What's your opinion on dips?


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It certainly can be abusive and even obstructive. "Why does your Rogue have two levels in Paladin?" "Cause saves." "But you're a thief." "A thief of Iomedae."

I love me some paladin dips but I know I'm doing it for mechanical reasons rather than character reasons. It can limit your style but Martials have little going for them besides some amazing dip options. A Paladin / Swashbuckler has good synergy and Paladin Bloodragers can be awesome Dragon Disciples. I cherish my "power building" but I prefer "optimizing" because of most of my builds would be trash without some optimizing.

The reason "so many" builds on here include multi-classing or dipping is because a single class character is not a build. A build for a 20th level fighter in PFS is just picking 20 feats. A build for a Dragadin is an idea that can be refined and worked on. "Should I take more than two levels of Paladin before going dragon disciple?" "Maybe, but if you take sorcerer you get more spells." There wouldn't be much discussion for those boring single class builds.

Most multi-classed builds I've seen rarely surpass single classing and it takes some munchkined powergaming to pull that off. A snakebite brawler with some levels in slayer does more damage than a rogue and can flurry wiht a greatsword. Dipping in rogue makes him even better. A swashbuckler paladin with levels in scaled fist monk has weaker smite and lay on hands. He never gets other deeds and his monk ac never goes up without monks robes.


I'm both a GM and a player, and I have no problem with taking a dip into another class if the reason for doing so makes sense. I've played at plenty of tables with people who have a Rogue 4/Fighter 2 because they want to play a thug type character, or who take a dip to compensate for some kind of lack in the party's abilities. I remember a Ranger taking a level of Oracle because we suddenly found ourselves without a caster right at the time everyone gained a level. These types of dips are fine, and generally done for benign reasons.

However, if you're going to take ten unrelated level dips just because you're a shameless power gamer and want to build some kind of overpowered franken-character that makes no sense thematically, that I have a problem with, and don't allow as a GM.


Half-elves, CRB, wrote:
Multitalented: Half-elves choose two favored classes at first level and gain +1 hit point or +1 skill point whenever they take a level in either one of those classes.

The game itself is saying, "Do it!"

MidsouthGuy wrote:
However, if you're going to take ten unrelated level dips just because you're a shameless power gamer and want to build some kind of overpowered franken-character that makes no sense thematically, that I have a problem with, and don't allow as a GM.

Most merely "overpowered" builds have a severe Achilles Heel (typically will saves for martials), if not several.

As far as I am concerned, the most annoying builds are those whose class mechanics continually interrupt the cadence of play. --A brute who hits things on a "2" is less irritating than a fiddly straight-class that doubles the length of every combat.


Thunderlord wrote:

It certainly can be abusive and even obstructive. "Why does your Rogue have two levels in Paladin?" "Cause saves." "But you're a thief." "A thief of Iomedae."

{. . .}

Funny you should mention that. I found a complementary example to this (Paladin of Abadar with 2 levels in Thief Rogue), in this awesome PbP of Council of Thieves . . . and the fit was great!


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Thunderlord wrote:
It certainly can be abusive and even obstructive. "Why does your Rogue have two levels in Paladin?" "Cause saves." "But you're a thief." "A thief of Iomedae."

Use Unchained's fractional bonuses. They really cut the crap out of multiclass saves, whether they're over the top (combining good saves - like Reflex for a Rogue/Paladin) or absolutely tanked (combining bad saves). They also prevent tanking BAB when combining non full BAB classes.


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Thunderlord wrote:
It certainly can be abusive and even obstructive. "Why does your Rogue have two levels in Paladin?" "Cause saves." "But you're a thief." "A thief of Iomedae."

Of course, the problem here has absolutely nothing to do with multiclassing, but with the "thief of Iomedae" thing. A Paladin cannot be a thief, regardless of whether he's single class Paladin, or only has two levels in it. The Rogue levels have nothing to do with that, as the class does not make you a thief, nor does it limit your alignment.

Grand Lodge

Yes, yes.

But what do you call a Lawful Good Rogue who spends her 8 Skill Ranks in Diplomcy, Heal, Knowledge: Religion, Planes, Nature, Nobility, History, and Spellcraft; who trades away trapfinding for anything, has Traits from a childhood in a temple or monastery, and has a backstory of ‘when the Orcs raided the holy site I was too afraid and weak to stand face-to-face in melee but instead tried to back-stab an orc or three while they were focusing on the Warpriests & Paladins?....

