Please make Multiclassing good


Prerelease Discussion


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Multiclassing has not been good, in my opinion, since 2e D&D. I would love to see more options open up for multiclassing characters. Although Pathfinder has many options for reflavoring a character via archetypes, they often feel tacked on - and are mechanically so much worse than other classes, or give up too many essential class functions, that they are nonviable.

Please, let me play a rogue/wizard that is actually good! Thanks.


The effectiveness of multi-classing depends on the goal. For making a good beat stick with extra abilities, multi-classing is currently fabulous. For casters, not so much.


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I love the 2e system for multiclassing, but it does have it's flaws. It's very inflexible, in the sense that you can't change it up at all midstream. 3.X fixed that issue, and I love it for the flexibility it grants, but it broke a whole lot of other things in the process.
It would be nice if they could figure out a way to balance including both options, but that seems...difficult. At best.

The only previous shot I've seen them take at it was in Unchained, and in my opinion it fixed neither set of problems, while introducing some new ones. I love the Unchained book, but some of the options in it really needed some further thought before they made it to print.


maybe if you did away with multiclassing per se but rather gave more feats (like 1 or even 2 per level) and opened up other classes traits as feats. so, rather than my fighter wasting a whole level on becoming a cleric for one level just so he can channel energy in combat, i burn a feat to buy just the channeling ability and everything else stays the same.

that way he is not quite as powerful as a pure fighter but he doesn't have to cough up a whole level of advancement to get there.

just a thought.


Man I can't think of multiclassing ever being that good. at least not for every class. Even back in AD&D it was still like hmm do I want some fighter levels or higher level spells as a wizard... well no duh. I wonder and hope this time around as some unique way to do it cause I can't even think of a way thats fair and will work.


Vidmaster7 wrote:
Man I can't think of multiclassing ever being that good. at least not for every class. Even back in AD&D it was still like hmm do I want some fighter levels or higher level spells as a wizard... well no duh.

At least you got more Fighter levels than you lost Wizard levels. It was a little overpowered in the early game, and more than a little underpowered in the late game, but I always considered it well worth it.

I never play single-class characters in games that give me a choice.


Eh only time I ever multiclassed in first was when the class essentially ended. Oh I don't gain anything else anymore? I guess ill move on to something that does.


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Paizo did the right thing by making single-classing attractive over the 3.x Frankenstein's monster builds of yesteryear.


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I'm fine with Multiclassing as is. Well, as long as some of the Unchained improvements (such as Fractional bonuses) are utilized. I do wish there were more feats that allowed you to use X class levels as Y class Spellcaster levels, but aside from that I don't really have too many complaints.


Steff wrote:

maybe if you did away with multiclassing per se but rather gave more feats (like 1 or even 2 per level) and opened up other classes traits as feats. so, rather than my fighter wasting a whole level on becoming a cleric for one level just so he can channel energy in combat, i burn a feat to buy just the channeling ability and everything else stays the same.

that way he is not quite as powerful as a pure fighter but he doesn't have to cough up a whole level of advancement to get there.

just a thought.

This, to a point. I do believe that if you are using a class system, you need to make some features of the class unique and only attainable to that class if it is a defining ability. The issue is defining what is a unique class function. Otherwise you are basically doing away with classes and making a Free-Form Classless system (not that I would object to that as I prefer it over classes) but Pathfinder is always going to be class based.

However, what I see them doing is more like Unchained.


I'm not certain how to go about it but a good system of multiclassing would help considerably in developing some of the hybrid classes I like. Can't wait to see how they tackle this


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Lord Khaalis wrote:
However, what I see them doing is more like Unchained.

If they remove 3.5e multiclassing and have only the Variant Multiclassing from Pathfinder Unchained than it will be yet one more 4th ed-ism (4th ed also didn't have true multiclassing and only had feats as multiclassing).

Scarab Sages

Some of the most broken options in the game are caster multiclass options.

Multiclassing needs to be fixed by removing the option for unintended ability interactions that obliterate the game.

I'm looking at you Wizard with a one level dip in Crossblooded Sorcerer Orc/Draconic.


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Yeah, put me in the camp that actually wants single classing to be more attractive over stitching a multiclass abomination up. Limit the bevy of splashable stuff (your rages, mutagens, divine graces, etc) and add in some sacrifices beyond losing a capstone 95% of players will never see and call it a day.


