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  1. - Top - End - #451
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    Default Re: The Wall of Fear: A Complete Guide to the Oath of Conquest

    Quote Originally Posted by Guy Lombard-O View Post
    Yes. The point of Hexblade isn't really those cantrips, they're just bonuses. The real point is to make yourself SAD on Charisma for all attacks, weapon damage, DC saves, spell attacks, aura, etc. It lets you focus on just maxing Cha, getting a good Con, having a good enough Dex or Str for AC, and then taking feats. Also the Hexblade Curse for Crit/Smite fishing and extra damage.

    Oh, and also the 2 short-rest recovering spell slots for smiting. And probably Eldritch Blast for having a decent ranged attack. And access to the Shield spell.

    Honestly, it's a whole lot for just a 1 level dip, with or without Booming Blade. Probably way too much.
    I got a little confused about the "short-rest recovering spell slots for smiting" before I remembered how Warlock work. You can use a Warlock spell slot for your Paladin Divine Smite? And you reconver... 2, a 1 lvl Warlock only has 1 spell slot?

    Okay, so as a Dragonborn I can potentially leave my stats at:
    Str - 15
    Dex - 10
    Con - 16
    Int - 8
    Wis - 10
    Cha - 20

    And then take 3 feats? I'm thinking Dragon Fear, Sentinel and Shield Master.

  2. - Top - End - #452
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    Default Re: The Wall of Fear: A Complete Guide to the Oath of Conquest

    Quote Originally Posted by OverDemon View Post
    I got a little confused about the "short-rest recovering spell slots for smiting" before I remembered how Warlock work. You can use a Warlock spell slot for your Paladin Divine Smite? And you reconver... 2, a 1 lvl Warlock only has 1 spell slot?

    Okay, so as a Dragonborn I can potentially leave my stats at:
    Str - 15
    Dex - 10
    Con - 16
    Int - 8
    Wis - 10
    Cha - 20

    And then take 3 feats? I'm thinking Dragon Fear, Sentinel and Shield Master.
    Sorry, you're right about the 1 spell slot (AFB).

    Those are good feats. But personally, I'd prefer Res Con over Shield Master. If I'm a melee combat guy, I'm going to get hit a lot. If I'm running a concentration spell, I want it to stick! Paladins don't get enough spell slots to be recasting Bless or Shield of Faith or Fear or Hex or Crusader's Mantle or whatever (plus, you don't want to use your action or even bonus action for recasting stuff). So you'll want Res Con to keep your concentration up where you won't even have to roll it very often. The other problem with Shield Master is that you're semi-dumping Str with a Hexadin. So it's less effective than on a pure-Str build (lower DC).

  3. - Top - End - #453
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    Default Re: The Wall of Fear: A Complete Guide to the Oath of Conquest

    Quote Originally Posted by Guy Lombard-O View Post
    Sorry, you're right about the 1 spell slot (AFB).

    Those are good feats. But personally, I'd prefer Res Con over Shield Master. If I'm a melee combat guy, I'm going to get hit a lot. If I'm running a concentration spell, I want it to stick! Paladins don't get enough spell slots to be recasting Bless or Shield of Faith or Fear or Hex or Crusader's Mantle or whatever (plus, you don't want to use your action or even bonus action for recasting stuff). So you'll want Res Con to keep your concentration up where you won't even have to roll it very often. The other problem with Shield Master is that you're semi-dumping Str with a Hexadin. So it's less effective than on a pure-Str build (lower DC).
    Res Con = Resilient (Constitution) right?
    Is that a priority feat? Like, over Sentinel and Dragon Fear? I could imagine it is since those other two feats give you something extra, whereas Resilient boost what you already have.

  4. - Top - End - #454
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    Default Re: The Wall of Fear: A Complete Guide to the Oath of Conquest

    Quote Originally Posted by OverDemon View Post
    I got a little confused about the "short-rest recovering spell slots for smiting" before I remembered how Warlock work. You can use a Warlock spell slot for your Paladin Divine Smite? And you reconver... 2, a 1 lvl Warlock only has 1 spell slot?

    Okay, so as a Dragonborn I can potentially leave my stats at:
    Str - 15
    Dex - 10
    Con - 16
    Int - 8
    Wis - 10
    Cha - 20

    And then take 3 feats? I'm thinking Dragon Fear, Sentinel and Shield Master.
    1 level of warlock gets you a single 1st level spell slot. Hexblade also gets you the shield spell as one of your 2 known spells, hexblade curse, and hex.

    Keep in mind if you take a level of Hexblade you will have hex, hexblade curse, moving hex to new target, and all the smite spells as bonus actions.
    Last edited by McSkrag; 2019-09-06 at 11:10 AM.

