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    Dwarf in the Playground
     
    Chimera

    Join Date
    Aug 2008

    Default Aberrant Mind Sorlock: A Renaissance Man

    Goals
    Make a build capable of fulfilling any role in and out of combat, preferably switching at a moment’s notice, preferably earlier rather than later.

    Definitions

    Roles in Combat
    • Blaster
      Dealing with a bunch of weak mooks either clumped up or not
      Brownie points: Friendly fire is mitigated
    • Nova
      Dealing 50-80% of a leveled BBEG’s HP (single target) in 1-2 rounds
      Brownie points: Survive to tell the tale
    • Sustained DPR
      Doing respectable damage (10% of leveled monster’s HP) when most resources depleted
      Brownie points: When completely drained of daily resources and ambushed in the night, have a good tactic
    • Survivability
      Either frontloaded by being a tanky frontliner or reactive with multiple layers protecting one’s concentration
    • Buffing party attacks
      Granting more attacks, advantage and higher bonuses on those attacks, debuffing enemy saves
    • Damage Mitigation
      Lesser Mitigation in the form of reactively healing HP damage or proactively giving Temp HP before/during battle. This is lesser because lost spell slots through failed concentration checks aren’t healed like HP.
      Greater Mitigation: Preventing damage in the first place either by being sticky on the frontlines, countering fireballs, or eliminating monster’s turns that would have been used for damaging your team. This includes debuffing enemy attack rolls and buffing ally saves.
    • Control
      Buff/debuff has been split above. Control is more strictly Battlefield control, forced movement, enabling extraction, Obscurement, redistricting the battlefield (opportunity attacks if you leave, debuffing zones, difficult terrain…)


    Roles out of Combat
    • Face
      High social power, direct social manipulation, and clever political moves are the hallmarks to judge this role by
    • Scout
      Learning about a dungeon and forest path, but more importantly surviving so the party stays together
    • Disabling Traps/skill monkey
      Some traps can be face tanked, mage handed, and triggered with a log.
      Dealing with various skill challenges is a hallmark of encounter design.
      Brownie points for being able to disable traps that would otherwise block the party’s progress.
    • Utility
      Locate Object, Divination, Fly, Meld into Stone, Speaking obscure languages, Teleport and so forth. Player cleverness is usually ½ the battle. The other half is a good selection of utility spells, Ritual Caster and/or skill checks.
    • Brains or Brawn
      Many challenges can be solved with strength checks or clever pulley configurations. Similar to Utility, but using mundane equipment and/or brute strength.
    • Healing
      Status effects and death sometimes need to be fixed up. Handing out temporary HP is also covered here as 5th edition makes healing in combat more akin to triage than a WOW healer keeping everyone topped up every round.



    Build
    Race: Yuan-ti
    Background: Acolyte
    Languages: Common, Abyssal, Draconic, Goblin(Acolyte), Giant(Acolyte)

    1. Sorcerer: Aberrant Mind
      Features: Con save prof, Magical Resistance, Telepathic Speech
      Spells
      Cantrips: Minor Illusion, Create Bonfire, Mind Sliver(Aberrant), Mage Hand, Poison Spray(Yuan-ti), Booming Blade
      1st level spells: Silent Image, Grease, Dissonant Whispers(Aberrant), Sleep(Aberrant swap)
    2. Warlock: Hexblade
      Features: Hexblade Curse, Hexblade Warrior, Longsword, Medium Armor Prof, 1st level spell slot refreshes on Short-rest
      Equipment: See Brains or Brawn section below to pick your top picks.
      Spells
      Cantrips: Dancing Lights, Eldritch Blast
      1st level spells: Arms of Hadar, Shield
    3. Sorcerer 2
      Features: Flexible Casting, Sorcery Points
      Spells: Fog Cloud, Suggestion(Yuan-ti)
    4. Sorcerer 3
      Features: Metamagic(Twin, Careful)
      Spells: Detect Thoughts(Aberrant), Hold Person(Aberrant Swap), Scorching Ray, Silent Image -> Levitate
    5. Sorcerer 4
      Features: Warcaster
      Spells: Invisibility, Prestidigitation, Fog Cloud -> Mirror Image, Sleep -> Hex(Aberrant swap), Create Bonfire -> Mold Earth
    6. Sorcerer 5
      Features: Magical Guidance
      Spells: Sending(Aberrant), Enemies Abound(Aberrant Swap), Haste, Grease -> Hypnotic Pattern
    7. Warlock 2
      Features: Invocations(Agonizing Blast, Repelling Blast)
      Spells: Thunderwave, Arms of Hadar -> Comprehend Languages
    8. Sorcerer 6
      Features: Psionic Sorcery
      Spells: Counterspell, Scorching Ray -> Blindness/Deafness, Hold Person -> Suggestion(Aberrant Swap)
    9. Sorcerer 7
      Spells: Arcane Eye(Aberrant swap), Black Tentacles(Aberrant), Polymorph,Invisibility -> Greater Invisibility
    10. Sorcerer 8
      Features: Inspiring Leader
      Spells: Whatever, Levitate -> Sickening Radiance
    11. Sorcerer 9
      Animate Objects, Telekinesis, Synaptic Static(Aberrant swap), Whatever -> Wall of Stone
    12. Sorcerer 10
      Features: Metamagic(Quicken)
      Spells: Teleportation Circle, Mirror Image -> Skill Empowerment, Telekinesis -> Modify Memory(Aberrant swap)
    13. Warlock 3
      Features: Pact of the Chain(Imp)
      Spells: Misty Step, Thunderwave -> Mirror Image
    14. Sorcerer 11
      Spells: Chain Lightning
    15. Sorcerer 12
      Features: ASI (Cha+2)
    16. Sorcerer 13
      Spells: Reverse Gravity, Teleportation Circle -> Teleport
    17. Sorcerer 14
      Features: Revelation in Flesh
    18. Sorcerer 15
      Spells: Dominate Monster
    19. Sorcerer 16
      Features: ASI: Alert
    20. Sorcerer 17
      Spells: Wish


    Magic Item Wish list
    (Nice but not necessary)
    • Sentinel Shield (Uncommon, No Attunement): Advantage on initiative rolls
    • Staff of the Python (Uncommon, Attunement by warlock/druid): Giant Constrictor Snake (Huge) with 60 HP that refreshes when you transform it back into a staff. Good attack that grapples w/o a contest. 10’ reach bite combined with Huge size means lots of battlefield control. Selfish option for twin Haste if you lack a secondary GWM/SS ally.
    • Broom of Flying (Uncommon, No Attunement): Flying that you can hand off to another party member. Cheaper than the fly spell.
    • Bloodwell Vial (Uncommon, Rare, Very Rare, Attunement by Sorcerer): +1/2/3 to attack rolls and Save DCs of sorcerer spells, 1/day regain 5 spell points. See Spell points below to appreciate this fuel
    • Shadowfell Shard (Rare, Attunement): Whenever you use metamagic pick a guy and ability, they have disadvantage on saves with that ability till end of your next turn
    • Wand of Secrets (Uncommon, No Attunement): Forget the perception score, just blow a charge from this uncommon wand to auto-reveal secrets
    • Bag of Holding: A character can last 10 minutes inside holding their breath. If you go Invisible so does this bag. 2 for the price of 1.
    • Scroll of Pyrotechnics(Uncommon): Combine with Animate Objects and have ally cast Pyrotechnics on a dropped torch. Pyrotechnics creates Heavy Obscurement that True Seeing doesn’t cut through but Blindsight does, which the Animated Objects have). You’ll only need to pull this trick a couple of times when facing really nasty foes.
    • Gloves of Thievery (Uncommon, No Attunement): Get a +5 on trap checks