I guess I'm the outlier here in that I always thought MC of 3E/PF was the best part of the system. I could make any concept I wanted work, especially with all the additional material Paizo added. I never needed the hybrid classes because of 3E/PF MC. Since casting is as powerful as it is, I never felt it was a problem losing out on power during MC.

Nothing is perfect and I could see some tweaks for 3E/PF MC, but I fear we are looking at VMC, or even worse, 4E hybridizing. ugh

Sovereign Court

I'd be okay with VMC being the norm for 2e.

From the sounds of it, your proficiency and things are going to scale by character level rather than individual class levels, but I could be wrong.


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Tarik Blackhands wrote:
Yeah, put me in the camp that actually wants single classing to be more attractive over stitching a multiclass abomination up. Limit the bevy of splashable stuff (your rages, mutagens, divine graces, etc) and add in some sacrifices beyond losing a capstone 95% of players will never see and call it a day.

I agree with this 100%.

I just also want building an identifiable multiclass concept to be more attractive than making an IKEA tarrasque out of the spare parts of more interesting characters.


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Stackable magic, please. If I am a wizard 12/bard 4 I have to be able to be a 16th level caster (maybe 15th, all right). Use a system similar to stackable BAB.


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Bardess wrote:
Stackable magic, please. If I am a wizard 12/bard 4 I have to be able to be a 16th level caster (maybe 15th, all right). Use a system similar to stackable BAB.

Just spitballing here because d20 multiclassing makes my teeth hurt, but what about something based on 5e with augmentable spells:

Spells per day and caster level on a unified spellcaster chart, like BAB: Full casters are 1/level (+2 spells/level), medium are 3/4 (+1 spell/level), and non/half casters are 1/2'.

Subtract 1 for each medium (or better) casters, and an additional minus 1 for each full caster. So a Paladin/Ranger has no penalty; a Paladin/Magus is -1, a Bard/Inquisitor or Paladin/Witch is -2, a Magus/Druid is -3, and a Witch/Cleric is -4.

Stagger the penalty, so you get -1 at 2nd level, -2 at 6th, -3 at 11th and only get the full -4 at 16th. and so forth. If you have a -5 penalty that you never pay off... what are you actually winning?

Higher level spell slots just aren't enough. You need higher level spells.

Combine Expanded Arcana with 3.5's Practiced Spellcaster. Every time you gain the feat, you gain +1 to all class levels for purposes of learning spells (maximum of caster level) and you learn one spell from each class you've taken.


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As someone who doesn't think of a class as a defining character trait, merely a handy descriptor, and a level as nothing more than a package of skills... yeah, I want really good multiclassing. I loved 3.x multiclassing aside from how it gimped casters. I don't necessarily want it to crush single classing, but I want both to be viable options.

Liberty's Edge

I hope that paizo is able to come up with a happy medium for multi-classing. I liked the variety of skills a character could attain with 3.5 multi-classing, but disliked the class/class/class/class/class shenanigans that players sometimes did (optimized or non-optimized).

The benefits Pathfinder placed on single class characters were too great such that multi-classing is considered sub-par for the most part. It's one of the most noticeable faults of the system.


This is an example of a character story I would like to see vaible with multiclassing.

Character is a fighter, worships a diety... after a while (and a few levels) trains to be a paladin, and excels as that (for a few levels) and then gets spells as a paladin, and decides to become closer to thier diety and become a cleric.
Great story arc for the character, somewhat untenable without good mutliclassing rules.

Scarab Sages

RedDogMT wrote:


The benefits Pathfinder placed on single class characters were too great such that multi-classing is considered sub-par for the most part.

See, in my experience, which is pretty hefty, this is simply not true. The most broken monstrosities in the game are multiclassed characters. Which means that multiclassing is eagle territory.


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Multiclassing can be a bit like misuse of a credit card at low levels.

Buy a few extra toys for today and you're paying the consequences for years to come.

Dark Archive

Lord Mhoram wrote:

This is an example of a character story I would like to see vaible with multiclassing.

Character is a fighter, worships a diety... after a while (and a few levels) trains to be a paladin, and excels as that (for a few levels) and then gets spells as a paladin, and decides to become closer to thier diety and become a cleric.
Great story arc for the character, somewhat untenable without good mutliclassing rules.

