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  1. - Top - End - #121
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    BardGuy

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    Default Re: An Eclectic Collection of Fun and Effective Builds

    Ok, i've been talking this up in random threads but i think it's a SUPER cool build, so im going to put it in here. The idea is great, it's STRAIGHT Totem Barbarian, so it's simple. You're going to abuse the damage resistance and add a few Feats to become the stickiest, and IMO best, single target tank available.



    KING LEONIDAS BARBARIAN:

    Variant Human, Start 16/14/16/8/10/8
    Feat: Polearm Master

    Level 1:
    Start with a Spear and Shield
    Your AC is 17, you have huge hit die/HP pool, and you get a bonus action attack to abuse RAGE damage.

    Your DPS is strong...way strong (1d6+5 + 1d4+5 each turn), your survivability is great.

    Level 2:
    Reckless Attack and Danger Sense give you solid situational attack buff and great Dex saves.

    Level 3:
    Choose Bear totem. You're now a Bear, you get 1/2 damage to almost everything.

    Level 4:
    ASI - Sentinel
    You now become pretty sticky as a tank, your HP continues to skyrocket. Non-Casters have trouble getting away from you.

    Level 5:
    Extra attack + Fast Movement
    You're faster, so they cant run. Extra attack now means you're hitting them 3 times per turn, plus utilizing a reaction attack (Either from PAM when they come within range of you, or from Sentinel if they try to run).

    Level 6:
    Pick whichever path feature you like that fits your campaign. If the DM pays attention to encumbrance or travel a lot, take Bear or Elk. If its a lot of woods and outdoors, take Eagle. If you want skills, Tiger. Pick whichever.

    Level 7:
    Feral Instinct
    Now you have Adv on initiative...meaning theres a good chance you get to go before the badguys...meaning you are in their face before they can hit your party.

    Level 8:
    ASI: Feat - Mage Slayer
    Now, you have become about as sticky as it gets. If they're a melee or Archer, Sentinel locks them down. If they're a caster, Mage Slayer absolutely destroys their concentration spells and provides you AoO's - AND gives you defense against them casting spells on you! You are a monster single target tank, and once you get in a badguys face...they're going nowhere.
    ================================================== ====

    Feel free, from this point on, to build as you see fit.
    If you get get a +Strength item (Belt of Giant Strength, Gauntlets of Ogre Power) awesome, it means you can pick up Resilient Feat for Wisdom saves. Your remaining ASI's should go to Strength, Resilient - Wisdom, and/or Con depending on what you want to do (Damage vs tank).

    Worth mentioning, when you get to level 14 - take Bear totem. Your already sticky tank becomes unbelievably epicly sticky (Imposes disadvantage when they don't attack you).

    Essentially, you're a shirtless Spear/Shield barrel chested human who cant be taken down and stabs the crap out of everyone.

    YOU'RE KING LEONIDAS

    Love to hear all of your thoughts on this, I love it in theory but havent been in a game thats gotten high enough where im doing this build to use it.

    Edit: You could, Techincally, do this without Spear/Shield and go Halbert or something and pick up GWM later to really do a ton of damage, though you'd sacrifice quite a bit of tanky-survivability
    Last edited by Tallytrev813; 2019-05-22 at 05:28 PM.
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  2. - Top - End - #122
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    ElfRangerGuy

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    Default Re: An Eclectic Collection of Fun and Effective Builds

    Quote Originally Posted by Tallytrev813 View Post
    SNIP
    No offense, but it seems neither fun, nor eclectic to me. Not fun, because the build has limited options in and out of combat. Not eclectic, because it's super standard.
    Rule of Cool and Rules as Fun. My favourite D&D session had 3 dice rolls. I'm currently curious to any system that has a higher amount of choices in combat than 5e from the beginning of the game; especially for non-spellcasters. Please PM any recommendations.

  3. - Top - End - #123
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    MindFlayer

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    Default Re: An Eclectic Collection of Fun and Effective Builds

    Hey Tallytrev, thanks for posting!

    Quote Originally Posted by Tallytrev813 View Post
    Love to hear all of your thoughts on this, I love it in theory but havent been in a game thats gotten high enough where im doing this build to use it.
    My quick 2cp:
    1) Your damage starts off solid, but does not scale especially well without magic items or buffs.
    Spoiler: Why this is
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    Anydice data posted represents your DPR at all levels, and with a variety of different conditions (rage or not, reckless or not, round 2+ of rage or not since you don't get your bonus action on round 1 of rage) against the average AC of a monster with a CR equal to your level. As you can see you're looking at figures like 17-36 DPR at level 19, plus another ~9 if you get a reaction attack.

    Part of this is just the nature of straight-class SnB Bar-bear-ians (I mentioned something about this in the Ancestral Nightmare post, and how I worked around it in that particular case), another part is your delay in getting Strength boosts (obviously mitigated if you can procure a Giant's Belt), and yet another part is the limited synergy between the Barbarian's kit and Leondidas's feats (for example, you can't bonus action attack on a round you enter rage, and you can't apply Reckless Attack to reaction attacks due to the "on your turn" wording).

    2) The fact that you can't benefit from Reckless Attack on reactions and you're not maxing Strength until level 16 means that you have a fairly high chance of missing with Sentinel and just letting people walk by you.
    Spoiler: Example
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    So for example, at level 11 against an "average CR 11" foe, you can expect 11 (entering rage / nonreckless) to 24 (already raging / reckless) DPR on your turn, and only a 55% chance of landing a Sentinel hit if they decide to walk away from you.

    3) Don't count on being in rage all the time; you don't have enough for a 6-encounter adventuring day until level 17. Not specifically directed at you, but just a note on Barb builds in general.

    4) I would recommend taking Str boosts or Res(Wis) before Mage Slayer. Not only is Mage Slayer situational, but there's enough ways for smart mage players to play around it that it may not be a lot more valuable against them than some more general purpose feats are. YMMV.

    5) If you wanna Shove/Grapple, you have to put your spear away to free up a hand (doffing the shield would take an action). You can at least throw the spear in your hand, then draw another spear.

  4. - Top - End - #124
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    BardGuy

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    Default Re: An Eclectic Collection of Fun and Effective Builds

    I suppose the later levels would be less about DPR and more about tanking - since the idea of the build was made to be disruptive in different ways (And sacrifice lots of damage for a shield). I was hoping all the additional attacks would make up for most of the DPR (The reaction attacks and bonus attacks). How much effectiveness would be added by maxing strength early and delaying Mageslayer?

    I had envisioned a character that was Uber tough who utilized most of his offensive effectiveness via imposing the effects of Sentinel and Mageslayer through multiple attacks. Reducing speeds to 0, disrupting concentration, and imposing disadvantage on the enemy for not focusing on the barbarian - which is kind of what the traditional tank does in my experience.
    Last edited by Tallytrev813; 2019-05-23 at 10:13 AM.
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  5. - Top - End - #125
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    MindFlayer

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    Default Re: An Eclectic Collection of Fun and Effective Builds

    Quote Originally Posted by Tallytrev813 View Post
    I suppose the later levels would be less about DPR and more about tanking - since the idea of the build was made to be disruptive in different ways (And sacrifice lots of damage for a shield). How much effectiveness would be added by maxing strength early and delaying Mageslayer?
    Getting a +2 Str at level 8 instead of Mage Slayer would add about 15% more DPR over levels 8-15. And landing stuff like Sentinel a bit more often. And of course a bit better on Str saves/checks.

    Quote Originally Posted by Tallytrev813 View Post
    I had envisioned a character that was Uber tough who utilized most of his offensive effectiveness via imposing the effects of Sentinel and Mageslayer through multiple attacks. Reducing speeds to 0, disrupting concentration, and imposing disadvantage on the enemy for not focusing on the barbarian - which is kind of what the traditional tank does in my experience.
    *Nod*

    One effective way to help lock people down as a Barbarian in particular is shoving/grappling.

    For a Barbarian it has a very high chance of working, especially if you grab 1 level of Rogue (or pick up Prodigy or something). For example a raging 20 Str / 6 proficiency / Rogue 1 Barbarian has a what, 98% chance to successfully shove a 20 Strength creature? 90% against a 30 strength creature?

    It also allows you to get Advantage without using Reckless, and granting the enemy Disadvantage to hit you... which will make a big difference in the case of a shield-wielding Barbarian.

    The limitation is against folks like teleporters, but Sentinel won't stop the movement of those enemies either. Another limitation is that you can't use it against enemies who are too big.

