Fun Multi-class Combos for 5th Edition?


5th Edition (And Beyond)

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Are there any fun combos you've used or thought of?

Can a barbarian or monk/draconic sorcerer benefit from the scales bonus to AC plus Dex plus Wis?

I think a rogue (assassin)/monk (shadow) would be a fun ninja.


Draconic scales & Unarmed Defense of the Monk and barbarian do not stack. Both set your AC rather than adding to it.

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

That makes sense. Thanks.


SmiloDan wrote:
That makes sense. Thanks.

No prob. I actually like the Rogue and Vengeance Oath paladin to make a Shadowbane Inquisitor style character.

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

A Fighter/Monk combining Flurry of Blows and Action Surge might be fun.


I want to try out a Barbarian Druid who wildshapes into a raging bear. And adds Con to AC.

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A monk/druid would be fun too.

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Rogue (Assassin 3)/Fighter X = Every short rest, murder something you've surprised via Action Surge and autocrits.

Fighter2/(Wizard or Sorc): Action Surge to cast 2 Fireballs in one round.


I haven't looked too hard into it, but I'd imagine that Unarmed Defense is useless while wild shaped for the same "You calculate your AC like this" reason instead of "add your Wis mod to your AC".

I think it's a curious design choice (given that they were trying to solve the "Linear Warriors/Quadratic Wizards" problem of past editions) that they explicitly disallow the obvious martial multiclassing synergies (stacking Unarmed Defense and Extra Attack, to name a few), while allowing any class that grants the Spellcasting feature to contribute to the strength and number progression of your spell slots.

Speaking of spellcasting synergy, the Warlock's spell slots that regenerate on a short rest synergize rather well with the Sorcerer's Font Of Magic feature.

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

We had a Fighter (eldritch knight) 3/Rogue (arcane trickster) 3/Wizard 2 that cast as a 4th level wizard. But then got re-built as Fighter (eldritch) 8. :-/


SmiloDan wrote:
We had a Fighter (eldritch knight) 3/Rogue (arcane trickster) 3/Wizard 2 that cast as a 4th level wizard. But then got re-built as Fighter (eldritch) 8. :-/

I've been thinking about a eldritch knight/arcane trickster to match an old concept of mine. Not sure how well it'd actually work.


I've been playing a Elemental Monk / Warlock (pact of Fiend). Tpical chineese wuxia hero with a host of (evil) ancestors looking after him. Warlock makes up for the elemental monk's low amount of powers, and monk gives more to the warlock than 2 spells and eldritch blast. I usually burn through all my ki and spells in 3 or 4 rounds, but all of it refresh on a short rest

I'm also playing a dashing, flashy wanabe-airship-captain battlemaster fighter in an Eberron game. First I wanted to multiclass with rogue but now I'm thinking of barbarian. Refluffed rage as a barrier of blades, danger sense and eagle totem gets me the vibe I wanted from the rogue, but with better hp and durability.

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thejeff wrote:
SmiloDan wrote:
We had a Fighter (eldritch knight) 3/Rogue (arcane trickster) 3/Wizard 2 that cast as a 4th level wizard. But then got re-built as Fighter (eldritch) 8. :-/
I've been thinking about a eldritch knight/arcane trickster to match an old concept of mine. Not sure how well it'd actually work.

He was a 2-weapon fighter, and just had TOO MANY options for his Bonus Actions.

The Exchange

SmiloDan wrote:
I think a rogue (assassin)/monk (shadow) would be a fun ninja.

My friend is going to do that combo when we get around to playing.

I'm currently playing a sorcerer/cleric/warlock combo (ultimately sorcerer 17/cleric 1/warlock 2). The plan is to do a lot of Scorching Ray. Each ray is a separate attack that you can add Hex and CHA bonus too. Same thing with Eldritch Blast and Agonizing Blast. Or use Quickened Spell to do both. The one level dip in cleric is useful for shield proficiency, Cure Wounds, and Guidance.

Liberty's Edge

We have a dwarf fighter who will multiclass into barbarian for a few levels starting at 5th level. The dwarf has found that being a fighter is not violent enough for him, so he wants to get in touch with his inner animal.


