Theorycraft: What’s the most self-sufficient character possible? [closed]

So this is a theorycraft idea that’s been floating around my head for quite a while now: what’s the most self-sufficient character possible in D&D 5e? Assuming we use the game’s rules and lore/fluff of the "default D&D setting" as reference.

What do you mean by self-sufficient?

Let’s use a story as an example: imagine your new DM turned out to be an Evil Demigod who kidnaps you into the world of his D&D campaign. There’s an empty character sheet in front of you, and as soon as you fill it out (according to normal character creation rules), he’s going to reincarnate you as that character and start his evil campaign.

Now, as you mull over what kind of character you should create, you think about the few key pieces of information you found out:

  • The only way you can escape this hellish fantasy world is by beating the campaign
  • The DM wants you dead, but he can’t just go "Rocks Fall, everyone dies". He must kill you in an at least somewhat fair and legitimate manner.
  • The DM’s campaign is, in fact, beatable, and with the perfect strategy, the success rate is above 50% (dicerolls and RNG included).
  • The evil DM’s world follows the rules and lore of the game, so you can get away with cheesy exploits such as wish+simulacrum or coffelock. (You’ll see why they don’t matter in a second)
  • The DM will take it easy at first, so let’s assume that you’re able to survive the early levels and also find some kind of ridiculous cheese that allows you to reach level 20+ (You gain an Epic Boon for every 30’000 exp past lvl 20).

The Obstacles

So if we want to maximize our chances of making it through anything our evil DM throws at us, what problems do we need to solve?

1. Party Members

D&D is (I think) a game where you’re supposed to rely on your companions for solving problems you yourself can’t handle. However, it’s all but guaranteed that the DM will find a way to separate the party, possibly for years on end. So, everyone needs to be self-sufficient anyways.

2. Magic and the Weave

Magic in D&D is very powerful, capable of solving most problems. It also becomes completely useless once we find ourselves in an Dead Magic Zone. As far as i know, all magic in D&D depends on the Weave. This includes things like Ki, Psionics, and perhaps even Divine Magic. Wouldn’t it be a shame if an Eldrich Horror from the Far Realms came along and ate the entirety of the Weave for lunch? This would turn the entire multiverse into an giant Antimagic Field. But we still need a way to kill monsters immune to nonmagical bludgeoning/piercing/slashing damage! The Monk’s Ki-empowered strikes feature, as well as similar features such as the Warlocks Pact Weapon, were confirmed to be supressed in Antimagic Fields, so they’re out of the window. All that’s left are mundane means, Artifacts, or Deities. Speaking of Deities…

3. Divine Intervention

You might be tempted to rely on a God’s power – after all, spells cast by them aren’t suppressed by antimagic. Unfortunately, gods in D&D, especially in epic-level campaigns, tend to be surprisingly killable. Wouldn’t be it a shame if that Lovecraftian Horror slaughtered all the gods after eating the weave? If we want to be self-sufficient, we can’t rely on other people to grant us their power.

4. Artifacts

So, all that’s left to bypass physical damage immunity in the case of an Apocalyptic event that includes the destruction of the Weave, as well as any and all Gods, are Artifacts. They’re also incredibly rare, and we might never be able to find one. Especially if there’s an evil cult that, inspired by the magic-devouring Aberration from the far realms, seeks out to steal and destroy all Artifacts in existence? We can bet that our evil, evil DM will find a way to steal our Artifact Sword. In fact, he might take a page out of the Tomb of Horrors and teleport us into a danger zone while teleporting all of our equipment faaaar away! So, we can’t rely on any external items, because they WILL get stolen. Unless we have a 100% surefire way to prevent Artifacts from being stolen or destroyed…

5. Food, Water, Air and Aging

Living things tend to need these things to survive. But what if all the Gods are dead, and we’re stuck in a magic-devoid outer space for 10’000 years? Thankfully, this is an easy fix: be a Warforged! No need for food, water, or even air. You also technically don’t age, but take that Immortality Boon just in case you might start to rust.

*6. Sleep *

We don’t want to sleep, ever. It’s like begging our Evil DM to send assassins and/or thieves. Thankfully, Warforged remain fully conscious during their rest, so that problem’s solved.

7. Getting Lost.

Take the wanderer background ability. If magic doesn’t exist anymore, it can’t make you get lost.

What Class?

