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Fitting a replacement character into a party

Blue

Orcus on a bad hair day
We have a 2nd level party and at the end of the last session, all tapped out of spells and still somewhat wounded, we picked a fight with a superior force instead of handing over a prisoner to a corrupt official.

It's a (lightly) Greek-themed campaign (a reskin of Ravnica), and we're all members of Athena's Legions. My character, as the leader, will be calling for everyone to scatter and will take what is likely a Martyr moment to slow down all of the pursuing soldiers.

I am playing a cleric of order, but not a "heal-y" cleric except to toss Healing Word spells out to trigger Voice of Authority and grant attacks. We have several characters that heal and no one is focusing on it.

So, if I die I'm looking for suggestions on what to replace with, since I won't bring in another cleric. I'm playing a bard in another campaign that has a high overlap of players, so that's off the table as well.

The other characters are:
  • A Divine Sorcerer of Athena. 1st level spells have sleep, magic missile, and healing word, don't know if more support once has more spells and slots.
  • Aasimar Paladin of Athena with a greatsword. Likely going Devotion. Only other one with a good AC besides my cleric.
  • Archer rogue
  • Drow Druid of the Spore of Persephone - natural cycle of life and death.

The players are not focused on optimization and all have reasonable character, and the DM has set the bar appropriately. So there is room to make thematic choices. The DM tends towards fewer, tougher encounters per day. We use feats and multiclassing, though we end up not multiclassing much as a table. Advancement to third level will be much rapider than normal. Advancement to fifth may also be increased some, unsure.

Game will be significantly urban-based, focused around one city-state, but it includes a vast underground. There will be occasion times outside the city, and it is a port city so a navel adventure is not out of the possibility, but still mostly urban and underground.

Allowed classes from PHB and XGtE - no SCAG or UA. The subclasses Guildmaster's Guide to Ravnica (GGtR) are allowed. Allowed races were originally stated as those from GGtR, reskinned for Greek - Poseidon's Children instead of Simic Hybrid, but we have an Aasimar and a Half-Elf, so I think that's relaxed. Playing a Centaur or Minotaur from GGtR would fit the Greek theme exceedingly well.

So, in terms of roles, what do you think this party needs?

We have social skills fairly well covered between the paladin and the sorcerer.
My character had a decent INT and was covering some of the knowledge skills - I do not know if others have any at all.
Druid has a decent WIS for survival and those type of skills, but I don't think is trained.
We only have a single meatshield front line melee now and the others are fairly squishy. (For example the rogue has +0 CON mod.)
At 2nd level I was the only one throwing out buffs, but that may be a matter of few spells known and limited slots.

So, what are your thoughts?
 

lowkey13

I'm sorry, Dave. I'm afraid I can't do that.
I'd play a reskinned monk (basic, open hand) that is a superior example of Greek athletics and bodily perfection.

Not only would you eschew armor like those weak hoplites, you'd probably just stride into combat all naked.... eh, maybe a little olive oil.
 

Esker

Exploree
If everyone is tapped out, what makes you think the other characters will be the same if your character dies? :)

That said, fewer tougher encounters per day seems to point to a class with good burst potential. And you might possibly want a character that can stand up with the paladin to protect the sorcerer, rogue, and druid, or at least who has some protection capacity. And you might want to continue to be able to cover knowledge skills. Since you don't want to play another bard or a cleric, what about an abjuration wizard? Go "Poseidon's Child" maybe, which gives you nice stat boosts, and take the carapace at level 5 for some extra AC?

Or if you think that makes the party too caster-heavy, maybe a minotaur Eldritch Knight?
 

Esker

Exploree
or start with one level of Knowledge Cleric (fits well with Athena-worship, and could supply a story-hook to connect you to the other Athena-ites in the party), for better knowledge skills and the ability to do a share of healing, and then go wizard from there on
 

Blue

Orcus on a bad hair day
If everyone is tapped out, what makes you think the other characters will be the same if your character dies? :)
While you're right that there is nothing saying they will survive, my feel is that if tell the DM I'm willing to be a martyr to get them out he'll go with it. A player-okayed martyr = great story. A TPK, not so much.

That said, fewer tougher encounters per day seems to point to a class with good burst potential. And you might possibly want a character that can stand up with the paladin to protect the sorcerer, rogue, and druid, or at least who has some protection capacity. And you might want to continue to be able to cover knowledge skills.

Since you don't want to play another bard or a cleric, what about an abjuration wizard? Go "Poseidon's Child" maybe, which gives you nice stat boosts, and take the carapace at level 5 for some extra AC?

Or if you think that makes the party too caster-heavy, maybe a minotaur Eldritch Knight?
(I edited your comment to put in a blank line just to address each part without a wall of quote blocks; no attempt to change meaning intended.)

The first part I completely agree with. Now, short rests are not as reliable - we may or may not get any between combats - but characters with usage-per-day will do better.

A tough wizard to front-line. Hmm, I hadn't thought about that. Too bad Bladesinger is not among the allowed classes being from SCAG. I'd want to give the sorcerer player a chance to veto but it can be built very different then him. Loxodon with their 12+CON hide would also have been nice race from GGtR, but my order cleric was a loxodon so I wouldn't want to repeat.

I'd be more likely to do a fighter 1 / wizard then a Eldritch Knight just from personal preference, but I admit that's my bias - EK seem to be the weakest fighters until they get war magic @ 7th, and by that point I'd rather have a 7th level full caster. But that doesn't mean I'm not wrong.

