Why Not PF1-Style Multi-Classing?


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Why is multi-classing only available via archetypes in PF2?

Why didn't PF2 keep PF1-Style multi-classing?


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Because they wanted a very specific framework to work within for balancing and building the class structures.
and better framework for all the suppliments that invariably comes out.

WIth this kind of support structure in place, they can balance multiclasses a bit easier. So they can make it worth the dip, While als preventing some of the weirder half dip situations in the past.

It also helps to avoid "newbie holes" such as wanting to multiclass xyz but not having the system mastery to pull it off, and instead resulting in a bad time.

Is how I understand the situation.

Honestly, I think I rather like it ultimately. More so as they add other additions, like tthe human lv 9 multiclass ancestry feat. Or the new Elf heritage.


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What that guy said, but also just the general shortcomings of the PF1 multiclassing. Sure, you could make a lot more choices in multiclassing, but most of those choices were wrong. I'm fine losing a fiddly system that failed more often than it succeeded.


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PF1 multiclassing was satisfying for squeezing every drop of power you can into a character, but not for "actually melding two different classes". The devs simply decided the latter was a better thing to emphasize than the former.

I personally hated PF1 multiclassing- there was never really a reason to do it that wasn't purely mechanical (i.e. a level 1 dip here gets me x, y, and z and I need foo and bar to qualify for this PrC). As an aside, prestige classes are another thing I'm very glad are gone.


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I agree with Zwordsman. You'll notice that all the advancement in sheer numbers for a class is now in their base class features. This progress has been separated from class feats. Class feats are for increasing your options. The designers purposely make it so that you can't manipulate those numbers.

Since those base class features don't give you something at every level, there isn't really a way to dip into another class's base features.

You can "dip" into other classes' class feats, however.

I think they also want the design freedom to frontload key abilities at first level that define the class, without it becoming an exploit. (Rogues getting 1d6 sneak attack, for example).

Silver Crusade

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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Because if a bunch of fresh new players in PF1 made their characters, the one who went with single-class Cleric was much better off than the one who went with a multiclass Fighter/Ranger and both were years ahead of the poor soul who rolled a Monk/Rogue/Sorcerer.

PF2 axes the opportunities for such well-intentioned self-inflicted crippling of your gaming enjoyment. Sure, it's at expense of wild wild freedom of building kooky characters, but I prefer that to having to explain to a new player that a multiclassed shaolin acolyte turned temple thief and later a streetwise charlatan (the aforementioned Mon/Rog/Sorc) will be a failtastically bad character at anything she'll try.


I'm guessing they wanted to keep it more open as well as move away from the 3.5 for their own "thing". This also keeps things more open and it's less punishing to multiclass. Anyone could pick up Magic Warrior, some sooner than others, but even a cloistered cleric pick it up without losing their casting progression.


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Hrothgar Rannúlfr wrote:

Why is multi-classing only available via archetypes in PF2?

Why didn't PF2 keep PF1-Style multi-classing?

Reasons a) b) and c)? To prevent powergaming and breaking the game using weird combinations of classes.

Most multi-class characters I ever saw where there for the roll-play, not for the role-play.


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Hrothgar Rannúlfr wrote:

Why is multi-classing only available via archetypes in PF2?

Why didn't PF2 keep PF1-Style multi-classing?

Honestly mate, if you want more PF1-style multiclassing, it's easy to house rule.

Let people spend general feats *or* class feats on multiclass devotion. And then once you have at least one devotion feat, you count as being that class too, using your full character level, for the purpose of taking future feats.

If you start as a fighter, take the Wizard multiclass devotion, and reach 10th level? Well, now you can take a 10th level wizard feat. Easy peasy.

I imagine it upsets some balance a little, maybe, but nothing too serious, I'm sure.

Grand Lodge

It has been a month or two since I listened to it, but it was covered at one of the paizocon panels. I think it may have been

http://knowdirectionpodcast.com/podcasts/PC2019-038-PhilosophyBehindPathfin derSecondEdition.mp3


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Gorbacz wrote:

Because if a bunch of fresh new players in PF1 made their characters, the one who went with single-class Cleric was much better off than the one who went with a multiclass Fighter/Ranger and both were years ahead of the poor soul who rolled a Monk/Rogue/Sorcerer.

