Best party mix for AOW


Age of Worms Adventure Path


I have six players and am looking for suggestions on the best party mix for AOW. In the current campaign, SCAP, they are rather fighter heavy, and seem to like it.

Fighter/Wizard1/Arcane Archer
Paladin/Fighter
Holy Warrior (like a Paladin with different powers)
Cleric/Radiant Servant
Fighter/Battlerager
Rogue

Yea, no *real* arcanist.

I can see them coming up with something like this for AOW. Will it work? Should I insist on an arcanist?

-- david


Personally, I think every party should have at least one full-time arcane caster, or at least very close to it. That's simply because the Wizard spell list is the most useful addition to a party. Sure, a part-timer can use wands and scrolls, but someone who can cast them for free makes a huge difference, especially at high levels. Fighters with buffs and protections from clerics are OK, but will still only go so far as you still have to hack through the monsters and the monsters invariably hit harder than your fighters ever can - you need a number of spells in the wizard list that can even up the odds.

I see the Age of Worms as being no different from most campaigns in this regard, possibly more so in terms of having at least one full-time arcane caster present. Then again, I'm only speaking hypothetically, I think your party of six would be a good experiment, perhaps the mix of fighter and cleric types will be enough, and it certainly sounds really interesting.


Papa-DRB wrote:

I have six players and am looking for suggestions on the best party mix for AOW. In the current campaign, SCAP, they are rather fighter heavy, and seem to like it.

Fighter/Wizard1/Arcane Archer
Paladin/Fighter
Holy Warrior (like a Paladin with different powers)
Cleric/Radiant Servant
Fighter/Battlerager
Rogue

Yea, no *real* arcanist.

I can see them coming up with something like this for AOW. Will it work? Should I insist on an arcanist?

-- david

We have a somewhat similiar group composition... (The Dusk Blades and Dragon Shamans are what happens when we have a near TPK with a pair of new PHB II copies laying around the gaming table, lol)

2 Dusk Blades
Dragon Shaman
Cleric of Pelor (aiming at Radiant Servant)
Cleric of Procan (Negative Energy Channeler)
Fighter (Aiming at OotB)
Rogue

We lack the arcane versatility of a pure arcane caster, but I think the party will do okay. The Dusk Blades have some attack spells, and the Rogue has UMD to "fake" it with items. The Dragon Shaman is becoming our de facto tank and has the Aura abilities as well. And the two clerics should be able to add enough divine spell power to the mix that we hopefully should be able to balance out the lack of arcane prowess.


The group I run just added their 7th character. Before that there were 6 players and doing fairly well in the 5th module:

Elf Ranger
Dwarf Fighter "grappler"
Human Pal/Cleric 25%/75%
Human Cleric
Elven Rogue
Human Wizard non specialist

We try to avoid the weird classes as much as possible. The cleric did just take a level of Ruincaster and the ranger wants to take a level of Justice of weild and Woe "human haters".

I think with the ideal 6 person group you have 6 "units" of character to spend. You want:

2.5 units fighters more melee focus, but ranged too.
1.5 units Cleric
1 to 1.5 units Mage
.5 to 1 unit Rogue

The rogue is the least useful, but at a few points VERY useful. You could just make those points easier by letting the party prep with find traps spells, etc by giving them an early warning. In that case the rogue could almost be dropped entirely.

What ever you do, don't skimp too much on cleric or Mage. They make things a LOT easier through out the whole thing.

Grand Lodge

my party is as follows:
2nd level Barbarian/1st levelFighter
1st level sorcerer/2nd level Rouge
2nd level Cleric of elhonna/1st level fighter
3rd level cleric of heronious
3rd level Wu jen with no oriental bend

they have done really well. I think I have only had 1 encounter that hurt them as a party.

Liberty's Edge

Remember that adventures need to be designed for the four "core" character concepts: arcanist, divinest, skill-master, meat shield. The purer the form of these, the better the party will do. So a purest DM would railroad the PCs to be wizard, cleric, rogue, and fighter. If you have six players, then you can explore some of the "specialists". A ranger and bard would be very useful in the AoW, especially the bard, a DM's friend with distributing plot-advancing knowledge.