Define good multiclassing in this case? I mean, you can absolutely do this.. but your breadth of knowledge results in a reduced depth of knowledge. This is also reflective of the story. Why should someone who has only spent a few levels learning to channel the divine powers granted by their deity pull off even basic spells with the same talent and effectiveness as someone who has devoted their life to that study? And if they can, what trade off is there? And what benefits does the more studied cleric gain? Sure, they get more spell options and some of them are very powerful but if the lesser trained jack-of-all-trades here can cast the spells they do have with the same potency it really detracts from the dedicated character since multiple people in the party can do 1/3rd of their special things just as well as they can. In this scenario multiclassing becomes the new norm because why not have everyone able to spit out a few magic missiles and handle some moderate curing rather than have one person focused on providing those things for maximum effect.


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Darius Alazario wrote:
Lord Mhoram wrote:

This is an example of a character story I would like to see vaible with multiclassing.

Character is a fighter, worships a diety... after a while (and a few levels) trains to be a paladin, and excels as that (for a few levels) and then gets spells as a paladin, and decides to become closer to thier diety and become a cleric.
Great story arc for the character, somewhat untenable without good mutliclassing rules.

Define good multiclassing in this case? I mean, you can absolutely do this.. but your breadth of knowledge results in a reduced depth of knowledge. This is also reflective of the story.

Agreed. This works in 3.x and Pathfinder. It doesn't in 4E D&D, or only with variant multiclassing. I just want to see that same idea in PF2. If the class shifts were from one caster to another, then the utility of the character falls apart (5E does that fairly well). I just want to see it continue to be viable.


Tallow wrote:
RedDogMT wrote:


The benefits Pathfinder placed on single class characters were too great such that multi-classing is considered sub-par for the most part.

See, in my experience, which is pretty hefty, this is simply not true. The most broken monstrosities in the game are multiclassed characters. Which means that multiclassing is eagle territory.

I think a lot of that comes to system mastery.

It is very easy to make yourself completely useless by multiclassing if you don't know what you're doing. But once you know how to really play with the options, multiclassing can allow some truly disgusting combinations.

So, you're both right.

Dark Archive

Lord Mhoram wrote:
Darius Alazario wrote:
Lord Mhoram wrote:

This is an example of a character story I would like to see vaible with multiclassing.

Character is a fighter, worships a diety... after a while (and a few levels) trains to be a paladin, and excels as that (for a few levels) and then gets spells as a paladin, and decides to become closer to thier diety and become a cleric.
Great story arc for the character, somewhat untenable without good mutliclassing rules.

Define good multiclassing in this case? I mean, you can absolutely do this.. but your breadth of knowledge results in a reduced depth of knowledge. This is also reflective of the story.
Agreed. This works in 3.x and Pathfinder. It doesn't in 4E D&D, or only with variant multiclassing. I just want to see that same idea in PF2. If the class shifts were from one caster to another, then the utility of the character falls apart (5E does that fairly well). I just want to see it continue to be viable.

I would agree, the VMC is kind of sucky in my opinion to be honest so I do hope it is not like this. I am not against the current PF system for it, or potentially something where you have your class but there are feats or other similar options which you can invest into which give you access to abilities from other classes at a diminished effectiveness, but at least allows you to dip into these abilities at the point you choose and potentially into several different classes as it best applies to your character, but you are giving up some other class training (ie: feat or feats) to do so.


Tallow wrote:
RedDogMT wrote:


The benefits Pathfinder placed on single class characters were too great such that multi-classing is considered sub-par for the most part.

See, in my experience, which is pretty hefty, this is simply not true. The most broken monstrosities in the game are multiclassed characters. Which means that multiclassing is eagle territory.

Care to give some examples?

Scarab Sages

Planpanther wrote:
Tallow wrote:
RedDogMT wrote:


The benefits Pathfinder placed on single class characters were too great such that multi-classing is considered sub-par for the most part.

See, in my experience, which is pretty hefty, this is simply not true. The most broken monstrosities in the game are multiclassed characters. Which means that multiclassing is eagle territory.
Care to give some examples?

