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  1. - Top - End - #1
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    GnomePirate

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    Oct 2016
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    Orlando FL
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    Default Dilemma between rogue/wizard or Arcane Trickster or fighter/rogue?

    We have a new player to DnD joining our existing campaign at 3rd level. The group currently has a sorcerer, ranger, and cleric. Even with the sorcerer we are a bit light on magic use. But we are short on a tank. My meta knowledge as the DM is they really need a rogue too for finding traps. Should I make this guy a fighter/rogue, an Arcane Trickster, or a Rogue/Wizard? Personally I don't mind them not having a source for Identify or at least Detect Magic, but being the DM I know they have already went and sold several minor magic items they didn't know about.

    What should I make this guy? All are fairly easy to work into the story
    Mountain dwarf or Gnome Fighter/Rogue-while not the greatest tank, does provide some needed DPS and trap support
    Forest Gnome Arcane Trickster- kind of a pocket magic user, great vs traps(maybe too good IMO)
    Forest Gnome Rogue/Wizard- Better spell selection as opposed to an arcane trickster with standard rogue trap and lock picking support

  2. - Top - End - #2
    Orc in the Playground
     
    DwarfClericGuy

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    Northwest AR
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    Default Re: Dilemma between rogue/wizard or Arcane Trickster or fighter/rogue?

    With a brand new player, I'm inclined to go with Fighter/Rogue, or even just a straight DEX-based Fighter with some specific skills and thieves tools proficiency from their Criminal/Urban Bounty Hunter/Urchin background. Fewer fiddly bits requiring hand-holding from the rest of the group.

    Casters in general, and Wizards in particular, require a lot more bookkeeping, research, and knowledge of game mechanics. Martial classes, especially a Thief Rogue and/or Champion Fighter, are much more straightforward, and therefore better for brand new players.

    Quote Originally Posted by Corsair14 View Post
    Personally I don't mind them not having a source for Identify or at least Detect Magic, but being the DM I know they have already went and sold several minor magic items they didn't know about.
    If you're worried about them missing magic items, give the magic-attuned Sorcerer or trained spellcaster Cleric the opportunity for an Arcana or even Perception check to notice the subtle signs of magical energy on/around the item. You don't have to be explicit... If you have a copy of their character sheet, or just know ahead of time what their skill bonus would be, you simply ask them for a generic d20 roll when needed, or roll the d20 yourself behind the screen. You can do that when they're near the item, or during a later short/long rest when they're carting the item back to town. They don't need to know that it's pertaining to a specific item, or that it's a specific skill check. If it succeeds, you clue them in that it seems to be magical. If it fails, you let it go with no further explanation.

    Then once they know it's magical, any character can identify a magic item just by concentrating on it for 1 hour, or identify a magic potion just by tasting a tiny drop of it. (DMG pg. 136 under "Identifying a Magic Item") It doesn't specifically require the Identify spell like earlier editions.

    Going this route, the party doesn't require either Detect Magic or Identify.
    Last edited by RogueJK; 2020-01-22 at 12:24 PM.

  3. - Top - End - #3
    Halfling in the Playground
     
    Daemon

    Join Date
    Jul 2019

    Default Re: Dilemma between rogue/wizard or Arcane Trickster or fighter/rogue?

    Well, I think the magic use issue could be handled by one of the characters taking the Ritual Caster Feat or just you having them roll an arcana check when they get their hands on a special item.

    Not having a tank in a small party could be alright or problematic depending on how they play, Sorcerer, Ranger and Cleric can already play at long range, but leaving a single guy in melee could be really dangerous especially if he is not tanky enough.

    I feel like a Bard with some kind of criminal background for proficiencies would fill the gap better tbh.

    If you're really set on Rogue for some reasons, either have him play with a Bow, Arcane Trickster for the hidden disadventage save against magic. Or a Swashbuckler for a mobile "tank".
    Rangers and Clerics can be decent off-tanks depending on their build.

  4. - Top - End - #4
    Dwarf in the Playground
     
    RedWizardGuy

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    Aug 2016

    Default Re: Dilemma between rogue/wizard or Arcane Trickster or fighter/rogue?

    Let them choose their own character and work with what you've got.
    There's no "must have" party build.

  5. - Top - End - #5
    Dwarf in the Playground
    Join Date
    Aug 2017

    Default Re: Dilemma between rogue/wizard or Arcane Trickster or fighter/rogue?

    Quote Originally Posted by Corsair14 View Post
    Personally I don't mind them not having a source for Identify or at least Detect Magic, but being the DM I know they have already went and sold several minor magic items they didn't know about.
    Sorry, but this is your fault, not the players'. From the DMG: "Whatever a magic item's appearance, handling the item is enough to give a character a sense that something is extraordinary about it."

    Unless you really want your players to unwittingly screw themselves, you need to notify them. In fact, they may have already been aware of the above quote, so assumed they weren't magical because you didn't tell them anything.
    Last edited by Smoothjedi; 2020-01-22 at 04:52 PM.

