If the campaign is likely to take you that high, you may want 17 bard levels for 9th level spells, because True Polymorph is the ultimate buff spell, and Power Word Heal is the ultimate way to bring a character back into the battle.
Then you are likely to want bard's level 18 Magical Secrets, for 2 high level spells of any class (Wish at least). As a bard, ...
The feat Rage Casting (Dragon #310 30) has stiff prerequisites: It requires 5 ranks in the skill Concentration; both the feats Combat Casting and Quicken Spell (Player's Handbook 92 and 98, respectively); the ability frenzy or rage; and the ability to cast 1st-level spells. The feat has the following benefit:
When raging, you can cast spells that you can ...
No, not even Pun Pun possesses the other-worldly might to do what you ask.
The closest you could get would be to have a familiar activate items at your behest. While a familiar is technically an NPC, it must obey every command you issue. Thus, if the familiar is capable of using the spell triggered item, then you could activate it by proxy by telling the ...
Arcane Preparation solves the problem on its own. The sha’ir knows spells, it has a spells known table and everything. That’s all Arcane Preparation needs. When you have it, you have an alternative way to fill your spell slots: instead of sending the gen to retrieve it, you can prepare it. Once prepared, you can cast it normally, and the prepared spell doesn’...
If Unearthed Arcana is permissible, then as a Wild Soul Barbarian, it's possible to attain a theoretically infinite number of Temporary Hit Points
... Although in practice there's an upper limit constrained to what creatures the DM is willing to surround a Barbarian with.
On their Wild Surge table, a roll of  results in the following: "Necrotic ...
A creature can have Mass Polymorph cast on them to gain 157-247 temporary hit points
Each target assumes a beast form of your choice, and you can choose the same form or different ones for each target. The new form can be any beast you have seen whose challenge rating is equal to or less than the target's (or half the target's level, if the target doesn't ...
As far as I can tell using only the free basic rules on D&D Beyond, the optimal build so far for this is sorcerer or wizard 17+, with the spell false life cast using a 9th level spell slot. The minimum temporary HP this gives is 45, average is 46.5, and the max is 48.
I don’t think there’s a single spell or anything that does better, since temp HP don’t ...
Time stop, wish cheese, and glyph spam sandwich
The damage that can be triggered on a melee attack is limited by the number of wishes the attacker has. This unlikely confluence of edge cases yields an extra 12d8 damage per wish spell. E.g. seven wishes available would add: 378 ave and 672 max damage
A bunch of wishes and the ability to cast ...
Average 414.5, Max 678; with a variant rule, average 512, max 858.
Class and Equipment
5 Whispers Bard: 3d6 psychic blades
2 Paladin: Divine Smite
9 Hexblade Warlock: 9 gets a 5th level pact slot for Eldritch Smite.
3 Fighter: For Action Surge, Battle Master.
1 Wizard: to have time stop on our spell list.
Feat: Great Weapon Master
Cribbing heavily from my answer on the previous question, but if it ain't broke... (Goal is to maximise average damage on a weapon attack, without Time Stop/Wish shenanigans)
Average 254.5, max 345
Let's go for a goblin Tempest Cleric 9/Whispers Bard 7/Fighter 2/Paladin 2, casting Booming Blade with a Holy Avenger greatsword, fighting an undead creature. '...
The bard's capstone ability is extremely underwhelming
I agree with the other answers that, certainly in combat (and given that D&D is a combat heavy game, not that is has to be, but it typically is and that mindset has informed its design), Superior Inspiration is extremely underwhelming. I can also confirm that there are no bard-specific magic items ...
401 Max Damage,
248 Avg Damage
Race: Scourge Assimar, Radiant Consumption +20
Feat: Great Weapon master +10
Skill: Poisoners Kit
Ring of 3 Wishes
Ioun Stone of Mastery +1 proficiency bonus
Scroll of time stop
Scroll of Staggering Smite 4d6
Scroll of Blinding Smite 3d8
Flame Tongue Great axe 1d12, +2d6 (+1 improved pact weapon)
Belt of storm giant strength +...
It's useless, if you mainly use Inspiration in combat
This might seem like a strange statement, since Superior Inspiration triggers upon entering combat, but it's important to keep in mind how this changes out-of-combat use. A 20th level bard can expend all the inspiration they want avoiding a fight, or trying to work their way through a social encounter ...
Yes, it is particularly underwhelming.
Suppose your table actually runs what the Dungeon Master's Guide calls The Adventuring Day:
Assuming typical adventuring conditions and average luck, most adventuring parties can handle about six to eight medium or hard encounters in a day.
Our day will consist of two encounters, a short rest, three encounters, a ...
I won't build the entire character for you, but I can make a couple of recommendations to improve the druid to excel at what you are wanting to do.
