Rise of the Runelords party composition


Lost Omens Campaign Setting General Discussion


[Sorry if this is posted in the wrong section.]

I just received RotRL #1 today and I plan to begin running it tomorrow. I was wondering about party composition. My players (a party of 5) are making characters. Thus far, they have only a little divine magic (maybe one favored soul) and only a little arcane magic (a bard and maybe a sorcerer). How badly are they going to get mauled without "standard" magic? I understand they need healing magic - but aside from that, how necessary is magic needed for success? Thoughts? Thanks.

Liberty's Edge

klofft wrote:

[Sorry if this is posted in the wrong section.]

I just received RotRL #1 today and I plan to begin running it tomorrow. I was wondering about party composition. My players (a party of 5) are making characters. Thus far, they have only a little divine magic (maybe one favored soul) and only a little arcane magic (a bard and maybe a sorcerer). How badly are they going to get mauled without "standard" magic? I understand they need healing magic - but aside from that, how necessary is magic needed for success? Thoughts? Thanks.

I'm really not sure about that, since my party has two clerics in it. Of course, I'm running a large party too (seven players), so there's even more disparity there.

My party composition is:
*Jacques "Jack" Trade, CN gnome rogue
*Genevieve "Jenny" Trade, CG gnome sorcerer (arcane bloodline)
*Rux Trade, N gnome druid
*Avaleen Nailo, CG elf cleric of Desna
*Cole Grundlesnak, NG half-orc cleric of Erastil
*Leohand, CG half-orc barbarian
*Adrastos, LN half-elf fighter

We've got all four traditional roles filled, though in somewhat odd ways. Our party arcanist is a sorcerer, our party rogue has no trap-related skills (he's a "face"), and the elf cleric is the party's archer. It's a fun group overall, and I'm happy to be running it. The Trade siblings are especially great.

Jeremy Puckett

Liberty's Edge

Lets see, our party is actually pretty well balanced, which is suspect is in part because I told them to go off the core books(and pathfinder additions) only.

Originally it was going to be a 5pc party-

Dwarf Fighter
Human Fighter(heading SphereWalker from PF2)
Elf Wizard(Abjurer, Dropped Illusion and Enchantment)
Gnome Druid
Human Cleric(Sarenrae)

However, we ended up having an addition to the group in the form of a Human Paladin. Seeing how heavily this was going to balance the party towards bruisers, our Dwarf Fighter changed roles to be a Human Wizard/Rogue.

All in all the party is working out really well. They are a little light on the rogue side of things since the rogue/wizard is alternating levels, but they have the tank side of things handled, the arcane side covered well(the rogue wizard cover illusion and enchantment, while the other covers everything else), and are even a bit heavy on the divine side between the cleric, druid and paladin.

Going through the campaign, I think that as always there is a need for someone to be a healer, but a favored soul does a great job of that since they are a spell tank and get lots of castings per day.

I think you can get by without a rogue because there aren't constant traps or the like, but the party should be careful because the ones that are there are deadly.

As for arcane magic, this is always something that is useful, though you can normally get by with a lesser caster if you have scrolls or wands, or even someone who is just very proficient with UMD. I think the biggest problem is that midway through the campaign the players may set themselves up away from some of the events that are happening which can require their attention and its somewhat expected that by this point they will have access to some sort of magic that can give them more rapid transit. Obviously there are ways around this, whether its just because someone in the party has teleport on their spell list at least, or tree stride or overland flight even, or you can add in a helm of teleportation somewhere or perhaps simply slow some events down to give the party travel time.

There are some very rough combats in this campaign however, so I would suggest to your group that they do want to build a party that is able to work together well. However, such a party doesn't always have to fall into the standard roles. As long as they are able to be effective as a team, and acknowledge that by leaving out certain classes they can be lacking in some departments and plan to overcome those weaknesses, then they will be fine.

-Tarlane


klofft wrote:

[Sorry if this is posted in the wrong section.]

I just received RotRL #1 today and I plan to begin running it tomorrow. I was wondering about party composition. My players (a party of 5) are making characters. Thus far, they have only a little divine magic (maybe one favored soul) and only a little arcane magic (a bard and maybe a sorcerer). How badly are they going to get mauled without "standard" magic? I understand they need healing magic - but aside from that, how necessary is magic needed for success? Thoughts? Thanks.

With both a Favoured Soul and a Sorcerer you should be fine. Now if its just a Favoured Soul and a Bard things will eventually be much more difficult as you'll ultimatly be short on Arcane support.

This thread should be moved by the powers that be to the RotRLs forum.


They need a healer, or they'll get into serious trouble.

Favoured Sould can definetly work, the character just has to choose the healing spells.

Will you play 3.5 or use Pathfinder Alpha classes or a mix maybe? Several classes get a serious healing boost in Alpha:

  • Clerics have channel energy instead of turn undead now, and positive energy is a burst that harms undead and heals the living. There's a feat that allows you to exclude some targets, so you can use this to heal your friends and turn undead without healing living enemies.

