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 Post subject: [D&D 3.5] Dual classing AD&D-style
PostPosted: Thu Jan 29, 2009 2:03 pm 
I got to thinking about how multiclassing was a mixed blessing, in that if you were more than a few levels behind the curve in anything that has caster levels or abilities that scale with class level rather than character level, so I've had a think about redoing things in a similar fashion to dual-classing from previous editions.

The below is almost certainly high-powered, but I'd like to know your thoughts on how it might be improved and brought back into line. PLEASE NOTE: this is meant to be better than the existing multiclass method. If anything, compare it to single-classed or "dip" multiclassed characters for power levels vs. XP spent.

"D&D 3.5 Dual Classing"
Definitions:
Primary Class: Whatever class you have the most levels in at any given time. In the case of two or more classes with equal levels taken, the primary class is the one that will be highest upon advancement
Secondary Class: The class with the second-highest levels
Tertiary: the third highest, etc.

At any time, a player can choose to take on a second, third or even fourth class (or more, as adjudicated by the DM) in addition to their primary class. The XP costs for advancing in extra classes is as follows:
Primary class: Normal XP costs as per PHB/DMG
Secondary class: Normal costs +1000xp (taking level 1 costs 1000xp, taking level 2 costs 2000xp, etc)
Tertiary class: Normal costs +2000xp (taking level 1 costs 2000xp, etc)
- Hit dice for the character are equal to their racial HD + levels in their primary class; a third level Fighter taking her first level in Rogue gains no extra hit dice or HP.
- Feats (with the exception of bonus feats) and ability score increases are gained based on Hit Dice, not on total class levels.
- Hit dice may be replaced with the largest available at any given level; thus, a third level Rogue with two levels of Fighter could choose to replace his d6 hit dice for levels 1 and 2 with the Fighter's d10s. The 3rd hit dice could not be replaced until his Fighter level is 3 or higher
- Saves and BAB are tracked separately for each class, and the highest available is used. In the above example, the Rogue levels provide a higher Reflex save, while the Fighter levels provide a higher Fortitude save. Will saves and BAB are the same for both classes, so either one is used.
- Skill points are acquired normally for the Primary class, half for the Secondary class (minimum 1), one-quarter for the tertiary class (minimum 1), and 1 skill point/level in every other class.
- The maximum ranks in any skill are equal to the maximum ranks allowed by any one class , so a Ranger 5/Rogue 2 could only have 8 ranks in Hide (the maximum allowed by Ranger 5)
- Class features and Caster levels are gained as normal as each class progresses.
- Class features that have multiple contributing classes are taken as the highest of the contributing classes. For example, a Druid 6/Ranger 4 would only count as a Druid 6 for his Animal companion progression. A Rogue 4/Barbarian 2 would not gain the benefits of Improved Uncanny Dodge, as the two instances of Uncanny Dodge no longer stack.
- Prestige Classes (if allowed) always count towards the Primary class, including the extra Hit Dice, saves, etc regardless of how many different prestige classes are taken. Consequently, prestige class Hit Dice can never be replaced, e.g. Doc, a dwarf Fighter 7/Dwarven Defender 3 has 10 Hit Dice. If he were to gain 8 levels of Cleric, his Primary class would be Cleric 8/Dwarven Defender 3, and his secondary class would be Fighter 7. He would also gain another Hit Die, as his Primary class + Prestige class levels now equal 11.
- Multiclassing restrictions for classes such as Paladin and Monk still apply as normal.


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 Post subject: Re: [D&D 3.5] Dual classing AD&D-style
PostPosted: Thu Jan 29, 2009 3:34 pm 
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Dual Classing AD&D Style wrote:
The XP costs for advancing in extra classes is as follows:
Primary class: Normal XP costs as per PHB/DMG
Secondary class: Normal costs +1000xp (taking level 1 costs 1000xp, taking level 2 costs 2000xp, etc)
Tertiary class: Normal costs +2000xp (taking level 1 costs 2000xp, etc)

Does this mean that the XP cost is as listed for the next character level (say 6000 for 6th to 7th), plus the extra noted there - or is it the XP cost for 1st (or whichever) level, plus the extra?

Dual Classing AD&D Style wrote:
- Hit dice for the character are equal to their racial HD + levels in their primary class; a third level Fighter taking her first level in Rogue gains no extra hit dice or HP.
I take it you're mentioning racial HD in case someone is using this system when playing an ogre, or other Level Adjusted creature?
Dual Classing AD&D Style wrote:
- Class features and Caster levels are gained as normal as each class progresses.

