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Multi-Classing

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whaddon View Drop Down
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William Haddon

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Post Options Post Options   Quote whaddon Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Topic: Multi-Classing
    Posted: 08 November 2013 at 8:40am
I wanted to start a topic for people to start exploring how multi-classing might work:

Here are some suggestions we've had, as well as some ideas of my own.

Faux Mutli-Classing:  This would fit with a system where all the classes get monk-type specialization.  The thought here is that some of these specializations would be multi-class type specializations.  Maybe the MU has a "Battlemage" specialization that makes it a Fighter-Mage.  "Templar" could be Cleric/Knight.  Etc.

Tween Multi-Classing:  The thought here is that once you reached a certain level, likely between 8th and 10th, you could then start taking levels in another class.  This would allow you to progress even if you already had 10th level, but would broaden your skill-set, rather than make you more powerful.

True Multi-Classing:  You would choose multiple classes when you make the character, and would have to apply XP to all of them.  You could thus be a Monk/Thief/Ranger, but you would progress through levels three times more slowly than a single class character.  There might even be an additional penalty (10%?) on your XP, slowing you down more, but you would eventually be a Monk 10/Thief 10/Ranger 10.

3e Multi-Classing:  I'm calling it "3e" because it was the paradigm for 3rd edition D&D.  In this system, every time you went up in level, you would choose what class you took next.  So, my 3rd level Knight is about to advance to 4th and I decide I want to add a level of Thief.  Now I'm a 3rd level Knight, 1st level Thief.  At 5th, I add a level of MU.  Finally, at 6th, I go back to adding levels to Knight.

Dual Classing: This is a version of Multi-Classing where you are limited to two classes.  Maybe we allow you to jump back and forth, or maybe this is meant to model a life change, so once you start on your second class, you don't ever go back.

There are obviously others, and some variations on all these (like a version of Tween where you can start addiing another class earlier.)

What do you think of these?  Have any other ideas? 
If IFGS could just get rid of the games so it could focus on sustaining its own bureaucracy... we would finally be living the Dream.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Seth Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08 November 2013 at 9:46am
I don't think this is a GOOD model, but I had a model for multi-classing characters that I used for NPCs in my games.  Multi-class characters worked like this;

Base damage, armor, life points, and LI resistance were calculated as the full value of your highest level class + 1/2 of the values for each other class (always round down). 

Ability to use bows, shields, armor, and special weapons (like longswords) were always based on your MOST restrictive class.  So, you have one level of MU, for example, you can't wear any armor or use a shield.  Anyone with any druid levels can't use anything metal.  This was very restrictive, not sure this is the best way to go.   

Ability point pools were tracked separately unless you had two or more classes of spellcaster, then those were pooled together. 

You could only use outgoing LI effects up to the level of that class.  So an 8th level Ranger / 1st level MU can only cast a 1st level Crash Time. 

The intention was to keep multi-classing from being a way to just cherrypick all the best stuff in the game, but I did put a lot of nerfing in there.  Could be a place to start talking, anyway.
I also have characters! They have classes and levels.
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whaddon View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote whaddon Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08 November 2013 at 9:50am
How did experience work?  (or was it moot since they were NPCs?)
Would you level up 8th Ranger, then get 1 MU?
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Seth Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08 November 2013 at 10:01am
It was moot because they were NPCs, but it was supposed to be designed such that every time you leveled, you could decide what you wanted to level in, D & D style.  I think I had planned on there being a hard cap of 3 total classes.  

Edited by Seth - 08 November 2013 at 10:02am
I also have characters! They have classes and levels.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Ray M. Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08 November 2013 at 12:23pm
So ... I think that the biggest factor to be considered in IFGS is the "power balance." For instance, when a designer says, "For 6 characters, levels 4-6, 30 levels maximum." How are the levels calculated?

If a person has a character that is 3 cleric/3 knight/3 magic user ... what level is he considered to be? He is more powerful than a single classed 3rd level character, but way underpowered to be considered 9th level.

The two methods that likely consider this the best are the Faux multi-class and the True multi-classing. With Faux, an 8th level Magic User (with a defined specialization) is easy to balance as an 8th level character since presumably all 8th level characters would be at a similar place in their chosen specialization. With True, to use your example, for the Thief/Monk/Ranger to be 4th level, (under the current XP schedule) the player would have to earn a minimum of 42,000 XP (42,000/3 = 14,000 XP ... the amount needed to reach 4th). But the character can be evaluated by his total XP (42,000) which makes him an equivalent of 6th level. The XP advancement curve would probably need to be re-evaluated with this consideration in mind.

In D&D, the DM has a consistent group whose characters can be pretty easily "manipulated" by him. In IFGS, the team make-ups are always different and it is more difficult for a GM to alter the game on the fly in order to keep a game balance. So I think it is probably easier in D&D to manage characters with a broader spread in levels, as could happen with the Tween or 3e methods.

