New to 4e, need help making a character suited to my RP style.

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Hello everybody,

I started playing 4e (& D&D) this summer, and it's been a ton of fun. My problem, I guess, is that my character, although not bad at all,  doesn't fit me as well as he could for RP purposes, mainly. I'm not planning to just ditch my current character but as my friends and I all start heading off to our separate colleges, the possibility of starting in another campaign looms large and I'd rather have a character that feels more tailored to me.

My current character is a Dragonborn Assassin (Executioner), prime stat Dex, secondary Cha, tertiary Con, dump Int/Str. Level 5.

Things I like about this character:


  • Tons of minor action options- I can do more than just standard/move most rounds

  • Tons of options in and out of combat- our ranger twin strikes every round, our wizard uses beguiling strands, but no one can ever be quite sure what i will do- dragonbreath, poisons, acrobatics, invisibilty- all these things make my character fun to play because I always have an option.

  • High damage numbers- I know from a few looks at CharOp that Executioners will never be DPR kings, but I hit hard enough that every once in a while I get those "holy sh**" looks from around the table, and love it.


Things I don't like:


  • I need charisma to be a primary stat- I am easily the most willing to RP in our group and have leader-y tendencies IRL that translate into my character acting as party face despite having the third-highest Cha.

  • I lack encounter powers- as an e-class, I have one encounter power from my class, and three more encounter minors I picked up from race, theme, utility respectively. Luckily, my at-wills aren't bad, but I would prefer to play a non-e-class so I have actual encounters.

  • I need a backstory for my character to inhabit. This character was created out of nothing and the character himself became a champion of bahamut who wields shadow magic- a bit of a hypocrite, in other words. I would do well RPing any alignment but chaotic evil since wanton destruction is just weird.

  • A minor point- it bugs me that we have no humans in a party of seven PCs. It's weird that humans are supposed to be this hyper-prevalent race in Faerun but we have NONE because people wanted specific stat boosts, mainly.


I think my ideal stat priority list would look something like this:

  1. Cha

  2. Int

  3. Dex

  4. Con

  5. Str

  6. Wis

 

So, in summary, I want you guys to help me come up with a good character who is a Cha-primary, is useful to the party (preferably, although not necessarily striker), has tons of minor-action options, and, ideally, is human. Plus a backstory, which I can try to contribute to. I think this is what this board does, and if I'm worng, let me know so I can put this elsewhere!

Cha/Int striker makes me think Warlock. Several pacts from the classic Warlock use Cha as their main stat, and Star Pact Hexblades from Dragon Magazine have Int as their secondary. You'd get encounter attacks with either option, and the pact writes its own story half the time. Take a look at that and see what you can come up with. Since their at wills are more often set in stone, the human's third at will could help if you're not opposed to sinking more points into your secondary at creation.

Hope this helps. Happy Gaming
Fey Pact Warlock is pretty good from what you have said - you are pacted to the supernatural powers of the Feywild.
High Charisma requirements, good damage output, teleporting all over the place.

Other good options could be Sorceror (less single target damage, but gaining some explosions), or other Warlock pacts.

Star pact has you uncovering the unknowable entities that lurk in the Far Realms, driving people mad with glimpses of them.

Wild Magic sorceror has you loosely controlling very chaotic magic which will vary as you play, providing sometimes unpredictable bonuses

Dragon Magic Sorceror has you connected in some way to the intrinsic magic of a dragon.
I immediately think of a Bard. CHA-primary, INT-secondary means you'll be playing a Bard with Virtue of Cunning, which is a build that can do tons of different stuff. You can heal with your minor action, and if you go the (Fake) Skald way you'll have lots of different auras you can activate with your minor as well while still getting encounter powers.

Bards will never do a lot of damage, but they can be great in helping your allies do even more damage (which will make them love you in return). I recently started a thread on CharOp about this. Further down I posted a build for heroic that will do well. Good luck!

My first thought was bard as well. Skald variant too. Sorcerer, Warlock, and Hexblade give you some striker options.  I tend not to play strikers. Paladins can go charisma primary.  


As far as roleplay goes, I never worry about playing my stats.  It just doesn't feel right.  To me, the stats are just there to give me the numbers to go with skills, powers, defenses etc and don't reflect the physical and mental characteristics of my character.  Int 8?  That just means that I haven't spent time is study not that I am not as or more intelligent than other characters.  Cha 10? Doesn't mean that I'm not comfortable talking to NPCs and negotiating, it just means that I'm not the best at getting across my point of view or lying or whatever.  My success rate just isn't as good, doesn't mean I'm not going to try, not going to keep me as a player from getting out there and playing and having fun.


