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  1. - Top - End - #1
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    Default Build Advice, Tanky Paladorc

    For my groups next campaign I would like to switch up from my normal support/control role to a front liner. I've heard good things about multiclassing Paladin with Sorcerer to that end.

    I was thinking Paladin 7/Sorc X for this build. V. Human for Shield Master, and 16s in Str/Cha to start. Then taking Oath of the Ancients at 3, and Stormborn at Character level 8. Max Cha and Str ASAP.

    Any advice for this basic build?

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    Default Re: Build Advice, Tanky Paladorc

    Paladin OoA level 7 takes care of the saves (aura of protection) and damage from spells (aura of warding). That leaves AC. An easy way to be an AC tank, is to have an AC of 21 (full plate + shield + defense), and to add Blur on top of it (by going sorcerer 3, you can quicken it so that you wont lose your action), and to have the spell shield in your arsenal (select it when you take your first sorcerer level and never retrain it) along with numerous spell slots (1t level slots cap at 4 when you hit 3rd caster level, so that is 1 paladin/ 3 sorcerer, or 2 paladin/ 2 sorcerer). That way you can spam shield, though choose to use it when it really matters, for example if out of 6 monsters already played and missed you, and the last monster hits you and you play next, perhaps you should not use shield. If your slots are not enough for spamming shield as much as you like, you can always add warlock 2 for 2 extra 1st level spell slots that recharge on a short rest. Anyway, to be an AC tank, AC 21 + blur + shield does the trick. Have protection from evil (paladin spell) always prepared, as when facing certain enemies it will be better than blur. You can always throw on top of blur (or protection from evil) a mirror image, which requires no concentration. Though that usually is an overkill, and mirror image does not synergize in the most effective way with blur and a low-dex high AC. Oh, to cast shield while holding sword and shield, you must have warcaster. That goes for any other spell with somatic components. So make sure warcaster will be the first feat to take with variant human at 1st level. That helps you in other ways besides freeing you to cast S-spells. It helps with your concentration checks, which is sth you really need, since you dont have con save prof as you started a paladin for heavy armor, shield and good starting hit points, as well as the all important wis save proficiency. Warcaster also allows you to use Booming blade with an opportunity attack, which is what will guarantee that enemies will stay close to you instead of going against your allies, or at least it means that your enemies are going to pay dearly by moving away from you. Warcaster + BB essentially works like a mark. You can also use it with command for some well executed OA's. Oh, and untill you get extra attack, you have BB (and probably GFB) to use your action with, so you dont really mind delaying your extra attack, and even when you get it, you will be better off using BB and GFB when you can trigger the secondary effect.

    To sum up, go variant human, as you suggested, start as a paladin and take warcaster as your feat. By level 5 you should be paladin 2/ sorcerer 3, so you have blur, protection from evil, shield, possibly mirror image (though you could not take it), BB and possibly GFB to use instead of taking the attack action, smites and slots to use them with, good OA's which ensure that most enemies will not choose to move away from you, quicken metamagic, for casting buffs like blur as a bonus action, or for going nova casting 2 weapons cantrips and thus stacking 2 smites during a single round (3 smites once you finally get your extra attack feature), and some other treats. Then you can advance to paladin 7, for aura of protection and aura of warding, if you want to strengthen your saves and gain some spell resistance (but most importantly, you share these benefits with allies within 10 feet from you).

    ps: Heroism can be a helpfull spell to have prefared, if you fight against something that has frightfull presence, using heroism on yourself means you can still approach it to tank it (possibly using your action to dodge), thus keeping your allies safe.

    ps: Adding 2 levels of warlock at some point, gives you 2 extra 1st level spell slots, for more shield spamming, as I already said. But it also gives you a good ranged attack (EB + invocations). Just letting you know.
    Last edited by Corran; 2016-01-20 at 09:57 PM.

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    Default Re: Build Advice, Tanky Paladorc

    That's good advice, except Paladin 1 doesn't qualify for warcaster. The prerequisite is being able to cast a spell, which I won't be able to do unless I start as a Sorcerer.

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    Default Re: Build Advice, Tanky Paladorc

    Quote Originally Posted by CaptAl View Post
    That's good advice, except Paladin 1 doesn't qualify for warcaster. The prerequisite is being able to cast a spell, which I won't be able to do unless I start as a Sorcerer.
    It might be a stretch, but you can use your lay on hands to cast remove disease at 1st level as a paladin. RAW I think we are covered.

