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5E Show me how to build a defender....

Garthanos

Arcadian Knight
I am currently not happy with the options I have found so far. I might be missing something
 
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dnd4vr

Explorer
For 5E? Do you want a tank? What level? Someone who protects others directly or indirectly? Any particular class or race? More information is required. :)
 

Flamestrike

Registered User
Vuman Cavalier Fighter [sentinel feat]. Use a halberd for reach.


  • From 1st level you have Sentinel (AoO if your target moves away (reducing their speed to 0) or attacks someone other than you).
  • From 3rd level you can 'mark' creatures you attack; they have disadvantage to attack anyone other than you, and if they damage anyone other than you, you get a free attack against them the following round (at advantage, with a slight damage buff, as a bonus action, a few times per day).
  • At 4th level, take PAM as your feat - you now also gain an AoO when creatures enter your reach.
  • At 7th level, you get a parry ability to protect yourself or adjacent creatures.
  • At 10th level, any movement in your reach provokes AoO (and reduces speed to 0).
  • At 18th level you get an AoO every single turn, allowing an AoO against every single creature that tries to move away from you, enter your reach, or attack anyone else but you.

For feats other than PAM and Sentinel the usual suspects look good. GWM for damage. HAM gives some nice DR. Martial Adept is useful for a Trip attack against a creature entering your reach (reduce speed to 0, trip them, they cant attack you, and then wail on them on your turn). Lucky and Resilient are great as always. Mounted Combat is fluffy but campaign dependent.

Otherwise boost Con, then Strength (and keep your eyes open for a Belt of Giant Strength).

If your DM uses UA and is a fool, take the Tunnel Fighter fighting style. Otherwise Defense style is good.

For MC options, give yourself a Charisma of at least 13 at character creation, and take 3 levels (or more) in Crown Paladin. You gain a 1/ Short rest lock down of all creatures within 30' (they cant move away from you) with your Divine Channel, and access to Compelled Duel as a spell (plus a few Smites).

Also very fluffy.
 

Krachek

Explorer
There is no defender in 5ed. This is a thing of 4ed!:)
Otherwise, sentinel, cavalier, protection fighting style can give some feeling of 4ed.
I guess you miss warlord too.
 

Flamestrike

Registered User
I've been trying to whack together a build that forces enemies to attack you (Sentinel, plus 3 levels of Cavalier fighter), while also making it a bad idea to attack you (Armor of Agathys, Hellish Rebuke, Shadows of Moil).

Half Elf [Warlock 9/ Cavalier 4] seems to work pretty good. Blade Pact, Hexblade, Sentinel, HAM, EA + PAM. Bonus points if you have a friendly Cleric nearby to cast Warding Bond on you.

AoA gives you 25 temp HP and deals 25 damage to anyone that hits you. Shadows of Moil gives you advantage to hit (Tri-vantage thanks to EA feat) and disadvantage to be hit, plus it renders you immune to a ton of abilities (seeing as you cant be seen anymore), and it deals +2d8 necrotic to anyone that hits you.

Creatures you threaten have disadvantage to attack anyone other than you (and provoke an AoO and a special bonus action attack from you if they do so). They also provoke an Attack if they leave your reach, or when they enter it.

If they attack you (and you have Warding bond up) it's likely at disadvantage vs a high AC, and even if they hit, they take 25 cold damage (+2d8 necrotic) each time they do.
 

dnd4vr

Explorer
I've been trying to whack together a build that forces enemies to attack you (Sentinel, plus 3 levels of Cavalier fighter), while also making it a bad idea to attack you (Armor of Agathys, Hellish Rebuke, Shadows of Moil).

Half Elf [Warlock 9/ Cavalier 4] seems to work pretty good. Blade Pact, Hexblade, Sentinel, HAM, EA + PAM. Bonus points if you have a friendly Cleric nearby to cast Warding Bond on you.

AoA gives you 25 temp HP and deals 25 damage to anyone that hits you. Shadows of Moil gives you advantage to hit (Tri-vantage thanks to EA feat) and disadvantage to be hit, plus it renders you immune to a ton of abilities (seeing as you cant be seen anymore), and it deals +2d8 necrotic to anyone that hits you.

Creatures you threaten have disadvantage to attack anyone other than you (and provoke an AoO and a special bonus action attack from you if they do so). They also provoke an Attack if they leave your reach, or when they enter it.

If they attack you (and you have Warding bond up) it's likely at disadvantage vs a high AC, and even if they hit, they take 25 cold damage (+2d8 necrotic) each time they do.
While this is an interesting build, I wonder how effective it is before you reach prime levels. I like the Cav myself for protection builds, and find the Warlock mix interesting. If you will be gaining advantage, maybe adding some levels of Rogue for sneak attack would be good?
 