    As for damage, it's not your main job but there are some good ways to boost your progression at the later levels without really affecting your tankiness much (such as dipping Fighter). Generally speaking there's not a whole lot of hotness after Barbarian 15 (it's mostly just the capstone), so feel free to grab some features elsewhere.

    Edit
    Quote Originally Posted by Tallytrev813 View Post
    Level 6:
    Pick whichever path feature you like that fits your campaign. If the DM pays attention to encumbrance or travel a lot, take Bear or Elk. If its a lot of woods and outdoors, take Eagle. If you want skills, Tiger. Pick whichever.
    One more random Barb tip I'll add: Don't take Wolf Totem at level 6. The reason for this is because it's basically a straight up worse version of Elk. Here's why:

    Wolf 6 basically lets you do certain actions while moving at a Normal or Fast pace instead of a Slow one. Elk 6 makes the entire party's Slow pace equal to the Wolf's fast pace, and therefore accomplishes everything Wolf does and more.

    But aside from that, yeah, pick whichever suits your taste.

  6. - Top - End - #126
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    BardGuy

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    Default Re: An Eclectic Collection of Fun and Effective Builds

    Quote Originally Posted by LudicSavant View Post
    Getting a +2 Str at level 8 instead of Mage Slayer would add about 15% more DPR over levels 8-15. And landing stuff like Sentinel a bit more often. And of course a bit better on Str saves/checks.



    *Nod*

    One effective way to help lock people down as a Barbarian in particular is shoving/grappling.

    For a Barbarian it has a very high chance of working, especially if you grab 1 level of Rogue (or pick up Prodigy or something). For example a raging 20 Str / 6 proficiency / Rogue 1 Barbarian has a what, 98% chance to successfully shove a 20 Strength creature? 90% against a 30 strength creature?

    It also allows you to get Advantage without using Reckless, and granting the enemy Disadvantage to hit you... which will make a big difference in the case of a shield-wielding Barbarian.

    The limitation is against folks like teleporters, but Sentinel won't stop the movement of those enemies either. Another limitation is that you can't use it against enemies who are too big.

    As for damage, it's not your main job but there are some good ways to boost your progression at the later levels without really affecting your tankiness much (such as dipping Fighter). Generally speaking there's not a whole lot of hotness after Barbarian 15 (it's mostly just the capstone), so feel free to grab some features elsewhere.

    Edit


    One more random Barb tip I'll add: Don't take Wolf Totem at level 6. The reason for this is because it's basically a straight up worse version of Elk. Here's why:

    Wolf 6 basically lets you do certain actions while moving at a Normal or Fast pace instead of a Slow one. Elk 6 makes the entire party's Slow pace equal to the Wolf's fast pace, and therefore accomplishes everything Wolf does and more.

    But aside from that, yeah, pick whichever suits your taste.
    For whatever reason, i just hate the flavor of a grappling tank. You know?
    It just doesnt fit my mental picture correctly...like grab a guy and tackle them to the floor and bear hug them?

    Also, as much as i think there's awesome stuff to get from the dips...you lose the capstone. And, IMO, the Barbarian capstone may be the best in the game. Especially with all the tankiness you get from the extra +2 con in addition to the 24 +7mod strength.


    And yah - the wolf aspect at lvl 6 is very meh.
    I normally take Eagle. DMs in real life tend to shy away from encumbrance and travel speed in my experience.
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  7. - Top - End - #127
    Pixie in the Playground
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    Default Re: An Eclectic Collection of Fun and Effective Builds

    Bookmarked. Thanks for the compilation, all of those ideas sound great!

    On the topic of builds, could you please give me feedback on mine? it's a weird (not super serious nor necessarily competitive) build idea:

    low-level honorary "Fighter" War Wizard: a Charlatan background medieval James Bond knock-off posing as a Fighter when he's actually a mage.

    At 1st level, we have a VHuman with Resilient (Con), 8 Str, 15+1 Dex, 13+1 Con, 15+1 Int, 9 Wis, 12 Cha.
    Fights with two daggers and occasionally fires off a hand crossbow shot.
    Hides his magical gem spellcasting focus in one of the daggers.
    Wears leather clothes that pass as armor in appearance but actually uses Mage Armor and sometimes Shield.
    Skilled in Deception, Stealth, and Sleight of Hand. Dresses well, carries a fake signet ring, forged papers and other lineage documents, Knight's Tale style.


    Work-in-progress build I intend to use on a quest-giver NPC or for pre built character options.

    Thanks for the feedback!
    Last edited by Aidamis; 2019-05-23 at 12:05 PM.

  8. - Top - End - #128
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    MindFlayer

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    Thumbs up Re: An Eclectic Collection of Fun and Effective Builds

    Quote Originally Posted by Aidamis View Post
    Bookmarked. Thanks for the compilation, all of those ideas sound great!


    On the topic of builds, could you please give me feedback on mine? it's a weird (not super serious nor necessarily competitive) build idea:

    low-level honorary "Fighter" War Wizard: a Charlatan background medieval James Bond knock-off posing as a Fighter when he's actually a mage.

    At 1st level, we have a VHuman with Resilient (Con), 8 Str, 15+1 Dex, 13+1 Con, 15+1 Int, 9 Wis, 12 Cha.
    Fights with two daggers and occasionally fires off a hand crossbow shot.
    Hides his magical gem spellcasting focus in one of the daggers.
    Wears leather clothes that pass as armor in appearance but actually uses Mage Armor and sometimes Shield.
    Skilled in Deception, Stealth, and Sleight of Hand. Dresses well, carries a fake signet ring, forged papers and other lineage documents, Knight's Tale style.


    Work-in-progress build I intend to use on a quest-giver NPC or for pre built character options.

    Thanks for the feedback!
    At a low enough level just having 16 Dex and some daggers is good enough to give you 2d4+3, so this will work there... though obviously it won't scale much beyond that. Plus your familiar can add some more contribution. The main issue will be the fact that you have just 8 hit points in melee (a typical Fighter will have 12-13).

    If you want to have a worthwhile melee attack as a Wizard later on, there are at least two ways to do it: SCAGtrips, or Bladesinger using the right buff spells.

  9. - Top - End - #129
    Pixie in the Playground
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    Default Re: An Eclectic Collection of Fun and Effective Builds

    Quote Originally Posted by LudicSavant View Post




    At a low enough level just having 16 Dex and some daggers is good enough to give you 2d4+3, so this will work there... though obviously it won't scale much beyond that. Plus your familiar can add some more contribution. The main issue will be the fact that you have just 8 hit points in melee (a typical Fighter will have 12-13).

    If you want to have a worthwhile melee attack as a Wizard later on, there are at least two ways to do it: SCAGtrips, or Bladesinger using the right buff spells.
    Thank you LudicSavant. You're right for reminding me of the low HP :) Bladesinger looks like an interesting subclass and and the "SCAGtrips" sound good. You mentionned buff spells - I could get Magic Initiate with Bless. I can live with 1/long rest Bless since Bladesong is 2/short or long rest anyway, or I can be nice to my teammates and get buffs for free ^^.

    ps: currently reading your half-feats post. Good stuff.

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    MindFlayer

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    Default Re: An Eclectic Collection of Fun and Effective Builds

    Quote Originally Posted by Aidamis View Post
    Thank you LudicSavant. You're right for reminding me of the low HP :) Bladesinger looks like an interesting subclass and and the "SCAGtrips" sound good. You mentionned buff spells - I could get Magic Initiate with Bless. I can live with 1/long rest Bless since Bladesong is 2/short or long rest anyway, or I can be nice to my teammates and get buffs for free ^^.

    ps: currently reading your half-feats post. Good stuff.
    Here's a resource for Bladesingers: http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showt...thar-s-Edition

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    Kobold

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    Default Re: An Eclectic Collection of Fun and Effective Builds

    I really like the celestial generalist and I think there is room to reduce say melee some to get access to even more potential versatility. To make room for that melee you have to spend 3 cantrips to make it work which is obviously viable but if you really want some more cantrips you can give up booming blade, greenflame blade, and shillelagh and pick up 3 other cantrips you really love. In that case your "melee" option is sacred flame. It is not as good especially since it does not get a situational bump like the melee cantrips but it can do the job and since it is a save spell it can be used in melee with no problems. You do give up some capability in melee but if you really want/need more cantrip versatility it is an option and you do not give up the ability to be able to do something to someone in melee range (and can use the opportunity attack from warcaster). It also gives a reason to have sacred flame even though you have no choice and it is not something that everyone cares about.
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  12. - Top - End - #132
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    Mjolnirbear's Avatar

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    Default Re: An Eclectic Collection of Fun and Effective Builds

    Warlord Battlemaster (Support Fighter)

    So at the base of it, a fighter must fight. That's their function, the reason they have so many blasted attacks each round. But that doesn't mean a fighter must *only* fight. Here's my take on a support fighter, and a likely contender for a leader-type build too. It's a halfling because of the halfling racial feat; but any Charisma race can be valuable, or going vHuman to get more goodies sooner.