Does this mean that a Fighter 5, Wizard 5 has the spells of a Wizard 10? The caster level of a Wizard 10? Or justs as a 5th level wizard?
Dual Classing AD&D Style wrote:
- Prestige Classes (if allowed) always count towards the Primary class, including the extra Hit Dice, saves, etc regardless of how many different prestige classes are taken. Consequently, prestige class Hit Dice can never be replaced, e.g. Doc, a dwarf Fighter 7/Dwarven Defender 3 has 10 Hit Dice. If he were to gain 8 levels of Cleric, his Primary class would be Cleric 8/Dwarven Defender 3, and his secondary class would be Fighter 7. He would also gain another Hit Die, as his Primary class + Prestige class levels now equal 11.
Does this mean that the HD type changes - i.e. from d10s to d8s in your example?
_______________________________

Aside from all these questions and clarifications, it seems to me that this is more complex, but no more powerful than normal 3.5. High powered? I can't see it.

Maybe your clarifications will change that, but it appears that you'll get less character levels, less skill points, maybe better HD and saves, but otherwise you'll be worse off than under the 3.5 system.

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 Post subject: Re: [D&D 3.5] Dual classing AD&D-style
PostPosted: Thu Jan 29, 2009 4:26 pm 
Altair-the-Vexed wrote:
Dual Classing AD&D Style wrote:
The XP costs for advancing in extra classes is as follows:
Primary class: Normal XP costs as per PHB/DMG
Secondary class: Normal costs +1000xp (taking level 1 costs 1000xp, taking level 2 costs 2000xp, etc)
Tertiary class: Normal costs +2000xp (taking level 1 costs 2000xp, etc)

Does this mean that the XP cost is as listed for the next character level (say 6000 for 6th to 7th), plus the extra noted there - or is it the XP cost for 1st (or whichever) level, plus the extra?

Your secondary (and subsequent classes) cost the normal amount of xp to go from, say 5th to 6th (i.e. 5000xp) plus the relevant "premium" placed on them for not being your primary class. The levelling costs for each class are tracked separately. Essentially, your secondary/tertiary/etc classes are cost the same as they would if they were your primary, but you had a level adjustment of +1 per extra class.
Altair-the-Vexed wrote:
Dual Classing AD&D Style wrote:
- Hit dice for the character are equal to their racial HD + levels in their primary class; a third level Fighter taking her first level in Rogue gains no extra hit dice or HP.
I take it you're mentioning racial HD in case someone is using this system when playing an ogre, or other Level Adjusted creature?

Basically, yes.
Altair-the-Vexed wrote:
Dual Classing AD&D Style wrote:
- Class features and Caster levels are gained as normal as each class progresses.

Does this mean that a Fighter 5, Wizard 5 has the spells of a Wizard 10? The caster level of a Wizard 10? Or justs as a 5th level wizard?

A fighter 5/Wizard 5 would have a Wizard caster level of 5. The difference from normal multiclassing is that it would cost less XP this way, and have fewer Hit Dice.
Altair-the-Vexed wrote:
Dual Classing AD&D Style wrote:
- Prestige Classes (if allowed) always count towards the Primary class, including the extra Hit Dice, saves, etc regardless of how many different prestige classes are taken. Consequently, prestige class Hit Dice can never be replaced, e.g. Doc, a dwarf Fighter 7/Dwarven Defender 3 has 10 Hit Dice. If he were to gain 8 levels of Cleric, his Primary class would be Cleric 8/Dwarven Defender 3, and his secondary class would be Fighter 7. He would also gain another Hit Die, as his Primary class + Prestige class levels now equal 11.
Does this mean that the HD type changes - i.e. from d10s to d8s in your example?

If you mean the HD replacement bit, then yes. If you mean the bit that you quoted, then I'm not sure what you're asking.
Altair-the-Vexed wrote:
_______________________________

Aside from all these questions and clarifications, it seems to me that this is more complex, but no more powerful than normal 3.5. High powered? I can't see it.

Maybe your clarifications will change that, but it appears that you'll get less character levels, less skill points, maybe better HD and saves, but otherwise you'll be worse off than under the 3.5 system.


Possibly, but it's essentially a paid-for version of gestalt, which can lead to very powerful combinations.

