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Why settle for just one? Multiclassing in D&D 5E

If your Dungeon Master isn’t Nerds on Earth writer Michael Adkins, who seems to be working on some kind of TPK trophy, one of the cool things about having a Dungeons and Dragon character is when your character levels up. Once you have killed some orcs, stolen some things, collected the gold and done other shenanigans, you reach the point where you want to level up, becoming stronger, better and, potentially, wiser.

D&D 5e GoliathIn my current game, I have been playing a Goliath Ranger who has become one of the tanks of our adventuring group. It has been a ton of fun to keep moving him up the levels, especially when he hit level 3. In nearly every class, the third level is natural peak point, where you have the right amount of new, fun things and become more powerful; for me, it is the moment when you feel like an Adventurer and not just some bozo pretending to be one.

But, to be honest, when time came to look at level 4, the results of moving up in the ranger class felt like the people on Jeopardy who get the lifetime supply of Advil instead of being the returning champion; it just didn’t appeal or feel as cool moving from third level to fourth level. So, what do you do? Hold the course waiting for the eventual next level up or are there other options? There is some good news for you (and my Goliath Ranger)- you can multiclass!

Why settle for just one? Multiclassing in D&D 5E

Multiclassing occurs when you take a level of another character class altogether, expanding your character’s options, providing more skills and growing your character in new ways. So here are some of the key things to consider as you look at multiclassing:

Classes have minimums that you still need to meet if you want to multiclass. For instance, I considered taking a level of Paladin but the wisdom and charisma on my ranger are far too low to do it. If you meet the minimum, then you can take a level in another class.

dungeons and dragons cleric
A cleric brandishing his holy symbol.

Your levels will still progress at the highest level speed. To move from first level to second and upward in your first, original class can be fairly easy. When you shift to being a multiclass character, the XP speed stays the same as your original class. For instance, my Goliath Ranger/Cleric now will gain cleric levels as a 4th level character, not a second level character. So growing this new class will take some serious playing time to earn enough XP.

From a role playing vantage point, think about what makes sense. Odds are there are several options that you can make work with your character. In my case, I considered a paladin (which was nixed with the minimum requirements) because he had previously been a part of a monastic order, a druid, as his outdoorsy ranger type skills could work well together before landing on a cleric. In the course of our adventure, we had met a priest with some skills and I am hoping we can role play him being a mentor and source for knowledge on my new class.

If you are a part of a regular party, consider what new pieces you may really need as a crew. If your group consistently can’t open locked chests, look at a rogue. In our case, we simply can’t have enough healing, so adding the cleric for healing with some of the warrior aids as well, it makes sense for our group in terms of giving us some significant depth

The one tricky part of multiclassing is centered around magic. The rule is pretty simply explained in The Player’s Handbook. From page 164, it says: “You determine your available spell slots by adding together all your levels in the bard, cleric, druid, sorcerer, and wizard classes, half your levels (rounded down) in the paladin and ranger classes, and a third of your fighter or rogue levels (rounded down) if you have the Eldritch Knight or the Arcane Trickster feature.” On the next page, it also has an accompanying spell slot chart. It isn’t particularly hard, it just takes some time to make sure you are doing it properly.

So, what are some of your favorite mash-ups if you have multiclassed? What combination have you found to be particularly effective and why? Tell us on Facebook.
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