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D&D Character Creation

Hadoblado

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I don't know if people are still doing D&D on here. Feel free to help me out, or to post your own character concepts.

Chaotic Neutral 'Trickster' Utility/Striker Warlock
At some point this year I'm going to partake in a 5th edition campaign. While at first I was thinking of going yet another variant of my alter-ego Greg, there are already two wizards in the party and I don't fancy competing for the niche (also DM said they'd cap my dexterity to 8 since he'd be too fat for adventuring).

I've decided I would like to be a warlock in contract to Cthulhu :cthulhu:

I've never played a warlock, or 5e, or even a high-charisma character. I tend to have a strong preference for utility and options, as well as generally subverting (good naturedly) everything around me to some degree (tropes, other players, the game system, the DM, w/e).

Does anyone have extensive understanding of 5e and/or trickster type characters?

Warlocks come in three types. Of these, the 'blade' archetype is entirely unappealing. I'm torn between the other two though:

A 'chain' archetype would give me an improved familiar (probably an Imp). I'd have a badarse spy/mouthpiece doing all sorts of tricky junk and I just find this option really appealing.

But the alternative is the 'tome' archetype, which gives access to a standard familiar, as well as all sorts of ritual spells and cantrips. I love this sort of flexibility, but standard familiars are not only cliche, but also lame. I'm thinking of asking the DM to give me an imp that has the same values as a bird or w/e without being such a drag.

Then comes what my pact... The fiend stuff all looks like dull blasty BS, even if it's pretty powerful stuff. The fae stuff... I don't really like that theme. The pact of the great old one though? :cthulhu::cthulhu::cthulhu: :)

It looks like a bunch of more situational/utility/intrigue features, which is exactly what I like in a character. Lots of controlling shit at your mind (the level 14 ability allows you to permanently charm a sleeping character, which seems awesome).

So probably tome+cthulhu.

What else? Feats? What feats are good in this edition? The system looks a lot better than even pathfinder, but I'm still lost as to what is needed.

Stats? Presumably some mix of maxing CHA, then con/dex. Nothing very interesting here I guess.

Eldritch invocations? I assume that taking eldritch blasting stuff is compulsory (and I should probably make sure I contribute meaningfully to combat even if my focus is on RP).

Agonising blast is an enormous DPS increase. Repelling blast gives repeatable control effects while outputting the deeps. Book of ancient secrets is awesome. Devil's sight could make me fearsome if I've got darkness as a racial spell. Mask of many faces/master of myriad forms would be great for intrigue shenanigans. I'm really not sure what's necessary and what's not...

I guess that leaves race and spells?

I like the look of variant humans. I tend to always go human though (can't stand most common fantasy races, it feels like my race determines too much of my character's personality and interactions). Tiefling, half-elf, aasimar, and drow all look possible?

Spells... I haven't looked too extensively at spell lists. Rituals would be basically everything I can get my hands on. Cantrips would be utility (other than eldritch blast). I've little experience with the way warlock spells work, but presumably so long as I'm maintaining a steady contribution with eldritch blast, I'd be free to do cool things without letting the party down?

Then of course there is the multi-class options. Initially I was tempted to dip fighter or something else just for heavy armor proficiency (full plate casting is awesome!), but apparently that's really common, and it'd hold pack the cool casterish elements that I actually enjoy. I'm still considering it, but it's less appealing now?

Have I missed anything on the mechanical side? I haven't talked about the character side so much... but I guess that stuff is largely 'flow' for me and I would feel foolish meticulously planning out the spontaneous nature of my character. So long as mechanical side is down I can rest easy going into this. Thoughts?
 

Cognisant

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Not an expert as you well know.

But if you're going with a charisma build I'd suggest looking at ways to leverage your speech, if you can somehow amplify your voice shouting a lie or poignant truth across town could be as effective as casting a spell. Can you change your voice, can you project it onto others, can you communicate through other means like sign language or playing charades? Consider the psychological effects of a harpy's cry on a group of goblins (their natural prey) or the sounds of damsel in distress to a roaming band of paladins.

Also try to be an unarmed fighter if at all possible (though not that class specifically, I'm thinking more like a monk) so if you're ever in trouble you can always say "I'm unarmed, you wouldn't kill someone in cold blood would you?" or if you're embroiled in a fight and the guards show up "save me from this ruffians!"
 

Jennywocky

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I have a copy of the 5e player's handbook but can't say I read it beyond skimming it and seeing how it compared to 3.5 and 4. (It seemed to be a happy medium.) I'm not sure if they still have as much synergy for multi-class or if you are penalized. This is the big problem with spellcaster classes in general, if you multiclass. If you're a fighter who wants a level of magic, it won't hurt you TOO bad, but it can really muck with a wizard who dips into something else, once you get to the high levels.

