D&D 5E How long are you willing to wait for a build to "turn on?"

Fauchard1520

Adventurer
Some complex builds only seem to do their thing at mid levels. If you're going for a complicated multiclass or holding out for a specific weapon, it my be level 6 or 7 before you finally get to do your mechanical thing.

So like it says in the title: What’s the longest you’re willing to wait for a build to “turn on." Is there some particular weapon, ability, or prestige class that makes it worth the wait? Or is it better to wait for one of those "everyone starts at 10th level" campaigns to go for those builds?

(Comic for illustrative purposes.)
 

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TwoSix

"Diegetics", by L. Ron Gygax
I don't like to wait at all. If I'm playing a build (sorry, character) that's dependent on multiple feats or a combination of multiclass features, I generally only do that if the game is starting at a high enough level to have that combination.
 

So like it says in the title: What’s the longest you’re willing to wait for a build to “turn on.
in a perfect world I should be able to start more or less as my concept game 1. I realize that is not always possible (but I currently play 5e and we start 3rd level or 5th level so that can happen).

If I have to wait 3-5 game sessions (1 level of play) I think that the idea just doesn't work with that game...

EXCEPTION: I can be a weak member of the concept like back in 3e if I am a 3rd level diviner wizard and call myself a lore master, and I am popping ranks into all the Int skills, that is good enough even without the PC yet.
Counter example: starting at 1st level as a fighter going to be an elderitch knight stinks... you play 2 levels before you get to be the lowest of weak members of your idea... BUT they tried to fix this with a fighting style giving you cantrips.


BEST EXAMPLE OF NEVER AGAIN: in d20 modern I wanted to play a street level wizard, but I had to take 3 levels of Intelligent hero with no spells before I could take 1 level in the prestige class that gave me the equivalent of a 1st level wizard... so I played MONTHs before I got to the concept I wanted to play.
 

pogre

Legend
It depends on your GM. One of the reasons my players are always content to start at 1st level is I always run the campaign into high levels, usually to 20.

My players frequently consider what they are going to do at 10th level and beyond.
 


Umbran

Mod Squad
Staff member
Supporter
I don't mean to sound snarky, but I make characters, not builds. A build comes only as the character evolves and gains experience, and I rarely have even a subclass in mind when I start play (except when that comes at first level, of course).

I'm largely in this category as well. I don't usually put together characters for the purpose of seeing a tactical build come to fruition. The build is in service of the character's narrative, not the other way around.
 

the Jester

Legend
but you have to admit that there are concepts that you can pitch and then not be able to play at level 1.
I guess. I don't start with a concept, though. I roll my stats in order and then see what looks cool from there. I don't worry much about what the character's future holds except in the vaguest way ("ooh, this guy might splash a little wizard in there sometime").
 

Laurefindel

Legend
I don't mean to sound snarky, but I make characters, not builds. A build comes only as the character evolves and gains experience, and I rarely have even a subclass in mind when I start play (except when that comes at first level, of course).
While i understand what you mean, making-a-character-not-built is a false dichotomy. One can make and play a character with an objective in mind or let it advance "organically" or, in most cases, somewhere in between. One character is not less valid than another.
 

Laurefindel

Legend
As for the OP, I need to be able to get the basics of the build by level 2 or 3, and am willing to wait until level 7-8 for it to come "fully online". Anything beyond is too long for me.
 

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