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  1. - Top - End - #1
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    Kobold

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    Default DMs only: Do you allow multiclassing? Why or why not?

    I generally don't. Unless the player can give me a reason why and a way how. Like during a six month downtime. Not just a long rest and a level up.

    Why do you allow it? Strictly for optimization? Or what?

    And please hold off, you beautiful die hard remainder AL DMs. We know your situation.
    Last edited by Kurt Kurageous; 2019-05-16 at 01:18 PM.

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    Ogre in the Playground
     
    DruidGuy

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    Default Re: DMs only: Do you allow multiclassing? Why or why not?

    I allow it, it gives the player more options for where they can take their character. All I ask as a DM is that you at least have somewhat of an IC reason for it.
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    Halfling in the Playground
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    Default Re: DMs only: Do you allow multiclassing? Why or why not?

    I don't, because 3 out of 4 players in my group have never played before, and the other player and DM (me) have not played in years prior to starting this campaign. It isn't so much that I don't allow multiclassing as it is that I never mentioned the option. None of the players have their own copies of the PHB and they've only skimmed a few parts of it. It's a complexity the group doesn't need and they already have a lot of data to keep track of.
    Last edited by tchntm43; 2019-05-16 at 01:21 PM.

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    Ettin in the Playground
     
    Daemon

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    Default Re: DMs only: Do you allow multiclassing? Why or why not?

    I allow it, but no one has ever taken that option. I'd love for them to give me some form of story backing (including "I've been working towards that all along, practicing magic in the background and finally got it working"), but wouldn't demand it.
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    Dwarf in the Playground
     
    RogueGuy

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    Default Re: DMs only: Do you allow multiclassing? Why or why not?

    Normally I allow multi-class but running a game for new players including my 10 year old daughter so we started with single class characters.

    I would put minor restrictions to stop sorsadin or Hexblade cheese but otherwise run as per the book.
    Last edited by Lyracian; 2019-05-16 at 01:22 PM.

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    Halfling in the Playground
     
    GreataxeFighterGuy

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    Default Re: DMs only: Do you allow multiclassing? Why or why not?

    As a munchkin player myself, I'm hesitant with it. Either when I allow it, it can break the game, or someone just neutered their character.

    I pretty much talk it over with the players when they are looking it over. If they really want to, sure. But I try and dissuade it.

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    Orc in the Playground
     
    ClericGirl

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    Default Re: DMs only: Why or why not do you allow multiclassing?

    I never saw any reason why I should not permit multiclassing in any way.

    Multiclassing delays spell access (temporarily and sometimes permanently) and ASI/Feat progression, as well as occasionally making people miss out on certain class features depending on how many levels are gained. So there's a clear drawback to having several classes at once. The book calls it an optional rule, but to me that just means it's not required for play, same as with feats. A lot of character concepts, both by story and mechanics, are cut off by not having access to one of them, especially both. As for story justification - I didn't ask about the primary class' backstory in extensive detail, nor will I do so for any later classes. I find the fluff for spellcasters unnecessarily constraining already, so I never saw a problem with taking any levels in those classes for mechanical reasons.

    Since many broadly applicable fighting styles and flairs are hogtied to certain classes (looking at you Monk) multiclassing is the only way for a Hexblade to learn advanced fighting techniques, for a Barbarian to break necks with their bare hands and for a Fighter to be exceptional at dungeoneering skills.

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    Barbarian in the Playground
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    Default Re: DMs only: Do you allow multiclassing? Why or why not?

    I allow it if the player's desired archetype (based on their backstory and ooc communications) matches their desired class choices (e.g. bard+paladin = singing religious warrior, fighter+ranger = nature-y weaponmaster).

    I generally do not allow dips for specific class features (warlock 2/anything x, I'm looking at you).

    Edit: I should say that I run a very RP-oriented long-term campaign. If I was running a more combat-centric game, I'd likely allow dips and only ban the most egregious cheese. My goal is not to block my players' choices, but rather to encourage them to make in-character decisions instead of metagame decisions.
    Last edited by Tiadoppler; 2019-05-16 at 01:32 PM.
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    JNAProductions's Avatar

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    Default Re: DMs only: Do you allow multiclassing? Why or why not?

