D&D 5e: Firbolg Fighter Guide

A male firbolg gunslinger fighter with a sword and a pistol.

D&D 5e: Firbolg Fighter Guide

Fighters have a reputation for being generic and boring; however, even simple things like race selection can make your fighter go from bland to fantastic.

Firbolgs are large fey-oriented forest-dwelling humanoids that are the descendants of giants; they tend to live in isolated communities and fiercely fight to protect nature.

How to Make a Firbolg Fighter

You probably want to be a strength-based fighter since firbolgs tend to lean towards beefy instead of agile, but you could get away with prioritizing dexterity instead of strength; Powerful Build will make sure you don’t feel as weak as the halfling wizard. If possible, use the Tasha’s rules to move the wisdom and strength bonuses to more appropriate stats.

The best subclass for a firbolg fighter is probably Rune Knight; as a half-giant yourself, using the power of giant runes just makes sense, and some of the runes (particularly the cloud rune) can do some tricksy things that also lean into your fey side. Nothing about the class requires you to use strength-based weaponry, so you can use runes and benefit from the bonus damage even on a finesse or ranged weapon.

Rune Knight synergizes particularly well with the Sentinel and Polearm Master feats; because you become larger when using Giant’s Might, you can cover more ground with your reaction attack and make it harder for enemies to get around you, especially if you’re using one of the reach polearms, which happen to be eligible for the delicious Great Weapon Master feat.

How to Play a Firbolg Fighter

Whenever a non-trivial fight starts, on round 1, you should be to activate Giant’s Might to embiggen yourself and gain that delicious 1d6 damage, then you should start attacking enemies with your weapon of choice. Action surge whenever it seems like a good idea, and take short rests often to regain it.

If you’re in danger and need to escape, or if you want to make sure an enemy doesn’t hit you until the start of your next turn, Hidden Step will help you a lot. The defensive potential is usually much more useful than using the bonus action at the start of your turn to get advantage on your next attack, but keep both options in mind.

Use your runes carefully; Cloud Rune, for example, is best saved for a critical hit. Fire Rune is useful in lots of situations but is generally more useful against non-hovering flying enemies, enemies that are far away, or enemies that your whole party is planning on dogpiling with attacks. If an enemy falls victim to your Fire Rune on your first attack, the advantage provided might be a good chance to Action Surge, since you’ll have advantage on all those attacks. Finally, Stone Rune is useful for incapacitating big stupid enemies, and the two level 7+ runes are ideal as buffs for tough fights.

How to Roleplay as a Firbolg Fighter

As a firbolg fighter, you’re likely a straightforward nature warrior with woodland magic and giant magic. If you went Rune Knight, it’s entirely possible that you just learned those techniques from your firbolg community, if you were raised in one.

Your reason for adventuring can vary, but as a character with incredible martial prowess and both tricksy and combat magic, you were probably itching to do something with it regardless.

Disguise Self is excellent for trickery; use it as often as you like. Remember your Speech of Beast and Leaf feature; all beasts and plants can understand you, from squirrels to that rampaging t-rex over there. Even in an urban environment, rats might be easily bribed to do your bidding. Go forth with your rat army!

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