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"5 Characters Every Dungeon Party Needs" Topic

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Action Log

29 May 2018 6:53 p.m. PST
by Editor in Chief Bill

  • Removed from TMP Poll Suggestions board

1,003 hits since 11 Nov 2017
©1994-2018 Bill Armintrout
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Personal logo Editor in Chief Bill The Editor of TMP Fezian11 Nov 2017 5:14 p.m. PST

When building a team to explore a dungeon, what are the five essential character types?

elf archer

Frederick Supporting Member of TMP11 Nov 2017 5:28 p.m. PST

Sturdy dwarf
Sarcastic elf
Laconic wizard
Tough amazon
Weasely thief

Personal logo 20thmaine Supporting Member of TMP11 Nov 2017 5:46 p.m. PST

thumbs up LOL

Oberlindes Sol LIC11 Nov 2017 6:18 p.m. PST

Fighter #1: drunk

Fighter #2: obsessive-compulsive

Mage: drunk, neurotic, or quite insane

Cleric: self-righteous or self-effacing

Thief: usually female and very attractive, especially to guards; possibly a surly male elf who really wants to be a fighter, but lacks the stats for it

DisasterWargamer Supporting Member of TMP11 Nov 2017 6:30 p.m. PST


Gone Fishing11 Nov 2017 6:54 p.m. PST

I can only speak for our group (and none of us aged above 15 at the time), but to be truly old school an adventuring party needs to be all male. Dungeon delving was a man's work. With that said, the party would contain:

1.) Two fighter types (rangers, paladins…)
2.) A cleric (preferably with good combat skills)
5.) A wizard (or druid I always loved druids)
6.) A thief

When looking back at the old D&D art it seems this was pretty typical.

Winston Smith Supporting Member of TMP11 Nov 2017 7:06 p.m. PST

I played in a ton of games as a warrior who wasn't as smart as he thought he was.
Strength 17, Intelligence 10.
So as a doughty half elf warrior, I was convinced that the key to my character was developing my magical abilities. Thus was born Sisyphus, from the Isle of Prophylaxos.

My other main character was Appledore the human wizard.
Strength 3, Intelligence 17.
Talk about frail but mighty.
Oddly both survived up until I moved away from the group.

We gamed with the usual gang of mixed race reprobates.

roving bandit11 Nov 2017 7:21 p.m. PST

Fighter, usually the party's spokesperson
Dwarf (the group's second warrior type)
Elf (nice mix of fighting and spells)
Cleric (nice mix of fighting and spells)
Thief (though this player switched to a Rake when we discovered that class)

We mainly played the Rules Cyclopedia era of "Basic" D&D, when Elf, etc. were classes.

Personal logo Parzival Supporting Member of TMP11 Nov 2017 8:37 p.m. PST

Fighter, Elf, Dwarf, Wizard, Thief.
And then about encounter three or so, somebody says "Why couldn't one of you guys have been a cleric?"

SultanSevy11 Nov 2017 8:37 p.m. PST


Personal logo Doctor X Supporting Member of TMP12 Nov 2017 2:13 a.m. PST


Personal logo Patrick R Supporting Member of TMP12 Nov 2017 5:14 a.m. PST

It used to be a mix of

Regular fighter
Specialist fighter

Some possibly multiclassed with druid or illusionist etc

Typical conversation :
"I hit the goblin with my +2 flaming sword, I roll 2D4+6 damage, fourteen, the goblin is toast !"
"My wizard casts a magic missile."
"My Cleric throws a flask of oil at the Goblin king's pet wolf."

These days's it's more like

Dragonborn Shieldbreaker specialist
Githzerai Eldritch Bowcaster + pet Dire Wolf
Half-Demon Star-Eladrin Spellweaver/Warlock with Silver dragonette familliar
Warpacted demi-Tiefling Shadowstriker/Shapechanger
Deva Paragon/Priestess of Shamhalabarhallahkhkhaakaan + divine healing luminal of Khardraz

