I'm playing a melee rogue (Arcane Trickster). I'm looking to multiply my sneak attack damage by taking the Sentinel feat to increase the odds of getting to make attacks on someone else's turn.
Pro: When I make an out-of-turn attack, with advantage or a nearby party member, I do a lot more damage than the Sentinel attack normally does.
Con: I'm pretty squishy; with 20 Dex and Studded Leather, I'm AC 17, significantly lower than the typical tank, which means enemies have comparatively little reason to attack someone else or run away (well, the many sources of advantage I collect to ensure sneak attack might make them run away eventually, but until then, I'm definitely the softest frontliner in the party, both on AC and HP).
My goal: Find some way for my fellow front-liners to make themselves fatter targets despite being less dangerous, harder to hit, and tougher. They can't use Sentinel (which synergizes poorly with itself; if all of us have Sentinel, the special attack for attacking someone else without Sentinel never occurs, so a third of the feat is wasted). Obviously I can do other stuff to help eventually (multiclass Bladesinger to boost my AC, get magic armor, get a fighting style through multiclassing or Fighting Initiate, etc.), but all of those will take awhile to come online (my Int is only 14, so even Bladesinger would only bump my AC by 2, and slow my Rogue advancement by two levels).
So my question is: What class features, spells, magic items, etc. could other party members take/learn/acquire to get tank features (defined as "anything that penalizes or punishes an opponent for attacking me instead of them") that would take the heat off me, a squishy Rogue who is staying in melee range? Ideally passive abilities that stack (where multiple abilities that require your reaction are effectively "Choose one").
We stumbled on one option by accident; the party Armorer Artificer's Thunder Gauntlets mean that, assuming they hit, their target will have Disadvantage on attacks against me (enough to make it meaningfully harder to hit my AC 17 than their AC 20). Originally I'd planned to take Mobile instead of Sentinel and retreat to cover/hide between turns, but with that disadvantage alone (plus a party full of casters who can force rerolling successful attacks, for effectively triple disadvantage), he can protect me enough to make the extra Sneak Attack damage attractive. Are there other things (especially things that can stack with Thunder Gauntlets, but any source of "attack no one but the tank" is useful) that would have similar synergy with a Sentinel Rogue?
Current party make-up
- Arcane Trickster 5 (Wood Elf)
- Armorer Artificer 5 (Plasmoid)
- College of Spirits Bard 5 (Owlin)
- Chronurgy Wizard (Fairy)
The non-frontliners are really off the frontline (damn flying PCs) so I'm totally dependent on the Armorer as the tank to draw attacks off me (though I plan to pick Mirror Image soon, and between Uncanny Dodge and Silvery Barbs I can defend myself a bit if they decide to attack me anyway). We're all level 5, this is planning ahead for level 8, so multiclassing is a possibility.