Stop the 1 Level Class Dip


Prerelease Discussion

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FangDragon wrote:
I understand some folks dip to build a character concepts not supported by the existing classes / archetypes. I don't have a problem with this. but I've never actually seen anyone do it (not even for an oradin). On the other hand I have seen dips used for powergaming reasons to make something thats rather strong for its level, I intently dislike that.

I can give you a few examples of multiclass characters I've done that weren't for sheer power.....

I made a Ratfolk URogue/Alchemist that from Level 1)started as a Rogue) had a Portable Alchemy Lab she used to make alchemic items and played more as a Rogue than an Alchemist (i.e. I kinda just never used her Extracts) but had more alchemist levels than Rogue levels by the end......

There was also my Swampy Scaleheart Hunter who from level 1 was putting feats into getting a Mauler Familiar, and wound up taking some levels in Eldritch Guardian Fighter just because having both her pets being able to use her Teamwork Feats just made sense(they were a croc and a caiman, and only took just 4 levels of Fighter, so I didn't screw Ruby(my croc), Jade(my caiman) already had Eldritch Heritage to rely on). Her weapon of choice was this gnarled great club that looked like the head of a croc and used from first level on.

There's also my Vanaran Shield Champion Brawler/Master of Many Styles Monk(used Dragon/Tiger/Monkey), how is using a shield a conducive choice for a monk? I'll tell you its Not, unless you throw it around and start beating on people. I also took almost equal levels in Monk and Brawler....

Then there's my Half-Orc Bloodrider Bloodrager/Mammoth Spirit Shaman (giving her a very magical barbarian/cavalier style), and here noone thinks you should multiclass as a 9th level caster, heck I didn't care about either caster levels, just the flavor of the character. x3

None of these cases were made for Optimization, just taken for Flavor Reasons.

Silver Crusade

BretI wrote:
Kain Dragonhand wrote:
How exactly are they unrelated? Adding some of different classes is generally done to increase the effectiveness of one's character (some do it for roleplay purposes, but by and large we all know why it's done).

Please, enlighten me. Why do I multiclass?

The other option would be to not make such sweeping and insulting generalizations.

“Kain Dragonhand” wrote:

You make it easier on casters to multi-class with something along the lines of keeping their spell progression, or part of it (just a guess) and now you exacerbate the problem of the Martial/Caster disparity.

Full casters are generally more powerful than those who are not, full casters who multi-class and don't get punished for it will naturally increase that disparity even more.

Yes, at their base they are separate issues, but that doesn't mean you can avoid taking this into account.

I don’t think people are saying take full casting and features from another class. They are saying that right now, if casting is your primary ability you take way too big a hit if you multiclass.

Look at the Mystic Theurge from the CRB. It requires multiclassing of divine and arcane spellcasting. It allows full progression of spells per day in both Wizard and Cleric!

The thing is by the time you qualify for it, you are so far behind in both of the classes that most people consider the class way too weak. That is using a prestige class. Just alternating Wizard/Cleric or Sorcerer/Oracle would be even weaker.

It would be better if the multiclassing system allowed you to combine spell casting classes with other classes without making the spellcasting become almost irrelevant. Allow options so that people can maintain their caster level would be a big step. Allow them to make trade offs. A balanced Mystic Theurge should be something that a good multiclassing system would allow you to emulate without needing a prestige class.

Same can be said for all the hybrid classes. Wouldn’t it be better if you could...

I wasn't being insulting, if you felt insulted by what I said, that's your problem. People multi-class to increase the effectiveness of their character, and yes to flesh out a concept that might not be readily present with the classes available. However most will find a combination that optimizes their character even though they're also fleshing out a concept. Looking at the best feats, skills, and powers to gain to make the concept work. That's not a bad thing and that was the largest draw to 3.5/Pathfinder for many to begin with. The sheer amount of customization you can do to a character.

Mystic theurge might suffer in the short run, but the power it gains in the long run is most certainly worth the effort, wouldn't you think?

Wiz 5/Cleric 5/Theurge 10 ends up as a 15th level caster of both. Can't access level 9 spells?

Wiz 8/Cleric 3/Theurge 10, ends up as a 18 wiz/13 cleric. That seems powerful enough to me. 9th level arcane spells and 7th level divine (or you could reverse that.

Not to mention you could go 3/3/10/4PrC to add even more abilities to either divine/arcane side.

So early on you're relegated to a support role because you're not as proficient as the straight caster. Later on you have plenty of options and catch up in power and have increased versatility.

The point is that if you multi-class you are spending time focusing on something other than what you're proficient with, so yes, there should be some drop off in ability to be expected.

Edit - I mean wouldn't the same be true in any aspect of life? Let's say you're working for 10 years as a sales representative for a construction company. Things change, maybe the job goes away, you find a sales position in an advertising company. Are there things that might translate? Perhaps, that doesn't mean you're automatically going to be at the top of your game as you will need to re-train your processes, knowledge, interactions. You will need to learn the culture, the language, etc. of your new job.

Heck, when I worked for a restaurant when I was in college there were things I learned that I was able to translate to what I do now, but I still had to learn and train for the role I am in now and it requires a completely different skill set than that did, and while I'm doing my job I'm not necessarily getting better at cooking.

