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5E 4th level Bladesinger with same AC as Tarrasque

clearstream

Be just and fear not...
40,000 GP item? Schroedingers Wizard is alive and well.

Trip does largely the same thing. Melee touch attack (+9 vs Touch AC 21), then a Strength check (with +4 for size) at +10 v the Dexterity of +5 for the Bladesinger.

Prone grants -4 to AC, for a much more manageable AC of 26, meaning the Trolls hit with claws on a 17+

His HD are d4's.

Id likely get them to Overrun (+10 vs the Elfs +0) the Prone Elf at that point though, if that clears the choke point.
You start to see the case for blur ;)
 

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clearstream

Be just and fear not...
And still, you were not there and made assumptions about my intention, which ia more than rude.
Next time state your intention. You also made deduction based only of half knowledge... You didn't know about the game, the other characters and the battlefield. I don't remember exactly anymore... but I still know why grappling failed and so next time do it differently.

Afterwards you stated that I implied, you could not do anything against a bladesinger with high AC.
Nope: against this particular one there were many encounters where I easily bypassed the high AC, but in this encounter I probably chose not to, because I wouldn't want to spoil the fun. Most probably because I took into account that the encounter was created for 2e, with much more relarively powerful fire spells at that level.
For the other bladesinger I presented 2 easy solutions in posts before.

So in the end, that all came over very rude.
I feel like a key issue with the BS AC is not in fact that a DM cannot do anything to them - of course they can - but that it warps the encounter around that one ability. Again. And again.

When I define "good" for mechanics, I think in terms of balance - not overshadowing others, making as many strategies as possible viable (which can and should change situationally), and not warping play around them. At many tables, the BS will be able to have bladesong and mage armour up most combats. I feel like "most combats" is too much of the time for the DM to have to be thinking tightly about one ability held by one character.
 

I feel like a key issue with the BS AC is not in fact that a DM cannot do anything to them - of course they can - but that it warps the encounter around that one ability. Again. And again.

When I define "good" for mechanics, I think in terms of balance - not overshadowing others, making as many strategies as possible viable (which can and should change situationally), and not warping play around them. At many tables, the BS will be able to have bladesong and mage armour up most combats. I feel like "most combats" is too much of the time for the DM to have to be thinking tightly about one ability held by one character.

I think you are right. This is why I changed my rest system to something that suits my playstyle as DM. The classes are unbalanced if long rests happen too often. So instead for going against a special case I eliminated the base problem.
 

Ovinomancer

No flips for you!
I feel like a key issue with the BS AC is not in fact that a DM cannot do anything to them - of course they can - but that it warps the encounter around that one ability. Again. And again.

When I define "good" for mechanics, I think in terms of balance - not overshadowing others, making as many strategies as possible viable (which can and should change situationally), and not warping play around them. At many tables, the BS will be able to have bladesong and mage armour up most combats. I feel like "most combats" is too much of the time for the DM to have to be thinking tightly about one ability held by one character.
Adding an enemy caster isn't warping the game, though, and a lot of GMs avoid doing this because they don't like the hassle of tracking them. I agree, which is why I'll usually pick 3 things a caster will do and just jot those down -- they rarely get more than that off in an encounter anyway. So, if occasionally a caster has dispel magic, or a CON save spell, and occasionally smacks the bladesinger, what do you think is going to happen to how the bladesinger engages in melee when a caster is present? That caster might not have any such spell prepped, but the threat remains.

This is very like the 6-8 encounter guideline. If you do that occasionally, then it works even when you only have 2 encounters in a day. The chance that things might go longer will incentivize more conservation of resources in general. You don't have to do it often, but do it.

Now, I agree that if the GM is building an encounter specifically to thwart the bladesinger via special tactics or whatnot, then, yeah, you have issues. But a single enemy spellcaster with counterspell, used on the shield so that the BS is not only hit, but doesn't benefit from the +5 AC for the remainder of the round cycle, will definitely be a moment where PC learn something. And, if no shield is cast, something else will be and that can get the counterspell. Or a dispel magic. If it's thematic for the bad guys, run with it. There's so much that works in lots of situations that also would cause a bladesinger lots of problems, but you need to get comfortable with bad guys that use magic and not just the melee/ranged guys.

EDIT: just to be clear, this is a general you, not a specific one.
 

Garthanos

Arcadian Knight
When I define "good" for mechanics, I think in terms of balance - not overshadowing others, making as many strategies as possible viable (which can and should change situationally), and not warping play around them.
I think I would not mind warping nearly as much in a general sense if non-caster characters also had things that forced a dm to respond to them. Mr I get another attack never will make a DM think.
 

Mort

Hero
Supporter
I think I would not mind warping nearly as much in a general sense if non-caster characters also had things that forced a dm to respond to them. Mr I get another attack never will make a DM think.

