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Multiclass talents - The good, the bad, and the ugly?


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So I was going through the list of multi-class talents as I really like the idea behind them, but was left with the general impression that most of them were lackluster and not worth taking. After some consideration, here are my thoughts:

 

 

ACOLYTE'S RADIANCE

Even though next patch will make it 1/encounter (source), this talent remains problematic. Its main issue is that the Priest ability it derives from is already weak and situational: I rarely waste my Priest's time with it—I definitely wouldn't waste a talent point on a watered down version for another character.

 

A possible solution could be to make both the Priest ability and the talent scale with level. Thoughts?


APPRENTICE'S SNEAK ATTACK

This is a good talent. Much weaker than its Rogue counterpart, but with all the cheese we have in the game I certainly wouldn't advocate for a buff. Most melee characters end up taking it as is.


ASPIRANT'S MARK

Will be a good AoE debuff once it's made 1/encounter (source). Can be useful on support characters.


ENIGMA'S CHARM

Frankly, I do not know how to make this one attractive. I understand the idea behind it, but I just can't think of a character on whom I'd want it. There are better and more efficient ways to Charm opponents without investing a talent point in it.


GALLANT'S FOCUS

This one is good if you don't already have a Paladin in your party. Also works as a weaker Weapon Focus (+4 with all weapons instead of +6 with a specific subset of them.) I don't generally take it, but that's more personal preference than anything.


NOVICE'S SUFFERING

This one is good, although its utility is confined to specific character builds rather than being universal like, for example, Apprentice's Sneak Attack's. Then again, not all talents need to be universal :)


OUTLANDER'S FRENZY

 

If this too is made to be 1/encounter, it could be good for specific character builds. Josh didn't mention it in his tweet, so I'll ask.


PRESTIDIGITATOR'S MISSILES

This one is not particularly good because, frankly, who wants the minor version of Minoletta's Minor Missiles 1/encounter? You either have a Wizard in the party (and therefore don't need missiles on other characters) or you probably just don't care about arcane spells.

 

However, I guess it could be good for specific character builds if it scaled with level (going from 3 to 4 to 5 missiles and gaining bonus damage.) Appreciate it would eventually become more powerful than Minoletta's Minor Missiles, but it would still be just 1/encounter. Otherwise, I cannot see it as worth a talent point.


RHYMER'S SUMMON

Not sure about this one; I seldom use summons. Seems very slow and becomes completely useless in the second half of the game. Perhaps if it was changed to 10 seconds (since Chanters are getting Brisk Recitation in 3.0) and scaled with level by summoning progressively better creatures?


RUNNER'S WOUNDING SHOT

 

Now that it is 1/encounter, I'd say it's actually good for ranged DPS non-Ranger characters (e.g. Cipher.) Thoughts?


VETERAN'S RECOVERY

Total waste of a talent. +1.5 Endurance over 3 seconds is tantamount to nothing and it's even on a timer. Putting the Fighter's ability on a timer was already a mistake to begin with imho. If the timer was removed and the effect was changed to 2 every 3 seconds, it might be something (but still unsure; the Fighter's ability is already fairly irrelevant unless you boost the heck out of with with items and Might, plus Fighter can invest another talent to boost it further, which characters with Veteran's Recovery cannot.)

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"Time is not your enemy. Forever is."

— Fall-From-Grace, Planescape: Torment

"It's the questions we can't answer that teach us the most. They teach us how to think. If you give a man an answer, all he gains is a little fact. But give him a question, and he'll look for his own answers."

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I agree with all of your summations EXCEPT on gallant's focus. I will never understand why people always say "take it if you don't have a pally"!

+6 from weap. focus
+4 from gallant's focus (which, btwb, affects EVERYTHING, including spells, which is reason enough to take it on casters every time)
+5 from Marksman
+5 from distant advantage

this is just an example of how you can have a ranged elf shooting guns with built-in +20 ACC.... of which 9 of those 20 pts affect his spells too (gallant + distant advantage)

gallant is also very good on priests. My durance has 75+ ACC with his arquebus by late-game thanks to...

