Monday, May 28, 2012

Multiclass Experience Penalties and Racial Favored Classes

So I've been convinced by the arguments that that multiclass penalties don't accomplish what they're intended to accomplish.

The idea behind multiclass penalties and racial favored classes is twofold: first, Frankenstein builds full of 1- and 2-level dips are inelegant and should be disincentivized; and second, there should be some mechanical indicator of a character's cultural predilections.

The second point is good and sound and a reason to preserve racial favored classes in some form, and I'll come back to it.

The first point falls apart in two ways: alpha, that the system currently penalizes a build full of nothing but your favored class and 1-level dips not at all, instead penalizing you if you have, say, lots of levels in two classes and a dip in one other; beta, that high-tier characters (usually spellcasters, whose prime directive is Thou Shalt Not Lose Caster Levels) are only hurt by dips, while low-tier characters (usually mundane combat) can stand to benefit greatly from dips. Multiclassing penalties are one more instance of Melee Can't Have Nice Things.

So we dump the multiclassing penalty system like a sack of soggy garbage.

But wait! That second reason! There needs to be some mechanical indicator of a character's racial predilections! Because almost everyone underestimate the power of culture to a ludicrous extent. Let alone built-in biological instinct! So that hardcore needs to be a thing.

But hey, when I first created the Versatile Alignment feat, I said to myself, "maybe this is something that characters should get as a bonus feat with respect to their racial favored class". Because that would make sense.

So let's do that. Indeed, let's go slightly further and pull in Monastic Training and Knight Training:


Characters take no experience penalties for multiclassing. Instead, they gain a bonus feat related to their racial favored class, even if they do not meet the feat's prerequisites.
Any character may choose the Versatile Alignment feat with respect to their racial favored class.
A character whose racial favored class is Monk may choose between Versatile Alignment(Monk) or Monastic Training from the Eberron Campaign Setting.
A character whose racial favored class is Paladin may choose between Versatile Alignment(Paladin) or Knight Training from the Eberron Campaign Setting.
A character whose racial favored class is "any" may choose between Versatile Alignment (with respect to any one class of their choice), Monastic Training, or Knight Training.


This leaves characters with favored classes that have no alignment requirement slightly disenfranchised. I don't want to give them anything with any actual power, only something that opens up more options. Maybe a choice between Knight Training (your favored class) and Monastic Training (your favored class)? Meh, maybe. I'll have to look through feats and find some of the ones that are mostly fluff, which no sane person would normally choose to take but might accept if handed for free.

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