    Yup. My players usually don't take it (they're simple, when it comes to D&D) but the option is always there.
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  10. - Top - End - #10
    Orc in the Playground
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    Default Re: DMs only: Do you allow multiclassing? Why or why not?

    I allow it, and I'll even go so far sometimes as to waive the attribute requirements. Mainly because it helps with character concepts, but I don't care if the reason for MCing is purely mechanical, storybased, or some other reason. It's their character, after all. That's their way to interact with the story. I have everything else.

  11. - Top - End - #11
    Bugbear in the Playground
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    Default Re: DMs only: Why or why not do you allow multiclassing?

    Character variety.

    There are a range of character concepts that are difficult to represent in a single classed system. Many of these concepts can work both mechanically and from a role playing perspective.

    Here are some examples:

    -Sorcerer with warlock (someone who draws on their inner strength to affect the weave of magic but searches beyond themselves in the search for greater control, making a deal or having some other entity provide guidance)

    -Paladin with sorcerer or warlock (A warrior who draws from within themselves, draws power from their oaths but goes beyond the oath pulling additional abilities from themselves or an outside source at the cost of their martial abilities)

    -Monk with a wizard - an ascetic who focuses their mind and body on existence and on the weave, honing their mind and spirit simultaneously

    -Fighter/Sorcerer/Wizard/Warlock - a character raised to be a guard in a repressive society, their thought liberated by an interaction saving a GOO from torture at the hands of those running the cult, escaping to the greater world and learning both to harness the power within through sorcery and the power without by honing their mind and mastering the weave. (This is a character I plan to play but at the moment they are only a level 1 fighter - unfortunately, this character idea isn't even possible without multiclassing).

    - Knowledge or Arcana cleric of Mystra/wizard who decides they wish to be a magic practitioner more than a magic academic and turns to learning wizardry directly.

    - some of the classics .. Ancients Paladin/Fey Warlock ... Vengeance Paladin/Fiend Warlock ... Shadow sorcerer/hexblade warlock ... fighter/rogue ... ranger/rogue (could go scout rogue perhaps but it doesn't necessarily have the same feel as a ranger), rogue/warlock (for a different take on a magic using rogue or to enhance the magic abilities of an arcane trickster ... could go bladelock as well for pact ranged weapons ... makes a cool rogue concept).

    There is nothing wrong with the single classes. They are quite good and the archetypes provide quite a bit of choice. However, there are quite a number of players who have a character concept in mind, whose backstory fits better with several classes simultaneously and unfortunately the game constrains progression into one class at a time and trying to create a custom class to accommodate a character concept is both far too much work and far too hard to balance ... thus multi-classing.

    As far as "time required to learn the new class", this has presumably been going on for months or years before the character was created. The game forces the choice of one character level at a time while the reality is that the character is likely progressing in all of the their classes simultaneously (the reason behind the 1e multclass model). Having a DM make some statement about having to take months of downtime to justify work that has been ongoing since the character was created is just the DM being short sighted and trying to limit the player choice because they don't like multi-classing.


    As a another example, I have an 8th level warlock who is has been studying some music and oratory, as well as trying to focus their inner strength enough that they might cast spells and some other activities just as a part of their adventuring day. The main reason is because he may decide to multiclass into a bard or sorcerer at some point (level 13+ likely) and these activities lay a foundation for that progression if he decides to follow it. Mechanically, it has absolutely no impact on the game and the only reason I'd mention it to a DM is if they were the kind to say "You didn't mention it, it didn't happen, you can't choose to multiclass" which I find to be somewhat ignorant since if the character chooses to multiclass (assuming the DM allows the option) then the character OF COURSE was taking these actions for months or even years prior to the point that they multiclass ... it is essentially an integral part of the character backstory.

    Anyway ...

    tl;dr

    I allow multiclassing because it increases variety and doesn't break anything. (It certainly doesn't create any situations that a reasonable DM can't handle).
    Last edited by Keravath; 2019-05-16 at 01:43 PM.

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    BlueKnightGuy

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    Default Re: DMs only: Do you allow multiclassing? Why or why not?