  5. - Top - End - #455
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    Default Re: The Wall of Fear: A Complete Guide to the Oath of Conquest

    Quote Originally Posted by McSkrag View Post
    1 level of warlock gets you a single 1st level spell slot. Hexblade also gets you the shield spell as one of your 2 known spells, hexblade curse, and hex.

    Keep in mind if you take a level of Hexblade you will have hex, hexblade curse, moving hex to new target, and all the smite spells as bonus actions.
    I didn't quite understand everything you said there at first, but after thinking about it I think I do now. By "Hex" you mean the 1st level SPELL Hex, right? I don't quite read anywhere that I "get" it, but I assume I can choose it?

  6. - Top - End - #456
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    Default Re: The Wall of Fear: A Complete Guide to the Oath of Conquest

    Quote Originally Posted by OverDemon View Post
    Res Con = Resilient (Constitution) right?
    Is that a priority feat? Like, over Sentinel and Dragon Fear? I could imagine it is since those other two feats give you something extra, whereas Resilient boost what you already have.
    Yes, RESilient CONstitution. I'm not really sure it's a priority feat, especially on a non-VHuman.

    I went VHuman just so I could get that feat for the (16 Con) +5 to Con saves up front. Since I generally find it's more effective for the party overall to run Bless than something which only helps my only own character (I.E. Hex or Shield of Faith), that's how I use my concentration 9/10 times. Which means that when character level 8 came around (paladin 6/hexblade 2) and I got my aura (first ASI was +2 Cha/18 Cha,) my Con saves were +10 (+3 Con modifier, +3 proficiency mod, +4 aura bonus), with added bonus from Bless being +11 to 14. All of which means I gotta get hit pretty solidly to even force a roll, let alone to actually break my concentration.

    Another option is Warcaster, of course. Which still lets you make most concentration checks (from taking damage), and is actually better in a way because you can cast Shield with your hand full. But I prefer Res Con, because the awesome Con saves also apply to poison/cold/whatever saving throws, instead of just concentration saves, and because half-caster paladins don't want to be burning all their 1st level slots on constant Shield spells, anyway. Plus, an extra +1 to Con means more HP, if you plan for it from character creation by taking odd-number Con stat. It's just the all-around better tanking feat (especially at character level 9+), in my opinion.

    For your Dragonborn, you could probably take it at 8 or 12. Probably better to max Cha first, and get that Dragon Fear along with it.

    Oh, and yes, you can use your hexblade spell slots for smites, and your paladin spell slots for Shield or Hex. They're interchangable, as with all caster multiclasses.
    Last edited by Guy Lombard-O; 2019-09-06 at 01:42 PM.

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

    Quote Originally Posted by OverDemon View Post
    I didn't quite understand everything you said there at first, but after thinking about it I think I do now. By "Hex" you mean the 1st level SPELL Hex, right? I don't quite read anywhere that I "get" it, but I assume I can choose it?
    Right, sorry that wasnt clear.

    Hex would be one of the warlock spells you choose. It's a bonus action to cast or move to new target.

    The issue is if you dip Hexblade will have 4 good bonus actions that compete with shield master's bash. It's not "bad" choice but along with your lowish DEX save you won't get the full use out of it.

    If you dip Hexblade, I recommend Warcaster so you can maintain concentration and cast shield spell with your hands full. Sentinel is great because it gives you an offensive reaction and helps you tank. Resilient: CON is also a good choice because failing CON saves usually very bad.

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

    Thanks for posting this guide! I have always liked the Vengeance Paladin, and this feels like another fun avenue to explore. Thanks!

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

    This is pretty awesome! I love fear effects in 3.5; it's nice to see you can still build around them in 5e. You've cemented my decision to combine my next grappler with Conquest Paladin. And I'd never heard of the Menacing feat; ooh do I have plans for that.... Terrifying plans....
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  10. - Top - End - #460
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    Default Re: The Wall of Fear: A Complete Guide to the Oath of Conquest

    This is an awesome guide.

    I'm starting a new campaign with my group and we're building characters now and I'm wondering about the Polearm Master (PAM) usefulness. We use this crazy stat rolling system and I rolled the NUTS (we're not afraid of OP stuff, DM is great in scaling challenges and likes epic scale, e.g. we did gestalt) - 19, 13, 15, 17, 18, 18. This is CRAZY and got me thinking of builds that would otherwise be impossible.

    We have a Blood Cleric and a Swashbuckler, 4th person undecided, so I was thinking of going for control/tank. Was thinking of doing a Conquest Paladin and then laid my eyes on Prodigy. So was thinking of going Expertise Athletics for shoving people in the aura. The point is, do I go PAM at level 1, max my Charisma at level 4 and then get Prodigy at 8 after the aura comes online at 7? That way I have 1 shove and 2 attacks with advantage at reach, which seems awesome. Resilient Con and possibly Sentinel to follow up.