Don't get hung on what your stats mean about your character.  You can make them mean whatever you want.  Look at mechanically what the stat does and build some aspects around that.  This is more true of Int, Wis, Cha; maybe less true of Str, but the point is numbers on a page is not who my character is, its just some game mechanics.  My character is who I make him/her.


TjD

EDIT: for anybody who saw the earlier post, that was from my DM's account, which I was using to play around on CB. To avoid confusion I am re-doing the post now.

Thank you for all of your help! I've been looking at Bards, Skalds, Warlocks, and Hexblades. I have a few more questions (short ones first this time):


  1. Would it hurt me to do a ranged Skald/Bard: someone who attacks using a crossbow is what I was thinking. This would mean that I would have to go Cha/Dex... will I lose out on enabling my allies if I am at range?

  2. Star Pact Warlocks: what should I be looking at to allow them to mix it up in melee at mid-low heroic? Is that just not something that the class can do?

  3. My big question: I love the Fey Pact Hexblade. Love the flavor, love the attacks, and can't figure out where the downsides are. With Cha as my attack stat primary, Dex as my damage secondary, I get bonuses to most of the important class skills, good AC with hide, more with Rod Expertise, and great Will and Reflex. The icy skewer at-will is my MBA, does cold, is Arcane (qualifying for White Lotus Riposte), and does (in my build) 1d10+9 at level one before any feats (I think this is good, at least). I may only get one encounter power at levels 1 and 3 but it targets will for 2[W] and renders me invisible- other than Fort, where does this class go wrong?

Would it hurt me to do a ranged Skald/Bard: someone who attacks using a crossbow is what I was thinking. This would mean that I would have to go Cha/Dex... will I lose out on enabling my allies if I am at range?



Ranged Skald is actually a really good option for sub controlling leader, though it does indeed lack some of the benefit other bards have. You wouldn't lose out completely on your leadery aspects, but it is a fairly different playstyle from the standard bard and skald.

Star Pact Warlocks: what should I be looking at to allow them to mix it up in melee at mid-low heroic? Is that just not something that the class can do?



They can, but it's a bit of a trick to work it outside of a Hexblade. Eladrin with a pact sword an multiclassing swordmage is a good way to work it. If you're not as concerned about your melee damage, you could always just go melee training and save yourself the effort of making a combo work.

My big question: I love the Fey Pact Hexblade. Love the flavor, love the attacks, and can't figure out where the downsides are. With Cha as my attack stat primary, Dex as my damage secondary, I get bonuses to most of the important class skills, good AC with hide, more with Rod Expertise, and great Will and Reflex. The icy skewer at-will is my MBA, does cold, is Arcane (qualifying for White Lotus Riposte), and does (in my build) 1d10+9 at level one before any feats (I think this is good, at least). I may only get one encounter power at levels 1 and 3 but it targets will for 2[W] and renders me invisible- other than Fort, where does this class go wrong?



From my own experience, Hexblades tend to fall short in certain areas, namely their level 22 utility, and depending on your pact, their level 9 and 25 daily options. I'm not much of a fan of either of the Fey Hexblade's summons, but that may just be a personal preference. Aside from this, yes, they are a strong option to consider when looking at playing a Hexblade.

As for perks, don't forget that their pact weapon is a light blade. Multiclass Rogue and laugh long and loud as your damage becomes gross XD
..."window.parent.tinyMCE.get('post_content').onLoad.dispatch();" contenteditable="true" />Thank you for all of your help! I've been looking at Bards, Skalds, Warlocks, and Hexblades. I have a few more questions (short ones first this time):


  1. Would it hurt me to do a ranged Skald/Bard: someone who attacks using a crossbow is what I was thinking. This would mean that I would have to go Cha/Dex... will I lose out on enabling my allies if I am at range?



You can also build a Fake Skald by being a regular Bard with the Skald Training feat so you get the aura. Then you have the choice between Staggering Note and two of the Skald at-wills if you're a human. All the awesomeness of a Skald and a regular Bard (Bardic Virtue!) for the low price of one feat.

You can start with 17/15 Cha/Dex, adding your racial bonus to your Dex so both stats progress equally.

My impression of Hexblades was that they didn't have multi-attacks, minor attacks or off-action attacks, so you can't really nova and only have charging (bo-ring!) as their means of doing lots of damage. Never paid much attention to the class, though, so I could be wrong.
Would it hurt me to do a ranged Skald/Bard: someone who attacks using a crossbow is what I was thinking. This would mean that I would have to go Cha/Dex... will I lose out on enabling my allies if I am at range?