    What's the most powerful Wizard? A Full Wizard.
    What's the most powerful Cleric? A Full Cleric.
    What's the most powerful Fighter? A Full Fighter.

    Multiclassing usually adds versatility, customization, without increasing power levels. There are a few minor instances (Hexblade+Paladin) that are exceptions, but they shouldn't spoil the bunch. What overpowered build are you capable of making with Druid or Cleric levels?
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    Ettin in the Playground
     
    Zombie

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    Default Re: DMs only: Do you allow multiclassing? Why or why not?

    Yep. Pretty much anything goes. Lots of fun for everyone.
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    Ogre in the Playground
     
    NinjaGuy

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    Default Re: DMs only: Do you allow multiclassing? Why or why not?

    I allow Multiclassing, but don't want crazy shifts that don't mesh with the character.

    I also encourage them to wait for specific breakpoints. I know the Swords Bard wants a level of hexblade, but I've got her to agree to not pursue that until she has extra attack at 6
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    Halfling in the Playground
     
    GreataxeFighterGuy

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    Default Re: DMs only: Do you allow multiclassing? Why or why not?

    Quote Originally Posted by Man_Over_Game View Post
    What's the most powerful Wizard? A Full Wizard.
    What's the most powerful Cleric? A Full Cleric.
    What's the most powerful Fighter? A Full Fighter.

    Multiclassing usually adds versatility, customization, without increasing power levels. There are a few minor instances (Hexblade+Paladin) that are exceptions, but they shouldn't spoil the bunch. What overpowered build are you capable of making with Druid or Cleric levels?
    Moon Druid 17/Bear Barb 3 works well. Basically double HP on your forms.

    Tempest Cleric 2/ Sorcerer 18 also is pretty terrifying. Maximize some potent lightning spells.

  16. - Top - End - #16
    Dwarf in the Playground
     
    OldWizardGuy

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    Default Re: DMs only: Do you allow multiclassing? Why or why not?

    I allow players to do it, for any reason, without justification. I'm a big proponent of classes as collections of abilities, not classes as themes or roleplaying guides.

    A player creates a character they want to roleplay, and it might require them to take abilities from multiple classes. What if someone wants to play some sort of shapeshifting warrior? Are you going to deny them taking two levels of Druid so they can play a Druid 2/Fighter X?
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    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    DrowGuy

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    Default Re: DMs only: Do you allow multiclassing? Why or why not?

    Anything goes at my table, Monk/Lock, Barb/Pally, Ranger/Rogue, and that's just a few of the ones I've had.

    Multiclassing has a bad rap. There are those people who put up these cheese/op/meta builds simply to test the boundaries of the mechanics. Then you get the try-hards who want to Win D&D that make that build in a game that generally doesn't support it. More often than not a multiclass build falls just behind a pure build until mid tier, if it's not a meta build, so there's no reason to not let it happen.
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    Zombie

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    Default Re: DMs only: Do you allow multiclassing? Why or why not?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ganryu View Post
    Moon Druid 17/Bear Barb 3 works well. Basically double HP on your forms.
    This does give up the unlimited wildshape.
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  19. - Top - End - #19
    Bugbear in the Playground
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    Default Re: DMs only: Do you allow multiclassing? Why or why not?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ganryu View Post
    Moon Druid 17/Bear Barb 3 works well. Basically double HP on your forms.

    Tempest Cleric 2/ Sorcerer 18 also is pretty terrifying. Maximize some potent lightning spells.
    Sure they work well. But is a 17 Druid/ 3 Barb better than a 20 Druid with unlimited wild shapes? I'd put my money on the 20 druid as they swap elemental forms as often as they want vs the 17/3 that runs out after one, admittedly with double the hit points. (I realize that the rage is pretty useful before level 20 ... but even then the 17 druid/3 barb will run 3 levels of spells behind. At 17 level the pure Druid is casting 9th level spells while the 14 druid/3 barb is still stuck on 7th level spells. Multiclassing is a trade off and your druid 17/barb 3 is a good example of that principle at work.

    Tempest cleric 2/sorcerer 18 will run one level of spells behind a pure sorcerer throughout the character's career. This doesn't matter much at some levels and can be a big deal at others. However, the maximize on lightning or thunder damage 2 times/short rest is pretty useful depending on the circumstances.

