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He's Multi-classing?

17th Jul 2014, 8:00 AM

He's Multi-classing?
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kidra on 17th Jul 2014, 8:00 AM

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Now I know some of you are thinking "Wait, last comic you said he was a physicist, now he's a chemist? These guys can't keep their story straight!"

We thought for a while what to call the science class that he has ranks in, and decided that "Chemist" sounded the most like an RPG class (and probably is in a system that I don't know. It's just a name for a science-based class in this system that they're using, and has no influence on the career choices available to the PC.

Today's topic is about multi-classing. It can have some advantages, like giving a tanking character some extra damage through sneak-attack, but can also hurt your character since class abilities will be at a lower level than what they should be.



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DragGon7601 on 17th Jul 2014, 9:39 AM

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"Educated: For every skill point invested in a science-based Knowledge skill, a scientist character gains 2 ranks in that skill..." Scientist from Farscape RPG are the ultimate skill monkeys of that game. This ability, plus the abilities to add skills to their class skills list every other level and change any feats they get into a levels worth of skill points (8+int) make sure of that... unfortunately thats all they can do. :/ I'm guessing your Chemist is a arch-type of either some powered up version of this class or maybe pathfinders alchemist.

Chemist

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kidra on 17th Jul 2014, 11:11 AM

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We've basically decided that the chemist is sort of based on the Alchemist from Pathfinder, but that's mostly because that's the system we know best. We'll see how much we actually delve into the class as we get farther into the development of The Hulk as a character.

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Otaku on 18th Jul 2014, 8:09 AM

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One of the upsides of a system like GURPS: no character classes. Though to help navigate the myriad options, there are "Professional Templates", but those are just sensible collections of the various in game traits appropriate to a given field or archetypal character, and the component's can usually be freely added, removed, raised, or lowered.

Anyway, Pathfinder is what you know, so I think you more or less made the correct choice. Its your setting so it doesn't matter if this Banner is a chemist; it isn't like the whole "gamma ray" thing is anything but a McGuffin for most of Hulk lore.

Though if you ever end up learning a system like GURPS (and it is just the one I am familiar with: there are plenty of others) then consider blending the two. For that matter, its a fictional system; you can blend in anything you think would be funny/cool/whatever so long as it doesn't break suspension of disbelief. ;)

Multiclassing

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mistriousfrog on 17th Jul 2014, 2:12 PM

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Discounting Prestige classes which I don't think really count, I have only had one experience in building a properly optimized multiclass build and that was for the BBEG of the 3.5 game I run now.

He is a combination of crusader, cleric and a prestige class that is kind of in the middle of those two. Basically he is designed to be an offensive spellcaster by using maximized dance of ruin which is 40 damage to everything around him for 2 rounds at the start to weaken enemies, then follow it up with divine power and other buffs in order to make him incredibly powerful once the enemies are actually close enough to hit him. Even then they usually don't because of outrageous AC and the ability to shut out all attacks for one round as a daily ability.

I don't know how powerful it is in metagame terms, but I do know that he is a level 10 character who was designed so that he can take on my whole party of PCs solo. and there are 6 of them all about the same level.

Minmax Minmax Minmax, HOOO!

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Disloyal Subject on 18th Jul 2014, 2:25 AM

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That... sounds pretty awesome; I'm impressed. I guess I need to practice building Ruby Knight Vindicators, because mine always seem to fall flat.

hulk

that one guy on 17th Jul 2014, 11:43 PM

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the hulk is really interesting in that, depending on which reality youre talking about, he ranges from blathering idiot to average intelligence. i think there was even one that was above average (still not quite at banner level though). i always thought the smarter ones were kinda OP because the only draw back to "hulking up" was you were slightly less smart *gasp* (and everyone fearing/hating you and stuff)

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Disloyal Subject on 18th Jul 2014, 2:32 AM

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I'm woefully unversed in comic lore, but I recall from browsing TVTropes that, in one alternate continuity, he winds up achieving Banner-level intellect, and remains the Hulk permanently. The premise of that continuity being that he got banished to space one time too many, got even angrier than usual, came back, & conquered the Earth, beating up Avengers with Banner's blessing. One of the few things I like more than a genius bruiser is one who's also a morally ambiguous overlord.

Regarding the trade-off inherent to hulking out, though, I prefer characters whose intellect is retained or even sharpened, at the cost of crippling their impulse control.

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Otaku on 18th Jul 2014, 8:04 AM

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Sounds like the Maestro, first seen in "Future Imperfect": a nuclear war has wiped out most of humanity, but Hulk has survived and become the dominant power in the world... and for whatever reason, has Banner's level of intellect.

The thing is, the main Earth-616 Hulk ALSO had Banner's intellect (and a decent chunk of Joe Fixit's personality) During the mid-90s. Doc Samson managed to Blend the three major personalities (Banner, Fixit, Hulk) together through treatment, though Samson himself warned that it might be a temporary fix. Personally, I think I prefer that version.

