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D&D 5E The God Sorlock

borg286

Explorer
The God wizard's Twin Sorlock
Goal
This build aims to be a god, akin to Treantmonk’s God wizard. However I'm shooting for ¾ striker, ¾ battlefield control, ¾ healer, ¾ Face, Batman. Also defender in a pinch.


Short summary
Yuan-Ti Divine Soul Sorcerer 18/Hexblade Warlock 2
Feats: Inspiring Leader, Warcaster, Alert, Cha+2
All bases are covered by Level 4.

Striker
  • Hexblade curse, Agonizing Blast and Hex/Greater Invisibility
  • It out-damages a greatsword GWM fighter at all levels after first, except level 5 where he gets Extra Attack while we are 70% as good. (See Level 5 details for calculations)
  • 6-8 encounter days: Twin Dragon's Breath
  • Attack plan @5th: Twin Inflict Wounds then Quickening Scorching Ray and Eldritch Blast
  • Attack plan @11th: Concentrate on Twin Holy Weapon/Polymorph with Quickened Cone of Cold and Eldritch Blast actions
  • Attack Plan @17th: Same but using Chain Lightning for multi-target attacks instead
  • Increase team damage output through twinning Command(Flee to provoke OA), Holy Weapon, Greater Invisibility, Haste, and Polymorph
Battlefield Control
  • Maintain Concentration with Constitution prof, Magical Resistance(advantage on saves vs. magic), Poison Immunity, Favored by the Gods(+2d4 to first save), Shield spell, a normal Shield, Medium Armor, Warcaster, Absorb Elements)
  • Sleet Storm
  • Silent Image at-will
  • Twinning Command, Levitate, Holy Weapon, Greater Invisibility (Booming Blade+warcaster), Polymorph (2x T-Rexes)
  • [Optional] Staff of the Python, Huge Creature with reach, 65-83 HP, hits grapple requiring action to get free. Can revert as bonus action to reset HP.
Healer
  • Healer or Inspiring leader for free HP per short rest
  • Healing Word -> Heal, Raise Dead
  • Preemptive healing with Greater Invisibility, Polymorph temp HP, Haste’s +2 AC, action denial with Twin Command
  • Twin Lesser/Greater Restoration for quick battle turnarounds
Face
  • High Charisma
  • Intimidation/Persuasion
  • Guidance
  • Minor Illusion + Hex for disadvantage vs. investigation checks on Illusions.
Defender
  • Greater Invisibility + warcaster + Booming Blade (Adds 0.12 KPR on average, same as a Sneak Attack)
  • Sleet Storm
  • Good AC and resilient to magic attacks (see concentration helpers above)
  • [Optional] Staff of the Python: See Python above.



Sorcerers and the action economy
Haste
Haste trades your Concentration for extra sustained damage from an ally with a big stick, and less damage to that ally (+2 AC, Advantage on Dex. saves). Sorcerers get 2x the bang for the buck. From a Damage per Spell Point perspective (see below), Twin Haste is ranks high. Additionally, if you go before the frontline fighters Haste enables both to reach into position rather than only 1. For example both the fighter locking down the BBEG and the Rogue gaining an ally for Sneak Attack.

Levitate
As a god spell, this one can
  • Lift the squishy out of melee range
  • Lock down the BBEG while you take care of the mooks
  • More Utility stuff
The real power in Twinning Levitate is in the versatility to wreck the DM's plans by picking 2 foes, 2 allies, yourself and 1 foe and so forth. By level 2 you'll have a 19 AC + Shield, so you could lift 2 squishies when you see a flood of mooks.

Greater Invisibility
Unlike spells, attacks have an easier way of boosting the chance of damaging through advantage. But, I hear you say, why not go Darkness?

Problems with Darkness
Option 1) Run into the fray and blind enemies. Cons) Allies can't see
Option 2) Stay back in a black bubble. Cons) Dungeons may not have a convenient corner, and AOEs can easily cover your corner.
Sure, you've made yourself invincible, but that focuses enemy fire onto your other squishy allies. Those arrows are going somewhere, and a blind wizard is useless.
  • A twinned Greater Invisibility lets the rogue never get hit, the squishy never worrying about his saving throws and teleporting out of danger.
  • You also have synergy with Booming Blade: Foes are afraid of moving and triggering auto damage, thus a bit of battlefield control
  • An invisible foe doesn't need healing.
Polymorph
Twinning polymorph really shines in battle as you can make 2 T-Rexs with their Huge size, Battlefield presence and massive attacks. From a damage/spell point perspective, a T-Rex averages 53 damage per round. For the slots spent this is super efficient (26 DpSP, see below). However note that while you can maintain your concentration after polymorphed, your AC is lower, so you'll take more hits, more chances at losing concentration.

Proactive Healing of Polymorph
Ally at 1 HP? Polymorph them and turn the battle.
Know there is a long battle coming up? Proactively heal with the free 272 HP.

Damage, KPR and damage per spell point
Fireball is amazing at level 5-9, and the nova assassin blowing 4th level slots on smiting the BBEG is a wonder. But how consistent are you? Can you deal with mooks and BBEGs in the same day? Let's analyze damage from 3 perspectives
  1. KPR (Kills Per Round)
  2. DpSP (Damage per Spell Point, ie. spell slot efficiency)
  3. Area vs. single target
  4. Equivalent Monster action reduction

KPR
Kills per Round is a number that takes into account your average damage, chance to hit, and normalizes for an average monster's HP. Think of it as "what percent of a typical monster's HP can you chew through each round?" We make formulas for a typical monster's AC and HP as follows
AC=CR/3+12
HP=14*CR +10

chance to hit = 1-(Monster AC - To Hit)/20
Expected Damage = Average Damage * chance to hit
KPR = Expected Damage / Monster HP

A KPR of 0.25 means you can expect to chew through 25% of a typical monster’s HP for your level each round and is a baseline for strikers.
0.3 < KPR < 0.5
0.5 < KPR < 1.0
KPR > 1.0
Usually KPR above 1 is for novas. DMs, don't be afraid of these levels of damage as the player usually spent levels/feats to do this, and has spent their resources doing the nova. Let them have some spotlight, then throw another encounter at them. The rest of the party will likely have the reserves.

Damage per Spell Point
Damage per Spell Point uses the Sorcerer's Font of Magic table to gauge resource cost of various options. A sorcerer is uniquely positioned to balance their daily resources where they are needed most. The Bard/Cleric/Druid/Wizard must get creative with their 1st/2nd level slots after they've spent their level appropriate spells. You, on the other hand can shift between frontloading damage, endurance, and utility, while keeping 1 slot of the most important levels to cast.

Spell levelPoints
12
23
35
46
57
69
711
813
915
Here are a some examples for comparison
  • Ray of Sickness: 2d8 @60% to fail costing 2 spell points = 9*.6/2 = 2.7 DpSP (damage per spell point), 9*0.6/(14*1+10)= 0.14 KPR, 9*0.6=5.4 expected damage
  • Paladin Smite: 2d8 @ 100%(smite on hit) costing 2 spell points = 4.5 DpSP, +0.25 KPR, +9 dam
  • Burning Hands (2 targets): 2.25 targets * 3d6 @60% to fail costing 2 spell points = 9.1 DpSP, .48 KPR, 19 dam
  • Burning Hands with Dragon Soul (2 targets): 2.25 targets * 3d6 +3 @60% to fail costing 2 spell points = 12.2 DpSP, 0.61 KPR, 24.3 dam
  • Twin Dragon Breath: 3d6 15' cone, dex save for 1/2@ 60% save, 2 targets(secondary targets 50% weight) = 2.52 DpSP/round, 0.20 KPR/round, 12.6 Dam/round
  • Twin Firebolt: 2d10 @ 60% to hit costing 1 spell point = 10 DpSP, 0.56 KPR, 12.3 dam
  • Twin Eldritch Blast: 2d10@ 60% to hit costing 1 spell point = 6 DpSP, 0.56 KPR, 12.3 dam
  • Scorching Ray: 3*2d6 @ 60% to hit costing 3 spell point (2nd level slot) =6.2 DpSP, 0.32 KPR, 18.6 dam
  • Quickened Eldritch Blast(@5th) + Eldritch Blast + Agonizing Blast(AG): 6d6+2d10+2*cha @60% costing 5 Spell points = 16.7 DpSP, 0.42 KPR, 33 dam
  • Fireball(4 targets): 8d6@60% fail costing 5 SP = 17.1 DpSP, 1.28 KPR, 16.8 dam/target
  • Twinned Blight: 16d8 @60% fail costing 10 SP = 4.3 DpSP, 0.4 KPR, 21 dam/target
  • Quickened Scorching Ray + EB + AB + Hex + curse: 10d6 + 2d10+2*cha + 7*Prof + 7d6 @ 60% to hit costing 10 SP = 7.2 DpSP, 0.66 KPR, 72 dam single target
  • Quickened Eldritch Blast(@11th level) + Eldritch Blast + AB: 6d10@ 60% to hit costing 2 SP = 27.7 DpSP, 0.36 KPR, 55 dam single target
  • Disintegrate: 10d6+40@60% to fail costing 9 points = 5 DpSP, 0.3 KPR, 45 dam
  • Twin Disintegrate: 20d6+80@60% to fail costing 15 points = 6 DpSP, 0.6 KPR, 90 dam
  • Quickened Chain Lightning + EB + AB: 4(10d8)+2d10+2*cha@ 60% to hit costing 11 points = 15.6 DpSP, 1.13 KPR, 171 dam tot
  • Quickened Chain Lightning(7th level slot) + EB + AB: 5(10d8)+2d10+2*cha@ 60% to hit costing 13 points = 16 DpSP, 1.17 KPR, 207 dam tot
  • Finger of Death: 7d8+30@60% to fail costing 11 points = 5 DpSP, 0.32 KPR, 57 dam
  • Twinned Finger of Death: 14d8+60@60% to fail costing 18 points = 4.8 DpSP, 0.48 KPR, 86 dam
  • Quickened Eldritch Blast(17th level) + Eldritch Blast + AB + curse w/ advantage: 8d10+8*5+8*6 @88% to hit = 58 DpSP, 0.43 KPR, 116 dam

Thoughts on examples
We see that Eldritch blast at 5th level (Sorcerer 3/Warlock 2) rocks 16.7 DpSP meaning that at level 5 and 5 encounters and 5 rounds each you could theoretically deal = 802 damage total. Amazing longevity, but we need to couple this with options that front load damage (high KPR) especially at the levels just prior to 5, 11, 17.
Twin Dragon Breath might seem like a poor choice, but being a concentration spell puts it in a different category than the rest. This spell's efficiency increases with targets and rounds for the same initial cost. However note that this consumes your action, and the twinned version costs another's action. Use this when endurance is needed.
Fireball shines as wonderfully in both the DpSP and KPR arenas. It scales absolutely horribly, so we need to find something with high KPR till we get Chain Lightning, which scales the best of all spells +10d8 / slot. Vitriolic Sphere(17 DpSP, 1.1 KPR) and Cone of Cold(16 DpSP, 1.1 KPR) are the best candidates but are AoE rather than single target. To get near those numbers for single-target we have to do an upleveled Scorching Ray with Hexblade’s curse and Warlock’s Hex. This gives us a respectable 0.66 KPR at the cost of a mediocre 7.2 DpSP.
If we imagine a sorcerer somehow capable of casting Twinned Finger of Death every round (86 damage) it is worse than a bit of preparation(hex+curse) and using the Eldritch Blast cantrip (116 dam) which can be focused or spread out. This shows me that Hexblade + quicken checks off the striker role for almost all levels.


