Best 3-person party?

FoxWander

Adventurer
I'll be starting a new Pathfinder campaign soon, but we only have three players and the DM. What do you think would be the best mix of characters to cover the basic roles with just three people?

We'll be starting at 2nd level and using the 'heroic method' to gen stats (2d6+6). So we have the possibility to multi-class and we'll probably have good stats, but we're limited to core races and classes. That's not actually much of a "limitation" of course- just a restriction to keep in mind. Just looking for some ideas to create an interesting and fun party mix at low levels with limited people. Thanks.
 

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Aus_Snow

First Post
No idea about "best", and to be honest, my experiences with Pathfinder tend to be (I suspect) a tad atypical, wrt standard balance and all that. Even so, I'll give it a go - but you have been warned! :D

Rogue 1 / Barbarian* 1 (going to Rogue 2 or 4, or however many, and probably the rest in Barbarian* - though Fighter is another way of heading, I suppose)
Wizard 2
Cleric** 2

I imagine that would cover most of the (usual) basics...? :hmm: Doesn't look too shabby to me, anyway.


* Hm... or Ranger?

** With a bit of a fighty emphasis?
 
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IronWolf

blank
With three person parties it is hard to go too far wrong as long as you have a GM that realizes you might be missing a "normal role".

I run for the IronPups and one plays a cleric and the other a druid. They do pretty well. The four person group I am running Kingmaker for is composed of a druid, fighter, paladin and a wizard - no cleric or rogue.

While a cleric is nice to have something like a ranger or paladin can fill the role, especially if a wand is involved.

Not having a rogue is largely a matter of how the GM will handle things. For example, in the group I run for there is not a rogue so I make some allowances for that. One time they faced a locked exterior door. They thought about it a bit and then decided to use their horses to break through. Other times the GM can turn that lock on the door to a puzzle or something to solve to get it open.

So in most cases I would say just go with what sounds like fun!
 

paradox42

First Post
Flexible DM/GMming is often necessary for a good time with parties below the traditional four. IronWolf has that right.

Of the four basic roles, I'd say Rogue is usually the least necessary, though it depends on what sort of campaign you're playing- one set in a city, for example, would find a Rogue far more necessary than a campaign that often treks into the wilderness and/or avoids traditional dungeon crawls. When possible, you should look for classes that double up roles- Paladin is a great example (though starting at 2nd it'll be hard to argue against at least a Cleric or Druid being necessary- wands are not readily available that early in most games). You might also look at Oracle of Battle as a dual tank/healer role, assuming you're including APG in your definition of "core;" we have one in my game right now and he's an absolute monster in combat. He nearly always does more damage than our straight Fighter if he's allowed to put a buff or two on before combat.

For an Arcanist, I'd recommend having a Sorcerer rather than Wizard, since they get more spells per day; you lose some flexibility unfortunately but he'll be able to keep up with more combats before needing a rest. If you're not so worried about offensive casting, and want to at least partly cover the Rogue role, definitely look at Bard.
 

Jeff Wilder

First Post
I'm going to buck the trend and suggest you go warrior-less.

Speaking as a GM, the absolute easiest adjustment to make to run for a short party is to the combat strength of the encounters.

Secondarily, the rogue got a big bump in combat power in Pathfinder, and of course the cleric (while not as well armored as it used to be) is still a decent tank and flanker for the rogue.

I'd go with wizard for the flexibility over the sorcerer. While it's true the wizard doesn't have the staying power of the sorcerer, the last thing you want to give up in a short party is the ability to cast outside the box. Sorcerers can buy scrolls, of course, but that adds up fast compared to crafting them.

So I'd go pretty basic: rogue, wizard, cleric.

Of course, depending on how the magus ends up, that could change my picks.
 


Dilvias

Explorer
Are you the GM? If that is the case, I would suggest a wilderness campaign. Recommendations:

Barbarian
Druid
Bard

Barbarian is front line, killing things. Druid (and his animal companion) as backup and healing. Archer bard (covers ranged, skills, and arcane power.)
 

FoxWander

Adventurer
Thanks for all the replies.

To answer some questions- I'm just a player in this game, so I can't control the setting.

By core only, unfortunately that means just the Pathfinder core rulebook. Things might be more interesting if we had more options (and Oracle of Battle is a good one) but we're keeping it really basic because this is kind of a new group. Well, us three players have gamed together for quite a while, it's the GM that's new. So we're using a basic-ish game to get to know each other and our gaming styles to see how it will work out.

Some more info- the GM has said things will go a lot easier if we have a rogue. So I'm guessing lots of traps.

Right now the group is looking like it will be a Sorcerer, a Druid, and a Cleric/Rogue (played by me).
 

ruemere

Adventurer
Try not to handicap casters by multiclassing.

My advice would be to go with:
Wizard
Paladin or Druid
Cleric or Druid

Wizard will be able to take over Rogue's niche soon (with invisibility, unseen servants, summons).
Cleric for great front-line second-man and secondary backup for missing Rogue (divinations, restorations, summons, buffs).
Paladin - for sheer staying power. Properly built paladins just don't die (and are quite capable of healing themselves).
Druid - with buffs from Cleric and his companion can take a front line (though because of his AC he will need to be really careful).

