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The rules for Multiclassing on page 163 of the PHB state:

With this rule, you have the option of gaining a level in a new class whenever you advance in level, instead of gaining a level in your current class.

By RAW, it seems clear you cannot start out at level 1 again in your current class in order to achieve something like a Sorcerer (Draconic Bloodline) 1 / Sorcerer (Divine Soul) 1.

Would it be balanced to allow this anyway? Which problems would occur?

Assume that all other rules for multiclassing remain intact, such as the spell slot calculation or the limitation of multiple instances of Extra Attack.

Related: the same question for Pathfinder, clarification that this is not allowed by RAW

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    \$\begingroup\$ The linked question makes it pretty clear that different classes bring different issues. If you are looking for anything other than the same generic 'I wouldn't do it' answer you should probably ask about a specific instance that is being considered. \$\endgroup\$ – SeriousBri Jul 17 at 10:23
  • \$\begingroup\$ @SeriousBri I see your point, but my question isn't really about any specific class. So should I open a separate question for every class? \$\endgroup\$ – Mars Plastic Jul 17 at 10:53
  • \$\begingroup\$ If you really want to know, yeah, you'd have to ask per class. But probably the response you'll get then is people asking "Why are you asking this?" since it's apparently not a concrete case of a player wanting to play a character with levels in the same class twice. \$\endgroup\$ – Erik Jul 17 at 10:56
  • \$\begingroup\$ The answer in the other seems to be to do it on a case by case basis to work with a player to get what they want. I guess in this case, what problem are you looking to solve with this rule? And have any players actually asked about it? Maybe best speaking to your players and asking specifically about what they suggest they may do, and rule on each option separately rather than 'yes this is ok' or 'no this is banned'. It isn't against the rules to ask about each class, but probably just going to get more comments like this, or generic answers about the dangers. \$\endgroup\$ – SeriousBri Jul 17 at 10:59
  • \$\begingroup\$ For what it is worth I have asked myself this question a lot, so it is a valid thought, just really broad. \$\endgroup\$ – SeriousBri Jul 17 at 11:01
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It would be a very unbalanced idea

A lot of classes are fairly front-loaded in their abilities. Often the first three levels of a class are already very good for multiclassing, which is why you see people "taking a dip" in a few levels of a class. After that, they get very few, if any, interesting things in their subclass.

Let's, for example, start multiclassing into Druid!

I'm a level 14 Druid of the Land. I'm not going to get any new features from that branch of subclass anyway, so now I'm going to take 6 levels in Circle of the Moon druid instead, and all of a sudden this exact same level 20 druid build, under your new rules, loses absolutely nothing (or level 8 and 9 spells, depending on how you rule spellcasting progression), but gains far better wildshaping.

This is just one example, but there are plenty of classes where being able to 'dip' in a different subclass of the exact same class will result in not losing anything, but gaining extra powers.

It penalizes players who don't want to start figuring out how best to multiclass in their own class to min-max their character.

It's confusing as heck

A lot of class abilities just say "Druid levels" or "Fighter levels". RAW reading, multiclassing into your own class will allow you to stack those abilities. This change is going to be extremely confusing to figure out. Both my versions of the druid have Wildshape, do the levels of those two druids stack together? Can I only turn into non-flying creatures if I pick a CR above 1 because I'm not high enough Circle of the Moon to fly, and my Circle of the Land won't allow me to pick above CR 1?

Depending on how you start RAW reading, a lot of classes get unfair benefits by multiclassing into themselves, while others do not.

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    \$\begingroup\$ @SeriousBri That's a good question. For druid however, it makes no difference. You'd end up with the same amount of spell slots as before, and you prepare spells by: "You prepare the list of druid spells that are available for you to cast, choosing from the druid spell list. When you do so, choose a number of druid spells equal to your Wis mod + your druid level (minimum of 1 spell). The spells must be of a level for which you have spell slots.", your druid level is 20 (or 14 once and 6 once), and your spell slot level is the same as a pure level 20 druid, so you can pick any druid spell. \$\endgroup\$ – Theik Jul 17 at 11:27
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    \$\begingroup\$ @SeriousBri was about to raise that exact point - IMHO by a strict interpretation you should be preparing your spells as if you were a Druid 14 and a Druid 6, so no 8th level spells for you! And no adding levels together to determine your generic class features, either. This is probably a useful balancing factor for anyone considering allowing this kind of multiclassing anyway. \$\endgroup\$ – Carcer Jul 17 at 11:27
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    \$\begingroup\$ @Carcer This is one of the reasons why it's a really bad idea. A lot of class abilities just say "Druid levels" or "Fighter levels". RAW reading, multiclassing into your own class will allow you to stack those abilities. This change is going to be extremely confusing to figure out. Both my versions of the druid have wildshape, do the levels of those two druids stack together? Can I only turn into non-flying creatures if I pick a CR above 1 because I'm not high enough Circle of the Moon to fly? It's... a confusing mess. \$\endgroup\$ – Theik Jul 17 at 11:31
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    \$\begingroup\$ @Theik the multiclassing rules override those general rules about spell prep, though: "You determine what spells you know and can prepare for each class individually, as if you were a single-classed member of that class." You can prepare a list of spells as if you were a 14th level druid and a list of spells as if you were a 6th level druid - otherwise if you run it as you interpret, a Wizard 19/Druid 1 could prepare 9th level druid spells, which is definitely not the interpretation most people have. \$\endgroup\$ – Carcer Jul 17 at 11:31
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    \$\begingroup\$ @Carcer Yeah correct, I missed that OP stated that the rules for spellcasting stay the same for multiclassing. That just makes it an even bigger mess though. \$\endgroup\$ – Theik Jul 17 at 11:35

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