Dracula wrote:
There was also my Swampy Scaleheart Hunter who from level 1 was putting feats into getting a Mauler Familiar, and wound up taking some levels in Eldritch Guardian Fighter just because having both her pets being able to use her Teamwork Feats just made sense(they were a croc and a caiman, and only took just 4 levels of Fighter, so I didn't screw Ruby(my croc), Jade(my caiman) already had Eldritch Heritage to rely on). Her weapon of choice was this gnarled great club that looked like the head of a croc and used from first level on.

Here is a perfect example, they had a character concept and they fleshed it out through multi-classing, but what did they do at the same time?

"wound up taking some levels in Eldritch Guardian Fighter just because having both her pets being able to use her Teamwork Feats just made sense"

A little bit of optimization here.

"and only took just 4 levels of Fighter, so I didn't screw Ruby(my croc), Jade(my caiman) already had Eldritch Heritage to rely on)."

A little bit of optimization there.

That's a perfect example of what I was getting at.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Kain Dragonhand wrote:
Mystic theurge might suffer in the short run, but the power it gains in the long run is most certainly worth the effort, wouldn't you think?

The Mystic Theurge is very effective at high levels for exactly these reasons. The problem has always been how it has a valley of suck where it's basically unplayable in the mid-levels. This is not fun, either for the player or for the party which is saddled with an underpowered liability of an ally, and leads to a character class that is only really usable with retraining (ie, you'd never actually play through those intervening levels as a theurge).


thorin001 wrote:
Matt2VK wrote:

This here is mostly for non-spell casting classes.

I'm getting a bit tired of seeing a bunch of min/max characters that pick up just a single level or two of multiple classes. A lot of classes seem to front load their class features in their beginning levels. Multi-classing and cherry picking these classes usually can end up making a stronger and more flexible character. The problem is, there's usually no real reason to stay as a 'pure' non-caster class as those 'pure' classes don't really reward you with anything till the very high levels, which most games do not see.

Pure classes should give a -
Minor class ability @ 5th level
Good Class ability @ 10th
Very Good Class ability @ 15 (This is usually the cap stone of most games that I see played and should be something players should try to get)
Class Defining Ability @ level 20 (most games will never see this)

The level 20 cap stone ability which was giving out in PF1e, while it looked nice and sounded 'cool', never really got used. So why shoot for a ability you'll never see as by the time you get it, you'll have one big scene and then you're character is retired.

You do realize that you are coming across as saying "Stop having fun in a manner in which I o not approve."

No, what I'm saying is that their needs to be a good, serious reason why your character should stay as a "pure" class.

Someone else in this thread mentioned already that the Favored Class bonus is weak when you compare it to what you can get when multiclassing. Do believe paizo has hinted that some of these issues are being looked at and addressed in PF2e. Just waiting to see what the changes are.

Contributor

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In my opinion, people should be allowed to build the character they want. If taking a level of swashbuckler (or whatever) improves the direction they want their character to go or enhances the character's story, they shouldn't feel punished for that.

If classes are treated like professions, then characters should be able to branch out and try new things in reaction to what happens to them, just like real people do. Nothing feels more "gamey" to me personally then when something makes you stick with one class for the entire experience without a good, in-world reason.


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One of the big factors to dipping is the length of the game being played and how slowly stuff scales.

Like let's say the current fighter has weapon training like normal at lv5 but then instead of increasing by 1 you increase by your level so at lv9 you're adding +9 to your weapon training. That SHOULD keep you interested in staying solo classed right????
Well if your game is only going to reach LV8 it's not an incentive to stay fighter. Your weapon training has capped at lv5 and if that's what you cared about then that's when you'd maybe look for dips to have new stuff to look forward to. Dips should be trades, less good at something to be better at the stuff you care about.


there is no issue to fix, multiclassing can give you a way to bring character concepts together because a single class just doesn't give you certain aspects you are looking for, also what chess pwn said some times you just want one certain ability and once you get that, you may not get the next cool ability you were looking at because it doesn't come online till like lvl 15 so you just look else were to help keep your character up to snuff


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Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Kain Dragonhand wrote:

I wasn't being insulting, if you felt insulted by what I said, that's your problem. People multi-class to increase the effectiveness of their character, and yes to flesh out a concept that might not be readily present with the classes available. However most will find a combination that optimizes their character even though they're also fleshing out a concept. Looking at the best feats, skills, and powers to gain to make the concept work. That's not a bad thing and that was the largest draw to 3.5/Pathfinder for many to begin with. The sheer amount of customization you can do to a character.

Mystic theurge might suffer in the short run, but the power it gains in the long run is most certainly worth the effort, wouldn't you think?

Wiz 5/Cleric 5/Theurge 10 ends up as a 15th level caster of both. Can't access level 9 spells?

Wiz 8/Cleric 3/Theurge 10, ends up as a 18 wiz/13 cleric. That seems powerful enough to me. 9th level arcane spells and 7th level divine (or you could reverse that.

When you phrase it as "we all know why it's done" that is insulting.

As others pointed out, Mystic Theurge has to survive to those levels. Even the one level delay of Arcanist or Sorcerer can make some things very difficult because you don't have access to the top level spells. You are delaying it by three levels.

