Hybrid Class redundant skills


Rules Questions


Was it ever changed from the play test that Hybrid class characters mukti-classed with one of that hybrid's parent classes does not get to stack duplicate abilities? In particular, I'm referring to the Rogue and Slayer sneak attack progression.


Was there ever an official rule on that?

Because, otherwise, it is up to whether or not the ability says it stacks.

In the particular case of Sneak Attack, most sources of SA state that they do, or not, stack with other sources of SA. From what I can tell, absolutely nothing stops a Rogue's SA from stacking with a Slayer's SA...


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In the ACG playtest, hybrid classes were straight-out forbidden to multiclass with a parent class. That was removed for the final version, but most such multiclasses result in redundant abilites. This is intended, and is something the ACG explicitly warns about.

Sneak Attack in specific does stack, but it's a bit complicated:

There is an FAQ about stacking class features, but the way it's written it only applies to active abilities.
The stacking rules talk about bonuses, which per the common terms section are "numerical values that are added to checks and statistical scores". Bonus dice are not numerical values - but there is an FAQ that says that the stacking principle applies to other cases, and the game generally takes a "things should be the same, or they should be different." approach.
However, the vast majority of Sneak Attack granting abilities (28 out of 41) say they do stack with other sources of SA, so if we do apply the above mentioned principle, all sources of SA should behave the same (for stacking purposes), and thus Sneak Attack from Rogue and Slayer do stack. And if we don't apply the principle, nothing RAW makes bonus dice not stack.

Sneak Attack is a rather weak mechanic, and a Slayer/Rogue multiclass is not exactly a powerhouse. Regardless, you should check in with your GM.


I cannot find it on the active portion of AoN, but the legacy site has this to say, from the Hybrid Class intro section of the ACG:

"Parent Classes: Each of the following classes draws upon two classes to form the basis of its theme. While a character can multiclass with these parent classes, doing so usually results in redundant abilities. Such abilities don't stack unless specified. If a class feature allows the character to make a one-time choice (such as a bloodline), that choice must match similar choices made by the parent classes and vice-versa (such as selecting the same bloodline)."

Shadow Lodge

Most heroes progress along a single path—choosing to become a fearsome fighter, pious cleric, or mighty wizard—but some are drawn to many roads. For them, it can be hard to find a balance between abilities offered by disparate classes. Hybrid classes solve this dilemma by blending features from two classes, adding rules to make them work seamlessly together.

Parent Classes: Each of the following classes draws upon two classes to form the basis of its theme. While a character can multiclass with these parent classes, doing so usually results in redundant abilities. Such abilities don't stack unless specified. If a class feature allows the character to make a one-time choice (such as a bloodline), that choice must match similar choices made by the parent classes and vice-versa (such as selecting the same bloodline).

Neither Rogue, Rogue(Unchained), nor Slayer class specifically state that their sneak attack feature stacks with any other source of sneak attack, so RAW you would just use the better SA pool.


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This is stupid to argue about, let them stack. My 2cp.

RAW, they probably shouldn't stack. But that's HORSE FEATHERS!


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As evident by the first FAQ I'd posted, when the game talks about abilities not stacking, it means that the respective levels don't stack. A Life Oracle5/Cleric5 multiclass with 14 charisma doesn't get to heal 5d6 when channeling energy. But the FAQ also says "you have to use them separately", which means you can do so - thus, they get eight uses of channel energy (for 3d6 each), and the total HP healed in a day does stack (for 24d6 in total).

In this case, a Rogue5/Slayer6 would not qualify for Dastardly Finish, just like the Oralce/Claric doesn't qualify for Channeled Revival. But when attacking a falnked target, the two seperate non-stacked abilities still both activate seperately, meaning the damage is stacked, just like the Oracle/Claric's total healing is stacked despite the abilities explicitly not stacking.


The Derklord interpretation rings true for me.

Liberty's Edge

Derklord wrote:


In this case, a Rogue5/Slayer6 would not qualify for Dastardly Finish, just like the Oralce/Claric doesn't qualify for Channeled Revival. But when attacking a falnked target, the two seperate non-stacked abilities still both activate seperately, meaning the damage is stacked, just like the Oracle/Claric's total healing is stacked despite the abilities explicitly not stacking.

