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    Dwarf in the Playground
     
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    Default Multi-classing Schmulti-classing

    So this is a bit of a rant and a bit of a question. I've seen some pretty powerful builds and I've seen some amazing optimizing on these forums, but I have not seen that many playable characters.

    Sure, these builds will take on just about anything short of a terrasque, but are they role-playable?

    For example, taken from: "He slices! He casts! He even makes julienne fries!"

    Pal2/Sorc6/SpellSword1/Abjurant Champion5/Warmage5/???
    How do you justify this in a group?

    Seriously, if anyone can answer this I would be happy to hear it.
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    (post #71 here: http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showt...=139886&page=3)

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    Default Re: Multi-classing Schmulti-classing

    The warmage part I don't get...

    But say if I were a Paladin of Mystra... or Boccob... or We Jas... or any other of the Magic Gods.... I could definately see having spellcasting ability.

    That covers Paladin and Sorcerer.

    Spellsword and Abjurant Champion both enhance your ability to fuse magic and martial power.

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    Default Re: Multi-classing Schmulti-classing

    So (if we are in character), would you as a leader of say, the Spellsword, stand for a person taking just one or two levels of you class?

    Or more fanatristicly, would you allow someone to be a member in name only, just to get the benefits?

    Aren't there some sort of responsibilities that PCs should be held to?
    "Trouble rather the tiger in his lair than the DM amongst his books for to you your characters and their equipment are mighty and enduring, but to him they are but toys of the moment to be overturned by the flicking of a finger." - Raven's Cry

    (post #71 here: http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showt...=139886&page=3)

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    Default Re: Multi-classing Schmulti-classing

    How do you justify this in a group?
    Any way you want to. In this case, the simple answer is "he's a guy who fights and casts spells". How is that any harder to justify than "he's a guy who learns a bunch of different fighting techniques" (pure fighter), or "he's a guy who studies dusty old tomes to learn magic" (pure wizard), or whatever?
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    Default Re: Multi-classing Schmulti-classing

    That all depends on if you treat prestige classes as organizations or as specialized learning.

    I've always treated them as specific learning that the character applies... but I've also seen each PrC with its own organization with rules, leaders and tutors.

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    Default Re: Multi-classing Schmulti-classing

    Only some prestige classes require you to join a certain organization, and Spellsword is not one of them.

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    Default Re: Multi-classing Schmulti-classing

    Classes are mechanics. Only some are even perceptible in-game (eg, wizard). Any mish-mash of classes and PrCs can be justified as "he's a guy who can do those things", with maybe a requirement to be a member of an organization for maybe one or two classes, if the DM chooses to use that fluff. And then, the organization doesn't know whether you have one level or ten...

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    Dwarf in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: Multi-classing Schmulti-classing

    Only some prestige classes require you to join a certain organization, and Spellsword is not one of them.
    SO if you're the DM... you'd find it ok for a character to spontaneously be able to start casting through their sword? Or would you require them to seek out a trainer? If this is a common "DIP" for builds, maybe this trainer is done training new PCs, maybe he charges double.
    "Trouble rather the tiger in his lair than the DM amongst his books for to you your characters and their equipment are mighty and enduring, but to him they are but toys of the moment to be overturned by the flicking of a finger." - Raven's Cry

    (post #71 here: http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showt...=139886&page=3)

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    Default Re: Multi-classing Schmulti-classing

    I guess it depends on whether you view a class a list of mechanics or as a natural extension of your character. Honestly if you build the classes around your character concept, is just as justifiable as if you built your character concept around the flavor provided by the particular splat book. Its just a role-playing preference of some to look at things as mechanics and see if those mechanics fit with what they want to build.

