Help with two characters

Paul Smart

Explorer
Good day everyone.

I am trying to make two new characters, one for a Monday night game and one for a Tuesday night game. I am having a hard time getting inspired so I am turning to the community for help.

Here are the constraints I am under:

Stats:

My rolled stats are 18, 15, 14, 12, 10, 10. We will be starting at level 1 and going to level 14 or so. The world is wide open, just about anything is possible given enough time.

Note on Races:

Races allowed are anything in the Players Handbook (1 game) or the Players Handbook and Volo's Guide (2nd game). Everything else is on a case by case basis so I am assuming no. Also, no bugbears for some reason.

Note on multiclassing:

While not outright banned this is highly discouraged so I am trying to keep this to one class.

Other Characters:

I play a warforged artificer in another game.

I just finished playing a cleric, so I am not interested in another one.

I have never played a Druid so I looked at that class. It just does not inspire me.

We do not get a lot of short rests so short rest classes are not as good as they could be.

Notes:

All of these games are in the same universe. The two characters that I make and the artificer are all part of the same world.

I have played all additions over 40 years so I can play anything, I just need something to inspire me.

Any help is appreciated. Help me get inspired.

Thanks
 
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Esker

Abventuree
If you've never played a bard, you can take them in a lot of different directions, and they benefit nicely from good stats (not that anyone doesn't, but they can be either MAD or feat-hungry depending on concept)... Some ideas:

1. Build a lore bard and use the spare feat space to shore up survivability; for example,

Vuman Lore Bard with moderately armored, getting 19 CHA, 16 CON, 14 DEX, then pick up Actor at 4th, or 18 CHA, 17 CON, 14 DEX, take Resilient CON and +2 CHA at 4th and 8th (in either order).

Or go half-elf, start with 20 CHA, 16 CON, 15 DEX, and take moderately armored at 4th. If SCAG variants are allowed you might even take the high elf half-elf variant for booming blade so you have something good to do at-will (once you get your AC up and don't mind going into melee as much).

2. Build a gishy bard, taking advantage of high stats to pick a race that would otherwise not be a good fit to the class; for example,

Goblin Swords Bard duelist skirmisher: 18 CHA, 16 DEX, 16 CON, using nimble escape to play hit and run melee.

3. Just bask in the joy of being able to start with a 20 in your main stat; for example

Scourge Aasimar Valor Bard: 20 CHA, 16 DEX, 16 CON; take War Caster or Lucky at 4th.

You could also make a great Paladin with these stats.

4. A grappler Oath of Vengeance Paladin who smites with their shield by going Human with Tavern Brawler, 20 STR, 16 CHA, 14 CON, and take Prodigy at some point for expertise in Athletics: Shield Bash smite, shove prone, bonus action grapple... Or, same concept but Half-Elf, 19 STR, 16 CHA, 16 CON, taking Tavern Brawler at 4th.

5. Scourge Aasimar would also work well for a Paladin: 18 STR, 16 CHA, 16 CON.

Or, how about something totally wacky, like

6. a Hobgoblin Enchanter Wizard, where, like the Lore Bard, you use the extra feat space to shore up your durability so you can go in and use Hypnotic Gaze: 19 INT, 17 CON, 14 DEX, taking Moderately Armored, Resilient (CON), and either something like Observant (read the lips of your would be enchantment targets!), or just +1 INT / +1 DEX.
 

Paul Smart

Explorer
Never thought about a bard. Thanks Esker. I will also look at some of the Gish options. Does anyone else have any advice?
 

TwoSix

The hero you deserve
Hmm...if I'm starting at level 1 and get that free 18 right off the bat, I'd want to leverage it with a bonus feat. Something like HAM Paladin would be nice to start with, bump the Strength up to 20 and Charisma up to 16. Since you don't really need any other ASIs, you can grab a nice offensive bump feat like GWM or Polearm Master right at level 4.