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    Default Re: Build Advice, Tanky Paladorc

    Quote Originally Posted by Corran View Post
    It might be a stretch, but you can use your lay on hands to cast remove disease at 1st level as a paladin. RAW I think we are covered.
    It's worth a shot anyway. I'll ask the DM and see how he feels about it. Thanks.

    Is shield master worth grabbing for this build? I'm planning to dump Dex/Int hard. After level 6 and 7 Paladin it doesn't matter as much, but it could be a huge help before that.

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    Default Re: Build Advice, Tanky Paladorc

    Not sure about shield master, never gave this feat much thought. Perhaps if you have a melee oriented party it could be worth it (for granting advantage on melee combatants), though if you have a ranged dpr things will get complicated. Usually a good dex save (which is not impossible even if you dump dex, beacuse aura of protection) and a good athletics skill. You will probably be good with athletics and dex saves, but not great.

    Another thing to notice, after you are paladin7/sorcerer3, you can take 2 more levels in paladin for aura of vitality (3rd level paladin spell), and if you take extend as your second metamagic (quicken will be your first metamagic), you can use it for some rediculous out of combat healing (in combat is not out of the question, it uses your bonus action though, so not ok if you went with shield master, and you are probably better off just using blur anyway).

    Also, paladorc with blur is especially good if you are the only tank in a party full of squichy characters, in a more balanced party it can still be usefull, but the point of this build is to solo tank almost anything while your allies take out the threat.

    As for warcaster and remove disease from lay on hands, I can see most DMs ruling against it, though I am 99.9% sure it is ok by RAW. Notice that the qequirement is that you can cast at least one spell, it does not say of you have to cast it using spell slots or as a racial feature or anything. And spending 5 hp of your lay on hands pool to cast remove disease, is casting the spell remove disease for all intents and purposes. I know it feels like a smart trick to get rid of the requirement, but it is RAW, and the RAW and RAI of ''spell like abilities'', like racial spellcasting or stuff like using lay on hands for remove disease, is to be considered spells for all intents and purposes. If you want to be 100% certain, post a question in the RAW thread (I might do that as well), to seek for the opinion of people who have a good understanding of the rules, dont just ask for opinions of people who will not give his a second thought because they will probably rule it wrong. So make sure that it is RAW, and then dont even ask permission, just inform anyone that wants to know, how it works.
    Last edited by Corran; 2016-01-20 at 10:35 PM.

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    Default Re: Build Advice, Tanky Paladorc

    Hahaha. Corran just saved me a whole lot of typing. I endorse everything he says, except that as DM I would not buy Lay On Hands as a Warcaster prerequisite, so I'd suggest another feat. (Mounted Combatant, Lucky, Inspiring Leader, Mobile, GWM, Shield Master, Resilient (Con) are all potential options, depending on party composition and stat rolls.)

    The advice he's giving you is solid.

    P.S. RE: Lay On Hands is not spell casting. It cannot be counterspelled, and you can still do it even in armor you're not proficient in (e.g. plate armor if you started out as a sorc). Special ability, not spell.
    Last edited by MaxWilson; 2016-01-20 at 11:26 PM.

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    Default Re: Build Advice, Tanky Paladorc

    I am your herald Max, I am spreading your word...!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Corran View Post
    I am your herald Max, I am spreading your word...!
    I hereby bestow upon you a magic sword, the Sword of Corran, which will henceforth be the only thing that cab permanently destroy my withered undead hand and nose.

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    Default Re: Build Advice, Tanky Paladorc

    Quote Originally Posted by MaxWilson View Post
    I hereby bestow upon you a magic sword, the Sword of Corran, which will henceforth be the only thing that cab permanently destroy my withered undead hand and nose.
    Hahahaha, this is going into my signature, once I figure out how to do it. It is canon now!

    ps: Yeah, sadly you cannot take warcaster at 1st level if you start as a paladin, I remembered the lay on hands wording incorrectly.
    Last edited by Corran; 2016-01-20 at 11:49 PM.

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    Default Re: Build Advice, Tanky Paladorc

    I'm torn between Resil (Con) and shield master to start. Both seem viable, though I like the extra control from the push. It's a little redundant with the bonus action fly from casting spells at level 6 from Stormborn Sorcerer.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Corran View Post
    Hahahaha, this is going into my signature, once I figure out how to do it. It is canon now!
    Excellent. Go forth, my herald, and conquer.

