Musings on Multiclassing


Pathfinder First Edition General Discussion


Essentially, when you start out the game as a level 1 whatever, you start as if you have had some prior training in that field; that's how you picked up those level one class traits. If you decide to multiclass then you get level 1 class traits in your new class as if you've had some prior training in it. So, I've been a ranger for the last few levels, but I've been taking that mail order course in sorcery...

The exception to this is the oracle class. Nobody says, "Hmmmmm... I think I'll study to be an oracle." No, you're walking down the street, minding your own business and some deity looks down and says, "I need a representative in the world. He'll do." True, an oracle can justify having all those oracle powers all of the sudden, but those first one or two multiclassed levels of oracle have got to take some getting used to.

Barbarians are stranger still. Not only does someone suddenly acquire rage powers, but at some point in their life they said, "It's been fun being a regular fighter, but I think I'll give the barbarian lifestyle a shot." OK, the regular fighter to barbarian move is an easy one to justify, the cleric to barbarian move not so much.

And what about gun slingers? Not only has my druid been taking the mail order course in gun slinging, but when nobody was looking he was making a gun. Or maybe he just woke up one morning and it was under his pillow. Where does the gun come from if you decide to multiclass into gun slinger?

[Not meant to be serious questions, complaints, and/or criticisms - just something I think about when I have too much time on my hands.]

Contributor

Interesting points.

I'm playing my first multiclassed character ever in over three decades of gaming right now, and I knew going in what I wanted him to be (a Guide Ranger/Archivist Bard-->aiming at Pathfinder Delver), so I built his backstory to support having elements of that "prior training" you mention for both his base classes and his ultimate prestige class.

Shadow Lodge

I set up a character to be a bonded witch / gunslinger. Went around with the free pistol and a holstered piece of parts that vaguely resembled a pistol, and the character would mess with it in her downtime. When she got enough money to afford the second pistol, she "bought" it by finally getting the parts working. And it then became her bonded weapon. (Since society characters don't get bonded firearms for free). The pile of parts was given to her by her witch patron (Groetus).

Ended up dropping the bonded part, as the rules for a bonded weapon don't work with dipping. But it's still how she gets her second gun.

Shadow Lodge

I have avoided the idea of multiclassing until recently in our RotRL campaign.

Spoiler:
My barbarian was smart enough to drink the Waters of Lamashtu and fail his save.

I decided that he liked what happened to his body and he secretly started worshiping Lamashtu, thinking of ways to twist his body for even more strength.

I ended up leaving the Barb 2 first levels and will now go straight alchemist (rage chemist). The story presented a legit opportunity for multiclassing and I went for it once I determined that it may be feasible and fun to play.


I suppose it depends on how you view your character. Lately I've been making characters with a concept in mind. Sometimes this creates situations where multiclassing is the best way to achieve the concept. In this case the character is the focus, while the classes are mostly trasperent in the background. Some classes are more in the forefron than others, so there are cases where this works better than others.

This can also come up for other things in Pathfinder, because it's level based IMO. The other cases involve skills, feats and class features. Sometimes it's hard to explain the sudden aquisition of these things.


3 people marked this as a favorite.

I'll just leave this here. It should prove relevant.


I'm playing a Nagaji Paladin and a 4th going to multiclass into sorcerer for 2 levels then go Dragon Disciple. My story is that her paladin-ness and her spellcasting (which will be gained at the same level a paladin normally would) are inherent from her silver dragon ancestor, and her scales show it.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber
Darigaaz the Igniter wrote:
I'm playing a Nagaji Paladin and a 4th going to multiclass into sorcerer for 2 levels then go Dragon Disciple. My story is that her paladin-ness and her spellcasting (which will be gained at the same level a paladin normally would) are inherent from her silver dragon ancestor, and her scales show it.

It's a fairly common combination.


I liked the 3.0 option of starting with two level zero classes so you were already multiclassed at start of the game.
With the next levelup you got the full first level in both classes.


Umbranus wrote:

I liked the 3.0 option of starting with two level zero classes so you were already multiclassed at start of the game.

With the next levelup you got the full first level in both classes.