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    Ettin in the Playground
     
    Daemon

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    Default Re: DMs only: Do you allow multiclassing? Why or why not?

    And comparing builds at ECL 20 is rather silly. Heck, only a few games even get beyond T2, let alone T3. We focus so much on these forums on high-level stuff that most people never even see outside of one-shot silly games.

    At lower levels, multiclassing is useful but not overpowered. Even sorlock or sorcadin multiclassing.
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    GreataxeFighterGuy

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    Default Re: DMs only: Do you allow multiclassing? Why or why not?

    To be honest, there's only two classes I have a real problem with on the multiclassing:

    Warlock and Paladin, both for similiar reasons. Both are completely frontloaded, and other classes can use resources for them.

    Warlock's Eldritch blast, their trademark, levels up reguardless of what other class you take. Hell, a fighter warlock is just as effective as a magical blaster and a full warlock.

    Paladins run off of spell slots, and get BETTER if you change to a full caster, particularly a sorcerer. They might have less defense, but Sorcerer gives them defensive spells to mitigate this.

    Most other classes do have a significant trade off that does make multiclassing weird.

    Ran a lvl 4 Warlock sorcerer the GM hated because they were untouchable. (I play and GM depends where.)
    Last edited by Ganryu; 2019-05-16 at 01:58 PM.

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    Ettin in the Playground
     
    Daemon

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    Default Re: DMs only: Do you allow multiclassing? Why or why not?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ganryu View Post
    To be honest, there's only two classes I have a real problem with on the multiclassing:

    Warlock and Paladin, both for similiar reasons. Both are completely frontloaded, and other classes can use resources for them.

    Warlock's Eldritch blast, their trademark, levels up reguardless of what other class you take. Hell, a fighter warlock is just as effective as a magical blaster and a full warlock.

    Paladins run off of spell slots, and get BETTER if you change to a full caster, particularly a sorcerer. They might have less defense, but Sorcerer gives them defensive spells to mitigate this.

    Most other classes do have a significant trade off that does make multiclassing weird.

    Ran a lvl 4 Warlock sorcerer the GM hated because they were untouchable.
    Two levels of warlock (because otherwise EB is way worse than a martial attack) is a huge trade-off for any other class, especially at low levels. I'm playing a bardlock. Not having those 4th level spells (we're ECL 8) is annoying as heck, as is the reduced spell and feature selection.

    Paladin multiclasses (at low levels) give up important things like Extra Attack and auras, making them much less effective at being paladins. They're also really only good at being able to nova really hard against single targets. So a change in encounter selection leaves them looking rather sad.

    Not saying they're bad, just that at low levels it's a large tradeoff.
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    Halfling in the Playground
     
    OrcBarbarianGuy

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    Default Re: DMs only: Do you allow multiclassing? Why or why not?

    As long as they aren't trying to break the game and they can justify it for their character. It doesn't need to be strong justification, either. We just need to make sure we can work it into the story. I generally like to know ahead of time. Let's say the fighter wants to MC into Wizard, I may let him find a spellbook and a diary of a wizard from his first couple years of arcane schooling. Or if the barbarian wants to tap into sorcerer, he may accidentally cast ray of frost or poison spray instead of just pointing his finger a few times before he levels up. The party thief may be giving thieving lessons to the monk, etc.

    But also, as someone who has multi-classed, it can be frustrating a higher levels when everyone else is improving stats or taking a feat, or gaining some higher level abilities and you aren't there yet.

    OTOH, there are some feats, like Magic Initiate, where you might just be better off multiclassing into sorcerer, wizard, or cleric, because not only do you get the spells, but you get some other first level abilities to go along with it.

    On rare occasion I will allow third MC but so far, no one has been able to justify a fourth.
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    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    Lizardfolk

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    Default Re: DMs only: Do you allow multiclassing? Why or why not?

    Quote Originally Posted by Sigreid View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Ganryu View Post
    Moon Druid 17/Bear Barb 3 works well. Basically double HP on your forms.
    This does give up the unlimited wildshape.
    Even worse, it assumes you are raging... so you are giving up casting/concentrating on spells.
    level 20 druid can already get multi-resistance and cast spells.


