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DnD3.5e: Flavour vs Crunch: Multiclassing and Dipping

 
Flavour vs Crunch: Multiclassing and Dipping

This thread began as a discussion about a gestalt game and ended up being one about the evils (or not) of multiclassing and dipping. I'm moving over here because it's no longer really relevant to the previous discussion.

As a short summary, I guess we could term this "This House believes 1-2 level class dips are disgusting: discuss".

I think the term 'disgusting' is inflamatory and inappropriate for this context.
But, then again, I also see no problem with divorcing a given feat or class from its original narrative (/fluff/story/whatever) in order to make it fit a different setting or character so long as the abilities themselves fit the new narrative. Doing so greatly contributes to the ability of a player to justify a few mechanical dips so long as they're willing to be creative with their narrative in providing justifications..

Then again... something as simple as "I'm trying to simulate my own concept class with these dips- just assume this series of classes were assembled somewhere along the line with study. With the expressed goal of combining the skills of a number of disciplines into one style that is superior to them all.


Or, the Bruce Lee methodology.

Other examples include the USA's governing system- a mishmash of ideas from all kinds of philosophical and technical inspiration. European, middle eastern, african, modern (at that time), ancient... our founding fathers really didn't care WHERE they stole their ideas from. They didn't give credit or citation, either.

The english language (seriously- this language changes more per decade than most languages do in a century- we make up half of it, we steal the other half, and stir it up like a stew).

Most modern armed forces.

Animal breeding projects.


And I'm sure the lists go on and on.

My take on it was that it really depends - whilst dipping Cleric for the domains or Lion Totem Barbarian for the Pounce is clearly cheesy, I don't want to say it could never be allowed. More significantly, I was arguing that a hotchpotch of classes, particularly martial ones, could be melded into a cohesive whole quite easily.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Secutor View Post
If Two-Weapon Fighting, Track and a few skills is all you want from the ranger side, Why make it four levels and make the martial adept the dip? Even then, you can just grab Human Paragon to fix your skill points. Or do a TRUE multiclass and spread evenly between Factotum and Warblade. Speaking of multiclassing, why not just go with Ranger4/Warblade4? I'm beginning to think there's this one specific maneuver that you want from Warblade and it's the ONLY reason you dipped to the class.

So.... What is that one maneuver that you won't tell me?
Firstly, I think you're falling into the fallacy of thinking that this whole discussion hinges on a random example I made up on the spot.

That said, in this case I would be dipping Warblade purely for the manoeuvres, yes, but only because they add options to a character (the ToB classes are considered by many to be far better-done than the old melee classes in many respects) and those options are flavourful and fun.

I would probably take Leading the Attack and/or Leading the Charge and perhaps Battle Leader's Charge from White Raven to fit with my "tactical/intelligent fighter" theme. I'd probably take Wolf Fang Strike since it goes with the Ranger's TWF. Moment of Diamond Mind really shores up my one weak (Will) save, and Emerald Razor is always good. It's a dip, for a bunch of mechanical benefit, but that doesn't mean it doesn't make RP sense. In fact, you could remove any of those and it would work just as well. Could you forget the Warblade and go pure Ranger? Sure, but then you have quite a different character.

I would actually venture so far as to say that manoeuvres are better from this standpoint because they reward tactical play and in-game thinking rather than pure, constant +s optimisation.

What I mean is that I do not consider a Barbarian to automatically be a warrior champion of a primitive tribe, but simply to be a combatant who delivers powerful strikes fuelled by short-lived bursts of aggression (ie. the class' iconic ability). Anything beyond that, and I will look to the particular character for the answer, rather than the pre-packaged fluff of their constituent parts.

'disgusting' is an opinion toward taking only one or two levels in one class to mechanically empower a "build" or augment the character's abilities. As this is an opinion and not a statement of a fact, it has the privilege to remain standing.

A DEEP, ENGAGING and RICH backstory do not justify class dips nor change my opinion that it is [borderline inflammatory word that expresses great displeasure]. It is also my opinion and belief that full-attacking after a charge is not a character trait nor three clerical domains and some cantrips are personalities. I also believe, and only believe, that grabbing a certain class feature from a class and abandoning it's fluff and everything else is disrespectful to the classes' central theme. Using them as a prerequisite to prestige classes are acceptable (in my opinion) as it represent the prequel to said prestige classes, such as an eldrich knight since the eldrich knight is your central theme, not the sorcerer/fighter.

So I ask; Why is Cleric1, Factotum8 or Monk1 vital to your character concept?

You are free to argue, disagree or protest my stance, but it does not change my opinion that 1-2dips are unclean. You are entitled to your opinion and I am equality entitled to mine, but we are also entitled to think that each others' opinions are silly.
Quote:
Originally Posted by TheFred View Post
Could you forget the Warblade and go pure Ranger? Sure, but then you have quite a different character.
If you can refluff an abomination of multiple classes as "The Warrior", why cannot you refluff the Warblade as "The Ranger".
Quote:
Originally Posted by TheFred View Post
That said, in this case I would be dipping Warblade purely for the manoeuvres, yes, but only because they add options to a character (the ToB classes are considered by many to be far better-done than the old melee classes in many respects) and those options are flavourful and fun.
So basically, you would dip to the warblade not because it's relevant to your theme (you can retroactively claim it's relevant anyway), but because it gives you "more options" and cherry top with it "flavorful and fun"?

It is also my preference, and not the ultimate guide and final word to anything, to be unburdened by unnecessarily convoluted progressions if you can help it.

I'm with ted on this (weird, huh?). Barbarians can also easily be violent street thugs. Colosseum gladiators. Or pirates.

And probably other things I didn't think of.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Secutor View Post
DEEP, ENGAGING and RICH backstory do not justify class dips
This is a pretty strong categorical claim. I don't suppose you'd be willing to back it up?

Or are you saying that '[not even] deep, engaging, and rich backstory justify class dips'?


Quote:
Originally Posted by Secutor View Post
If you can refluff an abomination of multiple classes as "The Warrior", why cannot you refluff the Warblade as "The Ranger".
I can quite easily do so by using an in-world definition of 'ranger', as opposed to the mechanical-representation definition that i assume you are using.




 

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