Warlock 2 or 3?
Warlock gives you spell slots that can be converted to Spell points. Warlock 2 gives you 4 spell points, while Warlock 3 gives you 6 spell points. Taking a level of sorcerer over a 4 encounter day is about the same. We want faster access to higher level spells.
Only go for Warlock 3 if you really want that Imp familiar from Pact of the Chain.

Area vs. single target
Area of effects do wonders if mooks bunch up, and you should totally rip out a fireball when there are 4 or more mooks to blast.
However a baddie at 4 HP is just as deadly as one with full HP, so you want to focus fire at times.
Single-target Nova often suffers from overkill. The Ranger with an OathBow and all their bonuses don't carry over to the next guy as easily.

This is where Eldritch Blast smooths over this problem. With the minimal selection of AoE, you can eat through tons of HP, then with Eldritch blast's multiple rays you pick off foes spending the minimal amount of damage needed while sending left over rays to the next mook or focus onto the BBEG.

Equivalent Monster action reduction
A helpful oversimplification is to view a combat as a pool of monster HP in discrete chunks that each can generate a monster action. On average these actions combine in dealing damage to your party and preventing them from taking their own actions. As we kill monsters they lose monster actions. Our goal then is to minimize these monster actions and also minimize resources spent getting there while also staying alive.
From this perspective we can compare an AOE to a single target attack by asking, how many fewer monster actions could the enemy take by the end of the battle thanks to your attack. A fireball might not remove any foes from the battlefield, but when combined with your team's attacks focusing down the weakest foe still alive you have brought victory much closer. How much? Well 3 fewer monster actions closer compared if you did single target damage that matched the party's output. The fighter's Action Surge round might kill 2 foes and thus 1 more monster than the team's average. Over 4 rounds that's 4 fewer monster actions.

The numbers may be off, but the idea is to look at AOE spells and the number of monsters you can hit and come up with a formula for how many fewer actions could they take if you did a fireball now vs. using some single target spell and save the fireball for something more juicy. This even lets us compare Battlefield control spells like Sleet Storm, Evard's Black Tentacles and Stinking Cloud as each have immediate action denial rather than delayed action denial through death.

// Under construction. I want to have a formula that I can take some KPR of a single target attack, and convert it to monster actions subtracted. I'd then run some AOE spells with some arbitrary conversion from area to number of targets just to get an idea. But it is late so I'll get to this later.



Defender, a specialized battlefield controller
A meat shield is just a liability and a healing spell sink on the party. The real job of the tank is to keep the squishies safe, and punish foes for attacking them instead of him. His challenge is locking down foes as quick as possible.
  • He does this through Sentinel so as to keep them in place if they walk away.
  • He does this through being resilient to attacks
  • He does this to controlling the battlefield with reach
How does the god sorlock defend?
  • Hexblade grants Medium Armor Prof. and Shield and Shield spell
  • Booming Blade + Warcaster
  • Greater Invisibility + Booming Blade +Warcaster
  • Silent Image
  • Staff of the Python(uncommon), if you can get it.
Opportunity attack and Booming Blade vs. Rogue vs. Fighter
As you level a single melee attack becomes less hurtful. A smart DM would take advantage of this and leave the tank and go for the squishies. Hard control and a meaner bite ends up being the only way to deal with this. Great Weapon Master's +10 damage fades as you level. The fighter must resort to Sentinel at higher levels to put a hard stop to rushing the squishies.

A rogue can apply their Sneak Attack once per turn, not round. Thus they look for opportunities to make opportunity attacks on a monster's turn and double dip. Just how much extra damage does this deal? +(1/2 level)d6 / 14*CR +10 = added KPR = +0.12 KPR on average. Losing 12% of your health does add a sharp bite. Thus an invisible rogue becomes a sticky defender.

How does Booming Blade compare? It adds 1d8 from 1-4, +3d8 from 5-10, +5d8 from 11-16, +7d8 from 17-20. We'll likely also need a finesse weapon. Doing the same math and averaging over all levels we also get +0.12 KPR. In other words Warcaster + Booming Blade makes ourselves just as much a defender as the Rogue when invisible.


Staff of the Python
A note about the underrated Staff of the Python: A Giant Constrictor Snake has 60 HP while being CR 2. You can leave it in snake form and give it Temp HP from Inspiring Leader. It isn't till level 15 that a 14 Con fighter finally gets more HP. This is HP you don't need to heal and tanky enough to maintain the 15' square of battlefield presence + 10' reach. You can have the snake choose to use its Constrict attack when they leave the 5' reach, which, if it hits, imposes the Grappled condition (no strength check, just straight up Grappled). It requires an action to free oneself from a Grapple, but that doesn't incur damage and wastes their action.
This is a non-concentration summon with HP that rivals 7th level summon spells. There is no randomness with what you're getting, and you explicitly can control it.

A character is not an island
The key to being a God Wizard was winning through your team, letting them roll the dice, taking comfort you gave them those attacks. The Shadow Sorlock approaches fights selfishly seeing a way to be immortal and win each fight through Darkness. But imagine spending that concentration slot on Twin Haste. You can assume someone on the team will have a big stick, so go ahead and add his extra attack to your tally. Commanding someone to Flee means those Opportunity Attacks were made by you.



Breaking down the healer role
What does a healer actually do?
  • Heal downed allies
  • Topping everyone up after battles
  • Resurrecting/Revivifying slain allies
  • Removing negative status effects
Reactive Healing
We all know spending spell slots on Cure Wounds can't keep up with monster damage, except for a Life Cleric. But there is an overlooked cost: Concentration saving throws.
Healing damage < Temp HP < Boost to Concentration Save < higher AC/Save bonus < Not getting attacked < Dead foe
Reactive healing is at the bottom of this scale.

How does a god Sorlock heal?
  • Heal downed allies: Divine Soul grants access to cleric spells like Healing Word, bonus action “get back up”
  • Topping everyone up after battles:
    • Healer gives 1d6+4+level to anyone each short rest. It is as though the fighter had an extra 3-5 extra hit dice to spend for the day. Even more powerful to squishies.
    • Inspiring Leader: Gives Cha+level as temp HP. While this looks weaker than Healer, it is qualitatively different as it increases the maximum damage one can take, therefore should be compared with a retroactive extra +2 con for everyone. Do you care more about max spike damage a heavy battle can do or endurance where your hit dice are spread out over a long day? Take this if you plan on using a Staff of the Python.
  • Raise Dead/Resurrecting/Revifiying slain allies: Divine Soul again here, but we have few known spells to spare, so pick wisely. I prefer planning on the least worst case scenario, keep some diamonds around and Revifiy.
  • Removing negative status effects: Lesser/Greater Restoration + Counterspell (don’t get hit in the first place)
Proactive Healing
  • Haste's beefed AC: +2 AC -> -10% average damage -> 10% monster damage you didn’t need to heal multiplied by each attack
  • Locking down foes
  • having the BBEG waste their actions rather than attacking
  • throwing summons to die on foe’s swords rather than scrounging up the spell slots to spend on healing afterwards
  • Polymorphing the fighter into a T-Rex and letting ephemeral HP soak up the damage rather than your spell slots.


Illusions
Primary reading: The Illusionists Guide to Reality
To help the DM, add the intent and your justification for why the viewers would likely react.
“I am creating this acid pit to create a chokepoint. This should work because we are in combat and the monsters are too busy to investigate the illusion.”

Illusions have no save!?!?
Unlike spells that have the target make a save, the monsters must either see the illusion break, or take an action to do an Investigation check using their Intelligence, a common Dump Stat. Thus you get a high score and Proficiency, and potentially Hex debuffing them, and they only get a dump stat's modifier. You only get better as you level.

Why a pool of lava/crate isn’t a good idea
The closer to reality you are the more believable it is. There is no "summon lava" spell, especially at low levels. Imitate Mold Earth instead, inform the DM that the foes see the earth spring up with a head poking out the top and keep your DM guessing which spell you used.
The crate in the middle of the battlefield seems out of place, and odd to appear mid-battle.

Spells to Imitate
  • Silent Image: Arms of Hadar/Evard's Black Tentacles
  • Silent Image: Entangle
  • Silent Image: Grease
  • Minor Illusion: Maximillian's earthen grasp ('protects' 15' square)
  • Minor Illusion: Flaming Sphere ('protects' 15' square)
  • Minor Illusion: Guardian of Faith
  • Minor Illusion: Mold Earth



Player Level 1
Race: Yaun-Ti (+2 Cha, +1 Int)
Class: Divine Soul Sorcerer
Spells:
  • Cantrips: Minor illusion, Guidance, Mage Hand, Dancing Lights, Poison Spray(Yaun-Ti)
  • 1st level: Command, Sleep, Inflict Wounds(Evil), Animal Friendship(snakes)
Background: Acolyte
Skills: Arcana, Persuasion, Insight, Religion
Languages: Common, Abyssal, Draconic, Goblin, Giant
Features
  • Magic Resistance: Advantage on saving throws against spells and other magical effects
  • Poison Immunity: Monsters dealing Poison damage is just as common as fire damage.
  • Darkvision(60')
  • Favored by the Gods(+2d4 to failed saving throw/attack)
Primary Attack: Poison Spray

Striker
Sleep has no save and takes care of 5d8 HP. Thereafter you have Poison Spray(1d12). Averaging over 4 rounds puts you at 8.5 expected damage, or 0.24 KPR, which is slightly higher than the fighter’s 0.23 KPR. But due to the dropped remainder on sleep it is a wash. You can do this for 2 encounters per day.