(Anyway, dipping in pathfinder AKA D&D 3.75 -- my pally started with one level of oracle because I'm basically playing a STR/CHA character, and some revelations I could pick up at 1st level synergized with CHA so I didn't need DEX...Basically I tried to get CHA to provide as many benefits as possible, it makes me a strong Diplomat, affects my saves for a pally, and now also improves my Init and AC. All this is a WIS and DEX of 10. If you do multiclass, yeah, synergize what you can.)

... maybe i'll read the book if I get bored.



IS YOUR WARLOCK GOING TO BE FAAAAAT??
 

The Gopher

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If you want an imp with the same level as a bird depending on the DM you could try to have a story reason for it. Like have a crippled/cursed imp or something. If that is even is possible I am not familiar with imp lore.
 

Hadoblado

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Yeah Cog similar to your sorcerer characters from back in the day. I guess I like warlock better for the role since using particular builds nets you a lot of utility. The problem I always had with sorcerer is that as a trickster type character you couldn't afford to waste spells known on situational stuff that would help in intrigue. Their strength is in repeatedly producing spells from a short list, but it's unlikely you'd ever want to cast any particular intrigue spell more than 1-2 times a day. Warlock has similar spell issues, but by speccing in particular ways you get a very broad range of low level utility to go with your high CHA score.

This warlock will have telepathy up to 30 feet for controlling social situations. I'm thinking I'll take the 'actor' feat:

Actor
Skilled at mimicry and dramatics, you gain the following benefits:

Increase your Charisma score by 1, to a maximum of 20.
You have advantage on Charisma (Deception) and Charisma (Performance) checks when trying to pass yourself off as a different person.
You can mimic the speech of another person or the sounds made by other creatures. You must have heard the person speaking, or heard the creature make the sound, for at least 1 minute. A successful Wisdom (Insight) check contested by your Charisma (Deception) check allows a listener to determine that the effect is faked
I don't really have a way to increase my voice range that I can think of, but yelling should suffice.

I'm not really sure what I intend on using my hands for. I can't see myself ever wanting to attack anyone, so I'll likely be able to go 'civilian' in a pinch.

@Jenny
Probably not fat. Of my last three characters, Greg was 500 pounds (and growing), GoodJob(!) was 30 pounds (but heavier if you include his three prosthetic limbs), and Snu was either either 62 pounds or 1050, depending on whether you include the body he was attached to or just that which he had direct control of (he's the smarter half of a two-headed giant). It's about time I did something more standard.

I think 5E is worth a try. I really like a lot of the mechanical changes that have helped balance out casters a bit. There's still a few issues, but there's less emphasis on stats and convoluted systems: things are a lot smoother. I'm still yet to play, but I'm genuinely excited to try it out.

If I multiclass it will likely be just a small dip for some extra abilities. Yeah multiple attribute dependency sucks, I've always tried to have the few things I do really well (like w/ Greg it was everything int related) which forms the core of the character, then everything else is there to support that strength.

@Gopher
Yeah it shouldn't be too hard. An imp probably isn't great for diplomacy though...

I am not familiar with imp lore.
I see what you did thar.
 

Cognisant

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Actor
Skilled at mimicry and dramatics, you gain the following benefits:

Increase your Charisma score by 1, to a maximum of 20.
You have advantage on Charisma (Deception) and Charisma (Performance) checks when trying to pass yourself off as a different person.
You can mimic the speech of another person or the sounds made by other creatures. You must have heard the person speaking, or heard the creature make the sound, for at least 1 minute. A successful Wisdom (Insight) check contested by your Charisma (Deception) check allows a listener to determine that the effect is faked
Oh that is just beautiful.

I don't really have a way to increase my voice range that I can think of, but yelling should suffice.
No Clarion Call?
At least carry a horn/trumpet around, you might be able to use your mimicry to imitate the sound of a war horn used by whatever local military/guard to signal reinforcements or a retreat, not to mention the utility of having a horn for that purpose, or to use as means to carry water (when corked) or as a funnel. You might even get away with using it as a old-timey hearing aid to boost listening based perception checks, or pretend to need such a hearing aid to convince people you're old and feeble.
 

Cheeseumpuffs

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Also try to be an unarmed fighter if at all possible (though not that class specifically, I'm thinking more like a monk) so if you're ever in trouble you can always say "I'm unarmed, you wouldn't kill someone in cold blood would you?" or if you're embroiled in a fight and the guards show up "save me from this ruffians!"
ooh, a multiclass type of charisma/unarmed fighter would be cool. That sounds fun.

Wish I could help with the character creation, but I'm woefully ignorant of D&D 5e.

As an aside (hopefully not a full derail), how does 5e compare to Pathfinder? I've only ever played 4e (blegh) and PF but I've got some friends who want to play and one is pushing for 5e so I'm curious about the ins and outs of it.
 

