How Does Multiclassing Work in DnD 5e?


Multiclassing is one of those things that is recommended only to experienced players – or players who have a solid grip of how the game works. The reason for this is that you require a general knowledge of the classes, to know what to pick from later.

It’s a tool that can make an excellent “Jack of all Trades” character, as it allows you to gain access to powerful new features and tools. Yet people always forget that there is a second part to that saying – “Is a Master of None.” And herein lies the problem with multiclassing. If you don’t plan it out from the start and just leave it for as the game progresses you can end up hampering yourself.

That being said, if you properly “dip” into the right class you can make a character with excellent utility for a variety of situations. Because sometimes, just a few levels in the right class makes all the difference. Let’s learn about what you can do if you do decide to multiclass.

What is Multiclassing or a character with multiple classes?

Multiclassing is the decision to invest points into another class as you level up. This is different from your character level, as a level 2 Rogue and level 3 Monk still make up a level 5 character. So pick and choose wisely what you will invest into, as you only have 20 levels to work with.

With this, you can unlock new class features and a new class ability, along with a few features that you might find useful later on down the line. Just be mindful of the particular class you are investing in and how it works with your primary class.

That being said. Picking the right time to invest in the right class can be a real game-changer. As certain proficiencies you get from certain classes are too good to pass up. But, you should take note though. You don’t get all the proficiencies from the class that you invest in. And you don’t get the starting items for that class either. To best understand what you get it’s recommended to consult the Player’s Handbook’s section on multiclassing.

Things like specific class features are what you want to look out for. And the ability score prerequisites that are required in the first place to invest into another class, but if you have the minimum ability scores required then you should be just fine.

Now, let us look into what are good decisions and what are bad decisions when multiclassing.

What to do

  1. Before you choose to multiclass you must check if you have the prerequisites. The prerequisites are usually a 13 in the ability score modifier of the class you are specking into. So if your character has the required ability score for that class you can go right ahead.
  2. Know which classes work together. This should be a no-brainer, some classes work better together than others. Barbarian-Fighter, Bard-Sorcerer, Wizard-Artificer are some that come to mind. On the other hand, if you chose a combination like Barbarian-Sorcerer or Bard-Artificer; then you’re either a fan of mischief – or you want to troll the DM and players.
  3. Prepare and research before making the decision. Again, this is another no-brainer. Yet it’s the most important thing on the to-do list. You have to know what you’re getting into before picking another class. Some decisions will straight up make your character as a whole weaker than if you would have just stuck to one class for the entire game.

What not to do

  1. Pick what sounds fun. Okay, let me be clear. The point of a game is to have fun, and yes; some decisions sound more fun than others. But, Dungeons and Dragons is a team game first and foremost. You work together with your buddies to achieve a common goal. If you’re selfish while playing the game – that’s less fun for the entire group. What’s more, if you make a bad decision you can end up as a burden for your team – instead of a boon.
  2. Invest heavily into another class. What might work in other RPGs doesn’t exactly work in DnD 5e. If you invest too heavily into another class you lock yourself out of the benefits that your starting class gets at level 20. This is especially true for casters who get some amazing abilities at level 20.

Conclusion on Multiclassing

That’s basically all there is to know about multiclassing. Of course, if you’re an experienced player you probably won’t need this guide at all. That is why this guide was written with a more beginner-friendly tone. After all, nobody benefits in this hobby if we gatekeep it. The more people can easily learn the game – the better.

Multiclassing is a fun way to experiment with a character concept. Having two classes instead of one can also be used to portray a character with a split personality for example.

Of course, if you use any optional rule then the constraints and mechanics can tighten or loosen regarding a multiclass character.

All in all the things mentioned here are the ones you have to keep in mind when multiclassing. Mainly, class levels are not the same as character levels. Class proficiencies are tied to the class and not character, your character’s proficiency bonus may or may not carry over into the other class, and that spell slots are class tied – not character.

And most importantly, only two classes per character. That means no third or fourth class – cause if you’d do that then you’re effectively shooting yourself in the foot.

In the end, multiclassing can end up being a double-edged sword. So most players just stick to their initial class. But if you’re cautious, and know what you’re doing; you can end up being a great boon for your company while on your adventures.

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