    And if the cleric takes the Healing Domain, you get Cure Light Wounds 1/day per 2 levels on level 2 (as well as other healing related abilities)

  • Paladins also have channel energy (as they used to have turn undead), and very high level paladins always maximise their channeling.

    Lay on Hands has also been expanded: It's usable (1/2 Level + Charisma) times per day, and at first heals paladin level in HP (so you get (1/2 lv + Cha) times level healing, instead of cha times level. Remove disease and other abilities use up uses of lay on hands, and at 18th, you can use 4 of your uses to produce a heal effect, caster level equal to your paladin level (in other words: heal 150 points of damage!).

    Since Paladins now use Cha for their spells instead of Wis, their cha might also be a bit higher than before, so you'll get a couple of uses out of this in addition to everything else.

    No matter what your party's composition is, be aware that there's a couple of fights that are a bit too heavy as written, so you'll want to adjust:

    Spoiler:

    * In Burnt Offerings, there's a Quasit that can be very annoying for low-level characters. Note that it's not quite necessary to defeat that one, so they could retreat and fight her later, when they're powerful enough.
    * Again in Burnt Offerings, there's a Barghest that would tear the characters to shreds if they fought him. Luckily, this one's completely optional - you can even retreat from the fight, since the poor thing is magically locked up. Prepare for a bunch of obsessive characters who will talk about going back there to kill the thing for months.
    * Skinsaw Murders has a Lamia Matriarch Sorceress named Xanesha, which as written will probably tear your party to pieces. What makes it worse is that this fight is more or less mandatory. You might want to leave out several magical preparations she makes, somehow make sure that the players have flying potions or something for that fight, and let her toy with them a bit at first, until she realises that they can hurt her.

    As for my party:
    I am usually quite generous with character power (32 Point Buy method, Pathfinder Races and Classes, and many other pathfinder rules, like Skills, and the number of feats).

  • Human Cloistered Cleric of Desna/Variant Spherewalker. Spherewalker was changed to accomodate a Cloistered Cleric, changing the entry requirements as well as HD, BAB, and skill points.
    Character concentrates on magic (granted a variant of healing touch from the Book of Experimental Might to clerics. They can now basically cure at will, but only a certain number of targets per day, and characters can only receive a certain number of healing applications per day.).
    Uses the Starknive as weapon, and is generally not the strong type (not your usual front-line cleric, that one)
  • Elven Fighter, using the elven warblade (variant racial weapon from my houserules: Exotic Weapon; two-handed; 1d8/18-20; can be used with dex instead of str)
  • Human Rogue, using rapier/dagger combo.
  • Human Duskblade (dead). Duskblades have limited magical ability - they do insane things in melee, but can't be considered arcane artillery the way a wizard or sorcerer would be. Has been "retired" (into a certain barghest's belly, after being prepared with a certain ritual involving a certain rune).
  • Gnome Sorcerer (probably aberrant bloodline). Hasn't been introduced into the party yet, will have his premiere soon.

    Beyond the general problems the first couple of Pathfinders had (see spoiler above), they could handle themselves quite well:

    The lack of arcanist (which has been fixed) didn't lead into serious trouble yet (they're in Hook Mountain about to visit the dam), and since that problem has been solved, I won't be able to tell you how that will play out later.

    With both the fighter and duskblade (who was noticeably more powerful than the fighter), they didn't have any trouble with melee threads.

    There aren't that many traps, so it can work out without a rogue - Skinsaw's traplike encounters - the haunts - are more in a cleric's domain, anyway.

    I can't tell you too much about healing since I introduced those rules variants, but before that was introduced, the cleric did complain about most if not all of his magic going into cure, but low-level characters tend to have only few spells, anyway.


  • My gaming crew is composed of :

    Female Half-Elf (Chelaxian, but raised among the Shoantis) Barbarian/Bard
    Female Human Chelaxian Paladin
    Female Shoanti Ranger/Druid
    Male Elven Rogue/Wizard
    Male Elven Sorcerer

    No cleric, but the paladin and druid can cure some wounds, and so will the bard next level.

    - Zorg

    Sovereign Court

    KaeYoss wrote:


    Spoiler:
    * Skinsaw Murders has a Lamia Matriarch Sorceress named Xanesha, which as written will probably tear your party to pieces. What makes it worse is that this fight is more or less mandatory. You might want to leave out several magical preparations she makes, somehow make sure that the players have flying potions or something for that fight, and let her toy with them a bit at first, until she realises that they can hurt her.

    The neatest response to this has been

    Spoiler:
    to swap Xanesha with the Lamia in PF3 (Hook Mountain Massacre). Both foes then become more level appropriate.


    Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

    Hello,

    I'm just starting running the RotRL adventure path today. The pc troupe is somewhat unorthodox:

    * Elf Ranger 1
    * Elf Barbarian 1
    * Human Monk 1
    * Human Ranger 1

    All of the above are lightly armored "skirmisher" -type characters with little (well, at this level, none whatsoever) magic at their disposal. The group is heavily into roleplaying, which I hope will help in compensating for the party's shortcomings (no healing magic, no arcane knowledges, no trapfinding). We'll be using the Pathfinder Alpha 3 rules pretty much as written, which should also give them somewhat of a boost. Yes, there are some major villains later on in the story which would absolutely murder this party as it stands and I've among other things pondered on the possibility of adding a cleric NPC to the party. I guess we'll see how it turns out. I'll let you know what happened.


