5 Broken Character Builds For D&D 5e (& 5 Underwhelming Builds)
In D&D 5e there are some play styles that lean more towards power fantasy then immersion. They may, at times, devolve the game into a statistics exercise. But sometimes you WANT to do something insane like absurd amounts of damage, infinite spells, or convince anybody of anything. Those are the kind of character builds on this list.
RELATED:10 Ways To Make An Overpowered Sorcerer In Dungeons and Dragons
Conversely, for every awesome build, there are some that are less than awesome (also included here). This list isn't an attempt to tell you how or what to play, they are only suggestions at the end of the day. Just remember, some of these builds on the list may result in the DM banning your character on the spot, consider yourself warned.
10 The Good: Warforged Cleric Of The Forge
This build is really straight forward, the choose the Warforged from Eberron: Rising From The Last War. It gives you +1 Integrated protection, then get chain mail armor (base 16 AC) and shield for the extra +2. Now you have a total of 19 AC, and that's without a class.
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The class that makes the build work is Cleric of the Forge from Xanathar's Guide, it allows the Cleric to bless a piece of armor, giving it +1 extra AC. Then taking the spell Shield fo Faith will give you more +2 AC. Suddenly your 22 AC first level character is wading into hordes of goblins who only have a 10% chance to hit you. This build is considered legal, and shouldn't have too many issues at the table.
9 The Bad: The Rogue
The Rogue is generally a good class at low levels and can be a decent addition to any multiclass build. However, there are major drawbacks to it at higher level combat, one of which is that it gets no multi-attack. You would have to multiclass or be hasted in order to get two attacks in a single round.
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There are some very good subclasses in Xanathers Guide which mitigate some of this, and if you're playing a campaign or module that requires tactics and stealth you should be fine. The problem is if you ever end up in a fight without a sneak attack opportunity, you'll be hiding behind your party most of the combat.
8 The Good: Fighter/Hexblade Crossbow Specialist
Being an eldritch sniper never felt so good, this build is for when you want to deal nasty ranged damage consistently. Taking a fighter with crossbow expert and sharpshooter, you'll need to cross-class into the hex blade warlock from Xanathar's Guide. From the Warlock class pick the invocations improved pact weapon, thirsting blade, and life drinker. You'll also want the spell hex. At higher levels you'll be dealing 3 attacks per turn at range to the tune of 2d6+cha +prof damage +10 for sharpshooter, all with the added bonus of eldritch smites 1d8 per spell slot burned. This build is both pretty cool and fits well in most settings, definitely worth using, and it's unlikely the DM will ban the character.
7 The Bad: The Monk
Some people really like the monk, and there's a lot to like, Ki points, decent stealth, and unarmed damage to name a few. The problem is that its subclasses are really lacking and the addition of others has not improved the class's playability. Its elemental subclass really feels underwhelming when played and its Ki attacks don't really punch the way they should.
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The open hand doesn't really add to much combat power, nothing that taking the fighter wouldn't have given already. The Drunken Master is cool flavor-wise but is much like the Open Hand, same with the Kensei. The Way of the Shadow at least provides another option for people not wanting to play Rogue but like stealth, and the Sun Soul class basically turns you into a DBZ character.
6 The Good: Lore Bard With Diplomat
Using the Bard with the Lore subclass, you at some point want to take the Diplomat feat, it will allow you to make a persuasion check to charm a creature. If you are proficient in persuasion (if you're a bard you should be), Diplomat will also double your proficiency bonus on persuasion checks. Then at level 17, you add your bardic inspiration to this check.
The opposing party will have to make a will save not to be charmed. That poor creature will have to beat a persuasion check of 1d20+17+1d12. The lowest you will likely role is 19. You could probably talk a door into unlocking itself at this point.
5 The Bad: The Barbarian
The barbarian can also be a good choice in multiclassing and if buffed appropriately could potentially get some of the incredible AC at later levels. The barbarian just suffers from a lack of sustain as a tank. The Barbarian is a front line fighter that will (generally) halve the damage it takes while Raging, which isn't really optimal if you can just not take any damage by maxing your AC.
Maxing AC is something Fighters and Clerics already do well without sacrificing stats to maximize an Unarmoured Defence feature like the Barbarian. There's no problem in playing a Barbarian, its fun to yell at the table and be verbose, it's just not as efficient in its role as other classes can be.
4 The Good: The Life Berry Bard/Cleric
This one might cause the DM to ban you at the table. As a Cleric with Life Domain, cross-class to Lore Bard to get the Magical Secrets Ability, now choose from the Druids spell list, Goodberry. Goodberry normally will give you 1 hp per berry and you'll get 10 berries per cast, with life domain and life disciple, you now get +2 + the spell's level per berry.
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That's 40HP in a 1st level spell slot that can be divided amongst a party. This creates a healing machine and kinda abuses the mechanics of the game. Your DM may give the stink eye when you pull this.
3 The Bad: Pretty Much Any Homebrew Class Made For Flavor
Most DM's and players love homebrew classes because it's something unique and adds to the story. However, if the DM has not outright banned your dual-wielding laser pistol gunslinger who has infinite HP which is made redundant by their AC being too high for anything to hit them it's likely your homebrew is underpowered.
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It's not easy to find a balanced homebrew, so it's going to fall into one of two categories, overpowered or underpowered. Chances are, the DM will only allow one of these two.
2 The Good: Infinite Spell Warlock/Sorcerer (The Infamous Coffeelock)
Step one: Be warlock, get moon invocation so you never have to sleep.
Step two: Cross-class to Divine Soul Sorceror, use greater restoration to stop exhaustion
Step Three: During short rests, transform two Warlock spell slots into Sorcery Points, then two Sorcery Points into Sorcerer spell slots.
Step Four: NEVER SLEEP (*Long Rest) EVER AGAIN AND STACK SORCERER SPELL SLOTS INDEFINITELY.
Step Five: Apply spells liberally as needed.
Step Six: Watch DM's face turn red and ban character, forever.
1 The Bad: One Of Everything Please
There comes a point in D&D where most people have thought about or toyed with an idea. Letting this seemingly harmless thought roll around and stew in the back of their mind, "What if I just, cross classed into, EVERY class?". Should this simple compulsion evolve into mania, the player will much to their parties dismay, need an extra sheet simply for their class list.
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Imagine this, basic abilities of every class at level one, all at fingertips a level twelve adventurer. The power to do no one thing remotely well and to do everything else very badly. Stats that only align to two or three of their classes, causing the majority of their abilities to suffer penalties instead of bonuses. This true psion of madness will have neither a multi-attack nor a single subclass. Hopefully, no one out there is mad enough to try such a thing, or are they?*
*(DO IT, TELL US THE RESULTS)
NEXT: 10 Successful Character Builds In D&D For Advanced Players
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There’s a lot at stake when creating D&D character builds. They’ve got to be enjoyable to roleplay, adept at combat, compatible with a party, appropriate to your DM’s campaign, and, above all, internally consistent. It’s easy to be overwhelmed by choice during character creation, and end up with something that looks mightily powerful, but turns out to be confused and directionless when taken for a spin.
