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  1. - Top - End - #1
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    PaladinGuy

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    Default (4e) Char Concept Help: Defender/Swordmage

    Alright. I have run into a bit of an issue that, while I can solve it myself, still requires me to think heavily.

    A friend of mine will be DMing a small game for myself and two other friends. The party will essentially be a defender, a leader, and a striker/controller to be able to deal with multiple dangerous situations.

    The world is fluffed so that certain things are highly rare, and one of those things is the swordmage. Rather than play a straight swordmage, I would very much like to have a character who is multiclassed/hybridized to it for fluff reasons (and I have a lot of fluffe for any of the below concepts.

    Essentially, I am trying to create a defender who is partially a swordmage, but his main class is something else. Here are my current thoughts. I am leaving out the fluff behind each concept because it is enormously long and you would get bored.

    Fighter/Swordmage Hybrid: Don’t really want to try this, as the fighter hybrid powers actually kind of nerf the ability of a fighter to work with the powers of another class (IE, it doesn’t anymore), which is both understandable and really irritating.

    Half-Elf Fighter/Swordmage Multiclass feat: I built this one already, and it’s more than serviceable, with a strong boost to its AC once a day. It will be more than a solid defender, and my Dilettante power was thunder wave to mark a huge number of targets. So yeah, this build will work, but the actual swordmagery of it is not really there

    Warden/Swordmage Hybrid: I haven’t had a chance to look at the warden hybrid rules. If a warden can still consistently mark everything around him WITHOUT penalties as a hybrid, then I will almost absolutely go this way, MAD be damned (I have some strong stats rolled anyways…)

    Anyways…would any of these classes work? I’m trying to find something that can effectively mark multiple targets in a turn while still possessing a strong swordmage flavor. Thanks!

  2. - Top - End - #2
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    tcrudisi's Avatar

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    Default Re: (4e) Char Concept Help: Defender/Swordmage

    What level do you start off at? The level really determines how good you can be at marking. For instance, a level 1 Swordmage can only really keep 1 target marked at a time, while a level 21 Swordmage can mark everything in a close burst 10.

  3. - Top - End - #3
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    PaladinGuy

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    Default Re: (4e) Char Concept Help: Defender/Swordmage

    Starting level is 2

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    Mercenary Pen's Avatar

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    Default Re: (4e) Char Concept Help: Defender/Swordmage

    Maybe a Paladin/Swordmage combo. Dunno very much about hybrid play, but I reckon the ability to stick swordmage warding (one handed heavy blade) over the top of plate armour would be pretty deadly... Even more so if you can run a swordmage aegis as well as divine challenge (I'm not sure on either the rulings or the action economy of doing this though).
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    SolithKnightGuy

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    Default Re: (4e) Char Concept Help: Defender/Swordmage

    Another option would be a Con-based Swordmage/Infernal Warlock hybrid.

    If you do this as a human, you can take whichever swordmage at-will you like best, the Infernal Pact at-will so you can Hybrid Talent into Infernal Pact if you want (plus, it does damage to them if you take damage, but you teleport to them and hit them if they attack someone else. It works nicely as a defender), and the Eldritch Strike power, which counts as a melee basic attack. This saves you from having to blow a feat on making melee basic attacks with a good stat.

    Even though you are a Con-based swordmage, it also neat to choose Aegis of Assault, because you can use your Eldritch Strike to make your Aegis of Assault attacks. This makes for nice synergy, which is hard to find in Hybrids. Take Close attacks from Warlock, and any attacks you like from Swordmage. This actually makes you more of a Defender (Controller) than a Defender/Striker, but either way, you are handy to have on a battlefield.

    Statwise, you put your best into Int and Con, something decent into Str (like a 14 or so), and then a positive modifier in either your Wisdom or your Charisma for your Will defense, and dump both the other and Dexterity. Also, select the class Will defense bonus.

  6. - Top - End - #6
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    PaladinGuy

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    Default Re: (4e) Char Concept Help: Defender/Swordmage

    Quote Originally Posted by Mercenary Pen View Post
    Maybe a Paladin/Swordmage combo. Dunno very much about hybrid play, but I reckon the ability to stick swordmage warding (one handed heavy blade) over the top of plate armour would be pretty deadly... Even more so if you can run a swordmage aegis as well as divine challenge (I'm not sure on either the rulings or the action economy of doing this though).
    Assault Swordmage multiclassing into Paladin is pretty strong at 11th level if you want to even out the "Paladin-ness" with your "Swordmage-y-ness." The Champion of Order Paragon Path grants a highly accurate (+4 bonus to attack roll) Strength (your second-best score) Weapon attack that weakens and dazes on a hit, and lasts so long as you keep a mark on your target. What kind of mark only requires a single action to place for the entire encounter? Swordmage Aegis. Now use Divine Challenge and pseudo-mark powers to lock down other enemies while you ignore the dazed and weakened opponent.