    Spell points, Flexible Casting, and Psionic Sorcery
    Spoiler: Spell points, Flexible Casting, and Psionic Sorcery
    Show

    Spell Points
    Spoiler: Spell Points
    Show
    Spell Points is a variant casting system found in the DMG pg. 288. Rather than keep track of spell slots, you have a pool of points and dynamically spend points to make a spell slot to cast a given spell. This makes for a very dynamic caster capable of blowing through their daily resources with lots of 5th level spells, or sipping on 1st and 2nd level spells round after round in a dungeon crawl. The conversion looks like the Sorcerer's Flexible Casting but extends to 9th level spells, with the caveat that you can only cast a single 6th, 7th, 8th, 9th level spell per day each. This is slightly less than the standard casting which gets a 2nd 6th level spell. But the versatility offered by giving up a 8th level spell for 11 spell points that might find better use elsewhere is amazing.
    Spell Level Point Cost
    1 2
    2 3
    3 5
    4 6
    5 7
    6 9
    7 10
    8 11
    9 13

    Here is the standard spell points you get for a pure caster. The sorlock however get warlock levels, thus delay point progression, and which have short-rest tracked spell slots, which must be tracked differently.
    Level Points
    1 4
    2 6
    3 14
    4 17
    5 27
    6 32
    7 38
    8 44
    9 57
    10 64
    11 73
    12 73
    13 83
    14 83
    15 94
    16 94
    17 107
    18 114
    19 123
    20 133


    On Merging Spell points and Sorcery Points
    Spoiler: Merting Spell points and Sorcery points
    Show
    Because of the similar conversion table it is easy to think that you can simply treat spell points and sorcery points as the same, simply adding the 2 into 1 pool. It does make for a truly flexible sorcerer, fulfilling the intent for the class. The problem is that metamagic perks give more bang for the buck than what you'd get if those points were spent on a higher level spell. Personally I don't feel it is game breaking, but from an action economy perspective I can see how many DMs might get touchy on how much a sorcerer can frontload themselves on round 1.
    When you combine these points and use Psionic Sorcery you really break the mold by casting one of two aberrant mind 5th level spells with the same resources it took another caster to cast their 3rd level spell. You can cast Hunger of Hadar for the same cost as another casting Scorching Ray. If your DM is ok with that the go for it. Otherwise you'll need to keep the pools separate.


    Flexible Casting and mitigating conversion loss
    Spoiler: Mitigating Conversion loss
    Show

    Flexible Casting, RAW, makes converting spell slots into sorcery points inefficient (2 sorcery points -> 1st level slot -> 1 sorcery point), as supported by the last bullet point on Sorcerers from customizing classes.
    At first it might look like sorcery points cost 2x spell points, ie. 50% conversion loss. But converting first to 2nd level spells (3 spell points) and then to sorcery points is only a loss of 33%. When you get 5th level spells this drops to 29% loss.
    Normally twin metamagic is viewed as super expensive due to how thinly stretched sorcery points are. But if we assume the 66% efficiency ratio by converting spell points into sorcery points we can justify twinning more often.
    Let's compare casting a spell twice vs. spending spell points to fuel twinning it and see how many spell points we save by going through this constrained spell choice. As you can see it is mostly a wash, thus twinning is effectively an action economy savings at the cost of needing 2 useful targets and a constrained spell selection. There a minor cost of using bonus actions to convert slots into points, but this can be offset by topping up before battle, or even going over your sorcery point starting pool as there are no rules saying you can't go over (see the Coffeelock).
    Spell level 2x Spell point cost Twinned spell point cost Savings(spell points)
    1 4 3.5 0.5
    2 6 6.0 0.0
    3 10 9.5 0.5
    4 12 12.0 0.0
    5 14 14.5 -0.5
    6 18 18.0 0.0

    When you get access to 5th level spells we can use the more efficient 7 spell points : 5th level slot, which has a loss of only 29%. This updates the above savings to the following
    Spell level 2x Spell point cost Twinned spell point cost Savings (spell points)
    1 4 3.4 0.6
    2 6 5.9 0.1
    3 10 9.3 0.7
    4 12 11.7 0.3
    5 14 14.1 -0.1
    6 18 17.6 0.4

    Psionic Sorcery
    Spoiler: Psionic Sorcery
    Show
    Psionic Sorcery lets an Aberrant Mind use spell points to cast aberrant mind spells getting subtle for free. Normally you'd spend a 4th level slot to get 4 spell points to cast a 4th level aberrant mins psionically, ie. a wash. But if we use spell points and go through 2nd level spells we get a minor savings (6 spell points -> 2x 2nd level spells -> 4 sorcerer points -> psionic 4th level spell vs. 7 spell points -> 4th level spell, ie. saving 1 point, 2 points if you account for the 1 sorcery points that subtle would have cost you).
    If we look at 1st level psionic spells we see a similar efficiency bump: 3 spell points -> 2nd level spell -> 2 sorcery points = 2 castings of dissonant whispers which normally would have cost 4 spell points, ie. saving 1 spell point.
    You may think this is gaming the system, but many spells offer upcasting to target more creatures (command, invisibility...) and when analyzed the same way show similar savings. A sorcerer's twinning metamagic simply extends the above costs to more spells that didn't already have it.



    Fulfilling the Blaster role
    Spoiler: Fulfilling the Blaster role
    Show

    • Level 1-3 we have Sleep doing 5d8 HP. Note that because this bypasses saves/AC our expected “damage” isn’t weighted down with chance of success. Melee attacks against unconscious creatures are auto-crit, usually done when unaffected creatures are mopped up.
    • Level 2-6 we have Arms of Hadar affecting a 25’ square with 2d6 damage. While Con save isn’t the best, low level mooks shouldn’t be that great at it. At level 4 for merely 1 Spell Point you cast it carefully meaning allies only take 1d6. This should be chosen if you can target 4+ foes and carefully if hitting at most 2 allies.
    • Check with your DM if Ice Knife can be twinned as it doesn't label those hit with the AoE as targets. If so you've got 2 easy to place 15'x15' squares. Grease is the spell I recommend killing to swap out for Ice Knife.
    • Level 6 we have Hypnotic Pattern instead of Fireball. We opt for Hypnotic Pattern because we want to be able to handle going after the frontline fighters have engaged the horde by casting it carefully. A careful Fireball still deals 4d6 fire damage to allies compared with nothing on Hypnotic Pattern.
    • Level 7-12 we learn Thunderwave. Not the best blast spell, but something small enough you can take advantage of a ball of mooks w/o losing your concentration
    • Level 10 we have Sickening Radiance, which you may think of as a control spell, but when combined with an ally casting something like Web or Entangle or other difficult terrain and you have a death sentence. 4d10 radiant damage won’t be resisted. 2 levels of exhaustion means your speed is halved, painful with difficult terrain. 3 levels gives you disadvantage on saves. It is an even more slippery slope, if that wasn’t slippery enough for you, to literal death after that. These levels of exhaustion remain even if they leave, so pushing foes back in so they make a save when their turn starts is very effective. You can even cast it carefully so your allies can get out of the way.
    • Level 11 we get Synaptic Static. While this feels like a more expensive Fireball, it is an Int save and Psychic damage, neither of which nearly any monster deals with well. This effectively quadruples the expected damage compared to fireball.
    • Level 14 we get Chain Lightning. When you get to this level you aren’t afraid of a sea of kobolds but of 4+ bodyguards.
    • Level 16 we get Reverse Gravity. The save is only an option if they have something they can grab onto. Otherwise you’ve removed a 50’ radius area from the battlefield.



