3 Ways to Break D&D 5e
The DM. Yes, he goes by many names in the table-top community and she may also have the most feared position at the table. Many a character has died by his hand. Many a player has wept at her feet. “Methinks the DM doth have too much power,” to paraphrase that part in Hamlet. While we may have limited tools to defend ourselves against this tyrant, we have the books, magic, and our intuition.
Well, let your spite take over and use these brutal ways to break 5e (Which is typically really difficult to do which is why there's only 3 ways I could work up.) Please note I am using the optional feat rule and Volo’s Guide to Monsters, as well the optional multi-classing rule for some of these.
1- The Speedster
“Well I’ve got a 50 ft speed,” Said the Barbarian to the party, “I can outrun all of you.” Imagine his surprise when you almost make a sonic boom and move from one side to the battlefield in less than a turn. While this build will require most likely require a merciful DM (ironic considering my rant, I know,) and some pretty solid rolls on loot, it is more than worth it in the long… run (One).
In order to make this scary fast character you’re going to need to take the monk class, the Tabaxi race (Volos guide), the mobile feat, boots of speed, a haste spell and the dash action. When you put all of this together you come to a grand total of 1,120 feet in a turn. Allow me to break down the implications of this. If we look through the PHB they say a turn is roughly 6 seconds. If we do all of our calculations, you make a top speed of 205 KPH (127 MPH). Note: If this monk is made he is most certainly addicted to a very dangerous drug-speed. ( I’m not funny, also, two.)
Maybe you don’t have boots of speed or the haste spell. Maybe you don’t even have the option to use feats. In that case, we still have the Tabaxi’s ability to double their speed for a turn, the dash action, and a max speed (at level 20) of 60 feet. Which means that at our worst we’re working with 240 feet maximum, which works out to 44 KPH (27 MPH). This speed is actually the fastest speed ever recorded by a human in real life, making it a bit better for a more realistic campaign. That really makes me want to BOLT (three) to the character sheets to whip up our fast feline.
2- See all, Know all
If you’re like me and didn’t realize passive perception was a thing for the first while of playing 5e, then you were probably kicking yourself constantly asking your players to roll perception for everything under the sun, or asking to roll for perception constantly. Might as well try to redeem yourself with this build.
(Please note I actually stumbled upon this build and was inspired to write this article through Nerdarchy, find their youtube channel here find their webpage here.)
For this character you’re going to need the Observant feat, multiclassing as a ranger/rogue, putting your expertise (from the rogue class) into perception and investigation, high wisdom and intelligence, the Alert feat, and a robe of eyes. Allow me to show you the full power of this build; As you should know the highest DC in game 30, at level 10 (5 ranger/ 5 rogue) your total passive perception score is 28 (with a 20 WIS). At level 20, (again half and half) your total passive perception would be 32. Capped at 30 obviously. With the robe, you gain an advantage, darkvision (if you don't already have it), the ability to see invisibility (with 30 passive perception you’re pretty much already doing that) and the ability to see into the ethereal plane. Essentially you’re not going to miss much. EYE(four) think this is a pretty impressive build.(P.S. Might as well throw in a ring of x-ray vision because why not?)
Swim speeds sure are handy. They may not be something you utilize constantly, but in a campaign where you’re always on the high seas or consistently around water, it becomes almost a necessity. With Volo’s guide, we received a few new races playing around with the many speeds in D&D. To me the Lizardfolk have a certain charm in comparison to the other three races that offer new speed types and even though the Tabaxi can SCALE(five) things with relative ease, the Lizardfolk have a bonus to AC that has lead me to find a most interesting combination.
To perform this little trick the Lizardfolk race needs to be selected, as well as the barbarian class,a damn good CON and DEX, a ring of protection, a cloak of protection, and might as well grab a shield +3 (Note: During the rest of this article I tried to limit the amount of magical items to two when whipping up a game break, but without the maxed out shield, it couldn’t really be considered “game breaking,” also I assumed the Lizardfolk’s 13 base would apply to the unarmoured defence.)
So, let's go this route; Lets operate under the assumption that you’re a level 20, and that your CON is 24 and your DEX is a respectable 18. At this point I’m really sick of math so I’m just going to blatantly say that your AC would be 31. Which as you know is completely insane. If we go to the absolute extreme with the rest of this and say that you have also read the Manual of Bodily Health and the Manual of Quickness of Action (Put the DEX at a cool 22 max and the CON a mighty 26 max) your total AC would be a grand total of 34. Which puts you in a CLASS(six) of your own, as the Tarrasque(highest AC in 5e) has an AC of 25.
