D&D 5E Stabby McSorcererpants! A question about conversion

Piratecat

Sesquipedalian
Last night we converted one of my 21st lvl epic 4e campaigns to 5e. I converted the 4e wild magic sorcerer directly to a 5e wild magic sorcerer, as you'd probably expect. Annnnd... it didn't feel right. The PC in 4e was far more martial, using daggers to slash people in combat while his spells carried him around the battlefield. In 5e, the sorcerer is much more of a 3e spellcaster, no martial and a crap-ton of spellpower.

So the question is, what in your opinion is the best conversion for capturing the feel? A martial bard? Eldritch knight with a Dex build? Spellthief? Warlock with the blade pact? I'dd love opinions, suggestions and general commentary.
 

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TwoSix

Unserious gamer
If the character was using the spells mostly for mobility and utility instead of blasting, I'd say something like a fey-pact warlock would be more appropriate. You might need a little bit of house-ruling, though. Maybe a higher-level invocation for an at-will misty step? If you're converting from level 21, I'm assuming the characters are least in the teen levels for 5e?
 

GameDoc

Explorer
You might consider spell thief and choose spells that replicate the way the character was using magic in 4e. You might also consider an elemental monk. One of the abilities allows for flight.
 

Boarstorm

First Post
Multi-classing might also be a way to go.

Say... Wild Sorcerer/Rogue (Assassin). Or maybe a dex-based fighter with duelist, etc.
 

DogBackward

First Post
I don't really get the problem... you'd be just as good with your "melee basic attack" in 5th edition as you would have been in 4th. What, specifically, do you not have the ability to do now that you did before?
 

Piratecat

Sesquipedalian
We're converting from lvl 21 4e to lvl 15 5e.

Feypact warlock (house-ruled to make it feel more wild magicy, but that's easy) is an interesting possibility. Is a pact-blade warlock who doesn't rely on spamming eldritch blast a realistic possibility?

Boarstorm, I haven't messed around yet with multiclassing, but I'm wary of ending up with a mediocre hero due to losing casting AND sneak attack through multiclassing. I welcome opinions on that. The elemental monk is one idea, although the player seems disinterested; he played a monk in our last campaign, and probably wants something different. And to be fair, I'd have to do a fair amount of house ruling to get it to feel right (he's a high charisma, high dex character and that's intrinsic to the personality/character concept.) I think a dex-based eldritch knight might work.

Dogbackward, things that are adding to the disconnect include no armor allowed and doing all the damage through spells instead of attacks. The 5e wild magic sorcerer is a cool class, but it definitely feels like a wizard, and that's not what the 4e class felt like to us. And sure, he could take a feat for light armor, but I'd rather find a less kludgy solution.
 

wedgeski

Adventurer
It's interesting to hear your dude's wild mage felt significantly martial in nature...I've played one to mid-Paragon and he was always about the spell blasting.
 

TwoSix

Unserious gamer
We're converting from lvl 21 4e to lvl 15 5e.

Feypact warlock (house-ruled to make it feel more wild magicy, but that's easy) is an interesting possibility. Is a pact-blade warlock who doesn't rely on spamming eldritch blast a realistic possibility?
Yea, I think so. If you're dual wielding, you'll be getting just as many attacks as eldritch blast, and the character can take the invocation where the pact blade does Dex AND Cha mod in damage. Much of the complaint about the pact blade is that taking it doesn't make the blade the automatically superior option, but it's not an inferior option if you take the supporting invocations.

Note: I'm not sure if the character was originally a dual-wielder or not, but it's usually a good idea if you're going Dex, although maybe a dip into a martial class to grab the Two-Weapon fighting feature might be appropriate. Allowing the character to have a pair of daggers as a pact blade also seems like a useful house-rule that certainly wouldn't stray into overpowered territory.
 

Piratecat

Sesquipedalian
It really did. He concentrated on spells that allowed him to fly through multiple enemies, damaging each; jump from one spot to another, blasting both locations; and the like. It makes for an interesting challenge in getting the conversion right.

And don't even talk to me about converting the wilden shaman...
 

Boarstorm

First Post
I still feel like the truest conversion is going to be a finesse-based eldritch knight 3/wild sorcerer 12. Almost full spellcasting, armor, attack rolls at the same level as the rest of the party (most likely).

Now, you'd have to house rule the EK to use Cha instead of Int, and focus on a spell selection that fits the right feel, but I think it could work.

If you're dead set against using the multiclassing rules, I'd probably go with the house-ruled fey warlock. Starting at a higher level means that you skip all the parts where the pact of the blade 'lock falls behind and can start him with the invocations he needs to shine.
 


the Jester

Legend
It's interesting to hear your dude's wild mage felt significantly martial in nature...I've played one to mid-Paragon and he was always about the spell blasting.

