Very odd but frighteningly functional parties


Pathfinder RPG General Discussion

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So in discussions for a new game my table has been laughing at some very odd party composition ideas. However some of them have a very good chance of being frighteningly usable.

What's the oddest workable party everyone can think of? To make this more interesting let's say no classic iconics (fighter wizard cleric Rogue) 4 member parties

My first thought was a double double trouble party two Summoners one original one master and two Gravewalker witches
The master summoner uses a skill eidolon the normal a standard murder stick and the Gravewalkers have necrostich minions at the ready and support with hexes.

That's my entry what you all got?


3 druids and a shaman

Edit: Ninja'ed! XD XD

Liberty's Edge

A party of nothing but Animal Companions Focused vanilla Druids who all prepare different spells with 1 saved of each level for Cure Light/Mod/Etc.

Each PC takes a different Animal Companion, and they each purchase a Wand of Magic Missile and Dispel Magic.

Oh, and one of them has slippers of spider climb.

WOW, I basically got ninja'd by Ryze, nice mate!

Sovereign Court

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4 bards.

Hiding behind the pile of dead bards.

Aka, Dirge Bards adding various forms of Animate Dead to their lists, and spending rounds of song to animate them on the fly if needed. Commonly overlooked, but the attack and damage portion of Inspire Courage does still affect undead. And they can still rock out Cures and CC like Hideous Laughter or Glitterdust.

Mix in other archetypes to fill other 'roles' if you want.


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My current Kingmaker game had 3 Paladins and a Cleric for a little while. Tactics be damned, we'd just walk into the blender and beat everything to death.


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I was going to bring up the all Bard party of traveling death metal musicians. Lol.


A bunch of different bards/skalds can stack buffs on each other to terrifying effect even in the absence of minions.


Has anyone done all arcane casters and had it work?


Not since AD&D, but it's certainly possible Yqatuba.


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Honestly full arcane isn't even that hard of a party to pull off even if you choose to not dip into esoteric niche builds.

For example

Frontline Bloodrager
Wizard for wizardlyness
Bard for skills and stuff
Witch/archtyped sorc for condition removal/stuff

Is basically the same paradigm as the classic fighter/wizard/rogue/cleric without much thinking outside the box at all.

You need to restrict it a bit more to really bring out some of that goofiness.

Dark Archive

Yqatuba wrote:
Has anyone done all arcane casters and had it work?

Using the Unearthed Arcana options from 3.X, a Conjurer could have a summmons that hung out all day, and a Necromancer could have a skeletal 'companion' that increased in potency as he increased in levels. I remember hearing about an all specialist wizard party using those rules that hid behind the summons and the skeletons as 'tanks.'

In PF, Summoners make this pretty easy.


Yqatuba wrote:
Has anyone done all arcane casters and had it work?

I had a PFS group go through a scenario like this. Fortunately my ratfolk had "pump his own dex and bite bite claw gore" people as a plan B


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Went into an Iron Gods campaign with a 5 member party. Alchemist doing the bomb thing. Cleric of Brigh that was really into Tech. Then a bow fighter, halfling slinger/ranger, and a Tech Gunslinger. Most combats the only person that moved was the bow fighter and that was only to get to the best choke point.

Last 3.5 game we did was 3 wizards and 1 cleric. Most adventuring days were short. I played a Dwarf Wizard with a toad familiar. 14 int and 22 con, specialized in conjuration spells.


A bunch of Half-Orcs... mostly Skalds and a Bard and maybe a Bloodrager (or one Bardrager), could play an absolute silly roleplay game with deadly efficiency... just a death metal band... Amplified Rage turns it up to 11.


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Four Hunters. Each one has a different Animal Companion but all can be used as mounts. Then each Hunter takes one level of Cavalier and pick a different Teamwork feat to share.

I don't know about silly or odd, but can you imagine how deadly they'd be? They can all take Outflank at Hunter level two, share all teamwork feats with their companion at Hunter level 3, and each would have a different teamwork feat that they can share with each other at will?

Heck, they don't even have to have the Animal Companion be mounts. Take something else and get a horse from the Cavalier level and have two pets to do damage for you. Yeah, the horse would be massively under-leveled compared to the other Animal Companion, but it's still effective and it opens up more options.


