Skinwalker – Otherworldly Patron

I made this for the forums and after a second look a few days later, I decided to put it here, too. It’s made for someone, who wanted to include the druid’s wild shape feature to the warlock class and asked the forum, what would be appropriate. So I simply made up a new subclass.

The Skinwalker

The warlock made a pact with a powerful shapeshifter or beast god, like Malar of the Forgotten Realms. This pact concentrates of attaining the ability to change into various beasts. This is much like the Moon druid subclass in many cases, but overall, this subclass is less powerful in most regards.

At 1st level you get the shapeshifter subtype and can grow either claws, fangs or a horn as a bonus action. Claws go with d4 finesse and light, the bite with d6 finesse and the horn with d8. You have proficiency with all kind of natural attacks. Additionally your beasty nature allows you to roll animal handling and charisma checks with advantage, as long as you interact with beasts.

Your pact spells could be:
1st – Beast Bond (EE Player Guide), Longstrider
2nd – Pass without Trace, Moonbeam
3rd – Bestow Curse, Nondetection
4th – Locate Creature, Greater Invisibility
5th – Commune with Nature, Reincarnate

At 3rd level you have to take a new form of a pact boon, Pact of the Beast. This will be your wildshape-kinda feature, even though it is more restricted. You can only use it once per short rest and have to spend a spell slot to do so. Otherwise it works like wildshape, even though you can use it as a bonus action (but not spend spell slots to heal yourself). And even though you should name it differently, you also get the Circle Forms.

At 6th you get the Primal Strike like a Moon Druid.

At 10th level when you’re in beastform, you have resistance to non-silvered, non-magical weapons to increase the unholiness of the shapeshifting nature. Your natural weapons also count as silvered.

At 14th level you can use your form of wild shape as often as you want, as long you have spell slots. You can even change your shape when you’re still in another.

You can add some druidic spells as invocations, like speak with animals at-will, conjure animals once per day by spending a spell slot, etc. I would choose those, who would make your warlock more like a leader of a pack or an animal master.

Since Wild Shape levels with the character, the other features aren’t too impressive, but it should be a good way to embrace the beast while remaining a warlock in all other aspects. Polymorph wasn’t added for a reason, since there is already an Eldritch Invocation for this and it should be only be usable once per day, since this spell packs a lot of power.

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Ranger Variant (without spells)

Since it came up in the wizard forum, I made a ranger variant without spells. Even though it will most likely be less powerful, it should do the job.

Additional Tool Proficiency: Traps (for setting up an complicated trap, craft a trap, hiding a trap, etc.)

Use this table instead the normal one for class traits

1st: Fighting Style, Favored Enemy
2nd: Natural Explorer, Hunter’s Action (use a Bonus Action to either disengage or set up a trap)
3rd: Ranger Archetype, Primeval Awareness (WIS-mod per day, at minimum length)
4th: Ability Score Improvement
5th: Extra Attack
6th: Favored Enemy Improvement, Skill Expertise (three skills/tools [traps would be tools, too])
7th: Ranger Archetype Feature
8th: Natural Explorer Improvement, Ability Score Improvement
9th: Land Stride, Expert Trapper (add your prof bonus on DC of traps you’re setting)
10th: Ability Score Improvement, Favored Enemy Improvement
11th: Ranger Archetype Feature
12th: Ability Score Improvement
13th: Hide in Plain Sight, Natural Explorer Improvement
14th: Favored Enemy Improvement, Vanish
15th: Ranger Archetype Feature
16th: Ability Score Improvement
17th: Favored Enemy Improvement, Natural Explorer Improvement
18th: Feral Senses
19th: Ability Score Improvement
20th: Foe Slayer

Differences:

  • Some features changed their level, to keep the power-gain per level in check
  • Hunter’s Action added at 2nd level, a variety of the Cunning Action of the Rogue
  • Primeval Awareness got (since lacking spell slots) a per day use of the ranger’s WIS mod at the minimum length
  • Skill Expertise at 6th level, since this build have some trap synergy (if you don’t have magic, go mechanical!), player gets reminded, that you could possibly say traps are tools in a sense (which got already mentioned in the tool proficiency)
  • Expert Trapper added at 9th level, which makes even mundane traps pretty dangerous
  • an additional Ability Score improvement at 10th level
  • 5 favored enemy and 4 natural explorer overall, to increase the variety of the ranger and keep it ranger-like without too much trouble

This build suffers in the damage department of a damage focused normal ranger and even don’t have that much utility to boast around, if you consider all the possible spells which would be possible. But since spells are harder to grasp in power-level and ranger’s and that good spellcasters, I personally think the use of at-will features which will come handy every time and more specific features which doesn’t use up any resources. Especially increasing favored enemies and natural explorer makes it much more reliable, since you got a broader array of choices and more favored enemies enhances the foe slayer capstone.

