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Joseph Silver
2010-12-11, 05:02 PM
In D&D 3.5, the practice of level dipping involves taking a few levels of a class to add spice to one's build. For example, taking one level of fighter grants a bonus feat plus a ton of armor and weapon proficiencies which are quite useful to any class that wants to dabble a bit in swordplay (or axeplay, or hammerplay, or what have you).

The 4e equivalent is class dipping. This is done by taking one or more multiclass feats to gain access to various feats, skills, paragon paths, or even epic destinies that work well for their main class. For example, taking Student of Battle to dip into the warlord class gives you Inspiring Word 1/day and an extra trained skill from the warlord's skill list. All for the cost of a single feat and strength 13.

Let's talk about our favorite class dips in this thread. Here's a list of mine:

1. Int-based Class + Sorcerer Dip

Any int-based class with charisma 13 can spend two feats to dip into sorcerer to get Arcana, Insight, and Perception maxed out by paragon tier. Arcane Prodigy gets you Arcana plus a minor damage boost 1/encounter, while Sorcerous Vision lets you use Arcana in place of Insight and Perception.

So, for two feats, you get Detect Magic at will, good trapfinding ability, the ability to read people like Dr. Lightman from "Lie to Me," superhuman senses, and abovementioned damage boost.

2. Warlord Dip

See above. Any class with strength 13 gets the ability to heal 1/day, and he gets a free skill on top of that.

3. Divine Oracle Dip

This one was discovered very early on. At the cost of one feat, any class with wisdom 13 can take full advantage of the Divine Oracle paragon path even without a good wisdom score. Only one power technically requires wisdom, but since it isn't expended AND you get your action back if it misses, you don't really lose anything due to not having good wisdom.

4. Implement-User Dip

Thanks to recent errata, multiclass characters can now use either of their classes' implements for their other class. For example, a cleric/wizard can use a holy symbol for wizard spells or a staff for cleric prayers. This means that any implement user can take Bardic Dilettante to be able to heal 1/day and use musical instruments to power his spells, prayers, evocations, etc.

A psion/bard can mind control people with THE POWER OF ROCK. :smallcool:

I'll stop at four. What are your favorite class dips in 4e?

Dimers
2010-12-11, 05:53 PM
I rarely only dip in 4e -- I often like to trade off utilities or dailies anyway. But I'd take the barbarian MC feat just for its base effects (skill + bonus damage for an entire combat per day), especially for an area attacker. And there are several epic destinies I'd spend a MC feat for:

Glorious Spirit (dip any primal) for a melee striker or defender
Archmage (dip wizard) to enjoy the benefits of phasing for as long as you want
Fatesinger (dip bard) to make action points your playthings ... works especially well for the human racial PP, who get an extra AP per day, or the War Chanter bard PP, who can spend two AP in a single encounter.


Blizzard Mage is a sorcerer PP with non-power benefits that are universally applicable. Any Cha-based character should consider dipping sorcerer to take it.

Dipping sorcerer to take Sorcerous Vision gets even better when you take the Sage of Ages ED, which requires any arcane class and grants a +6 untyped bonus to Arcana.

WitchSlayer
2010-12-11, 06:03 PM
Go bard

Dip every class

be extremely spread out, but feel awesome anyway

Aww yis.

Hal
2010-12-11, 06:05 PM
1. Any Arcane + Arcane Familiar

Because familiars are awesome, and now you can have one. Bard is a good one to take for this because it also nets you the daily heal as well.

2. Barbarian + Hurl Weapon/Improvised Missile

Melee class but don't want to switch weapons when you have to deal with ranged enemies? No problem! Now you can just throw your weapon at the enemy! (Assuming that throwing a weapon not meant to be thrown counts as using an improvised weapon; I can't remember if there's a different approach to that.)

3. Wis-based Class + Avenger + Zealous Assassin

I find this paragon path attractive for classes with a good Wis score because of 1) The invisibility power, and 2) The sneak attack-lite features.



Honestly, those are the only three I can think of off-hand. I'm sure there's better combos out there.

Kylarra
2010-12-11, 06:08 PM
Are there even any Int-classes other than Psion that don't forcibly have arcana attached to their list?

Psyren
2010-12-11, 06:14 PM
Are there even any Int-classes other than Psion that don't forcibly have arcana attached to their list?

Given that "arcana" just means "secrets," is it so strange that it comes naturally to intelligence-based classes?

Dalek-K
2010-12-11, 06:15 PM
I wonder...

If you are a Bard hybrid then can you multiclass multiple times?

Kylarra
2010-12-11, 06:16 PM
Given that "arcana" just means "secrets," is it so strange that it comes naturally to intelligence-based classes?No, it's not a surprise to me at all, I am just curious if I was missing something since the first post implies that you're getting the arcane skill training through the feat, but all the [non-psion] int-based classes I could recall offhand, wizard, artificer, swordmage, all require you to take arcana from the onset. It is, however, useful for my psion, which I do appreciate.

Mando Knight
2010-12-11, 06:17 PM
Are there even any Int-classes other than Psion that don't forcibly have arcana attached to their list?

Tactical Warlords have Int as one of the strongest secondary stats in the game... Invokers and Shaman have Int builds, but those are secondary scores... Warlocks generally treat Int as a secondary score...
...and I think that's it.

TheEmerged
2010-12-11, 06:23 PM
Go bard

Dip every class

be extremely spread out, but feel awesome anyway

Actually, I've got an SVK* bard build ready to go if I ever get the chance to play 4e instead of DM it.

*
Sir Vorpal Kickasso, from the Goblins webcomic. He's a charismatic but crazy goblin who makes a bizarre build that starts out as 1/11 of 11 different classes. For example, he can cast 1/11th of a sleep spell...

It's actually a stronger build in 4e than it might sound. Of course he doesn't actually take 11 classes, that would be almost all of his feat selection. I'm not saying it's especially powerful, but it looks fun to play

Original Topic. The most common dip I see by far is Ranger. A fairly easy one to qualify for, gives you a choice from one of the better skill lists, and adds a +1d6 to two attacks against the same target.

The *weirdest* one I've seen is the paladin in the group I DM that has taken a level of Battlemind exclusively to make sure the character had Bluff trained.

Kurald Galain
2010-12-11, 06:32 PM
Original Topic. The most common dip I see by far is Ranger.

Same here. A leader dip for the daily heal is frequently suggested, but only very rarely do people actually take it (since if you need an emergency heal, you can always use the skill or a potion instead).

Most characters end up with a MC feat pretty quickly, since they're among the best feats in the game. Shaman is also a good one, as is the Fighter one that gives you an out-of-turn attack. Barbarian is good to the point of cheese, but the prereqs are annoying. The "gain an at-will power 1/encounter" are fun but not usually effective.

Joseph Silver
2010-12-11, 06:33 PM
Are there even any Int-classes other than Psion that don't forcibly have arcana attached to their list?
Tactical warlord doesn't get Arcana.