Face
High Charisma, Prof in Persuasion and Intimidation, Minor Illusion(clever auditory assist may grant advantage), Guidance(+1d4). If a Yaun-Ti Face seems contradictory, Go with ½ elf. Another option is to paint him as an Argonian from Skyrim that speaks and acts like a dragonborn.

Battlefield Control
Sleep: AoE, Allies get to deal damage rather than you, careful positioning may be able to drop the BBEG

Minor Illusion
  • Maximillian's earthen grasp protects 15’ square
  • Flaming Sphere protects 15’ square
  • Fake Mold Earth’s mound of dirt, make the DM second guess your cantrips.
  • Fake BBEG's voice, "Fall Back!!", a la Peter Pan, to group them for AoE.
  • "Fireball Incomming!!!"
  • "Encircle the master!!" Preparing for some AoE

Command (Bypasses immune to charm)
  • Betray/Revolt/Defect/Desert/Coup
  • Burp/Belch (on a dragon)
  • Fall/Trip
  • Flee/Sprint/Dash
  • Cower
  • Dismiss/Abort/Cancel/Juggle (lose concentration, spells specify 'Dismiss' as an option)
  • Undress/Strip (includes dropping weapon, shield, belt w/ component pouch, refrain from running)
  • Approach
  • Stop/Drop(See Undress instead)
  • Grovel
  • Halt
  • Blaspheme/Apostatize (on a paladin/cleric)
  • Tantrum
  • Charge

Out of Combat Utility
Speaks languages of most monolingual races(Giant, Goblin, Draconic)

Command (Note, the target doesn’t have to hear you, nor are you charming them.) (Also note, these are transitive verbs in case you want to find others. Here is a big list)
  • Commands above
  • Monologue/Sing
  • Defecate
  • Dance/Salsa/Tango/Spin/Frolic/Prance
  • Confess(bypass zone of truth, DM may confess squat)
  • Cooperate/Capitulate
  • Scream
  • Pardon
  • Believe
  • Relent
  • Cheat
  • Eat/Drink (after poisoning their food)
  • Overpay/Undercharge

Minor Illusion
  • Distract guards with sounds of a fight
  • Pile of gold to lure goblins out
  • Dead Termites covering a rotten bridge on a rope bridge
  • Make a wanted poster of town villain

Mage Hand
  • Swing rope around room to find invisible foes
  • Trigger traps from a distance (doors, handles, chests)
  • Distraction
  • Scoop and test unknown liquid safely
  • Combine with Minor Illusion (Auditory) to make a skull speak from beyond the grave

Dancing Lights
  • Lighting up dark road, 2 ahead of the party, 2 on each side. Leave the party in darkness but letting you see out
  • Sent to scout hidden archers in the dark w/o giving away your position
  • Can climb down cliffs.
  • Can be colored and positioned for sending a message.
  • Must be within 20’ of another light, so send them off in pairs
  • 120’ Range

Player Level 2
Class: Warlock (Hexblade)
Features: Hexblade curse, Hex Warrior
Spells:
  • Cantrips: Eldritch Blast, Booming Blade
  • 1st level: Hex, Shield
Equipment: Scale Mail, Shield, Longsword

AC: 18(14+2(dex)+2(shield)), or 23 with Shield spell

Striker
  • Engage in melee Curse and cast Inflict Wounds(3d10+2) for 4 times in a row (0.42 KPR), compared with a Greatsword fighter’s 0.2 KPR, you’re doing 2x the damage with better AC.
  • Cast Command(flee) if there are 2 strong allies engaged with a foe, or join 2 plain melee players to get 3 opportunity attacks
    • If they fail you’ve shut down their action and they get 2 opportunity attacks to the face. You can do this every encounter.
If they save, you’re likely to be targeted. Use your Sorcerer spell slot to cast Shield if you’re hit, hopefully not.

Hex and friends
Hex lets you pick an ability score and make them have disadvantage on those checks (note not saves).
Because Hex requires your Concentration you can't cast it and one of these other spells, but if an ally does then you can pick 1-2 foes that you want to fail.
The one exception is Minor Illusion, which you have, and is an ability check that foes rarely get any bonuses to at all regardless of level.

Str or Dex
  • Entangle
  • Black tentacles
  • web
  • Bigby's Hand
  • Otiluke's Freezing Sphere
  • Telekinesis

Intelligence
  • Disguise Self
  • Hallucinatory Terrain
  • Major Image
  • Maze
  • Minor Illusion
  • Phantasmal Force
  • Programmed Illusion
  • Project Image
  • Silent Image

Wisdom
  • Wrathful Smite

Player Level 3
Class: Sorcerer 2
Features: Font of Magic
Spells: Healing Word, Suggestion

If you can afford it and DM allows it, craft a +1 shield (Uncommon, no attunement required). A 19 AC isn’t just 5% better than an 18, it is ~30% better as you have nearly half the chances of getting hit at this level.

Endurance
Each encounter use your Warlock spell and a Sorcerer slot if you’re at maximum spell slots.
If cantrips can deal with the encounter, top up by converting 2 points into a sorcerer spell and the warlock slot into 2 points.

Striker
  • Cast Curse then Inflict Wounds(3d10) for 5 rounds in a row. 18 average damage per round, or 0.2 KPR. For comparison, the greatsword GWM fighter is doing the same.
Healer
  • Healing Word
  • Acolyte’s Shelter of the Faithful
  • Command(proactive healing through action denial, 1 less concentration check)
Utility
  • Suggestion: Another addition to open ended spells. For when a single command word doesn’t give the subtlety you need, suggest a course of reasonable action in a sentence or two.
Player Level 4
Class: Sorcerer 3
Features: Metamagic(Twin, Quicken)
Spells: Sleep -> Dragon's Breath, Levitate
Total effective Spell Points: 17 + 2 points per short rest

Striker
Twin Levitate Nova vs. few foes
See the monster action reduction in the striker section above for this save-or-die spell analysis.
Assuming 2 short rests we have 21 points to spend. That is 4 Twin Levitates, or 7 single Levitates.
Against 5 foes, this has an 84% chance to lock at least 1 foe preventing him from 5 actions or 25% fewer actions. 36% chance to lock 2 foes out of combat or 45% fewer actions.

Twin Dragon's Breath vs. many foes
This costs the same as a Levitate but in addition to costing your concentration slot, it takes up yours and another's actions. Also it forces you to get close to foes.
Let's assume 9 foes (30 HP each). As a baseline assume 4 players do 15 DPR. It would normally take 5 rounds to kill them. They would be able to take 25 total actions against you.
Switching over to Twin Dragon Breath and hitting 4 foes each round, allies cleaning up survivors this should also knock off 8 total actions. That's 32% fewer attacks on you, ie. 32% less damage to heal.


Team Player/god
With a short rest refreshed warlock slot, Metamagic and Font of Magic your god powers enable you to shift your resources into where they are needed most. Facing hard hitters? Twin levitate. Facing a caster? Command. Lots of mobs? Recycle spells into Arms of Hadar. Only 1 encounter today? Quicken. Point is, you should be targeting to spend all your effective spell points by the end of the day and reshuffle to make sure you have at least 1 slot of each level ready for surprises.

See above for power of Twin levitate.
Tl;dr: Lift yourself and a squishy ally or 2 thugs, or you and a thug to really mess with the difficulty of the encounter.

Player Level 5
Class: Warlock 2
Features: Invocations (Misty Visions, Agonizing Blast)
Spells: Armor of Agathys
Total effective Spell Points(4 encounters per day): 35

Short day (1 encounter)
  1. Hexblade Curse BBEG, Twin Levitate
  2. Quicken Eldritch Blast + Eldritch Blast: 4(1d10+3+3)@60% to hit = 0.38 KPR, 13.8 expected dam
  3. Convert 1st level spell -> 2 SP + Eldritch Blast = 0.19 KPR
  4. Repeat from 2
Damage: 0.3 KPR or 2 monster actions reduced
Levitate(over 6 rounds): 12 monster actions reduced, or 7.44 expected number of monster actions reduced
Total: 9.44 monster actions reduced. Almost twice as good as the fighter.

Long day (8 encounters, 3 short rests)
29 spell points: 17 spell points (4*1st level+2*2nd level) + 4*3 (warlock spells refreshed)
This means we could do Twin Levitate for 5 encounters and 2 1st level spells for Shield/Healing Word.
For the rest of combat we spam Eldritch Blast: 0.19 KPR
Each encounter you do Twin Levitate has an 84% chance to lock at least 1 foe preventing him from 5 actions or 25% fewer actions. 36% chance to lock 2 foes out of combat or 45% fewer actions. This averages out to 7.44 expected monster actions reduced per encounter.

Fighter damage calculations
Build: Great Weapon Master, Great Weapon Fighting, Greatsword from Great Grandfather, Battle Master (Riposte, Parry), 16 Strength, Level 5
Monster Stats: AC = 5/3+12 = 14, HP = 14*5+10 = 80
Single Melee Attack: 2d6 (min 3) +3 + 10 = 22
Chance to Hit: 1-(14-6)/20 = 60%
Single Melee Attack KPR: 22*0.6/80 = 0.165
  1. Attack + Attack(action surge) + Reaction(Riposte/Parry): 5 single melee attacks @ 0.165 KPR/attack = 0.825 KPR, 66 Expected Damage
  2. Attack + Reaction(Riposte/Parry): 3 single melee attacks @ 0.165 KPR/attack = 0.49 KPR, 39.6 Expected Damage
  3. Attack + Reaction(Riposte/Parry): 3 single melee attacks @ 0.165 KPR/attack = 0.49 KPR, 39.6 Expected Damage
  4. Attack + Reaction(Riposte/Parry): 3 single melee attacks @ 0.165 KPR/attack = 0.49 KPR, 39.6 Expected Damage
Total Expected damage: 184.8
Average KPR: 0.57 KPR
This should take an encounter with 5 foes at 61 HP each that would have normally gotten 20 total attacks against your team reduced down to 15. Namely the Fighter eliminates 5 monster actions.