Short today, won’t probably get to the warlock overview until Monday, since I got some gamedays before me (even though I try).

Homebrew Genasi

This is a home-brew version of the genasi, which I wrote before the Player’s Companion: Temple of Elemental Evil. So if you want to grab the real one, you’d better download the .pdf on the Supplement page.

Since the DMG got released and we got a few peak-views, I’m pretty excited to use those few things I know. Here I tried to use the official excerpt of the DMG to create a well-known but less used race: Genasi. Much like the tiefling, but with a more elemental flair.

I’m going solely mechanical to this, since I think that those who know them, should know their fluff as well and the time I got left is going to be spend to the warlock overview (and it’s less enough).

Earth, Fire, Wind, Water and Heart! Well, less heart, but you know...

Even if the Genasi are further categorized as Fire Genasi, Earth Genasi, etc. they share the same basic idea: The blood of elementals (means Dao, Efreeti, Marid and Djinni for exampel) combined with the blood of mortals. So we choose the same base race (genasi) and add (for now) 5 subraces, windsoul, earthsoul, firesoul, windsoul and stormsoul.

Since there are similarities origin-wise with the tiefing, I use it as a basic. Then I look into my 3e and 4e Forgotten Realms and realize, that it might be a bit difficult. But in the end I realized, that the Genasi are supposed to be a bit like elemental warriors, using magic and physical power, so I think I got a good conses.

Genasi

Ability Score Increase: +1 Intelligence

Age: Genasi matures at the same rate as humans, but live a few years longer

Alignment: Since they have a elemental nature, genasis are more leaned to a neutral alignment.

Size: Genasi are about the same size as humans, even though depending on their element their stature differs. Your size is Medium.

Speed: Your base walking speed is 30ft

Languages: Common and Primordial

Subrace: Choose one of the following subraces.

Earthsoul

Ability Score Increase: +2 Strength

Elemental Resistance: You have resistance to acid damage

Earthen Legacy: You know the blade ward cantrip. Once you reached 3rd level, you can cast the thunderwave spell once per day as a 2nd-level spell. Once you reached the 5th level, you can cast the spike growth spell once per day. Intelligence is your spellcasting ability for these spells.

Firesoul

Ability Score Increase: +2 Dexterity

Elemental Resistance: You have resistance to fire damage

Fiery Legacy: You know the produce flame cantrip. Once you reached 3rd level, you can cast the burning hands spell once per day as a 2nd-level spell. Once you reached the 5th level, you can cast the heat metal spell once per day. Intelligence is your spellcasting ability for these spells.

Stormsoul

Ability Score Increase: +2 Strength

Elemental Resistance: You have resistance to lightning damage

Stormy Legacy: You know the light cantrip. Once you reached 3rd level, you can cast the witch bolt spell once per day as a 2nd-level spell. Once you reached the 5th level, you can cast the shatter spell once per day as a 3rd-level spell. Intelligence is your spellcasting ability for these spells.

Watersoul

Ability Score Increase: +2 Constitution

Elemental Resistance: You have resistance to cold damage

Watery Legacy: You know the resistance cantrip. Once you reached 3rd level, you can cast the create or destroy water spell once per day as a 2nd-level spell. Once you reached the 5th level, you can cast the blur spell once per day. Intelligence is your spellcasting ability for these spells.

Windsoul

Ability Score Increase: +2 Dexterity

Elemental Resistance: You have resistance to lightning damage

Earthen Legacy: You know the mage hand cantrip. Once you reached 3rd level, you can cast the featherfall spell once per day. Once you reached the 5th level, you can cast the gust of wind spell once per day. Intelligence is your spellcasting ability for these spells.

