When is it worth it to multiclass?


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So I've been doing some theorycrafting on builds for our Rise of the Runelords campaign, and the more I build I seem to feel like multiclassing is almost never worth it compared to whatever the appropriate archetype is for your build. For example, looking at a two handed fighter at 20th level, versus Bloodrager 1 / Twohanded Fighter 5 / Sentinel 6 / Furious Guardian 8, while my flat damage is higher, I lose out on the 19th level capstone of 2H fighter which pretty much guarantees automatic crits, plus a bunch of extra feats. The only real benefit it seems is having higher reflex and will saves.

When I built a mythic vital striker for our wrath of the righteous campaign, I originally built it as Ora 1 / Pal 2 / Rngr 1 / 2H Fighter 6 so I could capitalize on having a high charisma and massive strength score, but the build actually ended up better as a straight Swashbuckler since I could both defend and hit everything with dex, keep a little charisma reliance and still had a lot of really good class features to back it up.

I wanted to replace the same character with a Magus (Eldritch Archer) / Arcane Archer so I wasn't just a damage machine. The split between dex, int and str was too much of a burden, my spellcasting took a hit and demons were resistant or immune to all my damage, so instead I rolled up a straight cleric, got wisdom to hit/damage with mythic guided hand, and still had fantastic spell power to back it up with on the utility front.

So far my experience in pathfinder is that there is almost always a better option than multiclassing to do what you want to do, unless what you want to do is explicitly done by multiclassing (Mystic Theurge, for example). The rules inherently punish it with the exception of a few things like the half-elf's multitalented trait and the Magical Knack trait.

So I have to ask, when is it actually worth it to multiclass?

I've never been one to multiclass much, and I do it less as the years go by so my advice may not be helpful to you. I apologize for my boldness, but four classes in 10 levels seems desperate to me. It sounds like you badly want to multiclass but are finding your results unsatisfying. As an experiment, try playing a character from 1st level and sticking with a single class. You might also find that unsatisfying, but it could give you your own alternate point of view when deciding when it is worth it to multiclass.

If neither approach is making you happy, then I suggest adding more focus on making a character that is fun to play regardless of its class or classes. This is not a suggestion to instigate an argument between role-play and roll-play. A character that you enjoy RPing who is also mechanically strong can be a reality, but does require work on your part in both arenas.

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When they Payoff is better than sticking it out.

Also when your a DM/GM building foes. (Since they are only around for a single fight)

For example:

A DM wants a Level 6 NPC/Villian to throw at the party. So he makes something like Wild Child Brawler 2/Hunter 4. He uses Obscuring mist and puts it on his AC with Scent. He then follows his COmpanion into battle and grabs up Blind-fight to give him advantage in the mist. He uses a Club+Shillelagh+Brawlers Flurry for attacking. While his pet finds the PCs and (If the right companion) Trips, Grabs, or Grapples a PC while attacking.

While this is a very strong combination for that particular Level if it was a PC the combo will slowly just die out to the power creep as the game goes on if it was a PC build. Especially if you have to play through every level.

I have only found in a few cases Multi-classing to be effective in pathfinder:

1: A single Level in Swashbuckler to give a none martial class some fighting ability.
2: after 5 levels of swashbuckler because the class has little pay off after that.
3: After 5 levels of Bolt ace. Due to getting more payoff from other classes that outweigh even it's capstone and all other abilities.
4: 1 Level dip into Brawler (Or Monk...but more so brawler) for IUS, Bypassing 13 Int, and Martial Flexibility. This gives people unarmed fighting prowess they might not have obtained.
5: Master of Many Styles- 1 or 2 levels allows you to apply multiple style feats at 1 time. This is the only class/archetype that will allow you to do so. But is worth it if your playing a character with multiple styles you need up at 1 time.
6: 2 Levels of Paladin- Duh...SAVES!!!!!
7: 1 Oracle (Lore, Nature, Lunar) for CHA to AC and Reflex...worth it only when building a super CHA character. Now your just being super powergamey. But hey sometimes that does not matter.

Also most APs (minus Wrath of the Righteous) do NOT go to 20 so capstones hardly need to be considered.