To save you the hassle of disappointment, we’ve constructed some ready-made D&D character builds that can provide the template to your next, or first, 5E character. Rather than focussing on specific roleplaying or martial builds, we’ve opted for a more important factor in these builds: fun. They all have a central focus, and will ensure you’re character is consistently effective as they level up. You won’t drop off the party radar, or become obsolete.
But we aren’t the tabletop roleplaying police, and there’s no need to stick entirely within our guidelines. Pick a build that takes your fancy, and mess around with it, if it pleases you. Keep its central focus in mind, though, and you’ll be rewarded with a character that’s well-adjusted to a party dynamic, and can hold their own throughout a campaign.
So, crack out that character sheet and let’s get building.
Half-Elf Lore Bard
This is a solid build with no surprises. It’s not going to win any awards for creativity, and won’t have you pushing the boundaries of D&D 5E norms. But if you want to play a character that’s equally adept in roleplay and combat, you can’t go far wrong with a classic Half-Elf Bard, trained in the College of Lore.
You’re set up to be a true jack of all trades
Half-Elves’ +2 Cha feeds nicely into Bardic spellcasting, and their other two +1 ability score improvements should be spent on Str and Con. Pick a mix of damage-dealing and immobilising cantrips and spells, such as Vicious Mockery and Hideous Laughter, and throw Detect Magic into your spell list if no one else in the party bothers. At level three, the College of Lore allows you to use Bardic Inspiration on yourself, letting you redo an attack roll, ability check, or damage roll that didn’t go your way – especially useful for this low-AC, low-HP class.
But Bards really excel for their expansive applicability. You’ll gain proficiency in a whopping five skills of your choice at first level, so think hard about your role in the party. Opt for skills such as Acrobatics, Perception, and Insight if you’ll be more actively adventuring; or Persuasion, Intimidation, Deception, and Performance, if the roleplaying side of the character is a better fit. Add to that three more skill proficiencies through the College of Lore, and you’re set up to be a true jack of all trades.
Beyond this, look to increase your Cha, or pick some flavoursome feats, if the campaign is increasingly descending into creative roleplay. Actor, letting you imitate the voice of others, opens up masses of possibilities, while Magic Initiate, granting you two cantrips from another class, is useful for grabbing staple spells. There’s lots on offer here, which provides new players many opportunities for experimentation.
Human polearm Fighter
For a build that specialises in straightforward, melee damage, get yourself a Human Fighter with a whole bunch of feats. You’ll be able to crush any enemy you encounter; slapping them about from a distance, and dealing plenty of damage in a single turn.
Heavy weapons will be your best friend, so make sure Str is plenty high, and your Con closely follows (melee fighters have a habit of taking as much damage as they deal, after all). Pick any weapon with Reach to go alongside that, such as a halberd, and get yourself some heavy armour for extra protection.
Raw strength: Read our comprehensive D&D 5E Fighter guide
But it’s your pick of race that makes all the difference. Opt for a Variant Human, and put +1 into Str and Con, while choosing Polearm Master as your free feat. Its 1d4 bludgeoning damage will propel you into the top tier of your party from the outset. Plus, it grants an attack of opportunity whenever a creature enters your extended reach, so you’ll be dishing out hits pretty frequently. Combine this with the Sentinel feat at level four, which stops all creatures in their tracks when you successfully land an attack of opportunity, and your fighter can simultaneously cleave through enemies and immobilise them. A powerful combo.
As for Fighting Style, choose Great Weapon Fighting if pumping up damage at every opportunity is the call of the day, or opt for Defence if you suspect your DM has some particularly pernicious enemies up their sleeve. Any subclass will pair well with this build, but the best are those that don’t require too much tactical movement, and let you sit comfortably 10 feet away from the enemy and exploit your feats, such as Cavalier or Champion.
Clerics not only fulfil the role of party healer, but also function as fantastic tanks. If you fancy soaking up any stray hit that comes your way, and living to tell the tale, you could do little better than building yourself a literal robot. Warforged are the sentient robotic race of D&D, built for fighting in the dark, pulpy world of Eberron.
You’ll be one of the toughest bipedal hunks of metal around
Although a uniquely versatile race, they pair incredibly well with Clerics for their toughness. Their +2 Con will prepare you for taking the hits, and an optional +1 to Wisdom will pump up Clerical spellcasting. Add to that +1 AC, since you’re made out of magical metal, heavy armour, and a shield, and you’ve already got an unrivalled AC for a level one character.
But we can go higher. Pick Forge Domain as your subclass, and you’ll be able to craft magical armour with +1 AC at level one. Combine that with elemental resistances as you level up, and you’ll be one of the toughest bipedal hunks of metal around.
If your campaign is in the Forgotten Realms, Warforged shouldn’t technically make an appearance. But this is a tabletop roleplaying game, so we’re sure you can use your imagination to think of some convincing backstory as to why they’re showing up.
Aasimar Redeemer Paladin
Paladins can hold their own in a fight, but their potential as party support shouldn’t be overlooked. Rather than relying on simple restorative spells or buffs, the Oath of Redemption subclass plays out a little more innovatively, as you avoid fights and heap damage onto yourself to save squishy teammates. It’s an effective choice, especially if a Cleric is already serving as the party’s medic.
Aside from picking the Redemption subclass at level three, choose Aasimar as your race. Their natural +2 Charisma will bolster your spellcasting, and their innate Healing Hands ability lets you restore HP equal to your level (so you can get at least a little restorative ability in). You’ll want heavy armour and a shield for their AC bonuses, and would be smart to take the Tough feat at level four, increasing your maximum HP by twice your current level.
Devout and deadly: Check out our guide to D&D 5E’s Paladin
Outside of this, keep pumping Con and AC when you can. The Oath of Redemption revolves around redirecting enemy attacks to yourself, so you’ll need a lot of HP when the blows eventually break through your armour.
But you won’t only be acting as a tank. Oath spells, such as Rebuke the Violent, let you mirror attacks, and Emissary of Peace grants +5 Persuasion, combining well with your already-high Cha to help you talk your way out of the stickiest situations.
If you’re keen on multiclassing, but are new to the world of chimeric creations, the Sorlock (i.e. Sorcerer/Warlock) is likely your best bet. Beloved by many, it combines the high damage-dealing of Warlocks, with the innate spellcasting buffs of Sorcerers for immense damage output. Cha’s the spellcasting ability of both classes, so you can leverage their magical abilities simultaneously, and play them against one another for even greater effect.
Eldritch Blast becomes a rapid fire, incendiary machine gun
The basic idea is to combine the Warlock’s hex spell, which adds 1d6 necrotic damage to a creature when it’s attacked, with their Eldritch Blast cantrip, dealing 1d10 force damage. Alongside that, use the Sorcerer’s Quicken Metamagic ability, letting you cast a spell for one bonus action. Eldritch Blast becomes a rapid fire, incendiary machine gun, as you deal consistently high damage, turn after turn. Even the Barbarians around will be jealous.
Similarly, each class makes up for the other’s deficiencies. Warlocks have very limited spell slots, while Sorcerers have plenty; Sorcerers are usually left wanting after a short rest, but Warlocks recover all spell slots.
