Warlord build at level 2.

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I've only played one campaign before the one I'm currently playing, except I was a wizard. Our group needed a healer, so I am trying the warlord. It seems to be going okay so far, but I'm looking for advice to make him better. Our group is 2 Eladrin's, one a rogue and the other a wizard, and a Goliath Barbarian. Then you have me:

Adalhelm
Dragonborn Warlord
Inspiring Prescence

Level 2
STR   19
CON  13
DEX   10
INT   13
WIS  12
CHA  15

HP: 35/17/10 & 9 surges per day
AC: 19 (11 +7 armour, +1 veteran's chain enhancement)
FORT: 16 (11 +4 Str, +1 class)
REF:  13 (11 +2 Int, +1 misc)
WILL: 14 (11 +3 Cha, +1 class)

At wills: Wolf-Pack Tactics & Furious Smash
Encounter: Inspiring Word, Hammer & Anvil, Dragon Breath (Str v. Ref & Acid)
Daily: Bastion of Defense
Utility: Encouraging Boost
Feats: Toughness, Skill Training(Perception) *because our overall perception was really low.
Equipment: Fleshseeker Warhammer, Light Shield, Veteran's Chainmail, Earring of Warning(+1 initiative)

Skills:
Acrobatics    0
Arcana       +2
Athletics    +4
Bluff           +3
Diplomacy   +8 (trained)
Dungeon   +2
Endurance  +6 (trained)
Healing     +7 (trained)
History      +4
Insight      +2
Intimidate  +10 (trained)
Nature       +2
Percept      +7 (Trained)
Religion      +2
Stealth       +1
Streetwise  +3 
Thievery     0
I forgot to put that I only have PHB 1 & 2. The DM had MP1 as well for us to look at.
You might want to replace Skill Training: Perception with some multiclass feat that allows you to train Perception, plus give you some neat feature in addition.  (For instance, MC Warden and get a one-turn mark.)

It looks like you will have to be an off-tank (take turns with the barbarian) so look into things that make you harder to bring down.

You want powers that let your friends (especially the barbarian) take an MBA on your turn.

Get a look at MP1 and MP2; there are more "give your friends a basic attack" powers there than in the PH series.  If the Wizard has Magic Missile, THAT qualifies as a basic attack, hint hint. *

You also want to coordinate some simple battle plans with your friends.  For instance, the turn when you ran into a crowd and multi-marked them all is the turn when the Rogue should come in and CLOBBER somebody; the enemies won't be able to hit his squishy self back.

* My son has a Warlord and I have a Warlock.  We made sure beforehand that he has at least one "a basic attack" worded power (vs "a melee basic attack"), so he can call on my RBA Eldritch Blast when needful.  Other than that, I try NOT to tell him how to build his character; he's the one who has to enjoy playing it.

Best complements I have yet received:

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Making it up as I go along:

{BRJN} If I was writing the Tome of Lore, I would let Auppenser sleep. But I also would have him dream. In his dreaming he re-activates the innate powers of (some) mortal minds. Or his dreaming changes the nature of reality - currently very malleable thanks to Spellplague &c. Or whatever really cool flavor text and pseudo-science explanation people react positively to.

{Lord_Karsus} You know, I like that better than the explanations for the Spellplague.

 

Prepped ahead of time:

I started the thread "1001 Failed Interrogation Results" (which seems to have faded into that great electronic goodnight, alas)

{ADHadh} These are all good and make sense! I just can't come up with something that's not covered here and is not completely ridiculous.

 

My 4e characters:

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LFR Half-elf StarLock8 Gondolin Nightstar

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Character Ready-to-go:

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Concepts I'm kicking around:

"Buggy" Wizard - insect flavor on everything.  His DMPC version is going to become a Lamia.  Becauae lichdom is so cliche.

Halfling Tempest Fighter - just because nobody else is doing it

Shifter Beast-o-phile Druid - for Nentir Vale campaign

You might want to replace Skill Training: Perception with some multiclass feat that allows you to train Perception, plus give you some neat feature in addition.  (For instance, MC Warden and get a one-turn mark.)

It looks like you will have to be an off-tank (take turns with the barbarian) so look into things that make you harder to bring down.

You want powers that let your friends (especially the barbarian) take an MBA on your turn.

