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  1. - Top - End - #1
    Halfling in the Playground
     
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    Default The Wall of Fear: A Complete Guide to the Oath of Conquest

    The Wall of Fear: A Complete Guide to the Oath of Conquest
    By Legimus


    Introduction
    With the release of Xanatharís Guide to Everything, we were introduced to a new paladin oath: The Oath of Conquest. As a class, more so than any other, paladins naturally lean towards good. Their sacred oaths focus on helping the helpless, protecting the world, or destroying evil. Even the most morally ambiguous paladin tends to fall on the side of good more often than not.

    Conquerors do not quite fit this model. Their oath falls into a grey area that doesnít dictate nearly as many of your characterís morals. Perhaps you hunger for power, or are on a crusade against the forces of chaos. Maybe you are on a quest to purge moral iniquities. Or perhaps you feel the world needs your stern hand to guide it. This grey area comes with a lot of storytelling potential, and is what attracted me to the oath when it was first published in Unearthed Arcana.

    Now in its final version, the Oath of Conquest presents a dynamic and interesting new play style for paladins. It turns you into a durable tank with a powerful toolkit for locking down and frustrating enemies. The oath does this primarily through the Frightened condition, which is not often used and thus not widely appreciated. At first glance, the Oath of Conquest is lackluster compared to its brethren. It falls behind in damage output, healing power, and raw survivability. But once you understand the subclassís synergies, its potential skyrockets. I made this guide because I think that the Oath of Conquest has a significantly different play style than other oaths, and uses mechanics that arenít familiar to most players.

    If you want to be a knight in shining armor, swear an Oath of Devotion. If you want to be an implacable force of nature, swear an Oath of the Ancients. If you want to be a powder keg of righteous fury, swear an Oath of Vengeance. And if youíre a hippy nice person who just wants to heal, roll a cleric swear an Oath of Redemption. This guide is for paladins who want something different. You want power. You want control. You donít just want to win the battle. You want to break your foe and bend him to your will. As a Conqueror, you are a ruthless bulwark for your allies. You terrify your enemies, force them to fight you, and grind them into dust. You are a wall of fear.

    If you want to play one of the most fun tanks in the game, swear an Oath of Conquest.

    Special thanks to EvilAnagram, whose Paladin guide really helped me understand and appreciate the class.

    Color Scheme
    Gold Ė Powerful and important. Ignore this at your own peril.
    Sky Blue Ė Lots of utility, power, or both. You canít go wrong with this.
    Blue Ė Very useful. This will serve you well in most scenarios.
    Black Ė Has some utility, but unlikely to win you the day. Not bad, but there are better options.
    Purple Ė Can be very useful, but limited to unusual circumstances.
    Red Ė Counterproductive. Donít waste your time.

    Table of Contents
    1. Douse the Flame of Hope Ė Features of the Subclass
    2. Rule with an Iron Fist Ė Spells, Tactics, and Feats
    3. Strength Above All Ė Alternative Strategies
    Last edited by Legimus; 2017-11-29 at 07:45 PM.

  2. - Top - End - #2
    Halfling in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: The Wall of Fear: A Complete Guide to the Oath of Conquest

    Douse the Flame of Hope
    Hallmarks of Conquest


    The Oath of Conquest is tactically different from its peers. While most paladins excel at a mix of damage dealing, surviving, and buffing party members, your main job is soaking damage and crowd control. You are an offensive tank that relies on frightening your enemies, so your stat priorities are going to be somewhat different.

    Spoiler: What is fear?
    Show
    "Fear is the mind-killer." Ė Frank Herbert, Dune
    Fear, officially called Frightened, is a condition that makes it very difficult for foes to deal with you. From D&D Beyond:

    • A frightened creature has disadvantage on ability checks and attack rolls while the source of its fear is within line of sight.
    • The creature canít willingly move closer to the source of its fear.

    In addition to being thematically important, fear is your central mechanic in this build. Combined with your Aura of Conquest, fear is what allows you to lock down enemies, protect your allies, deal damage, and stay alive. All of the full casters get access to spells that can frighten, but they are usually overshadowed by other options. Thatís because they lack something that you donít: synergy. Because of this, most players donít give a lot of thought to this condition, so here are some important things you should know:

    • Frightening a target almost always involves a WIS save. Itís common for creatures to have +1, +2 to WIS saves, but +4 and higher is fairly rare and usually reserved for powerful boss-like enemies.
    • Some spells force enemies to run away from you, but unless otherwise specified a frightened creature is merely prevented from moving toward you.
    • Maintaining the frightened effect usually requires your concentration.
    • Depending on the spell used, a creature can stop being frightened by either (a) getting far enough away from you, (b) passing another WIS save, or (c) a combination of both. All of your tools use either (b) or (c), meaning that once per round an enemy might have an opportunity to break free. However, this usually costs them an action or has to be done at the end of their turn.
    • The disadvantage is not just as applied to you. All means all. If they want to cast a spell or attack someone other than you, so long as youíre in their line of sight those rolls still happen with disadvantage.
    • Line of sight is not based upon actual sight in 5e, nor does it require a target to be facing you. So long as a mostly-unobstructed line can be drawn between the two of you, frightened can apply. See DMG pg. 251. Enemies who cannot literally see you, are not facing you, or have abilities like Blindsight will still be afraid of you.
    • Undead, constructs, and some fiends are naturally immune to being frightened. Confront them with caution.

    Frightened can be a potent condition. By imposing widespread disadvantage, it protects your allies from attacks and spells, and also makes your enemies easier to kill and control. Its critical flaw is that it has a tendency to scatter enemies, which is precisely what you as a tank want to avoid. The Oath of Conquest is the answer to this problem. With Aura of Conquest, you will get all of fearís strengths and none of its weaknesses, and when you have a high spell save DC itís relatively easy to keep enemies frightened.


    Ability Scores
    • Strength: For most paladin builds, STR is your main stat. Here, it is your secondary one. As a tank your damage is less important, but youíll still need some muscle to wear plate and bash skulls.
    • Dexterity: DEX is a common save and adds to your initiative, which is good because you want to be the first to engage where possible. But for the points you have to work with, it just doesnít bring enough to invest much into. If you decide you want a DEX-based paladin, swap STR for this.
    • Constitution: This is your health. It keeps you alive.
    • Intelligence: Attila the Hun was not a professor and neither are you.
    • Wisdom: Perception checks can be life-saving, along with a few other skills, and WIS saves can protect you from some nasty effects. But you already have proficiency and Aura of Protection will keep you pretty safe.
    • Charisma: The keystone of your build. Normally, spellcasting ability takes the back seat for paladins. Not for you. Your entire play style revolves around fear, so you want to pump up your spell save DC as high as possible. It also improves your Aura of Protection to give you unreasonably good saving throws. And you get all the fun social skills to boot! Get enough STR to wear plate, then max this out.


    Paladin Class Features
    • Hit Points: Using a d10, your health is second only to Barbarians. Bask in your brawn.
    • Proficiencies: All weapons? Check. All armor? Check. Shields? Check. Leave tools to the artists. Go conquer the world. I recommend always having a few throwing weapons on your person (daggers, handaxes, javelins, etc.). If you can afford to carry it, I also recommend an alternative weapon set, e.g. if you're a sword-and-board paladin, find a two-hander that you like as well.
    • Saving Throws: WIS saves are common and will keep you safe from a lot of really insidious spells that make you lose control. I believe CHA saves are the second rarest in the game, but can protect you from strong disruptors like Banishment, Bane, Forcecage, and Magic Jar.
    • Divine Sense: Bad guy radar! Limited usefulness, but never bad to have available. Very helpful if youíre worried about hidden enemies.
    • Lay on Hands: A fairly large pool of healing at your disposal that doesn't cost spell slots. It's based on paladin levels, so if you stay on the true path during the medium and high levels you'll easily be able to heal for more than half your HP at once.
    • Fighting Style: Remember that you are a tank, and pick your fighting style accordingly. Defense is always a solid pick, since you canít go wrong with more AC. Dueling is great since you'll probably go sword-and-board, making this extra damage go a long way. If you want to make a two-handed tank, grab a glaive and take Great Weapon Fighting. I would generally avoid taking Protection. Itís not bad, but your fear will already be imposing disadvantage.
    • Divine Smite: When you need to put on the hurt, this is your weapon of choice. It costs a spell slot, but doesnít take concentration and you choose to use it after you have landed the hit. Since itís a dice roll itís improved by things like Great Weapon Fighting and critical hits. Thereís pretty much no bad way to use it.
    • Divine Health: If being an adventurer doesnít work out, youíll have a successful career as a plague doctor.
    • Extra Attack: Two hits are better than one.
    • Aura of Protection: For most paladins, this is good but not great. Most paladins will end up with a +2 or +3 CHA bonus, and occasionally +4. But since youíre focused on raising your spell save DC, you and your pals are going to have a +5 bonus to all saving throws as early as level 8.
    • Aura of Courage: You spend all this time frightening people, and now you don't even have the decency to be frightened yourself? That just makes you more frightening!
    • Improved Divine Smite: Free damage that usually won't be resisted. Nice.
    • Cleansing Touch: Never let pesky spells get you down. Lots of utility, and youíll have 5 uses of this per long rest.



