Tinkering with Multiclassing

Tinkering with Multiclassing

Tinkering with Multiclassing

I was considering the following tweak to multiclassing, particularly spellcaster multiclassing in my game I’m about to start.

So, I don’t particularly care for how spellcasting multiclassing in Dungeon World works regarding spellcasting; I feel it makes the Wizard and Cleric less special.  I want to propose the following sets of alternate rules.

*If you use a Multiclassing Move to take the Wizard’s Cast a Spell and Spellbook moves, or the Cleric’s Commune and Cast a Spell move, you count as a caster of half your level.

(If you take a multiclass spellcasting at level 2, you cast spells as level 1.  At level 4, you cast spells at level 2, whether you already had multiclassing, or picked it up just then.)

*Paladin:  You may use Divine Favor to instead gain the Cleric’s Diety and Divine Guidance moves.

At level 6-10 you can take the following advance:  “Holy Warrior: Gain a move from the Cleric or Paladin list.”

*Ranger: You may use God Amidst the Wastes to instead gain the Cleric’s Diety and Divine Guidance moves.

At level 6-10 you can take the following advance: “Seasoned:  Gain a move from the Fighter or Rogue list.”

*Rogue:  At level 2-5 you can take a Multilcass Dabbler advance.  At level 6-10 you can take a Multiclass Initiate advance.

15 thoughts on “Tinkering with Multiclassing”

  1. Also, one of my players believes that Shapeshifter, Elemental Mastery, Quest, and Exterminatus are all more powerful multiclass picks than spell casting.  Not sure what to do (or if anything should be done) about that, but an observation.

  2. I’m disallowing the use of generic multiclassing moves to take spellcasting ability, limiting divine spellcasting to Druids, Rangers, Clerics and Paladins.  I made a custom move for the Bard to gain Arcane spellcasting.  No more fighters casting like a wizard one level lower than they are.

    Additionally, I’m implementing a domain system that will limit the choices of druids, rangers and paladins with regards to what spells they can take.  I’m overall limiting the spell list available to classes.  I may increase the number of spells that the wizard/cleric can prepare (to as much as 2*level, perhaps), while keeping it the same for secondary caster classes.  I haven’t decided on that, though.

  3. Willow Palecek

    I don’t think that a GM should ever be upset about a player picking up Elemental Mastery; even on a success, you still get to decide something fun.

    As for Shapeshifter, I would recommend not granting them the Born of the Soil move; make them study the essence of any animal that they want to change into.  Good roleplay/narrative opportunities.

    As for Quest, I think good enforcement of vows can keep this from being too much fun. 🙂

  4. You could probably add Ritual to that list too.

    Jacob Randolph ‘s mage playbook locks out spells (foci) your character is opposed to, which works really great in our game. (The mage is opposed to ‘creating or empowering life’ – no healing spells from the mage any time soon.) Maybe instead of modifying all the playbooks you could add some kind of limitation to any multiclass-spellcasters, like this?

    If I was playing and the GM said no multiclassing to take spells like Rudy Henkel suggests, I think that’s fair enough. 

  5. Joe Banner Willow Palecek

    I should add, though, that these modifications are in conjunction with my “True Multiclassing” system which allows a character to invest in two separate classes and eventually gain the abilities of both, if they wish.  So, you can still make a fighter wizard, it just takes more experience and investment.

    I have no idea how to link discussions, but a search of this community for “true multiclassing” should bring it up right quick, if you’re curious.

  6. I really don’t see the problem, as they have to learn wizard/cleric-y stuff in the fiction in order to do so. Plus, that only matters when the party has that character. Even if a party with a cleric has a paladin that grabs the cleric spells, most likely through the fiction (or, more likely, through discussion) they will spread out their spells to cover all the bases. Even if they don’t, the spell choices say something about he character, so make sure to ask them about why their god has granted them Sanctuary instead of Magic Weapon today.

  7. Giovanni Lanza

    It’s not true that it only matters when the party has that character; in the ideal, players are content to play their role in the narrative, but in the reality, players get jealous if another class is perceived as being cooler, or as having more variety, than theirs.

    That’s not to say it’s something that needs fixing, but I don’t see an issue with someone wanting to alter the system to better fit a sense of balance for their players among the classes.  The beauty of Dungeon World is largely in its moddability, I think, so if someone wants to change something, it’s not really a valid criticism to say “this doesn’t need to be changed”, though it’s fine if you don’t think so.

    That’s not to say that every change is a good thing, if you think it’s actively a bad idea to change it for some reason, if you think that there is something that’s being lost, or damage that’s being done by the change, that’s a whole other kettle of rockfish.

  8. The problem I think lies in the way the multiclass improvement is written. It automatically gives you all the needed wizard moves in one fell swoop. You need multiple moves to be able to cast a spell, so you should take the time and effort. I’d say that just requiring that multiclassers take the spellbook as one improvement and spellcasting as the next would be enough of an investment to begin flinging magic missiles.

  9. Mert Torun I respectfully disagree. Then the player has spent their 2-5 multiclass for a useless move, and has to wait (unless they’re a bard) for levels 6-10 to get their spellcasting.

  10. Mert Torun yeah, but even at the earliest (levels 5 & 6) you still have to wait for a while to cast as a 1st level caster! To put in perspective, I have a campaign going; we’ve been playing for about 6 sessions. The highest level character would just be grabbing his spellbook at this point. And there are much better advanced moves to grab than a book that you can’t even use for 12 more XP.

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