    Warlord Halfling (Battlemaster Fighter support build)
    Suggested Feats: Bountiful Luck, Healer, Inspiring Leader, Martial Adept, Shield Master, Sentinel, Ritual Caster, Magic Initiate (More or less any order or priority you prefer)

    Suggested Stats: Dexterity > Charisma = Constitution (You could prioritize Charisma for Rally and Inspiring Leader, depending on when you pick up Inspiring Leader, but your attacks and maneuver save DCs rely on Dex. As support, you don't really need higher than a 16 in anything).

    Suggested Fighting Style: Protection, of course

    Suggested Maneuvers: Commander's Strike, Rally, Goading Attack, Trip Attack, Distracting Strike, Maneuvering Attack (The first three should be your picks at level 3)

    This build is online at level 1 (if vHuman) or level 3. Because a fighter has so many feats, it will be easy to get what you need. You get two maneuvers per fight until you get six Superiority Dice. Protection Fighting Style or Sentinel can reliably use your reaction while Commander's Strike and Shield Master reliably use your bonus action.

    Prioritize Commander's Strike if: you have a rogue in the party, or an enemy is stunned or unconscious or paralysed (because of crits). Use Goading Attack if your squishies are targeted. Prioritize Rally on front-line fighters or those who are badly wounded.

    You can build this many different ways. Bountiful Luck, Sentinel and Protection fighting style compete for your reaction; instead of a halfling, you could build a dragonborn with Dragon Fear. Find Familiar can grant bonus help actions to your allies. Both Magic Initiate and Ritual Caster can net Find Familiar as well as other good picks to help your teammates.

    Good Magic Initiate picks:
    • Fog Cloud (auto-escape)
    • Sanctuary (protection)
    • Faerie Fire
    • Bless
    • Goodberry

    Cantrips: Thorn Whip, Mending, Guidance, Message, Friends (take the attention off the too-plucky wizard, and keep it)

    Good Ritual Caster picks
    • Alarm
    • Unseen Servant
    • Tenser's Floating Disc
    • Detect Magic / Identify
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    Mjolnirbear's Avatar

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    Default Re: An Eclectic Collection of Fun and Effective Builds

    Dragonriders (Sort of)

    This is a fun little project which has various builds. If your DM is lenient, beg him to put Dragon's Breath from XGtE onto your class list, perhaps as a 'racial spell'.

    Kobold Paladin

    The Kobold Paladin comes online when it gets access to Find Steed. While not on the spell's official list of available steeds, a Giant Lizard is in line with most other mounts. Another option would be a raptor dinosaur, such as a young Deinonychus or Elder Velociraptor.

    Suggested Stats: Prioritize Dex for ranged combat (especially if your steed has a climb speed) or Charisma for spells.
    Suggested Spells: Find Steed (Required); Dragon's Breath (DM willing); Heroism, Divine Favour, or Shield of Faith (in melee combat); Branding Smite for ranged combat
    Suggested Feats: Mounted Combat; Crossbow Expert (if going ranged); Warcaster;

    Heroism, Barding, and Shield of Faith can help obviate the need for Mounted Combat. Warcaster with Command is a truly amazing combination. Your fighting style should probably be Defense or Duelling, though using Protection with your mount can be a good combo as well. You will almost always have Pack Tactics helping you attack.

    This build also works if you fight side-by-side with your mount. Your mount would be able to attack more often but would be at greater risk.

    Kobold Inventor Kobold Artificer Battlesmith, Fighter 1 dip (optional)
    A Battle Smith is the subclass of choice here, since Iron Defender can take any medium form. You can even fluff it as having (useless) wings.

    Suggested Stats: Intelligence > Dexterity = Constitution
    Suggested Infusions: Thrown Weapon (if dipping for Duelling Fighting Style) or Repeating Weapon
    Suggested Spells: Animated Object, Tiny Servant, Arcane Weapon, Warding Bond

    With the Thrown Weapon infusion (with minature dragon wings doing the 'returning') and the Duelling fighting style, you can fight at range yet still benefit from +3 damage per throw and your weapon can 'breathe fire'. You don't need Mounted Combat because your Iron Defender is tough (and potentially not a mount since mounts are creatures, not objects). Create tiny dragon figures out of metal for your Tiny Servant and Animated Object spells. Use Warding Bond with your Iron Defender to spread out the damage you take and either let it die or have it repair itself.


    Kobold Packmaster (Shepherd Druid)
    You thought this would be the ranger, I bet. But no, you have far, far more fun as a druid! This is how you make your DM tear out her hair in frustration. To avoid problems and slowing combat, have all your viable creatures' information ready immediately, and keep your commands simple.

    Suggested Stats: Wisdom > Dex = Con
    Suggested Spirit: Bear most of the time
    Suggested Spells: Conjure Animals, Conjure Minor Elementals

    You can start with this spell when you get Conjure Animals, which will last you longer than most other casters because your swarm of velociraptors will be much tougher than usual. When you summon minor elementals, you can fluff them as tiny elemental dragons instead of mephits.
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    Default Re: An Eclectic Collection of Fun and Effective Builds

    The Undecided Spare

    Every noble couple needs to set about making some zerglings to fight the family's wars and run the family's businesses. They call these spawn the Heir and the Spare, because children aren't people and apparently have no feelings. So you grow up where your only purpose depends on your sib dying, and Dad wonders why you can't pick one job and stick with it.

    Or so says you, The Spare.


    The objective here is to make a viable build involving nothing but low-level dips (no higher than level 3). As a consequence, Extra Attack will be unattainable, as well as knowledge of high-level spells. You'll have high-level spell slots, however, and we'll need to take levels in either warlock, moon druid, or paladin to best make use of them.

    Due to having only a single attack, attack boosters such as Sneak Attack and the SCAG cantrips will be very effective. Due to having multiple classes and hence dependance on multiple attributes and the lack of feats, you should build using either Dexterity or Charisma, but Strength is also viable.

    The Dabbler (Physical Build)
    Suggested Stats: 16/14/14/8/10/13 (if Barbarian) or 10/16/14/8/14/12 (if Monk)
    Suggested Classes: Fighter (Battlemaster), Rogue (Any), Barbarian (Any), Monk (Any)

    The Dabbler cannot really go further than Tier 3, without either taking on a spellcasting class or going higher than level 3. It suffers for a complete lack of ASIs and Extra Attack but gives a ton of utility options via Maneuvers, Rage, rogue skills and more--with so many short-rest resources, you almost always have something besides "I attack" to do. If you decide you must have a feat such as PAM, GWM, or Magic Initiate (for Booming Blade mostly), go vHuman.

    I recommend dual-weilding daggers, the two-weapon fighting style, and medium armor instead of relying on Unarmored Defense if you go Barbarian. You could be a dwarf and do Battlerager to get a bonus action attack instead, in which case use Duelling fighting style or Defense. Start with Barbarian because of survivability. In the event that you want to splash some spellcasting, I'd recommend Paladin for smites, or Warlock for invocations and pact boon.

    For the monk build you need a weapon that is both Finesse and a monk weapon. Kensai increases your options here. You cannot wear armor or use shields so you are squishier, but you also have more attacks and more versatility due to Ki. If you want some spellcasting, splash some Cleric or Druid in there. Moon druid would use up spell slots for longevity, and grant you mulitattack for when you run out of Ki.

    There are a lot of different ways to flavour your Dabbler. Assassin and Shadow Monk offer a totally different feel than Totem Warrior and Scout. For a semi-caster, you can change Battlemaster for Eldritch Knight, add Arcane Trickster, and then go 4-element monk. Interestingly, you can give a very Starfire feel with Sun Soul monk. Zealot/Vengeance Paladin makes for a great Templar or Inquisitor.





    The Dilettante (Charisma Build)
    Suggested Stats: Charisma > Dexterity
    Suggested Classes: Warlock, Sorcerer, Paladin, Bard, Cleric or Druid

    You are a spellcaster, but you can choose to fight with a melee build or go pure caster. Build with Hexblade if you plan on going melee; any other Patron works for the caster version. This Spare can go high levels and will always have a use for its spell slots via Paladin Smites or Sorcery Points. Most interesting is how many cantrips you get; you can choose a few damage options and then all the fun story cantrips to use during Social and Exploration.