    Subclass Features
    The Oath of Conquest is built around both a theme and a mechanic: fear. One of the reasons I enjoy this subclass is because it ties together so well in the features you get. Your play style revolves heavily around keeping enemies afraid and punishing their decisions. When Xanathar's first came out, a lot of people underrated Conquerors because in a vacuum, their features are not that strong. If you're just comparing what you get at each level to the other oaths, it can seem downright underwhelming. For instance, if you compare the level 7 auras then Aura of Conquest falls way short of competing with Aura of Warding. But when you view the Oath of Conquest as a cohesive toolkit, it's clear that you have amazing potential for control.

    Spoiler: Oath Spells
    Show
    Conquerors get a pretty solid arsenal of prepared spells, but a number of them are made less potent because they require concentration. Most of the time you are going to be concentrating on keeping your enemies frightened, so youíll only use these here and there. Still, theyíre nice to have prepared.

    • Armor of Agathys: Absorb some damage, deal some damage. Donít use a 4th or 5th level spell slot on it, though.
    • Command: Quick and simple, this is an easy way to force creatures to waste their turn. Lots of room for creativity.
    • Hold Person: Automatic criticals? Itís fun for the whole party! Requires concentration.
    • Spiritual Weapon: The damage is middling and you probably shouldnít use a slot above the 3rd level, but the real beauty is that Spiritual Weapon does not require concentration. Itís basically a free 1d8 + CHA damage every turn.
    • Bestow Curse: It takes your concentration, so this is only useful if youíre fighting a big guy that is immune to fear. If you use it at the 5th level, though, you can remove the concentration requirement, letting you get back to the business of scaring poor fools.
    • Fear: 30-foot cone of pure terror. Just what you need. The best part about this spell is the save, though. A creature can only attempt another save if it ends its turn where you aren't in its line of sight. If it's trapped in your aura, that will never happen. With the right positioning, this becomes gold.
    • Dominate Beast: This is very disruptive, and you are all about disruption. But it takes up concentration.
    • Stoneskin: Useful if youíre about to go up against a lot of fear-immune creatures.
    • Cloudkill: Potentially devastating damage, but you arenít the partyís damage-dealer. Destructive Wave will usually be better.
    • Dominate Person: Very disruptive, and fits perfectly with your theme. Much more versatile than Dominate Beast.

    • [Channel Divinity] Conquering Presence: Fairly disruptive, but once you hit the seventh level it is a terrifying (hah) opener, and on a short rest to boot! Best part? No concentration.
    • [Channel Divinity] Guided Strike: Extremely useful at low levels. At higher levels, if you are going a GWM build, it will keep being useful.
    • Aura of Conquest: This is what makes you a tank. Normally frightened foes run away. You, on the other hand, freeze them in place and punish them every turn. This subclass really doesnít come online until you get this aura, but once you do, buckle up. Keep your enemies close and you will be the darling of squishy casters everywhere. Once you hit 18, this will enable you to freeze an entire room without lifting a finger.
    • Scornful Rebuke: More icing on the cake than anything else. Enemies who want to attack you get punished. Enemies who donít want to attack youÖalso canít attack the rest of your party, because theyíre frozen in terror.
    • Invincible Conqueror: I donít think thereís a universe in which this is bad. Resistance to everything, a third attack, and more criticals? It may not be a creative capstone, but it sure as hell is perfect for fighting that final boss.



    Options for Races

    Spoiler: Races
    Show
    Aarakocra: Flying is fun, but you get none of your essential stats.
    Aasimar: Extremely powerful, arguably the strongest race for this build.
    • Protector: The weakest choice, but that +2 CHA still takes you far.
    • Scourge: +1 CON, +2 CHA, and area damage that stacks with your aura.
    • Fallen: +1 STR, +2 CHA, and frighten enemies on the very rare CHA save.
    Bugbear: +2 STR and darkvision are respectable, but thatís about it. +5ft for your attacks opens up some options for a polearm tank.
    Dragonborn: +2 STR and +1 CHA is terrific. Plus, the new Dragon Fear feat can give you a decent area frighten ability.
    Dwarf: +2 CON, darkvision, and poison resistance make dwarves good tanks.
    • Hill Dwarf: The extra health is nice, but thatís about it.
    • Mountain Dwarf: +2 STR and CON is usually amazing for a paladin, but it will prevent you from maxing out CHA early. Still a solid choice.
    • Duergar: Less beefy than the Mountain Dwarf, but the extra resistances and spells might be even better.
    Elf: You donít need the extra DEX.
    • High Elf: You also donít need extra INT.
    • Wood Elf: And you donít need extra WIS.
    • Drow: But +1 CHA is useful! If you want some sort of DEX-based build, this could be a good choice.
    Firbolg: +1 STR doesnít get you much, and the spells arenít useful to you.
    Genasi: +2 CON is always welcome.
    • Air: DEX isnít for you.
    • Earth: Might as well just go mountain dwarf, but +1 STR is still good.
    • Fire: Fire resistance is useful and Burning Hands can be too, but it wonít be game-changing.
    • Water: Acid damage isnít as common as fire, and you donít need more WIS.
    Gnome: Intelligence is not scary and neither are tiny people.
    • Forest Gnome: You donít need DEX.
    • Rock Gnome: +1 CON does not a frightening conqueror make.
    • Deep Gnome: You donít need the DEX, and you definitely donít need to be hidden.
    Goblin: Also small. Also not scary.
    Goliath: Giant people, on the other hand, are scary. +2 STR and +1 CON is very useful to you, and Stoneís Endurance is a sound ability for a tank. Plus, Athletics!
    Half-Elf: +2 CHA, and then you can add +1 to STR and CON. And you get darkvision, resistance to charms, and extra skills. It just hits all the bases very nicely.
    Halfling: Tiny people still arenít scary, and you still donít need DEX. But being lucky isnít so bad.
    • Lightfoot: +1 CHA! And nothing else.
    • Stout: +1 CON and poison resistance is nice, but not nice enough to play this.
    • Ghostwise: Not the scary type of ghost.
    Half-Orc: Same as the Goliath, but built for offense. Good potential for building a two-handed tank.
    Hobgoblin: +2 CON and darkvision are good, but not much else here to be proud of.
    Human: +1 to all stats is good, but nothing special.
    • Variant Human: As usual, Variant Human is incredible. Take a nice tanking feat, add a point to CHA and STR, and go to town.
    Kenku: You are a mighty and terrifying warrior, not a sneaky avian scoundrel.
    Kobold With -2 STR this is probably the worst small race for you.
    Lizardfolk: +2 CON is nice, but they donít have much else to offer.
    Orc: Just go half-orc. Youíll be happier, your DM will be happier, your friends who donít have Voloís will be happier.
    Tabaxi: +1 CHA makes this about as good as the Drow. Still sub-optimal.
    Tiefling: +2 CHA is always welcome, and fire resistance is great. Hellish Rebuke is also a good spell for you to have in your back pocket.
    • Feral Tiefling: High elves werenít useful and neither is this.
    • Devilís Tongue: Slightly better if youíre trying to be the party face.
    • Hellfire: Youíll get more mileage out of Hellish Rebuke than Burning Hands.
    • Winged: In addition to looking awesome, flying is great.
    Tortle: +2 STR is decent, but Natural Armor will put you behind the plate-wearers a little, and you won't be able to make up for it with the Defense fighting style because that only applies when wearing armor.
    Triton: +1 to STR, CON, and CHA would be good enough, but Tritons also get access to some good spells for disrupting groups.
    Yuan-ti Pureblood: A respectable +2 CHA, but also poison immunity and magic resistance. Potential to be very strong.
    Last edited by Legimus; 2018-02-26 at 12:42 PM.

  3. - Top - End - #3
    Halfling in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: The Wall of Fear: A Complete Guide to the Oath of Conquest

    Rule With an Iron Fist
    Weapons of War


    How to Act like a Conqueror
    You are going to be most comfortable where the fighting is thickest. Once you hit level 7, your main objective should be to maintain fear over as many enemies as possible for as long as possible. If you canít keep enemies locked down by frightening them, make sure to stay close to your allies so you can keep them safe through Aura of Protection and use Lay on Hands in an emergency.

