Hey, there! So you may or may not have seen my last two articles, Google Slides and Dungeons and Dragons. Well, while a lot of people in the newspaper only have a history lesson and basic knowledge, your favorite (goblin) adventurer is here to tell you the stuff I learned from Reddit, Wikipedias specifically on the matter, books made and published by Wizards of the Coast, Youtube videos, and my own firsthand knowledge!
The first thing you need to know is that most adventuring parties, even in the smallest groups, will act like total goofballs. On this note, not everyone in the party will act exactly the way the dungeon master wants them to. But as Sr. Pelo said in his gender war video, “It’s ok, it’s all okay! But you do NOT HATE OTHERS FOR THAT! YOU LOOK LIKE KIDS!!” as the dungeon master, you have full power over what happens in the world. But you cannot just force them onto a story without giving any choices. That’s called railroading, and you’re better off just writing a book, Baka sakka. And as a player, don’t be afraid to act like goofballs with the rest of the party if the dm is okay with it. But if they aren’t, and want to do a serious and gritty campaign, and you’re the only one in the group who’s joking around like you’re playing as chaotic stupid, that’s just being a fool.
If you do:
Next, now that you have an idea of what it’s like to narrate the game as a dungeon master, time to learn some tricks for making memorable characters. Buckle up and take a bathroom break now, this might take a while.
Part 1: Class Builds
#1: Triple Fighter Monoclass:
A mono-class build is a character that gets a large bundle of features that work beautifully together without multi-classing. With that said, I have found a trick that allows you to have an eldritch knight, battle master, and a third class (champion for the three core classes?) of your choice. At level one, you get to pick your fighting style. In the new Tasha’s Cauldron of Everything book, you gain new fighting style choices. One of them, superior technique, allows you to get a battle master technique at level one, with a monopoly die (six sided die, or d6) for your superiority die at level one. Choose that and pick from the battle master maneuvers. Then, at level three, pick any subclass (martial archetype) except for the aforementioned battle master and eldritch knight. Then, at level four, you gain an ability score increase. Instead, take the magic initiate feat and pick two cantrips and a single wizard spell from the abjuration or evocation school of magic. For extra points, at level six, take the martial adept feat for two more maneuvers and an extra superiority die.
#2: 1200 ft Spell Sniping Sorlock
This build is based off of an old “dandwiki.com” optimized character build. Basically, you start off with a variant human, and then choose either the warlock or sorcerer class. Either way, you get both of them later on, but I prefer to start with warlock, because it’s easier to survive earlier on with a d8 (an eight sided die) than a d6 (a six sided die), and the patron abilities at level one are a lot better than, say, better spell-casting and a single feature. I prefer the Great Old One patron (also known as a goolock) or the Genie patron (should I call it a lamplock?). So now that you have a warlock, put at least 2 levels into it. Then, once you hit a character level of three, put your first level into sorcerer. Any sorceress origin is fine, but I find that clockwork soul and Draconic heritage are great for middle and late game, meaning that they offer better options when you put more levels into them. Then, put another two levels of sorcerer into your character. Now, you should be at a warlock level of two, and a sorcerer level of three. Now you have a sorcerer-warlock two-class multi-class – otherwise known as a sorlock – that can cast eldritch blast from 600 feet away, and even 1200 feet for up to eighteen times a day if you put the rest of your levels into sorcerer.
#3: Psionic Master
Note: this is not a good multi-class. I just did it for a third character build, but you might be able to pull this off better than I can.
The idea is to have every psychic class in the game all bundled into one character – psi warrior, soulknife, goolock, and aberrant mind in one. You should most likely pick goolock first, as it has the most hit dice out of all 1st level psionic based characters (psi warrior and soulknife don’t count, since they both start out as regular fighter and rogue), telepathy, and spells in one class.
Then, just put all of them together with each class. It’s not too complicated.
#4: Killer Shinobi
This multiclass was used for me to make a ninja character. It’s an arcane trickster rogue, plus a gloom stalker ranger. The reasons I picked these classes and subclasses, along with their level placement are quite simple: R (3+), GS (3), with R being rogue, and GS being gloom stalker ranger. While I suggest starting with rogue, each one has their own benefits. For example, with ranger, you get to start off with free scale mail, an advantage you wouldn’t get with rogue. Anyways, now that you know what classes to go for, we should work on spells. We’ll start with Arcane Trickster first.
Invisible, and can be used with thieves tools
Ninjas used lots of fire, with a part of the Bansenshukai (roughly translating to “Sea of Myriad Rivers Merging” or something like that,) LITERALLY being called “The Art of Arson”, explaining how to distract guards by setting fire away from the entrance of the infiltration, how and where are the best tactics to set fire, etc. They also used fire as communication, I think Gaijin Goombah said they used it in weapons, and things I’m probably forgetting.
This one feels self explanatory
Ninja used fog to initiate a battle
And many more spells I can’t remember. Check out Gaijin Goombah’s video for the whole list. Now, for the ranger spells.
If you’re impatient and want fog cloud NOW, you can take it as a ranger spell. Keep in mind that if you choose it now and want something else where it would have been, silent image is also a good choice.
If you heard Gaijin’s explanation for the mobile feat, you would know ninjas need to outrun enemies. For that reason, Longstrider is also a good choice. And with extra spell levels depending on how many extra ranger points you put into this build (though not recommended), you can even cast it on extra people within touch range.
