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  1. - Top - End - #571
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    zinycor's Avatar

    Join Date
    Dec 2013

    Default Re: An Eclectic Collection of Fun and Effective Builds

    Quote Originally Posted by LudicSavant View Post
    Nets in 5e are weird. Like, really weird. So the builds that maximize their use are also weird. Like there is no good way that I know of to make an iconic Retiarius (e.g. net-and-trident fighter). You instead end up with this weird sort of... melee hand crossbow Rogue. Like I said, weird.

    So nets have a few things going on.

    One is that they take your entire action to use, so Extra Attacks become irrelevant -- which means they're not exactly ideal for a class like Fighter where the entire point is having a bunch of attacks and you probably could have used the same action to prone/grapple someone or something.

    Another is that they have a (non-Disadvantage) range of 5 feet. But are a Ranged weapon, which means they have Disadvantage if you're within 5 feet of an enemy. In order to deal with this you need to have Crossbow Expert (so that melee range doesn't confer Disadvantage) or Sharpshooter (so that the 10-15 foot range doesn't confer Disadvantage).

    So what you can do is something like, say, take Crossbow Expert, throw a net, then Sneak Attack with your hand crossbow as a bonus action (with Advantage if they net succeeded). Like this.

    Edit: Hmm, I guess there is one way to sort of do nets with a Fighter. An Eldritch Knight could use War Magic to use Booming Blade, then use their bonus action to Net someone.
    I like it, kinda of a kidnapper rogue xD
    Last son of the Lu-Ching dynasty

    thog is the champion, thog's friends! and thog keeps on fighting to the end!

  2. - Top - End - #572
    Halfling in the Playground
    Join Date
    Apr 2020

    Default Re: An Eclectic Collection of Fun and Effective Builds

    Quote Originally Posted by LudicSavant View Post
    Not at all! Go for it




    Sure. Hobgoblin first.

    Build 7: Hobgoblin Iron Wizard
    Spoiler
    Show
    All the fun of a straight-classed God Wizard with no delays whatsoever to spell learning progression, except without the squish.

    In fact, you are so non-squishy that your durability outclasses many martials, all while having the devastating arcane powers that come with an undiluted Wizard 20 progression.


    Hobgoblin Abjurer 1-20
    Stats (Point Buy): 16 Int / 17 Con / 15 Dex (You can lower Con to 15 and/or Dex to 13 if you want more in other stats)
    ASIs: Moderately Armored (+1 Dex), 20 Int, Resilient (+1 Con), Lucky

    Spoiler: Race Choice
    Show
    Our race is Hobgoblin, for a few reasons.

    First, it has ideal stat modifiers for point buy builds. +1 Int means you don't need to take any more ASIs than necessary to max Int. +2 Con means that you can start with 17 and have it get bumped up to 18 when you take that one half-feat every Wizard loves, Resilient (Con).

    Second, your access to light armor means you can take the Moderately Armored half-feat to bump your Dex and give you Half-Plate and a Shield. This gives you a base 19 AC (plus the ability to benefit from magic shields and armor). And as a Wizard, you have lots of abilities that act as force multipliers on your base AC, which means that ultimately you end up harder to kill than many martials. While other races grant Medium Armor proficiency outright, they don't give you that important shield proficiency.

    Third, Saving Face is just amazing. It lets you get a +5 bonus to a saving throw (or other type of d20 roll) after seeing the roll, once per short rest. And while getting the full bonus requires you to have 5 allies visible within 30 feet of you, this requirement is very easy to meet, since it totally counts familiars and skeletons and paladin mounts and the like. Compare to getting the ever-popular Lucky feat.

    Those are the main reasons. Some icing on the top is that you get a better weapon proficiency (relevant at tier 1), and that your proficiency in light armor means that you don't need to spend any precious level 1 spell slots on Mage Armor at levels 1-3, and that you get Darkvision.


    Being an Abjurer means that you have higher HP than a Fighter (your Ward makes up the difference in HD size and then some), and the 18 Con puts you even further ahead of the usual HP curve. And you have the base AC of a Dex+Shield Fighter. And you know how people keep saying that EKs are the tankiest Fighters because of their defensive spells? Well you get all of those defensive spells (Shield/Absorb Elements/etc), plus lots more slots for them, plus even better defensive spells (via higher level slots). And Save Face + Lucky + Resilient + Spell Resistance + defensive spells means your saves are pretty ironclad across the board.

    Later on, you get Spell Resistance (which gives you Advantage on saves against spells, and resistance against damage from spells), which means you are basically as durable against spells as a Yuan-Ti Ancients Paladin with a boosted Counterspell.

    Your Concentration is very difficult to break when it counts, too. First the enemy has to succeed at hitting you at all (getting past your control effects, then hitting your high AC through all your defensive abilities, etc), then you can reduce the damage you take with your ward and/or Endure Elements or Spell Resistance for a lower DC save, and then you've got up to a +15 / Lucky Constitution saving throw.

    Your martial weapon proficiency only really matters at tier 1, when firing crossbows is better than cantrips. Unlike the other Wizards, you'll be firing a Heavy instead of a Light one for a little extra damage. If you want, you can even mix things up with Booming Blade in melee (in which case, see variants for War Caster). Another, more important tier 1 benefit is that you'll be spending a lot less spell slots on defensive spells. You only need to use Shield AFTER something misses you, which will happen considerably less. And you only need to use Mage Armor if you don't already have armor. This means you'll have noticeably more spell slots in the early game.

    The real upshot is that you get these benefits while having a true uninterrupted spell progression. You get your Fireballs and Hypnotic Patterns at level 5, not 6. You get your Contingency at level 11, not 12. And so forth. Basically your plan is to do standard God Wizard things about as well as any other God Wizard, while just happening to be Made of Iron: surviving more damage than the party Fighter and having ironclad Concentration.

    Spoiler: Some important notes on Abjuration spells
    Show

    I'm not going to reproduce an entire Wizard guide here (perhaps something for later...), but I will comment on some of the notable Abjuration spells, just so you have a handy reference for stuff that recharges your ward and is worth picking up with Abjuration Savant.

    Globe of Invulnerability: The obvious use is keeping your enemy's spells out. A non-obvious, creative, and powerful use is using it to "Sculpt" spells around your globe. Note that you can target places within the globe, people inside are just excluded from the effects! Have fun with that.

    Like that one? Then you'll go nuts for the next one: If you (or your party members) cast a spell within a Globe of Invulnerability, you can't be counterspelled (even by an upcast counterspell!) (Yes, really!)

    Shield: So let me tell you a bit about armor class. It has increasing returns. As in, the graph for your effective hit points relative to the enemy's chance of hitting you looks like this:

    Note: Graph necessarily doesn't take into account crit chances, since how much that impacts the curve is monster-specific. But the curve retains its general shape.

    So this spell was already great mitigation when it was being used by standard 15-or-so AC Wizards. For you, it's much better. Large enemy groups especially have almost no chance of hitting you, which is a big deal because for many builds those guys are incredibly deadly throughout the game.

    Not only will you be considerably harder to hit when Shield is activated, it's also better for you because you'll end up spending less spell slots on it than a typical Wizard, since people will be hitting your base AC less often.

    When you reach tier 4, you can and probably should take this as one of your Spell Mastery choices, allowing you to boost your AC at will as well as recharge your ward to full quickly.

    Absorb Elements: Fantastic mitigation that becomes even better now that it regenerates your ward. Yeah, it only regains 2, but look at it this way: the Life Domain's perk only restores 3 extra. Every bit counts.

    Combined with your good saving throws on demand (via Saving Face, and later Resilient and Lucky), you can cut down tons of damage from save effects.

    Mage Armor: This is an essential pick for other Wizards. For you, it's entirely unnecessary, which means you basically have an extra spell slot compared to other Wizards. Very noticeable at early levels.

    Alarm (Ritual): A ritual that converts downtime into ward points. And makes your downtime safer to boot. And yes, this is the only Abjuration ritual on the Wizard spell list.

    Banishment: One of the best single target lockdown spells just so happens to be Abjuration.

    Counterspell: The Abjurer's Counterspell is the best version of Counterspell, and it restores your ward too.

    Protection from Good and Evil: This is a situational spell that competes for your Concentration, but very good at the situations it excels at. And "aberrations, celestials, elementals, fey, fiends, and undead" isn't exactly a small chunk of the Monster Manuals as it is!

