Now That’s More Orcpower! (Champion Fighter)

Moving from Druids to the realm of real hand-to-hand fighters, we’ll start with the 6th level Champion dual-weapon fighter. Wielding either an axe and a hammer, or two of each (doesn’t matter, the damage is the same), the combination of a pretty good starting die roll (one 16) plus judicious selection of races and stat advances and feats makes for a dangerous fighter.

How dangerous? As dangerous as the Barbarian?

Let’s see.

Hilde the Lesser Fighter

Hilde is a great-weapon fighter, armed in chain mail armor and carrying a halberd. 

Key Stats

This is a knock-down, drag out brawl to the finish. The only stats Hilde has that matter are 

Attack: 1d20+7 to hit, 1d10+4 slashing damage, two attacks.

Total damage: 11 per hit, and Orcs have AC 13. 75% chance to hit, so 8 damage per attack on the average, twice.

Basically, Hilde will kill one orc (15 HP) per turn. A bit more, actually, if you let fractional damage carry over. On the defense, Hilde has AC 16 and 44 HP, plus 11 more due to Second Wind. 1d20+5 for the orcs will hit 50% of the time, so 4.5 damage per round, so Hilde will last about 12 rounds of combat before hitting 0 HP, and will kill 13.2 Orcs in the process.

A commenter ran some math, and noted it took something like 26,000 attacks to kill 10,000 orcs, so about 1.3 combat rounds per orc, using his simulation. That’s what happens when you lose spill-over damage, apparently. I haven’t checked his work (nor will I), but it might show that the orcpower rating is overestimated by about 30% for the fighters relying on multiple attacks. 

In any case, Hilde is worth 12-13 Orcpower as an unopimized great-weapon fighter with the Standard Array and no careful selection of anything. 

The Enemy: Orcs

AC 13, 1d20+5 to hit, 9 damage on the average, one attack. Saving throws won’t be required here. This is just a brawl.

6th Level Dual-Wielding Champion Fighter

The champion fighter is completely optimized around multiple attacks with strong weapons. The choice of Dual-Wielder allows for two full-sized weapons at full strength, so three attacks instead of two with 1d8+5 weapons. 

Key Abilities

The key bits for the Champion are the Action Surge (one additional action for the entire fight, plus a possible bonus action), Second Wind (adds 11.5 HP back to the warrior), and double the chance of critical hits, which adds a bit of damage to the average strike.


AC 19 thanks to Dual-Wielder, against a 1d20+5 attack from the orcs. The orcs have to roll 14 or higher to hit, so 35% chance, doing 9 damage on a hit, and a 5% chance of a critical for  9.2 damage on a success, or 3.22 per round. This will eat through the primary and Second Wind HP in 22 rounds, for a healthy level of longevity.


Attack: 1d20+8 to hit, 1d8+5 basic slashing or bludgeoning damage, and three attacks.

Critical Hits – the fighter has a 10% chance of a critical hit, which adds 0.45 per strike
Strength – Hilde adds +5 to each successful damaging attack from STR

Total damage: Average 10 per hit, and Orcs have AC 13. 80% chance to hit, so 8 damage per attack on the average. So it will take two hits to kill an orc, and our champion can down 1.5 per turn with his 3 attacks. Allowing spill0ver, he’s doing 24 HP per round, or 1.6 per round, for 22 rounds. That’s 35.2 by his own hand. Oh, plus probably 2 more from Action Surge, which is basically one free round of extra fighting . . .so 37.

Total OrcPower: 13.2 from the companion fighter, 37 personally: 50 Orcpower.

Parting Shot

The Champion is slightly less potent than the Barbarian, who will kill something like 43 orcs personally, and the 12-13 from Hilde makes for about 55. The companion is really there to soak up character class abilities that buff friends to increase Orcpower, but these guys are just mano-a-mano fighters.

So the overall personal effectiveness is something like 15% less than our Barbarian pirate. Perhaps this isn’t surprising. With the shield we gave him, our Barbarian is AC 18, gets damage boosts from his Rage, and his resistance gives him impressive longevity.

Lest we get depressed, recall our melee Bard will only kill 8 orcs by himself, so the Champion fighter is about 4x more effective than the Bard as a fighter (good), but of course with the right spells, the Bard is pushing 60 or so. 

Something like Hunter’s Mark, even if it were only an extra 1d4, might push the fighter equal to the Barbarian (if that’s a requirement or desired). Obviously, something that gave +3 to hit would also bring it about in line, as would allowing another Second Wind. 

Actually, one Second Wind use per attack (so one up through 4th level, and two up until 20th level or wherever the Champion gets three attacks) might do it, as would CON 18 instead of CON 16 for the fighter.

Actually, that’s probably it right there, in a way. The extra CON for the Barbarian gets effectively doubles due to resilience. The fighter and the barbarian both do an average of 8 points per attack. 

Of course, if the Barbarian’s rage uses ever run out, he’s down to two attacks, 1d8+4, at 75% chance to hit, or 12.75 HP per turn . . . 0.85 Orcs per turn compared to our dual-weapon fighter’s “I can sustain this until I die” 1.6 orcpower.

You know, truly an Orc per turn should be an orcpower, in the manner of power being energy per unit time. This bothers the engineer in me. I will get over it, which pleases the manager in me.

So the Champion is about twice as effective as the Barbarian if said barbarian is denied his rage. He’s still more effective than the Bard, because AC 18 and 72 HP, but it brings His Barbarianness down to 17 Orcs personally instead of a much higher number. 

The danger for the barbarian, then, in terms of combat effectivness, is being in many small but tough fights where he must Rage, thus burning up his uses, which I believe are four per long rest. The Second Wind and Action Surge can both be used each short rest, so again the Champion is the tortoise in the race between tortoise and hare. An effective combatant (3 orcs every two rounds is nice) who is not going to burn himself out any time soon.

Finally, the Archer Build

Without going through everything, the archer actually does great damage vs AC 13 with Sharpshooter. Each attack that hits will kill an orc, full stop (1d8+15). The lower chance to hit (65%) brings the average slayage to a highly respectable 1.7 per turn – more than our melee guy by a tiny amount. 

He’ll get hit more often, though. And I seem to recall something about using a bow in close combat being an issue. But if you can keep the archer protected, he’s very, very dangerous from up to 600′ away. He’ll drop in 17-18 rounds vs. the melee fighter’s 22 by virtue of AC 17 instead of 19. Played right, though, this guy’s brutal for thinning a herd from a protected perch.

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