I wish that Paizo had clarified how it works. Your interpretation seems reasonable, but a lot of people will have problems applying it.


As Dreklord said, sneak attack dice are not, by raw, one of the things that are called out not to stack.
even if one say the class ability might not stack (depend on the text, some do) so you might not have X+Y dice for requirements, when attacking each would still procc when the sneak attack would have them take effect. you would do the +x sneak attack dice and the +y sneak attack dice.

Shadow Lodge

Channel Energy: If I have this ability from more than one class, do they stack? wrote:
No—unless an ability specifically says it stacks with similar abilities (such as an assassin's sneak attack), or adds in some way based on the character's total class levels (such as improved uncanny dodge), the abilities don't stack and you have to use them separately. Therefore, cleric channeling doesn't stack with paladin channeling, necromancer channeling, oracle of life channeling, and so on.
Common Terms wrote:

Source PRPG Core Rulebook pg. 11

...
Stacking: Stacking refers to the act of adding together bonuses or penalties that apply to one particular check or statistic. Generally speaking, most bonuses of the same type do not stack. Instead, only the highest bonus applies. Most penalties do stack, meaning that their values are added together. Penalties and bonuses generally stack with one another, meaning that the penalties might negate or exceed part or all of the bonuses, and vice versa.
...

Rolling two separate Sneak Attack pools and combining them in your damage pool seems to violate the 'only the highest bonus applies' rule/guideline of (non-)stacking bonuses (Note that the Assassin version of Sneak Attack specifically states 'If an assassin gets a sneak attack bonus from another source, the bonuses on damage stack.' so sneak attack damage seems to be a bonus that can stack or not stack depending on its specific text).

Beyond that, you also start getting into the 'same source' argument (un-typed bonuses from the same source don't generally stack, and 'Sneak Attack' is 'Sneak Attack'?): You could argue that each die of sneak attack damage is a specific 'trick' and taking non-stacking versions from multiple classes just teaches you the exact same trick multiple times.

Also, while most versions of Sneak Attack state that they stack, I suspect those are mostly the ones granted by Prestige Classes, which by definition need to work in conjunction with at least one other class. Of course, the counter-argument here is that non-prestige classes are generally written without any reference to multi-classing and that might be why Sneak Attack stacking isn't generally mentioned...


Taja the Barbarian wrote:
(Note that the Assassin version of Sneak Attack specifically states 'If an assassin gets a sneak attack bonus from another source, the bonuses on damage stack.' so sneak attack damage seems to be a bonus that can stack or not stack depending on its specific text).

That's text copy-pasted from 3.5, so that text not following the general rules is an indication of it being an artifact, and of not the general rule being actually different.

Taja the Barbarian wrote:
Also, while most versions of Sneak Attack state that they stack, I suspect those are mostly the ones granted by Prestige Classes, which by definition need to work in conjunction with at least one other class.

Yes, although there are about 10 other examples. However, what you say is actually an argument in favor of SA stacking: If Sneak Attack written with multiclassing in mind stack always says it stacks, that's an indication that the ability for base clases only doesn't mention it because those classes aren't written with multiclassing in mind.

Mind that as an alternate class, Ninja and Rogue can't multiclass, and when the Slayer was first written, it couldn't multiclass with Rogue either.

Also note that when the ACG came out, Paizo quickly released an FAQ saying that you can't have two rages active, as rages could be stacked even if you can't stack the abilities themselves. No such FAQ exists for Sneak Attack, even though it is in the same spot.

I have literally no idea what your second paragraph is supposed to mean, by the way.

Liberty's Edge

Taking a prestige class and multiclassing isn't exactly the same thing.

Quote:


Multiclassing
Instead of gaining the abilities granted by the next level in your character’s current class, he can instead gain the 1st level abilities of a new class, adding all of those abilities to his existing ones. This is known as “multiclassing.”
Quote:
Prestige classes allow characters to become truly exceptional, gaining powers beyond the ken of their peers. Unlike the core classes, characters must meet specific requirements before they can take their first level of a prestige class. If a character does not meet the requirements for a prestige class before gaining any benefits of that level, that character cannot take that prestige class. Characters that take levels in prestige classes do not gain any favored class bonuses for those levels.

