Still looking for a hero...

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Turns out I'm getting bored with my character. I started back into D&D a year and a half ago and I built a Slayer that I thought would be fun, and he has been, but at this point I'm bored with him. We're at level 12 now and our party has changed. Currently we have a cavalier, a warpriest, and more recently a fire-blaster mage and an elven ranger/archer. They're all pretty well-built, and my slayer is not only a bit boring for me to play now (charge, back up, repeat) but almost a bit redunant, as the mage and ranger are also good strikers. We just finished up an adventure arc so I'm thinking it's a good time for a change.

 Any recommendations for what might be a good complement to this party?


Turns out I'm getting bored with my character. I started back into D&D a year and a half ago and I built a Slayer that I thought would be fun, and he has been, but at this point I'm bored with him. We're at level 12 now and our party has changed. Currently we have a cavalier, a warpriest, and more recently a fire-blaster mage and an elven ranger/archer. They're all pretty well-built, and my slayer is not only a bit boring for me to play now (charge, back up, repeat) but almost a bit redunant, as the mage and ranger are also good strikers. We just finished up an adventure arc so I'm thinking it's a good time for a change.

 Any recommendations for what might be a good complement to this party?





Well, depending on the warpriest build, going with a non-melee character would leave your cavalier alone in melee. And cavaliers are, by a hundred miles, the worst defender class in 4e.

I'd strongly consider making a real defender, since the cavalier is not a real defender, or a real controller, since blaster mages aren't real controllers (usually. CharOp can do it trivially with nothing but an elemental weapliment, but generally anyone who uses the term "blaster mage" is using it to mean, "i picked powers with damage and no control riders.").

Another option would be to fix your Slayer, by taking Martial Cross Training for Rain of Blows and taking Adroit Explorer for more real fighter powers (or at least a PP better than Mythic Slayer, if that's what you have). But yeah, even then most of the time you'll be charging. And without an enabling leader, Slayers aren't the best/most interesting characters around.
 
Turns out I'm getting bored with my character. I started back into D&D a year and a half ago and I built a Slayer that I thought would be fun, and he has been, but at this point I'm bored with him. We're at level 12 now and our party has changed. Currently we have a cavalier, a warpriest, and more recently a fire-blaster mage and an elven ranger/archer. They're all pretty well-built, and my slayer is not only a bit boring for me to play now (charge, back up, repeat) but almost a bit redunant, as the mage and ranger are also good strikers. We just finished up an adventure arc so I'm thinking it's a good time for a change.

 Any recommendations for what might be a good complement to this party?





Well, depending on the warpriest build, going with a non-melee character would leave your cavalier alone in melee. And cavaliers are, by a hundred miles, the worst defender class in 4e.

I'd strongly consider making a real defender, since the cavalier is not a real defender, or a real controller, since blaster mages aren't real controllers (usually. CharOp can do it trivially with nothing but an elemental weapliment, but generally anyone who uses the term "blaster mage" is using it to mean, "i picked powers with damage and no control riders.").

Another option would be to fix your Slayer, by taking Martial Cross Training for Rain of Blows and taking Adroit Explorer for more real fighter powers (or at least a PP better than Mythic Slayer, if that's what you have). But yeah, even then most of the time you'll be charging. And without an enabling leader, Slayers aren't the best/most interesting characters around.
 



Yeah, I actually took Rain of Blows and his PP is Kensei. I know, Cavaliers are terrible, but she loves playing him and now has a celestial behemoth as a mount so she's sticking around. Plus she's fun. Our Warpriest has Death's domain cuz he loves the Raven Queen. Our fire blaster has a couple of little tweaks, like summon succubus and Visions of Avarice, but otherwise he mostly loves blowing stuff up.

It seems like all those characters you mentioned are Essentials. Are you limited to Essentials only, or can you use real classes?
It seems like all those characters you mentioned are Essentials. Are you limited to Essentials only, or can you use real classes?




Good question, actually it's not, we can choose any class we like.


J

Our fire blaster has a couple of little tweaks, like summon succubus and Visions of Avarice, but otherwise he mostly loves blowing stuff up.


This is a pretty easy/common mistake to make, but it's entirely fallacious to think he's doing more damage because he's picking powers that don't offer control. I mean, lots of them get miss damage now I guess, but the vast majority of 4e damage (on properly built characters, with correct item selection) comes from the static modifier, not from dice. A power that deals 2d6 damage and blinds is all of 4 damage behind a power that deals 2d10 damage and does not blind. And if even one ally hits even one of those blinded targets due to the CA they grant, that 4N damage will be more than made up, even if you ignore the -5 attack penalty for some reason.  Specializing in a single element is an awesome way to stack up a great static modifier, but there's many ways for a wizard to change or add damage types on their powers, so it's almost universally better to pick the best powers and then make them fire (or thunder, or cold, or radiant), rather than to pick the best of the natively-fire-based powers at each level. 