Get a look at MP1 and MP2; there are more "give your friends a basic attack" powers there than in the PH series.  If the Wizard has Magic Missile, THAT qualifies as a basic attack, hint hint. *

You also want to coordinate some simple battle plans with your friends.  For instance, the turn when you ran into a crowd and multi-marked them all is the turn when the Rogue should come in and CLOBBER somebody; the enemies won't be able to hit his squishy self back.

* My son has a Warlord and I have a Warlock.  We made sure beforehand that he has at least one "a basic attack" worded power (vs "a melee basic attack"), so he can call on my RBA Eldritch Blast when needful.  Other than that, I try NOT to tell him how to build his character; he's the one who has to enjoy playing it.

Thanks. The wizard didn't take MM though sadly. I will definitely grab up the Martial Powers books and see what I can find that will keep me fighting the way I need, and keep it fun.

I have been using Wolf Pack to move the barb into CA or closer to help defend the front line. I plan on taking scale armor to make me tougher and maybe a fort, reflex, or will feat to increase those if needed. I'll definitely look into multi-classing, since I know little about it and how helpful it may turn out.

STR   19 
CON  13
DEX   10
INT   13
WIS  12
CHA  15

HP: 35/17/10 & 9 surges per day
AC: 19 (11 +7 armour, +1 veteran's chain enhancement)
FORT: 16 (11 +4 Str, +1 class)
REF:  13 (11 +2 Int, +1 misc)
WILL: 14 (11 +2 Cha, +1 class)


Starting with a 19 STR is 'expensive.'  If you took it down to 18 (16 pre-dragonborn bonus), and dropped the 13 INT, you could have a 14 CON, 12 DEX, and 16 CHA.  You'd have

HP:  36/18/11 & 10 surges
AC/FORT: same
REF: same (but +1 initiative by going for DEX instead of INT)
WILL: 15

And your Furious Smash would be more worthwhile, giving a +3 hit/dam instead of +2, and your Inspiring Presence better, too.

You could also improve your AC and REF by using a shield.

I'll definitely look into multi-classing, since I know little about it and how helpful it may turn out.

The thing about multiclassing to get trained Perception isn't because multi-classing will be terribly helpful to your build, it's just effectively 'free' compared to taking the Skill Training feat.


Finally, as you're in a defender-less party, you might consider Battlefront Leader, an alternative to Combat Leader (that +2 initiative bonus you grant).  It gives you heavy sheild proficiency, and you can take a feat to get scale proficiency /and/ an extra healing surge.   
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STR   19 
CON  13
DEX   10
INT   13
WIS  12
CHA  15

HP: 35/17/10 & 9 surges per day
AC: 19 (11 +7 armour, +1 veteran's chain enhancement)
FORT: 16 (11 +4 Str, +1 class)
REF:  13 (11 +2 Int, +1 misc)
WILL: 14 (11 +2 Cha, +1 class)


Starting with a 19 STR is 'expensive.'  If you took it down to 18 (16 pre-dragonborn bonus), and dropped the 13 INT, you could have a 14 CON, 12 DEX, and 16 CHA.  You'd have

HP:  36/18/11 & 10 surges
AC/FORT: same
REF: same (but +1 initiative by going for DEX instead of INT)
WILL: 15

And your Furious Smash would be more worthwhile, giving a +3 hit/dam instead of +2, and your Inspiring Presence better, too.

You could also improve your AC and REF by using a shield.

I'll definitely look into multi-classing, since I know little about it and how helpful it may turn out.

The thing about multiclassing to get trained Perception isn't because multi-classing will be terribly helpful to your build, it's just effectively 'free' compared to taking the Skill Training feat.


Finally, as you're in a defender-less party, you might consider Battlefront Leader, an alternative to Combat Leader (that +2 initiative bonus you grant).  It gives you heavy sheild proficiency, and you can take a feat to get scale proficiency /and/ an extra healing surge.   



