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5E Is this party balanced?

Tyler Dunn

Explorer
So I have a party consisting of the following characters

Variant Human Scout Rogue
Half-Orc Bear Totem Barbarian
Variant Human Light Cleric
Dragonborn Vengeance Paladin
Half Elf Lore Bard

Is this party balanced, or is it missing something necessary to function properly?
 

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Mort

Hero
Supporter
You might want a wizard, but I think you're mostly fine.
I was thinking similar. This group is perfectly fine (and very, very good in a fight) but might miss the versatility of a wizard. But it absolutely not necessary.
 

TwoSix

Unserious gamer
Supporter
I'd say this party should roughly balance; the two characters with heavy armor should help even out the three on the other side. It depends on how much the half-orc weighs.
 

Fenris-77

Small God of the Dozens
Supporter
The Lore Bard can give you a chunk of the missing wizard, and the party isnt short of magic generally. It looks solid.
 

Mort

Hero
Supporter
So I have a party consisting of the following characters

Variant Human Scout Rogue
Half-Orc Bear Totem Barbarian
Variant Human Light Cleric
Dragonborn Vengeance Paladin
Half Elf Lore Bard

Is this party balanced, or is it missing something necessary to function properly?
From a different definition of balanced - the balance between the party members is good.

All the classes in 5e (and the subclasses) are very close anyway (compared to prior editions), but in this case your party has taken very good options within the classes.
 

Iry

Hero
Looks fine to me. Paladin can switch hit between tank and raw DPS so you are strong on physical damage. Light Cleric has magical damage, Bard has utility magic, and three characters that can heal in a pinch.
 

Totally fine. The bard should be a bit careful in selecting spells, since they're going to cover most of the party's artillery and control. If anything, this party is exceptionally balanced, because you have potentially 2 tanks, 2 healers, 2 sneaks, and 2 faces. If any PC isn't present, there's always a backup.
 

billd91

Hobbit on Quest
When designing adventures, you might want to be careful about creatures or effects that are wizard-oriented, because that's what will be scarce for your party. The bard will be able to cover things like teleportation circles so the shift to quick long-distance travel is preserved, but things like a fly spell aren't really in their wheelhouse without magic items to compensate.
 

NotAYakk

Legend
When designing adventures, you might want to be careful about creatures or effects that are wizard-oriented, because that's what will be scarce for your party. The bard will be able to cover things like teleportation circles so the shift to quick long-distance travel is preserved, but things like a fly spell aren't really in their wheelhouse without magic items to compensate.
At 7th level, the Bard gets polymorph (giant dino chicken), which is better than most fly spells. And only 2 levels late.
 

billd91

Hobbit on Quest
At 7th level, the Bard gets polymorph (giant dino chicken), which is better than most fly spells. And only 2 levels late.
I might agree it's situationally better, but there are times when, you know, still being you is pretty useful for a flyer.
 

Mort

Hero
Supporter
I might agree it's situationally better, but there are times when, you know, still being you is pretty useful for a flyer.
One thing too many people forget is that the polymorphed character takes on the mental stats of the creature it is polymorphed into. This can cause a big problem if there was some kind of plan involved and the polymorphed characer's intelligence is 3 or less!
 

So I have a party consisting of the following characters

Variant Human Scout Rogue
Half-Orc Bear Totem Barbarian
Variant Human Light Cleric
Dragonborn Vengeance Paladin
Half Elf Lore Bard
I think that's an extremely solid party.

It doesn't have any characters with a particular reliance on short rests (Monk, Fighter, single class Warlock) so it will work very well and should work with a variety of encounter difficulties and quantities. That is to say, you won't run into characters running out of things to do because the party decides not to short rest.

Between Lore Bard and Light Cleric you should have more than enough utility magic and combat magic, especially if either player is experienced with the game. The Light cleric's domain spells are quite potent. You may have more issues if your players are inexperienced, but that's normal and not a huge issue. Barbarian and Paladin work very well together, though. Paladin, Bard, and Cleric provide a lot of healing. Barbarian will be a solid front line wall. Scout Rogue does a very good job of plugging holes. Bard, as usual, is the best 5th character of every party ever. There may be situations where a Wizard's more esoteric spells would be useful and maybe a Diviner or Abjurer Wizard would be a better choice than Cleric or Bard, but unless it's an arcane magic focused campaign, I don't see that happening.

If I had to criticize something... Scout is probably the "weakest" subclass choice, though it's not really that weak because base Rogue is quite strong. The 3rd level ability that lets you move as a reaction is quite powerful, but it's utility is somewhat lessened because it collides with Uncanny Dodge at 5th. The Nature and Survival expertise can be useful -- and if they become important skills and neither the Barbarian or Bard can do them then Scout is amazing -- but they may not end up being much benefit depending on exactly where your campaign challenges take place. Scout is good, but it's a bit narrower than Thief, Arcane Trickster, or Swashbuckler. Not bad, though. (For the record, the only objectively bad Rogue subclass is Assassin, IMO. Several of the others are powerful, but narrow.)
 

jgsugden

Legend
First of all, you don't need balance in 5E. There is enough healing in short rests and long rests that healers are not required, nor is any other role.

However, if you want balance I look to see you have the following things:

  • At least 40% of the party is able to function on the front line.
  • You have a healer, a face (for negotiation), a scout (to sneak around, open locks, etc...), a sage (to provide your knowledge answers), and a detector (for perception and insight).
  • You have access to arcane and divine magics.
  • You have someone that will be able to provide transportation at higher levels (teleportation, tree stride, etc...)

You can check all of those boxes with that party.
 

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