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D&D 5e Character Creation Drow Sorcerer Rogue Adventurers League Build

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We haven’t done one of our Adventurers League legal character builds in awhile. So here is one that we did as a Patreon request. The request was to create a shadow sorcerer rogue. The rest was left up to us. Nerdarchist Ted and I put our heads together to figure out the rogue subclass, background, and race. Of course as we build the character out it’s fun for us to flesh out the story elements.

D&D 5e Character Creation Drow Sorcerer Rogue Adventurers League Build Video

D&D 5e Character Creation Drow Sorcerer Rogue Adventurers League Build Video Transcription

Dave: “You know, Ted, most gish characters just suck.”

Ted: “That is true. But you know, how do we make one It’s not going to suck?”

Dave: “I know you take sneak attack and you add to shadow blade.”

Ted: “Hmm. Rogue sorcerer. Let’s do it.”

Dave: “Welcome to Nerdarchy for nerds by nerds, I’m Nerdarchist Dave. And today I’m hanging out with this nerd.”

Ted: “Nerdarchist Ted. And today we’re going to do an adventurers league legal character build.”

Dave: “Do you want practical advice You can drop right in your D&D game?”

Ted: “If the answer is yes. Then don’t forget to crit hit that subscribe button and attune to that notification bell. All right, so we’re gonna dive in. We’re gonna make a rogue sorcerer character build. Uh, we, we got this idea from a fan and uh, how is this going to play out?”

Dave: “Yeah, you’re correct. One of the patrons have requested a specifically a shadow sorcerer, rogue combination. They didn’t tell us what, where to go with the rogue part. That was kind of left up to us as well as everything else. The other thing we have to work with the shadow sorcerer. So we were kicking around some different ideas. Uh, you know, when we were looking at the different kind of rogue, so you could go now, arcane trickster has a lot of crossover and would fit really well. The only downside is now you need dex intelligence and charisma. But we’re looking at like the list of subclasses for rogue. What, you know, that really got me thinking and I, when I got the swashbuckler as like shadow sorcerer, shadow sorcerer was swashbuckler, I always mispronounce the three musketeer.”

Ted: “He, oh, instead of saying D’Artagnan and he likes to say

Darktanyan.”

Dave: “So we’re making Darktanyan.”

Ted: “So it’s, it’s kind of cool. So we have that, that shadow swashbuckler a lot of fun to wind up playing with here, but we’re going to need a race to build this dark, uh, Darktanyan with.”

Dave: “Now I guess the thing is, because we’ve already gone into Xanathar’s Guide to Everything, that’s our plus one that leaves us with the races in the player’s handbook because we were looking at some things like a tabaxi would be a lot of fun. One of the, uh, tiefling a variants would be a lot of fun. But because we’re stuck with the player’s handbook, you know, obviously half elf just jumps out because of they do have really great stat adjustments. Humans are always good. Uh, Lightfoot halflings is also another great because you get the dex and”


Ted: “and charisma.”

Dave: “and the charisma, but I feel like we did a halfling swashbuckler recently.”

Ted: “Absolutely. But there is another race that we really haven’t touched on with character builds that is decks and charisma and that’s going to be the drow, the dark elf.”

Dave: “All right, so we’re doubling down on the dark for our Darktanyan character that I’m digging it. And also I feel like the drow are pretty thematic when it comes to shadow sorcerers anyway.”

Ted: “And you know, with that racial bonus to charisma, he’s going to have the panache.”

Dave: “Both figuratively and literally when he gains enough levels. We have our classes that we know we’re going to use. We have our race. What are we going to do for background?””

Ted: “We like to build things thematically and mechanically and we will put forth an idea. And I know as soon as I say this, Dave is going to start rolling his eyes because it’s an inferior choice but haunted one.”

Dave: “Haunted one is a really cool concept for backgrounds and the backgrounds, by the way, mind you, they, they kind of, um, they’re kind of set aside from that PHB plus one. So we can leave you legally go to another book for a background. You find them in the Curse of Strahd a Nerditor Doug had suggested this and I usually hate Doug’s ideas, but this time I really liked it. The haunted one, it thematically really fits. And what Ted is speaking to is I hate when, when the mechanics have been set up a certain way, there’s a precedent and I hate when that precedent gets broken and he sets off my, uh, OCD.”

Ted: “So typically in your backgrounds you get to skills and then two others. And there’s a combination of languages and tools. It could be two tools, can be two languages, one of each before, whatever reason, the haunted one, you get two skills, you get a language, no tools. It needs a tweak. It needs to get fixed. Get on that.”

Dave: “Uh, I dunno, I guess because it’s an uncommon language that you’re getting and you get a little extra gear. But yeah, extra gear never works out because you know, after a couple of levels that doesn’t really matter.”

