D&D 5E Curse of Strahd Class Advice (No Spoilers Please)

WASDHammer

Explorer
I am joining an amped up Curse of Strahd/Homebrew campaign that will take PCs up to level 20. I have never played CoS before, and have only played a few campaigns in D&D in total, so don't have a ton of experience across classes.

The current party composition is a Cleric (front line), Rogue, Barb/Moon Druid MC, and a Samurai.

I would think things like a Paladin would do exceptionally well in the campaign, but since the party is already melee heavy, I wonder if that would be the best and most fun choice. So was hoping to get some advice from this group on a good option to play through high level campaigning.

Sorcerer? Warlock? Multiclass? Not much experience with any of these, but have heard that these classes are somewhat frustrating to play through high levels.

Any feedback would be appreciated. Thanks!
 

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DEFCON 1

Legend
Supporter
I gotta agree with @Retreater here... with a melee cleric, fighter, and barbarian/melee druid already in the party, I personally would rather go Wizard, Sorcerer or Bard just for the difference in what I could bring to the party. I suspect if you went paladin, your group would greatly miss the Area of Effect attacks that you'd get from a caster.
 

overgeeked

B/X Known World
I am joining an amped up Curse of Strahd/Homebrew campaign that will take PCs up to level 20. I have never played CoS before, and have only played a few campaigns in D&D in total, so don't have a ton of experience across classes.
What does this mean? "Amped up".
The current party composition is a Cleric (front line), Rogue, Barb/Moon Druid MC, and a Samurai.
Melee, melee, melee, and melee.

You should definitely make a ranged character.

Most of those are also single-target heavy, so something with a bit of AoE and battlefield control is probably a wise choice. Warlocks and sorcerers can do that, but the wizard has far more versatility with spell selection than either. Especially with rituals.
I would think things like a Paladin would do exceptionally well in the campaign, but since the party is already melee heavy, I wonder if that would be the best and most fun choice. So was hoping to get some advice from this group on a good option to play through high level campaigning.
It's mostly about what you'll have fun with long term.
Sorcerer? Warlock? Multiclass? Not much experience with any of these, but have heard that these classes are somewhat frustrating to play through high levels.
Don't worry about high levels. You might not get that far. Besides, you'll be playing through the lower levels a lot more than the higher ones.
 

the perfect curse of strahd party is a multiclass paladin/rogue (more paladin) a bard, a divination wizard, and 2 barbarians... 1 character being a silver dragon born, and one being half elf the rest being human.
 

WASDHammer

Explorer
What does this mean? "Amped up".

Melee, melee, melee, and melee.

You should definitely make a ranged character.

Most of those are also single-target heavy, so something with a bit of AoE and battlefield control is probably a wise choice. Warlocks and sorcerers can do that, but the wizard has far more versatility with spell selection than either. Especially with rituals.

It's mostly about what you'll have fun with long term.

Don't worry about high levels. You might not get that far. Besides, you'll be playing through the lower levels a lot more than the higher ones.
By "Amped Up", I mean that the usual CoS campaign goes to 10, while this one will take us to 20. The DM has added a TON of homebrew story arcs to the narrative, to the extent that I don't think that Strahd is even the only BBEG anymore.

I have actually been leaning away from Paladin after reading some of the posts. While certainly useful, my feeling is that the team may need some backline help most. My only question now is whether to go Sorcerer (thinking Aberrant Mind for flavor) or go in with a 1/2 level Warlock dip (great frontloaded goodies, but losing a 6th AND 7th level Sorcerer spell slot feels like a pretty steep tax). Thoughts for those who have played CoS?
 

overgeeked

B/X Known World
By "Amped Up", I mean that the usual CoS campaign goes to 10, while this one will take us to 20. The DM has added a TON of homebrew story arcs to the narrative, to the extent that I don't think that Strahd is even the only BBEG anymore.

I have actually been leaning away from Paladin after reading some of the posts. While certainly useful, my feeling is that the team may need some backline help most. My only question now is whether to go Sorcerer (thinking Aberrant Mind for flavor) or go in with a 1/2 level Warlock dip (great frontloaded goodies, but losing a 6th AND 7th level Sorcerer spell slot feels like a pretty steep tax). Thoughts for those who have played CoS?
If you are going to go to 20, play a single-class character. The trade-off isn’t worth it. You feel a bit more powerful at lower levels, for a time, then significantly weaker as you get to those higher levels.
 

If you are going to go to 20, play a single-class character. The trade-off isn’t worth it. You feel a bit more powerful at lower levels, for a time, then significantly weaker as you get to those higher levels.
level dipping isn't bad...

in my last epic campaign I knew around level 10 that we would be going to 20+ (baring out of game issues or tpk) and as such my warlock started dipping every few levels into sorcerer. Having a handful of 1st level spell slots (along with always good 1st level spells like shield and tasha's laugh) rounded out my abilities... taking divine soul meant I could pick up sorcerer or cleric spells and then getting meta magic was icing on the cake... at 20th level I was 17th warlock (fey/tome) 3rd sorcerer (divine soul) and would every short rest (not cheese getting extra just when we had them) drop my left over warlock slots into sorcerery pts and had much more power/options then a 20th warlock... and I still had my 9th level mystic arcanum. It did delay those 7th 8th and 9th level slots but only by a level or 2 and anyone not going 100% full caster isn't getting anything as cool as a 7th or 8th level spell ever. (as an added point with magic adept, pact of the tome, sorcerer and warlock levels I had a ton of cantrips to choose from all leveled to match...having armor of shadow, beast speech, and whispers of the grave gave me 3 more at will spells...I never got around to other worldly visions or the leap one)

martial characters do better still with multi classing. even at low level a fight 3/rogue 3 is much more versatile in and out of combat then a 6th level version of 1 class... if you pick up subclasses that synergize it really can be a buff.

if you think through the synergy multi classing can be very powerful.
 

If you are afraid they are too melee heavy for a Paladin, consider one of the other charisma classes. Both charisma duties and arcane spell duties seem to be unaddressed by the current party composition, and while it's not the most politics and persuasion heavy campaign, it's also not the least.

I would also consider Wizard, given that the party does not have any arcane magic, probably doesn't have anyone particularly good at knowledge checks, and that the adventure does have several opportunities to learn substantial numbers of spells.
 

Iry

Hero
Curse of Strahd is full of great AOE opportunities that happen to be in small rooms. That screams Evocation to me. Then you can throw in 1 level of Order Domain Cleric so you can command people to attack while cool explosions are happening, almost completely avoiding hurting your allies. You have the benefit of being able to throw out emergency Healing Words that also allow attacks, and you're a high level wizard for most of the game - with all the deliciousness that entails.

Yes, there are fancier wizard schools to pick from. But I really can't stress how many times Curse of Strahd has great AOE opportunities in tiny rooms. :D
 

Mort

Legend
Supporter
I'll echo a lot of the posts here and suggest you go with an arcane caster such as wizard or bard:

1. You're group doesn't have an arcane caster she they're very, very useful;

2. Arcane classes are fun - they bring a lot of versatility to the table, which is great in any campaign, certainly is for Curse of Stahd!

As to which one? Depends what you like to play, either works great.
 

I'd go with an Arcane Caster. Are you willing to try something different? Two Arcane caster options that would be good for Curse of Stradh are the Celestial Warlock and Divine Soul Sorcerer. Both get access to healing spells and radiant attacks. Also, you can attack at range and avoid the clutter of a melee heavy party.

High level Arcane casters are lots of fun. I played a 20th level Warlock with lots of boons and it was an Eldrich Blast!

I'll see myself out.
 



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