    Fulfilling the Nova role
    Spoiler: Fulfilling the Nova role
    Show

    • At level 2 we get Dissonant Whispers. Your Nova is contingent on having 1-2 allies engaged in melee with the BBEG. You walk up next to him, Hexblade Curse and cast DW. You get an Opportunity Attack, and thanks to Hex warrior you do so with a d8 longsword and CHA. Odds are that one of your allies has Great Weapon Mastery meaning your expected damage vs an AC of 15 and a Wisdom save of +1 will be around 13.5 DPR. With 2 allies (1 has GWM) you get 16 DPR.
    • At level 4-8 we get Hold Person, meaning all hits are crits. Paladins and rogues love you. This is how a buffer enables the team to go nova, instead of stealing the spotlight.
    • At level 4-9 we get Levitate, which may seem like an odd Nova tactic but hear me out. The goal is to delete a nasty foe from the battlefield. If they are medium sized, don’t have a low ceiling above them and don’t look like a caster then failing a levitate save leaves them with measly bow and javelin attacks. A Good nova hopes to delete the monster on round 1, and if he fails doing that then the party gets a face full of nasty actions. Levitate, given the right circumstances, is a save-or-die spell. It is around CR 9 that medium non-caster creatures start having good ranged options. For most monsters earlier than that the designers simply gives them a few javelins.
    • At level 4-6 we get Scorching Ray. When combined with Hexblade Curse and Hex we get a respectable 24 DPR
    • At level 5 we get Warcaster meaning our Opportunity attack is a beefed up version of Booming Blade. Assuming same chances for failing save and chances to hit we get 20 DPR with 2 allies (1 has GWM), and 18 DPR for only 1 ally with GWM. All this for only a 1st level spell.
    • At level 11 we get Animate Objects, which gets great dpr with tiny objects already. Double it with Dissonant Whispers each subsequent round.
    • At level 12 our Eldritch Blast is doing 3 rays, which we can quicken for 6 rays total. We’ve still got Hex in case someone else in the party can give us advantage otherwise we opt for Greater Invisibility.


    Spoiler: DPR Calculations
    Show

    Under construction. Mostly blocked on estimating DPR of typical frontline fighter with GWM, which shouldn't be that hard. The harder one is making an acceptable model for a BBEG's HP, wisdom save, and HP, as a function of PC level.


    Fulfilling the Sustained DPR role
    Spoiler: Fulfilling the Sustained DPR role
    Show

    • At level 4 we get Scorching Ray. While this is not sustainable, it is great single target when combined with Hexblade's curse and Hex acquired at level 5. This is the main way to focus fire a foe till we drop Scorching Ray briefly before getting Eldritch Blast's 3rd ray at level 11, see below.
    • At level 5 we can cast Dissonant Whispers and twin it for a mere 1 spell point. Combining that with Warcaster means we get 6d6 psychic (DW) + 4d8 thunder(BB) on top of the opportunity attacks from allies
    • At level 6 we get Agonizing Blast, which, when combined with Hex and Hexblade’s curse gives you a good cantrip. Sadly we put off Quicken till level 15, thus the way we get EB to add to our it is with opportunity attacks. This is best done with a whip and being invisible. The whip doesn't require proficiency to trigger opportunity attacks, which you convert into eldritch blasts. BB requires 5' range. If you're invisible dual-wield to have a 5' range(for BB) and 10' range(for EB).
    • At level 6 we can Twin Haste bending the action economy. You get to add these extra attacks to your DPR.
    • At level 8 we cast Dissonant Whispers Psionically for a single Spell Point, twin it for only 1 more point. Combine this with the 2 warlock 1st level spell slots refreshed on each short rest. Cashing these in gives us 4 spell points, which is long enough for most battles.
    • While the following aren’t an option if you are completely exhausted of daily resources, you have Flexible Casting which does enable you to reserve a 4th level slot and 4 spell points (hello warlock slots) for every encounter.
    • At level 9 we get Greater Invisibility. This is best twinned onto a rogue and pushing foes with Eldritch Blast to enable the rogue to get more opportunity attacks and thus Sneak Attack.
    • At level 9 we also get Polymorph. Twinning it gives you 2 T-Rexes with a butt-load of HP regardless of how close to death they are at the end of the day.
    • At level 11 we get Animate Objects. If we combine with a scroll of Pyrotechnics we can get lasting Heavy Obscurement w/o spending concentration on. If we can keep a target in the cloud, even with True Sight, but not blindsight, then we can keep damaging him with tiny objects who attack with advantage and are attacked with disadvantage. These tiny objects can do hit and run tactics.
    • At level 12 our Eldritch Blast is doing 3 rays, which we can quicken for 6 rays total. We’ve still got Hex in case someone else in the party can give us advantage otherwise we opt for Greater Invisibility.
    • At level 17 our Eldritch blast is doing 4 rays, the most efficient damage per spell point, bested only by Dissonant Whisper triggering a Booming Blade which costs 1 spell point compared with the quickened Eldritch Blast’s 2. Pennies at this level.



    Fulfilling the Survivability role
    Spoiler: Fulfilling the Survivability role
    Show

    • At level 1 we get Magical Resistance to get advantage on saves vs. magic effects. This is nearly game breaking.
    • At level 1 we get Constitution saving throw proficiency
    • At level 1 we also get Poison Immunity, which is the most common monster attack damage type.
    • At level 2 we get Shield. When combined with Medium Armor and a shield we can get a 23 AC. Sadly we’ll blow a 1st level spell for most rounds of combat, as well as our precious Reaction. Using a reaction for shield competes with threatening a Booming Blade opportunity attack, thus our defender role competes with our survivability.
    • At level 4 we get Levitate. Twin Levitate with one of the targets being yourself. The other can be an ally or a foe. Either way you’ve pulled yourself out of danger. While this may be selfish, it lets you contribute to the battle w/o being in danger.
    • At level 5 we get Warcaster, granting us advantage on concentration saves, when combined with our Con save prof we are pretty good at maintaining our concentration, even on the front lines.
    • At level 5 we get Mirror Image. Being concentration-less it is a good option to throw up before charging into the front lines. It is also useful when we have a surplus of daily resources and need more layers of defenses. This is a costly way, in terms of action economy and spell slots, to solve the contention for our reaction. We expect Mirror image to take the hits that Shield would have protected us from and retain our reaction for BB, for defense (Opportunity attack to be sticky), or offense (frontloading damage with Dissonant Whispers).
    • At level 6 we get Magical Guidance. For 1 Spell Point we can reroll any ability check we failed. Concentration checks most notably, counterspell checks, Detect Thoughts, Investigation and Disable Traps all apply.
    • At level 8 we get Psychic Defenses making us further resistant to charm and frightened, in case our Magical Resistance didn't apply. The Psychic damage resistance is nice, but only useful if the DM is wanting to counter you with Mind Flayers.
    • At level 9 we get Greater Invisibility. Like Levitating oneself above it is selfish, but thanks to Warcaster we can contribute significantly while still being nearly impossible to hit. A Booming Blade opportunity attack is a real threat against moving, and given that we're invisible means we could be anywhere. This extends our "reach" to the whole battlefield. Combine this with a Repelling Blast to pull foes off of allies and you have quite the defender. I feel this hits the bulls-eye in the center for being a sticky tank.
    • At level 17 we get Revelation in Flesh which grants concentration-less flight for a single sorcery point for 10 minutes.




