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Multi & Dual Classing Reqs

I believe I understand the basics of multi and dual classing and I've read the Manual regarding but...I've got a few questions based on some posts I've read. 1) Only Humans may Dual class and can do it during Level Up periods but non-Humans must Multi-class at creation, correct? 2) If that is correct, at what point/what level can I dual class a character i.e. a Human Thief? I've seen people discuss their plans for characters like "at level 9 I'm dualing my Bezerker to a Mage". Why wait until level 9, for a Bezerker bonus or is that the first time Dual Classing becomes available?
OK, so maybe I don't understand anything about Dual/Multi Classing...
But I do know this game rocks!!


  • elminsterelminster Member, Developer Posts: 15,732
    1) You can dual class once you hit level 2. You don't need to dual class during a level up period. You are correct about multi-classes only being choosable at character creation.

    2) A berserker gets most of their health bonuses by level 9, on top of various fighter bonuses like an attack per round boost at level 7 as well as additional weapon proficiencies. Its also a level of experience that you can get to that doesn't leave you with a lot of down time between classes (you need to get your second class in a dual higher than your first class before you regain your first classes abilities/benefits).

  • Lord_TansheronLord_Tansheron Member Posts: 4,087
    The reason people dual at specific levels is, as @elminster has pointed out, that there are certain bonuses you get at those specific levels. Of course, the longer you wait the more XP you need, and the longer you spend with your first class inactive. It becomes a question of trade-offs, and ultimately of what your aims are with your given setup.

    The most common class to dual from is by far the fighter. For fighters, there are three levels of particular interest:

    Level 7: at this level, fighters gain +1/2 APR (required XP: 64,000)

    Level 9: at this level, fighters gain their last hit die (1d10), which makes up a large part of their hit points (after lvl 9 they only gain +3 HP per level). Berserkers and Kensais also gain an extra use of their kit ability (Berserker Rage / Kai). (required XP: 250,000)

    Level 13: at this level, fighters gain another +1/2 APR. Berserkers and Kensais gain yet another use of their kit ability. (required XP: 1,250,000)

    As you can see, the XP requirements increase DRAMATICALLY, especially past lvl 9. In fact, to get from lvl 9 to lvl 10 you need the exact same amount of XP you needed to get from lvl 1 to lvl 9! That means that the higher you go before you dual, the longer it will take to get there, and the longer it will take to regain your levels by reaching a higher level in your new class.

    What that means in practice is that dualing at lvl 13 is only recommended for people who really know how to work with XP; either by metagaming, or by having small parties, etc. For most people, it will be a hassle not worth the gains - particularly in IWD, where Grand Mastery adds an extra 1/2 APR anyway, often rendering the lvl 13 +1/2 APR bonus a moot point.

    That leaves lvl 7 and lvl 9 for most cases. Which one of those two you choose depends on personal preference, party, and game setup. If for example you are doing Insane HoF, you will have a LOT more XP available - meaning you can dual at lvl 9 very easily. If you're on Core, you have less XP flying around, so you may want to dual earlier. Also, the smaller your party the more individual XP your characters have; so if you, say, are playing with a 2-person team, you can dual at higher levels more easily, while in a full 6-person group it may be more difficult.

    Keep in mind though that the difference between lvl 7 and lvl 9 duals is not HUGE. There are many, many fine points you can consider and debate, but those are of interest primarily to people who really like min/maxing (like me), or for people who want to be efficient just for efficiency's sake (oh hell that is SO me).

    If you just want to give dualing a bash and aren't worried about bleeding edge performance, you can very safely dual at lvl 7 and make it an easy, quick experience to get into the whole thing.

    Please keep in mind though that these level breakpoints etc. are all for FIGHTERS. Fighters are the best class to dual from, but by no means the only - and things change considerably once other combinations are involved. The general paradigm stays the same, though: there are certain levels at which you gain certain bonuses (like kit bonuses, weapon proficiency points, hit dice, spell levels...), and it's a matter of balancing those bonuses against the XP cost.

    TL;DR: Dual Fighters at 7, 9, or 13 only. Don't dual before 7, except in BG1. Dual at 7 for an easy start into the whole dualing thing, at 9 for a bit extra performance, and lvl 13 *only* if you really know what you are getting into.

  • Hot_MessHot_Mess Member Posts: 17
    Thanks for the explanations. I read a FAQ which mentioned the needed attribute score for primary and secondary classes. I started to play around pre-generating some multi-classes and may do a smaller party to see how those classes do with the increased XP.
    So in your opinions, what's a better multi/dual option, doing a Half Elf Fig/Mag/Thf from the start or going Human Thief and grabbing Fighter and Mage later on? Any drastic benefits for either path?

  • Hot_MessHot_Mess Member Posts: 17
    And, can I dual class from a kit? If I start as a Bounty Hunter, can I still dual to a Fighter or is it strictly the "Vanilla" Thief for dual classing?

  • elminsterelminster Member, Developer Posts: 15,732
    You can only dual to one other class. So doing a thief -> fighter -> mage dual would not be possible.

    Multi-class characters are generally easier to manage. I wouldn't really worry too much about one or the other from a powergaming standpoint.

    You can dual class from a kit (say a bounty hunter) but you can't dual class into one.

  • Hot_MessHot_Mess Member Posts: 17
    Thanks @elminster, gotcha "dual" vs "multi"... I should've realized that. Assassin to Fighter YES, Assassin to Archer it. Assassin to Dual wielding Ranger...possibilities right?

  • elminsterelminster Member, Developer Posts: 15,732
    You can't dual class characters into a class that you can't make a multi-class for. So for instance you could dual class an assassin into a fighter, because there is a fighter/thief multiclass, but you can't dual class an assassin into a ranger (because there is no ranger/thief multiclass).

  • Hot_MessHot_Mess Member Posts: 17
    It is starting to clear up the "fog of play". Stick with multi-class "guidelines" and start with a Kit but not dual to a kit.
    Thanks for the assistance

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