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I don't know yet how functional it's is going to be, but we are starting s Shattered Star campaign in honour of the recent Humble Bundle and our party is looking like being a [ulr=http://www.d20pfsrd.com/classes/3rd-party-classes/kobold-press-open-design/theurge/]Theurge[/url], a Path of War Warder, a Scarred Witch Doctor, and a D&D 3.5 Spellthief.

Although to be fair the players of the latter two are wavering, so we might end up with and Occutist Arcanist or Saurian Shaman Druid and one of the Occult Adventures classes instead.

_
glass.


Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Yqatuba wrote:
Has anyone done all arcane casters and had it work?

A bloodrager, magus (likely eldritch archer), skald, and summoner group can do quite well. Alternately, replacing the summoner with an arcanist (occultist archetype) can boost the magical might of the group even higher.

If you mean "all arcane casters" to mean "all 9/9 arcane casters," then some multi-classing/PrCs might be in order.


Dragonchess Player wrote:
If you mean "all arcane casters" to mean "all 9/9 arcane casters," then some multi-classing/PrCs might be in order.

The main problem would probably be the early levels - later on, a Transmuter can be really powerful (Monstrous Physique into Deathsnatcher, maybe later even Great Old One Yig with Dimensional Dervish). Although, of course, at very low levels, having multiple PCs with Sleep/Color Spray will probably completely trivialize any fight against enemies not immune against mind-affecting.

A summoner (Magaambyan Initiate or FF Pact Wizard with Sacred Summons, or Occultist Arcanist) might provide some meat shields.
Alternatively, enough blasters can basically kill everything.

Sovereign Court

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I once GMed for a full (7) party of Thassilonian Specialist Wizards, one of each school.


Does "9/9 arcane casters" mean they get up to level 9 spells?


Yqatuba wrote:
Does "9/9 arcane casters" mean they get up to level 9 spells?

Yes.


Heather 540 wrote:
Yqatuba wrote:
Does "9/9 arcane casters" mean they get up to level 9 spells?
Yes.

9th level caster = 9/9 caster = full caster = caster who eventually gets 9th level spells.

6th level caster = 6/9 caster = 2/3 caster = caster who eventually gets 6th level spells.

4th level caster = 4/9 caster = 1/3 caster = caster who eventually gets 4th level spells.

I've seen "1/2 caster" or "half caster" used to describe 4/9 casters and 6/9 casters, so you might have to check that one from context (i think it's usually 4/9).


A good GM can work around a weird party, but sometimes there are issues that can make things quite difficult. For instance, lacking trapfinding makes magic traps difficult to handle until you make 3rd level spellcasting and can reliably cast Dispel Magic. Lacking spell access to condition removing spells, restoration spells, and mobility spells can also limit what a party can and cannot handle at a given point in time. Some of this can be offset with scrolls, UMD, and purchasing spellcasting services. However, all of this is much easier to manage in the conditions of a home game where a GM can adjust their encounters to the party they are facing to the party's antics.

If your GM can't adjust their game around your antics, like say in PFS or because they lack the experience necessary, things can get really messy.


There's a party I've always wanted to convince my fellow players to put together.

A witch, then two of any of: accursed bloodline sorcerer, shaman, hexblade magus, another witch.

Hit level 10, buy/craft a certain magic item for the witch, and boom, coven spells, no hag or simulacrum abuse required.


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My home group currently alternates sessions between a homebrew PFS campaign (run by me) and PFS scenarios (run by other players). For the latter, someone suggested creating an all-cleric party, using a variety of domains to help cover some of the missing party roles. We also decided to make these our first Core characters, partly because nobody ever runs Core at our FLGS, partly to make things a bit easier on the GM for those PCs' first session (who had GMed very little PF at the time of that session, and owned almost nothing but the CRB).

Among the 6 PCs, we ended up with clerics of 5 different gods (Erastil, Callistia, Gorum, Norgorber, and *2* Shelyn), and members of 6 different factions. And very little if any of that diversity was coordinated. [One of the Shelyn priests has since been rebuilt as an Abadar cleric so they don't accidentally steal each other's thunder.]