    Full on immunity to fear, charms (which tons of effects in 5e key off of, way more than people seem to generally realize, from Dominate to Hypnotic Pattern to harpy songs), and possession. Disadvantage on all of the monster's attacks. First level spell slot. This is fantastic value if you're fighting the right creature types.

    For comparison, Blur is a second level Concentration spell that only does the "disadvantage on attacks" part, but is self-only and has a tenth of the duration and monsters that don't rely on sight (or can see through illusions) can get around it.


    Edit (more commentary!) Another cool thing about the Abjurer I should mention is that it's tougher to kill your otherwise squishy adds. Your familiar might actually survive a hit thanks to your Ward reaction, so things like Dragon's Breath become more reliable. It also makes it even easier to get the full bonus from Saving Face.

    Even more importantly, later on your Simulacrum (which normally has half-hit points, and those hit points are costly to restore) has a regenerating, projectable ward of their own. To get an idea of the difference this makes in durability, a 14 Con Wizard at L13 has 80 hit points, and their Simulacrum has just 40. Your Simulacrum has 46 base hit points, plus a 31 hit point Ward, plus you can project your own ward in order to shield them... for a total of 108 hit points before your Simulacrum goes down. And that's before we count them generating temp HP with spell slots, or regenerating wards (way easier than regenerating Simulacrum hit points), and so forth.

    Oh, and of course, that 62 hit points worth of Ward between the two of you can be projected to any of your allies.

    By level 20, it's 90 hit points of ward between the two of you, and you can regenerate it at-will using Spell Mastery: Shield. And you can just project that onto anyone in the party as needed. In the mid-high level Abjurer's world, everyone is iron.

    Variants/Notes:
    • You can pick any Wizard subclass with a Moderately Armored Hobgoblin, really. Abjurer just makes the comparison to the Fighter's durability that much more straightforward. Anyways, want to make, say, a War Wizard who gets +9 or more to all saves at level 2? You can do that.
    • I would always take Moderately Armored first and Lucky last, but other than that you can take the ASIs in whatever order depending on your priorities and playstyle.
    • The Svirfneblin Abjurer is another option that often gets brought up; it'll have more ward regeneration but ultimately can be burst down more easily than the Hobgoblin in many situations. You'd basically replace Moderately Armored with the Svirfneblin magic feat that lets them cast Nondetection (an Abjuration spell that recharges your ward) at will. Note that the Svirf will have only a 25 ft movement speed, lower Constitution, Gnome Cunning won't stack with Spell Resistance, and the ward regeneration advantage largely becomes irrelevant in tier 4 (when they get Spell Mastery).
    • You can lower the Dex to 14 with no loss in AC; it just benefits your Dex saves, Initiative, and low level resourceless options.
    • If you roll stats, you might have extra slots for feats. In which case, here are some good ones:
      1. War Caster for even better Concentration saves (the main reason to take it), and the ability to Booming Blade or Banish people who try to walk away from you when they realize they can't hit you through Blur/Shield or whatever.
      2. Alert, for the same reason it's good for everyone.


    Let me know your thoughts!
    Half our players couldn't make it tonight, so the GM decided to run a one-shot for the two players that showed. I wrote up and ran the above.
    A) It was a blast to run.
    B) He was a TOTAL monster. I was tanking for the druid.

    At one point, the GM rolls for his baddies to hit me. He says, "Alright, all three of them hit." I respond with, "Shield. That puts my AC up to 24 for the round." And just a small part of his soul died. They all missed.

    Thanks.


    EDIT: I had a black owl as a familiar. Named him Sharpton.
    Last edited by Stattick; 2020-09-14 at 03:58 AM.

  3. - Top - End - #573
    Dwarf in the Playground
    Join Date
    Jun 2018
    Location
    Seattle
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: An Eclectic Collection of Fun and Effective Builds

    Quote Originally Posted by Skylivedk View Post
    Will you write the entire build out?

    Grapple Bard: My Shield is here for you


    Ancestry
    • Human - Variant: This build wants feats, and this ancestry allows us to get those feats with minimal delay.


    Starting Stats
    • Str - 16: (main stat)
    • Dex - 8: Dump Stat
    • Con - 16: (secondary stat)
    • Int - 8: Dump stat
    • Wis - 10: Good save and we have the points
    • Cha - 14: Needed for multiclassing plus grants us more uses of bardic inspiration and better spell saves


    Level Split
    • 1 Fighter: Armor, weapon, and con save proficiency alongside Defense Fighting Style.
    • 6 Bard - Lore: Grants us Expertise, tons of skill proficiency, a full spell list, and the vital Spike Growth/Find Steed.
    • 3 Warlock - Hexblade/Pact of the Chain: Hexblade's Curse hugely increases our damage versus a single target. The levels also grant useful spells like Booming Blade, Armor of Agathys, and Find Familiar. We also get bonus health from the Fiendish Vigor invocation and any healing we receive is maximised via Gift of the Ever-Living Ones.
    • 10 Bard - Lore: Further improves our mount and gives us access to powerhouse spells like Simulacrum.


    ASI
    • Level 1 (ancestry) - Warcaster: This cannot lose their concentration or all their damage goes away.
    • Level 5 - Mounted Combatant: Keeps our mount safe while it gives us the movement to do tons of damage.
    • Level 12 - Shield Master: Lets us knock anyone we grapple prone
    • Level 16/20 - Strength +2: Max out our main stat and our athletics check


    Items
    While not needed for any of my builds, these are a few magical items that I believe help more than most. I am not including any of these items in my damage calculations.
    • +X Armor: More AC is always good.
    • Animated Shield: This build normally has to choose between a higher AC and the ability to grapple two enemies at once.
    • Boots of Speed: Lets us provide our own movement if our mount is dead or unavailable.
    • Horseshoes of Speed: Faster mount means more damage.
    • Potion of Growth: Lets us increase our size so we can grapple huge creatures. For max effectiveness we'll need one for our mount as well.


    Spoiler: Build Details
    Show
    Level/Features/Spells Defense Offense
    • Level 1
      • 1 Fighter
    • Features
      • Feat(Ancestry): War Caster
      • Fighting Style
        • Defense
      • Second Wind

    • AC
      • Chain Mail: 16
      • Shield: +2
      • Defensive Fighting Style: +1
      • Total: 19
    • HP
      • Hit Dice d10: +10
      • Con 16: +3
      • Total: 13
    • Saves
      • Str 16
        • Stat 16: +3
        • Prof: +2
        • Total: +5
      • Dex 8: -1
      • Con 16
        • Stat 16: +3
        • Prof: +2
        • Total: +5
      • Int 8: -1
      • Wis 10: +0
      • Cha 14: +2


    • Attack Bonus
      • Str
        • Stat 16: +3
        • Prof: +2
        • Total: +5
      • Damage Sources
        • Greatsword: 2d6
        • Str 16: +3
        • Total: 2d6 + 3
      • Average DPR vs
        • AC
          • 10: 8.35
          • 15: 5.85
          • 20: 3.35
          • 25: 0.85

    • Level 2
      • 1 Bard
    • Features
      • Bardic Inspiration
    • Spells
      • Cantrip
        • Light
        • Thunderclap
      • 1st
        • Comprehend Languages
        • Faerie Fire
        • Healing Word
        • Identify
    • AC
      • No Change
    • HP
      • Previous Level: 13
      • Hit Dice d8: + 5
      • Con 16: +3
      • Total: 21
    • Saves
      • No Change


    • Attack Bonus
      • No Change
    • Damage Sources
      • No Change
    • Average DPR vs
      • AC
        • No Change

    • Level 3
      • 2 Bard
    • Features
      • Jack of All Trades
      • Song of Rest (d6)
    • Spells
      • 1st
        • Longstrider
    • AC
      • No Change
    • HP
      • Previous Level: 21
      • Hit Dice d8: + 5
      • Con 16: +3
      • Total: 29
    • Saves
      • No Change


    • Attack Bonus
      • No Change
    • Damage Sources
      • No Change
    • Average DPR vs
      • AC
        • No Change

