Is my party balanced

Tyler Dunn

Explorer
So I have a party consisting of the following characters

Half Elf Swashbuckler Rogue (Urban bounty hunter background)
Half Orc Oath of the Ancients Paladin (Defense fighting style, Soldier Background)
Hill Dwarf Life Cleric (Acolyte Background)
Variant Human Abjuration Wizard (Cloistered Scholar background)
Variant Human Hunter Ranger (Revised, Archery Fighting Style, Outlander Background)

Is this a balanced party, or is it lacking something necessary for it to function properly?
 

Salthorae

Imperial Mountain Dew Taster
There's no real need for a "balanced" party in 5e as it was understood in previous editions.

I think that party looks great to me. Covers the skills and spells you'd want in any party.
 
There's no real need for a "balanced" party in 5e as it was understood in previous editions.
Y'know, I hear this now and then, and I get it, but I'm not sure I buy it. You still need a breadth of abilities and resources, there's just less niche protection, so a class which might traditionally have provided one sort of ability might not, and one that didn't used to have access to that same ability might have it. If you're all grunts with no healing and no clue about traps or locks or magic, you're still going to have a tough time in the ol' dungeon, tonight.
That you could, instead, have a surfeit of melee power without a single fighter in your party, or all the healing you need without a single cleric, or no trouble picking locks and avoiding traps with not a thief in sight, notwithstanding.

All I mean is, yeah, your party's 'balance' - the breadth of abilities & depth of resources it has on tap - is worth thinking about, even thought that's going to mean more than just ticking the Big 4 or their equivalents off a checklist.
 

Rabbitbait

Explorer
I've always encouraged players to play what inspires them. If that means an 'unbalanced' party then who really cares? As DM you change the theme of the game to fit the characters. I've had a party where every member was a rogue and that was a huge amount of fun. Sure they were lacking in some departments but in others they excelled. There were certainly no armour-bound hulks to ruin the sneaking.
 

cbwjm

I can add a custom title.
The party I'm DMing for has a barbarian, a sorcerer, a artificer, and a bard, they play fine.

Another group I DM'd for started with a paladin, monk, fighter, a rogue, and a ranger. They also did well. We later added a druid, still worked great.

The traditional cleric, fighter, wizard, thief of previous editions aren't really required anymore, though it looks like you have this covered anyway with your party lineup. I'd say your party will do great.
 

Salthorae

Imperial Mountain Dew Taster
The party I'm DMing for has a barbarian, a sorcerer, a artificer, and a bard, they play fine.

Another group I DM'd for started with a paladin, monk, fighter, a rogue, and a ranger. They also did well. We later added a druid, still worked great.

The traditional cleric, fighter, wizard, thief of previous editions aren't really required anymore, though it looks like you have this covered anyway with your party lineup. I'd say your party will do great.
This is more what I mean/meant. You don't need the "core 4" anymore. Realistically with the short rest HD healing and things like Song of Rest or Circle of Dreams d6 or Celestial Warlock d6's there is not a ton of need for traditional healing in many ways in 5e.

I've gone on multiple adventures without a Cleric or a Druid and we've been fine. Sometimes because we didn't have big healing available we had to pull back and go slower after tough fights, but it still worked. Much more easily than in previous editions where if you didn't have a Cleric you shouldn't even bother to leave town.
 
So I have a party consisting of the following characters

Half Elf Swashbuckler Rogue (Urban bounty hunter background)
Half Orc Oath of the Ancients Paladin (Defense fighting style, Soldier Background)
Hill Dwarf Life Cleric (Acolyte Background)
Variant Human Abjuration Wizard (Cloistered Scholar background)
Variant Human Hunter Ranger (Revised, Archery Fighting Style, Outlander Background)

Is this a balanced party, or is it lacking something necessary for it to function properly?
I've never seen a party that doesn't function properly.

Your party could be missing some ranged effectiveness - depends on how you play it but a ranger and a wizard focusing on range may not always be enough.
 

Ashrym

Adventurer
So I have a party consisting of the following characters

Half Elf Swashbuckler Rogue (Urban bounty hunter background)
Half Orc Oath of the Ancients Paladin (Defense fighting style, Soldier Background)
Hill Dwarf Life Cleric (Acolyte Background)
Variant Human Abjuration Wizard (Cloistered Scholar background)
Variant Human Hunter Ranger (Revised, Archery Fighting Style, Outlander Background)

Is this a balanced party, or is it lacking something necessary for it to function properly?
How are you fitting a face in the party? Pally; or did the rogue pick up persuasion?
 

ccs

39th lv DM
So I have a party consisting of the following characters

Half Elf Swashbuckler Rogue (Urban bounty hunter background)
Half Orc Oath of the Ancients Paladin (Defense fighting style, Soldier Background)
Hill Dwarf Life Cleric (Acolyte Background)
Variant Human Abjuration Wizard (Cloistered Scholar background)
Variant Human Hunter Ranger (Revised, Archery Fighting Style, Outlander Background)

Is this a balanced party, or is it lacking something necessary for it to function properly?
Is this a rhetorical question?
You've got a Wizard, Cleric, Rogue + 2 fighting types (melee & ranged).....

But the question that really matters is: Are the players having fun? If yes, then it doesn't matter.
 

Shiroiken

Adventurer
"Balanced" isn't a big deal anymore, as most important aspects can be covered by multiple characters. There are some aspects are helpful to consider for optimization: Tank, Healer, Striker/DPR, Support, Exploration, Social/Face, with a balance between melee and ranged characters.

Half Elf Swashbuckler Rogue (Urban bounty hunter background)
Half Orc Oath of the Ancients Paladin (Defense fighting style, Soldier Background)
Hill Dwarf Life Cleric (Acolyte Background)
Variant Human Abjuration Wizard (Cloistered Scholar background)
Variant Human Hunter Ranger (Revised, Archery Fighting Style, Outlander Background)
Tank: Paladin, with help from Life Cleric
Healer: Cleric, with help from Paladin
Striker: Rogue and Ranger, possibly Wizard
Support: Wizard, with help from Life Cleric
Exploration: Rogue and Ranger, depending on build and environment
Social: Paladin, or possibly Rogue

Melee: Paladin, Rogue, and probably Cleric (if only to block enemies)
Ranged: Wizard and Ranger

This is an exceptionally balanced party, depending on the various builds, that can cover all the common needs any party needs without tripping over each other.
 

ad_hoc

Adventurer
The only thing I look for in party 'balance' is avoiding duplicating classes.

It makes it much harder to have spotlight time if characters share the same class.

Otherwise don't worry about it.

As far as a party face...

Remember too that all characters can make all ability checks. Everyone can talk in a social situation if they want to regardless of their Charisma score. Most of the time you probably won't even be making any rolls anyway.

At our table when there are discussions with NPCs we go around the table and everyone says something (just like any other encounter, everyone does a thing).
 

Coroc

Adventurer
Sounds very balanced, fills all roles and is pretty strong on the healing side. It still would be balanced if the pally was a fighter, which would allow for more tanking quality on the cost of some healing and some burst damgage but I think this is more versatile over all and stronger. The rogue should focus on getting high AC soon so he can reliably offtank.
 

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