Multiclassing Penalties - Should they exist?

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Quidix
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Multiclassing Penalties - Should they exist?

Unread post by Quidix » Sun May 13, 2018 11:00 am

Not sure if this is a topic that has been discussed before, I couldn't find anything when searching.

My view is that multiclassing penalties are not needed.

The only argument for this type of penalty that I'm aware of is that one should punish people from 'dipping' too much - however, I think this is flawed:
  • They do not help balance as multiclassing builds are still possible, just more annoying to level
  • The distinction between PRC and base class is often arbitrary (eg say a fighter decides to take rogue, he gets a penalty, while someone taking assassin does not - yet rogue and assassin are quite similar)
  • Many base classes are much more similar than base class + PRC combinations, making it difficult to justify why the former should be penalised (eg a barbarian / fighter seems more 'coherent' from an RP standpoint than a barbarian / anointed knight)
  • If one wanted to simply punish dips, then the penalty should only apply to 3-4 class levels (ie so if taking 20 barbarian / 10 fighter there should be no penality, but for a 27 barbarian / 3 fighter, maybe)
I know that Arelith in nwn has removed the multiclassing penalty.

What are your thoughts on the topic?
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Re: Multiclassing Penalties - Should they exist?

Unread post by KOPOJIbPAKOB » Sun May 13, 2018 11:04 am

I vote for removing it since there is already the 3by20 rule that prevents excessive powerbuilding
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Steve
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Re: Multiclassing Penalties - Should they exist?

Unread post by Steve » Sun May 13, 2018 11:09 am

D&D Player's Handbook v3.5:
XP FOR MULTICLASS CHARACTERS

Developing and maintaining skills and abilities in more than one
class is a demanding process.
Depending on the character’s class
levels and race, he or she might or might not suffer an XP penalty.

Even Levels:
If your multiclass character’s classes are nearly the
same level (all within one class level of each other), then he or she
can balance the needs of the multiple classes without penalty. For
instance, a 4th-level wizard/3rd-level rogue takes no penalty, nor
does a 2nd-level fighter/2nd-level wizard/3rd-level rogue.
Uneven Levels: If any two of your multiclass character’s classes
are two or more levels apart, the strain of developing and
maintaining different skills at different levels takes its toll. Your
multiclass character suffers a –20% penalty to XP for each class that
is not within one level of his or her highest-level class. These
penalties apply from the moment the character adds a class or raises
a class’s level too high. For instance, a 4th-level wizard/3rd-level
rogue gets no penalty, but if that character raises his wizard level to
5th, then he takes the –20% penalty from that point on until his
levels were nearly even again.

Races and Multiclass XP:
A favored class (see the individual
race entries in Chapter 2: Races) does not count against the character
for purposes of the –20% penalty to XP. In such cases, calculate
the XP penalty as if the character did not have that class. For
instance, Bergwin is an 11th-level gnome character (a 9th-level
rogue/2nd-level bard). He takes no penalty to his XP because he has
only one nonfavored class. (Bard is favored for gnomes.) Suppose he
then attains 12th level and adds 1st level as fighter to his classes,
becoming a 9th-level rogue/2nd-level illusionist/1st-level fighter.
He then takes a –20% XP penalty on future XP he earns because his
fighter level is so much lower than his rogue level. Were he awarded
1,200 XP for an adventure, he would receive only 80% of that
amount, or 960 XP. If he thereafter rose to 13th level and picked up
a fourth class (by adding 1st-level cleric, for example), he would take
a –40% XP penalty from then on.
As a second example, consider a dwarf 7th-level fighter/2nd-level
cleric. This character takes no penalty because his fighter class is
favored for dwarves and thus not counted when determining
whether his classes are even. Nor does he take any penalty for
adding 1st-level rogue to the mix, since his cleric and rogue classes
are only one level apart. In this case, cleric counts as the character’s
highest class.
A human’s or half-elf’s highest-level class is always considered his
or her favored class.
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Quidix
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Re: Multiclassing Penalties - Should they exist?

Unread post by Quidix » Sun May 13, 2018 11:15 am

Thank you - I'm aware that a multiclassing penalty exists in the handbook, but that doesn't answer (1) why it's a good idea to have it, (2) the obvious contradictions of this logic with many PRCs [many of which would surely fit the same description]
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Re: Multiclassing Penalties - Should they exist?

Unread post by Blackman D » Sun May 13, 2018 11:38 am

xp penalty is a core rule, its not going away

if you dont want the penalty then dont multiclass with base classes or follow the rule
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Re: Multiclassing Penalties - Should they exist?

Unread post by chad878262 » Sun May 13, 2018 11:43 am

Just as one example, moon elf would be the best rogues without question due to keen senses, +2 DEX and 0 ECL. Due to wizards being the favored class they can still make very good rogues, but if they wish to be the best build they will have a multi- class penalty (rogue/ monk is the best overall sneak attack build). Same could be said aasimars which would make very good sacred fists, but for cleric/ monk with Paladin favored class.
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Re: Multiclassing Penalties - Should they exist?

Unread post by casadechrisso » Sun May 13, 2018 12:13 pm

Quidix wrote:
I know that Arelith in nwn has removed the multiclassing penalty.