    "Cab" was originally a typo (phone) but if you enshrine that in a .sig as-is, I'm going to go ahead and blame that accent on my stuffed-up undead nose.

    ============================================

    Quote Originally Posted by CaptAl View Post
    I'm torn between Resil (Con) and shield master to start. Both seem viable, though I like the extra control from the push. It's a little redundant with the bonus action fly from casting spells at level 6 from Stormborn Sorcerer.
    Both are excellent. I won't tell you which one to pick, but I will point out something cool you can do after a successful push:

    If your enemy has 30' movement, then after you Push him down with your bonus action and attack him at advantage with your normal attack and/or Booming Blade cantrip, retreat 25' and end your turn 30' away from him. (5' range + 25' movement = 30'.) True, he gets an opportunity attack (at disadvantage for being prone), but since it costs him 15' of movement to get back to his feet, he cannot attack you next turn. So you got in one or more attacks at advantage in exchange for giving him exactly one attack at disadvantage.

    So does that make Shield Master the best pick? Well, maybe. If you're planning on going sword-and-shield (an excellent option for paladins in general), it's pretty good. But an alternative would be to pick up Polearm Master and do the same trick with a polearm, only this time you use a regular attack to shove and your bonus action to attack instead of vice-versa. Polearm Master is more compatible with Great Weapon Master.

    Of course Shield Master gives you some defensive benefits, and Polearm Master gives you a reaction attack which is really nice especially early on, and the higher AC of a shield is especially nice for a tanky paladin... so you probably won't pick the Polearm variant given your goals (and neither would I; I save polearms for Barbarian/Warlocks and Champion Fighters). But I mention it for completeness and contrast.

    The value of Resilient (Con) increases as you go up in levels, because your prof bonus is higher. If you take Resilient (Con) at first level you probably won't really start feeling the value until you're 9th level or so; but it does let you spend your 4th and 8th level ASIs on pure Charisma, so that's good. Taking it now is a form of long-term planning which incidentally helps you against carrion crawlers and ghouls and stuff.

    Last time I made a paladorc I took Lucky at 1st level, with the intent of taking +2 Cha (17=>19), +1 Cha (19=>20)/+1 Dex(10=>11), Mounted Combatant, and finally Warcaster for my 4th and final ASI. Lucky is good for tanks--it can negate inconvenient enemy criticals at the wrong time and boost failed saves--but I'm not completely happy with it because I actually haven't needed it, that I ever recall. I don't know if that makes it insurance or useless baggage--maybe that just means I need to be more willing to spend that Luck dice on making my Stealth roll better/winning initiative/not failing concentration/etc., or maybe it means that everything is just fine and my defense-in-depth strategy is working as planned. I dunno. If I had to do it over... I might still take Lucky anyway, although Heavy Armor Master is also tempting. (They're kind of diametrically-opposed scenarios. Lucky protects you from a single huge threat; Heavy Armor Master protects you from hordes of dangermooks.) Or maybe I would take Actor for the +1 Cha, so that I could take Warcaster at 4th level.
    Last edited by MaxWilson; 2016-01-21 at 12:52 AM.

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    Default Re: Build Advice, Tanky Paladorc

    Quote Originally Posted by CaptAl View Post
    I'm torn between Resil (Con) and shield master to start. Both seem viable, though I like the extra control from the push. It's a little redundant with the bonus action fly from casting spells at level 6 from Stormborn Sorcerer.
    Although I think resilient con is a fantastic feat for a paladin, I dont think you should really take it. Given that you will eventually take warcaster (it is very important to you, because not only it boosts your concentration saves, but also because it lets you cast spells - especially important for reactio spells like shield - while having a shield equiped, which you will since you want to play a tanky character, and it also lets you use BB as an OA (very important for a tank, as it forces your enemies to stay close to you - basically this is the alternative to sentinel). So since you will get warcaster (and you need it as soon as possible), and since you will eventually have ura of protection, I would say to skip on resilient con.

    As for shield master, it will greatly depend on your party composition (are your heavy hitters melee or ranged). Something else to notice about shield master, is that you need to take the attack action in order to be able to shove as a bonus action. And taking the attack action will be suboptimal until you get your delayed extra attack feature, as until ten you will be relying on BB or GFB for your action. Even when you finally get extra attack, there will be enough occasions where casting BB/GFB will be better than taking the attack action. Also, the shove gets triggered by athletics, which will be 3+prof bonus for the most part of your career (good, but not great). And your dex saves will probably be at +2 and will get better with cha imprvements (again, you dont have great dex saves). I would say to stay away from that feat too.