    The melee version will require a SCAG cantrip such as Booming Blade. A splash of Tempest Cleric for Destructive Wrath, Wrath of the Storm and Heavy Armor, or Arcana Cleric extra cantrips and Heavy Armor, could be beneficial. You can start with Sorcerer for the Constitution proficiency, or either Paladin or Cleric for better armor and more hit points. You can use your higher spell slots as a source of Sorcery Points to quicken Booming Blade, and as Smite fodder. You do not need Pact of the Blade unless you want to use Charisma with a heavy or two-handed weapon. If you must have a feat, choose vHuman.

    The caster version will not be smiting; all the excess spell slots will go to Sorcery Points and upcast spells. Your main damage is likely Hex plus Agonizing Blast, possibly twice if you choose Quicken for your metamagic (heck yes!). This is your most efficient use of resources, but your ability to upcast low-level spells is pretty amazing. You can pump out upcast Hold Persons, Magic Missiles, Thunderwave, Scorching Rays, or other great spells.

    The dilettante has near-infinite flavour options. Go fey with Feylock, Druid, Ancients Paladin. A 'cursed' theme with Warlock and Wild Magic Sorcerer. A Vengeance theme with Fiendlock and Vengeance Paladin.
    Avatar by the awesome Linklele!

  15. - Top - End - #135
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    SamuraiGuy

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    Default Re: An Eclectic Collection of Fun and Effective Builds

    Quote Originally Posted by Mjolnirbear View Post
    The Undecided Spare

    Every noble couple needs to set about making some zerglings to fight the family's wars and run the family's businesses. They call these spawn the Heir and the Spare, because children aren't people and apparently have no feelings. So you grow up where your only purpose depends on your sib dying, and Dad wonders why you can't pick one job and stick with it.

    Or so says you, The Spare.


    The objective here is to make a viable build involving nothing but low-level dips (no higher than level 3). As a consequence, Extra Attack will be unattainable, as well as knowledge of high-level spells. You'll have high-level spell slots, however, and we'll need to take levels in either warlock, moon druid, or paladin to best make use of them.

    Due to having only a single attack, attack boosters such as Sneak Attack and the SCAG cantrips will be very effective. Due to having multiple classes and hence dependance on multiple attributes and the lack of feats, you should build using either Dexterity or Charisma, but Strength is also viable.

    The Dabbler (Physical Build)
    Suggested Stats: 16/14/14/8/10/13 (if Barbarian) or 10/16/14/8/14/12 (if Monk)
    Suggested Classes: Fighter (Battlemaster), Rogue (Any), Barbarian (Any), Monk (Any)

    The Dabbler cannot really go further than Tier 3, without either taking on a spellcasting class or going higher than level 3. It suffers for a complete lack of ASIs and Extra Attack but gives a ton of utility options via Maneuvers, Rage, rogue skills and more--with so many short-rest resources, you almost always have something besides "I attack" to do. If you decide you must have a feat such as PAM, GWM, or Magic Initiate (for Booming Blade mostly), go vHuman.

    I recommend dual-weilding daggers, the two-weapon fighting style, and medium armor instead of relying on Unarmored Defense if you go Barbarian. You could be a dwarf and do Battlerager to get a bonus action attack instead, in which case use Duelling fighting style or Defense. Start with Barbarian because of survivability. In the event that you want to splash some spellcasting, I'd recommend Paladin for smites, or Warlock for invocations and pact boon.

    For the monk build you need a weapon that is both Finesse and a monk weapon. Kensai increases your options here. You cannot wear armor or use shields so you are squishier, but you also have more attacks and more versatility due to Ki. If you want some spellcasting, splash some Cleric or Druid in there. Moon druid would use up spell slots for longevity, and grant you mulitattack for when you run out of Ki.

    There are a lot of different ways to flavour your Dabbler. Assassin and Shadow Monk offer a totally different feel than Totem Warrior and Scout. For a semi-caster, you can change Battlemaster for Eldritch Knight, add Arcane Trickster, and then go 4-element monk. Interestingly, you can give a very Starfire feel with Sun Soul monk. Zealot/Vengeance Paladin makes for a great Templar or Inquisitor.





    The Dilettante (Charisma Build)
    Suggested Stats: Charisma > Dexterity
    Suggested Classes: Warlock, Sorcerer, Paladin, Bard, Cleric or Druid

    You are a spellcaster, but you can choose to fight with a melee build or go pure caster. Build with Hexblade if you plan on going melee; any other Patron works for the caster version. This Spare can go high levels and will always have a use for its spell slots via Paladin Smites or Sorcery Points. Most interesting is how many cantrips you get; you can choose a few damage options and then all the fun story cantrips to use during Social and Exploration.

    The melee version will require a SCAG cantrip such as Booming Blade. A splash of Tempest Cleric for Destructive Wrath, Wrath of the Storm and Heavy Armor, or Arcana Cleric extra cantrips and Heavy Armor, could be beneficial. You can start with Sorcerer for the Constitution proficiency, or either Paladin or Cleric for better armor and more hit points. You can use your higher spell slots as a source of Sorcery Points to quicken Booming Blade, and as Smite fodder. You do not need Pact of the Blade unless you want to use Charisma with a heavy or two-handed weapon. If you must have a feat, choose vHuman.

    The caster version will not be smiting; all the excess spell slots will go to Sorcery Points and upcast spells. Your main damage is likely Hex plus Agonizing Blast, possibly twice if you choose Quicken for your metamagic (heck yes!). This is your most efficient use of resources, but your ability to upcast low-level spells is pretty amazing. You can pump out upcast Hold Persons, Magic Missiles, Thunderwave, Scorching Rays, or other great spells.

    The dilettante has near-infinite flavour options. Go fey with Feylock, Druid, Ancients Paladin. A 'cursed' theme with Warlock and Wild Magic Sorcerer. A Vengeance theme with Fiendlock and Vengeance Paladin.
    Nice idea. Ranger has the same MC restrictions as Paladin, so you could add another 3 levels there as well.

  16. - Top - End - #136
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    Griffon

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    Default The Tiefling Masochist - and other variants



    You feel my pain.

    Here's one I've been playing around with: a melee warlock based around passive damage. The point of this build is to preserve, as much as possible, the warlock's action economy whilst damaging the enemy. The build isn't bad levels 1-5, and then explodes into action at level 6. As the title suggests, mostly this occurs through retributive effects when the warlock gets hit. It's not bad in a party, but could also serve as a fairly solid solo character.

    There are other ways to get at a similar build - but I thought this was an interesting take on things for a Warlock. Happy to take suggestions!

    15, 14, 13, 12, 10, 8 - Standard point array
    Tiefling of Levistus - (+2 Cha, +1 Con)
    Str - 8
    Dex - 12
    Con - 14
    Wis - 14
    Int - 10
    Cha - 17

    Background - GGtR: Orzhov. Orzhov gives you two third-level spells that really improve this build: spirit guardians, and bestow curse. (No need for Sign of Ill Omen!) Both don't come online till later though.

    Level 1 - Storm Cleric 1
    10 HP, AC 17 (Scale Mail, Dex +1, Shield) - Get either Half Plate or Breastplate as soon as you can.
    Storm Cleric nets you heavy armor, shields, and the "Wrath of the Storm" ability. You're decently hard to hit, though your attack damage will be much better with your cantrips than your sword. Basically, you can deal 2d8 damage with your reaction to someone who has damaged you with a melee attack, and it recharges on a short rest, like all of your future warlock abilities long rest. This build can do this 2x per day short rest, or up to 6x per day if you can get 3 short rests in. You also get three cantrips, and proficiency with martial weapons. Your physical stats aren't great, so I would recommend a finesse weapon like a rapier or scimitar.
    Suggested spells: fog cloud, thunderwave (free!), guiding bolt, shield of faith, cure wounds.
    Cantrips: Friends, guidance (free), toll the dead, mending, thaumaturgy. You're going to get a lot more cantrips, so pick social/exploration heavy ones here.
    Spell slots: 2 level 1 Cleric spells

    Passive damage - 9, on avg. 2x per short rest.