    Your first move should always be to inflict fear. Your allies with higher DEX will likely take turns before you in combat, and as the campaign goes on you are only going to fall lower on the initiative list. Your role is to disable enemies and keep your allies safe. Fear is your single most powerful tool for accomplishing that, so itís essential that your first turn is always used to frighten enemies. Wrathful Smite is going to be one of your most useful spells, and it is going to stay useful throughout your campaign. The Fear spell will be a strong opener against groups. Until level 20, Conquering Presence is your best ability ó 30ft in every direction, only targets you want to be afraid, doesnít require concentration, and recharges on a short rest. It will be useful in almost every situation, so donít be afraid to cast it.

    Spoiler: The Prone Trap
    Show
    A few commenters have pointed out a particularly powerful, yet subtle, part of your aura. Frightened enemies in the aura have their speed reduced to 0, and this has devastating implications for enemies whom you knock prone. While a creature is prone, attack rolls against it (so long as the attacker is within 5 feet) have advantage. Attacks from any farther away have disadvantage. But in order to stand up again, a creature must expend half its movement speed. From D&D Beyond: "You can't stand up if you don't have enough movement left or if your speed is 0." See the trap? Your aura reduces their movement speed to 0. This means that an enemy that is (a) frightened of you and (b) caught in your aura cannot get up. Doesn't matter if they're a peasant or a dragon. They will be stuck, kneeling before your terrible power.

    Now, this is a double-edged sword. Melee attackers get advantage, but ranged attackers get disadvantage. Play it by ear based on the encounter and what your party needs. But take note of spells and abilities that knock targets prone, and advise your party to do the same.

    Donít forget that frightening creatures can also cover a retreat. So long as you are in between your friends and your foes, a frightened enemy canít come after you.

    Paladin spell economy suffers because you have a lot of great spells competing for your concentration. This is especially true for the Oath of Conquest, because you are going to be busy maintaining fear. There will be ample situations where you need to concentrate on something else, but be mindful of the trade-offs.


    Paladin Spells

    Spoiler: 1st Level Spells
    Show
    • Bless: Great benefit for you and your party, but it takes concentration.
    • Ceremony: Very fun, especially from a story standpoint, but very limited.
    • Command: See earlier.
    • Compelled Duel: Useful if your target is immune to fear.
    • Cure Wounds: Healing is nice, but you already have Lay on Hands.
    • Detect Evil & Good: Just use Divine Sense.
    • Detect Magic (ritual): Important spell, but your casters will probably have it.
    • Detect Poison & Disease: Really situational. Prepare it if you think youíll need it.
    • Divine Favor: Damage is nice, but not worth the concentration.
    • Heroism: You know how strong fear is, so keeping your allies safe from it can be critical.
    • Protection From Evil & Good: Strong in the right situation, but it takes your concentration.
    • Purify Food & Drink (ritual): Same as the detection spells.
    • Searing Smite: Decent damage, easy to use.
    • Shield of Faith: +2 AC can be very strong, but it takes concentration.
    • Thunderous Smite: Iíve always loved the imagery with this spell. The damage is good for its level, and it offers some crowd control.
    • Wrathful Smite: Single-target fear on demand. Always have this prepared.

    Spoiler: 2nd Level Spells
    Show
    • Aid: Strong buff with nice scaling, and it doesnít take concentration!
    • Branding Smite: Decent damage and it scales, but lackluster if youíre not fighting invisible enemies.
    • Find Steed: A trusty steed to serve you in and out of combat. Very good all-around utility, and plenty of room for creativity.
    • Lesser Restoration: Heís a bit of a fixer-upper!
    • Locate Object: Highly situational, but potentially game-changing in those situations.
    • Magic Weapon: It takes concentration, but sometimes you really need a magic weapon.
    • Protection from Poison: If your partyís dealing with poisonous things, this is for you.
    • Zone of Truth: Great for interrogations both brutal and benevolent.

    Spoiler: 3rd Level Spells
    Show
    • Aura of Vitality: Not a lot of healing and takes concentration, but a great option when your enemies can't be frightened.
    • Blinding Smite: Respectable damage, and blind is a good way to shut down certain enemies.
    • Create Food & Water: Just carry some snacks, problem solved.
    • Crusaderís Mantle: Divine Favor, but for the whole party. High damage potential, often worth the concentration.
    • Daylight: The anti-Darkness. You will probably never need this.
    • Dispel Magic: Very powerful, very important, and very likely that one of your casters has this prepared.
    • Elemental Weapon: Magic Weapon 2.0. Great if your enemies have a particular weakness.
    • Magic Circle: It can be very strong, but is very situational. Also takes some time to set up.
    • Remove Curse: Everyone needs a good curse-breaker.
    • Revivify: This makes you a literal life-saver, and only one other class has this spell. Keep it prepared.

    Spoiler: 4th Level Spells
    Show
    • Aura of Life: Exceptional against enemies with necrotic damage, but it takes your concentration. Perfect to keep prepared against undead.
    • Aura of Purity: Normally this is very powerful, but your Aura of Protection is going to give you and your party +5 to most saving throws at this point.
    • Banishment: Make an enemy disappear for a minute or gets rid of them altogether.
    • Death Ward: If youíre worried about someone dying (including yourself), this is great protection for most of a day. And no concentration!
    • Find Greater Steed: Ever wanted to be Hercules? Have a pegasus.
    • Locate Creature: Like Locate Object. Useful, but situational.
    • Staggering Smite: For when your target is immune to fear and you really want to punish them.

    Spoiler: 5th Level Spells
    Show
    • Banishing Smite: 5d10 damage and Banish wrapped into one. Great for disabling enemies mid-fight.
    • Circle of Power: An amped-up version of Aura of Warding. Devastating if youíre going against spell casters.
    • Destructive Wave: One of the best area damage spells in the game, and it doesnít take concentration. But for you, it's even better. When frightened enemies are in your aura, they have a speed of 0. If you cast this and knock them prone, that means they do not have enough movement to stand up. Now all your front line get advantage. Pretty much always worth preparing.
    • Dispel Evil & Good: This is great if youíre dealing with a lot of negative enchantments, and it basically lets you banish foes by touching them. But itís going to be pretty situational.
    • Geas: One of the most hilariously powerful spells out there. Get creative.
    • Holy Weapon: Add a full Divine Smite to every attack for a minute. Punish and blind your enemies when you want to end it.
    • Raise Dead: This is exceptional, but you rarely need it prepared in advance. If you find you need to resurrect someone, you can take a long rest, prepare it in the morning, and chances are 10 days wonít have passed by then.

    To elaborate on why Wrathful Smite is so darn powerful: unlike all other frightened effects, subsequent attempts to break it use a WIS check, not a save. This has two implications. First, your target won't get the benefit of any bonus to WIS saves. They have to work on raw WIS. Most creatures with high WIS saves have it because of a save bonus, not because of a high base stat. Second, being frightened imposes disadvantage on ability checks, like this one. So say you're level 8 with a spell save DC of 16, and your target has a +3 WIS bonus. It has to roll a 13 or higher, which is a 40% chance. Not great odds, but still solidly in your favor. But if you win that initial roll, subsequent attempts to break free (a) cost an action and (b) are at disadvantage, pushing the chance of success down to a measly 16%. This is the spell you use to make ancient dragons afraid of you.


    Feats

    Spoiler: Standard Feats
    Show
    • Alert: Very helpful for ensuring you frighten enemies early.
    • Athlete: Cool for showing off, and not a lot else.
    • Actor: If you want to be the party face, this can be a lot of fun. Otherwise, mediocre.
    • Charger: A little extra charge damage never hurt anybody.
    • Crossbow Expert: You are a tank. You are not ranged.
    • Defensive Duelist: Very strong, as you can still use STR when wielding a finesse weapon. Sky blue for DEX paladins.
    • Dual Wielder: Paladins arenít built for dual-wielding, but you might make it work by multiclassing into fighter.
    • Dungeon Delver: Good because youíll probably be walking in front.
    • Durable: Itís okay, but you likely wonít have high CON so this doesnít go far.
    • Elemental Adept: You are mainly dealing psychic and radiant damage, which arenít on this list.
    • Grappler: Only good if you want a wrestling build.
    • Great Weapon Master: Combined with Guided Strike and Divine Smite, this can be devastating.
    • Healer: Not bad, but not great either. You already have Lay on Hands.
    • Heavily Armored: Useless for you.
    • Heavy Armor Master: Flat damage reduction to the most common damage types.
    • Inspiring Leader: Youíll have the CHA, and because you're maxing it out this gets your party up to 25 extra HP.
    • Keen Mind: If you want a keen mind, roll a wizard.
    • Lightly Armored: Useless for you.
    • Linguist: Languages can be really important depending on the campaign. Nice if youíre the party face.
    • Lucky: My grandfather always said ďyouíve got to be lucky,Ē and he was right.
    • Mage Slayer: Very potent if you need help dealing with casters.
    • Magic Initiate: Cantrips are great, especially Sorcerer/Warlock cantrips like Booming Blade and Green-Flame Blade. Lots of potential here.
    • Martial Adept: Itís probably better to just multiclass into Battlemaster.
    • Medium Armor Master: An extra +1 AC if you went DEX, but there are better options.
    • Mobile: Youíll be surrounded by enemies, so moving around with ease is good.
    • Moderately Armored: Useless for you.
    • Mounted Combat: Not very useful for most classes, but you have the power to summon a steed, so you can get some serious mileage out of this.
    • Observant: Itís a cool idea, but you probably wonít get much out of it.
    • Polearm Master If you want a two-handed tank, this is key to optimizing.
    • Resilient: All of your saves will be pretty good thanks to Aura of Protection. This will send things through the roof.
    • Ritual Caster: Plenty of useful rituals out there.
    • Savage Attacker: Essentially advantage on damage rolls.
    • Sentinel: Arguably the best tanking feat there is. This skyrockets your battlefield control and offers serious utility when you're facing fear-immune enemies. You can definitely make a fine tank without it, but if you want to optimize, this should always be high on your priority list.
    • Sharpshooter: Youíre not a ďkill from afarĒ kind of guy. Youíre more of a ďlook them in the eyes while you stab them to deathĒ kind of guy.
    • Shield Master: Basically gets around the fact that you have low DEX. Also, you can knock enemies prone as a bonus action.
    • Skilled: If you really want to be a skill monkey, I guess.
    • Skulker: Even if youíre DEX-based, you probably wonít be the one sneaking around.
    • Spell Sniper: Nothing useful for you. If you want a cantrip that badly, take Magic Initiate.
    • Tavern Brawler: See Grappler.
    • Tough: Extra health never hurts, but you can do better.
    • War Caster: Youíll be maintaining concentration often, so this can do a lot for you.
    • Weapon Master: You are a martial class. You donít need this.

