Friday, April 23, 2010

Doing Away with Multi-Classing in 2e

I've never been very fond of the 2nd edition multi-classing system. Its clumsy, awkward and gives mediocre results as far as game balance and playability is concerned. Worse still is the "dual class" system which, well I have no nice words for it.

However when I was skimming through my books I realized that the system itself offered me not one but two better ways to do this, both B/X style.

On page 32 of the revised DMG there is a little known and less used system, rather similar to the one for B/X (in Dragon #109) that allows custom character classes. The system gets mentioned only one time more, in the form of an illusion slinging thief in the Complete Thieves Handbook.

With a little effort (its slightly incomplete) it could easily be used to make custom classes of any stripe. Instead of Elf Fighter/Wizard it makes a lot more sense to bash the two together, B/X style , stir in some kit flavor and appropriate abilities as needed and make say a Blade Singer class. Do this for each race , you will do away with need for the race kits (many of which simply suck) and add flavor and balance the game. For smaller changes (say a fighter with move silent and hide in shadows) simply tacking in an XP cost is also viable. You can extrapolate a fair cost from the tables with a little work.

Another option is of course to use Skills and Powers. If you happen to have a bunch of old Dragons from that period or the CD rom collection that came out, there are tons and tons of add ons. Its enough to turn AD&D2e into a defacto point buy system

Let me caution you though. While its not too hard to make any class with this system,Despite the name Players Option its better, to reserve the use of the book for yourself.
Using those rules there are a great many ways to make unbalanced characters that take away other players fun.

If you try (or tried) this let me know how it worked.

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