But of course you probably know that and have no bearing on your party-member's build.

If leaving melee would leave your cavalier alone there, I generally wouldn't do it and would recommend another defender - either a fighter or a paladin. But another tactic given the area burstiness of your party would be to add to that by switching to an invoker or sorcerer or wizard or elementalist or monk or psion. Focusing on clumping mobs up for the "blaster," denying enemy actions, or showing them how aoe striking is done properly are all viable ways to take that.
Our fire blaster has a couple of little tweaks, like summon succubus and Visions of Avarice, but otherwise he mostly loves blowing stuff up.


This is a pretty easy/common mistake to make, but it's entirely fallacious to think he's doing more damage because he's picking powers that don't offer control. I mean, lots of them get miss damage now I guess, but the vast majority of 4e damage (on properly built characters, with correct item selection) comes from the static modifier, not from dice. A power that deals 2d6 damage and blinds is all of 4 damage behind a power that deals 2d10 damage and does not blind. And if even one ally hits even one of those blinded targets due to the CA they grant, that 4N damage will be more than made up, even if you ignore the -5 attack penalty for some reason.  Specializing in a single element is an awesome way to stack up a great static modifier, but there's many ways for a wizard to change or add damage types on their powers, so it's almost universally better to pick the best powers and then make them fire (or thunder, or cold, or radiant), rather than to pick the best of the natively-fire-based powers at each level. 

But of course you probably know that and have no bearing on your party-member's build.

If leaving melee would leave your cavalier alone there, I generally wouldn't do it and would recommend another defender - either a fighter or a paladin. But another tactic given the area burstiness of your party would be to add to that by switching to an invoker or sorcerer or wizard or elementalist or monk or psion. Focusing on clumping mobs up for the "blaster," denying enemy actions, or showing them how aoe striking is done properly are all viable ways to take that.



Hmm. AoE damage, defendery focus, melee . . . why not put it all together and make an Iron Soul Monk?
I was thinking a monk would work well there myself.  Another option would be a warlord, buff the cavalier, support the priest, set up a focus target for the damage guys.  Your tactics could vary from encounter to encounter, keeping it interesting for you.
That party needs a means of clustering (both to make the Cavalier less suck, and for the Wizard) as well as someone Cha primary. Add in "defendery" and that sounds like SM|Lock to me.
"Invokers are probably better round after round but Wizard dailies are devastating. Actually, devastating is too light a word. Wizard daily powers are soul crushing, encounter ending, havoc causing pieces of awesome." -AirPower25 Sear the Flesh, Purify the Soul; Harden the Heart, and Improve the Mind; Born of Blood, but Forged by Fire; The MECH warrior reaches perfection.
That party needs a means of clustering (both to make the Cavalier less suck, and for the Wizard) as well as someone Cha primary. Add in "defendery" and that sounds like SM|Lock to me.



I'll second this.

Another option is to pick a flavor of sorcerer with a lot of movement powers (Or, if your DM is ok with marks, making a lightning sorc with mark of storm to slide everyone into melee with you).  Fills the grouping bit and Cha primary, but not defendery.

A third option is to go Ranger|Cleric with Tactical Warpriest.  You lose clustering, but you psuedo-defend quite well through power selection.  At 16 you go from kinda a defender, to having a mark and being able to be truly annoying to enemies.  Fills the defendery bit but not the grouping or Cha Primary.
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
Some really good suggestions! I should admit that I have no real idea or experience with making a hybrid character. Not sure if a consensus is starting to form here or not, though? I really like the ideas so far, are we saying that a defender-type with a means of clustering foes is generally what's needed?


Some really good suggestions! I should admit that I have no real idea or experience with making a hybrid character. Not sure if a consensus is starting to form here or not, though? I really like the ideas so far, are we saying that a defender-type with a means of clustering foes is generally what's needed?





I think the concensus is that it should involve one or more of the following:



  • Defender traits

  • Cha Primary / secondary

  • Ability to cluster enemies up 

Currently working on making a Dex based defender. Check it out here
Show
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
Some really good suggestions! I should admit that I have no real idea or experience with making a hybrid character. Not sure if a consensus is starting to form here or not, though? I really like the ideas so far, are we saying that a defender-type with a means of clustering foes is generally what's needed?





