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Okay, so here is the situation. I have a lvl 4 Rogue/lvl 3 Fighter/lvl 2 Shadowblade character, which is all fine and well. But I am curious if I can take my next level in Rogue or Fighter or if, having taken the Shadow Blade prestige class, I am locked into either leveling that class or taking another Prestige Class.

I haven't found anything that says I can't level the base classes, but I seem to remember a past DM telling me that I couldn't. So is that the case, or was that specific to that DM, and not really the case?

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Welcome to the site. Take the tour. Thank you for an interesting first question. \$\endgroup\$ – Hey I Can Chan Jun 10 '15 at 11:17
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It's totally legit for a fighter 3/rogue 4/shadowblade 2 to take that next level as fighter, rogue, or shadowblade

Generally, after taking one or more levels in any class—base or prestige—, a character can take levels in any classes for which he meets the requirements and that he isn't barred from entering or continuing (e.g. taking one or more levels of monk or paladin then taking one or more levels of not-monk or not-paladin usually prohibits a character from taking more levels of monk or paladin—ways to bypass even these restrictions exist, though).

Specific classes (including some monster classes) may have prohibitions against multiclassing so freely, but these edge cases will spell out these differences in their descriptions.

That previous DM had made a house rule.

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The past DM was wrong. A prestige class is simply a class with prerequisites to attain.

The past DM was likely seeing prestige classes as a hard upgrade based on old games like the Shining Force series where once made, the choice could not be reverted. This is obviously incorrect as many prestige classes only have 5 to 10 levels, which means a character would have to take something else if they hadn't reached 20 (or beyond if you're using epic).

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  • \$\begingroup\$ I am pretty sure rule zero has your first sentence covered. :) \$\endgroup\$ – Lexible Jun 10 '15 at 15:21
  • \$\begingroup\$ Characters are the only thing DM's aren't allowed to touch. They get the whole world to play with, the players character is hands off. If I want to make a sorc/cleric/paladin/fighter/rogue/ranger/druid I can, the only restriction is prerequisites (and of course the availability of those classes in game.) \$\endgroup\$ – Lino Frank Ciaralli Jun 10 '15 at 15:23
  • \$\begingroup\$ There are no ability-score requirements for base classes. In fact, the only requirements that exist for any base classes (and then, only a few of them) are alignment requirements. You can make a Wis 8 cleric; I even have, on a few occasions. Sean K. Reynolds notoriously ran an Int 12 wizard in the official 3.5 playtest (and they wonder why they didn’t recognize that the class was overpowered). \$\endgroup\$ – KRyan Jun 10 '15 at 15:35
  • \$\begingroup\$ Yep, my bad. I was reviewing the worst class for this to ensure I had my info correct, Paladin. You know, where it talks about Cha for your turning, Wis for your spells (and a min of 11 Wis to even have any spells), etc. Fixed post above. \$\endgroup\$ – Lino Frank Ciaralli Jun 10 '15 at 15:41
  • \$\begingroup\$ @LinoFrankCiaralli Ah, yes, class features often have requirements (or at least soft requirements in that the feature is useless without a decent score). But like I said: my Wis 8 clerics can’t cast spells, but Domains can still be worth it. \$\endgroup\$ – KRyan Jun 10 '15 at 19:57
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You're all set to go

As a Rogue 4/Fighter 3/Shadowblade 2 you can level up any of the three classes at any point you want to, if you wanted to level up Rogue, Fighter, or Shadowblade you'd be free to do so as long as you didn't lose any of the prerequisites for the prestige class.

The only time in which you wouldn't be able to advance a class anymore is in instances where you're leveling a class that no longer allows for advancement once you stop taking levels in it and take a level in something else. Which in most cases as far as I know is limited to Monk.

A monk who gains a new class or (if already multiclass) raises another class by a level may never again raise her monk level, though she retains all her monk abilities.

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