+10 to arquebus from magran
+6 from solider
+4 from gallant (which affects his spells, we simply CANNOT forget that)
+5 from Marksman

this durance is packing +25 ACC on his arquebus shots, as well as +4 ACC to his spells that he normally would NOT have.

and if the magran priest in question is created then make him a distant advantage elf for a whopping +30 ACC to his arquebus shooting and a +9 ACC to his spell casting.

Edited by aweigh0101
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The reason why people suggest taking it if you don't have a Paladin is that it doesn't stack with Zealous Aura, and the latter gives +6 which is better.

 

Of course a case can be made for ranged character who will, for the most part, be outside of the Paladin's Aura's range during a fight. I hadn't thought of that; a good talent has just become better in my eyes :)

"Time is not your enemy. Forever is."

— Fall-From-Grace, Planescape: Torment

"It's the questions we can't answer that teach us the most. They teach us how to think. If you give a man an answer, all he gains is a little fact. But give him a question, and he'll look for his own answers."

— Kvothe, The Wise Man's Fears

My Deadfire mods: Brilliant Mod | Faster Deadfire | Deadfire Unnerfed | Helwalker Rekke | Permanent Per-Rest Bonuses | PoE Items for Deadfire | No Recyled Icons | Soul Charged Nautilus

 

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yah for me the key detail that really sold me on gallant's focus is that it boosts by +4 ALL abilities and spells. EVERYTHING. it is literally +4 to the character's base ACC.

That's basically a "Fine" enchantment :)

and since it stacks with weapon focus, marksman AND distant advantage you can really go crazy. it ESPECIALLY shined on a distant advantage elf, since their trait also affects spells, so we're talking +9 to spells and a +20 ACC to weapons (+30 if priest and deity ACC talent).

+9 to spells is nothing to sneeze at

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Yeah, I agree with most of your points. More or less, it boils down to:
 
- Passives with "relative" bonueses are nice because they scale and are relevant throughout (Sneak Attack, Aura, Suffering)
- Buffs / Debuffs are nice because they scale relatively (Frenzy, Shot, Mark)
 
- Talents with numbers are bad because they don't scale and are worse / more limited than their counterparts
(Radiance, Missiles, Summon, Recovery)
 
Dunno where to put the charm.
 
I think the design philosophy of making stuff a bit worse than the original talent is quite ok, but it's just too bad on the nonscaling stuff.
Personally, I think the Recovery is therefore ok, since it's probably balanced around using all kinds of other regeneration on top of it. If you use the belt and have high might, it's not that bad, even if its just for fun. Works good with the self damaging implement talent if you want your wand user to be on his own in the back for a long time.
 
The problem I see is that Priest, Wizard, Cipher and Chanter all get better spells / invocations that replace the ones which are the base for the multiclass talents, and then on top the multiclass talent is worse and more limited.
Making them encounter based is a first step, but I think especially those need to scale somehow as well to be viable.
 
Apart from that, I think for the wizard, aracane assault would have been a better basis, and the chanter should have gotten, well, a basic chant instead of a summon. I never choose the summons on my chanters, but every chanter has to, well, chant, so a chant represents the actual concept much better.
Don't know about the cipher as I never play them, but I guess the priest can't have a healing talent because there already were such talents and interdiction itself is just weak/ way too situational.
 
I would hope that there will be a second batch of multiclass talents in the second expansion, ideally with some benefit if you take both of the same class, but since we didn't hear anything in that direction and the addon is 6-8 weeks away, I guess that won't happen, sadly.
 

Josh didn't mention it in his tweet, so I'll ask.


While you are at it, just shoot him the link to this thread after some more people answered. Might give more an impression in case he is not aware of how some of the talents are seen by us.

Edited by Doppelschwert
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I used Gallant's Focus previously on Eder and a couple of disadvantageous points stood out:

  • Range - It is about 2-2.5m from what I can see. You will not using it at the same coverage as a proper pally aura.
  • Priest's Blessing - This lvl1 spell has acc bonus and 10% increased dmg. After lvl9, GF will constantly be suppressed.  GF can still be relevant for alpha strike situations, but still...

Personally, the one I used the most often is Apprentice's Sneak Attack. At this point, these talents seems very tagged on. I kinda miss how games like IWDII handle mutil-class. 

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Gallant's focus is a pretty good early game pick when you can't really stick to a weapon focus and just have to use what's available.  But later on when you've got your main weapons and you've got a priest with per encounter spells I'd normally respec out of it if that build needed the space.  I don't think paladins are a factor since zealous endurance + gallant's focus is better than zealous focus alone imo.