    • Level 4
      • 3 Bard
    • Features
      • Bard College
        • College of Lore
          • Bonus Profiencies
          • Cutting Words
      • Expertise
        • Athletics
        • Perception
    • Spells
      • 2nd
        • Cloud of Daggers
        • Shatter replacing Faerie Fire
    • AC
      • No Change
    • HP
      • Previous Level: 29
      • Hit Dice d8: + 5
      • Con 16: +3
      • Total: 37
    • Saves
      • No Change


    • Attack Bonus
      • Grapple
        • Stat 16: +3
        • Expertise: +4
        • Cutting Words: 1d6 (subtracted from target's roll)
        • Total: 7 + 1d6
    • Damage Sources
      • 2x Cloud of Daggers: 8d4
    • Average DPR vs
      • Grapple Save
        • -1: 20.00
        • +0: 19.00
        • +1: 18.00
        • +2: 17.00

    • Level 5
      • 4 Bard
    • Features
      • ASI: Mounted Combatant
    • Spells
      • Cantrip
        • Blade Ward
      • 2nd
        • See Invisibility
    • AC
      • Plate Mail: 18
      • Shield: +2
      • Defensive Fighting Style: +1
      • Total: 21
    • HP
      • Previous Level: 37
      • Hit Dice d8: + 5
      • Con 16: +3
      • Total: 45
    • Saves
      • Str 16
        • Stat 16: +3
        • Prof: +3
        • Total: +6
      • Dex 8: -1
      • Con 16
        • Stat 16: +3
        • Prof: +3
        • Total: +6
      • Int 8: -1
      • Wis 10: +0
      • Cha 14: +2

    • Attack Bonus
      • Grapple
        • Stat 16: +3
        • Expertise: +6
        • Cutting Words: 1d6 (subtracted from target's roll)
        • Total: 9 + 1d6
    • Damage Sources
      • 2x Cloud of Daggers: 8d4
    • Average DPR vs
      • Grapple Save
        • -1: 20.00
        • +0: 20.00
        • +1: 20.00
        • +2: 19.00
    • Level 6
      • 5 Bard
    • Features
      • Bardic Inspiration: d8
      • Font of Inspiration
    • Spells
      • 3rd
        • Catnap
    • AC
      • No Change
    • HP
      • Previous Level: 45
      • Hit Dice d8: + 5
      • Con 16: +3
      • Total: 53
    • Saves
      • No Change

    • Attack Bonus
      • Grapple
        • Stat 16: +3
        • Expertise: +6
        • Cutting Words: 1d8 (subtracted from target's roll)
        • Total: 9 + 1d8
    • Damage Sources
      • 2x Cloud of Daggers (3rd level): 12d4
    • Average DPR vs
      • Grapple Save
        • -1: 30.00
        • +0: 30.00
        • +1: 30.00
        • +2: 30.00
    • Level 7
      • 6 Bard
    • Features
      • Countercharm
      • Additional Magical Secrets
        • Find Steed
        • Spike Growth
    • Spells
      • 3rd
        • Hypnotic Pattern
    • AC
      • No Change
    • HP
      • Previous Level: 53
      • Hit Dice d8: + 5
      • Con 16: +3
      • Total: 61
    • Saves
      • No Change

    • Attack Bonus
      • Grapple
        • Stat 16: +3
        • Expertise: +6
        • Cutting Words: 1d8 (subtracted from target's roll)
        • Total: 9 + 1d8
    • Damage Sources
      • 2x Warhorse Speed: 120ft
      • 2x Longstrider: +20ft
      • Spike Growth: 2d4 per 5ft
      • Total: 56d4
    • Average DPR vs
      • Grapple Save
        • -1: 140.00
        • +0: 140.00
        • +1: 140.00
        • +2: 140.00
    • Level 8
      • 1 Warlock
    • Features
      • Otherworldly Patron
        • Hexblade
          • Hexblade's Curse
          • Hex Warrior
    • Spells
      • Cantrip
        • Eldritch Blast
        • Mage Hand
      • 1st
        • Armor of Agathys
        • Shield
    • AC
      • No Change
    • HP
      • Previous Level: 61
      • Hit Dice d8: + 5
      • Con 16: +3
      • Total: 69
    • Saves
      • No Change
    • Attack Bonus
      • Grapple
        • Stat 16: +3
        • Expertise: +6
        • Cutting Words: 1d8 (subtracted from target's roll)
        • Total: 9 + 1d8
    • Damage Sources
      • 2x Warhorse Speed: 120ft
      • 2x Longstrider: +20ft
      • x28 Spike Growth: 2d4 per 5ft
      • x28 Hexblade's Curse: 84
      • Total: 56d4 + 84
    • Average DPR vs
      • Grapple Save
        • -1: 224.00
        • +0: 224.00
        • +1: 224.00
        • +2: 224.00
    • Level 9
      • 2 Warlock
    • Features
      • Eldritch Invocations
        • Fiendish Vigor
        • Devil's Sight
    • Spells
      • 1st
        • Expeditious Retreat
    • AC
      • No Change
    • HP
      • Previous Level: 69
      • Hit Dice d8: + 5
      • Con 16: +3
      • Fiendish Vigor: 8 temp
      • Total: 77 + 8
    • Saves
      • Str 16
        • Stat 16: +3
        • Prof: +4
        • Total: +7
      • Dex 8: -1
      • Con 16
        • Stat 16: +3
        • Prof: +4
        • Total: +7
      • Int 8: -1
      • Wis 10: +0
      • Cha 14: +2
    • Attack Bonus
      • Grapple
        • Stat 16: +3
        • Expertise: +8
        • Cutting Words: 1d8 (subtracted from target's roll)
        • Total: 11 + 1d8
    • Damage Sources
      • 2x Warhorse Speed: 120ft
      • 2x Longstrider: +20ft
      • x28 Spike Growth: 2d4 per 5ft
      • x28 Hexblade's Curse: 112
      • Total: 56d4 + 112
    • Average DPR vs
      • Grapple Save
        • -1: 252.00
        • +0: 252.00
        • +1: 252.00
        • +2: 252.00
    • Level 10
      • 3 Warlock
    • Features
      • Pact Boon
        • Pact of the Chain
      • Eldritch Invocation
        • Gift of the Everliving Ones replaces Devil Sight
    • Spells
      • 2nd
        • Misty step replaces Hex
        • Mirror Image
    • AC
      • No Change
    • HP
      • Previous Level: 77
      • Hit Dice d8: + 5
      • Con 16: +3
      • Fiendish Vigor: 8 tem
      • Total: 85 + 8
    • Saves
      • No Change
    • Attack Bonus
      • Grapple
        • Stat 16: +3
        • Expertise: +8
        • Cutting Words: 1d8 (subtracted from target's roll)
        • Advantage from Find Familiar
        • Total: 11 + 1d8 with advantage
    • Damage Sources
      • 2x Warhorse Speed: 120ft
      • 2x Longstrider: +20ft
      • x28 Spike Growth: 2d4 per 5ft
      • x28 Hexblade's Curse: 112
      • Total: 56d4 + 112
    • Average DPR vs
      • Grapple Save
        • -1: 252.00
        • +0: 252.00
        • +1: 252.00
        • +9: 239.40
    • Level 11
      • 7 Bard
    • Spells
      • 4th
        • Freedom of Movement
        • Polymorph replaces Cloud of Daggers
    • AC
      • No Change
    • HP
      • Previous Level: 85
      • Hit Dice d8: + 5
      • Con 16: +3
      • Fiendish Vigor: 8 tem
      • Total: 93 + 8
    • Saves
      • No Change
    • Attack Bonus
      • Grapple
        • No Change
    • Damage Sources
      • No Change
    • Average DPR vs
      • Grapple Save
        • No Change
    • Level 12
      • 8 Bard
    • Features
      • ASI: Shield Master
    • Spells
      • 4th
        • Dimension Door
    • AC
      • No Change
    • HP
      • Previous Level: 93
      • Hit Dice d8: + 5
      • Con 16: +3
      • Fiendish Vigor: 8 tem
      • Total: 101 + 8
    • Saves
      • No Change
    • Attack Bonus
      • Grapple
        • No Change
    • Damage Sources
      • No Change
    • Average DPR vs
      • Grapple Save
        • No Change
    • Level 13
      • 9 Bard
    • Features
      • Song of Rest (d8)
    • Spells
      • 5th
        • Greater Restoration
    • AC
      • No Change
    • HP
      • Previous Level: 101
      • Hit Dice d8: + 5
      • Con 16: +3
      • Fiendish Vigor: 8 temp
      • Total: 109 + 8
    • Saves
      • Str 16
        • Stat 16: +3
        • Prof: +5
        • Total: +8
      • Dex 8: -1
      • Con 16
        • Stat 16: +3
        • Prof: +5
        • Total: +8
      • Int 8: -1
      • Wis 10: +0
      • Cha 14: +2
    • Attack Bonus
      • Grapple
        • Stat 16: +3
        • Expertise: +10
        • Cutting Words: 1d8 (subtracted from target's roll)
        • Advantage from Find Familiar
        • Total: 13 + 1d8 with advantage
    • Damage Sources
      • 2x Warhorse Speed: 120ft
      • 2x Longstrider: +20ft
      • x28 Spike Growth: 2d4 per 5ft
      • x28 Hexblade's Curse: 140
      • Total: 56d4 + 140
    • Average DPR vs
      • Grapple Save
        • -1: 280.00
        • +0: 280.00
        • +1: 280.00
        • +11: 266.00
    • Level 14
      • 10 Bard
    • Features
      • Bardic Inspiration (d10)
      • Magical Secrets
        • Aid
        • Find Greater Steed
    • Spells
      • Cantrips
        • Message