Certainly NOT a thief.

.

In other words, not all Rogues are thieves (anymore). And there’s good potential in a “Rogue of Iomedae.”

Your arguments seem to be more that you all don’t like when a Player makes a ‘toon’ — that you prefer when Players make characters. (Me too.) But the Rogue/ Paladin of Iomedae need not be a toon; it can be a legitimate, creative character.

It depends completely on the Player and is NOT intrinsic to the build.


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@W E Ray: I'm not sure who you're responding to, because that's exactly my point. Like, your entire post.

To me, people who think Rogue = thief are stuck in the past, apparently unable to realize that Pathfinder is not DnD (and especially not older editions).
There is no Thief class, so what makes a PC a thief is that he steals stuff. If he steals, he's a thief, no matter the class. If he doesn't, he isn't a thief, no matter the class.

I do vastly dislike the name "Rogue", not only because it stigmatizes the class, but also because the class is absolutly crap when it comes to playing the traditional "rogue" type. You know, a bit of a loner, stealthy, good at many things, and a master of precice, deadly attacks. And then you have a class that is extremly dependent on teamwork (the main trigger for Sneak Attack), is not particular good at skills (MAD and no bonuses), way worse at stealth than almost any arcane caster, and can't hit the broad side of a barn without an ally on the other side of it saying "strike this way". I once proposed a Paladin that introduces himself the exact same way as a Rogue to fight class-name based metagaming.


Khudzlin wrote:
Thunderlord wrote:
It certainly can be abusive and even obstructive. "Why does your Rogue have two levels in Paladin?" "Cause saves." "But you're a thief." "A thief of Iomedae."
Use Unchained's fractional bonuses. They really cut the crap out of multiclass saves, whether they're over the top (combining good saves - like Reflex for a Rogue/Paladin) or absolutely tanked (combining bad saves). They also prevent tanking BAB when combining non full BAB classes.

This is about the Paladins class feature, Divine Grace, giving Cha to Saves, not stacking up base save bonuses.


If someone wants to use up two levels and bind themselves to the paladin code of conduct to get that saving throw bonus, who am I to argue?


And now this thread is taking a pretty big level dip into yet another Paladin discussion. LOL.

What I can't stand are those who make, as a previous poster said, a toon. A Rogue/Paladin can be an example of the classic "starving urchin to epic hero" story. A Gunslinger/Vigilante/Bard/Occultist/Barbarian is an example of nothing but shameless ability hording by someone with no character concept other than 'winning' Pathfinder.


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MidsouthGuy wrote:
A Gunslinger/Vigilante/Bard/Occultist/Barbarian is an example of nothing but shameless ability hording by someone with no character concept other than 'winning' Pathfinder.

"All my life I've been intrigued by the objects around me, working to tell their stories and unlock the power they contain. But everything changed when I found the gun of a fallen hero - for when I hold it I am filled with a consuming rage at this meaningless loss. On the surface I am still that same mild-mannered storyteller, yes, but beneath there is something else, a furious warrior who will stop at nothing to avenge these long-dead champions and ensure that their struggles are not forgotten."


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I'm a Paperboy/Airman/Meteorologist/Traveler/Technician/Autodidact/Polymath -- and I'm not done yet! <knock-on-wood>


blahpers wrote:
If someone wants to use up two levels and bind themselves to the paladin code of conduct to get that saving throw bonus, who am I to argue?

True. In the discussion of "Should Paladins be so strictly limited in PF?", I generally dislike the requirements...but accept them solely for their effect in limiting the number of characters with passable Cha from dipping two levels :P. It's the only thing that makes the dip hard to swallow.


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Avoron wrote:
MidsouthGuy wrote:
A Gunslinger/Vigilante/Bard/Occultist/Barbarian is an example of nothing but shameless ability hording by someone with no character concept other than 'winning' Pathfinder.
"All my life I've been intrigued by the objects around me, working to tell their stories and unlock the power they contain. But everything changed when I found the gun of a fallen hero - for when I hold it I am filled with a consuming rage at this meaningless loss. On the surface I am still that same mild-mannered storyteller, yes, but beneath there is something else, a furious warrior who will stop at nothing to avenge these long-dead champions and ensure that their struggles are not forgotten."