In one instance you take a base class, in the other, you take a prestige class.

If most abilities for prestige classes say that they stacks and most abilities for base classes say they don't stack it seems a good indication that abilities for basic classes aren't meant to stack.
Paizo has tried to discourage people from multiclassing, an intended change from 3.5, so rules that discourage multiclassing aren't strange.

I don't see how a limitation that existed during playtesting is relevant, as it has been removed in the final version.


Diego Rossi wrote:
Taking a prestige class and multiclassing isn't exactly the same thing.

Taking a prestige class is a form of multiclassing. You quoted it yourself, "he can instead gain the 1st level abilities of a new class". Not "base class", "class".

Diego Rossi wrote:
Paizo has tried to discourage people from multiclassing, an intended change from 3.5, so rules that discourage multiclassing aren't strange.

This makes absolutely no sense, because the 3.5 multiclassing they wanted to get away from was going into prestige classes! So why would they allow stacking SA from prestige class but not from other base classes, if it was the mainly former they were trying to discourage?

Diego Rossi wrote:
I don't see how a limitation that existed during playtesting is relevant, as it has been removed in the final version.

It's relevant because the limitation was only removed after the text was written (or copy-pasted from the Rogue which had no reason to address SA stacking, as is really the case), and the ability wasn't changed afterwards. Context matters!

Liberty's Edge

Derklord wrote:


Diego Rossi wrote:
Paizo has tried to discourage people from multiclassing, an intended change from 3.5, so rules that discourage multiclassing aren't strange.
This makes absolutely no sense, because the 3.5 multiclassing they wanted to get away from was going into prestige classes! So why would they allow stacking SA from prestige class but not from other base classes, if it was the mainly former they were trying to discourage?

LOL. What people were doing in 3.5 was taking the first level or levels in some classes, as their abilities were front-loaded. It was done with prestige classes too but wasn't exclusive to prestige classes.

Paizo Developers have said multiple times that they did want to reduce multiclassing and that prestige classes were meant to be specialized builds.

Derklord wrote:


Diego Rossi wrote:
I don't see how a limitation that existed during playtesting is relevant, as it has been removed in the final version.
It's relevant because the limitation was only removed after the text was written (or copy-pasted from the Rogue which had no reason to address SA stacking, as is really the case), and the ability wasn't changed afterwards. Context matters!

So your argument is that it was copy-pasted and wasn't updated, while the other text of the class was updated?

Do you work for Paizo editorial department, as you know so intimately how the process was done? Or you are stating your opinion as if it was a fact?


Ironically, the main problem of front loaded features really was walked back in their own design:

  • Paladins still require 2 levels for massive save boosts for any Charisma class
  • Scaled Fist/Oracle/etc. all take a single level to give Charisma to several defensive features
  • UC Rogues require three levels for Dex to damage to any other class
  • Bard requires a single level dip and 28k gold to get a +3 inspire courage bonus
  • Swashbuckler is even worth the dip for anyone with semi-decent charisma to just get parry/riposte (which isn't restricted by weapon type like most of the rest of their abilities)
  • Gunslinger isn't as egregious because it takes 5 levels before you get it, but you still get Dex to damage
  • Magus is a technically not RAW but as many people either ignore or miss the "from the Magus spell list" clause, I've seen people try to build a battle wizard dipped two levels into magus for spell strike, and even then, as long as you are casting a spell on both lists, it's technically(?) legal

There's plenty more, but that's just what I can immediately remember from looking at the lists of classes themselves, not even diving deep into the changes in later archetype design for similar things.


Quote:
Gunslinger isn't as egregious because it takes 5 levels before you get it, but you still get Dex to damage

TBF, Gunslinger only has 5 levels in it, so it makes sense as a capstone for it. It's just not really worth going past that in the class most of the time.


willuwontu wrote:
Quote:
Gunslinger isn't as egregious because it takes 5 levels before you get it, but you still get Dex to damage
TBF, Gunslinger only has 5 levels in it, so it makes sense as a capstone for it. It's just not really worth going past that in the class most of the time.