Also, 8 + 3 + 10 = 21 levels when most games don't even make it up past 15th level. Yes, I know you could do 7/3/10 and finally get access to 9th level spells when others have at least three more of those spells.

The thing is, multi classing done right should remove the need for something like the Mystic Theurge PrC, many of the hybrid classes, and things like the Minor Magic rogue talent.


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For myself, I hope that the new edition makes each and every level useful and desirable so as to make the choice to multiclass a meaningful one in which you have to weigh if you'll want the original class abilities or the new classes. Far too often in the current version, there are levels that are either dead or 'meh' and in addition there are some classes that don't have meaningful/exciting options after a certain level [gunslinger, I'm looking at you].

I think that would make EVERYONE happy, both those that enjoy the current multiclassing ans those that don't.


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graystone wrote:

For myself, I hope that the new edition makes each and every level useful and desirable so as to make the choice to multiclass a meaningful one in which you have to weigh if you'll want the original class abilities or the new classes. Far too often in the current version, there are levels that are either dead or 'meh' and in addition there are some classes that don't have meaningful/exciting options after a certain level [gunslinger, I'm looking at you].

I think that would make EVERYONE happy, both those that enjoy the current multiclassing ans those that don't.

Strange seeing you optimistic... :D


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Vidmaster7 wrote:
graystone wrote:

For myself, I hope that the new edition makes each and every level useful and desirable so as to make the choice to multiclass a meaningful one in which you have to weigh if you'll want the original class abilities or the new classes. Far too often in the current version, there are levels that are either dead or 'meh' and in addition there are some classes that don't have meaningful/exciting options after a certain level [gunslinger, I'm looking at you].

I think that would make EVERYONE happy, both those that enjoy the current multiclassing ans those that don't.

Strange seeing you optimistic... :D

LOL I wouldn't say optimistic per se. More I see an opportunity to build character levels from the ground up instead of patching the 3.5 framework and then having to use that pattern to build new classes. We'll have to see if they take the plunge or not.


Cautiously not pessimistic then?


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Pessimism is the only path to true happiness.


I like having the option, at least in 1e. No idea how it'll work but I feel a dip or multiclasing should be good enough to consider as an option. Option being the key word. I'm unsure just how much of it is power gaming but I'll give an example.

I was playing Alxhemist in a game. But we were in tight rooms/halls and lacked a strong front line that could hold. Everyone was almost always engaged. Heck, last two big fights I had to step up and brawl with people. As a bomb focused alchemist. Sad days indeed.

So I looked into multiclass. Dip into fighter would give me what I wanted to help(armor better weapons) and Unbreakable archetype would really help. It also fit with my character idea of an Alchemsit vs the world theme.

But I'd lose out on bombs discoveries spell's and the Mutagen I was starting to bank on more and more. However, if the dip was weak, I would t have considered it. Too much a loss.


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The day Pathfinder limits Multiclassing mechanics is the day I sell my PF books and switch to 5e. Pathfinder IS character customization, even if it encourages Min/Maxing. Kill this aspect of Pathfinder and you might as well play 5e. Certainly is easier to find a group, that much is certain.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber

Is this a serious issue in organized play or something? I just ban characters from having more than two base classes, and from having more than one prestige class. But I want class choice to be really significant- if someone has a concept that requires like four classes to make sense, it's time to spin up a new class.

Pathfinder already offers you incentive not to dip classes. I don't think it needs to go all-in on it with a ban, given how some games view class in a more 3.X style and less of a classic style.


While I despise dipping for pure mechanical benefits, I wouldn't try to remove that option for groups that like going that route. The DM still has control and can well say that an abomination like that isn't welcome at his/her table.


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Doing things for mechanical benefits doesn't necessarily cause any harm.

If I make an Oracle with a Swashbuckler dip, or a Barbarian with a level of Wizard, it might lead to a character who can do unusual combinations of things, rather than one who is just really overpoweringly good at one thing.

From this starting point, I can then try to come up with an interesting backstory to justify why I can do what I do.

Silver Crusade

BretI wrote:
Kain Dragonhand wrote:

I wasn't being insulting, if you felt insulted by what I said, that's your problem. People multi-class to increase the effectiveness of their character, and yes to flesh out a concept that might not be readily present with the classes available. However most will find a combination that optimizes their character even though they're also fleshing out a concept. Looking at the best feats, skills, and powers to gain to make the concept work. That's not a bad thing and that was the largest draw to 3.5/Pathfinder for many to begin with. The sheer amount of customization you can do to a character.

Mystic theurge might suffer in the short run, but the power it gains in the long run is most certainly worth the effort, wouldn't you think?

Wiz 5/Cleric 5/Theurge 10 ends up as a 15th level caster of both. Can't access level 9 spells?

Wiz 8/Cleric 3/Theurge 10, ends up as a 18 wiz/13 cleric. That seems powerful enough to me. 9th level arcane spells and 7th level divine (or you could reverse that.

When you phrase it as "we all know why it's done" that is insulting.

As others pointed out, Mystic Theurge has to survive to those levels. Even the one level delay of Arcanist or Sorcerer can make some things very difficult because you don't have access to the top level spells. You are delaying it by three levels.

