D&D 5E High DPR Paladin-Rogue-Bard Will it work?

Zardnaar

Legend
Psychic Blades is just about the equivalent of Sneak Attack. It scales almost the same although the steps are not as consistent (there is a gap between level 5 and level 10). That is really why I want the Bard. You get the single weapon attack damage boost comparable to sneak attack and the spell slots for smite.

For example:

5th level Rogue does 3d6 sneak attack, 5th level Whispers Bard does 3d6 Psychic Blades

11th level Rogue does 6d6 sneak attack, 11th level Whispers Bard does 5d6 Psychic Blades. This character at 11th level (P2/R4/B5) will do 2d6 sneak+3d6 psychic blades.

16th level Rogue is 8d6 sneak attack, this character at 16th level is 2d6 sneak attack + 5d6 psychic blades.

So it pretty close to a single class Rogue at high level, but this character is coming in with more smite slots than a Paladin of the same level on top of that and can stack all of that.

Psychic Blades is limited use, but not very limited. It is 5 uses per short rest with a 20 Charisma, but you are only attacking nominally 8 times per short rest and you are not hitting with all of those attacks, so most of the time you hit an enemy you can use it.

Not disagreeing but you did put rogue in the title.

Seems like you want a different build.
 

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ECMO3

Hero
Not disagreeing but you did put rogue in the title.

Seems like you want a different build.

IYou are right.

I want the thematics of a single very high damage attack with the ability to smite on top of that.

If you have played a Whispers Bard, that has a very Rougish feel in combat because of the way psychic blades scales and empowers the single attack you make.

I probably did not explain that well.
 

FrogReaver

As long as i get to be the frog
Psychic Blades is just about the equivalent of Sneak Attack. It scales almost the same although the steps are not as consistent (there is a gap between level 5 and level 10). That is really why I want the Bard. You get the single weapon attack damage boost comparable to sneak attack and the spell slots for smite.

For example:

5th level Rogue does 3d6 sneak attack, 5th level Whispers Bard does 3d6 Psychic Blades

11th level Rogue does 6d6 sneak attack, 11th level Whispers Bard does 5d6 Psychic Blades. This character at 11th level (P2/R4/B5) will do 2d6 sneak+3d6 psychic blades.

16th level Rogue is 8d6 sneak attack, this character at 16th level is 2d6 sneak attack + 5d6 psychic blades.

So it pretty close to a single class Rogue at high level, but this character is coming in with more smite slots than a Paladin of the same level on top of that and can stack all of that.

Psychic Blades is limited use, but not very limited. It is 5 uses per short rest with a 20 Charisma, but you are only attacking nominally 8 times per short rest and you are not hitting with all of those attacks, so most of the time you hit an enemy you can use it.
Unless you go hexblade you won’t have 20 cha. You need dex or str, especially since you are leveraging a single attack. It really needs as high a chance to hit as possible. Which means maybe 16 cha for 3x whisper bard damage per short rest - not great!

Ideally you would go something like Paladin 2/hexblade 1/whispers bard x. Drop rogue entirely. Scale spell slots for smite and whispers damage with bard levels. Simplify to cha only with hexblade (you can also pick up booming blade this way).

Level 11 looks like 3d8+5d6+5 damage, along with a ton of slots to smite with.
 
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FrogReaver

As long as i get to be the frog
Would it not be better to use Warlock instead of Bard, if your concern is insufficient spell slots? Sneak attack only requires a Finesse weapon, not actually using Dexterity, so you can totally do Hexblade and be all in for Charisma. You'd have Agonizing Blast to fall back on for ranged damage (no Sneak Attack with cantrips, sadly, unless there's some Arcane Trickster stuff I'm not aware of), and always have relatively high-level spell slots for juicing your Smites with. Plus, Warlock gives you a way to pick up Extra Attack (via invocation), so you get twice as many Sneak Attack dice per Attack action. (If you can use the UA rules from the playtest 7 packet, it would get even better, since Thirsting Blade lets you make three attacks per Attack action at Warlock 11, and you don't have to take the Hexblade patron, you can pick something more flavorful.)
in general melee locks work great with shadow blade and spirit shroud. I’d actually recommend a straight one of them over these multiclass abominations. Maybe with a small number of rogue levels if cunning action seemed really important.

Being able to do 3d8+5 while having 2 attacks at level 5 and often having advantage is really good. Make that 4d8+5 at level 9.