Here’s my analysis on potentially useful classes. Remember, we ideally want to be able to kill any monster in the game without having to rely on items, the weave, or the Gods not being dead. This section will also contain the questions I’m most curious about:

Artificer

Potential to attune to 6 Artifacts at once, or perhaps even craft your own Artifacts. But I don’t think they have a way to prevent their items from being stolen/teleported away?

Barbarian

Ancestral Guardian Barbs can deal non-magic Force Damage, but only when they protect other creatures. We can’t rely on always having another creature handy.

Do Zealot Barbarians lose their Divine Fury ability if their God Dies? Does Divine power still exist if all gods die? Do they even need a God? If they can still do the radiant damage without needing any Gods, then they’re amazing. Rage Beyond Death, paired with stacking the Epic Boon that lets you recover half of your max HP, will allow you to fight for days on end. Or more, depending on how many epic boons you stacked.

Bard

I doubt Bards will be very helpful without the Weave.

Cleric

Without their Gods, they’re useless. Did i miss anything?

Druid

Wildshape is suppressed in Antimagic Field. I don’t think Druids can do anything without the Weave.

Fighter

Eldritch Knights have the Weapon Bond Ability, which seems to be able to work with Artifacts! So, if you can find an Artifact weapon that’s hard to destroy (unlike the Sword of Zar***), this might be great for always having a viable weapon on hand. Provided you can get one in the first place.

Monk

Fluff text implies that Ki uses the Weave, so bye-bye Monk.

Paladin

Now, this depends: If we can have a Paladin that is empowered entirely by their Oath and cause, without needing any God, this might be perfect. The question is: without the Weave or Gods, would a Oath of Redemption Paladin still retain some of their non-magic abilities, such as Aura of Protection, Improved Divine Smite, Protective Spirit and Emissary of Redemption? If yes, this might be a clear winner. If no, too bad.

Ranger

A Horizon Walker Ranger has the "Planar Warrior" ability, which grants them mobility and a decent chunk of force damage – perfect, as the only monsters immune to force damage aren’t immune to nonmagical damage. It also draws on "the energy on the multiverse", which seems absolutely omnipresent to me. Unless there’s some Far Realms shenanigans involved, maybe.

Rogue

The Soulknife has A wellspring of psionic energy within you. I’m not sure if this mean they can use their psychic blades without the weave, given that psionics in general seems to be another form of weave-related magic in 5e. Psychic damage also isn’t as reliable as radiant or force.

The Phantom subclass can do extra Necrotic damage via to power of souls, but this isn’t a reliable enough damage type: what if I need to kill a demilich?

Sorcerer, Warlock and Wizard

All of these seem to be absolutely reliant on the weave/ their patrons being alive to do anything relevant. Of course, tell me if i missed something

Conclusion

Whew, this has become quite the wall of text, hasn’t it? Anyways, I wanted to ask you, fellow theorycrafter, to answer my questions under the "Classes" section, as well as help me find any further things i might have missed: anything to find the theoretical perfect character that can reliably make it through any circumstances.

What’s a good build for a goliath sniper in Dragonlance?

I’m new to dnd-3.5e, and I’d like my PC to be a goliath sniper. I’d like to optimize my PC for dealing damage at long range. Spotting things far away and being able to hide I assume are kind of important for a sniper, but I’m not familiar enough with the rules yet to be sure. I’m currently gravitating toward the prestige class cragtop archer and employing a composite greatbow, but these can be changed.

The campaign uses the Dragonlance campaign setting, and I’m allowed to have a PC that uses material from the core rules, the Complete books, the Miniatures Handbook, the Player’s Handbook II, and Races of Stone. I might be able to talk the DM into allowing me to use other books, but the fewer the better.

The campaign uses 32 point buy for ability scores, and has—I think—standard wealth by level. My PC will enter play at level 13. Since the party’s ultimate goal is Tiamat’s death, we’ll probably be playing for a while, so a long-term strategy is okay.

In regards to range, according to the fellow players that I’ll be joining, there was a rarity of small dungeons, and an abundance of open spaces, so I expect that I’ll have lots of opportunities for long range, but having some backup just in case I do get sent to a confined space would be a good thing as well.

Advice concerning equipment would be awesome as well, thinking about it. Speaking of which, I’ve been informed that weapon damage enchantments on ranged weapons are to have limited uses per day.

What’s the deal with readying a swift action?

From Combat

  1. Readying an action is a Standard Action
  2. You can ready a Swift Action.
  3. Interrupting someone with your readied action places your initiative just ahead of that person for the next round.
  4. You cannot perform more than one Swift Action per turn.

