Samurai Build Advice?
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  1. #1

    Samurai Build Advice?

    Taking inspiration from all kinds of anime, I've been obsessing over the idea of playing a Hobgoblin Samurai for the past few days, but looking into optimization is a bit weird. I like the idea of wielding a greatsword (re-skined as an Odachi) and using the temp hp as well as all of the advantage synergies as well as GWM and the great weapon fighting style to put the hurt on my enemies, but I'm not sure if the other styles would be better overall.

    Two weapon fighting could be nice
    Dueling/Sword and Board with a samurai doesn't quite flow with my ideas
    and then the core of the fighter is a thing...

    Anyways, what have yall done in yall's games? What kind of flavor stuff have yall done to spice up the samurai?

  2. #2
    Join Date
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    The core fighter rocks. Action Surge is your friend, and Second Wind is handy... and all those Extra Attacks and feats.

    Unless the rest of the people you're playing with are super-optimizers, you really don't have to worry about a character's build other than for following a character concept. Even then, greatsword and GWM is generally looked upon as pretty good, so your odachi or nodachi-weillding samurai won't go amiss. If you go with TWF, you'll have to wait until 4th level to get Dual Wielder for the ability to go full niten with dual katana or katana/wakizashi. Archery, Defense, Dueling (sans sheild), and Protection don't seem to be your bag though each are samurai-y in their own ways. As far as armor, the closest approximations to historical samurai armor are scale, splint, and half plate (depending on what era of Japanese history you deriving inspiration from). Of course you don't need to stick with the samurai subclass or even the fighter class to emulate a samurai, so there's always other options if you're not sold on the fighter.

  3. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by Azzy View Post
    The core fighter rocks. Action Surge is your friend, and Second Wind is handy... and all those Extra Attacks and feats.

    Unless the rest of the people you're playing with are super-optimizers, you really don't have to worry about a character's build other than for following a character concept. Even then, greatsword and GWM is generally looked upon as pretty good, so your odachi or nodachi-weillding samurai won't go amiss. If you go with TWF, you'll have to wait until 4th level to get Dual Wielder for the ability to go full niten with dual katana or katana/wakizashi. Archery, Defense, Dueling (sans sheild), and Protection don't seem to be your bag though each are samurai-y in their own ways. As far as armor, the closest approximations to historical samurai armor are scale, splint, and half plate (depending on what era of Japanese history you deriving inspiration from). Of course you don't need to stick with the samurai subclass or even the fighter class to emulate a samurai, so there's always other options if you're not sold on the fighter.
    Yeah... my group is a bit on the min/max side of the game.

    Other ideas I was having were using a halberd/glaive re-skined as a naginata and going the polearm master route, or re-skin the maul as a kanabo/tetsubo and keep doing the normal stuff.

    I think its awesome though, one of the other players texted me about this and they're thinking about making a goblin ninja and re skining the dual wielding of a sickle and dagger as a kusarigama with a spiked weight at the end of their chain.
    XP Azzy gave XP for this post

  4. #4
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    That sounds awesome!

  5. #5
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    There's not a lot of synergy between the Hobgoblin and the Samurai, unfortunately:

    Hobgob's Martial training gives you nothing, and Saving Face gives you a bonus to one attack, ability check or save per short rest. (The con bonus is nice, of course, but it and darkvision can be matched elsehwere.)

    Bugbear (staying with goblinoids) gives you a lot more, esp. with GWM:
    - bonus to Str and dex
    - increased reach in combat
    - powerful build (increased carrying capacity) and Stealth proficiency
    - +2d6 damage 1/combat if you have surprise and hit with an attack (which Samurai helps you to do).

    Hope this helps.

    I've been playing a (human) samurai archer, and it's great.

  6. #6
    Join Date
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    Reskinning is your friend. Were I to do a samurai, I'd go Human Variant Ranger 5 to start:

    1.) Dual Wielder Feat, Noble Background, History, Persuasion, Insight, Perception and Intimidation. Favored enemy humans and goblinoids.
    2.) Two Weapon Fighting, spell slots used for Hunter's Mark - reskinned as a supernatural ability to hone in on an enemy with your stare.
    3.) Hunter (Horde Breaker)
    4.) Dex +2
    5.) Multi-attack - you also have enough spells to mimic some other supernatual abilities (alarm, longstrider, silence, etc... can all be reskinned as supernatual abilities)

    From there I'd consider fighter and add some archery, paladin to add smites, or rogue to add sneak damage/cunning options, etc...

    If you want to go hobgoblin, you can do essentially the same build, but it is hard to do with a starting 15 dex.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
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    One of my favorite builds emulates the Crane Clan samurai from Rokugan: Way of the Kensei Monk. Mind you, the build doesn't really come into its own until 3rd level, but you can use a short sword/wakizashi or a club/bokken until you can be proficient in the long sword/katana (having it gifted to you when you become a samurai). Adding Fighter levels doesn't hurt either.

    The current one I'm working on multiclasses into Hexblade. His sword has been passed down through his family for generations and has an Oni trapped within. The pact is unwitting, he thinks he just has an amazing magic sword that lets him perform these feats. He "casts" Eldritch Blast by slashing his sword in the air and hitting his opponent in a very anime fashion. This could easily be combined with any samurai concept you might have. Everyone else's ideas are pretty spot on too!

  8. #8
    There is an optimization subforum.

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