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PostPosted: Tue Jan 07, 2014 11:01 pm 
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As the title suggests, I'm interested in a pirate (or a privateer) for our next 4e D&D campaign.

Its not a seafaring adventure, but we will be focusing on a bustling port city with tons of grimmey thieves, ruthless mercs, and salty sea-dogs.

First question, which role does everyone see that as being? I mostly think of striker, but I could see a leader aspect to it as well. How about classes? I can see rogues, bards, fighters and perhaps rangers fitting the mold easily but I'm not experience in some of the non-core classes. Are there classes out there that would jump at the chance to be reflavored into a pirate? Or should I keep it simply and flavor all my powers to be pirate-y?

All input and suggestions are welcome. Everything gets the creative juices flowing.

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PostPosted: Tue Jan 07, 2014 11:07 pm 
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It kind of depends on what you want to see out of your pirate. The classes you pulled out work; I think the swordmage also works for the dueling aspect but it may be a bit too magical if your concept is just a regular pirate. Maybe even a barbarian if you imagine like a particularly sea and storm-themed pirate (who's literally married to the sea??).

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PostPosted: Tue Jan 07, 2014 11:32 pm 
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The classes you outlined above are probably the best options for a pirate-falvoured class. Fighter are an odd choice due to their reliance on heavier armour; though if you have access to Martial Power 2 you can take 'Combat Agility' over 'Combat Superiority' which would allow you to be much more effective as a lightly-armoured Dex-based build. Also from MP2 is the 'Brawler Style' which grant benefits when fighting with a single weapon and free hand or when entirely unarmed (good for the inevitable jail-break scene).

Rogues are basically built for this class and it requires very little work to make one a pirate; Artful Dodger allows you to make the most of a high Cha score (allowing you to play the charismatic swashbuckler type) or both the Brutal Scoundrel and Ruthless Ruffian options make for decent violent brutes common to port towns and the like. In addition you get a lot of utility powers which improve your athletics, acrobatics and general maneuverability which allows you to take advantage of ropes and rigging if you are ever on boat (which seems likely).

Rangers are a little more tricky due to the nature focus but not entirely impossible (the ocean is nature of a sort after all). The Hunter Fighting Style could prove exceptional in this role as it allows you to switch weapons on the fly and even lets you sort-off use ranged weapons in melee (excellent if your DM is willing to house-rule in single shot black-powder pistols you can switch between). Mostly it's the rangers flavour thats off for this sort of thing but I see no reason that the little details couldn't be fudged a little to make it fir the theme.

Bards would make excellent Captains or shanty-singers; the sort of guy who keeps up morale on long voyages and can act both as a diplomat (when in port attempting to resupply) or as infiltrators (when looking a port over before a raid - no one suspects the bard!). Build-wise both Virtue of Cunning or Virtue of Valor work depending on whether you want to be 'command the crew from afar' or 'get in there and fight alongside them' kinda leader.

As DS said Swordmage can be very good as the whole 'master duelist' thing but are quite magic-heavy which may or may not be what you are looking for.

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PostPosted: Wed Jan 08, 2014 12:05 am 
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Hey guys, thanks for the responses!

The character (and game for that matter) is definitely going to be flavor over optimization, so I'm not worried about eating a few feats or such to make things more fun and believable.

I havent though about the Swordmage, I'll have to look into it and see if I can find cool ways to turn its magical stuff into more along the lines of what I'm going for. Barbarian is a good suggestion though, I never would have thought of it cause they arent my normal play style, but if the party leans more towards neutral rather than do-gooders I could definitely see some intriguing options there. He could be a very rough and tumble sorts and I'd just have to whip up a good backstory as to why he's not currently serving on a ship and is working with the party, though most of that will come once I know what the other players have in mind.

Rogue is definitely the easy choice, but I also wanted to explore my options so I figured I'd bounce ideas off internet strangers and if all else fails I can slap together a rogue. They are one of the classes I have the most experience with even in other editions.

Rangers are interesting because most people think of them and immediately think elf with a long bow. But I think a good human ranger with the right choice in powers, or even something grizzly like a gnoll or half-orc and be the brutish sea-hardened thug who is not only strong but dexterous and comes at you with two blades.

How is playing a dex fighter? Has anyone done it? Is it actually pretty viable or do must people just see you as a class that could be tanking but is instead too easy to hit?

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PostPosted: Wed Jan 08, 2014 12:20 am 
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How homebrewed is the game? With a flexible DM you can always do things like reflavor a crossbow to be a blunderbuss, or hand crossbows to be pistols and such.

Another possible leader may be the warlord, though they tend to be in heavier armor. But you can be a seasoned ship member used to barking commands at the crew.

Depending on how magical the world is, dont rule out some of the magic users. If its a world where every other person on the street can cast spells to some degree, it wouldnt be uncommon that the ship would want someone on board who can do the same. May be able to squeeze a warlock in their for a darker more evil party, or a sorcerer for a lighter one. Some of the sorcerer chaos magic could lead decent roleplay as someone who's been on a ship and never had proper study to wield the forces they can summon.

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PostPosted: Wed Jan 08, 2014 12:22 am 
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What system is it going to be, anyways?

