In the most recent issue of Dragon magazine, #421, a new method of multi-classing for D&D 4th edition is introduced. I always loved multi-classing, and I was really disappointed with the way it was handled in 4th ed. So i was excited to see who this new system worked.
The basic premise of multi-classing in this edition seems to be that you pick a class, and you stick with it. You can take a little dip into another class at one point, in the form of a Multi-Class Feat that gives you one At-Will Power and adds the new classes keywords to yours, and that’s about it. It’s a bit like taking a 2 day crash course in wizardry. You get a little bit of knowledge and experience, but nothing close to actually having a level in that class.
Unfortunately, this new system is not much better. You can now “take a level” of another class, and you get a power from it, but that’s it. but you don’t get anything else. not class features, powers, or proficiencies from either your new class or your old one. Just that one power. there are some class exceptions, but that is the meat of it.
Again, I am incredibly disappointed. this is no better that the old system. In fact i would say it’s worse. you wast a whole Level to get a single power, rather than a Feat.
I’m not saying that it can’t work in building an effective character, i know it can. but that is not what’s important. the narrative of the character is what is important. people change careers all the time, why not adventurers? what if a fighter has a religious enlightening and wants to become a cleric? Should he not get a cleric’s powers? What exactly the problem with the old style multi-classing?
One of the first announcement Wizards Of The Coast made about D&D Next was from Mike Mearls, and it said “i think we got multi-classing right in this one, we don’t want to change it”. luckily this has since been changed and they are looking to take it back to being more like 3rd edition style , which i like. But why that statement in the first place? How is making multi-classing almost completely ineffectual “getting it right”? What is going on with Mearls & Co that they are so anti mulit-class?
I really think Pathfinder got this right. it’s one of the main reasons I started playing it. that sounds silly, but it’s true. Star Wars SAGA was pretty good with it too. I’m currently playing a Scoundrel that just took his first level of Jedi, and more than anything, it really feels like the choices I have made in character have had a major effect on the character sheet in front of me.
Sorry WOTC, but I like multi-classing. I really like do. And if you won’t let me do it, then I will go play a system that does.
Never Stop Gaming.