In the comments on the post, Scott Anderson asked:
So adding a second class is like gestalting but with a steep XP penalty? That seems workable. The lower the level, though, the more disproportionately powerful the class is- unless the XP penalty is nearly prohibitive.I can't really answer the question about gestalting, since all I know about 3e's gestalts is that there was something called "gestalts". I'm not sure where the comment about disproportionate power at lower levels comes from, though. Is a 2nd level Fighter/Thief disproportionately powerful compared to (a) a 10th level Fighter/Thief, (b) a pure 2nd level Fighter or Thief, or (c) something else I'm missing? Since the Fighter/Thief uses the Fighter XP table (with a probably XP penalty,) but has Thief hit dice (effectively half the hit dice of a Fighter of the same level,) I'm not seeing a gross power imbalance. What am I missing?
What does concern me is how to handle Fighter/Magician. I was working purely in terms of Fighter or Magician + Talent, where "worst XP + worst HD" makes sense as a penalty, but the M-U is already using the worst XP table and the worst HD table, so a F/M splitclass is barely penalized at all. The options to fix this are:
- Don't allow F/M, only allow F/T and M/T;
- Allow F/M, but double or otherwise modify the XP needed;
- Impose another limit on F/M, such as reducing ability in one or both classes.
The third option is kind of hard to do, if you are allowing a split-classing option after character creation (Fighter decides, at 2nd or 3rd level, to pick up some magical ability.) That makes banning F/M split-class characters, except for elf-style multiclassing, an attractive option.
If, however, you limit F/M split-classing to piecemeal additions, it might be doable. Under this scheme, a Fighter can learn spells and a Magician can learn weapons, one at a time. Doing so makes you an F/M or M/F split-class.
- Fighter/Magician characters are standard fighters, but can cast half as many spells as a normal Magician. They can never learn to create magic items, other than scrolls or possibly other consumables.
- Magician/Fighter characters are standard magic-users, but can learn to use weapons and armor and fight as a Fighter of the same level. They can never learn to fight multiple opponents simultaneously, nor can they establish a barony and collect taxes.
- Both split classes use the M-U XP and hit dice tables. The prime ability score is the lowest of Strength or Intelligence, halved.
(This makes the Fighter/Magician roughly comparable to the cleric and perhaps should replace that class altogether.)