantage. Multi-classing was EXTREMLY restrictive - only a few race/class combinations were allowed; humans for instance couldn't multi-class at all.

It's true that the combinations were a lot more restrictive, but I have to ask how well you remember 1st/2nd edition multiclassing. The XP division thing was not a significant power limiter given the XP progression tables. A multiclassing character with 2 classes was usually only 1 level behind his single-class peers in BOTH of his classes. With very few powers given out per level and the THAC0/save structures, the extra level the single-classers had was often of very limited significance.

Sovereign Court

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
bugleyman wrote:

Just to get this out of the way so we (hopefully) don't have to waste any more time on it:

(1) This is totally inferior to the way 3E/2E/1E did it.
(2) Who cares? I have Pathfinder RPG. And yet for some reason I'm posting in this thread...
(3) WOTC has gouged out my eyes with a hot poker and raped my livestock. They have betrayed 30 years of gaming history and should be executed posthaste! KHANNNNNNNNNN!

Heh, awesome.


Bill Dunn wrote:


It's true that the combinations were a lot more restrictive, but I have to ask how well you remember 1st/2nd edition multiclassing. The XP division thing was not a significant power limiter given the XP progression tables. A multiclassing character with 2 classes was usually only 1 level behind his single-class peers in BOTH of his classes. With very few powers given out per level and the THAC0/save structures, the extra level the single-classers had was often of very limited significance.

I too remember 2E's multiclassing as terribly overpowered. Dualclassing was even more broken in the end, but it was nearly impossible to really use dualclassing in a campaign. 3E was supposed to be a step towards allowing effective multiclassing that was balanced with not ... but as soon as my party's Wizard tried to become a Wizard/Sorcerer (that would be after my group gained the first level in 3E) my group realized it wasn't 100% perfect. This probably won't be perfect either but I do think it is a strong step in the right direction. Now I really wish I had those damn books!

Cheers! :)


You can only dip in ONE extra class. And only dip.

These rules are stupid. I know a ton of people who will simply ignore this style of multiclassing and go back to the way it's supposed to be done in 3E. No one I know "dips" into a class. And many people I know grab more than one, to better suit their style of play and character.

Why do you think the rules are stupid? Remember that characters have the same progressions when it comes to attack bonus and Defense increases, so all thats left to really tackle are class-specific powers.
Did you have a problem with how multiclassing evolved from 2nd Edition to 3rd Edition?
See, everyone that I know rarely multiclasses except to transition into a presige class. Occasionally someone may go into another class, but its always been to just try to meet the requirements for a prestige class (such as a class that requires both divine spellcasting and psionic manifesting).
Otherwise, I've tried to pull of a fighter/wizard character at the start of 3rd Edition, and I basically had to stick to scribing and using scrolls in order to be effective at spellcasting (or just using spells that had long durations).
However, I dont forsee players grabbing more than one extra class in almost all situations, especially given how classes scale (as in, if you dont play a full wizard, you are underpowered for your level).

These multiclass rules are RESTRICTIVE. If I want a Ranger 5/Rogue 5/Fighter 10, I should be able to have that. 4E is becoming as restrictive as 2e, it seems.

No, they are not. They are far more flexible than they were before, as now it opens the door for constructive and effective multiclassing between spellcasting classes. Actually, ANY class combo has no become not only viable, but useful. This means that a tactical wizard can take warlord powers and better control the flow of combat, or a cleric devoted to some god of stealage can pick up rogue powers to help represent that. A fighter could also better fit the assassin mold by taking rogue powers.
See, here's the thing, the class combination that you cite is basically a heavy melee character that may have high mobility (depends on how much armor you are wearing). You can take Trapfinding as a feat to do the rogue bit with traps, and you can just take multiclass feats to pick up ranger powers. Whose going to know that you actually dont have Sneak Attack?
Of course, not that I actually expect anyone to play that kind of combination: I'm sure you threw it out as another extreme example to prove some kind of point. I mean, the fighter is basically a bonus feat giver, and I'd think it would be more effective to play just a rogue/ranger, unless you really, REALLY wanted that tower shield proficiency.
Oh, and hopefully you were playing a human, half-elf, or dwarf with that combo, otherwise go ahead and take a 40% XP penalty.

I am surprised some of you even like this, because I know tons who will hurl at the sight of this. There's no point in multiclassing in this game anymore with those rules.

I'm surprised you dont, because I know a ton of people who will absolutely LOVE this, as they can now play a character with spellcasting utility and actually be good at it.
Okay, I liked. I'm not surprised that you hate this, as you seem to automatically hate any and everything 4th Edition simply by association.