Kylarra
2010-12-11, 06:37 PM
Well, I'll definitely concede that it's still a decent trick, albeit stronger for Psions and the aforementioned TacLords. Thanks for the info.

Urpriest
2010-12-11, 09:39 PM
Fighter for pretty much any weapon-focused class. Most of the interesting weapon combos have a fighter feat somewhere in their setup. A character with Wis 13 can further benefit from an extra immediate action attack once per encounter, which is pretty nice.

Eorran
2010-12-11, 10:58 PM
One place where Leader dips shine is small parties (3 or less), where good control and damage tends to be prioritized. Similarly, any non-Striker in a small party may want to add a Ranger or Rogue dip for the extra damage.

Dimers
2010-12-13, 02:23 AM
A new favorite! A psion dips bard to take the lifesinger PP, thus getting rerolls on most of their attack powers, with +2 on the reroll for Betrayal, Dominate and anything else that doesn't deal damage.

Meta
2010-12-13, 03:17 AM
Tactical Warlords have Int as one of the strongest secondary stats in the game... Invokers and Shaman have Int builds, but those are secondary scores... Warlocks generally treat Int as a secondary score...
...and I think that's it.

Two Avenger builds lack arcana

R. Shackleford
2010-12-13, 11:07 AM
I wonder...

If you are a Bard hybrid then can you multiclass multiple times?

Nope. Only full Bards get that feature, and the Hybrid Talent Feat doesn't seem to allow you to take it.

By hybrid is bad anyway.

Anyway, my Half-Elf War Chanter dipped Ranger in order to take Twin Strike and take advantage of all of the free attacks, rerolls, and crit range manipulation I was pulling off. I really like to roll dice, especially other people's. Plus our real ranger kept getting drunk and passing out during the bigger encounters, and the party had two other leaders, so healing was covered.

Mando Knight
2010-12-13, 12:14 PM
Two Avenger builds lack arcana

Right, Avenger. Like Invokers, is Wis with an Int-secondary build (or two).

Kylarra
2010-12-13, 12:20 PM
Although it's worth pointing out that a Wis-based class would probably be just as well off getting training for insight or perception with their multiclass skill than burning two feats to get them based off int instead.

Sipex
2010-12-13, 12:25 PM
Leader classes get the advantage of additional healing powers by dipping into the other leader classes.

Jaidu
2010-12-13, 12:28 PM
A new favorite! A psion dips bard to take the lifesinger PP, thus getting rerolls on most of their attack powers, with +2 on the reroll for Betrayal, Dominate and anything else that doesn't deal damage.

I love the Lifesinger PP for any class that targets Will a lot. I've used it to great effect on an Illusionist Wizard as well. The extra standard action daily for your entire party is pretty sweet also.

Dipping Barbarian isn't bad. There are quite a few decent feats, and a bonus to damage for an entire encounter can add up.

If you have Dex or Strength and use ranged basic attacks, Seeker MC opens up Primal Eye at Paragon. This isn't great for many classes, but Essentials classes use basic attacks a lot. Slayer, Thief, and Hunter can all benefit from this, especially the thief. Even a normal ranged rogue can combine this with Deft Aim to make their ranged basics target Reflex and deal big damage.

Dalek-K
2010-12-13, 01:29 PM
Nope. Only full Bards get that feature, and the Hybrid Talent Feat doesn't seem to allow you to take it.

By hybrid is bad anyway.

Anyway, my Half-Elf War Chanter dipped Ranger in order to take Twin Strike and take advantage of all of the free attacks, rerolls, and crit range manipulation I was pulling off. I really like to roll dice, especially other people's. Plus our real ranger kept getting drunk and passing out during the bigger encounters, and the party had two other leaders, so healing was covered.

Hybrids are bad? Well granted I don't know if they messed with much sinice last time I created one but a WarlordXSorcerer is a very deadly combination >:)

Avengers make me so sad... When they first came out well... a month or so afterwards you could hit 200 ish dmg by like level 5-9 by using an action point and a encounter holy power.

R. Shackleford
2010-12-13, 06:11 PM
Hybrids are bad? Well granted I don't know if they messed with much sinice last time I created one but a WarlordXSorcerer is a very deadly combination >:)

Avengers make me so sad... When they first came out well... a month or so afterwards you could hit 200 ish dmg by like level 5-9 by using an action point and a encounter holy power.

When I say bad, I mean from an optimization standpoint, and only in my opinion. I like the hybrid, but I'm in the 'can do two things and neither of them well' camp. I'm sure there are sweet combinations like Warlord|Sorc, though, if you have enough time to match things up. I also haven't tinkered with them since the last time they were updated.

Kurald Galain
2010-12-13, 06:16 PM
Hybrids are bad?
Yes, they are. While I'm sure they are fun to play, they are almost without exception substantially weaker than either class would be on its own. And that includes a warlord|sorcerer, as the two have rather poor synergy.

Not that that should stop you from playing one, of course. But it seems that every first-time player on these boards asks how to make a hybrid, and the standard advice for hybrids to beginning players is "don't!"

Joseph Silver
2010-12-13, 06:44 PM
substantially weaker

Note that "substantially weaker" in 4e is different from what it means in 3.5. As long as you have good stats in both of your classes' main stats, your hybrid character will be playable.

If 4e base classes are tier 3 in 3.5, 4e hybrid classes are tier 4.

Kurald Galain
2010-12-13, 06:52 PM
Note that "substantially weaker" in 4e is different from what it means in 3.5.
No, it is not. Substantially weaker means precisely what it says. It does not mean "unplayable", but then it doesn't mean that in 3.5 either.

On a scale of 1-5, most 4E classes are 4 or 5 at their primariy role, and 2 or 3 at their secondary (e.g. a fighter is 5 at defending, 3 at striking; whereas an invoker is 5 at controlling, 2 at leading). Most hybrid combinations end up being 2 or 3 at both sides. That's a pretty bad tradeoff for the ability to pick powers from a longer list, and that's what substantially weaker means.

Urpriest
2010-12-13, 06:56 PM
Note that "substantially weaker" in 4e is different from what it means in 3.5. As long as you have good stats in both of your classes' main stats, your hybrid character will be playable.

If 4e base classes are tier 3 in 3.5, 4e hybrid classes are tier 4.

And to add to this, the primary reason why hybrids are often weaker is precisely because they inspire players to neglect one or more of their main stats. If you can avoid that they're usually quite playable.

Joseph Silver
2010-12-13, 08:28 PM
And to add to this, the primary reason why hybrids are often weaker is precisely because they inspire players to neglect one or more of their main stats. If you can avoid that they're usually quite playable.
Which is my point. To elaborate, both halves of a hybrid class only has a primary stat, and not a secondary stat. A hybrid class sometimes gets a secondary stat if it takes Hybrid Talent. For example, a fighter|wizard only has strength and intelligence as prime stats; he has no class features that require a secondary stat unless he takes the appropriate Hybrid Talent.