Multiclassing

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Disloyal Subject on 18th Jul 2014, 3:01 AM

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I have a fondness for 3.5's gestalt rules, wherein you take 2 classes at each level, gaining the better of the two's basic features (BAB, HD, saves, and skill points) and getting both's class features and spellcasting. Naturally, that lends itself to a higher power level overall, but is still prone to horrible abuse.
When playing in my first actual D&D game, I talked the DM into trying gestalt, so everyone was effectively multiclass. We had a Rogue/Ranger and a Monk/Cleric - decent synergy (sneak attack stacked on a full BAB TWF build with stealthy skills and Wisdom-focused for AC & spellcasting, with touch spells channeled through unarmed strikes), nothing too broken - and then there were the characters I helped build. I didn't do it on purpose, but I helped the youngest player make a Barbarian who, besides having Strength and Dexterity in the mid-20s when raging, got a free trip attempt against anything she hit and had a 10-foot radius aura of fire, suppressable at will. She was a monster - an optimized Barbarian with a host of fire- and cat-themed spells backing her up. I made a Fighter/generalist Wizard who had absurd mundane defenses through bonus feats and good equipment, and as many spells than a specialist wizard twice his level. He also had a Knight cohort wielding a spiked chain, with dips in Red Dragon Bloodline, Cleric, Fighter, Fist of Hextor, and Devoted Defender supplementing his defenses.

As for more standard multiclassing, I love the Scout. A one-level dip in Barbarian gives them access to all martial weapons and a +10ft movement speed boost before their main class offers it in a class themed around hit-and-run tactics. Alternatively, a more balanced Scout/Druid split can make use of the Lion's Charge spell or some obscure Wildshape feats to do with the Scout's Skirmish ability as few builds can and overcome the mechanical limitations that reduce its appeal to powergamers.

Skirmish

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mistriousfrog on 19th Jul 2014, 12:25 AM

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I might count as power gamer, I certainly do put just as much effort into developing character builds as I do making the character themself.

Anyway, scout has a few nice traits but skirmish never really seemed like one of them to me. I kind of lumped it in with samurai's iaijutsu in being:
"It is sneak attack! - just... slightly harder to do..."

I think that is the powergamer issue with most of the martial abilities in that regard. they are usually a variation on the formula of sneak attack and usually find themselves being simply a harder to pull off version of it.

Also, I have never heard of the Gestalt rules before. From what you describe it sounds like you just get to level up using the best stuff of two classes. if that is the case, give me psion and wizard. The whole world will fall before my many, many spells, powers and bonus feats. that or make a barbarian wizard, purely for the hit dice. Either way, it does sound like an interesting, if clearly broken idea. Compared to vanilla game anyway, I guess if everyone does it then it is a bit less broken though.

late reply

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Disloyal Subject on 24th Jul 2014, 12:55 PM

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That is pretty much how it works, yeah.
http://www.d20srd.org/srd/variant/classes/gestaltCharacters.htm
Psion/Wizard is hilariously powerful; you'll be the squishiest guy around, but you really only need to worry about INT, and can sling around the mightiest powers you've got. Maybe take Keen Intellect at 1st level so you can dump WIS entirely.
Gives most characters better endurance - you can get farther in the dungeon before the casters need to nap.

I like to powergame, too, but I often make sacrifices if my fellow players are unoptimized - I get to try something fun, and make sure I don't overshadow them. The problem with Scouts was that they need to move more than a 5' step to trigger Skirmish, but can't Full Attack if they do, leaving them weaker than Rogues who can flank and then Full Attack with Sneak Attack damage. The Druid spell Lion's Charge or feat Bestial Charge let you Full Attack on a charge, though looking back on them, it's way cheaper and about as effective to just wildshape into a form with Pounce. Huh. And Keen Intellect's been nerfed too? Balls...

Guest on 21st Jul 2014, 2:35 AM

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While it may not count as multiclassing, per se, I've found that combining the various New World of Darkness character templates can get vastly overpowered. Helping out a friend who was new to the systems but wanting to run his own game, we created a "werewolf" pack using the pack totem bond, a motley pledge, and base character creation to make two werewolves, a mage, a changeling, and a custom monster using the Hunter rules.

Having read most of the books concerning these systems and also being a player in this game, I had to make them so that I wouldn't be able to exploit any weaknesses.

I did a little too well and now I'm pretty sure none of them are ever going to die.

Drazon on 7th Sep 2014, 4:27 PM

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My comment is probably a bit late, but I discovered this comic only recently.

In the Pathfinder system there is a prestige class for the Alchemist, the Master Chymist, that is the RPG equivalent of Dr. Jeckyll and Mr. Hyde (or Bruce Banner and Hulk for that matter).
The character can transform into a raging monster a number of times per day. The monster has a different personality, higher physical and lower mental attributes and must have an alignment different to the normal alignment of the character. When someone wants to play Hulk in a fantasy setting, that's the prestige class for him.

Master Chymist

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kidra on 7th Sep 2014, 6:30 PM

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That archetype is really good for the hulk. If I were to try to actually build the hulk, that's totally the build I would go for. However, we try not to use too specific game rules in the comic, just for those who might not be familiar with the specific game.

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