I've been running AoW with a wizard, cleric, rogue, and soulknife with stellar results. Occasionally the fighting *oomph* wasn't there and I introduced a DMNPC ranger to help with that. The combination has been efficient as the players have great teamwork. If your players have that going for them, you should be fine with most any combo. Just have that arcanist!


My party ended very well rounded w/out me railroading them into certain classes, and have been able to handle everything the AoW AP has to throw at them w/ much more ease than I could have ever expected.
My party consist of:
Dwarven Fighter, favoring a lrg grt axe
Elven Druid w/ Dire Wolf companion, summoner
Human Wizard, no specialization
Draconic Human Rogue, 2 Prestige Classes, Skill Monster
Human Cleric of Heironious, spec'd to destroy undead


I think the optimal party for AoW is your standard four-PC group:

Halfling rogue
Dwarf fighter
Human cleric
Elf wizard

My party consists of the following:

Male half-orc ranger 3 (Silvanus)
Male human rogue 3
Male lizardfolk druid 2 (Silvanus)
Male moon elf scout 3

We're in the middle of "Three Faces of Evil."


Four PCs, with any chance of survival? Tough question, but after DMing part of the campaign so far and paying careful attention to others' experiences, I think I've got the optimal mix:

Machine gunner
Grenadier
Apache helicopter pilot
Wizard

Eventually, the wizard will be the most powerful, but the others will help with survival until they reach a respectable level.

Of course, each of these should be fully equipped.

:P


Tatterdemalion wrote:

Four PCs, with any chance of survival? Tough question, but after DMing part of the campaign so far and paying careful attention to others' experiences, I think I've got the optimal mix:

Machine gunner
Grenadier
Apache helicopter pilot
Wizard

Eventually, the wizard will be the most powerful, but the others will help with survival until they reach a respectable level.

Of course, each of these should be fully equipped.

:P

~LAUGHTER (In R/T)~


Our group has been sitting at 6 PCs for a few sessions now, and we've hit a pretty good stride as far as power goes. Based on the group, here's what I recommend:

2 Warriors - Fighters, Barbarians, Paladin, etc.
1 Adventurer - Bard, Rogue, Artificer
1 Cleric
1 Sorceror
1 Wizard

Recommended - One character with the Leadership feat and a cleric cohort for extra healing.

The dual fighters can hand out and take a lot of damage, while a skill-based character who can find traps is a *must; it'll save your life. Our group found that the combination of a wizard and sorceror works well, so long as they work together with their spell selection. The wizard focuses on the flashy, damaging spells while the sorceror filled her list with workhorse spells like Dimension Door, Dispel Magic, and Protection from Energy.


My group lacks a pure arcanist and they are doing "Ok", but the adventures are tougher than they could be.

I have in my group:
human Cleric of Obad-Hai/fighter 7/2 (wanted the feats and hp)
Elven druid 9 (going druid all the way)
Human Bard/wizard 8 (going sublime cord I think)
Half-orc Barbarian/homebrew PrC 6/3
Human Ninja/swahbuckler/fighter 3/3/3 (going invisible blade...seriously don't laugh. The combination is not bad)

A lot of the encounters are a lot easier with AoE spells and such (the drow lair for example), but spell compedium helps druids get a lot of Ooomph in the offensive spell department, so it's not that bad.

I'm starting the Champion's Belt tonight and don't think they will have problems in that adventures. But they may lack the raw firepower later on I'm guessing (SolS, LoLR and KotR)


We have the following

Elven Archivist
Elven Scout
Half-Orc Barbarian
Dwarf Rogue/Fighter
Dwarf Paladin
Human Sorceress
Human Fighter

A little light on the healing front. I personally don't see us geting to far without a full-fledged cleric, but that is just my view.


I am running a six player group in a Ebberon adaption.