Be a genie warlock for even more damage.
 

Three attacks would still outrun a Cantrip, but that is based on Warlock level, not character level, so it would be later.
Do you mean three weapon attacks or 3 eldritch bolts? Because cantrips, like EB, scale with character level. Take magic Initiate at 19 and the cantrips do 4 dice of damage.

I wouldn't do the Warlock smite Invocation, I'd go for Maddening Curse. You will be using Hex as a damage boost anyway and it does (Cha) psychic damage to foes within 5ft of the cursee as a bonus action. That should get you 6+ extra damage most rounds (2+ targets), which is essentially 2d6 sneak attack. Hb-curse includes a damage boost of (Prof Bonus) so min +2, which is most of a sneak attack die.

It also means you do damage even if you miss your attacks and those times you fight a mob will average out against solo monsters

I'd get to 2 attacks as quickly as possible (pal5 or warlock5) as single-hit builds can be nerfed by simple things like mirror images, blur, invis, or just smoke.

At warlock5 you would be doing 2 attacks (thirsting blade) which each get +d6 necro hex damage, plus a bonus action of +Cha to hexed & adjacent foes (maddening hex). When you add HBCurse you would add another +3 damage to each attack and get crits on 19s and get 5+Cha hp of healing when the accursed dies. I'm guessing the 3rd invocation would be Improved Pact Blade, for a +1 attack/damage.

At range you'd have 2 EBs, which get the +d6 hex & benefits from HB curse.

You only have 2x Pact slots vs 3 AT spells but the pact are 2nd level a d refresh on short rest so it should be a net win. Plus much less MAD as melee & range is Cha based. Hex will stack with Pal smites and HBCurse ups chance of crits for smite-novas.

The Warlock loses you 1 AT caster level equivalent for combined caster level, but the 2x 2nd level Pact slots (& hb curse) are in addition to the Pal/Bard slots so its easy to have hex damage going all the time.

If you ever take Pal5,Warlock6, you could swap out Thirsting Blade for a different invocation. Plus you would get the Spectre power. Which, if nothing else, gives you a flanker and causes an enemy to waste 22hp of damage on it.
 
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EzekielRaiden

Follower of the Way
There are two problems here.

First Warlock does not have Psychic Blades and that is quite a bit of damage I am losing (although I am getting extra attack).

Second, Divine Smite only works with spell slots. You can use pact slots to cast spells from spell casting classes, but you can't use them for divine smite. I could get Eldritch Smite invocation, but that requires a lot of levels and I still would not have many slots to use.
You are incorrect, per Crawford's Sage Advice tweets. Warlock spell slots can be used for Divine Smite.

in general melee locks work great with shadow blade and spirit shroud. I’d actually recommend a straight one of them over these multiclass abominations. Maybe with a small number of rogue levels if cunning action seemed really important.

Being able to do 3d8+5 while having 2 attacks at level 5 and often having advantage is really good. Make that 4d8+5 at level 9.

Be a genie warlock for even more damage.
Can't be a Genie warlock and a Hexblade until 5.5e comes out. After that, though, the sky's the limit.

If I ever play a 5.5e game, I'll definitely be looking at Celestial Blade+Tome. Surprisingly high versatility--melee, ranged, healing, utility--all in one package. Add just a couple more invocations like Gift of the Protectors (PB names written in your book, first person each day that would drop to 0 HP drops to 1 HP instead) and you've got a surprisingly effective all-rounder.
 
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FrogReaver

As long as i get to be the frog
So I have always liked the idea of a melee DPR Paladin-Rogue with sneak attack. A player had one very early in 5E, and it works but I have always fell short on a build with it because it is so MAD and Rogue levels for sneak attack means not enough smites and Paladin levels mean not enough sneak attack. This resulted in them being good at low level but really petering off by the end of tier 2. At that level they did not have enough Rogue levels to make SA good and not enough slots to really smite.

I think I have came up with a 1-20 build that leverages Bard for this:

Shaddar Kai S13 D16 C12* I8 W8 CH17
Start with Paladin 1, then go Rogue/Arcane Trickster 4, Then Paladin 2, Then Whispers Bard 10, Then Conquest Paladin 4, Then Bard 12

I think this is going to be good/viable at all levels. Early tier 2 it slows down a bit, but picks up at the end.