Multiclassing was mostly a thing for 3.5, Pathfinder is a system that is more designed around classes and archetypes to fill your design needs. And honestly I have come to prefer it that way.

Sovereign Court

Judging by my character stable, all the time.
Typically I find myself multiclassing because I want something that my core class can't provide, even by archetype.

For example, my Alchemist at different times had levels of hunter, barbarian, and Sleepless detective for increased melee offensive power (barbarian rage) or for detect magic (hunter, detective) before settling for lantern of auras and being more support/tank (retrained to full Alchemist at 12). If I was restarting the character, I would probably go with a level of medium to fill both of those needs.

I've also dipped Mesmerist and Brawler to bypass stat requirements. Some dips are to get feats quicker, like my Eldritch guardian fighter dipping UMonk and URogue, or Swashbuckler dipping far strike monk. Others are for unique abilities, like ninja for the cha based Ki Pool, underground Chemist rogue for the ability to treat alchemical items as weapons for quickdraw. Dipping crossblooded sorcerer or Medium for damage. A level of Bloodrager on a Skald to qualify for mad magic, and a bloodline valet familiar to share amplified rage with.

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I'm not much of a fan of builds, but I also allow retraining rules in my campaigns, so players can adjust if they feel like their character build is off track. I always say to build a character that is right for the campaign and follows your vision of how it should evolve. Everything else is irrelevant and don't listen to power gamers and min-maxers saying otherwise.

The factors of Multiclassing
First question is, how much do you care about spellcasting. If the answer is you like it, multiclassing is quite likely not the answer. multiclassed characters work well for Damage/survival.

Once multiclassing is an option you decide.

Biggest factor is, what level are you starting at and how high will you go and how fast will you get there. Lets call this factor TIME.

This factor, TIME, is what will drive the decisions for everything else.

Next factor is GOAL. What is the goal of this build? Multi-classing is only good when it helps you reach a clear goal. If you don't really have a goal then it's likely not worth.

Off of goal is how long it takes to reach your vision. A really good archer requires certain feats. While a good Greatsword requires one. While a feinting TWF build takes A LOT of feats.

So the starting point for everything is staring level, goal, and how many levels to reach the minimum for your goal, and how long it'll take to level. A solo class commoner at lv 15 can have all the feats for a TWF feinting build. So if you start lv15 you don't need to multiclass. If you're starting lv1, and levels aren't every session, your base class and potential to multiclass is set.

So if you're staring lv1 and playing a beatstick then Barbs are king. 1 level of bloodrager and 1 feat can give you a huge combat boost and power attack for all your fights for many if not all levels. So a bloodrager 1 fighter 5 is stronger than fighter 6.

But like OP mentioned, if you're looking at reaching lv20 with any sort of quickness and surety then capstone abilities of a fighter aren't worth giving up.

But the flipside, the capstone of a barbarian isn't all that impressive (personally) So there's a chance that at a certain breakpoint level that dipping out will give you more overall power than finishing barb.

Or when you play and know the highest level is lv6. Suddenly lv6 abilities are now considered the capstone ability. Play PFS where the last level mostly played is 11 and that's your capstone. You can ignore anything that comes online lv12+ cause they don't exist for you.

TLDR: Multiclassing will help in the short term, but not always payoff long term.

Sovereign Court

Pathfinder Card Game, Maps, Starfinder Maps, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

A lot of builds benefit from a single level of Fighter.

But most builds are stronger if single classed.

I multi-class when it feels right for the character as they progress through whatever campaign they are in (If you play PFS, your experience may vary). I don't focus on squeezing every last drop of damage from a character, or worry that if they had gone down this path, rather than that path, they would be marginally better at what they do. I've found that most, if not all, of a character's weaknesses or sub-optimal specialties can be improved and enhanced through magic items.

If it comes down to your character becoming completely useless (I haven't see this happen but, whatever), you can simply retire that character and bring in a new one. Or use retraining options.

Grand Lodge

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The dips I have seen fall into a few categories (these are generalizations there will be acceptations).