This is a general problem with casters- and it gets worse as levels increase (though not nearly as bad as 3e/3.5)

In some ways the BS is actually less of a culprit on this (than other casters) as their focus is on the relatively mundane - get a higher AC. There are many, many ways a DM has to deal with a high AC, quite a few of which are standard strategies that don't involve much "warping."
 

Ancalagon

Dusty Dragon
This is a common problem in my area too. I do a lot of coaching in our Friday night magic (before or after the game itself) and many "young" (or should I say inexperienced) DMs are simply forgetting that there are a lot that monsters/foes/characters that are not explicitly written in the stat block or on the character sheets. I did a small document called what characters and monsters can do in a round (in French) and it helped a lot of people (players included) to make better games (or at least more tactically sound).
That sounds rather helpful - was this published somewhere?
 

Zaukrie

New Publisher
Adding an enemy caster isn't warping the game, though, and a lot of GMs avoid doing this because they don't like the hassle of tracking them. I agree, which is why I'll usually pick 3 things a caster will do and just jot those down -- they rarely get more than that off in an encounter anyway. So, if occasionally a caster has dispel magic, or a CON save spell, and occasionally smacks the bladesinger, what do you think is going to happen to how the bladesinger engages in melee when a caster is present? That caster might not have any such spell prepped, but the threat remains.

This is very like the 6-8 encounter guideline. If you do that occasionally, then it works even when you only have 2 encounters in a day. The chance that things might go longer will incentivize more conservation of resources in general. You don't have to do it often, but do it.

Now, I agree that if the GM is building an encounter specifically to thwart the bladesinger via special tactics or whatnot, then, yeah, you have issues. But a single enemy spellcaster with counterspell, used on the shield so that the BS is not only hit, but doesn't benefit from the +5 AC for the remainder of the round cycle, will definitely be a moment where PC learn something. And, if no shield is cast, something else will be and that can get the counterspell. Or a dispel magic. If it's thematic for the bad guys, run with it. There's so much that works in lots of situations that also would cause a bladesinger lots of problems, but you need to get comfortable with bad guys that use magic and not just the melee/ranged guys.

EDIT: just to be clear, this is a general you, not a specific one.

Right, most of us look at those long lists of spells for NPC casters and lose interest. Just give them three spells (already having cast mage armor) and go from there.
 

Garthanos

Arcadian Knight
Right, most of us look at those long lists of spells for NPC casters and lose interest. Just give them three spells (already having cast mage armor) and go from there.
I identify that as "Most DMs do not want to have to play the complexity of a PC when they drop in an adversary for the Players."
 


Ancalagon

Dusty Dragon
Also, I don't know if this was stated, but an EK with plate + shield + defensive style + shield spell can hit AC 26... The game can survive those spikes in AC.
 

Mort

Hero
Supporter
Also, I don't know if this was stated, but an EK with plate + shield + defensive style + shield spell can hit AC 26... The game can survive those spikes in AC.

And can also pull blur (though by 7th level).

My current 7th paladin is rocking a base AC of 21 can easily go to 23 (Shield of Faith) and most fights the sorcerer twins haste with him as one of the targets (AC 25).

The DM has had absolutely no problem in challenging us in fights.

High AC is good, but it's not the be all end all - and frankly the fact that the BS focuses on it means they are not as focused on other aspects of being a wizard - which are as or more helpful to the party.
 

clearstream

Be just and fear not...
Also, I don't know if this was stated, but an EK with plate + shield + defensive style + shield spell can hit AC 26... The game can survive those spikes in AC.
I agree, and responsive to that and other posts. The issue with BS is not simply that they can spike their AC, but they can do so efficiently, most encounters, while retaining full caster levels as a wizard. Power upon power.

Spiking AC stands out, but it obfuscates the problem. A BS is an amazing tank - which can occasionally fall apart just like any character class, given foes with the right counter-abilities - while remaining a full wizard. Debates that focus on the tank part while ignoring that the BS can still take and cast fireball like any other wizard, seem to me to miss the crux of why the OP could concern a DM.

EK is a solid tank, with the advantage of more HP (though not necessarily better Con / Concentration, and perhaps not better resisting special melee attacks noting the BS advantage on Acrobatics while singing which is sometimes forgotten about). Not being able to impose disadvantage does mean that generally, an EK with shield can tank far fewer melee attacks than a BS using blur (and sometimes shield, but less often as they are otherwise hit less often).
 

Ancalagon

Dusty Dragon
A BS is an amazing tank - which can occasionally fall apart just like any character class, given foes with the right counter-abilities - while remaining a full wizard.

