July 25, 2008

4E Multiclassing : A Fighter / Cleric Example

Yesterday I posted a brief "How-to" for multiclassing in 4th Edition Dungeons & Dragons. In short, it rocks. In my opinion, it blows away any previous system of multiclassing for D&D. If you're not sure what the heck I'm talking about, check out yesterday's post let me know what you think about it.

Today, as promised, I'm presenting the first in a series of case-studies where I walk through the progression of an example character destined to multiclass. In this first example our trusty human fighter, Crushington Stonesplitter, is having a sort of religious awakening. The back story for this character is that his father, an ex-militia man, is the only stone mason in the region where Crush grew up. On top of that, Crush is the only son of four children. His father, a shining example of super machismo gone haywire, expects Crush to 1) carry on the family profession, and 2) spend a few years doing nothing short of kicking-ass to prove his manhood. Little does his father know, however, that Crush secrete pays homage to the Dwarven God of Stone Moradin (yes, a human cleric of Moradin is possible).

Still in the Bubble Wrap
Not unexpectedly, Crush starts the campaign at 1st level as a Human Fighter. Without going into a step-by-step stat block (I will produce one later), I'll simply outline the progression chronologically by character level. Multiclass (in this case, Cleric) related skills, powers, and feature will be in italics. Each bulleted item corresponds to his character level.
  1. At first level, Crush ends up already be well on his way towards being a true healing defender type. He gets the following feats: Improved Initiative and Initiate of the Faith. As a results, he starts with four class features (three from being a fighter, one from the cleric class): Combat Challenge, Combat Superiority, Fighter Weapon Talent (1H), and Healing Word (as a daily). He also starts out with three at-will powers (Cleave, Sure Strike, and Tide of Iron) as well as Covering Attack (encounter) and Brute Strike (daily). Finally, Crush begins the game with five trained skills: Atheltics, Endurance, Heal, Intimidate, and Religeon.
  2. Gains the daily utility power Boundless Endurance and the feat Shield Push.
  3. Gains the encounter power Crushing Blow.
  4. Gains the multiclass feat Novice Power, which allows him to immediately swap his Covering Attack for the cleric encounter power Healing Strike.
  5. Gains the fighter 5th level daily power Rain of Steel.
  6. Gains the feat Ritual Caster, this allows Crush to start collecting ritual spells that he can use via his Heal and Religion skills. He also gains the fighter utility power Unbreakable.
  7. Gains the encounter power Iron Bulwark.
  8. Gains the multiclass feat Acolyte Power, and immediately swaps the fighter utility power Unbreakable for the cleric utility power Cure Serious Wounds.
  9. Gains the fighter daily power Victorious Surge.
  10. Gains the multiclass feat Adept Power, and immediately swaps Thicket of Blades for the cleric daily power Blade Barrier. In addition, he gains the fighter utility power Stalwart Guard.
  11. Once Crush reaches 11th level, he chooses not to take a class-specific paragon path and instead chooses the Multiclass Paragon Path.
OK, I'm going to stop here. I think you get the idea. I also want to point out that, while I was writing this post up as a draft (over 2 days), the Official D&D website released a new column, Character Concepts, for DRAGON. I was surprised very much like this post (although better and more refined), and in it they cover a teleporting Fey Pact Warlock and a Fighter-Mage (wizard) as they progress from 1st level through to 30th level. So, between their example and my example above, you should have a pretty good idea of how multiclassing works in 4E. Until next time, GAME ON!


  1. Sorry dude, you can't do that switch the level 1 daily for a level 5 daily at level 5. Check out the retraining in the PHB. You can only switch for the same level powers. You are probably thinking of the places where ou do switch owers up at higher levels, like 11-20. Look at the big chart again, on p. 27 I think.

    Big R

  2. Oh crap! I stand corrected. Surely on page 28 PHB
    You can replace a power with another power of the same type (at-will attack power, encounter
    attack power, daily attack power, or utility power), of the same level or lower, and from the same class

    I've changed the text to reflect the differences. Oh well... thanks for pointing that out!

  3. According to the Novice Power feat, you can swap one encounter attack power you know for one encounter attack power of the same level or lower from the class you multi-classed into. As a result, you should not have been able to swap Covering Attack (Fighter Attack 1 Encounter Power) for Split the Sky (Cleric Attack 3 Encounter Power). Since Covering Attack is an attack 1 power, you would only be allowed to swap it for a Cleric attack 1 power, not one at level 3.

  4. Thank you Daniel! Wow... I guess I should have thought about this closer before I posted about it. HAHA! Multiclassing seems much less attractive now, but I nevertheless want to present an accurate progress scheme. Thanks again.

  5. I still like 4E multiclassing, despite the lower level powers. It perfectly fit my character concept for a Half-Elf who has quite a talent for magic, but doesn't like relying on it, preferring the way of the hunter he learned from his eleven family. He's thus a Ranger/Wizard.

    Half-elves make great multiclass characters, too, because they get an additional at-will-as-encounter power form another class. My character above started at first level with Scorching Burst and Thunderwave as extra encounter powers - perfect for the occasional "I didn't want to use magic, but get away from me!" moments the character concept called for.

  6. @Ben - Welcome! Well... it's good to hear _someone_ likes the new 4E multiclassing. At first, I thought I was the only one that liked it ... but unfortunately I've changed my position on this now that I understand how it really works. Anyway, so Ben... what do the rest of the folks you share the game table with think about the new multiclassing in 4E?

  7. qustion!!!! when you at the feat of initiate of faith you will get the healing word of the cleric as a "once per day" how about the special for it that it is a twice in a encounter??? isnt it counts that you can you use twice in a encounter but once per round???


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