So, what exactly does DnD 5e Multiclassing mean? Well, this refers to the action of multiclassing in the 5th edition of Dungeons and Dragons. Multiclassing is an incredible character optimization tool. Picking abilities and features of a different class than your original class may not make you better but at least opens up a wider field of choices. This is because multiclassing 5e provides a ton of benefits such as:
- Additional options for customization.
- For more combat-focused games, it provides a high level of gameplay opportunity.
- Storytelling opportunities about acquiring new abilities
- Create a more diverse experience.
All these make multiclassing in DnD 5e worthwhile.
How Does Multiclassing Work?
Basically, Multiclassing can be defined as the act of gaining a level in a different class or classes to get added advantages and abilities. Every character starts out with a single class chosen while making a DnD character and these classes come with a specific skill set. Some classes specialize in spell casting while others might be better melee fighters. Now to be able to hone both these skills to a certain level would be called Multiclassing.
If you want to be eligible for a new class, your character must be able to meet the ability score minimum for your current active class as well as the class that you are opting for, that is, the new one. The table below shows the minimum ability scores for all the classes.
|Class||Minimum Ability Score required|
|Fighter||Strength 13 or Dexterity 13|
|Monk||Dexterity 13 and Wisdom 13|
|Paladin||Strength 13 and Charisma 13|
|Ranger||Dexterity 13 and Wisdom 13|
Therefore if your original class is Bard and you want to multiclass and get the Fighter class, you would need Strength 13 as well and Dexterity 13. Similarly, if your original class was Barbarian and you want to multiclass to Ranger, then you would need Strength 13, Dexterity 13, and Wisdom 13 as well.
1. Hit Points And Hit Dice
Whenever your level increases, you would be rolling for hit points and then add them to your hit point pool just like when you gain a level in your original class. Make sure to use the “Hit Points at Higher Levels” entry instead of the “Hit Points at 1st Level” entry for your class. This is because hit points at 1st level refer to the level of your character and not the level of your class.
Hit dice is the way to get the above-mentioned Hit Points. These are fairly simple as the total number of Hit Dice that you take must be equivalent to your level. Remember to always get hit dice that is equal to your current level, similar to that with a single class.
If there is a Level 5 Fighter and has a 5d10 hit dice, and a Level 1 Rogue has 1d8 hit dice, then that implies that your Level 6 character would have a 5d10 and a 1d8 hit dice. That is how you make the Hit Dice equal to your level. Also, if your classes have the same type of hit die, then they are able to stack.
2. Experience Points
Experience points are simply based on the level of your character. Regardless of how many classes you have, the experience points remain the same. This means that if you are a cleric 6 and a fighter 1, you need to gain enough XP to reach the 8th level before you can increase your fighter level to 2 or your cleric level to 7.
Someone who has started out in a class from the 1st level will receive different abilities and advantages from those who have multiclassed into it. Thus, multiclassing into a new class will give you limited options. Some of these are listed below.
|Class||Initial Proficiencies Acquired on Multiclassing|
|Barbarian||Shields, simple weapons, martial weapons|
|Bard||One musical instrument of your choice, light armor, one skill of your choice|
|Cleric||Medium armor, shields, light armor|
|Druid||Shields, light armor, medium armor (Note: Druids don’t wear armor or use shields of metal)|
|Fighter||Light armor, medium armor, simple weapons, martial weapons, shields, light armor, medium armor|
|Monk||Simple weapons, short swords|
|Paladin||Simple weapons, light armor, shields, medium armor, martial weapons|
|Ranger||medium armor, Light armor, shields, simple weapons, martial weapons, one skill from the class’s skill list|
|Rogue||Light armor, one skill from class’s skill list, thieves’ tools|
|Sorcerer||No initial proficiencies gained|
|Warlock||Light armor, simple weapons|
|Wizard||No initial proficiencies gained|
It is important to be aware that proficiencies that are duplicated cannot be replaced or upgraded. 2 medium armors will work as a single medium armor only.