    Also justifying your taking of a prestige class has more to do with DM preferences than probably anything else. I know some DM's won't let you take a prestige class unless you role-play yourself into an organization that teaches those particular skill sets, and some DM's just let you do whatever cause they are focused on other parts of the story telling. Neither approach really lends itself better to role-playing it just creates a different focus to role-play around.
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    Firbolg in the Playground
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    Default Re: Multi-classing Schmulti-classing

    Quote Originally Posted by McClintock View Post
    SO if you're the DM... you'd find it ok for a character to spontaneously be able to start casting through their sword? Or would you require them to seek out a trainer? If this is a common "DIP" for builds, maybe this trainer is done training new PCs, maybe he charges double.
    How does a character become able to use any class feature when he gains a level? Do you require rogues to seek out trainers in order to learn Skill Mastery? Druids to visit their mentor before they get their Wild Shape? That's a valid preference (might drive some people up the wall, but no doubt some would prefer it), but you're making an artificial separation between base and prestige classes that doesn't apply. In-game, there is no concept of levels or classes. Some people have weird abilities. Over time, they gain new ones. Whether these come from a single base class progression or from a dozen dips is irrelevant to the character, in character.

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    Default Re: Multi-classing Schmulti-classing

    I can think of very few characters in fiction who can be represented by one class. Maybe the guy from the Earthsea trilogy, who was of course a Truenamer. Hell, Conan wasn't a single-class Barbarian.

    Right, on to justifying this:

    Pal2/Sorc6/SpellSword1/Abjurant Champion5/Warmage5/???

    Well, evidentally he's a paladin. But, wait... while he follows the usual Paladin credo of wearing armour and fighting with a sword, he doesn't use divine magic. Perhaps he's a paladin of a god of Arcane magic, and thus has learned to fight in armour while casting the type of spells favoured by his deity.

    I don't like the view of 'classes as occupations'. My Wizard/Psion/Cerebremancer isn't a wizard, not is he a psion. He views himself as someone who is self-taught in a variety of mystic arts, and has learned them from nobody except himself and a stack of tomes. He isn't a wizard who became a psion then became a cerebremancer. No quests have been done to pick up the psion or cerebremancer levels, it is simply an evolution of the concept.

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    Default Re: Multi-classing Schmulti-classing

    Quote Originally Posted by McClintock View Post
    SO if you're the DM... you'd find it ok for a character to spontaneously be able to start casting through their sword? Or would you require them to seek out a trainer? If this is a common "DIP" for builds, maybe this trainer is done training new PCs, maybe he charges double.
    Yup. Unless a class has the prerequesite "Special: Membership in organization X or Y.", you can start taking levels in it immediately after meeting all mechanical requirements.

    Classes represent your character's abilities, and little more.

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    Default Re: Multi-classing Schmulti-classing

    Quote Originally Posted by McClintock View Post
    SO if you're the DM... you'd find it ok for a character to spontaneously be able to start casting through their sword? Or would you require them to seek out a trainer? If this is a common "DIP" for builds, maybe this trainer is done training new PCs, maybe he charges double.
    Fluff and mechanics should always be kept separate. Period.

    The mechanics for taking Class X or PrC Y are what they are, period. It is up to the DM to attach fluff conditions/requirements to any Class or PrC, as it pertains to his/her campaign/setting/whatever.

    What makes more sense -- a Paladin of Mystra who is granted arcane powers, who then decides to learn how to fuse his martial and arcane talents, but rather than pursue that fully, instead opts to go down another path; or a Barbarian suddenly being able to cast arcane spells as a Wizard because it is assumed she's been observing the party Wizard and taking notes (and somehow gaining literacy in the process)?

    The former seems more complicated but it is far more logically consistent than the latter, which is easily possible under the rules.


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    Default Re: Multi-classing Schmulti-classing

    Generally, I would allow a character to take any multiclass option, within the same sort of class. If I have a Fighter that wants to take a level in Barbarian, or Ranger, or Monk, or even something like Scout or Knight, then that makes easy sense. Dude likes to hit stuff, and wants to hit stuff in a different way. Or if a Fighter wants to take a level in Wizard or Sorcerer, also good. They saw pointy hat fry them with a lightning bolt, or cast Grease, or whatever, and want to understand why and how that is, to use it against them. Perfectly fine.