Martial dips: Barbarian, bloodarger, swashbuckler, fighter (feats proficiencies), brawler, monk, medium etc.

These are about gaining abilities from front loaded classes. This can be done to broaden what another martial is capable of, increase damage and accuracy and/or to improve a 3/4 BAB classes martial ability especially at low levels.

Value: Martial dips for other full BAB classes are often good trades most melee character can benefit from rage, movement, furious weapons. for 3/4 BAB characters these dips can make a big difference in the melee capability of the character. If the build is not highly dependent on spells and spell DCs these builds may out preform their counterpart non-dipping melee builds.

Caster dips: Exciter, mesmerist, fey sorcerer, crossblooded sorcerer for blasters, etc.

These are used to bring a powerful class feature over to another class to improve spell casting. They are best achieve with prepared casters as it puts them on the acceptable spell progression path of spontaneous casters. Many of the options involve stacking class, and racial features to increase the DCs of spells way above their normal level. Some involve getting spells to affect normally unaffected creatures (mind effecting undead).
Value: These builds are often very strong but more specialized than other 9th level casters. You are still making a 9th level caster but one school of spells is much more powerful than others and you have given up versatility.

Multi-level dips: Druid, monk, gunslinger, eldritch guardian, various tactician (share teamwork feats) architypes, aid another builds, increasing saves, etc.

Some classes and archetypes have very powerful and unique abilities between level 2-5. These often require longer dips to help make a build do something unique. You often give up a lot from both classes to be very good at one or two things. The result is a less powerful less versatile character but a unique build with a gimmick it is great at. Some classes like the druid and monk even have feats to help make dipping less painful.

Value: generally pretty low unless you have your heart set on a concept.

The second sub category are classes like gunslinger. After a certain level you just don't get much from your class so you can grab some fighter levels maybe a level of urban bloodrager to improve your build without losing BAB. If planed well you can also help your saves.

Value: Often better by necessity.

Last prestige class multiclassing: I will let someone else write that as I don't do it often.

Don't forget that a single level dip in any casting class allows you to use wands for all spells for that class. And, what's even better, you can use scrolls from that class's spell list with a caster level check of DC 1+(scroll caster level). Which is a *lot* easier than loading up on UMD.

I'm a big fan of multiclassing--perhaps my favorite character of all time had 10 different classes by level 15.


In general if you don't have a specific plan and know exactly how another class will let you achieve that plan you are better off just sticking to one class.

This is doubly true if you plan on making significant use of a spells.

Adding classes because 'this seems like a cool feature' almost always results in a mechanically weaker character.

Lantern Lodge

I'm with DeathlessOne on this.

When it is right for the character, you won't worry too much about power changes.

That said, for power reasons sometimes multi-classing can be good, but it was much more common back in 3.5. PF has done a good job of not front loading awesome abilities into level one of classes.

For a martial character, multi classing between full BAB classes is often a fine thing to do. But even the plain old fighter has weapon training which scales a little with levels.

Throw in your favored class bonus as well.

On the other side, sometimes you can get some nice synergies between classes, and sometimes a prestige class will demand you multi class first.

Monk is one of the best dips out there.

You get WIS to AC, the ability to always threaten, flurry of blows (which scales with character level), a bonus feat, and Stunning fist which is a fun side trick to have.

That's not taking into account many archetypes that switch some of those out for other things.

If you're playing a Cleric, I would say all of that is worth getting spell levels a level later (putting you on par with an oracle) and having a slightly weaker domain ability.

General rule is, Spellcasters shouldn't multiclass. The spell level hit REALLY requires something good. Prestige Classes provide fun niches.

I normally like Fighter dips for feats if there isn't anything I'd miss. Barbarian is great for a lot of martial classes. +2 attack and damage as a free action.

Dipping into Oracle can give CHA to AC.

In general you dip into classes that don't have a lot of level dependent stuff at first level. This is the most beneficial.

Grand Lodge

@quibblemuch Wand use is one of the best reasons to dip bloodrager over barbarian. But I would not make it a category because for martial types I would only recommend bloodrager and medium dips. Most other classes don't offer enough upfront to make it worth dipping for wand use. But if you can get it take it for sure.