It's been two sessions (we play every other week) and my build has improved some since level two. So far no TPKs, and we managed to survive some pretty heavy battles. Here's how the build looks now at level 4.
Adalhelm
 
Dragonborn Inspiring Warlord
Level 4
Neutral Good, Deity Erathis

STR    20  (+7)
CON   13  (+3)
DEX    10  (+2)
INT     13  (+3)
WIS    12  (+3)
CHA    16  (+5)

HP: 45 
BL:  22
SV:  13
S/D: 10

AC:        21 (Summoned Chain, 6AC, 1 AC light shield & +2 Enh.)
FORT:     20 (Class +1, +7 STR mod)
REF:      16 (+3 INT mod, +1 misc.)
WILL:    17 (+5 CHA mod, +1 Class)

Skills:
+1 Acrobatics
+3 Arcana
+6 Athletics
+5 Bluff
+10 Diplomacy
+3 Dungeoneer
+7 Endurance
+8 Healing
+5 History
+3 Insight
+12 Intimidate
+3 Nature
+8 Perception
+3 Religion
+1 Stealth
+5 Streetwise
+1 Thievery

Feats:
Toughness, Skill Training (Perc.), Improved Initiative

Powers:
AW1: Wolf-Pack Tactics
AW1: Brash Assault (from Furious Smash)
AW: Summoned Chain ability
AW: Communal Warhammer (+2 atk. rolls to an ally for 1 turn)
E1: Inspiring Word
E1: Hammer & Anvil
E1: Dragon Breath (Acid, Str v. Ref)
E3: Flattening Charge
D1: Bastion of Defense
U2: Encouraging Boost

Equipment/Rituals:
Adventure Kit
Tent
1 Healing Potion
Ritual Book (Gentle Repose x3 uses)
Light Shield
Summoned Chainmail +2
Communal W.Hammer +2
Earring of Warning (+1 Initiative)
790gp
 
We rolled for our ability scores so I had rolled 17, 13, 13, 13, 12, 10. I didn't like the odd STR and probably should've changed DEX and INT. It's working well the way it is, and we beat a lv 10 hag as level 3's. The mage dropped to 1, but 2 nat 20's in a row put her from blooding to dead. It was fun, though escaping was the better option.

Furious Smash didn't cut it for me even though it hit Fortitude. Brash Assault has been much better in one session, and the addition of Flattening Charge helps with the Fortitude attacks. The only thing I don't target is Willpower, which I think our mage does. It's turning out to be a good build.
The bard (or skald) multiclass feats will give you access to Perception training AND an extra daily heal.

I would also suggest an Expertise feat to increase your chance to hit.  Many Warlord riders only take effect on the hit, so missing is especially bad for you.  Grab a +3 proficiency weapon (longsword, etc.) to really get your hit ratio up.

Bargle wrote:
This is CharOp. We not only assume block-of-tofu monsters, but also block-of-tofu DMs.
 

Zelink wrote:
You're already refluffing, why not refluff to something that doesn't suck?
The bard (or skald) multiclass feats will give you access to Perception training AND an extra daily heal.

I would also suggest an Expertise feat to increase your chance to hit.  Many Warlord riders only take effect on the hit, so missing is especially bad for you.  Grab a +3 proficiency weapon (longsword, etc.) to really get your hit ratio up.



I take the bard multi-class --> I get Perception training and Majestic Word for free. What else do I have to do for multi-classing? Is it going to affect my spells/exploits that I've got and/or have planned out in the future?
Nope, you'll still qualify for all the Warlord goodies you wanted.  But now you've also got access to some Bard feats and Paragon Paths, granted, those might not be all that useful to you.  Since Bards are Arcane, you've also got access to feats with a prequisite of an Arcane class.  Again, might not be useful to you or your build. 

Under normal circumstances, you do get only 1 multi-class though, so plan accordingly.

Bargle wrote:
This is CharOp. We not only assume block-of-tofu monsters, but also block-of-tofu DMs.
 

Zelink wrote:
You're already refluffing, why not refluff to something that doesn't suck?
Nope, you'll still qualify for all the Warlord goodies you wanted.  But now you've also got access to some Bard feats and Paragon Paths, granted, those might not be all that useful to you.  Since Bards are Arcane, you've also got access to feats with a prequisite of an Arcane class.  Again, might not be useful to you or your build. 

Under normal circumstances, you do get only 1 multi-class though, so plan accordingly.



That's sweet. So I take out my Skill Training feat, pick up Bardic Dillentante and bam multi-class? I guess I was thinking of hybrids where you have to alternate skills from the two classes you use. I'll be letting my DM know that I'm going to multi-class. 