    Spoiler: Racial Feats
    Show
    • Bountiful Luck [Halfling]: Spread the luck to everyone! But youíre still a Halfling.
    • Dragon Fear [Dragonborn]: A weaker form of fear with +1 to one of your favorite stats.
    • Dragon Hide [Dragonborn]: Really not useful, since you fight with weapons and wear plate armor.
    • Drow High Magic [Drow]: Cool spells, but better in the hands of casters.
    • Dwarven Fortitude [Dwarf]: More health? More heals? Sure!
    • Elven Accuracy [Elf & half-elf]: Solid pick if you have a reliable source of advantage and want to up your damage.
    • Fade Away [Gnome]: You donít want to be invisible. You want to be in peoplesí faces.
    • Fey Teleportation [High Elf]: Free Misty Step and bonus CHA. Solid choice. Shame only high elves get it.
    • Flames of Phlegethos [Tiefling]: Aside from Searing Smite, you donít really use fire damage. But it does get you a lukewarm damage aura and +1 CHA.
    • Infernal Constitution [Tiefling]: You are now resistant to three types of damage and get more health. Good pick for a tank.
    • Orcish Fury [Half-Orc]: Some extra offensive beef. Nice if youíre going two-handed.
    • Prodigy [Human and half-humans]: This is a pretty versatile feat. Expertise can be very potent, especially with Athletics checks to shove someone prone. Never bad, but there are always better options.
    • Second Chance [Halfling]: Why force them to reroll when you can just impose disadvantage through fear? Also, youíre still a Halfling.
    • Squat Nimbleness [Dwarf & small races]: Useful if youíre ever up against really strong opponents.
    • Wood Elf Magic [Wood Elf]: Druids have some decent cantrips, but nothing you need.
    Last edited by Legimus; 2018-02-07 at 01:22 PM.

  4. - Top - End - #4
    Halfling in the Playground
     
    Planetar

    Join Date
    Apr 2017

    Default Re: The Wall of Fear: A Complete Guide to the Oath of Conquest

    Strength Above All
    Thinking Outside the Box


    What if They're Fearless?
    Are your enemies undead? Golems? Ultramarines? Unfortunately for you, D&D has plenty of monsters that are simply immune to fear. A high WIS save can be overcome by your spell save DC and a little elbow grease, but nothing beats simple immunity. Most DMs are going are going to realize pretty fast that fear is your core mechanic, and most will react by making sure you occasionally have to deal with something thatís immune to your devastating good looks withering glare.

    Spoiler: How to Deal with Immunity
    Show
    The good news is that youíre still a paladin, and that means you have a diverse arsenal of defensive, offensive, and utility spells. When you canít frighten your enemy, you usually just need to modify your tactics a little. Here are a few things to consider focusing on when you come across fearless foes:
    • Stay close to your party. You usually want to keep creatures away from your allies, but if you canít control your enemies you want to be in a position to save anyone whoís in danger. Plus, this will get people in range of Aura of Protection, which is exceptional.
    • Donít forget about opportunity attacks. It wonít necessarily stop enemies, but if youíre close together it means you can punish monsters that try to get around you.
    • You canít frighten anyone, which means you can concentrate on other things. Some of your best options early on are Bless, Shield of Faith, and Crusaderís Mantle. If youíre having trouble with a single stubborn enemy, consider using Compelled Duel.
    • Later in the game, for defense Iíd recommend Aura of Purity. Combined with Aura of Protection, your party will basically be immune to control. Use Aura of Life if youíre up against necrotic damage. For offense, invoke Holy Weapon and just break your enemies. If you canít pin them down, sometimes the best you can do is just kill them quickly.

    If you suspect these encounters are going to become common, you may want to consider some more permanent changes, such as the following:
    • Taking Magic Initiate to get Booming Blade. Using it instead of attacking sacrifices some damage, but provides a strong incentive for enemies to stay put. You can also use this as an opportunity to take a useful 1st-level spell like Absorb Elements, Shield, Charm Person, Hex, or Hellish Rebuke. If you go this route, seriously think about investing in War Caster as well.
    • Multiclass. More on this later, but other classes offer a lot of tools for upping your offensive power and defensive utility.
    • Get Sentinel. You should probably get it anyways, but this will make protecting your party members a lot easier.

    You will clearly still make a difference against enemies that canít be frightened. Youíre hard to kill, deal respectable damage, and have good spells to defend your party. But you will be at a disadvantage. If you think your campaign is going to revolve around fighting fearless monsters, Iíd seriously consider a different subclass.



    The DEX Paladin
    When I first started playing with the paladin class, I thought DEX builds were a farce. Something fun and different to experiment with, but not a serious path. I was wrong, even for a tanking build like the Oath of Conquest. If you're hungry for a different way to play the paladin, here's an overview.

    Spoiler: The Nimble Knight
    Show
    Now, investing in DEX and not STR does come with costs. It leaves you more vulnerable to abilities that can displace you or knock you prone. Positioning matters for everyone, but it matters most for you as a tank. You lose access to Heavy Armor Master, which is a potent feat. You limit yourself to finesse weapons and are pretty much forced to take the Defense fighting style, meaning less attack damage. You become an easier target for being grappled. Remember that grapple involves a check, not a saving throw, meaning you wonít get the benefit of your Aura of Protection. Now, you can use DEX to contest a grapple, but youíll need a background to get proficiency (Entertainer/Gladiator). Lastly, you wonít be able to multiclass. Multiclassing out of paladin requires 13 STR and CHA, and if youíve invested that much in STR youíre not going to have enough points for a good DEX build.

    However, the benefits can outweigh the costs. DEX saves are one of the most common in the game, so with Aura of Protection and a high DEX score youíll be taking half damage from spells left and right. Half plate and a shield gets you to 19 AC, just 1 less than plate would. Andómy favorite benefitóyou get much better initiative rolls, making it easier for you to set up combat. Ironically, focusing on DEX instead of STR makes for a more conservative, defensive tank. If you want to make a DEX paladin with the Oath of Conquest, here are some tips:
    • Choose a race that can guarantee you 16 DEX and 20 CHA by level 8.
    • Take the Defense fighting style.
    • Start with a rapier and shield, then find some half plate as soon as possible.
    • Choose the Entertainer/Gladiator background for proficiency in Acrobatics.
    • Take Defensive Duelist at level 12 (or level 1 if you pick Variant Human).



    The Polearm Paladin
    The Aura of Conquest reduces enemy speed to 0 when they are frightened, which opens a unique opportunity for reach weapons. If they are melee-only, then you can sit back, relax, and poke them to death. If youíre interested in a two-handed Conqueror, here are some things to consider.

    Spoiler: The Death Stick
    Show
    Most reach weapon builds rely on the Polearm Mastery / Sentinel combo to grant you opportunity attacks that freeze enemies in place. But youíre not most people. You freeze your enemies with terror, not weapons. While the classic combo is still useful for this oath, and a lifesaver if you run into anyone that is immune to being frightened, it wonít be your cornerstone.

    As mentioned above, Aura of Conquest is what makes a polearm build here interesting. Knowing that, just remember that you arenít going to see anything special until after level 7. A polearm paladin is more focused on damage, so having a high STR will be important (unless you multi into Hexblade). Furthermore, you are still focused on maxing out CHA as early as possible, so before level 8 you arenít going to have a very different build from other Conquerors.