I don't disagree with you, but ... by being a BS, you sacrifice being a diviner or some other useful wizard school. You are not as good a wizard because of that.
 

clearstream

Be just and fear not...
I don't disagree with you, but ... by being a BS, you sacrifice being a diviner or some other useful wizard school. You are not as good a wizard because of that.
Not as good a wizard because you can only tank better than most martials while casting fireballs. It's not clear to me how one is defining the word "good" in that context :D

I agree with you that Diviner would be the strongest other choice. The leverage over the narrative that your portent die rolls give you is amazing. I played a Diviner Lore Bard with Lucky to 9th level, it was about as ridiculous as you might imagine :) Fun though.
 

Mort

Hero
Supporter
Not as good a wizard because you can only tank better than most martials while casting fireballs. It's not clear to me how one is defining the word "good" in that context :D

I agree with you that Diviner would be the strongest other choice. The leverage over the narrative that your portent die rolls give you is amazing. I played a Diviner Lore Bard with Lucky to 9th level, it was about as ridiculous as you might imagine :) Fun though.

A good AC alone does not make a good Tank - and may actually be a detriment as enemies don't bother trying to hit you in favor of easier targets. A Tank is someone who actively diverts damage from other party members (usually, but not always, onto himself). Other than, possibly, booming blade what does the BS bring to the table on that front?

The Cavalier fighter that's a good tank. The Battlemaster has some good manuevers for tanking. The Paladin has some spells that are great for tanking (such as compelled duel) and some subclasses also. The barbarian can be a pretty good tank (the fact that their AC isn't in the stratosphere is actually good because they'll draw attacks) and at 14th level (likely too late to matter, but still) the Bear Totem has arguably the best tanking ability period (when raging any enemy within 5' has disadvantage on everyone but the barb). The Eldridge knight can tank well with feat support (Polearm master and/or sentinel)
 

clearstream

Be just and fear not...
A good AC alone does not make a good Tank - and may actually be a detriment as enemies don't bother trying to hit you in favor of easier targets. A Tank is someone who actively diverts damage from other party members (usually, but not always, onto himself). Other than, possibly, booming blade what does the BS bring to the table on that front?
Other than the full suite of wizard spells, nothing really ;)

I know what you mean though. The BS is not dealing much melee damage. Yet... they are a full caster. From the point of view of the foes, they're likely the most dangerous PC in the room. Ignoring them is perhaps not the most overall winning option...
 

Ancalagon

Dusty Dragon
I've seen this done before - the "caster tank". You have a spell-caster that makes themselves a problem (by casting spells on the bad guys) and by being presumably a soft target. The trick to make this work is that the caster has to be able to withstand a round or two of attacks by some of the bad guys. Because they (the bad guys) have "pushed forward", they are vulnerable to be piled on by the party back line, and they (the bad guys) may have left their back line vulnerable.

I did something like this, sort of by accident, in a 3.X game where I was playing an alchemist. He was a dwarf and had the second highest hp in the party and the highest AC. It would have worked great too, but one of the other caster was incredibly squishy so ....

Anyway, the BS could play such a role.

Edits for clarity
 
Last edited:

Mort

Hero
Supporter
Other than the full suite of wizard spells, nothing really ;)

I know what you mean though. The BS is not dealing much melee damage. Yet... they are a full caster. From the point of view of the foes, they're likely the most dangerous PC in the room. Ignoring them is perhaps not the most overall winning option...

Depends on what they are doing. If they are prancing around in melee trying to hit with their rapier - they are likely not the most dangerous foe on the field!

I get what your saying a high AC for a caster helps the caster get their full array of spells onto the bad guys. But, unlike other specialties the BS's abilities don't actually help much with the caster side of things.

A diviner can, among other things, ensure a failed saving throw. An invoker can warp his spells for maximum placement, etc. A BS can, not get hit - again that's not nothing - but it's a tradeoff.
 

clearstream

Be just and fear not...
I've seen this done before - the "caster tank". You have a spell-caster that makes themselves a problem (by casting spells on the bad guys) and by being presumably a soft target. The trick to make this work is that the caster has to be able to withstand a round or two of attacks by some of the bad guys. Because they have "pushed forward", they are vulnerable to be piled on by the back line, and they may have left their back line vulnerable.

I did something like this, sort of by accident, in a 3.X game where I was playing an alchemist. He was a dwarf and had the second highest hp in the party and the highest AC. It would have worked great too, but one of the other caster was incredibly squishy so ....

Anyway, the BS could play such a role.
In that regard, it is notable that the BS adds their Int bonus to their saving throw to maintain concentration. And they have advantage on wriggling out of special melee attacks.

With either War Caster or Resilient they can achieve nearly unbreakable concentration while singing. Or very strong concentration without those feats. A marked advantage over other CC or buff-upholding wizards
 

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