    My dilemma is, would this both be inferior to a Shield Master build in terms shove/crowd control, and in terms of damage due to lacking GWM (it could be put in at a later ASI)?

    Any thoughts are appreciated! What have you guys experienced in game? Any insights?

  11. - Top - End - #461
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    Default Re: The Wall of Fear: A Complete Guide to the Oath of Conquest

    Quote Originally Posted by Xciaphas View Post
    That way I have 1 shove and 2 attacks with advantage at reach, which seems awesome. Resilient Con and possibly Sentinel to follow up.
    Keep in mind that if you knock prone, then attacks made from further than 5' will have disadvantage, even with a melee weapon. You have to get within 5 feet to profit (advantage) from attacking a prone enemy.
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  12. - Top - End - #462
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    Default Re: The Wall of Fear: A Complete Guide to the Oath of Conquest

    Quote Originally Posted by Corran View Post
    Keep in mind that if you knock prone, then attacks made from further than 5' will have disadvantage, even with a melee weapon. You have to get within 5 feet to profit (advantage) from attacking a prone enemy.
    This has been taken into account. The rogue will be in melee constantly and the other player plans to play his cleric very up close and personal. In any case, clerics have Sacred Flame, among others, (Dex save, disadvantage on that when prone) so I think there is more synergy than anti-synergy.

    Nevertheless, thanks for the reminder! I'm more curious to have a discussion on the PAM and Shield Master differences and relative advantages. Sharing any experience in doing both (on different characters, obviously) or either one is very welcome.

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

    Quote Originally Posted by Xciaphas View Post
    Nevertheless, thanks for the reminder! I'm more curious to have a discussion on the PAM and Shield Master differences and relative advantages. Sharing any experience in doing both (on different characters, obviously) or either one is very welcome.
    I think SM is slightly better for your build.

    Even without taking any potential anti-synergies into account (we don't know what the 4th player will be playing), shoving (prone) is a bit initiative dependent. So, there will be fights when shoving wont have that much value, or rather, when utilizing your bonus action elsewise would be better. Now, this seems to favor PAM more than SM, since the bonus action from PAM can be used for attacking too. And that's correct, the bonus action from PAM is better than the bonus action from SM (even if PAM lowers your weapon's damage die a bit). But there are two reasons that combined, make me think that SM is better. First of all, you get spiritual weapon. If you have SM and shoving doesn't seem like a good idea, this spell can use your bonus actions instead, similarly to if you had PAM. Of course it costs a spell slot, but it closes the difference between the two feats as it synergizes better with SM compared to PAM. So, that's a little bit of sth that helps, and here comes the second reason that imo pushes SM ahead of PAM for your build. SM has some other benefits that would be great on your build. I am talking about the +2 to dex saves against single target effects, but mostly about the its pseudo evasion feature, which works really great with your high stats and with your aura of protection. And this is a defense that conquest of paladins don't get, and it will often be against creatures you cannot frighten (eg dragons), so against which you will be a tiny bit weaker than normal (since your best tactics wont work against them). And to mention it again, the pseudo evasion from SM will work amazingly with your dex save (and with lucky, which is another feat I would for sure take on this character; not because of SM, I would take it anyway, as with these stats lucky will work better for you than resilient or warcaster; but it will synergize pretty well with SM so that's a big bonus). So yeah, that's why I would take SM on this build.

    I wouldn't bother with prodigy. Your athletics bonus (without expertise) will be enough to win your ability contests (and remember that you have more than 1 attempts at shoving if it's really important that you do; and until IDS kicks in, you don't lose all that much by sacrificing one of your attacks for doing so; maybe you could get prodigy at level 12, to reduce the times you would need to spend an IDS enhanced attack for shoving, though yeah, with a +8 athletics and very possible disadvantage on the enemy's check, you probably don't even need it). Especially if the enemy will have disadvantage from being frightened. Instead, I would use my feats with SM, lucky, and then for rounding up charisma and dexterity with one ASI (STR 18, DEX 18, CON 18, INT 13, WIS 15, CHA 20). After that, feat wise, you can do pretty much whatever you want. Alert and inspiring leader are good feats, or you could boost str or con, or maybe dex (and change from a full plate to studded leather so at that cost of 1 AC you can add stealth to your repertoire, while remaining as good at shoving. You could look at playing a non-human race too, as with those stats it wont take too long to catch up (and then surpass thanks to better racial traits) to the variant human (probably by level 12).
    Last edited by Corran; 2019-09-15 at 03:04 AM.
    Quote Originally Posted by MaxWilson View Post
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    Default Re: The Wall of Fear: A Complete Guide to the Oath of Conquest

    Quote Originally Posted by Corran View Post
    I think SM is slightly better for your build.