Defender
In a pinch you can use Booming Blade to keep a target stuck to you. Being a cantrip you can quicken another spell like Command and get some damage out of him running away, triggering the secondary Booming Blade damage (+2d8). But you are too squishy to do this consistently, and you want to avoid making Concentration saves, as much as possible.
If you really need to you can twin Booming Blade for when you are feeling ballsy or need to keep 2 guys away from your party.

Battlefield Control
Misty Visions gives us Silent Image at-will. See The Illusionists Guide to Reality for examples of images you can use to shape the battlefield.
A few Notable Examples
  • Larger predator to scare off beasts
  • Tentacles reaching out from the void
  • Giant mostly-opaque Ooze
  • A wall if you can bluff being a high level caster
Healer
Nothing more than we had at level 1

Utility
Misty Visions(Silent Image at-will): See The Illusionists Guide to Reality for your new found power. Recall their crappy Intelligence check vs. your proficiency boosted DC applies here as it does to Minor Illusion. Sadly both Silent Image and Hex use your concentration.


Face
Nothing more than we had at level 1

Player Level 6
Class: Sorcerer 4
Features: Inspiring Leader or Healer
Spells: Enhance Ability, Inflict Wounds->Lesser Restoration
Total effective Spell Points(4 encounters per day): 39

Healer
Here we finally patch up the Healer role
  • Lesser Restoration: Often Blinded, Deafened, Paralyzed, Poisoned are done to the team. Turn the tides with twinning.
  • Pick Healer if your frontline fighters are eating through their hit dice throughout the day. Healer will make a 6 encounter day look like you’ve had an extra 5 hit dice to spend. Remember to bring a stash of healer’s kits, they’re cheap
  • Pick Inspiring Leader if your DM has few encounters in a day and you need to handle larger spikes in damage.
  • Both grow in effectiveness if you break dungeon crawls into more encounters, but at the cost of needing to recast concentration spells.

Player Level 7
Class: Sorcerer 5
Spells: Enhance Ability -> Fireball, Haste
Total effective Spell Points(4 encounters per day): 39

Striker
Fireball: Enuf said
Haste: The total increased damage to the party brings your effective KPR far above that of the fighter

Healer
Haste??? +2 AC to 2 allies means few hits, fewer heals
Fireball?!?!? A good offense is a good defense. A dead goblin doesn’t attack. Don’t be a dumb bandaid, be a smart striker.

Team Player/god
Treantmonk’s God wizard is all about changing the course of the battle through subtle means. A fireball feels great, and you can do it more often than any other character. But you can also win the encounter by routing fewer resources through allies and let them have the spotlight. You are the wind beneath their wings and can reroute your energy where the team needs it.

Player Level 11
Class: Sorcerer 9
Features: Warcaster
Spells: Levitate->Sleet Storm, Counterspell, Fireball->Cone of Cold, Greater Invisibility, Polymorph, Dragon's Breath -> Holy Weapon (If allowed to twin), Raise Dead
Total effective Spell Points(4 encounters per day): 84

Striker
Greater Invisibility and Eldritch Blast’s 3 rays are amazing for damage here.
  • Quickened Eldritch Blast(@11th level) + Eldritch Blast + AB: 6d10@ 60% to hit costing 2 SP = 27.7 DpSP, 0.36 KPR, 55 dam single target
  • Cone of Cold(vs. 5 targets): 8d8@60% fail save costing 9 SP = 16 DpSP, 1.1 KPR, 144 dam.
  • Twinned Holy Weapon: +4d8 per round per attack. On a 11th level fighter over 5 rounds (21 attacks) that’s an extra 378 damage on just him. Add on top of that a second frontline character getting 10 attacks and the Kaboom at the end (4d8@ 30’ radius no friendly fire ~ 81) puts us at 640 damage or 127 damage per round(+0.87 KPR). This is on top of our own Eldritch blasts.
  • Twin Polymorph: +107 damage per round(+0.73 KPR). Choose wisely as they lose their abilities when transformed. Holy weapon doesn't squash abilities.
Defender and Battlefield Control
Warcaster adds yet another layer of protection for maintaining our spells.
  • Greater Invisibility(Concentration): Let the rogue/caster go to town w/o worrying about getting swarmed, and everyone afraid that you are invisibly next to them ready to blast them thanks to Warcaster.
  • Polymorph(concentration): Mwa ha ha. Twin T-Rexes. Resist the urge to polymorphing a foe as they get a save every round. You’d still need to damage them after they make the save.
  • Sleet Storm(concentration): huge AoE, not easy to leave difficult terrain. Split the enemies into bite sized chunks. Position so they keep falling prone and forced to make a save.
  • Holy Weapon(concentration) ends with a bang and blindness. This shuts down casters, imposes disadvantage, grants advantage, allows you to waltz around and use Minor Illusion(Auditory) to draw them over a cliff.
  • Absorb Elements: breaking your concentration is the worst. You're getting into the levels where a few hard hitters can break through your Favored of the Gods, Constitution save proficiency, and warcaster advantage. When you see the big club then forgo Shield in favor of reacting with Absorb Elements to ½ the damage and thus ½ the DC on the concentration check.
  • Armor of Agathys combos well with Absorb Elements against a horde of mooks. They are likely to deal the same damage type. Upcast Armor of Agathys for 25 temp HP, rush into the fray, then use Absorb Elements on the first hit. You take 1/2 damage while each hit smacks the attacker for 25 HP. No concentration to boot.
Healer
  • Healer: 1d6+4+level HP every short rest should reduce burden on Hit Dice. If you have 6 encounters, that's 111 HP healed per person, most likely the frontline fighters. Equivilant to giving them 3-5 hit dice to spend after every fight.
  • Raise Dead: when proactive healing fails
  • Healing Word as a bonus action. Can be twinned. Even if there is a TPK with you hanging on for dear life, you can get everybody back on their feet and flee.
  • Polymorph: proactive healing with temp HP, or use when an ally who pulled a Leroy Jenkins and is almost dead now.
  • Counterspell: Much cheaper to counter a Fireball/Cloudkill than heal it.
Utility
  • Greater Invisibility lets you get into places
  • Polymorph: Lots of handy beast options to handle various situations
Team Player/god
Haste, Polymorph, Greater Invisibility, Holy Weapon, sleet storm are ways we can enable the team to win the day while you sit back calmly blasting the BBEG with good but not ZOMG damage. Spice it up each encounter to keep your DM on his toes.

Player Level 14
Class: Sorcerer 12
Features: Alert
Spells: Wall of Stone, Lesser ->Greater Restoration, Cone of Cold->Chain Lightning, Mass Suggestion, Healing Word->Heal
Total effective Spell Points(4 encounters per day): 94
Healer
  • Twinned Heal during combat.
  • Twin Greater Restoration
Battlefield Control
  • Alert: Going before others means you are the first to complicate the others’ plans.
  • Mass Suggestion: no concentration, 12 creatures follow reasonable suggestion
Striker
Elven Accuracy boosts out Eldritch blast and crit chance(Hexblade curse gives is 19-20 critical)
Chain Lightning scales at +10d6 per level, better than anything.
  • Quickened Chain Lightning + EB + AB: 4(10d8)+2d10+2*cha@ 60% to hit costing 11 points = 15.6 DpSP, 1.13 KPR, 171 dam tot
Player Level 19
Class: Sorcerer 15
Features: Alert
Spells: Plane Shift, Sunburst, Meteor Storm,

Striker
  • Quickened Eldritch Blast(17th level) + Eldritch Blast + AB + curse w/ advantage: 8d10+8*5+8*6 @93% to hit = 61 DpSP, 0.46 KPR, 123 dam

Healer
Swap out Revifify with whichever Resurrection spell that fits with your party. Realize you can't change spell selection as easily as a cleric, who only needs a long rest.



Yuan-ti and Flavor
Yuan-ti are typically viewed as the cliche evil guys, evil motives, evil tactics, evil past and free pass to slaughter every last one of them. But I'd like to show them from a different light.

Quiddity and Choice
Order of the Stick did a great job showing the relationship between a god's essence and his followers. Now imagine if one of the early gods revealed, or had the key to quiddity understood by mere mortals. Further imagine if this essence was rooted in Choice. The greater the ability to choose, the greater the quiddity added to a god when that being died and rendered to that god's realm. Now imagine if you could somehow consume the quiddity from a creature and add it to your own. Animal sacrifices and human sacrifices now make sense as a mechanism for gaining power and ultimately consuming one's own god in order to supplant them, a sort of survial of the fittest.

This would explain their lack of empathy for humans, as no one but the Yuan-ti have learned the rituals for consuming choice. This explains why mind control and magical resistance is so common as they are striving to become creatures that have greater will than others. This explains why they are unique in using their gods as tools and think some capable of replacing them.

Rather than playing a Yuan-ti that is neutral evil for evil's sake, you can play one that looks at life differently. You use illusion as a way to test a person's fitness of Choice. You use Command as a way to take their choice or respect them when they assert their will and get a glimpse of what true living is.

Background
My first kiss was to the mayor of a town I had seduced and killed. Our clan needed to incite a civil war to weaken them so I posed as a citizen of a neighboring town. I learned a great deal of what human men liked.
This earned me the right to pursue Sorcery. I read about the epic empire we once had and the power Merrshaulk offered our people and wanted to see his might restored. Yet because I was a female I was barred from the priesthood. I mixed sorcery and divine to become a Divine Soul.

Ideals
I seek to awaken Merrshaulk, or better yet be powerful enough to consume and supplant him.

Bonds
High priests of Merrshaulk are likely to take notice of me as I gain in power, some wanting to sacrifice me, others fearing I will reveal disruptive truths (see below).

Goals
  • Fly in an airship. Being pressed upon by the Jungle Canopy and humidity, I've fantasized about the flying ships I read in the history books of my people from thousands of years ago.
  • I’m on a quest to become a warlock and use it’s curse combined with the sacrificial rites of Merrshaulk in order to better attune my mind to his and awaken Merrshaulk. I've learned that kidnapping people is a poor way to get sacrifices, instead society allows me to kill bad guys. Either way works.
    • <Reflavor Hexblade’s curse to reflect Yaun-ti’s belief that killing/sacrifice bestows power. See the on-death trigger of the curse>
  • Research a rumor there is a stick that can be transformed into a gloriously large snake, and how to control it. Perhaps the long forgotten spell "Sticks to Snakes" was simply misremembered.

