The hybrid rules made it through the first round of playtesting, and got a major overhaul as a result. I was a pretty big fan of the rules when they were first introduced. While I still think 3E had the most innovative Multiclass rules, hybrid characters are a vast improvement over the limited multiclass rules currently in 4E.
So what has been changed? First, a few of the numbers were tweaked. For example, the hybrid fighter now gets 7.5 hp at first level instead of 7. Any fractions are dropped when the results are added together. This is a minor change, but probably a helpful for those fighter/paladin type combos.
Another change is that the Hybrid Talent feat has been more narrowly focused. In the first iteration of the hybrid rules the Hybrid Talent feat simply allowed you to pick-up a class feature which you did not already have. The new version only allows you to pick up the hybrid talents specified for the class under the hybrid version of the class. This seems like a necessary change to prevent the hybrid classes from outshining the normal versions of the class.
A new addition is the concept of Paragon Hybrids. This is very similar to the Paragon Multiclass rules, with the exception that you gain the Hybrid Talent feat for free at 11th level. Honestly, this bonus feat doesn’t compare to the class features and unique powers you will be giving up by not choosing a paragon path. However, it does seem to be a step in the right direction.
In fact, modifying these rules might provide a decent basis for an improved version of Paragon Multiclass. Give character the a hybrid version of a class feature for class they are multiclassed into when they would normally get a paragon path class feature. This would definitely help make Paragon Multiclass a more viable alternative to choosing a Paragon Path.
While these changes are minor, I do feel that they are improvements over the original version of the hybrid rules. I expect we will see more tweaking as this version continues to churn through playtesting.
Of course, I would be remiss if I didn’t mention that hybrid versions of all character classes from the PHB I & II are now available. If you ever wanted to try an Avenger/Invoker or Druid/Shaman, now is your chance!