    • AC
      • No Change
    • HP
      • Previous Level: 109
      • Hit Dice d8: + 5
      • Con 16: +3
      • Fiendish Vigor: 8 temp
      • Aid(5th level): +20
      • Total: 117 + 28
    • Saves
      • No Change
    • Attack Bonus
      • Grapple
        • Stat 16: +3
        • Expertise: +10
        • Cutting Words: 1d10 (subtracted from target's roll)
        • Advantage from Find Familiar
        • Total: 13 + 1d10 with advantage
    • Damage Sources
      • 2x Pegasus Speed: 180ft
      • 2x Longstrider: +20ft
      • x40 Spike Growth: 2d4 per 5ft
      • x28 Hexblade's Curse: 200
      • Total: 80d4 + 200
    • Average DPR vs
      • Grapple Save
        • -1: 400.00
        • +0: 400.00
        • +1: 400.00
        • +12: 380.00
    • Level 15
      • 11 Bard
    • Spells
      • 6th
        • True Seeing
    • AC
      • No Change
    • HP
      • Previous Level: 117
      • Hit Dice d8: + 5
      • Con 16: +3
      • Fiendish Vigor: 8 temp
      • Aid(6th level): +25
      • Total: 125 + 25 + 8
    • Saves
      • No Change
    • Attack Bonus
      • Grapple
        • No Change
    • Damage Sources
      • No Change
    • Average DPR vs
      • Grapple Save
        • No Change
    • Level 16
      • 12 Bard
    • Features
      • ASI: Lucky
    • Spells
      • 6th
        • Programmed Illusion
    • AC
      • No Change
    • HP
      • Previous Level: 125
      • Hit Dice d8: + 5
      • Con 16: +3
      • Fiendish Vigor: 8 temp
      • Aid(6th level): +25
      • Total: 133 + 25 + 8
    • Saves
      • No Change
    • Attack Bonus
      • Grapple
        • No Change
    • Damage Sources
      • No Change
    • Average DPR vs
      • Grapple Save
        • No Change
    • Level 17
      • 13 Bard
    • Features
      • Song of Rest (d10)
    • Spells
      • 7th
        • Force Cage
        • Regenerate replaces programmed Illussion
    • AC
      • No Change
    • HP
      • Previous Level: 125
      • Hit Dice d8: + 5
      • Con 16: +3
      • Fiendish Vigor: 8 temp
      • Aid(7th level): +30
      • Total: 133 + 30 + 8
    • Saves
      • Str 16
        • Stat 16: +3
        • Prof: +6
        • Total: +9
      • Dex 8: -1
      • Con 16
        • Stat 16: +3
        • Prof: +6
        • Total: +9
      • Int 8: -1
      • Wis 10: +0
      • Cha 14: +2
    • Attack Bonus
      • Grapple
        • Stat 16: +3
        • Expertise: +12
        • Cutting Words: 1d10 (subtracted from target's roll)
        • Advantage from Find Familiar
        • Total: 15 + 1d10 with advantage
    • Damage Sources
      • 2x Pegasus Speed: 180ft
      • 2x Longstrider: +20ft
      • x40 Spike Growth: 2d4 per 5ft
      • x28 Hexblade's Curse: 200
      • Total: 80d4 + 200
    • Average DPR vs
      • Grapple Save
        • -1: 400.00
        • +0: 400.00
        • +1: 400.00
        • +14: 380.00
    • Level 18
      • 14 Bard
    • Features
      • Magical Secrets
        • Counterspell
        • Simulacrum
      • Peerless Skill
    • AC
      • No Change
    • HP
      • Previous Level: 133
      • Hit Dice d8: + 5
      • Con 16: +3
      • Fiendish Vigor: 8 temp
      • Aid(7th level): +30
      • Total: 141 + 30 + 8
    • Saves
      • Str 16
        • Stat 16: +3
        • Prof: +6
        • Total: +9
      • Dex 8: -1
      • Con 16
        • Stat 16: +3
        • Prof: +6
        • Total: +9
      • Int 8: -1
      • Wis 10: +0
      • Cha 14: +2
    • Attack Bonus
      • Grapple
        • Stat 16: +3
        • Expertise: +12
        • Peerless Skill: 1d10
        • Advantage from Find Familiar
        • Total: 15 + 1d10 with advantage
    • Damage Sources
      • 2x Pegasus Speed: 180ft
      • 2x Longstrider: +20ft
      • x40 Spike Growth: 2d4 per 5ft
      • x28 Hexblade's Curse: 200
      • Simulacrum: Double Damage if second target available
      • Total: (80d4 + 200) x 2
    • Average DPR vs
      • Grapple Save
        • -1: 800.00
        • +0: 800.00
        • +1: 800.00
        • +14: 760.00
    • Level 19
      • 15 Bard
    • Features
      • Bardic Inspiration (d12)
    • AC
      • No Change
    • HP
      • Previous Level: 141
      • Hit Dice d8: + 5
      • Con 16: +3
      • Fiendish Vigor: 8 temp
      • Aid(8th level): +35
      • Total: 149 + 35 + 8
    • Saves
      • No Change
    • Attack Bonus
      • Grapple
        • Stat 16: +3
        • Expertise: +12
        • Peerless Skill: 1d12
        • Advantage from Find Familiar
        • Total: 15 + 1d12 with advantage
    • Damage Sources
      • 2x Pegasus Speed: 180ft
      • 2x Longstrider: +20ft
      • x40 Spike Growth: 2d4 per 5ft
      • x28 Hexblade's Curse: 200
      • Simulacrum: Double Damage if second target available
      • Total: (80d4 + 200) x 2
    • Average DPR vs
      • Grapple Save
        • -1: 800.00
        • +0: 800.00
        • +1: 800.00
        • +15: 760.00
    • Level 20
      • 16 Bard
    • Features
      • ASI: Resilience (Wisdom)
    • AC
      • No Change
    • HP
      • Previous Level: 149
      • Hit Dice d8: + 5
      • Con 16: +3
      • Fiendish Vigor: 8 temp
      • Aid(8th level): +35
      • Total: 157 + 35 + 8
    • Saves
      • Str 16
        • Stat 16: +3
        • Prof: +6
        • Total: +9
      • Dex 8: -1
      • Con 16
        • Stat 16: +3
        • Prof: +6
        • Total: +9
      • Int 8: -1
      • Wis 10
        • Stat 10: +0
        • Prof: +6
        • Total: +6
      • Cha 14: +2
    • Attack Bonus
      • Grapple
        • Stat 16: +3
        • Expertise: +12
        • Peerless Skill: 1d12
        • Advantage from Find Familiar
        • Total: 15 + 1d12 with advantage
    • Damage Sources
      • 2x Pegasus Speed: 180ft
      • 2x Longstrider: +20ft
      • x40 Spike Growth: 2d4 per 5ft
      • x28 Hexblade's Curse: 200
      • Simulacrum: Double Damage if second target available
      • Total: (80d4 + 200) x 2
    • Average DPR vs
      • Grapple Save
        • -1: 800.00
        • +0: 800.00
        • +1: 800.00
        • +15: 760.00
    Last edited by PancakeMaster80; 2020-09-15 at 12:24 PM.