So let’s talk about some choices: Earthsoul was hard, since there are less earth-themed spells there, but after consulting the 4e power and the 3e fluff (for female earthsouls), I went with a shockwave and growing plants. Produce flame for firesoul was a hard choice, since its damage increases over the time, but since one action is creating that flame and another to throw it, it shouldn’t break anything. Not everytime the spell is cast at a higher level, since here and there I felt like overall it would be too powerful, like seeing the fire genasi, who has a pure damage based legacy (even though I did consider misty step there).

That the subrace gives a greater ability improvement is meant to be, since the element should have some physical impact.

I’m sure I like what I’ll see as the official genasi, but sometimes you just get a bit giddy in thinking about what could be. For now it’ll work. 😉

Odd Ability Scores

Since 3e it didn’t really make a difference if you had an odd ability score, since the most important thing about an ability is its modifier. In some regards it was tried to make odd ability scores kinda useable by using odd number values as prerequisites for feats. But be honest: It wasn’t (and is) not hard to meet those numbers and if they were higher, you simply adapted your build to it. Two-Weapon Fighting needs up to Dex 19? OK, then I’ll go finesse!

 

But even today people mourn the times pre-3e, when odd numbers in ability scores had their value (at a certain point). And even I, someone who started with 3.0e can acknowledge the usefulness of having an easy and direct bonus to most stuffs, while thinking that the classiness of the 3d6/4d6k3 rolls might be not the best, considering how less the actual attribute says. So I thought: Let’s change it, maybe I might get a nice idea there.

Of course the idea wasn’t either nice nor creative, but simple the expression of common sense. If an odd ability score is halfway to a higher modifier, just increase the modifier-bonus for certain rolls and stats. But it was a bit difficult to settle on the finished rules, since not all traits are equally worth and it should be kept as simple as possible. Sadly, it’s still rather complicated, but since you can track all bonuses on the character sheet, it’s still passable, imo.

 

Here is the summary. If you have an odd ability score, you increase the following by +1:

  • Saving Throws
  • STR, DEX or substitute (like the druid’s Shillelagh spell): Weapon Damage
  • DEX: Initiative
  • CON: Bonus due Hit Die/Dice healing
  • INT, WIS, CHA: Spell Attack Modifier
  • When (for some reason) your ability score/modifier is halved, round up

If you think it’s not enough, you can even go further, like:

  • CON: +1 hit point/2 levels
  • +1 to proficiency skills (since you simply know about them more and can utilize the even tiniest improvement better)
  • no +1 to spell attacks if you cast a cantrip

 

And here the details behind the decisions: In the end, an even ability modifier should still be the more valuable option, especially since abilities caps at an even value. So I aimed for lesser bonuses, which would be appreciated, but not as hard valued. If you would grant ability checks (particularly skills) the antedated bonus would be the sorry target of abuse. Stats like AC were a no-go, I really considered the Spell DC, but then the 20 wouldn’t be as powerful as it should be.

The reason why the attack bonus for spells is raised, the bonus for weapons not is the frequency. Weapon-focused classes makes a lot of weapon attacks, since it’s their primary option. But only 23 spells (7 cantrips) are using spell attacks, so many more use a save system.

Saves on the other hands seems absolutely reasonable. Since they varies much more and can’t be abused without a DM, I guessed one of the three most important roles (ability checks, attack rolls, saving throws) could be represented in an odd system.

Initiative is just because. It seems so lonely sometimes…

 

Maybe some similar rule might appear at the DMG (not that I think it will), but for now, you can consider if some minor boons with odd ability scores is reasonable.

Weapons of Massive Destruction

I talked about weapon-focused builds, but never took my time to talk about actual weapons. Weapons are the most used tools in D&D, using to kill about everything that might stand in the way of the heroes’ quest. In different editions, different takes were used to express the beauty of smashing, slashing and stabbing in numbers.

In 5e it was imo mostly well done, even though I still dislike the idea of 2dx weapons when there is a 1d2x weapon with about the same properties out there. And especially with the Great Weapon Fighting Style option, since it boosts the average damage much more.