    The way to play a polearm Conqueror is very simple. Step 1: Make targets frightened of you, thus freezing them in place. Step 2: Attack them from 10ft away with your polearm. Step 3: Do not move into melee range. Repeat steps 2 and 3 until enemies are dead.

    It really is that simple. And because that simplicity offers so much power, I recommend that any Conqueror interested in a two-handed build carry a polearm. The other martial weapons offer more damage, but remember that the Oath of Conquest is about control. If you are choosing this oath, raw damage shouldnít be your primary objective. This doesnít mean you have to give up the close-range weapons entirely. Just make sure you always have a polearm available to take advantage of this combo.

    This build is not without its drawbacks, though. The polearm Conqueror has to work hard to balance their bonus action economy. Smite spells (though not Divine Smite) use a bonus action; the extra hit from Polearm Mastery uses a bonus action; attacking with Spiritual Weapon uses a bonus action; and an extra attack via Great Weapon Master uses a bonus action. And thatís to say nothing of all the spells you have that are cast with a bonus action. This wonít necessarily make you weaker, but you will have to work harder to figure out how to use that bonus action every turn. Your combat is going to be a lot less formulaic.

    The simplicity of your base strategy opens up a lot of variety. Because of your aura, you donít have to take Polearm Mastery or even Sentinel to make it work. Here are a few ways to play it:
    • Combine Great Weapon Master and Guided Strike. Once every short rest, you can make an attack with +5 to hit and +10 damage. To get the most use out of this, I recommend not multiclassing until after level 9, because then you get the Fear spell and wonít be reliant on Conquering Presence to frighten groups.
    • Take a level in fighter for the Defense fighting style. Without a shield youíll only get up to 18 AC, and since you are probably still the party tank that +1 AC might make your life a lot easier.
    • Make frequent use of Armor of Agathys. Itís a reliable spell for bolstering your defense, and it doesnít take concentration.
    • Put 4 levels into Hexblade and take Pact of the Blade. This will allow you to use your CHA for attack and damage rolls with two-handed weapons, meaning you donít need to invest in STR and can take more feats.
    • Make a Bugbear character. Get +5ft range for melee attacks. Profit.

    Because this build has so many different forms, the only things that you really need are the following:
    • Take the Great Weapon Fighting fighting style.
    • Start with a polearm (glaive, halberd, or pike) and a two-handed martial weapon without reach. Use this secondary martial weapon until you get Aura of Conquest at level 7. Once you have your aura, switch to primarily using your polearm.
    • Take Great Weapon Master at level 12.

    Beyond that, do what makes the most sense and feels the most fun.



    Multiclassing
    The most important part of multiclassing as a Conqueror is knowing your limits.
    • First, you need 13 STR, so you will be STR-based (unless you go Hexblade).
    • Second, get to level 7 before multiclassing. Delaying Aura of Conquest is delaying your key to tanking. In fact, you should probably get to level 8 in paladin first, because you want to maximize your CHA as early as possible. Also consider that at level 9 you get the Fear spell, which is one of the most powerful tools in your arsenal for battlefield control.
    • Third, keep in mind that your paladin aurasóProtection, Courage, and Conquestótriple in size when you hit level 18. Most multiclass paths are going to deny you that boon. Additionally, the damage from Aura of Conquest is based on your paladin level, so it will be weaker.
    • Fourth, be wary about sacrificing ASIs. Tanks arguably benefit from feats more than any other class, and you are a MAD tank. You need 20 CHA, and you should aim for at least 18 STR. One less ASI can have a big impact on you.
    • Last, think about what you and your party need. If you want to get the most out of being a Conqueror, youíre aiming primarily for features that offer you easier battlefield control.

    Spoiler: Secondary Classes
    Show
    • Barbarian: You just donít need Unarmored Defense. Rage also prevents you from using spells, which means no fear.
    • Bard: More spells, more slots, better skills, and it all uses CHA. If youíre looking for some extra utility or want to be the party face, this class is great. The College of Swords also gives you another fighting style and Defensive Flourish.
    • Cleric: A good spell list, but most of their class features donít compliment you. Plus, you shouldnít be investing in WIS.
    • Druid: Wild Shape prevents spellcasting, and the spell list donít offer much synergy. Again with the WIS.
    • Fighter: Now weíre talking. Just one level gets you another fighting style and some bonus healing, and a second level gets you Action Surge. Fighter is particularly versatile because you can take six levels in it without losing an ASI. Three or four levels into Cavalier makes one of the stickiest tanks in the game.
    • Monk: Relies on DEX and WIS. If you have enough of them to multiclass into this, you are doing something wrong.
    • Ranger: Another fighting style is nice, but the spells rely on WIS and donít offer you much control or survivability.
    • Rogue: There is a way to multiclass into rogue with Oath of Conquest, but it pushes you to be very MAD and needs careful planning with your levels.
    • Sorcerer: Low HP, but a good selection of offensive and defensive spells, including the Booming Blade and Green-Flame Blade cantrips, which are great for you. Divine Soul you also get all those shiny cleric spells, and Shadow Sorcerer gets you a weaker version of Undying Sentinel. Make sure you invest enough levels to capitalize on Metamagic.
    • Warlock: Short rest slots for more smiting along with great spells and cantrips for upping your offensive potential. If you get Invocations, consider picking up Eldritch Smite for enormous nova potential. It stacks with your Divine Smite, deals force damage, and knocks your target prone. Archfey gives you another option for fear, Fiend gives you some survivability, and HexbladeÖwell, I have a separate note for that.
    • Wizard: INT is even worse for you than WIS. If you want some casting power, pick sorcerer or bard.


    Spoiler: Sample Multiclass Builds
    Show
    The Knight Tyrant: Conquest 9 / Cavalier 11
    • This sacrifices a lot of offensive power and your late game spells, but it turns you into a really stubborn tank. Fighter has so much to offer you here: a second fighting style, Action Surge, a pretty strong Second Wind, and three attacks. The Cavalier then gives you Unwavering Mark, which is perfect for enemies that canít be frightened; Warding Maneuver, which make protecting your friends easier; and Hold the Line, which is almost as good as Sentinel. On top of all that, taking Conquest to level 9 gets you access to the Fear spell, which is an incredibly powerful tool.
    • Alternatively, you can build Conquest 8 / Cavalier 12 for an extra ASI. However, unless you've hamstrung yourself by picking a sub-par race, I don't think there are scenarios where an extra ASI will get you more utility than Fear.

    The Hell Guard: Conquest 9 / Hexblade 4 / Battle Master 7
    • This gives you some offensive boost and adds a lot of utility to your toolkit. Itís also compatible with a two-handed build. Warlock grants you two 2nd-level spell slots (on a short rest!), some nice spells, cantrips, two Invocations, and a Pact Boon. I prefer Pact of the Blade, but Tome can be good too. Hex Warrior means you donít have to focus on STR, and so can instead get feats or invest in CON. Fighter gives you all the usual goodies, and Battle Master gets you five maneuvers with d8 superiority dice. I like Commanderís Strike, Goading Attack, Pushing Attack, Riposte, and Trip Attack.
    • As above, you can go Conquest 8 / Hexblade 4 / Battle Master 8 if you really want that extra ASI. But again, it's usually not going to be worth it.

    The Twilight Templar: Conquest 16 / Shadow Sorcerer 4
    • You still get your 4th-level spells and Scornful Rebuke, but just a few levels into Shadow Sorcerer pays great dividends. You get a few more spell slots, Booming Blade, some good spells, and Strength of the Grave, which will make you significantly harder to kill. But the real beauty is Metamagic. Take Quickened Spell and Twinned Spell. With either or both of those, youíll be able to spread Booming Blade like wildfire.

    The Menacing Minstrel: Conquest 12 / Valor Bard 8
    • A fun build if you want to be the party face, and brimming with utility. Youíll get some bard spells up to the 4th level (looking at you, Polymorph) and pretty strong Bardic Inspiration. Youíll have 5 d8 inspiration dice on a short rest, and Combat Inspiration lets them be used to boost the damage or AC for your allies.

    Spoiler: Multiclass Special: The Hexblade
    Show
    The Hexblade is probably the strongest and most versatile subclass to come out of Xanatharís Guide to Everything. Its multiclassing potential is borderline outrageous. Just one level into Hexblade gets you:
    • Hexbladeís Curse, for better criticals and scary bonus attack damage.
    • Hex Warrior, which basically means you donít have to worry about STR anymore.

    The warlock is already a solid pick to multiclass into, but Hexblade instantly turns you from a MAD character to a SAD one. Normally you would use three or four of your ASIs to max out CHA and round out STR. With Hexblade you can stop at 15 STR, just enough to wear plate. This means you can easily afford three feats with your remaining ASIs. If you take four levels, you still get all your ASIs, a Pact Boon, and two Eldritch Invocations.