  4. - Top - End - #574
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    Zombie

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    Default Re: An Eclectic Collection of Fun and Effective Builds

    Quote Originally Posted by LudicSavant View Post
    Nets in 5e are weird. Like, really weird. So the builds that maximize their use are also weird. Like there is no good way that I know of to make an iconic Retiarius (e.g. net-and-trident fighter). You instead end up with this weird sort of... melee hand crossbow Rogue. Like I said, weird.

    So nets have a few things going on.

    One is that they take your entire action to use, so Extra Attacks become irrelevant -- which means they're not exactly ideal for a class like Fighter where the entire point is having a bunch of attacks and you probably could have used the same action to prone/grapple someone or something.

    Another is that they have a (non-Disadvantage) range of 5 feet. But are a Ranged weapon, which means they have Disadvantage if you're within 5 feet of an enemy. In order to deal with this you need to have Crossbow Expert (so that melee range doesn't confer Disadvantage) or Sharpshooter (so that the 10-15 foot range doesn't confer Disadvantage).

    So what you can do is something like, say, take Crossbow Expert, throw a net, then Sneak Attack with your hand crossbow as a bonus action (with Advantage if they net succeeded). Like this.

    Edit: Hmm, I guess there is one way to sort of do nets with a Fighter. An Eldritch Knight could use War Magic to use Booming Blade, then use their bonus action to Net someone.

    If you're looking to use nets, you're better off getting access to the web spell and just saying you're throwing a very sticky net.

    Nets really are strange.


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  5. - Top - End - #575
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    Default Re: An Eclectic Collection of Fun and Effective Builds

    Quote Originally Posted by Nod_Hero View Post
    Thank you so much for this. I finally found something "weird enough" to play in our War of the Burning Sky campaign.
    Just wanted to follow up that this build was SO.MUCH.FUN! My Leonin Ancestral Avenger was here... no over there... no over there instead...

    Those Ragesians were confused as all heck.

  6. - Top - End - #576
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    Default Re: An Eclectic Collection of Fun and Effective Builds

    Quote Originally Posted by LudicSavant View Post
    Build 1: Celestial Generalist
    This is a jack of all trades build highlighting the versatility of the Celestial Warlock.
    So with the preview of the Genie Patron, I wanted to highlight that it offers a different spin on the Celestial Generalist.

    You lose:
    1) The healing options, both spells and the Healing Light feature, which are substantial losses
    2) A couple cantrips (Light and Sacred Flame - not critical losses)
    3) The other options from the Celestial spell list, including Flaming Sphere, Lesser and Greater Restoration, Revivify as potentially very useful standouts
    4) The temporary hit points from Celestial Resilience
    5) The Cheat Death feature from Searing Vengeance

    If you pick a Dao patron (which I think is the best combo for this), you get:
    1) To combine Spike Growth with Repelling Blast for ridiculous damage combos with the proper setup (and if we want to get really dumb, also take Grasp of Hadar to push, then pull, then push again on a single target once Eldritch Blast hits three times)
    2) Bludgeoning resist for those times you're working as a tank
    3) Limited Wish, which doesn't come until late, but would allow you to poach, for example, Tenser's Transformation if you REALLY want to flip into tank mode (although note Shillelagh still only works for 1 minute and can't be recast, so loses substantial effectiveness after 1 minute... but I would note that Tenser's seems better for a build like this than it does for a Wizard, even a Bladesinger, due to your limited spell slots)
    4) Once per turn add proficiency bonus to damage, which means it works whether you're at range with Eldritch Blast or in melee with Booming Blade; i.e. it doesn't overly incentivize you to maximize the number of attacks you make per turn
    5) Once per day safe short rests that only take 10 minutes, so you get a quick recharge on your spells
    6) Every other thing the Celestial Generalist does
    7) Thematic consistency for being able to empower a beating stick and do extra bludgeoning damage and causing explosions when badguys step off the glyph that appeared in the stone beneath them after you bonked them on the noggin (i.e. reflavoring booming blade)
    8) 30 ft. flying speed not using Concentration for 10 minutes, ProficiencyBonus times per day, activated as a bonus action
    9) Oh and Wish as a 9th level Mystic Arcanum

    So you do lose some of the meaningful things that make the Celestial Generalist good at everything characters do in the game. However, in exchange you gain further skill in some of the most important other functions of the build - tanking and dealing damage. And at high levels, it's hard to overstate the value of flexible options like Limited Wish and Wish.

    I think it represents a meaningful alternate choice for the build, particularly if you're working around a group that already has healing pretty well covered.
    Last edited by Evaar; 2020-09-18 at 05:06 PM.

  7. - Top - End - #577
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    NecromancerGuy

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    Default Re: An Eclectic Collection of Fun and Effective Builds

    So with some of the stuff coming in Tasha's, I thought it might be fun to build a Str/Con Vedalken Echo Knight Grappler with Unarmed Fighting Style, taking advantage of the fact that the character essentially has four hands to grapple with (Echo), advantage on mental saves (vedalken), an athletics bonus that stacks with expertise and advantage (vedalken), and the ability to hold breath longer than most opponents, making drowning an option (vedalken).

    This brought me to looking at the Ancestral Avenger as a template to start from. You mention that the build is good at grappling, limited only by how many hands you have free. But the AA has its hands full of Maul, if I've read correctly. And that got me to thinking. How do Echo hands even work?

    Nowhere is it stated that Echoes can Use an Object. Can they drop an object? Presumably, upon creation they're wielding shadowy duplicates of whatever you're wielding. But it's pretty clear mechanically that they're not benefitting from your shield. Can they drop that and use that hand to grapple?

    Speaking of what's in an echo's hands: if an echo is grappling an enemy, and I swap places with that echo, am I now grappling that enemy? Or is the grapple broken?

    If the grapple is maintained, that makes an echo knight an even more effective spikedragger, as the echo is already unimpeded by having its speed halved while dragging, since it has no speed, per Jeremy Crawford. So being able to drag them 30 ft with the echo, then tag in and dash an additional 15 yourself isn't too shabby. So with a druid in your party, you can be dragging enemies for 18d4 (~45) as early as level 3, and that doesnt even touch your action, bonus action for the turn. Even if the grapple is broken, 12d4 (~30) from just the echo is still amazing.

  8. - Top - End - #578
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    Default Re: An Eclectic Collection of Fun and Effective Builds

    I am curious how some of these builds would change given the floating stat boosts coming in the Tasha book, and what new builds such options would open up.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Flickerdart View Post
    The Half-Hamster template gives me advantageous size and ability score bonuses, and combos well with my inherited Elderberry Radiance (Ex). Which is more than I can say for you, you class-dipping CL-losing Evoker!
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  9. - Top - End - #579
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    Default Re: An Eclectic Collection of Fun and Effective Builds

    Quote Originally Posted by Darthnazrael View Post
    This brought me to looking at the Ancestral Avenger as a template to start from. You mention that the build is good at grappling, limited only by how many hands you have free. But the AA has its hands full of Maul, if I've read correctly. And that got me to thinking. How do Echo hands even work?

    Nowhere is it stated that Echoes can Use an Object. Can they drop an object? Presumably, upon creation they're wielding shadowy duplicates of whatever you're wielding. But it's pretty clear mechanically that they're not benefitting from your shield. Can they drop that and use that hand to grapple?

    Speaking of what's in an echo's hands: if an echo is grappling an enemy, and I swap places with that echo, am I now grappling that enemy? Or is the grapple broken?
    My gut instinct: the echo is not a creature, and cannot itself attack or grapple. "When you take the Attack action on your turn, any attack you make with that action can originate from your space or the echo's space." Given that, you may be able to initiate a grapple from the echo's space, but if you're not within 5ft of the creature, that grapple is going to be broken immediately.

    Maybe. I've never played a Echo Knight or otherwise been in a campaign where someone was using it, so I can't claim to be too familiar with its mechanics -- and it's a bit of an odd duck regardless. I did read an argument that, RAW, because a grapple "ends if an effect removes the grappled creature from the reach of the grappler or grappling effect", the grapple would not be broken because the creature was never in your reach to begin with. Certainly one way to read it, but probably not an argument I could make to a DM with a straight face.
    Last edited by Lavaeolus; 2020-09-23 at 07:08 PM.
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  10. - Top - End - #580
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    Default Re: An Eclectic Collection of Fun and Effective Builds

    There's an FAQ post for the Echo Knight over here. Unfortunately, I haven't been able to find any consensus one way or another on how exactly grappling is supposed to work for your echo. It's an "ask your DM how it's supposed to work" thing, I guess.

