Sunday, October 4, 2009

Orlandian Multiclassing Rules

So I'd like to try go get some feedback on the following two potential multiclass rules methods. The first is much less interesting mechanically to me. It is sort of the same thing as has ever been done before. However, the second method, the "hybrid" method reminds me of 4E's joke of a multiclassing system, but without the joke part, meaning, it seems interesting and possibly usable to me. It seems like it has the potential to generate an incredible array of different characters by allowing a picking and choosing of class abilities.

Note, in order to fully understand this you need to see what I've done with Class Abilities in Castles & Crusades. You can see that here, and then come back and read these two methods, particularly the second one. I'd like any and all comments on either method (or even on the new Class Abilities ideas). I'm specifically looking for input like "that is way too strong and here is why..." or "that is incredibly weak. I would never use that method and here is why..."

So check them out :)

Classic Multiclassing Rules

At 1st level you can choose to have your character advance in two (or three) classes at once, instead of just one. Choose two (or three) classes. Once selected they can not be changed or dropped. When you use this method you are limited by the more strict of the two classes for armor. You may use any weapon that either class allows, unless one class explicitly forbids that weapon. For example, if one class allows you to only use common, simple weapons, and the other allows ALL weapons, you may use all weapons. If one of your two classes specifically said that (for example) swords are forbidden, they would remain banned. Your BtH advances at the rate of the better class. You roll hit points based on the class with the lowest HD but you add +1 to each roll for each size difference in the HD for the class with highest HD. For example, if you were playing a Wizard/Fighter, you would roll 1d4+3 at each level (1d10 for fighters is 3 steps above the 1d4 for wizards). You must have at least a 12 in the Prime Attribute for each class.
You divide all experience earned between each class evenly.

Hybrid Multiclassing Rules

Starting at 3rd level a player can choose to diversify his character a bit. Instead of gaining a new class ability of his Core Class (the class he began play as) he can choose a class ability of any other class that he could ordinarily qualify for (meaning, if a class has alignment requirements which he does not possess he could not choose an ability from that class).
When choosing an ability from another class the character may choose any ability from that class as if he were two levels lower. He must meet any prerequisites or requirements of the ability (lower number N abilities are always prerequisites for their higher numbered versions).
For example, a 3rd level barbarian normally gets Primal Force 2 at 3rd level. He could choose any 1st level ability from basically any other class by not choosing Primal Force 2. He now may not take Primal Force 2 until he would normally gain Primal Force 3, etc. If the barbarian wanted to be more stealthy he could choose Hide from the Archer class. If he wanted to know some things he could choose Legend Lore from the bard list. Perhaps he would like to be able to cast clerical spells. He could choose Spells 1 from the cleric class. If the character was 8th level, becoming 9th level, he could forgo Magic Strike 2 and take Nock Arrow from Archer, or even Spells 4 (assuming he has already made sure to take Spells 1-3, which he could only have gained by giving up Primal Force 2-4). Maybe he wants the Friars Fast Healing ability.


  1. I'm not much of a multi-classing fan. I've been using Al's C&C multi-classing rules for my campaign. I prefer to think of it has having a hybrid class versus two classes. It makes it a bit easier to deal conceptually with things like armor and weapons. Characters do not have two classes, they have one hybrid class. Despite the excess of classes in our campaign, we are trying to go simple on as much as possible. I posted a blog back in June on my approach to house rules.

  2. Thanks for the comments. I looked over the many various house rule systems for multiclassing but all left me at least a tiny bit unsatisfied. Ultimately I think my goal is to satisfy a perhaps reasonable request from one of the players in my games. He has said on a number of occasions that he would not mind a "rules light" system like Castles & Crusades so much if he could make sure that his 7th level fighter was different mechanically from every other 7th level fighter in the universe. He accepted that he could very easily differentiate his character from a roleplaying perspective, but mechanically every character of the same class and race with the same ability scores will always be mechanically identical. There is no way to mechanically differentiate yourself from every other character. In 3.x feats and skills allowed you to make your character different from every other character of the same type, I mean with all of the feat choices what is the likelihood that your 7th level fighter will be the same as every other 7th level fighter? So, that is the driving force behind my desire to come up with usable multiclass rules. Using the Hybrid approach I mentioned could allow for near-infinite character options. A barbarian with some minor arcane spell use? A cleric with extra attacks? I dunno, right now I'm just working out the logic of it and seeing where it goes. I think my next step may be in crafting a generic framework class that has no explicit class abilities. Instead you choose any that you like at each level. Crazy I know, but like I said, right now I just want to get the ideas down onto "paper" (ie, here) and see 1) what I think and 2) maybe what others think.

  3. I don't think that is a crazy idea at all. I actually think it is a pretty cool concept. I wonder if Gygax's Lejendary Adventure game would give you some inspiration. I only know about it from what I've read, but it sounds interesting. There are a number of online Gygax interviews online from right before his death that at least hint at how the game works. I don't own it and I'm not sure how easy it would be to find online. Here is a link to one of the interviews:

    You probably have seen all that, but it did pop into my head when I read your post and response comment. It's a very interesting approach.