Author Topic: 2E multiclassing in 3E  (Read 355 times)

Offline RobbyPants

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2E multiclassing in 3E
« on: November 27, 2018, 02:18:46 PM »
We all are aware of the problems of 3E multiclassing. I was thinking back to 2E, which seemed to give you a more genuine trade off.

In 2E you'd pick two classes and start out as level 1 in each. For things like Hit Dice, you'd roll HP and divide by 2 for each class. Back then, different classes advanced at different rates, and you had to track XP separately, but that wouldn't strictly be necessary for the concept to work. Because of the XP progression tables of 2E, it took double the XP for each subsequent level. Because your XP was being split between two classes, this effectively meant you were about a level behind everyone else. So, if the group was level 5, your Fighter/Cleric would probably be around 4/4.

That honestly didn't seem too bad. I'm not saying it's perfect, but you'd be advancing both classes at the same time, rather than one level at a time in 3E. The closest 3E got to this was classes like the Mystic Theruge, which was too little, too late. But, what if I took that basis and tried to make a PrC where you could stay just one level behind. This is a bit of a working prototype:

(Note: I was thinking this out with vanilla 3.5 rules, not Tome classes.)





Multi-class (Or, insert better name, here)

Prerequisites: At least one level in two different base classes.

Hit Die: An "average" of the two base classes. Add the number of faces on each die, divide by two, and round down to the nearest die type. So, a d10 and d4 = 10 + 4 = 14, divide by 2 = 7, round down to d6.

Base Attack Bonus: An average of the two base classes. I could write up a 7/8 and 5/8 progression table if needed, or we could round down to the existing three 1/1, 3/4, and 1/2 progressions. Personally, I'd prefer the first approach.

Saving Throws: Each saving throw is an average of the two base classes. Again, we could come up with an intermediate progression that is an average of the good and poor progressions. *

Skill Points: Get an average of the two classes. All skills from both classes are class skills.

Weapon/Armor Proficiencies: Nothing new gained.

Class Features: Each level, you gain all the class features of both base classes as though you'd gained a level in each.


* Also, I know every base class and PrC gives out that +2 bonus to every good save at level 1. If we wanted to pretend that this PrC wasn't actually a separate class, we could forego that bonus. I'm not heavily set on either approach.





So, how well would this work in practice? It's simple, and relatively easy to implement. I'm curious how abusable this is. The obvious benchmark is casters. They're what make the world go round. Doing this would cost you a caster level, which means you'd be behind in your highest level of spell available half the time, and half the time you wouldn't be.

The direct comparison would be the Mystic Theruge. At level 12, you'd be a Wizard 11/Cleric 11, which is pretty damn solid. That's a lot of spell slots, although, a Wizard 12 or Cleric 12 has quite a few by that point, too. Compared to the Mystic Theruge at level 12 would be casting at 9/9. That's clearly too weak, but is 11/11 too much? Probably your biggest gain would be at levels 3 through maybe 5 or 7. You'd get a lot of extra spell slots relative to what you'd normally have at that level straight-classed.

Similarly, you could take some martial class to beef up your chassis a bit at the cost of a caster level. You're probably better off just straight-classing.

Classes like Rogue could be thrown in for lots of Sneak Attack progression. I'm sure you could figure out ways to cheese it and get some pretty good damage progressions with touch spells. Still, I'm not sure it's that much worse than a straight caster.

Regarding martial classes, you could throw Rogue in and it'd be almost a straight-up improvement, at a slight cost to HP and BAB. I don't see this as a problem, as those classes get worse and worst as you gain levels, anyway.


Is there anything I'm missing? Obviously, some combinations fare better than others. Does this break the game terribly, or is it still the same Mystic Theruge problem, but just less so? I'd made something like this a while ago that required more sacrifice of class levels, but I wanted to try this 1/1 entry to see if mimicking a 2E multiclassing system was viable.
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Offline awaken_D_M_golem

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Re: 2E multiclassing in 3E
« Reply #1 on: November 27, 2018, 05:08:20 PM »
Level 10 exp is 45k, so it'd be Level 7 / Level 7.
Mostly linear on up to level 20 = Level 14 / Level 14.

But early game it's  Level 3 = Level 2 / Level 2.
That part would definitely help a standard Theurge,
only to fall even further behind in later levels.

Factotum 19 ability, is pretty much on that schedule,
but getting most of it earlier is clearly better.

Full Caster 14 /// * Divine Mind 14 is kinda interesting.
Lots of * Tier 5s boosted this way, is an easy fix.
Why Not?
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Online Skyrock

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Re: 2E multiclassing in 3E
« Reply #2 on: November 27, 2018, 05:11:12 PM »
Seems workable enough, and better than the early dual-progress PrCs like Mystic Theurge or Cerebremancer.

It should be noted that in the old editions there were also triple multi-classes, like the Elven Fighter/MU/Thief. Is that something you also wish to cover?

A big part of AD&D 1E and 2E multi-classing rules that is missing here is a.) that only demi-humans could multiclass and b.) even more importantly, suffered from demi-human level limits. MC characters were very versatile on 1st level combining the abilities of two disparate classes and demi-human specials like detecting secret doors or darkvision, became increasingly comparatively fragile, and eventually just hit the glass wall.

