[RPG] What are the consequences of giving an ASI or feat every 4 character levels instead of every 4 class levels


I'm trying to figure out why Dungeons & Dragons 5th edition designers decided that ASI or feats would be given every 4 class levels and not every 4 character levels.

If I allowed my players to get an ASI or feat at character levels 4, 8, 12, 16 and 19, how would the game balance be concretely impacted? How could the players abuse this?

The peculiarities of some classes such as the fighter and the rogue would be kept: a rogue would still gain an ASI at rogue level 10 and a fighter at fighter levels 6 and 14.

Best Answer

It tips balance towards multiclassing

Delaying the ASI or feat bonus is one of the detriments of multiclassing. It balances out the benefits of multiclassing.

Giving ASI or feat for every 4 total levels incentivises multiclassing, and steps on the toes of the fighter class that gets an extra ASI at level 6.

Multiclass Comparison

In the proposed system, consider something simple and melee oriented such as a level 4 fighter. Compare to a fighter 2 barbarian 2 and fighter 2 barbarian 1 rogue 1.

The system you propose obviates the class feature at level 4.

  • The fighter 4 alone will have features from 3 levels, plus one ASI.
  • The fighter 2 barbarian 2 will have features from 4 levels plus one ASI.
  • The fighter 2 barbarian 1 rogue 1 will have features from 4 levels plus one ASI.

This allows gaining features without sacrificing the cost of ASI or feats. Using the standard rules, only the fighter level 4 would have an ASI.