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One trap to avoid, in my admittedly limited experience, is combining classes with multiple bonus actions. It grants flexibility, but part of what makes many of those paths cool is the bonus actions available - if you end up rarely using one class's granted bonus actions, it can detract from the feel and make one facet of the character somewhat anaemic.

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

snobi wrote:
SmiloDan wrote:
I think a rogue (assassin)/monk (shadow) would be a fun ninja.

My friend is going to do that combo when we get around to playing.

I'm currently playing a sorcerer/cleric/warlock combo (ultimately sorcerer 17/cleric 1/warlock 2). The plan is to do a lot of Scorching Ray. Each ray is a separate attack that you can add Hex and CHA bonus too. Same thing with Eldritch Blast and Agonizing Blast. Or use Quickened Spell to do both. The one level dip in cleric is useful for shield proficiency, Cure Wounds, and Guidance.

Bless is also awesome.

Also, depending on your flavor of cleric, you can get heavy armor proficiency and/or martial weapon proficiency. Heavy armor and shield is AC 20--25 with shield spell! And you can use Blur to grant Disadvantage on attack rolls against you.

The Exchange

Thanks for reminding me about Bless. I get it as a domain spell as I went life domain, but I keep forgetting about it. We're not high-level yet, so most of the attacks against us have targeted AC. Bless is nice period, but will help even more when we have to make saves more often.

Per what Steve mentioned, another thing to watch for is concentration. Hex, Shield of Faith, Bless, Blur, and Haste are great, but you can only use one of them at a time.

My guy's AC is normally 18 or 23 with Shield. If he uses concentration on Shield of Faith, that goes to 20/25. That's without heavy armor. I just go with the dragon armor the sorcerer gets (13+DEX) and the physical shield. I try to be stealthy, plus I dumped STR, so no plans to get any heavy armor unless I run across some mithral.


The Fighter 1/WarlockXYZ build is fun and powerful as a bladelock it is about ten times better than the normal warlock.

The Sorlock is powerful but kind boring. Warlock2/Sorcerer XYZ spam eldritch blasts and quicken them.

Dex based melee fighter. Fighter 11/Rogue9 shield master, knock em prone then sneak attack stacking expertise onto your athletics roll. Fighter 1/Rogue XYZ same thing just as a Rogue with a shield and weapon style. More or less about the only way I can think to make a dex based melee fighter not suck.

Rogue 1/Bard3/Cleric (knowledge), Warlock3 (tome) gives you a large amount of cantrips and all of the skills in the game(with the feat as well). Build is even more boring than the Sorlock though.

Fighter1, Valor Bard XYZ taking shield master, expertise on athletics and enhance ability on strength. Gives you proficiency on con saves, a fighting style and mitigate the MAD requirements of a single class valor bard which kind of stinks.

Land Druid XYZ/Life cleric 1. On of the best healers in the game due to goodberry.

Lore Bard 6+/Life Cleric 1. Similar to the land druid healer but you steal goodberry and aura of vitality at level 6. The Paladin spell that heals you 2d6 points per round whatever the spell is called.

Lore Bard 6, take bless multiclass how you like.


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I have a DEX based fighter who doesn't suck at all. I found it extremely easy to make an effective DEX based fighter in 5E. Not sure why it would be an issue.


Antimony wrote:
I have a DEX based fighter who doesn't suck at all. I found it extremely easy to make an effective DEX based fighter in 5E. Not sure why it would be an issue.

The strength based feats are a lot better than the dex based ones. Shield master, heavy armour master, GWF in particular.

If you are not using feats dex based melee is probably better.


snobi wrote:
Thanks for reminding me about Bless. I get it as a domain spell as I went life domain, but I keep forgetting about it. We're not high-level yet, so most of the attacks against us have targeted AC. Bless is nice period, but will help even more when we have to make saves more often.

It sounds like you're talking about resistance, not bless.

The Exchange

houser2112 wrote:
It sounds like you're talking about resistance, not bless.

Both help with saves.