Which is still in of itself a sad commentary on Paizo's lapse in decent design. Ironically, even when you look at even something like Fighter's Advanced Weapon/Armor Trainings, which would seem to provide scaling rewards that encourage taking the class to its fullest, actually just encourages going to level 5, taking the feat for whichever of the 3 more-powerful-than-every-other-option (master armorer, defensive weapon training, fighters finesse, or warrior spirit) pick, buying a gloves of dueling, and forgetting about it ever again.


Diego Rossi wrote:
LOL. What people were doing in 3.5 was taking the first level or levels in some classes, as their abilities were front-loaded. It was done with prestige classes too but wasn't exclusive to prestige classes.

Oh, yeah, I forgot. All the Wizard took a level in Cleric for Turn Undead, and a level in Bard for Bardic Music. That was the problem, not that everyone and the kitchen sink went into a prestige class ASAP. You can totally see this to be true because Paizo was so wary about dipping into base classes that they never realeased any front-loaded classes!

Diego Rossi wrote:
Paizo Developers have said multiple times that they did want to reduce multiclassing

I see the issue now. You made up your mind that going into a prestige class is not multiclassing, and so when Paizo people talk about them wanting to reduce multiclassing, you believe they must be talking about going into a different base class.

Meanwhile, outside of Diego Rossi's imaginary dreamland, in the real world, going into a prestige class is multiclassing. And thus not only is your argument invalid, the entire reason you're arguing is nonexistent!

Diego Rossi wrote:
Do you work for Paizo editorial department, as you know so intimately how the process was done?

Another fine example of Diego Rossi's imaginary dreamland. In the real world, all I had to do was open two publicly aviable PDF documents and looked what they each said. In Diego Rossi's mind, I must be working for "Paizo editorial department", because there's no other humanly possible way to obtain this information!

Liberty's Edge

Derklord wrote:


Diego Rossi wrote:
Do you work for Paizo editorial department, as you know so intimately how the process was done?
Another fine example of Diego Rossi's imaginary dreamland. In the real world, all I had to do was open two publicly aviable PDF documents and looked what they each said. In Diego Rossi's mind, I must be working for "Paizo editorial department", because there's no other humanly possible way to obtain this information!

You looked at two publicly available documents, you did see that they are identical, and decided that the second being identical is an error and not intentional.

Your opinion is not a fact.


Krik.longleaf wrote:
Was it ever changed from the play test that Hybrid class characters mukti-classed with one of that hybrid's parent classes does not get to stack duplicate abilities? In particular, I'm referring to the Rogue and Slayer sneak attack progression.

The sneak attack class feature from the classes does not stack. That is you do not add up the levels and then apply them to one of the two classes to see how many dice you get.

But the damage does stack. You have 2 sets of additional dice that both are added to the damage. So if you have R dice from rogue and S dice from slayer you do normal damage +(R+S), assuming the attack qualifies for sneak attack.

Shadow Lodge

thorin001 wrote:
Krik.longleaf wrote:
Was it ever changed from the play test that Hybrid class characters mukti-classed with one of that hybrid's parent classes does not get to stack duplicate abilities? In particular, I'm referring to the Rogue and Slayer sneak attack progression.

The sneak attack class feature from the classes does not stack. That is you do not add up the levels and then apply them to one of the two classes to see how many dice you get.

But the damage does stack. You have 2 sets of additional dice that both are added to the damage. So if you have R dice from rogue and S dice from slayer you do normal damage +(R+S), assuming the attack qualifies for sneak attack.

Except that's not how 'non-stacking' bonuses works:

Source PRPG Core Rulebook pg. 11

...
Stacking: Stacking refers to the act of adding together bonuses or penalties that apply to one particular check or statistic. Generally speaking, most bonuses of the same type do not stack. Instead, only the highest bonus applies. Most penalties do stack, meaning that their values are added together. Penalties and bonuses generally stack with one another, meaning that the penalties might negate or exceed part or all of the bonuses, and vice versa.
...

Unless you have a version of Sneak Attack that specifically states that it stacks, you ONLY apply the greater 'bonus' to your damage roll.


