D&D 5E Need advice for how to help my wife make a new PC

KaiCor

Villager
Hi all,

I am running my first Eberron campaign. The player group consists of my wife, two of our daughters, and a married couple who are friends of ours.

In our most recent adventure, my wife's PC (a dragonmarked gnome eloquence bard) was disintegrated by a laser beam while the party was in the Mournland. With no body, there's no real chance of revival at this point in the game, and she told me that she didn't really enjoy playing a charismatic character anyway, so she needs to make a new PC. The problem is she's having trouble choosing what to play next.


Some background notes:
I've been running campaigns for my wife and the other couple since 5e first came out in 2014. Our children have joined in at various points. My wife enjoys playing, but she finds the mechanical aspects of the game too complex and suffers from decision paralysis when it comes to making a PC. (I know how she feels; I get that too.) Previously she has played two wizards (an elf and a dwarf), a gnome life cleric, and a human fighter/rogue (scout). I think she enjoyed the latter the most, although she also really enjoyed her 'grumpy, stompy' dwarf wizard in our Tyranny of Dragons campaign.


The all-gnome party currently consists of an armorer artificer, a permanently enlarged wild magic barbarian, a swarmkeeper rogue, and a vengeance paladin. The barbarian fills the role of the party tank, with the artificer backing her up with his thunder gauntlets and gadgets, while the ranger and paladin tend to focus on ranged attacks.*

Between the artificer, the paladin, and the ranger, the party has plenty of healing and also a decent spread of combat and utility spells.

The artificer is also proficient with thieves' tools and will soon have Expertise in all tools, so there's no real need for a lockpicking rogue.

This is a heist/infiltration-heavy campaign (I've built it around the Golden Vault adventures), and both the paladin and the artificer have mithril armor so they don't have disadvantage on Stealth. The ranger also has pass without trace.

As you can see, the only real gaps in the party are a charismatic face -- the artificer's player tends to take on the role of the talkative party leader, even when his PC is meant to be socially awkward and has a Charisma of 8 -- and a dedicated full-strength spellcaster.


My wife insists she has no real preference but has also expressed concern that she doesn't want to choose something that will be redundant in terms of what the rest of the party can already do (see above).

I have suggested to my wife that if she'd like to stick with a bard, she could try the College of Valor or College of Swords instead if she'd like to focus more on fighting than talking.

She doesn't seem that interested in playing another wizard or cleric or trying a sorcerer or warlock. I've avoided mentioning the druid since it's the most mechanically complicated class in the game.

She does seem somewhat interested in a rogue, but she can't decide what kind. She kind of liked the Mastermind's bonus action Help feature. But again, a rogue may not be what the party needs.


Bearing all that in mind: how can I help my wife decide what to play next?




*The paladin is an odd one because her player prefers to avoid melee and therefore rarely smites (IKR?!) or uses her Vow of Enmity. She even took the Blessed Warrior fighting style so she could get sacred flame. She's also taken the wand of entangle left behind by the dead bard so she can have another ranged option.
To me, if a character can't revive, it's a flaw in the game. But it's also part of the gameplay.
I wouldn't take it upon myself to pick a character for a wife. Explain to her the advantages and disadvantages of each class and let her choose for herself. And also tell her that if she makes a mistake or loses her character again, there is nothing wrong, scary or judgmental about it. It's just a game. And she's just picking the right character for her, which she can only really like after the experience of playing the game.
 

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Zardnaar

Legend
To me, if a character can't revive, it's a flaw in the game. But it's also part of the gameplay.
I wouldn't take it upon myself to pick a character for a wife. Explain to her the advantages and disadvantages of each class and let her choose for herself. And also tell her that if she makes a mistake or loses her character again, there is nothing wrong, scary or judgmental about it. It's just a game. And she's just picking the right character for her, which she can only really like after the experience of playing the game.

If you need to use revive it's a flaw in your game;)
 

pukunui

Legend
Thanks everyone. She ended up deciding on a deep gnome ninja monk with a Sharn Watch investigator background.

I'm going to run "Tockworth's Clockworks" from Golden Vault next, which involves a deep gnome village. Her PC will be from that village originally and will thus serve as a convenient hook into the adventure.

Problem solved!
 

Oofta

Legend
A dex based fighter sounds like a solid option. Another possibility is a swashbuckler rogue, if she doesn't mind getting into melee. The features of the swashbuckler make it a good support front line because they almost always get sneak attack because they get it if there is no other creature adjacent to them other than the target. In addition, if they attack a creature, they no longer provoke opportunity attacks from that creature. So go in, stab, add sneak attack damage, back away. It's a great combo and one of the easier rogues to run.

Having a decent charisma certainly does help, but she doesn't need to be the party face.

EDIT: D'oh! Guess I should have read all the posts first. I've had fun with monks as well, good luck! :)
 


pukunui

Legend
OK so the question is now: should I just have her use the 2014 shadow monk or should I get her to try out the UA version of the 2024 shadow monk? I think the latter is better, but it does lose the pass without trace and silence spells.

I am having her use the newer deep gnome, which has a nerfed version of the Deep Gnome Magic feat built in. I think it is overall a better option than the original as well, though.

Thoughts?
 

overgeeked

B/X Known World
OK so the question is now: should I just have her use the 2014 shadow monk or should I get her to try out the UA version of the 2024 shadow monk? I think the latter is better, but it does lose the pass without trace and silence spells.

I am having her use the newer deep gnome, which has a nerfed version of the Deep Gnome Magic feat built in. I think it is overall a better option than the original as well, though.

Thoughts?
UA plus pass and silence. You’ll have the final version before the end of the year, then switch to that.
 

pukunui

Legend
UA plus pass and silence. You’ll have the final version before the end of the year, then switch to that.
How would you incorporate pass without trace and silence into the UA version? Keep it the same as the 2014 -- i.e. 2 Discipline Points to cast either?
 

overgeeked

B/X Known World
How would you incorporate pass without trace and silence into the UA version? Keep it the same as the 2014 -- i.e. 2 Discipline Points to cast either?
I’d try to err on the side of balancing it with the UA stuff, not the 2014 stuff. Same or similar levels spells costing about the same ki, etc. I haven’t looked at the UA since it dropped and haven’t looked at the 2014 subclass since it was released.
 

pukunui

Legend
I’d try to err on the side of balancing it with the UA stuff, not the 2014 stuff. Same or similar levels spells costing about the same ki, etc. I haven’t looked at the UA since it dropped and haven’t looked at the 2014 subclass since it was released.
They changed it to be 1 DP to cast darkness, and they buffed it so the ninja can see through their own darkness and also move it 60 ft (which is potentially better than movement provided by casting it on a creature or moveable object).

I guess I could make it so she can just cast pass without trace and silence for 1 DP each.

The ranger in the party already has pass without trace though so that one might not be as important. But my wife did like the sound of being able to cast silence (pardon the pun), so I should include that one.
 

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