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Old 05-05-2018, 09:23 PM   #1
Fred Brackin
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Default D&D5e Characters-What has worked for you?

I've committed to another 5e game ( Storm King's Thunder) and I'm not at all sure what kind of character to make. All I know is that I want to do something different from last time which was a Half-Orc Barbarian who was raised by wolves (which worked very well).

I've looked though the Player's Guide but have come up with only vague ideas. I'm looking first for something that's basically functional but then I need some sort of "shiny" element to hang the character on.

Last time the Half-Orc and the Barbarian were the mechanically strong combo but it was the Raised by Wolves that set the character's personality.

This would only be my second 5e character though I took the last one to the end of the adventure (Curse of Strahd) at level 10. I know some of you have more experience than that. So what has worked (or not worked) for you?
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Old 05-06-2018, 07:44 AM   #2
L.J.Steele
 
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Default Re: D&D5e Characters-What has worked for you?

I ended up with a Half-Orc Fighter in our last D5 game because I said to myself: (1) what classic DnD race haven't I played, and (2) what character class haven't I played -- never had done a 1/2 orc, or a pure fighter.

Next might have to be a dwarf. The group has bad history with a dwarf druid, so maybe a dwarf bard (rock music, of course...)
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Old 05-06-2018, 09:06 AM   #3
RyanW
 
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Default Re: D&D5e Characters-What has worked for you?

If I ever play D&D again I will probably play against type. Something like a half-orc lawful good cleric or a halfling fighter.

I really can't comment on effectiveness, as I've played D&D in one campaign (which might have actually been Pathfinder, now that I think about it) and maybe three or four one-shots, all between 2004 and 2011.
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Old 05-06-2018, 01:05 PM   #4
tanksoldier
 
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Default Re: D&D5e Characters-What has worked for you?

As I understand it the whole point of 5e is to eliminate the “best build” strategy. There are supposed to be multiple avenues to effective characters,with no option a must have or must not have.

The only combination I’ve read about so far that seems to break that is the half orc fighter/champion with great axe... the half orc gets to roll one additional weapon damage die on a critical, champion doubles critical range and the axe rolls 1d12 for damage instead of 2d6 so gets to roll one d12 instead of one d6.... and it isn’t that big of an advantage mathematically.

However I’m going to play my first 5e game next weekend so I don’t have any direct experience.... but I’ll be playing a half orc fighter, a choice I made before discovering the above, so we’ll see.

Last edited by tanksoldier; 05-06-2018 at 04:27 PM.
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Old 05-06-2018, 02:27 PM   #5
Fred Brackin
 
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Default Re: D&D5e Characters-What has worked for you?

It's not a re-roll. It's an add. Like the Barbarian's Brutal Critical ability at 9th level. I was rolling 4D12 crits late in curse of Strahd.

Then the Reckless trait let me attack with advantage by giving my opponents Advantage attacking me. I made out better on the deal than they did. :)

Then you add in Frenzy from Path of the Berzerker and you get another attack. You can't do it all the time because you get a level of exhaustion but after you get a feel for picking out the biggest encounter of the day it's a great bonus.

I had spotted the Fighter/Champion's Improved Crit and thought about leveraging it with dual-wielding but it's also be helped by the Half-Orc;s ability and I wanted to get a little farthr away from my old character than that.
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Old 05-06-2018, 02:40 PM   #6
mlangsdorf
 
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Default Re: D&D5e Characters-What has worked for you?

For power builds, necromancer wizards at 5th level can juggle the durations of repeated castings of Animate Dead so they can have 3 or 4 instances up at the same time for roughly 12 hours. Walking around with 24 skeletal minions is surprisingly effective at that level. (I think that's how it works, but exact details may be wrong).