Human Marshal
Human Battle Dancer
Warforge Fighter
Half-elf Archavist/Savant
Kobold Ninja (who plans on adding Sorcerer levels)

It is not a typical party, but very effect as a team.


human fighter/psychic warrior/exotic weapon master
human bard/monk/dragon disciple
human transmuter/cleric/alienist/fleshwarper
tiefling rogue/thief-acrobat/tiefling paragon
human cloistered cleric/human paragon/radiant servant of Pelor


Dwarven Fighter
Dwarven Cleric/Fighter War Priest
Human Warlock/Rogue
Human Bard
Half-Orc Ranger
Human Wizard

Party has been very balanced with the Wizard pulling us out of the fire more then once. We are currently 12th Level and doing the Spire of Long Shadows adventure


My party is finishing up SCAP and we hope to start AOW in Sep or Oct. Our group currently consists of 6 but we will have 7 for AOW. My worry is that AOW being balanced for 4 will be to easy with 7, has anyone experienced this? Reading the posts I see most of you have parties larger than 4, so my assumption is with a few tweaks here and there everything is ok. My current party make up is as follows.

Paladin of Heironeous
Druid (obad hai)
Rogue (halfling)
Sorcerer
Wizard (Div)
Cleric of Moradin (dwarf)
Elven Swashbuckler

As they all have played in my SCAP the team work should be pretty good.


I'm a little worried about my group.
So far we have

Elven Druid
Human Cleric (Going to Radiant Servant of Pelor)
Human Warlock
Human Sorcerer

Yep no Tanks, we might have a Ranger come in with the usual Two-Sword Style later. (He doesn't like to play in Lvl 1 games, waiting at lvl 5.)


We just started AoW this week, so far our group is composed of :

William Bescherelle, human Paladin
Ehoud Olmert, human Rogue
Brottor Dankil, dwarven Cleric
Rixxen Zane, halfling Warmage with an attitude
Fhangthil Blackblade, human fighter

Might have a new player or two in a couple sessions. They made it to the Cairn and found out the Lair of the Laborers the hard way (dropping down a couple of feet! :-0 )


My party that I GM for has the following:

Wizard/Fate Spiner 16th level

Cleric/Radiant Servant of Pelor 15th

Ranger/Paladin/Marshall/Kensai/Knight of the Chalice 15th

Rogue 15th

Swashbuckler 15th

Fighter/Shadow Sentinal 14th

Fighter/Ranger/Rogue (archer) 15th

They have done very very well. Multiple opponents sometimes cause them some havoc. They are newly arrived on the Isle of Tilagos/Library of Last resort and begin the trials tonight.

Papa-DRB wrote:

I have six players and am looking for suggestions on the best party mix for AOW. In the current campaign, SCAP, they are rather fighter heavy, and seem to like it.

Fighter/Wizard1/Arcane Archer
Paladin/Fighter
Holy Warrior (like a Paladin with different powers)
Cleric/Radiant Servant
Fighter/Battlerager
Rogue

Yea, no *real* arcanist.

I can see them coming up with something like this for AOW. Will it work? Should I insist on an arcanist?

-- david


We finished AoW with this group :

human cleric of Mystra 20
role : healer, divine buffer

shadow-walker halfling rogue 3/fighter 2/master thrower 5/whisper knife 9
role : trapfinder, sneak attack

human fighter 1/sorceror 9/eldritch knight 10
role : secondary tank, secondary arcane caster

mineral warrior human barbarian 9/runescarred berserker 10
role : tank

human wizard 5/war weaver 5/incantatrix 10
role : arcane caster, arcane buffer

My advices :
- get a cleric for turning undeads. You'll need it a LOT.
- get an arcane caster for blasting power, arcane buffs and movement spells (teleport, fly, ...)
- get a big tank
- buff the group (buffs made the difference between TPK and succes)


I've discovered this thread a little late. I'm DMing AOW online. Although we just started, I think the party could possibly have the worst mix:

Halfling Druid (riding dog companion)
Half Orc Monk (emphasis on grapple)
Gnome Bard
Elf Ranger
Dwarf Divinist

So no tank (the druid with 18 Dex is actually the closest thing), no cleric, and the arcane caster is specialized in divination magic. Even worse, the divinist's player had to drop out, so I'm currently running the dwarf is an NPC.


