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D&D 5E Stories of picking the right feat at the perfect time


In our epic campaign, I'm playing a human Samurai fighter. I reached 14th level two weeks ago, and was debating on which feat to take at 14th. My character so far:

Initial: Great Weapon Master with S16, I14 (roleplaying factor), 14 Con, 12 Wisdom, 10 Dex, 8 Charisma
4th: +2 Strength (16 goes to 18)
6th: +2 Strength (18 goes to 20)
8th: Tough (don't laugh, those extra HP have save my life at least 5-6 times)
12th: Used it to add +1 strength and dexterity (S17 goes to 18, Dex11 goes to 12). I had received a bonus of D10 to D11 from a deity's gift, and my strength dropped from 20 to 17 after being raised from the dead (not exactly by the book, but game world play)

At 14th level, I considered Lucky (always good) and the Strength bump again, but decided on Resilient (Dex) because I keep dropping on failed Dex saving throws.

At this stage, my character has these additional features and magical gear:

30' darkvision (gifted by a deity to stop my fear of the dark)
Magic key which can open any door twice a day (picked it up when I reached 14th...we've got no rogue)
Magic Sword: +1 two handed sword, flaming either radiant or fire damage, +2D8 flaming or radiant, once a long rest can call out ahead of time a smite 6D6 smite (was my paladin mentor's sword)-if you miss, it is wasted for that rest; all monsters resistances become normal, invulnerabilities become resistances
Fitted plate - you can get up to a +2 dex bonus to AC

I was at 155 HP.

First big fight....two Adult dracoliches, one green and one copper, in a 150' by 90' chamber or so, 60' ceiling (dracoliches can hover, but not fly out of melee weapon range). As you can see, our campaign isn't "by the book"....we're somewhat juiced (others have similar boosts), but so are the monsters. Resurrection is a maybe for us....when we die, we might get resurrected if we sacrifice an artifact or something similar. Even Revivify requires 100 gp per level in diamonds or gems...so not a sure thing. You saw what happened to my strength when I came back after death (Elder Beholder death ray at 11th level).

Our party is sharp shooter hand crossbow Ranger (15th), Bear Totem Barbarian Half Orc equivalent (15th), Wizard (almost 13th) - a fill in player for our normal Wizard, Druid (13th) - was a sorcerer but deity changed him to a druid with some sorcerer spell slots - played still like an arcane caster, me as described, 14th level Life Cleric. We normally have a 13th level Paladin (a poor player) and another regular level 13 wizard - these two players have missed the last two weeks. Our DM kindly put in a 15th or so level dwarf Paladin to help us in this other dimensional dungeon....the dracoliches are only level guardians, not the main threat.

Since we're above average in killing capacity, so are all the foes. The green dracolich had 90 or so extra HP and a somewhat better breath weapon. The copper dracolich had a significantly better breath weapon and some extra HP. DM was playing them to kill us, no punches pulled. DM generally rolls very well when it matters (higher than statistics would suggest) - he even shows us his rolls. Druid is one of the most cowardly players you'll ever see (the player, not the character) and was only at 38 HP, so he would generally play to save his own behind. The cleric won't do anything this fight (his deity channels thru him to give us some information about dracoliches and their abilities, but we'll get no healing) - player took one for the team to give us critical information. The only thing he did was bless the dwarf, me, barbarian

The barbarian (whose halberd is better than my weapon), NPC dwarf with a lightning rod hammer (does a lot of damage with his hammer but is also vulnerable to lightning) with 200 HP or so, and I are the first ones in the room. We get hit with the Green Dragon's lightning breath (not by the book, I know). Saving Throw is DC 18. The NPC dwarf sacrifices himself somewhat to take more of the lightning damage. I missed my DC18 dex saving throw, used an indomitable reroll, and made it only because I had the resilient dex feat. I still took 40some points of lightning damage....that with the Dwarf taking an extra portion of the lightning to protect me and the barbarian.

