I have plans to make Mashu in Dungeon & Dragons 5.0. Any ideas how I should class her out?
This is going to be a long post.
Alright, so first things first you gotta commit to that name field.
There we go. Mashu is definitely Lawful Good. Though I guess you could argue she’s Neutral Good, but that conversation is always a mess and mostly doesn’t matter outside of DM story stuff so the name is the important part here.
Or, if you prefer,
That’s on you.
Now then, let’s do the base stat distribution. Assuming you’re using the generic ones that pseudo balance the game which are 15, 14, 13, 12, 10, 8 split as you wish then you’ll probably do something like…
If you’re rolling, then just put the numbers you get in sort of this order.
As much as I want to put 14 in Charisma because she is easily the most attractive character in Grand Order, that’s just like my opinion man. For roleplaying purposes she’s probably about average in that regard (Scathach is probably the type of character who roleplays with 15 CHA if you wanted to do a game like that). Of course, her max stat is CON because she’s Shielder.
Then Race. Seeing as she’s Homunculus, it’s probably…
We probably take the variant stat bonuses, which means we get +1 to two stats, a skill proficiency, and a free feat. We’ll get back to the latter two later, but for the +1′s, let’s go with…
Aka the most Mashu traits out of them all. This also has the benefit of being the two odd numbered stats, so they get bumped to even numbers, netting us that bigger roll bonus.
Here we have to take a moment to consider her weapon and armor. She probably wears Light/Medium armor (at least, from her artwork…), but probably plays as if she is in Heavy armor. You can negotiate with your DM on whether she starts with Breastplate armor or Chainmail. Probably chainmail. This narrows the classes to something like Fighter, Cleric, or Pally. Let’s talk about the Shield first.
You should probably discuss with your DM about this one. But my suggestion (and how I would DM it) is that her weapon is a “Greatshield.” First, logistics:
- It counts as a 2 handed weapon.
- The damage is just base longsword damage (Martial, 1d8 slashing (slashing because look at her attack animation)).
- Only you have proficiency with the shield because you are the Shielder.
- You do get the shield AC bonus (+2 to AC).
Now, story things:
- So that it doesn’t get outclassed, your DM probably will have to, at certain points in the story, just tell you that you understand your weapon better and it gets enchantment points.
- Assuming you follow Mashu’s storyline of learning more about the shield and her abilities, if your DM is clever, they can introduce hints towards the name of the shield, your abilities, the NP, etc.
So with that knowledge…
Or, if you like spoilers…
For class, I really don’t want to dive too deep because … multiclasses and spell decisions are just… a mess of possibilities and I need to sleep at some point today. We’ll go to level 3, no multiclassing.
I spent a lot of time thinking about this. I like the War Cleric’s incredible defensiveness, but the proficiencies and turn undead feel weird. I liked Pally’s general feel, but all of their rolls go on CHA, which we already talked about isn’t really Mashu’s strong suit. So, I think I’m deciding on Fighter, which seems generic, but that’s actually a little bit the point. In the game, Mashu is special because she is the only character without a weakness from a class (other than Berserkers) or a strength on a class (other than Berserkers). So this jack-of-all-trades thing suits her, and also allows us the flexibility of speccing her towards defense.
Second wind also makes a lot of sense, if you *SPOILERS*.
This finally nets us our HP and saving throw proficiencies.
From our choice of skill proficiencies, I would definitely go with Insight, as Mashu is that type of girl. Then you get one more pick and then you also get the bonus pick from our Human trait. I would go with Athletics (Fighter pick) and Arcana (Human trait pick). Because she was literally made to be a magic warrior.
(It is at this point we truly stray from the “optimized min/max character.” If you wanted to Min/Max, Arcana doesn’t really make sense to take and you’d probably best be going with Perception or something more generally helpful. But I like roleplaying more than Min/Maxing. From this point on, this becomes very clear.)
Now then, the fun part. Fighting style has lots of reasonable choices (Defense, Great Weapon Fighting, etc), but I think the most Mashu is Protection.
Yep. Definitely Mashu.
Then, at level 3 you get to pick your Martial Archetype. I would be inclined to pick Eldritch Warrior, but I have some foresight and I noticed that after lv 3 any more spells feels very not Mashu. So we go with Battle Master! (Don’t worry, we’ll get back to the magic warrior thing later).
Battle Master lends towards Mashu’s super balanced style some more and also is similar to how she plays in game (lots of support abilities and use). For her Maneuvers, I think you’d go with Commander’s Strike (instead of you attacking you can have one of your friends’ attack in your place), Maneuvering Attack (in game she has a provoke; this is that provoke), and Rally (in game she has a ranged defense buff; this is that ranged defense buff). For the artisan’s tools, I think cooker’s tools are the most logical. Because…. Valentine’s day.
From there it’s up to you.
We also get to pick a feat and this is where Magical Warrior comes in again.
Let’s take some Cleric spells.
are our cantrips and then for our lv 1 spell,
At this point, your opponents should basically never hit you/your team.
The NP is the hard part. Following the story of Mashu, she doesn’t have this ability unless she’s in a pinch, so perhaps the best way to do it would be via story moments and then your shield gets the ability and it’s not really a specific thing that your character learns. It’d probably operate something like Wall of Force, but maybe you can use it on a reaction. Probably do something like fatigues your character for the next 5 turns if you use it. Something like that. Talk with your DM.
Backgrounds, backgrounds… This is a difficult one because it just never fits when you want to roleplay like this.
I suspect Folk Hero is the closest. Your Defining Event can be
the first movie of F/GO when the shield chose you. The Animal Handling (Fou!) and Survival make sense. Not sure about the other Artisan tools though. Maybe Cartographer? I’m not sure.
And with that you’re pretty much set. The rest is just filling in. I suggest forgoing your first Ability point increase for the Shield Master feat and then you can go wherever you wish. Remember you are mostly support and you should end up being the leader of the team and also moral compass. Of course, have fun!.