    ........

    I wouldn't bother with prodigy.
    First of all, thanks for your detailed breakdown! I appreciate that you took the time to go through everything.

    The funny thing is that your argument against prodigy might have pushed me more towards PAM! :) If you are correct and I don't really need Prodigy, that leaves a feat open, meaning GWM is on the table. Now I'm thinking of going for the damage build that would otherwise not be an option. With any race that gives +2/+1 to Charisma/Strength (in any combination) I can have 20 in both stats and be rocking PAM and GWM by level 8. Frightening people and shoving them for advantage on the 2 subsequent attacks, meaning GWM comes into effect. This is now among the options I'm considering.

    The other thing is, I don't mind having lots of conflicting things to do with my bonus action, I actually prefer lots of choice. Sometimes that will mean an attack, sometimes it will mean a spell or something else. Shoring up the defenses is quite good, but a character with a weakness means more excitement.

    In the end, I'm very conflicted. The more options I have, the more difficult it becomes :/

  15. - Top - End - #465
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    Default Re: The Wall of Fear: A Complete Guide to the Oath of Conquest

    If your DM's not afraid of overpowered stuff, you could take menacing at level 1 to max your cha and get an at will frighten effect vs humanoid enemies.

    I'm not a fan of shield master. the dex save boost is nIce and all, but you can already trade an attack to shove, which by the time you have extra attack is often a smaller investment than a bonus action anyway, given that a cinwueror already has decent bonus action options in wrathful smite and spiritual weapon.

    Likewise I'm not the biggest fan if PAM. Again, you have other uses for bonus actions. The opp attack coming in is ok, but opp attacks are limited to one per round, and you really want to be using those to discourage enemies who aren't locked down by your aura from moving away from you, not to stop them from approaching you. You want enemies to approach you.

    So yeah, neither shield master nor polearm marster are high on my recommendations. Neither great weapon master, for that matter. You already hit plenty hard for a tank.

    No, apart from menacing, which you should absolutely take if your DM allows it, I would recommend war caster to shore up your concentration saves, then sentinel, inspiring leader, maybe alert.


    On the other hand, if your DM does allow broken old UA content, then tunnel fighter's worth looking at, even though it conflicts with other bonus actions, and if you take tunnel fighter then sentinel goes from good to obligatory, and even polearm master is strong enough to recommend, though that one I'd still save until after war caster at least.
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    Default Re: The Wall of Fear: A Complete Guide to the Oath of Conquest

    @Xciaphas: To build on what Malisteen is saying about GWM. None of your top spells (with the exception of bless) help its case. Nor that you have options in spellcasting or CD that take away actions from attacking (I mean, even if you neglect fear and wrathful smite and you always look at casting bless, even that takes an action, so you will be starting to attack from round 2). And improved divine smite also plays bad with GWM, cause it's improving the damage you are risking to lose (with that -5 penalty to attacks) for the fixed damage bonus. Not to mention that GWM tends to work best when you are fighting hordes, which is a situation against which the conquest paladin is really well geared (thanks to conquering presence and fear). You have amazing stats, so whatever you decide to do will work, but still, I cannot really suggest GWM. There are better choices. Even if I wanted to go with a greatsword or with a heavy polearm for style, I would still not take it. You really need advantage to make it work (and in a paladin's case I'd say that you need even more -PAM-, since you have enough things already working against it), and I am not sure if your athletics is good enough to justify a PAM-GWM combo (cause if you plan on shoving for keeping your dpr -on which you spent 2 feats already- high, then shoving has much more urgency than it would have for how a conquest paladin would usually use it). But at this point, we are talking about investing in 3 feats, and I don't think the benefit is really worth that investment (for all the reasons I mentioned throughout this post). I am not really saying to grab prodigy and PAM if you are picking GWM, it's more like I am wondering if building to justify a bad choice would be better than restricting the bad choices to just 1 for the build.

    Vengeance is much better suited for GWM'ing, so that's another idea if you are really sold on this feat and also want to play a paladin.

    In the end, it's your character, and as I said earlier, your stats will support almost anything you want to do. So if you really want to go with GWM, give it a try and see yourself how it works.
    Quote Originally Posted by MaxWilson View Post
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  17. - Top - End - #467
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    Default Re: The Wall of Fear: A Complete Guide to the Oath of Conquest

    Your stats are good enough to make GWM work, especially if you shove enemies prone a lot (which really doesn't require any other investment than proficiency in athletics). I think the other feats I listed might serve you better, and if you really wanted to smash enemies for max damage with a greatsword other oaths might work better - in particular devotion, vengeance, or, especially, oathbreaker. But again, with your superhuman stats you can absolutely make gwm or pam or both work on a conqueror if that's what you really want.
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    Default Re: The Wall of Fear: A Complete Guide to the Oath of Conquest

    Thanks to both @Malisteen and @Corran for your thoughtful input.