"OK I moved two squares closer to the Goblin king, my Fellstrike ability and boots of charging negate the Goblin king's twin attacks of opportunity, I use a free action to charge my battlesword with a knockback strike, my cloak of indivisible action grants me a free unhindered movement so I'm now behind the Goblin King, I use one action on Stormcry to negate his active defences for 1D4 turns. I have the Fellstrike, sunder and ravage feats which means that when I hit an opponent without active defenses I add my off hand parry bonus to my offensive strike, I use my fifth level fighter thrusting cleave which doubles all damage into enhanced damage and get an extra attack. *rolls dice for 10 mins* The goblin king is knocked back three squares, he gets 187 regular damage and 67 points of aggravated bleed wounds, 97 points of mystical damage, must roll a saving throw versus joint lock, silence, and must roll four times on the critical injury table. I now roll for the damage on the adjacent pet wolf and … What ? You mean the wolf is dead ? No, we need to figure it out because if I do triple damage over his negative hit point potential I get a carryover that gives me one to three free actions and I can then throw my daggers of multiplication at the other goblins and because I have the spellcharge special ability and daggerdoom feat I can …"

Tgunner12 Nov 2017 8:13 a.m. PST

Yeah, I'm old school.

We had:
Two vanilla fighters
Two thieves

The fighters and cleric formed the line of battle while the thieves moved to flank. The magic-user was there to toss sleep spells. It was a nice set-up that trashed most basic monsters. The cleric did bail us out a lot with healing spells and the occasional mace bash. Also, the thieves gave us lots of trap removal and scouting services. That saved our bacon a lot too!

USAFpilot12 Nov 2017 9:05 a.m. PST

CLERIC he is the healer for the party who can also fight
THIEF needed to remove traps and open locks, find secret doors
MAGIC USER wizard, mage or whatever name you call him, needed to identify magic items, and to counter enemy wizards with a magic missile before they cast a spell on your party

this is the minimum you need to get through a dungeon; everyone else should be some type of Fighter class to protect the first three. I'd probably make one a regular FIGHTER because they can use any magic weapon, maybe make the other a PALADIN, not as versatile as a basic fighter but deadly with a Holy Avenger Sword in hand.

Personal logo miniMo Supporting Member of TMP12 Nov 2017 9:19 a.m. PST

(5) 1st level Monks who just watched a Bruce Lee movie and decided to go adventuring.

Personal logo Doctor X Supporting Member of TMP12 Nov 2017 10:44 a.m. PST

Patrick +1

Personal logo Chris Rance Supporting Member of TMP12 Nov 2017 11:18 a.m. PST

Patrick +2

No longer Dungeons and Dragons, but Synergies and Spreadsheets. No thanks.

Cyrus the Great12 Nov 2017 11:48 a.m. PST

All the sub classes, multi classes are just filler.

Major Mike12 Nov 2017 1:57 p.m. PST

Always put stock in an Illusionist. Have a goat for a sidekick that every morning you cast a spell on it to make it look like a huge muscle bound dim witted fellow. As long as no one disbelieves, that is what everyone sees. It attacks with a head butt and hooves which appear like hammering fists and a head butt. Once people see it in action, they keep clear. Of course, the DM has to be in on the deal.

USAFpilot12 Nov 2017 7:49 p.m. PST

At the height of my D&D campaign, between my brother's two player characters and my two, we had henchmen NPCs of every class in the Advanced D&D game system. We wanted to make sure we had the ultimate party to cover every possible situation we could possibly encounter. Many of the sub-classes were not that powerful, ie no metal armor for druids, no armor for monks, weak spells for illusionists, only a d8 for ranger hit points.

Old Wolfman13 Nov 2017 8:16 a.m. PST

My youngest bro liked the ninjas for the Asian adventures and designing traps and such.

Gunfreak Supporting Member of TMP13 Nov 2017 11:47 a.m. PST

Need a least one dominatrix!

Personal logo Parzival Supporting Member of TMP14 Nov 2017 8:04 p.m. PST

@Patrick: Of course, in my day it was, "Okay, I attack Asmodeus with my sword. I roll an 8. But I get +3 for the sword, +6 for my Girdle of Giant Strength, +2 for the Bless spell, +2 for the potion I just drank, + 2 for my magic ring, so that's a 23. I hit! And since I wished that my sword would be vorpal on any hit, I cut off Asmodeus's head. Now, what loot has he got?"

"A 23 misses."

"Wait! The dice is cocked! It's actually a natural 20!"

Munchkins never die, they just get new cheats… I mean, "feats."

Personal logo etotheipi Sponsoring Member of TMP16 Nov 2017 8:19 a.m. PST

Magic User

Personal logo etotheipi Sponsoring Member of TMP17 Nov 2017 8:26 a.m. PST

According to DOM:

The Organizer
Rules Lawyer
the Tagalong
and … hehe … girl …. >snort< .. heh … it's a girl … urp! … playing d&d … >snerf<

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