I think the concensus is that it should involve one or more of the following:



  • Defender traits

  • Cha Primary / secondary

  • Ability to cluster enemies up 



Also, Wizard. Defender is just "melee Controller", Wizards are quite capable of negatting attacks in the same fashion, though lacking in catch-22s (Tiefling make up for it with dominate enabling) and you'll be helping the Cavalier with hard control more than someone with Marks who would interfere with it (though SM|Lock is really dual defender friendly). And well, Arcana For Everything on top of "Cha May as well be my Secondary" and good utilities that double as +5 social skill checks.
"Invokers are probably better round after round but Wizard dailies are devastating. Actually, devastating is too light a word. Wizard daily powers are soul crushing, encounter ending, havoc causing pieces of awesome." -AirPower25 Sear the Flesh, Purify the Soul; Harden the Heart, and Improve the Mind; Born of Blood, but Forged by Fire; The MECH warrior reaches perfection.
It's kind of the opposite of optimization advice, but keep in mind that if you make a good defender, the Cavalier will be pretty much completely obsolete, and is likely to notice. A way around this is to do a type of defender that can focus on a single primary threat so she can hold back the others. SM/lock isn't a bad choice for that.
It's kind of the opposite of optimization advice, but keep in mind that if you make a good defender, the Cavalier will be pretty much completely obsolete, and is likely to notice. A way around this is to do a type of defender that can focus on a single primary threat so she can hold back the others. SM/lock isn't a bad choice for that.



They should notice.

They should notice so hard that they are compelled to do something about it.

And their something about it shoudn't be to bitch at their betters, but rather better themselves. 
Currently working on making a Dex based defender. Check it out here
Show
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
Speaking from experience, people don't respond well to "You're doing it wrong, here's how to do it right", which is really a shame because so much bullshit could be avoided on multiple levels if that sort of thing worked.
"Invokers are probably better round after round but Wizard dailies are devastating. Actually, devastating is too light a word. Wizard daily powers are soul crushing, encounter ending, havoc causing pieces of awesome." -AirPower25 Sear the Flesh, Purify the Soul; Harden the Heart, and Improve the Mind; Born of Blood, but Forged by Fire; The MECH warrior reaches perfection.
Speaking from experience, people don't respond well to "You're doing it wrong, here's how to do it right", which is really a shame because so much bullshit could be avoided on multiple levels if that sort of thing worked.



Honestly the same people do sometimes respond really well to a polite
"No, I really wanted to play this guy and he is fun and can do these things..."

Then the person explains how they are having fun because their defender does things like defend. 
Currently working on making a Dex based defender. Check it out here
Show
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
"You keep using that word, I do not think it means what you think it means"
"Invokers are probably better round after round but Wizard dailies are devastating. Actually, devastating is too light a word. Wizard daily powers are soul crushing, encounter ending, havoc causing pieces of awesome." -AirPower25 Sear the Flesh, Purify the Soul; Harden the Heart, and Improve the Mind; Born of Blood, but Forged by Fire; The MECH warrior reaches perfection.
While not initially a fan of Hybrids myself, I'd probably cast a vote on the SM|Lock as well- I'm making a Fighter|Warlord soon with Matyr's assistance, so I'm waiting to see how it'll turn out.
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Alright, I'm convinced, I'll give the SM|Lock a shot. I feel like I'm flying a little blind here, never made a hybrid before, never played a swordmage or a warlock. Let alone at level 12. Anyone have any advice, or I'll just start poring through the Hybrid handbook--looks like it was last updated December of '11.

I did find one build, wouldn't mind opinions on it's playability/possible updating:  

community.wizards.com/go/thread/view/758...


J
I'm too uncreative to come up with an amazing build name, pic, and quote for it, but here's roughly my SM|Lock in LFR.
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====== Created Using Wizards of the Coast D&D Character Builder ======
Z'athris, level 30
Eladrin, Warlock|Swordmage, Sigil Carver, Master of Moments
Eldritch Pact (Hybrid): Sorcerer-King Pact (Hybrid)
Eldritch Strike: Eldritch Strike Charisma
Hybrid Warlock: Hybrid Warlock Will
Swordmage Aegis (Hybrid): Aegis of Shielding
Hybrid Talent: Swordmage Warding
Twofold Pact: Star Pact
Eladrin Subrace: Sun Elf (Eladrin)
Select option: Sun Elf Skill Bonuses
Select option: Wizard Implement Proficiency
Select option: Eladrin Education
Theme: Iliyanbruen Guardian
Background: Born Under a Bad Sign (Born Under a Bad Sign Benefit)

FINAL ABILITY SCORES
Str 12, Con 15, Dex 13, Int 26, Wis 10, Cha 26.

