Best of Both Worlds

2010 March 16
by Stupid Ranger

If one class is fun, just imagine how much better two classes can be!  PHB3 introduces Hybrid classes, giving all of us the chance to combine the best of two different classes to create our very own Hybrid Class.

The Basics

Each Hybrid listing gives you half of what you need.  You pick the two halves you want, then combine the stats for each half.  At first level, you gain one At-Will power from each class, one Encounter & one Daily power from either class.  Then, as you gain levels, you can select powers from either class as long as you build each half equally.

The Combinations

Now, as you can imagine, not every combinations is going to work perfectly.  Can you picture a wizard/barbarian?  Not the most auspicious combination.  Not to worry, with each hybrid listing, you’ll find recommendations on which other hybrids will make a good match.

I have to say, I can never really decide what class I want to play.  Even now, preparing for D&D Encounters this week, I can’t decide.  Hybrids may just be one of the best options for me.  Now, I just have to narrow it down to two classes…

9 Responses leave one →
  1. March 16, 2010

    Did you read the write-up on Hybrid Classes when they were being playtested in DDI? I loved all the side-bars from the designers on why they designed various classes the way that they did. The DDI article also had a lot more hand-holding and dire warnings of how the Hybrid rules could be used to make a less-than-functional character — but that giving players the options was worth it. A really fascinating read and a glimpse into the minds of the designers.

  2. March 16, 2010

    You know, on the one hand the hybrid classes do look like a lot of fun, and being able to mix and match sounds like a DnD buffet of epic proportions. However, I’ve heard many people complain that this would lead to horribly overpowered characters. Are there limitations that would prevent the hybrid from being way more wicked than his “straight” counterparts?

  3. Stupid Ranger permalink*
    March 16, 2010

    @InspectorHound: I didn’t read that write-up, but that would be interesting!

    @JennySnyder: I see the potential to have more power with a hybrid character. That said, I also think that the hybrid structure will keep them more in line with standard characters. You don’t gain additional powers; you just have the option to gain powers from one class or the other, so long as you build up both halves equally. The initial stats are based on combining halves, so you’re not going to have a crazy-lot of hit points or defense bonuses. You may gain additional weapon proficiencies, but you’re restricted to the armor proficiencies both classes share.

    Additionally, (and I should have mentioned this in my post), each hybrid class has a narrower scope of talents when compared to the standard class. For example, the hybrid bard has access to the Bard Armor Proficiency, Bardic Virtue, Song of Rest and Words of Friendship talents you’d find with a standard bard, but the hybrid can only select one talent from that list. The drawback of taking a hybrid class is that you haven’t fully studied the occupation as fully, so you don’t gain all of the benefits.

  4. March 17, 2010

    Thanks! That’s pretty much what I was wondering about. I haven’t looked over the hybrid stuff myself yet (I have a bad habit of only being interested in reading the things my players plan to use). I appreciate your take on the matter 🙂

  5. March 17, 2010

    I finally got around to looking at hybrids myself last night with the roomie and my conclusion is that they are a lot better then I first thought they would be. The right combinations seem to gel wonderfully. The trick is knowing what exactly what you want to do. For example, I was looking for ways to have some fun min-maxing Marauder’s Rush (or what ever that Ranger at-will is called) and the conclusion that we came up with was a Ranger/Warden. For the expenditure of the talent feat and two 18s, I now have a character that can mark one target a turn, have fighter AC, and Striker damage.

  6. March 17, 2010

    @Jamwes — just remember that you only Mark an enemy when you attack it with a Fighter power, and you can only use Quarry damage when you attack it with a Ranger power.

  7. March 17, 2010

    Which is why Warden is so awesome, as a free action you can mark one target. I guess I should have said AC 19 instead of Fighter AC, that would have made my description clearer.

    As for Quarry damage on only Ranger powers, yeah that can be a bummer. But it all depends on how you look at the build and what powers you take. If all of your go to powers are Ranger and your situational powers are from your other class, then it isn’t so bad. All the more reason why I stated up a Longtooth Shifter with 18 Str and 18 Wis. When I want to do damage I’ll use Marauder’s Rush, which is 1[W] + 4 + 4 + Quarry. Otherwise I’ll be using powers with cool effects which make up for not having Quarry damage.

    The trick is remembering this at the table.

  8. March 17, 2010

    @Jamwes — nice call on Warden, that’s good synergy.
    (I did get hung up on the ‘fighter AC’ line and skimmed over the Warden part).

    I’m working on taking my Tiefling Bard (multi-class Warlock) into a Hybrid Bard/Warlock at some point in the future (once his Fey Patron makes him an offer he can’t refuse).

    As long as you pick class/race combinations that either use the same to-hit attribute or have the same two-attribute combo of to-hit and kicker, you’ll end up with a competitive class.

    The only thing I’d be wary of is cases where the AC disparity between the two classes is too big. One of my players is looking at a hybrid Avenger/Invoker. On the surface it looks good ’cause they both hit off of Wisdom. But the lowest common denominator for armor is the Avenger’s cloth. So he’d be force to use his Hybrid Talent on either the Avenger’s “Armor of Faith” or on the Invoker’s armour proficiency (or have horrible AC). Which means he can’t pick up any more flavorful talent options from either class (i.e. no Avenger’s Censure).

  9. Philo Pharynx permalink
    March 24, 2010

    @InspectorHound: It depends on your Dex and Int. If you have decent scores, you can go with leather armor proficiency or the new PHB3 feat that gives +2 if you wear cloth or no armor. It’s not quite as good, but it lets you save your hybrid talent for something more important.

    @Everybody: Another point to consider is combat style. This includes your role, but goes a little beyond this. To take InspectorHound’s example – the avenger is very melee focused and very mobile. Some of their abilities encourage being separated from the party without direct support. Invokers are usually ranged attackers, often the front person of the back line. Are you going to focus on one style, or be a switch hitter? Keep your choice in mind when you pick powers and feats.

    Another good example is the paladin/sorceror. These classes compliment each other in pirmary and secondary abilities. By taking close blast sorceror powers, sorcerous blade channeling, and the paladin’s armor proficiency, they can be an effective melee character.

Leave a Reply

Note: You can use basic XHTML in your comments. Your email address will never be published.

Subscribe to this comment feed via RSS