Flaws
  • I am unprepared to deal with my humanity leaking through. Humor will at first be simply another learned skill, but slowly I’ll finally start actually getting it. Similarly crying will change from activated to real sorrow. I try to suppress this through meditation but humanity perseveres. Will this humanity drive me to fight Mershaulk’s cult, or will I be able to successfully supplant him?
  • My forked tongue is both a blessing and a curse. People recoil when they see it. Yet it is helpful in pronouncing foreign tongues and in seducing men and smelling pheromones. Thus when others lie they are less effective when they are nervous. Being attracted and in fear are easily exploited. Cities give me a headache unless I literally keep my mouth shut.
Interactions with others
As a humans look at Horses as tools, but categorically inferior to them, so do I view myself as a cut above humans. Some call me a racist, but if they only knew of the potential power they rarely glimpse when they chose to let their will overpower their bestial nature. I respect those that, through sheer will, defy the odds and rise above the dust of the earth. The Yuan-ti are the only people strong enough to take Quiddity from another and thus challenge the gods. I've learned that people are uncomfortable with these views, so I quietly let them continue in their meaningless lives and mortal visions.



Plot Hook
Powerful high priest of Mershaulk notice my rise to power and seek to kill me. When I learn about the prison(see below) and the futility of it all, their leadership seeks to kill me to keep the truth and their priestcraft hidden.

Plot Twist
The other Serpent gods, Sseth and later Set, unable to kill Merrshaulk, create a prison forever squelching his ability to communicate with his followers (incidentally triggering the downfall of the Yaun-ti). As is common in Yaun-ti culture, powerful high priests seek to consume their god and replace him. But with the prison it instead sucks in those that get that far and one kills the other with the prison draining their Quiddity to fuel the religion. Have others come to understand the prison as well as I do? Should I seek to destroy the prison and replace him, or choose to crush the head of the religion and let the last of the Quiddity be drained away and end the cycle of futility?
 
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FrogReaver

As long as i get to be the frog
Overall solid work. I see some statements I would challenge as you make them as if they are universally true but off no explanation.

Examples to follow.
 

Fenris-77

Small God of the Dozens
Bang out a couple more pages and you could probably sell this to the Idiot's Guide people. I do like Treant Monk's wizard builds, and this looks like a pretty solid example.
 

FrogReaver

As long as i get to be the frog
It out-damages a greatsword GWM fighter at all levels after first, except level 5 where he gets Extra Attack while we are 83% as good.

No evidence. It's also a statement that likely isn't true. IME most people are terrible at calculating the damage done by a GWM Battlemaster. In fact I'll challenge you. Let's look at a level 6 Fighter vs a Level 6 character of yours. Let's look at a 4 round combat. What are your actions in said combat to maximize your damage?

Attack plan @5th: Twin Inflict Wounds then Quickening Scorching Ray and Eldritch Blast

Another common issue I run into is people not discounting multiple attack damage properly when comparing with single target damage. In fact, an assumption that you will regularly twin a touch spell on two foes seems a little off to begin with...


Minor Illusion + Hex for disadvantage vs. investigation checks on Illusions.

Can't concentrate on an illusion and hex at the same time. Pretty much a non-working combo.


The real power of a Twinned haste is in frontloading damage. The first round of combat is the most important. Double speed and double targets means getting both the fighter and rogue into position.

Haste is terrible at front loading damage.

KPR
Kills per Round is a number that takes into account your average damage, chance to hit, and normalizes for an average monster's HP. Think of it as "what percent of a typical monster's HP can you chew through each round?" We make formulas for a typical monster's AC and HP as follows
AC=CR/3+12
HP=14*CR +10

chance to hit = 1-(Monster AC - To Hit)/20
Expected Damage = Average Damage * chance to hit
KPR = Expected Damage / Monster HP

A KPR of 0.25 means you can expect to chew through 25% of a typical monster’s HP for your level each round and is a baseline for strikers.
0.3 < KPR < 0.5
0.5 < KPR < 1.0
KPR > 1.0
Usually KPR above 1 is for novas. DMs, don't be afraid of these levels of damage as the player usually spent levels/feats to do this, and has spent their resources doing the nova. Let them have some spotlight, then throw another encounter at them. The rest of the party will likely have the reserves.

No explanation of how to handle AOE damage nor why.

Burning Hands (2.25 targets): 2.25 targets * 3d6 @60% to fail costing 2 spell points = 9.1 DpSP, .48 KPR, 19 dam

A perfect example of not discounting AOE damage - which is a huge flaw in the analysis.

Defender, a specialized battlefield controller
A meat shield is just a liability and a healing spell sink on the party. The real job of the tank is to keep the squishies safe, and punish foes for attacking them instead of him. His challenge is locking down foes as quick as possible.

He does this through Sentinel so as to keep them in place if they walk away.
He does this through being resilient to attacks
He does this to controlling the battlefield with reach

There is an overall problem here: you talk about using eldritch blast and being a defender and those things aren't very compatible as you will have disadvantage on EB when enemies get next to you - thus significantly lowering your damage output.


Reactive Healing
Healing damage < Temp HP < Boost to Concentration Save < higher AC/Save bonus < Not getting attacked < Dead foe
Reactive healing is at the bottom of this scale.

I guess we are to take your word for this?

Proactive Healing
Haste's beefed AC: +2 AC -> -10% average damage -> 10% monster damage you didn’t need to heal multiplied by each attack

Issue is that monsters have discretion over who to attack. If you increase a PC's defense then they tend to become a less likely target (not for every enemy in every battle - but as a general rule). This is an issue that retroactive healing avoids.
 
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borg286

Explorer
No evidence. It's also a statement that likely isn't true. IME most people are terrible at calculating the damage done by a GWM Battlemaster. In fact I'll challenge you. Let's look at a level 6 Fighter vs a Level 6 character of yours. Let's look at a 4 round combat. What are your actions in said combat to maximize your damage?
I've added a section in the Level 5 details which show the fighter build and calculations. Thank you. I had some miscalculations before, which resulted in his KPR jumping a bit. This dropped the 83% down to 70% as damaging as the fighter. Still that is pretty respectable.


Another common issue I run into is people not discounting multiple attack damage properly when comparing with single target damage. In fact, an assumption that you will regularly twin a touch spell on two foes seems a little off to begin with...
See below for response to AOE Damage


Can't concentrate on an illusion and hex at the same time. Pretty much a non-working combo.
Minor Illusion doesn't require concentration to cast. But the heart of your argument is that Silent Image and family (my build doesn't go past Silent Image) does require concentration. That is valid. You did remind me of some versatility of Hex I forgot to add. Namely spells that require ability checks rather than saves are ones you can boost, but only when an ally casts them so they concentrate on them. I added that list to the Level 2 section.


Haste is terrible at front loading damage.
Fair point. I'll reword it It is good from a damage per spell point perspective.

No explanation of how to handle AOE damage nor why.

See below for AOE discussion.

A perfect example of not discounting AOE damage - which is a huge flaw in the analysis.
See below for AOE discussion.

There is an overall problem here: you talk about using eldritch blast and being a defender and those things aren't very compatible as you will have disadvantage on EB when enemies get next to you - thus significantly lowering your damage output.
You're right, I had misremembered that the disadvantage only applied to weapon attacks. I'll fix this to reference Booming Blade. Sadly it isn't as effective at higher levels, but should still serve the purpose of making a few monsters second guess if they can move. I can't find a place where I assumed I'd be using Eldritch Blast for the Opportunity Attacks. I believe I only referenced Booming Blade, which does work as intended.


I guess we are to take your word for this?
Fair point. I am biased towards preserving concentration over draining a player's HP. Both eat into the team's reserves (Caster likely to cast another low level concentration spell, Hit dice likely to be drained, both daily resources). Can you point me to some analysis that would help me better understand what forms of healing are better than others? Perhaps I'm overvaluing concentration.


Issue is that monsters have discretion over who to attack. If you increase a PC's defense then they tend to become a less likely target (not for every enemy in every battle - but as a general rule). This is an issue that retroactive healing avoids.
That may be true. Usually a team is composed of 1-2 frontline characters, and 1-2 squishies. These frontline characters are usually enough to keep foes at bay and focused on them rather than the squishies. There is a level of stickiness inherit in D&D. Creatures in melee tend to stay in melee. Boosting these frontline character's AC will have a minor effect of making them less juicy as a target, but I believe it is only acted on when the defender has a godly AC yet no bite. Most defenders won't have Godly AC, but a respectable 17-19. A +2 leaves it in the respectable range but outside the Godly 24 AC.


AOE Analysis
How many targets

Obviously when you see a ball of mooks, the DM is begging you to fireball them. But for analysis we can't assume the optimal density. We need standards, but monster density is not prescribed in the DMG. For the few times I calculated the KPR of an AOE, I used the following table to calculate how many targets were in the area
RangeCubeRadiusConeLine
51211
101.75221
15232.251.5
20343.52
253.54.542
304.554.52.25
3555.54.752.5
405652.5
456653
506653
556753
606753

It is highly subjective, but I figured that if there were a ball of mooks greater than the estimated target count above, then those were mooks designed for the blaster to shine. The first few targets are likely more of a thread than the rest of the horde, so I accounted for this with diminishing returns. I made cones worth less as they are harder to position due to frequently limited space to back up far enough. Lines are easy to hate.

Bias
In a perfect world we could simply state the damage per target, then show the area shape and area affected and people would understand the difference. It is like comparing apples(single target) to oranges (radius Aoe) to cucumbers (line attacks) to grapes (friendly AoE) to Tomatoes (chain lightning). But people get turned off when you throw too much complexity at them, so we boil it all down to calories and forget the nutrients.