MageHunter wrote:

Monk is one of the best dips out there.

You get WIS to AC, the ability to always threaten, flurry of blows (which scales with character level), a bonus feat, and Stunning fist which is a fun side trick to have.

Also, two levels of monk gets you evasion. Which is just plain sweet in the right circumstances.

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

When is it "worth it?" When you have a specific goal/combination of abilities (possibly including a prestige class) in mind. Also, it may be useful in certain circumstances to gain a benefit earlier than would happen with a single-classed progression or to gain a specific ability from 1-2 levels of another class that would be impossible to gain without multi-classing.

Unlike 3.x, Pathfinder doesn't (usually) reward a "build" of five or more classes/prestige classes. Also, with the number of available base classes and archetypes, there is less of a "need" to multi-class to gain alternate features to suit a concept.

Grandlounge wrote:

The dips I have seen fall into a few categories (these are generalizations there will be acceptations).

Martial dips: Barbarian, bloodarger, swashbuckler, fighter (feats proficiencies), brawler, monk, medium etc.

These are about gaining abilities from front loaded classes. This can be done to broaden what another martial is capable of, increase damage and accuracy and/or to improve a 3/4 BAB classes martial ability especially at low levels.

Also, if you use a 3/4 BAB class as main one but spend 3 levels on full BAB class(es) early, you only delay your second attack by one level. This becomes twice as important with Improved Two-Weapon-Fighting - which then can be taken at level 7 as regular feat.

A thing not mentioned yet are class skills. Getting +3 to a skill just as a side effect of multiclassing is nice.

Finally, bonuses on saves can stockpile quickly. A fighter 1 barbarian 1 ranger 1 makes it to +6 Fortitude already at level 3 - which is not only competitive with a paladin 3 (counting their divine grace), but also relevant for item mastery feats.

For the most part multiclassing weakens your character instead of making them more powerful. About the only time when you gain more than you lose is when your class has almost no level dependent class abilities. Multicasting a spell caster is usually the worst thing you can do. A dip of a single level or two may not be so bad, but even than you are delaying getting your more powerful class abilities. In 3.0 the situation was reversed because so many of the classes were front loaded, but Pathfinder changed that.

About the only thing that does not take huge hits for multiclassing are fighters and rogues. Since most games don’t reach 20th level the loss of the capstone ability is rarely a factor. But even then the other class will be significantly weaker than a single class character. For example a fighter who multiclasses as a paladin will be more versatile than the straight fighter but the single classed paladin will have much more paladin abilities and they will be a lot more powerful. True the extra feats from the fighter will allow the character more options in combat especially vs non-evil opponents. But when it comes down to facing off the BBEG the straight paladin will be a lot stronger. A fighter/rogue would probably be ok.

Scarab Sages

Really, it all comes down to your level of system mastery and what you are gaining from multiclassing vs what are you losing or delaying access to. Generally speaking, martial characters are more likely to benefit from multiclassing than spellcasters, but there are exceptions on both sides.

On both sides, looking at 19th or 20th level capstone abilities will mislead you because most games don't reach that level and even if they do, the immediate gain from multiclassing which will be available for 90% of your career will likely be more valuable long term than a more powerful capstone ability that is only available for 5% of your career.

MageHunter wrote:

Monk is one of the best dips out there.

You get WIS to AC, the ability to always threaten, flurry of blows (which scales with character level), a bonus feat, and Stunning fist which is a fun side trick to have.

Bold mine & what are you talking about. How do you get with CHARACTER LEVEL not Monk Level?

Real question not trying to say "NOT", but know where your line of thinking is coming from.

In that it's a full bab attack? So as your bab and damage goes up it's accuracy and damage goes up?

It uses your BAB and counts monk levels as full BAB.

For a full BAB class flurry of blows will improve. Not 3/4 though. I phrased it a bit weird.

Flurry of blows is based off BAB, not class level.

Edit: Never mind, I read it wrong. You only get one extra attack with a level. (Not half bad though)

The rogue isn't that great at combat, but a bard can inspire courage.
By alternating, you get a character that can disarm traps and contribute to combat.