Also, 8 + 3 + 10 = 21 levels when most games don't even make it up past 15th level. Yes, I know you could do 7/3/10 and finally get access to 9th level spells when others have at least three more of those spells.

The thing is, multi classing done right should remove the need for something like the Mystic Theurge PrC, many of the hybrid classes, and things like the Minor Magic rogue talent.

No, YOU took it as insulting. Just look at some of the things people have said in this thread alone. I already pointed out one in my post. You're also approaching what I said as if I was of the opinion that optimization is a bad, evil, terrible thing. I don't think it is.

You also only picked out a portion of my quote, I said "BY AND LARGE (which means usually) we all know why it's done." If we didn't there wouldn't be a thread about it. You took offense perhaps because you realize somehow you're guilty of doing it yourself, and scoff at the idea maybe? Well relax, it's not some evil thing

So I mathed wrong on the levels (yes, mathed isn't a word, I get it). I wasn't paying attention, yes it would be 7/3/10. My intent was that you'd still gain access to 9th level spells.

As for that "valley of suck" in the theurge build, I've played one and it really isn't as bad as people say it is. You sacrifice power for a little more versatility. Avoid the damaging spells, the save or suck spells at first, focus on buffing your group and you'll have plenty to do during combat until you start gaining all of that power later on.


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Lord Fyre wrote:
What do people have against the Alchemist 1/Barbarian 1/Bard 1/Cleric 1/Druid 1/Fighter 1/Monk 1/Paladin 1/Ranger 1/Rogue 1/Sorcerer 1/Wizard 1 character?

Ah, yes, that great military figure, Major Undecided! :-)


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Matt2VK wrote:
This here is mostly for non-spell casting classes.

There's no reason to limit this to non-spell casting classes. I am not a fan of level dipping. In my opinion, it cheeses out the game on an IC level. Part of this is because I am from the old AD&D school where your class was something you trained in. It took casters years if not decades to become proficient to use magic, now someone can gain magic proficiency while tavern hopping.

Another reason to deter his behavior is that it makes the game more complicated. Trying to understand how a Paladin is getting sneak attack damage slows things down. I think the game benefits from characters belonging to a class. What is a 1 X/1 Y/4 W/3 L? How do I design a dungeon or a pick a complimentary class for something that can't fill a slot.

A fundamental aspect of scenario encounters is contemplating skills available to a nominal party. As the scenarios get higher in level, the level of mastery for these core competencies must naturally increase. This can be undermined by level dipping.

Alternatively level dipping can also trivialize core builds. Because of the convergence that people uncover when min/maxing, rampant level dipping can create builds which are over the top good at narrow aspects of the game. If this aspect is something like damage dealing, it tends to trivialize core classes.

Let me be clear, I understand there is tremendous appeal for many players to level dip. I understand that doing so let's people do things like create a "Batman" build and makes the game fun. I recognize that multi-classing allows the game to get a lot more mileage from a few classes. But as the OP points out, making the trade-off one's capstone ability is essentially zero penalty because I'll wager 99% of those who play never get to that level.


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I'm from the old AD&D school, I learnt very different lessons! AD&D was far too restrictive. 3.0 was like a breath of fresh air in that regard.
I like classes to be distinct, but they need not be definitive or prescriptive.


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ENHenry wrote:
Lord Fyre wrote:
What do people have against the Alchemist 1/Barbarian 1/Bard 1/Cleric 1/Druid 1/Fighter 1/Monk 1/Paladin 1/Ranger 1/Rogue 1/Sorcerer 1/Wizard 1 character?

Ah, yes, that great military figure, Major Undecided! :-)

I mean, I wouldn't call someone with 4/11 BAB a great military anything. :p


Sayt wrote:
ENHenry wrote:
Lord Fyre wrote:
What do people have against the Alchemist 1/Barbarian 1/Bard 1/Cleric 1/Druid 1/Fighter 1/Monk 1/Paladin 1/Ranger 1/Rogue 1/Sorcerer 1/Wizard 1 character?

Ah, yes, that great military figure, Major Undecided! :-)

I mean, I wouldn't call someone with 4/11 BAB a great military anything. :p

His BAB isn't any lower than the Warrior/Fighter 4 Imperial Generals in my campaigns.


Sayt wrote:
ENHenry wrote:
Lord Fyre wrote:
What do people have against the Alchemist 1/Barbarian 1/Bard 1/Cleric 1/Druid 1/Fighter 1/Monk 1/Paladin 1/Ranger 1/Rogue 1/Sorcerer 1/Wizard 1 character?

Ah, yes, that great military figure, Major Undecided! :-)

I mean, I wouldn't call someone with 4/11 BAB a great military anything. :p

With Fractional Bonuses from Unchained (or just proper understanding of stat growth) it would be significantly better.

Let's do the math: 3/4 + 1 + 3/4 + 3/4+ + 3/4 + 1 + 1(UC) +1 +1 + 3/4 + 1/2 + 1/2 = 5 + 2/2 + 15/4 = +9 Attack Bonus, and guaranteed +1 next level up. It would likely have great saves too!


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
ChibiNyan wrote:
It would likely have great saves too!

