Ranger/Warlord Hybrid question

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Hello,

The campaign needed a ranged striker, and someone who could drop an occasional heal.  Striker first above everything, but still with the ability to grant attacks/heal/buff.  The longterm plan is Battlefield Archer at Paragon, the Demigod for Epic.

The campain rules are custom, with only one difference from regular 4th e:  players and monsters have 1/3 hitpoints.  Multiple people in the group must have healing abilities that can assist anyone who drops.  With everything having reduced hit points, going first is much more important to me.

I'm not allowed to change my theme, background, class or race.  Suggestions?

====== Created Using Wizards of the Coast D&D Character Builder ======
Mayor Quinn, level 7
Human, Ranger/Warlord
Hybrid Talent Option: Ranger Fighting Style
Ranger Fighting Style Option: Archer Fighting Style (Hybrid)
Hybrid Ranger Option: Hybrid Ranger Fortitude
Warlord Leadership Option: Combat Leader (Hybrid)
Hybrid Warlord Option: Hybrid Warlord Will
Human Power Selection Option: Heroic Effort
Associate: Trained Young Owlbear
Born Under a Bad Sign (Born Under a Bad Sign Benefit)
Theme: Fey Beast Tamer
 
FINAL ABILITY SCORES
STR 10, CON 11, DEX 21, INT 10, WIS 15, CHA 8
 
STARTING ABILITY SCORES
STR 10, CON 11, DEX 18, INT 10, WIS 14, CHA 8
 
 
AC: 21 Fort: 17 Ref: 21 Will: 19
HP: 63 Surges: 6 Surge Value: 15
 
TRAINED SKILLS
Acrobatics +13, Dungeoneering +10, Nature +10, Perception +10, Stealth +13
 
UNTRAINED SKILLS
Arcana +3, Athletics +3, Bluff +2, Diplomacy +2, Endurance +3, Heal +5, History +3, Insight +5, Intimidate +2, Religion +3, Streetwise +2, Thievery +8
 
POWERS
Basic Attack: Melee Basic Attack
Basic Attack: Ranged Basic Attack
Human Racial Power: Heroic Effort
Hunter's Quarry  Power: Hunter's Quarry
Warlord Feature: Inspiring Word
Ranger Attack 1: Twin Strike
Warlord Attack 1: Direct the Strike
Warlord Attack 1: Vengeance is Mine
Ranger Attack 1: Skirmishing Stance
Ranger Utility 2: Invigorating Stride
Ranger Attack 3: Disruptive Strike
Warlord Attack 5: Create Opportunity
Warlord Utility 6: Dragon's Tenacity
Ranger Attack 7: Biting Volley
 
FEATS
Defensive Mobility
Level 1: Hybrid Talent
Level 1: Weapon Proficiency (Greatbow)
Level 2: Weapon Focus (Bow)
Level 4: Bow Expertise
Level 6: Improved Initiative
 
ITEMS
Adventurer's Kit
Longsword
Arrows
Bracers of Archery (heroic tier) x1
Greatbow of Speed +1 x1
Shadowdance Leather Armor +1 x1
Gauntlets of Blood (heroic tier) x1
Eagle Eye Goggles (heroic tier) x1
Cloak of Distortion +2 x1
====== End ======
If you have 1/3 HP, be prepared to drop a LOT.  Most MM3 monsters will drop you in a single hit.  Everyone having heals isn't really going to help much - the real issue is the actions lost when you're eating dirt, and the resultant death spiral that leads to a TPK.  You are right to op initiative, because the fight will basically be decided right there.  Also take anything that allows you to stay standing under 0 hp. Revenant is obvious, but there are also some utilities that let you stay up.

Good luck with it, but I expect you'll find that messing this much with the numbers makes things too swingy, and tactics and skill will take a back seat to the randomness of the dice.
>>>Erachima--I see what you mean, I will swap out VIM for PW.  When I said I'm not allowed to change my theme, it's because the DM does not allow it.  Is there a feat anyone would suggest in replace of Archer Hybrid Talent in heroic tier?

>>>Scatterbrained--When we play, it feels a lot like a shootout in Shadowrun--everything is super lethal.  I'm not able to change my race--is there anything you'd suggest for standing at 0 hp that a human could use?

Thank you for the help so far, and all suggestions are welcome!
One thing that I might mention which is not really on topic, but something that may interest you is fourth core.  Have you and/or your DM looked into it?  I won't put a link to it on an official DnD forums, but google exists.  Its basically 4e rules with a huge dose of added leathality.  You might like it.

Also, with things dying as often as they sound like they do, would Create Opportunity really be what you want?  Its a good power, but if things are dying very quickly would you not want something you could spread around a little more? 
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One thing that I might mention which is not really on topic, but something that may interest you is fourth core.  Have you and/or your DM looked into it?  I won't put a link to it on an official DnD forums, but google exists.  Its basically 4e rules with a huge dose of added leathality.  You might like it.