The list is about a page, instead of of two pages, some weapons were kicked out, like the whole exotic/superior table. But generally not having exotic/superior weapons is a relief, even though I really think they’ll return. Like in Eberron, where the halflings of the Talenta Plains wield more unique weapons and I think those weapons will be either included as a subrace (which I don’t hope) or a background instead of a tool proficiency/language (which I rather believe). There could be a remotely chance that they’ll

I think the term ‘superior weapon’ nailed it down pretty well: Most of these weapons were simply superior and nobody cared about the others. And since it cost a bit of resource (depending on edition [or Pathfinder] it varied in value), some options weren’t as good after all, considering other ones.

If the developers are smart, they’ll just makes the tangat, sharrash and such based of an existing weapon in the table and maybe just swap the damage type. But here and there that alone won’t be sufficient, since for example the sharrash is the halfing version of a reach weapon. So it’d better have reach and not the heavy keyword.

But back to the basic topic: Even in the 5e list, it seems that there are simply options which aren’t as good as others. Here these two reasons work, first: Realism, if a club were such a great weapon, we’ve never invented the sword. Of course an actual weapon like the light hammer trumps it by the possibility to throw it. The designers went for weapons and armors not only for PC-use alone, but for NPCs in all their variety (caveman, bandit, soldier, etc.), too.

The second reasons (which includes the first one) is the following: “In many cases, an improvised weapon is similar to an actual weapon and can be treated as such. For example, a table leg is akin to a club. At the DM’s option, a character proficient with a weapon can use a similar object as if it were that weapon and use his or her proficiency bonus.” (Base Rules p. 47; PHB pg. 147) So the most mundane things (like table legs as clubs, broken bottles as daggers, etc.) had to be be included.

Except some cases, most weapons are more or less defined by their category (simple, martial) and their properties. So if you know how, you can actually simply modify some weapons to fit your needs, especially if you’re missing some like the spiked chain (for whatever reason) and maybe are even able to make up rules for the (not) missed double weapons. And this is how I’ll do it.

First pick a weapon which seems to resemble the one you wants to rebuild. For this example, we make a spiked chain, since I saw some people demanding it. Since the spiked chain was a finesse weapon with reach, we take the only weapon which have these properties, the whip.

Then you add properties. Every property that makes it harder to use, should improve the damage die by one step, every property which makes it easier to use should decrease the damage die by one step. Since the spiked chain have to be wielded in two hands, it gets the two-handed property. Since using both hands makes it harder to use, we simply increase the damage die to d6. You can argue, that a small character would have this problems, but there are various reasons to not add the heavy property and one of them is, that a chain more than 10ft long isn’t as wieldy for medium characters, too.

Finally you can consider changing the damage type, since it’s a spiked chain, swap the bludgeoning with the piercing damage type. And the spiked chain is ready to go.

Some properties shouldn’t mix, like two-handed and light, heavy and finesse and heavy and light. Most of those combinations makes sense, especially when considering numbers and synergy with feats and other features. But to be honest: If a heavy weapon is too bulky for a small character to use it, how could a medium-sized character use it dexterous?

Here would be one properties I’d like to add:

Small: Medium sized characters have disadvantage on all attack rolls with this weapon. A small weapon’s size and handhold is too compact for a medium sized character to use it effectively.

This should cover the sharrash and tangat. 😉

Maybe I’ll make a list of some weapons that seems to be missing in 5e and make a House Rule Page for it. But let’s see, if I’ll find the time to do it. -_-‘

But which would be the best weapon for a PC? Actually I think it’ll b the Longsword. The reason: Because there are plenty of magical swords out there, so the odds to find one is higher. 😀

How wild is Wild Magic?

The Sorcerer’s Wild Magic is a very funny an interesting way to play a Sorcerer. While in the 4e, Wild Magic was presented, it kinda lacked the possibility to blow up right in your face, making it more tame than wild. And now in 5e, it came back, presenting us with real and nice options to not only making you a death machine of doom, but also to be a real danger for yourself and allies.

 

But if you look at the Wild Magic Table, I found only 10 out of 50 results generally negative, while 22 were generally positive and 18 were more of the neutral side, because they were either more cosmetic and without real penalty, conditional due the fact how the allies and foes stand, randomly choosing the target or simply positive and negative at the same time.

Since every option has a 2% chance of occurrence when rolling the table, you’re not as bad off 80% or 70% of the time you don’t have to worry at all.