Using the example of a Fighter/Wizard (assume even levels for both classes) With the reduced XP costs for extra classes, a fighter 5/wizard 5 has all the abilities of both a fighter 5 and a wizard 5, but only costs the xp of a 7-and-a-half-th level character (24000xp), as opposed to a 10th level character (45000xp). Admittedly you'd have less Hit Dice than a 7th level character, but 5 levels of d10 (in this example) mean that you'd have slightly less HP than a 7th-level D8 character and more than a 7th-level D6 character.

Under normal multiclassing, to get the same 5th-level spellcasting with the same xp, you'd have to take Wizard 5/Fighter 2. You'd have (on average) less HP, 1 less point of BAB, the same number of feats (you wouldn't have the feat for 6th level, but you'd have an extra Fighter bonus feat) and the same saves.

If you were to keep both classes level, you'd be F14/W13 when everyone else was level 20 (on average 3 more HP, 2 points higher BAB but slightly reduced saves than a fighter7/Wizard 13), but if (for example) you'd decided that Wizard 5 was enough to get all the buffing & utility spells you wanted, you could be Fighter 19/Wizard 5 when everyone else was 20th level.

As far as I can see, with the exception of skill points & feats, dual-classing in this way results in a character just as powerful as using the normal method, but punishes people less for taking a dip in alternative classes (for disparate classes. Dip-multiclassing Fighter/Barbarian, for example, will not provide as many benefits as a dip in a caster class or Rogue, but won't cripple a character)

Ultimately, it needs playtesting to find out for sure, but as far as I can tell it shores up the weaknesses of 3.5 multiclassing without leading to uberpowered combinations.

EDIT: Incidentally, unlike AD&D, I haven't forbidden the progression of the original class for dual-classing here. So even after taking a level of Cleric/Rogue/Whatever for your Fighter, you could continue levelling as fighter.


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 Post subject: Re: [D&D 3.5] Dual classing AD&D-style
PostPosted: Thu Jan 29, 2009 4:46 pm 
Noise Maker
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Reduced XP costs? I'm lost. You've mentioned that the XP cost for levelling up in a secondary class is less and more.

Quote:
Your secondary (and subsequent classes) cost the normal amount of xp to go from, say 5th to 6th (i.e. 5000xp) plus the relevant "premium" placed on them for not being your primary class.
=more
Quote:
The difference from normal multiclassing is that it would cost less XP this way, and have fewer Hit Dice.
=less

I think we need several worked examples.

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 Post subject: Re: [D&D 3.5] Dual classing AD&D-style
PostPosted: Thu Jan 29, 2009 4:55 pm 
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I think the idea is that, for example, our fifth level fighter decides he needs to get some magic going on and decides to take his next level in wizard. normally this would require him to earn an additional 6000XP on top of what it took him to gt to level five in fighter, but with this sytem he would pay 2000XP to take level one in wizard, but not get the new hit points and stuff like that.

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 Post subject: Re: [D&D 3.5] Dual classing AD&D-style
PostPosted: Thu Jan 29, 2009 6:34 pm 
What Pete said, but the cost was wrong. The first level in your first class normally costs 0 xp, so to take level 1 in wizard would cost (0+1000) 1000xp. Additionally, his second level in Wizard would cost 2000xp (normal cost of 1000+the 1000xp premium), and he STILL wouldn't get extra hit dice or hp. His third would follow the same pattern, as would the fourth and fifth.

If he took a SIXTH level in Wizard before he took sixth in Fighter, Wizard would become his primary class, he'd gain an extra hit dice for never having reached sixth level before, and that level would only cost the normal amount (5000xp) because it was primary.

If he wanted to get Fighter up to sixth after that, because Fighter was now his secondary class, it would cost normal + premium, or 6000xp (5000+1000xp). Because the Fighter hit dice is better than the Wizard hit dice, he could swap the d4 out for a d10, but he would still only have 6 hit dice.

Any clearer?


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 Post subject: Re: [D&D 3.5] Dual classing AD&D-style
PostPosted: Tue Feb 03, 2009 1:10 pm 
my thoughts
in the earlier editions it really works well and you can build an interesting character. However in 3.5 we have found that any spell casters become dilluted and there best spells just do not match the challenges.

However if you are careful you can get some really interesting charcters with some great options from most of the other classes.

I would not play around with the xp system its very well designed as it is to be honest.


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 Post subject: Re: [D&D 3.5] Dual classing AD&D-style
PostPosted: Tue Feb 03, 2009 1:19 pm 
I came up with this purely to combat the issues of level-scaling-ability dilution. But in any case, your comments are taken on board.