STARTING ABILITY SCORES
Str 10, Con 13, Dex 11, Int 16, Wis 8, Cha 16.


AC: 48 Fort: 38 Reflex: 47 Will: 47
HP: 184 Surges: 15 Surge Value: 46

TRAINED SKILLS
Acrobatics +21, Religion +32, Insight +22, Arcana +34, Bluff +36

UNTRAINED SKILLS
Diplomacy +23, Dungeoneering +15, Endurance +17, Heal +15, History +29, Intimidate +29, Nature +17, Perception +15, Stealth +16, Streetwise +23, Thievery +16, Athletics +16

FEATS
Level 1: Eladrin Swordmage Advance
Level 2: Renewed by Blood
Level 4: War Wizard's Expertise
Level 6: Hybrid Talent
Level 8: Mindbite Scorn
Level 10: Improved Defenses
Level 11: Demanding Talent
Level 12: Feywild Protection
Level 14: Arcane Familiar
Level 16: Eldritch Blade
Level 18: Bloodied Boon
Level 20: Twofold Pact
Level 21: Rapid Aegis Reaction
Level 22: Warding Curse
Level 24: Reserve Maneuver
Level 26: Superior Will
Level 28: Cursed Spells
Level 30: Superior Initiative

POWERS
Corellon's Boon of Arcane Might (level 23): Soul Step
Hybrid at-will 1: Eldritch Strike
Hybrid at-will 1: Booming Blade
Reserve Maneuver: Dimensional Vortex
Hybrid encounter 1: Cursebite
Hybrid daily 1: Star Shackles
Hybrid utility 2: Assassin's Bane
Hybrid encounter 3: Incendiary Sword
Hybrid daily 5: Swordmage Shielding Fire
Hybrid utility 6: Swordmage's Decree
Hybrid encounter 7: Transposing Lunge
Hybrid daily 9: Command Insanity
Hybrid utility 10: Ethereal Sidestep
Hybrid encounter 13: Touch of Command (replaces Cursebite)
Hybrid daily 15: Reaper's Challenge (replaces Star Shackles)
Hybrid utility 16: Borrowed Confidence
Hybrid encounter 17: Thundering Vortex (replaces Incendiary Sword)
Hybrid daily 19: Delusions of Loyalty (replaces Swordmage Shielding Fire)
Hybrid utility 22: Hero's Defense
Hybrid encounter 23: Unwilling Betrayal (replaces Touch of Command)
Hybrid daily 25: Word of the Sorcerer-King (replaces Delusions of Loyalty)
Hybrid encounter 27: Circle of Devastation (replaces Transposing Lunge)
Hybrid daily 29: Waves of Languor (replaces Command Insanity)

ITEMS
Rod of Corruption +1, Helm of Able Defense (paragon tier), Salve of Power (heroic tier), Pearl of Power (heroic tier), Ruby Scabbard (heroic tier), Power Jewel (heroic tier), Ring of Tenacious Will (epic tier), Iron Armbands of Power (epic tier), Siberys Shard of the Mage (epic tier), Staggering Longsword +6, Foe Caller Gauntlets (epic tier), Demonskin Tattoo (epic tier), Corellon's Boon of Arcane Might (level 23), Blink Ring (epic tier), Ring of Dimensional Escape (paragon tier), Incisive Dagger Dagger +5, Belt of Vitality (epic tier), Orb of Nimble Thoughts +3, Boots of Quickness (epic tier), Elven Chain Shirt (epic tier), Scabbard of Sacred Might (heroic tier), Cloak of Translocation +6, Swordwing Armor of Dark Majesty +6, Opal Ring of Remembrance (epic tier)
RITUALS
Scroll of Portal Jump
====== Copy to Clipboard and Press the Import Button on the Summary Tab ======
"Invokers are probably better round after round but Wizard dailies are devastating. Actually, devastating is too light a word. Wizard daily powers are soul crushing, encounter ending, havoc causing pieces of awesome." -AirPower25 Sear the Flesh, Purify the Soul; Harden the Heart, and Improve the Mind; Born of Blood, but Forged by Fire; The MECH warrior reaches perfection.
Alright, I'm convinced, I'll give the SM|Lock a shot. I feel like I'm flying a little blind here, never made a hybrid before, never played a swordmage or a warlock. Let alone at level 12. Anyone have any advice, or I'll just start poring through the Hybrid handbook--looks like it was last updated December of '11.

