When optimizing for damage, is it better for a Dex-based crossbow fighter to go full Fighter or multiclass with Rogue?

I’m trying to build an optimized character for a 5th edition D&D campaign and I really like the crossbowman fighter concept, but I had considered dipping into rogue for at least 3 levels to pick up sneak attack damage and the assassin archetype. Would this be a good idea, or would it just be better to go full fighter in order to get all of my Extra Attacks?

I’m trying to optimize for maximum damage.

I’ve chosen Battle Master for the Fighter archetype, as it seems to be the most useful for this particular type of build. Survivability isn’t a priority over damage, but I’ll take it where I can. This particular game is starting at 3rd level and may very well last until 20th.

For a crossbowman build is it better to be a pure 20th level fighter or to multiclass? [on hold]

My crossbowman concept is a Dex-based Fighter with a hand crossbow.

I’m optimizing fully for damage. It has priority. I’m completely open to any ideas, as I’m not exactly a veteran of minmaxing. We’ll be starting at 3 and playing to 20 most likely, as my group is very enthusiastic and everyone has ample time to put into our sessions.

How can I build a tank out of the fighter class?

I need to build a tank for a party limited to the classic four: cleric, fighter, rogue, wizard. He should have following abilities:

  1. Prevent other party members from harm in direct martial confrontation
  2. Thriftily spend HP while drawing the focus of foes, to ease the party healer’s job
  3. Kill or lock down at least one enemy per encounter

All three goals are contradictory to each other. I put them in order of priority. I would be pleased to trade off points in a lower priority in favor of improving a higher one.

The second and the third tasks have pretty obvious ways to be achieved. But I could not find useful traits or skills that would help to hold off foes from weak party members. Enemies can always ignore moderate damage from me (I’m not a damage dealer) and pass by me to attack other party members.

The Fighter has a great access to feats, I can take several chains of them. They would be of use to my personal offensive and defensive abilities but not for protecting others.

Most source books are allowed.

Party is moderate about power playing. In fact I’m the only one who is concerned.

Yes, it has to be a fighter. The classes are set by game master. He have a nice background story for them and create module for them specially. 9-12 levels. Just normal party, rogue, wizard, cleric and fighter.

Can a Fighter use his Extra Attack to draw a weapon as a free action?

The rules State: “You can also interact with one object or feature of the environment for free, during either your move or your action. For example, you could open a door during your move as you stride toward a foe, or you could draw your weapon as part of the same action you use to attack.”

Would the bolded parts apply to the extra attack as well as the triggering attack to allow a second weapon to be drawn?

Ways to relocate/teleport to improve a ranged fighter mobility

I’ve been looking around, and from what I understand, the Stealth rules seems to be kind of a sore point in DnD/Pathfinder systems.

What I’m getting at will requires two separate questions I haven’t been able to find an answer to:

I’m mostly a Dex characters player, and thus have experimented a few builds (mainly Rogues. Strange, I know), one of which was a Sniper inspired from this thread. Its major draws are that Stealth protect you effectively from most attack (most Dex builds I’ve made being squishy but having insane Reflex saves to escape AoE) and allows a Rogue to Sneak Attack and deal massive amounts of damage.

I couldn’t locate the rule about the enchanted weapon used there, so I settled for a crouched crossbow and a bunch of feats to alleviate the -20 to Stealth check after firing. Main drawback is, it’s really hard to hide again once you’ve been spotted, and things tend to get ugly when a close range character manages to reach your vincinity (Hello, big mean DR regenerating barbarian wielding a huge axe).

The fact that you need to be lying down to reduce the Stealth penalty means you need to get up before beginning to run, causing mobility problem. And the build requires a crossbow or a firearm – the former being incredibly inferior to longbow and the latter rarely allowed.

I was looking into interactions between Shadowdancers and Rogue Snipers for obvious reasons: the Shadowdancer have the Hide in Plain Sight feat, which allows to make a Stealth check once you’ve been spotted (and strangely does not indicate any kind of malus to your check regarding the fact you’re in sight) and the Shadow Jump, for quick relocation/escape.

A teleporting sneaky sniper seems an interesting prospect, but I have two questions (other one here):

The Shadow Jump ability work as the Dimension Door spell. It is, as far as I understand, a relocation at the cost of a standard action which does not allow any further action this turn.

Is there any combination of feats/class feature that would allow someone to relocate with a lesser cost of actions and allows attack on the same turn? (Preferably while keeping stealth – using only Paizo materials).

What’s the maximum damage that can be dealt in one round by a 20th level character with at least two levels of Fighter?

What is the most effective way to use a level 20 character’s (with two or more levels in fighter for Action Surge ability) in order to maximize single target damage done in one round?


  • Any race is allowed.
  • If there is a circumstantial bonus, such as Assassinate or Haste, please show each step in damage calculation
  • No magic items, charms, blessings, or epic boons.
  • No, the “damage done” can’t be to yourself.
  • Vulnerability Damage caused by another player’s action should not be considered.
  • Rogues may consider themselves to be targeting a Surprised creature.
  • You do not have advantage by default. If you can generate some advantage for yourself, then you may do so.
  • Consider your target to have AC20; Saving Throws Str +5, Dex +6, Con+5, Int +1, Wis +9, Cha +10; Skill Checks str(+5), dex(0), con(+5), int(+1), wis(+3), cha(+4); medium size… not dissimilar to a Death Knight.
  • You may have one non-combat round of setup.

(Again. Yes, I know this is alpha damage / nova damage and isn’t sustainable.)