    If the answer is 'no' you're still able to grapple, you just have to do it yourself, not have your echo do it. Then they can stand off somewhere else and still threaten a movement-stopping OA from there.
    Last edited by LudicSavant; 2020-09-23 at 07:27 PM.
    Quote Originally Posted by Expected View Post
    Thank you again, LudicSavant, you math skills are VERY useful and so are your graphs and explanations.
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    Default Re: An Eclectic Collection of Fun and Effective Builds

    Quote Originally Posted by Lysimarchos View Post
    Speaking of Sorcerer gish builds, I was thinking of maybe making a Fighter 2/Divine Soul Sorcerer 18 build to make a sort of Final Fantasy Red Mage. It can use both Black and White Magic (Sorcerer and Cleric spells), and Action Surge, Twinned Spell and Quickened Spell replicate the Dualcast ability.
    I know this reply is about a month late but this is definitely a build I've been itching to try. Half-elf seems the obvious choice for +2 cha, +1 con, and +1 str or dex. The extra skills are handy too if you think of red mages as skill monkies, though you can use the variant that gets a cantrip instead to have booming blade at fighter level 1.

    I actually like the idea of going str instead of dex since part of the core idea I have of red mages is the ability to use a wide range of weapons and armor. Dex would be a bit more optimal though and get you better use out of your skills.

    Another option to look at too is taking fighter to 3 for battlemaster. Most maneuvers are worded such that they can be used in combination with a scagtrip attack and it gives you something a little more unique feeling you can do.

  12. - Top - End - #582
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    Default Re: An Eclectic Collection of Fun and Effective Builds

    Quote Originally Posted by Draz74 View Post
    Are you still planning to detail the Sharp Shooter Samurai, eventually, Ludic?
    Alright, let's build a Samurai! This one's pretty simple and straightforward -- indeed, being 'almost as simple as the Champion, but stronger' is often given as a selling point of the subclass.

    Here we're going for a reliable single target damage workhorse with a well-rounded defense and an unusual amount of non-combat utility for a Fighter.

    Build 13: The Ancient Kyujutsu Master

    A few hundred years old, in fact. You know, what with being an elf and all.

    Ef (Shadar-Kai) Samurai 20
    Stats: Dex 17 / Con 16 / Wis 14 / Cha 10
    ASIs: Sharpshooter @4, Elven Accuracy (18 Dex) @6, 20 Dex @8, Ritual Caster @12, Crossbow Expert @14, Alert @16, Lucky @19
    Fighting Style: Archery

    Samurai vs Battle Master
    Battle Master is one of the best fighter subclasses, and Archery Style + Crossbow Expert + Sharpshooter is one of the best builds for them. So how does an Elf Samurai compare?

    Spoiler: Samurai vs Battle Master analysis summary
    Show

    Samurai vs Battle Master DPR
    I did Anydice calculations for Elven Accuracy Sharpshooter Samurai vs. VHuman Crossbow Expert / Sharpshooter Battle Master vs Nonhuman Crossbow Expert / Sharpshooter Battle Master nova damage. And a level 20 Champion thrown in just for scale (poor guy never stood a chance).

    The Battle Master is using an optimal strategy to maximize their burst damage: They use a damaging Maneuver if they hit, and Precision Attack if they miss by (superiority die size) or less. Modeling this is the reason for all the complex functions at the top.

    Enemy AC for the calculations is based on the DMG "average AC by CR" table, and uses a monster of CR = PC level.

    https://anydice.com/program/1d9f2 (Click on "Summary")

    Spoiler: Fighter Action Surge DPR Comparison Results
    Show


    VS AC 15:
    [4] Samurai advantage sharpshooter 26.88

    [4] Nonhuman Battlemaster sharpshooter 28.58

    [4] Vhuman Battlemaster crossbow expert sharpshooter 40.69

    [5] Samurai advantage sharpshooter 50.58

    [5] Nonhuman Battlemaster crossbow expert sharpshooter 57.15

    [5] VHuman Battlemaster crossbow expert sharpshooter 64.43

    [6] Samurai advantage elven accuracy sharpshooter 67.32

    [6] Nonhuman Battlemaster crossbow expert sharpshooter 64.43

    [6] VHuman Battlemaster crossbow expert sharpshooter 72.89

    VS AC 17:
    [11] Samurai advantage elven accuracy sharpshooter 106.23

    [11] Nonhuman Battlemaster crossbow expert sharpshooter 98.94

    [11] VHuman Battlemaster crossbow expert sharpshooter 111.78

    VS AC 18:
    [15] Samurai advantage elven accuracy sharpshooter 122.86

    [15] VHuman Battlemaster crossbow expert sharpshooter 117.12

    VS AC 19:
    [20] VHuman Battlemaster crossbow expert sharpshooter 148.67

    [20] Samurai advantage elven accuracy sharpshooter 160.30

    [20] Samurai Strength Before Death 320.60


    [20] Champion Superior Critical Crossbow Expert Sharpshooter 87.97





    Unsurprisingly, the toploaded VHuman Battle Master is ahead early on, but the Elf Samurai quickly catches up (at around 6) and eventually passes it, at least in terms of raw ranged damage.

    Some other important pros and cons to consider that aren't represented by the DPR calculations:
    + The Elf Samurai effectively has +1 ASI (since Elegant Courtier is basically Res:Wis, and that's a feat a burst Fighter definitely wants).
    + The Elf Samurai has more resources, since Tireless Spirit is better (and 5 levels earlier) than Relentless. Basically they can use 8-10 Fighting Spirits in a 'standard adventuring day' from level 10 onwards. Which also means 6 full novas when they eventually have 2 action surges/short rest (as opposed to a Battle Master's 3).
    + The Elf Samurai gets to generate a bunch of temporary hit points (potentially 120-150 in a 'standard adventuring day')
    + The Elf Samurai has better non-combat abilities.
    + The Elf Samurai gets Strength Before Death.
    + The Elf Samurai gets nice elf things like Fey Ancestry (further complementing Elegant Courtier), Darkvision, and Teleportation/Resistance.
    + The Elf Samurai scales unusually well with magic items and ally-cast buffs, due to their extra attacks (like Rapid Attack) and improved hit and crit rate. All of these things act like force multipliers for things like Elemental Weapon, Holy Weapon, etc. The effect can be quite significant, as demonstrated in this link.
    + The Elf Samurai doesn't rely on Hand Crossbows, which quintuples their range and makes them compatible with more magic gear. It also frees up their bonus action more (for teleports, second wind, etc).
    - The Battle Master can potentially do stuff like, say, trip a foe with Tripping Attack and get Advantage on their remaining attacks if they fire them at point blank range with Crossbow Expert.
    - Battle Masters can attach a variety of useful riders to their nova, as the situation demands.
    - The Battle Master can generate temp HP as a 'one-hour ritual' with Rally (doing it in any other way will impact their damage).
    - Battle Masters have the other benefits of Crossbow Expert early (can stand in melee range, do some extra sustained damage in early levels, etc).


    A Party's Damage Dealer
    As shown in the "Samurai vs Battle Master" DPR analysis above, your primary role is to dish out buckets of damage at all levels.

    Your damage output will be great with no help from anyone at all, but it's worth noting that you also scale unusually well with magic items or buffs. Basically your boosted hit and crit rate (from Archery/Elven Accuracy/Fighting Spirit) and many extra attacks (from Fighter, Rapid Attack, and Strength Before Death) all act as force multipliers for effects like Elemental Weapon or Holy Weapon, and the effect can be quite significant. It's something worth considering for party composition purposes.

    You have numerous ways of triggering Rapid Attack, not merely from Fighting Spirit but also from sources like your Familiar's Help action, being stealthed at the start of combats, or leaving the lights out with Darkvision. Or even firing point blank at prone enemies thanks to Crossbow Expert (note: I took CBE mostly for the ability to fire in melee and the small damage die bump -- not for hand crossbows).