As a bunch of non-martial 1st-levels, there was quite a bit of flailing about in combat, but we also had a ton of healing ability to make up for it. A couple PCs had decent social skills, my Callistian had Disable Device, and everyone had good Perception even if not trained, but we did end up rather short on Knowledge skills due to the class's precious few skill ranks. The Norgorber priest even found a moment for his negative channeling to shine: he was the only one of us who could hurt a swarm.

We've only played a couple scenarios with these characters so far, due to us all having several others PFS PCs we want to play, so our clerics are still 1st level. But we already have a few adventures picked out that we want to replay as Core with this group once they are high enough level for them (like the whole Gloomspires series).


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Tim Emrick wrote:

My home group currently alternates sessions between a homebrew PFS campaign (run by me) and PFS scenarios (run by other players). For the latter, someone suggested creating an all-cleric party, using a variety of domains to help cover some of the missing party roles. We also decided to make these our first Core characters, partly because nobody ever runs Core at our FLGS, partly to make things a bit easier on the GM for those PCs' first session (who had GMed very little PF at the time of that session, and owned almost nothing but the CRB).

Among the 6 PCs, we ended up with clerics of 5 different gods (Erastil, Callistia, Gorum, Norgorber, and *2* Shelyn), and members of 6 different factions. And very little if any of that diversity was coordinated. [One of the Shelyn priests has since been rebuilt as an Abadar cleric so they don't accidentally steal each other's thunder.]

As a bunch of non-martial 1st-levels, there was quite a bit of flailing about in combat, but we also had a ton of healing ability to make up for it. A couple PCs had decent social skills, my Callistian had Disable Device, and everyone had good Perception even if not trained, but we did end up rather short on Knowledge skills due to the class's precious few skill ranks. The Norgorber priest even found a moment for his negative channeling to shine: he was the only one of us who could hurt a swarm.

We've only played a couple scenarios with these characters so far, due to us all having several others PFS PCs we want to play, so our clerics are still 1st level. But we already have a few adventures picked out that we want to replay as Core with this group once they are high enough level for them (like the whole Gloomspires series).

You should call that team "the A-Men".


6 Core Clerics and not a single one of them worshiped Best Girl Sarenrae?!


Wasn't in pathfinder but 1 paladin, 4 warlocks, 1 ranged rogue, 1 sorcerer, 1 bard/barbarian (cantrip focused), 1 ranged fighter, 1 cleric(cantrip focused), 1 druid(cantrip focused), 1 full bard and I can't remember what the rest of the party was but we only had 1 full time front liner rest where either dedicated ranged or only in melee when we 100% needed it. Functional would probably not be the word for it but we got the job done.


Does it have to be from an actual game? Because there's a light novel series called Konosuba. The main characters are a paladin that can't hit the broad side of a barn, a wizard that can cast one explosion spell a day and refuses to do any smaller magic, a 'goddess' who can do minor divine spells, and the poor fighter who has to put up with them and their craziness.


ShroudedInLight wrote:
lacking trapfinding makes magic traps difficult to handle until you make 3rd level spellcasting and can reliably cast Dispel Magic.

Presuming you need to actually disable the trap and don't have access to the Aram Zey's Focus spell, that is. How many spells to you encounter at low(ish) levels that you really need to dispell and can't simply spring with a summoned creature or the likes? It doesn't really make sense, but you still oftens ee traps removed from any (other) combat, which means you can probably just take the damage and heal it back up with your wand afterwards.

Tim Emrick wrote:
We also decided to make these our first Core characters, (...) to make things a bit easier on the GM for those PCs' first session

Wait, you wanted to make it easier for the GM, and you picked a party of nothing but prepared full casters?

­
On the original topic, probably any combination of tier 1* and tier 2* classes will make an efficient party, including a party consisting of only one of those classes. Tier 1 classes are up there because they can deal with just about any problem, and tier 2 classes just have plenty raw power while retaining enough versatility.

*) Tier 1 is prepared full casters, tier 2 is spontaneous full casters and Summoner.