    Where it gets a little iffy is when you start multiclassing in the classes that require some sort of ethical component. Your Artificer isn't generally going to decide to be a Druid one day. Your Rogue probably won't "get religion" and multiclass into Paladin or Cleric (well, maybe Olidammara or Fhunspellable). When there's multiclassing into or out of an "ethical" class, I would require a good in-character justification when the character levels up. If the player can provide it, great! Maybe the Rogue actually did get religion, or the Artificer came to realize the environmental dangers of too much machinery.

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    Default Re: Multi-classing Schmulti-classing

    Quote Originally Posted by McClintock View Post
    SO if you're the DM... you'd find it ok for a character to spontaneously be able to start casting through their sword? Or would you require them to seek out a trainer?
    In general, yes.

    The DM is of course free to make exceptions. "In this particular campaign world, the Duelists are a specific group and their techniques are kept secret enough that you won't have an easy time picking up Duelist levels without getting specialized training and roleplaying being a part of their organization." But I, and most of the people on these Forums, feel like such things should be the exception rather than the rule (except when the PrC specifically says there's an organization it goes with, in the Prerequisites section).

    Fluff and mechanics shouldn't always be kept separate ... just usually.

    If I am the DM, however, I will require some forethought by the characters. A character who wants to dip a level of Spellsword better have mentioned earlier that he has started to study the art of casting a spell through his weapon and casting in armor. (Although if he has the Arcane Strike feat, that probably suffices.) Of course, this also goes for DukeOfURL's base-class example, too. That Barbarian isn't going to be multiclassing as a Wizard unless he's been showing interest in arcane magic for a while -- and preferably already been Literate for at least a level. But that's just my DM style; it's not in the rules.
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    RedWizardGuy

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    Default Re: Multi-classing Schmulti-classing

    Quote Originally Posted by Ecalsneerg View Post
    Hell, Conan wasn't a single-class Barbarian.
    Barbarian/Rogue/Fighter/Dread Pirate/Legendary Leader?, or something like that... Marshal, maybe? Gotta have those social skills by the end.

    Conan is pretty much the quintessential fantasy RPG hero, and he was all about learning many, many different things. He starts out as a barbarian warrior, becomes a master thief, learns the tactics and weapons of countless armies, becomes an actual master swordsman (taught by Murilo), becomes the most feared pirate ever, leads armies, and finally becomes king. (Then is dethroned, then becomes king again.)


    It's bad enough D&D is a class-based game; there's no sense limiting the classes people pick, if they meet the mechanical prerequisites.

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    Default Re: Multi-classing Schmulti-classing

    Quote Originally Posted by McClintock View Post
    So this is a bit of a rant and a bit of a question. I've seen some pretty powerful builds and I've seen some amazing optimizing on these forums, but I have not seen that many playable characters.

    Sure, these builds will take on just about anything short of a terrasque, but are they role-playable?
    Given that one of the all-around strongest builds possible is Druid 20...

    For example, taken from: "He slices! He casts! He even makes julienne fries!"

    How do you justify this in a group?

    Seriously, if anyone can answer this I would be happy to hear it.
    Okay, here's the explanation: you've got a really limited conception of how prestige classes work. As someone has already said, the druid up and learns to turn into an animal at level 5. Why doesn't he have to seek out a trainer? The whole POINT of sorcerers' flavor that they spontaneously develop arcane powers. Justifying taking sorcerer is as easy as "Paul the Paladin gets up in the morning, cooks his eggs with BURNING HANDS, then blinks and looks confused". It sure makes a lot more sense than Dan the Druid waking up and turning into a bear.

    After that, Paul the Paladin is both fighting and spellcasting all the time. And you think it's surprising that he's going to get better at both fighting and spellcasting, and maybe even develop a few techniques that blend them together?


    Prestige Classing, multiclassing, etc, do NOT have to involve seeking out a "trainer" who turns into a bear and teaches you to do the same. Constantly requiring this is awfully limiting, doesn't really make sense, and generally doesn't do anything positive for the game.

    More relevant than what your character's classes are named and how many of them you have is what your character can do, because this actually determines how he interacts with the world.



    Edit: Conan is obviously a Thief/Reaver/Slayer 2e-style multiclass. :P
    Last edited by Reel On, Love; 2008-05-22 at 02:45 PM.