    They are not bad feats, but they dont work perfectly for your build.


    Since you cannot take warcaster at 1st level, I suggest going paladin 4 to take warcaster before adding any sorcerer levels. Then you can progress according to what you feel is more urgent (for extra AC tankiness take 3 sorcerer levels after paladin 4, for good saves and magic resistance for you and nearby allies go paladin 7 and then take sorcerer levels, you can also mix and match, taking 1 sorcerer level for shield after paladin 4, and then take pladin levels till you hit paladin 7, and then take aanother 2 sorcerer levels). Bottom line, go paladin 4, and then take the remaining 3 paladin and 3 sorcerer levels in whichever order works best for your party's needs. If for example your party has no cleric, you could go paladin 4, then sorcerer 1 for shield, then paladin 7 for auras, and then sorcerer 3 for blur. That way you delay your blur (you get it at 10 level) but you can use bless as yur concentration instead and still have shield for some extra AC coverage. If your party needs you to tank really hard, then go paladin 4, then take 3 sorcerer levels for shield and blur, and then continue with paladin progression until 7 for the auras.

    For your first level feat, hmmm, there are several good choices (including the shield master and resilient con that I advised against), though nothing really shines unless we introduce other parameters (mainly what is your party composition). That though allows you to consider races other than human, if you are not dead set on human for roleplaying purposes.

    If you go all the way to paladin 7/ sorcerer 3, then paladin 9/ sorcerer 6 seems to be a good goal (besides aura of vitality + extend metamagic) for elemental weapon + draconic sorcerer feature. Are you dead set on storm sorcerer for roleplaying reasons?

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    Default Re: Build Advice, Tanky Paladorc

    Quote Originally Posted by Corran View Post
    Something else to notice about shield master, is that you need to take the attack action in order to be able to shove as a bonus action.
    Oh, good catch. That makes Shield Master/Booming Blade combo not work, so you'll have to stick to normal attacks.

    Another thing to keep in mind about Shield Master is that a paladin already has a lot of excellent uses for his bonus action, such as the fantastic Wrathful Smite spell.

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    Default Re: Build Advice, Tanky Paladorc

    Quote Originally Posted by Corran View Post
    Given that you will eventually take warcaster (it is very important to you, because not only it boosts your concentration saves, but also because it lets you cast spells - especially important for reactio spells like shield - while having a shield equiped, which you will since you want to play a tanky character
    Trancekat went for subtle spell to skip warcaster.

    The BB OA trick is nice, but I feel a tank should punish those who attack others with sentinel, and its OA also does not work with BB.

    I would definitely pick shield master and sentinel becore considering resilient (Con) or warcaster. Those bring more than a concentration spell. If you have an odd Con, resilient (Con) might be best for sorcerer 4, otherwise you'll have played enough to see how warcaster compares.

    Shoving a creature down and retaliating against a second means you are keeping 2 enemies busy and doing your tanking job properly. You don't need a concentration spell for that.
    Last edited by bid; 2016-01-21 at 12:50 PM.
    Trust but verify. There's usually a reason why I believe you can't do something.

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    Default Re: Build Advice, Tanky Paladorc

    Quote Originally Posted by bid View Post
    I would definitely pick shield master and sentinel becore considering resilient (Con) or warcaster. Those bring more than a concentration spell. If you have an odd Con, resilient (Con) might be best for sorcerer 4, otherwise you'll have played enough to see how warcaster compares.

    Shoving a creature down and retaliating against a second means you are keeping 2 enemies busy and doing your tanking job properly. You don't need a concentration spell for that.
    Sentinel is almost redundant when you can use Warcaster to Command: "Sit!" in addition to all of Warcaster's other uses. It's not quite redundant because Sentinel is free.

    But Warcaster also has a free option (Booming Blade*) which is arguably better than Sentinel. Enemies can get around Sentinel just by Readying a move (their speed drops to 0 for only one turn, but they can ready to move after their turn is over), but opportunity-attack Booming Blade will still cost them 2d8 - 4d8 damage if they do move.

    I would not take Sentinel on a paladorc.

    -Max

    * Still a stupid name for a spell. At my table it's False Fetters and involves shackles made of air.