Also, with things dying as often as they sound like they do, would Create Opportunity really be what you want?  Its a good power, but if things are dying very quickly would you not want something you could spread around a little more? 



I have not read up on fourth core--I will check it out. 

Create Opportunity seems bad, but I just don't know what else to put there.  I have to take a Warlord daily (at either 1 or 5), so I can go Ranger Daily at Level 9.  I've got no strength, so the Create Opportunity attack probably won't hit reliably--at least against a solo I can grant some free attacks.  I'd be ok with dropping Skirmishing Stance, and get a level 1 Warlord Daily (opening up a ranger power for level 5).

Fair enough on the lack of good non-hitting dailies.  I had a similar issue myself.

Is there a reason you are going the route you are going instead of building a balanced Ranger and tacking Lord onto it?  Going 16 str / 16 dex pre racial to give you a little more selection of where to go when you need to?  You only really need a wis mod of 1 for most of the riders that go off wis to be worth it and it opens up a couple other routes for you as well.  I just built a character much like this for another game I am playing in and decided that playing a balanced ranger was more benefecial.  You will lose out a little bit from having to go human so you won't have an 16 str, but you can always charge to help out with the accuracy and manticore's fury could help with the damage.  Just another option to consider.
Currently working on making a Dex based defender. Check it out here
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Need a few pre-generated characters for a one-shot you are running? Want to get a baseline for what an effective build for a class you aren't familiar with? Check out the Pregen thread here If ever you are interested what it sounds like to be at my table check out my blog and podcast here Also, I've recently done an episode on "Refluffing". You can check that out here
Frankly, I think you made a mistake up front. For a ranged striker with healing in a high-lethality campaign, I would go with straight Warlord - the Archer Warlord option is optional at best (actively bad except for taclords and skirlords, but those are the two generally-best choices for a ranged warlord) if you're the only enabler in the party - and spend a feat on Greatbow proficiency.

Yes, straight Warlord as a striker. His extra-damage mechanic is someone else's basic attack. Maybe more than one someone. And the Greatbow is a 1d12 weapon. Who cares if you can't do RBAs very well; without another enabler, you'll probably never do RBAs.

(Also consider Feral Hide hide armor. It comes with a built-in melee weapon that you don't have to draw or stow, for those occasions when you need one.)

The Warlord needs high Str and really values high Int (for tactical or skirmishing presence, particularly those who take the Archer Warlord option).  His third (and in a few builds second) attribute is Charisma. Meanwhile the Archer Ranger wants Dex and a bit of Wis. No overlap at all; instead, a bad case of Multiple Attribute Dependency.

The Battlefield Archer paragon path is good for an Archer Ranger but really doesn't offer a Warlord a lot.  Its two attack powers are Dex-based.

And you're giving up one heal per encounter by not being a full Warlord. Beginning at level 16 you're giving up two per encounter. However, unlike other hybrid leaders, you DO have a Paragon feat available to gain another use per encounter.

So, if you're stuck being a Warlord|Ranger... eep... I'm strongly tempted to tell you to downplay the Ranger side as much as possible. (I am not anti-Ranger or anti-hybrid. I love my Tempest Fighter|Ranger hybrid. But he's neither healer nor enabler. A melee Ranger and a Fighter both are Str-based.)

Definitely, once you hit level 11 take the "Fight On" feat. 

You want powers that do damage AND either hand out free attacks to your allies, or hang pinatas on enemies, or provide some other benefit. With the reduced HP, emphasize the free attacks particularly on encounter and daily powers - it's not much good to spend a daily hanging an end-of-encounter pinata on an enemy that will die to the next attack that uses the pinata.

And in a lowered-HP campaign, healing is nice for utilities. For example, the level-6 Stand Tough is rather lame for a non-charismatic Warlord in a normal game but probably really good in yours.

Paragon paths: Captain of Fortune looks really good. Twiceborn Leader is interesting in spite of its attack powers being melee-weapon; you will be caught in melee occasionally. Adroit Explorer hands you some goodies.
"The world does not work the way you have been taught it does. We are not real as such; we exist within The Story. Unfortunately for you, you have inherited a condition from your mother known as Primary Protagonist Syndrome, which means The Story is interested in you. It will find you, and if you are not ready for the narrative strands it will throw at you..." - from Footloose
Tonight I played something very similar to what he is trying to do here and I am here to tell you not to play DOWN your ranger side.

Create Opportunity was frankly stupidly strong when I used it for my AP round.

Create Opportunity (missed sadly, I rolled a 4)
AP-> Twin Strike Hit=Grant Fighter MBA, Twin Strike Hit= Grant Barbarian a Shift
Minor Action RBA Hit = Grant Barbarian an MBA

The solo then realized I was a helluva threat and went at me.  Hit me and I got VIM (which you can RBA with) and RBAed him, he was in range of the fighter still so I gave him the MBA from CO and the MBA from VIM went to the Barbarian (so he could move into place)

That was a 4 hits from me and 5 granted attacks plus a shift and a move for an ally.  While I know this is completely anecdotal, this build can be very strong.