    With the Swordmage/Warlock build, note that since Eldritch Strike is a Warlock power, you can use your Warlock's Curse damage on a turn that you use a Swordmage power...

  7. - Top - End - #7
    Ogre in the Playground
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    Default Re: (4e) Char Concept Help: Defender/Swordmage

    All of these have MAD issues, since Swordmage is Int and none of the other recommendations are. The only way I know to get around it is to use bard, which has the Combat Virtuoso (use Cha for all multclass attack powers).

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    PaladinGuy

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    Default Re: (4e) Char Concept Help: Defender/Swordmage

    Quote Originally Posted by DSCrankshaw View Post
    All of these have MAD issues, since Swordmage is Int and none of the other recommendations are. The only way I know to get around it is to use bard, which has the Combat Virtuoso (use Cha for all multclass attack powers).
    Assault Swordmage is Int/Str, which means that MC to Paladin with 13 Cha or to Warden with however much Wisdom isn't very MAD at all. The reverse isn't true, though. The only characters that can easily multiclass into Swordmage on the fly are Wizards, Psions, and Artificers, as well as some builds of Avengers and Invokers.

  9. - Top - End - #9
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    Hashmir's Avatar

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    Default Re: (4e) Char Concept Help: Defender/Swordmage

    Quote Originally Posted by Mando Knight View Post
    Assault Swordmage is Int/Str, which means that MC to Paladin with 13 Cha or to Warden with however much Wisdom isn't very MAD at all. The reverse isn't true, though. The only characters that can easily multiclass into Swordmage on the fly are Wizards, Psions, and Artificers, as well as some builds of Avengers and Invokers.
    What about Taclords? They're INT/STR.

  10. - Top - End - #10
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    PaladinGuy

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    Default Re: (4e) Char Concept Help: Defender/Swordmage

    Quote Originally Posted by Hashmir View Post
    What about Taclords? They're INT/STR.
    Oh, yeah. Them, too. Especially the ones that don't decide to go with a Greatlance. Point is, Int isn't the most widely-used attack stat, so multiclassing into Swordmage usually isn't that great if you're going to do power swap. Swordmages don't have a lot of Must-Get powers anyway, so that might not be a problem...

  11. - Top - End - #11
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    HalflingRangerGuy

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    Default Re: (4e) Char Concept Help: Defender/Swordmage

    I also recommend the warlock mc swordmage since the temp hp from warlock is already very defender-y and you can use a pact blade as a swordmage implement as it is. half elf sounds nice for versatile master at 11. starting 22 pt array would be 10, 16, 18, 8, 13. sid and sad
    My mother says: those on fire should roll.

  12. - Top - End - #12
    Titan in the Playground
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    Default Re: (4e) Char Concept Help: Defender/Swordmage

    I can't help but add that really, I don't see the point of limiting the crunch because of the fluff. It seems kind of backwards.

    Swordmages are rare, fluffwise. Check. If the character is any kind of swordmage, he's an example of this rare type of fighter, fluffwise, reguardless of whether he's hybrid, multiclass or otherwise.

    The only difference between the three is that crunch-wise, he'd ALSO be something else.

    If you want him to be fluff-wise less than a full Swordmage, just RP accordingly. Play down the supernatural side, and make sure he's a high-str style swordmage (Lots of fire related powers, I recall. Easily smudged over by just going the 'burning blade' route, it's partially item related.)

    I don't see a problem, really.
    Still, if you do decided to go hybrid, just note that you only get a slice of class features for either. For example, the noted Paladin/Swordmage would NOT get to stack plate armour with swordmage warding without taking the paragon hybrid thing and taking a second hybrid class feature feat thingy.

  13. - Top - End - #13
    Pixie in the Playground
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    Default Re: (4e) Char Concept Help: Defender/Swordmage

    The other option you should consider is making your character a sword mage primarily, but multiclass heavily in something else. It still gives you swordmage primary defendery abilities, and as he gets higher level he will attach to the swordmage role more and more. Obviously, at lvl 2 you haven't done much multiclassing yet, but it would be worth considering.