With regular rules, +16 fortitude, +10 reflex, +14 will (perfect for cheesing the Item Mastery feats)

With fractional, it's +7 fortitude, +6 reflex, +7 will

Fractional progression is so much saner.


*looks at Inspired Blade Swashbuckler 1/Snakebite Striker Brawler 1/Slayer 3/Inner Sea Pirate 5 NPC with the Familiar Bond feats an a mauler archaeopteryx*

It's not a great PrC, I needed a way to get sneak attack while keeping BAB high, and a way of providing flanking. Pirates generally use exotic birds, right?


I have a character right now who's main class is (or will be, still level 1 right now) UC Rogue, but has a first-level dip in Fighter, for one simple reason: The character's concept requires 6 feats to work, 1 is free from UC Rogue, 3 require BAB+1 (one of which also requires another of the 3) and a fourth requires BAB+2 and one of the BAB+1 feats. If I were to build this character straight, I'd be virtually worthless at level 1 (even though the concept is Human anyways... the human bonus feat doesn't help, since there's only one feat that I can take with BAB+0), burn my level 2 Rogue talent and finally get basic functionality for the concept at 3, and actually able to contribute fully at level 5. That is a long time to spend before you can actually contribute properly. In contrast, I take the first level Fighter dip, which combined with the Human lets me get basic functionality at level 1, then I can use my UC Rogue 2 Talent and the level 3 feat to get proper functionality at 3. And even then... I'm actually still one feat shy of *full* functionality, as I still won't threaten until I get another feat at level 7, but it does mean I'll be able to do actual damage at level 3 rather than 5.

Now the thing about this build... it's an Improvised Weapon build, particularly focused around using a rope as a whip. I doubt anyone would tend to call either Whips *or* improvised weapons "optimal", let alone a build that used both of them together. Heck, it was only recently it even became particularly viable, as they recently introduced gloves that let you have an enhancement bonus on improvised weapons. And in the end it will be plenty strong, but that's the ultimate pay-off for spending the entire early game in a state of bad to meh.

For those interested, here's the breakdown of what I need:
Weapon Finesse (I'm getting this from UC Rogue, and while not actually *vital* to the character, having increased Dex is nice for AC)
Exotic Weapon Proficiency (Whip)
Catch Off-Guard
Equipment Trick (Rope)
Weapon Focus (Whips)
Whip Mastery

and then at 7 Improved Whip Mastery lets me actually threaten with it. For the first 2 levels (would've been 4 without the Fighter Dip) I will be physically incapable of damaging any enemy with armor (read: Most of them, given this is Skulls and Shackles so most of our enemies will be armored humanoids), and starting at level 3 I will need to exploit either Catch Off-Guard and whip's ranged disarm, or else use quirks of the flanking system to get Sneak Attack, which will be a large part of my damage until at later levels I can utilize the Stamina system (another boon of Fighter 1 in this game, though it's more the icing and the feat was the cake) to occasionally give me a good boost in whip damage.


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So we don't really have to have this conversation about things like BAB and saving throw modifiers anymore, because the new mechanics make it very clear that any kind of multi-classing is probably only going to give you greater access to new options to spend your different feats on. Some might also enable higher levels of proficiency in saves and attacks, but probably nothing higher than expert at first level, so a wildly multi-classed character is probably going to be, at best, an expert in a lot of things and a master of none, which sounds about right. This will be far less detrimental then it was in Pathfinder 1E, because as long as you are gaining character levels, you will get better at everything that you have to get better at, just not as much as a character specializing in something specific. I think the inherent design of the system: I.E. not tying every power to an innate class ability but something that can be chosen as a class feat is really going keep multi-classing open for the sake of character design and even niche kinds of specialization, without "hey, I can get these x feats for free by taking one level of these x classes."


Haywire build generator wrote:

*looks at Inspired Blade Swashbuckler 1/Snakebite Striker Brawler 1/Slayer 3/Inner Sea Pirate 5 NPC with the Familiar Bond feats an a mauler archaeopteryx*

It's not a great PrC, I needed a way to get sneak attack while keeping BAB high, and a way of providing flanking. Pirates generally use exotic birds, right?

Is that dino-bird big enough to even threaten the squares around it? That character sounds pretty foon too! Swashbuckler and Slayer seem like the classes one would use to play a deadly Pirate anyways.


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ChibiNyan wrote:
Haywire build generator wrote:

*looks at Inspired Blade Swashbuckler 1/Snakebite Striker Brawler 1/Slayer 3/Inner Sea Pirate 5 NPC with the Familiar Bond feats an a mauler archaeopteryx*

It's not a great PrC, I needed a way to get sneak attack while keeping BAB high, and a way of providing flanking. Pirates generally use exotic birds, right?

Is that dino-bird big enough to even threaten the squares around it? That character sounds pretty foon too! Swashbuckler and Slayer seem like the classes one would use to play a deadly Pirate anyways.

Mauler archetype can increase size to Medium at L3. It's not the best combat bird per size category (since the mauler form is fixed at medium), but I couldn't see a hawk as exotic enough for a pirate pet.


dragonhunterq wrote:

I'm from the old AD&D school, I learnt very different lessons! AD&D was far too restrictive. 3.0 was like a breath of fresh air in that regard.

I like classes to be distinct, but they need not be definitive or prescriptive.