    I think you hit the nail on the head, I'm very tempted by the god stats I rolled to go for a very greedy and otherwise impossible build. I might be biting more than I can chew. I've played Vengeance paladin, Devotion bores me and Oathbreaker is out of the question for story reasons. I've never played conquest and wanted to try out the fear/lockdown mechanic, while also dealing decent damage and being a good tank for my teammates. I think the stats have made the "dps wh*re" side of my rear its ugly head.

    Your comments have been very helpful in clarifying that whether I go Shield Master or PAM (GWM is really either a very late pick or not one at all), it will not impact my ability to tank severely. Now I just need to understand what I want to play - a shield tank or a poleaxe wielding juggernaut.

    My real problem, and I know you addressed it partially in your posts, is the lack of bonus actions - without shield master shove is 1 attack, without PAM, there is no bonus action attack. Spell casting for a paladin should not be a turn by turn thing, I am frugal with my slots and Spiritual weapon is nice but is not an "every fight spell". So that's my opinion - feats that provide an additional bonus action option are a great way to enrich your turn by turn gameplay without forcing you to extend important slots.

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

    Eh. Bonus action attacks aren't critical. You get your wrathfuls in, you get your occasional spiritual weapon in against fearless foes, & you're good. You really want to burn a whole feat for the occasional shove or d4 spear butt attack? After attacking normally and not before? and never on a turn when you're casting a spell? meh, better uses for feats imo.

    Bonus action attacks are for characters who need fights to end quickly because they don't have them under control, which you will. What does it matter if a frightened & immobilized foe takes three or four rounds to drop? They're not going anywhere.

    Again, not bad feats, & you have the stats to make them work, but 'wasted' bonus actions is not the cardinal sin here that it is for other melee classes. If you're that worried about it, you can always dual wield, or import one of those double scimitars from eberron. :p
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    Default Re: The Wall of Fear: A Complete Guide to the Oath of Conquest

    I think you have worn me down to a significant extent. My DM agreed on Menacing so I'm going for that. Decided to take Variant human and have Menacing at 1, Resilient Con at 4 (rounding on 18) and Sentinel at 8. After that, it's pretty much an open game and leaves me open for either Shield Master, PAM (if I feel like we need damage) or some of the ones you listed, Inspiring Leader or Alert are spicy, having +9 on initiative and fearing everyone before they get a turn seems legit.

    I think a big part of the choice will be determined by the fact we *might* be getting Legacy items, or some sort of equivalent. Depending on what the DM goes with, I might pivot in the late game (I have left myself the feats for it) - we usually go to 20 with this DM.

    In any case, I appreciate the thoughtful discussion, you guys were a great help.

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

    Quote Originally Posted by Malisteen View Post
    You really want to burn a whole feat for the occasional shove or d4 spear butt attack? After attacking normally and not before? and never on a turn when you're casting a spell? meh, better uses for feats imo.
    You remember what guide your in? You shove them once and they stay down. So you make everyone fear you, then you take the attack action and spend a round shoving.

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

    you can already shove. Shoving is already something you can do. Shield master isnt a requirement for shoving. Yes, shoving is good, but spending a whole feat to do it as a bonus action after an attack action, instead of just doing it in place of one of the attacks in the attack action you're already making seems like a bit much.

    *especially* when you remember that frightened enemies don't stand back up. Some other character might use shield master's bonus action round after round, but you shove the couple guys you're fighting down and suddenly there's no one left for you to trip for the rest of the fight.

    Without shield master you can already spend a bonus action to cast wrathful smite, shove an enemy to the ground, then wrathful smite them to make them stay down. Shield master does nothing there. It doesn't let you shove after casting fear, or using conquering presence. You can only use the bonus action shove when you're already made a standard attack action, which means you could already have shoved if you wanted to even without the feat.

    And that's before you get to the part where you may not even want an enemy to be prone. One of the best parts of aura of conquest is the party taking down immobilized melee enemies with complete safety from outside of their reach, which suffers disadvantage if they're prone.

    At best, shield master gives you one extra attack in a round you use it, and if you're standard attacking instead of using a frightening effect then you probably already have the fight on lockdown, which to me makes it look like a 'win more' feat.