What constitutes a turn ending, for the purposes of item 4? If I ready an action, is my turn considered finished once the next person in initiative begins to act, or is my turn considered "in progress" until I resolve my readied action?

Could I, for instance, perform a swift action, optionally perform a move action, and ready a swift action (which itself is a standard action) on my "turn", with the trigger for the readied action being, "When the next person in initiative performs an action," thus keeping my place in initiative once I perform the readied action?

What’s the cheapest way for an Eldritch Knight to be able to wield two weapons while still being able to cast spells with somatic/material components?

For the purpose of this question, assume "two weapons" to include "a one-handed weapon and a shield".

Compared to other spellcasters, Eldritch Knights are sort of at a disadvantage when it comes to achieving dual-wielding and the like, as they generally cannot use spellcasting foci (except when using magic items such as a Ruby of the War Mage). Thus, they normally seem to require a free hand for casting spells with components other than verbal ones. For comparison, a wizard could wield a Staff of Power, which – due to being a staff – counts as an arcane focus and thus solves the issue of noncostly material components, but it can also be used as a +2 quarterstaff.

For an EK trying to trivialize somatic components, Warcaster is the obvious choice (no difference to other spellcasters in this regard), and the requirement of a free hand for material components (without a GP cost) can be avoided with a Ruby of the War Mage. However, the former requires spending a feat (even though Warcaster is a pretty good feat for EKs anyway, especially considering that fighters get more ASIs than the average class), and the latter blocks an attunement slot and doesn’t work for costly material components. Plus, if you happen to die in a battle, your attunements end, even if you get Revivified right away (although that’s probably a very rare or even legendary problem ^^).

Is there a cheaper way to get around the issue? For the purpose of defining "expensive", please consider this order (the higher up on the list, the more expensive):

  1. Multiclassing (and requiring three multiclass levels is obviously worse than requiring one)
  2. Requiring additional actions
  3. Feats
  4. Attunement Slots
  5. Requiring additional bonus actions
  6. Choosing specific (sub-)class options, such as a Fighting Style.
  7. Magic Items without attunement
  8. Ingame time (e.g. downtime training)
  9. Requiring your object interaction
  10. Money

I’m aware of other questions on almost the same topic, namely this one (warlock-focused or at best generic), this one (technically answers the issue, but some GMs might consider dropping and picking your weapon up cheesy, plus there are downsides and it only works with Sage Advice rulings), as well as this one (answers claim it’s not an issue, which is not true IMHO – for example, Booming Blade or Green Flame Blade, both great melee cantrips for an EK, have material components).

What’s up with the domain Vile Darkness?

Usually when an in-game thing like a feat, magic item, spell, or, like in this case, a cleric domain gets reprinted in a later text, that later text’s version of the thing takes precedence over all previously published versions of the thing.

Then there’s the Darkness domain. It was introduced, reintroduced with commentary, renamed, then, finally, without commentary, reintroduced again.

Here’s how it went: The Book of Vile Darkness (Oct. 2002) introduces the domain Darkness (80). Then Player’s Guide to Faerûn (Mar. 2004) presents a Darkness domain (85) that has different spells from the Book of Vile Darkness domain of the same name, but the Guide says, “A cleric who has access to the Darkness domain [from any of the deities Graz’zt, Lolth, Mask, Set, Shar, and Shargaas] can use either the Darkness domain presented in… this book or the one in Book of Vile Darkness” (189).

But then Lords of Madness (Apr. 2005) presents the domain Vile Darkness which is like the domain from the Book of Vile Darkness, and it says, “This domain description is a revision of the Darkness domain presented in Book of Vile Darkness” (208). Finally, without commentary, the Spell Compendium (Dec. 2005) presents again the domain Darkness (272), like the one from the Player’s Guide to Faerûn, but the Compendium doesn’t mention the Book of Vile Darkness at all.

Now,—and I apologize for this hinging on technicalities and minutiae like primary sources and publication dates—, here’s the question: Does the Spell Compendium‘s Darkness domain replace all previous iterations of the Darkness domain, including, possibly, the original Darkness domain from the Book of Vile Darkness (which received neither errata nor a 3.5 revision), therefore rendering obsolete the Lords of Madness domain Vile Darkness?

Specifically, Lost Empires of Faerûn (Feb. 2005) says that clerics of Ibrandul—the dead god of caverns, dungeons, and (I guess because somebody had to be) skulks—are granted access to the domain Darkness (41), and I don’t know if such clerics should have access to the Lords of Madness domain Vile Darkness, the Spell Compendium domain Darkness, or both.