    Navdi wrote:

    Hello,

    I'm just starting running the RotRL adventure path today. The pc troupe is somewhat unorthodox:

    * Elf Ranger 1
    * Elf Barbarian 1
    * Human Monk 1
    * Human Ranger 1

    All of the above are lightly armored "skirmisher" -type characters with little (well, at this level, none whatsoever) magic at their disposal. The group is heavily into roleplaying, which I hope will help in compensating for the party's shortcomings (no healing magic, no arcane knowledges, no trapfinding). We'll be using the Pathfinder Alpha 3 rules pretty much as written, which should also give them somewhat of a boost. Yes, there are some major villains later on in the story which would absolutely murder this party as it stands and I've among other things pondered on the possibility of adding a cleric NPC to the party. I guess we'll see how it turns out. I'll let you know what happened.

    I have two rangers in my group.

    Spoiler:
    I made suggested both of them know each other and they had originally trained in Fort Rannock by the Black Arrows. Having their adopted parents still living in Fort Rannock (spelling?) at the start of the campaign gives the third AP a massive impact when they return. It also allows you to guide them to take a favoured enemy of giant as the second choice (obviously Goblin is an excellent starting choice). I justified them being out of the fort as going and getting some life experience before they return to the challenging life of duty in the Fort.


    Two different parties

    Tuesday:
    Elf Fighter
    Elf Rogue
    Elf Wizard Evoker
    Elf Cleric if Sarenrae
    Elf Cleric of Erastil
    Elf Wizard Generalist

    Sunday
    Human Varasian Wizard Evoker
    Human Chelish Wizard Generalist
    Human Shoanti Barbarian
    Human Vararian Cleric
    Human Chelish/Shoanti Rogue
    Human Chelish Fighter
    Human Shoanti Druid

    They seem to have their bases covered and both Rogues are into the whole Pathfinder gig, which is a good hook to move the campaign along.

    Paizo Employee Director of Brand Strategy

    The 5-man party which I will be running through RotR starting in June is the following:

    Dwarf cleric of Torag
    Shoanti barbarian
    Elf rogue
    Half-orc monk
    Gnome sorcerer or transmuter (hasn't decided yet)

    We're running it as a playtest, so we tried to cover all the bases. I think that as long as you have at least one divine caster, you should be ok. There's not a lot of undead in the AP, so the need to turn is less necessary, though if you're running it under PF alpha rules, the cleric's channel energy ability is very helpful, so you might consider using a cleric instead of a favored soul.


    I'm starting next Friday, with the following:

    Dwarven Cleric of Irori
    Shoanti Ranger
    Varisian Sorcerer
    Half-Elven Bard

    It'll be my first time face-to-face DM'ing in more than a decade (one PBEM for about two years in the interim), so I'm grateful to Paizo for inspiring me to pull a group together, excited and nervous in fairly equal measures.

    Two of the players haven't played since red-box Basic set days, and one of them never, so I'm hoping I haven't bitten off more than I can chew... :)

    Scarab Sages

    Adventure Path Charter Subscriber

    I'm on Skinsaw. So far this group has worked out pretty well. It's fairly traditional.

    Rylana: human (Varisian) female rogue
    Chasuk: human (Varisian) male sorcerer
    Franjak: human (Shoanti) male barbarian (picked up two levels of fighter though)..He took the PHB2 berserk STR option
    Soleira: human (Varisian) female cleric of Desna
    Ziomir Gorn: dwarven male ranger

    During the course of the first adventure they picked up and NPC fighter.

    Its a pretty robust group, that's not too crazy.


    Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

    Right,
    Got the first session of Burnt Offerings behind us now.

    Spoiler:
    We managed to play through the attack on Sandpoint, the sidequests involving Shayliss and Aldern and the Sandpoints Glassworks scenario. Almost every single one of the goblins were one blow/one shot -killed. The party seemed to be quite a bit more durable at first level than an equivalent 3.5-party. At the Glassworks Tsuto almost managed to reduce the party monk to negative hit points, but by the that time, I ran out of Goblins to throw at the rest of the party. A gang-up on Tsuto and a finishing blow by the barbarian using an earth shaker that caused something in the area of 15 dmg, and that was that. Next time.. either the catacombs or straight on to Thistletop.

    Liberty's Edge

    My group has:

    Shoanti Ranger 4/Psychic Warrior 2/Initiate of the Bow 1
    Shoanti Favored Soul of Saranrae 7
    Elf, Rogue 1/ Evoker 5/Elemental Savant (Fire) 1
    Half-elf, Fighter 4/Paladin of Freedom 3 (going for Pious Templar next level)

    It's a good mix, and had some exciting times in the mansion w/out a cleric. Also, without a skilled rogue sometimes the traps hit hard, but it's alright. Finished the 2nd book.

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