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How should multiclassing work?


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  1. 1. How should multiclassing work?

    • Select both classes at character creation
    • Add different class on level up
    • Both
    • Other

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Saw this poll on Josh Sawyer's twitter (so its something they're thinking about), and thought I'd make a topic here.


Which would you prefer?

A: Select both classes at character creation

B: Add different class on level up

C: Both of the above (like multiclassing vs dualclassing in Icewind Dale)

D: Other (please specific)

and why?


I'm leaning towards A. I know that B actually gives you more options for more complicated builds but... I want my character to feel "ready" from the start. With B, one tends to start planning out complicated character development paths to get to your desired goal. Example: 4 levels to fighter, 1 to bard, 1 to Dragon Disciple (Neverwinter Nights 2... good times) Great for power-gamers, but as a result, your character doesn't even start to feel ready until level 6-7. We know you want that two-handed sword-wielding, fireball-slinging dark knight, but must he spend half his life as either a fragile wizard or a vanilla fighter? Or worst case, you made a mistake somewhere with the requirements and discover you can't level up to a certain class. Also, I imagine A would probably be better for balance.


What do you guys think?

Edited by Heijoushin
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I like separately leveling classes. Since we can only have 2 classes at most, those 1 level dip builds won't happen. If they do, it means 1 level x/17 levels of y, and that's really simple. Also, they can remedy that from keeping great abilities/talents and the like to not be weighted at level 1.


Where if they level up simultaneously every Ranger/Wizard will be the same save attribute differences. Where if I only want some of the Wizard stuff (a few spells or maybe the blast stuff), and to lean heavy toward Ranger, I can do that. Or I can be a full fledged Wizard with a pet. It just gives more options. I like options.

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Well, I'm not a professional game designer, but I do mess around with D&D homebrew a lot and like to think of myself as understanding the class system very well. If you handed me the job of designing the multiclass system in Deadfire today, here's the kind of system I'd try to design:


First, break down every class level into half-levels. If you take a straight level in a class, you get both of the half-levels. Otherwise, you choose which of the half-levels you want. You can also take a "hybrid level" where you get a half-level in one of your classes, and a half-level in another of your classes. Also, you earn a half-level in each class for each full level you have in all of your other classes.


So, to walk through an example, let's say our Eder, a first-level fighter, wants to take a level in rogue. He gets both half-levels of rogue, a single half-level of fighter, and another half-level of rogue for the fighter level he already has. Next level he takes a level in rogue again, gets both half-levels of Rogue 2, gets the other half of Fighter 2, but no additional half-level this time. So now his abilities are:


Character level 3: Fighter 2/Rogue 2.5


(Note that even though it seems like he gets more on each level up than he would if he just took straight fighter levels, if he did, he'd be a third-level fighter by now. Multiclassed characters will never have on-level abilities of their single-classed counterparts.)


If he takes fighter for his fourth level, he gets both half-levels of fighter 3, and a single rogue half-level, making him:


Character level 4: Fighter 3/Rogue 3


Now, what happens if he adds another level into the mix, a paladin level? (Eder could totally be a paladin btw): Very simple, exactly the same rules as the other times. Eder's unadjusted level would be Fighter 2/Rogue 2/Paladin 1. For each class he has, add adjusted levels equal to one half the sum of all the other classes' unadjusted levels. So that would be:


Character level 5: Fighter 3.5/Rogue 3.5/Paladin 3


"Woah! Eder just got 3 full paladin levels from a single-level dip!?" you say, "That's broken as f*@k!"


Not really, when you consider the fact that, as you go higher up the leveling curve, first-level abilities are worth less and less. Barring bad game design, dips hurt more than they help by putting you behind on on-level abilities the encounters assume you'll have by this point. PoE 1's design makes this less of a problem than it would be in 3.5 D&D because only your special abilities are tied to class level and not your absolutely vital combat stats, and by not having encounters that you simply cannot win unless you have a certain spell.


By awarding adjusted half-levels for classes you already have, this means even a 1-level dip will keep up and stay relevant, albeit at a slower pace.