I did find one build, wouldn't mind opinions on it's playability/possible updating:  

community.wizards.com/go/thread/view/758...


J


community.wizards.com/go/thread/view/758...
I'm too uncreative to come up with an amazing build name, pic, and quote for it, but here's roughly my SM|Lock in LFR.
Show


====== Created Using Wizards of the Coast D&D Character Builder ======
Z'athris, level 30
Eladrin, Warlock|Swordmage, Sigil Carver, Master of Moments
Eldritch Pact (Hybrid): Sorcerer-King Pact (Hybrid)
Eldritch Strike: Eldritch Strike Charisma
Hybrid Warlock: Hybrid Warlock Will
Swordmage Aegis (Hybrid): Aegis of Shielding
Hybrid Talent: Swordmage Warding
Twofold Pact: Star Pact
Eladrin Subrace: Sun Elf (Eladrin)
Select option: Sun Elf Skill Bonuses
Select option: Wizard Implement Proficiency
Select option: Eladrin Education
Theme: Iliyanbruen Guardian
Background: Born Under a Bad Sign (Born Under a Bad Sign Benefit)

FINAL ABILITY SCORES
Str 12, Con 15, Dex 13, Int 26, Wis 10, Cha 26.

STARTING ABILITY SCORES
Str 10, Con 13, Dex 11, Int 16, Wis 8, Cha 16.


AC: 48 Fort: 38 Reflex: 47 Will: 47
HP: 184 Surges: 15 Surge Value: 46

TRAINED SKILLS
Acrobatics +21, Religion +32, Insight +22, Arcana +34, Bluff +36

UNTRAINED SKILLS
Diplomacy +23, Dungeoneering +15, Endurance +17, Heal +15, History +29, Intimidate +29, Nature +17, Perception +15, Stealth +16, Streetwise +23, Thievery +16, Athletics +16

FEATS
Level 1: Eladrin Swordmage Advance
Level 2: Renewed by Blood
Level 4: War Wizard's Expertise
Level 6: Hybrid Talent
Level 8: Mindbite Scorn
Level 10: Improved Defenses
Level 11: Demanding Talent
Level 12: Feywild Protection
Level 14: Arcane Familiar
Level 16: Eldritch Blade
Level 18: Bloodied Boon
Level 20: Twofold Pact
Level 21: Rapid Aegis Reaction
Level 22: Warding Curse
Level 24: Reserve Maneuver
Level 26: Superior Will
Level 28: Cursed Spells
Level 30: Superior Initiative

POWERS
Corellon's Boon of Arcane Might (level 23): Soul Step
Hybrid at-will 1: Eldritch Strike
Hybrid at-will 1: Booming Blade
Reserve Maneuver: Dimensional Vortex
Hybrid encounter 1: Cursebite
Hybrid daily 1: Star Shackles
Hybrid utility 2: Assassin's Bane
Hybrid encounter 3: Incendiary Sword
Hybrid daily 5: Swordmage Shielding Fire
Hybrid utility 6: Swordmage's Decree
Hybrid encounter 7: Transposing Lunge
Hybrid daily 9: Command Insanity
Hybrid utility 10: Ethereal Sidestep
Hybrid encounter 13: Touch of Command (replaces Cursebite)
Hybrid daily 15: Reaper's Challenge (replaces Star Shackles)
Hybrid utility 16: Borrowed Confidence
Hybrid encounter 17: Thundering Vortex (replaces Incendiary Sword)
Hybrid daily 19: Delusions of Loyalty (replaces Swordmage Shielding Fire)
Hybrid utility 22: Hero's Defense
Hybrid encounter 23: Unwilling Betrayal (replaces Touch of Command)
Hybrid daily 25: Word of the Sorcerer-King (replaces Delusions of Loyalty)
Hybrid encounter 27: Circle of Devastation (replaces Transposing Lunge)
Hybrid daily 29: Waves of Languor (replaces Command Insanity)

