D&D 5E Feat synergy question regarding polearm master

Avalongod

Explorer
Hey folks! I had a question about some mechanics regarding the 5e Mystara setting guide, involving feats/optimization.

Short version...starting a new game in Mystara (5e), looking forward to it. Rolled up a level 1 paladin, human variant. Used that feat to get the Milenex gladiator style, which is really cool. For those not familiar with the Mystara setting, the gladiatorial style works like a feat, grants a +1 to con, grants reach to the spear, allows a bonus attack using the shield (1d4 base damage), and allows a reaction with the shield to reduce an enemy's critical hit to a regular hit. It comes at the cost of requiring use of certain armor (breastplate) and weapons (spear, with shortsword secondary). The bonuses don't work for any other armor/weapon combo. Overall, not a bad deal.

My question...and thinking ahead (yes I like to obsess over builds and designs)...for level 4, if I didn't do ASI, what do people think about the synergy or redundancy between the Milenex style and the Polearm Master feat.

The obvious redundancy is both grant a bonus attack (shield for Milenex, the polearm in the case of polearm master...which applies to spear now). Granted polearm master, the bonus attack would have reach since the Milenex style grants reach to the spear.

For synergy, the Milenex style gives the spear reach. Polearm master would allow OA on foes entering the reach, not just leaving it.

That would be nice but...what do people think? Is that worth a full feat? Or is the redundancy on that bonus attack too much to make dipping into polearm master worth it?
 

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TwoSix

"Diegetics", by L. Ron Gygax
Does the BA attack with the shield add Str modifier, is it only a 1d4?

If it does not add the Str modifier, then grabbing PAM for the full damage BA attack and switching to Dueling style would make sense. Otherwise, I'd go with either raising Strength or maybe grabbing Sentinel.
 


delph

Explorer
Does the BA attack with the shield add Str modifier, is it only a 1d4?

If it does not add the Str modifier, then grabbing PAM for the full damage BA attack and switching to Dueling style would make sense. Otherwise, I'd go with either raising Strength or maybe grabbing Sentinel.
Depends on quoting - if it's just an attack with bonus action it uses str modifier. If It's quoted as off-hand attack it doesn't I don't know that feat, but as described it adds str modifier.
 

FrogReaver

As long as i get to be the frog
How often do you think you will be getting a reaction attack? Every turn? Every other turn? Every third turn? Every 4th turn?

I would probably estimate once or twice per encounter. I'd estimate once every 3 turns for my games, but I'm not in your games.

Essentially that means PAM would grant you 1/3 of a d6+mod attack (possibly +2 attack if dueling style works with this setup).

Putting numbers to this, the +2 str comes out slightly better for DPR and will come out better for bursting done a hard hitting enemy. I'd go with the +2 Str if I wanted damage. However, I would lean toward utility. Take one of the feats that gives you more spells to cast. Something like fey touched could be really good. The free misty step and whatever 1st level enchantment or divination spell you like.
 

The Glen

Legend
If you want to double down in the feats requirements why not shield master? The push action is always marginal but you've gained a saving throw bonus and essentially evasion for something you've already got a bonus for.
 

RogueJK

It's not "Rouge"... That's makeup.
If you want to double down in the feats requirements why not shield master? The push action is always marginal but you've gained a saving throw bonus and essentially evasion for something you've already got a bonus for.

Not really.

Shield Master doesn't do much of anything to help a PC with a low DEX save to be able to succeed on more DEX saves. The +2ish bonus is minimal, and only rarely applies. Keep in mind that the shield bonus strictly applies to DEX save effects that target only you. Many/most of the DEX save effects are AoEs.

And the "no damage on a save" part is predicated on you actually being able to pass the save in the first place (see above point). It's not the same as Evasion, where you're taking half damage even on a failed save. Evasion is still useful on a low DEX save character; Shield Master not so much.

As a result, Shield Master is typically only a good pick on shield-using characters who already have a good DEX save bonus due to a high DEX and/or DEX save proficiency, and who also have a decent STR or Athletics bonus, but who don't have access to Evasion. Something like a DEX-based melee Ranger or Valor Bard with a moderate STR and Expertise in Athletics.

Although in this particular case of a Paladin, even though they're unlikely to have a high DEX and don't have DEX save proficiency, there might still be a bit of use for it beginning after Paladin 6, when they start getting +CHA to DEX saves thanks to their Aura. That'd make it a bit more likely for the "no damage" effect to trigger after a successful save, with it being even a bit more likely in the rare cases that the "shield bonus to DEX save" part actually applies. Still not a slam-dunk pick, though. Especially since the character already has a reliable and better use for its Bonus Action every turn.


To the OP: No, I don't think PAM's Reaction attack alone is worth spending an entire feat. Your ASI would be better spent boosting your STR and/or CHA, or taking another feat from which you would get full usefulness like Inspiring Leader.
 
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