As I said, I recognize people love the mix/matching that came along with unrestricted multi-classing. But I find it hard to believe that between (including Unearthed Arcana):

Fighter, Paladin, Barbarian, Ranger, Thief, Assassin, Samurai, Cavalier, Wizard, Illusionist, Cleric, Druid and Bard, there wasn't a class that you enjoyed playing?

While I do see the value of the 3.0 skill system, the proliferation of feat choices was not an improvement to the actual game experience imo. For me there is a net negative because there are for more options I would like to use than I have feat choices to use. Character always feel incomplete to me and too often the benefit of any particular choice is a function of the scenario rather than any pros/cons of the choice itself.

To put it another way, when players had fewer choices we had less to complain about, ime.


As someone who tends to dip a level here or there, I'll throw my two cents in. I dip for 1 of 2 reasons:
1) I got the functionality I wanted from my main class, and the future abilities don't mean much to me. Case in point: I an playing a paladin in PFS. What I really wanted from it, was Divine Bond to enhance my weapon (and save me some money). To that extend, I chose the Tempered Champion archetype, so I could get more uses of Divine Bond. The problem now? There wasn't anything left in the Paladin base class that interested me. Another mercy? Big deal. More smite evil? How many do I need? So at that point, I decided I was going to leave paladin. I snagged 1 level of Brawler because, well, Martial Flexibility is stupidly useful. Then went over to Skald. Staying in Paladin just wasn't worth it.

2) The other time I dip, is because the mid-range abilities on a class just aren't worth what I could get somewhere else. Case in point: I have Skinwalker Shifter. Bite + claws = good. However, with two levels in Monk of Many Styles, I can get a few styles to go along with my bite/claw/claw (even if those styles don't with with the claws...such as Shark Style and Snake Style). A few more levels back to shifter, but after 4th level and wild shape, I'm not getting enough in the shifter class to stay there vs. taking dips somewhere else. Again, a single dip into Brawler gains me Martial Flexibility. Bloodrager, urban bloodrager, gains me some raging flexibility, some movement, and some bloodline abilities. If I would have stayed in shifter, I would have gotten a second aspect (with Weretouched archetype, I wasn't getting that anyway), trackless step (a very limited ability), and finally Shifter's Fury, another limited ability.
So I traded out an ability I wasn't eligible for and 2 limited abilities for Martial Flexibility, controlled raging, increased movement, and a bloodline ability.

It's not all about power gaming, but sometimes, the mid range abilities aren't worth staying for compared to the lower level abilities.


My $0.02:

I personally like the idea of a classless system, just to avoid issues with "multiclassing" and having to get junk class features to get the one class feature that you need to define your character.

If it was up to me, all class feats would just be feats with prerequisites that make sense for what you would logically need to get them. Heck, I'll probably houserule PF2 when it comes out to make that happen.

But since "classes" exist, allowing ANY combination between them is crucial to letting people play the character they want.

This isn't to say that there aren't problems that can't be fixed.

If every level of every class was roughly balanced with every other level of every other class (this would ultimately require a linear progression system), then people dipping for powerful class features wouldn't be a problem.

If certain prestige classes had reasonable entry requirements, then people would be less inclined to dip. (Why the heck does Eldritch Knight require proficiency in ALL martial weapons? 99% of characters are only going to use one or two weapons. 99% of characters in fiction are NOT proficient in all common weaponry anyway. Why not replace it with Weapon Focus to get that flavor of, "magic user who wants to be good at fighting too"?)

If capstones were frickin' awesome, people would probably be less inclined to dip. For example, let's say a fighter's capstone was, "pick a weapon, you deal max damage with this weapon." There would be a lot more pure fighters. Do something like this for all classes.


thflame wrote:


If every level of every class was roughly balanced with every other level of every other class (this would ultimately require a linear progression system), then people dipping for powerful class features wouldn't be a problem.

Can you explain how this wouldn't make all classes and features feel super samey?


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Planpanther wrote:
thflame wrote:


If every level of every class was roughly balanced with every other level of every other class (this would ultimately require a linear progression system), then people dipping for powerful class features wouldn't be a problem.
Can you explain how this wouldn't make all classes and features feel super samey?

Options can be different but still on the same power level.


It would be awesome to play a game where every time my character got to a new power level, I had a whole host of powers to choose from, some which would improve my existing powers or others which would give me new powers that I could either make more powerful later on, or use in conjunction with even more new powers to be roughly as powerful as a character who focused on developing one power exclusively. Obviously, this is the ideal. With Pathfinder getting rid of BAB and Saving Throw progression charts, this feels achievable, but the big question everyone has is: "how do you do this, while giving some classes access to spells and spell progression, and not others?" Since spell progression will not be tied to feat selection (at least we have seen nothing to think that it will), I think a lot of folks are anxious about how this is all going to work out in practice, because in the existing version of Pathfinder, especially for folks boxed out of spell progression, multi-classing gives players a lot of flexibility to make the characters they want.
I am hopeful for the new system however, because I see a lot of builds that are multi-classing purely to get access to a feat earlier or without attribute requirements, who would otherwise happily stick with their original class, especially if the class abilities they get at higher levels were flexible to begin with and not locked in to choices that don't contribute to the character the player wants to build. The new feat system should do that, but...