I will admit ignorance on "skald", but I know a pure Bard has ranged and melee powers, all working off Cha, so that works well (only didn't mention them earlier as they aren't a high damaging class).
They wouldn't really use crossbows and get much benefit, but there are some magical musical instruments they can use...


Star Pact Warlocks: what should I be looking at to allow them to mix it up in melee at mid-low heroic? Is that just not something that the class can do?

Pure warlock isn't very good at that... good at short ranges, but would still be ranged.

My wife plays a fey hexblade.  Combat is mostly teleporting and charging, and while her damage is consistently good, she's got no nova.  It's sort of a one trick pony in combat, using the same encounter power over and over (charge in and Skewer).  That said, it's a good trick.

Out of combat she's got a nice, broad suite of skills - Arcana is a class skill for brain challenges, CHA primary puts her at the front of face challenges and high DEX gives her something to use for physical challenges.


You might also want to consider a rogue.  They get to build for DEX+CHA, have good striker damage, good skill coverage and more interesting options in combat.  There's single target control, an option to go ranged (or divide focus between range and melee for relatively little cost) and some good minor action awesomeness.  If you really have to have a sprinkle of magic in there, the right theme and some refluffing will turn the trick.  
"When Friday comes, we'll all call rats fish." D&D Outsider
The icy skewer at-will is my MBA, does cold, is Arcane (qualifying for White Lotus Riposte), and does (in my build) 1d10+9 at level one before any feats (I think this is good, at least).quote]

Me: *splurts drink all over laptop* you have an at-will that does how much damage at lvl 1? now, i've never looked at hexblades before, so i don't know the first thing about their stuff, but i know a lvl 6 striker who can't do that kind of damage with an at-will. of course, he far surpasses it when using encounters or dailies, but my point is that i've never seen that kind of damage from an at-will. sir, i solute you, and advice you visit the CharOp forum. not my cup of tea, but sounds like you'd be really good at that kind of thing.

on the side of RPing, in my circle we usually build the character's personality in our head and then match his stats, so we have greater freedom creating a character concept, then fleshing out the mechanics to make him work. of course, my circle more often than not sacrifices optimization in favor of flavor, so that may not work depending on your play style.

and yeah most people don't play humans because they are 'boring' compared to the other races. we're all humans irl (i hope) so playing one in the game when there are so many cool options is less fun.
..."window.parent.tinyMCE.get('post_content').onLoad.dispatch();" contenteditable="true" />Thank you for all of your help! I've been looking at Bards, Skalds, Warlocks, and Hexblades. I have a few more questions (short ones first this time):


  1. Would it hurt me to do a ranged Skald/Bard: someone who attacks using a crossbow is what I was thinking. This would mean that I would have to go Cha/Dex... will I lose out on enabling my allies if I am at range?



You can also build a Fake Skald by being a regular Bard with the Skald Training feat so you get the aura. Then you have the choice between Staggering Note and two of the Skald at-wills if you're a human. All the awesomeness of a Skald and a regular Bard (Bardic Virtue!) for the low price of one feat.

You can start with 17/15 Cha/Dex, adding your racial bonus to your Dex so both stats progress equally.

My impression of Hexblades was that they didn't have multi-attacks, minor attacks or off-action attacks, so you can't really nova and only have charging (bo-ring!) as their means of doing lots of damage. Never paid much attention to the class, though, so I could be wrong.



The fake skald is a very interesting option, spend a few feats, get the best of both worlds, mostly. I like that a lot. Mostly leader-y, a lot of control, some striker. Just don't get hit and you're golden!

And with hexblades, you're right, which I'll be touching on a bit later. Makes me sad.

My wife plays a fey hexblade.  Combat is mostly teleporting and charging, and while her damage is consistently good, she's got no nova.  It's sort of a one trick pony in combat, using the same encounter power over and over (charge in and Skewer).  That said, it's a good trick.


 


You might also want to consider a rogue.  They get to build for DEX+CHA, have good striker damage, good skill coverage and more interesting options in combat.  There's single target control, an option to go ranged (or divide focus between range and melee for relatively little cost) and some good minor action awesomeness.  If you really have to have a sprinkle of magic in there, the right theme and some refluffing will turn the trick.  



Yeah, the charge damage is good, but you're right: they really can't do much else in combat. The encounter is OK but you get just one multiple times(not to mention I can now make my charging at-will outperform it at level one), the dailies are practically all control-oriented (even if some, like the Tentacles of Cryonax one, are pretty awesome).