Note: While this question may sound trivial, and although they offer the same granted power (the feat Blind-fight as a bonus feat), the Lords of Madness domain Vile Darkness offers a much different selection of spells from the Spell Compendium domain Darkness. Also, while a dnd-3e source, the Book of Vile Darkness never received an official 3.5e revision, hence the inclusion of both tags below; note, however, that I am concerned only with this question’s impact on 3.5e campaigns. As for why this question even arose, see this question.

Whats the damage of a colossal non-magical longbow under the effects of shrink item and a medium arrow?

What is the damage of a Colossal non-magical longbow when under the effects of shrink item spell?

Now, your standard medium longbow does 1d8 and weights 3 pounds. Scaling it up 4 size categories means its now does 6d6 according to the damage dice progression chart and should weigh 3x8x8x8x8=12,288 (the x8 is per category larger than medium, and calculated using enlarge person, reduce person, and righteous might). 12k pounds. Under the weapon rules, a large weapon costs 2x as much as a medium weapon, so said colossal longbow should cost 75x2x2x2x2=1200 (found on the weapons page and scrolling down to weapon qualities).

It is also worth mentioning that this weapon MIGHT also have a -8 on attacks roles due to the weapon being sized for a larger creature. Found on the weapons page by scrolling down to Weapon Size.

Inappropriately Sized Weapons: A creature can’t make optimum use of a weapon that isn’t properly sized for it. A cumulative –2 penalty applies on attack rolls for each size category of difference between the size of its intended wielder and the size of its actual wielder. If the creature isn’t proficient with the weapon, a –4 nonproficiency penalty also applies.

Now having shrink spell cast on this colossal longbow now makes it back into a medium sized weapon and weighs 12,288 / 4000 = 3.072. Since shrink spell makes no statements about what damage the weapon would do, we are forced to rely on spells such as enlarge person and reduce person, of which they do not agree on this topic.

Enlarge person

Any enlarged item that leaves an enlarged creature’s possession (including a projectile or thrown weapon) instantly returns to its normal size. This means that thrown and projectile weapons deal their normal damage. Magical properties of enlarged items are not increased by this spell.

Reduce person

Any reduced item that leaves the reduced creature’s possession (including a projectile or thrown weapon) instantly returns to its normal size. This means that thrown weapons deal their normal damage (projectiles deal damage based on the size of the weapon that fired them).

So on one hand, reduce states its the weapon that matters, while enlarge says it does normal damage. So the best examples we have contradict each other for what happens. Since shrink item is more in tune with reduce person as both deal with shrinking, this would imply that a shrink item(colossal longbow) firing a medium arrow should deal 6d6 damage. Are there any rules, errata, FAQs that say otherwise? Crying DMs/GMs do not count.

There are two similar questions, but they ask different things. Shrink Item and the Oversized Starknife is asking about a thrown weapon. How viable is shrink item and massive projectiles? is asking about the projectile and not the launching weapon.

What’s the highest critical hit damage a level 1 character can do?

What’s the highest critical hit damage a level 1 character can do?

Rules:

  • The character must be level 1
  • The character cannot have any magical items
  • The character’s starting equipment must be affordable with the standard 15 gp start
  • The character can be assisted by up to three other level 1 characters with the same restrictions
  • The three assistant characters each have one round before the primary character makes their attack
  • The damage must come off of one critical hit (i.e. the first hit of Flurry of Blows, not both)
  • Max damage can be assumed

What’s the nature of the entity summoned by mage hand?


What does a mage hand look like?

⁢According to Player’s Handbook, mage hand is a conjuration cantrip available to bard, sorcerer, warlock and wizard, that summons "a spectral, floating hand".

But what exactly am I conjuring? Is it a ghost, a construct made out of raw force, my astral/ethereal/etc body part? Do I choose the side of the hand (left or right)? Could you summon other body parts or something more abstract (like a force tentacle from the ground)?

I have many questions about the lore side of this spell in D&D, so my question is focused on sourcebooks. Thank you

Whats the damage for dropping a 3,600lb tortle 30ft onto someone? [duplicate]

Dnd 5e. I’m a 450lb tortle that can cast enlarge on myself and become a 3,600lb large creature. A fellow party member can telekineticly move a willing large creature 30ft. Obviously we immediately did this to try and crush enemies and broke our DM. What’s a good damage/save for this tortle bomb?