 

But not only this makes Wild Magic more safe, it’s about the times when rolling on the table. Generally the DM has to decide after every 1st slot and above spell, if you have to roll the d20 and only at a 1 you’re rolling on the table, means that the chance of backfiring is only about 1%, if the DM lets you roll every time you cast a non-cantrip spell.

 

While Tides of Chaos increase that chance, since you’re simply forced to roll at the table at some point, Controlled Chaos decrease the chance to blow up greatly and increase the chance to get something good decisively. In the end the odds of burning yourself with an unplanned fireball at the first level is slim. But at least definitely there.
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At the same time, incredible effects are waiting for you, starting getting spell slots back, cast a random spell, which might improve your chances or even get effects which gives you the edge, like a maximized spell or another action. But normally I’d advise a player to not challenge his/her luck, by using Tides of Chaos for every opportunity: Only if needed you should temper with fate… or if you have enough hit points to survive at least 29 fire damage (so you won’t die instantly after an average damage roll; or take Empower Spell and Save Spell, to re-roll the highest dice and save your own spell without fail).

 

How would I deal with WIld Magic Surge as a DM? Sadly, I only get a Draconic Sorcerer in my party, so I’m not too sure, but I’d definitely do the following:

  1. Laughing after the player rolled a 1 for the Wild Magic Surge feature
  2. Laughing when I declare to let the player roll because of Tides of Chaos
  3. Using a personal Wild Magic Surge table, starting with the standard one and after one result got rolled, I replace it with another one. Magic can be that unpredictable and after a while the players have to fear the unknown. But being sure that the chances to make a character look miserable stays decent

 

This is a system I’d like to try out, when I get a chance. After a long rest, the DM rolls a d12 (and keep the result secret), these are the numbers of spell-levels the sorcerer can cast without triggering Wild Magic Surge. While a 1st level spell will only spend one spell-level, a 5th level spell would spend 5 spell-levels (logically), when more levels are cast than the die roll resulted in, let the player roll his d20.

Afterwards roll a d10, do the same. And after that roll a d8, d6 and d4 respectively, after the d4 procedure every further spell will trigger the Wild Magic Surge roll.

So the more often a Sorcerer casts spells, the more likely it is to trigger the roll. Only after a long rest (and maybe a Wild Magic Surge table roll) the roll reset to d12, so there won’t be as many accidents at first, but after raising the level and more access to high level spells, the magic becomes more randomly.

The idea behind it is, that every spell of the Wild Magic Sorcerer is stressing the Weave and the more stress is build up, the more likely it is to happen to lose control of it, when you opening yourself up to it.

 

If you want to be wild, be a wild mage. Make it as randomly as possible and have fun with it. At least as a player, since being a wild mage could be actually suck as a sorcerer, like: “I’m a ticking time-bomb!” But maybe it makes you insane instead: “You can’t kill me, since one day my magic will definitely do it!”
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Thoughts on multiclassing

Since I made a mistake there, my long “Let’s rock with roles”-post wasn’t placed at the date I wanted (yesterday), I kinda sorted it out, even though I’m impressed, how unexpected unflexible wordpress can be. I’m still at a 1 day a post-base! 😉

 

For now, let’s keep it simple, by just talking about— shoot, multiclassing. Somehow I get the feeling, that it’ll get complicated.

 

I start with my personal opinion of multiclassing: I like the general idea of being able to follow different paths and some of those combinations are flavorful and nice to see. I really like the wizard/ranger combination myself, but like every rule, it could be exploited. The system in 5e is similar to 3e, where multiclassing were… well, a picture says more than a thousand words.

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 You take two level monk to the rest of levels for druids. Why? Because you gain WIS (the primary ability) to your AC even in Wild Shape, evasion, flurry of blows and some strong saves. How does the monk fit into the druid class? Let’s ask a player of mine: ‘How my character got this? … Erm, well my character lived in a monastery, until… erm… you know and stuff’ I don’t dislike power-gamer generally, I just don’t like the pursuit of pure power while ignoring anything else. One of my favorite players is a power-gamer, but he get his character idea first and then build his power-game around the initial idea.

Let’s say that the restrictions in 3e weren’t restrictive enough and even though I thought that multiclassing in 4e was viable, it wouldn’t be for 5e. Now let’s see how 5e multiclassing is performing.