PF2 axes the opportunities for such well-intentioned self-inflicted crippling of your gaming enjoyment. Sure, it's at expense of wild wild freedom of building kooky characters, but I prefer that to having to explain to a new player that a multiclassed shaolin acolyte turned temple thief and later a streetwise charlatan (the aforementioned Mon/Rog/Sorc) will be a failtastically bad character at anything she'll try.

Typical nonsense from DPS powergaming munchkin land.


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PFRPGrognard wrote:
Gorbacz wrote:

Because if a bunch of fresh new players in PF1 made their characters, the one who went with single-class Cleric was much better off than the one who went with a multiclass Fighter/Ranger and both were years ahead of the poor soul who rolled a Monk/Rogue/Sorcerer.

PF2 axes the opportunities for such well-intentioned self-inflicted crippling of your gaming enjoyment. Sure, it's at expense of wild wild freedom of building kooky characters, but I prefer that to having to explain to a new player that a multiclassed shaolin acolyte turned temple thief and later a streetwise charlatan (the aforementioned Mon/Rog/Sorc) will be a failtastically bad character at anything she'll try.

Typical nonsense from DPS powergaming munchkin land.

Wish it was just nonsense from a powergaming munchkin. We had a wizard/fighter who wanted to go eldritch knight without taking eldritch knight prc and he ended up both behind BAB and saves and spellcasting. He didn't benefit too much from going wizard3/fighter3 at all. The fighter6 and cleric6 we had excelled in both melee and casting respectively.


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It's because PF1 style multi-classing f~+&ing suuuuuucked

The new system isn't perfect but it's a pretty significant step up. Hybrid concepts actually work out the gate without applying an Eldritch Knight-style patch job. Old style multi-classing wasn't good for anything other than shoving in a Barbarian level in campaigns where you have few encounters per day.


I like PF2's way. However I have been curious if you could home-brew a system like pf1 multi classing. Their wouldn't be much to it really. With the way the classes are set up it should work however I can't say how strong or weak they will be. I haven't formally tried it out yet.

If someone tries it let me know. Just literally take a leve of one or the other gain the hit die and whatever ability it gives you and treat all the rest the same since BAB and saves and skills are no longer attached to class it should be easy.


Vidmaster7 wrote:
...since BAB and saves and skills are no longer attached to class it should be easy.

What gave you this impression? As far as I can see proficiency for weapons and saves is very much attached to class...

Silver Crusade

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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Arachnofiend wrote:

It's because PF1 style multi-classing f+~&ing suuuuuucked

The new system isn't perfect but it's a pretty significant step up. Hybrid concepts actually work out the gate without applying an Eldritch Knight-style patch job. Old style multi-classing wasn't good for anything other than shoving in a Barbarian level in campaigns where you have few encounters per day.

It was good for dips and some deeply tricked-out powergaming builds where you knew *exactly* what you were doing in order to pull out the desired effect. Such as making a combo of three classes in order to pull out some cheese possible by combining class ability from class A with archetype of class B and a feat available only to class C into some weird setup which was never intended by anybody who wrote A, B or C.

At the same time it was completely failing at "making flavourful builds that combine classes elegantly" which was what most people expected out of multiclassing system.

PF2 is much better at realising the idea of a "Fighter who dabbles in magic" or "A thief-acrobat who knows some kung-fu". There's still some ground to cover (PF2 muticlass system is aimed at 'A lot of class A with a dash of class B' and not much on '50/50 combo' style of multiclassing) but hey, what we got right out of the gate in the CRB is miles ahead of the whole 3.5/PF1.


Ubertron_X wrote:
Vidmaster7 wrote:
...since BAB and saves and skills are no longer attached to class it should be easy.
What gave you this impression? As far as I can see proficiency for weapons and saves is very much attached to class...

In PF2? Are you talking about proficiency? because everything else just goes up with level. So you would gain the proficiency as you gained when you hit the level you would normally gain them. Did you not pick up on what I was implying?

Let me see if I can say it simplier. Oh maybe an example. alright lets say you gain prof in armor at X level in one class and You gain prof in magic at x level in another. You wouldn't gain x level in magic until you actually hit that level in that class. and wouldn't gain the armor till you hit that level in that class. Not total level mind you but level in the class itself.


Vidmaster7 wrote:
Ubertron_X wrote:
Vidmaster7 wrote:
...since BAB and saves and skills are no longer attached to class it should be easy.
What gave you this impression? As far as I can see proficiency for weapons and saves is very much attached to class...
In PF2? Are you talking about proficiency? because everything else just goes up with level.