Ted: “It doesn’t pay off. But the idea we had was this, this character, this drow wound up being killed by some shot at some kind of shadow creature. And instead of him dying and staying dead, he came back to life. And the, the shadow now lives with inside. So from the haunted one, he actually doesn’t produce a shadow of his own.”

Dave: “ And you know, at some point his shadow powers will begin to manifest and you know, he’ll be a sorcerer.”

Ted: “Yeah, yeah. Perhaps the thing that actually, that killed him or near killed him, stole his shadow and like. That can be one of the things he’s looking to do is get it back.”

Dave: “Maybe.”

Ted: “All right, so we’ve got a background, we’ve got a race. Uh, we’ve talked about what classes we’re going to use, but where does this guy go A first level or Gal.”

Dave: “They don’t go anywhere without got something ability scores.”

Ted: “Oh that’s true.”

Dave: “Because you get, you have a dex, you have a Dex strength of zero. You have no movement. Mm. Zero con dead.”

Ted: “That’s true. That’s true. All right, so what are we looking at for stats then?”

Dave: “All right. So we dumped stat and drop an eight in there. We put our 14 in dex con, we’re going to go with a 12 intelligence. We’re going to go with a 13 wisdom. We’re going to go with a 10 and for charisma, that’s where we’re putting our high stat of 15.”

Ted: “All right So that winds up giving us a 16 dex in a 16 charisma to start off with. Once we, once we apply our racial bonuses. So we’re already mechanically geared towards the classes that we like.”


Dave: “Yeah. And we’re to kind of Munchkin up first level a little bit and go rogue because that’s going to maximize our skills.”

Ted: “So we’re going to get that expertise. We’re going to get more skills because you know, you get four for being a rogue, you only get two for being a sorcerer and you’re only going to get one when you double up or when you take rogue as a 2nd level. So right. Got a Nix that, right.”

Dave: “So we’re gonna get, we’re going to get the extra skills, but we’re also going to get the higher hit die, which is going to add to our survivability as well.”

Ted: “Ching. So, uh, I mentioned that expertise. What, what skills are we looking at there?”

Dave: “Before we get into which skills we actually took expertise in Ted, I think it’s only fair that we mentioned that if you go to the description below, you’re going to be able to find a link to this character sheet so you can actually fall along. But also the character build guide, uh, both of those will, you know, make this stuff that we’re talking about in the video would make a lot more sense. So you can grab those, download those, take a look why we’re talking about this stuff. It’s only fair to mention that that is a D&D Beyond character sheet because they are the sponsor for this video. They make building character is so much easier. You can find great content over on their website for free, both in video format as well as written articles as well. And then of course there is the D&D Beyond program that you can use the software which you can use for free for all the SRD stuff. But if you want to level up your game and spend a little bit of money, you can use all the features. We’re huge fans of D&D Beyond. We use it for all of our games and now we highly recommend it.”

Ted: “I use it to look up spells. I look at, use it to, to look up monsters, aren’t using it to create stuff. Uh, and it’s just awesome. You get those hover cards that automatically show you all of those cool abilities, conditions, spells, so you don’t need to double down and link back and open up secondary tabs. It’s all in one place. Highly recommended D&D Beyond to anyone who hasn’t tried it yet.”

Dave: “As we were saying, the expertise is we went with deception and stealth. You know, he can even flavor that stealth a little bit. That this guy is kind of wrapped in shadows and and naturally stealthy and a unnatural sort of way.”

Ted: “You know, I felt, you know, making this, that since we’re heavy on dex and charisma now it would be wise to take something to, you know, put a nod to both of those.”

Dave: “Right And so, you know, and, and not only that first level rogue, we’re going to get sneak attack, you know, the, the bread and butter of being a rogue. Obviously. Now for our next level though, we’re going to move away from rogue.”

Ted: “So we’re going to go over to sorcerer and begin to unlock those magical powers that have been brewing inside.”

Dave: “But not only do we go over the sorcerer, we stay there and hang out for a little while because one of the things we really want from rer sorcerer we can’t even get to it until third level. And, and you know, that is the spell shadow blade.”

Ted: “So as we mentioned in our intro shadow blade, really awesome spell and this is where this character is going to lean heavily on, uh, you know, on that. So going, going through those low levels, you know, you’re going to wind up getting some spells. You’re, you’re going to get some, you know, some, some cool metamagic feats. Uh, for this one we went with quicken and empower. Since shadow blade is technically a spell, uh, we kind of toyed around with and said, you know, what, what happens if you and empower your shadow blade Does that mean you get the reroll your ones and twos on those dice?”

Dave: “I think so. And I think at least for the first, attack , anyway, it’s a bonus action to cast the spell. But not only that, since, you know, since we’re using a concentration spell and we’re fighting with a weapon and we’re getting their sneak attack damage with that weapon as well, we can also use our quicken to cast spells as a bonus action when we’re attacking. Now the rogue never really, uh, suffers for something to do with that bonus action, but move now or would also give them something really cool to do with that bonus action.”