Wood elven monk also seems really nice here. Assuming DEX 20 WIS 16 CON 14, you have an AC 18, two attacks per round leveraging your Dex Mod, and are a pretty great switch hitter since you have longbow proficiency and 20 Dex.
 

Esker

Abventuree
Wood elven monk also seems really nice here. Assuming DEX 20 WIS 16 CON 14, you have an AC 18, two attacks per round leveraging your Dex Mod, and are a pretty great switch hitter since you have longbow proficiency and 20 Dex.
Yeah, I was also thinking about Wood Elf Monk.
 

Esker

Abventuree
There’s a few classes that have been tempting me since the UA class variant article, and monk is definitely one of them.
It's one I've never played myself, though I've been in a lot of parties where other people were playing them. I don't love what they got in that variant article though. Seems weaker than most of the other classes.
 

Esker

Abventuree
The bard is great. They have really improved them. Now the choice is Sword, Valor or Whisper. Time to do some research.
My quick two cents: Don't play Valor if your goal is to be a gish. Valor works best as a high AC aupport caster --- similar to a cleric but less damage focused and more debuff focused. You can afford to get closer if you need to, but your main contribution will still be support magic (and support non-magic in the form of handing out inspiration dice).

Swords is more of a gish since they at least get a fighting style and an ability that adds to damage, but they are dependent on their bardic inspiration for self-defense (hence my suggestion of being a goblin, so you can bonus action disengage). Ideally for a true bard gish you would mix in a couple levels of paladin or warlock. If that would be frowned on, you can still contribute in melee, but expect that you'll need to contribute support as well.

Whispers is probably the weakest of the three in combat terms, since their main combat ability is a more limited form of sneak attack, so I would only play one if you think you'll get a lot of non-combat use out of their 6th level ability.

If you're looking for a more direct combat presence (as opposed to being a force-multiplier for the rest of the party), Swords is probably your best bet. Just don't expect to be keeping up with a Hexblade, or a Bladesinger without multiclassing. (And keep in mind that even though your spells are long-rest-based if you are short on short rests, you might feel a little stretched for bardic inspiration, which refresh on SR after 5th level)
 

Paul Smart

Explorer
Thanks for the help everyone. For the Monday night game, I ended up creating Sobrek the Sage, variant human Knowledge Cleric 1 / Diviner Wizard 3. He is a lot of fun.

For the Tuesday night game I am down to two characters:

Brother Uriel - Protector Assimar Light Cleric
Ogg - Tortle Celestial Warlock

I am leaning towards Ogg but have made Brother Uriel as a backup in case the Tortle race is not accepted.

Thanks again everyone
 
My quick two cents: Don't play Valor if your goal is to be a gish. Valor works best as a high AC aupport caster --- similar to a cleric but less damage focused and more debuff focused. You can afford to get closer if you need to, but your main contribution will still be support magic (and support non-magic in the form of handing out inspiration dice).

Swords is more of a gish since they at least get a fighting style and an ability that adds to damage, but they are dependent on their bardic inspiration for self-defense (hence my suggestion of being a goblin, so you can bonus action disengage). Ideally for a true bard gish you would mix in a couple levels of paladin or warlock. If that would be frowned on, you can still contribute in melee, but expect that you'll need to contribute support as well.

Whispers is probably the weakest of the three in combat terms, since their main combat ability is a more limited form of sneak attack, so I would only play one if you think you'll get a lot of non-combat use out of their 6th level ability.

If you're looking for a more direct combat presence (as opposed to being a force-multiplier for the rest of the party), Swords is probably your best bet. Just don't expect to be keeping up with a Hexblade, or a Bladesinger without multiclassing. (And keep in mind that even though your spells are long-rest-based if you are short on short rests, you might feel a little stretched for bardic inspiration, which refresh on SR after 5th level)
Whispers multiclasses really well with paladin 2 for smites.
 

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