The problem now is how do you pick numbers like in the above chart, and how do you join the damages together. Do you treat each additional target past the first at half value, and half that... thus making AoEs simply do 2x their single target? This leads to my last topic

Teams as a bag of HP and actions
Normally you beat an encounter through killing foes, which means eating through their HP one way or another. Lets simplify the encounter by merging your team into a giant blob with 4 actions per round, your total HP vs. a blob of foes with all their actions and total HP. Single target attacks simply eat through the total HP and ever so often pop off an action from the enemy action economy. Area attacks multiply the single target damage by some situational factor and in some cases subtract a large number of actions the enemy blob can take.
The point is that their total HP needs to be reduced, so why artificially reduce the damage you did because it is unfair to single target strikers. The only justification is to account for some targets having more powerful actions than others. I don't have the right answer for accounting for this, but I'm happy to explore this space with you.

I am committed to redoing all my calculations above with any findings we have. I went with my best judgement and would guess that the rankings and thus choices won't end up changing. But I do want to be accurate with my analysis.
 

FrogReaver

As long as i get to be the frog
I've added a section in the Level 5 details which show the fighter build and calculations. Thank you. I had some miscalculations before, which resulted in his KPR jumping a bit. This dropped the 83% down to 70% as damaging as the fighter. Still that is pretty respectable.

Still not convinced you are calculating the fighter's damage properly. I also have some comments on your AOE calcs but I will save them till that section.

Minor Illusion doesn't require concentration to cast. But the heart of your argument is that Silent Image and family (my build doesn't go past Silent Image) does require concentration. That is valid. You did remind me of some versatility of Hex I forgot to add. Namely spells that require ability checks rather than saves are ones you can boost, but only when an ally casts them so they concentrate on them. I added that list to the Level 2 section.

Awesome!

Fair point. I'll reword it It is good from a damage per spell point perspective.

Agree! And I think it's worth mentioning how much more it benefits a rogue than any other class.

You're right, I had misremembered that the disadvantage only applied to weapon attacks. I'll fix this to reference Booming Blade. Sadly it isn't as effective at higher levels, but should still serve the purpose of making a few monsters second guess if they can move. I can't find a place where I assumed I'd be using Eldritch Blast for the Opportunity Attacks. I believe I only referenced Booming Blade, which does work as intended.

Right, but there is an opportunity cost for your build when it comes to trying to act as a "defender". You end up giving up significant damage from eldritch blast. As while you are engaged in melee you have disadvantage with eldritch blast. You can use booming blade in lieu and bypass the disadvantage but that's still significantly less damage.

The versatility is nice but it's not like you can defend without significantly lowering your damage output.

Fair point. I am biased towards preserving concentration over draining a player's HP. Both eat into the team's reserves (Caster likely to cast another low level concentration spell, Hit dice likely to be drained, both daily resources). Can you point me to some analysis that would help me better understand what forms of healing are better than others? Perhaps I'm overvaluing concentration.

It really depends on whether enemies ever target downed PC's - which is more of a DM call. If they do then waiting till a PC is downed to heal them does increase the risk of death significantly. There's also the question of how likely enemies are to bypass high defense characters for squishier ones - which also depends on the DM. If they do then buffing a characters defenses likely doesn't help much - in which case while healing is less efficient in terms of hp per spell, it's still a better option as it can be focused where needed.

But honestly it really depends on how the DM runs his monsters.

In terms of concentration - the higher your defenses are and more time you spend at range the less important a really high concentration save is. High AC + Shield spell eliminates most concentration saves. Having con proficiency and some stat points into con gives you a high enough save for the attacks that get through.

That may be true. Usually a team is composed of 1-2 frontline characters, and 1-2 squishies. These frontline characters are usually enough to keep foes at bay and focused on them rather than the squishies.

It depends on the DM, the number of enemies, etc.

There is a level of stickiness inherit in D&D.

5e isn't very sticky. OA's lose a lot of impact after level 5+ as monster hp gets high and your damage scales off multi attacking.

Creatures in melee tend to stay in melee.

That's a big assumption that isn't necessarily true.

Boosting these frontline character's AC will have a minor effect of making them less juicy as a target, but I believe it is only acted on when the defender has a godly AC yet no bite. Most defenders won't have Godly AC, but a respectable 17-19. A +2 leaves it in the respectable range but outside the Godly 24 AC.

Too many assumptions to draw the conclusions that you are. The most you can say is: "in my games monsters typically stay engaged with the melee warrior even when the melee warrior has a high AC".

AOE Analysis
How many targets

Obviously when you see a ball of mooks, the DM is begging you to fireball them. But for analysis we can't assume the optimal density. We need standards, but monster density is not prescribed in the DMG. For the few times I calculated the KPR of an AOE, I used the following table to calculate how many targets were in the area
RangeCubeRadiusConeLine
51211
101.75221
15232.251.5
20343.52
253.54.542
304.554.52.25
3555.54.752.5
405652.5
456653
506653
556753
606753

It is highly subjective, but I figured that if there were a ball of mooks greater than the estimated target count above, then those were mooks designed for the blaster to shine. The first few targets are likely more of a thread than the rest of the horde, so I accounted for this with diminishing returns. I made cones worth less as they are harder to position due to frequently limited space to back up far enough. Lines are easy to hate.

I don't know that I fully agree, but I think we can agree that typical AOE assumptions are highly subjective and I'm good leaving that part as is with that caveat. However, this is not the part I took issue with.

The issue is that an AOE that hits 3 enemies isn't actually having the impact of a single target attack doing 3x the damage. What you actually find is that the damage translates to about 100% impact on the first target and 50% impact on each subsequent target. So an AOE hitting 3 enemies is going to be more like *2 of the single target damage equivalent instead of *3. And AOE hitting 5 enemies is going to be more like *3 of the single target damage equivalent instead of *5.

We had a thread on here analyzing this very question at some point in the fairly recent past and that was the best estimate we were able to arrive at.

This will have a huge impact on your conclusions.


Bias
In a perfect world we could simply state the damage per target, then show the area shape and area affected and people would understand the difference. It is like comparing apples(single target) to oranges (radius Aoe) to cucumbers (line attacks) to grapes (friendly AoE) to Tomatoes (chain lightning). But people get turned off when you throw too much complexity at them, so we boil it all down to calories and forget the nutrients.

The problem now is how do you pick numbers like in the above chart, and how do you join the damages together. Do you treat each additional target past the first at half value, and half that... thus making AoEs simply do 2x their single target? This leads to my last topic

Solid summation

Teams as a bag of HP and actions
Normally you beat an encounter through killing foes, which means eating through their HP one way or another. Lets simplify the encounter by merging your team into a giant blob with 4 actions per round, your total HP vs. a blob of foes with all their actions and total HP. Single target attacks simply eat through the total HP and ever so often pop off an action from the enemy action economy. Area attacks multiply the single target damage by some situational factor and in some cases subtract a large number of actions the enemy blob can take.
The point is that their total HP needs to be reduced, so why artificially reduce the damage you did because it is unfair to single target strikers. The only justification is to account for some targets having more powerful actions than others. I don't have the right answer for accounting for this, but I'm happy to explore this space with you.

I am committed to redoing all my calculations above with any findings we have. I went with my best judgement and would guess that the rankings and thus choices won't end up changing. But I do want to be accurate with my analysis.

While that's a simple easy to calculate picture - its far from accurate as enemies aren't actually defeated as a big blob. Having 1 KPR of single target damage is vastly better than having 1 KPR of AOE damage that is split over 4 targets. Why? Because I'm actually reducing the enemies actions by 1 per round with the single target wheras the full action compliment never gets reduced till encounter end for the AOE character. Both take exactly the same number of rounds till victory. In this case the single target character takes 4+3+2+1 = 10 Actions. The AOE Character takes 4+4+4+4 = 16 Actions.
 
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Your Fighter sucks. He should have precise strike (ensuring he lands his GWM attacks) and tripping strike (for extra damage when he does land his hits, and advantage for the rest of his attacks that round due to Prone).

Also; slight problem with a Quicken build. While it works OK in really short adventuring days (1-2 encounters) it tends to suck on standard (6ish) or longer adventuring days.

Like... at 5th level (Sorc 3/ Lock 2), you have 3 SP. Thats 1 quickened spell per encounter (and you then need to blow a bonus action and one of your 2 second level spell slots to get those SP back to do it again).

Even if you somehow only managed to use 1 x 1st level slot for Hex (and maintained it all day long) you're left with 3 x 1st level slots, and 2 x 2nds (7 extra SP), not including your recharging Warlock slots (and even including them, that's 2 extra SP based on 2 short rests that day, considering you'll need to re-establish Hex after each short rest due to the 1 hour duration).

So at 5th level, you can quicken 5 (6 with 2 short rests) times (in an entire adventuring day (and realistically no more than 1/ encounter). That number drops with each spell you cast (like Shield), or each time you flub a concentration save and need to re-establish Hex.

There are also action economy issues. You'll be using a Bonus action to spam Hex onto your target, so no quickening that round. If you ALSO want to Hexblades curse, that's another Bonus action the following round (so again, no Quickening that round).

By Round 3 you can finally Quicken your (Hex+Curse) Eldritch blasts, but most combat are either over by then or nearly so.

At late levels (11th plus) you can reliably do this for the entire day for great DPR that lasts the entire adventuring day in most cases. But that DPR comes at the expense of your other spells, and you're still left with action economy issues.
 

borg286

Explorer
Agree! And I think it's worth mentioning how much more it benefits a rogue than any other class.
Done.

Right, but there is an opportunity cost for your build when it comes to trying to act as a "defender". You end up giving up significant damage from eldritch blast. As while you are engaged in melee you have disadvantage with eldritch blast. You can use booming blade in lieu and bypass the disadvantage but that's still significantly less damage.

The versatility is nice but it's not like you can defend without significantly lowering your damage output.
I added a section called Defend or Blast, pick one. I realize I failed to anticipate that people would get the impression that I was trying to fulfill both roles simultaneously. I added a note in the summary, and in the section dedicated to how the Sorlock defends, and their exclusivity. I'm still proud of just how many defendery abilities I could get. Perhaps Warcaster is too great a price for its benefit given I have Magic Resistance and Shield and Proficiency in Constitution saves. Would a +2 cha be better?

It really depends on whether enemies ever target downed PC's - which is more of a DM call. If they do then waiting till a PC is downed to heal them does increase the risk of death significantly. There's also the question of how likely enemies are to bypass high defense characters for squishier ones - which also depends on the DM. If they do then buffing a characters defenses likely doesn't help much - in which case while healing is less efficient in terms of hp per spell, it's still a better option as it can be focused where needed.