Hybrid characters trade power for versatility, so technically, they are weaker than normal in any specific role. However, they make up for it by being playable in two roles. Whether or not this is a good bargain depends on the player. Different strokes for different folks.

absolmorph
2010-12-13, 08:36 PM
Which is my point. To elaborate, both halves of a hybrid class only has a primary stat, and not a secondary stat. A hybrid class sometimes gets a secondary stat if it takes Hybrid Talent. For example, a fighter|wizard only has strength and intelligence as prime stats; he has no class features that require a secondary stat unless he takes the appropriate Hybrid Talent.

Hybrid characters trade power for versatility, so technically, they are weaker than normal in any specific role. However, they make up for it by being playable in two roles. Whether or not this is a good bargain depends on the player. Different strokes for different folks.
What if you hybrid, say, Fighter and Ranger?

Joseph Silver
2010-12-13, 08:47 PM
What if you hybrid, say, Fighter and Ranger?
Then it's even better, as they share a primary stat: Strength. Even if you go archery for your ranger half, you still only have two primary stats and no secondary stats. Some powers might have specific secondary stats, but they are not required to have a useful hybrid character.

Meta
2010-12-13, 09:29 PM
Yes, they are. While I'm sure they are fun to play, they are almost without exception substantially weaker than either class would be on its own. And that includes a warlord|sorcerer, as the two have rather poor synergy.

Not that that should stop you from playing one, of course. But it seems that every first-time player on these boards asks how to make a hybrid, and the standard advice for hybrids to beginning players is "don't!"

A sorcerer warlord can be extremely effective. Generally speaking sorcerers have powerful features and lackluster powers (with a few exceptions.) I built my friend a dragonborn sorcerer|warlord that is devastating. He has a dragonfrost with sorc blade channeling, draconic arrogance and draconic spellfury if he wants to go damage (Adds Cha mod and str mod twice to damage plus thps equal to str) and then picks up many warlord powers which are arguably some of the strongest in the game. Thanks to AIP he's very flexible with weapon/implements and retains the strongest aspects of each class.

I feel you have a narrow view on hybrids. Reading through a hybrid class entry and going "look at all that it loses!" is really easy. Some classes lose more than others. Paladin and Swordmage, for instance, lose little and make excellent hybrids. Sorc and Warlord can be done very effectively, ya just gotta approach it from the right perspective and play off both base classes strengths (pun intended.)

tcrudisi
2010-12-13, 11:10 PM
When I say bad, I mean from an optimization standpoint, and only in my opinion. I like the hybrid, but I'm in the 'can do two things and neither of them well' camp. I'm sure there are sweet combinations like Warlord|Sorc, though, if you have enough time to match things up. I also haven't tinkered with them since the last time they were updated.

From an optimization standpoint, the hybrids have more potential to be better. Yes, overall, hybrids are weaker, but it's easy enough to create a hybrid that makes single class characters look silly. For example, the Battlemind|Fighter is a better defender than a pure Battlemind or a pure Fighter.

Kurald Galain
2010-12-14, 04:35 AM
Which is my point. To elaborate, both halves of a hybrid class only has a primary stat, and not a secondary stat.
However, many powers and class features rely on a secondary stat. If the hybrid ignores the secondary stats from his two classes, that means he effectively can't use those. For example, a fighter|wizard can't do much with thunderwave (normally a popular and powerful choice for wizards).


Hybrid characters trade power for versatility,
Not exactly.
There's two kinds of versatility. The theoretical versatility lies in the list of powers you can choose from. The practical versatility lies in what you have available in play. Hybrids get more of the former, but less of the latter.

To put it differently: it matters which powers you pick. It does not matter whether the list of powers you don't pick contains 200 or 400 powers.


However, they make up for it by being playable in two roles.
Practically every class has a secondary role in the first place.


What if you hybrid, say, Fighter and Ranger?
That is a decent combo because they're both strength-based melee classes. However, note that it can't mark on ranger attacks, can't quarry on fighter attacks, and can't do either on basic attacks.


A sorcerer warlord can be extremely effective. Generally speaking sorcerers have powerful features and lackluster powers (with a few exceptions.) I built my friend a dragonborn sorcerer|warlord that is devastating.
Show us, then. I think you are using a different standard for "effective" and "devastating" than I am. Also, it seems that you're talking about whether this hybrid is fun and playable at the table, whereas I am talking about how it compares to other characters. That's not the same thing.

The warlord is a melee class that likes heavy armor and big weapons, and relies on strength; the sorcerer is a ranged class that uses only light armor and small weapons, and relies on charisma. The two classes have very poor synergy.


it's easy enough to create a hybrid that makes single class characters look silly.
For a handful of combos, perhaps, but for the majority of hybrid combinations that really doesn't work.
I can see how a fighter|bm is a decent combination (defender|defender hybrids work quite well in general), but what makes you think it is better than a straight fighter, or indeed that it makes the fighter (one of the best classes in the game!) look "silly"? The fighter gets a good to excellent power in each power slot; there aren't many places where a BM power is going to be an improvement. And the hybrid doesn't get the highly-accurate movement-stopping marking OAs that the plain fighter does.

DragonBaneDM
2010-12-14, 04:36 AM
Frost Cheese for non-rogues is usually best implemented with that multiclass.

Also, Rangers enjoy it because Snap Shot is money for them. It seriously might be better for them than a Rogue.

I see a lot of people multiclass Wizard, mostly for Ritual Casting. Their's is far superior to any other Ritualist. The only person that gives them an inkling of competition is the Artificer.

Matter of fact, the ultimate Ritual Caster is probably a Wizard/Artificer or vice versa who took advantage of Master Crafter and the like.

Excession
2010-12-14, 05:24 AM
I tend to agree that Hybrids are lower power, but there are some exceptions that prove the rule. I rather like the look of a Wizard|Artificer, with the Artificer side treated more as a dip than a half class. You lose:

Ritual casting. You could MC Bard or Invoker to get a version, and they both have something more than the straight Ritual Casting feat at least.
Spellbook, so you don't have to choose between Sleep and something worse every morning. :smallwink:
One feat to hybrid talent if you want a form of Arcane Implement Mastery.


You gain:

One of the better once per encounter heals in the game.
A choice of powers that still feel a lot like Wizard powers.

It mostly comes down to Hybrid Wizard being better than other hybrids I think.

Wizard|Lazylord looks like it could work too, with the option of taking Battlefront Leader to get a heavy shield and build yourself a Wizard with 19 AC at level 1.

====== Created Using Wizards of the Coast D&D Character Builder ======
Wizlord, level 1
Human, Wizard|Warlord
Warlord Leadership: Battlefront Leader (Hybrid)
Hybrid Warlord: Hybrid Warlord Will

FINAL ABILITY SCORES
Str 10, Con 11, Dex 10, Int 20, Wis 14, Cha 8.

STARTING ABILITY SCORES
Str 10, Con 11, Dex 10, Int 18, Wis 14, Cha 8.


