Chosing and building

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I plan on joining my local game shops dnd game once a spot opens or new DM show up so I thought, "Why not plan ahead?" In short, I need help chosing which my race/class and then building it up from level 1. I have no idea what rules or settings my DM will play in so I planned on using the most basic books (mostly players handbooks) but I am open to branching out a bit if necessary.

Anyway, I've narrowed my choices down to Rogue, Wizard,Warlock, or Ranger.
Rogues would have great utility and be fun to play, though I may not be great in combat.
Wizard is very tempting because of the many possible uses of cantrips as well as their power and control in a fight.
Warlock seems interesting to play in battle and may be interesting to play a some-what evil character. and last, but not least.
Ranger, they're great in combat, have even better survivability (if built right) and simply fun to play. The only con is coming up with a good story/character to play as.

As for races, I'm hoping for something that would sync with my class but I'm open to most any race except dwarf. (I can't roleplay one to save my life) I would appreciate any help, advice, opinions, and/or insight. Thanks in advance!
It would probably depend on the rest of the party.

Rogues are great in combat. They bring the pain as well as anyone.

Cry Havoc!  And let slip the hogs of war!

Advance*

Sorry, had to please the grammar nazi in me.

Now, i am a big fan of martial classes, so i will advocate rogue or ranger. Note that i have no actual experience playing these classes, i have built some characters using them though.

The rogue is interesting indeed, has many options in combat and out of it ( i do not think he is a weak combatant, just needs to be played right).
Rogues favor tactics and a good group to use them, so you migh want to know whom you are playing with before you build you character. Personally, i prefer a half orc brutal scoundrel, more of a cuthroat than a hidden-in-the-shadows type of rogue. Riposte strike seems just lovely on such a character.

The ranger has a rather clear role, he is all about damage. If you like multiattacks, minor action attacks (both ranger and rogue have these i think), and being one of the greatest strikers in your game, the ranger is for you. Also, the fact that the ranger is usually pictured as a "nature's child" should not bother you, i cannot see a reason not to find a story that places him as a dual wielding samurai, a scout for a kingdom, an assasin, or anything else you can think of. I do not know if that is your problem with the ranger background, but if it is, do not bother, just roll with what seems fit.

Last, but not least, something not on your list, i want to point you toward the fighter's direction. A heavy hitter, an excellent lockdowner, my personal favourite class. You can deal decent to good damage, keep any one from moving if you don't want to, take a blow or two and still be able to do your job. I personaly did not think i would enjoy lockdown, but i found it extremely fun to impose the dilemma "move and i slap you, attack some one else and i slap you, shift and i slap you, or attack me and then wait for my retaliation" to the DM. Also, Rogue|Fighter hybrid might work quite well, Half Orc, with Riposte Strike. I am not sure though, so you will have to ask for more information on this, i have built one such character but i cannot vouch for its performance.

Sidenote: these forums deal with character optimisation, it would be better to find what you want to play, build something (you can read the handbooks, they are stongly focused on OP but have great ideas overall), and then ask on these forums for help or critique on your build, what could be wrong or done better. This way you will get answers easier.
That's a pretty mixed bag of PC's. Even if you don't come up with a full build at this time at least try to narrow it down to one class. It would help us greatly.

What do you want your PC to do?
Who else in your group, PC wise?

As far as a full build being posted for a "critique", i wouldn't worry about that for now. While this is the CharOP forum some of us are fine with helping flesh out a build for anyone. We are not here to build PC's for you. Just make it clear what you would like. High OP/Low OP. Specifics will help us to help you.
As for rogues? Seems tricky for me to play, plus I'm not sure if my group would have one  or not yet so i'm doubly unsure..though it does catch my interest. I would likely be more of a ranged rogue, than anything. I'm not a huge fan of melee.

As for rangers, the whole "nature" thing is why I find it hard to play druids as well. Thanks for different outlook. Should be much easier to play a ranger I enjoy. Oh, I also like the ranger because if done right, it has insane survivability.

As for fighters? I have to admit, I do enjoy tanking but I'm not interested in playing one this time around, maybe next time.

Lastly, Sorry about that. Was still a bit unsure about my character and was hoping to get outside views and opinions to help me make up my mind. I think i'm leaning towards ranger, since I never got to fully enjoy the class. I'm not sure about race, though.

I was thinking gnome, halfling, or human. Elf seems like the best choice (getting +2 in your most important stats) but I don't really like elves.
If you want to do a ranged rogue, check out what they can do with slings.  While they do have some feats you would need, a rogue with a sling can be a very dangerous thing.

