6
\$\begingroup\$

Similar to How do I calculate proficiency advancement for multiclass characters? - But for dual-classing humans.

When a human character dual-classes, do they earn the starting proficiencies of the new class?

When a human dual-class character advances a level on their second class where a single-class character would earn a proficiency slot, do they gain that also?

\$\endgroup\$
2
\$\begingroup\$

There is no Rules-As-Written answer. This is not discussed in either the Player's Handbook or the Dungeon Master's Guide, in either the 2nd Edition or 2nd Edition Revised books.

Weapon and Non-Weapon Proficiency rules were optional in 2nd Edition. My guess is that because of this, the writers didn't think through every possible scenario. But that's just speculation on my part.

So, we're left to muddle through with our own common sense. If you google, you will find discussions about this, with varying opinions. This is the method I used the only time it became relevant in my 2nd Edition GMing:

  • Weapon Proficiency: Gain the level 1 proficiency slots for the new class, and advance as the new class. This of course includes using the new class' level 1 THAC0.
  • Non Weapon Proficiency: No new NWP at level one. However, I allowed the character to
    1) use existing NWP without penalty
    2) regain one NWP slot he'd previously paid as a penalty to learn an out of class NWP which was now in-class for the new class.
    3) Spend the regained NWP immediately on a new class NWP
    4) Earn NWP per the progression for his new class.

My main goal was to get the bookkeeping over with so we could get back to our game. The player wasn't happy with my decision about NWP, but I couldn't really justify his character suddenly knowing three new things, especially in his specific case where the decision to multiclass (From priest to fighter) came pretty spur of the moment as a result of in-game actions, and not through any long-term planning. The player agreed that did make more sense, but still wanted the extra NWP. I was not persuaded by that argument.

\$\endgroup\$
2
  • \$\begingroup\$ eek from priest to unspecialized fighter... I've seen the opposite tons of time. \$\endgroup\$
    – Mindwin
    Oct 17 '17 at 22:47
  • \$\begingroup\$ But this seems a fair ruling. \$\endgroup\$
    – Mindwin
    Oct 17 '17 at 22:48
1
\$\begingroup\$

Instead, he starts over in a new class, at 1st level with 0 experience points, but he does retain his previous Hit Dice and hit points.

A plain reading would suggest that since you start over with none of your previous abilities you also earn everything (including proficiencies) as a new character. On the other hand, you don't have access to your former proficiencies until you reach the appropriate level. So if you're avoiding doubling up on proficiencies you might have to make some less-than-optimal proficiency choices.

\$\endgroup\$
1
  • \$\begingroup\$ It is similar to the Player's Options: "Dual-classed characters are humans who change their current classes and adopt new professions. For example, a 5th level fighter might put away his sword and become a 1st level wizard. When he—and any other character—changes professions, any unspent character points are lost. The 1st level wizard spends his new character point allotment normally, as if he were adventuring from scratch. When the wizard’s new level exceeds that of his first class, he can freely use the abilities of both classes—following all the normal game rules for such a character." \$\endgroup\$
    – Lucas
    May 22 '20 at 13:02
1
\$\begingroup\$

As GM I take this part of PHB text in main consideration:

In addition, the character earns no additional Hit Dice or hit points while advancing in his new class. The restrictions in the previous two paragraphs last until the character reaches a higher level in his new class than his maximum level in any of his previous classes. At that point, both restrictions are dropped: the character gains the abilities of his previous classes without jeopardizing his experience points for the adventure, and he earns additional Hit Dice (those of his new class) and hit points for gaining experience levels in his new class.

In the new class, proficiences are regarded as HD and HP, the char receives them only when the new class is higher and respecting the new class rate. Of course, there is no sense in being a specialist fighter, knowing the use of a dozen weapons and now as a level 1 mage, use a dagger with a -5 penalty, so I use the Baldur's Gate rule (the pc game) in addition: The character gains 1 point of non-weapon (nw proficiences does not exists in BG, I just apply the wp rule) and 1 point of weapon proficience when dual-classing. This is a balanced rule, because avoid the character amassing a huge quantity of proficiences (gaining 6 or 7 proficiences each time dual-classing is very unpleasant strange) and avoid the situation where a character is trying to learn a new 'profession' but cannot even use a weapon of the new class.

\$\endgroup\$
5
  • \$\begingroup\$ RE: "[G]aining 6 or 7 proficiences each time dual-classing is very unbalanced…" Is it, though? I mean, 2e dual-classing rules aren't really my jam, but, if memory serves, a PC can dual-class but once, and even then the requirements for doing so are extremely strict making such an event quite rare. Or am I confusing how difficult and rare dual-classing is in 2e with AD&D's dual-classing rules? \$\endgroup\$ Mar 30 '19 at 13:01
  • \$\begingroup\$ It is a valid argument @HeyICanChan, but if a player was already lucky to have 2 or 3 17s, I don't see why allow a lot of proficiences too since the 1st lvl of the new class can be seen as a new lvl instead. \$\endgroup\$
    – Lucas
    Mar 30 '19 at 14:04
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ I guess my point was, really, that AD&D, 2e isn't actually supposed to be balanced in the way we today think of game balance. The dude who can, by dual-classing, grab a bunch of extra NWPs is built on the backs of the countless characters that can't do that… but because—in the abstract—every character had the same opportunity to roll stats the same way, the game is—likewise, in the abstract—balanced. Denying the exceptional character some NWPs upon the character dual-classing in the name of balance at that point seems… well, just too darn late given the system's antiquated quirks. \$\endgroup\$ Mar 30 '19 at 14:12
  • \$\begingroup\$ (Note that I'm just rambling; this isn't anything to do with your answer in particular, unless you want to change the word unbalanced in it to something else like problematic.) \$\endgroup\$ Mar 30 '19 at 14:13
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ I love 2e because remembers me of the real world: there is no such a thing as balance, if you like to play with a halfling fighter with Str 9, go ahead, you can find a vorpal sword and become hell on earth or die for a kobold's bite at lvl1. So I recognize the main force behind my answer is just that receiving 7 points of proficience suddenly is very strange and I will edit the 'unbalanced' word. :D \$\endgroup\$
    – Lucas
    Mar 30 '19 at 14:21

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.