AC: 19 Fort: 11 Reflex: 18 Will: 15
HP: 22 Surges: 6 Surge Value: 5

TRAINED SKILLS
Religion +10, History +10, Heal +7, Arcana +10

UNTRAINED SKILLS
Acrobatics -2, Bluff -1, Diplomacy -1, Dungeoneering +2, Endurance -2, Insight +2, Intimidate -1, Nature +2, Perception +2, Stealth -2, Streetwise -1, Thievery -2, Athletics -2

FEATS
Human: Enlarge Spell
Level 1: Unarmored Agility

POWERS
Bonus At-Will Power: Thunderwave
Hybrid at-will 1: Commander's Strike
Hybrid at-will 1: Nightmare Eruption
Hybrid encounter 1: Powerful Warning
Hybrid daily 1: Sleep

ITEMS
Heavy Shield, Cloth Armor (Basic Clothing)
====== Copy to Clipboard and Press the Import Button on the Summary Tab ======

Kurald Galain
2010-12-14, 06:11 AM
Wizard|Lazylord looks like it could work too, with the option of taking Battlefront Leader to get a heavy shield and build yourself a Wizard with 19 AC at level 1.
Staff Mastery does it without the hybrid :smallbiggrin:

You'll end up with 18 AC most of the time and 20 once per encounter at need; since you are highly unlikely to be hit exactly on AC 18 more than once per encounter, that's effectively the same.

tcrudisi
2010-12-14, 09:01 AM
I can see how a fighter|bm is a decent combination (defender|defender hybrids work quite well in general), but what makes you think it is better than a straight fighter, or indeed that it makes the fighter (one of the best classes in the game!) look "silly"? The fighter gets a good to excellent power in each power slot; there aren't many places where a BM power is going to be an improvement. And the hybrid doesn't get the highly-accurate movement-stopping marking OAs that the plain fighter does.

That particular combination does take the hybrid talent for combat superiority. Thus, it's mark punishment is far stronger than a normal Fighter. The normal Fighter gets "you shift away, I smack you. If you attack someone else, I smack you."
The hybrid BM|Fighter gets "if you shift away, I smack you and shift 1 to keep up with you. Are you sure you still want to charge my ally? Because, if you attack someone else, I smack you." Both still stop movement on an OA.

But wait, it gets better! What if the monster attacks you?
The Fighter? He takes it. Congrats - you've done your job, Fighter.
The BM|Fighter? He takes it, but at something like -4 to -6 to the attack roll, so the monster almost assuredly misses. (That's done via always attacking with Brash Strike and using a feat... can't remember the name off-hand... It makes the BM|Fighter grant CA to the opponent, but gaing +Cha to defenses. Since Cha and Con are the primary stats for this build, that means at least +5 to +9 to defenses, for a net of +3 to +7 to defenses against that monster.)

I know - "But the BM|Fighter will never hit if Str is a dump stat!" Okay, it's not quite a dump stat. A score of 10 isn't a dump stat, is it? :smallamused: At level 11 this BM|Fighter takes Daring Blade PP, allowing it to use Cha for all martial attacks, giving it stat synergy. Finally, if you are worried about hitting in heroic, remember that Brash Strike gives +2 to the attack, so if you are worried about it, drop a 12 into Str instead, giving you an effective Str 16 for the attack - which is more than playable.

Also, at level 7 the BM|Fighter gets Lightning Rush, making this character a threat to even non-marked, non-adjacent bad guys. "Oh, you want to attack my ally with a ranged attack? No." He abuses Lightning Rush just like the typical BM does - use it on a ranged attack to get both the LR attack and the OA. Bonus points for playing a Half-Elf (Cha/Con race which is perfect stat synergy for this hybrid) and taking Eldritch Strike with +slide enhancing feats and items. Then when you hit with your mark punishment or OA, you get to slide the monster a few squares. I happen to enjoy sliding the ranged attacker beside the Barbarian, TWF Ranger, or other defender so they can get a free attack. I've also been known to abuse Storm Pillar (since the forced movement is on their turn) and a Lightning Fury Sorc (Storm Pillar on crack). Worst case scenario? You use it on a melee attack and slide them away from their target, causing the attack to auto-miss.

So, this character does a far better job protecting his allies and protecting himself. Sure, he'll do less damage... unless there's a wizard with Storm Pillar or a Lightning Fury PP Sorc, at which point he'll out-damage everyone else at the table. Not bad for a hybrid and even better than a straight Fighter (and you are right - the straight Fighter is typically one of the best classes in the game).

/edit - Also, the hybrid BM|Fighter gets the ability to mark more targets. Since on his turn he is always attacking with a Fighter power (either Come and Get It or Brash Strike), he gets the Fighter mark. As a minor action, he can use his BM mark, allowing him to keep multiple enemies marked more easily than a straight Fighter. I found the minor actions aren't that important to the Fighter except to pop stances, so it worked fine.

Kurald Galain
2010-12-14, 09:19 AM
The hybrid BM|Fighter
That's a nice combo, but I see three problems with that build.

First, a plain fighter can also use the brash strike trick, can also smack-and-shift-to-keep-up (there's a feat for that), and can easily obtain a threat to non-marked non-adjacent archers via multiclassing. He'll also mark on the latter two attacks, which the hybrid won't.

Second, your strategy relies on "always attacking with Brash Strike". Aside from being repetitive (imho, pretty boring), this is just not very effective. Likewise, you can't count on the wizard using Storm Pillar all the time since he'll have better things to do with his actions.

Third, your accuracy suffers. You state that the +3 to-hit on BS is playable (and it is), but a pure fighter would have +8 on the same power. Using Daring Blade to key it off charisma doesn't help for the first ten levels, and locks you out of better PPs.

So yeah, it's a nice combo, but it's a far cry from being "better than a straight Fighter". I'll see your Lightning Rush and raise you a Come And Get It.

tcrudisi
2010-12-14, 09:28 AM
First, a plain fighter can also use the brash strike trick Yes, but that means the Fighter has to bump Cha, a stat that normally falls pretty far down the line. Wis, Con, and Dex usually take precedence before Cha.
can also smack-and-shift-to-keep-up (there's a feat for that) Only on a hit. The BM|Fighter gets it automatically and can even shift 2 with the expenditure of a feat.
and can easily obtain a threat to non-marked non-adjacent archers via multiclassing. He'll also mark on the latter two attacks, which the hybrid won't. Such as? Also, the Half-Elf example I gave earlier does get to mark with its basic attack. There's a feat for that. Although, I trained out of it because I didn't need to keep that monster marked, ironically.


Second, your strategy relies on "always attacking with Brash Strike". Aside from being repetitive (imho, pretty boring), this is just not very effective. Likewise, you can't count on the wizard using Storm Pillar all the time since he'll have better things to do with his actions. The fun in the character is with resource management. If your DM always follows the mark, then sure, it gets boring (except for Lightning Rush, which you then use every round, followed by an OA... which is as many attacks as your neighborhood Ranger is getting). If he doesn't, then suddenly you've got to juggle several marks and decide who you should punish. That's when it gets exciting. Also, you are right - the hybrid typically does less damage than the Fighter. I admitted that fact. There are a few exceptions, of course.