 

I'd be interested in seeing some builds that use novice's suffering, maybe I'll search the forums.  +16 accuracy and higher base damage than the other fast weapons is appealing, but obviously it can't be crafted and it doesn't have any neat effects.  Plus it costs a talent.  Seems like not a great trade off.  Maybe I'd take it on a chanter since their melee presence is mostly ceremonial so aren't worth the crafting mats and they have plenty of free talents.  Kind of dumb it doesn't work on barbarians.

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I haven't tried out all the talents so I can only comment on the two I used.

Veterans recovery is REALLY good on a pally, even on a solo, where fights are longer than it's duration and more so with a group behind you to make fights shorter.

Yes, longer duration would be nice, but I can live without it. As to the fighters durastion getting nerfed, it was not necessary but I don't mind at all, just another reason to make INT not a dump stat which I welcome highly.

 

Gallant's focus is super awesome on a ranged fighter, even if you have a pally(not ranged) you cover more space with accuracy buff.

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@Abbzug - Why are you saying that Novice's Suffering doesn't work on Barbarians?

 

It is a good talent if you want to go unarmed without being a Monk. It's not necessarily a mechanically optimal choice but it may suit your character concept (for example, I'm toying with the idea of a Rogue that looks like a Monk, fights like a Monk, but is really actually a Rogue.)

Edited by AndreaColombo

"Time is not your enemy. Forever is."

— Fall-From-Grace, Planescape: Torment

"It's the questions we can't answer that teach us the most. They teach us how to think. If you give a man an answer, all he gains is a little fact. But give him a question, and he'll look for his own answers."

— Kvothe, The Wise Man's Fears

My Deadfire mods: Brilliant Mod | Faster Deadfire | Deadfire Unnerfed | Helwalker Rekke | Permanent Per-Rest Bonuses | PoE Items for Deadfire | No Recyled Icons | Soul Charged Nautilus

 

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@Abbzug - Why are you saying that Novice's Suffering doesn't work on Barbarians?

 

It is a good talent if you want to go unarmed without being a Monk. It's not necessarily a mechanically optimal choice but it may suit your character concept (for example, I'm toying with the idea of a Rogue that looks like a Monk, fights like a Monk, but is really actually a Rogue.)

 

This.

 

From a roleplaying point of view, if the idea of flagellants doesn't appeal to you, you can now build a martial artist around the other martial classes. I will probably play a suboptimal but viable fighter as a martial artist when the new expansion comes out. I can even add prestidigator's missiles for having some ki-energy balls flying around. Won't be optimized, but will be just plain fun for me to use.

 

 

Apart from that, the benefit of unarmed damage is that it scales automatically and is loot independent. As soon as you hit the level intended for the fine entchantment, you get the fine enchantment on your fist, regardless of whether you found such a weapon already or have the necessary crafting ingredients, and its free.

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Novice suffering had a lot of bonus damages that scales with might but not with any other bonus (fighter mastery, soul whip, rogue sneak attack, critical hit). This is the same as transcendant suffering.

 

For non-monks, base unarmed damage are rather low ( 5 - 8 ). They are compensated by novice suffering damages which are even higher than transcendant ones' (unintended pun for the connoisseurs).

 

That means that classes with high damage bonus (apart might) are even more sub-optimal with novice suffering...

 

HOWEVER, it makes me think that classes with negative damage bonus wild be less penalized by this style.

 

Yes, I'm looking at you, carnage loving barbarian.

Edited by Elric Galad
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OUTLANDER'S FRENZY:
1 per encounter makes this a good pick for everybody who wants to gain some attack speed and has no other low-level-ability to do do this (rogue, chanter, cipher, druid). It's also nice if you want to play a more "feral" char, a Berserker or a crazy monk - whatever, I like it. 1 per rest is totally crap and you know it. ;) 1 per encounter is fair.
I wonder if Outlander's Frenzy stacks with Frenzy from the Saguine Plate... at least the stat bonus.  :devil: I also wonder this: If you're a Nature Godlike druid who puts on Shod-in-Faith and Sanguine Plate and then triggers Outlander's Frenzy, then gets a crit that triggers Frenzy + Cons. Ground, then shifts to his feral form... will the frenzy and healing still work in spiritshift form? I have to try that out...