ITEMS
Rod of Corruption +1, Helm of Able Defense (paragon tier), Salve of Power (heroic tier), Pearl of Power (heroic tier), Ruby Scabbard (heroic tier), Power Jewel (heroic tier), Ring of Tenacious Will (epic tier), Iron Armbands of Power (epic tier), Siberys Shard of the Mage (epic tier), Staggering Longsword +6, Foe Caller Gauntlets (epic tier), Demonskin Tattoo (epic tier), Corellon's Boon of Arcane Might (level 23), Blink Ring (epic tier), Ring of Dimensional Escape (paragon tier), Incisive Dagger Dagger +5, Belt of Vitality (epic tier), Orb of Nimble Thoughts +3, Boots of Quickness (epic tier), Elven Chain Shirt (epic tier), Scabbard of Sacred Might (heroic tier), Cloak of Translocation +6, Swordwing Armor of Dark Majesty +6, Opal Ring of Remembrance (epic tier)
RITUALS
Scroll of Portal Jump
====== Copy to Clipboard and Press the Import Button on the Summary Tab ======



Thank man, I appreciate it. This build seems like a great SM|Lock and he's got a high charisma, the others I've looked at all went Con. I'm trying to put together equipment for a lvl 12 version of him, as my DM will probably not allow Swordwing armor! How about Shadow Warlock leather armor?
Do you mean your DM won't allow Armor of Dark Majesty? (Swordwing is the Superior Armor type, not the enchant) Because that would be a silly thing for a DM to do. Shadow Warlock Armor relies on Shadow Walk, which means no Swordmage Warding; unless your DM really likes Single Target vs NADs attacks (as opposed to vs AC, or Area/Close attacks) Warding is flat out better.

There's a LOT of variation available to the build, more or less defenses, more or less damage, switching up the interrupt powers, different theme, different pacts, Con/Int is perfectly viable (I was, up until Epic, which is when they changed Eladrin to be able to go Int/Cha). Given there's 3 or 4 successful builds post-slasher nerf, sm|lock could probably have it's own handbook with us arguing for years over race, feats, and ED selection.

The core of the Hybrid always comes down to: You're action Starved so you need powers that bake in Cursing, Marking, and/or Teleporting. You're MAD so you need to fix accuracy. Your Punishment is obscene (Fighter+ MBA that negates attacks and IAs that negate attacks) after level 16 so your Defenses have to be equally superb. Your Initiative sucks. Dimensional Vortex.

My particular build, at level 12, I'd skip mindbite, demanding talent, and feywild protection to take arcane familiar, twofold pact (star, because I like +hit), and protective hex (until level 16 your punishment is limited to 3 powers at best). Items remain mostly the same, drop the level on everything to fit what you can actually have, maybe antipathy gloves.
"Invokers are probably better round after round but Wizard dailies are devastating. Actually, devastating is too light a word. Wizard daily powers are soul crushing, encounter ending, havoc causing pieces of awesome." -AirPower25 Sear the Flesh, Purify the Soul; Harden the Heart, and Improve the Mind; Born of Blood, but Forged by Fire; The MECH warrior reaches perfection.
Nah Dark majesty should be pretty doable actually. Thanks for the help, I appreciate it. I'm going to go with it and try to figure out how to play him, and I'm glad for the CHA build because nobody in my party has any, so that's an added boost.

I have played a sm|lock to epic in LFR, you are going to be action starved, you need to pick powers and such that get you around it, look at the hexer paragon path for the encounter power. as well as anything else that lets you combine actions.

you also will be feat starved, you will have many good options for feats, so pick wisely.

the build is also very item dependent, it will change alot with how many items you have and if you can pick them yourself.

stat wise, con|int gives you good surges, and good at-wills (hellish rebuke is amazing) but you lose out on some of the best warlock encounters, and you can't be the cha monkey your group needs.

cha|int gives you good encounters, not as good at wills, but you have bad surges, you will need to have good con in this build unless you got some help your party (like you have a high surge striker who is willing to give you some every day via ritual). this will hurt your attack stats (I only manage it on my epic character via a ring that lets me use my cha for surges)

--------
one thing to keep in mind as well is you have to be carefull balancing defences, catch-22, and mark punishment.

its easy to make your defenses do high you are all but unhitable, which means creatures may not attack you at all, just as its possible to make your catch-22 for being hit so much you are never attacked because its never worth it.

-----
from the sound of it I think you would be best served by going cha|int with a minor in con who marks 1-2 guys, is a target in melee, has good single target control via warlock powers, and ok if not striker level damage.