Eric Jones wrote:

I've discovered this thread a little late. I'm DMing AOW online. Although we just started, I think the party could possibly have the worst mix:

Halfling Druid (riding dog companion)
Half Orc Monk (emphasis on grapple)
Gnome Bard
Elf Ranger
Dwarf Divinist

So no tank (the druid with 18 Dex is actually the closest thing), no cleric, and the arcane caster is specialized in divination magic. Even worse, the divinist's player had to drop out, so I'm currently running the dwarf is an NPC.

Wow, that's rough. I hope they're not too attached to their characters...


My bro started to DM AoW for the Ebberon conversion and our first group of of 6 characters was almost destroyed after only a few encounters.

It was composed of my Human Wizard, a Warforged scout rogue, a Human Dragon shamon, the Orc Cleric of the sacred flame (with 6 int), A Drow warblade, and a human artificer... needless to say out of them only my Wizard is still around to continue the campaign as the others are either dead or refuse to re-enter the cairn.

My wizard was forced to call on friends from Sharn. they being.

Human Warblade/(Paladin latter on)
Human Cleric of the Host (going to specialize in Healing)
Human Rogue (we all but begged for a halfling but was refused)
Goliath Barbarian/Dragon Shamon latter
Warforged Artificer
and my Wizard again.

This party is working really well and I don't see us having any problems.


Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

I'm (finally) about to start an AoW campaign. Actually, I'm helping someone try out DMing for the first time, but he's said he'll probably turn it over after a few sessions. Since the DM is a novice, we decided on limiting the party to PHB races only and mostly PHB classes (Favored Soul, Scout, Swashbuckler, and Warmage also).

As part of my prep-work, I built four pre-gen PC's (in case of inspiration failure or a last minute player addition) based on my reading of the entire path to fill both combat and story roles. My pre-gen crew:

Half-Elf Ranger (goal: Tempest)
Halfling Rogue (goal: Thief-Acrobat and Dungeon Delver)
Human Cleric of Pelor (goal: Radiant Servant and Exorcist)
Human Wizard (Evocation Domain and Fighter Feat variants from Unearthed Arcana; goal: Fighter 1, Spellsword 1, Eldritch Knight, and Archmage)

The ranger is from the Bronzewood Lodge and struck up a friendship with the cleric while the latter was traveling to Diamond Lake. The rogue is an acrobat/clown for the Emporium who shares an occasional round of drinks with the ranger at the Spinning Giant. The cleric is a new arrival who has visited Allustan several times regarding the area's history (and is thus acquainted with the apprentice). The wizard is Allustan's apprentice ("You remind me of a colleague of mine...") and is envisioned as the main instigator and party leader.

Reasoning behind the character choices:
Ranger for tracking and combat (longsword/short sword melee, longbow ranged)
Rogue for maneuverability, sneak attacks, and trapfinding
Cleric for anti-undead goodness and divine spells
Wizard for arcane combat, summoning, and utility spells (plus, using a Wiz6/Ftr1/Sps1/EK8/Arm4 progression, a little better armor class and a BAB of +15 for the cost of two spellcasting levels)


Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Eric Jones wrote:

I've discovered this thread a little late. I'm DMing AOW online. Although we just started, I think the party could possibly have the worst mix:

Halfling Druid (riding dog companion)
Half Orc Monk (emphasis on grapple)
Gnome Bard
Elf Ranger
Dwarf Divinist

So no tank (the druid with 18 Dex is actually the closest thing), no cleric, and the arcane caster is specialized in divination magic. Even worse, the divinist's player had to drop out, so I'm currently running the dwarf is an NPC.

I'd say this party can be effective if they capitalize on their strengths and use skirmish tactics. If the druid concentrates on summoning and "trades up" his animal companion regularly, that can fill in for the party's "tank." The grappling monk should be ready to fall back on using a quarterstaff or ranged attacks when needed (Kyuss undead are nasty to go against unarmed), but can cause some serious problems to enemy spellcasters without Still Spell. The bard looks like the main party-support character and negotiator (and trapfinder, if multiclassing as a rogue). The ranger can act as both a melee and ranged combatant. The divinist (diviner?) can provide pre-battle reconnaisance and prevent a lot of sneaky tricks from working against the party.