When building a Sorlock, your starting class doesn’t matter hugely, but Sorcerer makes the most sense for its proficiency in Constitution saving throws. Cha should be your primary ability score for maximum damage, followed by Con. Choice of subclasses has little effect on the build’s multiclass focus, but Hexblade Warlocks provide much versatility that can be exploited by the Sorcerer’s side of things. As usual, Half-Elf or Tiefling are obvious race options for their natural ability score bonuses.
13 Successful Character Builds In D&D For Advanced Players
Long-time players of Dungeons & Dragons can sometimes find themselves playing the same character types over and over, or maybe there are some players reading this that have been playing Dungeons & Dragons long enough to want a more complex character build to try. This list will help both of these types of players.
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Here are ten character builds for players that want characters that are not only powerful in battle but great for role-playing. Some entries give specific archetypes for a class, others simply give the base class. The Archetype is up to the player with the later entries. Players might want to consult their Dungeon Master to see if some of these builds will be off-limits.
Updated by Kristy Ambrose on February 11th, 2021: The Dungeons & Dragons games continue to grow in popularity, and the wide variety of supplemental materials available gives players even more to work with when it comes to character builds, adventure modules, and complex storylines. The downside of this is that with so much to create and experience, the choices can feel overwhelming. In light of this, we've added a few more options to our list of character builds specifically intended to challenge more experienced players.
13 Half-Elf Battlemaster/Sorcerer
This can be one of the most potent combinations of classes if the right feats and skills are selected. The first and most obvious benefit is the character will have the martial skills of the fighter class coupled with the arcane spellcasting ability of the sorcerer class.
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If the Quickened Spell meta-magic option is taken then the character can get their full attacks and still cast a spell with a casting time of 1 action, as long as the character has sorcery points to spend. It is recommended the character starts as a Fighter to get the bonus armor and weapon proficiencies.
12 Tabaxi Monk/Rogue
The combined abilities of the Tabaxi race and the Monk class are almost game-breaking, and when the abilities granted by the thief class are added it is just plain unfair for the DM. For this build, it is best if the Monk learns the Way of the Shadow tradition.
At 2nd level, this character will have a small assortment of spells, like Silence and Pass Without Trace, that are great for rogue-ish activities. At 6th level this allows this character to move from one shadow to another within 60’. The Tabaxi and Monk combination will allow for unrivaled speed during combat.
11 Hexblade Warlock
Best as a Tiefling or Half-elf because of the Charisma boost, which is an essential stat for your spellcasting ability, this is one of the more popular advanced builds. This versatile build can be simple or complex, so it's also ideal for newer players who are looking for a challenge.
Essentially, this is a Warlock that overlaps into melee combat, and the extent of that is really up to the player. Your Hexblade can lean more into melee damage or keep the distance of a spellcaster with abilities like Eldritch Blast.
10 Lizardfolk Swarmkeeper/Druid
The Lizardfolk people are natural divine casters thanks to the +1 they get to wisdom, and the +2 to Constitution they get is always nice for the extra hit points. The character should start as a Ranger for the bonus armor and weapon proficiencies. The armor restrictions of the Druid are negated (for the most part) by the natural armor bonus of Lizardfolk.
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The bite attack of Lizardfolk will complement the fighting abilities of the ranger class should the character use melee weapons. The swarm of insects/spirits the Swarmkeeper gains is a decent multi-purpose tool in battles, and the bonus spells granted by the Swarmkeeper class are also helpful in a fight.
9 Elf Fighter With The Sharpshooter And Crossbow Expert Feats
For this build the Elf race isn’t too important, any race that gets a dexterity bonus will do. This build also relies on the use of a hand crossbow. Larger crossbows do not work with this build. With the Fighter class, the player will, of course, choose archery for their fighting style, giving a +2 to attack rolls with the crossbow.
The Crossbow Expert feat allows the player to ignore the loading time for crossbows, avoid being at a disadvantage when in melee, and most importantly allows the character to use their bonus action to fire their hand crossbow. At 5th level, this build allows for three attacks per round, the only limitation being that the player needs bolts for the crossbow.
8 Moon Druid with Grapple
Druids are one of the most versatile and complex characters available to players, and there's a myriad of choices available for more advanced players that have experience with the class. Druids who are part of the Circle of the Moon, or Moon Druids, have the ability to turn into a Wild Shape as early as level 2. That can be a benign, helpful animal like a draft horse or a giant insect.
The key to this build is the Grapple ability, which is great for defense, offense, and crowd control. Combine the Moon Druid with the Grappler ability at level 8, and the Druid can turn into a giant scorpion that can use the Grapple action with their pincers, making their attack that much deadlier.
7 Warforged Fighter/Artificer
The Warforged race was definitely a class best left to those who are very familiar with the rules, but in 5th edition, they have been better balanced. Combining the Warforged race with the fighter class makes for a great tank character, and by adding Artificer, the character can now heal party members, cast support spells, and empower items with infusions.
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The infusions and replicated magic items an artificer can provide are incredibly useful. The Many-handed Pouch is great for holding healing potions. Since a Warforged does not require sleep this character can make healing potions while the party rests.
6 Aarakocra Hunter/Zeal Cleric
The Aarakocra’s ability to fly works well with a Ranger that is specialized in distance weapons. The Sharpshooter/Crossbow Expert combination works well with this character build as well. By combining an Aarakocra hunter with a Zeal Cleric the character now has the ability to get to wounded party members on the battlefield quickly and heal them.
The Zeal Cleric class will also boost (for a few rounds) the number of attacks and provide devastating area-of-effect spells that can now be cast from above. At 5th level Zeal Clerics get a fireball bonus spell, and at 2nd level, they can elect to deal maximum damage with fire or lightning damage with their Channel Divinity ability.
5 Half-Elf Paladin/Warlock
The Half-elf Paladin Warlock seems like an odd pairing, and it is, but this multiclass combination can be extremely deadly in a fight. The Paladin class should be taken first to benefit from the bonus armor and weapon proficiencies.
At 2nd level, the warlock gains access to the eldritch invocation devil’s sight which allows the warlock to see in normal and magical darkness. At 3rd level, the warlock gets the ability to cast darkness. These two abilities, when used together by a Paladin in melee, are scary. The Oath of Ascetic works well with this build for the bonus hit points, armor class, and for the bonus immunities at 15th level.
4 Dragonborn Barbarian
Are you a D&D player who likes Skyrim? Here's a possible build for your Dovahkiin character. These humanoid dragons are intimidating already, with their tapered dragon noses and six-foot stature, so let's take that to the next level and combine it with a class that has a range of abilities to make them even more terrifying, the Barbarian.
An ideal character for an advanced player who wants something fairly complex, but not a spellcaster, just a warrior that breathes fire. Benefits like Path of the Berserker and Fast Movement make an already large and dangerous character even more savage.
3 Yuan-ti Bard/Trickery Cleric
This build is an excellent support character and is also great for immersive role-playing purposes. The Trickery Cleric domain and the Bard class are very complimentary – the Bard isn’t a class built for close combat and the trickery bonus spells help with this deficiency.