Seth's approach is a groundwork for methods attempting to mitigate a level disparity between two classes. The potential weakness I see with what you presented, Seth, is the character who (with your example) works to an 8th level Ranger and then adds a 1st level MU. How to calculate his equivalent power? He has 8th level ranger abilities, swings 7 (normal 8th level ranger), resists LI at 8th ... but he can no longer use a bow or wear armor. So in my mind, he swings like an 8th level fighter-type but defends like a 1st level caster type (specifically, 0 points armor); able to cast Defense only for 1 point armor. As a designer, how do you balance for this character in a game? More complex, how about if you also have 5-7 other similarly disparate character stats on a given team?

Given all of this in consideration, I would have to say that overall (based on the above suggestions) I would prefer the Faux or True multi-classing methods.


Edited by Ray M. - 08 November 2013 at 12:25pm
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Post Options Post Options   Quote whaddon Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08 November 2013 at 12:46pm
There are another few possible systems I remembered:
Hybrid Multi-classing - This system was presented for D&D 3rd in Unearthed Arcana (Arcana Unearthed??) and it basically had half-classes.  I.e. Half-MU, Half-Cleric, etc.  Then you mash the half-class together to get whole classes that should be balanced.  So a 2nd MU/Cleric should be equal in power to a 2nd level MU.

Gestalt Multi-classing - This is basically a system that has a guide as to how to multiclass each combination of classes.  I.e. It would say how many points and Life Points etc. a Druid/Monk has, and it would say which SAS a Ranger/Fighter would have access to.  It would take a lot of tables, but we would also solve the "what power level is it" question pretty easily.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Cedric Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11 November 2013 at 2:43pm
I have to admit, I'm not a fan of traditional multiclassing, at least not any time soon.  Faux-Multiclassing is probably the closest that I'd go down this road.   The reason is at this time, I feel like a true multiclass system is too big of a jump of complexity along with everything else we are trying to accomplish.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote whaddon Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11 November 2013 at 4:31pm
I guess the question there is: Do you actually dislike multi-classing, or is that you don't like it in the face of "all the other changes"?  One is a matter of preference, the other is a matter of priority.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Cedric Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11 November 2013 at 5:33pm
I like some character customization.  I just don't think multiclassing is the best way to accomplish that.  Would I prefer multiclassing over the current system, maybe?  But there are better routes to character customization in my opinion.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Malrubius Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12 November 2013 at 1:30pm
Multi-classing seems like it would get gross pretty quick in most cases. I think the easiest to integrate is the "Tweens" approach. I figure by the time you are 8th-10th having some more SAS from a 1st level class isn't going to effect power balance like it would at lower levels. Plus 10th level PCs need SOMETHING to do with all that extra CAP and gold.

I think the current rate of CAP awards might make multi-classing (some variants at least) even trickier at lower levels. Though of course rules and more rules and more rules can all be layered in to change that. But if you get more CAP on a total per person basis from non-PC activities than you do from playing I think you'd see more double and triple class PCs at the lower levels, which, again depending on how it's done, could be a bigger play balance issue than the current MILL and treasure caps would allow.

I guess my question would be more like Cedric is getting at. Everybody likes being special, but is multi-classing really the best way, or a good way at all, to do that? I don't think it probably is, personally.


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Post Options Post Options   Quote Malrubius Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12 November 2013 at 1:46pm
One option I didn't see mentioned would be "multi-classing" by straight purchasing of other classes SAS. Which is basically buying magic items by another name I suppose except you could charge straight CAP instead of gold and the SAS would be innate\part of your base.

The advantage tho if that it's easier to figure balance for. A Ranger who can cast Fireball because he's a MU\Ranger is, more or less, the same power as a Ranger with a charge\recharge toy that casts Fireball.

Such a system could be Tiered as well. So you need X SAS of the lower levels before you can higher levels.

Folks would still cherry-pick the SASs, but...that's what everybody does with items now.



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Post Options Post Options   Quote whaddon Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12 November 2013 at 1:55pm
Jonas!  There you are.  Been waiting for ya, man.

I see what you mean.  This would sort of be a semi class/skill point hybrid, in that you could spend your XP to "buy" items from other classes, but rather than buy x/day, you would buy "ability to use x with your own points".  Is that sort of the thought?
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Malrubius Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12 November 2013 at 2:48pm
Heh. Just seen these today. I'll go clutter up all the threads with lengthy screeds now. ;D

Yes, pretty much that. Buy SAS you can use your own points for. Tho then there's the "I'm a Knight I bought Battlefever and...how many points is that?" stuff, but...ultimately I kinda prefer 8.0 move everybody to\from uses-per-day to points or the other way around.

I just figure, in-game narrative-wise, if I'm a Thief who learned some spells...I don't have to learn ALL of them..do I?

Do I need Bloodhound or Mental Signal if I'm just a Knight of the Eternal Flame who wants to throw Fireballs and Flares?
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Post Options Post Options   Quote brandon_ifgs Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 26 November 2013 at 4:36pm
I would prefer a Skills based system over traditional Multi-classing.    

I think Specializations are a good choice, Hybrid classes could be very interesting as well.

Multi-classing is just too ripe for abuse and too hard to balance well.  Another option could be a "set-selection" model where at certain points or for some sort of cost a character can select one or two SAS's from a set list.
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