Now, for level 6, Eder decides to take a hybrid level of Fighter/Rogue. This means his unadjusted level goes up by 1/2 for Fighter and Rogue, and nothing for Paladin. So his unadjusted level is Fighter 2.5/Rogue 2.5/Paladin 1, and his adjusted level is therefore:


Character level 6: Fighter 4.25/Rogue 4.25/Paladin 3.5


But wait, what do we do with a result of .25? Well, what we could do is break levels down further into quarter-levels, but then that would just extend the problem to when we encounter a result with a remainder of .125, and I say half-levels is good enough. So we round down that result for now, to get:


Character level 6: Fighter 4/Rogue 4/Paladin 3.5


If he takes another fighter/rogue hybrid level (unadjusted Fighter 3/Rogue 3/Paladin 1) then he'll get refunded those "missing" quarter-levels because they combine into full half-levels:


Character level 7: Fighter 5/Rogue 5/Paladin 4


The best part about this system is that while you can limit it to just 2 classes for simplicity, it generalizes to any number of classes and lets you add new classes without any additional work, so long as you design it with half-levels from the start. A simple bit of code if you wanna play around with it:

import qualified Data.Map as M

adjustLevels m = M.mapWithKey (flip adjustment) m where
    adjustment v    = roundDownToHalf . M.foldr ((+) . (/ 2.0)) v . M.difference m . flip M.singleton v
    roundDownToHalf = (/ 2.0) . fromIntegral . floor . (* 2)

You could make a weird character with 1 level in each class and here's their result:


Character level 11: Barbarian 6/Chanter 6/Cipher 6/Druid 6/Fighter 6/Monk 6/Paladin 6/Priest 6/Ranger 6/Rogue 6/Wizard 6


One last thing: You get talents at each even character level, *not* each even class level. Class talent availability is determined by class level though.


EDIT: Oh, and it should be obvious but just in case it isn't, the system is independent of what order you take your class levels in. A character that takes 4 Fighter levels and 4 Rogue levels is equivalent to a character that takes 8 Fighter/Rogue hybrid levels, it only changes what order they got their abilities in.


EDIT 2: Alright, so this sounds like it has pretty similar results to how the "power sources" multiclassing will actually work it sounds, where a Fighter 6/Druid 6 will have "75-85% of the power level of a 12th-level fighter or 12th-level druid." In my system, such a character would have an adjusted level of Fighter 9/Druid 9. So mathematically it's similar, they're just doing the calculations differently.


Edited calculations for a system based on power source stats:


First, choose a scaling factor N, and a base point value P.


For each level in the class associated with that power source, add P.

For each hybrid level (advancing 2 classes at once) which includes the class associated with this power source, add P * N

For each level in a class *not* associated with that power source, whether hybrid or single-class, add P * (2 * N - 1)


So for values N = 0.75 and P = 3, these values are 3, 2.25, and 1.5 respectively. You can get nice whole numbers with P=3 N=2/3, P=5 N=0.8, P=20 N=0.85. A character with its levels split evenly between two classes (e.g. Fighter/Druid) will have power source stats in each equivalent to a single classed character's stat multiplied by the scaling factor.


This of course assumes linear scaling with the power source stat.

Edited by Micamo
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I vastly prefer the concept of 2nd edition multiclassing to 3rd edition. 3rd edition always felt a little cheap and gimmicky, too many builds just took one level of the other class to get that one ability that the build needed or that utilized the strengths of the original class. I prefer the simple approach, which is also infinitely easier to balance. The other effect of being able to determine your multiclassing from the very beginning of the game is that you already are both of the classes you picked and don't have to deal with the whole hassle of when to multiclass and when to pick levels in which class, and you'll go through the entire experience as a multiclass character instead of dipping that 1 level after first getting 5 levels of something else.


EDIT: remember K.I.S.S.

Keep It Simple Stupid - a piece of wisdom everyone with any programming background should remember and apply to everything in life.

Edited by Ninjamestari

The most important step you take in your life is the next one.

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