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Can you VMC into the same class you're taking as a primary class to 'focus on your class' at the expense of feats and gain increased benefit or uses from class features, or to be able to choose from two options of a class ability you would otherwise have to make choices against?

The example in mind is a Wizard VMC Wizard. At the expense of some feats you can choose a school as your main wizard, and specialize in a different school on the VMC 'side'. Likewise you could choose an arcane bond with your primary levels, and then pick up a familiar at level three. The arcane school powers you get from the VMC side are slower than you're primary, but this would (in theory) allow you to double dip on some class abilities.

Many VMC combinations like this are somewhat useless, such as a Ranger VMC Ranger would gain nothing they don't already have and things which don't really stack (except, maybe, having more favored enemies.) But a Paladin could have more lay on hand and smite uses per day.

The Character Advancement rules don't expressly prohibit it. They do prohibit taking levels in your VMC class, but only in the context of blending normal multiclass with VMC; avoiding builds like Fighter VMC Cleric 3 / Cleric 2.

Conversely, there is no way to take the 1st level in a class twice. You cannot be a Sorcerer 1 / Sorcerer 1 and choose two different bloodlines. Curious if there was any rule or guiding principle I'm unaware of giving a hard line on if this is a legitimate option or not.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ FWIW, I converted your attempt at commenting into a comment and the answer has edited to hopefully address more of what you wanted. \$\endgroup\$ – Rubiksmoose Aug 26 at 14:06
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Variant Multiclassing

[...] With this system, each character can choose a secondary class at 1st level that she trains in throughout her career, without giving up levels in her primary class.

The very concept of “multiclassing” itself indicates multiple classes. That is what the word means. Since VMC is envisioned as a replacement for the core multiclassing rules—“It is probably a good idea to use either this variant system or normal multiclassing”—you cannot be said to be multiclassing, that is, having multiple classes, unless you choose a class different from your original one.

Furthermore, the VMC rules label the class you choose as your “secondary class”—a class cannot be secondary unless it is actually a second class, that is, a different one from the first one, which the rules label “primary” (a word from the Latin primus meaning “first”). Again, it is clear that VMC indicates having multiple, in this case exactly two, classes; any other number of classes, including just one, would make the terms used to describe it inaccurate.

Finally, the rules also discuss the possibility of a game wherein both types of multiclassing are in play, and in that case, explicitly addresses this:

In a game using both systems, a character can't take levels in the secondary class she gains from this variant.

While RAW this statement does not apply in a game not using both systems, it strongly confirms the sense understood from the rules that do apply: “multiclassing” and “secondary class” really do mean that you need to choose a second, separate, different class for VMC.

Ultimately, it matters little: every single VMC ever printed has been 100% trap, not ever worth the five feats it costs to have it. It is never optimal to use one: no, not even then.

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  • 3
    \$\begingroup\$ Comments deleted. If you find the answer unhelpful or disagree with it, you are welcome to downvote it; comments are not for arguing with answers. (If you have drawn a different conclusion, you are also welcome to answer the question with your conclusion, ideally supporting it with relevant evidence as well.) \$\endgroup\$ – V2Blast Aug 28 at 8:02

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