What are your thoughts on the topic?
Funny, that's the server that brought me back to NWN2 and playing here after years of absence (getting NWN:EE made me realize how much I missed NWN2 PWs)

And the other funny thing on topic is that I played on so many roleplay servers that had it removed that I completely forgot about multiclass penalty here. It took me getting to 13 or 14 until I realized that the quest rewards are quite strange and that I'm under a hefty penalty, had to scratch my plans and reroll the character. :)
I don't like the multiclass penalty just like many PnP rules, but the thing is BGTSCC is a server for D&D players, set in the Forgotten Realms, and sticks to the roots, so it makes sense just to go with it. If it was a custom setting I'd say just get rid of it, here it's fine to keep it so D&D players feel at home as they should.

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Re: Multiclassing Penalties - Should they exist?

Unread post by Steve » Sun May 13, 2018 12:20 pm

Quidix wrote:Thank you - I'm aware that a multiclassing penalty exists in the handbook, but that doesn't answer (1) why it's a good idea to have it, (2) the obvious contradictions of this logic with many PRCs [many of which would surely fit the same description]
Well, my personal answers to your questions are:

1) no pain, no gain. Without the Penalty, as Chad points out, one gets more power for nothing. XP penalty makes the slog through leveling more difficult/slow/painful/rewarding! :twisted:

2) There are Classes, and there are Prestige Classes. Essentially, the foundation of the game is/was developed on this principle that Classes have few if no Requirements, while PrCs do. Thus, in attaining a PrC, you are already "meeting the challenge."

I've leveled 2 characters with 20% penalties before. And during an era where XP was often harder to come by. Leveling has never been easier on BGTSCC, and this isn't just talk. It literally is, by changes to Item Level changes, epic gear in stores, etc.

And simply put: I know of a handful of builds that are just exponentially more powerful with XP Penalty combinations in multiclassing. And I don't really think that the paradigm on BGTSCC is to make Characters more mechanically powerful unless you, as the Players, pay some price for it.

Yeah, maybe that's a bit of a cruel way of looking at it, but there you go: D&D.
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Quidix
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Re: Multiclassing Penalties - Should they exist?

Unread post by Quidix » Sun May 13, 2018 1:25 pm

Steve wrote:Essentially, the foundation of the game is/was developed on this principle that Classes have few if no Requirements, while PrCs do. Thus, in attaining a PrC, you are already "meeting the challenge."
That's a good point Steve, I hadn't thought of PRC requirements as 'meeting the challenge' before. For many PRC I'd argue the requirement are really low (a few skill points, 1-2 commonly picked feats) compared to a 20% xp penalty though, but hey that's personal preference.
Blackman D wrote:xp penalty is a core rule, its not going away

if you dont want the penalty then dont multiclass with base classes or follow the rule
To avoid confusion, if the answer is "it's a core rule and will never be changed" - that's fine, but always healthy to at least discuss if the current rules are good. To my knowledge we as a server are not 100% handbook rules in general, but maybe I'm wrong on that.

Interestingly, as casadechrisso suggested, it will often be newer players or those who don't plan their builds that suffer the most from this penalty. In almost all cases, a powerbuilder can find an alternative approach that avoids the multiclassing, while still attaining the same power.
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Re: Multiclassing Penalties - Should they exist?

Unread post by casadechrisso » Sun May 13, 2018 1:37 pm

Quidix wrote: Interestingly, as casadechrisso suggested, it will often be newer players or those who don't plan their builds that suffer the most from this penalty. In almost all cases, a powerbuilder can find an alternative approach that avoids the multiclassing, while still attaining the same power.
I think an important point that wasn't immediately clear to me when I joined was the PvP aspect. I'm not used to servers that 1.) go up to level 30 and 2.) do have a (mechanical) PvP component. As I don't care at all for PvP I always found "powerbuilding" kind of strange and cheesy, but I guess an active PvP element opens a whole new box of balancing issues that I can't argue with, and with that sticking to the rulebook might make much more sense. For someone like me who doesn't care about it it's an inconvenience not to have the freedom that comes with less rules, but I'm aware that for those who enjoy PvP balancing and finetuning - and with that, sticking to some rules that prevent overpowered class/race combinations, is an important aspect.

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Re: Multiclassing Penalties - Should they exist?

Unread post by Blackman D » Sun May 13, 2018 2:45 pm

if there was no xp penalty then there would be no favored classes because thats how you bypass penalty

and if there is no favored classes then there would be no racial stats, so all races would essentially be humans

and then race would be only for favor and not certain advantages when playing roles, halfling sneaks, aasimar paladins, elven wizards etc
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Re: Multiclassing Penalties - Should they exist?

Unread post by Steve » Sun May 13, 2018 2:58 pm

And yes, some PrCs seem to be far easier to unlock than others, and as well the "easier" PrCs have more mechanical power!

But then again no one ever said D&D was balanced. Though I would argue tabletop comes across far more balanced than NWN2 has been implemented.
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Re: Multiclassing Penalties - Should they exist?

Unread post by Akroma666 » Sun May 13, 2018 3:28 pm

Play human? Or halfling?

What i don't understand is the favored classes.. like why is orc's cleric? We need black orc's that are kill on sight.
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Re: Multiclassing Penalties - Should they exist?

Unread post by V'rass » Sun May 13, 2018 3:37 pm

There is no xp penalty... i still get the same amount of xp with 2 classes as i did with one. This is how it should be... the less systems designed to punish players the better.
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Re: Multiclassing Penalties - Should they exist?

Unread post by aaron22 » Sun May 13, 2018 3:40 pm

I like that greys get cleric as favored class. It adds depth to role play that has historically been very shallow. Without a solid rule foundation like the favored class my role play would likely be considered snowflake.
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