    A Well-Rounded Defense
    Between Indomitable, Charm Resistance, Elegant Courtier, Dex/Con/Wis investments, and eventually Lucky, you're pretty resistant to saving throws in general. Mind controlling you is especially difficult, since they basically need to get through Wisdom+Proficiency+Fey Ancestry+Indomitable+Lucky... which is a good thing, because your burst damage would be enough to one-shot many teammates if something ever did control you.

    Your race also gives you Necrotic Resistance (one of the better types to have Resistance to, IMHO), as well as a 1/day bonus action teleport that gives you Resistance to everything for a round. It's basically two great bonus actions in one. The teleport can help you get out of dodge if people close on your archer, or can help you escape a Wall of Force other other control effects (something that otherwise just kind of shuts down Fighters entirely).

    You also get a fairly hefty helping of duration-free temporary hit points from Fighting Spirit. 15/day at level 3 (at a point where you'd otherwise have just 31 base hit points). At level 10 you basically can use Fighting Spirit 3 times in your first encounter of the day then 1 time per encounter after that, generating as much as 80-100 hit points in a 6-8 encounter day (at a time where you'd have 94 base hit points). Quite a bit, even if a few of those end up getting wasted in practice (since you might not want to wait until your temp HP get used in order to Fighting Spirit again). And at level 15 that bumps up to 120-150. That's a lot of temp HP to throw around! And it makes you a lot more comfortable doing things like, say, just walking through an Opportunity Attack to avoid Disadvantage from melee range. Also, since you're not really relying on your bonus action every turn (like a crossbow expert might) you're free to use Second Wind as needed, too.

    Stength Before Death is a powerful defense in its own right, straight up interrupting the enemy's turn with a full turn of your own. Which can totally be another Fighting Spirit Action Surge... enough to turn a would-be deadly situation into a one-sided curb stomp 1/day. It might as well read 'you must be able to survive this much burst in order to kill me.'

    You also have a few other tricks up your sleeve. You can use Ritual Caster to have your familiar or unseen servant dropping ball bearings or caltrops, or kite with Phantom Steed, or fortify a location ahead of time with Tiny Hut, or the like. You also can take advantage of the fact that as a max Dex Fighter you're a stealthy boi. Alert means that you benefit more from vision blockers like fog clouds and the like (normally they 'cancel out' since people get Disadvantage from not seeing you, but Advantage from you not seeing them. Alert stops that).

    So between a teleport, great range, Resistances, a bunch of hit points, solid saves all around, and a few extra tricks, you have a quite well-rounded defense to go with your potent offense. As usual, my philosophy is that a defense is only about as strong as its weakest link, and so I have my bases covered.

    Utility and Ritual Caster
    Ah, a reason to actually remember that the Fighter exists out of combat! Plus, it kinda fits with a sort of "kyudo ritualist" flavor.

    Samurai already have some of the better utility features of the Fighter subclasses (not that that's saying much) in the form of Elegant Courtier and Bonus Proficiency. But one of the best things about the Samurai is that the combination of being SAD, having bonus feats, and being able to skip Res(Wis) with Elegant Courtier really frees up your ASI choices. And so I take the opportunity to grab Ritual Caster at level 12.

    The highest level rituals are 6th level, which means you already qualify. And they're very cheap to add to your book, at least by the standards of a level 12 character. For example, picking up Find Familiar, Phantom Steed, Rary's Telepathic Bond, Tiny Hut, Unseen Servant, Comprehend Languages, Water Breathing, Magic Mouth, and Detect Magic all together will only set you back 900gp. And those things will do a lot for you.

    In addition to the obvious noncombat utility, there's also a number of combat applications to keeping your rituals up -- Find Familiar for example can trigger Rapid Attack and Elven Accuracy with Help. Phantom Steed provides 200 foot mobility until it dies. Rary's Telepathic Bond lets you coordinate allies. Tiny Hut lets you fortify positions ahead of time. Familiars and Unseen Servants can feed people potions or drop caltrops or ball bearings. And so forth.

    Other Variants/Notes:
    - Any subclass of Elf will work, really. Or Half-Elf, if you're rolling for stats. MTOF Eladrin is a nice one, letting you get 1 teleport / short rest rather than long, and letting you take an ally with you when you go (with the Winter effect). If the above is the "Kyudo Ritualist" I might call that one the "Winter Courtier"
    - The only "core" ASIs are Sharpshooter, Elven Accuracy, and Max Dex. You have a lot of freedom to switch things out beyond that (as well as change up the order however you like). Fey Teleportation, Crossbow Expert, Wood Elf Magic, Magic Initiate, Alert, Lucky, Resilient (Dex), and Ritual Caster are all decent.
    - Some thoughts on multiclassing in Post#565.

    _____

    Next will probably be a frontliner Bard or a Warlock archer. Or something from Tasha's depending on how long I take
    Last edited by LudicSavant; 2020-09-26 at 03:53 AM.
    Quote Originally Posted by Expected View Post
    Thank you again, LudicSavant, you math skills are VERY useful and so are your graphs and explanations.
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  13. - Top - End - #583
    Bugbear in the Playground
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    Default Re: An Eclectic Collection of Fun and Effective Builds

    Another reason the samurai build is better than the vhuman is simply that it has Darkvision!

    This isnít always important, but itís Important frequently enough to make a difference if things are even remotely close.

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    Default Re: An Eclectic Collection of Fun and Effective Builds

    Thanks for the Samurai build Ludic. Looking forward to giving this a try after the Iron Wizard and your 'Regenerator' Life Cleric .
    Last edited by Hugh Mungus; 2020-09-26 at 07:07 AM.

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    DruidGirl

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    Quote Originally Posted by LudicSavant View Post
    Alright, let's build a Samurai! ...
    While this build is quite interesting, I'd like to have your (or anyone else!) opinion on how to build a Elf Battlemaster specialized in archery and using a longbow (because crossbows for elves? so unexciting).
    I ask here, because I had the inspiration from your 3rd build, Wood Elf Magic Commando and I wanted to do something like that, but more driven towards bow shots rather than rapier and shield, which remain an excellent backup plan (all I'd miss is the +2 damage per attack in melee). For context, the party is currently just 3 players: this fighter, oath of vengeance paladin and Arcana cleric. Maybe we'll have a 4th player, in which case we'll see what he can do.

    I picked Wood Elf and have the starting stats 10-17-14-10-15-8
    Fighter with Archery fighting style
    Criminal (spy variant background) for Stealth and Thieves' tools proficiencies (I'll be the scout - rogue-like member of the party), Acrobatics and Animal Handling as fighter proficiencies and Perception as the racial one.

    I'm not entirely sure in what order I should pick my ASIs, I thought to do as follows:

    @4 Elven Accuracy
    @6 Sharpshooter
    @8 Dex 20
    @12 Wood Elf Magic

    At level 3 I was going to pick: Precision, Goading and Trip attack.

    If you have any suggestions on how to improve it, I'd be glad to hear them. I'm interested in keeping the elf and the longbow parts untouched mostly, for thematic reasons.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Miele View Post
    While this build is quite interesting, I'd like to have your (or anyone else!) opinion on how to build a Elf Battlemaster specialized in archery and using a longbow (because crossbows for elves? so unexciting).
    I ask here, because I had the inspiration from your 3rd build, Wood Elf Magic Commando and I wanted to do something like that, but more driven towards bow shots rather than rapier and shield, which remain an excellent backup plan (all I'd miss is the +2 damage per attack in melee). For context, the party is currently just 3 players: this fighter, oath of vengeance paladin and Arcana cleric. Maybe we'll have a 4th player, in which case we'll see what he can do.

    I picked Wood Elf and have the starting stats 10-17-14-10-15-8
    Fighter with Archery fighting style
    Criminal (spy variant background) for Stealth and Thieves' tools proficiencies (I'll be the scout - rogue-like member of the party), Acrobatics and Animal Handling as fighter proficiencies and Perception as the racial one.

    I'm not entirely sure in what order I should pick my ASIs, I thought to do as follows:

    @4 Elven Accuracy
    @6 Sharpshooter
    @8 Dex 20
    @12 Wood Elf Magic

    At level 3 I was going to pick: Precision, Goading and Trip attack.