Ted: “So more options, which this, this character is kind of being built towards options.”

Dave: “Moving through the levels to fourth level sorcerer. Now we’re a first level rogue. We’re going to get our first asi and we’re going to take a stat adjustment.”

Ted: “So fifth level we’re going to wind up taking our fourth level in sorcerer this is going to give us a little bit more in the way of, you know, spell power, but it’s also going to give us our first ability score increase.”

Dave: “ With that, instead of taking a stat adjustment, we’re going to take a feat and we’re actually going to go back in his Xanathar’s Guide to Everything we’re using the book, why not And we’re going to take elven accuracy, so it’s going to give us another reroll. Always Great. Another chance of getting a 20 when we were sneaking. And it’s also going to give us a plus one to either dex, intelligence, wisdom or charisma. Basically anything but strengthened or con, he’d take a plus one. We have an odd stat someplace so we might as well even it out.”

Ted: “So we wound up having a 13 in intelligence. And while this character is not, you know, designed to be supremely intelligent, we feel that the skills arcana and investigation. Um, you know, that we’re going to be, you know, looking with this, this character is trying to do magical research to figure out what happened to his shadow, how can we get it back so he needs that, that bump on the brain to help him out. So we’re going to bump that up and now a 14 intelligence.”

Dave: “All right, so from there, I think we’re jumping back to rogue and we’re going to grab some levels over there because we definitely want to get our, uh, our archetype.”

Ted: “So we’re actually going to, you know, take a three levels of rogue. We’re going to grab our cunning action, we’re going to grab that swashbuckler subclass, and then we’re going to grab, you know, fourth level to grab a, uh, ability score increase.”

Dave: “So we’re going to get that ability to score your increase and we’re going to take it to dex. And now that’s going to give us an 18 dexterity. We’re going to have a 16 charisma as a swashbuckler. We get to add our charisma to our initiative. So we have a plus seven. Not Bad.”

Ted: “Not bad, not bad at all. Uh, we’re actually going to continue on with rogue. Uh, we’re going to get uncanny dodge or we’re gonna take one more, getting us up to six levels of rogue to get another dose of expertise. What are we going to take?“

Dave: “Believe we’re going arcana and persuasion, uh, to say we wouldn’t be really good at our arcana. This character is doing a lot of research. They kinda got boned by a supernatural creature and he would have figured out what’s going on. So they’ve really focused on, or you could even say, you know, because of the brush with the supernatural, maybe they have unnatural insights into that kind of stuff now.”

Ted: “So in our low levels, you know, we’re trying to hide what’s going on. So we took that expertise in deception and lying to people. Well, now that we’ve gained some renown and we’ve, we’ve done some great things were 10th level at this point in time. Uh, we’ve got the ability to be like, you know what, I’m going to be nice to people. I’m going to be persuasive. So let’s double up, double down on, on the, well, I’m good at lying and I’m going to tell him the truth. Why not?”

Dave: “Our character is really shaping up to be a silver tongue devil. All right, so we’re going to jump back into sorcerer now because we want to get our third level of spells and, and we also want to get the access to that hound of ill omen.”

Ted: “So we, we go to more levels of sorcerer for it to get into this. Um, you know, most of the spells that we’re taking and you can see all of those on the character build guide or on the character sheet. Uh, you know, we’re not looking to be an offensive sorcerer but we’re, we’re really trying to augment our roguely powers. And as I said earlier, this, this character is designed to be fighting with their shadow blade.”

Dave: “That hound of ill omen shores up that one weakness that this the swashbuckler rogue has when it comes to sneak attacking. The only time they cannot sneak attack is with a ranged attack that doesn’t have an allied next to that enemy. Well that they have that hound that they can summon to go sit next to their next to their enemies so they can now sneak attack anytime they want.”

Ted: “Uh, so we take the two levels of sorcerer, now we’re going to take two more levels of rogue. So this winds up giving us evasion and yet another stat increase.”

Dave: “So we’re going to add that the dex for another plus two maxing out our dex at a 20 a that’s going to give us a plus five and a plus three to initiative giving us a whopping eight. Pretty impressive.”sorcerer

Ted: “So going with dex, it’s going to be armor class, it’s going to be our to hit, it’s going to be our to damage, it’s going to be on, you know, some of our foremost skills, you know, when we’re dealing with, you know, stealth and any, you know, manipulations. If you’re caring about, you know, removing traps and unlocking things so highly, you know, looked at, you know, to, to get that dex up first.”

Dave: “And we jumped back to sorcerer for two more levels. Again, we’re all over the place here. We’re going to, we’re going to get fourth level spells. Awesome. We can also use that the pump up our shadow blade and do even more damage. And we’re also going to get another stat adjustment as it’s our eighth level in sorcerer.”

