5th Edition,  Creating Character,  D&D,  Other Games,  RPG

Creating Character: Thadrak and his Demonic Flamethrower

While I’ve often made my own characters, it is not often i’m asked to help build others. Well, here we are, building a character on request. Lets see what I can do. 

I’m just using the name Thadrack because it is a nice, dwarven name. The Character I’ve been asked to look at is something of a strange one, being based not on a character concept or a crunchy bit, but that of a miniature in one of many great lines out there, the Abyssal Dwarven Flamethrower, below. 

The character, ignoring the assistant, would be dragging around a flamethrower that they’d be able to use to belch flame and other types of related substances.

Lets start with the easy parts of the concept. The Character is clearly a dwarf, and is armored head to toe. This means that either we have to have an armored class or spend up to three feats getting there. He doesn’t look like he has a melee weapon, so I don’t know that a class focusing on melee attacks is going to help. 

He also is going to have to be able to throw fire from the flame thrower. There are a few classes that can do that, notably: Monk, Sorcerer, and Wizard. None of these classes have armor proficiency, though, which is going to prove a problem. 

I think there are a few decision points along the way, and they offer similar style, but slightly different outcomes. 

First, for the armor proficiency: Mountain Dwarf to get training in Medium and Light armor, and then use the feat at level 4 for heavy armor is the most foolproof way to get it. You can do this no matter how many levels you need to take in any class in order to maintain your path. The other way is to take fighter 1. This allows you access to heavy armors quickly, and the first level of fighter also gives you access to Fighting Style and Second Wind. The fighting style is pretty limited since you’re not going to have any melee weapons or shields, leaving you with the only option of Defense, granting another +1 AC while wearing armor, very useful. Second wind, too, is also great for a simple and easy healing. 

Second: Spellcasting to get the fire to spew out of the flamethrower is pretty basic. Monk can’t do it often enough and shouldn’t be wearing armor. Wizard has a book of spells and some very specific rules around their spellbook. Sorcerer, clearly, is the superior option. I’d work it pretty close to how I worked on my sorcerer-monk. I’d take Subtle Spell, Dragon Sorcerer and name the flamethrower my spellcasting focus. This would enable the character to only cast spells while the flamethrower is around (provided it has material components) and represent (when needed) verbal and somatic components as cursing at, kicking, and yelling toward the experimental flamethrower. When It works correctly (using subtle spell) it works, but sometimes, it just doesn’t and you’ve got to persuade the thing. 

I’d go something like Fighter 2/Sorcerer 8 at 10th level. Fighter 2 gains you Action Surge, and if you’re in fighter already, might as well get another level and get two spells in a turn! 8th level provides you access to 4/3/3/2, and 5 different cantrips. 

Thadrak the Fireforged
Race: Dwarf – This is part of the concept of the character and shouldn’t really be changed. Because we’re going with Fighter 2, we’re not going to need a specific subrace. Mountain Dwarf gives the greatest bonus (+2Str and +2 Cn), but we’re unlikely to use the Str Score, so its all a matter of preference here, with a small bend to Hill Dwarf for more HP. 
Highest Stat: Charisma: People are going to be making saves all the time against your spells, so getting a high saving throw is pretty paramount. Few other stats will have such payoff. 
 Second Highest Stat: Constitition with a plethora of close-range spells made for scorching peoples faces off, this character is going to be absolutely in the thick of things. Having a high Cn for both Concentration saves, when needed, and a durable hit point total is going to be really nice. 
Background: Soldier Clearly, he was once part of a military operation in order to have this likely expensive and powerful piece of equipment. Clan Crafter can also work, as can Guild Artisan. All feel right for this type of character. 
Armor: Plate Mail or Half Plate. This character is going to be up close and personal, and his concept image is covered in armor. I cannot see getting him anything less. 
Weapons: None/Spell Focus Flamethrower – Using this as the spell focus, as above, is also key to the character. I think making it the spell focus is a good way to show that intimate tie
Skills: Perception, Athletics Noticing where and how to apply your flamethrower, and making sure that you’re aware of threats will assist mightily. Athletics makes sense for lugging that giant flamethrower around as you would have to be pretty powerful to do it. 
Sorcerer Origin: Draconic Blood: There is a lot of parts of this class that will be neglected. You’re unlike to not wear armor, and your ability to grow wings through your armor is, I would imagine, stifled. However, Being able to add your Charisma bonus to damage is great,  and getting another HP per level on top of hill dwarf will make him surprisingly durable. Grab the durable feat later on for even more HP goodness. 
Metamagic: Empower Spell, Subtle Spell, This is the basic power-pair of metamagic, and it proves itself once again here. Using Subtle makes the flamethrower believable, and empower is really nice with Elemental Adapt, below. They work together well, rerolling low numbers and at the worst pushing up re-rolled 1’s. 
Fourth Level Feat: Elemental Adept. This one is vital to the build. With Fire being the elemental type most resisted and immune, this will help Thadrak get through resistance and deal a reasonable damage. Additionally, the +1 damage for rolls of 1 will come into play fairly often and will push your minimum damage up a bit. It’s not a reroll, and you can’t get higher damage, but you will not end up with a 1 on a re-roll either. 
Eighth Level AGI: This is when I would try to push up the Charisma Stat. I would expect its something around 16, and you’ll need to push it higher as the levels go on. Elemental Adept will net you more damage, more times, In my opinion, than an early boost in Cha. 

My spell selection would be something like:
3 1st – Burning Hands, Fog Cloud, Catapult
2 2nd Aganazzars Scorcher, Dragons Breath
2 3rd Stinking Cloud, Fireball
2 4th Wall of fire, Vitriolic sphere

At this point, you should be able to build a pretty solid character from here, and you understand where I am going with it. I hope you enjoyed this look into how I made this character, and what I do in order to cement the concept. 

Until next time!