|Darksol the Painbringer|
Darksol the Painbringer wrote:It's flat by being both samey and having a lack of overall variety. Yes, it's definitely extremely effective in a lot of standard land-based combats, but against enemies that use other tactics (such as Invisibility, Control Effects, Flight, Dimension Door, etc.), or in adventures that require certain things to be done (such as casting Teleport, being extremely skilled in numerous skills in the game, Healing), it's definitely not as effective as a more rounded party.It's less of an issue than you'd think. Spellcasters are pretty easy to shutdown with a level 4 silence and trip. Flight is taken care of by items or a buff as in any other party, enemy control effects are no more or less effective than against any other party, bard can off heal with soothe, a fighter/champion can use LoH or champ reaction to mitigate, medicine bot uses Battle Medicine or healer's gloves depending on level. Skills usually aren't too much of an issue if you spread them correctly but you don't lose much subbing the dex fighter for a Thief rogue's two people's worth of skills if you're concerned about it.
The Silence is a bit overkill and could lead to problems with the Bard in the group based on positioning (if they pinched in, they can't cast). Also note that Silence would mean they cannot benefit from Inspire Courage, so they are debuffing themselves to shut down a Spellcaster. You could accomplish the same thing with Disruptive Stance and (Improved) Knockdown, really, when they come online (which is 12th level at the earliest).
Flight is probably the hardest thing to counter without expressly investing in it. In the lower levels where it becomes somewhat commonplace, it's especially crucial to have those back-up ranged weapons. Of course, when you get high enough level, said Fighters can just carry entire backpacks worth of Fly potions, making it pretty moot. Of course, Dispel Magic makes them easy targets if they're spotted, so it's still a bit problematic.
With Enemy Control effects, a Spellcaster might have the tools to remove or negate it that a Fighter simply doesn't. Although not my favorite, I can't deny that an appropriate level Dispel Magic can do a lot against a Dominate effect than simply beating down your friend to unconsciousness (who is also consequently beating you down) can do.
Soothe can be helpful, but as you point out, it requires help from the rest of the party to maintain its effectiveness. A Fighter needing to go into Champion dedication for Reactions to reduce damage and Focus Spells to help heal, another Fighter with Battle Medicine requiring free hands, etc.
Skill training is crucial in this game, as there are several skills that are required to accomplish things in the game to overcome obstacles and encounters. Being in a party that isn't trained enough to deal with Hazards means that most Hazards are TPKs unless we use appropriate contingencies to dispose of the Hazard (my personal favorite so far is Disintegrate, even if it means nuking potential loot into orbit). While the one time we actually TPK'd was from an overclocked homebrew encounter with express counters to our characters (such as Deafened affecting our ability to benefit from Inspire Courage, and triggering AoOs from doing anything besides standing and fighting), the other time we used an as-is adventure path hazard, it nearly resulted in a TPK all by itself, and a trap before that one nearly one-shot a character. A Rogue is far more likely to deal with a Hazard than a Fighter or Bard is based solely on their skill training alone, and depending on how it needs to be disabled (usually Thievery), a Rogue will have better stats for it compared to a Fighter or Bard, and those Hazard DCs are absurd. They would also benefit more from a Bard's Inspire Competence, no less, using the same argument as Fighter being the best to benefit from Inspire Courage.