...how does any first level class feature or opportunity for proficiency development keep pace with spells and spell progression over levels? That is the challenge we are all waiting with bated breath to see.


N N 959 wrote:
dragonhunterq wrote:

I'm from the old AD&D school, I learnt very different lessons! AD&D was far too restrictive. 3.0 was like a breath of fresh air in that regard.

I like classes to be distinct, but they need not be definitive or prescriptive.

As I said, I recognize people love the mix/matching that came along with unrestricted multi-classing. But I find it hard to believe that between (including Unearthed Arcana):

Fighter, Paladin, Barbarian, Ranger, Thief, Assassin, Samurai, Cavalier, Wizard, Illusionist, Cleric, Druid and Bard, there wasn't a class that you enjoyed playing?

Sure there were classes I enjoyed playing, but its like enjoying water, because that is you know (with maybe a dash of cordial - but never enough to really add much more than a hint of colour) and then 3.0 comes along and I can now have tea or coffee or coke or a 100 other flavours of delicious drinks.

The problem with AD&D isn't that there were fewer choices - there were pretty close to no choices. Every class felt flat and tasteless.


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thflame wrote:
If capstones were frickin' awesome, people would probably be less inclined to dip. For example, let's say a fighter's capstone was, "pick a weapon, you deal max damage with this weapon." There would be a lot more pure fighters. Do something like this for all classes.

That's actually a pretty lame capstone. Take a normal greatsword, max damage is worth 5 damage on the average. That means that their capstone is like weapon specialization + or like 2.5 feats. IDK, but for me that's kinda pretty lame. Having my damage go from 2d6+50~57 damage a hit to 62 damage a hit doesn't entice me to stay when I could go barbarian and rage and get not only +5 damage but also +4 attack with that 1 level dip and the furious weapon enhancement. I believe their current ability of auto-confirming crits is actually a lot more damage than 5 damage per hit would be.


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Well, in PF2 it will be far more than that, between weapon quality and Power Attack.

Still lame for a capstone


dragonhunterq wrote:
Sure there were classes I enjoyed playing, but its like enjoying water, because that is you know (with maybe a dash of cordial - but never enough to really add much more than a hint of colour) and then 3.0 comes along and I can now have tea or coffee or coke or a 100 other flavours of delicious drinks.

I can't agree with that analogy. The classes each had their own distinctive flavors and their flavors were not without some complexity.

3.0 created a lot more choices, but to what end? Choices for the sake of choices? Is my life really improved because I can have blueberry flavored water with a hint of cucumber and pumpkin infusion?

Quote:
The problem with AD&D isn't that there were fewer choices - there were pretty close to no choices. Every class felt flat and tasteless.

Totally disagree. Right now, all the 1 Clown/3 Zebra/2 MacGiver classes seem faceless and amporphous.

The point I was hoping to convey is that AD&D wan't about mechanical choices, but about your roleplaying choices. Yes, all Rangers worked the same mechanically, so what separated you was how you chose to play. I think that was the point of the game, right? In-character actions?

Now, people obsess about builds. Sure, I understand that this is all a subset of game consumption. I also understand that builds are fun for many people. I am not trying to deny that many enjoy this aspect of the game. Unfortunately, I think it's shifted the game focus from the choices one makes in actually playing during the game to what's going on when you're not playing the game.

What's more, the foundation of PF/3.0 is the AD&D functional roles: Fighter, Cleric, Thief, Wizard. These functional roles are also the foundation for encounter/combat design. Even the 3.0 skill system reinforced these roles. When everyone is a Fighter 2/Rogue 1/ Wizard 1/Cleric 2, or some mix thereof, it becomes harder to design an encounter that scratch those traditional itches. Compare four of those dippers to a Fighter 6, Cleric 6, Rogue 6, Wizard 6. It's a completely different set of challenges you can throw at one party versus the others.

Look, I don't think Paizo has any intention of putting the genie back in the bottle. But I'm hoping Paizo pays attention to the fact that we lost something when multi-classing became the preferred option for both roleplayers and min/maxers. They need to fix that, imo.

Oh, and to all you multi-classers...GET OFF MY LAWN!


N N 959 wrote:


What's more, the foundation of PF/3.0 is the AD&D functional roles: Fighter, Cleric, Thief, Wizard. These functional roles are also the foundation for encounter/combat design. Even the 3.0 skill system reinforced these roles. When everyone is a Fighter 2/Rogue 1/ Wizard 1/Cleric 2, or some mix thereof, it becomes harder to design an encounter that scratch those traditional itches. Compare four of those dippers to a Fighter 6, Cleric 6, Rogue 6, Wizard 6. It's a completely different set of challenges you can throw at one party versus the others.

In case any of the designers are actually reading this, I wanted to expand on something I believe is very critical in RPGs: purpose. Yes, this is the same purpose Agent Smith talked about. Giving purpose to each character in a scenario is made possible when those characters have defined functional roles within the game. If everyone does a little of everything, it becomes impossible to set out tasks that give each class a chance to shine.

One thing AD&D gave us in spades, was purpose. Each character class had an identifiable sphere of influence in which that class was the best. This made it easier to design content in which an author could empower whoever played that class. To the extent that multi-classing is the dominant mode, I believe it undermines the scenario writing.