Nice. Excellent counterexample.


blahpers wrote:
Nice. Excellent counterexample.

I've always found that starting with a set of mechanical choices helps me write more creative and interesting characters, all the more so if the choices don't intuitively go together. It's like how poems with rhyme and meter can be easier than free verse, because you've got something to work from other than a blank page and your own head.


Avoron wrote:
blahpers wrote:
Nice. Excellent counterexample.
I've always found that starting with a set of mechanical choices helps me write more creative and interesting characters, all the more so if the choices don't intuitively go together. It's like how poems with rhyme and meter can be easier than free verse, because you've got something to work from other than a blank page and your own head.

How about a Hunter/Swashbuckler/Cleric/Slayer?

Also, one of the characters I'm currently making is a tomboy princess who sneaks out to go adventuring with her friends while her parents try to keep her home and do 'princess-approved' lessons. There is no single class that would work for that concept. But a Bard/Swashbuckler/Rogue does.


Heather 540 wrote:
Avoron wrote:
blahpers wrote:
Nice. Excellent counterexample.
I've always found that starting with a set of mechanical choices helps me write more creative and interesting characters, all the more so if the choices don't intuitively go together. It's like how poems with rhyme and meter can be easier than free verse, because you've got something to work from other than a blank page and your own head.

How about a Hunter/Swashbuckler/Cleric/Slayer?

Also, one of the characters I'm currently making is a tomboy princess who sneaks out to go adventuring with her friends while her parents try to keep her home and do 'princess-approved' lessons. There is no single class that would work for that concept. But a Bard/Swashbuckler/Rogue does.

Have you considered a two level paladin dip?


Thunderlord wrote:
Heather 540 wrote:
Avoron wrote:
blahpers wrote:
Nice. Excellent counterexample.
I've always found that starting with a set of mechanical choices helps me write more creative and interesting characters, all the more so if the choices don't intuitively go together. It's like how poems with rhyme and meter can be easier than free verse, because you've got something to work from other than a blank page and your own head.

How about a Hunter/Swashbuckler/Cleric/Slayer?

Also, one of the characters I'm currently making is a tomboy princess who sneaks out to go adventuring with her friends while her parents try to keep her home and do 'princess-approved' lessons. There is no single class that would work for that concept. But a Bard/Swashbuckler/Rogue does.

Have you considered a two level paladin dip?

Maybe for her friend the prince. But only after he gets his familiar. His Swashbuckler levels are going to delay that as it is. Unless I just forgo the Improved Familiar altogether and just stick with the Rhamphorhynchuses. It's fairly dragon-like.

Silver Crusade

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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Plus you have the added comedy of trying to explain to the rhamphorhynchuses that it ISN'T a dragon, vs its insistence that it is.


Val'bryn2 wrote:
Plus you have the added comedy of trying to explain to the rhamphorhynchuses that it ISN'T a dragon, vs its insistence that it is.

"Rhampy, stop blowing on me! You don't have a fire breath attack!"

"Yes I do! I'm a dragon!"
"No, you're a lizard with wings."
"That's a dragon!"


Heather 540 wrote:
Val'bryn2 wrote:
Plus you have the added comedy of trying to explain to the rhamphorhynchuses that it ISN'T a dragon, vs its insistence that it is.

"Rhampy, stop blowing on me! You don't have a fire breath attack!"

"Yes I do! I'm a dragon!"
"No, you're a lizard with wings."
"That's a dragon!"

Maybe he's just a really tiny wyvern.


Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber

Hunter-slayer-cleric-swashbuckler:

"After years of service in espionage for Cardinal Mazarin, I realized there was corruption in the state. Working to root it out, I stalked the evil doers and arrested Nicolas Fouquet, the King's corrupt finance minister. Now, I've been made captain-lietenant of the muskateers, bound to protect king and country with my wits and my rapier."

Congratulations, you've accurately described Dartagnan just by listing four PF classes.


wrong, by the time Mazarin was a minister, De Richelieu was dead, and d'Artagnan started his career foiling Richelieu's plots, ... that was long before he became Louis XIV's personal hound, of course... plus, he mighjt have been a slayer-swash, but I'm not sure about hunter, and he was not religious, that was Aramis' schtick


Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber

I went off historical Dartagnan, not Dumas' Dartagnon.