Aagh. People actually used that?!


Actually, the exception would also be the Sorcerer.

Sorcerer wrote:
Scions of innately magical bloodlines, the chosen of deities, the spawn of monsters, pawns of fate and destiny, or simply flukes of fickle magic, sorcerers look within themselves for arcane prowess and draw forth might few mortals can imagine.

Do you have magic in your blood? If no, you suck and stay whatever it is you are. /evil sorcerer bent on oppressing the people not with magical blood

--
Also the diety may not only be "I need a representitive."

Oracle wrote:
Although the gods work through many agents, perhaps none is more mysterious than the oracle. These divine vessels are granted power without their choice, selected by providence to wield powers that even they do not fully understand. Unlike a cleric, who draws her magic through devotion to a deity, oracles garner strength and power from many sources, namely those patron deities who support their ideals. Instead of worshiping a single source, oracles tend to venerate all of the gods that share their beliefs. While some see the powers of the oracle as a gift, others view them as a curse, changing the life of the chosen in unforeseen ways.

--

BARBARIAN JUST GET MAD!!! REAL MAD!! GRAAAAAAAAAAH RAGELANCEPOUNCE!!!! I SUDDENLY HAVE ANGER ISSUES!!!!
--
Generally not too hard to make something up (wizard? I was studying that bad guy's spell book. Paladin? Some people just want to see the world flourish. Fighter? ... You probably were just bored one day when you were swinging a stick around.


Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Of all the classes, the following are probably the easiest (from a roleplaying standpoint) to multiclass into:

Fighter - Focused training in combat techniques is pretty much all that's needed.

Oracle - As mentioned, the gods (or unnamed forces) choose oracles. It's not necessarily something that a character trains for.

Sorcerer - Bloodlines can spontaneously "activate" after a character has already started adulthood. The character's powers are something they inherit; training is often not necessary.

Summoner - All that's required is a pact with an outsider. Some limited research is assumed to initially make contact and establish the pact.

Witch - Requires a pact with a patron, who grants a familiar to teach spell knowledge and the power to use hexes. A bit more research and training is required, but can easily be handled "off-stage."

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber

I solve these statements by treating the class features a character has as the representation of their skills, and not defining how they got them.

What does a +1 to hit mean?

It could mean you have training in a weapon. (Weapon Focus)
It could mean you have the high ground. (Height bonus to hit)
It could mean your bard is inspiring you in battle. (Inspire Courage)

By the same token, how you came to get that bonus could be a whole laundry list of things. Your sorcerer might not have any non-human blood in him, but got hit by a meteorite that changed him. Your fighter might be a street rat that learned how to fight with blood sweat and tears. Your bard might be a politician who works magic with words alone.

There is a lot about this game that is abstract. Find the level of abstraction that suits your versimilitude and run with it.


This is part of the reason my GM requires us to actually meet and have a bit of time to train and learn the basics of a class with an NPC (or PC if they're the class we want to multiclass into).

So my level 6 Monk (who I'm multiclassing after level 8) has hired an Alchemist who stays with the caravan in places we've already made safe and teaches alchemy to him on the side.


Alitan wrote:
Umbranus wrote:

I liked the 3.0 option of starting with two level zero classes so you were already multiclassed at start of the game.

With the next levelup you got the full first level in both classes.
Aagh. People actually used that?!

I used it with several PCs. Why? I liked it.

I really was a bit disappointed that there wasn't an option for that in PF.


Delthyn wrote:
I'll just leave this here. It should prove relevant.

This One Time...At Bard Camp....

Rynjin wrote:

This is part of the reason my GM requires us to actually meet and have a bit of time to train and learn the basics of a class with an NPC (or PC if they're the class we want to multiclass into).

So my level 6 Monk (who I'm multiclassing after level 8) has hired an Alchemist who stays with the caravan in places we've already made safe and teaches alchemy to him on the side.

Back in prior editions, Training for Levels in general was done in some of the games I played (some I ran, some others ran)in levels of the same class, let alone multiclassing. Money & Time was needed to advance.

Of course, that was back when we had WAY more time to play/plan than we knew what to do with ;-)

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