Third, your accuracy suffers. You state that the +3 to-hit on BS is playable (and it is), but a pure fighter would have +8 on the same power. Using Daring Blade to key it off charisma doesn't help for the first ten levels, and locks you out of better PPs. There are some wonderful PP's out there. But with everything this hybrid gives you, it's worth the trade-off. Even considering those other amazing PP's, I've not seen a more powerful defender at a table.


So yeah, it's a nice combo, but it's a far cry from being "better than a straight Fighter". I'll see your Lightning Rush and raise you a Come And Get It.

The hybrid has Come and Get It. That's usually the first round power used. Use Come and Get It to clump the bad guys and mark them all. Use a minor (sometimes with power point) to perma-mark two of the bad guys. Then, when they all swing at ya, use Lightning Rush to lock down another target that's 5 squares away. The poor sap thought he was safe being out of range of your Come and Get It. Bonus points if the initiative fits perfectly and you slide him into the clump, then get to move back into your "center of attention" position before any monsters get to move.

ShaggyMarco
2010-12-14, 09:32 AM
Stuff about a Fighter/Battlemind hybrid

Ah, so it's not REALLY an effective build until Paragon Tier. That said, it sounds REALLY cool at paragon tier...but I don't know that I'd say it will be anywhere close to better than a Fighter OR a Battlemind until level 11 at the earliest.

ON TOPIC: When making my purposely non-optimized (but hopefully functional!) PC for my FR game, I made a Tiefling Thaneborn barbarian (Str/Cha focused) and dipped into Paladin so that I could take the Paladin mark as something of a "striker damage add" ability. My idea was to use my Barbarian's mobility, my reach weapon, and the feat that adds Str to Divine Challenge damage to make it frustrating for baddies to attack me, forcing them to take damage or to put themselves in tight spots. It worked (sometimes). Unfortunately, the party's fighter frequently managed to override my mark, and as I only could use it 1/encounter, it made the 2-feat investment a little much.

Also, I never could figure out how Thaneborn Barbarians were meant to survive with no Dex/Int (like the Whirling Barbs), no focus on Con (like the rest of the barbs), and no heavy armor.

So I re-made him as a Hybrid Barbarian/Paladin and blew my hybrid talent feat on Paladin Armor Prof. Barbarian doesn't lose much as a hybrid, since most of a Barbarian's awesome is in his powers. I now have a mark that can be over-written by my fighter without one of my encounter powers becoming effectively worthless, a good enough AC to survive, and my basic strategy of using mobility and reach to force my marks to take damage is still pretty sound. Not at all optimal, I know, but an effective and fun addition to the party.

Kurald Galain
2010-12-14, 09:46 AM
Yes, but that means the Fighter has to bump Cha, a stat that normally falls pretty far down the line.
Yes. Thankfully the Fighter has a plethora of other ways to make him harder to hit or damage, such as Kirre's Roar or Tumbling Dodge. Or just be a Battlerager and cover yourself in THP.


Such as?
Use e.g. Disruptive Strike or Sudden Retaliation, both available from level 4. Heck, take Immediate Vengeance from the fighter's own list. Combine with a heavy thrown weapon as needed.


The hybrid has Come and Get It.
Since it's the same level as Lightning Rush, how were you planning on getting both? Substitute one for your L13 power?


The fun in the character is with resource management.
Oh, I agree that it's a fun and effective character (at paragon tier, at least). I do not agree that this is better than a straight Fighter, or that it makes the Fighter look silly.


Even considering those other amazing PP's, I've not seen a more powerful defender at a table.
I've seen some crazy Warden and Swordmage stuff around, plus a Warlock defender that makes the party mostly invulnerable by handing out THP like candy.

tcrudisi
2010-12-14, 03:25 PM
Ah, so it's not REALLY an effective build until Paragon Tier. That said, it sounds REALLY cool at paragon tier...but I don't know that I'd say it will be anywhere close to better than a Fighter OR a Battlemind until level 11 at the earliest.

It's an effective build prior to level 11. You are fairly accurate with your Brash Strike and not very accurate with Come and Get It (but who cares? It brings them closer to you automatically and marks them, which is the real purpose of the power) and very accurate with your BM powers. It's also more durable than a typical Fighter (thanks to high Con) with, at worst, the same defenses of either (and on the turns you hit with Brash Strike, much better defenses). You still have Come and Get It and Lightning Rush. It still has the ability to mark more than either the BM or Fighter alone (so keeping more monsters under control) and more mark punishment than either alone. So while it may not hit quite as much, it's still more effective than either one alone.

Now, when it hits level 11 it really explodes. It goes from "slightly better than either BM or Fighter alone" to "truly amazing."


Since it's the same level as Lightning Rush, how were you planning on getting both? Substitute one for your L13 power?

Oops. I was thinking that Come and Get It was level 3. Well, yeah, I took both by substituting Come and Get It as my level 13 power then. Really, the build only uses 4 'attack' powers with any real regularity: Brash Strike, Come and Get It, Lightning Rush, and Eldritch Strike. (I'm ignoring dailies that are 'attack powers' stances such as Rain of Steel and the higher level version that throws in some extra bonuses on top of Rain of Steel effect. While they are obviously 'attack powers', they don't let you attack. But yeah, they are still very much used.)

kyoryu
2010-12-14, 03:32 PM
I think the point remains that hybrids/dipping require a different mentality in 4e than 3.x. Where in 3.x, going straight <class> is usually pretty suboptimal, in 4e that's *not* the case.

While hybrids/multiclass can be effective, and can have good builds, players shouldn't approach them from the view "not multiclassing means I'm gimped." And, without knowing the system pretty well, it's much easier to gimp yourself with a hybrid than with a straight class build.

tcrudisi
2010-12-14, 03:55 PM
I think the point remains that hybrids/dipping require a different mentality in 4e than 3.x. Where in 3.x, going straight <class> is usually pretty suboptimal, in 4e that's *not* the case.

While hybrids/multiclass can be effective, and can have good builds, players shouldn't approach them from the view "not multiclassing means I'm gimped." And, without knowing the system pretty well, it's much easier to gimp yourself with a hybrid than with a straight class build.

In 4e, it's usually optimal to multiclass to get access to more feats and choices. That's not always the case, of course, as many straight classes are just fine without that. However, many classes will want a couple of feat options from another class, so I'd say it's slightly more than 50% that "optimally" want to multiclass. (That number is made up, however, just going on my personal experiences optimizing different classes.)

Hybrids are definitely not for newer players. They are generally sub-optimal compared to straight builds. But there are a few that break that rule, but they are certainly not the norm. I just hate to say "hybrids are always worse" because that's just not true. They can be better in the hands of an optimizer. Sometimes 1+1 does =3.

Meta
2010-12-15, 02:56 AM
[QUOTE=Kurald Galain;9963588]

Show us, then. I think you are using a different standard for "effective" and "devastating" than I am. Also, it seems that you're talking about whether this hybrid is fun and playable at the table, whereas I am talking about how it compares to other characters. That's not the same thing.