    In addition I may ask my DM to take an at-will from a class other than swordmage in order to not make every other attack a sword mage one.
    Character Sheet
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    Gavyn Feld
    Alertness - 2
    Intelligence - 1
    Stamina - 2
    Stealth - 1
    Strength - 1
    Weapon: Longbow - 3

  14. - Top - End - #14
    Ettin in the Playground
     
    Yakk's Avatar

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    Default Re: (4e) Char Concept Help: Defender/Swordmage

    Here is a swordmage|fighter hybrid:

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    ====== Created Using Wizards of the Coast D&D Character Builder ======
    level 2
    Human, Swordmage|Fighter
    Swordmage Aegis (Hybrid): Aegis of Assault
    Hybrid Talent: Fighter Combat Talent
    Fighter Combat Talent: Tempest Technique

    FINAL ABILITY SCORES
    Str 18, Con 11, Dex 10, Int 17, Wis 10, Cha 8.

    STARTING ABILITY SCORES
    Str 16, Con 11, Dex 10, Int 17, Wis 10, Cha 8.


    AC: 19 Fort: 18 Reflex: 17 Will: 14
    HP: 31 Surges: 8 Surge Value: 7

    TRAINED SKILLS
    Insight +6, History +9, Arcana +9, Athletics +10

    UNTRAINED SKILLS
    Acrobatics +1, Bluff, Diplomacy, Dungeoneering +1, Endurance +1, Heal +1, Intimidate, Nature +1, Perception +1, Religion +4, Stealth +1, Streetwise, Thievery +1

    FEATS
    Human: Hybrid Talent
    Level 1: Weapon Proficiency (Double sword)
    Level 2: Focused Expertise (Double sword)

    POWERS
    Bonus At-Will Power: Knockdown Assault
    Hybrid Fighter at-will 1: Dual Strike
    Hybrid Swordmage at-will 1: Sword Burst
    Hybrid encounter 1: Funneling Flurry
    Hybrid daily 1: Villain's Menace
    Hybrid utility 2: Pass Forward

    ITEMS
    Amulet of Protection +1, Adventurer's Kit, Aegis Blade Double sword +1, Rat Killer's Coat Leather Armor +1, Distance Dagger +1
    ====== Copy to Clipboard and Press the Import Button on the Summary Tab ======

    The character isn't seriously min-maxed, but can maintain marks on 3 targets at once on an at-will basis. The only swordmage powers it has is swordburst and the aegis -- at level 3/5 it will pick up some swordmage encounter powers, but I avoided grabbing them until later (to fit the concept).

    Oh, and that Dagger should be a handaxe (it is there just in case you need to fight at range).
    Last edited by Yakk; 2009-11-11 at 11:43 PM.

  15. - Top - End - #15
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    BlueKnightGuy

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    Default Re: (4e) Char Concept Help: Defender/Swordmage

    Quote Originally Posted by ShaggyMarco View Post
    Another option would be a Con-based Swordmage/Infernal Warlock hybrid.

    If you do this as a human, you can take whichever swordmage at-will you like best, the Infernal Pact at-will so you can Hybrid Talent into Infernal Pact if you want (plus, it does damage to them if you take damage, but you teleport to them and hit them if they attack someone else. It works nicely as a defender), and the Eldritch Strike power, which counts as a melee basic attack. This saves you from having to blow a feat on making melee basic attacks with a good stat.

    Even though you are a Con-based swordmage, it also neat to choose Aegis of Assault, because you can use your Eldritch Strike to make your Aegis of Assault attacks. This makes for nice synergy, which is hard to find in Hybrids. Take Close attacks from Warlock, and any attacks you like from Swordmage. This actually makes you more of a Defender (Controller) than a Defender/Striker, but either way, you are handy to have on a battlefield.

    Statwise, you put your best into Int and Con, something decent into Str (like a 14 or so), and then a positive modifier in either your Wisdom or your Charisma for your Will defense, and dump both the other and Dexterity. Also, select the class Will defense bonus.
    I'm behind this if only because its the hybrid concept I stumbled across as soon as the article about hybrids was released. I went with Aegis of Shielding and Hybrid Talent Infernal Pact, has a good mix of range and melee and you can add you Curse damage to your melee basic attack. I went with Aegis of Shielding purely for the Con synergy, this was before Ensarement was out.

  16. - Top - End - #16
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    Kurald Galain's Avatar

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    Default Re: (4e) Char Concept Help: Defender/Swordmage

    Quote Originally Posted by AtwasAwamps View Post
    Anyways…would any of these classes work?
    In this combination, probably not: you have a mismatch in the ability scores that your powers key off.

    I’m trying to find something that can effectively mark multiple targets in a turn while still possessing a strong swordmage flavor. Thanks!
    Several low-level items from AV2 or the most recent dragon magazine let you do that, does that help?

    Otherwise, I would simply take warden multiclass, and ignore every warden effect except for the once-per-encounter multimark you get.
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