In the other dragon fight, the ranger took 80some damage from the copper dracolich, but lit it up for 70 some damage with the sharpshoot hand crossbow.

In our fight, I went full guns blazing....tireless spirit, called out the smite first regular attack (got an additional 2D8 for calling out my mentor's name) hit. Then two great weapon master -5/+10 attacks (I had advantage and bless), both hit the AC19 beast. All told, I did 162 points of EPIC damage. Bad thing is that the green then got to attack and I got hit for 30 points of damage or so, and then the DM said to take two "balance" saving throws (dexterity). He said that I didn't want to fail both of them, I'd be dead. Oh crud....made the first one with my second indomitable (only because I had the resilient dex feat!), missed the second one and I was knocked to the ground. I asked the DM later what would happen if I missed both...I would have been knocked down and stunned, and the dracolich would have done a full weight body smash....some insane amount of damage which would have fully killed me (we play a variant that if you go to -HP max, you die straight up with no death saving throws). Epic, like I said.

Cleric and cowardly Druid player are behind a corner...Druid was playing dumb as normal and not trying to burn legendary saving throws of dracoliches after cleric's deity suggested that he do so. Instead he threw a miserable 6th level fireball that did a whole 19 damage to the green and then ducked back around the corner. Some healing would have really helped us out even. Sigh. Wizard tried a good spell but it failed.

Unfortunately both dracoliches rolled to recharge, 5 and 6. Both recharge. DM's hot dice rolled in front of us.

Eventually the Barbarian and dwarf killed the green. However the ranger and barbarian both missed a dragon fear test and were out of the fight. I took another breath attack, and made it, only took some damage. The dwarf took another full breath weapon and some additional damage is killed outright (very bad for fight and RPing...is one of the dwarven kings...very bad!). I get up and move 15' and take a second wind.

Next round, things are looking very bad. The ranger and barbarian are fleeing from fear and can't do anything else. Copper lands and lines up me with the barbarian and breathes. Oh crud....but I make the saving throw for the third time because of the resiliant dex feat (well that and the bless spell which is still up due to our good RPing cleric)! I'm down to 6 (SIX) HP and I'm 80' from the copper. Druid does something dumb and has no effect. Wizard makes Copper blow a legendary saving throw. Copper recharges breath weapon again!

We roll initiative every round and I rolled a 20 (17 with penalty for heavy two handed weapon). Barbarian and ranger both recover from fear but can't do anything. Copper is going at initiative 15 or so. I dash 60', used my action surge (saved for this dash - I played it smart!), and plow into combat. I have no idea how much the Copper has left in her HP pool. I go full guns again....great weapon feat, tireless, etc. I hit all three times and do 97 (!) points of damage and it dies! I'm left standing there with my whole 6 HP left. The Resilient Dex feat saved my life because it allowed my to pass three CRITICAL saving throws. If I didn't make all three of those saving throws, I'd be dead. If I didn't make the last one, the range and I would have been permanent dead, and the barbarian would have been at his pop up 1 HP.

Great feat choice!

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41st lv DM
Nowhere near as exciting, but....

We were playing a 5e version of the Desert of Desolation series.
Through out the series are sections of ancient script where, as being written back in 1e, the mechanic for translation is a pitifully low % roll. These scripts often hold vital info.
Along the way my 1/2ling barbarian had made a few of these rolls, but for the most part we relied upon our wizard. I played my halfling as working with him on translations.
Well he got killed & the player dropped out of the game. So I simply kept playing that I was studying his notes on the areas languages (spoken & written) in our down time. Eventually she figured it out.
(We hit 8th lv & I took the Linguistics feat.)

Rose Burrfoot, unlikely barbarian, now speaks Arabic/Egyptian D&D language, & reads an ancient form of it.
The DM never made me roll another % to decipher texts. Wich was the point & came in VERY handy over the next module & a half. :)

It also demonstrated to half the table (new/reletively new to the game) that there's more ways to meaningfully contribute to the game as a "martial type" than another +1 to hit/dam.