Mormegil wrote:
Razz wrote:


You can only dip in ONE extra class. And only dip.

These rules are stupid. I know a ton of people who will simply ignore this style of multiclassing and go back to the way it's supposed to be done in 3E. No one I know "dips" into a class. And many people I know grab more than one, to better suit their style of play and character.

These multiclass rules are RESTRICTIVE. If I want a Ranger 5/Rogue 5/Fighter 10, I should be able to have that. 4E is becoming as restrictive as 2e, it seems.

I am surprised some of you even like this, because I know tons who will hurl at the sight of this. There's no point in multiclassing in this game anymore with those rules.

Here you are not correct. Wotc mentioned that you can exchange your paragon path to take a second class, so it is not that restrictive.

And I cannot understand the point in creating that type of character except for min/max. This style can be created through the use of prestige classes (for 3rd) and (I suppose) paragon paths much easier.

On the other hand, spending just a feat you can dip (liked the word) at a feature of another class that you like without so much as creating unbalanced characters. Perfect.

Ah, I'd forgotten about swapping your paragon path. I dont expect Razz to actually acknowledge this counterpoint, except perhaps to say that well, you still cant play a fighter/ex-monk/rogue/wizard.


This excerpt bring to the fore one of the deign philosophies about 4th edition that I absolutlty love: The flexibility of your character over the course of level advancement.

They've made the retraining concept introduced in the 3.5 PHB2 into a core mechanic of the new edition. From the excerpts we've seen here and in the , you get to change one feat and one power choice per level at least, and I would be there are other options too.

That means, if you choose a feat that is weapon of enemey specific, say a sword based feat or a Undead killing feat, and then the campaign turns away from those themes, say the primary monster type switches from undead to demons or you find a the legendary axe of your fore-fathers. You have the chance to change the choices you made early on and slowly evolve your character concept over time.

An inexpiernced player can now take a feat, realize he hates it, and then change that feat.

A fighter can decide he no longers wishes to specialize in sword and shield fighting, and train himself to be good at a two handed combat style.

It provides huge flexibility in an ordered fashion, giving DM's an easy system to let players correct a character crippling mistake without having them reroll or giving them a unfair advantage over the other players.

And really, it makes sense that overtime a character would change the way he fights or acts. Sometimes players join the clergy or begin studying under the wizard mentor they gain through roleplaying, and this can represent that kind of in game advancement very well without breaking the system.

What do you guys think?


I like the 'DIP' philosophy to multiclassing. As a self-appointed fence sitter on 4e vs. 3.5e,I am encouraged by this simple solution to multi-classing. I no longer have to give a whole level of XP to one class just to gain a few abilities that that class offers(or more if I wanted my barbarian to have Weapon Spec). I can now just use a feat and test the waters of a new class. Simple in it's execution, but far reaching in it's implications for the advancement of my character concept. I am now a bit more intrested in 4e than I was last week. I still plan on reading over the rules and playing the game before making a final verdit, but as I stated at the top of my post I am encouraged by this excerpt.


Razz wrote:


...If I want a Ranger 5/Rogue 5/Fighter 10, I should be able to have that...

What you fail to see is that you won't be able to play the mechanical aspect of the Ranger 5/Rogue 5/Fighter 10, but the CONCEPT of that character.

In 3E you say :" I'll play a fighter/rogue/ranger."

In 4E you say :"I'll play a mobile striker/defender hybrid"

Which can be a Warlock/Paladin, Warlock/Fighter, Rogue/Fighter, Rogue/Paladin, Ranger/Paladin or Ranger/Fighter.

Stop thinking about the mechanical aspect of 3E...think in concept.


Antoine7 wrote:
Razz wrote:


...If I want a Ranger 5/Rogue 5/Fighter 10, I should be able to have that...

What you fail to see is that you won't be able to play the mechanical aspect of the Ranger 5/Rogue 5/Fighter 10, but the CONCEPT of that character.

In 3E you say :" I'll play a fighter/rogue/ranger."

In 4E you say :"I'll play a mobile striker/defender hybrid"

Which can be a Warlock/Paladin, Warlock/Fighter, Rogue/Fighter, Rogue/Paladin, Ranger/Paladin or Ranger/Fighter.

Stop thinking about the mechanical aspect of 3E...think in concept.

Thats my thought as well. Playing a character that emphasizes the concepts of that class combination will not only still be feasible, but also likely much more functional as well.

Of course the concept of a rogue/ranger/fighter is made even easier if you choose the two-weapon style ranger, which still exists in 4th Edition, since the rogue and fighter are likewise melee-oriented.