A fighter get procifiencies for weapons faster than a cleric. If you go Cleric6/fighter7, you wouldn't get the fighter's level 13 Weapon Legend?


Corvo Spiritwind wrote:
Vidmaster7 wrote:
Ubertron_X wrote:
Vidmaster7 wrote:
...since BAB and saves and skills are no longer attached to class it should be easy.
What gave you this impression? As far as I can see proficiency for weapons and saves is very much attached to class...
In PF2? Are you talking about proficiency? because everything else just goes up with level.
Level of the class yeah. A fighter get procifiencies for weapons faster than a cleric. If you go Cleric6/fighter7, you wouldn't get the fighter's level 13 Weapon Legend?

That would be the cost of multi-classing the old way yeah.

Now I suppose you could say when you get prof from cleric it would increase your prof from fighter so like treat it as a increase every time but that might be more OP then what I'm already suggesting.


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It's humanly impossible to have a balanced multiclassing system that gives you 50/50 combo styles. There are currently 55 class-combinations. Being sure that all of them are roughly balanced between each other would be a gigantic work: being sure that multiclassing into wizard gives you the same power gain if you're a fighter, an alchemist or a sorcerer is a massive headache.
Current multiclassing system is more 80/20. There are, for sure, power discrepancies in the current multiclassing system. But between an 80/10 and a 80/30 character, the power difference is not big enough to imbalance the whole game. Even if I'm pretty sure the most optimized builds will still be highly multiclassed, at least they will fall close to an average optimized monoclassed character.


Vidmaster7 wrote:
Corvo Spiritwind wrote:
Vidmaster7 wrote:
Ubertron_X wrote:
Vidmaster7 wrote:
...since BAB and saves and skills are no longer attached to class it should be easy.
What gave you this impression? As far as I can see proficiency for weapons and saves is very much attached to class...
In PF2? Are you talking about proficiency? because everything else just goes up with level.
Level of the class yeah. A fighter get procifiencies for weapons faster than a cleric. If you go Cleric6/fighter7, you wouldn't get the fighter's level 13 Weapon Legend?

That would be the cost of multi-classing the old way yeah.

Now I suppose you could say when you get prof from cleric it would increase your prof from fighter so like treat it as a increase every time but that might be more OP then what I'm already suggesting.

There's not much reason to believe that "You become trained in X." + "You become trained in X." = "You become Expert in X."

Either way, it seems that we're back to square one where using PF1 mc would likely leave a hybrid much further behind in both aspects of martial and casting unlike PF2 mc.


Corvo Spiritwind wrote:
Vidmaster7 wrote:
Corvo Spiritwind wrote:
Vidmaster7 wrote:
Ubertron_X wrote:
Vidmaster7 wrote:
...since BAB and saves and skills are no longer attached to class it should be easy.
What gave you this impression? As far as I can see proficiency for weapons and saves is very much attached to class...
In PF2? Are you talking about proficiency? because everything else just goes up with level.
Level of the class yeah. A fighter get procifiencies for weapons faster than a cleric. If you go Cleric6/fighter7, you wouldn't get the fighter's level 13 Weapon Legend?

That would be the cost of multi-classing the old way yeah.

Now I suppose you could say when you get prof from cleric it would increase your prof from fighter so like treat it as a increase every time but that might be more OP then what I'm already suggesting.

There's not much reason to believe that "You become trained in X." + "You become trained in X." = "You become Expert in X."

Either way, it seems that we're back to square one where using PF1 mc would likely leave a hybrid much further behind in both aspects of martial and casting unlike PF2 mc.

Right I probably wouldn't do it that way but it would be something to try and see.

Right I'm not saying it would be better I'm just saying if you really liked the old way in theory it still should work. Heck maybe even slightly easier (albeit maybe? less effective) . Its hard to say I mean It's not like every multiclass combination worked in pf1 I do expect like a few like that in pf2 could work too.

I think people are thinking I'm advocating for PF1 style. I'm not I'm just suggesting a house rule for people that really like the PF1 way of doing it.


Yes PF1 multiclassing has it problems, mainly that it requires some system mastery to not cripple yourself by either picking the wrong class/levels or playing the combination wrong. But that's something that will always be part of a complex system like multiclassing (even in PF2); There is no easy way to ensure that every combination works within a set power limit.

