Sorta newbie needs help with a Leader/Defender type.

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I've only been playing D&D for about 3 months.  The game I started in is sort of falling apart because the DM is getting busy, so someone else in our group wants to run a game.  I played a Swordmage in the first game and loved it, but I want to try something new.  The party doesnt have a real defender OR leader, so I want to try and do both.  Probably not super great, but I want to try.  Here is what the rest of the group is doing:

Executioner
Thief
Monk
Seeker
Ranger

I don't know the details, only that none of them have any leader or defender stuff.  How can I be the 6th man effectively?  It's a level 11 game, and for RP reasons I have to play a half-elf.

This party desperately needs a leader, probably a Warlord, with every single other person in the party except maybe the Monk having a good basic.  You need a leader a lot more than you need a defender.
Harrying your Prey, the Easy Way: A Hunter's Handbook - the first of what will hopefully be many CharOp efforts on my part. The Blinker - teleport everywhere. An Eladrin Knight/Eldritch Knight. CB != rules source.
thespaceinvader is giving you good advice.


Alternatively, given the Half-Elf requirement, you could probably make a Cha/Con Bard|Paladin work, taking Hybrid Talent: Virtue of Valor, and taking War Chanter for your PP. (Or going pure Bard and still aiming for War Chanter.)

But thespaceinvader's advice is probably better. 
+1 for Warlord, you don't really have anyone in that party that needs to be defended, and an enabling leader will help them the most.

Warlords can easily grab some mark-style powers, and you could even mc fighter for a defender PP.
Give the Bravura build a look, i think it's close to what your looking for while still being a full fledged leader.
FWIW [4e designer] baseline assumption was that roughly 70% of your feats would be put towards combat effectiveness, parties would coordinate, and strikers would do 20/40/60 at-will damage+novas. If your party isn't doing that... well, you are below baseline, so yes, you need to optimize slightly to meet baseline. -Alcestis
Since it's not a Op group and you seem to want to cover both roles and want to play a half-elf there's a number of choices. Depending on the Ranger that front line doesn't look very durable and if there are other newbies you may want to have some extra healing in your pocket for when things get hairy. 

1. Shielding Swordmage/Cleric - Start with a post-racial 16 in CON/INT/WIS, boosting INT/WIS every step. Use a long sword or rapier (+3 proficiency bonus). For your group you don't appear to need to be optimized and the Cleric has enough healing powers while the Swordmage loses the least hybriding as defender. Go with Battle Clerics Lore and Hybrid Talent Feat for Swordmage Warding  and you'll be able to sit in the middle of melee just fine. As a newbie this will give you character with which you're partially familiar.

2. There's lots of good Basic Attacks in that group so a Warlord might work but you're probably going to want to spend some feats/resources on your own durability. Maybe a Valorous Bard would also work. The Warchanter PP is tremendous. Not as good an enabler by any stretch, but the temp HP and durability (CON secondary and racial boost) would be a plus. No real defending, but you could go Fighter Multiclass and Guardian Theme to nab a couple of defender-like abilities. This would be my first choice actually.

3. You could also go Cleric/Warlord with a post-racial 18 STR. Not an Op choice but would give you decent enabling and healing in a non-Op game.
I agree that leader is more important than defender in a party like that.

Shaman is another good choice and half elf makes a very good shaman.  The spirit companion would put another body on the front line and reduce the damage your party takes some.

Eagle would be a good choice if the ranger is ranged focused.  Otherwise Animist would also work well and cover your lack of int skills.  Worldspeaker would be the other good shaman build.  It fits in with half-elf stats well and can tie up one or two enemies most rounds from a distance fairly well at that level while proving a little enabling through power selection.

I agree that bard and warlord work well too.
Not to sure about the logistics but a runepreist|fighter with a hammer could work though the cha boost wouldnt be usefull. i had a half orc one in a previous campain that we were 3 maning with a wizard and a ranger. went well there quite sturdy  but depending on how the encounters roll. it could be tough.

however the warlord will have more healing and enableing for the party so it may still be the better option. just throwing ideas out there  
For leader/defender hybrid cleric can hybrid well with fighter, swordmage, warden, or paladin, warlord can do swordmage or fighter fairly well, bard can do swordmage or paladin well, and any defender can hybrid with an eagle shaman and take lazy enabling powers. 

