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D&D Multiclassing

Multi-classing

Definition:

In Dungeons & Dragons (D&D), multi-classing refers to the practice of a character gaining levels in more than one class, thereby accessing a wider variety of abilities and features. While this can increase versatility, it often results in delayed access to a class's higher-level features.

Requirements: To multi-class, a character must have at least a 13 in the key ability score(s) of both their current class and their new class (Dungeon Master's Guide, p. 163). For instance, a Fighter (key ability Strength or Dexterity) wanting to take a level in Wizard (key ability Intelligence) must have at least a 13 in both Intelligence and Strength or Dexterity.

Class Features: When you multi-class, you gain certain features from your new class:

  1. Hit Points and Hit Dice: You gain the hit points from your new class as described for levels after 1st. You gain the 1st-level hit points for a class only when you are a 1st-level character.

  2. Proficiencies: When you gain a level in a class other than your first, you gain only some of that class's starting proficiencies.

  3. Class Abilities: You gain the class abilities for the class level you take, but note that some class features may have restrictions or changes based on multi-classing, such as channel divinity or extra attack.

Ability Score Improvements and Feats: Each class has its own series of levels at which you get Ability Score Improvements (ASIs). These do not stack across classes; you get an ASI or Feat when you reach the appropriate class level, not character level.

Spellcasting: Spellcasting can become complex when multi-classing, especially if both classes can cast spells. You determine spells per day as if you were a single-classed member of each class. For example, a character who is a 3rd-level wizard and a 2nd-level cleric separately determines the spells they can cast daily as a 3rd-level wizard and a 2nd-level cleric.

Further rules for combining spell slots, and interactions between different class's spellcasting, are outlined in the Player's Handbook (p. 164-165).

Considerations: Multi-classing can be a powerful tool for character customization, but it should be considered carefully:

  1. Delayed Power: High-level class features and spells may be significantly delayed or inaccessible if you multi-class.

  2. Stat Dependency: Because multi-classing often requires high scores in multiple abilities, it can be stat-intensive and may weaken your character's overall effectiveness.

  3. Complexity: Multi-classing can significantly increase the complexity of managing your character, as you'll need to track features, abilities, and potentially spellcasting from multiple classes.

  4. Story and Character Motivation: From a roleplaying perspective, consider how multi-classing fits into your character's story and motivations. It's not just a mechanical decision, but a narrative one as well.

Always consult your Dungeon Master (DM) before multi-classing, as some campaigns or DMs may have house rules or restrictions regarding it.

Ten Great Multi-classing Options for Adventurers in D&D

  1. Fighter/Wizard: Often known as the "Eldritch Knight" combo, a Fighter/Wizard gets the best of both martial and magical prowess. You get the combat durability and weapon skills of a Fighter with the arcane versatility of a Wizard. Just ensure you have sufficient Intelligence and Strength or Dexterity.

  2. Rogue/Bard: The ultimate skill monkey. By mixing Rogue's Expertise and Bard's Jack of All Trades, you can have impressive bonuses for almost every skill. This is great for social interaction and stealth missions. Make sure your Dexterity and Charisma are up to par.

  3. Monk/Druid: Also known as the "Beast Monk", a Monk/Druid can use the unarmored defense and martial arts of the Monk while wild shaped into an animal form, resulting in some fun and powerful combinations. You'll need a solid Wisdom score.

  4. Paladin/Sorcerer: This is a popular combo for creating a high-damage "Sorcadins." Paladins bring martial power, healing, and Divine Smite, while Sorcerers bring flexible spellcasting and the ability to create spell slots that can fuel even more Divine Smites. A solid Charisma score benefits both classes.

  5. Barbarian/Rogue: A somewhat unconventional combination, the Barbarian's Rage feature grants advantage on Strength checks and saving throws, which can include attempts to grapple. This pairs well with the Rogue's Sneak Attack, which you can use each turn when you have advantage on your attack roll. You'll want a decent Strength, Dexterity, and Constitution.

  6. Ranger/Cleric: This combo provides a versatile character capable of fighting, healing, and wilderness survival. The Nature domain for the Cleric synergizes particularly well with the Ranger's abilities. Wisdom is crucial for this combination.

  7. Warlock/Paladin: A "Padlock" can be a deadly melee combatant. The Warlock's Pact Magic provides spell slots that recharge on a short rest and can be used for the Paladin's Divine Smite, while the Paladin's fighting abilities and aura features complement the Warlock's Eldritch Invocations and pact boons. This combo relies heavily on Charisma.

  8. Wizard/Cleric: If you're looking to be a full spellcaster with a lot of versatility, a Wizard/Cleric combo is a good pick. You'll have access to both arcane and divine spells, and choosing the Knowledge domain for your Cleric can make you the go-to character for information gathering. You'll need good Intelligence and Wisdom.

  9. Sorcerer/Warlock: Known as the "Sorlock," this combination is all about the spells. The Warlock's short rest spell slots can be converted into Sorcery Points for the Sorcerer's Flexible Casting and Metamagic features, allowing you a lot of spellcasting stamina. You'll need a high Charisma.

  10. Fighter/Rogue: If you're looking for a durable, stealthy striker, this is a good combo. The Fighter's Action Surge pairs well with the Rogue's Sneak Attack, while the Fighter's martial abilities and durability supplement the Rogue's sneakiness and evasion. Make sure your Dexterity and Constitution are sufficient.

Remember, these are just a few examples of fun and effective multi-class options. The best multi-class choice depends on your character concept, campaign, and preferred playstyle. Always consult with your Dungeon Master before deciding to multi-class.

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