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The Illusionary Duplicate gained via the Trickery domain can be used to cast spells, which now includes selections like Cloud of Daggers and Psionic Blast. Since Bards are proficient with hand crossbows this would be another class that could benefit from the Sharpshooter/ Crossbow expert combination. If heavier armor is desired then the Cleric class is anothr option.
2 Goliath Rune Knight With Polearm Master and Sentinel Feats
First off, Goliaths probably descended from giants at some point in their race’s history, so playing a Goliath Rune Knight just seems appropriate. They can speak the language of the giants at 1st level after all. With the polearm master feat, the character gets an opportunity attack if a creature moves within weapon range.
With the Sentinel feat, any enemy hit by an opportunity attack has its speed reduced to zero for the rest of the turn. With this tactic and the goliath’s size, which can be made bigger with rune magic, this character build is great for standing at a choke-point and keeping opponents away from the arcane spellcasters.
1 Half-Elf Sorcerer/Warlock
Also called the “Sorlock”, this multiclass combination is absolutely devastating in a battle. For this build, the Warlock should take the Pact of the Tome for the unlimited use of three cantrips – one of which should be Eldritch Blast.
The Warlock has many invocations that improve this cantrip. The sorcerer gains the ability to quicken spellcasting by expending sorcery points at 3rd level. Any spell with a casting time of 1 action can now be cast as a bonus spell. Eldritch Blast is a great spell to use for this quickened bonus spell since this build will have an infinite supply of them – and they can be improved using invocations.
NEXT: 10 Devious Traps In Dungeons & Dragons For A DM To Use
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Introduction: Creating a D&D 5e Character for Beginners!
Dungeons and Dragons is a pen and paper role-playing game published by Wizards of the Coast. Prior to playing a game of Dungeons and Dragons, you need to create a character. This task can be daunting, especially for new players. Below you will find a step by step process that will help you get ready for your first game. While all of the information included in this set of instructions can be found by reading the Player Handbook, they have been grouped together in a manner to efficiently fill out your character sheet. Most Dungeon Master’s will work with their players in the first session of their game, but in case they do not, then this set of instructions will help you be ready for your first game.
- D&D 5e Character Sheet
- D&D 5e Player's Handbook
- Alternately, you can use the official D&D Player Handbook Basic Rules PDF on D&D's Official Website.
NOTE - The free PDF does not include all the same material as the Player Handbook. It contains all the necessary information to create a character, just some of the options are limited.
- Alternately, you can use the official D&D Player Handbook Basic Rules PDF on D&D's Official Website.
- One d6 (or four d6 to speed up the process)
- Bookmarks (optional)
- RPG - Role Playing Game
- DM - Dungeon Master
- D&D, D&D 5e - Dungeons and Dragons, Dungeons and Dragons 5th Edition
- PHB - Player’s Handbook
- d4,d6,d8,d10,d20 - Various types of dice: d4=four sided die, d6=six sided die, etc
NOTE - When preceded by a number, such as 4d6, means four six-sided dice.
- HP - Hit Points
- AC - Armor Class
- CP, SP, EP, GP, PP - Copper, Silver, Electrum, Gold, Platinum Piece (Various denominations of money)
NOTE - Throughout these instructions, page numbers are listed with the various steps where applicable. This is to give the reader an idea of where to look should they want to learn more about any various step. Whenever listed, the PHB page number is listed first as the primary number, which is followed by the PDF’s number in parenthesis. IE: page 90 (PDF 50)
Step 1: Choose Race, Class, and Background
Prior to filling out your character sheet, there are three things you should decide. You need to decide what race and class your character is going to be, as well as their background.
NOTE - It is highly recommended that you use a bookmark to mark where each of your chosen selections start, as you will need to reference each section multiple times. This will dramatically reduce the time needed to create a character.
Choose a Race
Race is your character's species. Your character's race helps determine your physical look as well as giving you natural talents. Racial traits include the following: Ability Score Increase, Age, Alignment, Size, Speed, Languages, and Subraces. You can read the first few paragraphs of each race's section to get an idea of what each of them are.
NOTE - Locate the "Racial Traits" section (Figure 1.1) inside your race's section. This section is referenced specifically in multiple other steps.
Choose one of the following races:
- Dwarf- Page 18 (PDF 12)
- Elf- Page 21 (PDF 13)
- Halfling - Page 26 (PDF 16)
- Human - Page 29 (PDF 17)
- Dragonborn - Page 32 (Not in PDF)
- Gnome - Page 35 (Not in PDF)
- Half-Elf - Page 38 (Not in PDF)
- Half-Orc - Page 40 (Not in PDF)
- Tiefling - Page 42 (Not in PDF)
Choose a Class
Class is your character's profession, and determines what actions your character can perform. Your character gains some special class features and proficiencies centered around their chosen vocation. You can read the first few paragraphs of each class's section to get an idea of what each of them are.
NOTE - Locate the "Class Features" section (Figure 1.2) inside your class's section. This section is referenced specifically in multiple other steps.
Choose one of the following classes:
- Barbarian - Page 46 (Not in PDF)
- Bard - Page 51 (Not in PDF)
- Cleric - Page 56 (PDF 20)
- Druid - Page 64 (Not in PDF)
- Fighter - Page 70 (PDF 24)
- Monk - Page 76 (Not in PDF)
- Paladin - Page 82 (Not in PDF)
- Ranger - Page 89 (Not in PDF)
- Rogue - Page 94 (PDF 26)
- Sorcerer - Page 99 (Not in PDF)
- Warlock - Page 105 (Not in PDF)
- Wizard - Page 112 (PDF 29)
Your character's background is simply your characters history. Where do they come from and what were they doing prior to the game you are about to play. They provide additional proficiencies, languages, and skills. You can read the first few paragraphs of each background's section to get an idea of what each of them are.
Choose one of the following backgrounds:
- Acolyte - Page 127 (PDF 37)
- Charlatan - Page 128 (Not in PDF)
- Criminal - Page 129 (PDF 38)
- Entertainer - Page 130 (Not in PDF)
- Folk Hero - Page 131 (PDF 39)
- Guild Artisan - Page 132 (Not in PDF)
- Hermit - Page 134 (Not in PDF)
- Noble - Page 135 (PDF 40)
- Outlander - Page 136 (Not in PDF)
- Sage - Page 137 (PDF 41)
- Sailor - Page 139 (Not in PDF)
- Soldier - Page 140 (PDF 42)
- Urchin - Page 141 (Not in PDF)
Step 2: Stat Blocks
The stat block is the main portion of sheet that influences the “game” part of the role-playing game. This block consists of your proficiency modifier, your ability scores and modifiers, and your skill modifiers.
NOTE - Each step below corresponds with the same number in Figure 2.1. A completed stat block is provided in Figure 2.2 as an example.
(1) Ability Scores:
Ability Scores are determined via two methods. You may roll dice to determine which numbers you have to work with, you can choose to use the default numbers. Also, your race applies some benefits to certain ability scores.
To determine you Ability Scores, do the following:
- Choose one of the following methods to generate your ability stats:
- Roll for stats
- Roll 1d6 four times, or roll 4d6 once. (End result should be 4 numbers)
- Drop the lowest number.