    Level 2 - Storm Cleric 1, Fiendpact Warlock 1 (X from now on).
    Warlock gives you Armor of Agathys, which is going to be the primary spell of this build for... well, the rest of your adventuring career. It lasts an hour, doesn't require concentration, gives you a mini shield of 5 temporary hit points, and does 5 no-save cold damage to anyone who hits you with a melee attack while the temporary hit points remain. These temp hp won't stack with Dark One's Blessing, but that's ok. More importantly, you can afford to burn two first level cleric slots to keep recharging AoA; at this point, you can recharge that shield 4x in a row before you need a short rest. Or, you can burn that cleric spell slot on Hex, and do more damage with your melee attacks.
    Cantrips: Green-flame blade, eldritch blast, 1 optional (lightning lure, blade ward, etc.)
    Spell slots: 2 level 1 Cleric spells (Hex, AoA)
    1 Warlock spell slot (AoA)

    Passive damage - 14 on avg, 2x per short rest, 5 thereafter

    Levels 3 -5 (Cleric 1 / Warlock 4)
    Level 3 gives you invocations, a free 1x per day 2nd level AoA, and second level spells. Grasp of Hadar will let you pull your enemies to you to encourage them to attack you, instead of your possibly squishier friends. Other invocations to consider are the ever popular "Agonizing Blast" and "Devil's Sight" for the darkness combo your Levistus heritage provides at level 4. You'll want to take "Flames of Phlegethos" as your feat, instead of the ASI. For your Pact, any of the three work, though Pact of the Tome with Shillelagh gets over your MADness; by the end of this set of levels, your attack jumps from +3 to +7.

    Passive damage - 19 - 22.5, on avg. 2x per short rest, 10-12.5 per hit thereafter while you still have hp.

    Level 6 - (Cleric 1 / Warlock 5)
    This is the level where everything starts to open up. You pick up Cloak of Flies for your invocation, which does 4 no-save poison damage to anything that starts its turn next to you. Your AoA now deals 15 points of damage, and you gain spirit guardians from your background. These all last ten minutes - 60 rounds - after which point you will need a short rest. From here on out, your job is to never get out of combat - if possible, request your DM NOT drop back out of initiative "bullet time" - while you go charging through as many of your opponents as you can. Setting this up takes three rounds, but then lasts for long enough that you can potentially get multiple encounters out of it.

    Passive damage - 48.5
    Wrath of the storm - 2d8 - 9
    Armor of Agathys - 15
    Spirit Guardians - 4d8 - 18
    Flames of Phlegethos (assuming you attack with green flame blade) - 1d4 - 2.5
    Cloak of flies - 4
    Damage without them hitting you - 22 per turn.

    It's whatever you want really from there. If you stay on the Warlock path, level 7 gives you an extra d10 to a saving throw, 8 bumps your AoA damage up by 5. An ASI at level 9 to bump Charisma will increase your cloak of flies damage by 1, as well as your save DCs; Warcaster is another good pick to give you AoOs and keep Spirit Guardians up. Level 10 bumps your AoA damage by 5 again. Level 11 brings your total number of resistances up to two, which bumps to three at level 12 with fire shield. Fire shield adds another 9.8 damage on average, bringing you up to potentially 69.3 damage per turn, spread out in cold, poison, fire, radiant (or necrotic) and lightning damage - again, before you take an action or bonus action!

    The full breakdown, at level 12, is as follows:
    Wrath of the storm - 2d8 - 9
    Armor of Agathys - 25
    Fire shield - 2d8 - 9, 9.8 with flames of Phlegethos
    Spirit Guardians - 4d8 - 18
    Flames of Phlegethos - 1d4 - 2.5 (assuming you attack with green flame blade; this is bonus damage on top of that)
    Cloak of flies - 5
    = 69.3 passive damage per round.

    Picking up another level of Storm Cleric lets you do max lightning or thunder damage once per long rest, which can either boost your Wrath of the Storm, or make your shatter and thunderwave - and eventually lightning lure and booming blade! - outpace the average fireball. Also, because you have an extra 1st level cleric slot, you can still afford to cast Hex, and use abilities like Maddening Hex (Extra psychic bonus damage!) or Relentless Hex. You may also want to pick up Warcaster to keep your Spirit Guardians up and provoke cantrip AoOs, or Resilient to get a Wisdom save.

    The build works fairly well in melee, but suffers against ranged spellcasters and archers; AoE spells especially will be hard for you. One way around this is to use Devil's Sight and your free casting of darkness 1x day to give yourself full concealment while you engage. Relentless Hex is another option to teleport to your foe. Outside of melee, the build isn't bad - you have the best possible Intimidation ability in the game, a free skill due to the doubling up on Religion, and decent Perception. You have options in social and exploration, in other words. Story-wise, I imagine a tiefling Orzhov cleric who rebels and serves a tempest deity, and is thrown out of the guild. They pact with Rakdos for vengeance, and go from there.

    Alternate versions of this build include VHuman, who takes Heavy Armor Master at level 1. You lose Flames of Phlegethos, which knocks out 5 damage per turn on avg (more if you are using green-flame blade as your primary attack spell), but you do take less damage per hit, which means your Armor of Agathys stays up for longer. You could also use the Hexblade patron instead of the fiend, who is immediately SAD, and may be more survive-able at lower levels... but that reduces your passive damage output by 9.8 as a tiefling, and by ~15 as a VHuman. However, you also gain shield which is a fantastic option for your cleric spell slots. There's also an option to build this as Paladin of Redemption 3 / Warlock X, but I don't really see a DM letting you get away with passive violence as "non-violence."

    Also, because I know someone else will bring it up... Yes, you can also do this type of build as Warlock 2/Abjurer X. However, while very survive-able, that has 2 problems: 1. It does far less passive damage per turn, and 2. @LudicSavant already did a wonderful writeup of an Abjurer Iron Wizard. In this thread. On a side note, VHuman Hexblade Warlock 1 / Abjurer X is another way to make the Iron Wizard work, without playing a hobgoblin - take Lucky at level 1, and you're in business with Medium Armor, shields, and just about everything else.

    Thanks so much for reading - I hope you found this fun, and I'm open to any suggestions for improvement!
    Last edited by Story_Optimized; 2019-06-08 at 09:11 PM.

  17. - Top - End - #137
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    Default Re: The Tiefling Masochist - and other variants

    Quote Originally Posted by Story_Optimized View Post
    There are other ways to get at a similar build - but I thought this was an interesting take on things for a Warlock. Happy to take suggestions!
    Cool build. Only had a quick look and will read it more carefully later, but yeah, cool build.
    One of the other ways to go about it (assuming the aim is retaliatory damage), could be hexblade1 or 2/phoenix sorc 18 or 19. Sorcerer will get us stoneskin (we can extend it if we like) and higher level slots with which to use armor of Agathys. Plus the phoenix (UA, unfortunately) features, although a bit lackluster, play well with our aim here. More slots to use hellish rebuke with, if we want to.

    One suggestion would be to take absorb elements (didn't spot it after a quick read), cause it will spare you pain from attacks that will eat into your AoA hp without provoking retaliatory damage. Second suggestion, make room for both resilient con and warcaster, otherwise you will end up losing concentration pretty often (because remember, we are not strictly tanking with AC, but also with hp, so we can be expecting hits). Lastly, consider involving the blade ward cantrip.

    Edit: Minion killer is another good name for such builds, cause it will be fights against looooots of minions (correction: a lot of melee minions) where they'll shine the most. And you can kill them (at least most of them) without spilling minion blood all over your good weapons!
    Last edited by Corran; 2019-06-08 at 12:19 AM.
    Quote Originally Posted by MaxWilson View Post
    I hereby bestow upon you a magic sword, the Sword of Corran, which will henceforth be the only thing that can permanently destroy my withered undead hand and nose.

  18. - Top - End - #138
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    MindFlayer

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    Default Re: The Tiefling Masochist - and other variants

    Quote Originally Posted by Story_Optimized View Post
    Thanks so much for reading - I hope you found this fun, and I'm open to any suggestions for improvement!
    Now this is interesting; I was just mulling over a Phlegethos Fiend build myself. Fiend is an interesting venue for it since you get a floating Resistance (which combos oh-so-well with AoA), regenerating temporary hit points, and Fire Shield on your spell list (normally unique to the Wizard list).

    The nice thing about Fire Shield / Phlegethos is that it doesn't pop with damage, so you can theoretically have an endless horde of weak mooks attempting to attack you, dying, and then replenishing your temporary hit points. Forever. Though you'd think the goblins would get the idea after the first couple of times.

    It will be interesting to see how this compares to my work-in-progress. One small note however is that the writeup here says that Wrath of the Storm recharges on a short rest. It actually recharges on a long rest.