Crossblooded (Orc/Draconic) Sorcerer 1 / Wizard X

With a couple other traits and Intensified, you can turn a level 1 or 2 damaging spell into a ridiculous spell. Consider intensified burning arc. At 15th Level, you could do 15d6+60, 7d6+28, 3d6+12, 1d6+4 damage to 4 targets. Just using this on snowball is disgusting, as at 10th level you could do a 10d6+40 damage for a 1st level spell.

I GM'd for a character at Gen Con that didn't cast anything but Burning Arc the entire night because of shenanigans like this and dominated the table at 10-11 tier during a special. We've had a couple different characters in our PFS Lodge that did this and quickly got asked to stop obliterating everything immediately so other people could do things in the adventure.

Literally, losing out on getting that next higher level spell did not matter to this character at all.

And this isn't even a complicated multiclass build.

Another was a multiclass Barbarian/Cleric of Gozreh/Sorcerer/Dragon Disciple that just destroyed things with a few lower level buff spells and natural attacks. The 1 level dip of the Cleric allowed him to do the swift action enlarge for one round at a time form the domain. And with 7 to 10 times per day, he didn't really run out of those. Plus the extra movement shenanigans that enlarging and shrinking every round allows for allowed for an extra level of battlefield control as well.

These are just two examples that are pretty simple off the top of my head, that wreck the game for others. I can't remember all the shenanigans pulled in other multiclass options, because those are excessively complicated builds. But I'll tell you, that the most broken characters I've seen are because of multiclassing.


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Tallow wrote:

Some of the most broken options in the game are caster multiclass options.

Multiclassing needs to be fixed by removing the option for unintended ability interactions that obliterate the game.

I'm looking at you Wizard with a one level dip in Crossblooded Sorcerer Orc/Draconic.

A full caster choosing to focus on damage'obliterates the game'?

Is this sarcasm? I'm not great at interpreting sarcasm in text.


kyrt-ryder wrote:
Tallow wrote:

Some of the most broken options in the game are caster multiclass options.

Multiclassing needs to be fixed by removing the option for unintended ability interactions that obliterate the game.

I'm looking at you Wizard with a one level dip in Crossblooded Sorcerer Orc/Draconic.

A full caster choosing to focus on damage'obliterates the game'?

Is this sarcasm? I'm not great at interpreting sarcasm in text.

As a matter of fact yes it does. There's no faster way to make the martial members of your party feel like 5th wheels than throwing out atomic fireballs/battering blasts and vaporizing the encounter all the time.


You say that like they didn't already.


kyrt-ryder wrote:
You say that like they didn't already.

Yeah, same thing happens when the witch runs around sleeping/ice prisoning everything in sight, but the more standard paradigm of "toss buffs on martial/non-save or lose control spells on opposition" lets me contribute with my pointy sword. I and many other players can have fun with that. A lot fewer find it fun watching the sorceror reduce the opposition to nuclear blast shadows or stomping around CDGing a bunch of helpless dudes.


I can completely understand that there are those People out there that multiclass just to gain broken combos of abilities.... But, there are others like me who Multiclass for the flavor of it, and I can give a few examples of the things I've done if you'd like. Just please don't keep me from making characters I like to play because some rotten apples like to spoil the bunch.

Sovereign Court

Pro Tip: If you want to kill things with your pointy sword before the blasting focused Sorcerer kills everything, be better at killing things with your pointy sword.

You can't complain that the optimized blaster is out-killing you if you're not playing an optimized martial. Of course the optimized character is going to perform better.

Dark Archive

ZᴇɴN wrote:

Pro Tip: If you want to kill things with your pointy sword before the blasting focused Sorcerer kills everything, be better at killing things with your pointy sword.

You can't complain that the optimized blaster is out-killing you if you're not playing an optimized martial. Of course the optimized character is going to perform better.

There's a difference between outperforming and... I lay waste to all enemies on the battlefield.. next encounter please.

Shadow Lodge

You could do the same thing by staying straight sorcerer. Or you could play a single class archer and pretty much do the same thing. Or a single class pouncing barbarian, or... In the current pf1e you can make optimized characters that happen to multiclass, but you are currently limited to you choices of classes with the whole spell casters don't scale if they multiclass thing. It would be nice to see this opened up in some way so multiclassing works with any class combinations. Because pathfinder is all about options, more options = more good.

Liberty's Edge

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Multiclassing should be balanced, but it is a vital part of character customization. If you restrict characters to one class, you will have to provide single class options for all character concepts and I don't think that is reasonable or effective. The 4e take was bad.

