5E Paladin/Bard progression

Shin Okada

Explorer
The next campaign I attend as a player seems to start at L1 and then ends at L5 or so. Thus, I do know that going multiclass is not a great idea. Non the less I am planning to play a Paladin/Bard (College of Swords). Start from a L1 paladin. He is meant to be a member of Harpers and I am planning to make him a good negotiator/spy.

If you were me, how will you develop this multiclass PC? My current plan is,

L1: Paladin (gaining Heavy Armor proficiency)
L2: Paladin 1/Bard1 (for completing this PC's flavor ASAP)
L3: Paladin 1/Bard 2
L4: Paladin 1/Bard 3 (entering the College of Swords)
L5: Paladin 2/Bard 3 (smite)
L6+: Possibly continue leveling up Bard class

Do you think this PC may at least fight so-so at each level? Or shall I re-consider the order or the balance between two classes?

One of my concern is, from L2-L3, he cannnot use his sword as a bard spell focus.
 

DEFCON 1

Legend
What is the game mechanic from the Paladin you feel you need to have for this character? Is it simply just Heavy Armor Proficiency? If it's simply a story-based and fluff decision I'd say go with straight Bard and the Noble/Knight background (since the Noble/Knight gives you as much just flavor as the Paladin class does without screwing around with the Bard's progression.) But the fact you definitely want some Paladin tells me something mechanical of that class is wanted, so the build towards that mechanic would be dependent on when that mechanic becomes available.

The other question I'd ask is whether your DM would allow feature swaps... because if that's the case, you might be able to swap in the paladin mechanic you want in exchange for one of the bard mechanics you might not want, thereby letting you stick with single-classed Bard while still getting the mechanic that helps your idea.
 

GlassJaw

Explorer
Bard all the way. Multiclassing in 5E requires a massive sacrifice in ability, and its compounded for spellcasters. That said, a single level of cleric is really nice for bards, and can help with the "divine" aspect of your character.

I do like the idea of Bard with the Noble background though.

I really like this character concept and I'd even consider making a custom subclass. Grant some paladin spells or a customized spell list, maybe a limited/reduced smite ability, etc. You could even simply go bard, Noble background, College of Swords and ask your DM if you can create a custom spell list. Voila!

5E is really good about swapping abilities between classes and it ends up being a lot cleaner than multiclassing.
 

blueznl

Villager
Sacrifice in ability... yeah, somewhat. But a 5e Fighter (Eldritch Knight) / Cleric is a nice combo. Spam Fire Bolt whilst closing in for melee. Backup the monk if he / she's down. I think that's one of the combo's that works.

And actually I don't mind some drawbacks on multiclass characters. Players should have a reason to go multiclass, and that reason shouldn't be to become a single 'do it all alone' character :)
 

Salthorae

Imperial Mountain Dew Taster
What race are you? Human? Are Feats and Variant Human allowed?

If it's just the flavor of the Bard you want... honestly I'd go straight Paladin with the Entertainer Background for instrument proficiencies and Perform.

Pick up the Skilled Feat as a Variant human for more instruments and skills. OR the Prodigy feat to get 1 skill, 1 instrument, 1 language and double proficiency in a bard-like still. Maybe Performance or Persuasion.

if you actually want something from Bard that is a different story.

Can you expand on what mechanically from each class you really want and what the history of the PC is that you're using to support the multiclass concept? That'd help advise be more directed I think.
 

GlassJaw

Explorer
Sacrifice in ability... yeah, somewhat. But a 5e Fighter (Eldritch Knight) / Cleric is a nice combo. Spam Fire Bolt whilst closing in for melee. Backup the monk if he / she's down. I think that's one of the combo's that works.
Not that it has anything to do with this thread, but I don't understand what cleric is adding to this "combo".
 

blueznl

Villager
Not that it has anything to do with this thread, but I don't understand what cleric is adding to this "combo".
Oops. I was referring to the comment that 5e multiclass chars had their drawbacks. Sorry for stealing the topic...

(Re. Monk infusion: spellslots and some party support, but more important: it matches my character's background.)
 

Ashrym

Adventurer
You can get the same armor class and flavor going valor bard and noble / knight background if feats are allowed, or only slightly less otherwise. You don't get the smiting ability and fighting styles but you do get font of inspiration and 3rd level spells going straight bard.

The goal of a good spy / negotiator is rather easy on any bard. AC is the only real drawback but getting a 17 or 18 AC is still doable on a DEX bard without the shield. What you'll find with swords is not having font of inspiration at the levels mention impacts using flourishes significantly.
 

lowkey13

I'm sorry, Dave. I'm afraid I can't do that.
As if killing the bard impresses us. ;)
Well, my long-term goal is to create an identical number of Paladins and Anti-Paladins, and they would then rush together and BOOM exterminate each other in an explosion of energy.

Ideally, we could put the bards and the gnomes right by them. Not so much collateral damages as a fringe benefit!
 

Shiroiken

Adventurer
Do you think this PC may at least fight so-so at each level? Or shall I re-consider the order or the balance between two classes?

One of my concern is, from L2-L3, he cannnot use his sword as a bard spell focus.
You're going to have some issues here, and your concept really isn't going to meet your exceptions until you hit level 5. You'd be better off going Paladin at level 2, then fully switching to bard, because then you can use your bard spell slots to smite with, allowing you do be combat effective, while using Bard spells for support. As for the spell focus issue, you only use 2 hands for a weapon while attacking, so you can go greatsword and still cast spells.
 

Blue

Orcus on a bad hair day
You're in an interesting place with max level 5 that turns some of the strong guidelines of multiclassing in 5e on their head. Normally my advice is not delay your level 5 power boost (every class gets one), and try not to delay ASI by much. But with only a single ASI that's only for 40% of a (single-classed) character's adventuring career and level 5 is only the last 20%, you could ignore the normal rules of thumb because you aren't going to be spending too much time at the levels where it would matter.
 

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