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    Default Re: Build Advice, Tanky Paladorc

    Quote Originally Posted by MaxWilson View Post
    Enemies can get around Sentinel just by Readying a move
    Move is not an action.

    I would still take sentinel if it only had the retaliatory attack, that's what's most important for a tank.
    Trust but verify. There's usually a reason why I believe you can't do something.

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    Default Re: Build Advice, Tanky Paladorc

    Quote Originally Posted by CaptAl View Post
    That's good advice, except Paladin 1 doesn't qualify for warcaster. The prerequisite is being able to cast a spell, which I won't be able to do unless I start as a Sorcerer.
    Which is worth considering as well, as constitution as a default save is very nice. Though I'm not sure what if any armor/weapon profs you'd lose MCing into paladin.

    You also start with booming blade, meaning you don't realize lose much, if any, combat utility for going this route.
    Last edited by silveralen; 2016-01-21 at 02:01 PM.

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    Default Re: Build Advice, Tanky Paladorc

    Quote Originally Posted by bid View Post
    Move is not an action.
    True but irrelevant. You're readying a move, not an action. Quoting from Basic:

    Quote Originally Posted by BasicRules_Page72
    Ready
    Sometimes you want to get the jump on a foe or wait for
    a particular circumstance before you act. To do so, you
    can take the Ready action on your turn so that you can
    act later in the round using your reaction.
    First, you decide what perceivable circumstance
    will trigger your reaction. Then, you choose the action
    you will take in response to that trigger, or you choose
    to move up to your speed in response to it
    . Examples
    include If the cultist steps on the trapdoor, Ill pull the
    lever that opens it, and If the goblin steps next to me,
    I move away.

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    Default Re: Build Advice, Tanky Paladorc

    Quote Originally Posted by MaxWilson View Post
    Enemies can get around Sentinel just by Readying a move
    I'm curious. How do you see this working out in practice? The rules you quoted clearly state that you can ready a move on your turn to move up to your speed in response to a trigger. However, since you triggered a Sentinel AoO on your turn your speed has been reduced to 0'.

    My take on it would be that since you have been Sentinel'd your movement is 0' until your next turn begins. I think this is the obvious intention of the feat.

    Can you give an example scenario of how you would circumvent Sentinel?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Corran View Post
    It might be a stretch, but you can use your lay on hands to cast remove disease at 1st level as a paladin. RAW I think we are covered.
    From the SRD:

    "Alternatively, you can expend 5 hit points from your pool of healing to cure the target of one disease or neutralize one poison affecting it."

    No mention of casting whatsoever.

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    Default Re: Build Advice, Tanky Paladorc

    Quote Originally Posted by FerretCannon View Post
    I'm curious. How do you see this working out in practice? The rules you quoted clearly state that you can ready a move on your turn to move up to your speed in response to a trigger. However, since you triggered a Sentinel AoO on your turn your speed has been reduced to 0'.

    My take on it would be that since you have been Sentinel'd your movement is 0' until your next turn begins. I think this is the obvious intention of the feat.

    Can you give an example scenario of how you would circumvent Sentinel?
    Sentinel only reduces you speed until the end of that turn.

    So on your turn, you try and move, and bad guy uses Sentinel to make your speed 0. So you use your action to Ready a move using a trigger that will happen on someone else's turn. When it triggers, your turn has ended, so your speed is back up to normal.


    OTOH, I don't think that is a problem for the paladorc. The idea is to be 'sticky' and keep bad guys from leaving you to attack squishy folks.
    Granted they can Ready a Move, but that means they can't attack the squishy folks.....which was a large part of your goal. (and you can move to be next to him again.)

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    Default Re: Build Advice, Tanky Paladorc

    Quote Originally Posted by FerretCannon View Post
    I'm curious. How do you see this working out in practice? The rules you quoted clearly state that you can ready a move on your turn to move up to your speed in response to a trigger. However, since you triggered a Sentinel AoO on your turn your speed has been reduced to 0'.

    My take on it would be that since you have been Sentinel'd your movement is 0' until your next turn begins. I think this is the obvious intention of the feat.

    Can you give an example scenario of how you would circumvent Sentinel?
    As Coredump says, Sentinel reduces your movement for a turn, not for a full round. Why didn't they make it last for a full round ("until the start of your next turn")? I don't know.