But honestly it really depends on how the DM runs his monsters.
The way I approached it was to
  1. Check off the Healing Word checkbox to deal with overkill and DM picking on a foe.
  2. Do proactive healing for combat (Haste, Polymorph, Invisibility)
  3. And finally deal with monster damage using either Heal, Healer or Inspiring Leader, where i favored the latter. Heal is late game. Both feats are are out of combat yet resourceless ways of dealing with monster damage.
  4. Everything else I'd leave up to a player's HP pool simply being another resource that can be drained and replenished through Hit dice. Inspiring Leader increases this HP pool depth. Rather than fixing a player's drained HP, I'd do battlefield control to let them get away. I now see that Minor Illusion and Greater Invisibility are the only tools in my kit to deal with characters not dead yet needing to get away.
I could only find that access to Heal and Polymorph, and twinning it, was a worthwhile use of my resources and actions in combat to deal with a character that was getting hammered and needed to be healed. Are you proposing a healer should be able to deal with this in combat?


5e isn't very sticky. OA's lose a lot of impact after level 5+ as monster hp gets high and your damage scales off multi attacking.
This is a great point. Only Sentinel, and other hard immobilization effects check the stickiness in high levels.
I had been imposing my 3.5 and 4e experience into 5e. Shamefully I've never played a 5e game before, only theorycrafted. This makes it clear why wizards need so many ways to deal with foes getting in their faces. I'll drop Haste as a proactive healing spell. You've made a fair point. I've moved haste into a section titled A good defense is a good Offense. I feel it incorporates your very valid points.

I don't know that I fully agree, but I think we can agree that typical AOE assumptions are highly subjective and I'm good leaving that part as is with that caveat. However, this is not the part I took issue with.

The issue is that an AOE that hits 3 enemies isn't actually having the impact of a single target attack doing 3x the damage. What you actually find is that the damage translates to about 100% impact on the first target and 50% impact on each subsequent target. So an AOE hitting 3 enemies is going to be more like *2 of the single target damage equivalent instead of *3. And AOE hitting 5 enemies is going to be more like *3 of the single target damage equivalent instead of *5.

We had a thread on here analyzing this very question at some point in the fairly recent past and that was the best estimate we were able to arrive at.

This will have a huge impact on your conclusions.
I like this model. I'll continue with my table for estimating targets for AOE spells, and then use your multipliers rather than the targets themselves for the biased converstion to single target damage.
It may take me some time to redo the calculations and sections to explain the reasoning. If you could find that discussion I'd love to read and reference it.


While that's a simple easy to calculate picture - its far from accurate as enemies aren't actually defeated as a big blob. Having 1 KPR of single target damage is vastly better than having 1 KPR of AOE damage that is split over 4 targets. Why? Because I'm actually reducing the enemies actions by 1 per round with the single target wheras the full action compliment never gets reduced till encounter end for the AOE character. Both take exactly the same number of rounds till victory. In this case the single target character takes 4+3+2+1 = 10 Actions. The AOE Character takes 4+4+4+4 = 16 Actions.
A character is not an island.
There is bound to be a single target focused ally in your team. Most of them use their bonus actions and are often in range of multiple targets. There is bound to be another character with access to AOEs.
How do we model this. Let's go with your 1 KPR baseline for the striker, and 0.5 KPR for 4 other members.
This totals 3 KPR. Let's assume we have 10 appropriately leveled monsters and we want to minimize the number of actions the monster team makes.

Everyone is Single Target
  1. Monsters go: 100% | 100% | 100% | 100% | 100% | 100% | 100% | 100% | 100% | 100% = 10 actions | Players go: 10 - 3 KPR
  2. Monsters go: 100% | 100% | 100% | 100% | 100% | 100% | 100% | 0% | 0% | 0% = 7 actions | Players go: 7 - 3 KPR
  3. Monsters go: 100% | 100% | 100% | 100% | 0% | 0% | 0% | 0% | 0% | 0% = 4 actions | Players go: 4 - 3 KPR
  4. Monsters go: 100% | 0% | 0% | 0% | 0% | 0% | 0% | 0% | 0% | 0% = 1 actions | Players go: 1 - 3 KPR
Total actions 22 actions

Everyone is AOE
Note that we are assuming their 1 KPR is before the above 50% penalty. Because I'm minimizing enemy actions I don't need to apply a 50% weight to secondary targets. Without doing this penalty one would see an AOE do way more than 1 KPR. Thus our sample party here is doing a rather weak 1 KPR of AOE, but let's run with it.
  1. Monsters go: 100% | 100% | 100% | 100% | 100% | 100% | 100% | 100% | 100% | 100% = 10 actions | Players go: Each monster gets 3 KPR total / 10 targets = 0.3 KPR
  2. Monsters go: 70% | 70% | 70% | 70% | 70% | 70% | 70% | 70% | 70% | 70% = 10 actions | Players go: 10 targets take 0.3 KPR
  3. Monsters go: 40% | 40% | 40% | 40% | 40% | 40% | 40% | 40% | 40% | 40% = 10 actions | Players go: 10 targets take 0.3 KPR
  4. Monsters go 10.% | 10.% | 10.% | 10.% | 10.% | 10.% | 10.% | 10.% | 10.% | 10.% = 10 actions | Players go: 10 targets take 0.3 KPR and each target is dead
Total monster actions 40 actions. This exemplifies your point

Now to my point that a character is not an island. Assume I'm the AOE attacker and the rest of the team is single target, same KPRs as before
  1. Monsters go: 100% | 100% | 100% | 100% | 100% | 100% | 100% | 100% | 100% | 100% = 10 actions | I go dealing 0.1 KPR to each foe, allies finish off 2 targets
  2. Monsters go: 90% | 90% | 90% | 90% | 90% | 90% | 90% | 70% | 0% | 0% = 8 actions | I go dealing 0.11 KPR to each foe, allies finish off 2 targets
  3. Monsters go: 77.5% | 77.5% | 77.5% | 77.5% | 77.5% | 12.5% | 0% | 0% | 0% | 0% = 6 actions | I go dealing 0.13 KPR to each foe, allies finish off 4 targets
  4. Monsters go: 60.8% | 43.3% | 0% | 0% | 0% | -4.2% | 0% | 0% | 0% | 0% = 2 actions | I go dealing 0.5 KPR to each foe, allies finish off the last target
Total monster actions 26. This isn't too far off of the optimal 22.
The main point is that given that the rest of the party is likely to have single target abilities, your AOE's inability to disable foes immediately, is cushioned by the fact that single target attacks can eat the remainders you leave behind.

Often the AOE attack is doing considerably more than an effective 1 KPR, potentially 8 KPR if mooks are bunched up well enough.
To the goal of the build, we want versatility between AOE and single target, and even doling out the single target into multiple attacks so that we don't waste damage through overkill

In the end we want at least 1 AOE spell, and 2 is often redundant. Fireball is best in slot for a window of levels. Cone of Cold beats it out due to rarity of cold resistance, and finally Chain Lightning wins as the single target KPR is respectably high, and the friendliness should make the penalty smaller.
 

For me it is missing crucial information, no background, no personality trait, no ideal, no Bond and no flaw. Seem empty shell character for me.
 

borg286

Explorer
Your Fighter sucks. He should have precise strike (ensuring he lands his GWM attacks) and tripping strike (for extra damage when he does land his hits, and advantage for the rest of his attacks that round due to Prone).

Also; slight problem with a Quicken build. While it works OK in really short adventuring days (1-2 encounters) it tends to suck on standard (6ish) or longer adventuring days.

Like... at 5th level (Sorc 3/ Lock 2), you have 3 SP. Thats 1 quickened spell per encounter (and you then need to blow a bonus action and one of your 2 second level spell slots to get those SP back to do it again).

Even if you somehow only managed to use 1 x 1st level slot for Hex (and maintained it all day long) you're left with 3 x 1st level slots, and 2 x 2nds (7 extra SP), not including your recharging Warlock slots (and even including them, that's 2 extra SP based on 2 short rests that day, considering you'll need to re-establish Hex after each short rest due to the 1 hour duration).

So at 5th level, you can quicken 5 (6 with 2 short rests) times (in an entire adventuring day (and realistically no more than 1/ encounter). That number drops with each spell you cast (like Shield), or each time you flub a concentration save and need to re-establish Hex.

There are also action economy issues. You'll be using a Bonus action to spam Hex onto your target, so no quickening that round. If you ALSO want to Hexblades curse, that's another Bonus action the following round (so again, no Quickening that round).

By Round 3 you can finally Quicken your (Hex+Curse) Eldritch blasts, but most combat are either over by then or nearly so.

At late levels (11th plus) you can reliably do this for the entire day for great DPR that lasts the entire adventuring day in most cases. But that DPR comes at the expense of your other spells, and you're still left with action economy issues.
You have a fair argument that my 5th and 6th level plan for a round expends the daily resources to be that competitive.
I agree that casting Hex a second time greatly reduces the damage output. This is why I put so much focus on getting a decent AC, Constitution saving throws, Magical Resistance, and showcased it with a ranged attack. If I do get damaged with so few points to spend, there is little point getting hex back up for the few remaining rounds. For a fighter, he has very little to lose each round that would affect the next round other than being immobilized.

This build does have a reliance on good planning for how many encounters you estimate the day will last. However the analysis of Damage per Spell Point and Font of Magic enables you to pace yourself. The Fighter will easily out damage me the longer the day lasts. My quote of being better than the fighter should hold up past level 7 however as we have enough spell points to quicken almost every round.

Regarding the warm up time, most nova builds have this problem, which is why this build puts so much focus on buffing your allies. Those concentration spells are a great use of your first action. The second round of action is merely missing the hexblade's curse. At low levels this doesn't add very much, but I'm still doing quite a bit of damage. There is always Twin Command which trades raw power for hard control and action denial, which doesn't have a DPR to compare against.

Last regarding the Fighter build, let's say they go with Precise Strike and Trip. Given that the foe can simply get back up, he'd have to do this every round. The first attack is made at 60%, then we branch. Either he hit or didn't. Hits and our subsequent single attack and Attack action get advantage. If he doesn't does he spend another superiority dice to try again? How often will you riposte in an encounter? For my "80% better than a fighter" quote I was using this sheet made by another person. You'll need to head down to the "Fighter BM GWM GWF" section to see how they estimated the best strategy for maximizing expected damage.
I'll grant that the comparison isn't fair as these calculations assume the fighter is doing a reasonable balance between maneuvers, while my Sorlock assumes 2 targets I can touch and I add their damage equally.