    If you have any suggestions on how to improve it, I'd be glad to hear them. I'm interested in keeping the elf and the longbow parts untouched mostly, for thematic reasons.
    seems very reasonable. as Ludic pointed out above rally can be a good maneuver to grab if the party has regular short rests and no other source of reliable THP. fighters tend to do respectable damage out of the gate so having a few options for support and utility goes a long way.

    also the new splat book coming might have a fighting style more applicable to this concept if this character isn't going to see play in the next few weeks.
    what is the point of living if you can't deadlift?

    All credit to the amazing avatar goes to thoroughlyS

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    GnomeWizardGuy

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    Quote Originally Posted by stoutstien View Post
    seems very reasonable. as Ludic pointed out above rally can be a good maneuver to grab if the party has regular short rests and no other source of reliable THP. fighters tend to do respectable damage out of the gate so having a few options for support and utility goes a long way.
    In fact, until you have Sharpshooter, I'm not sure how much value to expect from Precision Attack, so any utility maneuver might be more attractive. Note that Tasha's CoE will probably have new options for out of combat.

    Edit: I'm also not sure how late it is safe to go without Resilient (Wis); probably campaign-dependent.

    I think your order of ASIs is fine as is, but you could also swap SS & Dex-20 for 2 levels of better Trip DCs vs risky shots. That also makes it "safer" to delay Precision Attack until 7. (Although I expect TCoE to allow you to change maneuvers more frequently.)
    Last edited by x3n0n; 2020-09-26 at 11:43 AM.

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    NecromancerGirl

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    Quote Originally Posted by LudicSavant View Post
    Next will probably be a frontliner Bard or a Warlock archer. Or something from Tasha's depending on how long I take
    What about that Shifter Cleric Blaster/Inquisitor build? Alternatively, I'd love to see a different take on the cleric besides the standard SG + SW + Dodge/BB + Shillelagh bits.

  19. - Top - End - #589
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    BlueKnightGuy

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    Default Re: An Eclectic Collection of Fun and Effective Builds

    For the arcana cleric, does the Shillelagh cantrip actually work without an arcane focus? Does war caster take care of it? How do you grab the additional components?

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    Flumph

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    Quote Originally Posted by CMCC View Post
    For the arcana cleric, does the Shillelagh cantrip actually work without an arcane focus? Does war caster take care of it? How do you grab the additional components?
    Shillelagh only takes one hand and a cleric can have their symbol on their shield, but I find that most DMs will let you use an associated weapon as a divine symbol (e.g. a cleric of thor using a hammer or a cleric of neptune using a trident or net)
    Last edited by ftafp; 2020-09-26 at 06:41 PM.

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    BlueKnightGuy

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    Quote Originally Posted by ftafp View Post
    Shillelagh only takes one hand and a cleric can have their symbol on their shield, but I find that most DMs will let you use an associated weapon as a divine symbol (e.g. a cleric of thor using a hammer or a cleric of neptune using a trident or net)
    Right so with a shield in one hand, the staff in the other, how does the cleric get the mistletoe and shamrock leaf out of the component pouch?

    The staff canít be an arcane focus for Druid spells without a ruby of the war mage.

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    GnomeWizardGuy

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    Quote Originally Posted by CMCC View Post
    Right so with a shield in one hand, the staff in the other, how does the cleric get the mistletoe and shamrock leaf out of the component pouch?

    The staff canít be an arcane focus for Druid spells without a ruby of the war mage.
    A Wooden Staff is one of the named druidic foci, and internet discussion suggests that it's intended to be usable as a quarterstaff as well. At least that's how I've seen it at my tables.

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    Flumph

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    Quote Originally Posted by CMCC View Post
    Right so with a shield in one hand, the staff in the other, how does the cleric get the mistletoe and shamrock leaf out of the component pouch?

    The staff canít be an arcane focus for Druid spells without a ruby of the war mage.
    the casting focus replaces the material components as long as they don't have a cost and aren't consumed. RAW a cleric's shield can be a casting focus if it has the symbol of their god on it. Somatic components are more of a problem, you can only use your focus hand for somatic components if the spell has both somatic AND material components

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    Quote Originally Posted by ftafp View Post
    RAW a cleric's shield can be a casting focus if it has the symbol of their god on it.
    I think the assertion is that MI(Druid) spells need a druidic focus, not a holy symbol ("divine focus"), since there's nothing that turns them into cleric spells.
    Last edited by x3n0n; 2020-09-26 at 07:31 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by x3n0n View Post
    I think the assertion is that MI(Druid) spells need a druidic focus, not a holy symbol ("divine focus"), since there's nothing that turns them into cleric spells.
    Magic Initiate does not enable you to use a Druidic Focus, that comes from a class feature.
    Quote Originally Posted by Expected View Post
    Thank you again, LudicSavant, you math skills are VERY useful and so are your graphs and explanations.
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    Nerull | Wee Jas | Olidammara | Erythnul | Hextor | Corellon Larethian | Lolth | The Deep Ones

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    So presumably you do need to supply the material components, but the staff is part of the material components so that only takes up one hand. In that situation, the staff is acting as a material component, not the weapon, so it combined with the clover and mistletoe only take up one hand

    Also, there's nothing saying you can't have the staff on your back and draw it as a free item interaction. Nor is there anything saying you can't hold it in your armpit while you pat your pockets trying to remember which one you crammed your spellcasting leaves into

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    GnomeWizardGuy

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    Quote Originally Posted by LudicSavant View Post
    Magic Initiate does not enable you to use a Druidic Focus, that comes from a class feature.
    Ah, true. Given that, casting Shillelagh via Magic Initiate requires a component pouch in one hand, yes?

    If so, I think the question from above stands:

    Quote Originally Posted by CMCC View Post
    For the arcana cleric, does the Shillelagh cantrip actually work without an arcane focus? Does war caster take care of it? How do you grab the additional components?
    My best guess: War Caster plus holding shield and component pouch in the same hand and staff/club in the other? (Or Ruby of the Way Mage as suggested, or just saying it doesn't matter.)

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    BlueKnightGuy

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    Quote Originally Posted by LudicSavant View Post
    Magic Initiate does not enable you to use a Druidic Focus, that comes from a class feature.
    Exactly. This is the crux of my question.

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    BlueKnightGuy

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    Quote Originally Posted by ftafp View Post
    So presumably you do need to supply the material components, but the staff is part of the material components so that only takes up one hand. In that situation, the staff is acting as a material component, not the weapon, so it combined with the clover and mistletoe only take up one hand

    Also, there's nothing saying you can't have the staff on your back and draw it as a free item interaction. Nor is there anything saying you can't hold it in your armpit while you pat your pockets trying to remember which one you crammed your spellcasting leaves into
    Are pulling components part of an interact with object? If the staff is a component, canít you pull that and the rest from the pouch?

    But then Iím back to how do you grab all three things with one hand?

  30. - Top - End - #600
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    GreenSorcererElf

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    This would require DM approval, but I would allow it:

    1) Start turn with shield and staff equipped.
    2) You can freely move an item to another hand, so use shield hand to hold staff but not be able to use or attack with it while this is done. This is the part that requires DM approval because RAW itís not allowed, but realistically itís obviously possible.
    3) Cast Shillelagh with one free hand, the cast action itself handles the component pouch interaction.
    4) Freely swap the staff back to your main hand.

    Maybe thereís a simpler way but I couldnít come up with it. You canít use a holy symbol because itís not a Cleric spell. The staff isnít a focus for you because you arenít a Druid. You canít drop the staff and use a free item interaction to pick it up because Shillelagh requires a staff or club ďyou are holding.Ē And you canít drop a shield because it requires an action to doff.

    Or play a simic hybrid with extra appendages. The rules state you canít wield a weapon or precisely manipulate items, which provides the exceptions that proves the rule (in the actual correct use of that phrase) that your extra appendages can hold objects.

    Or. *shiftily looking side to side* Just donít bring it up and probably no one will even notice because itís silly.

    Edit: Rereading the material components of the spell, this might just solve itself. The staff/club is one of the components. You only need one hand to access the components of the spell. Thereís no special rule saying Shillelagh needs two hands to use properly. So youíre already holding a material component of the spell in one hand, you can just access the others with the same hand according to rules for material component casting.

    If that doesnít work, then Iíd point out itís also impossible for a Druid using a club and shield to cast Shillelagh.
    Last edited by Evaar; 2020-09-27 at 02:24 PM.

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