 

1.) Optional Rule: This is the first big plus: It’s optional and the DM can decide to allow it or restrict it to his means. Later I’ll throw some ideas into it.

2.) Ability requirements: A little plus, at least you can’t multiclass into something you were going to dump for whatever reasons.

3.) Character Level for Level up and Proficiency bonus: In pre3e you had split experience scores, so we should be thankful it didn’t come back. And one of the most important bonuses is based on your character level, which makes it neither better or worst between pure-classed and multiclassed.

4.) Only few Proficiencies: Instead of getting the whole set, your first class will decide which save-proficiency you get, only the bard, ranger and rogue brings skill proficiency and you won’t get access to heavy armor. Normally I’d count it as a plus, but since the only classes which don’t have any important proficiencies which could be nerfed when multiclassing are the wizard and sorcerer, the lowest hit points out there, and no ideal save proficiencies, it’s a minus, too. Nobody would start with one of those both classes, since you get more when choosing any other class. But since I see no way to make it really better, I just accept it. Maybe you could just give no proficiencies when taking another class.

5.) Channel Divinity: More options how to, no more uses per day. Since Channel Divinity is often awesomely strong in a way or other, it’s better that way.

6.) Extra Attack: You get only more than one Extra Attack if you’re reaching a class level which would at least grants you 2 Extra Attacks. And it isn’t compatible with the warlock’s Invocation Thirsting Blade. It’s more they filled a hole, which definitely would give you problems if they didn’t.

7.) Unarmored Defense: If you have this feature, you won’t get it again. Normally, you should ask yourself ‘why, if those are incompatible at the first place’, but it works that way, that you actually have to think before choosing your starting class: Do you really wants to go barbarian first for more hit points, even though you’d have higher AC if starting as a draconic sorcerer instead?

8.) Spellcasting: There is no spell-slinging for those class-combinations with 2 main-casters, since the spells per day are handled by a special value, determined by your spellcasting-classes. Your known spells are depending on your respective classes, a bard 3/cleric5 would have spell-slots like a 8 level bard, but can only know 2nd level bard spells and 3rd level cleric spells. But he could cast those spells with his 4th level slots. This is a buff for caster-combinations which weren’t much more than spell-slingers in 3e, as long you didn’t have a prestige class like arcane theurg.

9.) All other features remains: Since the most defining features and some of the most powerful ones are at the low-levels, you can take some of them quite easily, like the rouge’s cunning action at 2nd level. But thankfully some were moved to later levels compared to 3e, so Evasion is far off. This will lead to a minus.

10.) Ability Score Improvements: Since I don’t like the idea to take only a few levels to min-max a character, the fact that the Ability Score Improvements (or feats) are class features is a huge boon for me. You will definitely think about taking 2 rogue levels for Cunning Action, 3 monk levels for various reasons and afterwards 15 druid levels for everything else, if that means, that you’ll missing 2 chances for Ability Score Improvements. The real good thing about it: It won’t really bother the multiclassers, which will be more balanced about their classes, at least 12/8 provides directly no disadvantage, while 10/10 will leave you with one Improvement less, but gives often some nice other features.

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Generally I’d say: Multiclassing is somewhat good in 5e, even though it’s an optional system and in that regard not necessary balanced, if you want to nerf it as a DM, here are some house rules, you could use:

1.) Favored class: You could simply say, that each (sub)race can only multiclass as long one of those classes is their favored class, saying that some races are too predestined to follow a certain path and can only break out if following that path truthfully. If we take the 3e favored class as a basic, it’d be:

Race Favored Class 3.5e My suggestion
Dragonborn Sorcerer Paladin
Dwarf, Hill Fighter Cleric
Dwarf, Mountain Fighter Fighter
Elf, Dark female Cleric, male Wizard Sorcerer*
Elf, High Wizard Wizard
Elf, Wood Ranger Ranger
Gnome, Forest Bard Wizard
Gnome, Rock Bard Bard
Half-Elf Any Starting class
Half-Orc Barbarian Barbarian
Halfling, Lightfoot Rogue Rogue
Halfling, Stout Rogue Ranger
Human Any Starting class
Tiefling Rogue Warlock

*In a Forgotten Realms Setting (which I’ll play for some time now) I’d go with the same as 3,5e

2.) Even class-levels: A player can only have his class levels at a one level difference, so it won’t be possible to get only some levels in a class for features. If you choose this house-rule, you should grant your player an another Ability Score Improvement on level 10/10 or 7/7/6. Just to be sure, that there is not too much punishment.