One of the top PCs at my table were a Storm Cleric in heavy armor with the Sentinel feat: it made a reasonable tank/aggro attractor, giving monsters the option of attacking someone else and taking a Sentinel hit or attacking the cleric a getting Storm Retribution. Past 5th level, any cleric can cast Spiritual Guardians and wreck stuff in melee range, but Storm Clerics can also cast Call Lightning, which is a pretty nasty spell in outdoor combat.

I also saw a sneaky archery assassin be effective, by scouting ahead, starting fights with the a big critical hit attack, and then kiting survivors back to the storm Cleric and pals.

The most effective thing our party ever got was 4 NPC paladin retainers. We were about 8th level and they were about 5th, but they still doubled our damage output and gave us a lot of tactical flexibility. We had to coddle them a bit and throw potions and healing spells their way, but they were worth it. Take any opportunity you can to recruit NPC retainers and followers, because having several more friendlies in a fight makes a huge difference.
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Old 05-06-2018, 04:29 PM   #7
tanksoldier
 
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Default Re: D&D5e Characters-What has worked for you?

Quote:
It's not a re-roll. It's an add. Like the Barbarian's Brutal Critical ability at 9th level. I was rolling 4D12 crits late in curse of Strahd.
Corrected it
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Old 05-07-2018, 01:25 AM   #8
Bengt
 
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Default Re: D&D5e Characters-What has worked for you?

What stod out in our latest campaign was fireball... School of Divination|Portent + Hold Person was also quite effective as the campaign had us mostly facing humanoids.

Honorable mention goes the Ranger's wolf, who consistently did much more damage than the Ranger. :)
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Old 05-08-2018, 09:22 AM   #9
Fred Brackin
 
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Default Re: D&D5e Characters-What has worked for you?

When I agreed to this game I went to Amazon to see what they wanted for the Xanasthor's Guide to Everything book. the answer was $24.02 including tax so 2 days later I had a copy and after peering through it I have a leading contender.

It would be a Monk/Path of the Kensai with a sort of "Zen Space Cadet" personality. Only one other player has mentioned his concept but I'm afraid it leads me to expect nothing but antics and shennanigans from him. Fine, let him grab all the spotlight time he wants. My guy can be meditating and won't even notice him. I haven't played a monk before.

This is an overnight infatuation and it's still almost 2 weeks til the chargen session so I ma end up with something else.

I'm somewhat concerned that we might need a dedicated Arcane caster. CoS could have used one in addition to or just in place of our Warlock. For that role I would choose a Wizard. Either an Abjurer for the Wards or a Diviner for the Portents.

Or I could get stuck playing the Cleric again. I'm leaning toward one of War, possibly a dwarf.

I can see the utility of a Ranger/Hunter to what I know about this game.

I'm also toying with the idea of playing a Bard which is certainly not something I've done before. Not even one of the dreaded "Slow bards" of 1e.

They do seem to have boosted the utility of both Rangers and Bards as general casters.

Still looking for insight and analysis drawn from your experience!
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Old 05-08-2018, 09:24 AM   #10
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Default Re: D&D5e Characters-What has worked for you?

I've only really played 5th as a PC once, but have been DMing it on and off for a year or two now. That one PC was a tiefling warlock with the Great Old One patron, because I like magic, am a hopeless Lovecraft junkie, and my friends wanted to play the martial types in that first game. (I've been playing D&D since Basic/Expert/AD&D 1e, so can usually find a concept I want to play without too much trouble even when it's a brand-new edition.)

In the Tales from the Yawning Portal game that I'm currently running, the PCs are 4th level, and all of them are pretty effective in a fight. The dragonborn sorcerer mostly slings cantrips, saving her breath weapon, thunderwave, and witchbolt for the harder fights. The dwarf paladin is decently tanky, and can take things down quickly when he has the spell slots left for divine smite. The human ranger is a sharpshooter, so doesn't have to worry about cover, and can do a ton of extra damage if the enemy has a low AC. And the tiefling rogue uses cunning action, two weapon fighting, and sneak attack to move around the battle quickly to dish out big hits where they're most needed.
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