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D&D 5E Bladesinger with a staff

doctorbadwolf

Heretic of The Seventh Circle
It is called BLADEsinger. Please use a blade.
Nah, they can use whatever weapon they want.

Anyway, as a DM, I’d definitely allow the quarter staff to be finesse. If they take polearm master, that’s barely better than taking a level of monk.
 

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DEFCON 1

Legend
Supporter
Rather, any DM that considers allowing dex+pam staves without a hefty drawback probably makes poor balance choices across the board.
You don't give us DMs enough credit. ;)

And besides... in my experience the question of in-game balance more often that not comes down to how mechanically savvy the players are that are using these things, not the actual mechanics themselves. A regular player can take even the most supposedly overpowered mechanic and make it look absolutely middle of the road. LOL. That's why I personally never worry about white-room vacuum analysis of any of this stuff... cause none of my players go so far into the weeds with crunching the mechanics to prove any of these analysis right.
 

MikalC

Explorer
If you want to go the suboptimal route and use the staff one handed with a multiclass or feat usage for a secondary stat to attack with I say more power to ya.
As long as you as a player realize you’ll not (nor should you) be as viable as an dedicated martial character (or an optimized bladesinger) in melee combat.

personally I’d go the monk route but with shillelagh stats- since you can’t use the martial arts if you’re wearing light armor, you’re going to need to have a high wisdom regardless if you want to have a halfway decent AC.

you’re still throwing points at a stat you don’t really care much about except to twirl your stick, but at least you don’t need to waste an action to make it happen.
 
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TheSword

Legend
Supporter
Some really good thoughts. I missed the obvious idea of putting points into strength rather than throwing them away on Wisdom. So that rules out the Shillelagh option.

So it’s a level of monk and go Dex Pam. Or go for Strength and suffer a lower Dex. Not necessarily a bad thing.

I guess this whole thing stems from the idea of wanting to do something other than a Dex Rapier character.

I personally find martial and spell casting characters the most satisfying to play - particularly where there is a source of bonus spells. Metamagic Adept opens up a lot of options.
 


MikalC

Explorer
Some really good thoughts. I missed the obvious idea of putting points into strength rather than throwing them away on Wisdom. So that rules out the Shillelagh option.

So it’s a level of monk and go Dex Pam. Or go for Strength and suffer a lower Dex. Not necessarily a bad thing.

I guess this whole thing stems from the idea of wanting to do something other than a Dex Rapier character.

I personally find martial and spell casting characters the most satisfying to play - particularly where there is a source of bonus spells. Metamagic Adept opens up a lot of options.
No it’s understandable.
one thing to remember if you want to go dex is that you don’t have to choose quarterstaff.
With the new monk option in Tasha you can choose any one handed non special melee weapon to be a monk weapon, provided you’re proficient with it.
So you can choose longsword, axe, whatever, and have it be dex based.

also big props from me for trying to do it within the rules instead of hand waving it. You’re my kind of player

edit: also if you want to be even more unique, choose the whip as your melee weapon choice. No need to multiclass, no feats needed, AND you get reach
 

If you want to go the suboptimal route and use the staff one handed with a multiclass or feat usage for a secondary stat to attack with I say more power to ya.
As long as you as a player realize you’ll not (nor should you) be as viable as an dedicated martial character (or an optimized bladesinger) in melee combat.

personally I’d go the monk route but with shillelagh stats- since you can’t use the martial arts if you’re wearing light armor, you’re going to need to have a high wisdom regardless if you want to have a halfway decent AC.

you’re still throwing points at a stat you don’t really care much about except to twirl your stick, but at least you don’t need to waste an action to make it happen.
Yeah, you really could do worse than starting as a monk with a staff and magic initiate feat.
You can reasonably pick shilelagh, guidance and goodberry and you have a solid level 1 character with a lot of sustain. You can cast the goodberries before going to bed, so you will probably have 20 of them on the next day.
shillelagh will increase the damage to 1d8, even if you only use one hand later on. In the first few levels you are also better served by just doing the offhand attack instead of using booming blade or greenflame blade.

If you are a wood elf, wood elf magic would be an even better feat. A druid cantrip and pass without trace. One of the best level 2 spells you can find. You are also 35ft fast and can cast longstrider once per day for free.

With standard array you can now easily afford 16 Dex, 15 Int, 13 Wis and 13 Con and if you do point buy even more.
 

jgsugden

Legend
For those concerned that a Bladesinger eligible to use a staff would be overpowered, please assemble a build that you think is overpowered. I'd like to see what I am missing, here. The things described strike me as quite reasonable.
 

MikalC

Explorer
For those concerned that a Bladesinger eligible to use a staff would be overpowered, please assemble a build that you think is overpowered. I'd like to see what I am missing, here. The things described strike me as quite reasonable.
It’s not about the bladesinger being overpowered. It’s about creating precedents for stuff I as a DM don’t want to bother with.

I can’t speak for others but in my games if you want to do something unique that isn’t by the book optimal? Feel free. But I’m not changing the rules just to make your build viable if you’re literally choosing non viable or useful options.

there are plenty of weapons to choose from, and several ways to make them do what you want. Use them.
 

jgsugden

Legend
...I can’t speak for others but in my games if you want to do something unique that isn’t by the book optimal? Feel free. But I’m not changing the rules just to make your build viable if you’re literally choosing non viable or useful options.

there are plenty of weapons to choose from, and several ways to make them do what you want. Use them.
So, you want your players to have your style of fun, and if they have a unique idea that isn't allowed by the rules doesn't break the game, and isn't even equivalent in power to optimized builds... you want to shut them down?