If I remember right, they can be changed to be +3 prof weapons, +2 damage, and high crit and if you take sling expertise, you could attack someone with a sling from right next to them and draw no opportunity attack.  And there are plenty of ranged attack powers for rogues.

Oh, and remember, fighters do NOT have to defend.  You never have to mark if you don't want to.
Nature? Wait, what?  You can make up your own character description, as long as you stick to the mechanics. Make him a light armored fighter, a back ally murderer or a grizly army scout.

Go Half-Orc or Longtooth, and kill some
Furthermore, warlocks have nothing to do with evil.  That's all fluff.  You're simply a magic-user who gets their magic from a contract with a greater being.

Likewise, rogues aren't quite the "utility" character you seem to think, perhaps from older D&D.  They have great skills, but no more than say, Ranger, and they can certainly hold their own in a fight.

Anyway, I'd say Rogue and Ranger are pretty similar role-wise.  Ranger tends to be easier to play, but can be kind of boring to play "right" in my experience, especially if you go ranged.  Rogue requires a little more work, but I find the tactical challenge to make it more fun.

Wizard and warlock are also not that different.  Wizards are going to do more control over a wider area, while warlocks focus damage and control a little more.  Wizards are more likely to have out-of-combat utility, and warlocks tend to require a little more knowledge of the system and access to all published materials to really be effective.
Oh, and remember, fighters do NOT have to defend.  You never have to mark if you don't want to.



Grap a big weapon/two smaller weapons and smack people in the head, impose penalties and if they try to ignore you smack 'em again. How can one not love this?

Dwarf fighter, spiked chain, polearm master, staggering weapon.  It is what I use in my regular game and I rarely mark because there is a Minotaur Sword and Board fighter and a paladin|warden half-elf twin strike defender.  I usually slide pieces around and reposition them next to the fighter or out where the paladin can get them and also keep them off the support.  Being able to slide an enemy up to 5 squares to where I want them while proning them is good times.
such wasted melee potential. Happy you enjoy yourselves there, would not be my favorite party.

To the OP, do not get hung up on descriptions of classes, or their names. Words can mean what you want them to mean, look instead for the mechanics that seem to best suit what you look for in a game.
Ranged Rangers are at their best up-close, shooting people in the face. If you want to play one from range, leaning towards more control would work. Twin Strike isn't bad for popping minions.

They have to train in dungeoneering or nature, so you can be an urban ranger if you like.

@Kosh: No reason for a rogue not to use daggers at any range.

Cry Havoc!  And let slip the hogs of war!

such wasted melee potential. Happy you enjoy yourselves there, would not be my favorite party.



Explain please.
@Kosh: No reason for a rogue not to use daggers at any range.



Granted that most do not think of the sling as a "good" weapon.  But if you choose to use a sling, you can really beef it up and be able to use it in melee range safely.  Not saying it is "optimal" but it would be bad to discount it.

Deadeye Slinger = +3 prof, high crit
Daring Slinger(PP)= +2/4 damage, good 3 target encounter power at 11
Sharpshooter Talent(Class Feature) = +1 to hit with slings
Sling Expertise = +1/2/3 attack, no OAs for making ranged/area attacks with slings

So if you really wanted to go slings, you are looking at a weapon that is +6 attack, 1d6+2, high crit, and you can get sneak attack damage with it at paragon.

Daggers are still good for them even in this build for melee it is just that you would miss out on +1 attack from the class feature, and you would most likely not have nimble blade, though you might have light blade expertise.
such wasted melee potential. Happy you enjoy yourselves there, would not be my favorite party.



Explain please.



Three defenders in one party ? All pretty sturdy with high defenses, relatively low damage, makes for sluggish battles.

I'd rather be in a party with no defenders.
I just started playing 4th about a month ago. And here's what I've learned: the player's handbook and Essentials lines seem really different. I've gotten by really well with PHB1, PHB2, Martial Powers, Adventurer's Vault, and I was also curious about Essentials, picking up Fallen Lands. I've been playing Encounters,which I would suggest to wet your appetite until you find a DM. I might also suggest the Rules Compendium book, but my fellow players have helped me re-learn things that have changed.

I like the PHBs because it gives you the base info, with a good smattering of abilities, magic items, etc. I like Essentials because the PHB layout makes no sense at all for building a character, unlike previous edition PHBs. Essentials only gives you a strictly-defined specialty class. Because of your interest in Rangers and Rogues, I think Martial Powers is a great pickup. Fighters are also great strikers. Plus, if your team needs a defender or healer, this book has the most options. PHB2 has a good number of races and other striker classes. Adventurer's Vault is all about magic items, and will really make a difference.