Starting Paladin sacrifices a skill proficiency but I will have jack of all trades eventually and it gets me heavy armor proficiency and Wisdom saves. We don't play variant encumberance, so Chain is fine but Plate means a move of 20, but I think that is doable with bonus action dash and as my Shaddar Kai teleport gets more uses. Take Dueling at Paladin 2 (character 6)

Get Booming Blade and Green Flame Blade through Rogue to boost attack damage and rely on 1 attack a turn. Also pick up Shield, Silvery Barbs and 2 illusions.

As far as Bard goes I would get some buff spells, some offensive spells and probably Banishing Smite and Destructive Wave for Magical secrets. Psychic Blades keeps up with sneak in terms of damage. It is just limited uses. With a 20 Charisma after Bard 5 (character level 11) I should be able to use it most of the time though.

I would go Elven Accuracy with Charisma at level 5 and Charisma ASI at level 10. I think Charisma is more important than Dexterity because I will be using Bard inspiration for Psychic Blades. After that either Dex ASIs or maybe Warcaster..

I think this character works in all tiers. It is ok tier 1, probably a little behind, I might concentrate on Ranged with a heavy crossbow in tier 1. Tier 2 it starts out with 2d6 sneak attack, which would be slightly low but the cantrip keeps it slightly better than base sneak. It then gets smite and then finally stack up bard levels for slots, becoming more of a smiter at the end of tier 2. Tier 3 Psychic Blades really comes online with short rest recharge.

DPR (includes sneak atttack):
Level 1: 7.5
Level 2-3: 11
Level 4: 14.5
Level 5: 19 + occasional 3.5 secondary cantrip damage
Level 6-8: 21 + occasional 3,5 secondary cantrip damage + rare smites
Level 9-10: 21 + occasional 3.5 secondary cantrip damage + occasional 7 psychic blades + regular smites
Level 11-13: 25.5 + occasional 8 secondary cantrip + regular 10.5 psychic blades + regular smites
Level 14-15: 26.5 + occasional 8 secondary cantrip + regular 10.5 psychic blades + regular smites
Level 16: 26.5 + occasional 8 secondary cantrip + regular 17.5 psychic blades + regular smites
Level 17: 31 + occasional 12.5 secondary cantrip + regular 17.5 psychic blades + regular smites
Level 18-20: 31 + occasional 12.5 secondary cantrip + regular 17.5 psychic blades + regular smites

At level 20 this build I have a caster level of 15, way ahead of a single class Paladin. With a 20 Charisma this character has some ability to flex to magic (spells) when warranted and some (not great) ranged ability as well. If you compare it to a straight Paladin I would be 1 caster level behind at 2nd level, 2 behind at 3rd level, one behind at 4th-7th, equal at 8th-9th and ahead after 9th level.

What do you think? Any good?

*note a lot of people won't like a 12 Con on a melee build, but it is fairly common for my melee characters. I usually rely on AC and spells and abilities to bolster my durability and it will be the same here. This character will have a high AC, shield, Silvery Barbs and Shaddar Kai resistance from teleporting and very late she will have Armor of Agathys. I am not worried about the Constitution, it is mostly the other parts of the build I am concerned about.
Specifically for this build, focusing on level 11.
Compared to a single class Paladin you are quite a bit behind in DPR (that accuracy from not max str/dex hurts), you have level 4 slots vs his level 3 slots. However, you have no nice defensive feature Your build will work, but it's not particularly strong. It will probably continue to scale a bit better past level 11, but paladin can also multiclass at level 11+, so lots of options there.

Compared to a single class rogue AT that picks up booming blade - 34.5 Damage (soul knife would probably be better at this point, just because the bonus action attack and homing strike) - i guess depends on how keen you are on abusing haste + reaction ready attack shenanigans. Anyways - also get nice defensive features on the rogue. Evasion and uncanny dodge are nice, the bonus you get at 10th can mean something like resilient wisdom.

I guess where I'm at is that your build keeps up well enough offensively, but defensively it does fall behind.
 

FrogReaver

As long as i get to be the frog


FrogReaver

As long as i get to be the frog
Well the guts of this build seems to be warlock1/Paladin 2. After that it's 3 or 4 Paladin levels or 5 swords bard.
Whispers bard is competitive with swords bard, just a different feel. More damage less defense. I'd lean toward the defense.
 

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