Im new to D&D (just started 2 weeks ago) playing Curse of Strahd tier 1

I'm going to be hitting level 4 soon on Half-Orc Champion with Soldier background. my stats currently are: (orc racial traits already included)

STR: 16 / DEX: 14/ CON: 16 / INT: 8 / WIS: 10 / CHA: 10 AC 19

my Party consist of a DPS heavy assasin, a two hand heavy weapon Fighter cleric, a bow and arrow ranger, a monk and a channeling warlock.

I am the primary Tank of the team so i need my AC high. in the adventures however, there seems to be so many opponents i soak up (usually 3 at a time engaging) that I am almost in low health before we win.

I want to optimize my feat to help in my AC as well as DMG.

I plan in getting this:

fighting style duelist: with rapier weapon and shield

LVL 4 - Shield Master

LVL 6 - Sentinel

LVL 8 - defensive duelist

I will get +1AC at LVL 10.

is this a good build to the character role im planning to do? will i still be relevant going onwards?

I also plan to get rogue multiclass for the sneak attack bonus damage

Thank so much!

  • \$\begingroup\$ What is your current AC? What type of Armor? Are you planning to get only AC-buffing feats or are you open to HP-boosting feats? \$\endgroup\$
    – daze413
    Commented Jun 25, 2016 at 0:45
  • \$\begingroup\$ 16 AC now plus protection cloak +1AC plus shield so total is 19 AC. I am open to tweaks for the feats. I want the feats to balance AC and DMG \$\endgroup\$ Commented Jun 25, 2016 at 0:47
  • \$\begingroup\$ Get bitten by a werewolf and fail your saving throw. You'll gain damage immunity from non-magical physical attacks. :P \$\endgroup\$ Commented Jun 25, 2016 at 1:31
  • \$\begingroup\$ That wont work. getting afflicted with a lycanthrope curse will sideline you for the remainder of the campaign (I am playing in an AL sanctioned game) unless you get cured. if its homebrew then that will work \$\endgroup\$ Commented Jun 25, 2016 at 1:47
  • \$\begingroup\$ This question feels to broad and opinion based for a stack site. You might get put on hold by the moderators. Consider trying to reword the question to make it a more clear cut question, or maybe post it in a more free form location (a forum or such)... Similar questions have been closed in the past: rpg.stackexchange.com/questions/79757/… \$\endgroup\$ Commented Jun 25, 2016 at 6:03

1 Answer 1


It's already been pointed out that your question is perhaps a little too broad. So you may want to edit and narrow it down.

However, I'll focus my answer on a specific paragraph which seems to be your biggest concern:

I am the primary tank of the team so I need my AC high. In the adventures however, there seems to be so many opponents I soak up (usually 3 at a time engaging) that I am almost in low health before we win.

Tanking is not purely about AC. And if you obsess about this single aspect it will hamper your effectiveness.

An important aspect of tanking is control.

  • When fighting unintelligent creatures, it may be easy enough to put yourself front and centre and they'll attack you. But more intelligent opponents may choose to ignore you and attack "better" targets instead. Champions tend to be focused more on raw power, so you'll have to rely on your teammates to cover this.
    • But you might want to consider the Protection fighting style, which defends nearby allies by imposing disadvantage on an enemies attack roll.
    • Sentinel is a good choice of feat.
    • Mobile can be a useful feat making it safer to move around during combat.

AC suffers diminishing returns

Basically + 1 AC reduces average damage per attack by less for each point gained. The reasons are:

  • Natural 20 is a guaranteed hit (+1 AC may in extreme cases may have zero effect of the range of rolls that succeed or miss).
  • The critical effect boosts damage of a high roll (so AC increases reduce average damage / attack by less for each point).

Something that can be far more effective is imposing disadvantage or removing advantage.

At the extreme end, if an enemy needs to roll 20 to hit: +1 AC has zero effect on the odds of doing damage. But disadvantage reduces the odds from 1 in 20 to 1 in 400. And removing advantage reduces the odds from just under 1 in 10 to 1 in 20.

The benefit of AC is that it's passive. It's "always on" and available to avoid damage. It doesn't get "used up" and doesn't consume actions.

However, something seriously worth considering in place of a small AC boost is the Lucky feat.

AC doesn't help at all in some situations

Many magic attacks don't require an attack roll, meaning AC is useless. So you may want to consider alternative forms of damage avoidance.

  • Shield Master is an excellent choice.
  • Again the Lucky feat is noteworthy.

(Though I'm a little skeptical of the benefits of the Resilient feat.)

That said, unless you're in a very heavily combat and tactics focused group, you shouldn't need to min/max your abilities. In combat, teamwork and cooperation are far more important. And there's plenty that goes on in the game outside of combat.


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