    I run games for former AL folks. So we all expect it... and are all cool with it.
    Last edited by NaughtyTiger; 2019-05-16 at 02:16 PM.
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    Just, please don't. Insisting on that technicality improves nothing.

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    Halfling in the Playground
     
    Beholder

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    Default Re: DMs only: Do you allow multiclassing? Why or why not?

    Quote Originally Posted by Sigreid View Post
    Yep. Pretty much anything goes. Lots of fun for everyone.
    This. And the people I play with (we switch DMs every mini-arc so everyone has a go at everything) all tend to optimize quite heavily. But everyone also keeps an eye on team mates and noone tries to hog the spotlight. So, for us, it works.

  26. - Top - End - #26
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    GreataxeFighterGuy

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    Default Re: DMs only: Do you allow multiclassing? Why or why not?

    Quote Originally Posted by PhoenixPhyre View Post
    Two levels of warlock (because otherwise EB is way worse than a martial attack) is a huge trade-off for any other class, especially at low levels. I'm playing a bardlock. Not having those 4th level spells (we're ECL 8) is annoying as heck, as is the reduced spell and feature selection.

    Paladin multiclasses (at low levels) give up important things like Extra Attack and auras, making them much less effective at being paladins. They're also really only good at being able to nova really hard against single targets. So a change in encounter selection leaves them looking rather sad.

    Not saying they're bad, just that at low levels it's a large tradeoff.
    The build was a Hexblade with 1 level, and 3 levels for admittedly stone sorcerer (UA). Would work with other types though.

    Had Shield, Mirror Image, and Blur. I stumbled upon a CR 25 monster on my own. GM could not hit me. It had +15 to strike. I didn't win, too huge a difference, but the sheer AC tankiness of the bulld was ungodly. Don't think I really even bothered with higher level spells later on, I just kept to the above.

    Hexblade got me better armor and shields I wouldn't have had otherwise, Hexblade's curse, and the ability to only care about a few stats. (Charisma and con, minor Dex.) Wasn't even using Eldritch blast.

    Not the most broken thing, but both Warlock and Paladin are too good for MC.

    Granted, like I said earlier, I don't ban it, I just try to dissuade it.

    In the same campaign we had a Moon Druid/ Monk at lvl 6. We could not make it work. GM tried magic item after magic item, I ran numbers, we couldn't make them worth anything. The player was insistent until the GM showed them how each of the fights had gone. It was a flavor choice on the part of the player, but it just didn't work. We're not even all about combat. Out of combat she was just as bad, there was no synergy. In the end, GM told them pick one or the other.

    I will admit, in my campaigns, I have yet to really have a player even ask. I would allow it, but would talk it over with them.

    Suppose basic breakdown is MC'ing is weird. It can be really strong, or really pathetic, handle with care. I want my players to know this before they do it.
    Last edited by Ganryu; 2019-05-16 at 02:13 PM.

  27. - Top - End - #27
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    OldWizardGuy

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    Default Re: DMs only: Do you allow multiclassing? Why or why not?

    Sure thing. I've allowed it since 1980. I mainly run AL these days and it's allowed. I allow it in my personal games, too, though I'm more free to cook up whatever threats I want in the kitchen, which means it's not been a balance problem for me.

    Forcing players to stick to a single, static class forces them into a narrow lane of options, though Archetypes help with this. Widening options due to multiclassing can lead to more complex character backgrounds, pursuits and histories. It also opens doors for folks who feel it would cool if they could do x and y. 5e does a servicable balancing job of stacking everything, too, in most cases.

  28. - Top - End - #28
    Bugbear in the Playground
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    Default Re: DMs only: Do you allow multiclassing? Why or why not?

    Always have. I require my players to explain their newfound power within the narrative, but I'm a very narrative-focused DM. I usually ask my players up front if they ever plan on multiclassing so I can try and accommodate the story change if possible. I don't mind if they change their mind later, but understanding what the players want really helps.