    Fulfilling the Buffing party attacks role
    Spoiler: Fulfilling the Buffing party attacks role
    Show

    • At level 1-5 we get Grease, making 1-4 likely prone, granting advantage on attacks. Since this does not require concentration, it is a useful spell to use mid-combat
    • At level 1 we get Dissonant Whispers, which lets allies get an extra attack. Sadly this conflicts with a defender’s job of being sticky. Characters with the Sentinel feat would want to make their attack go last to ensure other players OA trigger before his Sentinel feat cancels the rest out. Targets that did escape are now way out there ready to throw down a ranged AoE, that's IF they survive, a BIG IF.
    • At level 4-8 we get Hold Person (twinnable), great for paladins and rogues who love crits
    • At level 6 we get Twin Haste, the envy of buffers the world over. The extra movement helps get the rogue into position, and the Great Weapon Masters will love an extra chance to kill someone and get an extra attack.
    • At level 8 we learn Blindness/Deafness (twinnable) which is a concentration-less way to give yourself and allies advantage on your attacks.
    • At level 7 you may be able to get a Shadowfell Shard. When combined with twinned Mind Sliver you impose a severe penalty to saves. Great for setting up an ally or yourself as the shard lasts a whole round.
    • At level 9 we get Greater Invisibility, twinning it to hand out Advantage to your 2 favorite fighters.
    • At level 9 we learn Polymorph, which can be twinned for double T-Rexes
    • At level 13 we’ll get an Imp Familiar, who can stay invisible providing the Aid action to give people Advantage yet not risk being attacked





    Fulfilling the Damage Mitigation role
    Spoiler: Fulfilling the Damage Mitigation role
    Show

    • At level 1 we can cast Minor Illusion to put up an ink blot which looks like “Magical Darkness” similar to how a Tricksy spirit would from a Summon Fey spell. This “Magical Darkness” blocks line of sight, including blocking a foe from taking an opportunity attack opening the doors for an ally to back away.
    • At level 2 we’ve got enough AC to wade into melee. Booming Blade has a sticky rider encouraging foes to stay put and not attack the squishies. This gets 2d8 stronger at level 5, 2d8 stronger at level 11, and another 2d8 stronger at level 17. This is on-par with a sneak attack, and great incentive to stay put.
    • At level 3-4 we get Fog Cloud which covers an area with Heavy Obscurement. This makes all inside blind to those outside and vise versa. If surrounded by archers throw this up for protection. If enemy archers are clumped throw this on them to break them up. Remind the DM that monsters shouldn’t know where the edge is, hoping that some foes will not find an escape. If facing flying monsters with flyby throw this up to even the battlefield. While you only get Fog Cloud for 2 levels, use a Scroll of Pyrotechnics to get 1 minute of the same Heavy Obscurement w/o spending your concentration.
    • At level 2-4 we get Arms of Hadar which can prevent targets from taking opportunity attacks. Useful if your group got ambushed and you need extraction. Sadly there will be 1/2 that make their save, so you'll still take some opportunity attacks getting out.
    • At level 4 we get Mold earth, which can serve as a great place for full cover. Combine with Minor Illusion(auditory) of their commander claiming it is an illusion. Arrows fired at full strength will sink fairly deep into loose earth making the “illusion” harder to detect. It gets even crazier when you can play out Peter Pan imitating the Captain telling his archers that the dirt mound is an illusion and to shoot at the center then him countering that it is real and to shoot at an exposed limb.
    • At level 4 we can Twin Levitate 2 party members out of danger. No need to be sticky if the squishies are inaccessible.
    • At level 5 we get Warcaster, combined with Booming Blade and holding our Reaction to threaten an Opportunity Attack makes us sticky, only bested by the Sentinel Feat.
    • At level 6 you can hope to get your hands on a Staff of the Python. This tanky snake has 10’ reach and its hits impose the grappled condition w/o a contest. Being huge means it holds down even Huge opponents. While it has a low AC, all the damage it takes just disappears when you revert it back to staff form. The problem with Conjure Animals is that it claims your concentration, and most options have low HP. Your snake acts on its own initiative and has the most HP of all Conjure Animals options.
    • At level 6 we get Hypnotic Pattern. Most damage dealt in combat is dealt in the first round. Your single casting will reduce the number of turns the enemy gets by more than ½.
    • At level 6 we get Enemies abound, which can be twinned. The main goal is to pull attacks off your team, which this spell does quite effectively.
    • At level 8 we get Blindness/Deafness, a great concentration-less option to impose disadvantage on an enemies’ attacks.
    • At level 8 we get Counterspell, quite effective at stopping fireballs and the like
    • At level 9 we get Polymorph, which I’ve categorized as lesser healing as it is reactive. But it is great to have the option to “heal” up 272 HP in a single round, nevermind the 2 t-rexes chomping down on surprised faces.
    • At level 10 we get Inspiring Leader to provide a nice buffer before battle.



    Fulfilling the Controller role
    Spoiler: Fulfilling the Controller role
    Show

    • At level 1 we get Minor Illusion. Please see this guide on how to use it to control the battlefield: https://forums.giantitp.com/showthre...Creative-Guide
    • At level 1-3 we get Create Bonfire, which has the potential to do more damage unless the guy moves. Sadly it is easy to avoid the secondary damage. But if the opportunity arises, it is free damage.
    • At level 1 we get Mind Sliver(twinnable) which plays well with Shadowfell shard to make sure other saves are failed.
    • At level 1-5 we get Grease, a concentration-less area debuff. Recall getting up from prone takes 1/2 of one's movement and the area itself is difficult terrain. If only the area was bigger than 10' square.
    • At level 1 we get Dissonant Whispers(twinnable) which has forced movement, and makes them eat their reaction, freeing allies up to escape
    • At level 1-3 we get Sleep, a superb controller spell
    • At level 3-4 we get Fog Cloud which imposes Heavy Obscurement, blocking line of sight in and out, blinding those within. If you find the party can deal with Heavy Obscurement consider learning Pyrotechnics to get a concentration-less version.
    • At level 3 you get Suggestion(twinnable), which may succeed in convincing a foe to go AWAL
    • At level 4-8 we get Hold Person (twinnable)
    • At level 4 you get Mold Earth. While small it does create permanent embankments, difficult terrain and cover
    • At level 4 you get Levitate (twinnable), which is a save-or-die under the right circumstances (500 lbs or less, no good ranged option, no low ceiling)
    • At level 6 you can hope to get a Staff of the Python, which gives you cheap and effective battlefield presence with a nasty Opportunity attack extending out 10’ from this Huge snake.
    • At level 6 you get Enemies Abound(twinnable), which wreaks havoc with enemy lines.
    • At level 6 you get Hypnotic Pattern, a classic controller spell removing tons of enemies from battle.
    • At level 8 you get Psionic Sorcery meaning you can spend spell points to cast the Aberrant Mind spells subtly meaning they can’t be counterspelled. Notables are: Dissonant Whispers, Enemies Abound and Hold Person if you opted to keep it.
    • At level 8 you get Blindness/Deafnes (twinnable) s which is a great concentration-less way to shut down an enemy caster
    • At level 9 we get Evards black Tentacles. Combined with repelling blast you can lock down reliably.
    • At level 9 you get Twin Polymorph which plants 2 Huge T-rexes on the battlefield. Alternatively Polymorph a foe into a snake, thus qualifying for your Yuan-ti fluff spell, Animal Friendship(snakes). Doesn't help unless you can convince it to take a nap in your lap, but it should give the table a laugh.
    • At level 10 you get Sickening Radiance. Starting one’s turn there forces a save. Failing that imposes 1 level of exhaustion which sticks around even if you leave the region. Pushing them back in makes them risk slipping down the slippery slope of dying. Here are the effects in case you forgot: 1) Disadvantage on ability checks, 2) Speed Halved, 3) Disadvantage on attacks/saves, 4) HP halved, 5) Speed=0, 6) death. Combine with another caster putting difficult terrain and bouncing them back like the multiple Repelling Eldritch Blast; surefire death. Dissonant Whispers is particularly deadly because they make a save when they run away from you and into the area, and again when their turn starts up, getting a 2-for-1.
    • At level 11 you get Wall of Stone and Animate Objects which you can use to draw out how the battlefield should look. Note that a Huge creature can simply walk through a small creature’s space, but can’t end its movement there. Having 10 little squares to peper the battlefield should prevent the big hulk from moving.
    • At level 13 you get an Imp familiar with hands.