Ted: “Going and going here is going to allow us to, you know, bump up our charisma to 18, uh, the, you know, this is going to give us a further bonus to our initiative roles. Always good for that and rogue to be going first. Getting that advantage, getting those sneak attacks and faster, but it’s going to increase our DC on any of those shadow spells that we might happen to be casting. It’s going to increase those charisma based skills that we love. So very much.”

Dave: “So with that, we’re going to then finish off this character build, it’s going to be all rogue. We’re going to get our final two ability stat adjustments. Our last one coming in at 20th level. Uh, we’re gonna get our panache ability and we’re going to also get something else Ted.”

Ted: “Reliable talent.”

Dave: “Reliable talent. That’s right. Uh, which means we can, we can no longer roll under an 11 for any skilled we’re trained in.”

Ted: “Uh, so with this, we’re going to take that first stat bump and we’re going to put that to charisma. Now we’ve really maximized our dex and our charisma, the, this, uh, this drow has got it going on, but if that’s not enough with that plus 10 to initiative at 20th level of this character is going to take alert from 15 bonus to that initiative roles”

Dave: “And they can’t be surprised. So all in all, it’s a great build and I think, I think it’s a fun one, uh, for, for players to play. And I, you know, even though it jumps around a lot, I think it’s going to stay on par with any other character in your party. The question is now, Ted, how do we use this gay guy or gal as a villain or from the DMs side of the screen?”

Ted: “Aw all the interesting thing about this, this character, uh, is since it’s so charismatic, uh, you could use this as a recurring villain who has the ability to get away with things like dimension door, blink and, and have, have fun with it. It could be an interesting character that they meet early on. And as it’s doing its research, it winds up finding out that the, they, it, you know, thinks that the party is in league with whatever dark forces have his shadow. So it could constantly be trying to muck with the players. And you know, since it’s just, you know, one of him versus an entire Party, he tends to keep running away to be a thorn in their side later. Uh, you could have a lot of fun with it. You know, you add some, add some cool powers to be just like, okay, he disappears into the shadows as this guy is, wants to do.”

Dave: “I also like the idea of this character of being kind of sensual and being a tempter or temptress type character that is kind of always mucking with the party. Uh, you know, always maybe hitting on different characters, trying to create turmoil and conflict that way. Really relying heavily on those social skills, you know, not just the magical abilities, which are quite useful and the rogue abilities as well, but also being, you know, heavily. So all those, like social warfare or you know on the party, not You know, so they could be like a foil where they pop up time and time again where they don’t have to be a big bad that you’re just going to fight or they could be, they could be a minion of the big bad that is sent to mess with the players and, and, and maybe they have a lot of interactions throughout the campaign until they finally get to their big bad. And this happens to be there, their right hand man or woman as the case may be.”

Ted: “I see this NPC would be a lot of fun to play in a game and as, as the GM, you know, when or if the party wound up bringing them down, I would be sad to see this kind of character die.”

Dave: “And my head Canon, this character is totally the, the, the arm candy for the big bad in addition to being very effective and you know, pretty much a shadow assassin as well.”

Ted: “But with the, you know, expertise and persuasion and deception, you could basically, as you said, it’s a silver tongue devil. You could make them believe whatever it is that you were saying and be like, oh, Yep, that’s absolutely true. I love this guy.”

Dave: “Well, and the panache ability kind of is basically that anyway. So it’s really baked into this character and like you said, the idea, the other idea of maybe the players have an object that this character is shadow is attached to. Maybe it’s a magic item that you, that he has used the shadow of this character to infuse it. And that’s kind of what makes it magic. It’s a key ingredient. And the only way for this person to get their shadow back, we’d be to destroy that magic item or maybe have it on their person even. So they’re very highly vested in trying to get that from the players. So from that standpoint, they might be an enemy that isn’t really interested in killing the players, but we’ll do whatever it takes to get back that object.”

Ted: “Absolutely. So there is a, a, another, another character build all done up. Awesome NPC that you can drop right in your game.”

Dave: “Go down to the description where you can look at the character sheet as well as the character build guide. You can download that on your way down their head to the comments, why you’re commenting. Don’t forget to like share and subscribe.”

Ted: “So you can always, uh, help out are our channel by helping out our sponsors.”

Dave: “So until next time.”

Both: “Stay nerdy!”

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Follow Dave Friant:
My name is Dave Friant I've been gaming off and on for over 27 years. But here is the thing it's always been a part of my life I've kept secret and hidden away. I've always been ashamed of the stigma that gaming and my other nerdy and geeky pursuits summon forth. Recently I decided screw it! This is who I am the world be damned. From now on I'm gonna be a geek, nerd, or however folks want to judge me and just enjoy life. Currently one of my greatest joys is introducing my 13 yr old son to table top RPG's.

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