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My DM is asking us to use a 22-point-buy for my main stats but this isn't quite enough to make the character I really want to play. Are there any themes, backgrounds or feats I can take in Heroic Tier that will boost one of them, particularly constitution?

I'm playing a fey Hexblade but the race is a custom campaign-specific one made by the DM (It gets +2 Constitution and +2 Dex). Using this bonus I can get both these stats to 18, but to get the most out of the game I really need a high Constitution too, but this is badly hurting my other stats. Unfortunately I can't lower Dex because I'm filling in for rogue.

The main reasons I want to raise my Const are because a lot of the better Warlock powers seem to use it as a modifyer and because (as a new player) I need all the healing surges I can get (I can get a few through a feat later). But improving any one of my stats would really help since at the moment the others are giving me no bonuses at all.


Thanks a lot guys, I've decided to ditch the constitution idea and just go with a Char\Dex build, it seems pretty strong and I can get a feat for more surges later! Thanks!

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Hello Vi; welcome to the site. It might help if you edit the question to describe the character you want to play and explain why they need more Con; that way, even if there isn't a feat that does what you wanted, someone might suggest another way to make that character work. –  Tynam Jan 4 '13 at 8:48
Thanks for adding clarification on your circumstances, but could you edit in why, exactly, mechanically, you feel you need Con to "get the most out of the game"? Is this a feat requirement issue, or a concern about hit points and survival? –  BESW Jan 4 '13 at 9:50
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1 Answer

up vote 12 down vote accepted

No, 4e does not have any non-racial ability boosts in the Heroic Tier.

Fourth Edition's ability requirements for feats (and its assumptions about the level of your basic stats throughout the game) are much more stringent and coordinated than in 3.x, and ability stat bonus are not part of regular character progression until level 21.

You should not be concerned about all of your stats being good.

With the typical 4e 22-point array, you can get one score up to 20 after racial modifiers, at the expense of secondary stats. This works for some classes and builds better than it does for others, who might prefer to have two 18s over a 20 and one 18 (again, after racial modifiers, assuming optimal choices in that field).

As you can see, it is not expected --or possible-- to have three really good stats. At best you can get two good and one okay stat. 4e's defenses each use the better of two stats (Str/Con, Dex/Int, Wis/Cha), so there's rarely any mechanical advantage to being concerned about more than three stats. This is also why most classes have either one attack stat and two options for secondary stats (called A classes), or two options for attack stat and one secondary stat (called V classes): they expect you to only focus on two or maybe three stats, and have accounted for this in the game's design. (There are even utility powers which let you use one stat in place of another, or one skill in place of another, once per encounter in non-combat situations like skill checks.)

Discussion of your situation

A fey pact Hexblade should be stacking Charisma first (your main attack and damage stat) and Dexterity second (the stat associated with your pact's riders). Constitution is an alternate secondary stat for Hexblades, but usually associated with other pacts than the fey one. As you're discovering, 4e point buy is designed so you can't stack many stats especially high; it's part of the game balance.


First, it's usually a mechanically poor choice to have a race without a bonus to your attack stat. This is even more true when you want two secondary stats. Without changing your race, the best you can hope for is Cha 18 and 15s in Dex and Con. This isn't shabby, for the record. You shouldn't feel like it's a bad set of stats; given that your choice of race is not ideally suited to your class choices it's quite respectable.

If you choose a race with +Cha and +(Con or Dex), then you can get an 18 in Cha and 18/12 or 16/14 in Con and Dex.

If your primary concern is that you prefer Con-based warlock powers and want more durability, then switch to a Hexblade pact that uses Con for riders: Elemental and Infernal both enjoy them, letting you relegate Dex to a tertiary stat that is mostly for skills but might also come up as the occasional power rider.

Alternately, you could be a regular warlock with a Con-based pact. It's possible for Infernal, Sorcerer-King, Star and Vestige pact warlocks --but not Hexblades of any type-- to use Constitution for their attacks. This makes Charisma a secondary stat letting you focus put more points into one of your preferred stats without feeling like you're nerfing your attacks. However this also removes Dex as a stat your class is concerned with at all.

If you're more concerned with stacking Dex, then keep your current build and don't worry as much about Con. There are great Cha-based lock powers, they just have different playstyle assumptions. If you honestly like the Con ones so much, look at my suggestions above because feylock isn't going to make you happy. If your major concern about Con is survival, then look at the Cha-based powers which provide some powerful avoidance and control as alternate survival-enhancement options. @Waxeagle's suggestion to consider the Born Under a Bad Sign / Auspicious Birth character backgrounds is good also; it lets you use an alternate ability to determine starting hp (but not your healing surges).

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@Vi If you end up dumping con, look at the backgrounds "born under a bad sign/auspicious birth" to get your HP up to a respectable level. –  wax eagle Jan 4 '13 at 14:05
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