Almost always for Hunter's since they gain almost nothing from levels 17-20. At level 16 you gain 6th level spells, and from then on you gain...just about nothing, the only worthwhile thing left in your kit is your spellcasting progression. Your capstone sucks, your abilities gained on levels suck, and Boon Companion exists meaning that you should really take those 4 levels and stick them into something more worthwhile.

Honestly, zero reason to play a Hunter from 1-20 unless those 6th level spells are so damn important you can't stand only casting 3 a day.

In regards to other classes, it depends on two things.
1: What are you giving up
2: What are you getting in return

And then apply those concepts to your campaign, lower level campaigns will probably see more multiclassing than higher level campaigns since you get more from taking four or five level 1 dips than you do from going to level 4 in most classes. For instance, a Sorcerer 1, Paladin 2, Scaled Fist Monk 1 is an insanely awesome character. If a character has chosen to multiclass in a higher level game, they are likely planning a split, like Monk 8/Druid 12 or something similar. These are cases of fully thought out builds that rely upon gaining access to multiple powerful class feautres and combining them together. Rather than just grabbing the Hodge-podge of abilities that all rely upon your main ability score like our crazy Paladin.

In general, I'd multiclass if I'm not satisfied with my character's progression any longer. Such as if a Capstone sucks, I'd avoid it for whatever power ups you can get elsewhere. Even if you are a level 18 Oracle, it might just be worth it to grab 2 paladin levels if your Revelation's capstone is ass. Or if you've gotten everything you care about from your class, such as two levels of Monk for the bonus feats, or if there is some awesome combination of abilities that you cannot get to work within a single class like being a Monk/Druid.

Otherwise, just stick with your main class. Sorry that was a little rambly, but I hope I got my points across.

I generally find that if something is flavourful enough, and is suitable to your campaign setting and GM's style, it will work better regardless of losing certain cap-stones. It will feel more true to the personality of your imagined person to play, and so you'll end up using more of your skills, feats, spells, whatever else because they all gel in character.

Then again, my GMs all tend to reward role-play, so if you multiclassed to create a distinctive character who was fun to interact with and coherent in their actions (such as my Stonelord Paladin/Bard), and not just to grab all the shiny abilities and hog every bit of limelight, then they'd probably fudge something to let you have an appropriate cap-stone anyway if you approached that level. It's about being in the spirit of the thing - for us, anyway.

Helpful Halfling build (requires major multiclassing) thread for you.

Myrmidarch Magus with 1 level Gunslinger dip to make Ranged Spellstrike actually decent.

Also, more generally, if you want to build an arcane gish that isn't a Magus or an Arcane Trickster(*), even if you DON'T go Eldritch Knight or Dragon Disciple, you will probably need a martial dip.

(*)With VMC Rogue, it actually IS possible to make an Arcane Tricskter that doesn't have a Sneak Attack class dip, but it will take a long time to get online.

If you want to build a Dexterity-based divine gish that isn't a Warpriest, a Swashbuckler dip may be very useful.

To directly answer the original question, it's worth it to multiclass when you're getting more out of the class you're dipping into than you're loosing from the class you're dropping levels of. I mean, take the Mystic Theurge for example. 3rd level arcane spells, 3rd level divine (I suggest wizard/cleric), and then 10 levels of +1 to both casting classes. You're loosing out on the 6-20 class perks, but you've got the spell casting capacity of a level 15 Wizard AND Cleric. that's potent. But you're crippled for quite some time, so it's a hard build.

Two levels of Rogue or Monk can be exceptionally useful for a dex-based build, to get that hit of Evasion. But it might not be worth the losses just for that, when your GM might let you have a magic item that does it. (I think there are some.)

To be brutally honest, the only time I see it to be worth the hassle is for a plot line, for RP reasons. You loose a LOT of oomph, just giving up level 20 in a class, so it depends on the character, not the class.

I'm really not a fan of multiclassing. I find that the trade-off (class feature scaling) is way too severe for most benefits one could gain. I'll use this as an example:

Goth Guru wrote:

The rogue isn't that great at combat, but a bard can inspire courage.