RPG Superstar 2010 Top 16, 2011 Top 32, 2012 Top 4

Very simple, very elegant. I like the 4E multi-classing system. It's going to put a choke-hold on those irritating min/maxing gamers, and prevent the creation of broken 3.whatever multiclass characters.

A definite step forward.

3.5? No way...I prefer to round UP.


Ok...after reading the article again I like it. I think most of the people who think this is just a dip might not be realizing how much of a classes identity is derived from its powers. Between here and ENWorld, I'm seeing a lot of posts that look like "A fighter with four spells isn't a fighter/wizard!" But I believe these posters are forgetting that the days of the wizard with dozens and dozens of spells are at an end; AFAICT the wizard himself would be lucky to have ten or twelve powers available at the same level.

If the goal is to evaluate 4E multiclassing system in particular, one would be well-advised to use 4E classes, rather than classes from ealier editions, as a reference point.


Not sure where this one came from...it popped up when I edited my last post. O.o


Razz wrote:


You can only dip in ONE extra class. And only dip.

These rules are stupid. I know a ton of people who will simply ignore this style of multiclassing...

So...can we infer that you know a ton of people who will be playing 4E? That just seems odd, because I seem to remember you saying that no one you know has any plans to ever play 4E, whereas this implies you know many. Or maybe you just know a few and they are really, really fat?

;-)


bugleyman wrote:
Razz wrote:


You can only dip in ONE extra class. And only dip.

These rules are stupid. I know a ton of people who will simply ignore this style of multiclassing...

So...can we infer that you know a ton of people who will be playing 4E? That just seems odd, because I seem to remember you saying that no one you know has any plans to ever play 4E, whereas this implies you know many. Or maybe you just know a few and they are really, really fat?

;-)

Whenever Razz says "lots" or "tons" or "everyone he knows", I presume he is just referring to himself and his circle of gamers. Definitely not the majority body of gamers: not anywhere close.


Antioch wrote:
bugleyman wrote:
Razz wrote:


You can only dip in ONE extra class. And only dip.

These rules are stupid. I know a ton of people who will simply ignore this style of multiclassing...

So...can we infer that you know a ton of people who will be playing 4E? That just seems odd, because I seem to remember you saying that no one you know has any plans to ever play 4E, whereas this implies you know many. Or maybe you just know a few and they are really, really fat?

;-)

Whenever Razz says "lots" or "tons" or "everyone he knows", I presume he is just referring to himself and his circle of gamers. Definitely not the majority body of gamers: not anywhere close.

I know; I was just poking a little fun.

I do sympathize with Razz in some ways; there are things about 4E that I don't like. I just agree that he isn't being at all objective when it comes to 4E.

I'm beginning to worry that I might not be able to say no to either 4E or Pathfinder, but man, that seems like a lot of extra stuff to carry around in the old noggin...


I was going to continue with Pathfinder, as it seemed pretty cool. However, I realized that my play schedule is only weekly, and since Wizards is beginning to publish their own modules now, I'd rather stick with them instead of getting stuff from Paizo that I have to spend time to convert over on top of normal routine planning.
Personally, I dont exactly have a lot of free time, so thats an added step that I'm happy to do without.


(Edited, after rereading and checking exactly how multiclass/power-swap seems to work)
Unless there has been a lot of work (and I mean people-sitting-up-late-at-night-with-spreadsheets-and-calculators work) to 'balance' this then ways will be found to powergame and min/max using these rules. The powergamer will select a class which best suits the concept that they are powergaming towards, and trim the powers which do not assist their concept by using multiclass and power-swap feats to pick up powers from another class which do boost it- voila. Unless of course other feats are so amazingly powerful that burning a feat to take a multiclass feat and more to swap underusued powers for more precious powers is itself not a sufficiently powerful use of feats, but in that case, the powergamers will simply powergame using non multiclass feats.
As more classes are added to the game, by later PHBs, there will be a wider selection of classes wth particular powers (and/or power combinations) to cherry pick from.
I do not think this will kill multiclassing (between two classes) to powergame. Only the books coming out will show to what extent it may reduce it.
What I have seen outlined in the article seems to indicate to me that this take on multiclassing will probably fit fairly well with the sort of game that the R & D team have been working towards with 4E. It does no more than previous DDI releases to convince me that 4E is a RPG in which I wish to invest.


"In 4th Edition, we strived to make each character option useful. Since D&D lacks a competitive or deck building element, it's silly to hide bad choices in the rules."

This is the part I like and ultimately what makes me want to play 4E. The design philosophy that no one character build is any better than any other and that, as a casual player, I can get the most out of the game without investing heavily in mastering the system.