    If Iím being honest, Iím tempted to rate this gold instead of sky blue. So long as you donít multiclass until after level 8, I think Conquest 19 / Hexblade 1 is almost universally superior to Conquest 20. The only thing level 20 gets you is Invincible Conqueror, and Iíll grant itís one of the best capstones. But Hex Warrior makes everything before level 20 so much easier for you. You will do more a lot more damage, have more feats, get access to two great cantrips (Booming Blade and Eldritch Blast), and have a short rest spell slot to use for divine smites, Shield, or whatever you please. And losing Invincible Conqueror isnít so terrible considering you have Hexbladeís Curse. To illustrate:
    • Assuming you have max STR and CHA at level 20 and are using a longsword, your standard attack is 1d8 (sword) + 1d8 (improved smite) + 5 (STR) ≈ 14. The standard 5% to crit adds 2d8 damage to one in every twenty attacks, which translates to an average of ~0.45 extra damage per hit. With two attacks, your average DPR is around 29.
    • If you pop Invincible Conqueror, you get a third attack and a 10% chance to crit. The bonus crit chance translates into ~0.9 extra damage per hit. 14.9 x 3 ≈ 45. This represents a 55% increase in damage output on a long rest.
    • If you use Hexbladeís Curse, you add your proficiency bonus (+6) to every hit, making your standard attack hit for ~20. The 10% chance to crit still only translates into ~0.9 extra damage per hit, so weíre looking at 20.9 x 2 ≈ 42. This is a 45% increase in damage output on a short rest.

    Thereís a noticeable difference, and there are ways to widen that gap (e.g. factoring in Dueling), but itís not as stark as you may think. Of course, Invincible Conqueror gives you more chances to pop smites, and resistance to all damage should not be overlooked. Itís incredibly strong. When youíre fighting the BBEG, it will undoubtedly be better to have a level 20 capstone than a level 1 subclass feature. But that is the only time it will be worth it.

    That one level into Hexblade also gives you access to Booming Blade. By level 20 it does an extra 3d8 damage to your target whether they move or not. With Hexbladeís Curse, using Booming Blade instead of attacking twice is 1d8 (sword) + 1d8 (improved smite) + 3d8 (BB) + 5 (CHA) + 6 (proficiency) ≈ 34. A 10% to crit translates into ~3 damage per hit, so one hit with BB gets you ~37 damage on average. But if your enemy is stupid enough to move, they take another 4d8 (~20), damage. At level 20 youíre going to run into a lot of enemies that are either resilient or outright immune to being frightened, so BB is a versatile tool for keeping them grounded.

    If you donít think youíll be making it all the way to level 20, you should seriously consider putting a level into Hexblade. And even if you think you will make it to level 20, Hex Warrior will make the journey there significantly easier.



    Unearthed Arcana
    This guide is geared primarily to use official materials and supplements. I chose to do this because the official materials are the ones that have likely been put through the most testing for things like fun, efficacy, and balance. And, well, because theyíre official. The stamp of approval makes it much more likely, in my experience, that a DM will allow it at their table. I wanted to make sure this guide is giving advice that you can almost always rely on.

    That being said, the Unearthed Arcana publications have a lot of fantastic and fun options for races and feats, and many DMs will welcome them. Below is a short guide to the races, subraces, and feats that have been published through Unearthed Arcana. Iíve excluded materials that have a ďfinal versionĒ like the racial feats to avoid confusion.

    Spoiler: UA Races & Subraces
    Show
    Elf Subraces:
    • Avariel: Flying elves! And nothing that you really need.
    • Eladrin: +1 to CHA is good, and I think the free teleport every short rest makes this solidly better than the Drow. The shifting cantrips are fun, too.
    • Grugach: +1 STR is okay and druid cantrips are neat, but not being able to speak Common is a bit of a setback.
    • Sea Elf: Decent if you want to play Aquaman, I guess.
    • Shadar-kai: Like the Eladrin, but the teleport is more tactical. Similarly better than the Drow.
    Changeling: Stats are okay, self-polymorph has a lot of fun potential.
    Gith: +1 INT isnít all that useful.
    • Githyanki: +2 STR and a free Misty Step can come in handy.
    • Githzerai: You definitely donít need +2 WIS, and you arenít running around without armor either.
    Minotaur: +2 STR and some fun abilities. Donít underestimate your horns. A 1d10 unarmed attack is no joke. You can probably just carry a shield and no weapon at all.
    Shifter: The stats arenít great, but some of the Shifting Features are neat.
    • Beasthide: Not bad for tanking, but there are better races for it.
    • Cliffwalk: ďThe agility of a mountain goat?Ē How about no.
    • Longstride: Donít need the mobility, donít need the DEX.
    • Longtooth: Some bonus STR, and you get to grapple people with your teeth.
    • Razorclaw: Extra DEX and a weak bonus attack arenít worth it.
    • Wildhunt: Youíre already proficient in WIS saves and get great saving throws. Donít need this.
    Tiefling Subraces: All of them get +2 to CHA, which normally would make them blue or better in my book. But rated relative to each other, some are just better for you. Still, no bad options here.
    • Abyssal: +1 to CON and extra health is great. The randomly-rotating spell list can get a bit weird, though.
    • Asmodeus: Normal tiefling!
    • Baalzebul: Normal stats with less useful spells.
    • Dispater: Good if you want to be a little sneaky. Great if you want to be DEX-based.
    • Fierna: +1 WIS is better for you than +1 INT, and youíll be a good party face.
    • Glasya: Slightly better than Dispater because you get Minor Illusion.
    • Levistus: +1 to CON and a free Armor of Agathys each day. Great for tanking.
    • Mammon: Normal tiefling with less useful spells.
    • Mephistopheles: Normal tiefling, but Magic Missile and Web are okay, I guess.
    • Zariel: +1 to STR and a couple of free smites. Canít go wrong.
    Warforged: Weaker stats, but +1 AC is superb for a tank like yourself.

    Spoiler: Fighting Styles
    Show
    • Close Quarters Shooter: Youíre not a ranged attacker.
    • Mariner: I think this is only good if you focus DEX and use a two-hander, which isnít optimal for tanking. But if thatís what you want, then this is better than Defense.
    • Tunnel Fighter: This, combined with Sentinel, probably can justify putting off Aura of Conquest for a little. It eats up your bonus action every turn, but unlimited opportunity attacks against big groups can be very strong.

    Spoiler: Skill Feats
    Show
    I love the skill feats and Iím sad they didnít make it into Xanatharís. Theyíre an easy way to round out one of your core stats and add some flavor. Most of them are totally useless to you, but there are a few gems. I should note that not all reds here are equally bad. Many of the skill feats have a lot of fun potential, but their opportunity cost is just too high.

    • Acrobat: A wee bit of extra mobility. Not that special.
    • Animal Handler: You already have Dominate Beast.
    • Arcanist: Leave it to the wizard.
    • Brawny: This will make it incredibly hard to grapple you. Also easier to shove people prone.
    • Diplomat: +1 CHA and a free charm ability. Great if youíre the party face.
    • Empathic: Waste an action so you can get advantage on your next turn? No thanks.
    • Historian: Stop trying to be all bookish, it gets in the way of conquest.
    • Investigator: You are not a detective.
    • Medic: If you want to heal your friends, you have Lay on Hands.
    • Menacing: Now this feat was just made for the Conqueror. You sacrifice an attack, but it doesnít take concentration to maintain, it uses a WIS check instead of a save, and you roll with double proficiency. Youíll scare almost anyone with this.
    • Naturalist: Some fun little spells, but tree-huggers donít conquer the world.
    • Perceptive: Rating blue only because Perception is such a valuable skill. Double proficiency can really save you when you least expect it.
    • Performer: Very niche, but fun if you took the Entertainer/Gladiator background.
    • Quick-Fingered: Itís okay if youíre DEX-based I guess.
    • Silver-Tongued: Some mobility and advantage attacks. Nice.
    • Stealthy: You canít be much of a tank if youíre hiding. But some scenarios do call for sneaking.
    • Survivalist: Alarm isnít that useful, and if you need it that badly someone else will have it.
    • Theologian: Pondering the gods takes time from killing foes.

    Spoiler: Weapon Mastery Feats
    Show
    Pretty much all the weapon feats are good simply because of the +1 to attack. If you want to have a signature weapon, these are all fun ways to do it.

    • Fell Handed: Takes some setup to maximize, but if you have a source of advantage on your attacks this will let you prone-lock enemies.
    • Blade Mastery: A little extra defense if you want, but advantage on opportunity attacks combos well with Sentinel.
    • Flail Mastery: Basically makes you anti-shield, and combined with Sentinel this will help you prone-lock enemies too.
    • Spear Mastery: Turn your spear into a martial weapon, though I think the competing bonus actions unnecessarily complicate things.