By alternating, you get a character that can disarm traps and contribute to combat.

I don't find this to be true. You won't be very good at disabling traps. Better than a full Bard, since you get Disable Device as a class skill and a few rogue levels to the check, sure. But is it really worth loosing out on levels of Bardic Performance scaling (and spells) to get what could be achieved with a feat or a trait (not even talking about the trap-finder trait). So you will be a bit better at disabling traps, but much worse at bard.

-I feel like it almost always becomes a shavian reversal.

The Cleric and Wizard are a few exceptions, where I can totally see a benefit of dipping one or two levels. They have almost no scaling class abilities, aside from spell progression, which I already find to be too quick (we even avoid full-casters at my table, so that we don't trivialize certain aspects of the game). Cleric/Monk or Wizard/Martial+EK is probably the most attractive multi-classes I can think of (to me).

for some classes its pretty much mandatory that you multiclass if you want to be any good, take bolt ace for example after putting 5 levels into it there is literally no point continuing on with bolt ace and you are strictly better off going vanilla fighter afterwards. also putting 2 levels into monk or paladin are pretty awesome bloodrager or barbarian dips can be pretty useful as well(just wish there was some archetypes out there that traded out rage)

Rub-Eta, don't forget that there are a PLETHORA of racial perks and traits that will give you non-class skills as class skills, sometimes even with a bonus. Kitsune can get Stealth as a class skill with a +1 racial bonus (which is how my level 5 Child-cursed Oracle has a +18 stealth). You can easily get nearly ANY two skills to have the +3 from traits, even a total of +4 if you're careful. There's practically no skill you HAVE to take a class to get.

Lady-J, rage is basically a core tenant of the Barbarian. The closest you can come is the Serene Barbarian (which is, actually, pretty wicked when coupled with any dex based class).

@Zarious: That's exactly what I'm saying. 'Nimble Fingers' or 'Vagabond Child' grants a +4 Disable Device to a Bard (which is equal to the bonus gained from the 1st to 3rd levels in Rogue).

Fair enough. I took Child of the Streets and Trap Finder traits, and the Skulker Kitsune racial perk, so I have SoH, DD, and Stealth as class skills. Guess who's Oracle just robbed a wizard guild's vault at level five? *puts up his paw*

Pathfinder Starfinder Maps, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

I'm in the camp that says seldom for dedicated spellcasters, often for skill and fighting classes. In Pathfinder, it is really hard to find anything else worth a level of spell casting.

I almost never get to twentyth level, so the capstone abilities don't matter to me.

The class skill bonus while nice, really doesn't hold up when you get to mid levels. The saving throws can at times be worth it though. Sometimes I do it for story reasons as well.

There are also multiclass combinations that get excellent synergy. A melee Barbarian or Blooodrager can get a big Strength bonus from multiclassing with Alchemist for the mutagens. A paladin/oracle multiclass gets to second level spells faster than straight Paladin. A Investigator can get a big boost to melee if they take a level or so of inspired blade Swashbuckler.

RPG Superstar Season 9 Top 16

When it's necessary for character concept.

My inquisitor dipped one level into gunslinger so he can be a gun priest of Pharasma that hunts undead.

My brewmaster alchemist dipped one level into unchained barbarian so he can get into a drunken rage and throw exploding bottles of booze at people.

I only ever multiclass when the character wouldn't function without it or would take ages to come online and be effective.

Also when considering whether it is worth multiclassing pay attention to when your campaign is likely to end. Very few APs go past 16-17th level, the same is true of many other campaigns (most of our non-AP games fizzle out about 12th level), so that 20th level capstone you think looks so good is going to be irrelevant in the vast majority of cases.

It comes with a price , but might be worth it.
3 levels of Zen monk makes any one a archer , 5 feats, saves and more .
I took it on a 2 hander more warden for a great switch hitter.
Also nice on a paladin.

Dex paladin 18, swashbuckler 1, sohei monk 1 is amazing .
Dervish dex using scimitar , flurry with a scimitar , parry and more.