  29. - Top - End - #29
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    Daemon

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    Default Re: DMs only: Do you allow multiclassing? Why or why not?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ganryu View Post
    The build was a Hexblade with 1 level, and 3 levels for admittedly stone sorcerer (UA). Would work with other types though.

    Had Shield, Mirror Image, and Blur. I stumbled upon a CR 25 monster on my own. GM could not hit me. It had +15 to strike. I didn't win, too huge a difference, but the sheer AC tankiness of the bulld was ungodly. Don't think I really even bothered with higher level spells later on, I just kept to the above.
    Wait...what? You can't have had a static AC (before shield) of more than 19 with that build, so 24 with shield. A +15 ATK hits your normal AC 85% of the time, so a mirror image dies basically every time it attacks one. With disadvantage, it hits your normal AC 72.25% of the time, so that doesn't really help. It hits your shield AC 36% of the time, so once per multiattack sequence.

    CR 25 monsters also have other ways to strike. A single breath weapon from an ancient dragon (the prototypical CR 25) would nuke you, save or no save. And you wouldn't be able to save at all without a +4 DEX, since you don't have proficiency and the DC is 25.

    Mirror image would only last a single round, since it doesn't get any benefit from your other spells or armor and the dragon's making 4 attacks (3 on its turn, 1 legendary) each turn. Plus, anything that gets through ends your concentration pretty much immediately. You only have 31 HP (assuming +2 CON), a single non-critical, average hit from the bite drops you immediately, two hits from a claw or tail drops you to zero.

    So two rounds of normal, not even breath weapon and you're dead. 19 static AC isn't that high, and 24 (with shield, at the cost of serious resources) isn't that high either.

    Plus, your offense is severely limited by burning all your slots for those defensive things so the enemies can just flat out ignore you.

    I'm thinking someone did something wrong there.
    Dream of Hope: a 5e setting. http://www.admiralbenbo.org
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  30. - Top - End - #30
    Orc in the Playground
     
    RedWizardGuy

    Join Date
    Sep 2016

    Default Re: DMs only: Do you allow multiclassing? Why or why not?

    Remember, too, that a character is not his class.

    Example one: I have a character who is a powerful martial, frontline support character. She was raised by barbarians, and channels her innate fury into whirlwinds of violence a few times a day. She was trained by monks, and calls upon their discipline to still her mind, as well as to gain the upper hand against physically superior foes. She is a natural leader, buffing her allies and defending them both physically and spiritually. Each of these descriptions correspond to a separate mechanical feature she has.

    She could easily be a barbarian / monk / paladin multiclass, maybe even throw in a little bard.

    She's a single-classed 7th level fighter. Resilient (wisdom) is from her monk training, action surge is her own version of channeled fury, and the rally, commander's strike, and other maneuvers she knows give her the power to support, defend, and embolden her allies.

    Meanwhile, one of my players has this character whose whole concept was basically a medieval version of a melee-focused sith; insane physical power, mobility, and resilience against all kinds of attacks. Trained by a single master all her life, only knows one dark path, her power and sill comes from instinct and profound personal sacrifice more than anything. A razor-focused character with a single clear, cohesive concept.

    The build for that character is (currently) Berserker Barbarian 6, Monk 2, Battlemaster 5.

    At no point did her character ever "dabble in something different" or anything. Each level was simply the next step in this particular characters training.

    She calls her powers "sacrifices," and carries a small carving knife in her palm at all times which she uses to carve runes into her skin when she uses any of her features. She describes the runes burning away and fueling her maneuvers, rage, step-of-the-wind, action surge, etc. They're all just different uses of the same character feature to her.

    i
    So yea, I allow multiclassing. I encourage my players to come up with character concepts they want to build, then to look at the features in the players handbook and other sources as tools to help them make their concept work.

    The source material should serve the character, not the other way around.
    The Stormwind Fallacy, Just because one optimizes his characters mechanically does not mean that they cannot also roleplay, and vice versa.

    Corollary: Doing one in a game does not preclude, nor infringe upon, the ability to do the other in the same game.

    Generalization 1: One is not automatically a worse roleplayer if he optimizes, and vice versa.
    Generalization 2: A non-optimized character is not automatically roleplayed better than an optimized one, and vice versa.

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