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I'm pretty new to D&D, having just created my first character a few days ago. I want to build an Eldritch Knight Tabaxi Fighter, and I'm not too sure on the best way to do that. Here are my stats:

STR: 17 (+3)

DEX: 16 (+3)

CON: 15 (+2)

INT: 14 (+2)

WIS: 12 (+1)

CHA: 08 (-1)

Skills: Acrobatics, Athletics, Insight, Perception, Stealth, & Survival.

I started out with chain mail hoping to upgrade to plate ASAP. I am dual wielding what is effectively a scimitar in my main hand and dagger in off hand. (I created unique weapons for my character but they mirror the stats of a scimitar and dagger, respectively, for balance). I have chosen the Two Weapon Fighting trait, but I've heard mediocre things about it and might switch to Protection and pick up a shield later.

Obviously at level 3 I am going to pick the Eldritch Knight archetype. I was thinking of choosing Chill Touch and Light as my two starting Cantrips, and Shield, False Life, and Magic Missile as my Spells.

Are these spells/cantrips good choices, and is there anything I should change about my character to better fit the EK playstyle? I'm not trying to min/max my character here, I mostly just care about having fun. However, I do want to know if I am making good choices for my character advancement.

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closed as primarily opinion-based by daze413, Miniman, Szega, keithcurtis, Trish Jan 6 '18 at 2:03

Many good questions generate some degree of opinion based on expert experience, but answers to this question will tend to be almost entirely based on opinions, rather than facts, references, or specific expertise. If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

  • \$\begingroup\$ If you're not trying to min/max, and you don't have requirements for your character, how will we know if your choices are good? \$\endgroup\$ – daze413 Jan 5 '18 at 22:23
  • \$\begingroup\$ I just wanted to double check that I didn't have any glaring issues with my build, or that the spells/cantrips I've chosen aren't the "trap" spells (spells that might seem good at the beginning, but an experienced player knows that they're trash.) I'm somewhat overwhelmed with all of the choices in this game and just looking for a bit of guidance. \$\endgroup\$ – RunningFox Jan 5 '18 at 22:32
  • \$\begingroup\$ Are your stats movable? This could help the person that answers give you some other hints/suggestions. \$\endgroup\$ – RonV Jan 5 '18 at 22:41
  • \$\begingroup\$ I could more than likely get away with shifting some stats around, but re-rolling any stats is a definite "no". \$\endgroup\$ – RunningFox Jan 5 '18 at 22:48
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    \$\begingroup\$ Probably far to late to help you with your character, but for future readers. One other thing to consider along with Baron's excellent answer is the option to dump the heavy armor and play more of a dex based fighter. Most of your choices seem to be angled this way, except for the choice of heavy armor. Swap the Chain Mail for Leather, and focus on dealing damage rather than taking it. You give up 2 AC (1 if you can upgrade to studded), but regain your stealth ability and can bump your AC through stat increases as you level. \$\endgroup\$ – Rozwel Jul 19 '18 at 3:28
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You say you don't want to min/max, but also haven't really said what you do want. This answer will cover what are optimal choices, and you can pick and choose what you wish to include or ignore.

Race

The first glaring issue this character has is race. As an Eldritch Knight Fighter using Charisma as their dump stat and intending to use plate armor, Tabaxi is one of the worst races you could possibly choose. The racial bonuses to Dexterity and Charisma are virtually useless, as is one of your racial skills (Sneak). Heavy armor doesn't use Dexterity at all, and you will always be rolling Stealth at disadvantage.

That said, obviously changing your character's race is a huge change of their roleplay and character, so you might not want to actually do it if you're really set on this race. And that's perfectly fine! But it is basically tossing your racial bonuses in the trash.

Ability Scores

Dexterity is a strange, and poor, choice to have as one of your highest scores. You state that you want to use plate armor and are picking the Eldritch Knight Archetype, your two main stats will be Strength and Intelligence, with Constitution as a close third. Dexterity offers you virtually nothing of value.

It increases Stealth (which you permanently have disadvantage at), it offers you bonus AC when using Light/Medium armor (which you aren't), and it allows you to roll +3 on Finesse weapons (which you already do, because of your +3 in Strength). Were I in your shoes and playing this character, I would do the following stats instead. This is assuming from your stats + racials that your rolled stats were 17, 15, 14, 14, 12, 7.