As an aside, that's precisely why I stopped playing WoW after a month. I felt I was doing it "wrong" because I wasn't optimizing things the way I should have. I felt left behind and, in a way, I've felt that with 3.5. With 4th, I get in on the ground floor and I genuinely feel that they've built it for guys like my who want to play and have fun and not worry if we are doing it correctly or perhaps not getting the most from it.


It's obvious.

What I mean by "tons" is everyone, from real life to message boards, loves multiclassing. Even the designers did it and ENCOURAGED it throughout 3rd Edition. You saw all sorts of characters and creatures, and that's what made 3rd Edition so fun, cool, and flexible.

To restrict multiclassing to this horrible hack, I believe, is only going to anger those very same people. I wouldn't even call it multiclassing, more like "dipping". That's not multiclassing and people are definitely going to want that back.

Personally, were I playing 4E, I'd do it the way 3E did. If you're a Warlord level 5, and hit level 6 and want to make it a Fighter, then I will grant it and all abilities for the 1st-level Fighter.

I believe a ton of people will do that.

I mean, this would anger my players even more if I personally ended up going 4th. I have a player with a Paladin 8/Fighter 2/Cavalier 5. He's worked and advanced as a paladin to a specific point, became a master at mounted combat and riding, and slowed progression of his rise through those two to increase his combat capability. That's how he sees his character and it was all set on heavy RP and story development.

I have a another who has a Ranger 11/Fighter 1/Shadowdancer 2/Tempest 4. He's a ranger of Mielikki, who slowed advancement in his path to learn new fighting techniques, was stranded on the Plane of Shadow and developed shadow-abilities upon returning to the Material Plane (hence the Shadowdancer levels) and is becoming a two-weapon fighting master (through Tempest) beyond what other two-weapon fighters could accomplish. He's known as the Ranger of the Shadows, able to hide as if he were invisible and even in plain sight within dark areas. I can go on, but you get the point.

3E allowed these awesome concepts through their balanced and unrestrictive multiclassing rules.

4E is destroying this. You can't even accomplish half of what those 2 characters have with 4E rules and probably never will, at least not without house ruling a bunch of things.

Playing 4E, they'd have to trash their characters because 4E doesn';t allow the flexibility needed to bring those characters back. I wouldn't call this "Multiclassing", it should be renamed "Class Dipping" cause that's all it really is.

And you guys say that's a GOOD thing? Funny.

What else is destroyed in D&D next, I wonder? Oh yeah, it's not D&D, I forgot, it's W&D (Wizards&Dragons), cause it sure as heck ain't the D&D I know for the 12 years I've played it. Enjoy your MMORPG on paper folks.


Razz wrote:


Personally, were I playing 4E, I'd do it the way 3E did. If you're a Warlord level 5, and hit level 6 and want to make it a Fighter, then I will grant it and all abilities for the 1st-level Fighter.

From what I know of 4E, I don't think that would work. But even if it did, it wouldn't address what many seem to consider to be the biggest problem with 3.x multiclassing: spellcasters.

Razz wrote:


4E is destroying this. You can't even accomplish half of what those 2 characters have with 4E rules and probably never will, at least not without house ruling a bunch of things.

Destroying? Hyperbole aside, neither of those 2 characters could be created as written with the 3.5E corebooks. I think it is obvious that a system with 5 years of supplementary material is going to have more depth than a newly published one, no? As for "never will," I don't see a basis for making such a statement.

Razz wrote:


3E allowed these awesome concepts through their balanced and unrestrictive multiclassing rules.

I'll just say your experience with the balance of 3E's multiclassing rules was *wildly* different than mine.

As I've said before, I get that you don't like 4E. You are certainly entitled to your opinion. It just seems to be that the reasons you supply for your dislike of the new material often boil down to "it isn't 3E."


Wow. So dramatic. You would almost think it wasn't a game being dicussed.

But it is. It's a game that everyone, tons of people, I daresay, play differently, in their own styles. I think this mass-categorizing of "How people play D&D" is a little silly, to be honest.

Personally, in my groups, excessive multiclassing is usually for tricks and exploits. Only one or two of my players do it, but it's pretty obvious what they are trying to accomplish when they do. I think what you might be missing here, Razz, is that with this new system, you might not even need to multi-class (in the 3.5 sense).

Consider your above examples. In this system, would it not be possible to take the cross-over feats to attain things like "Hide in Plain Sight", or Two-Weapon Mastery (or whatever incarnation they will take) for whatever class you were already in? And also consider that the idea of class was much smaller in 3.5. In 4e, a class might be a much, much broader concept. How is it not possible to have a shadow dancing, two-weapon badass ranger in 4e, if you can more easily take such abilities through cross-over feats instead of trying to adapt the idea through (sometimes inconsistent) class structuring?