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Zardnaar wrote:
Antimony wrote:
I have a DEX based fighter who doesn't suck at all. I found it extremely easy to make an effective DEX based fighter in 5E. Not sure why it would be an issue.

The strength based feats are a lot better than the dex based ones. Shield master, heavy armour master, GWF in particular.

If you are not using feats dex based melee is probably better.

Even in a game with feats, the heavy weapon fighter doesn't surpass the dual wielder (in an expected damage sense) until they get to three attacks.

The dexterity based fighter gets a +1 to hit rolls, damage and AC for each feat they forgo. Plus they get an automatic attack as a bonus action and extra chances to critical (presuming you're talking dual wielders).

If you're trying to match the GWF, two handed weapon guy a good approach is to use the crossbowman feat and sharpshooter. A little below on damage, but you can split your attacks plus hit at range.


Never said dex based fighter suck just dex based melee fighters.
Level 5 Dual wielder 18 dex assuming the dual wield feat.

1d6+6 3d8+12 average damage (assuming they all hit)25.5 and AC 17

vs
AC 18 (plate)
18 strength
4d6+ 8 avg dmg 22, gets to reroll 1 and 2.

Strength based fighter in theory is further behind. But assuming the fighter has the great weapon feat he gets to cleave for an extra 11 points of average damage so he only needs to cleave about once every 3 rounds to equal the dual wielder whose damage advantage shrinks down to 0.5. Alsothe strength based fighter in practice has the bonus action open for 2nd wind.

It gets a lot worse when the other GWF can start using -5 to it and +10 damage though using the same feat. The strength based fighters damage almost doubles and at level 11 the strength based fighter is out right better in terms of damage. By level 11 bother fighters may havemaxed out their relevent attack stat and proficinecy bonus has crept up as well so the great weapon fighter has a potential extra 30 damage per round via -5/+10.

This also doesn't account for action surges either. The greeat weapon fighter action surge jumps up to 8d6+16 at level 5 while the dex fighter only goes up to 5d8+20 which is 44 avg damage vs 42.5.

It gets even worse for the dex fighter if the fighter takes the Polearm feat instead. NBow the 2 handed fighter gets a 3rd attack as well.

1d10+4/1d10+4/1d4+4 avg dmg is 24 and gets to reroll 1s still. However this fighter gets an extra attack as a reaction probably every other round and can combo it up with the great weapon feat as well so that fighter can get 4 attacks a round at level 8 or so each one dealing 1d10+4 damage and at level 11 thats 5 attacks a round, 7 with an action surge with a potential +50 or +70 damage on top of that.

Dex based range can beat that with sharpshooter+crossbow expert but I am not claiming that is a bad idea.

You need an extra dice of damage from somewhere to make dex based melee fighter any good and by that I mean hex, hunters quarry or even the Ranger class (hunter). Dex has other advanatges as well the downside it you are locked into pumping it to 20 ASAP or you will suck even more while the strength based fighter is happy with 18 strength and an extra feat as his AC is not tied to bumping strength. You notice this a lot more with other classes who do not get as many feats as the fighter so strength based Paladin, Cleric, Ranger, Warlock (bladelock) are always better choices than dex.

If feats are not being used dex based is out right better than strength. There is no real way for a dex based fighter to get extra attacks via cleave or polearm except the sentinel feat and strength based fighter can take that feat as well and it combos well with the Polearm feat.

And the shield master feat and heavy armor master feat are not that bad either. Have a shield nmaster anything (Bard, Cleric etc) in the party and any fighter using the Great Weapon feat is going to have a wonderful day as he now has a source of advantage via knocking stuff prone. Which enables the -5/+10 part of GWF.


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Zardnaar wrote:
Never said dex based fighter suck just dex based melee fighters.

The reason I mentioned the crossbow feat was that taking it allows you to be a melee dex-based fighter using a handcrossbow in the offhand.