I played a great multi class character once,
Lore warden 3, thug rogue 3, shadow dancer 4.
Master of spring attack , and fear sharing .

I would like to try a battle Herald one day, cavalier 4, horse master feat, dervish bard 1 , battle Herald x .

It's worth it to multi-class when the classes synergize, or can take advantage of stats or abilities shared between classes. usually these synergies consist of a 1-2 level dip in a class and then investing everything into a second class.

Where it's not worth it is spreading your abilities thin over many classes. The systemic equities for Pathfinder are far different than they were in 3.0 and 3.5. Whereas 3.x rewarded the "spread thin" multiclass, where there was no real detriment to doing so, and the games expecation was to fight increasing hoardes of weaker enemies, fighting something relative to your level in CR or above once in a while, Pathfinder punishes it. Pathfinder expects that your character gets more powerful to match the relative CR expectations of the creatures you'll be facing.

Most multiclasses are easier to "be" than "build." What I mean by that is some multiclass combinations, especially when you are spreading yourself thin between several classes, can be very difficult and not fun to level, and can leave you feeling at many times that you are not contributing as much as more focused characters.

It all comes down to the end goal of your build; what you are looking to accomplish.

I have a build for one of my characters. They are lv 6 and already have 4 classes, and the plan is for a 5th next level and then possibly another one after that. He has really nice synergy to pull together what he wants to be doing.

Chess Pwn wrote:
I have a build for one of my characters. They are lv 6 and already have 4 classes, and the plan is for a 5th next level and then possibly another one after that. He has really nice synergy to pull together what he wants to be doing.

Mutliclassing at low levels sometimes can be a lot more effective than just a single class, thats for sure.

Only do it if the build has synergy with itself or if you really just want to roleplay that kind of combination. There are a few prestige classes that are good which make multiclassing into them feel like a real achievement for your character's growth. Hellknight and Red Mantis Assassin in particular come to mind.

There are also corner cases where certain abilities are only represented by particular classes. Treating unarmed attacks as both natural and manufactured, for instance, is only available to Monks and Brawlers (to my knowledge). So if you want to combine IUS with any weapon abilities you best dip into one of those classes.

Frequently you also dip just to match a character's abilities to the idea you have in your head. None of the single class progressions match my vision of an Indiana Jones character, for instance. They have a Bard archetype that seems custom made for it, but I think Bard is a terrible chassis for Indy. So an Indy character for me might end up a Fighter/Vigilante/Swashbuckler/Brawler.

I'm generally free with multiclassing when im in 4 level or non spellcasting classes. A pretty big chunk of them are heavily front loaded on good feats or other abilities (swashbuckler, gunslinger, urogue, brawler, ranger/slayer for non dex twf) In a lot of ways i think this is a major strength of non casters, buffet style character building doesn't hinder as much and can be pretty powerful all told.

I tend to dislike it once I hit the 6 level or 9 level classes up. Generally at that point spellcasting is such a big part of their class design I'm loathe to slow down reaching the next spell level.

Liberty's Edge

Frogsplosion wrote:
So I have to ask, when is it actually worth it to multiclass?

It is always worthwhile to multiclass.

In particular if you want to be broadly helpful to other characters. If you are concentrating on skills or "aid another" or providing re-rolls, or simple boosts that hold power well over the course of advancement. Large numbers of level 1 abilities remain useful forever -- even more so for the ones that are designed to help others (eg "rage song" or "grant a reroll to another character").

-- Señor Arsenio Josué Busto Durante, Cavalier Daring Champion 3 / Paladin Sacred Shield 2 / Bard Arcane Duelist / Cleric Divine Strategist / Investigator Sleuth / Skald Urban Skald / Sorcerer Eldritch Scrapper / Swashbuckler Mouser, Mysterious Avenger / Battle Herald 2

Motto: "I have more class than you!"

Here's a cheat sheet of number of times special abilities can be used, and special abilities broken down by action-type (always on, free, immediate, swift, movement, standard, full-round): http://www.unseelie.org/assorted-rpg/Busto/BustoCheat.pdf

Shadow Lodge

Frogsplosion wrote:
So I have to ask, when is it actually worth it to multiclass?

