Reynard_the_fox wrote:I may have the wrong impression, but can all three of them stand on the front line equally well? My impression is that the Ranger cannot take punishment as well as the other classes.
To that end, I would suggest using the following classes if possible, as they tend towards lower complexity.
-Ranger (if starting below level 4)
Barbarian and Paladin both get significant boosts to their hit points, Barbarian from a d12 hit die and Rage and Paladins from Lay on Hands; but the only difference defensively between Ranger and Fighter is that Fighters have access to heavy armor. Give them Breastplate and a healthy Con score and a Ranger will be pretty sturdy. Oh, and Rangers do get a little bit of healing magic, too, meaning they can wield a Wand of Cure Light Wounds just as well as a Cleric.
Rangers aren't quite as good at hitting things (with the exception of their Favored Enemy), but they get lots of skills, which is very nice; and at 4th, they get an animal companion AND limited spellcasting. They're great for people who want to do a little bit of everything. Of course, that means they're slightly more complex to play, but it should be fine as long as it's not a brand new player trying to jump straight to a 4+ level Ranger.
Reynard_the_fox wrote:So I looked into Inquisitor and didn't find that they have Disable Traps. I looked a bit further and found that only Rogues and Alchemists have that skill. I understand that Skill Monkeys are more than just Disable Traps but does that mean every team that doesn't have either class just uses cleric heals and crowbars. I must be missing something.
Remember, anyone with Perception and Disable Device can deactivate nonmagical traps. It's only magical traps that need a class ability, and by the time you start encountering them en masse your players should have access to Dispel Magic.
Are you playing with traits? Typically, each character gets to pick two traits that represent skills they gained growing up. They're usually a +1 to a save, +1 to a skill (and make it a class skill), or a similar small boon. So even though Paladins don't usually get Disable Device as a class skill, if that particular Paladin happened to be a Vagabond Child or have Nimble Fingers, Keen Mind, (s)he can be quite good at picking locks or disabling traps. There's a trait for just about every skill, which is one of the reasons I don't usually worry about skills when people are picking classes.