(My version of the build goes full on striker mode and goes 16/16 str/dex pre-racial with a str/dex race).
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Yes, straight Warlord as a striker. His extra-damage mechanic is someone else's basic attack. Maybe more than one someone. And the Greatbow is a 1d12 weapon. Who cares if you can't do RBAs very well; without another enabler, you'll probably never do RBAs.



(emphasis is mine) 

ARCHER WARLORD
When you choose the Archer Warlord class feature, you lose proficiency with chainmail and light shields. You gain proficiency with military ranged weapons. In addition, when you make a ranged basic attack with a bow, you can use Strength instead of Dexterity for the attack roll and the damage roll.
Thanks to everyone for the help here.  I think I'm stuck--my class is one of the things I can't change--can I take Archer Warlord on a hybrid character?  If I could, I'd stick to STR/Will, and I wouldn't have to struggle with 3 or more primary stats.

I took improved defences feat over Archer Fighting Style (Hybrid) for the time being, so like the suggestion above, I can retrain it at paragon.

I can't change my class and go pure warlord, but at least there's a dedicated shaman in the group for enabling.
Yes, straight Warlord as a striker. His extra-damage mechanic is someone else's basic attack. Maybe more than one someone. And the Greatbow is a 1d12 weapon. Who cares if you can't do RBAs very well; without another enabler, you'll probably never do RBAs.

(emphasis is mine) 

ARCHER WARLORD
When you choose the Archer Warlord class feature, you lose proficiency with chainmail and light shields. You gain proficiency with military ranged weapons. In addition, when you make a ranged basic attack with a bow, you can use Strength instead of Dexterity for the attack roll and the damage roll.

You neglected to quote the bit of my post where I said that if you're the only enabler in the group, Archer Warlord is optional.

In other words, figure out how you're going to be making RBAs. And if the answer is that you won't be, then the option is not worth bothering with as compared to Greatbow proficiency (which takes a feat anyway since it's a superior weapon).

Granted, for a Taclord or Skirlord it doesn't cost much, and for a hybrid with a light-armor class it doesn't cost anything at all.

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Matyr: how did you get to do an RBA as a minor action?

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Thanks to everyone for the help here.  I think I'm stuck--my class is one of the things I can't change--can I take Archer Warlord on a hybrid character?  If I could, I'd stick to STR/Will, and I wouldn't have to struggle with 3 or more primary stats.

I took improved defences feat over Archer Fighting Style (Hybrid) for the time being, so like the suggestion above, I can retrain it at paragon.

I can't change my class and go pure warlord, but at least there's a dedicated shaman in the group for enabling.

The online Compendium doesn't list it as a valid option for hybrids, which should be authoritative but isn't quite. Can't get into the Character Builder (or actually log in to the tools site) at the moment because the site is sick, so I can't say whether the CB allows it. Ask your DM.

Since you have another enabler, it very well could be worth taking. And it will cost you nothing: you're a hybrid Ranger and thus don't have the armor proficiencies you're "sacrificing".

Str/Wis is a valid option for a Skirlord, but cuts you off from the riders on a lot of Warlord powers. Whereas not having high Dex cuts you off from pretty much all ranged-Ranger powers. 
"The world does not work the way you have been taught it does. We are not real as such; we exist within The Story. Unfortunately for you, you have inherited a condition from your mother known as Primary Protagonist Syndrome, which means The Story is interested in you. It will find you, and if you are not ready for the narrative strands it will throw at you..." - from Footloose
I think you are better off with high Dex, and low Str. The RBA is good without any Archer Warlord nonsense, and the Warlord has many powers without actually attacking.
However instead of Wis, I would go Cha, even if it is not optimal with a Ranger. Combat Commander is really important, only 4 levels away, and Initiative is all important for you.
If you wish to stay with high Wis, I suggest you take Spirit Talker and Mending Spirit, instead of Hybrid Talent and Weapon focus, it doubles the number of heals per encounter.
Or to have both: STR 8, CON 10, DEX 18, INT 10, WIS 13, CHA 13, and pump Dex and Cha every time.
For the 5th level daily try Scent of Victory if you have many melee allies, Destructive Surprise if not. They are not great, but ok.

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Matyr: how did you get to do an RBA as a minor action?

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Weapon of Speed.  1/encounter RBA as a minor action.  The DM in that game allows us any +2 Weapons we want (I currently have a +2 Longbow of Speed, +2 Subtle Waraxe and +2 Vengeful Waraxe).
Currently working on making a Dex based defender. Check it out here
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Need a few pre-generated characters for a one-shot you are running? Want to get a baseline for what an effective build for a class you aren't familiar with? Check out the Pregen thread here If ever you are interested what it sounds like to be at my table check out my blog and podcast here Also, I've recently done an episode on "Refluffing". You can check that out here