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PostPosted: Wed Jan 08, 2014 12:25 am 
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Do you mean which edition? Or?

Its forth edition, as stated in the title.

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D&D is supposed to be a game that plunges you into a world of imagination and instead people around the world are standing around a table arguing over 'tiers'."
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 08, 2014 12:30 am 
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Right.... sorry. I tend to miss that stuff unless it's part of the post.... kinda oblivious that way.

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PostPosted: Wed Jan 08, 2014 12:33 am 
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Dont mind him, his eyes are a little squinty. :roll:

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PostPosted: Wed Jan 08, 2014 12:37 am 
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In response to your question about a Dex oriented fighter there are a few issues with such a build. Your not going to have as high an AC as a fighter in scalemail armed with a heavy shield but in the trade off you will generally be much more maneuverable and will boast a higher reflex defense; this can be further enhanced by taking the Combat Agility class features (allowing you to take advantage of your Dex score to shift around the field and really harass enemies) and the Brawler Style class feature which grants you a bonus to your AC (+1) and Fortitude (+2) when you have a free hand (effectively meaning your wearing a light shield at all times). In addition since heavy armour will not grant you a huge increase in AC over a suit of Hide (unless you blow a feat to get Plate proficiency) you will be physically faster then most standard fighters (as well as gaining access to some fun feats).

The main issue is that there are few Fighter powers which take dexterity into consideration (not to say there aren't any but they are few and far between). This will have a knock on effect to your Attack/Damage rolls and may mean you have to burn a feat getting Weapon Expertise to shore those numbers up a little, especially since there is no 'Weapon Finesse' equivalent that will allow you to use your Dex score on at-will powers.

So in summary you'll be about as tanky as standard, a little more agile, but you won't hit quite as hard.

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PostPosted: Thu Jan 09, 2014 8:32 pm 
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Hmmm. Interesting. I think I'll forgo the dex fighter route, doesnt sound like something I'd want to play particularly and the flavor that could be used for it could easily be applied to the barbarian for a brute or to the warlord for a order barking mate. In fact, I'm really liking the warlord idea and already see a few of the things that could be reflavored rather easily. They carry around a shield though, so I'm not sure what to do about that.

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D&D is supposed to be a game that plunges you into a world of imagination and instead people around the world are standing around a table arguing over 'tiers'."
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 09, 2014 10:59 pm 
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A warlord wouldnt be too bad at all. They wear chainmail, which you could have either under your clothes or above them, and their shields are light so you could roleplay it as a small buckler and "put the 'buckler' back in 'swashbuckler' "

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The warlords abilities at low levels would be relatively easy to swap over to be a scruvy sea-dog, but I dont know much about their higher level stuff. Your marks could be gained with taunts and jests, and your moving allies around could be through witty quips and such. I think it could work nicely.

Or you could always just go rogue =P

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PostPosted: Sat Jan 11, 2014 9:52 pm 
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I just realized that this probably belongs in Character Building and Optimization. Oops!

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D&D is supposed to be a game that plunges you into a world of imagination and instead people around the world are standing around a table arguing over 'tiers'."
-Gotterdammerung


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PostPosted: Sat Jan 11, 2014 10:02 pm 
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I've decided to fluff up a warlord to be a seasoned ship mate used to leading men on pirate attacks and such. I'm also going to build a rogue in DDI really quick to have a fallback character option in case someone decides to build a leader as well that way I have something to fall back on.

Also gonna see about having this thread moved over to the right area. Everyone feel free to continue to talk about pirate builds if you want and thanks for everyone's input!

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"I weep for all the GM's and players who come online for help and instead get taught how to be prejudice towards classes.
D&D is supposed to be a game that plunges you into a world of imagination and instead people around the world are standing around a table arguing over 'tiers'."
-Gotterdammerung


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PostPosted: Sat Mar 15, 2014 11:02 pm 
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Just my two cents, if you are going warlord, when you are using your inspiring word and stuff, I hope yee be barking a ton of seadog expletives for yee scurvy crew! arrr.

Blue blistering barnacles! Thundering typhoons!

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PostPosted: Sun Mar 16, 2014 5:36 pm 
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Hes a dwarf warlord and whenever possible he's cursing and using alliteration. :D

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D&D is supposed to be a game that plunges you into a world of imagination and instead people around the world are standing around a table arguing over 'tiers'."
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 24, 2014 3:49 pm 
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I played a pirate once, and while probably the "obvious" choice, I was a rogue, and I had a great time. My main motivation was to blaspheme Umberlee and make my party super nervous all the time! We eventually were swept into some rocky cliffs by a big wave in choppy waters. :teach:


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 24, 2014 8:36 pm 
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TPK ?


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PostPosted: Fri Apr 18, 2014 4:53 am 
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As an interesting note, Paizo is releasing a Swashbuckler class in August this year. You can download the playtest packet, even though the playtesting is done, they want people to have access to the class now. I know you're looking for 4E, but I thought this might amuse you.

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PostPosted: Sun Apr 20, 2014 8:07 am 
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Scumbag Squinty ...talks about playtest downloads but doesnt give links.

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