In terms of your subsequent analysis, I think you have to look further into it - the advantage of the extra attacks that a dex-based fighter gets requires you to factor in the critical bonus dice - especially if you take the fighter path with improved critical ranges. Following that path also reduces the efficacy of the -5 to hit/+10 damage options. The assumption of always hitting skews things as well, I suspect but maybe that's standard. I prefer to look at an array of every armor class from 10 to 20 and evaluate each probabilistically.

We built a numerical simulator at that range of Armor classes and (barring corner cases) the dex-based fighter was mildly better than the strength one up until they got the first extra attack and then held their own until they had three attacks (at which point the Str-based fighter did a little better in damage but had given up on versatitlity, since the dex-fighter was by that time able to put some feats into other things).

Having said all of that (and this is the beauty of 5E's bounded accuracy, in my view) even on your numbers - the dex-based melee weapon using fighter is only a little worse than the heavily optimised strength based one. So perhaps we're just quibbling over what "suck" means.


Steve Geddes wrote:
Zardnaar wrote:
Never said dex based fighter suck just dex based melee fighters.

The reason I mentioned the crossbow feat was that taking it allows you to be a melee dex-based fighter using a handcrossbow in the offhand.

In terms of your subsequent analysis, I think you have to look further into it - the advantage of the extra attacks that a dex-based fighter gets requires you to factor in the critical bonus dice - especially if you take the fighter path with improved critical ranges. Following that path also reduces the efficacy of the -5 to hit/+10 damage options. The assumption of always hitting skews things as well, I suspect but maybe that's standard. I prefer to look at an array of every armor class from 10 to 20 and evaluate each probabilistically.

We built a numerical simulator at that range of Armor classes and (barring corner cases) the dex-based fighter was mildly better than the strength one up until they got the first extra attack and then held their own until they had three attacks (at which point the Str-based fighter did a little better in damage but had given up on versatitlity, since the dex-fighter was by that time able to put some feats into other things).

Having said all of that (and this is the beauty of 5E's bounded accuracy, in my view) even on your numbers - the dex-based melee weapon using fighter is only a little worse than the heavily optimised strength based one. So perhaps we're just quibbling over what "suck" means.

Have you seen a great weapon fighter in action with cleaves and being able to use the -5/+10 part reliably? They deal around double or triple the damage of the dex based fighter. I have also seen the ahnd crossbow build in action through to level 14 or so. It can be used in melee but it doesn't threaten a square so you can run right past it without an AoE and hit the squishies. You don't really want to proke an AoO form the great weapon fighter the dex based on why not?

The extra crit thing doesn't factor in that much as the champion is the weakest fighter. The Battlemaster is the most powerful one except at the highest levels when it is the Eldritch Knight. At low levels the BM out damages the champion at higher level the champion has no utility.


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Zardnaar wrote:
Have you seen a great weapon fighter in action with cleaves and being able to use the -5/+10 part reliably? They deal around double or triple the damage of the dex based fighter.

Yes I have seen it in action and whilst I agree they do better damage (particularly once they're getting three or four attacks), I dont agree that triple is correct. They do big damage, less often. Overall it's greater, at the cost of versatility.

Quote:
I have also seen the ahnd crossbow build in action through to level 14 or so. It can be used in melee but it doesn't threaten a square so you can run right past it without an AoE and hit the squishies.

The sword/handcrossbow combination does fine. (The double handcrossbow build breaks my suspension of disbelief, personally).

Quote:
The extra crit thing doesn't factor in that much as the champion is the weakest fighter. The Battlemaster is the most powerful one except at the highest levels when it is the Eldritch Knight. At low levels the BM out damages the champion at higher level the champion has no utility.

It's not about finding the optimal build, in my view. I agree that the GWF is the best damage dealer and that the battlemaster is the "best" fighter path. My point is that, in contrast to other build-heavy games, you can take the non-optimal choice without being useless. Bounded accuracy pays dividends in these situations, in my view.

As I say, I think we have different values for "suck"


The triple damage thing level 11 assuming a 20 in dex/stenggth.

2d6+20 X3 = 81 potential dmg.
1d8+5 X4= 38 potential damage

Action surge
162 vs 65

My bad but it is over double and you might get an extra attack in via cleave. The duel wielder will get around 33% more crits the greatsword deals 4d6 vs 2d8 damage on a crit though. 4.5extra (+33% to 6)damage vs 7 is still less even on crit builds.