 

VETERAN'S RECOVERY:  

 

 

 

Personally, I think the Recovery is therefore ok, since it's probably balanced around using all kinds of other regeneration on top of it. If you use the belt and have high might, it's not that bad, even if its just for fun.

I wanted to squeeze the most out of this and combined Veteran's Recovery with a Trollhide Belt, then the Mantle of the Dying Boar and so on - and maxed out might. I don't know how tanky your paladin is, but for me this is just a wasted talent. I understand why it's weaker than fighter's Constant Recovery, but does it have to be so bad? THe fighter's is also not very powerful - and Rapid Recovery is just a joke. However you can make that worthwhile when you combine it with the cCloak of the tireless defender and a Trollhide belt (or any other item with regeneration). I therefore strongly vote for level scaling! I mean: they realised that the DR bonus of the ranger's pet should improve with every level in order to be able to keep them alive - so why not transfer this to recovery? OR: let it heal for x% of your max endurance instead of a flat number. That way it's automatically scaling. Seriously - after a few levels the effect (as it is now) is not noticable at all. Same for the Chanter's Ancient Memory + Beloved Spirits. Does anybody really wastes precious talent points for that? When they introduce a talent that makes phrases shorter - that's very powerful. The alternative is a talent that heals you (and others) for 0.8 end. per tick. Wow! That's really... lame?

 

NOVICE'S SUFFERING:

I like that. It doesn't suck. It works with the Sandals of the Forgotten Friar. It's slightly worse than some fully enchanted weapons - but you don't have to do anything to make them better. And like AndreaC & Doppleschwert said: it opens up nice builds that are different and still viable. A unarmend rogue works great - you can soon combine that with Outlander's Frenzy to create a mean berserk bouncer. ;)

It's totally sad that it doesn't work with damage bonuses like deathblows and so on. Why not? I mean it affects your base damage - and your base damage should be tha BASE for deathblows and the like. Why did they do that? It's not like fists are superpowerful compared to "real" weapons which work correctly with all the dmg mods.

 

RUNNER'S WOUNDING SHOT is good. I like to put that on a rogue so he can combine sneak/deathblows and the wounding effect and keep his other special attacks for later. For any ranged char that has no special attacks (chanter, priest, cipher) this is a good choice.

 

APPRENTICE'S SNEAK ATTACK: It's ok - but I would like to see it raised to 25%. That would be exactly the half of the original. It's situational and you have to combine it with afflictions. 15% is a little weak. If you combine this with a skaen priest's Prey on the Weak, you end up with +35%. That's two sneak attack talents and you still don't get what a rogue does. 25% Apprentice's + 20% Prey on the Weak would give you +45% - still weaker than a rogue, but not noticable. 
But I won't be too sad if this doesn't get changed.

 

PRESTIDIGITATOR'S MISSILES
Just completely useless. A weaker fleet feet or mirrored image or a disable like slicken or a conjured weapon or something like that would have been nice. But a weaker form of a spell that is already weak? Let's think about this... maybe... NO!
 
RHYMER'S SUMMON:
Would have been nicer to allow the chanting of one single (weak) phrase that does not lead to an invocation. Just a slight buff or debuff that's always on. That would also fit the theme. Chanters chant. Summons don't scale and that makes them bad if you don't have the possibility to replace them with more powerful ones. Then there is the 15 sec. Makes this even worse. Every summoning item is better than this talent and only occupies an item slot in your belt. Maybe weak chant and weak summon could be combined: chant a weak 3-sec phrase for a mild buff and after 12 secs you can summon your skeletons for distraction. Like chanters do - just weaker. Then it's ok I think.
 
GALLANT'S FOCUS:
It's good. Would be great if one could choose between +2DR, +4 ACC and +1 move speed - but it's ok how it is.
 
The rest I didn't use at all. But I can imagine that the charm is great for a high ACC glass cannon if they get engagend by a foe that broke through. Or just to stack a lot of domination+confusion+charm uses on a non-caster (spell binding itams + Enigma's Charm).
Acolyte's Radiance is really useless. Maybe Interdiction would have been nice - but that's also quite weak without the pain.
Aspirant's Mark... don't know. I would have liked a weaker (or just shorter) form of spiritshift that basically let's you run away quickly (fox or something). But I think the mark's ok if you can use it 1/encounter.   
Edited by Boeroer

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@Abbzug - Why are you saying that Novice's Suffering doesn't work on Barbarians?