I suspect that there's no real way to get multiclassing "right" (as in balanced across the board, with no overly weak/uberpowerful combinations), but it's an interesting thought experiment.


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 Post subject: Re: [D&D 3.5] Dual classing AD&D-style
PostPosted: Tue Feb 03, 2009 2:09 pm 
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Now that I understand what XP you're spending to get non-primary classes, I'm going to take a deeper look at this and see if it adds up.

EDIT:
After much thought, I think that this is remarkably balanced, but a little clumsy. Book keeping is likely to get a bit difficult. I think it'd be difficult to keep track - as the DM - of character progression using this system.
Sean is right that the risk of exploitative level-dips will be large - but remember that the character is only going to gain the class features - the saves and BAB are most likely not going to grant a bonus to the dipping character (assuming that "dipping" means: taking one level of a class after taking more than one level in another class).

Anyway, to examine the balance, I've used a book called "[u=http://www.iguk.co.uk/products/buy-the-numbers--d20-supplement-4502.aspx]Buy the Numbers[/u]" to look at the XP costs that can be assigned to individual features of classes in the PHB.
Just a little background on that book: It's a fairly well worked out set of rules for using XP to directly purchase your BAB, Hit Dice, save bonuses, skill points, feats, spell slots, uncanny dodge, etc, etc. If it were allowed in regular play, it'd almost certainly lead to unbalanced characters with respect to the normal D&D rules, but it is very self-consistant - and an extremely good guide for figuring out balanced new character classes (if you can get past the author's failure to tabulate his data).

Using "Buy the Numbers", I found that to purchase the class features of a class - without the Hit Dice, the skill points, Save bonuses, feats, etc that one would otherwise get for taking a level - costs around 500 xp.

If one adds in half the skill points: another 25 to 200. So far that's a maximum total of around 700xp.

It gets complex when one adds in the Save bonuses - they are on an incremental scale, costing more for each point as the bonus increases. Let's put them to one side for the moment, and just note that for 1st level, it's a cost of 250xp for any class that only has one good save, and 500 for one that has two, and 750 for three good saves (like the monk).

All of that essentially adds up to say that a class acquired using Daremonai's Dual Classing for 3.5 system would cost you (when using the Buy the Numbers system) around 1000xp (give or take) for the 1st level, and more for the subsequent ones.

So - cost-wise: balanced.

However - one will have to keep track of one's multiple BABs, Saves, and stuff, and I think that's where this might be likely to fall down. I know that as a DM, I'd be confused to heck by characters built using this system. I guess I'd get used to it though.

All in all, I think it'd be interesting to try out, play-test it HARD and all that. If one was going to adopt this system, it'd have to be all the way - for everyone, from the start of the campaign. I really don't think you could use it in parallel with the standard method.

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Last edited by Altair-the-Vexed on Wed Feb 04, 2009 8:16 pm, edited 4 times in total.

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 Post subject: Re: [D&D 3.5] Dual classing AD&D-style
PostPosted: Tue Feb 03, 2009 5:17 pm 
i will also crunch the numbers and see what it looks like.

And then comeback with some feedback for you two if that helps?


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 Post subject: Re: [D&D 3.5] Dual classing AD&D-style
PostPosted: Wed Feb 04, 2009 4:28 pm 
Daremonai wrote:
What Pete said, but the cost was wrong. The first level in your first class normally costs 0 xp, so to take level 1 in wizard would cost (0+1000) 1000xp. Additionally, his second level in Wizard would cost 2000xp (normal cost of 1000+the 1000xp premium), and he STILL wouldn't get extra hit dice or hp. His third would follow the same pattern, as would the fourth and fifth.

If he took a SIXTH level in Wizard before he took sixth in Fighter, Wizard would become his primary class, he'd gain an extra hit dice for never having reached sixth level before, and that level would only cost the normal amount (5000xp) because it was primary.

If he wanted to get Fighter up to sixth after that, because Fighter was now his secondary class, it would cost normal + premium, or 6000xp (5000+1000xp). Because the Fighter hit dice is better than the Wizard hit dice, he could swap the d4 out for a d10, but he would still only have 6 hit dice.


Any clearer?


some thoughts.

Before i get flammed to death please remember these are just my thoughts.