Long story short any game you try to break will break. However that does kind of suck the fun out of it doesn’t it? Although, every now and then everyone wants to sit back and relax in “god mode” for a while. No back BREAKING(a forced seventh) carry weight can stop you, no dirty CON(I’m really hating myself at eight) on a corner can fool you and no blade can SLICE(wait that’s not a pun) your thick skin. When it comes to basic characters, try to optimise, but keep in mind, there is a thing as “too” powerful, especially in games where balance is such a key aspect, and a part of the multiplayer aspect of D&D. If you want something where you’re good at everything and have powers of a god, go play an Elder Scrolls game.
Jarod Lalonde is a young role-player and writer whose passion for both lead him here. He’s often sarcastic and has a +5 to insult. Dungeons and Dragons is his favorite platform. Although he’s not quite sure if it’s Call of Cthulhu whispering to him in the small hours of the night, or just persistent flashbacks to the Far Realm.
31/1/2017 08:26:55 am
The natural armor does not apply in addition to the unarmored defense. You either use one or the other, either way 31 AC is certainly solid. If we're doing high level play I'd recommend the infinite Pit Fiend (because magical weapons) army alternatively it can be dragons. At any rate, you get a character with a max level of 20 who is either a wizard of at least level 17 or a bard who is at least level 18. The level 17 wizard takes wish and simulacrum and true polymorph, the level 18 bard takes true polymorph and the other spells but uses magical secrets to get them. That's all the setup, so the character takes 12 hours and a bunch of gold to cast simulacrum of them. The simulacrum then casts wish to cast simulacrum on the original who is missing a 7th level spell slot, but who still has the 9th level as then every future simulacrum repeats the process. The prime then rests and casts true polymorph, concentrating for the whole duration and turning their simulacrum into a pit fiend, You then rest and repeat the process and ta-da, infinite army of pit fiends under your control.
31/1/2017 03:59:28 pm
Just wondering where you get that skill DC is capped at 30? I do not remember seeing this in either the SRD, PHB or DMG. Could you please point me to the source of this.
1/2/2017 09:48:24 pm
PG 174 of the PHB. It states 30 as "Nearly impossible." I kind of assumed that meant anything higher was literally impossible, like trying to shoot the moon out of the sky with a bow and arrow. I made a few assumptions writing this up . Although it does look to be one of my more reasonable assumptions. But that's the place I took the max DC Rich. Hope to see you in the comments some other time bud.
21/2/2018 10:16:36 pm
I'm a bit disappointed by the first one. Correct me if I'm wrong but I can equal your speed with a level 10 gnome druid.
21/2/2018 10:23:49 pm
Upon reading teleport you can only do it 5 times with a Wis of 20 before a long rest which is disappointing, but understandable
28/2/2018 03:48:52 am
well the tabaxi monk at lvl 10 can move the same..
11/10/2018 10:25:58 am
Taxabi Monk at lvl 6 / Druid at lvl 4
11/10/2018 02:34:14 pm
Well actually I made a the Tabaxi a Way of the Shadow monk so not only is he fast but is able to step between shadows.
1/8/2019 06:40:53 am
Monks can also use 1 ki point to bonus action dash.
31/3/2018 02:57:40 am
Funnily enough, my first D&D 5e character (first time really playing D&D even), I was a cleric. I was a knowledge seeker and Aarakocra (don't worry, we started at level 11, and my wings didn't work). He grew up with a ranger father and cleric mother, and so he did have some ranger-like traits. He had expertise in perception, Observant, and as luck would have it, I ended up with a Robe of Eyes at level 16. Also I was a Linguist, so I could read people's lips behind my back.
21/11/2018 12:09:19 pm
for the first one, with the right equipment and multi classing you can get your speed to be over 10,000 feet a turn (not base) and i ended up getting 21,000 speed on a 15th level character
21/11/2018 12:14:45 pm
2386.364 miles an hour!
20/5/2019 07:23:04 pm
The speed of sound is only 767mph...
1/8/2019 06:38:33 am
As for the tabaxi monk one. Monks can use a ki point to use dash as a bonus action so all of that would actually be faster than you’ve calculated
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