I'm new to D&D and I just got my hands on a few of the books. I need help in understanding this one issue.

When multiclassing, your character level is the total of the individual class levels they have. I was reading about drawbacks to multi-classing and read that you cannot go beyond a total character level of 20.

Is that true?

If that's true, and you can't go beyond a total level of 20, then would it hurt to set a limit of 2 or three classes you can multiclass into that can be maxed out to level 20 each.

I'm trying to avoid becoming over powered.

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    \$\begingroup\$ Are you suggesting picking 3 classes and becoming level 20 in each of them, for a total of 60 levels? \$\endgroup\$
    – SeriousBri
    Dec 31, 2018 at 14:10
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    \$\begingroup\$ Are you asking us to evaluate a house rule allowing the ability to go to level 20 in each of your classes when you say "would it hurt to set a limit of 2 or three classes you can multiclass into that can be maxed out to level 20 each"? Or are you just looking for what the rules say is allowed? \$\endgroup\$ Dec 31, 2018 at 14:34
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    \$\begingroup\$ I am not sure what books you have, but this free resource (the Systems Reference Document) has a good summary to review on page 56 \$\endgroup\$ Dec 31, 2018 at 15:44
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    \$\begingroup\$ Please could you respond to SeriousBri and Runiksmoose comments? As it stands, it is not clear whether you are asking about the official rule, or are asking about changing the rules to allow multi-class characters to get to higher total levels. If you are asking about allowing higher total levels, it would help if you clarified that, and explained how you think it would work - since the official rule is when you gain a level it is only in one of your classes, then either that would need to change too, or you expect to play a game up to 40th+ level \$\endgroup\$ Dec 31, 2018 at 17:19

2 Answers 2


Total limit of 20 levels of all your classes combined

If you multiclass, you will have the same total level* as your single classed party members, just split between 2 (or more) classes.

For example, when the party is level 5, you can be a Paladin 2 / Sorcerer 3.

Even combined classes can't go beyond level 20, as we do not know how spell slots or proficiency bonuses (etc) should progress from level 21.

Power level

It is rarely necessary to use more than 2 classes in 5e.

Also, it is hard to do multiclassing well, beginners usually end up with combinations that are much weaker than single class characters.

You should fear becoming underpowered.

*) assuming the milestone system for levelling

  • \$\begingroup\$ There are times where multi-classing provides highter power spikes than a single classed character but I agree the troughs are more common. JC also explicitly indicated in one of the Dragontalk podcasts that multi-classing was done after balancing the system, implying that the game wasn't balanced with it in mind, at least to some extent. \$\endgroup\$
    – Slagmoth
    Dec 31, 2018 at 14:43
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    \$\begingroup\$ @Slagmoth read the linked answer, there I say that you absolutely can create multiclassed characters that are stronger on most or all levels, but you need experience and system knowledge, what the querent seem to lack. Multiclassing is bad for him \$\endgroup\$
    – András
    Dec 31, 2018 at 14:57
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    \$\begingroup\$ It seems like OP is asking about a possible houserule involving allowing taking multiple classes and going to 20th level in each of them. You may want to address that in your answer since it seems to be a major part of the question. "If that's true and you can't go beyond a total level of 20 then would it hurt to set a limit of 2 or three classes you can multiclass into that can be maxed out to level 20 each." \$\endgroup\$ Dec 31, 2018 at 15:33

You can only reach character level 20. With multiclassing every time you level up you can choose one of your classes and increase it's class level by 1 or add a new class at class level 1.

PHB, p. 163

With this role, you have the option of gaining a level in a new class whenever you advance in levei, instead of gaining a level in your current class. Your levels in all your classes are added together to determine your character level.

Allowing a character to reach level 20 in multiple classes would greatly unbalance the game, since

  • You gain more HP
  • You gain the most powerful features of multiple classes
    Fighter 20/Wizard 20 would result in a powerful caster that is not fragile and can switch to weapons, if he runs out of spells
    A Bear Totem Barbarian 20/Champion Fighter 20 could for 2 rounds do 8 attacks with advantage and damage bonus at +13 with a damage modifier of +11 using Rage and Action Surges and Reckless Attack, critting on 18, 19 and 20 and adding 3 damage dice on a crit, taking half damage from all attacks that don't deal psychic damage and regenerating 12 HP / turn, if below half HP)
  • You gain more Ability Score Improvements. This fact would make any combination with Fighter supperior to other combinations, since Fighter gains more of these feats than any other class allowing you to may out the abilities useful for the other class and take all the feats that are useful for that class

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