Taja the Barbarian wrote:
thorin001 wrote:
Krik.longleaf wrote:
Was it ever changed from the play test that Hybrid class characters mukti-classed with one of that hybrid's parent classes does not get to stack duplicate abilities? In particular, I'm referring to the Rogue and Slayer sneak attack progression.

The sneak attack class feature from the classes does not stack. That is you do not add up the levels and then apply them to one of the two classes to see how many dice you get.

But the damage does stack. You have 2 sets of additional dice that both are added to the damage. So if you have R dice from rogue and S dice from slayer you do normal damage +(R+S), assuming the attack qualifies for sneak attack.

Except that's not how 'non-stacking' bonuses works:

Source PRPG Core Rulebook pg. 11

...
Stacking: Stacking refers to the act of adding together bonuses or penalties that apply to one particular check or statistic. Generally speaking, most bonuses of the same type do not stack. Instead, only the highest bonus applies. Most penalties do stack, meaning that their values are added together. Penalties and bonuses generally stack with one another, meaning that the penalties might negate or exceed part or all of the bonuses, and vice versa.
...
Unless you have a version of Sneak Attack that specifically states that it stacks, you ONLY apply the greater 'bonus' to your damage roll.

But they are untyped bonuses from different sources, so they stack.

Liberty's Edge

thorin001 wrote:
But they are untyped bonuses from different sources, so they stack.

Sneak attack damage is that wonderfully badly defined precision damage. The term precision damage is often used in the rules, but never clearly defined.

CRB wrote:
Exception: Precision damage (such as from a rogue's sneak attack class feature) and additional damage dice from weapon special abilities (such as flaming) are not multiplied when you score a critical hit.

Here we have a piece of text in the middle of the Attack rules that says that Sneak attack damage is precision damage. It could have been nice to have the same thing in the description of the Sneak attack feature.

As it is a typed kind of damage, in theory, it shouldn't stack with other kinds of precision damage.

On the other hand, you can have precision damage that originates from different class features, like Sneak attack and a Duelist Precise strike.

Essentially, a mess without a real RAW answer.
Pathfinder 1 would have greatly benefitted from a 1.5 edition.

Shadow Lodge

thorin001 wrote:
Taja the Barbarian wrote:
thorin001 wrote:
Krik.longleaf wrote:
Was it ever changed from the play test that Hybrid class characters mukti-classed with one of that hybrid's parent classes does not get to stack duplicate abilities? In particular, I'm referring to the Rogue and Slayer sneak attack progression.

The sneak attack class feature from the classes does not stack. That is you do not add up the levels and then apply them to one of the two classes to see how many dice you get.

But the damage does stack. You have 2 sets of additional dice that both are added to the damage. So if you have R dice from rogue and S dice from slayer you do normal damage +(R+S), assuming the attack qualifies for sneak attack.

Except that's not how 'non-stacking' bonuses works:

Source PRPG Core Rulebook pg. 11

...
Stacking: Stacking refers to the act of adding together bonuses or penalties that apply to one particular check or statistic. Generally speaking, most bonuses of the same type do not stack. Instead, only the highest bonus applies. Most penalties do stack, meaning that their values are added together. Penalties and bonuses generally stack with one another, meaning that the penalties might negate or exceed part or all of the bonuses, and vice versa.
...
Unless you have a version of Sneak Attack that specifically states that it stacks, you ONLY apply the greater 'bonus' to your damage roll.
But they are untyped bonuses from different sources, so they stack.
Except RAW they DON'T STACK:

Most heroes progress along a single path—choosing to become a fearsome fighter, pious cleric, or mighty wizard—but some are drawn to many roads. For them, it can be hard to find a balance between abilities offered by disparate classes. Hybrid classes solve this dilemma by blending features from two classes, adding rules to make them work seamlessly together.

Parent Classes: Each of the following classes draws upon two classes to form the basis of its theme. While a character can multiclass with these parent classes, doing so usually results in redundant abilities. Such abilities don't stack unless specified. If a class feature allows the character to make a one-time choice (such as a bloodline), that choice must match similar choices made by the parent classes and vice-versa (such as selecting the same bloodline).

You don't get to apply both Sneak Attack dice pools to the same damage roll and claim you aren't stacking the class features that don't stack...


