How to justify multiclassing trained classes?


Pathfinder First Edition General Discussion

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Scarab Sages

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Marius Castille wrote:

GMs who expect some type of rationale for multi-classing may wish to let their players know ahead of time. Players should also consider that GMs may have more reasons than just enforcing their vision/and or stifling their creative impulses.

For example, I played in a homebrew game with an old school GM. I knew early on that my character was going for eldritch knight. The GM originally hadn't incorporated EKs into his campaign so he made a paladin-like order that my character could join (my PC was lawful good and I had described his bonded weapon as once belonging to his grandmother, a famed eldritch knight). The other PCs were asked to speak on my PC's behalf and I got to roleplay through a solemn, sacred induction ceremony when I took my first EK level. It was one of the highlights of the game for me and a milestone in my PC's career.

I had a player interested in taking Stonelord (the 3.5 Prestige class, not the PF archetype) as their next level.

Before then, she was killed, but was owed a favour from her dwarf clan, so they offered to raise her.
The official RAW Stonelord initiation involved a ritual burial, and exhumation, so I merged that into the raise dead ritual, and she was buried, they held a memorial service, then dug her up and levelled up, in the same day.

Paizo Employee Organized Play Developer

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This should explain everything.


In my gaming circles, training is required to pick up a new class. The requirement may be waived for specific "gonzo" campaigns.

My own house rules on multl

1. Prior to character generation, see if I am using a class, archetype or other class archetype that might allow you to play your hybrid concept at first level if it reflects your character's initial background and training. This includes swapping urban/wilderness skills per the D&D 3e Cityscape Web Enhancment

(Note: This option is intended to help create traditional (i.e., "classic") fantasy archetypes from literature that should be playable at first level, but require multi-classing and/or PrCs to accomplish. Examples include Martial Rogues, Wilderness Rogues, Swashbucklers

(Note: Certain class or archetype availability may be limited to specific cultures)

2. If your first level character does not qualify for the above, there is 0/0 level multi-classing at first level per 3.0 DMG.

3. If you decide to have your character pick up another class after first level:
1. Your character needs a trainer, to convince the person to train them and time to dedicate to training (no adventuring). Certain classes may be restricted to certain cultures so you will need to go there.

2. If you choose to learn while adventuring and another party member is willing to help you in free time:
a. Multi-classing does not the armor and weapon proficiencies of the new class Your character have to acquire them through appropriate feats (including class bonus feats)
b. Multi-classing does not grant the new class's good saves. Your character has to the appropriate save feats.
c. You will have to meet prerequisites
example 1) Can't cast arcane spells and want to pick up 1st level in wizard? You must take an Arcane Apprentice feat granting the ability to cast 3 0-level spells before multi-classing into Wizard. It has a pre-requisite of Int 10 and Spellcraft: 1 rank
example 2) Can't cast divine spells and want to multi-class into cleric? you must take a Divine Initiate ability to cast 3 cantrips. The prerequistes are Wis 10 and Knowledge (Religion): 1 rank
d. Under option 5, your first level in the new class can be an archetype or involve swapping urban/wilderness class skills (dependent upon your background and/or the person training you)


When I played my EK, I took my first level as wizard and (for background reasons) chose Martial Weapon Proficiency (longsword) as one of my first level feats. The GM was kind enough to let me swap that feat for Weapon Focus when I took my first fighter level.

It would've been a tougher sell had I suddenly decided to play an EK after 5 levels of wizard (instead of planning it from character creation). I do understand the temptation though. Ultimate Magic came out after we'd been playing for a bit and the Magus looked really shiny . . .

I'd wager that spontaneous multiclassing is less of an issue for groups running adventure paths than groups playing heavily modded APs or homebrew settings.


Marius Castille wrote:

When I played my EK, I took my first level as wizard and (for background reasons) chose Martial Weapon Proficiency (longsword) as one of my first level feats. The GM was kind enough to let me swap that feat for Weapon Focus when I took my first fighter level.

It would've been a tougher sell had I suddenly decided to play an EK after 5 levels of wizard (instead of planning it from character creation). I do understand the temptation though. Ultimate Magic came out after we'd been playing for a bit and the Magus looked really shiny . . .

Doing something like switching to EK without planning it from the start has got to be pretty rare: If nothing else you'd really want a different stat spread than a pure wizard would.


There are many records about people having head injuries which later "unlock" a talent of some kind of news all the time. Adventurers are going to have their head smashed often so nothing sounds abnormal here.


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I don't worry about at my table. It's a game and doesn't need some justification for multi-classing.


You could always start putting single skill points into key skills for that class. Or start taking appropriate feats to show your heading towards it before things finally click, then use the retrain options to shift those unless you can get your GM to agree to doing it for free.


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You could make available the apprentice level rules from a couple of third party publishers for players who know that their characters are going to multiclass from the beginning. Those rules would help reflect the case where their first level is a tonded down version of the first level abilities of two classes.

