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

I think the rules are clear if you look at how they are written in more than one case. We have eldritch smite, which specifies

"you can expend a warlock spell slot"

The paladin smite is just "you can expend one spell slot"

Sorry. Look at the first printing and you see the intention. It specified paladin spell slot.

Problem just was, that there is no paladin specific spell slot. So they had to remove that wording.
Later they could easily add warlock spell slot, as this is easier to differentiate it from everything else (pact spell slot would have been more precise).

I guess in the beginning they just did not want to call it "spellcasting spell slot" to avoid confusion.

So it is preeeety clear that the intent here is that warlock smithing requires warlock slots, while paladin can use any slot. The game also clearly notes that the warlock has "spell slots" (not pack slots). Thus, paladin can smite with spell slots from the warlock class. .
So no. The intend was not pretty clear. Or if it was clear, it is the opposite of what you think.
 

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Ancalagon

Dusty Dragon
Sorry. Look at the first printing and you see the intention. It specified paladin spell slot.

Problem just was, that there is no paladin specific spell slot. So they had to remove that wording.
Later they could easily add warlock spell slot, as this is easier to differentiate it from everything else (pact spell slot would have been more precise).

I guess in the beginning they just did not want to call it "spellcasting spell slot" to avoid confusion.


So no. The intend was not pretty clear. Or if it was clear, it is the opposite of what you think.
That is only one possible interpretation - as you say, "paladin slots" just doesn't work with multiclassing (non warlock) spell slot because the 2 pools are combined. BUT I find it's quite a leap to conclude from this that the designers decided "ok, so the paladin can use spell slots they get from other classes EXCEPT warlocks". Rather, and given 5e's "streamlining vibe", it seems that the most plausible conclusion is that all slots are allowed.

You, as a GM, are 100% within your rights to house rule otherwise. But it isn't RAW.
 

That is only one possible interpretation - as you say, "paladin slots" just doesn't work with multiclassing (non warlock) spell slot because the 2 pools are combined.
agree
BUT I find it's quite a leap to conclude from this that the designers decided "ok, so the paladin can use spell slots they get from other classes EXCEPT warlocks".
pact magic has its own section in the multiclass section, so you know that you can use them to cast spells of each other´s features.
with your interpretation: what is the purpose of this section if slots are slots no matter which source anyway?
Rather, and given 5e's "streamlining vibe", it seems that the most plausible conclusion is that all slots are allowed.
Probably the conclusion of the designers back then: leave it simple, it does not break the game hard
You, as a GM, are 100% within your rights to house rule otherwise. But it isn't RAW.
YOU as a DM can HOUSERULE anyway YOU like.

OR we can just accept that the intend is not as clear as you think. Your leaps are as big as mine. Jeremy crawford himself hinted at this rule interpretation (yes, he was the one pointing it out...)

So please. Don´t pretend you have the only true interpretation when my ruling is straight from the sage himself. As is yours. So lets just say, either one is a rule interpretation and stop derogating one position as a houserule.
 

ECMO3

Hero
That's an interesting assumption. 8 rounds of combat total between short rests? I've seen games with 8 combats between rests.
That's also assuming you never give any party members bardic inspiration. How do they feel about that?

4 rounds of combat, two combats per short rest and I think that is actually more than average. 3-4 rounds is an average combat IME. And that is before you consider that some of these are mop up rounds, some rounds you miss and some rounds you are not attacking. When any of those things happen you won't expend a use for psychic blades anyway

After 3rd level I wouldn't be using Bardic Inspiration much. But I would not be doing it anyway if I was a Rogue either and Psychich Blades kind of the centerpiece of the Whispers Bard subclass. If you aren't spending Inspiration on Psychic Blades it is a pretty weak subclass.
 
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ECMO3

Hero
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!

It is something to think about, but not necessary IMO.

I don't see why I need strength beyond 13 at all (13 being the minimum to multiclass).

Dex makes more sense for boosting than strength, but high stats are a lot more important for casters. 16 on your primary attack stat is fine for 20th level martials, so I think it will be fine here as well, especially with Elven accuracy and steady aim.

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.


Ideally you would go something like Paladin 2/hexblade 1/whispers bard x. Drop rogue entirely.


I think being a P2/W1/B8 would be less damage - 3d8+3d6+5 at 11th level vs 3d8+5d6+3 with P2/R4/B5. You would have more slots as a 9th level caster vs a 7th level caster though and a 1st level pact slot on top of that. You also can also get Shield from Hexblade.
 

ECMO3

Hero
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.

I think that is kind of underpowered at high level. Hex is a nice damage boost, and on a multiclass you can use a Paladin slot but when Paladins can get spells like Banishing Smite and Desstructics Wave it is not keeping up.

This is really also changing the flavor a lot I think, A lot more than a Whispers Bard is.


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.

But what I am looking for thematically is a single cantrip melee attack. Also I don't think it is really nerfed that much, other than mirror image those things affect multiattack just as much.
 
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ECMO3

Hero
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).

With Steady Aim and Elven Accuracy I am more accurate than a Paladin generally I think. I can't use it all the time of course, but I can use it a lot, enough that overall accuracy will be better than a Paladin with +2 more on my ability I think.

I don't think I am behind in DPR on average, but I would be at times.

If you look at DPR with a 20 dex and a d8 weapon a Paladin at 11th level is doing 4d8+10 with improved divine smite. Against 17 AC that is 19.8DPR and he will pretty much do that all day long.

With a 16 dex I would be doing 3d8+2d6+3 with sneak attack. That is 14.0 vs AC17 without considering Elven Accuracy-steady aim, psychic blades or secondary cantrip damage.

With psychic blades alone that would be more than a Paladin at 20.35, and that is still not considering EA advantage or secondary cantrip damage.

If you consider Elven accuracy now you are looking at 35.3 and if you consider GFB secondary damage on top of that it would be 46.6

So to really compare you would need to know how often you will use psychic blades (most of the time you hit?), Elven Accuracy (fairly often?) and GFB secondary damage (occasionally?). If it is like I estimate in paranthesis, I think you average significantly more DPR than a single class Paladin.

That is without using divine smite. So some rounds the DPR would be worse but I think on average the DPR will be higher that a single class Paladin at 11th level without using divine smite, and when you consider divine smite you have an extra 4th level slot on top of that.


, you have level 4 slots vs his level 3 slots. However, you have no nice defensive feature
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.
where I'm at is that your build keeps up well enough offensively, but defensively it does fall behind.

I will have plate armor, the shield spell and the ability to resist all damage for an entire round 4 times per day with blessing of the Raven queen at 11th level (albeit at the cost of steady aim) while still having a reaction for shield. That is pretty good defensively I think.

I don't think a Rogue is nearly as good defensively. Uncanny Dodge works on a single attack only and since it is a reaction you can't combine it with shield.
 
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ECMO3

Hero
If you go with your build, I'd consider going with 2 separate one handed dex weapons at low level to increase the chances of getting a hit to deliver that sneak attack. You don't need to invest feats or anything ... just use the two weapons like most rogues do.
The issue with that is I can't use a Blade Cantrip.
 

jgsugden

Legend
The issue with that is I can't use a Blade Cantrip.
At less than 5th level you're much better off with the dual attacking than using a cantrip that only gets you a little damage conditionally. Once you hit 5th level it becomes less clear, but when you miss and do absolutely nothing in a round it sucks.
 

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