Alright I’ve been playing in a home brew game for a few months or so. We have four players and we have flirted with the idea of getting another player in the group if we found someone who was interested. As far as I’m concerned, we’ve got all our bases covered in terms of abilities and are well balanced. So really I think a new player can do whatever they want at this point and the party would still be well set. However as a thought experiment I’d like to hear what you guys think the best fifth party member for this group could be in terms of build. I for one have put some thought into this and I’m not quite sure. I’ll give general descriptions of the four characters seeing as I don’t have all their sheets. Oh and we are all level 12 and know the game fairly well, but we aren’t optimized to the max. Though we build to do what we can efficiently. I applologize in advance for the wall of text.
Character 1: Human Ranger with archery style and a wolf companion. His role is to shoot enemies till they are dead. We consistently fight lawful elves and evil outsiders, so 95% of the time he and his wolf are fighting their favored enemies. When fully buffed he does 6 attacks per round for 20+ to hit and 20+ damage per hit. His main weakness as of right now is his AC, it is in the low 20s. Since he is an archer this is mitigated somewhat as he is out of the action, but we do fight archer elves as well that do send arrows his way at times. Overall he is the DPS king of the group.
Character 2: Human Investigator with a high focus on potion making via his feat and utilizing alchemical items. He is perhaps the most clever player in the group, as such he has molded himself a few roles.This player is extremely good at finding niche cheap items in the books and making them work well. Like using fireworks as a weapon while staying invisible because the dm ruled it as not an attack. So he’s got a good solution to weird problems by using items. He buffs the party a bit with haste as well as keeping emergency potions when we need them. He is an excellent splash damage dealer, similar to an alchemist and in addition deals a lot of damage when hit via the acid blood spell. Likewise he has the feat that directs splash damage blasts away from allies. Lastly as an investigator he is the skill monkey of the group and is a good source for information on the world. Very useful character overall, I call him the Batman of the group.
Character 3: Pixie Oracle that exclusively buffs and heals the others. Before a fight, this character buffs the others up and casts the spell that lets her heal from a distance. Then she stays out of the fight and keeps the rest of them going. In addition she also prepares spell steal and prevents enemies from casting spells when successful. She’s got the whimsy mystery, so she specializes in disguising herself exceptionally well despite the size difference. Using this in addition to having a butt ton of stealth when at normal tiny size, she is excellent at infiltrating fortresses and gathering intel. As well as eavesdropping and sabotage. She has also picked up unconscious characters (via enlarge person and ant haul) and put them in a safer place. As with the Ranger, this character has a low AC of 19 so that’s something that needs work. The doctor of the group.
Character 4: My character is an Elf Mystic Theurge Sorcerer Oracle. Elves work differently in this game so I got a buff to my Cha and a hit to my Str at the start which was fine. He has the starsoul bloodline and the lunar mystery. He has the inflict wounds spells and has the touch of the moon ability which has the chance to confuse enemies when hit with inflict spells assuming they fail a save. This ability is a bit gimped by his lower Oracle level, but it has worked a few times. He has a few nice buffs he gives to the party before a fight and has the animate dead spell. So when a fight breaks out he dumps out four undead from his bag of holding as meat shields. He’s got some debuffing spells like Stinking Cloud and Black Tentacles that he starts out with and afterwards goes to damaging spells like fireball and the inflict spells. The dm rules that I can use spring attack after doing touch spells which is nice. Having prophetic armor I add my 7 cha mod to AC and Ref saves, plus I cast windy Escape to negate most attacks. So his survivability is very high. Overall he is a buffer/debuffer/blaster that dabbles in necromancy and divination.
So I’d say it’s a very effective party, our big weaknesses being the lack of AC on two characters. I think for the campaign it would be fun and thematically appropriate to have an assassin added in. Maybe via the magus class, that would be a good combo. And also a straight up wizard or sorcerer coudl work but might be a bit redundant. What are the thoughts of you guys?
At that level I would be uneasy about adding a non-spellcaster to the party, and 4 level casters would be iffy, 6 level casters too if they didn't have a lot of utility. Which your ranger, investigator and oracle might have locked down anyway. On the other hand you might be able to use someone else on the front line, in the right situation your meat shield skeletons might be easily killed or bypassed.
A shaman or druid could add different spells and can be made as a frontliner. I'd probably work on that - a battle shaman or any of many kinds of druids. Probably not a summoner though so as not to step on your necromantic toes.
BTW, haste works really oddly for investigators. Is he handing vials of extracts out for each of you to drink yourselves (as a standard action for each of you)? If not he's probably misread the rules.
|Sir Belmont the Valiant|
If you have your bases covered, and it seems you do (you survived all the the way to twelfth, after all) why not let them play whatever they'd have the most fun playing? If you've got a small party and you're playing a pre-made campaign, party composition is important, so you can all survive. But I'm really not seeing it being particularly important to optimize your party at this point. Just make sure the new character has something to do and doesn't feel useless.
Fighter/Paladin frontliner with high AC sounds like a reasonable choice, since you are concerned about the two characters with the lower ACs...
That's kind of what I was thinking. The party doesn't have a melee character. Either a tank or a skirmisher would make a lot of sense.
It occurs to me that your 5th PC melee character would be the only melee character, so maybe a classic tanky character would not be the best fit: either he would be the lonely target of all the hitty things, or enemies would find ways to get around him and chases after the rest of you. A skirmishing character maybe a MOMS Monk with Panther, Snake, and Ascetic Styles running around your enemies hitting them right and left, creating confusion and breaking up formations making it easier for the rest of you to pick off the baddies with arrows and spells.
I agree with those of you that say we are good to go and a new player could pick whatever class that they wanted to. Although if their intention was to make a character that could help the most it is nice to get some pointers. Plus it’s fun to do these mental exercises just for kicks. I’ll check out the suggestions provided, thanks everybody!