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D&D 5E How much would this character suck?

TallIan

Explorer
I'm creating a character for a game and I was hoping to run the concept by the community before committing to anything. I'm not an optimiser, but I also can't stand characters that are "interesting" at the expense of usefulness.

The very quick story behind the character is: He's a bit of a nobody in his home town but is dragged into a dangerous situation where an evil thingy nearly kills all his buddies. Quick witted enough, this character bends the knee before the evil thingy rather than fighting it and becomes a warlock. As he gains warlock power he wants to free himself from the evil thingy.

The mechanics then:

The main feature I'm aiming for is ranged combat with spell backup - why not a ranger? you say - because I want to play a warlock as it suits the concept better.

Starting at 4th level, so far I have a rogue1/warlock3. Going forward to fit with the idea of trying to get his soul back I would go with some sorcerer levels, though probably another warlock level for the ASI. Concept wise sorcerer and warlock should be roughly equal, but that would be abysmal mechanically.

I have chosen rogue, because a non magic user start fits best with the concept - but I can be convinced otherwise - and rogue has rapier (for finesse) and the expertise skills are nice. It is a shame to waist the sneak attack damage though. I'm also tempted to add a second level of rogue for cunning action.

Fiend makes the most sense, but arch fey could also work, undying and GOO are not great for the concept.

I really want a familiar for him. Pact of the chain does this and leaves an invocation free for devils sight, meaning I can do the darkness, EB combo. But I'm leaning towards pact of the tome with book of shadows for some extra casteryness - this means no devils sight though.

So any thoughts on rogue1/warlock4/sorcerorX?
 

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Yunru

Banned
Banned
How big is your characters mouth, and what's their gag reflex like? :p

Ranged combat and spells aren't mutually exclusive. In fact, by keeping your Charisma high and using Eldritch Blast (with the Agonizing Blast invocation) insures you have a strong baseline for combat damage. As long as you do that, you do almost anything else you want without affecting your combat potential.
 

WarpedAcorn

First Post
So any thoughts on rogue1/warlock4/sorcerorX?

Outside of flavor, the Rogue level is doing nothing for you. With Rogue 2 you could get Cunning Action which could give you a lot of mobility, so that would be better. But bets to scratch it completely. The main damage component for Rogue is Sneak Attack, and you won't be taking advantage of that as a caster (not to mention that even if you did, it would be quickly outpaced by Eldritch Blast).

Warlock and Sorcerer Combo's are fairly standard. Eldritch Blast is awesome, but add in Agonizing Blast and you won't want to cast anything else. Another ding against Rogue (with Cunning Action in mind) is that Hex and Quickened Spell will compete with your Bonus Action. Back to the combo though, I don't think the Warlock/Sorc combo will work well if you want to keep the levels similar. That combo works best with Warlock being a 2-Level dip.

One thing I might suggest is to check with your DM and see if he is cool with you fully committing to Warlock and IF you are able to pull yourself out of the deal, could you transfer those levels to Sorcerer. This way he might even have an entire story arc to support it. However, this only works if you the player are committed to ditching Warlock (you mind find you like it and not want to give it up). >: )
 

Yunru

Banned
Banned
There is some cheese with an even leveled Sorcelock though. Turn Pact Magic slots into Sorcery points, then back to spell slots, then short rest to regain Pact Magic slots.

Sorcerer 9/Warlock 9/Fighter 2 also happens to be my favourite "Spam all the beams" build.
 

WarpedAcorn

First Post
There is some cheese with an even leveled Sorcelock though. Turn Pact Magic slots into Sorcery points, then back to spell slots, then short rest to regain Pact Magic slots.

Sorcerer 9/Warlock 9/Fighter 2 also happens to be my favourite "Spam all the beams" build.


That is absolutely true if you're fine casting lower level spells using lower level spell slots. I have no experience with that high level of play, so I really can't offer anything except hypotheticals.
 

Ovarwa

Explorer
So,

Warlock 2 provides great ranged combat. Yay. EB+AB+x FTW. Includes familiar if you reach Tome3. Level 5 in any combination adds an extra attack, and maybe Repelling Blast for Warlock5.

The question is what kind of spell backup you want. Warlock has some spells, so you could just continue. Sorcerer has other spells. Bard has still other spells.

Note that you don't *need* a level in some other class to represent life before becoming a Warlock: You can use your Background to justify that! So if Warlock4 is what you want, and there are reasons to want it, your concept still works. If you want exactly one non-caster level, I recommend Fighter over Rogue: Con proficiency is popular among casters, +1AC from fighting style never hurts and more hp is cute. Fighter1/Tome3 lets you start with heavy armor too, and possibly a melee option.

If you don't expect your game to last beyond level 10, maybe no Sorcerer? With 2 early Warlock levels, you get your Fireball when it is no longer awesome. Or, another way to look at it, at what levels do you want your character to be great?

Finally, as mentioned earlier, what happens to your warlock levels when you get your soul back? 3 or 4 dead or lost levels will certainly make your character suck by comparison, so you might as well stay warlock if you want. (Or go paladin :)/32; the Charisma certainly synergizes. Pa1/Tome3/morePaOrTome is very workable.)