And no matter how much people cry "powergamers", being able to combine classes for what you want is the greatest part of multiclassing. Not even on a power scale, just being able to get those little bonuses to get your character going a few lvs sooner or the set of abilities you want your character to have is a great boon.

I always feel like part of the problem is that a lot of people just dont like high powered characters and sone demonize those that like that kind of play. I mean is it really so bad to get the abilities you want, specially when it's the best way to get Your character and its within the rules?


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Temperans wrote:

Yes PF1 multiclassing has it problems, mainly that it requires some system mastery to not cripple yourself by either picking the wrong class/levels or playing the combination wrong. But that's something that will always be part of a complex system like multiclassing (even in PF2); There is no easy way to ensure that every combination works within a set power limit.

And no matter how much people cry "powergamers", being able to combine classes for what you want is the greatest part of multiclassing. Not even on a power scale, just being able to get those little bonuses to get your character going a few lvs sooner or the set of abilities you want your character to have is a great boon.

I always feel like part of the problem is that a lot of people just dont like high powered characters and sone demonize those that like that kind of play. I mean is it really so bad to get the abilities you want, specially when it's the best way to get Your character and its within the rules?

I don't think people hate high powered characters that much, many tend to direct even newer players towards hard hitting build paths, 2 handed power attacking fighter comes to mind during early pf1 days.

I think the biggest issue is that 3.5/pf1 multiclassing tends to be tilted too hard into either direction, generalizing a bit here. One example being the typical eldritch knight. In theory, a wizard 10/fighter 10 makes sense for a newer player. But the more experienced player knows that character will be ten levels behind martials in BAB, and ten levels behind casters in slot levels and amount.

On the other hand, I remember in 3.5, we could end up with a warlock with a hellfire glaive who could negate the con penalties from using hellfire via a visage. While being permanently invisible and having like 5 attacks of opportunity. This wasn't even extreme multiclassing, but if you dug up visage from some obscure book, short of enemies metagaming to deal with a perma invisible enemy, your hellfire warlock was a menace. It's been a while so I could remember a bit wrong about the warlock example though.

I'm sure veteran 3.5/pf1 players can come up with much worse stories about dipping a few levels here and there. Biggest difference was that a multiclassing newbie didn't just get a bit weaker. They became often kind of useless. While the veterans became demi-gods.


I think the biggest thing is that actually dipping levels kind of messed up your progression - if you are a spellcaster and dipped, you would end up getting higher level spells a lot later (or not at all), and if you where a martial, you missed out on base attack bonus increases and other important progressions.

In 5th edition it is even worse as you delay or miss out on ability score increases (which interestingly, would be the case in PF2 as like in 5e, ability boosts are part of the class progression as opposed to being their own table, though that could be solved by separating them back out into their own table)

The PF2 way means you can get the things you probably multiclassed for (like the fighters attacks of opportunity and feats or the wizards spellcasting) without sacrificing the progression of your main class features.


Tender Tendrils wrote:

I think the biggest thing is that actually dipping levels kind of messed up your progression - if you are a spellcaster and dipped, you would end up getting higher level spells a lot later (or not at all), and if you where a martial, you missed out on base attack bonus increases and other important progressions.

In 5th edition it is even worse as you delay or miss out on ability score increases (which interestingly, would be the case in PF2 as like in 5e, ability boosts are part of the class progression as opposed to being their own table, though that could be solved by separating them back out into their own table)

The PF2 way means you can get the things you probably multiclassed for (like the fighters attacks of opportunity and feats or the wizards spellcasting) without sacrificing the progression of your main class features.

Unless you found that one or two specific PrC who kept spellcasting progression but also weren't worth more than 1-3 level. Then you combine it with another.


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Thing is the majority of dips weren’t really cool or flavorful, they were either 1. Poaching other class features for mechanical benefit (Aka higher numbers) or 2. Gaining bonus feats/ shortcutting feat chains. Once you take out those you took out 95% or more of PF1 multiclassing. The rest was either prestige class prerequisites (which was unsatisfying since usually til you unlocked the prestige class your character sucked, see dragon disciple) or a few cases of legitimate coolness that wasn’t just math. Also a major negative of the system as has been said by others is just how user unfriendly it was and that it was so easy to nerf your character.