  6. - Top - End - #6
    Nobody in the Playground Moderator
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    Mar 2018
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    Nashville, TN
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    Default Re: Dilemma between rogue/wizard or Arcane Trickster or fighter/rogue?

    If you have a Sorcerer, Ranger, and Cleric..... how in the world are you low on magic usage? That is literally 2 full casters and a 1/2 caster.

    Anyway I agree with Fighter for a new character. No need to mutliclass. The Ritual Caster feat is always a great feat for a Fighter IMO. New players tend to enjoy the Battle Master, but go Champion if they are having trouble learning the rules.

  7. - Top - End - #7
    Ettin in the Playground
    Join Date
    May 2015
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    Massachusetts

    Default Re: Dilemma between rogue/wizard or Arcane Trickster or fighter/rogue?

    EK/AT is a viable build.

    The idea is too take the classes in 3's for spell slot purposes, but you don't have too.. because there are points in the build where you may want other features. You may only go 7-8 levels of EK, you may only go 7-8 for AT

    Either way, war caster is a must if you plan on using a real shield. I prefer S&B for this build with a rapier.

    If you go strength based, just have a 14 in dexterity and save up money for breastplate, but in the mean time... mage armor will suffice as will scale mail (disadvantage on stealth though)

    And with a 13 in intelligence or more... you can occasionally grab a level of wizard here and there... I recommend evocation for sculpt spell

    And though you may not get to launch a fireball, you'll have the higher spell slots to upcast lower level spells

  8. - Top - End - #8
    Pixie in the Playground
     
    Expired's Avatar

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    Default Re: Dilemma between rogue/wizard or Arcane Trickster or fighter/rogue?

    In any game/module that does not have insta-kill traps, you don't necessarily need a Rogue and you certainly don't need one with dips/multi-class that are sub-optimal. Given the choices you've presented, I will provide my opinion of each. Rogue/Wizard is only viable if the Rogue is an Arcane Trickster and dips two levels into Bladesinger Wizard. Fighter/Rogue is an alternative to straight Fighter but you lose out on a 2nd/3rd/4th attack depending on the amount of Fighter levels. In addition, a Rogue's Sneak Attack can only be used with a finesse or ranged weapon (which heavily favor Dex builds). An Arcane Trickster Rogue is a good choice, especially with a single level dip in Fighter for Fighting Style: Archery (Ranged builds only).

    In my opinion, a Paladin would be a great choice for this new player as it is easy to play, fills the role of tank, and introduces said player to spellcasting.

  9. - Top - End - #9
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    GnomePirate

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    Default Re: Dilemma between rogue/wizard or Arcane Trickster or fighter/rogue?

    Quote Originally Posted by Smoothjedi View Post
    Sorry, but this is your fault, not the players'. From the DMG: "Whatever a magic item's appearance, handling the item is enough to give a character a sense that something is extraordinary about it."

    Unless you really want your players to unwittingly screw themselves, you need to notify them. In fact, they may have already been aware of the above quote, so assumed they weren't magical because you didn't tell them anything.
    I am a bit more old school, very powerful items might be faintly obvious but minor magical items are indistinguishable from standard items. The fact this was a shiny ornate ring(I went into detail on its construction(I am a bench jeweler as a hobby) found on a dead, perfectly preserved body in a highly magic tomb should have hinted at its properties. Their loss. They actually have several magic items they are using but do not know they are magic and I still use master crafted as a item type left over from 3rd(a 19 is a crit on weapons, and on armor its 25% lighter and the max dex bonus goes up by 1).

    As for traps, there are some very lethal traps further into the campaign as they are going after a cult which delighted in outsmarting lesser people and really enjoys using traps and puzzles. So when they are on the primary campaign path, its really important to have a rogue who can find and possibly disarm them.

    I will say, the fey paladin thing had a real draw seeing as the method I had of inserting the character into the party revolved around a dream from a fey and dire warnings about what could happen. While I am aware its not optimal, thinking 2 levels of rogue and the start on a paladin path might be a good idea. As a gnome, using shortswords or rapiers would be the equivalent of a human using a longsword. I am more concerned with good story than I am optimization. Thankfully the players do not seem to be power gamer types except maybe the kid and I don't punish that due to him making really dumb mistakes in game. Its rare he is standing at the end of a fight without me even trying to kill him.

  10. - Top - End - #10
    Orc in the Playground
     
    DwarfClericGuy

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    Default Re: Dilemma between rogue/wizard or Arcane Trickster or fighter/rogue?

    Quote Originally Posted by Corsair14 View Post
    I will say, the fey paladin thing had a real draw seeing as the method I had of inserting the character into the party revolved around a dream from a fey and dire warnings about what could happen. While I am aware its not optimal, thinking 2 levels of rogue and the start on a paladin path might be a good idea. As a gnome, using shortswords or rapiers would be the equivalent of a human using a longsword. I am more concerned with good story than I am optimization.
    I know you're not going for optimization specifically, but if you're primarily after trap-finding ability, 2 levels of Rogue doesn't get you anything that 3 levels of Bard wouldn't, and a Bard dip meshes better with Paladin. (And Bard would be very appropriate for a Fey-themed character.)