Firstly if you follow through with your xp idea for dabbling in a class it in theory looks fine.
However here are the issues

I strongly believe that it actually encorages min/maxing because its very cheap to dabble at higher level.
Normally most players will tinker with there character at first level only. For example level in barbarian then straight fighter seen loads of them.
Your system would create the following style of play i think straight fighter till sixth then a level in wizard as an example.It only costs a 1000xp as apposed till seven. You can then get two attacks around take true strike and gain enlarge.
Now you could argue they could do that anyway by starting as a wizard however that extra attack now costs seven thousand xp as apposed to one thousand.
If your idea is create some more flexibility for characters i play that all skills are open and there are no cross class skills. The benefit of this it allows players to for example go after stealth skills or use magic device and flesh out there character that way. If there playing a fighter they dont get a lot of skills anyway however they could specialise in one or two things well.
Works for me.

Anyway there are so many ways to abuse the system under your idea i would stay well clear of it. And the problem gets even worse if you take another class just for the benefits and then go back to your original class.
Boy it is so cheap to max out.

As i said before this version allows some classes to pick and mix without skipping a beat and others become as we call it dead bard walking.

It is fine as it i just wish i had a really cleaver idea to share with you however the skills idea is the best i have.


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 Post subject: Re: [D&D 3.5] Dual classing AD&D-style
PostPosted: Wed Feb 04, 2009 9:09 pm 
Argh!

Ok, it has taken me this long (and some very patient explanation over dinner from Alastair just now) to understand anything that's being said in this thread (and I so want to understand!).
What can I say? I'm a player through and through, not a rules re-shaping DM, like you guys.

Anyway - to my point.
Now that I'm half way to understanding it properly, I think this system has many benefits, and could work well without being too overpowered. I like the balance between 'dipping in' to a class for smaller XP costs, but not gaining all the benefits of that class until they become better than your 'primary' class. ie hit dice, BAB etc
(I have got that right, haven't I? :? )

One thing that's confusing me still - what would the Effective Character Level be of such a build? The XP thresholds remain the same, but you effectively have a whole bunch of other stuff you can do between levels, which makes you quite a lot more powerful.
Eg - you have a 7th level Barbarian who just spent some XP on 3 'levels' of Sorceror. He has the BAB and hit points of a 7th level character still, but can now cast a bunch of spells.
Is the Barbarian-Sorceror still considered 7th level until he has earned enough XP (without spending any) to get to the normal 8th level threshold?
(With an additional 3 levels of nerfed Sorceror as a secondary class, he can't really be called 10th, I'm assuming..)

Is the idea that this is counter-balanced by the fact that due to the XP spent on the Sorceror levels, he will take far longer to reach the 8th level threshold than a character who is just a straight class?

How does the DM dish out XP to our Barbarian-Sorceror? As a 7th level character, while others in the party rush off to 8th and 9th? (He would then be getting more than others in the party, in fact, due to the balancing of the XP table, so this is perhaps not such a penalty for him...)

To summarise the main question I'm asking: How is ECL determined for a character built using this system?

(P.S. Love the new avatar, Ninje... :lots of love: )


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 Post subject: Re: [D&D 3.5] Dual classing AD&D-style
PostPosted: Thu Feb 05, 2009 10:30 am 
helios you raise some good points

My thoughts again are that you now highlight another issue that i had hinted on however you highlight it better than i.

ecl.

You see if a player takes 6 levels of fighter and a level in sorcerer and then say a level in wizard he is an eighth level character

in this system to be honest its very broken i can build a very cheep character with multiple levels in various classes for a fraction of the true cost.

Fundamentally thats the problem.

What i like about this thread is its very thought provoking and as i said earlier thats a very good thing i just wish i had a great idea for other players and dms to use.


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 Post subject: Re: [D&D 3.5] Dual classing AD&D-style
PostPosted: Thu Feb 05, 2009 10:48 am 
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ECL need not be a problem if it's handled sensibly.

Here's an idea: (drawing again from "Buy the Numbers")
Keep a track of the total XP that a character has, and compare this to the PHB level table. The ECL of the character is equivalent to the level he would be at if he was single classed.

Trouble with this, is that the 6th level fighter who takes a level or two in wizard is going to count as a 6th level character until they've taken three levels in wizard! While this guy hasn't gained the BAB, feats or full skill points, he has gained a bunch of spells per day. He's not really equal to 6th level character's powers. Clearly, taking an extra class is more powerful than not doing it.

So - to adjust my first proposal to reflect this, would it be reasonable to call the ECL of a dual classed character equal to their XP total +1 per additional class?
Can we imagine that a fighter with access to the spells of a 3rd level wizard is equivalent to an 8th level single classed character?

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