Dual wielder will also fall behind if magic weapons turn up unless they can dfind multiple magic weapons. I don't think they even out damage sword and board users and they get +2 AC and if they take their feat they get an acuracy bonus via knock crap prone but it is to hard to work out a ball park average damage bonus there due to AC of the opponent, their size and athletic checks.

I don't mind great weapons dealing more damage just not more than about 50%. The strength based user doesn't have to buff dex either so 18 str vs 20 dex may look bad but the strength based one picks up something like heavy armor master, polearm+GWF or Polearm master+sentinel and then they are looking at 4 attacks a round at level 5 instead of 2and they have a higher AC than the dex build.

One of my PCs atm is tanking around with a fighter/warlock using a great weapon and sentinel +hex and she out damages the GWM Paladin.


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"The triple damage thing level 11 assuming a 20 in dex/stenggth.

2d6+20 X3 = 81 potential dmg.
1d8+5 X4= 38 potential damage"

But you're ignoring the -5 to hit. Sure the potential maximum is higher, but you hit less. That's why probabilistic analysis is superior.


Steve Geddes wrote:

"The triple damage thing level 11 assuming a 20 in dex/stenggth.

2d6+20 X3 = 81 potential dmg.
1d8+5 X4= 38 potential damage"

But you're ignoring the -5 to hit. Sure the potential maximum is higher, but you hit less. That's why probabilistic analysis is superior.

I was assuming they had managed to negate the -5 penalty somehow (bless and/or advantage). Its not accounting for the extra attack of the cleave part of GWF though and that is why strength based is still better as dex based lacks decent options to get bonus action extra attacks via Polearm master, Great Weapon Master or Shield Master (the shove part of that feat). Dex based only really has the TWF feat and sentinel which is available to strength based as well. They do not even have something as good as heavy armour master either. Dex has other advantages though so in a featless game (feats are technically optional) dex is better for melee.

What I am seeing though is feats are outperforming stat bumps. A 20 is not required as an 18 is fine and 18/18 str/cha +2 feats is better than 20/20 and no feats for classes like a Paladin who can't really afford to bump dex to 20 like a fighter can.The strength based fighters damage won't plummet through the ground either if they need to use second wind, dex based fighter loses an attack if they need to do that and 1d8+3 is not as impressive as 2d6+3+rerolls 1 ans 2s.


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I don't really disagree - except what "suck" means, I think. Greater weapon fighters do more damage, just not that much more, imo.

I do agree that a feat is "worth more" than a +2 to a stat, but again I don't think it makes a huge difference.


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Zardnaar wrote:
I was assuming they had managed to negate the -5 penalty somehow (bless and/or advantage).

That helps the Dex fighter too, but because you're assuming everyone always hits, your method is missing the advantage. Factoring in the chance to hit reduces the difference in expected damage, without altering the potential maximum.

The -5/+10 thing is interesting. If you have next to no chance of hitting you should definitely use it. If you are almost bound to hit you should use it. In the middle though, the distribution "dips" and it depends substantially on your average damage, as well as your chance of hitting. I like it because it's hard to calculate the expected value at the table - so I find people are mixing it up a fair bit, based more on the ebb and flow of battle.

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

I think a fighter 4/rogue 4 with the Shield Master feat and Expertise in Strength (Athletics) would be fun. Use your bonus action to Shove to make your opponent prone, then get Advantage and Sneak attack on your hit. Probably human to get Shield Master at 1st level.


SmiloDan wrote:
I think a fighter 4/rogue 4 with the Shield Master feat and Expertise in Strength (Athletics) would be fun. Use your bonus action to Shove to make your opponent prone, then get Advantage and Sneak attack on your hit. Probably human to get Shield Master at 1st level.

I have looked at this and if i had a dex based fighter I would be very tempted to do this. By level 20 you oculd be 11 fighter, 9 rogue. Or 1 fighter 19 rogue would also work.