Charles de Batz de Castelmore Marquis of Artagnan would definitely not have had cleric levels.


Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber

No, but if you were basing a pathfinder character off him he easily could since he worked for the Cardinal before he worked for the state.


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Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber

That's the thing I love most about PF1- from just the concept "a 3 muskateers style game" you could get:

A muskateer cavalier
A virtuous bravo paladin
A musket master gunslinger
A muskateer or picaroon swashbuckler
An inquisitor with black powder

Or a character dipping cleric and mixing with any of those

Or a character dipping a few levels of monk to do more barroom brawling style when not shooting,

Ect, ect


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man, you're getting me interested

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Face it, the Musketeers were a paladin (barely), a barbarian, a swashbuckler, and a cavalier, all probably with levels of rogue and fighter sprinkled in. At least how I'd write them up.


Heather 540 wrote:
Also, one of the characters I'm currently making is a tomboy princess who sneaks out to go adventuring with her friends while her parents try to keep her home and do 'princess-approved' lessons. There is no single class that would work for that concept. But a Bard/Swashbuckler/Rogue does.

Dragon Quest IV pulled it off with just brawler.


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D'Artagnan was clearly an aquakineticist.

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

I don't think D'artagnan was much of a rogue, at least not more than a level or two. He didn't get Uncanny Dodge vs that cannon shot, now did he?


Personally I don't feel any need to justify my multiclassing. It's my character, so the player most affected by my build decisions is: Me. Now fellow players and the GM are also affected, true, but as long as a) the PC's power level fits to the campaign, b) I don't invade someone else's role and c) I don't create a roleplay conflict (such as necromancer vs. paladin), they should be fine and be able to enjoy the company of my character.

The flavor can suffer to multiclassing, but that's also true for single class characters with a bad background story, inconsistent behaviour or barely any RP at all. Nope, I am not here to win the "100% pseudo-realism award", I am here to have fun.

That said, the free multiclassing is an important thing that sets Pathfinder apart from many other RPGs.

Dark Archive

I very rarely build with a straight class. My Wizard, one of the classes people scream to not multiclass with, took her first lv in crossblooded sorcerer. I wanted to make an enchanter and I saw that some of the very high-level enchantment spells don't seem as good as some of the lower ones. Thus i got the bloodline arcana for the undead and impossible bloodlines and got meta magic rods to let me affect the other typically immune creatures. sure I only have 7th lv spells instead of 8th, but now i can fight two creature types that I normally would never be able to.


I tend to use multiclassing more with NPCs I'm building as a GM than I do with my own PCs. Most NPCs aren't going to be "on stage" for long, so it can be fun to make up new and interesting combos, throw them at the players, and then move on to the next challenge. With a PC, I tend to want to stick with the same class a bit longer, to explore its potential in more depth.

Out of 7 PFS characters that I've played so far (currently ranging from 2nd to 11th level), only 2 have multiclassed:

1. Ansari is level 11, all but 1 of that is rogue. After a few levels, he dipped a single level of cleric, for reasons both IC and OOC: he started with a religion trait, and thanked Cayden for surviving against the odds; better saves; enough spellcasting to use wands without UMD; and domain powers that enhanced his mobility. He has no reason to ever take another level of cleric--he can serve his god better focusing on what he does best, after all.

2. Neferanu recently entered the living monolith PrC, and was designed with that end in mind from the start. His base class is brawler, because that seemed like a fun path to the PrC, and I hadn't played a hybrid class before.

My stonelord paladin and white-haired witch definitely will NOT be multiclassing, because I don't want to delay any of the fun stuff their archetypes give them.

My other PCs (4th, 2nd, and 2nd) are still too new for me to know if they'll ever multiclass. None of them was conceived with a PrC class in mind, and IMO, to make a PrC really work, you need to aim for it as early as you can so you can meet the requirements as efficiently as possible.


I find archetypes quite limiting on character development. I think a character should grow by what he experiences, and decides he needs. Dipping, and multiclassing serve that purpose. Single classed archetyping does not. Imaging, planning out 20 character levels when you barely know what you are getting into. I see that so often in character builds that get posted.