There is already something similar with the existing Gestalt rules, with their suggestion of lowering the effective CR of encountered monsters by 1-2. Shouldn't be to hard to cook up an ECL adjustment from those rules to mix single- and multi-class characters in the same group.

Offline SorO_Lost

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Re: 2E multiclassing in 3E
« Reply #3 on: November 27, 2018, 06:18:27 PM »
So is this a gestalt rebalance (2e's multiclass) or refitting the idea that to balance "Tiers" you should combine a Wizard with a Rogue or a Dread Necromancer with a Crusader (2e's XP rates)?

Offline RobbyPants

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Re: 2E multiclassing in 3E
« Reply #4 on: November 27, 2018, 08:52:57 PM »
It should be noted that in the old editions there were also triple multi-classes, like the Elven Fighter/MU/Thief. Is that something you also wish to cover?

Strictly speaking, you could make a three-class variant. The math on averaging the progressions gets a bit more annoying, but it's not tough. Every class would be two levels behind. It's probably  more than I want to deal with, though.


So is this a gestalt rebalance (2e's multiclass) or refitting the idea that to balance "Tiers" you should combine a Wizard with a Rogue or a Dread Necromancer with a Crusader (2e's XP rates)?

Gestalt is an optional variant either everyone at the table uses or doesn't. I'm talking about creating a PrC to mimic 2E multiclassing in a 3E game. People could take it or not at their whim. I'm not planning on changing the XP rates or anything. I only brought them up, because they way they worked, they tended to enforce the notion that you'd be one level behind in each class relative to a straight-classed character. I'm mimicking that by having entry require you to sink two levels. This effectively puts you a level behind in each of the two classes relative to the rest of the party.

So, Steve could run a Fighter 6, Eve could run a Cleric 6, and Bleve could run a Wizard 1/Rogue 1/Multiclass 4, which would effectively act like a Rogue 5/Wizard 5 in terms of class features, and the chassis would be somewhere in between the two classes.
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Offline SorO_Lost

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Re: 2E multiclassing in 3E
« Reply #5 on: November 27, 2018, 10:30:41 PM »
So, Steve could run a Fighter 6, Eve could run a Cleric 6, and Bleve could run a Wizard 1/Rogue 1/Multiclass 4, which would effectively act like a Rogue 5/Wizard 5 in terms of class features, and the chassis would be somewhere in between the two classes.
It sounds like Steve and Eve are going to pull the DM aside and ask why they can't be a gestated-1 like Bleve is. Like I'm sure the Fighter would trade a Feat and a fraction of BAB for 3rd level spells. Which is why gestalted is an all or none option.

Plus we already have customized hybrids. Like the Duskblade and Hexblade are really just views on what someone thought a Mage+Fighter should look like and given unique traits to increase their appeal. I think moving forward you’ll have a lot of things to cover. But if you draw ideas from all 3rd's current answers. Generics, PrCs, gestalt, and even the Homebrew projects that have tried to expand on them you can fast track some ideas and the problems or answers they might lead to.

« Last Edit: November 28, 2018, 09:01:12 AM by SorO_Lost »

Offline RobbyPants

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Re: 2E multiclassing in 3E
« Reply #6 on: November 28, 2018, 09:23:18 AM »
The more I think about it, the worse this idea is.
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Offline SorO_Lost

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Re: 2E multiclassing in 3E
« Reply #7 on: November 28, 2018, 11:35:22 AM »
The more I think about it, the worse this idea is.
lol. That's not my goal, rather there have been a lot of attempts and you should look at the varying success of them.

Like Generics are vague and weaker than the standard options. PrCs like the Mystic Theurge cost too much unlike PrCs like Abjuration Champion. The Paladin, Ranger, Hexblade, Duskblade, Spelltheif, Bard, and so on can't compete with a PrC'ed full caster. Gestalted has been used as a tool to encourage usage of normally bad options by combing it with a good option. And whatever.

It doesn't matter if your idea isn't new or crosses into other ideas. You have almost nineteen years of R&D to work with on a fully completed project. If there is an answer on how to mash all of this together, it'd be now and not twelve years ago when people were still debating if the Sorcerer would ever get any real splat support. Whether you cast your idea as one of those things or another one is just going to help reliability for people to quickly understand it. The more important deal is what can you offer, maybe something that tries mitigate the weaknesses of those options either through addon homebrew or maybe something that tries to mix them to combine their strengths. Like I feel the -1 level tax just doesn't quite hit it if you're not wanting multiclass to always be the superior option, and you can observe reasoning for this through gesalted play just as easily as you can counter it with the Theurge. And so the answer of course lies somewhere in between and complicated. But it's not undefinable or terrible.
« Last Edit: November 28, 2018, 11:44:50 AM by SorO_Lost »

Offline awaken_D_M_golem

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Re: 2E multiclassing in 3E
« Reply #8 on: November 28, 2018, 04:30:57 PM »
Hey getting squarely into Tier 3 and the Spell Casting scale , is quite the good news for what , 2/3rds of the base classes.
Faster on-ramp, but with dialed down Tiers 1. What's not to like?
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