Or you could go Rogue 1/Fighter 19 and go strength based. The basic shield bash thing is cute but if you can get advantage (enhance ability), impose disadvantage (hex) or get expertise in athletics (Rogue/Bard) it gets a lot better.

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I was thinking of barbarian/rogue. When raging, gain Advantage on Strength checks, rogue gives Expertise on Athletics, so that might work real well.


Fighter (Champion) at level 7 gets advantage on strength checks all the time and on initiative.

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Zardnaar wrote:
Fighter (Champion) at level 7 gets advantage on strength checks all the time and on initiative.

Hi!

Actually, it looks like a 7th level barbarian gains advantage on initiative, and 6th level Totem Warrior barbarians can choose Bear Aspect of the Beast to get advantage on some Strength checks, like shove. :-D

Still, very fun to combine with rogue. :-D

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As I understand it, ability score improvements are tied to class level, not character level. Doesn't that make multiclassing rather unattractive in a lot of cases?

I'm playing an archer Ranger in a PbP, and I'm considering multiclassing into Druid after that for the spells. I just don't see much to interest me past level 5 in the Ranger.

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RainyDayNinja wrote:
As I understand it, ability score improvements are tied to class level, not character level. Doesn't that make multiclassing rather unattractive in a lot of cases?

Yes. It's something you really have to consider carefully.

It's also interesting to note that (assuming an even split between your classes) by 8th level you'll have the same two stat boosts as a single-classes character, you just will have gotten the first one much later. That is, you might be looking at getting your stat boosts at 7th and 8th instead of 4th and 8th. So if you were to start a character at or near 8th level, multiclassing would get a lot more appealing.

Quote:
I'm playing an archer Ranger in a PbP, and I'm considering multiclassing into Druid after that for the spells. I just don't see much to interest me past level 5 in the Ranger.

Get ready for a lot of homework on multiclass spellcasting, then. :/

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I would probably try to multi-class in batches of 4 levels, if only to keep gaining feats and/or ability score improvements.

But it would definitely depend of spellcasting levels and class features, too.

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SmiloDan wrote:
I would probably try to multi-class in batches of 4 levels, if only to keep gaining feats and/or ability score improvements.

Well, I can't very well pass up that extra attack at level 5, now can I? Granted, that only puts me 1 level behind on my improvements, but it's still annoying.

Jiggy wrote:
Get ready for a lot of homework on multiclass spellcasting, then. :/

Seems pretty simple, really.

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Yeah, 5th level is really fun in 5th edition. 3rd level spells, extra attacks, Proficiency bonus increase. A lot of very fun things happen.

So I guess it's actually good class design that there are real consequences for multiclassing.


RainyDayNinja wrote:
I'm playing an archer Ranger in a PbP, and I'm considering multiclassing into Druid after that for the spells. I just don't see much to interest me past level 5 in the Ranger.

I'm the archer Ranger (Hunter) that SmiloDan has mentioned here and there on Paizo's boards. Whether you should multiclass out of Ranger into Druid depends on how archery focused you want to be. If Extra Attack is all you want, and you want the Druid's more generally potent (but not as archery-focused) spells, go for it.

If you want to be an ARCHER, I'd stay in Ranger. Escape The Horde is awesome for when some monster gets in your face and you don't want to make your ranged attacks at Disadvantage. Just move away and let him try his OA at Disadvantage. Although I'm not high enough to have Volley yet, it looks awesome as well. As I said above, the Ranger's spells are very good at supporting the archery style.

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houser2112 wrote:
RainyDayNinja wrote:
I'm playing an archer Ranger in a PbP, and I'm considering multiclassing into Druid after that for the spells. I just don't see much to interest me past level 5 in the Ranger.

I'm the archer Ranger (Hunter) that SmiloDan has mentioned here and there on Paizo's boards. Whether you should multiclass out of Ranger into Druid depends on how archery focused you want to be. If Extra Attack is all you want, and you want the Druid's more generally potent (but not as archery-focused) spells, go for it.