I can give you more specific advise as far as build and powers go if you say how many feats you have to work with (like if you get any from houseruleing, or have some devoted to RP, or other things) and what your magic item situation is.
Insulting someones grammar on a forum is like losing to someone in a drag race and saying they were cheating by having racing stripes. Not only do the two things not relate to each other (the logic behind the person's position, and their grammar) but you sound like an idiot for saying it (and you should, because its really stupid )
Sigil Carver is miles away better than Hexer, and thus I would suggest to Jason that he disregard your opinion over Zathris'
10/10 Would Flame Again: An Elite Paladin|Warlock The Elemental Man (or Woman): A Genasi Handbook The Warlord, Or How to Wield a Barbarian One-Handed The Bookish Barbarian Fardiz: RAI is fairly clear, but RAZ is different That's right. Rules According to Zelink!
To be fair, his description of the build goals, strengths, and weaknesses is accurate, but choosing Hexer as a solution to the action insufficiency is basically the same as being a Genasi Warlord and going Inspiring because "warlord heals aren't that great in heroic".

Curse is absurdly easy to spread if you're willing to use Claw Familiar cheese (and really, since you can get Orb use trivially, you want a Claw anyway), and if not that, Twofold Curse and/or Relentless Curse equally solve your issue, as does Twofold Pact Vestige. The Familiar is just the most efficient by a long shot (Star, Elemental, or Infernal being far superior choices to Twofold)

One amusing thing to do in heroic/paragon with the SM|Lock is to start out with Infernal (ohemgee no Mindbite Scorn?) just for the really amusing Charisma based powers with Infernal Riders that basically don't miss.
"Invokers are probably better round after round but Wizard dailies are devastating. Actually, devastating is too light a word. Wizard daily powers are soul crushing, encounter ending, havoc causing pieces of awesome." -AirPower25 Sear the Flesh, Purify the Soul; Harden the Heart, and Improve the Mind; Born of Blood, but Forged by Fire; The MECH warrior reaches perfection.
I did not say he should take it without reservation, I said he should look at it, while on the whole it is not as good several others it helps with one major problem alot.

its the kind of power that can change how the rest of his build is put together, although it does start to decrease in effectiveness as you level into upper paragon.

EDIT:
look at the Shadowrift Blade (lets you teleport when you hit someone with CA, you take a few damage) it can help your action economy problems alot.

are you going to try to be an at-will teleporter? (take the lv10 warlock teleport power, and get items to increase it)

how does your DM (and you) feel about using a familure to swap items infintly?

how does your DM feel about wrist razors (simple light blades you wear on your arm slot that you weild in your off hand)
Insulting someones grammar on a forum is like losing to someone in a drag race and saying they were cheating by having racing stripes. Not only do the two things not relate to each other (the logic behind the person's position, and their grammar) but you sound like an idiot for saying it (and you should, because its really stupid )
I don't know, after reading all this I'm thinking I'm in way over my head here. I don't even know what half of these powers and feats even DO. I don't know an infernal pact from a star pact, the different aegises, and now it seems like this is going to be a whole lot of work to make this guy effective that I don't know I even want to do. I think hybrid characters are good for players who actually know who play each of the two kinds of characters you're trying to fuse. I just want a defender who can help out our cavalier and who has a high charisma. Hopefully one I can be a bit creative with, more than my one-note Slayer was as a striker. Maybe a Paladin?

J
Sounds like this is a perfect time for you to actually learn those rules, there's no "easing into" the Warlock.
"Invokers are probably better round after round but Wizard dailies are devastating. Actually, devastating is too light a word. Wizard daily powers are soul crushing, encounter ending, havoc causing pieces of awesome." -AirPower25 Sear the Flesh, Purify the Soul; Harden the Heart, and Improve the Mind; Born of Blood, but Forged by Fire; The MECH warrior reaches perfection.
you could go palidan|warlock, but that would give most of the same problems of compexity as a SM|lock would.

the problem with palidans is that they cant do good damage, and they are mass-markers, without marking alot of targets they cant really defend well.

a swordmage is a single target defender, and does that job well if build correctly.

to be honest the hardest part is with the build, geting a good build (and we can help you with that), it might take a fight or two to get use to it, but nothing you cant handle.

Insulting someones grammar on a forum is like losing to someone in a drag race and saying they were cheating by having racing stripes. Not only do the two things not relate to each other (the logic behind the person's position, and their grammar) but you sound like an idiot for saying it (and you should, because its really stupid )
Whu?  I pal|lock can be throwing a d8+2d10+ statics+slide on his cursed/challenged opponent.  MC fighter, take flail tricks, and suddenly you can be  doing respectable damage and at-will proning.  And be an A class.  And wear plate and a heavy shield.  Add tiefling fire tricks for accuracy and call it a day.  Easy to play, if very action starved, though not much more so than SM|lock.

EDIT: Also, capt, your sig needs some apostrophes.
The tactics are actually incredibly straitforward, as is the build. You Curse and ESA something, then Shielding Fire/Aegis Sigil something, or ESA Mark Tyrannical Threat.