    Fulfilling the Face role
    Spoiler: Fulfilling the Face role
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    • At level 1 we speak Common, Abyssal, Draconic, Goblin, Giant, languages of the groups that are most likely to not speak common.
    • At level 1 you get Minor Illusion and Silent Image. See this guide to get the most out of this spell: https://forums.giantitp.com/showthre...Creative-Guide
    • At level 1 you have the Acolyte background enabling you to bluff your humanitarian missions and needs
    • At level 1 you get Telepathic Speech, which unlike Message, doesn’t require either of you to whisper what you want to say. Neither require the target to be willing opening for some fun RP.
    • At level 1 you start off with a good Charisma and your choice of social skill to be proficient. A natural social butterfly.
    • At level 1 you can buy a ladder and work clothes and walk into nearly any establishment.
    • At level 2 buy a bottle of Wine to more easily bribe the guards.
    • At level 3 you get Suggestion, Detect Thoughts at level 4, and at level 8 you can do so Psionically with no signs you’re casting a spell.
    • At level 4 you get Hex, through Aberrant Mind and thus applies to Psionic Sorcery, which can be used to impose disadvantage on Insight checks to your bluff attempts
    • At level 6 you get Enemies Abound. While not a social as the other things here, it is a quick way to get someone out of the way or to frame someone or make a distraction while the king goes crazy
    • At level 12 you can psionically cast Modify Memory, sadly the part where you get to invent a new story must be spoken verbally. See if your DM would allow you to do this part using your Telepathic Speech.



    Fulfilling the Scout role
    Spoiler: Fulfilling the Scout role
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    • At level 2 you should be able to buy a mastiff. While not the best wisdom, he does have keen senses, meaning you effectively have elven accuracy but for perception to notice a forest ambush.
    • At level 4 you get Detect Thoughts which can find hidden creatures, even extract the secret password to get into the thieves guild
    • At level 5 you get Invisibility, which can be twinned if you need the backup. This is good for dungeons, but can’t be called upon as often as the Stealth Skill can. While it is dropped at level 9 for Greater Invisibility (way too expensive for doing scouting runs) we do get it back at level 13 from Warlock 3 returning a cheap scouting spell
    • At level 6 you may be able to buy a Wand of Secret Doors thus compensating for your low perception check
    • At leven 7-8 you may get your hands on a Broom of Flying, great for scouting up ahead
    • At level 9 we get Arcane Eye, the easiest way to scout out the whole dungeon before running in
    • At level 13 we’ll get an Imp Familiar which can go invisible at-will and has hands



    Fulfilling the Disabling Traps/Skill monkey role
    Spoiler: Fulfilling the Disabling Traps role
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    • At level 1 you get Mage Hand which handles, see what I did, many traps and doors at a distance. Many traps require 20 lbs of force to trigger. Mage hand carries 10 lbs then applies the remaining 10 lbs of force.
    • At level 6 we get Magical Guidance which lets us effectively have advantage on ability checks for a single spell point. Not quite expertise, but close enough.
    • At level 7 you should be able to afford some Gloves of Thievery which should compensate for not being trained and having a really high dex, but won’t be as good as Expertise
    • At level 12 we get Skill Empowerment which should cover our Expertise needs



    Fulfilling the Utility role
    Spoiler: Fulfilling the Utility role
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    • At level 1 we get Minor Illusion and Silent Image. See this guide to get the most out of this spell: https://forums.giantitp.com/showthre...Creative-Guide
    • At level 1 we get Telepathic Speech, which is basically like Message but only takes a Bonus action. This combines great with Twinned Invisibility so you can coordinate your movement
    • At level 2 we get Dancing Lights. See this video to learn how to use this effectively: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eDjUPZqVGFY
    • At level 3-4 we get Fog Cloud which can be used to sneak in your party most places, or hide your escape
    • At level 3 we get Suggestion, with Detect Thoughts at level 4.
    • At level 4 we get Invisibility, with Blindness/Deafness coming online at level 8. Invisibility for hiding 1-2 people from a group, Blindness/Deafness from hiding a group from 1-2 people.
    • At level 4 we could chose to have one of our Aberrant Mind spells be some Divination spell from the wizard, warlock, or sorcerer spell list. Locate Object is an interesting option.
    • At level 5 we get Prestidigitation just to polish our utility belt, literally
    • At leven 7-8 you may get your hands on a Broom of Flying, great for solving things that the Fly spell would have done
    • At level 7 we get Comprehend Languages to handle ancient text and forgotten languages
    • At level 8 we get Sending, communication across planes
    • At level 9 we get Arcane eye to go snooping around the mayor’s house
    • At level 12 we get Teleportation Circle, followed up with straight up Teleport at level 16
    • At level 12 we get Skill Empowerment thus making the entire skill proficiency table an option to solve problems
    • At level 13 we get Misty Step, I know very late.
    • At level 17 we get Revelation in Flesh which gives us See Invisibility, Fly, a Swim speed, and Mr Fantastic for a single Sorcery point each
    • At level 20 we get Wish, the ultimate in utility



    Fulfilling the Brains or Brawn role
    Spoiler: Fulfilling the Strong Man role
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    • A portable ram which gives you a +4 to strength checks to break down a door, and if allies help then advantage too.
    • A crowbar giving you advantage on strength checks when leverage can be applied
    • Ball bearings can be given to an Unseen Servant to make a 10'x10' area poor-man's grease DC 10 dex. Remember getting up from prone is 1/2 movement.
    • Caltrops stack with Ball Bearings to further reduce speed by 10', sadly only covers 5' square but a stronger DC 15 dex.
    • Flask of Oil can double as another poor-man's grease and creating a poor-man's fire wall.
    • Flour and Ash can help find invisible foes and secret passageways.
    • A mirror can be argued to give you line of sight w/o giving up one's fulll cover.
    • 10' pole, or 11' if you like helps extend mage hand's reach.
    • Empty vials for extracting poisons, saving/testing unknown liquids, saving holy water...
    • Block and Tackle which lets you hoist 4x normal.
    • String and bell for make-shift alarm
    • 50' of rope for countless uses
    • Adamantine-tipped Spear. Versatile for d8, bypasses many damage resistances. Opens tough locks.
    • At level 4 you get Levitate. If you combine this with some clever pulley setup and pitons you may be able to pry open walls or lift heavy things.
    • At level 5 you may be able to get a Staff of the Python, which has a 19 Strength, though arguable if it can handle the thing you need lifted/pushed
    • At level 11 you may opt for Telekinesis instead of the options I chose above.



    Fulfilling the Healer role
    Spoiler: Fulfilling the Healer role
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    We mostly use the excuse that a good defense is a good offense, saying that if you're preparing raise dead you're planning on failing. But like other excuses this one fails to address the need to handle unforseen circumstances where the party is debuffed, diseased or dead.

    • At level 1 we get the Background ability Shelter the Faithful, to get free healing if we can make it to town. The wording is left vague, so you may convince your DM that Lesser Restoration should be an option to purchase there. You may even be able to use this to increase your chances that a big city has a cleric with Raise Dead.
    • As you get loot you'll get money but likely no good magic items to buy outside of common items. Load up on Potions of Healing.
    • At level 10 we get Inspiring Leader. Our level should be high enough that it offers respectable Temp HP before each big fight.
    • At level 13 you get an Imp familiar who can invisibly use it's hands to administer a healing potion

    Last edited by borg286; 2021-03-02 at 03:45 PM.

  2. - Top - End - #2
    Dwarf in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: Aberrant Mind Sorlock: A Renaissance Man

    Can I get any feedback? This thread has been viewed many times but there is no critique. Is my theory crafting bubble too ideal? Am I stretching the role of defender too much into controller territory that the sorcerer spells automatically qualify? Have I overestimated how much survivability can do when the d6 hit dice really won't last?