 

It is a good talent if you want to go unarmed without being a Monk. It's not necessarily a mechanically optimal choice but it may suit your character concept (for example, I'm toying with the idea of a Rogue that looks like a Monk, fights like a Monk, but is really actually a Rogue.)

 

 

Because carnage doesn't work while unarmed? Thought more people were aware of this. I mean maybe if you played a 3 int barbarian that totally ignores carnage, but why would you do that.

 

@Elric Galad it strikes me that the devs probably made that connection as well that it'd be good with carnage which is why they didn't allow that combo.

Edited by Abbzug
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^ You are right - it doesn't work. I just discovered this while I was toying around with Novice's Suffering and forgot to mention that, AndreaC - I will add that to your bug report, sorry.

Edited by Boeroer

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VETERAN'S RECOVERY:  

 

 

 

Personally, I think the Recovery is therefore ok, since it's probably balanced around using all kinds of other regeneration on top of it. If you use the belt and have high might, it's not that bad, even if its just for fun.

I wanted to squeeze the most out of this and combined Veteran's Recovery with a Trollhide Belt, then the Mantle of the Dying Boar and so on - and maxed out might. I don't know how tanky your paladin is, but for me this is just a wasted talent. I understand why it's weaker than fighter's Constant Recovery, but does it have to be so bad? THe fighter's is also not very powerful - and Rapid Recovery is just a joke. However you can make that worthwhile when you combine it with the cCloak of the tireless defender and a Trollhide belt (or any other item with regeneration). I therefore strongly vote for level scaling! I mean: they realised that the DR bonus of the ranger's pet should improve with every level in order to be able to keep them alive - so why not transfer this to recovery? OR: let it heal for x% of your max endurance instead of a flat number. That way it's automatically scaling. Seriously - after a few levels the effect (as it is now) is not noticable at all. Same for the Chanter's Ancient Memory + Beloved Spirits. Does anybody really wastes precious talent points for that? When they introduce a talent that makes phrases shorter - that's very powerful. The alternative is a talent that heals you (and others) for 0.8 end. per tick. Wow! That's really... lame?

 

Well, I'm certainly not claiming it's super awesome, but I think it's quite hard to balance passive regeneration properly if there can be many sources. For example, you can make a party of 6 chanters which all have 'Veterans Recovery', 'Ancient Memory' and 'Beloved Spirits'.

I'll just assume here that ancient memory stacks and hits once per second (since it's basically a spell targetting everyone from different sources), so you get a regen of

0.6 (Veteran) + 6* 1.4 (Memory + Spirits) = 9

 

per second for each character and that is available quite soon into the game (feel free to correct me if these assumptions are wrong, I wasn't really able to take time on the intervalls ingame). This is without items and any might bonus.

 

This regeneration is easily enough to make you nearly invincible throughout the entire game on normal / hard, excluding the tough bosses.

 

Now I'm neither claiming that veterans recovery is viable for PotD or well balanced right now, in fact, I'd say it needs to get buffed as well (seeing how it only makes minor contribution to the formula above), but I think the example shows why the devs might be conservative about giving away too much passive regeneration through talents and abilities.

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Ancient Memory (0. 8) stacks, that's true. With 6 chanters and Veteran's Recovery (1.5) + Beloved Spirits (0.4) on each you will have a regeneration of 8.7 endurance every tick. Tick rate is once every 3 seconds. So you get 8.7 Endurance every 3 seconds. That's good at lower levels  - but you had to use 6 chanters for that (which is quite extreme) and each one of them had to "waste" 3 talents (out  of 7) for that. That's not worth it, seriously. 6 times "The Dragon slashed" on the other hand - now that's powerful. You'll do like 700+ damge per phrase while just standing around. Even fire immune enemies will get hurt because it's half fire/half slash. And that only costs you one ability. Why is one talent superweak and the other one so good? If recovery would scale with level, it would still not be overpowered, but just viable.