  19. - Top - End - #139
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    Griffon

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    Default Re: The Tiefling Masochist - and other variants

    Quote Originally Posted by LudicSavant View Post
    Now this is interesting; I was just mulling over a Phlegethos Fiend build myself. Fiend is an interesting venue for it since you get a floating Resistance (which combos oh-so-well with AoA), regenerating temporary hit points, and Fire Shield on your spell list (normally unique to the Wizard list).

    The nice thing about Fire Shield / Phlegethos is that it doesn't pop with damage, so you can theoretically have an endless horde of weak mooks attempting to attack you, dying, and then replenishing your temporary hit points. Forever. Though you'd think the goblins would get the idea after the first couple of times.

    It will be interesting to see how this compares to my work-in-progress. One small note however is that the writeup here says that Wrath of the Storm recharges on a short rest. It actually recharges on a long rest.
    Thanks so much! Good catch on the short rest error - I was mixing it up with their Destructive Wrath Channel Divinity.

  20. - Top - End - #140
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    Griffon

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    Default Re: The Tiefling Masochist - and other variants

    Quote Originally Posted by Corran View Post
    Cool build. Only had a quick look and will read it more carefully later, but yeah, cool build.
    One of the other ways to go about it (assuming the aim is retaliatory damage), could be hexblade1 or 2/phoenix sorc 18 or 19. Sorcerer will get us stoneskin (we can extend it if we like) and higher level slots with which to use armor of Agathys. Plus the phoenix (UA, unfortunately) features, although a bit lackluster, play well with our aim here. More slots to use hellish rebuke with, if we want to.

    One suggestion would be to take absorb elements (didn't spot it after a quick read), cause it will spare you pain from attacks that will eat into your AoA hp without provoking retaliatory damage. Second suggestion, make room for both resilient con and warcaster, otherwise you will end up losing concentration pretty often (because remember, we are not strictly tanking with AC, but also with hp, so we can be expecting hits). Lastly, consider involving the blade ward cantrip.

    Edit: Minion killer is another good name for such builds, cause it will be fights against looooots of minions (correction: a lot of melee minions) where they'll shine the most. And you can kill them (at least most of them) without spilling minion blood all over your good weapons!
    Thanks! Lol re the minion blood - somehow, I've never thought of the character as fastidious, but that would actually be a hoot to rp. Think "Monk," but with a Fiend pact.

    Phoenix Sorcerer looks interesting; the original idea for this came from the UA Undying Light Warlock, who got fire shield as well. Those two combo-ed would be pretty nasty, though I'm not sure I'd go full sorcerer on the build; I think you get the vast majority of the benefit with a 1 level dip for mantle of flame.

    Absorb elements is a great suggestion, but the build as written doesn't have access to it natively; you'd have to pick it up via Magic Initiate or something similar. Warcaster and Resilient are both great choices; maybe I'll extend the build out to Lvl 20 next week and show how a final version might look.

    Thanks so much for the feedback!

  21. - Top - End - #141
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    Default Re: The Tiefling Masochist - and other variants

    Quote Originally Posted by Story_Optimized View Post
    Thanks! Lol re the minion blood - somehow, I've never thought of the character as fastidious, but that would actually be a hoot to rp. Think "Monk," but with a Fiend pact.
    https://youtu.be/eTRaBNafaU0?t=3171
    (from Gamers 3)

    Quote Originally Posted by Story_Optimized View Post
    Phoenix Sorcerer looks interesting; the original idea for this came from the UA Undying Light Warlock, who got fire shield as well. Those two combo-ed would be pretty nasty, though I'm not sure I'd go full sorcerer on the build; I think you get the vast majority of the benefit with a 1 level dip for mantle of flame.
    That's true. As far as I remember, I was mostly interested in the level 6 feature, the one that lets you ''explode'' when you are dropped. And the level 18 feature doubled its damage or sth. Retaliatory damage every round was just an afterthought, but with stoneskin and armor of agathys it kind of worked. Mind you, that build was very vulnerable against top tier foes (had a one shot at level 15) and I assume that it would take a while for it to kick off (if I were to advance it from the low levels), but eh, I kind of liked it. It's a shame though that we don't have a spell list that has all of armor of agathys, fire shield and stoneskin on it (and I admit that it is very likely that I overestimate how impactful stoneskin is for such builds). Perhaps warlock 1/ wizard 7 would be another way to go.

    Quote Originally Posted by Story_Optimized View Post
    Absorb elements is a great suggestion, but the build as written doesn't have access to it natively; you'd have to pick it up via Magic Initiate or something similar. Warcaster and Resilient are both great choices; maybe I'll extend the build out to Lvl 20 next week and show how a final version might look.
    Ah, shame. I thought warlocks get that spell. It's a good spell for sure, but I would be very hesitant to pick up magic initiate just for it. Being a tiefling though does help at least against fire. And fire shield will cover cold, so that's something.[/QUOTE]
    Quote Originally Posted by MaxWilson View Post
    I hereby bestow upon you a magic sword, the Sword of Corran, which will henceforth be the only thing that can permanently destroy my withered undead hand and nose.

  22. - Top - End - #142
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    ElfPirate

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    Default Re: An Eclectic Collection of Fun and Effective Builds

    Love this thread! Thanks for starting Ludic! Here are some fun build I've toyed around with/played, that I don't see discussed too much:

    Kinetic Blaster
    1: Fighter 1 – Close Quarters Shooter Fighting Style
    2: Warlock 1 – Hexblade, Hex Warrior, Hexblade’s Curse
    3: Warlock 2 – Agonizing Blast, Repelling Blast
    4: Warlock 3 - Chainlock
    5: Warlock 4 – Elven Accuracy
    6: Warlock 5 – Grasp of Hadar
    7: Sorcerer 1 – Sea Sorcerer, Curse of the Sea
    8: Fighter 2 – Action Surge

    The Kinetic Blaster runs through battlefields and shapes them manually to his will, by knocking enemies around like pinballs, or yanking them into melee where they don’t want to be.

    The core synergy is Repelling Blast(push 10, on each hit) or Grasp of Hadar (pull 10, 1/turn) with Sea Sorecerer’s Curse of the Sea (+15 forced move, 1/turn). So between character level 5-9, that means Pull 25 or Push 35, assuming hits. And these hits pack a punch, with advantage from your invisible Imp, trivantage from Elven Accuracy, 2 beams at these levels, Agonizing Blast (+cha to damage), and Hexblade’s Curse (crit on 19-20). So that is 2(1d10+4), or 19 damage assuming hits but no crtits. Or double that when Action Surge takes it up a notch. Close Quarters Shooter lets you get close to a dude before you blast him away, and ignore close-range cover.

    Half-Elven Drow works nicely for this build, with point buy starting at 8/14/16/12/8/17, and then EA taking Charisma up to 18 by level 5.

    The build has good utility with 8 cantrips (I suggest Dancing Lights (drow), Eldritch Blast (warlock), Minor Illusion (warlock), Mending (warlock 5), Shape Water (sorc), Mold Earth (sorc), Gust (sorc), Firebolt (sorc)). Hilights of level 1 spells are Shield, Hex, Absorb Elements, and Faerie Fire, Second level: Invisibility, Mirror Image, and Darkness, Third Level: Hypnotic Pattern and Counterspell. Plus an invisible Imp familiar for all kinds of scouting shenanigans.


    Celestial Support Specialist
    A backliner support variant of this build is to replace Fighter with Artificer, and Hexblade with Celestial Warlock, Half-Elf for vHuman, and 2 of your invocations for Misty Visions and Voice of the Chain Master. This variant sacrifices DPS, but lets a character pick up Inspiring Leader for pre-combat buffs, and near constant surprise via the following combo: dimension shunt an invisible familiar into the next room, see the bad guys laying in wait, observe what the wall where the party will enter looks like, cause a ruckus on the far side of the room, cast Misty Visions to look like the same room wall but displaced 5 feet, party opens door silently and takes position, surprise round.

    Flying Tank
    1: Barbarian 1 - Rage
    2: Artificer 1 – Arcane Weapon, Utility spells
    3: Barb 2 – Danger Sense
    4: Barb 3 – Ancestral Guardians
    5: Barb 4 – Dragon Wings
    6: Barb 5 – Second Attack
    7: Artificer 2 – Returning Weapon, Goggles of Night
    8: Artificer 3 -Battlesmith – Iron Defender

    This build is about taking the heat and debuffing the BBEG. The main thrust is to have your Iron Defender debuff the second toughest enemy with Defensive Pounce, while your Ancestral Gurardians focus attack on you. Ideally the BBEG is melee-based, as you’ll be flying with your UA Dragon Wings (Mobile feat if your DM disallows concentrationless flying by level 5). You kite, you breathe fire (did I mention you are a dragonborn?; a red dragonborn’s fire cone is applied from 15 feet up affects a 20x20 space!), you thow a rage-powered javelin which returns again and again.