    Some DMs might think that readying a move action is metagamey; others might think that it fits perfectly with the Sentinel fluff (taking a moment to regain your feet). Some DMs might similarly object to a Rogue getting a second sneak attack using his reaction with Sentinel; others might think it's perfectly fine. Some DMs might think it is cheese to use Evard's Black Tentacles instead of Fireball to kill 6 orcs with Grim Harvest in order to harvest 48 HP of healing instead of only 6; others might think it's just fine.

    What do all of these things have in common? They rely on the RAW distinction between once-per-turn and once-per-round.

    5E's designers haven't been very good at explaining why they wrote the RAW the way they did on this score, so you're certainly free to rule Sentinel any way you want to. If you want to change it to last "until the beginning of your next turn", that has tactical implications and would change the way I play--but it might be just as fun as the RAW way.

    Quote Originally Posted by coredump View Post
    OTOH, I don't think that is a problem for the paladorc. The idea is to be 'sticky' and keep bad guys from leaving you to attack squishy folks.
    Granted they can Ready a Move, but that means they can't attack the squishy folks.....which was a large part of your goal. (and you can move to be next to him again.)
    When fighting against a Sentinel, there's a tradeoff. You can either:

    1.) Dodge and move towards your real target.
    2.) Attempt to move, and then Ready an action to move towards your real target if necessary.

    #1 is more likely to escape damage and has a small chance of accomplishing nothing at all. #2 has a high chance of taking damage but guarantees that you will reach your target (if it's within normal movement range + weapon reach), and gives you a good shot at being able to make an attack too (if the Sentinel misses his opportunity attack).

    Another thing you can do is shove the Sentinel out of reach (5' push) with one of your attacks and then move and spend the other on your real target.

    Sentinel is adding some value here, but not all that much IMO. You're still only protecting the squishies from one bad guy, some of the time--they still need to watch their positioning and stay out of easy threat range (stay out of normal movement range + weapon reach for melee bad guys). The only character I've ever taken Sentinel with so far has been a Moon Druid in a melee-ish party, so he can punish the bad guys with constriction attacks (Giant Constrictor Snake) for attacking the paladin instead of his big sack of wildshaped HP.
    Last edited by MaxWilson; 2016-01-21 at 05:33 PM.

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    Default Re: Build Advice, Tanky Paladorc

    Quote Originally Posted by silveralen View Post
    Which is worth considering as well, as constitution as a default save is very nice. Though I'm not sure what if any armor/weapon profs you'd lose MCing into paladin.

    You also start with booming blade, meaning you don't realize lose much, if any, combat utility for going this route.
    Starting as a Sorc means I don't get heavy armor. Which is the main downside IMO, as I plan to dump Dex.

  25. - Top - End - #25
    Dwarf in the Playground
     
    MindFlayer

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    Default Re: Build Advice, Tanky Paladorc

    I'm thinking that shield master won't add much due to so much competition for my bonus action. The idea of taking subtle spell as an alternative to warcaster is interesting as it acts like 1/3 of the warcaster feat, but the other two parts are tasty as well. I'll definitely take warcaster as my first ASI.

    Sentinal seems like it would fit better in a polearm build. I'm definitely going sword and board. So, I'm thinking Inspiring Leader, or Alert might be better choices. Getting my -1 initiative to +4 can be the difference between my squishes being open to attack or having their knight in shiny armor standing in the way. The temp hit points from Inspiring Leader are never bad to have around either.

  26. - Top - End - #26
    Orc in the Playground
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    Default Re: Build Advice, Tanky Paladorc

    What's keeping you from going Half-Orc for the Sweet Crit Smites, "Knock me down, but I get up again", and for the Intimidate prof?

  27. - Top - End - #27
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    Corran's Avatar

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    Default Re: Build Advice, Tanky Paladorc

    Ok, lets try and put together a few things regarding this tanky paladorc.


    1) good AC + blur + shield

    The higher the AC, the better the synergy (less shield spamming, blur typically works better with high AC's). Playing as S&B works better with this combo, and generally works better with paladorcs, though it requires warcaster. But then again you will take warcaster either way, as it is one of the most optimal feats for tanky paladorcs. Suggestion is to play S&B, take defense as your fighting style, for an AC of 21 without any magic items (if you play with magic items, S&B becomes even better as you can additionally increase your AC by having a magical shield). Use this if you have to tank really hard, especially if you are tanking alone. Available as soon as paladin1/sorcerer4 (for warcaster), though you might want to delay it if you want to take the paladin auras first. You can make up for the lack of blur by using shield of faith (bonus action), or bless (a fantastic spell). Use shield of faith if you are taking the vast majority of the hits, use bless otherwise (especially if you have heavy hitters and no other source of bless).


