Dual-Classing the Greyhawk way


Player character options and their spells

User avatar

Posts: 16502

Joined: Thu Sep 05, 2013 1:15 am

Location: Melbourne, Australia

Post Mon Oct 06, 2014 12:58 pm

Dual-Classing the Greyhawk way

By the book, dual-classing can be a bit awkward. The dual-classed player really needs three sets of stats; one set for each of his two classes, and a third set--a merged "best of" set--which he actually uses in play. It's fiddly. And there's no XP penalty for carrying a "capped" class!

Greyhawk (1975) introduced a fresh look at dual-classing (as well as some treble-classed options) that is, arguable, more sound. With the Greyhawk method there is no switching back-and-forth between classes, and no becoming a dual-classed figure later on. A figure is simply dual- (or treble-) classed from the get-go.

Furthermore, experience is always divided evenly between the classes, even when no further progress is possible in a class. So--because the player is no longer deciding which class is earning XP--it becomes possible to "chart" the XP progressions of the dual- (and treble-) classed types in exactly the way as for the standard classes.

Here are the Elf and Dwarf options, as well as an "unofficial" Halfling fighter/thief option (using the DD XP requirements and retaining the original level limits where they exist):

Image

Image


Here is the Elf Fighter/Magic-User in detail:

Image


Here is the Halfling Fighter/Thief in detail:

Image


Greyhawk also added another iconic dual-classed option: the Druid!

The combination magic-user/cleric is disallowed by the 3LBBs, but enters play as the (NPC) Druid with Greyhawk. I've detailed the Druid progression and spells per day by merging the features of the (DD) magic-user and cleric classes:

Image

Image

Enjoy!
[f=32]Golgildir the Elf Medium (MV 12", AC 9, HD 1, hp 1/1, AL N) great cloak, lantern; spells: color spray; scrolls: sleep, sleep, charm person
Hirelings: Georges; torch[/f]

Posts: 4

Joined: Wed Sep 17, 2014 12:04 am

Post Mon Oct 06, 2014 2:15 pm

Re: Dual-Classing the Greyhawk way

Essentially you have an elven druid instead of an elven f-MU-c. I assume the Greyhawk Druid did not get turn undead; was there anything to replace it?
User avatar

Posts: 16502

Joined: Thu Sep 05, 2013 1:15 am

Location: Melbourne, Australia

Post Mon Oct 06, 2014 9:45 pm

Re: Dual-Classing the Greyhawk way

Hugh wrote:Essentially you have an elven druid instead of an elven f-MU-c.

I'm not quite sure what you mean, Hugh.
According to Greyhawk the Druid class is for Men only. Also the Evlish F/M-U/Cl can only advance to 6th level in clericism (and use of 3rd level spells), whereas the Druid can reach 9th level of clericism (and use of 5th level spells).

Hugh wrote:I assume the Greyhawk Druid did not get turn undead; was there anything to replace it?

That's right. There's no mention of turning the undead, but the Greyhawk Druid does have a shape changing ability (which could, perhaps, be treated as a restricted kind of Polymorph spell).

Bearing in mind that this represents encountering a Druid as a "monster", here's the Druid entry from Greyhawk:
DRUIDS: These men are priests of a neutral-type religion, and as such they differ in armor class and hit dice, as well as in movement capability, and are combination clerics/magic-users. Magic-use ranges from 5th to 7th level, while clericism ranges from 7th through 9th level. Druids may change shape three times per day, once each to any reptile, bird, or animal respectively, from size as small as a raven to as large as a small bear. They will generally (70%) be accompanied by numbers of barbaric followers (fighters), with a few higher-level leaders (2-5 fighters of 2nd-5th levels) and a body of normal men (20-50).