To justify cases where characters pick up levels later, you could use the theory of adventurer synergy -- it it much easier for an experienced adventurer (anyone with one or more levels in PC core or base classes) to learn the basics of a new class than for a commoner or member of another NPC class to do so. Commoners generally require years to retrain a single commoner level into a PC class level, but adventurers can generally pick up a level in any class once they earn sufficient experience. The major hurdle is reaching the point where you can reasonably gain experience and levels at a fast pace.


David knott 242 wrote:

You could make available the apprentice level rules from a couple of third party publishers for players who know that their characters are going to multiclass from the beginning.\

Any idea where I can find these, I'm interested in seeing these rules.


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The Indescribable wrote:
David knott 242 wrote:

You could make available the apprentice level rules from a couple of third party publishers for players who know that their characters are going to multiclass from the beginning.\

Any idea where I can find these, I'm interested in seeing these rules.

Do a search for "Apprentice" in "Products". Super Genius Games and Tricky Owlbear are the publishers that have products on that subject.

The Exchange

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I usually leave it up to the player to come up with a justification. And it's not easy, for the trained classes. But then, the whole level system is terribly granular and should not be examined too closely from an in-game perspective. Multi-classing isn't different, just more extreme...

Bard: Ahh, what a refreshing mid-afternoon rest in the middle of a dungeon! I learned two new languages, three new spells, and became a breakdancer!
Barbarian: Krunk master personal pronouns! I mean... I mastered personal pronouns! And became an expert horseman despite never having gone near a horse.
Druid who just took a level of Inquisitor: And I had a religious experience, adopted a deity, became an expert at reading peoples' intentions, became proficient in bows, and learned how to turn my religious intolerance into super-powers!


Well, the whole levelling system is abstracted. Why would you try to "unabstract" it just for multiclassing? A wizard doesn't have to declare that he's researching so-so spell for the next level up. It's assumed that he's researching spells. A lot of this game is based around assumption.


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Schrodinger's Training; the state of your training is in a state of quantum uncertainty until you earn your level and decide what, exactly, your character has been training in all this time. This applies to all class training, both in your existing classes, and also, potentially, training any and every other class (including prestige classes you could potentially qualify for). It applies to skill points and feats as well.


Umbranus wrote:
If we start this we could go back to leveling only in cities with trainers and when no trainer is to be found you can't level up. That's too much hassle for me and just burdens down the game.

YES! I hated that with a white hot fervor.

Look, Adventuring takes maybe an hour a day. Just assume they are "training" the other 15 hours. You assume they eat, drink, and excrete, right?

The Exchange

So that's why my PCs keep dying of dehydration!!


Lincoln Hills wrote:
So that's why my PCs keep dying of dehydration!!

Not to mention the very bad constipation.... ;-)


I wonder what would happen if this principal of "training" applies to other areas of the game.

Player: Ok, I'll up my Knowledge(Local), Perception, and Stealth this level.
GM: Well, Perception and Stealth are OK, but you haven't been near any kind of library or any decent place to study up on local information so you can't take a skill rank in Knowledge(local).
Player: WhAT!?
GM: You never mentioned once that you were doing any kind of local knowledge study
Player: Why should I need to?
GM: What, do you think this kind of thing just appears out of thin air? It's not a class skill for you so I can't just presume you've been learning it as part of your class training. So pick either a class skill or something you've explicitly stated you're studying.
Player: ಠ_ಠ


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sgriobhadair wrote:
The original AD&D allowed for dual-classed characters - they had all the abilities of both classes - with both classes at the same level, and average hit points from the two classes, but required twice the number of experience points in order to level up. So, they could be very powerful initially, but over time lagged behind the rest of the party in hit points and level gains.

Back in AD&D 1st Ed, there were two ways to multi-class...

Multi-classed characters (demi-humans only: dwarf, elf, gnome, half-elf, half-orc, halfling) could start out as level 1/1 in their two classes (or level 1/1/1 in three classes). Their XP were evenly divided between the two (or three) classes. Since XP required to advance generally increased geometrically, a multi-classed character was generally a level or two behind single-classed characters. (Or 2-3 levels behind for triple-classed characters.) At each level, the character got half (or a third) of the hit points of the class in question. Different classes had different advancement paces, so it was possible for the XP split to result in differing class levels. Demi-humans usually had a maximum level they could reach for a particular class; multi-classing allowed them to advance for longer.

The other way to take two classes was to dual-class. (Mostly this was an option for humans). A dual-classed character advanced as a single class until he decided to switch. At that point, the player needed to start recording XP anew for the new class. While the new class had a lower level than the old class, the character received half normal XP, and the character was restricted from using any of the class abilities of the old class. (Indeed, using abilities of the old class would result in 0 XP award for that adventure.) Only when the new class equalled the level of the old one could the character freely use the abilities of the old class; the XP award returned to full. This was a one-way street: Once you abandoned a class to take up a new one, you could never return to it. (The original bard class required dual-classing: you needed levels of fighter and thief before you could take bard levels. This was the inspiration for prestige classes in Third Edition.)

[And now I return to the Old Timer Community Thread...]

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