The warlord is a melee class that likes heavy armor and big weapons, and relies on strength; the sorcerer is a ranged class that uses only light armor and small weapons, and relies on charisma. The two classes have very poor synergy.

Stat out what you think is an effectively damaging sorcerer (a good baseline if you will) and then I will stat out the hybrid for you.

EDIT: Look, I found a completely unoriginal but likely first step for you!:
http://community.wizards.com/wiki/Dnd:Sorcerer_handbook. :smallamused:

Excession
2010-12-15, 04:24 AM
It's probably not optimal, but I'll call you with this Sorc:

====== Created Using Wizards of the Coast D&D Character Builder ======
level 4
Drow, Sorcerer
Build: Chaos Sorcerer
Spell Source: Wild Magic
Darkfire: Darkfire Charisma
Background: Occupation - Criminal (Stealth class skill)

FINAL ABILITY SCORES
Str 11, Con 13, Dex 19, Int 10, Wis 8, Cha 19.

STARTING ABILITY SCORES
Str 11, Con 13, Dex 16, Int 10, Wis 8, Cha 16.


AC: 17 Fort: 14 Reflex: 17 Will: 19
HP: 40 Surges: 7 Surge Value: 10

TRAINED SKILLS
Arcana +7, Bluff +11, Diplomacy +11, Stealth +13, Thievery +11

UNTRAINED SKILLS
Acrobatics +6, Dungeoneering +1, Endurance +3, Heal +1, History +2, Insight +1, Intimidate +8, Nature +1, Perception +1, Religion +2, Streetwise +6, Athletics +2

FEATS
Level 1: Sneak of Shadows
Level 2: Implement Expertise (Light Blade)
Level 4: Dual Implement Spellcaster

POWERS
Sorcerer at-will 1: Burning Spray
Sorcerer at-will 1: Chaos Bolt
Sorcerer encounter 1: Bedeviling Burst
Sorcerer daily 1: Dazzling Ray
Sorcerer utility 2: Deep Shroud
Sorcerer encounter 3: Swirling Stars

ITEMS
Vengeful Dagger +1, Challenge-Seeking Dagger +1, Brooch of Shielding +1, Flowform Cloth Armor (Basic Clothing) +1, Adventurer's Kit, Camouflaged Clothing, Footpads, Thieves' Tools, Potion of Healing (heroic tier) (2)
====== Copy to Clipboard and Press the Import Button on the Summary Tab ======


Damage should be decent at least, and you've got sneak attack once an encounter to define your nova round. Drow gives perfect stat boosts, and cloud of darkness for survival and/or CA. Also has excellent skills; able to take the rogue's place as sneaky thief and act as party face. Stealth in particular retains its usefulness in combat to get CA or avoid attacks.

The two daggers let you choose from bonus damage toward the start of combat from Challenge-Seeking, or a the chance for a bigger boost further in from Vengeful.

Meta
2010-12-15, 09:01 PM
This is pretty good. I can squeeze more damage out with a hybrid or straight sorc but it is kurald who doubts my knowledge of high levels of optimization so I'm very curious about what he thinks makes a 'good sorc,' as I feel most of his knowledge is regurgitated CharOp impressions. If he doesn't reply after awhile I'd love to talk about ways to improve this build and sorcs in general if you'd like to!
EDIT: Aaaaand Drow may only get one of their racial abilities now? I feel like I read that on a forum somewhere but I cant verify that right now

It's probably not optimal, but I'll call you with this Sorc:

====== Created Using Wizards of the Coast D&D Character Builder ======
level 4
Drow, Sorcerer
Build: Chaos Sorcerer
Spell Source: Wild Magic
Darkfire: Darkfire Charisma
Background: Occupation - Criminal (Stealth class skill)

FINAL ABILITY SCORES
Str 11, Con 13, Dex 19, Int 10, Wis 8, Cha 19.

STARTING ABILITY SCORES
Str 11, Con 13, Dex 16, Int 10, Wis 8, Cha 16.


AC: 17 Fort: 14 Reflex: 17 Will: 19
HP: 40 Surges: 7 Surge Value: 10

TRAINED SKILLS
Arcana +7, Bluff +11, Diplomacy +11, Stealth +13, Thievery +11

UNTRAINED SKILLS
Acrobatics +6, Dungeoneering +1, Endurance +3, Heal +1, History +2, Insight +1, Intimidate +8, Nature +1, Perception +1, Religion +2, Streetwise +6, Athletics +2

FEATS
Level 1: Sneak of Shadows
Level 2: Implement Expertise (Light Blade)
Level 4: Dual Implement Spellcaster

POWERS
Sorcerer at-will 1: Burning Spray
Sorcerer at-will 1: Chaos Bolt
Sorcerer encounter 1: Bedeviling Burst
Sorcerer daily 1: Dazzling Ray
Sorcerer utility 2: Deep Shroud
Sorcerer encounter 3: Swirling Stars

ITEMS
Vengeful Dagger +1, Challenge-Seeking Dagger +1, Brooch of Shielding +1, Flowform Cloth Armor (Basic Clothing) +1, Adventurer's Kit, Camouflaged Clothing, Footpads, Thieves' Tools, Potion of Healing (heroic tier) (2)
====== Copy to Clipboard and Press the Import Button on the Summary Tab ======


Damage should be decent at least, and you've got sneak attack once an encounter to define your nova round. Drow gives perfect stat boosts, and cloud of darkness for survival and/or CA. Also has excellent skills; able to take the rogue's place as sneaky thief and act as party face. Stealth in particular retains its usefulness in combat to get CA or avoid attacks.

The two daggers let you choose from bonus damage toward the start of combat from Challenge-Seeking, or a the chance for a bigger boost further in from Vengeful.

Kurald Galain
2010-12-16, 05:25 AM
This is pretty good. I can squeeze more damage out with a hybrid or straight sorc but it is kurald who doubts my knowledge of high levels of optimization
Well, you claim to have a hybrid sorc build that is "devastating". However, straight sorcerers are generally considered somewhat underpowered, and hybrids are generally weaker than either base class. So this hybrid would seem to be a weak variation of an underpowered class.

So when you say "devastating", do you mean (1) fun to play and reasonably effective at the table, or (2) substantially more powerful than most other builds?

If you want a baseline comparison, take a level-5 wizard with Elemental Empowerment and Staff of Ruin, Weapon Focus, and a Shard, dealing 1d10+15 automatic area damage with Stinking Cloud. The wizard is not even a striker, so surely a "devastating" striker can do better than that?

tcrudisi
2010-12-16, 05:49 AM
Well, you claim to have a hybrid sorc build that is "devastating". ...

So when you say "devastating", do you mean (1) fun to play and reasonably effective at the table, or (2) substantially more powerful than most other builds?