    It's not bad, especially with the boost to dex saves on top, but I have a hard time saying it comes anywhere close to sentinel, which lets you tank enemies that are immune to your aura, or warcaster which expands your combat casting options (especially for hex dips) while making it much less likely that you'll lose control of an encounter due to failed concentration, or lucky which can get you out of all sorts of trouble from failed concentration to flubbed wrathful smite attacks, or inspiring leader which massively increases your party's hp reserves, or even alert which helps you take control of an encounter a few initiative steps sooner than you'd otherwise be able to.

    And of course none of even those feats compare to raising cha if it isn't maxed out already yet, and few of them are even on par with raising strength (or dex, for dexadins) if you aren't dipping hexblade.

    Imo anyway.
    Last edited by Malisteen; 2019-09-18 at 06:35 AM.

  23. - Top - End - #473
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    Quote Originally Posted by Malisteen View Post
    You can only use the bonus action shove when you're already made a standard attack action, which means you could already have shoved if you wanted to even without the feat.
    Nitpick: You can take the attack action, use all the attacks to shove, and then Shield Master shove too, allowing you to put at least 50% more enemies on the ground in one turn (or rather, have at least 50% more attempts to).

  24. - Top - End - #474
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    Default Re: The Wall of Fear: A Complete Guide to the Oath of Conquest

    I mean, you can, but if you're shoving multiple enemies in a turn, you're going to run out of enemies to shove pretty quick given that they generally won't be standing back up afterwords. You going to spend a feat for a bonus action shove that you then only end up using like once in a fight?

    I'm not trying to say shield master is bad. It's basically like one of the better half feats, only with +2 dex save instead of +1 to an ability score. That's fair. Good even. But in a build that's so strapped for stats (You really want to max out both your magic and physical attack stats, you'd really like a +3 con mod and at the very least don't want to be stuck with anything less than a +2, you'd rather not have negative dex or wis mods if you can at all help it), and has a number of truly phenomenal feats jockying for what little spare ASI room you have between sentinel, resilient, war caster, inspiring leader, alert, and probably a couple more than that that I'm forgetting, I just can't see shield master as an optimal choice. No, not bad, but... again, you can *already* shove. Maybe my feeling on it would be different if you didn't have to do the attack action first. If shield master let you shove on the same turn that you cast Fear, or used Conquering Presence... but it doesn't. If you're taking an attack action that round anyway, then imo trading one attack out of that action is, imo, just a smaller price to pay for shoving than a bonus action plus a precious ASI.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Malisteen View Post
    I mean, you can, but if you're shoving multiple enemies in a turn, you're going to run out of enemies to shove pretty quick given that they generally won't be standing back up afterwords.
    This is really the crux of it, in my opinion. A Shield Master build would be better off as a PAM spear+shield 90% of the time, because three attacks (and a possible reaction fourth) have higher DPR while still having the versatility to allow up to two shove attempts a turn (which is typically going to be plenty). A bonus attack is always going to be useful, while a shove-only bonus action becomes pretty redundant the moment the enemy goes prone.

    The dex save AC bonus is relatively trivial as well; only 4 non-cantrip spells qualify, and many monsters with Dex save effects (hey dragons) cause AOEs that also don't add AC.
    Last edited by Anthalon; 2019-09-21 at 06:30 PM.

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

    I'm not sold on PAM either, tbh. It's a fine feat for dps, but conquest is tank. Lockdown tank at that. Max your cha, shore up your concentration save, max your weapon attack stat. No feat tops any of those in priority, and you won't have any free space left after that unless you're a vuman or dipping hex, in which case take sentinel.
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    Default Re: The Wall of Fear: A Complete Guide to the Oath of Conquest

    I agree on the Vuman thing, this class is waaay too MAD to be going crazy with feats. Picking only one, I guess it's hard to argue with Sentinel as THE tanking feat. However, it never really sat right with me in a fear-based build, as ideally, enemies won't be able to try to sneak past, or even approach in general. PAM, to me, offers a whole different strategy in case the situation calls for it. I've mentioned the bit of versatility with shoving, but having 1-2 extra opportunities to drop smites every turn can really kick that Paladin nova potential into high gear when you're up against a boss.

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    Some enemies will be immune to frighten, and even when they aren't Wrathful Smite only targets one enemy, and if you pop Fear or Conquering Presence on 3 or four mobs, statistically at least one of them is going to pass their save. Sentinel is basically a +1 to the number of enemies you can lock down in any combat. And even if you already have all the foes on lock with aura of conquest, the reactive attack for targeting your friends is a nice extra bit of punishment to further discourage bad behavior.