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    Default Re: Multi-classing Schmulti-classing

    Quote Originally Posted by Reel On, Love View Post
    Edit: Conan is obviously a Thief/Reaver/Slayer 2e-style multiclass. :P
    3e term would probably be Triple Gestalt :P
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    Default Re: Multi-classing Schmulti-classing

    Quote Originally Posted by Reel On, Love View Post
    "Paul the Paladin gets up in the morning, cooks his eggs with BURNING HANDS, then blinks and looks confused".
    I lol'd.

    Also, I get the sense that someone here's looking down their nose at those filthy munchkining powergamers.

    Aren't there some sort of responsibilities that PCs should be held to?
    GMing basically any adventure will give you the answer.

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    Default Re: Multi-classing Schmulti-classing

    Quote Originally Posted by McClintock View Post
    SO if you're the DM... you'd find it ok for a character to spontaneously be able to start casting through their sword? Or would you require them to seek out a trainer? If this is a common "DIP" for builds, maybe this trainer is done training new PCs, maybe he charges double.
    As others have already said, leveling up doesn't become any more ridiculous just because you drag multiclassing into the equation. That said, let me see if I understand where you're coming from.

    A stealthy archer and wilderness explorer suddenly gains an animal companion and the ability to cast divine spells. If it's a Ranger reaching 4th level, that's fine, because that's how the Ranger class is supposed to work. But if it's a Scout multiclassing to Druid, and the player and DM agreed/decided to throw out the part about Druids belonging to a special religious tradition with its own secret language and having alignment restrictions and all, then that's bad, because THEY'RE NO LONGER USING THE CLASS AS IT WAS INTENDED TO BE USED OHNOES.

    In short: Are you essentially saying "Players should have to use character concepts that have been pre-approved by WotC"? If not, just what are you saying? Do you have any justification for your position beyond personal preference? If so, what is it?

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    Default Re: Multi-classing Schmulti-classing

    Also, about the trainer idea: IT works fine in theory, until you run an adventure that requires the party to keep moving. Then, they go up a level, but because they don't have time to train, they miss all of their abilities. Interestingly enough, all of the wizards of the coast premade adventures have fallen into this category.

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    Default Re: Multi-classing Schmulti-classing

    I'd explain the druid one by the fact that druids are well-known to be able to turn into animals. So a beginning druid is going to want to be able to do that. So he's going to work towards that. Maybe he tries and tries, and fails and fails. Until one day when he manages to do it successfully (the day he attains 5th level, of course). That explanation is easy.
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    Default Re: Multi-classing Schmulti-classing

    Wally Warblade often fantasized about his boss dying and wished he could kill him with his thoughts. The day it worked was the day he realized he had just become a level 1 Psion.
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    Default Re: Multi-classing Schmulti-classing

    Or you could attach it to some emotional experience. For example, Dan the Druid is running around in a wood with a pack of wolves, enjoying the breeze in his hair, moonlight on his face, and all of a sudden all of the wolves stop and begin howling. Entranced by the unity of the pack, Dan tries to howl himself, and is magically transformed into a wolf.
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    Default Re: Multi-classing Schmulti-classing

    Quote Originally Posted by McClintock View Post
    Sure, these builds will take on just about anything short of a terrasque, but are they role-playable?

    How do you justify this in a group?

    Seriously, if anyone can answer this I would be happy to hear it.

    Some people don't think the fluff of a class matters, and is completely mutable in all situations.

    I prefer to optimize builds that are thematically coherent, so they all fit together well, fluffwize.
    Last edited by Talya; 2008-05-22 at 09:42 PM.

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    Default Re: Multi-classing Schmulti-classing

    Quote Originally Posted by Ecalsneerg View Post
    Hell, Conan wasn't a single-class Barbarian.
    Yup, he was a fighter/thief
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    Default Re: Multi-classing Schmulti-classing

    The OP's quote contained a typo, it should have been War Weaver, not Warmage. And fluff for this character is as follows:

    Paladin of Mystra finds himself blessed by an innate magical ability. He now faces a difficult choice: Persue this innate gift from his diety, or continue in his path as a Paladin and defender of the innocent against the those who abuse Mystra's Gift and the Weave. He decides he is better able to combat those abusing magic by developing those magical gifts bestowed upon him, either through unknown heretage, immersion in a high-magical place constantly, or through a direct blessing of his diety (he's really not sure, and doesn't consider it a ponderable point).

