Esterel is a versatile, Wisdom-based martial build. She relies on hit-and-run tactics, a bit of strategic spellcasting, and her trusty Quarterstaff to get the job done.
Esterel has a strong fey aesthetic, owing to her feylost background and custom lineage ("fey descendent").
This build guide assumes access to the XGoE and TcoE source books. In particular, all ranger options in TCoE are assumed to be taken.
Esterel takes the custom lineage option ("fey descendent"). She is Medium sized, has an additional +2 to her Wisdom score, gains Darkvision, and can speak Common and Sylvan. She also starts of with the Fey Touched feat, which gives access to both the Misty Step and Bless spells along with an additional +1 to her Wisdom score.
Using point-buy, her starting stats are 8/14/14/10/18/10.
Her background is Feylost (WBtW). This gives her skill proficiencies in Deception and Survival. She also gains the Elvish language proficiency.
Esterel starts off as a Ranger. She gains skill proficiencies in Perception, Insight, and Animal Handling. She gains expertise in Perception and Insight from Deft Explorer. She also gains language proficiencies in Primordial and Druidic from this ability.
Her starting equipment includes an Explorer's Pack, Scale Mail armor, a Quarterstaff, and a Shield (total: 70g). This gives her an AC of 18 at 1st level (she should upgrade to Breastplate armor as soon as possible to remove the disadvantage to Stealth checks).
Esterel takes a second level of Ranger, choosing the Druidic Fighting Style. She learns the Shillelagh and Thorn Whip cantrip from this. She also learns the Entangle and Goodberry Ranger spells from this. She uses her Quarterstaff as a druidic focus.
Esterel takes a single level of Cleric (Life Domain).
Esterel takes another 3 levels of Ranger. She takes the following options:
- Level 4
- Esterel joins the Swarmkeeper Ranger Conclave. She learns the Absorb Elements spell.
- Level 5
- Esterel picks up the Polearm Master feat.
- Level 6
- Esterel learns the Spike Growth spell.
Esterel takes 4 levels in Rogue. She takes the following options:
- Level 7
- Gains proficiency in Acrobatics. Gains Expertise in Stealth and Acrobatics.
- Level 9
- She adopts the Swashbucker Rougish Archetype.
- Level 10
- Esterel takes a +2 Wisdom ASI.
Level 11 - 12
Esterel takes 2 leves in Fighter. She takes Dueling as her Fighting Style.
Esterel is a versatile multi-class build (4 classes in 12 levels). She can be described as a skilled martial character with some spellcasting options.
Esterel's modus operendi on the battlefield are her devastating attacks with her Quarterstaff. Shillelagh (level 2) allows her to attack with her Wisdom, her primary attribute. Polearm Master (level 5) weaponizes her bonus action and reaction. Gathered Swarm (level 4), Sneak Attack (level 7), the Dueling Fighting Style (level 11), and Action Surge (level 12) boost this damage even further.
Esterel has an 18 AC at level 1 and has a respectable number of hit points. She can act as a frontliner if she needs to. However, she should rely on hit-and-run tactics at higher levels. She has many options to do this: Misty Step (level 1), Gathered Swarm (level 4), Cunning Action (level 9), and Fancy Footwork (level 10).
Hit-and-run tactics improves the likelihood of her using Polearm Master to make opportunity attacks. And such attacks can result in a second instance of Sneak Attack damage in a single round (Sneak Attack is limited to once per turn, but not necessarily your turn).
Spellcasting and Support
Using a Quarterstaff as a Druidic Focus allows her to cast certain spells even though both hands are occupied by a shield and a weapon. This also gives her a ranged attack option (Thorn Whip) without her dropping or sheathing her Quaterstaff.
A good first turn for Esterel includes spending her action casting a long-lasting spell such as Bless or Faerie Fire followed by casting Shillelagh as a bonus action. Spike Growth and Web pair excellently with Esterel's Gathered Swarm ability, which gives her the option to push enemies 15 feet. Overall, her melee-spellcasting synergies make Esterel an excellent gish.
Outside of combat, her Goodberries can heal 40 Hit Points with just a first level slot. This is because, according to Sage Advice, a Life Cleric's Disciple of Life (level 3) ability applies to each time a Goodbery is consumed. This makes Esterel an excellent out-of-combat healer.
Esterel has a +8 to Perception and Insight at first level. She also knows 5 languages. This makes her an invaluable to exploration and inflitration from very the beginning. By taking levels in both Ranger and Rouge, she doubles her proficiency bonus to 4 skills.