Newbie question about multiclassing, please help!


Rules Questions

Dark Archive

Hi guys, I’m a complete newbie at 3.5 and have a question about multiclassing which I hope hasn’t been asked a dozen times already. In the new hardcover core rulebook, the multiclassing section of the “Classes” chapter states:

“He adds all of the hit points, base attack bonuses, and saving throw bonuses from a 1st-level wizard on top of those gained from being a 5th-level fighter.”

My confusion is this: I assumed, from looking at the class advancement charts, that base attack bonuses and saving throws were set at the specific level and did not “add”. For example, looking at the fighter, it says that the 1st level base attack bonus is +1 and the 2nd level B.A.B. is +2. I just assumed that this meant that the B.A.B. becomes +2 at 2nd level, NOT that you add the +2 to the +1 for a 2nd level B.A.B. of +3.

Am I reading the progression charts wrong? According to the multiclassing rules, you add these bonuses together from level to level.

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Charter Superscriber

In the specific example (Fighter 5 about to become Fighter 5/Wizard1), you would add to the BAB of +5 (from Fighter 5) the BAB for a Wizard 1 (+0) getting a BAB for the Ftr5/Wiz1 of +5.

Hope that helps.

Dark Archive

Franz Lunzer wrote:

In the specific example (Fighter 5 about to become Fighter 5/Wizard1), you would add to the BAB of +5 (from Fighter 5) the BAB for a Wizard 1 (+0) getting a BAB for the Ftr5/Wiz1 of +5.

Hope that helps.

Well, again my confusion stems from the fact that they are telling me to ADD these bonuses, throwing me off in regards to how it applies to progression in general, not just multiclassing. If you add the bonuses, wouldn't the 2nd level fighter (just a fighter, no other classes) have a B.A.B. of +3 instead of +2? Do you add for multiclassing ONLY and not for same-class progression? I'm sorry, I'm so confused.

RPG Superstar 2010 Top 32

What Franz said. You were reading it right. :)

RPG Superstar 2010 Top 32

A single-classed character doesn't add anything. The chart is what he gets. His BAB is +1 at 1st level, +2 at 2nd level, +3 at 3rd level, etc; basically his BAB is the same as his level.

The reason the "+" is there is because that's what BAB is: a bonus. You "add" that number to your attack rolls.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Companion, Pathfinder Accessories, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
sigilwraith wrote:
Franz Lunzer wrote:

In the specific example (Fighter 5 about to become Fighter 5/Wizard1), you would add to the BAB of +5 (from Fighter 5) the BAB for a Wizard 1 (+0) getting a BAB for the Ftr5/Wiz1 of +5.

Hope that helps.

Well, again my confusion stems from the fact that they are telling me to ADD these bonuses, throwing me off in regards to how it applies to progression in general, not just multiclassing. If you add the bonuses, wouldn't the 2nd level fighter (just a fighter, no other classes) have a B.A.B. of +3 instead of +2? Do you add for multiclassing ONLY and not for same-class progression? I'm sorry, I'm so confused.

No, you don't. For standard classes, your level in that class on the class table represents what you have at that level, not what you get (The exception is special abilities like Channel Energy which are not repeated as it would be a lot of space used). If it didn't, as you point out, Fighters would have a BAB of +110 by 20th level

When you multiclass, you get the abilities of both classes at the level you have in each class. So, a fighter/wizard 5/1 has all the abilities of a 5th level fighter from the fighter table and a 1st level wizard added together. This means that things like BAB and saves do add together, but when you advance you effectively overwrite your existing numbers with the new ones, so if you take a fighter4 level you get 6th fighter row+1st wizard row.

Hope that's made things clearer.


Franz means that you look for all statistics in fighter lvl 5 row (BAB +5) and add for that all that are in wizard lvl 1 row (BAB +0), so you get that BAB +5 for fighter 5/wizard 1. (You dont add fighter lvl 1 + lvl 2 etc.. just look at right row).

(and do same to saves etc.)

Hope this helps.

RPG Superstar 2010 Top 32

To elaborate, you were correct that the bonuses and such for each level are set and do not "add" to the previous level.

As a multiclass wizard/fighter, what you do is find your wizard level on the chart (1st in that case), figure out what your save and BAB bonuses are, and write them down. Then find your fighter level on the chart (5th in that case), figure out what your save and BAB bonuses are, and write them down.

Then, as a multiclassed character, you add those two sums together to get your total bonuses.

If you then take another wizard level, you start the process over: find out what the saves and BAB are for a SECOND level wizard, and add THAT to your 5 fighter levels. But you're still only adding two numbers.

Unless, of course, you take a third class. ;)
Does that help?

Dark Archive

Hydro wrote:

A single-classed character doesn't add anything. The chart is what he gets. His BAB is +1 at 1st level, +2 at 2nd level, +3 at 3rd level, etc; basically his BAB is the same as his level.

The reason the "+" is there is because that's what BAB is: a bonus. You "add" that number to your attack rolls.

Thanks guys, I sincerely appreciate the help. Yes, I get that you add the number to your attack roll. I guess I was justgetting confused because a single-class character doesn't stack his bonuses (just takes the new level's bonus) while multi-classing characters get to stack any new bonuses... still a little confusing but I guess it'll all work itself out.

Thanks again for taking the time to help a total 3.5 rookie.

EDIT to say: Ya know what? Now that I read all the posts, it seems like nothing could be simpler. Thanks to all! I'm a little bit embarrassed now... the simple little word "add" in the multiclassing section threw my mind into a needless tizzy.


If it would give further help, there is a kind of "progression" for determining BAB for a class.

The Barbarian, Fighter, Paladin, and Ranger have a BAB that starts at +1 and increases by 1 at each level. (1xlevel = BAB)

The Bard, Cleric, Druid, Monk, and Rogue have a BAB that starts at +0 (really +.75), and go up at a rate of 3/4 (75%) of a full BAB increase. This means that they have a +1.5 BAB at 2nd level (rounded down to a +1) and so forth. (.75xlevel [round down] = BAB)

The Sorcerer and Wizard have a BAB that starts at +0, goes up to a +1 at 2nd level, then increases by 1 point every two levels, essentially getting a +.5 increase to BAB each level. (.5xlevel [round down] = BAB)

However, since the game doesn't use fractional BAB, you end up rounding the number down to a whole number.

Saves are similar, with a Good save starting at 2, and increasing at every even level; and Poor saves starting at +0, and increasing at every level divisible by 3.

Community / Forums / Pathfinder / Pathfinder First Edition / Rules Questions / Newbie question about multiclassing, please help! All Messageboards

Want to post a reply? Sign in.