If everyone can compete, regardless of choice, then choice has no meaning.


Chess Pwn wrote:
thflame wrote:
If capstones were frickin' awesome, people would probably be less inclined to dip. For example, let's say a fighter's capstone was, "pick a weapon, you deal max damage with this weapon." There would be a lot more pure fighters. Do something like this for all classes.
That's actually a pretty lame capstone. Take a normal greatsword, max damage is worth 5 damage on the average. That means that their capstone is like weapon specialization + or like 2.5 feats. IDK, but for me that's kinda pretty lame. Having my damage go from 2d6+50~57 damage a hit to 62 damage a hit doesn't entice me to stay when I could go barbarian and rage and get not only +5 damage but also +4 attack with that 1 level dip and the furious weapon enhancement. I believe their current ability of auto-confirming crits is actually a lot more damage than 5 damage per hit would be.

Seeing as the magic weapons add additional dice to your damage, it isn't as bad as you'd think.

For example, a dagger deals 1d4. A +1 dagger deals 2d4. Imagine a +5 greatsword (assuming enhancement bonuses get that high).


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N N 959 wrote:


If everyone can compete, regardless of choice, then choice has no meaning.

If everyone can compete, regardless of choice, then choice loses its game meaning in favor of story meaning.

Now whether you consider that a bug or a feature is a personal thing.

For me it's very much a feature.


thflame wrote:
Chess Pwn wrote:
thflame wrote:
If capstones were frickin' awesome, people would probably be less inclined to dip. For example, let's say a fighter's capstone was, "pick a weapon, you deal max damage with this weapon." There would be a lot more pure fighters. Do something like this for all classes.
That's actually a pretty lame capstone. Take a normal greatsword, max damage is worth 5 damage on the average. That means that their capstone is like weapon specialization + or like 2.5 feats. IDK, but for me that's kinda pretty lame. Having my damage go from 2d6+50~57 damage a hit to 62 damage a hit doesn't entice me to stay when I could go barbarian and rage and get not only +5 damage but also +4 attack with that 1 level dip and the furious weapon enhancement. I believe their current ability of auto-confirming crits is actually a lot more damage than 5 damage per hit would be.

Seeing as the magic weapons add additional dice to your damage, it isn't as bad as you'd think.

For example, a dagger deals 1d4. A +1 dagger deals 2d4. Imagine a +5 greatsword (assuming enhancement bonuses get that high).

I am fairly sure we already heard that gear only goes up to +3


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N N 959 wrote:
N N 959 wrote:


What's more, the foundation of PF/3.0 is the AD&D functional roles: Fighter, Cleric, Thief, Wizard. These functional roles are also the foundation for encounter/combat design. Even the 3.0 skill system reinforced these roles. When everyone is a Fighter 2/Rogue 1/ Wizard 1/Cleric 2, or some mix thereof, it becomes harder to design an encounter that scratch those traditional itches. Compare four of those dippers to a Fighter 6, Cleric 6, Rogue 6, Wizard 6. It's a completely different set of challenges you can throw at one party versus the others.
In case any of the designers are actually reading this, I wanted to expand on something I believe is very critical in RPGs: purpose.

Part of the issue with this idea is it can very easily "force" people to play roles they don't want to. Like if rogue class is required in a party then SOMEONE has to play it to succeed, so better be quick on claiming your class if you don't want to be the rogue.

Like this could for a cleric, a rogue, a wizard/sorcerer and only the melee beatstick gets a choice of their character because these classes "purposes" are required and only found in that class.


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thflame wrote:

Seeing as the magic weapons add additional dice to your damage, it isn't as bad as you'd think.

For example, a dagger deals 1d4. A +1 dagger deals 2d4. Imagine a +5 greatsword (assuming enhancement bonuses get that high).

Sorry was still thinking of old mechanics.

The deal is though that this doesn't stop dipping REALLY.
Like if I'm a lv3 fighter and want some extra power and can dip to get barb rage for a nice big combat boost and all I really trade is that at lv20 that I'll likely never reach or hardly play at if I do I'll be a bit stronger. So It's either many levels of extra power or a final state of extra power. Personally I think most would choose the little lesser power for longer since it's applicable NOW and a good boost for a boost I probably won't see.

It's what we have now for a lot of classes. Fighter's don't get weapon training boosts till lv9 after getting it. If I'm lv5 and I don't need more feats or armor training then I'm getting nothing I want till then AND if the campaign ends at lv8 or lower I'll never see that bump. So it does nothing to want to keep me in the class even though it's a scaling ability.


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Dipping is often a mechanical benefit because classes give a lot of stuff at level 1. And they do that for good, because if they didn't it would be boring to play at low levels.

So, my suggestion is: less class abilities at level one, but give a couple free abilities, not specifically tied to classes, at CHARACTER level one.
This way you have an early mechanical support for your character concept, and you choose the class for its progression and not just the abilities it grants 'right now'.


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thflame wrote:
If capstones were frickin' awesome, people would probably be less inclined to dip.

I have never once paid attention to capstone abilities. In the unlikely event the campaign and character last that long, by the time you get it the campaign is nearly over anyway.

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