But please don't call Paladins A class, Jugg, you're showing your Lovely Spaghetti Monster.
"Invokers are probably better round after round but Wizard dailies are devastating. Actually, devastating is too light a word. Wizard daily powers are soul crushing, encounter ending, havoc causing pieces of awesome." -AirPower25 Sear the Flesh, Purify the Soul; Harden the Heart, and Improve the Mind; Born of Blood, but Forged by Fire; The MECH warrior reaches perfection.
Whu?  I pal|lock can be throwing a d8+2d10+ statics+slide on his cursed/challenged opponent.  MC fighter, take flail tricks, and suddenly you can be  doing respectable damage and at-will proning.  And be an A class.  And wear plate and a heavy shield.  Add tiefling fire tricks for accuracy and call it a day.  Easy to play, if very action starved, though not much more so than SM|lock.

EDIT: Also, capt, your sig needs some apostrophes.



I said that palidans have trouble doing good damage, not palidan|locks  (although I could have made that clearer)


Insulting someones grammar on a forum is like losing to someone in a drag race and saying they were cheating by having racing stripes. Not only do the two things not relate to each other (the logic behind the person's position, and their grammar) but you sound like an idiot for saying it (and you should, because its really stupid )
Paladin|lock is an A class with charisma.  Or was it V class.  Whatever one needs 1 ability score.  It's late.
Paladins have trouble doing damage like Swordmages do.
10/10 Would Flame Again: An Elite Paladin|Warlock The Elemental Man (or Woman): A Genasi Handbook The Warlord, Or How to Wield a Barbarian One-Handed The Bookish Barbarian Fardiz: RAI is fairly clear, but RAZ is different That's right. Rules According to Zelink!
In most games, "Class" typically equates to "Rank" when used in that sort of context.

A-Type, or whatever (do we have a standard? where's bajat?) would mean Single Primary, choice of 2 Secondaries, which does not fit Paly|Lock very well. I suppose you can do Str/Cha on a Dborn since they do have a +Str to Curse Damage feat.
"Invokers are probably better round after round but Wizard dailies are devastating. Actually, devastating is too light a word. Wizard daily powers are soul crushing, encounter ending, havoc causing pieces of awesome." -AirPower25 Sear the Flesh, Purify the Soul; Harden the Heart, and Improve the Mind; Born of Blood, but Forged by Fire; The MECH warrior reaches perfection.

a swordmage is a single target defender, and does that job well if build correctly.



While I wont deny this statement, I will add that the Swordmage does have a few options for mass marking and mass punishing (and even a couple of small options for punishment stacking) native to the class.  While you wont be doing this round after round, the swordmage I am currently playing has enough mass mark tricks to ride over a couple of rounds, hopefully during which the strikers will cut the enemy numbers down enough that what I have left can keep the remainder under control.

But that is a 'full defender' sort of deal.  the SM|Warlock stuff being talked about here, is far more suited to single target work, with options for mass penalties.  You can't squeeze in the mass mark/punishment powers so easilly, and their effect may not be enough to matter in a party that has such a high level of optimization.


So yeah, maybe not so relevant to this character, but I felt the need to add to Cap's comment there.   
No, it's not a Single Target Defender, especially not my particular build of it, I had completely missed that absurd comment before. I would never, ever, suggest to someone that they play a Single Target Defender, as you basically have to be pulling off Optimized Fighter damage for you to be worth anything to the party at that point.

SM|Lock is a C-Rank Striker (High damage, but single instance attack on-turn, and reliable IA offturn) and A-Rank Defender/Controller up until level 17 where it becomes B-Rank Striker (Effectively a high damage Blaster) and S-Rank Defender/Controller (for those unfamiliar with S-Rank, it's the japanese game classification above an A)
"Invokers are probably better round after round but Wizard dailies are devastating. Actually, devastating is too light a word. Wizard daily powers are soul crushing, encounter ending, havoc causing pieces of awesome." -AirPower25 Sear the Flesh, Purify the Soul; Harden the Heart, and Improve the Mind; Born of Blood, but Forged by Fire; The MECH warrior reaches perfection.
Yah the mass penalties aspect is what makes it flashy as I understand it, which is why I guess you tag it as a defender/controller ?  Penalties dont really impose a choice balance - they cop the penalty and thats that.  In my mind, thats a controler shtick, so I can see why you use that tag.

I'll have to pick through the build to see if there is anything I like for my SM, although being a single class will obviously drop out a lot of i.