If you don't like multiclassing, don't, but don't take that option away from people who do, like me. Balance is good, but so are options and there is no reason that we can't have both.


Lord Mhoram wrote:

This is an example of a character story I would like to see vaible with multiclassing.

Character is a fighter, worships a diety... after a while (and a few levels) trains to be a paladin, and excels as that (for a few levels) and then gets spells as a paladin, and decides to become closer to thier diety and become a cleric.
Great story arc for the character, somewhat untenable without good mutliclassing rules.

This sounds more like retraining, which is a part of the default game. You can be a fighter, retrain to paladin, retrain to cleric as your character's passions change.


Strange... There is another thread about making multiclassing less good in PF2....

I just hope that customization doesn't decrease, that would be bad.

I like to call it "WoWification"(as in World of Warcraft) which basically means the simplification and reduction of options via updates/editions.

I don't want a 7 year old who is new to the game to be able to design a mechanically equal character when compared to an adult with years of system mastery... That is what WoW has become, that is what 5e became.

I like pathfinder because it's NOT that, if PF2 does that, I will not play it.


*Thelith wrote:
I don't want a 7 year old who is new to the game to be able to design a mechanically equal character when compared to an adult with years of system mastery...

Honestly this doesn't bother me, if it's handled right.

This is a game meant to facilitate roleplaying the characters we envision. That requires depth but it doesn't require complexity.

Dark Archive

*Thelith wrote:

Strange... There is another thread about making multiclassing less good in PF2....

I just hope that customization doesn't decrease, that would be bad.

I like to call it "WoWification"(as in World of Warcraft) which basically means the simplification and reduction of options via updates/editions.

I don't want a 7 year old who is new to the game to be able to design a mechanically equal character when compared to an adult with years of system mastery... That is what WoW has become, that is what 5e became.

I like pathfinder because it's NOT that, if PF2 does that, I will not play it.

Customization and breadth of options is not synonymous with complexity. Just because the system offers plenty of options and customization does not require it to be difficult for someone to balance and create an effective and mechanically well built character. I hope for the options without the necessity of it being difficult to make a well built and effective character.. the options should be clear in what they offer so that a 7 year old can say: I want a character that is good at X! and it is easy for them to pick out the options that help them do that.


Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

At least we know that saving throws shouldn't have the problems they have had in 3.x and PF1.

They have told us that Saving Throws are proficiencies. I expect that means you will not have the situation where you have a Ranger 1/Barbarian 1/Fighter1 with +6 Fort, +2 Reflex and +0 Will saves. You may have slightly different saves than a single classed character, but I doubt they will be as extreme as the default multiclass system produced. Yes, I know they did fractional saves in Unchained.

I do hope that some of the resources you use in your first level are from ancestry and background. That would prevent someone going Barbarian 1/Sorcerer 1 from having all the resources to get everything that a 1st level Barbarian has and everything a 1st level Sorcerer has. They would have to make tradeoffs.


I'll be honest, I've never played D&D, so I can't say how good or bad the multiclassing systems in them were. But I like being able to do it. I have a few characters that level dipped for mechanical bonuses. I have some that dipped for flavor. And some that dipped for both. I also have characters that didn't multiclass, because that's what worked for them.

Scarab Sages

Smite Makes Right wrote:

Multiclassing should be balanced, but it is a vital part of character customization. If you restrict characters to one class, you will have to provide single class options for all character concepts and I don't think that is reasonable or effective. The 4e take was bad.

If you don't like multiclassing, don't, but don't take that option away from people who do, like me. Balance is good, but so are options and there is no reason that we can't have both.

I do like multiclassing. Many of my characters are multi-classed.

Choosing sub-optimal combinations and then saying Multi-classing is a sucky option is disingenuous. That's your choice to take the sub-optimal option.

But multi-classing should not allow for a more powerful character than a regular class, because you are able to find all the unintended consequence options that when working together make you better than if you didn't have those combos.

In other words, I don't want to play Pathfinder like its Magic the Gathering. I want to play Pathfinder like a roleplaying game where we can optimize and make great characters, make versatile characters, but that the option to obliterate everything because you have either a) more system mastery than someone else or b) a need to win and prove your superiority over everyone else is removed.

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