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My young son is stuck playing a 4th level rogue when he really wants to play a druid. He inherited the character from me when he joined the game and the GM is saying he can't swap* (the same GM who said my cleric can't use a sword because they couldn't in d&d v1)

So are there any good reasons why he can't take druid levels from now on according to rules as written? Are there any features of the 2 classes that would just clash so badly as to make the char virtually unplayable.

Stats: str:10, dex:15, con:15,int:12, wis:9


* he could swap but would need to come in as level 1 which is really hard in an adventure written for level 4 players.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ about how much XP are you guys getting per session? \$\endgroup\$ – goodguy5 Feb 27 '18 at 14:35
  • \$\begingroup\$ @goodguy5 we are getting xp per kill. so some weeks we get Oxp as all we have done is explore, gather information, solve riddles etc. \$\endgroup\$ – WendyG Feb 27 '18 at 14:40
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    \$\begingroup\$ related on RAW alternative ways to get XP besides kills \$\endgroup\$ – NautArch Feb 27 '18 at 15:04
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    \$\begingroup\$ Hey all, please stop answering this question up here in comments. The answer button is farther down the page. That's several comments from several users that have been removed. \$\endgroup\$ – SevenSidedDie Feb 27 '18 at 15:08
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    \$\begingroup\$ Answers in comments, even highly-upvoted ones, have been removed. Again. \$\endgroup\$ – nitsua60 Feb 28 '18 at 13:26
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Optional Rule

Unfortunately, multiclassing is an entirely optional rule, so there is no way to force your DM to allow it.

If the DM allows for it, the character needs to have a 13 in the relevant stats for both classes. In the case of a Druid/Rogue, this means Wisdom and Dexterity.

As for how the blend will work, there really isn't much combat synergy between the two classes. The biggest issue is that Sneak Attack won't work in Wild Shape. From a utility perspective, there's some hope there. Wild Shape may be good for getting into and out of places even the Rogue's stealth can't get him through.

Opinion Aside

Frankly, you're not playing 5E clean if your DM is mired in behaviors learned in previous editions - the changes in 5E are deliberate and mostly well thought-out. You should address this issue with the DM before moving forward. Introducing a new player to a "dirty" version of the game is going be problematic if/when he joins a clean 5E game.

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    \$\begingroup\$ as wisdom is the dump stat, even if we cold convince the GM, the stats won't let us. So this is a dead in the water idea. \$\endgroup\$ – WendyG Feb 27 '18 at 14:35
  • \$\begingroup\$ As far as I am aware the sword thing is the only "dirty" item, using the rules can generally convince him we can do something. \$\endgroup\$ – WendyG Feb 27 '18 at 14:36
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    \$\begingroup\$ The term "dirty" is a very loaded way of writing "with house rules", which is a very common way of playing D&D. \$\endgroup\$ – Thanuir Feb 28 '18 at 7:48
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There are a couple of RAW reasons to prevent Multiclassing

Optional Rules

Multiclassing itself is not a required rule and is listed under Chapter 6 of the PHB. The relevant statement can be found on page 163:

Your DM decides whether these options [multiclassing and feats] are available in a campaign.

Prerequisites

In addition, in order to Multiclass to Druid, there are prerequisites that must be met for both current class statistics and new class (page 163):

Druid Wisdom 13

Rogue Dexterity 13

In the case of the character cited in the question with a Wisdom of 9 and Dexterity of 13, they would be unable to multiclass into Druid even if Multiclassing was permitted by the DM because of failing to meet the required Wisdom prerequisite (but they do meet the Dexterity.)

Are you having fun?

Ultimately, it sounds like you are having some frustrations with your DM (arbitrary limitations, only XP for kills, etc.) You should ask yourself are all of these things getting in the way of you and your son enjoying the table and the game. If the answer is yes, then I'd suggest trying to talk to the DM and if there is no positive resolution then walk away from the table. Making this a bad experience for your son is not going to do much to have him continue playing.

However, if the rest of the sessions and the group are enjoyable and these are more frustrating bumps in the road that don't overshadow the good times, then it's just something that you'll need to accept (but you can always complain!)

Starting Over at Level 1

Yes, your son will be a significant disadvantage joining the game as a Level 1 character in order to begin anew as a Druid. However, you are only looking at about a 3000XP difference. He'll get to level 3 pretty quickly (as long as you help keep him alive) and will only be behind for a bit after that. As the levels get higher, the difference is much more negligible. It may be worth it to get your son the character he wants to play.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ I really need to learn more of 5e, however in past editions a lower-level character would accrue experience faster (as the encounters are more dangerous/difficult to them); is that principle still retained in 5e? If so, it would close the XP gap even faster. \$\endgroup\$ – Matthieu M. Feb 27 '18 at 19:41
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    \$\begingroup\$ @MatthieuM. They don't accrue faster, but the lower levels will go by faster. Let's say they're adventuring at Level 4 (and one level 1) and they get 1,000 XP. The level 4 will be on their way to 5, but the Level 1 will end up Level 3. \$\endgroup\$ – NautArch Feb 27 '18 at 19:55
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    \$\begingroup\$ "You should ask yourself are all of these things getting in the way of you and your son enjoying the table and the game. If the answer is no..." I think you mean "If the answer is yes". \$\endgroup\$ – mbomb007 Feb 27 '18 at 20:01
  • \$\begingroup\$ @NautArch they removed the rule in 5e that used to make it so you couldn't gain more than one level at a time? \$\endgroup\$ – Patrice Feb 28 '18 at 2:25
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    \$\begingroup\$ +1 - I just walked away from a table where everything was based on being murder hobos because the only way to gain anything was rampant death. Our characters were psychopaths with no morals, and after 8 games of going nowhere, I was just driving home angry at the DM for wasting our time. Good answer, on point, very real problem with people stuck in the mindset of combat = experience. \$\endgroup\$ – Lino Frank Ciaralli Mar 2 '18 at 5:54
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RAW: Your DM has the discretion to allow or disallow the options from Chapter 6, they are entirely optional and he might have limitations. I personally limit multi-classing as it pertains to certain cultures in my games.

This chapter defines two optional sets of rules for customizing your character: multiclassing and feats. Multiclassing lets you combine classes together, and feats are special options you can choose instead of increasing your ability scores as you gain levels. Your DM decides whether these options are available in a campaign.

If he does use the rules out of the book, without edit, the rogue would need a 13 Dex and a 13 Wis to proceed with the multi-classing.

It is also worth noting that Crawford has gone on record in the May 4, 2017 Podcast (about 10:30 or so in) that this system was not designed with multi-classing in mind. This means that you might have power spikes and troughs compared to single class options which could make you stronger or weaker than expected by the system at an equivalent level to a single-classed option.

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