- Add the remaining three numbers together
- Write that number on a scrap piece of paper
- Repeat five more times, for a total of six numbers
- Roll for stats
- You may assign each of these numbers once to one of the abilities: 15,14,13,12,10,8
NOTE - Each class has a Quick Build section in the class information. This will tell you where to put your two highest scores. See Figure 2.3 as an example of what the Quick Build section looks like.
NOTE - See Figure 2.4 as an example of what you are looking for in the book..
(2) Ability Modifier:
The Ability Modifier is the amount you would add to the dice roll as you are playing the game. If your modifier is a +2, and you rolled a 12, you final score for that check is 14. The higher your result, the better, and the number you are trying to beat is determined by your DM based on the difficulty of the task.
To determine the Ability Modifier, do the following:
- The modifier is determined by the Ability Score:
- Ability Score = Modifier
- 2-3 = - 4
- 4-5 = - 3
- 6-7 = - 2
- 8-9 = - 1
- 10-11 = + 0
- 12-13 = + 1
- 14-15 = + 2
- 16-17 = + 3
- 18-19 = + 4
- 20-21 = + 5
NOTE - See Figure 2.2 for an example.
Inspiration is not used in character creation. Your character may earn inspiration from other players or the DM in game, and is tracked here.
For now, leave this blank.
(4) Proficiency Modifier:
Proficiency Modifier is a bonus you add to any checks made with a skill or weapon you are proficient with. All characters start with a +2 proficiency modifier at level 1. This will increase as a character levels up. Reference your class section to see at what levels this increases.
- Enter a "+2" in the proficiency box.
(5) Saving Throws:
Saving throws are ability checks that you make when someone else is targeting you, such as a spell that you are trying to resist.
To calculate your saving throws, do the following:
- Determine which saving throws you are proficient in:
- Your class will determine which two saving throws you are proficient in. Reference your classes "Class Features" section.
- Fill in the circle next to the saving throws in which you are proficient.
- For all saving throws that your character is proficient, or has the circle filled in, you add the relevant ability modifier with your proficiency modifier.
EXAMPLE - If you had a Dexterity modifier of +3, and a proficiency modifier of +2, than your proficient saving throw of Dexterity +5.
- For the remainder of your saving throws, the modifiers are simply the relevant ability modifier as you do not add the proficiency modifier.
NOTE - See Figure 2.2 for an example.
(6) Skill Scores:
Skill scores are ability checks that apply to specific scenarios. If you are trying to bluff someone, you would use Deception. If you are trying to tell if someone is bluffing, you would use Insight. These scores are added to any rolls you make for one of these scores.
To calculate your skill modifiers, do the following:
- Determine which skills you are proficient in:
- Reference both your class and your background to determine which skills you are proficient with.
- Fill in the circle next to the skills in which you are proficient.
- For all skills that your character is proficient, or has the circle filled in, you add the relevant ability score modifier with your proficiency modifier.
EXAMPLE - If you had a Charisma modifier of +3, and a proficiency modifier of +2, than your proficient skill of Deception is +5.
- For the remainder of your skills, the modifiers are simply the relevant ability modifier as you do not add the proficiency modifier.
NOTE - See Figure 2.2 for an example.
(7) Passive Perception:
Passive Wisdom is your characters natural awareness of their surroundings. When you are not actively looking for something, this score determines what you see without needing to make a check.
To calculate your Passive Perception, do the following:
- Passive Perception starts at 10
- Add or subtract your Perception skill bonus
EXAMPLE - If your Perception is a +1, then your Passive Perception is 11.
Step 3: Proficiencies and Languages
Determine what languages your character knows, as well as any additional proficiencies or bonuses not tracked in the main stat block. Each step below corresponds with the same number in Figure 3.1. A completed Proficiency and Language block is provided in Figure 3.2 as an example.
Non-skill proficiencies are skills or items that you character can use without any penalties.
- List all proficiencies, such as armor and weapons. Also list all items such as kits and instruments. Make notes of any bonuses to proficient skills or items.
- Check BOTH your race and background for any known languages.
Note - Languages are listed on page 123 (PDF 34) if you have the option to choose a language.
Step 4: Equipment
Your equipment consists of all the items that they are carrying. This includes their armor, weapons, traveling gear, exploring gear, etc. There are two ways to create your starting inventory:
- Default Inventory:
- Your class has a list of starting items that you can transfer to your character sheet. Your background may provide additional items that can be added to character sheet.
- Purchase Inventory:
- Based on your character class, you can use the starting gold to buy any gear you like.
- Your starting gold is based on the table "Starting Wealth by Class" on page 143 (PDF 43).
- You may purchase any item from the tables on page 145, 149, and 150 (PDF 44, 46, 48).
Each step below corresponds with the same number in Figure 4.1. A completed Equipment block is provided in Figure 4.2 as an example.
- List all equipment, weapons, armor and personal items.
- Regardless of the method used, list any money you have remaining in the appropriate box.
Step 5: Attacks and Spellcasting
In combat, most characters either use physical attacks or they cast spells. Regardless, they also have access to special actions.
NOTE - For complete spellcasting breakdown and spells list, please reference your class section where applicable. This set of instructions does not go over all aspects of spellcasting.
Each step below corresponds with the same number in Figure 5.1. A completed Attack and Spellcasting block is provided in Figure 5.2 as an example.
(1) Physical Weapons:
Physical weapons are those such as staffs, swords, and bows.
- Write down the name of a weapon that you picked in Step 3. Repeat for everyone weapon you are carrying.
- Find the weapon in the weapon table on page 149 (PDF 46).
(2) Attack Modifier:
Attack modifier is the score you add to a d20 roll when attempting to attack with that weapon. You compare the final number to the targets AC, and successfully hit if your number is equal to, or greater than, their AC.
To determine your attack modifier for each weapon, do the following:
- Look up the weapon in the chart on page 149 (PDF 46).
- Make note if the weapon description has the keyword "finesse" or if the weapon has a "range".
- Make note if you are proficient with that weapon or not.
NOTE- Your proficiency might be for "Simple Weapons". This means you are proficient with ALL weapons in that category.
- Calculate Attack Modifier:
- For ranged weapons you are proficient with:
- Take your Dexterity modifier and add you proficiency modifier.
- For ranged weapons you are not proficient with:
- Take just your Dexterity modifier.
- For melee weapons you are proficient with:
- Take your Strength modifier and add your proficiency modifier.
- For melee weapons you are not proficient with:
- Take just your Strength modifier
- For weapons with Finesse
- You may use either strength or dexterity, whichever you prefer.
- Add your proficiency modifier if you are proficient with that weapon.
- For ranged weapons you are proficient with:
Damage is the amount of damage you do to the target on a successful hit. To determine the damage dice and type, do the following:
- Write down the damage amount listed in the table on page 149 (PDF 46) in the form of the amount of dice you roll when you do damage.
EXAMPLE - 2d6 or 1d8.
- Write down the Ability Modifier used to determine the Attack Modifer
EXAMPLE - If it is a ranged weapon and your Dexterity Modifier is +2, write "+2" after the dice amount.
- Write down the Damage type that is listed after the total damage amount.
EXAMPLE - Piercing or Slashing.
(4) Special Actions:
- If you have any special abilities or combat actions you may list them here.
