Character optimisation is not normally my thing. Is the following character optimisation question appropriate for main-site? Are my goals specific enough? If not, how could I improve it?
One of my player's PCs is a level 6 multiclassed Revised Ranger - Beast Conclave 5 / Warlock Fiendish Patron 1. They are a Variant Human with the Shield Master feat.
They started off as a strength based, primarily melee fighting Ranger with (above averagely strong for their party) stats (rolled 4d6 drop 1, + Racials + level 4 ASI) as follows:
18 STR, 16 DEX, 14 CON, 10 INT, 16 WIS, 13 CHA
They then multiclassed, taking a level of Warlock for RP reasons at the last level up (level 6) (their character had literally made a pact wth a fiend in the preceding game narrative). This was their choice, not mine.
Some more relevant details:
- As a melee Ranger they have the Dueling fighting style and 17 AC (studded leather +3 Dex, +2 shield).
- Their poor Charisma (+1) lends itself to Warlock spell picks that aren't reliant on a sucessful spell attack roll or enemies saving against a DC. They can of course simply use their Warlock slots to cast Ranger spells with their (rather better) Wisdom.
- As a Revised Ranger - Beast Conclave they don't have access to Extra Attack (though their best companion deals a decent amount of damage). Consequently Green Flame Blade has become their go to melee attack. Unfortunately this has poor synergy with Shield Bash which requires the Attack action to be taken (as opposed to the Cast a Spell action).
- The lower hit dice of a Warlock is not an issue. They have rolled max health at every level up, so at level six they have 70 health (all these rolls have been made in my presence - I would say that they're pretty lucky, if they didn't roll atrociously the rest of the time).
At first glance there seems little synergy between the Wisdom based Spellcasting of the Ranger and the Charisma based Pact Magic of the Warlock. Even before multi-classing, as a Strength based melee focussed Ranger many would already consider their build to have been sub-optimal.
My table don't play an especially min-maxy game but I don't want to let this player fall massively behind the curve compared to the single-classed characters if I can help it. While the character is entirely theirs, and they are free to level up however they wish in my game, in practice they've delegated the mechanical management of their character outside of sessions to me, the DM. That includes most of the process of levelling up - though I always run it passed them for their approval (many of my other players are more engaged, and enjoy levelling their own characters, this player does not). With all that in mind I'm not certain how best to advise them to level up in the future.
Should they cut their losses on this single level dip into Warlock now and continue investing heavily in Ranger from this point? Or, is there greater rewards to be had by taking more Warlock levela, with invocations and Thirsting Blade just a couple of levels away?
Parameters: my goal here is to optimise their development for damage dealing (ideally still as a melee based combatant). Should the next levels they take be I Warlock, or should I revert to Revised Ranger? This campaign is likely to run until around level 12-15. Multi-classing further into a third class is not option. Complexity of play is not an issue, they are a competent player and have a good level of system familiarity, they're just a little lazy.