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    Default Re: Aberrant Mind Sorlock: A Renaissance Man

    Three long rests per day? That's 24 hours of resting per day.

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    Default Re: Aberrant Mind Sorlock: A Renaissance Man

    Quote Originally Posted by TotallyNotEvil View Post
    Three long rests per day? That's 24 hours of resting per day.
    Oops, typo. I meant short rests. Thanks

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    Default Re: Aberrant Mind Sorlock: A Renaissance Man

    With regard to the lack of comments on this thread... I can only share my own feelings. Sorlock is a known combination that has been analyzed and played ad infinitum. Everyone knows how good Hexblade is, and everyone knows how good Aberrant Mind is. Everyone knows Yuan-ti is busted. What's new or unique about your analysis? Everyone knows that a Hexblade/Aberrant Mind can

    1) Blast with fireballs or Quicken EB spam
    2) Use control spells
    3) Wear armor/shield/absorb elements to protect itself
    4) Talk to people using Cha+Persuasion, and psionic sorcery
    5) Various stunts with familiars
    6) Pick warcaster and have proficiency in Con saves
    7) Pick Inspiring Leader thanks to high Cha
    8) Twin concentration buffs on party members

    I get the sense that this is a build that you have been thinking about for a while, and writing the post helps you get your own thoughts in order and in a centralized place. For that, it's a valuable and worthwhile post, and a good reference for anyone looking for a detailed, mapped-out version of a Sorlock build. That said, it's not new to most people on this forum.

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    Dwarf in the Playground
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    Default Re: Aberrant Mind Sorlock: A Renaissance Man

    Hey man, the build is great, lots of amazing insights, but if I can be completely honest — Sorlock Hexblade Yuan-Ti is a heavily discussed and well-known powerful combination.

    It’s super awesome and everyone know that. Aberrant Mind adds even more versatility and raw power than Shadow Sorcerer, for instance. But that ship already sailed.

  7. - Top - End - #7
    Dwarf in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: Aberrant Mind Sorlock: A Renaissance Man

    I was having a hard time finding aberrant mind builds that brought it all together. Wizard guides were the ones capable of pointing out how to best use the high versatility in spells known. Gishes explored how to optimize dps if one sacrifices ones concentration. Sorcerer guides assume a very limited spells known list. I was having a hard time finding something that tried to get the best of all worlds.

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    Halfling in the Playground
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    Default Re: Aberrant Mind Sorlock: A Renaissance Man

    Quote Originally Posted by borg286 View Post
    I was having a hard time finding aberrant mind builds that brought it all together. Wizard guides were the ones capable of pointing out how to best use the high versatility in spells known. Gishes explored how to optimize dps if one sacrifices ones concentration. Sorcerer guides assume a very limited spells known list. I was having a hard time finding something that tried to get the best of all worlds.
    Which is fair--and I'm glad you wrote the guide. I'm sure it will be useful to someone in the future.

  9. - Top - End - #9
    Dwarf in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: Aberrant Mind Sorlock: A Renaissance Man

    What is the right way to get this build listed in places where future lurkers would be able to find it.

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    Halfling in the Playground
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    Default Re: Aberrant Mind Sorlock: A Renaissance Man

    Put it in your signature? Eventually these threads will pop up on a Google search too (I searched for your thread just now and it didn't come up, but I'm sure it will in a few months), so as long as it doesn't get deleted from the forum it should be easy for someone to find.

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    Default Re: Aberrant Mind Sorlock: A Renaissance Man

    Quote Originally Posted by LordShade View Post
    Put it in your signature?
    Yes, this is a good idea.
    Avatar by linklele
    Quote Originally Posted by Malifice View Post
    (paraphrased) Rulings are not 'House Rules.' Rulings are a DM doing what DMs are supposed to do.
    Quote Originally Posted by greenstone View Post
    Agency means that they {players} control their character's actions; you control the world's reactions to the character's actions.
    Gosh, 2D8HP, you are so very correct
    Quote Originally Posted by HappyDaze
    Self-deception tends to have a low target number
    How Teleport Works

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    Dwarf in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: Aberrant Mind Sorlock: A Renaissance Man

    I'm guessing that it doesn't retroactively update my signature on every other post I've made in the past. But here is seeing how it looks here.

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    Default Re: Aberrant Mind Sorlock: A Renaissance Man

    Maybe you could get the mods to add it to the big list of builds?

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    Halfling in the Playground
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    Default Re: Aberrant Mind Sorlock: A Renaissance Man

    Quote Originally Posted by borg286 View Post
    I'm guessing that it doesn't retroactively update my signature on every other post I've made in the past. But here is seeing how it looks here.
    Looks good. One suggestion, put 5e by your Sorlock and Minor Illusion guides.

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    SamuraiGuy

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    Default Re: Aberrant Mind Sorlock: A Renaissance Man

    Looking at the level progression, I wonder if it would be better to go Sorc 1 > Warlock 1 > Warlock 2 so you can pick up the Agonizing Blast invocation a bit sooner. That would help your resource free DPS a bit. Currently it looks like you wouldn't pick that up until character lvl 7 (the section 'Fulfilling the Sustained DPR role' lists this as character level 6, but the list above shows it as 7).

    At Sorc lvl 3 you suggested picking up the Twin metamagic, but I don't think there are that many good candidates for twinning at that point. Since your taking Minor Illusions at 1, you could possible take Chaos Bolt instead of Silent Image to a better twinnable spell at that level.

    As far as race selection goes, there are a few options and Yuan-ti is certainly a strong one. One interesting idea if your in a game with Tasha's Customizable Origins might be to take Mountain Dwarf for the armor proficiency and weapons training. If you take that, there is less pressure to take Hexblade for your Warlock subclass, some of the other subclasses have some interesting options that might be worth considering (maybe Celestial, if you wanted to have more support utility with bonus action healing and Guiding Bolt to give someone in your party advantage).

    As far as ASI's go, it looks like the current outline is:

    Char lvl 5, Sorc 4: Feat Warcaster
    Char lvl 10, Sorc 8: Inspiring Leader
    Char lvl 15, Sorc 12: +2 Char
    Char lvl 19, Sorc 16: Alert

    If your assuming the standard array, then you'd only end up with Cha +4 (15 base, +2 from Yuan-ti, +2 from ASI at lvl 15 = 9) at lvl lvl 15. I dunno, when I'm playing a caster like this, I want to max my casting stat sooner. By taking Sorc at lvl 1 you already have proficiency in Con saves, I don't know that you need Warcaster at lvl 5. Instead at lvl 5 it might be worth taking either Fey Touched or Shadow Touched to get two extra spells and round out your spell casting modifier.

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    Default Re: Aberrant Mind Sorlock: A Renaissance Man

    Quote Originally Posted by borg286 View Post
    I'm guessing that it doesn't retroactively update my signature on every other post I've made in the past. But here is seeing how it looks here.
    It does, in fact—if you had a signature in the past. The forum works by dynamically loading, every time someone pulls up a page, each user's current signature into the 'signature' section of every post on the page. However, if you do not have a signature, the forum records no signature section whatsoever, so nothing gets backfilled if/when you get a signature in the future.

    Used to be DMofDarkness
    Old avatar by Elagune.
    Spoiler: Collection of Signature Quotes
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    Default Re: Aberrant Mind Sorlock: A Renaissance Man

    Quote Originally Posted by king_steve View Post
    Looking at the level progression, I wonder if it would be better to go Sorc 1 > Warlock 1 > Warlock 2 so you can pick up the Agonizing Blast invocation a bit sooner. That would help your resource free DPS a bit. Currently it looks like you wouldn't pick that up until character lvl 7 (the section 'Fulfilling the Sustained DPR role' lists this as character level 6, but the list above shows it as 7).

