Building a Fighter at 1st Level.

In this article I will detail how I would build each of the three fighters from the previous article Fighters. Each will be using a different fighter archetype at 3rd level, so the way I will set up their stats and skills will vary a fair bit. Because 3rd level is such a big turning point for characters in 5E I try to think about it at 1st level. If you plan ahead that little bit then you can align the skills etc with the character you want at 3rd and beyond. Furthermore the choice you will make at 3rd can inform the character you play at 1st. As an example, if you want to take Eldritch Knight at 3rd you can make a character who has some basic magical skills. This could either be from that characters race or a feat such as Magic Initiate.

When the goblins took his beard he swore an oath to regain his honour. Packing only what he could carry he left hearth and home to roam the lands in search of a battle worthy of such a quest.

The Quest of Fecklar The Shorn


The below table shows how I have allocated the stats for each fighter. This is prior to adding any racial bonus that they will get. To start with our Dwarf Fecklar. Because he is focused on Str and Con they get the higher stats. Berrick is a going to be a Dex based fighter so Dex gets priority. Also I put the 14 into Con as it gives a nice hit point bonus.

Lastly Thanwell. There are a lot of stats to cover for this character. Because he will be using finesse weapons I have given Dex the 16. This also gives his AC a bump. Next I put the 14 into Int as it will be needed for his casting after 3rd level. And lastly I put the 13 into Wis. The reason for this is that I intend to Dual class him into Monk for one level before reaching 5th.

fighter dwarf

Racial Bonuses.

To start with I picked Mountain Dwarf for Fecklars race. Then Variant Human for Berrick and High Elf for Thanwell. Because of the +2 Con and +2 Str Fecklar comes out with great bonuses for each of those two stats. Moving on, for Berrick I put his +1 onto Dex and Cha giving him a good Dex bonus and also a number of average bonuses across the board. Lastly Thanwell. Due to being a High Elf he gets +2 Dex and +1 Int. Both are stats he will be needing. So he ends up with a high Dex bonus as well as couple of smaller bonuses for Int and Wis. I will detail the other perks from each of the characters races in the next section on background.

After Racial Bonus


Before getting into the class skills ect I will go through the background and racial perks. As a hard bitten Dwarf warrior the Soldier background works well for Fecklar. This gives him Athletics and Intimidation along with a Gaming Set and skill with land vehicles(carts I assume??). As well as these he gets an extra tool skill from his race. For this I gave him Smiths Tools, they are useful for fixing armour and maybe earning coin between adventures.

Berrick was an easy choice, Sailor. This background fits the classic swashbuckling concept. From this he gets Athletics, Perception, Navigators Tools and skill with water vehicles. So boats? Due to being a variant human he gains an extra skill and a feat. For the skill I took Stealth, one of the most used skills and fitting for a roguish warrior. However the feat was more tricky but I settled on Medium Armour Master. This feat simply put gets him a better AC as he can use +3 of his Dex bonus in medium armour.

Lastly Fanwell. After some time I picked Entertainer for his background. This is because it suits the knife thrower concept better than Outlander or Charlatan. From this background he gets Acrobatics and Performance as skills. Also with this background you get the use of a Disguise Kit and the ability to use one instrument. Because I chose High Elf as his race he gets a bonus cantrip. This ties into the Mystic concept and Eldritch Knight archetype. Poison Spray would be my choice as it does 1D12 damage on a failed Con save.

Some men live by the feud.

The Life of Berric ‘The Bold’

Fighter Class Features.

All three fighters get the same choice of options as a 1st level character. But the different choices should reflect how I would play each and who they are meant to be. The choices at 1st are to pick two skills and what fighting style to use. Because apart from the Champion archetype you only get one fighting style its is an important choice. The skills available for a Fighter are Acrobatics, Animal Handling, Athletics, History, Insight, Intimidate, Perception or Survival.


Keeping the same order to avoid confusion I will start with Fecklar. From the skills list Perception and Survival best suit the character. He already has Athletics and Intimidation. And for a fighting style I was torn. Because on the one hand Defence seemed a good fit for a tank style fighter. But Duelling gives a better bonus and scales better. +1 AC vs +2 damage? However in the end Duelling won out, but only just.


For Berrick I decided on keeping with the classic tropes of a swashbuckler. So I picked Acrobatics to help with all the swinging on ropes and whatnot. The second skill I picked was Intimidation. Pirates and the like are often seen to inspire fear in their foes. However much I tried not to this brought to mind the classic ‘To The Pain’ scene from the Princess Bride. Moving on to his fighting style there were two choices. I could go with down the Dual Wielding route or pick Duelling and take the damage bonus? But with the Princess Bride still very much in my mind I opted for the Duelling route.


Moving on to Thanwell. For the Mystic warrior in training I selected Insight and Perception as his skills. Both seemed to fit with the characters concept. With the choice of fighting style I opted for Two-Weapon Fighting. Now I have read a fair bit of negative press as it were about this fighting style. But as it allowed you to make two thrown weapon attacks it would work very well for the knife thrower concept. Also it would work with some ideas I had brewing for this characters advancement.

Mystic fighter

Weapons and Armour.

Lastly we come to perhaps the biggest choice that fighters have. The choice of weapon. This is a defining part of any fighter. Because the weapon a fighter wields defines who they are. In same way that a Wizard is defined by his spells so a fighter is defined by his weapons. To a lesser degree this is also true of the armour that a warrior wears. A knight in studded leather or swashbuckler in full plate just does not work.


For Fecklar the choice was easy. His primary weapon would be a battle axe. It’s a staple of any Dwarf, can be used with or without a shield and does the sweet spot of damage dice. The D8. Add a pair of hand axes for up close ranged attacks and that more or less completes the 1st level set up except for his armour. Because he would not be relying on Dex for his AC the best option was to take the heaviest armour available, chain mail. Combined with a shield he begins with an AC of 18. Not to shabby.


In the case of Berrick there was really only one weapon that suited the style and skillset. That weapon was the rapier. It does the perfect 1D8 damage and uses Dex rather than Str because it is a finesse weapon. He could also carry a dagger just in case or as a throwing weapon. Armour was going to be just a tad more tricky. Do I opt for light armour and use all his Dex bonus? Or use medium armour and less Dex? But because of the Medium Armour Master Feat (thanks Variant Human)he could wear a chain shirt and get a +3 Dex bonus.


Thanwell was easy as I had already baked one of his main weapons into the concept. A knife thrower really does need to have knives. So he would have as many daggers as is possible to conceal, for this article I will say 6 daggers. Maybe two at his belt, two in the tops of his boots and a pair strapped to his chest. However I would also give him a spear. Although it is not great at 1st except to throw that would change as he advances. As for armour, it should be light, so studded leather. This would give him a starting AC of 16.

1st Level Fighter the Conclusion.

I think that covers most of the character creation process for 1st level. I have not however covered alignment or the Traits, Flaws and Bonds part of the backgrounds. The reason for this that how people play alignment is quite varied. I might try working up and article about it at some stage. But if I had to assign alignment to each of the fighter characters I would give Fecklar LG, Berrick CG and Thanwell CN. Lastly if I am honest I never really use the Traits and Flaws bit. For me I find it better just to decide what my character is like and not use set traits. If people find them helpful that’s great but they are just not for me. With that I shall make a start on the third in this series of posts about fighters that will cover advancement to 5th level.

Some said it was madness, others that it was brilliance.

Tale of the lost Elf
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