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doomman47 wrote:
... 1 paladin, 4 warlocks, 1 ranged rogue, 1 sorcerer, 1 bard/barbarian (cantrip focused), 1 ranged fighter, 1 cleric(cantrip focused), 1 druid(cantrip focused), 1 full bard and I can't remember what the rest of the party was ...

12 Characters plus "the rest of the party" ... I can't imagine how you'd balance encounters for that group 0_o


MrCharisma wrote:
doomman47 wrote:
... 1 paladin, 4 warlocks, 1 ranged rogue, 1 sorcerer, 1 bard/barbarian (cantrip focused), 1 ranged fighter, 1 cleric(cantrip focused), 1 druid(cantrip focused), 1 full bard and I can't remember what the rest of the party was ...
12 Characters plus "the rest of the party" ... I can't imagine how you'd balance encounters for that group 0_o

Lots and lots of enemies, our group was also the drop in group that year which meant that they weren't allowed to turn away any players who wanted to play so we some times had up to 28 people.


doomman47 wrote:
MrCharisma wrote:
doomman47 wrote:
... 1 paladin, 4 warlocks, 1 ranged rogue, 1 sorcerer, 1 bard/barbarian (cantrip focused), 1 ranged fighter, 1 cleric(cantrip focused), 1 druid(cantrip focused), 1 full bard and I can't remember what the rest of the party was ...
12 Characters plus "the rest of the party" ... I can't imagine how you'd balance encounters for that group 0_o
Lots and lots of enemies, our group was also the drop in group that year which meant that they weren't allowed to turn away any players who wanted to play so we some times had up to 28 people.

The famed/dreaded D&D orgy table. Some call it the crucible...


Bloodrealm wrote:
6 Core Clerics and not a single one of them worshiped Best Girl Sarenrae?!

I'm guessing this was because we're all used to seeing Kyra as one of the go-to pregens for when a table needs a virtual 4th player, and everyone wanted to play something different from that.


Derklord wrote:
Tim Emrick wrote:
We also decided to make these our first Core characters, (...) to make things a bit easier on the GM for those PCs' first session
Wait, you wanted to make it easier for the GM, and you picked a party of nothing but prepared full casters?

IIRC, he volunteered to GM *after* we floated the all-cleric party idea. At least he didn't have to learn the rules for subdomains, or worse, Deific Obedience. ;)


How do you heal with no divine characers? there are healing potions/wands but those are only low level.


Yqatuba wrote:
How do you heal with no divine characers? there are healing potions/wands but those are only low level.

In combat-healing is generally a bad idea unless it's to save a character or it's *super* efficient (dual life oracles, oradins, for e.g.). Wands of CLW are cheap enough to be spammable outside of combat. Bigger problem is condition removal.


Infernal healing is a 1st level arcane spell and a wand of that is arguably better than a wand of cure light wounds.


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CLW is even on the Alchemist, Bard/Skald, and Witch spell lists, so those classes can use CLW wands. Infernal Healing is on the Sorcerer/Wizard/Arcanist, Magus, Summoner, and Witch lists. The only tier 1/2 class without either is Psychic (who can fix that with the Rebirth discipline). The only tier 3 classes who can't use either wands are Investigator and Mesmerist. With the Healer's Hands feat, even the heal skill works fine.

Many of the Remove X spells are on the Alchemist/Investigator and Witch lists, and on a bunch of psychic caster lists. Skalds can cast any spell on the Cleric list via Spell Kenning. Scrolls are a thing that exists, as do NPC spellcasters (teleport can help to get to one quickly).

There's also the old "kill them before they have a chance to do something nasty" method, which certainly falls within the toolbox of "frighteningly functional parties".


A Witch certainly makes a "very odd yet frighteningly functional part[y]" all on its own. Especially Invoker Winter Witch/Winter Witch PrC or Gravewalker Hex Channeler.


Absolutely loving all these answers, keep em coming :D


Not sure how odd this is, but for what it's worth the following did Second Darkness all the way through (1st-15th):

Goblin Ninja
Half-orc Inquisitor
Tiefling Elemental Patron Witch
Dusk Elf Archeologist Bard
Halfling Summoner

We really worked the "damage you don't take is damage you don't have to heal" mantra. Using the hammer/arm/anvil paradigm, this was probably the most balanced party the group has ever put together.