3.) No further class-levels after taking another class: The character actually stops learning his old class and only can advance on his new class. Would be somewhat restrictive and makes a bit sense, but might not be restrictive enough, depending on your liking.

4.) Multiclass as Downtime Activity: Only between adventures a character can have the focus to actually attain a new class. He needs a teacher (or enough means to learn by himself) and time to get his studies done. I’d go with 1 gp per day and this table:

Class Time Special Requirements Example
Barbarian 150 days All days spent in the wilderness while battling at least four times a week or seeking spiritual contact under the guidance of a mentor
Bard 250 days Getting trained by an experienced bard
Cleric 500 days Learning in a temple, cloister, etc. of your god
Druid 500 days Become a disciple of a great druid
Fighter 250 days Being administered and studying in the military, a fighting school or under a private mentor
Monk 500 days Getting trained by an experienced monk
Paladin 500 days Purifying mind and body each day from all evil thoughts, seeking enlightment by the power of good
Ranger 250 days All days spent in the wilds while studying under a mentor
Rogue 250 days Getting training by a experienced rogue
Sorcerer 150 days Being infused with one source of power fitting the origin (bathing in dragonblood, being in the Elemental Chaos without any protection, etc.)
Warlock 150 days Met Otherwordly Patron already at the campaign one way or another
Wizard 500 days A master to learn from and access to a magical laboratory

You can forfeit any proficiency you’d normally get by multi-classing to reduce the time by 50 days per not taken proficiency. So if you have already some proficiency (especially armor and weapon) you can shorten the time without any penalty. You can learn not taken proficiencies at another downtime, 50 days and gp per proficiency to put the finishing touches to your training.

If you already have the spellcasting feature, you subtract 100 days of time, since you already now the basics.

You need a minimum of 50 days at least.

 

 

The best way is to actually talk to your player beforehand. Sometimes you might be too strict and maybe there might be a good idea behind it. This and of course the power of imagination brings us to the following!

 

Variant: Starting as a 0,5/0,5 Character

For those players who already want to start as mixed characters (to explain how they got to that point), I present a house rule here: Just start as half levels! Here comes how it works, we just take two classes and make those steps:

1.) You get only the Proficiencies of your Background and those in the Multiclasses Proficiency table (p.164)

2.) If you’re a spellcaster at 1st level, you only get half of known/prepared spells, spell slots and cantrips (rounded down)

3.) You get only those features in the following table

Class Feature
Barbarian Rage
Bard Spellcasting (half)
Cleric Spellcasting (half), Divine Domain (without benefits)
Druid Spellcasting (half), Druidic
Fighter Fighting Style
Monk Martial Arts
Paladin Divine Sense
Ranger Natural Explorer or Favored Enemy
Rogue Sneak Attack, Thieve’s Cant
Sorcerer Spellcasting (half), Sorcerous Origin (without any benefits)
Warlock Otherwordly Patron
Wizard Spellcasting (half)

4.) Your starting hit points are the mid point of your both classes starting hit points (so a barbarian/fighter would have [12+10]/2 + CON-mod hit points)

5.) After getting level 2, you’re automatically upgraded to 1/1 and choose one of your classes, and get all the left over proficiencies (saves, weapons and armors, etc.) and adjust your hit points as if you started with your chosen class and then took the second level at the other.

Alternatively you could talk to your DM and get a mix of proficiencies from both classes at the start, but since this opens up some PG-options, I didn’t took them in this section. Better let the DM decide of some of them depending on circumstances, so we don’t get a character with the best save proficiencies possible with those 2 classes, while shaving off some less prominent saves.

 

I added a House Rules section at the upper bar, so you have fast access to possible house rules.

 

To conclude my post: Multiclassing isn’t anything to be afraid of. It can be a really cool thing, but as always: Be afraid of those, who see nothing else as a power station to it. Be prepared to just say no, if you, as a DM, don’t like a specific combination. Druid/monks are still able to use the Unarmored Defense!

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