My party is just heading into the "Prince of Redhand" adventure at (mostly) 16th level--thanks to their love of sidequests--and consist of three PCs and my own NPC (w/equivalent PC value in gear). They have a heavy arcane casting bent, but have managed nearly every encounter quite successfully, with oddball exceptions. We have:

kobold diviner/divine oracle/fatespinner/master specialist
(handles recon/blasting/debuffing)
vanara (Oriental Adv) bard/seeker of the song
(handles buffing/NPC negotiations)
w/cohort: duskling totemist (melee assault)
elven fighter/wizard/spellsword/eldritch knight
(handles tactical combat w/spiked chain-like legacy weapon and transposition and channeled spells)
halfling cleric of Fharlanghn/sacred purifier/wormhunter (Dragon #338)
(handles healing/melee/buffing/positive damage dealer)

With this party (the cleric is my NPC), the groups approach is to take charge of the battle map instantaneously, by eliminating key threats with distance spells. While more melee-oriented characters are supported by the bard, they are better prepared to defend any spellcasters. My recommendation for any set of players looking to form a cohesive party is to learn through trial. That is, take your group into combat--even a "practice" combat--and see what strategies unfold. Soon, they'll come second nature.
But, if I had to pick four classes that might make for a cohesive party aside from my own group's in AoW, I would opt for: ranger, bard, wizard, and cleric (which is similar to the above, for that matter)

Liberty's Edge

My group hasnt started AoW yet, but when we do, and if my players want advice on classes, I would recommend:

Fighter or Barbarian (tank, melee focus, some ranged)
Cleric (healer, undead turner, buffing the group, divinations)
Wizard (blasting, long distance travel, divinations)
Rogue / Bard (locks, traps, NPC interactions, knowledge)

If we have a 5th player I would recommend:

Paladin (secondary combat specialist, secondary healer, secondary undead specialist)


Our group is about to head into 3 faces with the following:

Dwarf 2 Fighter/1 Barbarian
Dwarf 3 Cleric
Elf 2 Wizard/1 Rogue
Elf 3 Cleric
Human 3 Wizard (Evoker)
Human 3 Bard
Human 2 Dragon Shaman/1 Fighter
Halfling 3 Rogue

I'd give alignments but they may read this board. 3 lawful neutral/good, 1 true neutral, 4 chaotic neutral/good. The elves and dwarves actually get along quite well due to the constant threat of death. (2 deaths so far one by Kullen another by a wind warrior). With this large a group a secondary healer is essential.


I’m going to have a large party for this one.

Gray Elf – Wizard / Master Specialist (evocation) / Arch Mage
Wild Elf – Rogue
Gnome – Cleric – Lots of turn undead feats
Half-Orc – Barbarian / Frenzied Berserker
Human – Warlock / Enlightened Spirit
Aquatic Elf – Monk with Vow of Poverty
Halfling – Druid
Gold Dwarf – Paladin / Ranger / Fist of Raziel / Marshal / Deepwarden / Dwarven Defender

As you can see I have a few veteran players that will be optimized, and some newer players that are sticking with more core classes. This group should have all their bases covered.

2 tanks
2 melee damage dealers
2 arcane damage dealers
2 healers

With them being large and rather well optimized, I’ll have to see how they do. I’m considering allowing the bad guys access to new spells and feats from the splat books as well, and I fully intend to play them to the best of their abilities.


Rexx wrote:
... So a purest DM would railroad the PCs to be wizard, cleric, rogue, and fighter...

I guess I am that purest DM. I never force players into any mix, just remind them that every game published by piazo (or other module creator) does so with *generally* every class in mind somewhere. Having a deficiency in any area hurts.

Of course, having smart players help too. We had a player who was the arcanist and he hit his own party members with fireballs just as much as he did the enemies.

My current group (just starting Shackled City, not Age of Worms at this time) consists of the following (which seems to be a very good mix for any campaign):

half-orc barbarian
human paladin of heironeous
human cleric of pelor
half-elf rogue
human wizard

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