As you know, the business of multi-classing for elves in Holmes is a tad vague and open to interpretation. For the Prentice Rules I went through several variations before I adopted what is essentially the Moldvay model of causing elfin fighting magic-users to need twice fighting man XP per level (although nominally still maintaining the race vs. class distinction). However, to continue this model for the Compleat Rules would mean introducing a whole set of additional 'multi' classes: fighting magic-user, fighting thief, and fighting magic-using thief. I think that overcomplicates things, especially as I intended to apply multi-classing only to elves.
I have therefore decided to develop this further for the Compleat Rules, partially based on a passage from Holmes's fiction where Zereth the dark elf takes off his armour to cast a spell. What it boils down to is this:
All elves are intrinsically magical. They can be fighting men or thieves, but they cast spells exactly as a magic-user of the same level. However, they cannot wear armour while casting spells.
Half-elves follow their upbringing - the player chooses whether to use elfin or human level progression. This cannot be changed after character creation.
I am still debating as to how this affects their XP requirements. Given the armour penalty, I thing doubling the XP per level is a bit much. I may, instead, make it 1.5 times normal.
I think that works and is a reasonably faithful interpretation, but i don't think doubling the XP is too much. Being a fighter mage is a pretty big advantage, and I don't think the no armour penalty is that big a deal, any more than it is for a human MU.
What you might do is offer two XP tables. One for elves who opt to develop thier magic skills at double XP, another for elves who ignore thier magic skills after thier initial 1st level spell and concentrate on being a fighter or a thief for the rest of their career.
Actually, on reflection I agree - doubling XP really only means elves are 1 level behind other races, after all, which is a reasonable trade-off. I did play around with allowing straight fighting men or thief elves, too, but in the end I decided to keep things simple and rule that elves are just intrinsically magical and that's that. That aspect will be developed further in the Adventures in Blueholme (AiB) which will build up a game world background over time.
Zenopus's idea about non-combat spells is interesting and something I might elaborate on in the referee advice section.
Post by roaktheunknowable on Apr 29, 2015 8:28:51 GMT -6
Hey there! I think the double xp is about right as well. I like that you are keeping the removing/ not wearing armor to cast spells in the rules as I always thought that was a very Holmes thing to do. I would keep that as well if I ever ran a Holmes campaign myself. Looking forward to this! Cheers
Post by roaktheunknowable on Apr 30, 2015 20:57:18 GMT -6
Sounds like the beginnings of a rockum-sockum bar fight between said stoned Golem and an animated Idol of Dagon. Watch the Pay Per Veiw at the Green Dragon Inn for only a 100 gpc's. Just pay the man named Murray. Can't miss 'em! He's the one in the pointy hat! Cheers