Semi-regularly, The Nephalope leads our crew of GigglePuddle, Lenny, and myself in a crazy D&D adventure on her Twitch channel. If you’ve not been watching, my character is Tintinelle, a Paladin of Lliira the Joybringer who has recently picked up a Rogue-ish tendency. We’re currently transitioning from the Dragon Heist campaign into the Dungeon of the Mad Mage campaign, which will have our crazy crew entering Undermountain for various adventures.
Tintinelle at Character Level 5
At the end of Dragon Heist, Tintinelle’s strength lies in melee combat. Of her five level-ups, four have been allocated to Paladin, giving her access to that sweet Oath of Vengeance, and one in Rogue to get access to sneak attack. There’s nothing more satisfying than a sneak attack with divine smite damage on top.
Unfortunately, focussing on melee had its downsides. Since I wanted Polearm Master (aka smack that foe with both ends of the stick), Tintinelle’s first opportunity to up her ability scores was passed up. Next ability score improvement I plan to even out Tintinelle’s Dexterity and Charisma scores into even numbers, bringing her modifiers for both stats up. Hopefully that will help boost Tintinelle’s armor class and her spell save DC for better utility in combat.
I like to have my next levels planned out in advance, just because spell casting and multiclassing can be a pain to work out if we hit a milestone mid-session. It can be hard when multiclassing, though, to figure out priority on leveling classes. So, here’s some of my thoughts going into our stint in Undermountain. Let me know what you think I should prioritize or if I am forgetting some key aspect of building this character!
Character Level 6
Level 5 in Paladin: That sweet Extra Attack is MINE. Sitting at a table between a fighter and a bard is hard as a pseudo-caster because you can do everything they can do… only half as well. Lenny already has Extra Attack because he didn’t multiclass. Combining Extra Attack with Polearm Master is going to be amazing, but getting there sooner than later might cost me some defensive ability.
Level 2 in Rogue: Cunning Action! I will gain the bonus actions of Dash, Hide, and, most importantly, Disengage! That will be amazing when I get there, enabling Tintinelle to move more easily around the battlefield to where she is needed. Is that the priority, though? I’m not sure. It adds some life saving “run away and heal” opportunity, but it costs me some damage dealing.
Character Levels 7 through 9
I know that by level 9, Tintinelle will have 5 levels in Paladin and 4 in Rogue. My goals for this phase of Tintinelle’s development are getting Paladin 5’s Extra Attack, Roguish Archetype in Swashbuckler at level 3, and unlocking the Ability Score Improvement at Rogue 4.
Ok, I was extremely torn on what Roguish Archetype to give Tintinelle. My initial thought (and backup plan if a certain drow corrupts her outlook) was to turn her into an Assassin. Extra damage on a surprise attack? Yes please!
It was one of my other friends who pointed out the Swashbuckler Archetype in Xanathar’s Guide to Everything. The benefit here? Rakish Audacity! Tintinelle’s Charisma modifier would be a bonus to her initiative. She would also get to ignore the need for advantage on a Sneak Attack roll so long as she doesn’t have disadvantage, is within 5 feet of her foe, and no other foes are within 5 feet. Sounds like a perfect fit for Tintinelle’s vengeful nature!
Swashbuckler would also give her Fancy Footwork, which means any foe Tintinelle has melee attacked in her turn can’t make an attack of opportunity against her for the rest of that turn. Stab and run, stab and run!
Ability Score Improvement
I’ve already talked about this above, but the reason I am grabbing this increase here is because this particular unlock is based on class level, not character level. When initially planning out Tintinelle, I was planning on only grabbing enough levels in Rogue to unlock her Archetype. That would mean, though, that her next Ability Score Improvement would be at Paladin 8, or character level 11. That is WAY too long a wait to increase her spell DC, especially as we jump into Undermountain. Oh, and more levels in Rogue means more sneak attack damage. That’s always a plus.
Character Level 10
Ok, we know what Tintinelle will look like at level 9, but with that setup, level 10 is going to be a huge deal. Let’s look at the options.
Level 6 in Paladin: Aura of Protection! Hot diggity dang. Any allies within 10 feet of me, as well as my darling Paladin, get to add Tintinelle’s Charisma modifier to their saving throw totals. After the Ability Score Improvement, that modifier is going to be sitting at +4. Oh, and did I mention this is always on? I feel like my party will be thanking me greatly for this class perk.
Level 5 in Rogue: Uncanny Dodge! I can halve incoming damage from one incoming attack per round. As a Paladin putting Dexterity in front of Constitution? That is going to be HUGE. Also, sneak attack damage increase. *insert evil cackle here*
There is a lot to consider going forward with Tintinelle. I always try to put roleplaying before min-maxing a character, but if no major plot point happens to sway my choices, this is what I am looking at. Let me know what you think, especially regarding level 6!