I would be considering rogue if rogues didn't seem so... generic. unfortunately, generic seems to be what has good feat support

Me: *splurts drink all over laptop* you have an at-will that does how much damage at lvl 1? now, i've never looked at hexblades before, so i don't know the first thing about their stuff, but i know a lvl 6 striker who can't do that kind of damage with an at-will. of course, he far surpasses it when using encounters or dailies, but my point is that i've never seen that kind of damage from an at-will. sir, i solute you, and advice you visit the CharOp forum. not my cup of tea, but sounds like you'd be really good at that kind of thing.



yeah, my current party's longbow-ranger's average DPR at level 5 works out to the equivalent of 1d10+9. Best I could do with feats at level one was 2d10+9, but the problem is that this never really changes. I can't increase die sizes, and tacking on extra statics reaches a wall. By Level 5 I was hitting 2d10+15 which is good but I know I'm not cut out for charOp, their current Level One DPR King does something like 44 DPR. For Kaganfindel: it is a rogue. My conclusion is that Hexblades are probably wonderful in heroic but lose major steam in paragon. Multiclassing might fix that a tad. I wish there was a hybrid Hexblade.


So I’m going to take a quick break from the mechanics, and think about backstory a bit. I came up with a general one that I think is at least decent for a human Fey Pact Hexblade:


 


The character (no name as of yet) was the only son of a merchant whose ideas were always bigger than his capability to carry them out. The merchant was convinced to take his family and some of his business associates to the feywild, and set up a cross-planar emporium, dealing on one side with the fey and on the other with the mundane. Unfortunately for him, he didn’t have the funds to hire a wizard with the proper knowledge to create a self-sustaining transplanar gate, and in the middle of the harsh winter, the portal collapsed with the merchant and his family on the feywild side.


     The merchant disappeared looking for food, and the death of the child looked certain until representatives of the local archfey arrived. Since the child was innocent, they would save him- but since he owed them his life, he would pay off his debt in service. The young child was thus spared his father’s folly, but grew up in a fey citadel, cut off from others of his own kind.


     When the young boy showed his nascent talents with arcane energy, it was decided that he would expunge the circumstances that had brought him to the feywild in reverse: instead of an interloper from the material plane representing commercial interest, he would go from the feywild out as the human envoy of his patron archfey. A binding, magical covenant was formed between the boy; too young to understand what was being decided for him; and his patron. A few favors were called in and the boy showed up on the doorstep of the White Lotus Academy. Since his source of arcane power (rather than mere potential) came directly from his patron, as the boy became a man he became more and more adept at negotiating for greater power and responsibility [fits in with the general theme of the hexblade, I think- CHA-based since all powers are derived from negotiation]


     Since his graduation, he is free to roam the world as he pleases. The power granted him by his patron keeps him safe and gives him useful skills. Free to do as he would, that is, save this: if ever an agent of his patron should call upon his aid, he is bound to do all that they ask: the power that made him, can unmake him; he who gave him life can always take it away once again.




That's a fantastic backstory! As a DM, I love seeing things like this because it allows me to craft plenty of "hooks" for the PC in question. Perhaps the transplanar gate collapse was not an accident at all, but rather done by enemies of the archfey who became your character's patron. As with all fey gifts, the pact that grants your character his power comes with a hidden cost. Due to an ancient treaty or geas, your character's patron cannot combat his enemy directly and your character is being groomed as his weapon/proxy/pawn....hmm....

And yeah, the fey pact hexblade's powers are a bit "more of the same," but a friend is playing one in a game I run. They just hit 19th level, and he is still having a blast vanishing and teleporting around the battlefield. You will find that, over time, you are going to get a lot of mileage out of stealth and opportunity attacks with a fey pact hexblade. Since CHA-based skills are the class's forte, taking things like Bluff, Diplomacy, and Streetwise will let the character be an effective "face" for the party. Have fun! 
I say unto you! Be a monk!

Honestly, monks get some bonuses to stuff like diplomacy and whatnot if you build them right.. simply through massive insight roles and the willingness to talk comparatively to the stabby stabby tendencies of a lot of parties. Plus more actions you can count with lots of flavor and open styles of play.

Good striker (no real leader qualities for battle but rp wise you can be the leader of the party easy). Honestly monks give you good defenses, good aoe (so your always punching what feels like dozens of enemies) and plenty of unique move options. Not to mention some cool move as a minor abilities.

Secondary controller/defender (which builds into the "follow me into battle! I'm 70% sure you wont die" mentality)

Also you can build a very very good con build with that so your #1 stat is on there.

I alway play the moderating force on some of my monks. My group tends to be.. well the shop keep has really high bartering abilites... we should just kill him and jack all his stuff.

But my next one is the adventure crazy fun loving "LEEEEETS GOOOOOOOOOOOOO!" girl monk who is stronger then she really should be.

(also I do like your backstory but I dont think monk would work for it.. oh well. There is always your split personality character with a different class when you go loco)