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Adding base attack bonuses, saving throw bonuses from prior class is throwing me for a loop.

Example Barbarian level 3 decides Bard level 1 will be next. BAB +3 FORT +3 REF + 1 WILL +1 (barbarian 3) + Bard 1) BAB 0 FORT 0 REF +2 WILL +2 = (total) BAB +3 FORT +3 REF + 3 WILL + 3. Each time he levels in Bard, he always adds his Barbarian 3 into his new Bard level, correct? So in the future... his Barbarian 3 & Bard 6 will eventually become a score of BAB +5 FORT + 5 REF + 6 WILL + 6, correct?

A couple friends and I had a debate on it, and I just wanted to clarify it :)

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2 Answers 2

up vote 11 down vote accepted

Standard Scheme

You are correct. Read the base save of a Barbarian 3, base save of a Bard 6, and add them.

Factional BAB & Saves: Variant Suggestion

I strongly recommend, however, that you use the “fractional” variant. In 3.5 that’s in Unearthed Arcana; I don’t know if Pathfinder replicated it anywhere, but saves work the same way in both so the variant works fine in Pathfinder.

The idea is that good saves are 2+½level and bad saves are ⅓level (you can confirm this by looking at a few classes’ save progressions). Full BAB (Barbarian, Fighter, Ranger) is equal to level, medium (Bard, Cleric, Rogue) to ¾level, and poor (Sorcerer, Wizard) ½level. Under fractional BAB/saves, you add the BAB/saves of your different classes together before you round down.

The reason for doing this is because if you take 3 classes that have the same bad save, under the usual scheme you have a +0 (0+0+0) but with fractional you have +1 (⅓+⅓+⅓). As you continue to multiclass, this problem gets worse and results in wonky saves that are arbitrarily lower than they should be even for a bad save at your level. Using the fractional system just keeps the numbers more consistent so you cannot accidentally screw yourself.

Repeated +2: Another Houserule Suggestion

Good saves, as mentioned, are 2+½level. Thus, every time you multiclass into a class that has a particular save as good, you get another +2. Just like multiclassing multiple classes with the same bad save under the normal scheme can result in inappropriately-low saves, multiclassing several classes that have the same good save can result in inappropriately-high saves.

The solution to this is simple: houserule that you can only get the +2 to a good save the first time you get it as a good save.

I typically strongly suggest both fractional and no-repeated-+2 for games I play in. They result in everyone having base saves that are roughly “level appropriate” regardless of the timing of any multiclassing.

It’s worth noting that you do not actually have to keep track of or add fractions to use the fractional system: you can just say “I have a total of 5 levels that have this save as bad and 3 that have it as good; that’s 5×⅓ = 1⅔ for the bad saves and 3×½ = 1½ for the good saves.” Add them together and then round down (as normal for fractions in d20) to get +3, add +2 because you do have at least one level with a good save. The system doesn’t care if you had poor-save-class 5/good-save-class 3 or poor-save-class 1/good-save-class 1/poor-save-class 1/good-save-class 2/poor-save-class 3: with both of these variants, you get the same base save bonus.

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As far as I know, yes, when you multiclass, you add together all nuermic values for each of your classes. This includes BAB, Saves, and hit points.

Of course, I can't find a reference to this in the PRD right now. The closest I can get is the Multiclassing section of the Classes chapter, but even this doesn't explicitly say that you add all of these bonuses together.

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