    2) warcaster + BB

    Essentially the alternative option to sentinel. And for a paladorc it is strictly better. If you were a single class paly, sentinel (combined with polearm master) would be a no brainer. For you though, it is warcaster and BB. Make the enemies pay dearly if they want to escape your reach. The benefits of warcaster are so massively important for this build, that you simply cannot afford not to take it. If you dont, then I suggest not playing a S&B paladorc. Available as soon as paladin4/sorcerer1 (or paladin 4 if you get BB from your race), or as soon as paladin1/sorcerer4. Either way, you have it online by level 5, when BB powers up, so you are set.


    3) Quickened spell

    Choose this metamagic when you take your 3rd sorcerer level. Use it with: a) self-buffs (eg blur), b) debuffs (eg hold person, preferably using a higher level slot for multiple targets), c) nova (eg GFB).


    4) Auras

    Aura of protection is an amazing class feature. So is aura of warding. Hence since you are an OoA paladin, you want at least 7 paladin levels for those two amazing auras.



    Where do all of the above leave you?

    You are a paladin7/sorcerer3. You start as a paladin for the proficiencies and the starting hit points, and the only feat you have so far is warcaster (from paladin 4). If started as variant human, or if you followed a different progression, eg paladin1 -> sorcerer 4 -> paladin7) then you have more feats/ASI's, though in the latter case you are a paladin//sorcerer4 and you delayed your auras effectively by 1 level, for getting features in an order not that beneficial (unless you play in a heavily ranged group where you do all the tanking). But I will talk about leve progression in more detail later.

    The point is that you are a paladin7/sorcerer3. How do you advance?
    I suggest you take 2 paladin levels, to become paladin9/sorcerer3. That gets your 3rd level paladin spells. This is extremelly important if your party lacks healing. Revivify and aura of vitality is all you need. Revivify takes care of (recently) dead allies at the cost of an action (remember, you can always quicken it), and aura of vitality....


    5) Extend spell + aura of vitality


    Heal a total of 140 hit points at the cost of a 3rd level spell slot and one sorcery point. You have to pick extend spell as your second metamagic from the sorcerer. Superb out of combat healing. You can use it during combat too if you like, as it takes only a bonus action to heal, though I suggest sticking with another concentration spell during combat and just use your lay on hands if you really need to heal someone. Still, you have a rediculously large pool of healing to keep a whole expedition force going encounter after encounter for days without long rest (dying from exhaustion is more likely than dying from loss of hit points). At this point (paladin9/sorcerer3) you have three 3rd level spell slots and one 4th level spell slot, more than enough as using aura of vitality goes. Expect these spell slots to grow rapidly, as now we will start adding sorcerer levels.


    6) Spell slots

    Paladorcs typically have more spell slots than paladins. More spell slots mean more smiting (among other and potentially more optimal stuff), and more smiting means more fun! Seriously, expect the increased spell slots to come very handy.


    7) Elemental weapon + elemental afinity

    You are a paladin9/sorcerer3, who tanks and fights in melee. At paladin level 9, you got access to the spell elemental weapon. Since you are already sorcerer 3, it seems a waste not to take another 3 sorcerer levels (dragon, choose fire or thunder). Sorcerer 6 (dragon) gives you elemental afinity, which you can use in conjuction with elemental weapon, extra attack and quickening the appropriate cantrip (BB if you chose thunder dragon, GFB for fire). This is your damage strategy. And you will deal tons of it. Just proceed from paladin9/sorcerer3 to paladin9/sorcerer6.


    8)Improved divine smite

    Since you are already paladin 9, you can take 2 more paladin levels for improved divine smite (you grab aura of courage along the way). Maybe you want to go paladin11/sorcerer3 before reaching sorcerer6.


    Where does that leave us?
    We are a paladin11/sorcerer6.
    You can grab another sorcerer level for 4th level sorcerer spells. Greater invisibility works well with any gish build, as in your case it will make you tank better (disadvantage on incoming attacks) and will increase your damage (advantage on your attacks). Consider it a better version of blur in your case.


