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Level Up (A5E) The sorcadin is dead. Long live the sorcadin!

Sepaulchre

Villager
We all know the Sorcadin got a bad rap in O5e. Sure, it had ridiculous burst and could absolutely dominate encounters, all while providing the party with the best support ability in the whole freaking game. A5e tried to kill the sorcadin, and for good reason. But the Sorcadin lives. The build is a little different, and looks to be worse, but probably still viable. Here's how it goes:

Herald 6/Brute Fight 3/Sorcerer X

The combo is simple: Brute Fighter's third-level ability gives to spend exertion to add 1d8 damage to melee weapon attacks. Sound familiar? The Herald combat maneuver ability lets you convert spell slots into exertion points. And, of course, Sorcerer gives us great spell slot growth to power the machine and quicken spell (hello, Hold Person, and welcome, Altered Strike).

It's obviously hard to draw direct comparisons. One way to quantify it is to think about total "smite" d8s. At level 6, the A5e Herald has only 6 smite d8s, in comparison to 5e Paladin's 14. That's part of the overall nerf to Smite as a class feature. And obviously, you can't start spending exertion to smite until level 9. But that point, the build becomes very comparable to the sorcadin in terms of smite dice. Even assuming 0 short rests, you get 26 smite d8s: 12 from spell slots, 8 from the short-rest exertion pool, and 6 from Smite. Obviously, the more short rests, the more d8s. By contrast, the sorcadin has 29 d8s at 9th level. At level 11, our multiclass abomination has 42 d8s with zero short rests, actually exceeding the the sorcadin's 39. Long live the sorcadin!

Of course, our "smite" competes with both maneuvers and our second-level spell slots. And a build that comes on at level 9 is not exactly good, outside of your high-level one shot. Another build worth considering is Brute Fighter 5/Herald 2/Sorcerer X. That misses out on what still looks to be the best support ability in the game, but only has one "down" level at level 6---not a level known for substantial boosts in power anyhow. And it functions like your run of the mill Brute fighter the whole time, in that you are very good at hitting hard. I suspect this build is probably the better one in both white-room theory and actual practice.

Is it worth delaying or giving up maneuver progression? I have no idea. I note that, because the Herald exchanges spell slot levels 2-for-1 with exertion, this scales better with higher level slots than the old O5e smite, which was spell slot level plus one. And with critical hit ranges substantially expanded in A5e, I do worry that the opens up some pretty incredible crit-fishing builds. I suppose only time will tell.
 

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Stalker0

Legend
So if I'm understanding it right, couldn't you just do this with a Herald 2/Brute Fighter 3/Sorc X?

All you need is the 2nd level in Herald to get access to its "Spell Slots = Exertion" ability, and then can convert into 1d8s as you want from there. Now I could understand wanting to get to Herald 5 to get extra attack, which seems really important for a raw damage build....but what does Herald 6 bring to the table?
 

ReshiIRE

Adventurer
Needless to say, this is going to be a very interesting character to try and justify narratively =p Though it can be done for sure, with the right backstory elements (though it is probably best that this type of build emerges because it makes sense for the character, rather than the character being made to make sense for the build).

Narrative objections aside... this does seem like it'd be fascinating to play. Eespecially outside of combat and in a more social role. How will it deal with the awkwardness around delayed social features or expertise? What about ASIs and feats?
 

Sepaulchre

Villager
So if I'm understanding it right, couldn't you just do this with a Herald 2/Brute Fighter 3/Sorc X?

All you need is the 2nd level in Herald to get access to its "Spell Slots = Exertion" ability, and then can convert into 1d8s as you want from there. Now I could understand wanting to get to Herald 5 to get extra attack, which seems really important for a raw damage build....but what does Herald 6 bring to the table?
You could. You'd be forgoing Extra Attack, though, and I think that'd be rough for your burst damage.

Narrative objections aside... this does seem like it'd be fascinating to play. Eespecially outside of combat and in a more social role. How will it deal with the awkwardness around delayed social features or expertise? What about ASIs and feats?

Great points. Probably it's not optimal. It looks much worse than the sorcadin, and it's for sure against the general spirit of A5e.
 

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