If you want a baseline comparison, take a level-5 wizard with Elemental Empowerment and Staff of Ruin, Weapon Focus, and a Shard, dealing 1d10+15 automatic area damage with Stinking Cloud. The wizard is not even a striker, so surely a "devastating" striker can do better than that?

I don't think it's a fair comparison to compare a hybrid to all other builds. Instead, it should be compared to its two base classes.

A hybrid Assassin|Seeker should be considered a rousing success if it's more powerful than both a straight Assassin and a straight Seeker. It can accomplish that goal but still fail to be up to par with a Ranger, for instance.

Also - I play LFR so I have to ignore shards since they are from Eberron. How much damage do they add to your calculation? I'm confident a Sorc can easily top that damage. Also, what level Staff or Ruin did you use: +1 or +2? /edit - Actually, I'm guessing you started 20/16 with a +2 Staff of Ruin and a +2 damage shard of some kind. That would give 5+3+4+2+1 = 15 bonus damage.

Kurald Galain
2010-12-16, 06:20 AM
I don't think it's a fair comparison to compare a hybrid to all other builds. Instead, it should be compared to its two base classes.
That depends on what definition of "devastating" we're talking about.

I really don't see what a half-warlord has for the sorcerer that is worth giving up one of each type of power, in addition to having to spend a feat to get your main class feature back. It would help if Meta would simply post his example instead of merely saying that he has one.



Also - I play LFR so I have to ignore shards since they are from Eberron. How much damage do they add to your calculation? I'm confident a Sorc can easily top that damage. Also, what level Staff or Ruin did you use: +1 or +2?
The shard is only +1 damage. I was using a +2 staff. The sorc can probably do better but I'm curious to see how you'd do that.

DontEatRawHagis
2010-12-16, 10:11 AM
Class dipping only works once, you cannot take the multi-class feat for more than one class.

However, I'm thinking of multiclassing rogue with my Monk to add in sneak attack damage.

Meta
2010-12-16, 12:45 PM
That depends on what definition of "devastating" we're talking about.

I really don't see what a half-warlord has for the sorcerer that is worth giving up one of each type of power, in addition to having to spend a feat to get your main class feature back. It would help if Meta would simply post his example instead of merely saying that he has one.


The shard is only +1 damage. I was using a +2 staff. The sorc can probably do better but I'm curious to see how you'd do that.

Well first off the +2 staff is a level 8 item, which is too high by the DMG's standards for building a level 5 character but okay.

Also interesting that you still have yet to post anything about sorcerer's other than 'dey not good.' You simply took a class you know and with some of the best dailies game and posted thats a comparison. So it's okay if I build a ranger and consider my point proven right?

Regardless, I can throw something together:

A dragonborn with +4's in str and cha and 13 int.

Powers:
Dragonfrost
Direct the Strike

Powerful Warning
Flame Spiral

Lamb to Slaughter
Slaad's Gambit

Feats:
Ancient Soul
Hybrid Talent
Arcane Fire

Turn 1: move in close enough to have at least 3 enemies within 2. preferably 3. Flame spiral. AP to dragonfrost the ugliest.

You're in the middle of the fight and the leader so expect to get that damage to trigger. If they do, save dragonbreath for another turn. If not, no big deal.

Turn 2: Lay some fiery dragon breath (adds one of the most common keywords as a resistance to our scaly friend and makes it likely dragon breath will recovered occasionally) as a minor, then follow up with another dragonfrost.

Turn 3: Clean up of primary target.

4 attacks across two turns is solid for a heroic tier Sorc.

Damage mod with a +2 staff of ruin would be 17 after arcane fire. That's without much feat space either, as hybrids are generally strapped at each level. Focus, superior implement, etc. means this will grow well at each level.

This character also has amazing support powers and will be a good deal tougher than a genasi blaster. Lamb to the Slaughter is three charge attacks for allies. Powerful warning and encouraging boost will help keep allies alive. And who doesn't like inspiring word.

This is a deviation from my friend's built as he is a much higher level, and many builds look pretty similar at lower levels. That said, this build has a good chance of killing an on level opponent in the second turn in addition to providing a lot of support to allies and being rather hardy.

EDIT: for maximum optimization, a human with arcane reserves instead of ancient soul that alternated burning spray and dragonfrost would actually do more damage and would be getting the bonus damage from arcane reserves on turn 1.

tcrudisi
2010-12-16, 01:02 PM
Also interesting that you still have yet to post anything about sorcerer's other than 'dey not good.' You simply took a class you know and with some of the best dailies game and posted thats a comparison.

Eeehhhh, he didn't really pick a good daily, though. Yes, it's auto-damage (on par with an encounter power for Sorcs), but there are some differences.

Pros/Cons of Stinking Cloud:
Burst 2, possibly 3.
Can move the zone around.
Will kill everyone on the battlefield in short time.
Unfortunately, that includes allies -- and considering the size, it is extremely difficult to position without including allies. In fact, you've pretty much hosed your melee allies.
Daily

Pros/Cons of Flame Spiral
Burst 1
Usable every encounter.
Does not ever hit allies.
More damaging when combined with forced movement (SC only deals damage when starting turn or entering the zone, FS deals damage when they start their turn or move into an adjacent square. A slide 2 will allow the FS to deal the damage twice compared to only once with SC).

All in all, I'd say the level 3 Sorc power compares very favorably with the level 5 Wizard power.

TheEmerged
2010-12-16, 02:59 PM
Class dipping only works once, you cannot take the multi-class feat for more than one class.

However, I'm thinking of multiclassing rogue with my Monk to add in sneak attack damage.


1> Except for bards. It's an exception but it's one worth remembering.

2> I playtested a few rogue/monk mixes, actually, and they worked rather well. A lot of the Full Discipline powers lend themselves for creating flanking. The main downside was only sneak attacking once an encounter, of course. Also keep in mind that there are weapon limitations on Sneak Attack. In general Monk with Rogue worked better than Rogue with Monk, and either worked better than Monk/Rogue hybrid (sneak attack only on rogue powers = teh suk).

(By "playtest", I meant I built the character and ran it with a typical group of characters through a 3-piece Dungeon Delve appropriate for level by myself. This is distinct from an in-play experience, where an actual player is using the character with other players with me as the DM).

Jaidu
2010-12-16, 03:21 PM
I think it's fair to say that hybrids are tricky, with potential to be pretty good or absolutely terrible. I've seen some pretty neat builds, and I play a hybrid barbarian/warlord in LFR because I can do plenty of damage by charging and still manage some decent healing, and I play the class because I like to be able to fill both or either role when necessary.

I've also seen a player build an utterly terrible eladrin rogue/paladin combo, who had a longsword but no versatile duelist and was practically unplayable. That said, this is the same guy who plays at my FLGS at every opportunity, every week, for years now, and still doesn't know that an attack with a range of "range weapon" can't be used with a melee weapon, and that a +6 to-hit on a level 4 barbarian is very not good.