Please do break down what a better fighter would do, using the same AC and HP as I used above. I'll gladly replace it. I'm going to block the human fighter however as an extra feat is not representative of a standard striker baseline.
 

borg286

Explorer
For me it is missing crucial information, no background, no personality trait, no ideal, no Bond and no flaw. Seem empty shell character for me.
Fair point. I touched on the Yuan-ti race/mindset at the end, but didn't have enough time last night to get this extra stuff. I'll add a section for the flesh.
 

Fair point. I touched on the Yuan-ti race/mindset at the end, but didn't have enough time last night to get this extra stuff. I'll add a section for the flesh.
Your work prove that the phb + 1 rule for character building is a wise rule.
and I would perfectly agree with a DM that ban the MC for the triumvera paladin, warlock, sorcerer.
 

borg286

Explorer
Fair point. I touched on the Yuan-ti race/mindset at the end, but didn't have enough time last night to get this extra stuff. I'll add a section for the flesh.
Added background. I'd be happy to hear your feedback.
I agree that the warlock dip messes with the vancian casting style of the other classes. Cha casting ability has too much power in it.
 

Added background. I'd be happy to hear your feedback.
I agree that the warlock dip messes with the vancian casting style of the other classes. Cha casting ability has too much power in it.
There is few path for char op in 5ed. They are well know by now and DM should not be surprised so much.
But more important char op is getting less and less trending compare to character story.
 

You have a fair argument that my 5th and 6th level plan for a round expends the daily resources to be that competitive.
I agree that casting Hex a second time greatly reduces the damage output. This is why I put so much focus on getting a decent AC, Constitution saving throws, Magical Resistance, and showcased it with a ranged attack. If I do get damaged with so few points to spend, there is little point getting hex back up for the few remaining rounds. For a fighter, he has very little to lose each round that would affect the next round other than being immobilized.

This build does have a reliance on good planning for how many encounters you estimate the day will last. However the analysis of Damage per Spell Point and Font of Magic enables you to pace yourself. The Fighter will easily out damage me the longer the day lasts. My quote of being better than the fighter should hold up past level 7 however as we have enough spell points to quicken almost every round.

Regarding the warm up time, most nova builds have this problem, which is why this build puts so much focus on buffing your allies. Those concentration spells are a great use of your first action. The second round of action is merely missing the hexblade's curse. At low levels this doesn't add very much, but I'm still doing quite a bit of damage. There is always Twin Command which trades raw power for hard control and action denial, which doesn't have a DPR to compare against.

Last regarding the Fighter build, let's say they go with Precise Strike and Trip. Given that the foe can simply get back up, he'd have to do this every round. The first attack is made at 60%, then we branch. Either he hit or didn't. Hits and our subsequent single attack and Attack action get advantage. If he doesn't does he spend another superiority dice to try again? How often will you riposte in an encounter? For my "80% better than a fighter" quote I was using this sheet made by another person. You'll need to head down to the "Fighter BM GWM GWF" section to see how they estimated the best strategy for maximizing expected damage.
I'll grant that the comparison isn't fair as these calculations assume the fighter is doing a reasonable balance between maneuvers, while my Sorlock assumes 2 targets I can touch and I add their damage equally.

Please do break down what a better fighter would do, using the same AC and HP as I used above. I'll gladly replace it. I'm going to block the human fighter however as an extra feat is not representative of a standard striker baseline.


The Fighter (5) swings using GWM. He has 2 attacks (and then 2 more if using Action surge, and a 5th if any of these attacks drop a creature to 0 HP, or Crit).

IF attack 1 hits, he uses Pushing Strike, doing extra damage and also trying to knock the creature Prone (so his remaining attacks this turn have advantage). If it misses, he uses Precise strike so it hits. He then attacks 1-4 more times on Turn 1 (depending on Action surge, and reducing a creature to 0 HP or critting).

Presuming the DMG median of 2-3 short rests per adventuring day, he can do this 3-4 times per long rest.

When it come to the Sorclock's DPR he needs to expend daily resources to get it up and running (long rest resources mainly, although he does have short rest based spell slots) AND he also has a lot of problems with the action economy requiring a bonus action to:

1) Lay on Hex
2) Lay on Hexblades curse
3) Create more SP to Twin a cantrip (presuming 2 levels of Warlock in the first 5 levels, he can Twin once per encounter at levels 2-5, twice at 6-7, 3 times at 8-9 etc)

Honestly, by the time your target is Hexed AND Cursed, your party have had 2-3 rounds depending on initiative order of pummelling the target themselves (meaning it's likely dead already), and even then you get to blast the once, before having to waste another Bonus action to transfer Hex (and maybe another one to create more SP for another Quicken.

It looks OK in a whiteroom, but in an actual encounter (among many in an adventuring day), it's situational at best.
 

jgsugden

Legend
You spend a lot of focus on damage for being a Treatmonk style "God" class.
What I find myself constantly explaining is that “being a god” doesn’t mean godlike power. I chose the name based on Greek Myths, where a god would get some hapless mortal to do their dirty work, merely interfering by magic to ensure that the hero always had the advantage. This is what a god wizard is, a wizard who lets the rest of the party have the glory, but subtly ensures through Battlefield Control, Buffing and Debuffing that the party always achieves victory.
You're more of a jack of all trades.
 

borg286

Explorer
The Fighter (5) swings using GWM. He has 2 attacks (and then 2 more if using Action surge, and a 5th if any of these attacks drop a creature to 0 HP, or Crit).

IF attack 1 hits, he uses Pushing Strike, doing extra damage and also trying to knock the creature Prone (so his remaining attacks this turn have advantage). If it misses, he uses Precise strike so it hits. He then attacks 1-4 more times on Turn 1 (depending on Action surge, and reducing a creature to 0 HP or critting).

Presuming the DMG median of 2-3 short rests per adventuring day, he can do this 3-4 times per long rest.

When it come to the Sorclock's DPR he needs to expend daily resources to get it up and running (long rest resources mainly, although he does have short rest based spell slots) AND he also has a lot of problems with the action economy requiring a bonus action to:

1) Lay on Hex
2) Lay on Hexblades curse
3) Create more SP to Twin a cantrip (presuming 2 levels of Warlock in the first 5 levels, he can Twin once per encounter at levels 2-5, twice at 6-7, 3 times at 8-9 etc)

Honestly, by the time your target is Hexed AND Cursed, your party have had 2-3 rounds depending on initiative order of pummelling the target themselves (meaning it's likely dead already), and even then you get to blast the once, before having to waste another Bonus action to transfer Hex (and maybe another one to create more SP for another Quicken.

It looks OK in a whiteroom, but in an actual encounter (among many in an adventuring day), it's situational at best.
Thank you for showing how Pushing strike, Precise strike and action surge could be used. But I was asking you to go through the math and show me that the expected damage would be better than the Riposte/Parry strategy I used. I don't think the Riposte/Parry fighter "sucks" compared with your Precise/Pushing version. It might be 0.05 KPR off, but not enough to make the ratio of Sorlock KPR / Fighter KPR noticably different at level 5.

Your argument about 2-3 encounters per day is valid. If I knew there would be 3 encounters that day I'd spread out my damage with Quicken Eldritch Blast.

Your scenario you painted, 2-3 rounds in and I finally have all my buffs up before I start attacking is not what I outlined in the level sections. I show how much damage I frontload. While it isn't as good as the figher's Action Surge, the average over 4 rounds is respectable and often superior. Never do I end up spending a minor action to convert my spells to points. I assume one does this after defeating the foe in preparation for the next battle. The tricky part is picking the best way to use one's minor and main actions to frontload as much damage as possible. Note that I Hex and then use Twin Inflict Wounds prior to level 5. She is not just warming up while the party does the heavy lifting. She is right up there with them on round 1 benefiting from Hex. The curse is simply nice and squoze in there so the Quicken EB + EB at level 5 can use it later on.
 
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borg286

Explorer
You spend a lot of focus on damage for being a Treatmonk style "God" class. You're more of a jack of all trades.
As I've listened to his Youtube videos he mentions that the Dodge action is sometimes the best thing you can do. Why? Because his concentrated spells are so important to keep up and damage is not a goal. I say that you can have your cake and eat it too. I saw the Quickened Eldritch Blast + Eldritch Blast + Agonizing Blast as getting most of the way to what a party needs of a striker, and that the Darkness trope has diminishing returns for the problems it caused the party. What could be had if we dropped the Darkness and instead focused on the party, could we get even higher KPR by enabling them, akin to the God class? Yes and more.

Regarding the jack of all trades, Normally they are only 1/2 as good as a properly built Healer/Defender/Striker... My goal is to be somewhere in the 75% to 100% range. Where do you feel I fall short of this mark? The areas I admit are less than adequate are "choosing between Defender and Striker", and full utility of a caster class (Dimension Door, Teleport, Scrying, Familiar scout). I do feel the battlefield control role is properly filled out however.
 

Blue

Ravenous Bugblatter Beast of Traal
My concern is that at the lower levels this will run out of juice (slots and SP) well before the end of the adventuring day. You'll still have a single EB + AB per round, but that will bring your average damage well down.

If a DM does the recommended 6-8 encounters per day, and you're keeping a good concentration spell and enough SP to twin it (which might involve breaking down some slots) for the high end of encounters, that doesn't leave a lot else per encounter. Take out some additional slots for reaction like Shield, and any utility outside of combat, and the build does not seem to be able to fuel it's potential until Tier 3 (maybe) or 4.

To be able to throw out these huge numbers, we're looking at what, say 8 spells for a 3-4 round combat plus breaking down say 2-4 more spells for SP after combat to fuel the next encounter? The KPR is showing a Action casting and a Bonus Action casting, plus there will be reactive needs like Shield.

I think this is a very efficient nova machine, but it for the most part boasts impressive damage by burning through resources quicker. Even a base EB + quickened EB round will take breaking down a 2nd level slot to replenish those spell points. If you have a DM who throws 2-3 encounters a day it can be better than even the other casters who bask in that situation because it can use resources quicker. But while it's a firehose compared to other casters garden hose, they both have the same size water tank at the end.
 

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