    You're right that it's not as important for conquerors as it is for other tanks. Again, I wouldn't rate it above maxing your attack stats & shoringbup your concentration save. But if you do have a spare asi in your progression, imo it's the optimal choice.
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    Default Re: The Wall of Fear: A Complete Guide to the Oath of Conquest

    Op, thanks for the interesting build idea. I am considering conquest pal 8, hex 1, draconic sorc x. My role is primary tank, but with secondary emphasis on damage and crowd control. I would be taking sorcerer for the extra utility and damage spells, along with the occasional option to use meta magic for bigger novas (2 smites with level 4-5 spell slots followed by quickened upcast single target damage spells, OR cast hold person before combat.. bless.. etc), with draconic selected for the extra hp and more impactful damage spells by level 6 sorc. Shield and mirror image would see frequent use to help with tankiness.

    I could use some help on this.

    1) given my stated goals of tanking, damage, and crowd control, what do you think of this multi class mix? I am new to DND and welcome critical input. Obviously the sorcadin is not a new concept, but I don’t hear of it combined with conquest and primary tanking role too often.
    2) Should I take 9 pal/1 hex/sorc x to get fear at a lower level, smoothing my characters progression? Otherwise I would not get fear until sorc 5 or level 14. Unfortunately since paladin is a half caster class and it rounds down this would cost me a full caster level in progression.
    3) Current plan is to start at 15 str/10dex/16 con/8 wis/8 int/16 cha at level 1 after VHuman mods, then take Warcaster at 4 to A) help maintain concentration saves for bless, etc and B) eventually allow me to cast spells like booming blade as OAs, then cha at 8 and 13 to max it, then undecided for final ASI.

    What would you take for the level 1 feat? Sentinel seems a no brainer for this build, but I worry that it is somewhat redundant with warcaster’s BB OAs. I know their features are somewhat different, but using an entire feat for the lockdown OAs when I have fear paralysis and BB OAs to punish movement seems somewhat wasted, but I’m not sure what to take instead at level 1. I could drop dex to 8, raise strength to 16 and drop con to 15, and take res con, but that also seems redundant with warcaster. Inspiring leader? Heavy armor master? Lucky?

    It is worth noting that my teammates are a melee-ish Hexblade, classic rogue, and classic sorcerer, so I will get plenty of opportunities to utilize the “attack me or get hit with a reaction attack” of Sentinel. I do not believe this interferes with my eventual ability to cast Shield, as if they attack my teammate, I choose to use my reaction to attack the enemy, whereas if they attack me, my reaction is free for Shield. Note I am talking about the BBG and multiattacks are assumed to be mostly focused on one target. I am leaning toward still running Sentinel for its uses on fear immune enemies and attempting to force enemies to target me when a teammate is nearby.

    Thanks in advance for anyone willing to help. :)
    Last edited by Chadsius; 2019-10-01 at 06:30 PM.

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

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    Quote Originally Posted by Chadsius View Post
    It is worth noting that my teammates are a melee-ish Hexblade, classic rogue, and classic sorcerer
    You party lacks in healing.

    So, I would either go up to paladin 9 without much delay, for aura of vitality (out of combat healing) and revivify (and for dispel magic; granted, you have two allies who can pick it, but the sorcerer will have a hard time fitting it to their list of known spells, and the warlock will have a hard time keeping slots open to use it when it's needed; it's not a must, cause one of the two allies can take the blow and include it, but it is something that helps).

    Or I would pick divine soul as my archetype, again, for revivify, healing word (in combat ranged healing),for greater restoration (btw, remember to prepare lesser restoration for your paladin list), definitely for heal later on, maybe for mass cure wounds, and maybe for prayer of healing (out of combat healing; not as effective as aura of vitality, but if you have nothing other than lay on hands -which I would always save for combat- to heal outside of combat without counting on spending HD, then I would be tempted to see if I could fit it in my list of known spells, despite its long casting time; cause remember, you don't want it for speed, you want it for when your HD are low and you want to heal). If we are talking about a conquest sorcadin, I would pick divine soul anyway, because I'd want to combine conquering presence with a quickened spirit guardians for when I frighten enough enemies close-by (and for having a good back up tactic for when fear tactics don't work; but it's mostly for the synergy).