See longstrider, but you also get an extra 20 ft, advantage on an attack roll, an extra d8 of damage on the advantageous roll, and your movement doesn’t provoke opportunity attacks. Undoubtedly, this is one of the best 1st level spells in the game. You can’t cast it at higher levels, though, which is a shame.
With this build, there’s one more thing to mention: be creative with everything you have! Shinobi never viewed their weapons as mere pointy sticks of metal and wood, for example even a simple towel could be tied in a knot to hold a bridge together, a sickle could be used as an anchor or grappling hook, an axe or sword could be used as a stepping stool, a spear could be used as a vaulting pole or navigation through a dark area (similarly to how blind people use sticks to see where they’re going), or even a hammer could be used as a catapult in the right hands.
Part 2: feats, and which to use
Now hear me out, these are good. But there are ways to make the bad ones good, and the good ones great. It all depends on optimization and campaign choice, however.
This is a good pick if you know how to use it.
Toll the dead can do a lot of damage, from 1d8 at 1st level against an enemy with full health, all the way to 4d12 against a damaged opponent at 17th level.
Prestidigitation could easily clean armor
Guidance adds an extra d4 to a skill check, which, while not much, could mean the difference between life and death.
Mage hand could throw weapons to you from up to thirty feet away, which could help you out in a breakout scene.
Fire bolt could be used to burn bridges (figuratively and literally,) to help you and your party.
On a cooler point (pun intended), frostbite could be used to give an enemy disadvantage on a potentially killing blow.
Ok, hear me out. You get a +5 bonus to initiative rolls, in addition to the bonus you already have! That, along with the negation of hidden strikes at you getting advantage and not being surprised unless unconscious, makes this feat a boon for bodyguard player characters. Trust me. This is a good feat.
Shield Training (ua)
While a must-have for war spellcasters, it has some footing for martial classes as well, what with the whole “can don or doff a shield as a free item interaction on their turn” thing going on. And being able to use a shield as a spellcasting focus, just imagine how cool it would be for a wizard to just pop out of the fray with a shield and the shield start glowing as he shot a ray of crackling lightning at a dragon! That, plus the already existing shield master feat, equals some amazing defensive power!
Part 3: character ideas
While we already covered optimized class builds, character IDEAS are a different matter entirely. While we already covered some cool plans for class builds, ideas for characters are another thing entirely.
Dream eating parasite (Dhampir UA that feeds on dreams, with a parasite infecting you, except this time you ARE the parasite.)
Crazy insane person (low intelligence and wisdom, urchin to go for the hobo stereotype)
Dumb wizard (utility spells that don’t require spell attacks or save dcs: prestidigitation, mending, shield, and the like.)
Triton simp/white-knight (Genie warlock, or ringlock according to my earlier entry, with a marid patron, or a Fathomless patron, which I shall call a sealock.)
Tritons, fishfolk, whatever – they’re chivalrous and annoying sometimes, and the chivalry part is what brings the build together. I saw this idea on r/dndmemes, but I can’t remember what website the meme was from (Tumblr maybe, or Twitter or something like that). Sorry!
Tiefling warlock of the Fiend subclass who knows that he’s going to the nine hells, so he tries to get in Asmodeus’s good graces by serving his daughter Glasya. Sauce: reddit
Indiana Jones (variant human with dungeon delver feat, carries a whip, bonus points if you can get a friend to play as Short Round.)
A dead character taken over by a hat (this one’s a stretch, but hear me out: I’ve developed a feature for the hat that changes everything. Sauce: reddit? maybe?)
Hat Takeover. If your character dies, roll a d20. On a roll of 1-5, your hat falls unconscious, and must also make death saving throws. Afterwards, if it survives, it must attach itself to a new character as if you had rolled a 10-20.
6-9: Your hat gives the last of its leeching life force to save your vitality. You return to life with one hit point. You no longer have this feature, nor is your hat alive. Otherwise, you are the exact same, retaining your race, class, and other features.
10-20: You die, but you now play as your hat while it searches for a new vessel. Your vessel can be any creature with a head or head like appendage. Once attached, your target must make a wisdom saving throw with a DC equal to 8 + your constitution modifier + half your proficiency bonus. On a failed save, you take over that character, acting as if under the reincarnate spell and making the appropriate changes to fit the new race. On a successful save, your target is immune to this effect for 24 hours, and you must search for a new vessel. If you do not find a vessel within 1 minute, you die.
Sans (homebrew a skeleton race, then he’s a high level graviturgy wizard who uses sunbeam, ice knife reflavored to look like bones, misty step/teleport, and reverse gravity primarily.)
These are high level spells, and can’t typically be used often, with bone knife being the exception.
Low constitution is most likely required for this build to work, but keep in mind sans also has a high dodge rate, so maybe give him one level in monk for unarmored defense?
Thanks for reading this! I know this took a while to make, but I really hope you all love it! Bye!
Who am I? I am the swordsman who can never be stopped. I am the weeb who commands an army of characters. I… am… Zac D! I love anime (Fullmetal is bomb btw) and D&D, and wish to one day help bridge the gap between anime and tabletop rpgs. Anime gets a bad rap in the ttrpg community, but I like both. Anyways, I have three dogs and two switches, a regular switch and a switch lite, and may be getting a computer. Until then, I can only hope…