    Generally, paladin7/sorcerer3 will make you a solid tank.
    Paladin9/sorcerer3 will add tons of healing (aura of vitality, revivify).
    Paladin11 adds to your damage (IDS). Works with OA's as well, good for a tank.
    Sorcerer6 (dragon) adds a lot to your damage (elemental afinity + elemental weapon).
    Sorcerer 7 gets you some very good spells (greater invisibility is a very good and all-around use of your concentration).
    If you want extra tankiness and damage, add 1 level of warlock for armor of agathys. Then cast this spell with your highest spell slot if you expect to fight in melee. Even use blade ward (cantrip) if you expect a lot of incoming hits (that means that you are not concentrating on blur or greater invisibility, and that you will not cast shield with your reaction, you want to be hit) during that round. Quicken can help you with this strategy.

    The trick is to see what your party needs and then progress in levels accordingly.


    A general level progression I have in mind (change it as appropiate to suit your party's needs), is:
    1. Paladin1 ---> AC 20
    2. Paladin2 ---> AC 21, use bless or shield of faith for concentration
    3. Paladin3
    4. Paladin4 ---> warcaster
    5. Sorcerer1 ---> use BB or GFB instead of attack action, shield, your OA's just powered up
    6. Sorcerer2
    7. Sorcerer3 ---> quicken and extend, use blur as concentration (bless can stii be useful though)
    8. Paladin5 ---> use attack action unless you can trigger the secondary effect of GFB
    9. Paladin6 ---> aura of protection
    10. Paladin7 ---> aura of warding
    11. Paladin8
    12. Paladin9 ---> revivify, aura of vitality, elemental weapon (save it for later, you still prefer blur or bless)
    13. Sorcerer4
    14. Sorcerer5
    15. Sorcerer6 ---> elemental afinity + elemental weapon for when you want to deal a heck load of damage
    16. Paladin10
    17. Paladin11 ---> improved divine smite
    18. Warlock1 ---> armor of agathys (at this point you have 6th level spell slots)
    19. Sorcerer7 (greater invisibility among other things)
    20. Sorcerer8 (for more sorcery points)

    For levels 2-6 use shield of faith or bless as your concentration spell.
    For levels 7-14, start using blur as your concentration (bless remains a good alternative). Use your spell slots for which you dont know any spells, for smiting or to upcast hold person (preferably with quicken).
    At level 9 you gain aura of vitality, preferably use it between combats with extend metamagic.
    At level 15 you can use elemental weapon with your concentrtion, if you want to go all offensive. Blur and bless reamin good alternatives for your concentration use. Remember, it is good to have many different options, different battles require different strategies.
    Level 18 gives you armor of agathys (no concentration). Use to make the most difficult melee fights seem like a piece of cake.

    Edit: I keep forgeting wrathful smite, it is an excellent 1st level paladin spell.
    Edit2: If by any chance you continue playing past 15th level, you could always skip that warlock level for one extra paladin level for an extra ASI (thus allowing both str and cha to be 20), or an extra sorcerer level (for one more sorcery point and 5th level sorcerer spells once you hit level 20 - some good options in there).

    Edit 3: I am still puzzled about which feat you should take if you start with variant human (be careful of the lack of darkvision). Lucky seems like the best choice. Mounted combat might be a good investment for when you get access to higher level slots (spell level start increasing dramatically fast at the second half of your career), if your DM will let you summon better mounts if you cast find steed with a higher level spell slot. And if you like mounted combat ofc.
    Last edited by Corran; 2016-01-22 at 12:13 AM.
    Quote Originally Posted by MaxWilson View Post
    I hereby bestow upon you a magic sword, the Sword of Corran, which will henceforth be the only thing that can permanently destroy my withered undead hand and nose.

  28. - Top - End - #28
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    HalflingRangerGuy

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    where South is East

    Default Re: Build Advice, Tanky Paladorc

    Quote Originally Posted by MaxWilson View Post
    True but irrelevant. You're readying a move, not an action. Quoting from Basic:
    >< How could I miss the second part of the sentence.

    So it move but take damage vs move but lose action. Thanks for the correction.
    Trust but verify. There's usually a reason why I believe you can't do something.

  29. - Top - End - #29
    Dwarf in the Playground
     
    MindFlayer

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    Default Re: Build Advice, Tanky Paladorc

    Quote Originally Posted by Corran View Post
    Snip
    Thank you, Corran. Excellent breakdown. I think I'll follow this progression. Well, to around 15th level, where the campaign will likely end.

    I appreciate you taking the time to break it down so well.

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