This is somewhat mitigated with APs, since they have a long term story designed for 12 to 15 levels. If you use random modules, you cannot depend on your career path.

I have multiclased in 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, and PF. I find it much better for story than single classing.

/cevah


Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Maps, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Maps, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

Archetypes whose first altered/replaced class features come well after 1st level are good for growing by experience -- when you reach the lowest level at which the archetype would matter, you have the major decision about whether or not to take that archetype.


"Do you dips, Danny?"
"Every day."
"Good boy."

-- Caddyshack


Dips are consequence of a game where a lot of abilities go from 0 to max in just one level or have multiple silly prerequisites. To avoid abuse a good design is to make the powers increase with level.

I often find myself designing NPC with dips in monk, fighter or swashbuckler just to collect the prerequisites feats needed to make a concept work.


Even the shameless power grabbing or hording of abilities doesn't redeem the weakness of martial classes. A Brawler 2 / Paladin 2 / Fighter 16 VMC Barbarian may be a martials wet dream in terms of ability hording but a single classed magus will still dominate the battlefield by the time that multiclass activates.

What do you even call that build other than MAD? Brawladarian?


What redeems the presumptive weakness of martials is antimagic field, which the players of casters have more or less whined into nonexistence. (Does it even appear at all in PFS scenarios prior to Tier 14 or higher despite being something a wizard can cast at 11th?)

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

The question is, since it robs casters of their power, why the devil would they cast it? I can only think of two situations, a dragon, since without magic they are still a dragon, and a cleric who specifically is seeking to melee a wizard. A Martial character has no method of making an antimagic field, so you can't really put that forth as an equalizer.


The other thing about AMF is that on anything other than the evil wizard (like say the ever popular dragon) martials are just as utterly useless in an AMF as their caster friend unless you think you can hit a dragon's AC strictly off feats, BAB, and attack mod (and I guess masterwork weapon) and also do appreciable damage along the way. Hope you were a barbarian for the sweet sweet (EX) Rage or were an archer. Otherwise enjoy flurry of misses/plinks.


I like them. Within reason.

Much like anything else in this game, you can probably crack the game wide open even more if you took the right dips at the right time.

That said I only multiclassed once and that was because it would give me more of what I felt like I needed than any single feat could(In this case, Fighter - Unbreakable to be a better frontline)

blahpers wrote:
Heather 540 wrote:
Also, one of the characters I'm currently making is a tomboy princess who sneaks out to go adventuring with her friends while her parents try to keep her home and do 'princess-approved' lessons. There is no single class that would work for that concept. But a Bard/Swashbuckler/Rogue does.
Dragon Quest IV pulled it off with just brawler.

I'd actually go Snakebite Striker for that. Maybe Exemplar.


Val'bryn2 wrote:
The question is, since it robs casters of their power, why the devil would they cast it? I can only think of two situations, a dragon, since without magic they are still a dragon, and a cleric who specifically is seeking to melee a wizard. A Martial character has no method of making an antimagic field, so you can't really put that forth as an equalizer.
Not sure how this would work for Pathfinder 2nd Edition, but in 1st Edition, I can think of a few situations in which somebody would find it useful to cast Antimagic Field, other than the aforementioned example of being a Dragon:
  • Arcane Archer (or Hinterlander with the right really cheesey build(*)) uses it with Imbue Arrow to shut down an enemy spellcaster.
  • Eldritch Knight or Magus uses it in the normal way to gain the upper hand against a pure 9/9 caster.
  • Party with 1 caster and 3 martials uses it in the normal way to gain the upper hand against a party with 3 casters and 1 martial.
(*)MMMmmmmmmmmm . . . cheese dip . . . .


I think I'll stick with the Bard/Swashbuckler/Rogue. The bard level covers the music lessons her parents made her take as well as the magic lessons she convinced the castle wizard to give her. The swashbuckler levels cover the sword lessons she got from her friends. And the Rogue levels cover her learning how to sneak around and get out of the castle without being seen, including learning how to pick a lock.

By the way this website does not like phones. Both the full view and the simplified view do not work. The full view is too wide and I can't hit reply on any post, and a simplified view merges this thread with another thread.

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