Since I've come into this edition so late, I think these books will give you plenty of flexability for any characters that you'll want to play until the next edition comes out (which seems to be about a year or so from now).
Your request is quite broad...

Great beginning character with you in mind is the essentials thief (rogue). If you want to shoot at things from afar, check out the essentials ranger (hunter).

I would suggest figuring out which role needs to be covered. Ideally, there should be one of each of the four major roles covered (Defender, Striker, Controller, Leader) and one each of the four major power sources covered (Arcane, Martial, Divine, Primal). Find which area has a hole, and fill it. (There are some caveats; radiant mafia, psi party, etc...let's assume the party youre jumping into is just a random group of adventurers together who met at a bar or woke up naked in a dungeon...and it goes from there.)

With that said, it is most important to play something you'll enjoy and the other players will enjoy having in the party. (One time after our hexblade died, the player decided to roll up a warlord since the existing warlord and slayer in the party worked so well together...Unfortunately, the repeated role turned out to be no fun for anybody).

Use the Character Builder to create something you would like to play. Then paste it on this forum and we'll give feedback. 
Cheers!

Duke, serious, recommending someone to play a hunter? You want him to have a good time, right ?


Please do not worry new players with your hangups. Not all roles are needed, not all classes adhere to the role given by WotC.


 


The only part of your text I would wish to repeat is :"With that said, it is most important to play something you'll enjoy and the other players will enjoy having in the party"

Three defenders in one party ? All pretty sturdy with high defenses, relatively low damage, makes for sluggish battles.I'd rather be in a party with no defenders.



Understood. Yes, three defenders seems too much, unless there is some really good synergy between them that lets them kill opponents fast enough.

I second the opinion to play what you find fun, and what your group might possibly find a good addition their composition. If you want to go ranger go ranger and make a story that does not put him in the "child of nature" role and you are done. Figure out what style you want to play and then ask for help if you need any.
Thanks everyone. I think i'm leaning more and more towards a hunter, though playing a mischievous wizard sounds amusing as well, though the only real appeal to the class is the cantrips. Other than that, the more I read and look at ranger the more I like it.

As for race...I'm having trouble deciding. Halfling or Gnome sounds fun, maybe human. Elf has the best stats for a hunter but at the same time I'm not sure I would enjoy playing an elf that much...granted not all evles fit into the standard elven stero-type, there's still alot of negitive feelings towards them. Could I can an outsiders opinion?

Also, For my build. I definately want ranged attacks but I also want to focus on survival (amazing damage is useless if you're bleeding to death)

Granted, I want a decent amount of damage blended it as well. Any suggestions for a build like that? in terms of stats, feats, and abilties?
Your character can be whatever you want. Be an elf, say youre human, or whatever.

Start with a post racial 20 in Dex. Pump Dex and Wis. Maybe MC Seeker. Invigorating Stride at 2 will help survivability.

Cry Havoc!  And let slip the hogs of war!


Duke, serious, recommending someone to play a hunter? You want him to have a good time, right ?


Please do not worry new players with your hangups. 




sadness...Why you be hatin?
I think the hunter is the easiest controller to play for those just getting used to the game.

P.S. I wouldn't play it, but I wouldn't touch characters with power points either...different strokes for different folks. 

Duke, serious, recommending someone to play a hunter? You want him to have a good time, right ?


Please do not worry new players with your hangups. 




sadness...Why you be hatin?
I think the hunter is the easiest controller to play for those just getting used to the game.

P.S. I wouldn't play it, but I wouldn't touch characters with power points either...different strokes for different folks. 


I had a ton of fun playing this build and it would be crazy easy for a new player to wrap their brain around. Not a great controller in any way but still useful in combat. I was the only survivor of a TPK and finished out the adventure.
community.wizards.com/go/thread/view/758...
 
Well at least he didn't suggest a seeker?  If you want to play a controller (which hunter falls under, because they damned sure aren't strikers), play a wizard or invoker.  A very simple, yet still passable striker would be a Slayer or thief.  If you want to get a little more complicated try out a rogue or melee ranger.

ALSO, search for handbook (IE ranger handbook), there are some amazing resources made by the very denizens of this board.
Decided to lean towards Elven Archer and was hoping for advice on resources on which books contain ranger resources besides the phb?
Look up the ranger handbook by LDB.  That should answer just about any question you could think of for character building.
Martial Power(s) and Dragon 38...3?

Read the Shoot to Thrill handbook.

Cry Havoc!  And let slip the hogs of war!