I'm making a Half-Orc Red Draconic Sorcerer, which will begin life at level 5 to join an existing campaign. Based on my rolls I'll probably have 8 STR and 16 DEX.

So I'm using my starting gold to go shopping, and I'm having a hard time figuring out what to wield. Melee weapons and bows both seem to take STR to be able to hit. And even if I took Weapon Finesse or something, I would still get a penalty to damage.

I don't want to rely on weapons, but spell casting are limited, and I don't want to be useless when I'm out. Some magic affixes seem neat, but I have 10,500 total gold to spend and can't spent more than half on one single item, which puts most of those out of reach.

So what should I be clutching in my hands?

  • \$\begingroup\$ What race is this Sorc? \$\endgroup\$
    – user17995
    Aug 19, 2015 at 22:37
  • \$\begingroup\$ Half-orc. Sorry I left that out. \$\endgroup\$
    – Alex Wayne
    Aug 19, 2015 at 22:38
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    \$\begingroup\$ Related. (Although that question's geared toward lower-level characters and wizards, it's so you know that similar concerns have been raised.) \$\endgroup\$ Aug 19, 2015 at 23:25
  • \$\begingroup\$ Also related (Although it's 3.5, so not necessarily all that useful). \$\endgroup\$
    – Miniman
    Aug 20, 2015 at 0:11
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    \$\begingroup\$ Pro tip: In addition to whatever you choose, buy a Spiked Gauntlet unless you have other means of always threatening at 5ft. range. This is for the purpose of using you as a flanking buddy. \$\endgroup\$
    – MrLemon
    Aug 20, 2015 at 9:54

1 Answer 1


Ranged weapons that are not thrown (like bows, crossbows) use DEX to hit, so a shortbow or any crossbow is a valid option and you will not take any Strength penalties using these weapons.

Dipping just one level into Swashbuckler (assuming you're allowed Hybrid Classes) nets you the Swashbuckler Finesse class feature, which gives you Weapon Finesse as a bonus feat and theoretically helps your CHA-based sorcerer learn combat feats quicker.

If you want to get really involved in melee, you can then invest in Weapon Focus and Slashing Grace get your Dex to damage (but I feel that might be a bit far off from your goal).

  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ I'd suggest noting that while a shortbow doesn't have STR-related penalties to hit, with an 8 STR it will have a -1 to damage. Light crossbow is probably therefore indicated for this character, unless they go the Finesse + Slashing Grace route. \$\endgroup\$ Aug 20, 2015 at 20:12

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