In my (now mid-epic) 4e game, the sorcerer is a mix of blasting and weapon attacks. He uses a morning star that has a few cool charge-related powers, invested a feat in using it as an implement (he's a starlock and the weapon is called Meteor and has all kinds of thematically-appropriate stuff), and mixes up melee and spellcasting fairly freely.

Also, he has a power that lets him turn into lightning and shoot through a bunch of enemies. I suspect Piratecat's sorcerer player has the same ability, though its name escapes me at the moment!
 

Piratecat

Sesquipedalian
I still feel like the truest conversion is going to be a finesse-based eldritch knight 3/wild sorcerer 12. Almost full spellcasting, armor, attack rolls at the same level as the rest of the party (most likely).

Now, you'd have to house rule the EK to use Cha instead of Int, and focus on a spell selection that fits the right feel, but I think it could work.

Great idea. We'll try it!

And Jester nailed it where I failed; that's the same sort of character that this one is.
 

drjones

Explorer
I was looking to make a thief/illusionist after playing some Baldurs Gate so I experimented with a few different builds for min/maxing and fitting the 'feel' of what I was looking for. With the caveat that I was just theorycrafting them at level 10, have not play-tested any of this:

From what I could see the Arcane Trickster is a thief with some minor spell tricks. It takes till level 13 to even get level 3 spells and you never have many to chose from. It's a fun rogue but not what I was looking for.

AT/Bard can be close but it straddles Cha and Int for casting purposes and the spell list for bard is good but missing some of the wizard standards.

At/Illusionist 50/50 is the most obvious but because you get 1 practical spell casting level for each 3 of AT you end up with the defensive thief skills like Evasion and more sneak damage which are cool but lose out on spell progression and will never see moderately high level sells. The illusionist class features are not super great compared to some of the other schools but oh well.

AT/Illusionist 3/x is what I think I am aiming for, sneak damage is not major but spellpower is great and spells like Greater Invis are castable without having to be real high level.

To the OP, there are a lot of ways to do what you want but maybe dex-based Valor bard is the easiest? They can fight and they can buff, though concentration makes it harder to only buff.
 

jadrax

Adventurer
So its seems like the main thing you want from spell casting is Misty Step, the 2nd Level Teleport as Bonus Action Conjuration spell.

Looking at the Obvious Single-class Candidates aside from Warlock.

Rogue (Arcane Trickster): Can get this at 8th level using one of your few any school spells learned. One the plus side a teleporting Duel wielding Rogue murder machine sounds pretty cool. You will need good Dex for AC and Murdering, plus Int for spells.

Fighter (Eldritch Knight): Can get this at 8th level using one of your few any school spells learned. Could be Str or Dex based, plus Int for spells. Your available spells are abjuration or evocation, so is probably the standard choice.

Bard: Can get this at 10th level using Magical Secrets, (or 6th level if you go Collage of Lore). However, does singing a lot match what your looking for in the conversion, because if not this is not going to work.

Paladin (Oath of Ancients): Get Misty Step as a Bonus Spell at 5th level. If you want to teleport about in full armour smiting your foes, this a pretty solid option. If your Chaos Mage was in any way Fey or Elvish, this could well be a very good match.
 

Vael

Hero
Also, he has a power that lets him turn into lightning and shoot through a bunch of enemies. I suspect Piratecat's sorcerer player has the same ability, though its name escapes me at the moment!

Spark Form. Level 7 Sorcerer Attack. Hmm ...

Spark Form
4th level transmutation
Casting Time: 1 action
Range: Self
Components: V, S, M (A burnt piece of wood from a tree struck by lightning)
Duration: Until the end of your turn (or 1 round)

You transform yourself in pure electricity. Until the spell ends, your movement ignores difficult terrain, you can enter the space of enemy creatures, and your movement does not provoke opportunity actions. The first time you enter the space of another creature, they must make a Dexterity saving throw. If they are wearing metal armor, they have disadvantage on the save. A creature failing the save takes 6d10 lightning damage, or half that with a successful save. A creature may only be damaged once per round with this spell.
At Higher Levels. For each spell slot higher than 4th, the damage increases by 1d10.
 

ZombieRoboNinja

First Post
I feel like a blade pact warlock starting with 1-3 levels of fighter (battlemaster if you go that far) can do most stabby-casty archetypes quite well. Rogue or shadow monk with sorcerer would be other good multiclass options - you get to dash around like crazy (magically or otherwise) and nova with some quickened spells when appropriate. Remember, monks can do their wacky martial arts with daggers and shortswords!
 




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