A Class on Multiclassing: Tips and Synergies

Welcome to the second entry into our newest series! Today we’ll be looking into some more tips and synergies that you should look for when you multiclass!

Hello all! Class is back in session as we take a deeper dive into multiclassing! Today we’ll look at a few more detailed tips for multiclassing and crack into some of the best synergies to look for. Get those notebooks out and take some notes, let’s get right into it!


Proficiencies… How do they Work?

Diving right into it, a big source of confusion with multiclassing is skill, weapon, and saving throw proficiencies. For the most part, whenever you multiclass into another class you do not gain the proficiencies you would normally gain if you started in that class. For example, a Wizard that multiclasses into Fighter will not be able to choose two skills that a level 1 Fighter would be able to choose, will not gain proficiency in heavy armor, nor will they gain proficiency in Strength/Constitution saving throws! The table below shows you all the proficiencies you gain when you multiclass into a new class

One thing to consider when multiclassing and choosing your initial class is hit die and saving throws. If you plan on playing say, a Fighter/Wizard multiclass, it would be much more fortuitous to start out as a Fighter in order to have a base of 10 Hit Points instead of 6, proficiency in those all important Constitution Saving Throws and heavy armor, and Second Wind to keep you durable!

Redundant Class Abilities

Another source of confusion comes from class abilities that aren’t specific to one class. The main offender of this is Multiattack, as I’ve been asked many times if a Level 5 Fighter/Level 5 Barbarian is able to attack 3 times. Any ability like this DOES NOT STACK. The aforementioned class only benefits from one instance of Multiattack, and the only way they can attack an extra time with their Attack action is leveling up to a Level 11 Fighter, gaining Multiattack (2).

A similar interaction can be seen with Unarmored Defense, where a Barbarian/Monk Multiclass will only be able to choose one source of Unarmored Defense. Sadly, you won’t be able to determine your AC as Strength + Dexterity + Wisdom, but at least you get to choose which you use to calculate your AC! The only class ability that is shared amongst the two classes is Spellcasting, which you can check out in our first Class on Multiclassing article near the end.

Alignment, Pacts, and Faiths

This last section is much more subjective and not bound by the rules, but I think it’s worth talking about. For a few classes, the character’s alignment and faith plays a big role in how the character acts, their ideals, and decisions they make. Many Paladins and Clerics tend towards the Lawful side of alignment charts, following their Oaths and decrees made by their deities. On the flip side, many Rogues, Rangers, and Sorcerers bend more towards the chaos, never wanting to be held down by the various laws of the world. Consider this when multiclassing, since an Oath of Devotion Paladin most likely won’t have many personality traits in common with a Thief.

A special mention goes out to Warlocks, whose core identity is the pact they make with an extraplanar being. Take care in multiclassing with a Warlock, since Patrons are able to withdraw their power. If say, a fiend patron were to see you multiclass into Paladin and uphold a set of oaths or worship a god the Fiend disagrees with, he may revoke your powers or force you to abandon that oath, a difficult decision to make. Again, though it’s never explicitly stated in the rules, I find that the character’s story should play a big role in multiclassing, and it should not just be a tool for optimization.

If only it was always this easy…

Synergies

However, for those who are interested in both optimization and finding a cool combination of multiclass, that’s what this section is for!

To start, often times it’s best to multiclass across classes that share ability scores. For example, Paladin/Warlock is a very popular multiclass because both classes rely on Charisma for their spells. Likewise, Fighter/Barbarian multiclasses are powerful because they share the need for Strength and Constitution.

Another thing to consider when multiclassing is action economy. I’ve found myself often finding that I actually have too much to do with my actions/bonus actions with a few multiclasses. One example is a Rogue/Bard, both of which use their bonus action nearly every turn between Cunning Action and Bardic Inspiration. A Fighter/Wizard will have to choose if they want to attack multiple times or cast a spell. Often it’s a good idea to get a mix of actions and bonus actions, for example a Fighter/Rogue or even something like a Ranger/Cleric if you’re feeling spicy.

Lastly, consider your class and think of its weaknesses. While a Fighter can do great consistent damage, they can’t quite “nova” in the same way that a Paladin or Rogue can. If you find that consistent damage isn’t what you need, consider some levels into Paladin to get Divine Smite. If you find that your Ranger’s damage is lacking and you’re only using your bonus action to move Hunter’s Mark, grab a few levels in Rogue for the extra Sneak Attack damage and Cunning Action.

Conclusion

Multiclass comes in all shapes and sizes, and understanding the rules of multiclassing and some typical synergies will help for you to find the best for your character. Some multiclasses are notably better than others, so we’re going to be looking into some premier multiclasses either next week or the week after!


And that’ll do it! Thank you guys so very much for reading through this article and supporting us. Feel free to check out our twitter and instagram for updates and come interact with us over there! Love you all and thanks again so much for spending the time to read our articles 🙂

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– @SteveSketches1
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