CharOp Chronicles: Playing with Pregens I

We’ve been told by many first time players at our public play events that they love our Iconic Pregenerated Characters. In this new column, we’ll dive into developing those characters and their stories, and how you can play those stories out through your in-character leveling choices.

Our Iconic Pregenerated Characters were created using the Player’s Handbook (PHB), and we’ll present several options with branching character paths relying solely on the content of this book.

Without further ado, let’s start by examining two of the most popular picks during our quarterly Open House days.


1. Ambrus the Mighty

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Yes. Dragonborn Paladin.

Ambrus begins his errantry as a Paladin in Torm’s service, but it is his adventures and the people he meets that ultimately define the Oath he swears at the culmination of his early journeys.

a. Stalwart Protector

If he stays true to his calling, he might devote his blade to defending the weak (through the Protection Fighting Style) and swear the Oath of Devotion at Level 3.

He is a comforting presence on the battlefield (thanks to the Inspiring Leader feat at Level 4), more than capable of weathering hostile magic and dragon fire (thanks to the Shield Master feat at Level 8).  He eventually grows into his own, bolstering his conviction and that of his allies (with an increase to Charisma at Levels 12 and 16).

b. Relentless Avenger

Should he be overwhelmed by the cruel vagaries of fate, Ambrus might eschew the shield in favor of the halberd (adopting the Great Weapon Fighting Style) and swear the Oath of Vengeance – to punish the wicked and to become the blade of justice.

Devoting himself to intense martial study (through the Polearm Master feat at Level 4 and Great Weapon Master at Level 8), he will walk a path carved in blood where might ultimately makes right (with an increase to Strength at Levels 12 and 16).

c. Diverging Paths

With his disposition and a body suited to battle, it is likely that Ambrus will hone his martial skills as a Fighter (perhaps 2 levels for Action Surge).

Should he decide to unlock the inherent magic of his bloodline to better defend his allies, he is likely to be a Draconic Sorcerer (perhaps 6 levels, for access to Dispel Magic and Counterspell).

Sample Build: Paladin (Devotion or Vengeance) 18/Fighter 2 or Paladin (Devotion or Vengeance) 14/Sorcerer (Draconic) 6


2. Rook

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Everyone loves an Elf Ranger.

Under the tutelage of the sorceress Themis Starcall and her rangers, Rook has grown to be a capable shot and proficient woodsman. He has vowed to hone his skills, and one day help to reclaim his ancestral home in the Cormanthor from the demons that invaded it.

a. Woodland Archer

Rook might build his confidence by hunting bigger prey from afar (with the Archery Fighting Style and Hunter: Colossus Slayer), whittling them down before they can close on him by hitting them where it hurts (thanks to the Sharpshooter feat at Level 4).

He’s not the sturdiest, but it’s difficult to catch him unawares (with the Alert feat at Level 8). If he gets in trouble, is swift on his feet, and deft enough to extricate himself from danger (with an increase to Dexterity at Levels 12 and 16).

b. Beast Slayer

If Rook were braver, he might instead choose to go toe-to-toe with the toughest of foes, relying on his natural grace and agility to chip at their defenses (with the Two-Weapon Fighting Style and Hunter: Giant Killer) with his twin rapiers (through the Dual Wielder feat at Level 4).

With repetition comes mastery. Days of rigorous sparring with his master has instilled in him the techniques to combat spellcasters (with the Mage Slayer feat at 8th), and his dance of steel gets quicker and deadlier (with an increase to Dexterity at Levels 12 and 16).

c. Diverging Paths

Rook was taught the prayers of Corellon Larathian as a child, and reciting those prayers could guide his arrows to strike true (with 2 levels of Cleric: War Domain).

He might also be mentored in trick shots and other weapon techniques by more seasoned warriors (translating to 3 levels of Fighter: Battlemaster).

Sample Build: Ranger (Hunter) 15/Fighter (Battlemaster) 3/Cleric (War) 2


3. Parting Shot

How would you build these Iconic Pregens using only the Player’s Handbook, and how would you weave your class choices into the character’s story?

Be sure to let us know!

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