D&D 5E Dual wielder singing/dancing

michaeljpastor

Adventurer
I'm looking to create a dual wielding character who uses singing and dancing to cast magic. As a dual wielde r, i won't have a free hand for somatic spells, but I'd like to sub it with motions of my blade, or dance moves.

in 3.5 i was close to designing the perfect character for this, but there were aton more options then. any ideas?
 

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tommybahama

Adventurer
All you need is the War Caster feat:
  • You can perform the somatic components of spells even when you have weapons or a shield in one or both hands.
Dance for me, dance for me, dance for me, oh-oh-oh
 

Blue

Ravenous Bugblatter Beast of Traal
Xanathar's has a common magic item called a Ruby of the War Mage. Attack to a weapon, it becomes a spell focus. That will cover all spells with material components or both material and somatic. By an oddity of how spell focuses work, they can cover somantic if and only if they also have material components, so you'll still need War Caster like @tommybahama mentioned for the somantic-only and V,S spells.

I think also at least one subclass in Tasha's lets you use your weapon as a spell focus, but I'm blanking on which.

Oh, and none of this works for Artificer because they have a requirement of Thieves' Tools or Artisan's Tools in hand to cast.
 

Sword Bard is basically made for the character you are thinking of. They can use any blade they hold as a bardic magical focus (and hence also perform the somatic components of a spell with it). They don't even need the warcaster feat (though it's good for other reasons). They also get the two-weapon fighting style. And you can take expertise in performance to have them actually be a great dancer, even if that doesn't directly mechanically impact your spellcasting.
 

doctorbadwolf

Heretic of The Seventh Circle
Bladesinger with Warcaster, or Blade Bard, are what I would use for this. Bladesinger with a few levels of Arcane Trickster Rogue is a really good fighting build. Some will say that you're wasting levels by not getting high levels spells as soon, but the concept isn't a mage, it's a sword-dancer, so it really doesn't matter.

On the other hand, Blade Bard/Hexblade is also really good.
 

doctorbadwolf

Heretic of The Seventh Circle
Honestly, I think there could be a Monk subclass for this, no problem. Use Wisdom for Performance, get some spellcasting with a tightly curated spell list, use monk weapons as spellcasting focus and cast spells while wielding weapons in both hands.
 

michaeljpastor

Adventurer
The more I look at bladesinger the less I like it. Seems like you don't get your stuff until high level and I don't want to spend that much time on . On another Forum I learned about swashbucklers and Love it.. I think swashbuckler with some kind of Caster is ideal especially if I did bard of swords with Magic initiate. More idea juggling
 

ECMO3

Hero
I'm looking to create a dual wielding character who uses singing and dancing to cast magic. As a dual wielde r, i won't have a free hand for somatic spells, but I'd like to sub it with motions of my blade, or dance moves.

in 3.5 i was close to designing the perfect character for this, but there were aton more options then. any ideas?
Bladesinger wizard with warcaster feat. Bladesingers get performance for free at 2nd level. You could also look at a bard/bladesinger multiclass.
 

michaeljpastor

Adventurer
After many hours of research I think that multiclassing between the Rogue swashbuckler and the College of Swords bard is ideal. The race would be assimar with a drow base. I'm contemplating a two-level dip into warlock in addition if I don't feel like I've Fallen too far behind.

So my question is level progression. Should I do swashbuckler 4, then swords Bard 4, (and after that maybe the two level dip in Warlock?) Or swords Bard then swashbuckler? I think going to level four and each class is important for the ASI / feats. Lastly, is there any advantage to doing 2 levels of bladesinger instead of Warlock? I'm really trying to keep everything as Charisma based as possible.
 

So my question is level progression. Should I do swashbuckler 4, then swords Bard 4, (and after that maybe the two level dip in Warlock?) Or swords Bard then swashbuckler? I think going to level four and each class is important for the ASI / feats. Lastly, is there any advantage to doing 2 levels of bladesinger instead of Warlock? I'm really trying to keep everything as Charisma based as possible.
Start with one level of Rogue if you want an extra skill proficiency (and if nobody else in the group can pick locks), but you should head over to Sword Bard immediately thereafter because that's where the core of your vision for the character is at. Then power through with Sword Bard for at least five, maybe six levels. I say five or six because you're going to be heading to level four for the ASI, and once you're there level 5 Bard is a huge power boost just one level away, since it both unlocks 3rd level magic and moves inspiration to a short rest recharge while upping it to a d8, and once you're at level 5 extra attack is only one level away. You may find this character ends up more melee or more spellcaster than you intended, but either way going for levels 5 or 6 of Sword Bard make sense. Either you need better inspiration recharge for sword flourishes and extra attack, or you are mostly casting and Rogue levels just aren't going to stack up to more spells and spell slots. After that get the Rogue levels if you still want them.

Judicious use of the Sword Bard's mobile flourish can help compensate for putting off getting the easy disengages of cunning action and Swashbuckler, and getting it first makes it actually an interesting ability when you get it, rather than something superfluous for you.

On the issue of Bladesinger or Hexblade for an additional dip, I'd say Bladesinger if you've got the stats. You are a dual wielder, which has mediocre synergy with Hexblade, since you can only charisma wield one of the weapons. The multiclass spellslot upgrade and Arcane Recovery with Wizard are, on balance, probably more useful to you than the pact slots from one or two levels of Hexblade. Wizard gives more and better spells, even avoiding ones where a mediocre intelligence stat is relevant , whereas Eldritch Blast is really the only major spell draw of the Warlock list (albeit one that might be worth it). I don't count Hex as a draw, because you are someone who should be using your concentration for Bard spells by this point. Bladesong's additional movement combined with Sword Bard bonus movement when you make and attack and Swashbuckler means that you could enter combat, attack with action and bonus action, leave combat, and have 50 feet of movement to do it with.

That said, a Wizard dip requires a minimum of 13 intelligence, and I would argue that you need a minimum 14 to be able to prepare enough spells and get enough of a boost to bladesong in AC to make a bladesinger dip worthwhile. This is hard to manage for someone who already needs strong Charisma and Dexterity scores.

Note also that if dual wielding and playing by RAW either Bladesinger of Hexblade will require the Warcaster feat or stowing a weapon to cast spells with somatic components, and you'll need an arcane focus of component pouch for anything with a material component. Figure out exactly what spells you want and what your DM will enforce to cast them before deciding on either.
 

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