I'm part of an RPG Group that plays multiple campaigns in multiple systems. Lately, two of our members have announced interest in a D&D 5e campaign, which isn't a system this group has played before, although some of us have 3.5 experience.
Now our group has several members who prefer to be creative in building characters and find their own combinations of mechanics. However, 5e seems to have nerfed multi-classing to a significant degree, forcing Players to adhere to the predefined classes (which, to be fair, are better than they were in 3.5) unless they want to significantly weaken their characters. We have thus devised a few house rules we might implement to address this problem.
Unfortunately, none of us has enough experience with the system to properly judge their side effects. There are two effects that are not to be strongly considered:
- The power level will rise slightly. This is obvious, to be expected and not a problem, unless the increase is a lot greater than we expect. Of course this may influence encounter design.
- Intra-party balance will not be a huge consideration. We are an established group with good communication and cooperation. Unless there would be a truly massive new imbalance created, we probably won't notice.
Here are the rules:
- All classes that provide Extra Attack stack for the purposes of providing extra attacks up to the level they provide their last extra attack. (i.e. a Monk 2/Fighter 3 would have 2 attacks (because both Monk and Fighter gain Extra Attack at level 5 and they stack for 2+3=5) a Monk 2/Fighter 18 would have 4 (because the Monk stacks for up to 5 levels for 2+18=20 and the Fighter gains the 4th attack at Level 20) but a Monk 18/Fighter 2 would still only have 2 (because the Monk only gains one extra attack at Level 5 and thus only stacks up to there, and even a Fighter Level 7 (5+2) doesn't gain any more attacks than that)).
- The standard ability score improvement progression of 4th, 8th, 12th, 16th and 19th class level is based on character level instead. Additional ASIs such as the Fighter's are still attained at the listed class level.
- In addition to the multi-class proficiencies listed on page 164 PHB, the character gains proficiency in one skill from the class skill list of the newly adopted class.
- Instead of all the proficiencies gained when adopting a new class, including the additional skill proficiency above, the character may gain proficiency in one of the saves the new class is proficient in.
Issues I am anticipating:
- Wizard and Sorcerer dips don't have much to give up for a save and some magic. However, since full casters are still a lot more powerful than mundanes with a caster dip, that's probably not too bad. Everyone likes a few cantrips.
- Classes like Rogue and Bard are slightly devalued, because they lose the unique privilege of multi-class skill proficiencies. Not sure how serious of a problem this is or how to address it.
- Dipping in general becomes more viable, which is an intended outcome of these rules, but we'll have to see whether it goes out of hand. I hope that the loss of high level class features is enough of a threat to discourage exaggerated multi-dipping. The real goal is more to make 2-3 class combinations viable at lower levels.
So the main question remains: are there significant problems this would cause, mechanics this would break etc. that I as someone who doesn't know the 5e rule set terribly well am overlooking?