Anyway with PF2 having much flatter math the poaching features was removed (I mean you can poach rage now but it’s a minor boost since you don’t get the further scaling features) and removal of long huge general feat chains means the other reason is gone. Add in being user friendly and not losing your main class features and it’s pretty obvious why they removed old style multiclassing.


Temperans wrote:
I always feel like part of the problem is that a lot of people just dont like high powered characters and sone demonize those that like that kind of play. I mean is it really so bad to get the abilities you want, specially when it's the best way to get Your character and its within the rules?

Not quite sure who is to blame here. The set of rules which allows for breaking the class and level balance or the players actually making use of said rules.

Having said so creating a ruleset that is inherently min/max resistant is a huge boon when you plan to crank out a lot of source material including lots of new base classes, archtypes and feats and either lack the creativity or time and budget to cross-check if your latest publication is 100% in line with every single older source material.

Apart from that I am ok with any well build multiclassed character that is not "mechanically better" than any well build single class character, be it fighter, rogue, cleric or wizard.


So they did it to fix the problems with PF1's multiclassing, I'd agree on that, but I don't know why they chose this route vs something closer to PF1s that fixed the problems, as there are pretty clearly ways they could have done that.

5e fixed the multiclassing problem reasonably well (it still has its issues) through fixing multiclass spellcasters and tying ability boosts to class levels, so you have incentive not to take shallow splashes. 2e could have gone a route similar to this and allowed multiclassing only at levels you get ability boosts (allowing you to "swap out" your class at this point, possibly with a cost). They could have come up with a solution to the multiclass caster problem. They could have declared certain abilities (rogue's racket) "signature" and not provided multiclass characters access to them...

There were probably other ways to solve this problem that would have been closer to what 1e/5e did, but Paizo chose to effectively do away with traditional multiclassing and adopt an approach similar to 4e's... If tone wasn't obvious, I'm not a huge fan, but at the same time, it does give them more ability to constrain the math and is easier to manage. It's just not as diverse, and doesn't allow for possibilities that used to be possible (being half and half, stopping progression in one class).

EDIT: Note, yeah, I think Paizo could have done better, but I also do think this is an improvement over 1e's multiclass system, which I'd agree, was fundamentally broken...


"Poaching mechanical benefit" and "skipping feats" is the entire point of multiclassing. You dont multiclass just because otherwise there is no point in having classes, so I dont see how that's a demerit.

***********
I'm all for better multiclassing rules. But from that to blaming people for making use of the existing rules is just bad.

***********
PF2 multiclassing is just a souped up Variant Multiclassing. Meaning they took the super rigid system and made it extremely more flexible. The problem is that they also removed actual features (PF2 features are a skeleton to give classes a vague shape) which means the Variant Multiclassing no longer makes 1.5 gestalt classes.


Yeah well neither of those are valid or wanted things anymore hence they removed it. I mean you can say multiclassing is for poaching class features or getting feats or you can say multiclassing is for making a fighter who can cast wizard spells, a master of multiple magic schools or a singing barbarian. PF2 is much much better for the later while being worse for the former. I think we can clearly see why paizo would want to cater to making thematic characters and not just figuring out the math of what features are best to poach. In some ways I agree it’s s bit sad to lose that mini game, but I don’t think it was fun for my table when my character was as effective as any 2-3 others combined at our table because I had system mastery (or knew where zeniths guide was).

Anyway you can poach rage or sneak attack or whatever now, but you just don’t auto-win because of it. Before there were certain classes that were highly front loaded (cough Paladin) so it never mattered if you never progressed past level 2 in it. You effectively got all the relevant class bits you wanted and thus had OP characters. With the flat math here (and the new crit rules) you can not have a system where you get full math bonus features (Aka choose any 2 of fighter proficiency, rage, flurry, monks unarmed damage, etc). If you wanted to reintroduce PF1 multiclassing into PF2 in some way (say doing some sort of gestalt rules) you’d have to kill the new crit rule system.

As for the 5e argument I don’t think they fixed it well at all. They have more disincentives to doing it than PF1 did (such as the delayed stat boost) but in the end it’s still the same issues from PF1. Bounded accuracy does make the loss of attack at low levels less noticeable, but eventually you will be behind. (Just not by as much since everything is so much flatter regarding character scaling)


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I wish we could get 2nd edition multiclassing back, still my favorite.