EXAMPLE - Sneak Attack for Rogues.
Step 6: HP and Combat Stats
This block contains various forms of combat stats along with your hit points, or health. Each step below corresponds with the same number in Figure 6.1. A completed HP and Combat Stats block is provided in Figure 6.2 as an example.
(1) Armor Class:
Determined by the armor that you are wearing and/or your dexterity modifier. Your Armor Class, or AC, determines how hard you are to hit in combat.
To calculate your armor class, do the following:
- If you are wearing armor, look up your armor in the table on page 145 (PDF 44).
- Follow the AC calculation in the table
NOTE - This may be a straight number, or it may be a number added to your Dexterity Modifier.
EXAMPLE - Chainmail is a straight 16 AC, where as Leather armor is 11 added to your Dexterity modifier.
- Follow the AC calculation in the table
- If you are not wearing armor, then your AC is 10 plus your Dexterity Modifier.
Initiative is your ability to act quickly in the face of danger. When you roll for Initiative, you roll a d20 and add your initiative modifier.
To determine your initiative modifier, do the following:
- Your dexterity modifier is also your initiative modifier.
EXAMPLE - If your dexterity modifier is +3, you Initiative Modifier is also +3.
Speed is how far you can move with a single movement action.
To determine your movement, do the following:
- Check your race section in the Player's Hand Book for their speed.
(4) Hit Dice:
Hit dice determine how hearty you are, and your ability to heal when resting.
To determine your hit dice, do the following:
- The number of hit dice you have is determined by your level (These instructions assume level 1, so therefore 1 hit dice.)
- The type of hit dice is determined by your class. Check the class section of the Player's Hand Book.
EXAMPLE - A level 1 Rogue has 1d8, as Rogues have d8's as hit dice, and he is level 1 so he has one of them.
(5) Hit Point Maximum:
Your hit point maximum is the most HPs you can have.
To calculate you maximum HP at level 1, do the following:
- Take the maximum value of your hit die and add your Constitution modifier
EXAMPLE - A d8 hit die with a +1 Constitution modifier = 8 + 1 = 9 maximum hit points.
NOTE - As you level up, at each level you roll a hit die and add your Constitution modifier, and add that to your total hit points.
(6) Current Hit Points:
Current hit points is the amount of health you have remaining. This number can not go above your hit point maximum. You may use this block as you play the game to keep track of damage you have taken. If your current hit points ever reach 0, you become unconscious.
(7) Temporary Hit Points:
Temporary Hit Points are not used in character creation. Spells and other buffs give you temporary hit points. These can not be healed, and act more of as a buffer for your current hit points.
For now, leave this section blank.
(8) Death Saves:
Death Saves are not used in character creation. The are used when characters reach 0 HP when playing the game, and are the bases of determining if a character is just knocked out or is actually dead.
Step 7: Features
Figure 7.1 is the Features block. A completed Features block is provided in Figure 7.2 as an example.
The features block is a place to list all remaining features of your class, race, and background. Any additional skills, passive benefits, or relevant bonuses from background can be listed here.
Step 8: Traits
Traits are descriptions for you character. These traits directly feed the role-playing aspect of the role-playing game. Each trait below corresponds with the same number in Figure 8.1. A completed Trait block is provided in Figure 8.2 as an example.
Choosing your traits:
There are two methods to pick your traits. Choose one of the following:
- Look up your background
- Roll the appropriate die based on the tables in your background description.
NOTE - Each table may be a different type of dice, so double check the die needed.
- Make up your own using the book options as examples.
- Roll the appropriate die based on the tables in your background description.
(1) Personality traits:
General descriptions about your character, that help differentiate different characters from each other.
Ideals are the things that your character believes strongly in.
How your character is tied to the world of the game. Can be a person, place or event.
A vice, compulsion, fear, or weakness.
Step 9: Name and Remaining Information
Now that you have a good handle on who your character is, all that is remaining is a few last decisions. Each step below corresponds with the same number in Figure 9.1. A completed Name block is provided in Figure 9.2 as an example.
(1) Character Name:
The name that your character goes buy.
You can find a name from one of the following places:
- Each Race section in the Player's Handbook has sample names you can choose from.
- Can look online for a fantasy name generator.
- Make up your own name.
(2) Class and level:
A place to track your class and level.
- Write your class followed by 1 as you are starting at level 1.
A place to write your chosen background.
(4) Player name:
A place to write your own name.
A place to write your chosen race.
Alignment is your general temperament to others and the world around you.
To select your alignment, choose from the following:
- Reference your Ideal trait, and choose an alignment that works with the alignment suggestion at the end of the chosen trait.
- Choose from the list on page 122 (PDF 33 and 34).
(7) Experience points:
You start at 0 Experience points. As you play the game, you will earn more. At certain amounts, you will gain a level which may increase your ability scores, or give you more features or actions. Keep track of your experience points here as you earn them.
Step 10: Review
Review your character sheet for any missing information. While most of the information will be different, you can compare your sheet to Figure 10.1 to see if you are missing anything.
Congratulations! You are now ready to play. Your party and DM should help you with any questions you have regarding your character, and will continue to assist you as you learn to play the game. They should also help you update you character sheet as you gain levels.
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5e character build
Have you ever wanted to play a Dungeons & Dragons who boasted the highest armor class, the fastest speed, the deadliest attacks, or another extreme ability? This post shows the way to making the most amazing character at one of 7 things.
For the fastest character, start as a monk. Your choice of race depends on what your campaign allows.
- Wood elves gain the fastest walking speed.
- Tabaxi from Volo’s Guide to Monsters make better 1-turn sprinters. Their Feline Agility trait doubles their speed for a turn, but they must spend a turn moving 0 to use it again.
- Aarakocra, also from Volo’s Guide, gain a flying speed of 50 feet, which combines perfectly with the monk class. Not every campaign allows flying characters, especially to start.
Take 10 levels of monk for a 20-foot speed bonus. Then add 5 levels of barbarian for Fast Movement and another 10-foot bonus. Choose the Path of the Elk Totem Warrior from the Sword Coast Adventurer’s Guide to increase your walking speed by 15 feet while raging. Sadly for aarakocra, this bonus doesn’t improve your fly speed.
For even more speed, add two levels of fighter for the Action Surge.
Along the way, choose the Mobile feet to add another 10-foot speed bonus. Also consider the Magic Initiate feat to learn the longstrider spell, which adds another 10-foot speed bonus for an hour. Obviously, seek Boots of Speed, Potions of Speed, and friends able to enchant you with haste.
Even without the magic, this build yields a 70-foot base, doubled to 140 by feline agility. For maximum speed, choose a dash action, add a dash using the monk’s Step of the Wind ability, plus a dash using Action Surge to move 560 feet in 6 seconds. That amounts to 63 mph or 102 kph!
See How to Build a D&D Monk So Good That DMs Want to Cheat.
For the most-skilled character, start as a half-elf rogue. This gains you 4 rogue skills, plus 2 skills from being a half-elf and 2 more from your background. Don’t pick proficiency in Nature or Survival. You gain those skills when you select the Scout archetype at level 3.
Remain a rogue until level 4 when you can choose the Skilled feat for 4 more skills.