Flamestrike

Registered User
While this is an interesting build, I wonder how effective it is before you reach prime levels. I like the Cav myself for protection builds, and find the Warlock mix interesting. If you will be gaining advantage, maybe adding some levels of Rogue for sneak attack would be good?

I've been intrested in a 'Porcipine' build for a while.

I had a Fighter 1/ Fiend Blade Lock 7 (V-uman, HAM) who (along with a friendly Cleric with Warding Bond) with Shadows of Mail that was pretty effective.

He had 20 Temp HP from AoA, and reduced damage by 3 (HAM) and then halved it (Resistance from Warding Bond). The latter meant that AoA stayed 'up' for multiple encounters, dealing damage on each hit (plus 2d8 damage from Shadows of Moil).

Presume a Hobgoblin Warlord attacks me (and hits 3 times with its Multiattack):

Attack 1: 21 damage (martial advantage). Reduced to 18 (HAM) and then halved (Warding Bond) to 9.
Attack 2: 7 damage. Reduced to 4 (HAM) and then halved to 2.
Attack 3: 7 damage. Reduced to 4 (HAM) and then halved to 2.

I lose 13 temp HP. The Warlord takes 75 cold damage plus 6d8 necrotic... and then it's my turn!

Mooks hit you and then die. It's pretty hillarious.

Trick is that DMs avoid attacking you (not a bad thing of course). I'd like to try and find a way to force them to attack me.

I currently like the feel of a Conquest Paladin (they get AoA as a class spell + Compelled duel spell) with Sentinel feat, and 3 levels of Cavalier, and the rest in Favored Soul (higher level slots for AoA).

Champions challenge/ Sentinel/ Cavalier forces them to attack you. When they do, they regret it.
 

Garthanos

Arcadian Knight
For 5E? Do you want a tank?
I flagged 5e for a reason and No a D&D character ;)

What level? Someone who protects others directly or indirectly?
I would like them to be able to protect progressively better

Any particular class or race? More information is required. :)
No particular race but I like humans generally and martial classes.... though my Aegis Swordmage doesnt look like its going to happen
 

Garthanos

Arcadian Knight
Vuman Cavalier Fighter [sentinel feat]. Use a halberd for reach.


  • From 1st level you have Sentinel (AoO if your target moves away (reducing their speed to 0) or attacks someone other than you).
  • From 3rd level you can 'mark' creatures you attack; they have disadvantage to attack anyone other than you, and if they damage anyone other than you, you get a free attack against them the following round (at advantage, with a slight damage buff, as a bonus action, a few times per day).
  • At 4th level, take PAM as your feat - you now also gain an AoO when creatures enter your reach.
  • At 7th level, you get a parry ability to protect yourself or adjacent creatures.
  • At 10th level, any movement in your reach provokes AoO (and reduces speed to 0).
  • At 18th level you get an AoO every single turn, allowing an AoO against every single creature that tries to move away from you, enter your reach, or attack anyone else but you.

For feats other than PAM and Sentinel the usual suspects look good. GWM for damage. HAM gives some nice DR. Martial Adept is useful for a Trip attack against a creature entering your reach (reduce speed to 0, trip them, they cant attack you, and then wail on them on your turn). Lucky and Resilient are great as always. Mounted Combat is fluffy but campaign dependent.

Otherwise boost Con, then Strength (and keep your eyes open for a Belt of Giant Strength).

If your DM uses UA and is a fool, take the Tunnel Fighter fighting style. Otherwise Defense style is good.

For MC options, give yourself a Charisma of at least 13 at character creation, and take 3 levels (or more) in Crown Paladin. You gain a 1/ Short rest lock down of all creatures within 30' (they cant move away from you) with your Divine Channel, and access to Compelled Duel as a spell (plus a few Smites).

Also very fluffy.

Cavalier is evidently one of the things I have been overlooking... protection style is one of those sounds nice but eats too much by taking your reaction against an attack that you do not even know is going to hit? And once you start fighting enemies with multiple attacks, your Reaction from the style only works on the first attack.

In 4e you could mark multiple opponents from level one using various abilities even when you weren't there to put the beat down and force the opening basically you could picture it as being scary intimidating enough to be a distraction
 

dnd4vr

Explorer
I flagged 5e for a reason and No a D&D character ;)

I would like them to be able to protect progressively better

No particular race but I like humans generally and martial classes.... though my Aegis Swordmage doesnt look like its going to happen
LOL don't know why I missed the 5E flag...

Anyway, do you want only official options or can you possibly use homebrew? We use an Oath of Protection Paladin we made that might work well for you with some other feats/options you could take.