4. Proficiency Bonus
This depends on the total character level. This means that the proficiency bonus depends on the added levels of all your classes rather than a single class or your original class. Therefore, if a fighter 3/rogue 2 and a cleric 5 were to compare their proficiency bonus, it would be the same. They would both have the proficiency bonus of a 5th level character because 3+2 is 5.
At the time of gaining a new level in a class, features for that level are available, although few features have additional 5e multiclassing rules. These features are Channel Divinity, Extra Attack, Unarmored Defense, and Spellcasting. There are two additional more that are Ability Score Increase and Cantrips.
A. Ability Score Increase
This class feature, as the name suggests, boosts an increase in the ability scores. Most classes gain this feature at the 4th, 8th, 12th, 16th, and 19th level except Fighters and Rogues who get more. However, it is possible that multiclassing too much might make it so that you are never able to gain the Ability Score Increase feature.
Cantrips are similar to the Proficiency bonus. This is because they depend on your total character level. Despite the number of classes you take, the damage-dealing cantrips will deal added damage at character levels 5, 11, and 17. Due to this, even those who are late to multiclassing can fully utilize the power of cantrips.
You can receive a cantrip from various sources such as your race, class, features, or possibly from your Dungeon Master who may simply hand it to you.
6. Spell Casting
Spell Casting is an ability that partially depends on the combined levels of your spell-casting classes and partially on your own level in those classes. The rules for those who have spell casting features from more than one class are different from those who multiclass yet only have the spell casting feature from one class. These 5e multiclassing rules are important to keep in mind.
It is also important to know that all partial spell casters round their levels down when calculating effective levels for spell casting. It is the Artificer that rounds them up since they are the only class that can do so.
7. Spell Slots
Now, it is important to know that spells are different from spell slots. Spell slots are easier for a non-spellcaster who multiclasses to a new spell-casting class. This is because only the spells of the new class are valid.
However, for someone who is already a spell-caster and is multiclassing into a different spell-caster, things get slightly more complex as some classes rely more heavily on spell-casting than others.
To make it easier for you, you can calculate the spell slots for your DnD 5e multiclassing character by following these steps: –
- The levels in Wizard, Sorcerer, Druid, Cleric, and Bard are to be added together.
- In Ranger and Paladin classes, cut the levels in half rounded down.
- In Artificer also, cut the levels in half rounded up.
- In case you are an Eldritch Knight or an Arcane Trickster in the Fighter and Rogue classes, then it should be a third of your level.
After you are done adding these totals together, with the help of the Handbook’s chart, you will be able to know how many spell slots you have and of which level each of these slots are. With this, you have completed assigning spells to your spell slots of their respective level that you have acquired.
Why and When to Multiclass
Finally after understanding how multiclassing works in 5e, you must now be wondering why someone would be interested in D&D multiclassing. Well, a single-class character is definitely a good choice.
Especially since multiclassing 5e may not always be something better but rather something different. However, that just might be it, that is, to try something different if you’re not sure why you should multiclass.
Some of the reasons why you might see other people multiclassing Dnd 5e are listed below:
- They may have bonded with a different character from another class. Their friendship might lead to one of them multiclassing into the other’s class.
- Hard times could possibly push characters to pick a different route and try out the abilities of other classes.
- Changing the mind is a common thing. Realizing some other class would be a better choice is quite a frequent thing.
Now that we’re done with why one would multiclass in DnD 5e, it is also important to know when it is the right time to do it.
When to begin taking levels in a new class is an important and more complicated task. Certain levels offer powerful options which are a huge opportunity to level when multiclassing. Level 5 provides Proficiencies such as Extra Attack and 3rd level spells like Fireball.
It is important to be aware of such bonuses and level up and multiclass accordingly. Postponing to take upon crucial features like Ability Score Increase, Extra Attack, and other high-level spells when multiclassing will be troublesome with foes of higher CR.
Hopefully, we were able to bring you the best 5e multiclassing rules to help you through multiclassing with the best tips and tricks as well as the necessary information. Information such as the differences in multiclassing 5e spell slots is crucial and we believe we cleared those in this article.