Silver Crusade

Tim Emrick wrote:

My home group ... an all-cleric party ... our first Core characters ....

Among the 6 PCs, we ended up with clerics of 5 different gods (Erastil, Callistia, Gorum, Norgorber, and *2* Shelyn), and members of 6 different factions. And very little if any of that diversity was coordinated. [One of the Shelyn priests has since been rebuilt as an Abadar cleric so they don't accidentally steal each other's thunder.]

As a bunch of non-martial 1st-levels ...

I'm confused. Why did no one build a martially-oriented Cleric? What happened to the Gorumite?


Magda Luckbender wrote:
Tim Emrick wrote:

My home group ... an all-cleric party ... our first Core characters ....

Among the 6 PCs, we ended up with clerics of 5 different gods (Erastil, Callistia, Gorum, Norgorber, and *2* Shelyn), and members of 6 different factions. And very little if any of that diversity was coordinated. [One of the Shelyn priests has since been rebuilt as an Abadar cleric so they don't accidentally steal each other's thunder.]

As a bunch of non-martial 1st-levels ...

I'm confused. Why did no one build a martially-oriented Cleric? What happened to the Gorumite?

Because it takes levels for that to come into fruition and they where level 1 just because you manage to get good stats in the right places doesn't mean that you can actually function as a front liner when you have 3/4 bab and a d8 hit die.


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At level 1 that difference is pretty small. +1 to hit, a couple of hit points...


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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Quote:
Because it takes levels for that to come into fruition and they where level 1 just because you manage to get good stats in the right places doesn't mean that you can actually function as a front liner when you have 3/4 bab and a d8 hit die.

At 1st level, I can't imagine the +1 to hit and +2 HP really make the fighter that much better a frontliner, or that the 1 extra feat is more effective than the cleric's spells...


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A traveling group of Luchadores!

Tetori Monks and other Grapple-oriented players.

Bright spandex, bright masks, and tons of unnecessary acrobatics checks.

Player: I bounce off the ropes and throw myself at the enemy.

GM: There are no ropes. You aren't in a ring. You are in a dark alley with stone walls on either side.


VoodistMonk wrote:

A traveling group of Luchadores!

Tetori Monks and other Grapple-oriented players.

Bright spandex, bright masks, and tons of unnecessary acrobatics checks.

Player: I bounce off the ropes and throw myself at the enemy.

GM: There are no ropes. You aren't in a ring. You are in a dark alley with stone walls on either side.

I remember reading a Hellboy comic where he briefly partnered up with a group of Luchadore monster hunters that did just that. I think two would lock hands to provide the ropes when another needed it...


Matthew Downie wrote:
At level 1 that difference is pretty small. +1 to hit, a couple of hit points...

+1 to hit some extra hit points and an extra feat and probably more ac and at 1st level those little extra hp ac and +1 to hit go a long way and can mean the difference between life or death.

Shadow Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

In one AP, our group was an oread druid who just wanted to Elemental Shape (fire) all day and never look back; a tiefling monk who later picked up levels of rogue and kept charging everyone (and was the only Good one in the group); a human Wrath evoker (the only Lawful one in the group) who was the sole voice of reason but never really did much because we were already "the fightiest group with no full BAB". By the time it was her turn, things were usually well in hand, though she eventually got trigger-happy with the Head Explodey spell; and the group's healer, weirdly beloved by all (even those he didn't magically brainwash), the CE inquisitor of Razmir (actually a magician bard). We accidentally managed to save Westcrown, lie to the Hellknights, and bring Razmirism to the downtrodden.

Now we're doing Serpent's Skull, only this time, the druid's a vanara who loves grapes and storms, the monk/rogue's a yellow kobold who's determined to punch cultists, the wizard's built around buffing his combat familiar while he hides and builds things, and the bard's the rapping ratfolk who's oddly good at intimidation, and we have an alchemist whose homonculus is her stuffed moth. Only this time, nobody's evil, everyone's been befriending most of the people in the AP, and when a fight does break out, one of us solos whoever it is we're fighting.

In both APs, the GM has been flabbergasted on a regular basis.

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