    The fact is, that if you count on your divine soul picks to cover your party's weaknesses, you'll have a hard time fitting all the spells that would play well with your build's strengths. So on reflection, I would aim for both going up to paladin 9 and for choosing divine soul as my sorcerer archetype. It will delay some good synergies, but for the most part you will be able to pull them off if your allies play to your tactics (which they can do; eg, you have 3 pc's that crit well, so your group will profit if someone grabs the hold monster spell; one of your fullcasters can take it, but the fact is that at the very high levels they will have better things to do with their concentration, so you being able to cover for that and free their concentration will be a big boost then; and this is true for all levels of play, cause another example is web, which plays really well with your conquering presence; the sorcerer can provide that, but once again, when you are able to do it, that means that the sorcerer can do something else with their concentration -not to mention that there are some significant benefits in being able to decide whether to do a web just after conquering presence has been activated, and readied actions cannot cover for predicting which enemies will save and which wont, so there is a targeting problem. Etc etc. ). And you will get them when your allies will have better things to do (with their concentration and with their resources), so getting them will free up their options. I am thinking that a paladin9/sorcerer11 or maybe paladin9/warlock2/sorcerer9 (upgraded ranged attack, but delaying important spells and eventually missing access to heal and to a third metamagic which could go to extend -used with aura of vitality and aid mostly, though you could squeeze out some decent synergy if used with no concentration buffs like freedom of movement -which I would take on a conquest sorcadin- and with death ward if you find the room to include it in your spell list; the other two metamagic options go to quickened -for web, spirit guardians and dimension door mostly, and to careful -mostly to use with fear, cause you definitely want it to be party friendly. The upgrade on their ranged attack from getting those warlock levels could be potentially put to some very good use, since everyone in your group can easily fall back to good ranged attacks, but if you are not planning to make the most of it by kiting enemies at every available opportunity, then I wouldn't even bother with the warlock levels) would be the best way to go, in your group.

    Quote Originally Posted by Chadsius View Post
    OR cast hold person before combat
    Hold person is very resource consuming. Cause you typically want to both quicken and upcast it. While for the warlock it will be far easier to use it when their resources are concerned. Unless initiative makes it considerably more profitable for me to cast it, I would leave it to the warlock. So it's a good thing that HP will be a prepared spell for you, but if you can avoid casting it, then avoid it (it's pretty circumstantial anyway, especially for a conquest paladin; you don't need to go head deep and blow through your resources to win fights when you can drag them out and win them slowly with cost-effective methods like your fear based tactics will be). Anyway, about hold person, at later levels when you'll have more resources to burn through, and when you rogue's sneak attack will have gone up and you warlock will have smite (be it eldritch or banishing), I could see you wanting to be your character that will use the hold spells.

    It's challenging to use a sorcadin cost effectively. But it's the optimal way to play one imo. If you can use something like conquering presence to give your side a considerable advantage, then don't spend resources to throw down fireballs or hold spells. Maybe use something like a quickened web so that you can lock down frightened enemies within 30' so that they can't approach your squishies, while profiting from the bump web gets against frightened targets that it restrains. Or use a spirit guardians if they enemies are numerous or hard enough (eg high AC) and you frightened enough of them within 10' of you. Or if you want damage, remember that you have spiritual weapon, and while it does not have the same bang as a smite or as a smite-enhanced quickened GFB/BB, it will have contributed more once the fight is over. Point is, all your nova options are easy to use. You can do it on the spot. So, don't start with them. Start with the cost effective options (like an aid spell, to give another example), and use part of whatever is left to go nova if and when it's needed (and keep in mind that good out of combat healing can put you in a much better position than you would be in if you had instead blown through your resources to win the fight faster; in short, if there is no considerable risk, don't be afraid to drag out fights). And when you want to go nova, remember that your nova has layers. Spiritual weapon, smite, quickened cantrips, quickened cantrip + smite. I never go up to quickened cantrip unless I am worried about a TPK.

    Quote Originally Posted by Chadsius View Post
    Shield and mirror image would see frequent use to help with tankiness.
    I wouldn't bother with mirror image. It burns too quickly on a frontliner. Much better on casters and skirmishers, but on a tank it's only good as a panic button imo (and you don't really need a panic button if you are the tankiest and not the only frontliner). Secondly, it has absolutely no synergy with your good effective AC. In fact it works against it. Thirdly, I know beforehand that I would absolutely not find a place for it in my list of known spells (so many other spells I would rather have). Lastly, it is expensive to use, and even looking at the 2nd level slots specifically, I would already have plenty of things to do with them. It's a pass for me.

    Quote Originally Posted by Chadsius View Post
    What would you take for the level 1 feat? Sentinel seems a no brainer for this build, but I worry that it is somewhat redundant with warcaster’s BB OAs. I know their features are somewhat different, but using an entire feat for the lockdown OAs when I have fear paralysis and BB OAs to punish movement seems somewhat wasted, but I’m not sure what to take instead at level 1. I could drop dex to 8, raise strength to 16 and drop con to 15, and take res con, but that also seems redundant with warcaster. Inspiring leader? Heavy armor master? Lucky?
    I'd go with inspiring leader. In a party that lacks strong healing and is very geared towards offense, having that big pool of temp hp spread over the adventuring day will be important. If you don't want to rp the feat for whatever reason, then my distant second pick would be lucky (alert is an option if your DM is like mine :p).
    Last edited by Corran; 2019-10-01 at 10:59 PM.
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