Multi-Class Character Builds in Dungeons & Dragons 5e The Rogue

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multi-classHello fellow Nerdarchists, Art here. I’m back with the next installment of my series Multi-Class Character Builds in Dungeons & Dragons 5e. If you missed my previous article on the Paladin just click HERE.

As usual I’d like to take a moment to talk about the class in general. The Rogue in D&D 5e is much more diverse than we’ve seen in previous editions of D&D, with the addition of the Sword Coast Adventures Guide we are given several unique way to play them such as assassins or swashbucklers. The Back-Stab dice scale nicely in D&D 5e making the Rogue a good choice to bind other classes with adding flare and abilities that make the character quite interesting.

Back-Stabbing with the rogue!

My first build I’d like to bring up is  the ever popular Ninja style character. Sense in D&D 5e we do not have Oriental Adventures like in other editions, we are forced to multi class to get this kind of character. Taking twelve levels in Rogue and eight levels in Monk is the perfect way to do this combining the stealth capabilities of each archetype and adding the Open Hand damage of the Monk and the Sneak-Attack damage of the Rogue, the Rogue Assassin  + Shadow Monk combo works rather nice as far as scaling as well as with over all damage output and the ability to Shadow Step from one target to another as well as having to wear no armor, making the character truly a “Bump in the night” to be feared.

The next class mixture I’d like to highlight involves two class archetypes from the new Sword Coast Adventures Guide rogue and they are the Rogue Swashbuckler for twelve levels and the Wizard Blade Singer of  eight levels for a good swashbuckling spell slinging time look no further. This class admixture also can make quite the devastating “Mage Slayer” combo as well. With the two feats War Caster and Mage Slayer the character can be quite the bane of any spell caster. The drawback to this multi-class is the fact you must be an elf, however in a custom game you might not be limited by this feature but in the Forgotten Realms its’ a must. The new melee attack cantrips in the Sword Coast Adventures Guide  combined with the feats make the class quite devastating, as well as the Sneak-Attack bonus in allied combat. The damage yield for this build is a bit tricky to pull off, however it seems to scale rather well.

The last but not least multi-class build I’d like to highlight is the  Rogue Arcane Trickster of twelve levels and the  Cleric Trickery Domain of eight levels, making for  a fun loving trick-or-treat kind of character as well as a party healer. This build is a bit off the mark but fun to play having the ability to create shadow clones to gain the advantage in combat and gaining the Devine Strike feature from the Cleric that adds well with the Back-Stab feature of the Rogue. Having the ability to Pick Pockets and Disarm Traps at range and the ability to cast up to 5th level spells is also a big help to the party. So many things can be done with this build it makes for d&dquite a diverse and interesting character for sure. The one thing to keep in mind with this build is you will have the ability to wear medium armor so you for sure want to take the Medium Armor Master feat to keep your stealth in check and allow you not need a Dexterity over sixteen. This allowing you to focus more on you Wisdom and Intelligence for spell casting. As far as scaling goes with the leveling of this particular build I feel it may be a bit under powered but the spells and abilities of the Rogue and Cleric side of things make up for that.

I’d like to take the time to wish everyone “Happy Holidays!” and let you all know that I’ll be back at the beginning of the new year with the on-going and conclusion of this “Multi-Class Character Builds in D&D 5e” series. Hope you all have a great holiday and Happy New Year!

Well that’s all I have for you this time. Tune in next time “Same Bat Time! Same Bat Channel!’ when we will be taking a look at multi-class builds with the mystic bloodlines of the…the Sorcerer!

So until next year… Stay Nerdy!

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4 Responses

  1. Imaginary
    | Reply

    First, let me say that I really enjoy this series and multi-classing in D&D. I do have a few questions and comments about the various articles and builds.

    In my mind, one of the biggest challenges with multi-classing is around opportunity cost. I’m most interested in the comparison between what is gained verse what is lost. Obviously capstone abilities either class are out, as are many higher leave class abilities, but what is the real impact on the game or character at higher levels. Or perhaps more appropriate, what style of play does the trade-off benefits. So for example, some builds might sacrifice damage output for more utility, or another build might shift optimize the character for scouting over team support. You highlight nicely some of the good features and abilities of the combinations above, but I don’t always know what is sacrificed to get there.

    I like what you said about the Swashbuckler Blade Singer and how combined with a few features, they would make a great mage killer. I guess ultimately when I look at any class and feat combo, I have to decide how the build fits into my play style, the game style, and what would make it fun to play. You provide a very interesting concept that meshes well with the class combo.

    I also wander about always splitting classes at 4, 8 and 12. What about dipping, or what about other break points for classes? Are the extra feat/ability enhancements so important that they dictate split? Or is this primarily assuming you play through to level 20?

    Lastly, I would love a list of links to your previous multi-classing articles or builds somewhere, perhaps at the bottom of each or in a final summary. This would make them a lot easier to read the series or find a build when trying to create a new character.

    All that said, thanks for the articles, I find them very informative and cool. Happy holidays


  2. Chad-Solomon
    | Reply

    That Ninja build was exactly what I was looking for for a villain. My party is not going to like this… lol

  3. Art_Wood
    | Reply

    @Imaginary To be sure multi classing has its’ benefits and its’ drawbacks. However for me to list what is gained and what is lost is a bit of an undertaking which is why I just try to go over the general concepts. Looking up those combos in the books can really help with that. I leave up you guys for that 😉 Also, the splitting and dipping into other classes can be done but statistically can be bad due to the loss vs. gain analogy in the scaling of D&D 5e when it comes to Bounded Accuracy. I had really though hard about triple-classing but, in the end after doing the research I couldn’t find any low level abilities between levels 1-4 to make it really worth wild at higher levels. Lastly, I will try and provide links to the previous articles in the last part of upcoming articles which next will be the Sorcerer, Warlock and Wizard and my last one for the series will be a compiled chart showing all the builds I mentioned as well as an overall breakdown of multi-classing in 5e as a whole by the numbers and by the concept and role-playing styles. Of course any class combination can work you just need to find a concept that works 😉

    @Chad-Solomon Glad you liked it 🙂 Yes, the Ninja build can be devastating in the hands of a crafty DM or player. It has damage output as well as utility on paper, but just remember to give it some personality and flair!

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