    When rage is down, you are less tanky but for DPS-y, as Arcane Weapon augments your attacks now. Point buy would be 16/14/14/13/8/10 as a Red Dragonborn, so now you are resisting fire as well as physical attacks when you rage. The big potential downside is if you are knocked prone while flying, which will put you on the ground, unless you prepared Feather Fall… which you did.

    Outside of combat, you have an Artificer’s great list of utility spells, Guidance and Dancing Lights ready to go, and expertise in Thieves Tools. Plus on-demand flight for scouting and utility.


    Yeti, PhD
    1: Fighter 1
    2: Fighter 2: Action Surge
    3: Fighter 3: Scout: Natural Explorer (adv on initiative, adv vs targets who have not acted yet on first round), 4d8 Superiority dice (Precision Attack, Scout’s Evasion)
    4: Fighter 4: PAM
    5: Fighter 5: Second Attack
    6: Artificer 1 Guidance, Arcane Weapon
    7: Fighter 6: GWM
    8: Artificer 2: Enhanced Weapon, Bag of Holding, Alchemy Jug

    This build is about doing big DPS while not on the frontline. A glaive plus a Bigbear’s reach means a range of 15, so ideally this big fast guy hides behind the tank and wrecks opponents with dual attacks of 1d10+3+1d6+10) and a chaser of 1d4+3+1d6+10, or a total of 63 damage if all hit. Best when paired with a strong melee frontline, but also good as a hard-hitting scout force.


    Jedi Tank
    0: vHuman - PAM
    1: Fighter 1 - Dueling
    2: Warlock 1 – Great Old One, Hex
    3: Warlock 2 – Misty Visions, Mask of Many Faces
    4: Warlock 3 – Mirror Image, Tomelock (Find Familiar)
    5: Cleric 1 – Tempest Cleric – Warth of the Storm, 2 more spell slots
    6: Fighter 2 – Action Surge
    7: Fighter 3 – Battle Master, Trip Attack, Goading Attack, Precision Attack
    8: Fighter 4 – Sentinel

    This build is a tough frontliner with plenty of utility out of combat. In combat, you are a Mirror-Imaged medium-armor wearing shield and quarterstaff build, casting Shillelagh (from Tomelock) and then Hex to fully spin up to speed in combat. You are locking down the chessboard with PAM and Sentinel (and Lucky in 2 more levels). Once Shillelagh and Hex are up, damage is 3(4.5+3.5+2+4) = 42/round, assuming all strikes hit.

    Out of combat, you are an enchanter in the vein of a Jedi Consular: with at-will telepathy and spells like Invisibility, Detect Thoughts, Unseen Servant, Mage Hand, Guidance, Minor Illusion, Phantasmal Force, Dissonant Whispers, Misty Step, and Command, plus a familiar, you are quite un-Fighter-y before combat begins. The Cleric level gives double the spells available and a good range of utility.. all warlocks should do this!

    Action economy is great with this build: damaging reactions with Wrath of the Storm, bonus actions either to spin up the combat buffs or deal extra enhanced quarterstaff damage with PAM, plus a familiar to grant advantage.

    I hope you all can enjoy these, or improve them!
    Last edited by Atomicwraith; 2019-06-10 at 03:54 PM.

  23. - Top - End - #143
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    BardGuy

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    Default Re: An Eclectic Collection of Fun and Effective Builds

    Quote Originally Posted by Atomicwraith View Post
    Love this thread! Thanks for starting Ludic! Here are some fun build I've toyed around with/played, that I don't see discussed too much:

    Kinetic Blaster
    1: Fighter 1 – Close Quarters Fighting Style
    2: Warlock 1 – Hexblade, Hex Warrior, Hexblade’s Curse
    3: Warlock 2 – Agonizing Blast, Repelling Blast
    4: Warlock 3 - Chainlock
    5: Warlock 4 – Elven Accuracy
    6: Warlock 5 – Grasp of Hadar
    7: Sorcerer 1 – Sea Sorcerer, Curse of the Sea
    8: Fighter 2 – Action Surge

    The Kinetic Blaster runs through battlefields and shapes them manually to his will, by knocking enemies around like pinballs, or yanking them into melee where they don’t want to be.

    The core synergy is Repelling Blast(push 10, on each hit) or Grasp of Hadar (pull 10, 1/turn) with Sea Sorecerer’s Curse of the Sea (+15 forced move, 1/turn). So between character level 5-9, that means Pull 25 or Push 35, assuming hits. And these hits pack a punch, with advantage from your invisible Imp, trivantage from Elven Accuracy, 2 beams at these levels, Agonizing Blast (+cha to damage), and Hexblade’s Curse (crit on 19-20). So that is 2(1d10+4), or 19 damage assuming hits but no crtits. Or double that when Action Surge takes it up a notch. Close Quarters Fighter lets you get close to a dude before you blast him away, and ignore close-range cover.

    Half-Elven Drow works nicely for this build, with point buy starting at 8/14/16/12/8/17, and then EA taking Charisma up to 18 by level 5.

    The build has good utility with 8 cantrips (I suggest Dancing Lights (drow), Eldritch Blast (warlock), Minor Illusion (warlock), Mending (warlock 5), Shape Water (sorc), Mold Earth (sorc), Gust (sorc), Firebolt (sorc)). Hilights of level 1 spells are Shield, Hex, Absorb Elements, and Faerie Fire, Second level: Invisibility, Mirror Image, and Darkness, Third Level: Hypnotic Pattern and Counterspell. Plus an invisible Imp familiar for all kinds of scouting shenanigans.


    Celestial Support Specialist
    A backliner support variant of this build is to replace Fighter with Artificer, and Hexblade with Celestial Warlock, Half-Elf for vHuman, and 2 of your invocations for Misty Visions and Voice of the Chain Master. This variant sacrifices DPS, but lets a character pick up Inspiring Leader for pre-combat buffs, and near constant surprise via the following combo: dimension shunt an invisible familiar into the next room, see the bad guys laying in wait, observe what the wall where the party will enter looks like, cause a ruckus on the far side of the room, cast Misty Visions to look like the same room wall but displaced 5 feet, party opens door silently and takes position, surprise round.

    Flying Tank
    1: Barbarian 1 - Rage
    2: Artificer 1 – Arcane Weapon, Utility spells
    3: Barb 2 – Danger Sense
    4: Barb 3 – Ancestral Guardians
    5: Barb 4 – Dragon Wings
    6: Barb 5 – Second Attack
    7: Artificer 2 – Returning Weapon, Goggles of Night
    8: Artificer 3 -Battlesmith – Iron Defender

    This build is about taking the heat and debuffing the BBEG. The main thrust is to have your Iron Defender debuff the second toughest enemy with Defensive Pounce, while your Ancestral Gurardians focus attack on you. Ideally the BBEG is melee-based, as you’ll be flying with your UA Dragon Wings (Mobile feat if your DM disallows concentrationless flying by level 5). You kite, you breathe fire (did I mention you are a dragonborn?; a red dragonborn’s fire cone is applied from 15 feet up affects a 20x20 space!), you thow a rage-powered javelin which returns again and again.

    When rage is down, you are less tanky but for DPS-y, as Arcane Weapon augments your attacks now. Point buy would be 16/14/14/13/8/10 as a Red Dragonborn, so now you are resisting fire as well as physical attacks when you rage. The big potential downside is if you are knocked prone while flying, which will put you on the ground, unless you prepared Feather Fall… which you did.

    Outside of combat, you have an Artificer’s great list of utility spells, Guidance and Dancing Lights ready to go, and expertise in Thieves Tools. Plus on-demand flight for scouting and utility.


    Yeti, PhD
    1: Fighter 1
    2: Fighter 2: Action Surge
    3: Fighter 3: Scout: Natural Explorer (adv on initiative, adv vs targets who have not acted yet on first round), 4d8 Superiority dice (Precision Attack, Scout’s Evasion)
    4: Fighter 4: PAM
    5: Fighter 5: Second Attack
    6: Artificer 1 Guidance, Arcane Weapon
    7: Fighter 6: GWM
    8: Artificer 2: Enhanced Weapon, Bag of Holding, Alchemy Jug

    This build is about doing big DPS while not on the frontline. A glaive plus a Bigbear’s reach means a range of 15, so ideally this big fast guy hides behind the tank and wrecks opponents with dual attacks of 1d10+3+1d6+10) and a chaser of 1d4+3+1d6+10, or a total of 63 damage if all hit. Best when paired with a strong melee frontline, but also good as a hard-hitting scout force.