The standard druid spell list will have you mostly covered, but since your DM is permitting small borrowing from other spell lists, I would recommend suggesting your DM allow you to take some of the following ...
The core druid spells ought to have you covered for this.
By level five you could take:
Shillelagh / Produce Flame / Primal Savagery
Wind Wall or Wall of Water
Call Lightening or Protection from Energy
We can do 360’ with a few magic items and guardian of nature.
Attunement free magic items: +60'
Goggles of night (does not require attunement):
While wearing these dark lenses, you have darkvision out to a range of 60 feet. If you already have darkvision, wearing the goggles increases its range by 60 feet.
Magic items requiring attunement: +180'.
Seeing farther than 120 feet requires stacking different bonuses
Getting more than 120 feet of darkvision is difficult. If you had started as a dark elf it would be easy using goggles of night.
Other possibilities would be using shadow sorcerer / gloom stalker, and goggles of night. Otherwise, you have to stack magic items.
Goggles of Night and ...
Class level: Artificer 20
Artificers at high level have 6 atunment slots and the only rules preventing people using multiple copies of a magic item are exclusive to Adventurers League
Total Walking around Armor Class : 37 (only aplicable in game if you are suprised or out of spell slots)
18 Armor(Half Plate, +3)
+3 Dex bonus (Medium armor ...
The bouncing effect of green-flame blade will only trigger once
The green-flame blade spell states (emphasis mine):
As part of the action used to cast this spell, you must make a melee attack with a weapon against one creature within the spell's range, otherwise the spell fails. On a hit, the target suffers the attack's normal effects, and green fire leaps ...
No, GFB only triggers once
Greenflame blade description says
As part of the action used to cast this spell, you must make a melee attack with a weapon against one creature within the spell’s range, otherwise the spell fails. On a hit, ...
"On a hit" refers to the attack made as part of casting the spell, and the effect only applies to the spell's ...
The unupdated 3.0 template Magic-Blooded from Dragon 306 grants 2 charisma and several other good abilities at the cost of 2 wisdom and is, for some reason, LA+0.
Star elves, Spell scales, Hellbred, and Lesser Aasimar are all LA+0 and give +2 Cha and okay other stuff. There's also plenty of +1 LA templates that give +2 Cha, as you note.
Deathtouched (from ...
It seems there is nothing better than pit fighting (that is simple and direct)
Excluded: Crime, Gambling
Do not make money: Buying a magic item, carousing, crafting an item, relaxation, religious service, research, scribing a spell scroll, training
Pit fighting: The best simple option, like you already found but with a slight risk.
Selling a magic item: Can ...
The break even formula for GWM/SS requires a bit of algebra. First, our variables:
\$DAM\$ is average damage per hit before GWM/SS.
\$HIT\$ is bonus to hit before GWM/SS.
\$AC\$ is target armor class.
This is all we need to get our formula. We will set expected damage without GWM/SS equal to expected damage with it, and then solve for \$AC\$.
In this ...
To answer this effectively, we need to determine which spells are worth casting.
The three spells to really consider are Armor of Agathys, Fire Shield, and Shadow of Moil.
Armor of Agathys deals 25 damage per hit, but is limited - it only deals 50 total damage in this case before the temp hp runs out. We can try some ways to increase that further though, ...
Tanky Warlock, I Like It
I made a Bladelock several years ago that used the strategy of "hit me" with Armor of Agathys to great effect. The nice thing about this build is that it doesn't rely on ideal stats to make it work. This build can be made a little better in spots based on racial selections (i.e. pick Tiefling for Hellish Rebuke), but the ...
A Varag from MM4 p.168 is a 3HD/LA+2 humanoid creature with 60 ft. base land speed.
Afterwards you can add features to increase move speed and make it undead under whatever constraints you need. For example the Shadow Creature template applies a 1.5x modifier on move speed for +2 LA. Dark creature is +1 LA and grants flat +10 to all movement moves. These can ...
Eldritch Blast can be made so powerful that there is no reason to do anything else.
Robe of the Archmagi: +2 spell attack bonus
Rod of the Pact Keeper +3: +3 spell attack bonus
Illusionist's Bracers: While wearing the bracers, whenever you cast a cantrip, you can use a bonus action on the same turn to cast that cantrip a second time.
It works mostly as described, though it requires substantial investment, is relatively risky, and is not necessarily as devastating as that thread suggests
This is a good build for combat, though it is relatively expensive in ways that may not be obvious from the specs. First I'll list why it's strong, and afterwards I'll go through some of the drawbacks:
The question asks not to include the Artificer from Unearthed Arcana. Now that there is an official Artificer class from Eberron: Rising from the Last War, I will present this answer that includes the official Artificer.
(Note that much of my answer is borrowed from the other answers, I've just included a few levels of Artificer.)
Through levelling only, you ...