    Spoiler: Tool Mastery Feats
    Show
    If you're looking to optimize a character, these are all virtually useless. But they can add some color to a campaign.

    • Alchemist: Leave science to the wizards.
    • Burglar: Too specialized to be worth it for you.
    • Gourmand: Everyone loves a cook.
    • Master of Disguise: +1 CHA is great! But youíre probably not going to be disguising yourself all that often.

    A note on the Menacing feat: This is, without a doubt, the best of the skill feats for the Oath of Conquest, and may even be one of the best feats for you, period. The +1 CHA means you can use it to round out stat advancement, and itís almost as good as Wrathful Smite for locking down single targets. Youíll likely be making the Intimidate check with double proficiency, and your target will be relying on a WIS check, not a save, which makes it much more likely youíll succeed. And it has a range of 30ft! Combined with Shield Master, you can frighten a target, knock them prone, then make an attack with advantage.

    The drawback is that it only lasts a round, unlike your other options. And if they resist, you canít use it on them again for an hour. However, this one is practically free. It doesnít take an action, a bonus action, a reaction, concentration, or even a spell slot. If you need to deal with multiple targets or you really need that second attack, you have plenty of options for frightening enemies. But Menacing is a terrific tool to add to your kit. Special thanks to Malisteen for this insight.


    This is my first guide, so thank you for reading to the end. Iíd love to know your thoughts, questions, and suggestions. Go forth and conquer!
    Last edited by Legimus; 2018-02-06 at 07:03 PM.

  5. - Top - End - #5
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    GnomeWizardGuy

    Join Date
    Sep 2013

    Default Re: The Wall of Fear: A Complete Guide to the Oath of Conquest

    Double Check on the Kobolds there. They get a -2 to STR, not a +2.

  6. - Top - End - #6
    Halfling in the Playground
     
    WolfInSheepsClothing

    Join Date
    Oct 2014

    Default Re: The Wall of Fear: A Complete Guide to the Oath of Conquest

    Aren't wisdom checks and wisdom saving throws mutually exclusive? You state that the frightened condition would impose disadvantage on subsequent wisdom checks but I believe they need to just pass wisdom saves.

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    Default Re: The Wall of Fear: A Complete Guide to the Oath of Conquest

    Quote Originally Posted by Mith View Post
    Double Check on the Kobolds there. They get a -2 to STR, not a +2.
    Upon closer inspection there's a tiny blot on my copy of Volo's. Thank you!

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    Default Re: The Wall of Fear: A Complete Guide to the Oath of Conquest

    Quote Originally Posted by Malaketh View Post
    Aren't wisdom checks and wisdom saving throws mutually exclusive? You state that the frightened condition would impose disadvantage on subsequent wisdom checks but I believe they need to just pass wisdom saves.
    I thought I'd seen a dev quote interpreting it this way, but I can't seem to find it. Will remove until I have further proof. Thanks!

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    Default Re: The Wall of Fear: A Complete Guide to the Oath of Conquest

    Nice start!

    Personally I'm enchanted by the prospect of a terrifying Dexadin halfling. I'm not sure if Channeling Divinity reveals you when you're Hiding but either way you can sneak up on someone and scare their pants off.

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    Default Re: The Wall of Fear: A Complete Guide to the Oath of Conquest

    I feel this guide needs to mention how potent a reach weapon is on this build. Any opponent you've feared can't move at all while within your ten foot aura; just stand ten feet away from a melee opponent, continuously attack them, and laugh at how little there is they can do about it.

    I also feel this guide could benefit from a subsection on what to do against things that are immune to fear. Any character that's going to build around such a common immunity needs to think about what they're going to do when their main strategy doesn't work.

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    Default Re: The Wall of Fear: A Complete Guide to the Oath of Conquest

    Very nice Guide!

    I was already planning a char like this. Thanks a lot.

    Only one question: why do you think Dragon Fear is a "weaker form of fear"?

    Seems very strong to me:

    - Recharges on short rest;
    - No concentration;
    - Only gets a second save if suffers damage;
    - 30 ft. creatures of your choice

    I really can't see why you think Conquering Presence is better.
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    Default Re: The Wall of Fear: A Complete Guide to the Oath of Conquest

    Quote Originally Posted by Rhaegar14 View Post
    I also feel this guide could benefit from a subsection on what to do against things that are immune to fear. Any character that's going to build around such a common immunity needs to think about what they're going to do when their main strategy doesn't work.
    A subsection whould be great. I'm guessing that you will just play a character with high AC and smites so it shouldn't be that hard to figure out.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Arvin Natsuko View Post
    Only one question: why do you think Dragon Fear is a "weaker form of fear"?

    Seems very strong to me:

    - Recharges on short rest;
    - No concentration;
    - Only gets a second save if suffers damage;
    - 30 ft. creatures of your choice

    I really can't see why you think Conquering Presence is better.
    So both are 30ft, no concentration, targets of your choice, on a short rest. Very strong, no doubt. But Conquering Presence is only limited to targets you can see. Dragon Fear, on the other hand, automatically fails if a target can't see or can't hear you, so it can't be used to get the drop on enemies. Additionally, a target frightened by Dragon Fear gets to repeat its saving throw whenever it takes damage. If you attack it twice on your turn, that means you've given it two chances to break free. On top of that, Aura of Conquest deals damage if a creature starts its turn frightened of you, so it can try to break the fear at the beginning of its turn. And all attempts to break Dragon Fear come free. They don't cost actions or bonus actions.

    Contrast this to Conquering Presence, where a creature's only chance to break it comes at the end of its turn, no matter what. Or to Wrathful Smite, where subsequent WIS checks cost an action. Or to Fear, where it can only repeat the save if you are out of line of sight. Dragon Fear is a great tool in your toolkit, but it is just so much easier to break than your ordinary mechanics.

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    Default Re: The Wall of Fear: A Complete Guide to the Oath of Conquest

    Quote Originally Posted by Malaketh View Post
    Aren't wisdom checks and wisdom saving throws mutually exclusive? You state that the frightened condition would impose disadvantage on subsequent wisdom checks but I believe they need to just pass wisdom saves.
    I figured out the discrepancy in my notes. It applies to Wrathful Smite only, not other frightened effects. It is a unique spell in that subsequent attempts to break it use a WIS check, not a saving throw, and cost an action. I've included a comment in the spells section explaining this. Thanks again for pointing this out.

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    Default Re: The Wall of Fear: A Complete Guide to the Oath of Conquest

    Good guide. Was not understanding the lvl 7 aura - now I do. It's menacing but does nothing unless I also fear a creature within the aura. Then, it can't move and takes damage. Got it.

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    Default Re: The Wall of Fear: A Complete Guide to the Oath of Conquest

    Thank you. I already had the idea to build a Conquest Paladin, but you've scooched me from Dragonborn to Fallen Aasimar. Which ties into another character idea I had, so that all works out.
    I always had a Warlock dip planned for this one, but Hexblade is starting to look more and more appetizing. Though I'd go for a 3 or 4 level dip, and grab Tome. Because Aspect of the Moon to never sleep sounds kinda thematic.

    Honestly. If you come across a guy/gal that literally can't be put to sleep, and stays awake all night, without even yawning. You're gonna think something's not quite right with them. And that's mildly terrifying on it's own, I feel.

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    Default Re: The Wall of Fear: A Complete Guide to the Oath of Conquest

    Quote Originally Posted by Legimus View Post
    So both are 30ft, no concentration, targets of your choice, on a short rest. Very strong, no doubt. But Conquering Presence is only limited to targets you can see. Dragon Fear, on the other hand, automatically fails if a target can't see or can't hear you, so it can't be used to get the drop on enemies. Additionally, a target frightened by Dragon Fear gets to repeat its saving throw whenever it takes damage. If you attack it twice on your turn, that means you've given it two chances to break free. On top of that, Aura of Conquest deals damage if a creature starts its turn frightened of you, so it can try to break the fear at the beginning of its turn. And all attempts to break Dragon Fear come free. They don't cost actions or bonus actions.

    Contrast this to Conquering Presence, where a creature's only chance to break it comes at the end of its turn, no matter what. Or to Wrathful Smite, where subsequent WIS checks cost an action. Or to Fear, where it can only repeat the save if you are out of line of sight. Dragon Fear is a great tool in your toolkit, but it is just so much easier to break than your ordinary mechanics.
    Hum

    Nice points. I have to agree with you.

    The thing is that the auto aura damage doesn't synergises well with the Dragon Fear.

    Thanks for the tip.
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    Default Re: The Wall of Fear: A Complete Guide to the Oath of Conquest

    Quote Originally Posted by Legimus View Post
    I figured out the discrepancy in my notes. It applies to Wrathful Smite only, not other frightened effects. It is a unique spell in that subsequent attempts to break it use a WIS check, not a saving throw, and cost an action. I've included a comment in the spells section explaining this. Thanks again for pointing this out.
    No Problem! and nice guide, I was turned off of trying this oath based on a couple new guides that have sprung up but you have given me a renewed hope. Gonna try it once our group is done TftYP.