While not normally thought of as a long-rest class, barbarian at low levels also benefits from fewer encounters because they can rage all the time. A minotaur or centaur barb could be very faux-Greek.

or start with one level of Knowledge Cleric (fits well with Athena-worship, and could supply a story-hook to connect you to the other Athena-ites in the party), for better knowledge skills and the ability to do a share of healing, and then go wizard from there on

While medium armor and a d8 HP isn't quite as tanky as a level of fighter, it can still be quite respectable and oh the glorious skills. plus it keeps full casting slots. This could fit well.

Divination would fit rather thematically with Knowledge, but Abjurer as you suggested fits the front-liner better. Do you have any thoughts to the War Magic subclass from XGtE in this context?
 

Esker

Exploree
I really like the War Magic subclass, but I think it's misnamed for its features. What it's set up really well for, IMO, is a versatile controller: the initiative bonus helps them get off a big control/debuff spell (Hypnotic Pattern, Wall of Force, etc.) in the first round, and then they get a bunch of nice saving throw buffs to help them keep concentration.

The power surge thing is pretty weak sauce, and they don't have any real gishy features (I mean, other than the spells that all wizards have) to give them a reason to get into melee like the bladesinger does.

That said, with 1st level in fighter for heavy armor, CON saves, and defense style, they could make a good booming blade tank. Oh, except you don't have access to SCAG, right? Or is that just for subclasses?
 

Blue

Orcus on a bad hair day
That said, with 1st level in fighter for heavy armor, CON saves, and defense style, they could make a good booming blade tank. Oh, except you don't have access to SCAG, right? Or is that just for subclasses?
Just subclasses and races. I can use the SCAG cantrips.
 

TwoSix

Lover of things you hate
Considering the party has a pretty large pool of healing available, I like the idea of a barbarian tank as an additional frontliner. Maybe use a spear and shield, and skin it as a classic hoplite with battle fury? Maybe a (unwanted) gift of Ares. Any race could work, or you could go VHuman to grab Shield Master or Polearm Master.

The knowledge cleric 1/wizard X combination is also really good. I'm playing one now in one of my games, although I chose enchanter. I run up and try to mezz the biggest guy possible, absorb damage with shield (or try to use instinctive charm), and do damage with flaming sphere. Maybe not the powergamiest option, but fun as hell to lock down high CR monsters while the party cleans up the minions.
 

Blue

Orcus on a bad hair day
Considering the party has a pretty large pool of healing available, I like the idea of a barbarian tank as an additional frontliner. Maybe use a spear and shield, and skin it as a classic hoplite with battle fury? Maybe a (unwanted) gift of Ares. Any race could work, or you could go VHuman to grab Shield Master or Polearm Master.
I could definitely make this work theme-wise. Maybe go for Ancestral Guardian and flavor my skins as a cold fury instead of a hot rage, I can make that work in Athena's Legions. Or play a Minotaur and just flavor the rage as bestial anger, but have him be a maze-solving thinker during the rest of the time. Athena is the goddess of wisdom and tactics as well.

As a matter of fact, my biggest worry would be upstaging the paladin.

The knowledge cleric 1/wizard X combination is also really good. I'm playing one now in one of my games, although I chose enchanter. I run up and try to mezz the biggest guy possible, absorb damage with shield (or try to use instinctive charm), and do damage with flaming sphere. Maybe not the powergamiest option, but fun as hell to lock down high CR monsters while the party cleans up the minions.
Cool. And this group isn't focused on needing to be the most "powergamiest" (love that word) so I can get away with more flavorful options like that.

Thanks for your feedback.
 

lowkey13

I'm sorry, Dave. I'm afraid I can't do that.
I could definitely make this work theme-wise. Maybe go for Ancestral Guardian and flavor my skins as a cold fury instead of a hot rage, I can make that work in Athena's Legions. Or play a Minotaur and just flavor the rage as bestial anger, but have him be a maze-solving thinker during the rest of the time. Athena is the goddess of wisdom and tactics as well.
So .... not the monk clad only in olive oil?

As a matter of fact, my biggest worry would be upstaging the paladin.
That is not a worry. That is a goal.

Assuming that "upstaging" is a euphemism for kill, right?
 

FrogReaver

Adventurer
So no cleric or bard and wanting to avoid upstaging the paladin. That puts me more in the support mindest.

A Wizard makes the most sense. I've wanted to try out a War Wizard that takes the Alert feat. So that would be one of my top picks. Use him more for control though.

While it's not a particularaly strong build, an illustionist warlock can be very fun. Rely mostly on silent image, minor illusion etc. Use spell slots mostly for utility. (Takes a bit of DM buy in)

A charisma based paladin, taking inspiring leader that plays more support and healing than damage dealer is interesting.

Honestly I'm not worried about the barbarian overshadowing the paladin in a 1-2 combat a day style game. Spells are huge in those scenarios, and while rage is strong I'm not sure it matches dumping 3 divine smites into a single 4 round fight.

I really like a monk as well

I'm very happy with my barbarian rogue. Would highly recommend that character style to anyone.
 

Blue

Orcus on a bad hair day
The session got postponed, so still at the cliffhanger and no idea if I need a replacement or not.
 

Leatherhead

Possibly a Idiot.
If it's not too late, a Greek Cynic modeled after Diogenes could be fun. As for the class, some kind of monk perhaps.
 
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