Arakasius wrote:

Thing is the majority of dips weren’t really cool or flavorful, they were either 1. Poaching other class features for mechanical benefit (Aka higher numbers) or 2. Gaining bonus feats/ shortcutting feat chains. Once you take out those you took out 95% or more of PF1 multiclassing. The rest was either prestige class prerequisites (which was unsatisfying since usually til you unlocked the prestige class your character sucked, see dragon disciple) or a few cases of legitimate coolness that wasn’t just math. Also a major negative of the system as has been said by others is just how user unfriendly it was and that it was so easy to nerf your character.

Anyway with PF2 having much flatter math the poaching features was removed (I mean you can poach rage now but it’s a minor boost since you don’t get the further scaling features) and removal of long huge general feat chains means the other reason is gone. Add in being user friendly and not losing your main class features and it’s pretty obvious why they removed old style multiclassing.

Those dips sound cool in my book. PF1 style was a hell of a lot more fun and effective than whatever this is. Shoulda kept PF1 style and had VMC separate like before.

The Exchange

I like PF2 MC, you add a direction flavor to whatever you started with. But I'm all for improved MC rules and new feats.


sherlock1701 wrote:
Those dips sound cool in my book. PF1 style was a hell of a lot more fun and effective than whatever this is. Shoulda kept PF1 style and had VMC separate like before.

The issue with classes is that they mix rules and lore. Every class you take is adding the lore of the class to your character. So, a rogue/monk/barbarian may be super cool rulewise, it is extra complex lorewise, and some people will see it very negatively.


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Temperans wrote:


I always feel like part of the problem is that a lot of people just dont like high powered characters and sone demonize those that like that kind of play. I mean is it really so bad to get the abilities you want, specially when it's the best way to get Your character and its within the rules?

The problem is that it's beneficial to one type of player - one that knows exactly how to game the system to get what they want - and insanely punishing to literally everyone else.

I'm one of those players, as are some members of my group. That doesn't mean I'm not aware that it's bad design.

If a person who knows the system and a person who doesn't are placed next to one another, it's not hard to have effectively a 3 level difference in power. And turns out playing the game sucks for that person who shot themself in the foot.


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Multiclassing in 3.5/PF1/5e has a few major flaws.

First, dipping. Because you progress from the bottom up in the other class, it means anything cool or useful has to be delayed so that it's out of reach of dippers. Otherwise you get people dipping a single level in a class just automatically, because that first level or two of Fighter is way more useful than anything else it can offer. 5e's got this issue in spades, with many classes kind of being a bore until level 3 when the game actually starts.

Second, it's very all or nothing. You're sacrificing an entire level of your base class in order to get an entire level of another class. For a lot of builds and concepts, you only want this particular thing from the other class. AoO's from Fighters, Sneak Attack from Rogues, whatever. But you would be sacrficiing *everything* you'd get next level, your capstones, all the good stuff to get that one thing because you're also paying for all this junk you're not actually going to use.

That's what causes multiclassing to be so godawful by default. It's not enough to just want to multiclass, you have to plan your build so that you make as much use as possible from everything you get out of the other class or you need to have something SUPER cheesy, bordering on an exploit, in order to justify the rest of the class being a dud for you. People didn't play Oradin because they thought the Oracle was a great all-around fit for paladin, it was to exploit a very particular interaction in order to take damage in the place of others and then heal that damage with a swift action from the Paladin, creating a healbot that heals on a swift action and gets to do fun DPR stuff otherwise.

PF2 multiclassing is a lot more surgical. Two characters can have the same MC (Fighter dipping into Rogue) but have very different builds because each class is taking different things. You take just the bits that fit your concept, not sacrificing a ton of your power by default to buy features and feats you aren't going to use.

Granted, some of the dedication feats are trash. Fighter dedications practically provide nothing to other martials wanting to dip, nearly the same with Champions. And neither of their proficiencies sufficiently scale even if you invest into it, so it's not unusual at high levels to start doing worse with the gear you dipped and invested into those classes for. But most classes provide something that's generally useful in their dedications.

Overall I think it's a major step up. It's a lot easier for people to do (no math needed), it has a lot less potential to break the game, you can do it a lot more to fit a concept. PF2's whole ethos is to make it so optimized characters are not imbalancing the game, so things that lower the optimization ceiling and raise the optimization floor while still permitting lots of mechanical variety is desirable for this game. IF you want 10 years of jank, PF1 still exists.