    Thank you

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    Default Re: The Wall of Fear: A Complete Guide to the Oath of Conquest

    Added a subsection on how to deal with enemies that are immune to fear, per the suggestions from Rhaegar14 and Galactkaktus. I have also added a list of four ideas for multiclass builds. Working on adding a subsection about a polearm build.

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    Default Re: The Wall of Fear: A Complete Guide to the Oath of Conquest

    I may have overlooked it, but did you mention how useful Eldritch Smite is to an OoC multiclass? The ability to automatically knock the opponent prone is particularly potent when you can reduce their movement to 0 and leave them terrified, immobile, prone, and taking psychic damage every round in addition to whatever punishment you care to dish out.

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    Default Re: The Wall of Fear: A Complete Guide to the Oath of Conquest

    Others have mentioned Dragon Fear being slightly underrated, and I agree.

    Personally, I would use Dragon Fear over the Channel Divinity as an opener. The advantage is that you can ignore enemies that fail the save, they are heavily neutered combatants due to fear, and they can't shake it. This gives yourself and your party the opportunity to focus down enemies that do save while taking minimal damage from the afraid combatants.

    With the Channel Divinity, those same combatants would have many chances to save if you dont get to them immediately.

    So Dragon fear is the better crowd control ability. A no concentration, AoE, minute long no repeat save debuff is rare and strong.

    When facing multiple opponents, I tjink having the effect stick on ones you are unable to deal with immediately is the most important. Save the Channel Divinity for priority targets that you plan to use your Aura to combat. But for the mooks, Dragon Aura is a much stronger effect

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    Default Re: The Wall of Fear: A Complete Guide to the Oath of Conquest

    AFB right now, but isn't Dragon Fear the one where they get to repeat the save EVERY TIME they take damage?

    Because that makes it a lot less useful. Especially since the Aura of Conquest deals damage at the start of the afflicted creature's turn, if memory serves.

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    Default Re: The Wall of Fear: A Complete Guide to the Oath of Conquest

    The lack of a save until damage is tje strength, not the weakness of Dragon Fear.

    Its fire and forget, you use it, and a number of enemies are neutered until you choose to engage them on your terms. Unlike Channel divinity, where the saves every turn means they can meaningfully rejoin the fight after a second save.

    For Dragon fear, you don't attack the ones who are afraid, you have your party focus fire the unafraid, while the ones affected by fear cant do anything to become effective again.

    I view it as similar to Hypnotic pattern. You disable a number of enemies, and focus on ones not disabled, because the disabled enemies can wait. With Channel Divinity, you are on a timer, more akin to somthing like stinking cloud. Still effective, but not for long.

    Both have their uses, but I think Dragon Fear is far better for general crowd control. Channel divinity is better for things that need to die immediately and keep their minions away temporarily while doing so.
    Last edited by GeistInMachine; 2017-12-01 at 03:51 AM.

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    Default Re: The Wall of Fear: A Complete Guide to the Oath of Conquest

    I think you're not factoring in that Aura of Conquest deals damage to targets at the start of their turn, though. If your enemies are trapped in your aura, then they get a chance to save at the start of their turn. If you want to avoid that by keeping them out of your aura, then they are at liberty to run away, which poses problems.

    Something else I've been trying to figure out with Dragon Fear is whether sight and hearing affect subsequent attempts. The way I read it, saying the target "can repeat the saving throw" refers back to the original saving throw, which "automatically succeeds...if it can't hear or see you." And if that's the case, all a target needs to do is run away, hide behind a tree, and then they're free.

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    Default Re: The Wall of Fear: A Complete Guide to the Oath of Conquest

    Very nice guide. Honestly, I feel what hexblade 1 adds to the build, not just curse & hex warrior, but also booming blade, eldritch blast for a high quality ranged fallback, the shield spell, and one slot per rest to shield or bless or wrathful smite with, are enough to make it worth multiclassing into as early as second level, even at the cost of delaying the aura by one level.

    A half elf tyrant with a level of hexblade also gets a lot more out of elven accuracy than a regular tyrant, since you can get that triple advantage on your cha based attacks and get +1 cha to round your starting 17 up to an 18, so you don't even fall behind in ASIs.

    If you don't think your campaign will make it all the way to level 18+ anyway (few do, ime), then there's honestly solid cause to take warlock up to level 2 or maybe even 3, though I wouldn't take more than the first level before paladin 8, for the reasons you already stated. A second recharging slot and invocations at second level are a big deal for you, significantly reducing your need to ration daily resources, and a pact boon (blade allowing you to use halberds w/ cha, or chain if going sword & board) and spell level bump with the third level are also fantastic.

    In general, the one level dip is probably best here, but there's definitely cause to at least consider a slightly longer divergence. I mean, you basically say as much under 'warlock' and in the one multiclass build with four levels of warlock, but the hexblade write up in particular kind of makes it sound like one level sort of the be all and end all
    Last edited by Malisteen; 2017-12-01 at 10:08 AM.
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    Default Re: The Wall of Fear: A Complete Guide to the Oath of Conquest

    I am factoring in the fact that being within 10ft auto damages the enemy, but I dont think it is relevant to the intent of Dragon fear, which is to keep a number of enemys away for a long while, not close in to engage.

    Channel Divinity ia a lot better if you want them staying put, but every enemy running away is one that isn't dealing damage. If there are no other enemies to alert, I think dragon fear is a better choice.

    Dragon fear is the better Defensive ability, Channel Divinity is a better Offensive ability.

    When you go after single targets anyways, I think Wrathful Smite is the far stronger choice. But Dragon Fear is the better of the two crowd control options, which is patching up a weakness Paladins tend to sorely lack.
    Last edited by GeistInMachine; 2017-12-01 at 12:15 PM.

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    Default Re: The Wall of Fear: A Complete Guide to the Oath of Conquest

    Donít forget Shield Master lets you shove prone as a BA, and with speed 0 they canít stand up again...niiiice advantage right there.

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    Default Re: The Wall of Fear: A Complete Guide to the Oath of Conquest

    Quote Originally Posted by GeistInMachine View Post
    Dragon fear is the better Defensive ability, Channel Divinity is a better Offensive ability.
    I think that's a fair way to put it. I still rate it as weaker here because I think the Oath of Conquest is an offensive tank. Dragon Fear is definitely strong, but it doesn't have nearly as much synergy as your other abilities that inflict frighten. And if I'm right about subsequent saves being automatic if they can't see or hear you, I think that makes it much easier to break.

    Quote Originally Posted by lesbiasparrow View Post
    Donít forget Shield Master lets you shove prone as a BA, and with speed 0 they canít stand up again...niiiice advantage right there.
    Great point! I always forget about the shove benefit. I'll make a note of that in the Feats subsection.
    Last edited by Legimus; 2017-12-01 at 01:06 PM.

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    Default Re: The Wall of Fear: A Complete Guide to the Oath of Conquest

    I think the OR is an logic OR, meaning one or the other, not an exclusive OR of either .

    Otherwise, couldn't an enemy just avert their gaze, and instant save the next time they take damage? That does not seem right.
    Last edited by GeistInMachine; 2017-12-01 at 06:37 PM.

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    Default Re: The Wall of Fear: A Complete Guide to the Oath of Conquest

    See or hear?

    This means someone is casting darkness, fog, silence or deafness - that sort of thing.

    It could happen, but how often is that going to happen? Well, if you go shadow sorcadin, maybe a lot - so maybe watch for this. Otherwise, I just don't see it happening all that often. If an enemy caster blows a slot and action to cast those spells - that means the caster didn't get off a fireball or suggestion or w/e that round. Sure it hurts to have the scared creatures now freed of that, but it's not all bad, either.

    I guess a pita DM who loves undoing party tactics could exploit this, so it is a consideration.

    Hey, guide writer - why did you make a multi into Sorc only blue - and only cleric sorc sky blue. I think you grasp the conquest stuff very well (and thank you for the guide), but I do think you're misleading people by suggesting a multi into sorc is that crappy (only blue). It's really very much sky blue - maybe gold, if you know how to max it.

    First, a draconic sorc multi gives you +1 hp to sorc lvls, meaning your base hp per level is 5 - that's only one lower than a base level for pal, which is six, so it's not as weak as you're suggesting. And it's very easy to get fire or some other elemental resistance. And you get metamagic and increase your slots, meaning you can DS like a crazy fool - and pump out insane single target damage. And you got sorc spells, which can be very handy. You can also shield or absorb elements on any turn - insane. So many overlook absorb element. Just look at that main sorcadin link that lives here in this forum (unlimited bladeworks or something, it's called) - it's in the guides. Give that a look and please tell me all sorc should not be sky blue at the very least!

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