If you want to be an ARCHER, I'd stay in Ranger. Escape The Horde is awesome for when some monster gets in your face and you don't want to make your ranged attacks at Disadvantage. Just move away and let him try his OA at Disadvantage. Although I'm not high enough to have Volley yet, it looks awesome as well. As I said above, the Ranger's spells are very good at supporting the archery style.

Maybe I need to study it more, but I didn't see much in the higher-level Ranger spells to boost archery. There were some 1st-level spells (Hail of Thorns, Ensnaring Shot, Hunter's Mark) that I'd like to cast from higher-level slots, and going full caster will get me those higher slots faster.

What high-level archery stuff have you found useful?


RainyDayNinja wrote:
houser2112 wrote:
RainyDayNinja wrote:
I'm playing an archer Ranger in a PbP, and I'm considering multiclassing into Druid after that for the spells. I just don't see much to interest me past level 5 in the Ranger.

I'm the archer Ranger (Hunter) that SmiloDan has mentioned here and there on Paizo's boards. Whether you should multiclass out of Ranger into Druid depends on how archery focused you want to be. If Extra Attack is all you want, and you want the Druid's more generally potent (but not as archery-focused) spells, go for it.

If you want to be an ARCHER, I'd stay in Ranger. Escape The Horde is awesome for when some monster gets in your face and you don't want to make your ranged attacks at Disadvantage. Just move away and let him try his OA at Disadvantage. Although I'm not high enough to have Volley yet, it looks awesome as well. As I said above, the Ranger's spells are very good at supporting the archery style.

Maybe I need to study it more, but I didn't see much in the higher-level Ranger spells to boost archery. There were some 1st-level spells (Hail of Thorns, Ensnaring Shot, Hunter's Mark) that I'd like to cast from higher-level slots, and going full caster will get me those higher slots faster.

What high-level archery stuff have you found useful?

My Ranger just hit 9th level. I mentioned above the class features that I've found (or expect to find) useful.

For 2nd level spells, although they don't explicitly support archery, spike growth (which I think is also on the Druid list) and pass without trace (which I think is NOT) have proven to be extremely useful multiple times.

3rd+ (I have no direct experience with these): conjure barrage, conjure volley, and swift quiver look to be very good at supporting archery, although they from what I remember overlap somewhat with the Hunter's Volley feature.

If the only reason you're considering Druid is for gaining higher level slots sooner, and not for the Druid's spell list, I'd advise against it. All of the Ranger's spells I've mentioned use Concentration, so they're vulnerable to disruption and you might want to end one purposefully to cast a different one. In practice, casting them at their base level, I haven't run out of spell slots at all.

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houser2112 wrote:

My Ranger just hit 9th level. I mentioned above the class features that I've found (or expect to find) useful.

For 2nd level spells, although they don't explicitly support archery, spike growth (which I think is also on the Druid list) and pass without trace (which I think is NOT) have proven to be extremely useful multiple times.

3rd+ (I have no direct experience with these): conjure barrage, conjure volley, and swift quiver look to be very good at supporting archery, although they from what I remember overlap somewhat with the Hunter's Volley feature.

If the only reason you're considering Druid is for gaining higher level slots sooner, and not for the Druid's spell list, I'd advise against it. All of the Ranger's spells I've mentioned use Concentration, so they're vulnerable to disruption and you might want to end one purposefully to cast a different one. In practice, casting them at their base level, I haven't run out of spell slots at all.

But compare those 5th-level Ranger spells, which you get one of starting at level 17, to the 6th-level Druid spells (which you would have one slot of, plus a 7th-level slot to cast in, at Ranger5/Druid12). How does Conjure Volley compare to Sunbeam or Wall of Thorns? I admit that Swift Quiver for two attacks as a bonus action sounds attractive, but it's only once per day, and my arrows are still only doing 1d6+1d8+5 (average 13) per hit (assuming Colossus Slayer in there) at 17th level.

Unless I'm missing something (granted, I haven't actually played at higher than level 2), getting more attacks per round isn't a winning strategy at high levels.

EDIT: Forgot Colossus Slayer is only 1/round. So my arrows are still doing 1d6+5 damage at level 17. Yay?


