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Multiclass Powers — Fragments From Dulicain’s Scroll

OK, first off, to any readers, I shall apologize… this is pretty much "After Dinner Crunch". Today was a holiday, and since I wasn’t getting to get ready for work, my usual schedule of working on Breakfast Crunch before working on Java Memory Management Optimization was blown, and it only slowly sank in later that today was a Monday and my plan of actually having daily content was at risk! No fear, here’s today’s bit of untested extemporanea.

To say that 4e’s implementation of multiclassing was a bit of a letdown after the wild-n-crazy freeform days of 3.x would be a bit of understatement. Blah blah balance blah blah niche protection blah blah player traps, I’ve heard it all. Yes, I’ve suffered from the nightmares of the This-2/That-3/TheOther-2 uber-munchkins that can take down anything, and the Fighter-10/Wizard-10 who has trouble with a lame kobold. I freely admit very little was done in 4e that didn’t have justification, but it was still irksome. 4e "multiclassing" simply didn’t feel like multiclassing to me, or to many others. Compared to any prior implementation of multiclassing, going all the way back to "Elves may advance as either fighting-men or magic-users", it felt… constrained. A sop. A "we have to put something in because we promised" compromise. The forthcoming hybrid classes are a lot closer to what I was expecting from 4e multiclassing based on promises made in the preview books. (Frankly, just about everything I’ve seen previewed for the PHB3 rocks on toast — psionics which vary from the standard At-Will/Encounter/Daily scheme, Skill Powers, Hybrid Multiclassing. But that’s another post.)

Anyway, something which occured to me that can make the current multiclass scheme more… interesting… is powers which require multiclassing to access. There are already some hints of this — I think there’s at least one Paragon Path only a multiclassed character can take — but there’s always room for more.

The following are Fighter powers, but you will note they all have unusual requirements. They are designed to allow those fighters who dabble in other arts the ability to incorporate their new knowledge into their combat style. The potential for this idea is nearly limitless, and it looks like the kind of thing I can fall back on whenever I don’t have any other ideas.

(In terms of my idea of ‘theme weeks’…. this is going to be an odd week, since I’m traveling for part of this week and next, and won’t have a lot of my 4e stuff with me, but I will have FantasyCraft, so, I figure, while travelling, I’ll be doing stuff for that, and then get back to 4e when I return….)

Read on for the actual good stuff!

Dulicain’s Scroll

In the latter days of the Empire of Scales, it was well known that, for a human, mastering skill at arms was the only way to win the favor of the various Barons and Lords that ruled as regional governers over Imperial territories. Dulicain, a skilled warrior of that age, was nonetheless tempted by the study of arcana, considered by many to be a weaker or less honorable path. He studied mostly in secret, but managed to pick up a handful of wizardly tricks. In the hopes of encouraging a flowering of arcana, he documented the skills he learned, and his writings were clandestinely copied and distributed. The Empire fell, and Dulicain fell with it in the battle of Craz, but his techniques have lived on, albeit known only in part.


Blade Of The Firey Chain

Fighter Attack 9

Arcane energy flows through your blade, encircling your enemy in a ring of flame. He dares not move away.

Daily * Martial, Arcane, Weapon, Fire

Standard Action; Melee weapon

Requirement: You must be a Wizard. You must know at least one spell with the "Fire" keyword.

Target: One creature.

Attack: Str vs. AC

Hit: 3[W]+Str modifier damage. If the target ends his turn not adjacent to you, he takes Int modifier Fire damage for each square of distance between you and he. (Save ends)


Word Of Arcane Rebuttal

Fighter Utility 10

You not only shake off the effects of a disabling spell, you turn the energy against your foe.

Daily * Martial, Arcane

Immediate Reaction, Personal

Requirement: You must be a Wizard.

Trigger: You save against ongoing fire, cold, necrotic, or psychic damage.

Effect: In addition to normal damage, your next attack deals ongoing 5 damage of the same type you just saved against.

Design Note: I really wanted this to read "save against damage from an arcane source", but most monsters have no particular power source, so the power would only be useful against creatures built as NPC using powers from the various classes, and that’s really too limited. DMs may wish to play with the exact limits of this or allow the power to be used with poison, acid, or other damage if it seems those attacks were magical in nature.


Way Of The Astral Blade

Your weapon flickers between this world and the next, and no creature can escape from it once it has your attention.

Fighter Utility 15

Daily * Martial, Stance

Minor Action, Personal

Requirement: You must be a Wizard.

Effect: Until the stance ends, you deal damage normally to any insubstantial creature you have marked.

Design Note: A little hesitant on the balance on this. It’s very handy if you fight a lot of ghosts, perhaps too handy, but less so otherwise. Still, I like the flavor, and if it fits into a campaign… why not? It might also work well to allow the fighter to ignore partial cover of any adjacent foe, if there’s not enough insubstantial foes to justify taking it.


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