Anyway,

Ken
 

CAFRedblade

Explorer
I'd recommend, as above, using the background as the noboby smuck from hillstown. Maybe urchin, or criminal if you want the thieves tools and skills.
Full 5 lvls of warlock, then branch to sorcerer, or bard.
 

TallIan

Explorer
Thanks for the replies

Outside of flavor, the Rogue level is doing nothing for you. With Rogue 2 you could get Cunning Action which could give you a lot of mobility, ...

...Another ding against Rogue (with Cunning Action in mind) is that Hex and Quickened Spell will compete with your Bonus Action....

One thing I might suggest is to check with your DM and see if he is cool with you fully committing to Warlock and IF you are able to pull yourself out of the deal..

The reason I went with rogue over fighter is that I was hopping to make the character a bit sneaky and very alert, so I was looking at expertise from the rogue. Not planning to be a front liner I wasn't too concerned about heavy armour from fighter, though the other fighter abilities are certainly tempting.

I have not thought about the competition for my bonus action, thanks.

As for the story side of it, I was going to say that character had the power anyway, hence sorcerer, and they were just awakened by the warlock deal - so he got shafted basically.

...The question is what kind of spell backup you want. Warlock has some spells, so you could just continue. Sorcerer has other spells. Bard has still other spells.

... If you want exactly one non-caster level, I recommend Fighter over Rogue: Con proficiency is popular among casters, +1AC from fighting style never hurts and more hp is cute. Fighter1/Tome3 lets you start with heavy armor too, and possibly a melee option.

If you don't expect your game to last beyond level 10...

Finally, as mentioned earlier, what happens to your warlock levels when you get your soul back? 3 or 4 dead or lost levels will certainly make your character suck by comparison, so you might as well stay warlock if you want. (Or go paladin /32; the Charisma certainly synergizes. Pa1/Tome3/morePaOrTome is very workable.)...

Hmm, thinking of it like that, it might be better to go chain pact and have the spell casting versatility I want just from the sorcerer spell list.

As I said, the main attraction for rogue was expertise, but CON save and defensive fighting style are good arguments for fighter. Heavy armour doesn't quite fit with the sneaky aspect of the character and the campaign is an island hopper, so lightly armour seems more in character. Though we are allowed a magic item so elven chain might be the answer to sneaky heavy armour.

So it doesn't look like I can do too much damage to my characters usefulness. I'll have another think over it.

Thanks again.

Tall
 


Ovarwa

Explorer
Hi,

If you don't want the heavy armor, I find Fighter1 a bit less attractive.

As Yunru mentions, Sorcerer gets Con proficiency, which is nice. Dragon for innate armor (but that's less powerful on a Warlock with leather armor), or if UA is permitted then either Favored Soul or maybe (especially) Shadow Sorcerer for the level 1 darkvision and darkness casting abilities, which you seem to want. Shadow1/Tome3 seems to give you everything you asked for. Not many sorcery points at level 1 though.

You get a familiar, you get EB+AB, you get lots of cantrips, you can cast Darkness that you can see through. You also get Con proficiency. Variant Human is recommended for this, so the darkvision from Shadow1 isn't wasted. (Or maybe a halfling subspecies with +Cha.) No expertise though.

(Bard1/Tome3 for the classic musician who sold his soul is always popular.)

Anyway,

Ken
 

tglassy

Adventurer
As for getting your soul back, I've always viewed a Warlock as distinct from Clerics. They don't get their power from their Patron, their Patron is teaching them dark magic. In other words, what you've learned, you will know forever. If you ever break your contract with the Patron, they simply don't teach you anymore. That would mean no more levels in Warlock, but you keep what you've already learned.

So, going sorcerer here would make sense, though story wise being a Sorcerer isn't exactly something you choose, it's something you are. So, if your character learns, while still a Warlock, that he has dragon ancestry or something, then maybe being a Warlock unlocks that inner power. You can even fluff it that this is why the Patron chose to work with you, and why you were able to learn the Warlock powers.
 

TallIan

Explorer
Hi,

If you don't want the heavy armor, I find Fighter1 a bit less attractive.

...or if UA is permitted then either Favored Soul or maybe (especially) Shadow Sorcerer for the level 1 darkvision and darkness casting abilities, which you seem to want. ...

Thanks, I'd forgotten about the shadow sorcerer. It requires DM approval so maybe.

Otherwise, rogue first level over fighter as I get more skills, and seem to be wasting less (sneak attack sends to be the only really useless thing). The extra out of combat utility from that weeks me go pact of the chain and frees up a n invocation for devils sight, meaning I'll need less Warlock levels


... They don't get their power from their Patron, their Patron is teaching them dark magic. ...

... You can even fluff it that this is why the Patron chose to work with you, and why you were able to learn the Warlock powers.

Getting my soul back was a generic cliche I was using. I take a similar view to yours, but they want something back, maybe not your soul but something.

Your second point is exactly what I'm aiming at😃

Sent from my HTC One using Tapatalk
 

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