Oath of the Protection Spells
3rd: Guiding Bolt, Sanctuary
5th: Prayer of Healing, Warding Bond
9th: Beacon of Hope, Life Transference
13th: Divination (Ritual), Guardian of Faith
17th: Flame Strike, Greater Restoration

Channel Divinity: You gain the use of your channel divinity after a short or long rest. You gain the following two Channel Divinity options:

Sacred Weapon: As an action, for 1 minute, you add your Charisma modifier to attack rolls made with a weapon of your choice (with a minimum bonus of +1).The weapon also emits bright light in a 20-foot radius and dim light 20 feet beyond that. If the weapon is not already magical, it becomes magical for the duration. You can end this effect on your turn as part of any other action. If you are no longer holding or carrying this weapon, or if you fall unconscious, this effect ends.

Turn the Unholy: As an action, you can make any fiend or undead, provided that it's within 30 feet and that can see or hear you, make a Wisdom saving throw. If the creature fails its saving throw, it is turned for 1 minute or until it takes damage. A turned creature must spend its turns trying to move as far away from you as it can, and it can't willingly move to a space within 30 feet of you. It also can't take reactions. For its action, it can use only the Dash action or try to escape from an effect that prevents it from moving. If there's nowhere to move, the creature can use the Dodge action.

Aura of the Guardian: Beginning at 7th-level, when a creature within 10 feet of you takes damage, you can use your reaction to take that damage, instead of that creature taking it. This feature doesn't transfer any other effects that might accompany the damage, and this damage can't be reduced in any way. At 18th level, the range of this aura increases to 30 feet.

Lay on Hands Improvement: At 15th-level, you no longer have to touch the target to use this ability, but it must be within 60 feet of you. In addition, you can choose to transfer your own hit points to the target to heal it. You lose an amount of hit points equal to those you transfer to the target. You cannot prevent the hit points you lose in this manner.

Defender of the Faith: At 20th-level, for 1 minute, you gain the following benefits:

1. at the start of each of your turns, you regain 10 hit points

2. when you take the Attack action, you can take one additional attack as part of that action.

3. as an action, you can transfer any number of your maximum hit points total to any targets you can see. Each target gains temporary hit points equal to the amount you transfer to it and your maximum hit point total is reduced by a like amount. If you reduce your maximum hit point total to 0, you die. You regain your maximum hit points after a Long Rest.


You must finish a Long Rest before you can use this feature again.
 
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Flamestrike

Registered User
Cavalier is evidently one of the things I have been overlooking... protection style is one of those sounds nice but eats too much by taking your reaction against an attack that you do not even know is going to hit? And once you start fighting enemies with multiple attacks, your Reaction from the style only works on the first attack.

In 4e you could mark multiple opponents from level one using various abilities even when you weren't there to put the beat down and force the opening basically you could picture it as being scary intimidating enough to be a distraction
Cavaliers can Mark each opponent they attack from 3rd level onwards.

Each marked creature gets disadvantage to attack anyone other than you, and if they deal damage to anyone other than you, you get a free attack against them (bonus action, bonus to damage, with advantage) on your next turn.

Add on Sentinel for even more fun. They also then provoke an AoO from you if they attack someone else, AND they provoke one for moving away from you (which also sets speed to zero).

At mid levels ANY movement provokes these AoO's, and at 18th level, you get 1 AoO per enemy you fight (and your own reaction as well).

Crown Paladin also get this ability (usable per Short rest):

[FONT=&quot]Champion Challenge.[/FONT][FONT=&quot] As a bonus action, you issue a challenge that compels other creatures to do battle with you. Each creature of your choice that you can see within 30 feet of you must make a Wisdom saving throw. On a failed save, a creature can't willingly move more than 30 feet away from you. This effect ends on the creature if you are incapacitated or die or if the creature is more than 30 feet away from you.[/FONT]
You can use that as a bonus action to lock creatures within 30' of you, and then (using a Pole arm and Sentinel and Cavalier features) really mess up creatures within 10' of you.

As a bonus, Cavalier and Crown Paladin go together fluff wise like coffee and cigarettes.
 

Garthanos

Arcadian Knight
LOL don't know why I missed the 5E flag...

Anyway, do you want only official options or can you possibly use homebrew? We use an Oath of Protection Paladin we made that might work well for you with some other feats/options you could take.
I think well done homebrew is on the table
 

Flamestrike

Registered User
The battlemaster had potentially but only gives an innadequate not quite. Mearles half done idea could actually have the seeds for a functional tactical warlord.
For a Warlord:

Battlemaster 3/ Crown Paladin 6/ Lore Bard 5

Other levels to suit.

Feats: Inspiring Leader.
Expertise: Persuasion, History
Skills: Lots
Ability Scores: Strength and Charisma

You have:


  • Protection fighting style (reaction impose disadvantage to hit an ally)
  • Maneuvers: Rally, Commanders Strike, Maneuvering attack, Distracting strike
  • Cutting Words (Rename to 'Warlords Aegis')
  • Bardic Inspiration (Rename it to 'Warlords Inspiration')
  • [+ Charisma to Saves] Aura
  • Song of Rest - an inspiring speech - (use at the same time you're giving your inspiring speech with Inspiring leader]
  • Inspiring leader Temp HP
  • Champion challenge and Turn the Tide
  • Spells (re-fluffed as Martial powers): Bless, Warding Bond, Compelled Duel, Command, Healing word, Heroism, Aid etc.

