Theorycrafting Exercise: 4 player party composition


Advice


Scenario: You and three other players are entering into a new campaign at level 1. Your GM has told you it will be a campaign like Serpent skull, or Ruins of Azlant, with a little bit of Kingmaker like elements of discovering a new land, building up a new city or kingdom.

What would your ideal party composition be? 4 characters. No specific monster types or known super villain. A fair bit of travel, but a set home base as a place to return to with frequent regularity. The new continent featuring a full and diverse range of terrain and existing cultures.


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Rogue, focused on Wisdom skill, mainly Survival at the start.

Champion Liberator, can cover any out combat healing, and this character alone increases the survivability rate of the party, the free step would save lives.

A Primal spellcaster, for emergency healing in battle and strong AoE, I like Fey Sorcerer for that.

A int based class to cover the knowledge checks, Illusion, Divination or Abjuration for Wizard gives a ton of versatility, while Alchemist is a lot bulkier and would cause a ton of damage in creatures with elemental weakness.


Could you give some info for those new to the pathfinder world?


Serpent Skull and Ruins of Azlant are both heavily "nature/survival" type campaigns, out in the wilderness exploring instead of in cities with little access to amenities (don't know how they progress, but they start that way) . Kingmaker starts that way, but the premise is that you found your own kingdom in this wild land.


The scenario is for a general fantasy campaign where the players start off in a new "undiscovered" land and build up some kind of homeland there.


Kyrone wrote:

Rogue, focused on Wisdom skill, mainly Survival at the start.

Champion Liberator, can cover any out combat healing, and this character alone increases the survivability rate of the party, the free step would save lives.

A Primal spellcaster, for emergency healing in battle and strong AoE, I like Fey Sorcerer for that.

A int based class to cover the knowledge checks, Illusion, Divination or Abjuration for Wizard gives a ton of versatility, while Alchemist is a lot bulkier and would cause a ton of damage in creatures with elemental weakness.

Interesting choices and good explanations. Thank you!


Thanks both of you.

I'd say then:

- Half elf bard, enigma+maestro: because Music and knowledge are important.

He will be able to both buff the offense and the defense of the party. Remember go with Courage, inspire defense, inspire heroics, and inspire competence.

He will be the jack of the trade, with support compositions and spells. Even off healer if needed. Also will be the one who will deal with traps.

- Dragon barbarian, he will be the frontline. Starting from lvl 6 he will be your AOE, with dragon's breath and swipe (remember the axe). He will be also ok to follow tracks. Consider to increase his size through magic for more reach.

- Order of the Storm druid. He will be your blaster and off healer. He could also help with nature. Consider giving him medicine as primary skill for battle healing and efficient rests.

- flurry ranger/archer ranger/hybrid ranger with pet. Master of survival.
His pet will help the barbarian, and depends the role you prefer to have, you could give you the build you want. Note that since impossible flurry requires 3 actions, and bonus action from haste could not be used neither for allowing thr pet taking 2 actions nor to part of the Flurry, i suggest you a bow user with a 2h weapons if needed.


Druide with animal for the nature stuff.

Fighter or ranger dual wielder with picks and Rouge dedication.

Fighter 2 handweapon with knockdown and intimidation.

Cleric more heal, utility and buffs.


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Combat:
With lots of open-field tactics, make sure everybody has solid ranged options and good defenses for when enemies get around blockers.

Mobility:
With lots of overland travel, shoot for 30'+ move per person, and later access to Teleport.

Social:
Try to get a breadth of languages & the Uncommon spells which give access to even more. Try as best to get every PC Trained in Diplomacy, maybe even Bluff, so there aren't weak links in negotiations.

Self-Sufficiency:
Get Craft & access to using all magic types. Survival & several PCs w/ Medicine would be a must as would be access to Restoration & other condition-removing magic.
Try to cover all the Recall Knowledge skills, many twice.

For the most part, to me this is standard party building except there's not as much room for the dungeon-crawl/combat-only builds that rely on short ranges and unimportant social interactions.

I would likely go w/ Bard (for Occult, Lore (everything!), & skills more than for Compositions) and Storm Druid (for primary healer & AoE blaster).
I'd avoid Champions as they rely a bit too much on the party being clumped and getting extra Good damage which may not apply to enough enemies. Most any warrior would work if they keep a mind to diversify (likely through an MCD) & remain mobile. Trip and/or grab would be nice to give some semblance of defense for the wounded or fragile.

I'd avoid Rogue since there's not much flanking occurring here, so likely the warrior (w/ some Dex) would have to pick up the thief skills (since the others have so many other skills to cover). So that suggests going Ranger (for skills), though hopefully one with some defense.

The fourth slot would be based around my approximation of the types of encounters we'd face. If going nova w/ few encounters/day, but they're significant, I'd lean Cleric. For endurance I'd pick up another warrior, though with skills & tricks that contrast with the other one's (even if they're similar in being switch-hitters). Likely a Dragon Barbarian for that notable AoE that takes time to recharge to max, plus they'll be able to fly regularly later to scout upward. Lots of options.

I'd try for a breadth of generic Ancestries so nothing otherworldly or semi-monstrous scares isolated folk, but we also look open to diversity.


More or less we got the same idea!


The value of ranged weapons is often deflated by AP battle maps of limited scale and the nature of cramped dungeons. However, in a Homebrew campaign focused on overland/outdoor exploration, the longbow is a pretty powerful weapon because you are likely to get quite a few shots off before animalistic and low-Int monsters are capable of closing. I think having a ranged fighter or Ranger is going to be a pretty valuable part of the team. I think I would lean toward the Dex/Str/Wis fighter with a ranger MC.

I also agree that this style of campaign lends towards singular severe and extreme encounters/ sometimes even running into battles that can't be one. I would want a diviner wizard for the focus power and the eventual scrying powers (assuming that the GM is willing to make them accessible), and for handling crafting.

Then I think I would want and Animal or Plant druid with a decent charisma for trying to work with the natural environment instead of fighting it, possibly MCing into cleric of Gozreh and having the medicine skills.

and then I think maybe a bard for the fourth slot to be the primary face character and provide additional in combat healing support.


Unicore wrote:
The scenario is for a general fantasy campaign where the players start off in a new "undiscovered" land and build up some kind of homeland there.

Just checking. This would be anathema for a wild order druid but not for the other orders, right?


Chief Cook and Bottlewasher wrote:
Unicore wrote:
The scenario is for a general fantasy campaign where the players start off in a new "undiscovered" land and build up some kind of homeland there.
Just checking. This would be anathema for a wild order druid but not for the other orders, right?

good point. Probably.

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