For level 5, multiclass into bard for another skill. At level 7, select the College of Lore for 3 more skills. Then at level 8, elect the Prodigy feat for that last untrained skill plus Expertise in a choice of skill. Expertise doubles your proficiency bonus for that skill.
At level 8, your character boasts proficiency in every skill in the game.
The highest, most consistent damage output comes from characters who combine the Sharpshooter and Crossbow expert feats with a hand crossbow.
Start as a human with the Sharpshooter feat. Your class can either be fighter or ranger. Either way, select the Archery fighting style to gain +2 on your ranged attacks.
For a fighter, choose either the Battle Master or the Samurai archetype from Xanathar’s Guide to Everything. As a ranger, choose the Gloom Stalker archetype, also from Xanathar.
At level 4, take the Crossbow Expert feat to gain the ability to make extra attacks with a hand crossbow as a bonus action.
For more, see How to Build a Sharpshooter Who Wins D&D.
The simplest route to a maximum AC uses heavy armor. Select a paladin or fighter and then select the Defense fighting style. Equip plate mail and shield for AC 21. Then seek magic that improves AC. If you find +3 plate, +3 shield, plus a Cloak of Protection, a Ring of Protection, and an Ioun Stone of Protection for your three attunement slots, your AC reaches 30. If you attune a Staff of Power instead, you reach AC 31, the highest permanent level you can achieve. Plus, the munchkins make you their king or queen. Also your absurdly indulgent dungeon master wants to date you. If you learn the shield spell, then you can vault your AC 36 for a turn.
Someone in half plate with a 16 Dexterity and the Medium Armor Master feat can reach the same ACs.
A barbarian with just a shield can reach a 24 AC without any magic, but that requires a 20 Dexterity and the 24 Constitution attainable by the class at level 20.
For the toughest character, start as a hill dwarf for a +1 hp bonus per level. Select the Barbarian class. At 3rd level, pick the Path of the Bear Totem Warrior to gain resistance to all damage but psychic while raging. At fourth level, take the Toughness feat for 2 more hp per level, and then use your ability score increases to maximize Constitution.
Biggest damage nova
When characters unload all their abilities to deal maximum damage in a single turn, they go nova. You could just level a Wizard up to level 17 and cast meteor swarm on a hoard of foes, but true nova builds aim for focused damage more than once a day. Thanks to the Divine Smite ability, paladins bring big nova potential, but the class lacks enough spells slots to fuel maximum damage. For the biggest numbers, combine 2 levels of paladin with either sorcerer or warlock.
For a sorcerer combination, your dream turn starts when you cast a quickened hold monster on your foe, and the hit with green flame blade plus a smite that spends your highest-level spell slot. On a paralyzed enemy, you automatically score a critical hit and double all your damage dice. (If you don’t paralyze your target, booming blade makes a better cantrip combination.)
While sorcerers bring more spell slots, the warlock combination boasts better synergy. Start by creating a paladin with maximum charisma and the 13 strength required for multiclassing. After reaching 2nd level as a paladin, multiclass to a warlock and choose the Hexblade pact. At warlock level 3, choose the Pack of the Blade boon, and then at level 5, choose the Thirsting Blade invocation for multiple attacks. Your dream turn starts when you lay a Hexblade’s Curse on your foe for a damage bonus, and then strike twice, scoring critical hits on a roll of 19 or 20. Back each hit with a smite. After a short rest, you can reload slots to repeat the combination.
An all-in nova build adds 2 levels of fighter for an Action Surge, another swing or two, and as many smites as you have spell slots to fuel.
See D&D’s Best Multiclass Combinations With Paladin.
Update: Tasha’s Cauldron of Everything enables a new build to take the best healer crown.
The older best-healer build combined of life domain cleric with enough bard levels to gain the paladin spell aura of vitality via the bard’s Magical Secrets feature. Tasha’s Cauldron paves a short cut by simply adding aura of vitality to the cleric’s spell list. Forget multiclassing; just play a life cleric. For each of the 10 rounds of aura of vitality’s 1 minute duration, you can use a bonus action to heal 2d6 hit points. The cleric’s Disciple of Life feature boosts that to 2d6+5 hp.
Now, to claim the crown as best healer in D&D, take the Metamagic Adept feat, also in Tasha’s Cauldron. “You learn two Metamagic options of your choice from the sorcerer class.” Select the Extended Spell option. “When you cast a spell that has a duration of 1 minute or longer, you can spend 1 sorcery point to double its duration, to a maximum duration of 24 hours.” When you cast aura of vitality, spend 1 of your 2 sorcery points to double the duration and the healing. One third-level spell heals an average of 240 hp. At just level 5, you can perform the trick twice. Remember when folks fretted about pairing the life domain with goodberry for 40 points of healing?
For the easy path to a character who vies for the best healing, play a cleric and choose the Life domain. Done. By the time you reach 17th level, nothing else comes close. But hardly anyone plays at tier 4. In tiers 2 and 3, you can become the best healer as a bard with just a one level dip into cleric.
Start 1st level as a human Life domain cleric. Choose the Healer feat, which lets you spend one use of a healer’s kit to restore 1d6 + 4 hit points, plus additional hit points equal to the creature’s maximum number of hit dice. A creature can only regain hit points this way once between each rest, but this still counts as the cheapest healing in the game. See The Two D&D Feats Everyone Loves (For Someone Else’s Character).
After level 1, switch to only taking bard levels. At bard level 3, choose the College of Lore, and then at level 6 choose the paladin spell aura of vitality for your Magical Secrets feature. For each of the 10 rounds of aura of vitality’s 1 minute duration, you can use a bonus action to heal 2d6 hit points. The cleric’s Disciple of Life feature boosts that to 2d6+5 hp. One third-level spell heals an average of 120 hp. You will have 3 third-level spell slots.
Plus, the bard spell list includes most of the cleric’s best remedies, including the restoration and resurrection spells. You can raise dead through song!
• You Can Play These Supreme D&D Characters, But Should You?
• 7 Dungeons & Dragons character builds absurdly good at one thing
13 Successful Character Builds In D&D For Intermediate Players
Dungeons & Dragons can be an intimidating game to get into. With six core attributes to manage, a wide range of skills, weapons, armor, and even classes, there is a lot of ways to personalize your character. While many players or Game Masters, sometimes referred to as Dungeon Masters or DMs depending on what tabletop game you're playing, would recommend you stick with a single class, there are plenty of opportunities to make unique, complex characters.
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If you have a good understanding of D&D 5e's basic mechanics, you can make some truly amazing builds. Here are great characters you can create as an intermediate player in Dungeons & Dragons 5th edition.
Updated February 10th, 2021 by Kristy Ambrose: The term "intermediate" in D&D refers to a wide range of unspecified levels, ranging from about 6 to 14. Players at this point start to get more creative and daring when it comes to rolling characters. These builds start with a fairly simple concept and get more complex as they progress. More possibilities are always appearing thanks to homebrews and third-party resource materials, and don't be afraid to ask your DM or your favorite search engine for further guidance.