Most of the above is either at will or keyed off a short rest.

Plus you hit like a truck yourself with Smites.
 

dnd4vr

Explorer
I think well done homebrew is on the table
Well, I don't know how "well done" it is, but our Paladin has been using it and likes it well enough compared to other available oaths. I've edited the earlier post to include it. Let me know what you think.
 

Tony Vargas

Adventurer
In 4e you could mark multiple opponents from level one using various abilities even when you weren't there to put the beat down and force the opening basically you could picture it as being scary intimidating enough to be a distraction
5e does add back Marking in the tactical variant, but it's a case of turn it on and anyone can mark. So not too helpful.

Standard Rules, Protection Style > Battlemaster, which has a maneuver or two that might help, you could also pick up the prime warlord-like maneuvers, too, while having the fighter's extra attacks and action surge. You'd be a primary-Striker, tertiary-Leader/Defender.

If Feats are available, you can take Sentinel, which is very like an eKnight's Defender Aura (better, really, not that that's hard). That feat, alone, can make you into a credible secondary-Defender. /From 1st level if Variant Human is on the table/. But, really, it doesn't synergize well with Protection, so pick another style - oddly, probably Greatweapon, because you might as well go for a reach weapon, as one of the functions of Sentinel is actually keyed off reach. No reason not to take PAM, though, again, you're running aground on the 1-reaction limit, it's at least for a different purpose. Use PAM when you're holding choke-point, Sentinel when you're protecting nearby allies. And, you might as well take GWM, by 6th. At that point you're on the strong side of primary-Striker.
 
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Garthanos

Arcadian Knight
For a Warlord:

Battlemaster 3/ Crown Paladin 6/ Lore Bard 5

Other levels to suit.

Feats: Inspiring Leader.
Expertise: Persuasion, History
Skills: Lots
Ability Scores: Strength and Charisma

You have:


  • Protection fighting style (reaction impose disadvantage to hit an ally)
Is that a good use of reaction ... if it had range that would feel more Warlord like actually Mearles has mentioned himself we need a Warlordy Fighting Style though he didnt give an example.

I saw someone go nuts with it.


Inspiring Warlord Once per turn, when you hit a creature with a weapon attack,you can choose one creature other than yourself that can see or hear you. That creature has advantage on their next attack roll against the target, if it is made before the start of your next turn.

Tactical Warlord As a bonus action on your turn, you may choose one creature that you can see. Until the start of your next turn, whenever a creature other than yourself attacks that target with advantage, they may add your Intelligence modifier as a bonus to their damage roll.

Encouraging Warlord As a bonus action on your turn, you may choose one creature other yourself that can see or hear you. That creature gains temporary hit points equal to your Charisma modifier + your Proficiency bonus. These temporary hit points last until the start of your next turn.

Guerrilla Warlord As a bonus action on your turn, you may choose a number of creatures other than yourself equal to your Wisdom modifier who can see or hear you. Each of those creatures may use their reaction to either move 5 feet, attempt to escape a grapple, stand from prone, or drop prone. The movement ignores nonmagical difficult terrain and does not provoke opportunity attacks.
 

Flamestrike

Registered User
Is that a good use of reaction ... if it had range that would feel more Warlord like actually Mearles has mentioned himself we need a Warlordy Fighting Style though he didnt give an example.
For reactions it has both Protection fighting style, and Cutting words.

On its turn it can:

1) Heal people or grant them temp HP (rally maneuver, spells, turn the tide)
2) Give them free attacks (Commanders strike),
3) Move them into position (maneuvering strike).
4) Give them advantage on attacks (Distracting strike)
5) Buff allies (Bardic inspiration, Bless, Heroism, Aid)

It also constantly radiates a [+ Charisma] to saves aura.

During rests, it grants allies Temp HP (inspiring leader) and heals them (Song of rest).

You could combine it with a single level of Cleric (Order domain) (if GGTR is allowed) to give it the ability to allow allies to make attacks when targeted with a spell, and to let you cast enchantment spells (this includes Bless) as a Bonus action.

On your turn, cast Bless (bonus action). All allies get +1d4 to hit and saves. One ally gets to make an attack as a reaction thanks to Order domain. Then use your Action to attack, using Maneuvering strike (another ally gets to move), Commanders strike (another ally gets to attack), or Distracting strike (an ally gets advantage to hit) as you see fit.

While it's not your turn, look for an attack to be the target of Protection fighting style, or Cutting words.

It's pretty darn Warlord-y.
 

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