    Any character with good DEX, access to Expertise from class/feats, proficiency in stuff like Perception and Investigation from their race/class/background, and Thieves Tools proficiency from their background, can be just as good at finding/disarming traps as a Rogue.

  11. - Top - End - #11
    Colossus in the Playground
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    Finland
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    Default Re: Dilemma between rogue/wizard or Arcane Trickster or fighter/rogue?

    Honestly, just plain Wizard would work just fine for this. Go Bladesinger, be tankier than the Fighter next door as long as you have 1st level slots open (Shield/Absorb Elements) with Supertankmode 2/short rest, pick a melee cantrip, go to town. Background like Criminal/Spy can shore up the Rogue part easily enough doubly so since all the relevant stuff is keyed either off Intelligence or Dexterity, your primary stats (with the singular exception being Perception, but you have yourself and your familiar so you at least get two rolls at it, and you can easily enough get proficiency in Thieves' Tools, Investigation, Perception and Stealth this way). You can even use Enhance Ability from the UA extra spells to further boost these when necessary and Skill Empowerment too if you really wanna crank it up. And you have control to throw around while at it. Overall a very solid package.

    Aereni Elf would be a good choice for Expertise in either Perception or Stealth (your choice, Perception probably more universally applicable but Stealth is very good too). Stats could be 8/16/15/16/10/8 planning on Resilient: Con for 16 Con and then just pumping Dex/Int (Alert may be worth picking up for the ability to use vision denial magic as automatic Disadvantage to all enemies). Alternatively, if you managed to roll decently, you could maybe even get a freebie and thus be able to get 20 Dex/Int and 16 Con with Alert and Resilient: Con, which would be quite perfect. Of course, there's nothing wrong with additional feats if you can swing them. You can use many feats to decent effect, Warcaster being obviously interesting for the AoO Booming Blades, and weapon style feats being decent (though your restriction to one-handed melee weapons makes you less able to take advantage of them, as PAM and GWM are the two really worthwhile melee feats and you have access to neither). But Resilient: Con and Alert are the two best feats bar none, and Resilient: Con is nigh' necessary to ensure you can maintain your Concentration on key spells (this puts you at +8 on level 13, which suffices to make the standard DC10 check on a roll of 2). Con-saves are also pretty high frequency and often extremely brutal on failed saves so it's just a good thing to have in general (and the extra Con isn't exactly hurting either, putting you at quite reasonable +3 Con).
    Last edited by Eldariel; 2020-01-23 at 01:28 PM.
    Campaign Journal: Uncovering the Lost World - A Player's Diary in Low-Magic D&D (Latest Update: 8.3.2014)
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    SRD Averages - An aggregation of all the key stats of all the monster entries on SRD arranged by CR.

  12. - Top - End - #12
    Dwarf in the Playground
     
    PaladinGuy

    Join Date
    Mar 2013

    Default Re: Dilemma between rogue/wizard or Arcane Trickster or fighter/rogue?

    Dex based valor bard, should be fairly tanky with sword and board, be an excellent rogue, and add more magic. A one fighter dip gives you a fighting style and con proficiency, which is rather nice. Defence or dueling FS are both good choices

    Perhaps something like variant human:

    13/16/14/8/9/14, feat observant to bring wisdom to 10 perception +5

    Skills: acrobatics, insight, perception, thieves tools (criminal background or custom), etc etc?

    I think thatís about a 19 starting AC with shield and protective FS, 18 with dueling.

  13. - Top - End - #13
    Dwarf in the Playground
    Join Date
    Aug 2017

    Default Re: Dilemma between rogue/wizard or Arcane Trickster or fighter/rogue?

    Quote Originally Posted by Corsair14 View Post
    I am a bit more old school, very powerful items might be faintly obvious but minor magical items are indistinguishable from standard items. The fact this was a shiny ornate ring(I went into detail on its construction(I am a bench jeweler as a hobby) found on a dead, perfectly preserved body in a highly magic tomb should have hinted at its properties. Their loss. They actually have several magic items they are using but do not know they are magic and I still use master crafted as a item type left over from 3rd(a 19 is a crit on weapons, and on armor its 25% lighter and the max dex bonus goes up by 1).
    Fair enough, but again you need to be straightforward with them about it. Tell them that anything could be magical because you've decided that they are completely indistinguishable from mundane objects, contrary to RAW. That way they can at least start hoarding everything to repeatedly have NPCs cast detect magic on their gear when they get out of the dungeon. I know I'd be pretty frustrated if I missed out on magic items because my DM wasn't following RAW and justified it by blaming me because I just should have known better.
    Last edited by Smoothjedi; 2020-01-23 at 04:32 PM.

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