Are there any +3 hammers, or a way to increase my "to hit" with them? I was going to go with Bastard Sword expertise feat, but I like bludgeoning people to death. If swords are better, I'll be figuring out a way to change my current weapon to one with my DM. 
No +3 proficiency hammers that I'm aware of.  There are light blade options (dagger, short sword, rapier, etc.) with the +3 bonus, and heavy blades though most of these are 2 handed or versatile (longsword, bastard sword, fullblade).  Outside of the bladed weapons, you've got the alhulak from Dark Sun, basically a flail version of the Longsword, the triple-headed flail and probably a few more I'm missing.

If you want to invest an extra feat in superior weapons, there are some options there.  Sticking with just your base proficiencies (military and simple melee weapons) your best bet is probably the Longsword for heavy blades, or the Rapier for light blades.  Both can be used one handed so you keep your shield out, get the +3 proficiency bonus, and they pack d8s for damage.

Bargle wrote:
This is CharOp. We not only assume block-of-tofu monsters, but also block-of-tofu DMs.
 

Zelink wrote:
You're already refluffing, why not refluff to something that doesn't suck?
No +3 proficiency hammers that I'm aware of.  There are light blade options (dagger, short sword, rapier, etc.) with the +3 bonus, and heavy blades though most of these are 2 handed or versatile (longsword, bastard sword, fullblade).  Outside of the bladed weapons, you've got the alhulak from Dark Sun, basically a flail version of the Longsword, the triple-headed flail and probably a few more I'm missing.

If you want to invest an extra feat in superior weapons, there are some options there.  Sticking with just your base proficiencies (military and simple melee weapons) your best bet is probably the Longsword for heavy blades, or the Rapier for light blades.  Both can be used one handed so you keep your shield out, get the +3 proficiency bonus, and they pack d8s for damage.



Well, crud. Looks like I may be changing to blade or flail then. Is the alhulak something I can pick up without a feat? I'm not familiar with Dark Sun yet, so that's a new weapon for me. And thanks for all of the answers and speediness of them. 

Yup, alhulaks are military weapons so you can grab one with no extra investment.

Bargle wrote:
This is CharOp. We not only assume block-of-tofu monsters, but also block-of-tofu DMs.
 

Zelink wrote:
You're already refluffing, why not refluff to something that doesn't suck?
Yup, alhulaks are military weapons so you can grab one with no extra investment.



sweet. only dropping 1 die size, so that isn't bad. well it's an alhulak or longsword for me then. Laughing
The bard (or skald) multiclass feats will give you access to Perception training AND an extra daily heal.



I take the bard multi-class --> I get Perception training and Majestic Word for free.

The Skald MC healing is remarkable, 1/encounter instead of daily.  It works differently than the earlier '____ Word' healing powers, though - you can use a minor for it, or your allies can.  It's in Heroes of the Feywild.

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The bard (or skald) multiclass feats will give you access to Perception training AND an extra daily heal.



I take the bard multi-class --> I get Perception training and Majestic Word for free.

The Skald MC healing is remarkable, 1/encounter instead of daily.  It works differently than the earlier '____ Word' healing powers, though - you can use a minor for it, or your allies can.  It's in Heroes of the Feywild.



That sounds cool as well. I'll have to look into that.
Being a bard would also allow me to use rituals that only a bard can normally use, right? I was going to incorporate a musical instrument into my new multi-class feat, and why nobody else knew why I have bardic skills. Mainly because my weapon is broken and needs to be fixed by a professional. 

Which also leads to the question: Is there a list anywhere of the musical instruments in 4e other than the few in PHB2?
Multiclass feats generally count for prerequisites, so yes, if there's a ritual that requires you to be a bard you're OK.  Don't recall if either bard multiclass actually gives you ritual caster, though.

You could search the compendium even if you don't have DDI it shows the item and the book its from.  I think there were instruments in AV2 as well as PH2 maybe? 
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I would have to look up for sure to see if Bard gives you Ritual Caster, but I think it does. I tried looking at the compendium, but it wouldn't let me narrow my search to the bardic instruments. I'll have to buy DDI or AV2 I guess.