5E Which way to go with pole arm build?

Sacrosanct

Legend
Knowing most campaigns won’t go past level 12 or so, how would you lean?

* bugbear fighter to get the extra 5ft reach on melee attacks (15ft reach with a halberd + polearm mastery at level 4?), but at the cost of being a bugbear in a human centric world (RP issues)

* human fighter to get the trio of feats by level 6?

* human paladin to get feats and smite?

* other.

Optimizing not necessary to get most DPR. But what sounds most appealing if you were to build a polearm based PC?
 

Zardnaar

Legend
Myself I would probably look at the fighter or nature cleric with staff.

Paladin's a bit MAD unless you rolled well. The fighter can mix it with sentinel and/or great weapon Master.
 

Kurotowa

Adventurer
The bugbear sounds like overkill. What will 15ft reach do that 10ft reach won't? I'd only do it if I had a really solid idea for a bugbear PC. Between Fighter and Paladin, it's a toss up. Given how short my recent campaigns have been I might lean towards the Fighter just to have a hope of playing the full build, but that's personal circumstances.
 

houser2112

Explorer
I'm currently playing a 4th level human battlemaster with a glaive and it's a lot of fun. I took GWM at 1st level, but I probably should have gone with PAM instead. PAM allows you to use your bonus action to attack every turn, and the Riposte maneuver allows you to use your reactions as well. Precision maneuver allows you to make up for the inevitable misses that using GWM will incur.

I agree that a 15ft reach is overkill, and not worth giving up the opportunity to have a feat at 1st level.
 

houser2112

Explorer
In the PHB Errata, the Spear was added to the Polearm Mastery feat.
Link?

If a spear is now a polearm, it might be worth giving up 2 average damage (which you could make up by taking the Dueling style, and the shield more than covers losing the Defense style that I would normally recommend). You're giving up GWM since a spear isn't Heavy, though. You could take Spear Mastery (UA 20160606) in its place, though, giving you +1 to hit, a die increase to d8, and the ability to get reach by using your bonus action.

Intriguing, but I'm not sure I'd want to give up GWM.

TBH, I wouldn't bother with a polearm build in 5e (or 4e, or TSR era) ...
I'd save it for the next time I get invited to a 3.5 game.
Sarcasm? Polearms were rather crappy in 3.5 since you couldn't attack adjacent squares.
 

Blue

Ravenous Bugblatter Beast of Traal
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Sacrosanct

Legend
Yeah, I briefly played a BM fighter with a spear and shield combo and PAM and it was very effective. Getting a bonus attack every round and having the protection of a shield with dueling fighting style was very effective.
 
Yeah, I briefly played a BM fighter with a spear and shield combo and PAM and it was very effective. Getting a bonus attack every round and having the protection of a shield with dueling fighting style was very effective.
I did the same with a quarterstaff before I learned of the errata. Unfortunately, the shame and revulsion of using a quarterstaff one-handed built up until I just couldn't take it any more.
 
Had a variant human paladin use PAM that was fairly effective. The reaction attack allowed him to take another action against fliers (a notorious enemy of the paladin), and the bonus action attack gave him an extra chance for smite. Probably not the most optimal, but it was fun for him to play.
 

akr71

Adventurer
The bugbear sounds fun. I have a hobgoblin halberd wielding battle master that I use in one shots and occasional side games and he is a lot of fun.

However, the human battle master is what I would likely choose.
 

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