Regards,
Ruemere
 


Flatus Maximus

First Post
Druid, Cleric, Wizard.

You should be able to cover all your basic party roles, in doors and out; and all three can summon meat shields, so you really don't need to have a strictly melee-type.
 

MortonStromgal

First Post
Option 1 (specialists) Cleric, Wizard, Rogue Option 2 (everyone heals) Paladin, Druid, Bard Option 3 (mix bag) Druid, Rogue 1/Wizard 2+, Cleric Option 4 (multi-class) Fighter/Cleric, Rogue/Wizard, Bard Option 5 (divine) Paladin, Druid, Cleric
 

StreamOfTheSky

Adventurer
Much as I love rogues, I have to go with the majority. They're really not needed anymore. Pathfinder basically destroyed their niche. Now anyone can find a lot of the traps, and with search falling under the best skill in the game, plenty will have it, possibly with a much higher wisdom score, since it's not a major stat for rogues. Even disable device...without it as a class skill, you just lose 3 on it, a high int wizard could still get a high modifer with it. As for magical traps, mages always had detect magic, except now in pathfinder they have it infinite times per day. So...yeah. Similarly, a charisma character can do the face role better than a rogue, who really can't afford a massive charisma score. Sure, you're spreading the roles out over several people, but the point is you can, not having a rogue isn't painful in the same way not having an arcanist is.

So, for my party suggestion...

Saurian or Aasimar Paladin (or possibly even gnome or halfling if going mounted)
Dwarf or Tengu Druid
Elf or Tiefling Wizard

The paladin can heal, act as party face (no bluffing, but oh well), and tank. As long as you stick to not many encounters per day and primarily evil enemies, he even outdamages the Fighter.
The Druid can heal, sneak/scout, and help the paladin in melee, as well as summon help. He can provide the paladin with a uber mount for the levels before 5 if the paladin' doing mounted, though I think that's a bad idea for this party.
The wizard handlles knowledges and int skills and does all the typical arcanist stuff (ie, everything :) )

That party doesn't have the same staying power as say...Fighter/Cleric/Sorcerer, but with some preparation it can tackle most any problem as long as the party doesn't over extend itself. I'm assuming your DM won't be throwing as much crap at you with the reduced party size, so I think this group's pretty ideal and covers each other's weaknesses well. Also, as you may have noticed, I try to find any race at all to recommend over human. :) Sick of so many human PCs.
 

concerro

Explorer
I'll be starting a new Pathfinder campaign soon, but we only have three players and the DM. What do you think would be the best mix of characters to cover the basic roles with just three people?

We'll be starting at 2nd level and using the 'heroic method' to gen stats (2d6+6). So we have the possibility to multi-class and we'll probably have good stats, but we're limited to core races and classes. That's not actually much of a "limitation" of course- just a restriction to keep in mind. Just looking for some ideas to create an interesting and fun party mix at low levels with limited people. Thanks.
I think allowing one person to run two characters is a good solution, but if that is not an option or something anyone wants to do then I say

Multiclassed Rogue/Bard-be sure to get UMD if the Cleric is not taken.

Druid or Cleric-I prefer the druid for combat reasons. Pick the Tiger.

Wizard or Sorcerer
 

IronWolf

blank
I think allowing one person to run two characters is a good solution, but if that is not an option or something anyone wants to do then I say

I usually try to avoid this if possible. In my experience - and it may not echo others, I find it quickly turns the game into a mechanical exercise for the person running two players making any kind of roleplay more difficult for them.

I prefer to run short of players and adapt as needed than start doubling up on character per player.
 




Thanks for all the replies.

Some more info- the GM has said things will go a lot easier if we have a rogue. So I'm guessing lots of traps.

Not to insult your DM but this sounds bad. Telling you a rogue will really help means he already had the campaign planned and isn't going to make changes to account for a short party or one missing a primary role.

Might as well just ask the DM what the party should have.
 

FoxWander

Adventurer
Well, I appreciate all the advice (and excellent advice it was- as one would expect from the ENWorld community:)) but it turned out the game was... not what we were expecting. :erm:

Apparently the GM planned this as a complete one-shot, while us players were expecting at least some kind of continuing campaign. So, as a first-time gaming together (played last saturday) the result was rather underwhelming. It was a very random adventure with two-bit NPCs played for laughs (well, vague laughs and often crude "humor") with an almost idiotic mcguffin to go after. Had we known this going in: 1) I'm not sure we would have gamed with the guy in the first place, and, b) if we had, we wouldn't have put so much effort into building a well-planned party and just gone with whatever craziness we felt like playing. I've got no problem with one-shots played for laughs, but everyone should know that going in. But this game probably wouldn't have been that enjoyable even if we had known what to expect.

Oh well. I guess we'll be looking for another group/DM in the area.
 

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