Think of them not as Sneak Attack +2d6 and Sneak Attack +1d6, think of them as Rogue Sneak +2d6 and Something-not-rogue Sneak +1d6. This way, the name isn't making you think they're the same thing/same source when they're not. You can also add precise strike which is essentially a sneak attack, sense vitals which is called in the spell sneak attack, because the damage is untyped bonus dice to the same pool of damage that is then turned into either Bludgeoning, Piercing, or Slashing damage (or some combination). The damage stacks, the levels to determine as a single pool do not stack because sneak attack is not meant to all pool into a single pool based on a combined level like say an animal companion.


My impression is the idea behind it was to stop people 'dipping' in one for some of the cool stuff, then go into the other as a bigger thing, or mix and match.

Slayer gets less Sneak Attack than Rogue, because it gets Studied Strike. Combining a bit of Studied Strike with, say, Unchained Rogue Sneak Attack and Debilitating Injury could be pretty painful.

Yes, there are other classes with sources of Sneak Attack, but most aren't a die every two levels, and don't have all the Kewl Toys of Rogue and Slayer talents. Or have prerequisites to enter if they're Pressed Cheese.

If it was in a low optimisation game, and I wasn't worried about it breaking the game, then I'd be fine with it.

But in general? And in the specific instance of a player asking me if he could do exactly that, in my high threat and thus fairly optimised game? I said no.


Taja the Barbarian wrote:
Except that's not how 'non-stacking' bonuses works:

Have you read my posts? A bonus is a "numerical value", not a variable, which a dice is. Per RAW, SA's bonus damage dice do not count as a "bonus" for rules refering to such.

Taja the Barbarian wrote:
Except RAW they DON'T STACK:

Once again, you're repeating something I've already proven to be wrong. Unless you want to claim that the Channel Energy FAQ's "the abilities don't stack" and the ACG's "Such abilities don’t stack" work differently, or want to claim that a Life Oracle/Cleric multiclass that has used all channels from the Cleric can't use channels from the Oracle despite the FAQ saying "use them separately", that sentence in the ACG does not prevent you from making use of both SA abilities.

If you still adamantly maintain insisting that the two don't stack because of that line in the ACG, answer me this: What happens when a Fighter1/Swashbuckler3 gets the fourth level of SB? They already have a bonus feat from the Fighter class feature of the same name, and now they're supposed to get another one from the SB class feature with the identical name. The effect would be two feats from two different identically named class features that each grant only one, so that's clearly stacking.
So what happens? Does the one level dip into Fighter forever prevent the Swashbuckler from benefitting from their class feature? Does the Fighter bonus feat become inactive?


Diego Rossi wrote:
You looked at two publicly available documents, you did see that they are identical, and decided that the second being identical is an error and not intentional.

No, I didn't. Stop putting words into my mouth. I said "the ability wasn't changed afterwards". This is an indisputable fact.* I didn't "decide" anything, nor did I actually say it was an error. Your attempt of appeal to ridicule didnät even target may actual argument, but merely a strawman.

*) In regards to content, linguistic editing was done on the text.

Diego Rossi wrote:
As it is a typed kind of damage, in theory, it shouldn't stack with other kinds of precision damage.

Based on which rule? Where does it say that damage with a type doesn't stack?


draxar wrote:
Combining a bit of Studied Strike with, say, Unchained Rogue Sneak Attack and Debilitating Injury could be pretty painful.

Studied Target you mean, but nah, before you can use it as a swift action (Slayer level 7), it's not that good an ability, especially not when you have more than attack (which such a multiclass character already has at the point where SA form Slayer and DI from unRogue can potentially be combined). Also, the ACG and thus Slayer came out before Unchained.

draxar wrote:
Yes, there are other classes with sources of Sneak Attack, but most aren't a die every two levels, and don't have all the Kewl Toys of Rogue and Slayer talents.

You say "most", but the exceptions make your argument not work. Vivisectionist Alchemist (older than Slayer) gets stuff to make every Rogue or Slayer green with envy, and Cult Leader Warpriest (same book as Slayer) has the same progression as Slayer while getting much better stuff, too.

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