Technically, a combination magic-user/cleric would be restricted to the cleric's arms and the magic-user's armor; so no armour and no edged/piercing weapons. The cleric's requirement for lawfulness is overridden by the druids requirement for neutrality but it's unclear whether the druid should have access to the cleric-only reversible spells, or to the anti-cleric-only reversible spells, or to both, or to neither.
[f=32]Golgildir the Elf Medium (MV 12", AC 9, HD 1, hp 1/1, AL N) great cloak, lantern; spells: color spray; scrolls: sleep, sleep, charm person
Hirelings: Georges; torch[/f]
User avatar

Posts: 144

Joined: Mon Jun 09, 2014 1:51 am

Location: near Sacramento, California

Post Tue Oct 07, 2014 1:32 am

Re: Dual-Classing the Greyhawk way

waysoftheearth wrote:
Hugh wrote:Bearing in mind that this represents encountering a Druid as a "monster", here's the Druid entry from Greyhawk:
DRUIDS: These men are priests of a neutral-type religion, and as such they differ in armor class and hit dice, as well as in movement capability, and are combination clerics/magic-users. Magic-use ranges from 5th to 7th level, while clericism ranges from 7th through 9th level. Druids may change shape three times per day, once each to any reptile, bird, or animal respectively, from size as small as a raven to as large as a small bear. They will generally (70%) be accompanied by numbers of barbaric followers (fighters), with a few higher-level leaders (2-5 fighters of 2nd-5th levels) and a body of normal men (20-50).


Barbaric followers? Hmm, I think I'd choose to interpret that as 'Man, Berserker'. This would make for an interesting class, although I'm fine personally with druids simply being magic-users of another name.

I still think there is a certain charm to having the elves or perhaps other non-humans advancing as a single class before choosing between adventures to switch to another; Heck, even for humans I might make a go of that. The Howard books have Conan clearly operating chiefly as a thief in a few tales (Or, rather, have him saying that he did).

All and all an interesting assessment all the way around. I've only now just gotten the 'original elf' and it's intricacies (being new to OD&D in general), and now we move back to Greyhawk! hehe.

I do have a question, of course, regarding Hid Dice listed in the detailed listings: There are split numbers by the class progressions, obviously. Now, I wonder, Ways... Is this generally 'up for determination' like most things are? My opinion of this, or what I'm reading I should say, is that if a Hit Die split reads "2+1/1" for example, that the character with that much experience/that class level split takes the greater of the hit die rolls. So he'd more than likely get the result as shown on the 2d6+1 roll as opposed to the 1d6 roll. This right? Am I overthinking this?
User avatar

Posts: 16502

Joined: Thu Sep 05, 2013 1:15 am

Location: Melbourne, Australia

Post Tue Oct 07, 2014 2:42 am

Re: Dual-Classing the Greyhawk way

Merctime wrote:I'm fine personally with druids simply being magic-users of another name.

That's fine too of course; this is just playing about with what appears in Greyhawk.


Merctime wrote:I still think there is a certain charm to having the elves or perhaps other non-humans advancing as a single class before choosing between adventures to switch to another;

The original method certainly allows the player more flexibility and, to some extent, more "control". But having run it for a while now, I can say that it is a bit "fiddly". You end up with a progression that is wholly unique to each character, based on how many XP have been earned when the player decides to switch (each time he does so). It's doable, for sure, but the Greyhawk method simplifies things considerably.


Merctime wrote:I do have a question, of course, regarding Hid Dice listed in the detailed listings: There are split numbers by the class progressions, obviously. Now, I wonder, Ways... Is this generally 'up for determination' like most things are? My opinion of this, or what I'm reading I should say, is that if a Hit Die split reads "2+1/1" for example, that the character with that much experience/that class level split takes the greater of the hit die rolls. So he'd more than likely get the result as shown on the 2d6+1 roll as opposed to the 1d6 roll. This right? Am I overthinking this?

The mechanics of determining hit points for dual- (and treble-) classed players are not spelled out explicitly in the 3LBBs, nor are they in DD. My personal recommendation is that the dual-classed player should roll both his HD stats independently, and then use the higher number of hit points in play. This means that--even though the dual-classed player has lower numbers of HD than the equivalent single-classed players--his average number of hp per HD is greater than 3.5 which helps him to stay "in touch" with his peers in regards to hp.
[f=32]Golgildir the Elf Medium (MV 12", AC 9, HD 1, hp 1/1, AL N) great cloak, lantern; spells: color spray; scrolls: sleep, sleep, charm person
Hirelings: Georges; torch[/f]

Return to Heroes & Magic

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest

cron
Powered by phpBB © 2000, 2002, 2005, 2007 phpBB Group.
Designed by ST Software