 

And why these numbers? 0.8??? 0.4??? How about 1 and 0.5. I mean who decided that 0.8 is a good numer?  :blink:

Edited by Boeroer

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I see, so my assumption about ancient memory being per second is wrong. Are all duration based ticks fixed at 3 seconds? I thought the length of a tick was based on its source.

 

Of course, my calculations are way off then. I also just see that the numbers I took from ingame tooltips used the might modification, although they stated otherwise...

 

I agree, 8.7 Endurance / 3 seconds is quite bad. But even under the assumption that ~9 Endurance / 1 second was attainable (which also wouldn't be OP, but imho still quite strong for hard difficulty), my point was not that it would be fun or effective to play 6 chanters with these talents, but rather that things like regeneration can quickly get out of hand if players start to stack and min/max abilities.

 

I also feel like these abilities could use a buff, but there is an inherent problem with regeneration if there is more than one source available.

If you make these abilities effective on their own, then stacking them is too strong, and if you balance them around stacking, the individual abilities are too lackluster to use them independently.

 

If you had to choose between the two, then it's probably the safer bet not to risk giving the player a regeneration that lets them ignore incoming damage more or less, so I think that could be why regen ended up that bad. Either that, or it is actually meant to be early game bonus which outlives its usefulness over time. That may be by design as well.

Edited by Doppelschwert
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I don't know. If stacking things is a problem, you should just make it so that certain effects are powerful enough in itself, but don't stack.

For example: Why does Ancient Memory stack with itself? If the talent itself would do 2 per tick but didn't stack, it would be viable for a single chanter. If you'd have more than one chanter in the party you could just take that talent with one chanter and the others could skip that talent. Problem with stacking solved - still a viable talent.

 

The other is: balancing these regeneration effects is really hard if you use flat numbers. You can make  it so that it's ok at low levels - but then t will be meh in midgame and totally useless in endgame. If you balance it for midgame, it will be totally overpowered in the early game and so on. That's why we don't have flat +x dmg modifiers in PoE (some exceptions), but mostly +x%.

 

Regeneration would work ok for the entire game if it wouldn't give you +x endurance per tick, but +x% of your max endurance per tick instead.

So let's say +1% max endurance per tick. That would always mean that it takes 100 ticks (300 sec) to heal your complete endurance. Doesn't matter if you have 500 max endurance or just 100. That would be fair. Why should the complete regeneration of a high-con char take longer than that of a low con char? Would also be another motivation to invest in more con, which is still the least importat stat.

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Yeh Gallant's Focus is too powerful, it needs to go. It's almost as good as the pally equivalent, and if you have an actual pally onboard, you can just give her one of the other auras and benefit from both. As it is, it's a bit of a no-brainer to give it to a high-INT dude who doesn't use modals (Aloth f.ex.)

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It's not too powerful. It's just not crap like some of the others. +4 ACC may be good at the start, but after some levels it hardly matters. Remember: the dice that are rolled are d100. So +4 ACC alone can make a difference, but doesn't very often. The paladin's aura not only gives +6 ACC in a bigger aoe, but also does graze-to-hit conversion and hit-to-crit with a second talent.

 

My (maybe provoking) question is: why are these "multiclass" talents weaker than the originals in the first place?  

Edited by Boeroer

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My (maybe provoking) question is: why are these "multiclass" talents weaker than the originals in the first place?  

 

That's actually a pretty good question. My first thought was "well the character is just dabbling so won't be as skilled" and that's probably the reasoning, but the thing that makes a non-Paladin who takes Gallant's Focus less skilled is the fact they can't Lay on Hands, or benefit from Faith and Conviction, or use any other Paladin ability. It doesn't seem unreasonable to let the one ability they do have access to be full power.

 

One thing I'd quite like to see change is the Chanter multiclass ability. To me the actual chant is at least as defining, if not more so, than the invocations of a Chanter and it would be nice if the multiclass talent gave access to some form of chant.

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I really hate the cross-class talents. They dilute the class concepts without making genuinely interesting hybrid characters possible. It's a halfway-measure, intended to placate the people clamoring for multiclassing without actually doing it, just like lockpick XP.

 

Either do multiclassing properly or don't do it at all -- or, if you like, get rid of classes altogether and make everything available for everyone, so you can build exactly the kind of character you want.

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