When the Xth level benefits of the new class are more useful than the Y+Xth level benefits of the old class, where X is the number of levels dipped and Y is the number of levels taken in the original class.

essentially Toz has the basic answer. When class X level I powers & abilities are surpassed or matched by class X and Y level (J where J<I) and level (I-J) respectively. In an equivalence it just becomes a matter of taste.

Character wise it can be from a character concept.

Sometimes it's just a mistake and not worth the rebuild cost (PFS). Opinions about character concept can change due to play experience.

In PFS play 10 of my 23 characters are multiclassed.
I have Rog2/Wiz(Trns)11, Ftr(Drvsh)4/Arcn2, Nja4/Wiz(Dvnr)1, Mnk(Flow)2/Wiz(Dvnr)7, Ftr1/Clr3, Pal1/Orcl(Wrsgt)1, Invst1/Wiz(Dvnr)1, planned - Wiz(Dvnr)1/Mg Arcnst, UncRog2/Wiz(Ench), Mnk(Flow)2/Arcn(BFTrans)1, UncRog2/Wiz5/Bltmg1

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When it is fun and provides flavor to your character.

Grand Lodge

The gain features math, does a dip level offer more than my next next of my main class, is interesting as it tends to work for martial characters or the really front loaded classes but it has a major issue.

Let's say you dip at one level at level 2. Most likely the level you pick up is going to be equal to or better than level 2 of your main class. You then have to make a new comparison at every level was that dip better than level 6 of my main class, 10, 15, 20. Most full Bab classes get pluses to hit in various ways. So the answer is most often yes. Any class with agressivly scaling abilities it get much harder to justify. This is why you see people write get to level 5 then dip for a gunslinger or get to level 11 with an unchained monk for 2 additional attacks. Dramatic spikes in power make the math of "is this level better than that level" really hard. The result is often better at some levels worse at others.

Grand Lodge

One level dip of Primal Hunter gets you:
Animal Focus (Su)

Bat: The creature gains darkvision to a range of 60 feet. At 8th level, the range increases by 30 feet. At 15th level, the creature also gains blindsense to a range of 10 feet.

Bear: The creature gains a +2 enhancement bonus to Constitution. This bonus increases to +4 at 8th level and +6 at 15th level.

Bull: The creature gains a +2 enhancement bonus to Strength. This bonus increases to +4 at 8th level and +6 at 15th level.

Falcon: The creature gains a +4 competence bonus on Perception checks. This bonus increases to +6 at 8th level and +8 at 15th level.

Frog: The creature gains a +4 competence bonus on Swim checks and on Acrobatics checks to jump. These bonuses increase to +6 at 8th level and +8 at 15th level.

Monkey: The creature gains a +4 competence bonus on Climb checks. This bonus increases to +6 at 8th level and +8 at 15th level.

Mouse: The creature gains evasion, as the rogue class feature. At 12th level, this increases to improved evasion, as the rogue advanced talent.

Owl: The creature gains a +4 competence bonus on Stealth checks. This bonus increases to +6 at 8th level and +8 at 15th level.

Snake: The creature gains a +2 bonus on attack rolls when making attacks of opportunity and a +2 dodge bonus to AC against attacks of opportunity. These bonuses increase to +4 at 8th level and +6 at 15th level.

Stag: The creature gains a 5-foot enhancement bonus to its base land speed. This bonus increases to 10 feet at 8th level and 20 feet at 15th level.

Tiger: The creature gains a +2 enhancement bonus to Dexterity. This bonus increases to +4 at 8th level and +6 at 15th level.

Wolf: The creature gains the scent ability with a range of 10 feet. The range of this sense increases to 20 feet at 8th level and 30 feet at 15th level. The range doubles if the opponent is upwind, and is halved if the opponent is downwind.

Any of these abilities, one at a time, all day long, changeable as a swift action. Yes, many of these are situational, but most are useful. You also gain some spell casting, and access to magic items based on both the Druid and Ranger lists. I decided it was worth it for my Slayer, even though I delay my BAB for a level.

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