How can I play a supportive-style Polearm Master Fighter?

This is a follow up to this question. I will start with the party context: We are playing Princes of the Apocalypse in a huge party, composed of: Tiefling Sorcerer, Human Dual-Wielder Ranger, High Elf Rogue, Dragonborn Paladin, Half-Elf Warlock, Dwarf Cleric, Half-elf Monk and me, Human Fighter.

My current build is a Variant Human with Polearm Master and Glaive, going for Battle Master, plus Sentinel and GWM as feats later on (by later on I mean I’ll have both at 6). As mentioned by Korvin in the other question, this is a high DPR build, but I do intend to play it in a supportive manner. How exactly can I do that?

My ideas up to now were: Shoving (instead of just attacking) so our Ranger gets advantage (gets better with Trip Attack), zoning with Reach + Polearm Master (better when I get Sentinel) so I can protect our squishies, and I do intend to go for Commander Strike, although not DPR-optimal, just to make them attack more often and feel good about doing damage.

Still, our Rogue has talked to me saying he feels a little useless, and our Ranger is mainly focused on DPR and I don’t want to overshadow him by just doing a massively higher amount of damage. I could help them optimize (and probably will), but in the meantime, (how) can I play this Fighter build in a more supportive way that makes my fellow companions feel better about their own characters? My main concern is about these two dudes, the Ranger and the Rogue have been focused in DPR and another massive DPR character (that will probably out-DPR them unless I help them optimizing) would overlap too much into “their thing”.

On a second thought I should probably have built this differently, although my preferred Support Fighter build (Grappler) would suck in our setting, since with 8 players in the table, the DM is throwing mobpacks at us. Either way, I like the build, so I would prefer to keep it and see if there’s something I can do about the “helping others” aspect.

Note that we are limited to PHB, and possibly no multi-classing, although I still have to ask my DM about that.

fighter sharpshooter, snap shot and extra attack interaction

i was reading trough the fighter archtypes and came across the sharpshooter unearthed arcana archtype.

the level 18 trait is:

Snap Shot

Starting at 18th level, if you take the Attack action on your first turn of a combat, you can make one additional ranged weapon attack as part of that action.

at level 18 fighter you also have acces to 2 extra attacks.

how does these traits interact?

could i do:

normal attack + extra attack + extra attack + snap shot?

or is it:

normal attack + snap shot + extra attack + snap shot + extra attack + snap shot?

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If I’m playing a multiclassed Fighter 5/Hunter Ranger 5 with the Crossbow Expert feat, how many attacks can I make in a single turn?

I am theorycrafting a level 10 character. (If my math here checks out, there is actually a better build I could do for it at higher levels.) In this build we’ll be taking 5 levels in Ranger and selecting the Hunter subclass, with the Horde Breaker feature chosen at level 3. This feature reads as follows:

Once on each of your turns when you make a weapon attack, you can make another attack with the same weapon against a different creature that is within 5 feet of the original target and within range of your weapon.

Now from what I’ve checked of the fighter, the subclass you pick for it doesn’t matter all that much, and since none of them seem to really effect the maths I’m working with, we’ll just say it’s a Battle Master, since that’s likely what I’d pick myself in the long run.

At level 5, rangers get their Extra Attack feature. By level 5, fighters have both their Action Surge (level 2) and first Extra Attack (level 5) features. Action Surge allows you to take another action once during your turn, regaining the ability to do so after a short or long rest.

Now if I am correct, Action Surge also allows for your extra attacks to be used if you take the Attack action with your extra action. (It may well also make it possible to retake a bonus action activated by any feats based on Attack actions, but I don’t believe this to be the case.)

The Crossbow Expert feat (PHB, p. 165) has 3 benefits, two of which are going to be a part of this calculation. The first is that you ignore the “loading” property of any crossbow you are proficient in (the Light Crossbow is a simple weapon, while the Hand Crossbow and Heavy Crossbow are martial weapons; bear this in mind when picking classes/backgrounds). The second relevant feature is written as follows:

When you use the Attack action and attack with a one handed weapon, you can use a bonus action to attack with a hand crossbow you are holding.

Given all the previous information, I believe the following turn I am about to post is possible, provided you target an enemy that has another enemy within 5 feet of it. It is also important to mention that due to the rules behind ammunition, you will require both enough ammunition available for this and one hand free to reload your weapon:

  • Attack, Extra Attack, Extra Attack, Horde Breaker attack (I believe this can be taken at any point during your attacks, though I may be incorrect), bonus-action attack (via Crossbow Expert), attack (via Action Surge), Extra Attack, Extra Attack

This by my count is 8 attacks in a single turn, accomplishable once between every short or long rest. Assuming the use of the hand crossbow (as I am not sure how the light and heavy crossbows would work in regards to having one hand free to reload, although I imagine that depending on DM ruling it would be possible with them) this results in 8d6 piercing damage in a single turn at level 10 as a martial with only the Crossbow Expert feat.

This is likely not a majorly impressive feat and I’m sure it’s possible to get more damage out with far less “faffing around” as it were, and I believe you can get much more out of it via the Sharpshooter Feat, but I am interested to see if my math checks out here.

I’m also interested to know whether you’d get a second bonus attack via Crossbow Expert as part of your attack action via Action Surge, as the feat itself does say, “When you use the Attack action and attack with a one handed weapon, you can use a bonus action to attack with a hand crossbow you are holding.”

What is the maximum number of attacks I can make with this character in one turn, using Action Surge?