Typically, as a new player you want to start off creating and playing a character with a single class. After all, Dungeons and Dragons is a complicated game. Once you start to hit higher levels, there’s a lot to keep track of as far as abilities, perks, skills, and functions of your characters class. However, there may come a time when you want to break the mold a little, and create something new using a character with levels in two or more classes. This is your how-t guide to creating a multiclass character in Dungeons and Dragons.
Welcome to multiclassing my friends! In this article, I’m going to teach you how to make a multiclass badass! Here’s an overview of what we’ll cover:
- Studying Your Classes
- Picking Your Classes
- Mapping Out Your Level Gains
Studying Your Classes
I know a lot of you reading are probably thinking…study?? Really?? I have to do homework? Well….yeah. You have to do some homework. Now, if you’ve been playing Dungeons and Dragons for a little while now, you’ve probably got an idea as to how most of the classes work and what classes you’re good with. But in order to create and utilize a multiclass character, you need to know every in and out of the classes you want to use.
Learn the strengths and weaknesses of the classes you are interested in using and see if they are compatible with one another.
For instance, the Ranger/ Rogue combination works very well because both classes rely on your character’s dexterity ability score in most cases. Therefore, it would be easier to map out your level gains and where to put your ability score improvements because they both depend on that ability score.
In contrast, the Barbarian/ Wizard combo might be a little tougher to map out. It can be done, but they rely on completely different ability scores. The Barbarian focuses on strength and constitution. While Wizards focus on Intelligence. I’m not saying this is impossible to do, but you may find it difficult to build your character to a level of efficiency you’d like because you would need to focus on three separate ability scores. But hey, you do you.
- Ranger (Hunter)/ Rogue (Assassin)
- Sorcerer/ Bard (College of Lore)
- Monk (Shadow)/ Rogue (Assassin)
- Barbarian/ Fighter(Champion)
- Monk (Open Hand)/ Fighter (Champion)
- Druid/ Monk
- Wizard/ Rogue (Arcane Trickster)
- Cleric/ Monk
- Cleric/ Fighter (Champion)
- Paladin/ Fighter
- Fighter (Champion) / Rogue (Assassin)
- Rogue/ Barbarian
- Monk/ Barbarian
Again, these are all just concepts that I have found to be interesting. Be creative and feel free to build your own combos. Just be aware of what ability scores you’ll need to focus on.
And before you decide to move forward I suggest reading up on the rules about multiclassing in your Player’s Handbook. There’s a lot of technical aspects that can get confusing if you’re not familiar with the rules. Also, talk to your DM, he/ she might have house rules regarding multiclassing that you should be aware of.
Picking Your Classes
Next thing you’ll need to do is pick your classes. You should choose them based on what you want. Do you want something you are familiar with? Are you trying to optimize functionality? Or are you looking to try something new and unique? Take these questions to heart, and think hard on your answers.
If you’re going for something you are proficient in, you need to dig further. Do you like spellcasting? Or doing physical damage? Do you like being in the front line? Like staying in the back to deal damage and support your allies? Or do you prefer to be a mid-ranged, jack of all trades? Once you’ve answered these questions, you need to assess which classes will fit your intended playstyle. This is why you need to study up on your classes and know the strengths and weaknesses of each class.
For the best functionality, I cannot reiterate this enough, choose classes with common ability score dependencies. This will make it easier to map out your ability score improvements. All you’ll need to do is focus on the one ability score that they both have in common. I know I said this earlier in the section previously, but it is important in making your experience creating this character go smoothly.
Mapping Out Your Level Gains
This will probably be the most meticulous part of this process. You’ll need to take some time to plan out how you want to level up your character. It’s typically a good idea to have a few levels in one class before gaining a level in another class. I typically like to wait until I am at least level 3 or 5 because I like to have the benefits of whatever class I’ve started with, and then I get a level in the next class and train in that class until it is level three before deciding whether or not I should switch back and train in my first class.
Level Gain Map Example
To illustrate this, I’ll give you an example of my own character level progression. First, I will explain in words what it is I will do and want to accomplish. Then, I’ll break it down in bullet form so you can see what I’m blathering on about.