13 Barbarian Monk
As the name implies, this multiclass character with all the strength of a Barbarian and the physical prowess of a Monk. Start as a human for the variety of abilities, or use a more exotic class like the Tortle to give yourself some extra AC, but a Goliath or a Bigbear might also be interesting depending on your choices for backstory.
Start at level one as a Barbarian and multiclass at level two or three as a Monk. As a Monk, you have a variety of unarmed abilities to use, and your Barbarian skills still allow you to use a two-handed longsword thanks to the Dedicated Weapon skill.
12 Sorcerer Warlock
One of the best multiclass options in the fifth edition of Dungeons & Dragons is a Sorcerer and a Warlock. While both classes are somewhat underwhelming on their own, they make for a formidable character when multi-classed together. This is mainly thanks to the insane synergy between Sorcerer Metamagic options and the Warlock's Eldritch Blast Cantrip.
In essence, a Warlock can cast Eldritch blast and deal 1d10 force damage per beam attacking a target, capable of firing four beams at once at 17th level. You can combine this with a quickening spell and cast two of these a turn, and there are various Warlock Invocations that increase the damage Eldritch Blast deals.
11 Sharpshooter Fighter
If you want to fire off a barrage of arrows every turn, you would be forgiven to think Ranger would be the best pick. Experienced Dungeons & Dragons players likely know that Fighter is better for this playstyle, however.
RELATED: All Spellcasting Subclasses In Tasha's Cauldron Of Everything, Ranked
This is thanks to the Sharpshooter Martial Archetype. You can fire an extra time with Rapid Strike and Snap Shot. If you aren't high enough level for those perks, you can always take the Crossbow Expert feat for a similar effect. When you combine these elements with Action Surge and Fighter's extra attacks, you practically have a one-handed machine gun that can fire 10 shots in a single turn with Action Surge.
10 Tabaxi Shadow Monk
Monks are some of the most fun characters you can make in D&D. Being able to dodge attacks with little armor and punch enemies to death never gets old.
You can take this to the next level with Shadow Monks. This subclass allows you to cast Pass Without Trace as an action without materials, walk from one shadow to another, and even turn invisible. This is awesome when combined with a Tabaxi, which have better unarmed strikes than most classes and can choose to move twice as fast for a turn.
9 Iron Man Artificer
Have you ever wanted to roleplay Iron Man in D&D? The recently added Armorer subclass for Artificers allows you to do just that. Armorers are unique in that they can craft unique power armor. This armor can grant you a defensive shield, shoot lighting, or be modified to even let you fly.
RELATED: The 10 Best Dungeons & Dragons Adventures In D&D History, Ranked
Additional spells such as Mirror Image and Shield make you a great tank and deal reasonable damage as well. That's the closest thing to Iron Man you will ever find in Dungeons & Dragons.
8 Shadow Assassin
This build can take on a variety of classes and races as long as they optimize stealth and damage. A Rogue is an obvious choice but other possibilities include Bards or Warlocks. Choose the Criminal background before you get started for a boost on your Deception and Stealth.
The most important stat is Dexterity, so ideal choices for races could be Elves or Halflings, who also have dex bonuses. Tabaxi and Goblins are also great choices if you have access to Volo's Guide to Monsters.
7 Eldritch Knight Fighter
This build doesn't require any multiclassing, although for all intents and purposes that's how it's played. Eldritch Knights are tied to the Fighter class, allowing Fighters to cast spells based on the Wizard spell list. They can bond with their sword to make it inseparable from themselves, attack after casting cantrips, and do the typical lower-level wizardry you'd come to expect. It's a very solid build that allows for Jedi-esque roleplaying if you want to take your character in that direction. There are other builds that come even closer, however.
Dungeons & Dragons 5th edition has done a good job overall balancing every class and preventing insanely overpowered interactions or combos. One of the most powerful healing combinations in the game can be done at level 2.
RELATED: Dungeons & Dragons: 10 Things You Need To Know About Character Creation In D&D
Start as a Cleric and grab Life as your domain. Then, grab a level in Bard and choose the College of Lore as your subclass. This allows you to grab other spells from other classes. Learn Goodberry and prepare to have the best healing ability in the game. The Life domain will make every berry heal for 3 health plus the spell's level instead of 1 a berry. This means Goodberry heals for an insane 40 health at first level, going up by 10 every subsequent level.
If you are an avid fan of Star Wars, this build is for you. This is one of the closest builds that replicates Jedi or Sith from that iconic franchise. You take either 3 or 6 levels in Paladin and put the rest into Sorcerer. This will grant you and your party an Aura of Protection and allow you to use powerful spells like Charm or Dominate Person to control the battlefield.
Better yet, your main stat is Charisma, allowing you to intimidate or persuade almost anyone in most conversations. The most powerful thing about this build is combining Paladin's Smite ability with Quickened Dominate Person from Sorcerer, making your already powerful Smite automatically crit for absurd damage.
4 Divination Wizard
Divination Wizards are incredibly powerful because they can influence dice rolls. Anyone who's experienced with D&D can tell you how powerful that can be. This works for attacks, saving throws, and even ability checks.
RELATED: Dungeons & Dragons: The 10 Most Useful Cantrips, Ranked
You can amplify this dice control further by playing a Halfing and using their Lucky trait, letting them reroll any critical failures they receive. To make this even crazier, grab the Lucky feat to reroll any three dice rolls per long rest. Bad dice rolls simply do not exist with this character in your party.
3 Shadow Sorcerer
Start with any class that has an elven ancestor to build this powerful mono-class that stars with a Sorcerer and progresses to the Shadow Sorcerer subclass. Start at early levels with damaging spells that have an attack roll, then get Elven accuracy at level 4 to start optimizing your spellcasting abilities. The Shadow Sorcerer eventually reaches an impressive critical hit rating of 15% and the Shadow Step ability makes this build just as fast as a Monk.
2 Barbarian Moon Druid
Out of everything that D&D 5e allows you to do, this is by far the most overpowered build in the entire game. Some Game Masters restrict Wild Shape or flat out ban this multiclass because it is so powerful.
It's a simple concept. You put most of your levels in Druid in the Circle of the Moon subclass and you need to spend at least 3 levels in Barbarian as a Totem Warrior. Select Bear, and now you have resistance to all damage while Raging, can Rage while in Wild Shape, and can morph into a fire elemental. If you die while shapeshifted, you don't lose any health on your main form.
You need to talk with your Game Master before you decide to play this build. This character utilized two unique mechanics from Warlock and Sorcerer that allow for infinite spell slots. Start at level 4, having 2 levels split evenly between Warlock and Sorcerer.
You use Flexible Casting to turn your Warlock spells into sorcery points, then you use it to turn the points into spell slots. Take a short rest to get your Warlock spell slots and repeat the process. This allows you to have infinite spell slots, letting you cast any spell you know with little regard for resources.
NEXT: Skyrim: 10 Powerful Builds Everyone Should Try
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Read NextAbout The Author
Charles Burgar is an expert on all things tech and gaming. Graduating from Pikes Peak Community College in 2018 with an Associate of Science, Charles has spent his time dissecting popular video games, movies, and technology. With an understanding of games for as long as he can remember, Charles has a large interest in understanding what makes things fun. He is currently a Freelance writer for TheGamer and Game Rant.
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