[RPG] How to use Charisma instead of Strength or Dexterity for weapon attacks without being a Hexblade warlock


I am building a level 2 character for D&D 5e.

For story reasons (I just had to break ties with my patron, in a very fun way), I can no longer be a warlock.

Is there a class (Unearthed Arcana is allowed) that will allow me to basically use the Hexblade warlock's Hex Warrior feature with a weapon (XGtE, p. 55)? Specifically, this benefit of the feature:

When you attack with that weapon, you can use your Charisma modifier, instead of Strength or Dexterity, for the attack and damage rolls.

My goal is to dip a max of 3 levels in a class other than bard. But a pure bard build is preferable!

I can also use anything in the official rule-books such as Xanathar's Guide to Everything, and Volo's Guide to Monsters.

I also saw many people say that "That's not how pacts work" and while you are technically correct, this was a ruling from my DM for story reasons, not from us misinterpreting the rules.

Imagine a reincarnation where the character stays exactly the same, but I need to switch classes.

Best Answer

One niche method of doing this is the shillelagh cantrip

The shillelagh spell states:

The wood of a club or quarterstaff you are holding is imbued with nature's power. For the duration, you can use your spellcasting ability instead of Strength for the attack and damage rolls of melee attacks using that weapon, and the weapon's damage die becomes a d8. The weapon also becomes magical, if it isn't already. The spell ends if you cast it again or if you let go of the weapon.

One way to acquire this spell is the Bard's Magical Secrets feature which states:

[...] Choose two spells from any class, including this one. A spell you choose must be of a level you can cast, as shown on the Bard table, or a cantrip.

The chosen spells count as bard spells for you and are included in the number in the Spells Known column of the Bard table [...]

Because shillelagh would count as a Bard spell, it would allow you to use Charisma (your spellcasting ability) for attacks and damage.

Another similar method, pointed out by user @Ruse in a comment, is the Pact of the Tome for a Warlock - it lets you treat the cantrips you choose to learn as Warlock spells, and thus they would use Charisma as well.

Note any other methods that allow shillelagh to count as a Bard, Warlock, or Sorcerer spell will also accomplish this. Overall, this is a rather small use-case, as it only applies to clubs and quarterstaves, but it is better than nothing.

Besides features like the above, the cantrip is only available to the Druid, the Nature Cleric, and the Unearthed Arcana Giant Soul Sorcerer (specifically the Hill Giant subclass). Of these the only one that has Charisma as its spellcasting ability is the UA Sorcerer subclass. You could take this class/subclass, and it would require at least one level into Sorcerer.