You're missing out. Whether we're talking about the awakened wolf monk, the order of Krull/Glaive fighter monks, or the thousands of homebrew spells that players (and I) have created over the editions, the changes we've made to the rules are what makes my world distinct and uniquely fun.
 


TheSword

Legend
Supporter
I don’t think it’s better than any other play but I find a fair bit of the challenge is coming up with the characters within the limits set. As I said, a free feat is about as far as it goes for me.
 

If you want to go the suboptimal route and use the staff one handed with a multiclass or feat usage for a secondary stat to attack with I say more power to ya.
As long as you as a player realize you’ll not (nor should you) be as viable as an dedicated martial character (or an optimized bladesinger) in melee combat.

personally I’d go the monk route but with shillelagh stats- since you can’t use the martial arts if you’re wearing light armor, you’re going to need to have a high wisdom regardless if you want to have a halfway decent AC.

you’re still throwing points at a stat you don’t really care much about except to twirl your stick, but at least you don’t need to waste an action to make it happen.
Yeah, you really could do worse than starting as a monk with a staff and magic initiate feat.
You can reasonably pick shilelagh, guidance and goodberry and you have a solid level 1 character with a lot of sustain. You can cast the goodberries before going to bed, so you will probably have 20 of them on the next day.
shillelagh will increase the damage to 1d8, even if you only use one hand later on. In the first few levels you are also better served by just doing the offhand attack instead of using booming blade or greenflame blade.
 

I don't think it is necessarily the case that the DM will allow this and balance it appropriately.

Rather, any DM that considers allowing dex+pam staves without a hefty drawback probably makes poor balance choices across the board.
what is so unbalanced about polearm mastery and dex? The entering your reach attack as a reaction? I am not sure you will use it if that means you lose the benefit of a shield spell, on the other hand you now have a free hand to actually cast that shield spell... maybe together with warcaster you can make a meaningful attack... but at that point, you give up dex, int or con... 3 stats you really want to have high.
a much easier way to get another attack is just using short swords to make an off hand attack. It is not that the +3 to 5 damage make a difference at the end of the day... the possibility of wielding two magic weapons makes up for that. And if you took combat caster anyway, you can now cast shield and anything you like with both hands full.

I´d take combat caster over PAM everyday and then just use two short swords. So, why not just allow the use of dex if it makes the player happy.
 

MikalC

Explorer
So, you want your players to have your style of fun, and if they have a unique idea that isn't allowed by the rules doesn't break the game, and isn't even equivalent in power to optimized builds... you want to shut them down?

You're missing out. Whether we're talking about the awakened wolf monk, the order of Krull/Glaive fighter monks, or the thousands of homebrew spells that players (and I) have created over the editions, the changes we've made to the rules are what makes my world distinct and uniquely fun.
Yeah I’ve been playing since the late 80s.
Most of the “distinct and unique” crap you’re talking about is almost always either a) an attempt to bypass in game restrictions or b) just a blatant rip off of some flavor of the week or meme.

True creativity isn’t just making something up, it’s done by making your concept work within the framework of rules already available. Anyone can say “you have a quarter staff that is now dex based because well, you’re just you”

that’s not original, nor creative. It’s lazy.
 

MikalC

Explorer
Sticking to the rules instead of homebrewing to get the experience you want is no virtue.

the people who’ve been in the games I’ve run over the last 20 years (started dming around then after playing for awhile) would disagree. Heavily.

and home brewing everything instead of working within the rules to accomplish what you want is boring.
 
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TwoSix

Unserious gamer
Supporter
the people who’ve been in the games I’ve run over the last 20 years (started dming around then after playing for awhile) would disagree. Heavily.

and home brewing everything instead of working within the rules to accomplish what you want is boring.
You're welcome to your opinions, of course. I simply don't share those aesthetic preferences. I'm a little burnt out on RAW heavy build oriented games.
 

Another option might be to take three levels in Battle Smith or Forge Adept. It would hurt your access to highest-level spells, but also open up new options if you're filling to pay that price.
 

ph0rk

Friendship is Magic, and Magic is Heresy.
what is so unbalanced about polearm mastery and dex? The entering your reach attack as a reaction? I am not sure you will use it if that means you lose the benefit of a shield spell, on the other hand you now have a free hand to actually cast that shield spell... maybe together with warcaster you can make a meaningful attack... but at that point, you give up dex, int or con... 3 stats you really want to have high.
a much easier way to get another attack is just using short swords to make an off hand attack. It is not that the +3 to 5 damage make a difference at the end of the day... the possibility of wielding two magic weapons makes up for that. And if you took combat caster anyway, you can now cast shield and anything you like with both hands full.

I´d take combat caster over PAM everyday and then just use two short swords. So, why not just allow the use of dex if it makes the player happy.


It’s the bonus action attack, which as a bladesinger gets interesting with song of victory.

It’s not unlike why blade warlocks get interesting with life drinker, and tend to rush for PAM. Although wizards as a base class are much stronger than warlocks (well, more flexibile, anyway).

This coupled with the cantrips puts the BS on top for at-will damage with no setup.
 

Zsong

Explorer
I would so allow this. And I would give the staff identical stats to a long sword that is being used with the versatile tag. In a heart beat. I would be a little bit of a jerk and not let them be called bladesingers. They would need a different cool name.
 

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