Of course I could be wrong here, but it's the feel I'm getting out of what I have read so far.

I think perhaps we can save the drama for the game table, too.


It's obvious.

What I mean by "tons" is everyone, from real life to message boards, loves multiclassing. Even the designers did it and ENCOURAGED it throughout 3rd Edition. You saw all sorts of characters and creatures, and that's what made 3rd Edition so fun, cool, and flexible.

Not everyone multiclasses, and certainly not everyone likes the way multiclassing works in 3rd Edition. I myself dislike the fact that its extremely punishing for any class that has something like spellcasting (which includes psionics, maneuvers, utterances, etc).
3rd Edition wasnt made "cool" by multiclassing. It might have been one potentially fun/crippling mechanic, but it didnt make or break the game.

To restrict multiclassing to this horrible hack, I believe, is only going to anger those very same people. I wouldn't even call it multiclassing, more like "dipping". That's not multiclassing and people are definitely going to want that back.

I actually like this new method, which disproves your claim that "everyone" likes the way 3E does it, and thus "everyone" will hate this method. The way I see it, this is helps to ensure that what you multiclass into is powerful enough for your level (since all powers scale appropriately), you arent swamped with more powers than you know what to do with (since you essentially are enabling yourself to choose your new abilities from two classes instead of one), and its less prone to power abuse.

Personally, were I playing 4E, I'd do it the way 3E did. If you're a Warlord level 5, and hit level 6 and want to make it a Fighter, then I will grant it and all abilities for the 1st-level Fighter.

I suppose you could do that and it could work out pretty well, since you can only "know" a set number of powers based on your level. I think Mike Mearls came out and said that if you really wanted, you could theoretically allow players to pick powers from other classes and it would work out mostly okay.
For example, in a military game, you could allow anyone to pick from the warlord list and it probably wouldnt break the game.

I believe a ton of people will do that.

I dont think so, as your model would likely break the game in the following ways:
Since BAB and Defenses scale a set way based on your level and not your class level, a player could keep multiclassing into other classes for the Defense bonuses and have them scale up way to high for their level, but they wouldnt suffer in other areas such as BAB (which is a problem with multiclassing sometimes).
Also, if you literally mean everything, you would get characters with 4+ at-will powers as well as a hefty chunk of encounter/daily powers. Now, these powers might not scale as well. I guess it depends on your level distribution. You might get a character rolling out twice as many daily powers as the other guy, allowing the party to easily trounce...anything, but if they scale poorly then you end up back in the 3E boat where characters are just too craptacular to function properly.

I mean, this would anger my players even more if I personally ended up going 4th. I have a player with a Paladin 8/Fighter 2/Cavalier 5. He's worked and advanced as a paladin to a specific point, became a master at mounted combat and riding, and slowed progression of his rise through those two to increase his combat capability. That's how he sees his character and it was all set on heavy RP and story development.

So, he basically plays a paladin with fighter training, and then you give him some kind of mounted paragon path? Or better yet, he can just stick with paladin and go into a mounted paragon path. Of course, since people cant actually guage a character's exact class/level distribution, he could just as easily go paladin and some other paragon path entirely, but spend feats on mounted stuff.
Whose going to know? How will anyone tell that he doesnt have those fighter levels?

My group is going to LOVE this, as they can now spread out their character without fear of having a character who barely scrapes by.

I have a another who has a Ranger 11/Fighter 1/Shadowdancer 2/Tempest 4. He's a ranger of Mielikki, who slowed advancement in his path to learn new fighting techniques, was stranded on the Plane of Shadow and developed shadow-abilities upon returning to the Material Plane (hence the Shadowdancer levels) and is becoming a two-weapon fighting master (through Tempest) beyond what other two-weapon fighters could accomplish. He's known as the Ranger of the Shadows, able to hide as if he were invisible and even in plain sight within dark areas. I can go on, but you get the point.

So...ranger with some rogue powers and that ranger paragon path that makes you better with two weapons? Perhaps a ranger/rogue with a paragon path centered around a shadow-theme. Again, how can anyone tell that you dont have that one stupid fighter level? I would daresay that this would be dipping.

3E allowed these awesome concepts through their balanced and unrestrictive multiclassing rules.

Ah, but they ARE unbalanced and restrictive. There are some concepts that just dont work (unbalanced) and thus people dont do them (restrictive). A fighter/wizard is a prime example of this. Sure, you can get halfway decent with it, eventually. Maybe.
You could just go with a duskblade or other class that manages a multiclass combo in a more functional way (and with only one class to boot!), but then you are still forgoing it.
Or, you could use more globally working mechanics.