    At Sorc lvl 3 you suggested picking up the Twin metamagic, but I don't think there are that many good candidates for twinning at that point. Since your taking Minor Illusions at 1, you could possible take Chaos Bolt instead of Silent Image to a better twinnable spell at that level.

    As far as race selection goes, there are a few options and Yuan-ti is certainly a strong one. One interesting idea if your in a game with Tasha's Customizable Origins might be to take Mountain Dwarf for the armor proficiency and weapons training. If you take that, there is less pressure to take Hexblade for your Warlock subclass, some of the other subclasses have some interesting options that might be worth considering (maybe Celestial, if you wanted to have more support utility with bonus action healing and Guiding Bolt to give someone in your party advantage).

    As far as ASI's go, it looks like the current outline is:

    Char lvl 5, Sorc 4: Feat Warcaster
    Char lvl 10, Sorc 8: Inspiring Leader
    Char lvl 15, Sorc 12: +2 Char
    Char lvl 19, Sorc 16: Alert

    If your assuming the standard array, then you'd only end up with Cha +4 (15 base, +2 from Yuan-ti, +2 from ASI at lvl 15 = 9) at lvl lvl 15. I dunno, when I'm playing a caster like this, I want to max my casting stat sooner. By taking Sorc at lvl 1 you already have proficiency in Con saves, I don't know that you need Warcaster at lvl 5. Instead at lvl 5 it might be worth taking either Fey Touched or Shadow Touched to get two extra spells and round out your spell casting modifier.
    I had considered prioritizing warlock for the spell slot fuel and invocations, but when I compared it with level 2 and level 3 spells (given how much Aberrant Mind frontloads with spells known) it just wasn't worth it. Eldritch Blast from levels 1-4 is just so lackluster. To really make it work I'd need Quicken. Warlock 2 does give another 1st level spell slot to fuel more damage. Sadly converting this spell slot into points, and quickening it for an additional EB is just too expensive on the action economy. I figured that if I instead focus on Sorcerer 4 I'd get a Warcaster just in time for Dissonant whispers' Opportunity Attack to be taken as Booming Blade. This let me get the high DPR that most sorlocks achieve at this level w/o the investment into warlock 2 and the dedication to Hex.
    Going dwarf sounds like the runner up for defensive, but the min/maxer inside of me is just drooling over the Magical Resistance and Poison Immunity. Currently I'm too far down the rabbit hole of finding a very fleshed out character in the Yuan-ti culture that it would be hard for me to give up all that optimality.

    For level 4 Twinning I disagree. There is Mind Sliver, Poison Spray, Eldritch Blast, Hex, Levitate, Detect Thoughts, Suggestion and Dissonant Whispers. DW is justification enough. I'll grant that Eldritch Blast, Hex, Detect Thoughts are not good spells to twin. But Levitate, Dissonant Whispers, and Suggestion are well worth it. There are arguments that Chaos bolt wouldn't qualify. "To be eligible for Twinned Spell, a spell must be incapable of targeting more than one creature at the spell's current level." which the spell is technically capable of targeting another creature. Ice Knife is just as debateable if it can be twinned and seems to be more damaging and leans into the Blaster role better by creating 2x 15'x15' areas you blast. I'm open to arguments for opting for this to fulfill the blaster role better at earlier levels than letting the weak Arms of Hadar try to carry us over to level 6 when we get Hypnotic Pattern.

    Regarding Celestial it fails to make Booming Blade a reliable option as we'd still be attacking with strength (Hammer) or dex(dagger). This eats into our threat of a reliable opportunity attack. The healing is nice, but Cure Light Wounds is a horribly inefficient use of spell slots/points. I'd much rather use the catch-all of throwing money at potions of healing. We all know that 5e has made gold worthless outside of purchasing common items like healing pots. The only worthwhile healing spells I value are Command for its ability to eat monster actions, Healing word as a form of triage, and Lesser/Greater Restoration. I'll admit my lesser damage mitigation is lacking, with my Greater damage mitigation more than making up for it. Out of combat my healing role is quite lacking, but I don't feel 2 levels of celestial warlock fixes it. 3 levels would give me Lesser Restoration, but that eats too much into the early levels where I was able to frontload features/high level spells. Is my logic flawed here?

    I admit that the charisma score is rather low. On this forum we must assume point buy to be fair. I feel that the Custom Lineage combined with a half-feat is simply raising the bar on the arms race for getting the highest score at level 1. The opportunity cost is too great in my opinion when Yuan-ti might be available. If it is not I'll have to reconsider it, but it feels a tad too cheesy for me right now.

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    Default Re: Aberrant Mind Sorlock: A Renaissance Man

    For level 4 twinning I have the ability to do an aberrant mind spell swap for its 2nd level spell, but sadly won't have the space to swap it out till level 9 or so, so it would be with us for quite a while. I was strongly considering Hold Person, which synergies well with twin. This can be considered a strong DPR choice. Thoughts?

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    Default Re: Aberrant Mind Sorlock: A Renaissance Man

    Minor note, GoOlock and Aberrant Mind overlap very nicely if your DM is dubious about multiclassing

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    Default Re: Aberrant Mind Sorlock: A Renaissance Man

    I am literally awestruck by the depth of this build.

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    Default Re: Aberrant Mind Sorlock: A Renaissance Man

    Some considerations ..

    With the updates in Tasha's, I think the most flexible blaster would be fireball + transmute metamagic. Transmute is cheap and lets the character blast all sorts of things with different damage types avoiding the typical fire resistance of certain creatures.

    I would certainly consider warlock 2 by level 5 since agonizing blast scales up by character level. Although you can manage through tier 1, you begin to notice the difference more in tier 2. In addition, even in tier 1, agonizing blast will be better than your crossbow or whatever other option you have for single target damage. However, quickened eldritch blast isn't really worth it until much later when you have a lot more sorcery points and agonizing blast has more attacks.

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    Default Re: Aberrant Mind Sorlock: A Renaissance Man

    Quote Originally Posted by Keravath View Post
    Some considerations ..

    With the updates in Tasha's, I think the most flexible blaster would be fireball + transmute metamagic. Transmute is cheap and lets the character blast all sorts of things with different damage types avoiding the typical fire resistance of certain creatures.

    I would certainly consider warlock 2 by level 5 since agonizing blast scales up by character level. Although you can manage through tier 1, you begin to notice the difference more in tier 2. In addition, even in tier 1, agonizing blast will be better than your crossbow or whatever other option you have for single target damage. However, quickened eldritch blast isn't really worth it until much later when you have a lot more sorcery points and agonizing blast has more attacks.
    Would you say that comparing DPR estimates at level 5 vs. level 6 is fair enough? If so I'd like to offer Twin Haste as offering more DPR than concentration on Hex/Darkness for Sorc 4/Hexblade 2.
    What is the normal DPR of a single attack from a GWM team player? +3 stat, +2 prof, d10 weapon, vs AC 15 for example.
    +5 vs 15 AC means 55% to hit, 30% with GWM.
    .55*(5.5+3) = 4.65
    .3*(5.5+3+10)=5.55

    2 allies with GWM means +11 DPR due to Twin Haste at the cost of 8 spell points. But points shouldn't matter for Single Target Nova attacks, just expected damage.
    1 ally with GWM, 1 ally w/o means +10.2 DPR for the same costs.
    Let's add to this Dissonant Whispers with same chance of them failing their save as us hitting, for simplicity sake
    .55*(3*3.5+.55*(4.5+3)) = 8 DPR

    If we add in 1 ally also getting an opportunity attack we get instead
    .55*(3*3.5+.55*(4.5+3 + 5.5+3)) = 10.6 DPR

    Finally If we add in 2 allies also getting an opportunity attack we get instead
    .55*(3*3.5+.55*(4.5+3 + 2*(5.5+3))) = 13.2 DPR

    This totals to
    10.2+8 to 13.2+11 = 18.2(at the lower end) to 24.2(at the upper end)


    Let's compare this with Darkness
    55% to hit baseline
    2*0.55*(5.5+3) = 9.35
    1-.55^2=70% with advantage
    2*0.7*(5.5+3) = 11.9
    This is a difference of 2.55 DPR. This small bump comes at the cost of one's concentration, frontloaded warlock level, and action.