RainyDayNinja wrote:
houser2112 wrote:

My Ranger just hit 9th level. I mentioned above the class features that I've found (or expect to find) useful.

For 2nd level spells, although they don't explicitly support archery, spike growth (which I think is also on the Druid list) and pass without trace (which I think is NOT) have proven to be extremely useful multiple times.

3rd+ (I have no direct experience with these): conjure barrage, conjure volley, and swift quiver look to be very good at supporting archery, although they from what I remember overlap somewhat with the Hunter's Volley feature.

If the only reason you're considering Druid is for gaining higher level slots sooner, and not for the Druid's spell list, I'd advise against it. All of the Ranger's spells I've mentioned use Concentration, so they're vulnerable to disruption and you might want to end one purposefully to cast a different one. In practice, casting them at their base level, I haven't run out of spell slots at all.

But compare those 5th-level Ranger spells, which you get one of starting at level 17, to the 6th-level Druid spells (which you would have one slot of, plus a 7th-level slot to cast in, at Ranger5/Druid12). How does Conjure Volley compare to Sunbeam or Wall of Thorns? I admit that Swift Quiver for two attacks as a bonus action sounds attractive, but it's only once per day, and my arrows are still only doing 1d6+1d8+5 (average 13) per hit (assuming Colossus Slayer in there) at 17th level.

Unless I'm missing something (granted, I haven't actually played at higher than level 2), getting more attacks per round isn't a winning strategy at high levels.

EDIT: Forgot Colossus Slayer is only 1/round. So my arrows are still doing 1d6+5 damage at level 17. Yay?

Well, that's why I (essentially, not in so many words) asked whether you want to be a spellcaster that can shoot arrows, or an archer with spells.

First, not that it's a huge deal (only +1 average damage), but Rangers are proficient in longbows, why aren't you using one? (small race, perhaps?)

Second, I'd suggest the Sharpshooter feat, if your campaign has feats available. The +10 damage alone from Sharpshooter is huge, but the cover penalty negation is just as useful, and the long range Disadvantage negation is nice too. The +10 damage absolutely scales with number of attacks. I took Horde Breaker instead of Colossus Slayer, so with swift quiver, I'd have potentially 5 attacks a round, each doing 1d8 + 15, potentially more if using Volley. That's a lot of damage, and I think it would outclass sunbeam or wall of thorns.

5E is designed so that the martials are the kings of single target damage, use the power you've been given. :)

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houser2112 wrote:

Well, that's why I (essentially, not in so many words) asked whether you want to be a spellcaster that can shoot arrows, or an archer with spells.

First, not that it's a huge deal (only +1 average damage), but Rangers are proficient in longbows, why aren't you using one? (small race, perhaps?)

Second, I'd suggest the Sharpshooter feat, if your campaign has feats available. The +10 damage alone from Sharpshooter is huge, but the cover penalty negation is just as useful, and the long range Disadvantage negation is nice too. The +10 damage absolutely scales with number of attacks. I took Horde Breaker instead of Colossus Slayer, so with swift quiver, I'd have potentially 5 attacks a round, each doing 1d8 + 15, potentially more if using Volley. That's a lot of damage, and I think it would outclass sunbeam or wall of thorns.

5E is designed so that the martials are the kings of single target damage, use the power you've been given. :)

I'd like to be an archer with spells, but looking ahead, I don't see how that's a viable playstyle vs. a spellcaster with arrows instead of cantrips.

Yeah, my Ranger is a halfling, so shortbow for me.

I think the Sharpshooter feat is going to be necessary to keep my damage up eventually, but aren't feats supposed to be optional? I shouldn't have to use an optional rule just to keep relevant at higher levels.

Is that really the only damage boosting ability for my arrows? I haven't seen the DMG, so I don't know what kind of magic weapons or other items I might find that could help me out.

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Yeah, the ranger is our primary damage dealer. We have an arcane trickster archer, diviner blaster, eldritch knight, a shiny new barbarian, and my Life cleric. The ranger also provides some much needed battlefield control.

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