4E is destroying this. You can't even accomplish half of what those 2 characters have with 4E rules and probably never will, at least not without house ruling a bunch of things.

Not really, without knowing the full rules I just illustrated a way to get the point mostly across. Not bad, especially for a game with drastically overhauled mechanics.
I think I'm in a worse situation than you are, half of my group is playing characters with classes that wont even exist, but I'm not complaining. As long as we get the basic ideas across and have FUN, we're not going to nitpick that the class has a different name.

Playing 4E, they'd have to trash their characters because 4E doesn';t allow the flexibility needed to bring those characters back. I wouldn't call this "Multiclassing", it should be renamed "Class Dipping" cause that's all it really is.

I disagree. I’m strongly considering converting my Age of Worms campaign to 4th Edition, and I have a cleric/divine mind/divine theurge, bard/seeker of the song, and artificer to contend with. There was a guy gunning with a conjuring sorcerer, but we can just go wizard with the Cha modifier as well.
For the cleric guy, we’ll likely multiclass him into wizard and do some name changes on the powers he selects. I’ll probably create divine theurge as a paragon path. For the bard, she’ll probably do a full change into warlord with some wizard multiclassing (though we’ll link it up to Charisma instead of Intelligence).

The basic concepts of the characters will carry across, and everyone ends up happy.

And you guys say that's a GOOD thing? Funny.

And you DON’T think it’s a good thing? Funny.

What else is destroyed in D&D next, I wonder? Oh yeah, it's not D&D, I forgot, it's W&D (Wizards&Dragons), cause it sure as heck ain't the D&D I know for the 12 years I've played it. Enjoy your MMORPG on paper folks.

You see these things as destroyed, but most of us don’t. You have an edition of D&D that you are apparently perfectly happy with, and no one here is showing up to mock you and your “crappy Edition”. You have perfection, I guess, but still aren’t satisfied with that?

4th Edition IS the new D&D, get over it.


Actually, it seems to me that they were pretty clear you can only take a 2nd class.

Quote #1:

There are two restrictions on your choice of a class-specific multiclass feat. First, you can’t take a multiclass feat for your own class. 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.

Quote #2:

At 11th level, you can choose to forgo your paragon path in order to further specialize in a second class.

That sounds like you only get one class plus a single multiclass option. You can then forego your "prestige class" aka Paragon path to get even more 2nd regular class abilities. Not that you can somehow get a third class.

Anyway, I guess I am just dense. I can't tell what my character would be able to do as a Lvl 10 Fighter with the Arcanist multiclassing feat that the fighter alone can't. Apparently I get Arcana as a skill and get 1 spell? And the option to spend feats to get more spells instead of fighter attack powers?

What am I missing that everyone is raving about? Like I said in my earlier post, I can't tell how wizardy a Fighter (wizard) actually is...


Razz wrote:
I have a another who has a Ranger 11/Fighter 1/Shadowdancer 2/Tempest 4. He's a ranger of Mielikki, who slowed advancement in his path to learn new fighting techniques, was stranded on the Plane of Shadow and developed shadow-abilities upon returning to the Material Plane (hence the Shadowdancer levels) and is becoming a two-weapon fighting master (through Tempest) beyond what other two-weapon fighters could accomplish. He's known as the Ranger of the Shadows, able to hide as if he were invisible and even in plain sight within dark areas. I can go on, but you get the point.
Antioch wrote:


So...ranger with some rogue powers and that ranger paragon path that makes you better with two weapons? Perhaps a ranger/rogue with a paragon path centered around a shadow-theme. Again, how can anyone tell that you dont have that one stupid fighter level? I would daresay that this would be dipping.

Don't forget your Epic Destiny. In the Epic Destiny 3.5 article, there was indeed a shadowdancer-like class ... You could be a Ranger multiclass Fighter, with the two weapon PP and the likely shadowdancer Epic Destiny. That's actually a pretty cool combo Razz!

Cheers! :)


But what would it actually do that Ranger/Ranger 2WF PP/shadowy epic destiny didn't do? Get to place a mark 1/encounter?


Timothy Mallory wrote:
But what would it actually do that Ranger/Ranger 2WF PP/shadowy epic destiny didn't do? Get to place a mark 1/encounter?

Well, the PP and ED offer varying abilities, but they're not really the point, the multiclassing is.

A Ranger multiclassing as Fighter would get +1 to hit and the ability to Mark one enemy 1/encounter. He'd also get to choose from the Fighter's skill training. Finally, he would now qualify for Fighter Feats/PPs. So he could now use Weapon Specialization, to use a 3E example.

Without a full power list, it is difficult to really demonstrate how the further multiclassing would work, though, so let's switch out example.