Strength: 17

Dexterity: 9 (7 + 2 Racial)

Constitution: 14

Intelligence: 15

Wisdom: 14

Charisma: 13 (12 + 1 Racial)

This gives you a wonderful opportunity at Level 4 to forego a feat and increase Strength and Intelligence by one each, raising them to +4 and +3 respectively, which is a large increase to almost anything you do.

Weapons

You are using two light, finesse weapons, one of which is a dagger. Daggers are, for every purpose (other than throwing), worse than another Scimitar or a Shortsword. You exchange a 1d6 for a 1d4 for no real benefit, other than the ability to at some point just throw your melee weapon at someone.

I would strongly suggest ditching the dagger and taking another scimitar as your main fighting weapon.

Cantrips

Light is... more or less useless. You get darkvision as Tabaxi, so there's an extremely limited number of situations you would ever use it in. I would definitely drop it.

Chill Touch is a fine choice, especially if you know you will be fighting Undead or other enemies with healing.

Take a look at Booming Blade, Green-Flame Blade, or Sword Burst for cantrips; they're pretty great options for a melee fighter. Personally, I would take Sword Burst.

Spells

Your spells are all great options. There's no "trap" spells that are actually terrible in your list. False Life is great, especially at Level 1, and both Shield and Magic Missile will be useful.

If your group has nobody else who is able to Detect Magic, you might consider trading False Life for it. If you want to increase your damage output, take a peek at Witch Bolt, which is a very nice damage spell. Otherwise, you can stick with those options and be very happy.

Class

You're playing a race that values Stealth, putting a lot of points and racials into your Dexterity, and are dual-wielding light, finesse weapons... yet you're playing Fighter. I would strongly suggest you take a peek at the Rogue class instead, because all signs point to you really wanting to play something like that, instead. Is there a reason you insist on playing Fighter?

While you can play a Fighter the way you are, it is very strange and much less effective to do so.

Ignore everything I said and have fun!

Okay, so there's a lot of things that your character does that aren't optimal; you've noticed that now. That being said, it isn't a bad thing. D&D is primarialy about you having fun, and if you are excited to play this character, then don't let anything I said deter you. Just keep in mind that if you are mostly looking forward to combat, you should prepare to be moderately disappointed with your performance. But if you really want to play a plate wearing scimitar wielding cat man who is really dexterous when out of his armor, go nuts. It's your character, and your game; enjoy it!

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  • \$\begingroup\$ I get what you said about switching my stats around to better fit my class choice. I'll definitely re-evaluate my stat placement and re-allocate my Dex stat somewhere else. As for why I'm going for this specific role, well... in Dark Souls, I always use a sword/pyro glove combo, in Skyrim I always invest some skill points in magic trees, and so on. I really like the idea of a "spellsword" and am trying to recreate that class here. I'm glad I chose (mostly) useful spells/cantrips, and to be honest I complete forget that Tabaxi had darkvision, so I'll definitely be switching that out. \$\endgroup\$ – RunningFox Jan 6 '18 at 0:42
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    \$\begingroup\$ Some of the spells you reference are not in the PHB. Especially since the querent is a new player, you could improve this answer by citing where those spells can be found. \$\endgroup\$ – Joel Harmon Jan 6 '18 at 3:15
  • \$\begingroup\$ I don't know what you're trying to get at, because Chill Touch is both ranged (120 feet) and uses Int (as an Eldritch Knight) for it's attack roll. It's also quite silly to claim that since his first level spells don't use Int, it isn't important. Not only does he have a spell that uses Int as-is, future spells will as well. \$\endgroup\$ – Baron Jan 6 '18 at 8:11
  • \$\begingroup\$ I was confused by the name, sorry \$\endgroup\$ – András Jan 6 '18 at 8:43
  • \$\begingroup\$ I realize this is kind of negating my original question, but if I where to wear Breastplate (medium armor), would it be beneficial to keep a higher Dex value? Or does the Eldritch Knight/Tabaxi combo pretty much negate any value of dexterity? \$\endgroup\$ – RunningFox Jan 7 '18 at 21:38

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