That said, I do hope that there's good guidelines given for those wishing for more classic MC'ing for those that want it. It's not as simple as just adding their numbers together, and even if you do get that far you have to contend with the fact that classes are now a lot more frontloaded and level 1 from a class would be grantin you amazing things that would blow nearly anything else any other class could offer out of the water. But maybe there's something that can be done to mitigate that.


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Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

One of the fundamental issues with level by level multi-classing from a design perspective is that you cannot grant powerful class defining features at first level. This means you are several levels in before your character really feels like their class.


@Campbell
That's always a problem with progression based games, specially RPGs, which is why the "Start at lv X" and "gestalt" rules are important. Multiclassing either makes it better or worse depending on the rules and what's available.

@Arakasius
"Poaching mechanics" and "poaching lore" is not mutually exclusive; but lore is vastly more flexible than mechanics are, just requiring creativity.

@SuperBidi
You can easily change the lore of a class, but it's much harder to change mechanics (without breaking some things).

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Just to make sure, I'm not saying PF2 multiclassing is bad, in fact it's a good way to keep advancing your main class even with multiclassing.

But I do think that because of the feat competition and dedication rule(s) it's also very limiting.

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I could see a PF1 style multiclass in which feat progression doesn't change (except while taking lvs in Rogue) and you can never increase proficiency to the max of a given class (you can still increase skills); aka no getting legendary via Fighter, or Master via Barbarian, etc. The only problem I see is that martial characters (which get Legendary very early in comparison to the rest) would lose their +2 even with a single lv dip and saves for multiclass characters would all fall by 2. You would use class lv for feats (not character lv).

Proficiency is so hard to work around given how important they made it to class identity.


Campbell wrote:
One of the fundamental issues with level by level multi-classing from a design perspective is that you cannot grant powerful class defining features at first level. This means you are several levels in before your character really feels like their class.

That's not a fundamental issue, in that it's not unsolvable with a level-by-level approach. I pointed out a way to do this above. To provide more detail, what I *might* have done was the following:

1. Ability boosts every 4 levels actually, so 1, 5, 9, 13, 17.
2. When you get an ability boost, you can also switch out your class progression. Possibly at the cost of 1-2 of your 4 boosts (balance...).
3. Certain class features (rogue's racket) are declared as "signature", and you only get signature abilities for your main class.
4. (Optional) Have a level 8 feat for each class that grants the signature ability for that class if you don't already have it.

So, want to be a Fighter splashing rogue for Dexterity to Damage, you no longer get it at 1st level, but if you sink 8 levels into the multiclass, you can get it at 8th level.

This approach obviously still has its flaws in that you need to know what you're doing and it's very possible to build a *bad* multiclass character, but at the very least, you've at least gotten to level 5 and have more system knowledge before you ever get the opportunity to do that. It prevents shallow splashes and allows handing out of good abilities early on without other classes being able to poach them. It allows at least something closer to a 50/50 class split (okay, more like 60/40, but still...).

Granted, this approach takes a lot more care to design around, because you're not spelling out which class abilities are available and when outside of the signature abilities, and you'd still need to solve for the caster problem.


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Pathfinder Card Game, Companion, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Charter Superscriber
Takamorisan wrote:
I like PF2 MC, you add a direction flavor to whatever you started with. But I'm all for improved MC rules and new feats.

This is pretty much how I feel about MC archetypes. They add a cool flavor to your class.

re: PF1 MC
For some players it is a lot of fun to "dip" to get the mechanical to match the idea they have for their character. I get that.

Unfortunately, about 80% of the time, in my experience, that created a character that was either over-powered, or no longer fit well within the group since they now were able to do things that other party members were doing previously, or both. Both of these things would sour a perfectly good gaming group fast. This then would fall of the DM to mitigate everyone's feelings and deal with all of the fallout, etc, etc, etc., or the group just falls apart, basically.

In all my years (30+) of DMing, I have yet to see a MC situation work out well for the group. I believe PF2e's implementation of multi-classing is the most workable approach I have seen in a DnD style game. An approach that gives you a flavor of a different class without breaking the game. I think that is about the best you can from multi-classing.

My sense is that if you want a "dual-class" then that needs to come from a new class, or some class path/order/etc.


Hrothgar Rannúlfr wrote:

Why is multi-classing only available via archetypes in PF2?

