Crossbow fighter- battlemaster, eldritch knight, or multiclass into something else?

Andrew Enns

My character is a crossbow wielding fighter and we reached lvl 3 so now I have to decide which way to go with it. Our group consists of me, another fighter (dual wield) a barbarian, a druid, a monk, and sometimes a bard. So we have a distinct lack of magic users and versatility. With that in mind, I've been thinking of going with an eldritch knight instead of the go to battlemaster.

So, any thoughts? Should I stick with the tried and true battlemaster? Should I expand into eldritch knight? Or should I maybe multiclass into something different? If so, I have no idea what. I really like my character as a gunslinger build, but we already have 3 other major damage dealers, so...

Edit: because I wrote this when I was still half asleep and forgot to include it.

Human variant, crossbow feat, stats are S8, Dex18, Con16, Int16, Wis14, Cha14. (I rolled extremely well and the DM allowed it) As for what I want to do with an EK, I really don't know. I havent played a spellcaster before. This is only like my 3rd character
Last edited:

Joe Herndon

What race are you? What do your stats look like? What are you thinking of doing with a Eldritch build? I personally would not multiclass until after 5th level.


Orcus on a bad hair day
Eldritch Knight gets more from melee in my personal opinion. I'd go battlemaster, and stay fighter until 6th or 8th - the extra ASI/feats will make sure to get you to a 20 DEX and have both Crossbow Expert and Sharpshooter. Plus you have Extra attack.

11th gets you yet another attack.

Alternately, Ranger [hunter] for other bonuses. Especially if you use UA and can get Favored Enemy bonus damage.


With a druid and a bard in the party, I don't feel the lack of magic users is as glaring as perhaps was first thought. Also a party consisting of fighter, barbarian, monk, druid and bard seems fairly versatile to me. You may want to discuss options with your DM as he/she may make suggestions based on their advanced knowledge of the campaign but my impression is that you would be fine with a Battlemaster or Eldritch Knight if that is what you have narrowed to your choices. The other suggestions in this thread, generally speaking and not knowing the campaign setting or structure, seem sound. In other words, based on the information provided, just about anything you choose should be just fine.


i played the exact same thing tons of fun. i would go with battle master to 6 with your stats then 2 levels of war cleric. first round just cast bless and action surge get tons of damage. get the war cleric +10 to hit allows for some easy hits even on 2's. got plenty of multi attackers in party to give the remaining bless to. then finish up with fighter to get 3rd attack. with battle master, bless, war cleric and bard should be hitting a ton even with the -5.


Eldritch Knight and a level of Warlock for Hex is a powerhouse combo, although you'll be moving Hex a bit so you might not get as much use out of Crossbow Expert (but then, you could switch to a 1d10 crossbow and cackle).

Joe Herndon

Battlemaster looks like a better option for a crossbow user. Straight class Battlemaster could work really well but with your stats picking up Rogue after reaching 5th in level Fighter looks like a good multiclass option. Sneak attack combined with a combat maneuver could be devastating. Expertise with stealth and whatever other ability you want to be an expert at. (I would go with perception) is great. I know that most of the time you would be wanting to use a bonus attack with your hand crossbow but with cunning action you could use that bonus action to dash,disengage, or hide (I would just dash to find cover after firing). You would get cunning action, expertise in two skills and a 1d6 sneak attack die with just a 2 level dip into Rogue.
Last edited:


The biggest question for you is whether you plan on using sharpshooter -5/+10. If you do then battlemaster is the way to go till at least level 5-6. Precision attack is just that good with -5/+10 feat. After level 5-6 you can multiclass to rogue or gloom stalker ranger from xanathers and remain very effective while adding some versatility.

If you aren't planning on using sharpshooter then Fighter 2 Multiclass Wizard is fun and effective. Action surge really helps improve your combat spellcasting ability. Consider that at character level 7 you could drop 2 fireballs on your enemies on turn 1.