My goal is to have a viable front-line sorcerer–'viable' means that he has decent-enough AC to stay in the front (as high as a rogue should be sufficient, no?), and good-enough damage that he's not a bad pack-mule for the party (the build isn't really giving up much damage, compared to straight sorcerer; so, this shouldn't be an issue). Ideally, the build would include War Caster and Sentinel, in order to get 2 casts per round, as often as possible.
I'm wondering whether the following build would be viable for melee sorcerer (survive in melee, and deal above average damage). If not, any suggestions to make it so?
- Class: 1 Rogue, 19 Sorcerer
- Sorcerous Origin: Draconic Bloodline (Bronze-Lightning)
- Race: Drow
- Str 8
- Dex 16 (14 Starting, +2 Drow)
- Con 14
- Int 10
- Wis 10
- Cha 20 (15 Starting, +1 Drow, +4 from ability increase)
- Elemental Adept
- Sentinel (or Lucky)
- War Caster (or Defensive Duelist)
- The gist is that Draconic Bloodline grants +19 HP and 13+Dex Mod AC (better than a Chain Shirt), so, the char should be fine for AC in the low levels (and will hopefully find some light/medium armor for the late game–ideally something that doesn't interfere with Dragon Wings).
- Offensively, Rapier with Sneak Attack will take care of the first 2-3 levels, until Shocking Grasp (for example, gets +Cha mod damage) has scaled, and higher-level spells when needed.
- Presumably, Sentinel and War Caster will allow me to cast two spells per round (2x Shocking Grasps, worst-case scenario), and I'm hoping this damage is decent enough (with the +Cha Mods), while exercising some control over the battlefield.
- Alternatively, Defensive Duelist and Lucky will give me much more survivability, but at the cost of offensive power.
I haven't picked spells yet, but I'll be leaning towards offensive non-range, non-concentration (suggestions welcome). I was hoping to use Stealth (with Cunning Action) to hide during combat, but unless I cast invisibility first, I don't see how else to do it.
This really isn't as viable as you'd probably want it to be.
First, there really isn't a way to hide and play in melee at the same time (unless you're a halfling).
Second, a 16 AC is OK at first level, but will be pretty bad late in the game (the couple of high CR creatures we've seen would hit that 95% of the time, which is as much as they can). So you're definitely in trouble late.
If you want to patch the AC though, you're going to have to either switch to medium armor, or consider a Fighter, Paladin or Ranger for the first two levels. Fighter and Pally will give you access to heavy armor, all three will give you a shield, but more importantly, all three give you access to the Defensive fighting style which will give you a +1 bonus to AC for free if you wear some kind of armor.
As far as dealing with dragon wings in armor, the only catch is that you need to get armor specifically made for them. That's wouldn't be hard to commission and shouldn't be much (if any) more expensive than a standard set of armor (Though it may take a few days or weeks to get).
You've also got one too many feats here. If you take 2 levels of a class, and then 18 of another class, you only get 4 ability increases instead of 5, since you're spending 2 on boosting cha, you'll only get 2 feats. Up to you which two. Or you could stick to an 18 CHA, not the best choice, but it's quite viable.
So no, I don't think Rogue 2/Sorcerer 18 is viable in melee. I think it could be an interesting class to play, but it should probably stick to sneaking around and shooting from the shadows rather than mixing it up in melee.