Why didn't PF2 keep PF1-Style multi-classing?

i believe the whole point is to make it so ALL abilities proc off your level and remove all other forms of bad multiclassing.

like MCing a wizard and another caster before was awful. now when you pick up an ability from a class you MC into it levels up with you like normal. prestige classes will no longer be weird things that make a bunch of your original classes abilities stay stuck at level 10 power forever more, etc.


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One of the main problems with PF1 style MC is that it was actually really bad at accomplishing its main goals. Actually splitting your levels tended to just kind of make you suck at everything rather than feeling like someone with a split focus. So PF1 multiclassing was for the most part relegated to strategic dipping for certain class features... or more likely something you just ignored entirely. Seriously for all the talk about the sanctity of dipping here, if PF1 didn't have multiclassing at all the vast majority of characters I've seen in games or online wouldn't even notice a change.

PF2's feat focused multiclassing then is focused on allowing you better emulate a split-focused character. A fighter who spends feats to become an MC wizard is overall a much more functional character while still managing to capture that battlemage style. You're going to be both a better fighter and a better wizard than your split-level PF1 counterpart.

There are downsides to that change, as it turns feats into an incredibly tight bottleneck for characters and it means things either come online very slowly or restrict your ability to branch out (whereas having both levels AND feats as progression gave you extra layers of customization).

And while overall I think it's better for realizing hybrid concepts, it's not tuned great. My above example of a fighter/wizard is an excellent martial who becomes a good spellcaster over time, but a wizard/fighter remains pretty terrible at swinging a sword no matter how many feats they spend on their fighter MC.


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Squiggit wrote:

One of the main problems with PF1 style MC is that it was actually really bad at accomplishing its main goals. Actually splitting your levels tended to just kind of make you suck at everything rather than feeling like someone with a split focus. So PF1 multiclassing was for the most part relegated to strategic dipping for certain class features... or more likely something you just ignored entirely. Seriously for all the talk about the sanctity of dipping here, if PF1 didn't have multiclassing at all the vast majority of characters I've seen in games or online wouldn't even notice a change.

PF2's feat focused multiclassing then is focused on allowing you better emulate a split-focused character. A fighter who spends feats to become an MC wizard is overall a much more functional character while still managing to capture that battlemage style. You're going to be both a better fighter and a better wizard than your split-level PF1 counterpart.

There are downsides to that change, as it turns feats into an incredibly tight bottleneck for characters and it means things either come online very slowly or restrict your ability to branch out (whereas having both levels AND feats as progression gave you extra layers of customization).

And while overall I think it's better for realizing hybrid concepts, it's not tuned great. My above example of a fighter/wizard is an excellent martial who becomes a good spellcaster over time, but a wizard/fighter remains pretty terrible at swinging a sword no matter how many feats they spend on their fighter MC.

I dunno, the wizard only winds up 2 points behind most martials for accuracy and winds up with a lot more spell slots to buff with than the fighter who multiclassed wizard. Or just blast and bash with.

The two characters feel fairly equal to me. A better example might be comparing fighter/wizard to fighter/sorcerer. The latter lacks heightening or spell choice compared to the former.


ikarinokami wrote:
I wish we could get 2nd edition multiclassing back, still my favorite.

Are you talking about demihuman multi-classing, human dual-classing, or both?


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Thanks for all the feedback, everyone.
Much appreciated.


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It always comes back to the 50/50 Wizard/Fighter and honestly yeah it's doesn't have good stats (below a 6th spell lv caster), which means you need to have a solid strategy to even try pulling it off (aka it's not for beginners).

Also do notice it is impossible to get 50/50 multiclassing in PF2. So you still need a Magus option to serve as a middle man class. Some people dont want it cause "Fighter/Wizard", but they dont play the same (at least I hope Paizo doesn't do that, as it'll be a real blow to the Magus).


Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

A fighter who multi-classes into Wizard can get 8th level spells and Master Proficiency in spell casting. I have trouble seeing how that is less than half a caster.

I do agree there is design space for a Magus built on something like a Warpriest chassis that has abilities to let them channel magic into their blade.


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50/50 implies that a Figther/Wizard would have the same stats as a Wizard/Fighter, which is impossible. The Fighter gets way more from multiclassing casters than the reverse, aka not 50/50. Even if you grab an equal number of feats, the Caster would get a few things they could barely land, while Fighters have a considerably easier time landing spells (they dont even need to worry about landing things due to utility spells).

So yeah, not 50/50.


Because PF1 multiclassing was trash and the developers wanted to avoid inflicting that on us again.

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