    Jedi Tank
    0: vHuman - PAM
    1: Fighter 1 - Dueling
    2: Warlock 1 – Great Old One, Hex
    3: Warlock 2 – Misty Visions, Mask of Many Faces
    4: Warlock 3 – Mirror Image, Tomelock (Find Familiar)
    5: Cleric 1 – Tempest Cleric – Warth of the Storm, 2 more spell slots
    6: Fighter 2 – Action Surge
    7: Fighter 3 – Battle Master, Trip Attack, Goading Attack, Precision Attack
    8: Fighter 4 – Sentinel

    This build is a tough frontliner with plenty of utility out of combat. In combat, you are a Mirror-Imaged medium-armor wearing shield and quarterstaff build, casting Shillelagh (from Tomelock) and then Hex to fully spin up to speed in combat. You are locking down the chessboard with PAM and Sentinel (and Lucky in 2 more levels). Once Shillelagh and Hex are up, damage is 3(4.5+3.5+2+4) = 42/round, assuming all strikes hit.

    Out of combat, you are an enchanter in the vein of a Jedi Consular: with at-will telepathy and spells like Invisibility, Detect Thoughts, Unseen Servant, Mage Hand, Guidance, Minor Illusion, Phantasmal Force, Dissonant Whispers, Misty Step, and Command, plus a familiar, you are quite un-Fighter-y before combat begins. The Cleric level gives double the spells available and a good range of utility.. all warlocks should do this!

    Action economy is great with this build: damaging reactions with Wrath of the Storm, bonus actions either to spin up the combat buffs or deal extra enhanced quarterstaff damage with PAM, plus a familiar to grant advantage.

    I hope you all can enjoy these, or improve them!
    These seem like a lot of fun!

    What’s close quarters fighting?
    Quote Originally Posted by Rainbownaga View Post
    I swear, 1 handed quarterstaves are 5e's spiked chain.


    BRING BACK ALIGNMENT LANGUAGES!!!

  24. - Top - End - #144
    Pixie in the Playground
     
    ElfPirate

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    Default Re: An Eclectic Collection of Fun and Effective Builds

    Ah, my typo: I meant to say Close Quarters Shooter Fighting Style; its a UA style that Fighters can pick up. This is fixed now.

  25. - Top - End - #145
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    BardGuy

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    Default Re: An Eclectic Collection of Fun and Effective Builds

    Oh man, I was looking forward to interacting with some deleted comments. 😕
    Quote Originally Posted by Rainbownaga View Post
    I swear, 1 handed quarterstaves are 5e's spiked chain.


    BRING BACK ALIGNMENT LANGUAGES!!!

  26. - Top - End - #146
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    MindFlayer

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    Default Re: An Eclectic Collection of Fun and Effective Builds

    Quote Originally Posted by Klorox View Post
    Oh man, I was looking forward to interacting with some deleted comments. 😕
    You just gotta ignore that guy. He's been posting the same thread since 2015. So... yeah.

  27. - Top - End - #147
    Pixie in the Playground
     
    FēlīxPersōnārum's Avatar

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    Default Re: An Eclectic Collection of Fun and Effective Builds

    This is a great resource, thank you!

  28. - Top - End - #148
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    BardGuy

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    Default Re: An Eclectic Collection of Fun and Effective Builds

    Quote Originally Posted by LudicSavant View Post
    You just gotta ignore that guy. He's been posting the same thread since 2015. So... yeah.
    Under different names and everything. I didn’t realize what we were dealing with. LOL.
    Quote Originally Posted by Rainbownaga View Post
    I swear, 1 handed quarterstaves are 5e's spiked chain.


    BRING BACK ALIGNMENT LANGUAGES!!!

  29. - Top - End - #149
    Dwarf in the Playground
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    Default Re: An Eclectic Collection of Fun and Effective Builds

    Hey Ludic, any chance of seeing that Nuclear Wizard build you mentioned?

  30. - Top - End - #150
    Orc in the Playground
     
    ClericGuy

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    Default Re: An Eclectic Collection of Fun and Effective Builds

    I love this thread, and I tend to be a little short on original ideas when it comes to game mechanics. This is why, when I post an 'original' build, it ends up being two of Ludic's builds crammed together in a blender.

    Nature is Magical
    Arcana Cleric 6 / Land (Coast) Druid 14

    Race: V. Human (Feat: Warcaster)
    Stats: 14 Dex, 14 Con, 16 Wis, Everything else to taste (I went 10 Str, 14 Dex, 15 Con, 10 Int, 16 Wis, 8 Cha).

    Cantrips: Booming Blade, Create Bonfire, Fire Bolt, Guidance, Light, Shape Water, Shillelagh, Thorn Whip, Toll the Dead, Word of Radiance

    ASI's: Max Wis, Warcaster (Racial Feat), Resilient (Con), Ritual Caster (Wizard)

    Okay so where do we start here?

    This is a build that essentially gives you as many day-to-day options as I can imagine for a caster.

    In melee, you have access to Spirit Guardians, SCAG cantrips, and Shillelagh along with medium armor (which may need to be made from non-metallic substances, such as actual scales, caparace, chitin, or bone) and shield proficiency. You also have Spiritual Weapon and Bonus Action spells like Sanctuary and Healing Word in a pinch, so action economy is good out of the gate. For your OA, you’ve got Booming Blade to punish anyone leaving melee range with you, thanks to Warcaster.

    You also have the Mirror Image spell. Mixing Mirror Image, Spirit Guardians, and Dodge Actions looks like a lot of fun.

    As a healer, you have the Arcana Cleric's level 6 feature, Spell Breaker, which stops negative magical effects dead so long as you using a spell slot of the right level to heal the afflicted target. With spells like Regenerate, Mass Healing Word, and Healing Spirits, you'll be able to make use of it more than most, and having access to Healing Spirits on top of Cleric spells makes you unusually capable if the party needs someone to act as a main healer for a battle. Also worth noting, you can use Revivify. A Druid wouldn't be able to revive until 5th level spells, and then you roll the dice on your friend's race because the spell is Reincarnate.

    If the party needs control spells, you have an enormous suite of Druid control spells, plus Spirit Guardians. There are honestly so many options that I'm going to end this here or else I'll hit the limit for post size.

    If you need to move stealthily or spy, you have access to Wild Shape as well as Polymorph for shapeshifting into an innocuous mouse, rat, bird, etc. You can also use Rory's Telepathic Bond to communicate with your party even when Wild Shaped, which is nice. In fact, Rory's Telepathic Bond would be a great thing to have on any scout for instant communication, and you can cast it as a ritual.

    You've also got Wizard Ritual Magic, for all of your Tiny Hutting, Magic Detecting, Familiar Finding, and Phantom Steeding needs.

    Minions? You have Awaken to give yourself an intelligent animal best friend, you have a Familiar, you can raise the dead, and you can summon loads of critters via Druid spells.

    And you can swap out your entire spell list on a long rest, except for your overly large pile of Cantrips, which include solid melee, ranged, and spell save options as well as some nice utility, so you're probably fine with them as they are.

    Frankly, I can't find a wrong way to level this one up. No matter what class you pick, you seem to get something good at every level just because there's so much going on. I would personally get a level of Druid, then four in Cleric, then four in Druid, the last Cleric level, and then Druid all the way. Your mileage, and opinion, may of course certainly vary.

    It's definitely a magical-skill-monkey sort of build rather than a full-damage type. The roleplay would be interesting, though. Maybe it could be the daughter of a famous Wizarding family who found herself drawn to Druiding Circles?

    Notes:
    -If you roll for stats and luck out enough for an extra feat, Lucky and Alert could be nice choices.
    -I chose Fire Bolt and Booming Blade for the Arcana Cleric cantrips for the sake of versatility, but Green Flame Blade And Minor Illusion are also good choices.
    -Druidcraft is a criminally under-loved cantrip. Its a good alternative if you really want a different Druid cantrip.
    -Good gods I can think of for this build would be Mystra or Selűne, but others could have better.
    Last edited by Mercurias; 2019-06-16 at 12:07 PM.

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