Hadoblado

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My favourite version is pathfinder. It's conveniently free, it has a lot of support, it's got endless content. One problem is that casters are far too strong when compared to their counterparts.

5E addresses these problems by making all the most powerful spells mutually exclusive through the limited resource of concentration. A wizard can only concentrate on one spell at a time, meaning that stacking buffs and summons for the most part no longer works. Despite this nerf, casters are still the most powerful, but you don't feel like a burden if you play a non-caster.

The classes are also more qualitative than quantitative, which is a lot more interesting. A fighter isn't just a pile of stats. Feats never give just an increase in one stat or another. You don't need to choose between making a fun character and a powerful one.

This all said, I've never even played... so this is purely speculation based on what I've read of the rules, and reiteration of opinions I've heard.

From what I've read, I rate 5e highly.

Even so, I don't think a fisty/cha character would be supported by the 5E rule set. I could be mistaken, but charisma has traditionally been the furthest thing from monk/fighter stats.
 

Cognisant

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What about sneak attacks and poison?

Hiding snakes up your sleeves or pretending to be a fat man with a halfling rouge in a basket under your tunic.

Or being fire resistance and covered in bottles of alchemical fire :D HUG ME!!!
 

Blarraun

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Cthulhu is part of DnD lore now? lul.

Not sure how mechanic heavy your games are, but definitely for a CHA character you need to try to have an outgoing presence/background and roleplay being influential in a way that justifies your high social stats.
 

Hadoblado

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I thought Cthulhu had been in the game since 1e? Maybe my DM has been flexing his creativity.

I'm thinking that my character will be a Nigerian Prince who's fallen on hard times :)
 

Cognisant

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That's cool, being an alleged prince gives the DM and interesting thread to follow up on, maybe your character is actually a prince, maybe he isn't, maybe a struggling nation will pretend he's a long lost heir to gain his unconditional support or a political faction will use his supposed princedom to justify a coup.

When multiple groups are trying to con each other anything can happen :D
 

Jennywocky

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Well, I am having fun in both of my campaigns.

Pathfinder: The pally with oracle dip I mentioned before is level 6 now. She worships Day, Ray, and Shay (three voices that speak directly into her mind, although she will sometimes see golden light shining down) -- they're actually three gods (Iomedae, Shelyn, Saranrae) from another pantheon than the world we're using. And because of the Oracle curse, when she enters combat, she only speaks and understands Infernal. Which is pretty freaking awesome, because she's a lawful good pally with a bitchin' falchion who sounds like a demon, so people assume she goes "temporarily mad" in battle along with her Aasimar heritage being weird too. Using Oracle things to swap her Dex out for CHA lets me focus on just boosting her CHA versus made her a MAD class as much. I just got Divine Bond, so I'm naming her spirit and it will really cool when she summons it into her falchion.


Anyway, we did start our 5e campaign, and I decided to go with the Monk class template, although I'm playing her as a thug so I just describe her behavior less like a bruce lee monk and more like a thug whose moves are brutal, short, and efficient -- "thug" really is the best word for her. She wields a crowbar and a hatchet (bludgeon or slashing) to fit the character concept, although she'll throw "throwing spikes" as well instead of stars. Monks are actually good from an early level, although other characters catch up to them mid-level. For awhile she was leading the party in take-downs.

Her name is Molly Hatchet, she's kind of street trash (who is trying to make good so she can get her kid back from her family, who doesn't trust her to be a mother until she cleans up her act)... and she's a Stout Halfling. She is now level 4, Monk of the Long Death (school). Because she's a halfling, she can move through the square of anything larger than her, and I picked up Mobile feat instead of ASI (sigh) so that she is a true striker class -- solid but not particularly tough, she can move through a crowd without taking AoE's, get a temp flank as she passes through, and dodge out the other side, and her main focus is really just to target something and either take it down in passing or control it somehow (once her higher level monk abilities like Stun kick in). It's pretty great. Halfling's also get to reroll any 1 on a d20, so it's a small but flavorful piece of goodness to avoid fumbles, bad skill rolls, etc.
 

Hadoblado

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Oooh I like the sound of that. Two really nice character concepts. 'Molly Hatchet' has a ring to it. Now you've got experience with the rules, how do you find it?

The game I was talking about still hasn't started. Life seems in the way for everyone. I may be playing a rules-screwy version of a warlock that uses int. The DM sort of freaked out when I ran the Nigerian Prince character past them because they're not used to dealing with that sort of stuff. Can't say I blame them, letting players dictate the plot to that degree would be really difficult to keep up with (and in my experience has always pulled at the threads of disbelief). So looks like I'll be playing Cthulhu worshiping Greglock with a dex of 8 and no social influence :^)

...if/when the game finally occurs.
 
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