If you really want to you can do a straight cleric defender build with wis/con and defensive melee powers and go tactical warpriest for your paragon path.  You lose out on a lot of good enabling that way.
+1 To Warlord

Hybrid defender/leader builds can work, if you find a way to give numerous heals, strong defenses and marks going on every turn repeatibly. Frankly I would stick to just using a combat leader warlord as it is so much more simple.


Spend the level 11 feat on combat commander and get a (head slot item) Casque Of Tactics. This way You are provided a large power and item bonus to the entire parties initiative. Do whatever you can to ensure the party focus fires targets down quickly (warlords are good at this). Without a dedicated defender (and the seeker is a poor controller) your group has survability problems during extended battles, best to try to end them quickly.......


An alternative is to make a cunning bard and encourage your melee teamates to grab the agile opportunist feat.   
I think as long as you make your AC work, you're likely okay. One of the things I'd consider is exactly what you want to do with your dilettante option. Magic Weapon is a great choice if you go Con/Cha with Adept Dilettante to qualify for Artificer. Throw & Stab with Righteous Brand with Power of Skill can be fun, too.
I'd consider taclord here. Not ony is it a generally strong option for warlords, it gives you a high INT, and from a skill perspective you don't really have anyone covering the "brain" role.
Or you can just be selfish like the rest of your group and roll up another OMFGWTFBBQ striker!

Seriously, the newb should not be scrambling to fill the role holes here. A bunch of people who don't care what the others are playing bodes ill for the campaign. I'd at least bring it up with them.

And before others inevitably chime in, yes of course this group could work without a defender. I'm just saying the apparent lack of concern about filling roles is not a good sign for overall team playerness. Better to work out the kinks in the party now before the game starts.
+1 Warlord.

Personally I like the Warlord build that goes for having decently high defenses.  You don't get +str which is kinda meh, but you can life with an 18 STR as a Bravlord and still be very effective.  Also, you can build a bravlord to be a psudeo defender fairly easily.
Currently working on making a Dex based defender. Check it out here
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I might consider a fighter|warlord. You get to key off the same main stat, you can pick up marking minor actions, you can pick up immediate reaction and interupt to do some off turN damage and still use your turn to grant attacks.
I might consider a fighter|warlord. You get to key off the same main stat, you can pick up marking minor actions, you can pick up immediate reaction and interupt to do some off turN damage and still use your turn to grant attacks.



Cause warlords don't have enough Immediates?  Honestly I run into the scenario late heroic of starting to devalue Immediates as a straight Warlord because I have too many not too few.
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
I might consider a fighter|warlord. You get to key off the same main stat, you can pick up marking minor actions, you can pick up immediate reaction and interupt to do some off turN damage and still use your turn to grant attacks.



Cause warlords don't have enough Immediates?  Honestly I run into the scenario late heroic of starting to devalue Immediates as a straight Warlord because I have too many not too few.



Sure. But he wanted to double as a defender and Hybrid Fighter gives him some options, tacked on with the Warlord he can fill both roles relatively well. Especially if he picks up things like Kirre's Roar.

Granted, action economy will be a bit of an issue, but it's a doable mix.
I'd suggest something like this Stormbringer build:
community.wizards.com/go/thread/view/758...

or a Bard would be fun given the amount of control/striking going on already.
I'm a fan of the Paladin|Warlord, myself.  Lean more heavily on the Warlord side for this group, certainly, but you've always got those mass sanctions if you need them.  Especially if you go Baladin/Chaladin.

But I'm honestly with Scatterbrained here.  Four strikers in a six man party is a tad absurd, and there's going to be a lot of toe-stepping going on when everyone wants to be the star striker of the show.  Not to mention a certain amount of squishiness should Team Monster ever decide to focus-fire.
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