For this, I’m going to be building a Monk/ Cleric. I chose these classes because they both rely on wisdom. I want to be a healer primarily with a bit of stealth, utility, and survivability. This way I can balance my class abilities between Dexterity and Wisdom. I will make him a Wood Elf to get bonuses to both of those ability scores at first level. Then I’ll put my highest score to Wisdom, second highest to Dexterity, and third highest to Charisma (because clerics tend to use charisma for spellcasting as well). My beginning strategy will be to use a ranged weapon while utilizing my healing and support abilities during combat.
For the first six levels, I will train in Cleric and choose the Life Domain at second level. This gives me access to good healing and support spells at early levels, I always have my domain spells prepared, and my healing is more effective. I will also be able to fill my role as a healer in the early stages. Going until sixth level works for me because I will also gain my domain ability Blessed Healer which allows me to heal myself as I heal my allies. At each ability score improvement, I will add to either my Wisdom or Dexterity. I will add to my Charisma at least once at one of these times.
Levels Seven and Beyond
Then starting at seventh character level, I will choose to train in Monk for the next three to seven levels at least. By maximizing my wisdom and dexterity, I will give my character a huge boost to his Armor Class if I wear no armor. At ninth level, I will choose the Path of Shadow to give me the stealth abilities I want. Depending on how the campaign goes, I may choose to keep training in monk until my seventh or even fifth level monk, to continue my cleric levels.
My goal is that by character level 20, I will have 13 levels of Cleric and 7 levels of Monk. By then I should have access to 6th and 7th level cleric spells, and I will be very hard to hit or even notice. If I use dexterity based weapons and/or unarmed strikes, I will also be able to do moderate damage if need be. I can couple that with some damage spells to add a bit more utility. My stealth abilities gained from my monk class will not only allow me to avoid detection, but I will also be able to shadow jump. This can be quite useful in combat situations where a party member is hurt severely, and I need to get closer to heal said party member.
Here’s the bullet breakdown of what I just said:
- 1st Level
- Wood Elf, Cleric, Highest ability scores assigned to Wisdom, Dexterity, and Charisma
- Take a Ranged Weapon, a Melee Weapon, and Light Armor
- 2nd Level
- Cleric Domain: Life Domain
- Gain Domain Spells
- 4th Level
- Ability Score Improvement: Wisdom +2
- 6th Level
- Life Domain Passive: Blessed Healer
- 7th Level
- Take First Level of Monk and Train Until Level 15
- 8th Level
- Unarmored Defense (Wear Robes Instead of Light Armor
- 9th Level
- Monastic Tradition: Path of Shadow
- 10th Level
- Ability Score Improvement: Wisdom +1 Dexterity +1
- 14th Level
- Ability Score Improvement: Wisdom +1 Charisma +1
- 16th Level
- Continue With Cleric Levels
- 17th Level
- Ability Score Improvement: Dexterity +2
Focus On What’s Important
Now, you don’t have to plan every single level all the way through twenty, as you can see I only plotted out what I found to be important. There is no need to focus on minute details of every level gain of your classes; you can check your Player’s Handbook for the benefits you receive when you get to that level. You just need to plan enough out to get a rough idea as to where you want your character to be. This will allow you to make changes and tweaks as needed without entirely disturbing your plan. Don’t get upset if you can’t get all the things you want out of your multiclass, or you think your character won’t be powerful enough. Trust me, he/ she will be plenty strong. When you multiclass, you are exchanging a bit of focus for more utility than anything. Just be mindful of what it is you want your character to play like.
Thank you all so much for reading! Please don’t forget to subscribe to our newsletter for more tips, tricks, and updates! Also, please feel free to comment and ask us if you have more questions! Happy building!
Author: Ven’Orik (Zach)
I’m just a regular nerd with a passion for storytelling and fantasy. Growing up I read books by Tolkein and C.S. Lewis, and this solidified my love for the genre. I first started playing D&D when I was 13 and have been pursuing it since. I’m just here to share my knowledge and hopefully learn a thing or two from all of you as well!