    After developing his innate abilities, he finds his more martial abilities are not being developed as well as he would prefer, so he trains and learn how to combine his martial prowess with his arcane development. Since he sees himself as a shield for the innocent against those who abuse the Weave, and a rod to smite the abusers with, the path of Abjurant Champion is a natural one for him.

    Finally, as he grows in power which is already becomming legendary, he finds himself being in leadership positions in combat, learning combat tactics and strategy, and wishes to find a way to protect more of his troops. The path of War Weaver is a natural direction for him to go, allowing him to spread his magical protection over many individuals while freeing him up to smite down those who abuse the Weave.

    Personally, I don't see what your problem is. Both Abjurant Champion and War Weaver are 5 level PrC's, so he takes them BOTH to the end. The only 'dip' is Spellsword, which is perfectly reasonable for a person who wants to do both magic and combat but doesn't quite have the prerequsites for what he really wants to do, as a step to his ultimate goal of bringing together magic and martial prowess for the glory of the Lady of Magic.
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    Default Re: Multi-classing Schmulti-classing

    Quote Originally Posted by McClintock View Post
    Pal2/Sorc6/SpellSword1/Abjurant Champion5/Warmage5/???
    How do you justify this in a group?

    Seriously, if anyone can answer this I would be happy to hear it.
    She views her magical skill as a gift from her deity, and considers it to be her divine calling. Using it, she becomes an 'arcane paladin', learning skills that other divine warriors may not in order to better serve her temple and deity. She places a special focus on nullifying the corrupt magics of other casters (hence, Abjurant Champion) and on battle-magics to bring victory for her deity; and she keeps her martial skills up, as well, knowing that both her mind and her body must be devoted to her deity.

    An alternate flavor: Paladin becomes disillusioned as their innate sorcerer abilities blossom; turning their back on the call, they devote themselves to studying the many facets of magic. Although they no longer call themselves a Paladin, some lingering respect for their old ways makes them stick to the Code (or maybe it's simply that their lifetime of following it / upbringing in its ways is too hard for them to shake off -- it's the only way they know how to live.) Similarly, they continue their studies with the blade, throwing themselves into it with a fierce fervor as if to make themselves forget their troubled past and the call they rejected by perfecting their grace with a sword in hand.

    Question for you: Why wouldn't a Paladin be allowed to learn magic? It seems to me that, far from it being hard to justify multi-classing, it is hard to justify single-classing. Why wouldn't a fighter learn to backstab people now and then? Why wouldn't anyone in a world with such powerful magic want to learn at least a few tricks with it? If a druid offered to teach you how to turn into a bear, would you really turn them down because "Naah, I'm a fighter, thanks?"

    Multiclassing makes perfect sense. It's single-classing that is generally nonsensical.
    Last edited by Aquillion; 2008-05-22 at 10:58 PM.

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    Default Re: Multi-classing Schmulti-classing

    Arcane paladins are a WotC-approved concept, anyway. There's one or two sets of arcane paladin substitution levels in Champions of Valor, and an arcane paladin PrC - the Knight of the Weave.

    All you need is a deity of magic that can have Lawful Good worshipers.

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    Default Re: Multi-classing Schmulti-classing

    Quote Originally Posted by McClintock View Post
    So this is a bit of a rant and a bit of a question. I've seen some pretty powerful builds and I've seen some amazing optimizing on these forums, but I have not seen that many playable characters.
    The Fighter 4 / Bard 6 / Red Dragon Disciple (or anyother color, I guess) is an extreme fighting machine with very good social skills and more. My DM didn't have a problem with it since I did actually use the bard levels, instead of the classic min-maxed CRPG build of Fighter 9 / Bard 1 / RDD 10.
    (This is also much more fun to play in CRPGs too, since you can hopefully talk your way through things if you want to, and win battles if you want to).

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