A Fighter multiclassed to Wizard would gain training in Arcana, opening up a couple of minor arcane abilities, as well as the ability to pick an at-will Wizard ability as a per-encounter. One of the at-wills Wizards get is a small AE fire attack, and that would likely be useful for a Fighter build. With another feat I could trade a Fighter encounter/utility/daily power for a Wizard. This means I could gain the ability to cast Fly or Greater Invisibility, Wall of Ice or Prismatic Spray, Blur or Mirror Image. Because the feats allow me to repick my traded ability every level, I can always have an effective power. Note that at most I only get four per-encounter powers from classes, so getting one of them from my multiclass strongly affects the number of options available per encounter.

Also, now that I can take feats that require Wizard, I can take the Paragon tier Golden Wyvern Adept, giving me the ability to shape AEs. Now I can just drop an AE on myself if I get surrounded.

Does that help any?


So basically our fighter-wizard is a fighter with a spell or maybe a couple spells if he gives up some of his attack powers? That was the impression I got from reading the post, but the way folks were talking about how great this was, I figured I was missing something.

Its probably pretty balanced, but I guess I'm gonna need to see the full range of options before I could say its actually interesting. Book of Nine Swords fighters could get melee attacks that did elemental AoEs or let them fly, so if the fighter powers in 4e include such things it may be less useful than it appears.

Can you change out your chosen regular class powers the way you can your multiclassed ones? Because that seems to be the main benefit so far. Otherwise, it sounds like we are talking about a fighter with a little flavor rather than a proper fighter-wizard. It doesn't sound like he could even pretend to fill the wizard's role in the party the way a multiclassed character can (and yes, I know a F5/W5 is a lot better at subbing for the F10 than the W10, but you could...)


Timothy Mallory wrote:

So basically our fighter-wizard is a fighter with a spell or maybe a couple spells if he gives up some of his attack powers? That was the impression I got from reading the post, but the way folks were talking about how great this was, I figured I was missing something.

Its probably pretty balanced, but I guess I'm gonna need to see the full range of options before I could say its actually interesting. Book of Nine Swords fighters could get melee attacks that did elemental AoEs or let them fly, so if the fighter powers in 4e include such things it may be less useful than it appears.

Can you change out your chosen regular class powers the way you can your multiclassed ones? Because that seems to be the main benefit so far. Otherwise, it sounds like we are talking about a fighter with a little flavor rather than a proper fighter-wizard. It doesn't sound like he could even pretend to fill the wizard's role in the party the way a multiclassed character can (and yes, I know a F5/W5 is a lot better at subbing for the F10 than the W10, but you could...)

There are a few things to keep in mind.

First, I believe the Martial exploits won't be as overtly magical as some of the ones in Bo9S, although Paragon+ tier will likely push the limit hard (and no one really knows what Epic is like).

Second, could a multiclass Fighter sub for a Wizard? Sure, although he wouldn't be as strong at it. However I think the big gain from multiclassing will be finding synergies with the abilities of your first class. A Wizard multiclassing Warlord to help setup favorable AE attacks. A Rogue multiclassing Wizard to gain Greater Invisibility, or Fly.

Third, you can upgrade your powers as you level, but not as often as your multiclass abilities, I *think*. This area is kind of fuzzy, but my reading of the Tiers preview would suggest that you can switch around your base class powers whenever you gain new powers, while your multiclass powers seem changable per level.

Fourth, a lot of a Wizard's functionality comes from the area that will be now covered by Rituals in 4E. Using a Ritual requires a feat, which Wizards and Clerics start with. Even a charater without Wizard training can take it, though, so it's pretty divorced from the multiclass system.

Finally, the multiclass article states you can forgo taking a Paragon Path to instead more deeply multiclass. While the article didn't state precisely how that works, we know exactly what a Paragon Path gives. If those abilities were instead replaced by abilites from your multiclass, you'd gain some further class features, an at-will power, an encounter (and I think a daily? I'd have to go look at the PP article again ...)

Since your character's powers in large part define his capabilities, the option to take choices outside of his standard list of powers opens up a large amount of versatility.

Cheers! :)


Right. I don't think multiclassing is useless in 4e or anything of the sort. But I don't see how (other than using your paragon path on it) that its going to be anything like an earlier edition multiclass in terms of your effectiveness in the 2nd class. But we need to see more information to really tell. I don't think this particular excerpt is as useful or comprehensive as some of the others.