    You may say that it is unfair assumming I've got 2 allies to capitolize on opportunity attacks, and of course, haste will outperform getting advantage on some pews from Eldritch Blast. But that is my point, a character is not an island. By building one's character to shine in multiple arenas you are able to take advantage of opportunities as they present themselves. One of these opportunities is the fact that you'l be playing in a party, and the very high likelihood that there will be someone in the party on the front lines. That reliance alone puts Twin Haste Superior to hex/Darkness at level 6, possibly better than it at level 5. But by level 7 we're the same. I'm unfamiliar with the level cuttofs for teir 2 gameplay. Is this firmly in the middle of Tier 2 challenges?

  23. - Top - End - #23
    Dwarf in the Playground
     
    Chimera

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    Default Re: Aberrant Mind Sorlock: A Renaissance Man

    I've updated the build after watching treantmonks video on the class. I fit in Hold Person for level 4-7. Level 3 aberrant spells are Sending and Enemies Abound. Keeping Telekinesis for 1 level.

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    KorvinStarmast's Avatar

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    Default Re: Aberrant Mind Sorlock: A Renaissance Man

    Quote Originally Posted by borg286 View Post
    I fit in Hold Person for level 4-7.
    It is a great spell when dealing with humanoids.
    Caveat: when the enemy seems to be a humanoid, and is actually a doppelganger (creature type = Monstrosity) guess what happens with hold person? No workee. (We found that out the hard way).
    Choose a humanoid that you can see within range. The target must succeed on a Wisdom saving throw or be paralyzed for the duration.
    But I always pick it when I have a spell caster who has it on their list.
    Always. When it's good, it's very, very good.
    Yes, I am very boring that way.
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    (paraphrased) Rulings are not 'House Rules.' Rulings are a DM doing what DMs are supposed to do.
    Quote Originally Posted by greenstone View Post
    Agency means that they {players} control their character's actions; you control the world's reactions to the character's actions.
    Gosh, 2D8HP, you are so very correct
    Quote Originally Posted by HappyDaze
    Self-deception tends to have a low target number
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  25. - Top - End - #25
    Dwarf in the Playground
     
    Chimera

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    Default Re: Aberrant Mind Sorlock: A Renaissance Man

    Quote Originally Posted by KorvinStarmast View Post
    It is a great spell when dealing with humanoids.
    Caveat: when the enemy seems to be a humanoid, and is actually a doppelganger (creature type = Monstrosity) guess what happens with hold person? No workee. (We found that out the hard way).
    But I always pick it when I have a spell caster who has it on their list.
    Always. When it's good, it's very, very good.
    Yes, I am very boring that way.
    I really like Suggestion as a Psionic spell. I also like Detect Thoughts as a Psionic spell. The race is Yuan-ti so it already has 1/day suggestion but that would be with Verbal and Material components. Is level 8 a good point to drop Hold Person in favor of Suggestion, which would work on any being? Or is Hold Person still useful into the mid-tens.

  26. - Top - End - #26
    Dwarf in the Playground
     
    Chimera

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    Default Re: Aberrant Mind Sorlock: A Renaissance Man

    I just added a tactic I just realized. Dissonant Whispers is particularly nasty with sickening radiance. The latter says you make a save when entering the area for the first time in a turn or starting ones turn there. Note that it didn't say entering on the creatures turn, only a turn. Thus a single casting of Dissonant Whispers can get a 2 exhaustion saves for the price of 1 spell.
    Last edited by borg286; 2021-01-23 at 10:59 AM.

  27. - Top - End - #27
    Dwarf in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: Aberrant Mind Sorlock: A Renaissance Man

    I added mastiff for perception helper in the scouting section. I also added portable ram, crowbar, block and Tackle and draft horse to the strong man section.
    Last edited by borg286; 2021-01-24 at 10:49 AM.

  28. - Top - End - #28
    Dwarf in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: Aberrant Mind Sorlock: A Renaissance Man

    I added a new section to replace my incorrect analysis of flexible casting.

    Spell points, Flexible Casting, and Psionic Casting

    The highlights are that the variant casting system Spell Points really help the build adapt to any situation. Previously I thought that the conversion from slots to points used the same as going from points to slots. Nope, and it seems the designers made it that way intentionally. But thankfully by going through 2nd level slots we go from a perfect 1:1 conversion to 3:2 conversion (33% point loss), which wasn't as bad as I thought.

    In fact because this build focuses so much on Dissonant Whispers so much, we can take advantage of the gain (3 spell points -> 2nd level slot -> 2 sorcery points -> twinned dissonant whispers or 2 aberrant mind 1st level castings, effectively 4 spell point cost). Doing this for many rounds should make up for the loss of using Sorcery points on Twin on so many other spells (Levitate, Hold Person, Haste, Greater Invisibility, Polymorph, Blindness Deafness).
    Spell points give us the flexibility to have the spell slots we need at the moment, while still giving us enough Sorcery points to keep Twinning multiple times per battle.

  29. - Top - End - #29
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    ElfRogueGirl

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    Default Re: Aberrant Mind Sorlock: A Renaissance Man

    Just wow! As far as I can tell everything is correct, this snake boy can deal with any situation at level 20 which is just insane!

    I however must note that in most of my games yuan-ti isn't allowed, it's just too good!

    I think I will try to play my own version of this build to see how good it is at low levels (1-5)

  30. - Top - End - #30
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    Default Re: Aberrant Mind Sorlock: A Renaissance Man

    If Yuan-ti wasn't an option I'd recommend custom lineage (+2 cha, +1 con), and taking feytouched. This gives you Misty Step early and fills a utility and damage mitigation gap I feel I have. For the free spell known, I was leaning towards Command. I've explored lots of versatile ways to use this spell here: https://forums.giantitp.com/showthre...es-for-Command
    While it seems to overlap with Dissonant Whispers by being a go-to spell for generating opportunity attacks, it is a bit different and actually blends with the build quite nicely.
    Command takes up a monster's turn while dissonant whispers leaves them with their actions to attack. Thus command is more protective and is a form of proactive damage mitigation, ie. preventing damage that the team would have taken had it not been for you Commanding the monster to flee.
    Secondly Command opens the door for clever use cases, including breaking a caster's concentration through Juggle/Dismiss. It can disarm ("strip") monsters with big sticks as well as casters. It can also enable a nova ("grovel").
    Command can be twinned and quickened by simply quickening an upcast version for the same price, meaning you can Command 2 foes and get off a repelling Eldritch Blast in a single turn. Dissonant whispers doesn't have an upcast option, only twinning can do that.

    I really consider Command superior here in every aspect except one. The synergy of Dissonant Whispers with Sickening Radiance is sick. The enemy makes a save when they first enter sickening's area, and again when their turn starts up. Thus Dissonant Whispers has the possibility to bestow 2 exhaustion levels, which is quite debilitating.

    Thus Clockwork Soul seems to do better at the Damage Mitigation thanks to Lesser Restoration, Command, and the feature where you can prevent damage on an ally with sorcery points. But the better spell list offered with Enchantment and Psionic Sorcery used with Suggestion/Hex/Modify Memory won out.

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