Meta
2010-12-16, 03:37 PM
I think it's fair to say that hybrids are tricky, with potential to be pretty good or absolutely terrible. I've seen some pretty neat builds, and I play a hybrid barbarian/warlord in LFR because I can do plenty of damage by charging and still manage some decent healing, and I play the class because I like to be able to fill both or either role when necessary.

I've also seen a player build an utterly terrible eladrin rogue/paladin combo, who had a longsword but no versatile duelist and was practically unplayable. That said, this is the same guy who plays at my FLGS at every opportunity, every week, for years now, and still doesn't know that an attack with a range of "range weapon" can't be used with a melee weapon, and that a +6 to-hit on a level 4 barbarian is very not good.

I agree, with the caveat that some unfortunate classes are at their strongest when hybridized. For example, IMO the best seeker build is hybrid avenger.

Susano-wo
2010-12-16, 08:57 PM
I won't weigh in much on the hybrid issue, except to say that it is unfair to compar a hybrid with classes not in the hybrid. That's like comparing a 3.5 rogue/monk Build with, say, a Cleric, to prove that multiclassing inherently/almost always makes classes weaker, with the only caveat that the 3.5 comparison will have a greater gap of power.

ON dipping, I have enjoyed taking hte multi-feat for Cleric on my barb (though I enjoyed it more when I could use Holy Word 2x in the encounter I activated it ;.;). I took it because the Druid multiclass was just doing no damned good, and due to having a cleric father, I could justify the character ssacrificing his primal connection to bring out a divine one. Just swaping the druid for, say weapon focus made no sense in game. [things no one probably cares about in retrospect]..lets just summarize "for RP reasons."

But damn, has it kept my Con Barb standing on a number of occasions :smallbiggrin:

side question about Hurl Weapon: does it allow you to use powers through said weapon? If so I need to take it at lvl 6 :smallamused:

Excession
2010-12-17, 02:40 AM
@Meta

That Arcane Fire + Ancient Soul combo is neat, I hadn't seen that one before. I think you're slightly off on getting Arcane Fire from any triggered damage though, because it only works off hits, not off the auto-damage from Flame Spiral, or reflected damage like Dragonflame Mantle. Of course, it'll trigger fine from the Flame Spiral and breath attacks.

I'd also be a little bit worried about lost survivability. With the feat shortage it's harder to afford Unarmoured Agility or leather, which I would be tempted to get for any close up Sorc. You also missing the +2 AC once bloodied that a full Dragon Sorc would get. The once per encounter heal isn't worth as much when you're always using it on yourself. Admittedly, Flame Spiral and friends will help keep enemies off you, or at least hurt them while they pummel you into the dirt :smallwink:

Lamb to the Slaughter looks... interesting. I can't decide if it's overpowered when it works, or poor for being both hard to set up and doubly hit-or-suck.

Kurald Galain
2010-12-17, 04:17 AM
A dragonborn with +4's in str and cha and 13 int.
Well, Ancient Soul is a good feat and dragonsorcs work pretty well. But I still fail to see what Warlord adds to the equation. I mean, it's flavorful to use, and a healing power is always welcome, but there's nothing in this combo that makes it stronger than a regular sorcerer. You call it "rather hardy", but as Excession points out, a straight sorc has better defenses; also, a straight sorc could get away with starting at charisma 20, and can have more survivability simply by staying out of melee.

Killing an on-level opponent in two turns is nice, but that's what strikers are supposed to do. LTTS is a decent daily, but it's heavily dependent on party makeup, as well as situational (e.g. it won't work if the party is already in melee). Personally I think Thunder Leap is a better deal for a sorc.

(edit) the above may sound like nitpicking, but in my opinion if you make an extraordinary claim (that a certain hybrid combo for a second-rate striker class is "extremely effective" and "devastating") you should be able to back that up with evidence. I am not convinced that you have done so.

Meta
2010-12-17, 02:46 PM
Crap. I was lying in bed texting the girl, and thought hey I can check GitP while I'm here. Typed a huge response with lots of numbers and the server was too busy. Dang

So a summary:

Defenses: Hybrids are def a bit feat starved at the beginning of their careers. That said, it's the scaling of monsters attack bonus compared to PC defense that is off, so that won't be noticeable at very low levels. Unarmored Agility or its equivalent should be taken soon though.

By going 18/18 defenses are better than 20/16. More well-rounded too. Sudden Scales at 6 will help, flame spiral as well.

As far as offense goes, I've demonstrated a good static mod and battle plan for a level 4 sorc|warlord. Even better:
Human
Open with flame spiral thus triggering arcane reserves instead of ancient soul
You now have a +18 mod rather than 17 and can continue the back and forth all encounter with burning spray and dragonfrost. Yum. Better defenses too.

The character I built is a level 16 sorc|warlord as our campaign has been going for over two years now. His damage mod could be (not because of fluff choices and not wanting to make DM cry) +44 on dragon frost (no arcane fire) and nasty when combined with WLMR. (definitely meeting the striker baseline.) He also gains 6 thp each time he uses it.

Thanks to fight on he has two heals an encounter and with combat commander is quicker than any other dragon sorc. So he does very strong damage, is much tougher, higher initiative, AND some amazing warlord powers. Stand the Fallen and Death from Two Sides being his current highest level powers from the Warlord end. Thanks to Sorc Blade Channeling he's okay delivering those DFrosts from close range too.

Based on damage, enabling, buffing, and healing I would rate this as much more useful than a straight Sorc, yes.

EDIT: If your party doesn't work with Lamb to the Slaughter have a look at Bastion of Defense. Another pretty good power IMO.

Kurald Galain
2010-12-17, 02:54 PM
As far as offense goes, I've demonstrated a good static mod and battle plan for a level 4 sorc|warlord.
No, you've demonstrated a decent static mod and battle plan for a sorcerer. Warlord doesn't really add anything to it, at least not at that level, and causes a noticeable drop in defenses. You haven't shown that a sorcerer-warlord hybrid is better or more effective than a straight sorcerer, only that you like your character that way.

Meta
2010-12-17, 03:04 PM
No, you've demonstrated a decent static mod and battle plan for a sorcerer. Warlord doesn't really add anything to it, at least not at that level, and causes a noticeable drop in defenses. You haven't shown that a sorcerer-warlord hybrid is better or more effective than a straight sorcerer, only that you like your character that way.

Inspiring Word is nothing?

And I gave you the example of the Human Sorc. With only one encounter power you trigger Arcane Reserves on turn 1. Better than a straight Sorc could. Inspiring Word is worth -2 AC for a few levels. Especially at the high levels of optimization you allude to.Our group routinely bests +5 encounters and I'll be the first to tell you: It turns into rocket tag. Monster to-hits are too high to make defenses worth the optimization. Tricks like Sudden Scales and heals are more valuable. At low levels of optimization then clearly a non-optimized PC is fine.

EDIT: Ohh and +18 at level 4 is way more than decent. Plus a human could take UA as the bonus feat. UA, AR, AF, HT as feats

And you can take Powerful Warning as your level 1, which means you can keep alternating Burning Spray and Dragonfrost with your standard actions.