There's a lot of things we don't know. Is a Fighter (wizard) better at using magical rituals than a Fighter (assuming they both take the ritual feat)? How expensive is spending the feats on power swaps in terms of lost abilities? Overall, feats sound a lot weaker but more plentiful in 4e so it may be cost effective. But it still sounds to get more wizard stuff than the base multiclass gives you, you have to give up a "free" fighter power AND a feat for each wizard power. Since the whole idea is that powers across the classes are pretty equal in power, you definitely need to get some good synergy out of it to justify the cost of a feat.

How many class specific feats are there? Do items still have class based restrictions? That would be a huge benefit to multiclassing, if so. A wizard or cleric multiclass feat would (in 3e) open up a huge range of wands and the like, as well as some scrolls.

This multiclassing system seems to have some potential, but its a lot more limited than 3e and I'm not seeing how its better for the cleric/wizards than the old. It seems to me to be a lot closer to Fighter9/Wizard 1 in effect than Fighter5/Wizard5.

But like I said, this excerpt isn't detailed enough to tell; there is too much left to guesswork at this point. So we'll have to wait and see.


I totally agree that without the full list of feats and powers, it is pretty difficult to judge the effectiveness of 4E's multiclassing. Besides the article, we have a few designers/playtesters who have said it's really good, but first hand accounts don't take you very far around here.

I do think you're wrong re: all powers being balanced vs other powers. All classes are supposed to be balanced, and while that does take into account the powers they get, I'd think that not all powers will be equal, and certainly not in all situations.

Sure you have to lose a Fighter power, but if it is one you didn't like much, and you are replacing it with a Wizard power that seems extremely useful well ...

Cheers! :)

PS: I think we're getting a preview article on Rituals at some point, but am unsure. So far we know that you can either get a one-use copy (a ritual scroll) or a more permanent version (a ritual book). Beyond that I'm unsure if we know anything concrete.


David Marks wrote:


I do think you're wrong re: all powers being balanced vs other powers. All classes are supposed to be balanced, and while that does take into account the powers they get, I'd think that not all powers will be equal, and certainly not in all situations.

Sure you have to lose a Fighter power, but if it is one you didn't like much, and you are replacing it with a Wizard power that seems extremely useful well ...

Well, its not literally possible to have all the powers balanced against each other precisely. If you can give up your paladin's Remove Disease ability for a Rogue's Sneak Attack that's a no brainer. :P But the idea in 4e seems to be they are pretty close, especially the attacks.

Also, aren't you supposed to have a pretty wide range of choices each time you get a new power? Hopefully you won't hate all your level 12 choices..

I just wonder if a Fighter(wizard) is going to feel like a fighter with an odd power or two or actually feel like a fighter-mage.


I believe you'll have roughly 4~8 choices everytime you select a power. Being able to choose from 8~16 choices seems pretty good to me.

Once the system is out and we're really able to sink our teeth in, hopefully I'll be able to give you an answer though!

Cheers! :)

Edit: Note, I meant 8~16 since you used a feat to gain the ability to pick from another classes list ...


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

I'm one of the people who really dislike the gist of this multiclassing. For one thing, as far as I can tell from the Paragon Path excerpt and the multiclassing exerpt, you can actually never take another class.

The multiclassing excerpt says that you can take feats to allow you to take powers from another class. Even the "paragon path swap" doesn't allow you to take another class, it again just allows you to take powers from another class. Although the majority of the interesting stuff of a class is the powers, that's not all of it. As we saw in the warlord excerpt, there are also class abilities, and as far as we can see so far, unless you take the class at 1st level, you can never access that class' non-power abilities.

Now, rebuilding rules will probably help some, but that's replacing class A with class B.

As a chronic multiclasser, I really don't like these rules. For one thing, I'm not a "dipper" (which these rules are great at), but often more of a blender, which from everything I see here, just doesn't fit. Just to use a classic example of the fighter/wizard - with the 4e multiclassing rules, you can either be a fighter that dabbles in wizardy, or a wizard that dabbles in fighting, but you can't really be a blend of both (without using a ton of feats, or waiting until 11th level apparently).

Now in 3e, non-spellcaster combinations work very nicely (like fighter/rogue for example). I'll admit that spellcaster multiclassing in 3e sucks (which led to the mystic theurge style PrClasses that are just band-aids and not solutions). But I also think the problem is fixable without going as far as 4e (and am working on a possible solution just for kicks, but I've tried a few that have helped easily).

With 4e, if you really want a blended class, apparently you need a new class like the swordmage. However, for dippers, I agree that these rules look really nice. But for blenders like myself, they don't appear very appealing. Of course, I'll wait until I see the full rules, but from the excerpt I couldn't help but think "THIS is what they call multiclassing?" And, no, I'm not just trying to min/max a cleric/monk/barbarian/death toaster - I just like to blend archetypes. :)

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