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D&D 3E
Someone remind me: Do prestige classes count as multiclasses when… 
9th-May-2005 06:27 pm
Disney-Mermaid MythandMagic
Someone remind me:

Do prestige classes count as multiclasses when considering if you get an experience penalty?
9th-May-2005 11:34 pm (UTC)
As far as I know they don't count for XP penalties. 3.5 might have changed it, but I don't believe that to be the case.
9th-May-2005 11:36 pm (UTC)
I've never seen it explicitly dealt with in the rulebooks, but it would be kind of silly if picking up a prestige class DID give you an XP penalty.
9th-May-2005 11:37 pm (UTC)
In 3.0, no.

In 3.5, it depends on what you consider to be official rules. The books themselves are silent on that, so the default is yes, a dwarf who's a 12th level cleric / 1st level Hierophant takes a 20% experience penalty.

"Sage Advice" in DRAGON magazine modified that back to the 3.0 ruling.

So WotC says "yes", PAIZO says "no."

Common sense would say "no."
9th-May-2005 11:44 pm (UTC)
Actually, the 3.5 SRD FAQ says 'no' too. :)
9th-May-2005 11:53 pm (UTC)
Oh, good. Especially with the new Complete Warrior giving players the change to combine multiple different classes into a new concept, I was a little afraid. Thanks!
9th-May-2005 11:54 pm (UTC)
Ack. Complete ADVENTURER, I mean.
9th-May-2005 11:51 pm (UTC)
Overall, I'm curious as to why the experience-point penalty is there at all.

What, exactly, is it supposed to discourage? A wizard dipping briefly into sorcery to learn some spells a different way? A fighter studying warfare with barbarians?

If it's supposed to discourage sudden changes-of-plans, there's any easier way around that: when a character rises in level, ask the player what they'll be studying for next level, and impose a 20% experience penalty if they change their mind suddenly.

10th-May-2005 12:26 am (UTC)
It's supposed to be a way to show how certain races lean certain ways class-wise. Multiclassing has opened way up since 2e, but this mechanic is in to encourage an amount of dedication in some direction.

Personally I think a 10% penalty for uneven classes sounds way simpler than what you suggest.
10th-May-2005 12:31 am (UTC)
It serves two purposes:
1) It discourages cherry-picking classes for strong low-level benefits. This was a problem in 3.0, but not so much in 3.5 (as only the Fighter and Monk have strong first or second-level benefits now, whereas many would take a level of Ranger or a couple levels of Paladin before for the great benefits with many builds).
2) It discourages certain builds for certain races -- the Human and especially the Half-Elf need the variable favored class to even them out, and favored classes need to have some meaning for D&D to be D&D.
10th-May-2005 08:10 am (UTC)
I don't use it. It's all well and good to go and get certain class abilities. But when you do that you water down your character.

For instance a Ranger who branches into Paladin gives up some level progression from Ranger. A wizard who branches off into Sorcerer is definitely giving up some power. Not that I even have sorcerers in my campaigns. ;)

But you get the idea. They can get the nifty little bonus deals for the lower level in some classes but they are giving up or delaying some of the groovier higher-level stuff from other classes.
10th-May-2005 12:17 pm (UTC)
Here here! I don't use XP penalties either. There are enough inherent penalties from watering down a character. Plus, a power gamer will always find another way if they want to. In my campaigns, we usually say, "If you can give a good reason, we'll probably allow it." So if the Barbarian wants to take 1 level of Sorcerer and has a good reason, fine.

As always, I throw out the disclaimer that it depends a lot on the players and their mindset. I've actually scaled back some of my characters because I later realized I power-gamed them a bit too much. I had my troll barbarian run into a little "accident" and lose his primary hand. The trap was magical and prevented regeneration. Anyway, he could no longer wield two-handed weapons (and Huge ones at that; 1.5x Str bonus) and could no longer use Rend. It was kind of fun to work into the story too. He kept his detached hand in a pouch. The necro in the party wanted to animate it. =)
10th-May-2005 01:18 pm (UTC)
1) First (character) level rogue is also common in my social circle. 32+4*int skill points is quite yummy. d6 of sneak attack also isn't shabby.
10th-May-2005 03:00 am (UTC)

The DMG said so explicitly in 3.0. In 3.5 it's covered in the FAQ.
10th-May-2005 05:42 am (UTC)
Is the FAQ part of the rules?
10th-May-2005 07:08 am (UTC)
It's an explanation of the rules.
10th-May-2005 01:26 pm (UTC)
So...basically it's nothing more than one person saying "This is how I interpret the rules"
10th-May-2005 01:42 pm (UTC)
Basically yes, but it is official and therefore the approved reading of them. There's nothing, as always, saying you can't use it differently though.
10th-May-2005 02:04 pm (UTC)
There's a big difference between "The rules say" and "Someone explained the rules like..."

Not that going by the RAW makes any logical sense whatsoever (3.5 Darkness spells, as written, imply that you can use them to CREATE light in a pitch-black area!). Silliness can be found in plenty in this D&D.
10th-May-2005 02:09 pm (UTC)
Every set of rules or regulations I've ever seen either needs some interpretation or looks like a legal document and goes on for so long about how kettles are boiled that it takes pages.
10th-May-2005 02:11 pm (UTC)
I take the FAQ as the publisher's clarification. It differs from the errata in that the errata points out printed errors (ie Change this word to this word) where as the FAQ explains the rules. Yes it is only one person's explanation, but that person is authorized.

And as inncubus said, you can do whatever you want.
10th-May-2005 12:29 pm (UTC)
Technically, it's only supposed to be a clarification of the rules, but tends do more than clarify on occassion. It's considered by most to be on par with errata.
10th-May-2005 04:41 am (UTC)
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