D&D 5E What would your 5 PC party be?

jgsugden

Legend
This is just to address curiosities - no wrong answers. Basic question: What 5 PC party would you want to have for a competitive challenge?

Let's say you've been invited to a competition in which you'll run a 5 PC party (7th level) through a short adventure with you running all 5 PCs. You'll make the PCs for the session. The PCs will be made with point buy, and will start with 5000 gps collectively (or 1000 per PC), and can buy a rare item for 2000 gold or an uncommon item for 400 gold (one half that cost if the item is a consumable like a potion or scroll). You may use only Published materials from WotC.

This is what you know about the adventure/challenge:
1.) It will involve the exploration, social and combat pillars.
2.) It'll cover no more than 8 hours of gaming (real time limit), and you will be able to take one short rest (but not a long rest).
3.) You'll face up to 8 combat encounters - 3 deadly, 3 hard and 2 medium. There are ways to bypass some or all of the combat encounters without combat. There are additional challenges outside combat to be overcome.
4.) There will be 2 major goals and 10 minor goals. You'll be eliminated if you do not achieve both major goals, and the parties that complete the most minor goals will advance to the next round. An example of a major goal would be "(Named NPC) must be alive at the end of the adventure." An example of a minor goal would be "Identify the name of the being that murdered (Named NPC)" or "Possess the Sapphire Crown."
5.) The adventure will not be setting specific (not specifically Eberron, FR, Greyhawk, etc...)

With that framework in mind: What 5 PCs would you select? How would you equip them generally (no need for specifics)?
 

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Barbarian, Cleric (Life), Bard, Wizard (Evoker), and Paladin would be one of the strongest. In combat, Barbarian and Paladin would front line, supported by Cleric as needed, with Bard and Wizard providing artillery and control/support. Paladin and Bard would severe the party's face during social encounters, while the Cleric can support with Insight and possibly Zone of Truth. Exploration would be focused on the Bard and Wizard, who can use spells and skill to bypass or prepare for a lot of challenges. The only real downside to this setup is the lack of short rest classes, leaving the party to conserve daily resources as much as possible.
 

Will the party know the objectives before the adventure begins?
Can you buy multiple magic items?

I would probably go with Battle Smith Artificer, Druid, Paladin, and Wizard, although dependent upon the answer to the above question, I might go with Warlock instead.

8 combat encounters is a lot in a day, so we need classes with a bit of endurance. On the other hand short rest classes get . . . shorted by only one short rest instead of the usual two, so monks and fighters might not do too well. - Unless you're going with the Hand Crossbow Sharpshooting Battlemaster or similar.
Dependent upon le tolerance du fromage, you could throw in some Hexblade in on the Paladin, but I'm assuming feats but not excessive optimisation.
I thought about Rogue, but the other classes cover their bases pretty well.
Wizard might seem an odd choice, but it is really hard to argue with the power and versatility of a full caster. Their low at-will damage can be compensated for with a Wand of Fireballs. Likewise I'd probably give the Druid a Staff of Healing so they could devote more spells to utility.
Artificer is probably the best for long-endurance support and their defender gives another body to obstruct and soak damage. Paladins break all sorts of character power limitations and are good at social stuff as well as good at-will damage in combat. Druids get stealth and versatility from Wild shape plus full caster with good utility and summons.
 



Scribe

Hero
My initial thought for that is.

Paladin - Oath of Conquest
Cleric - Twilight Domain
Druid - Circle of Wildfire
Bard - College of Eloquence
Wizard - Divination

Plenty of skills, plenty of damage, plenty of healing, plenty of summons. I'd love to play with a group running something like that, what couldn't they handle?

Added subclasses for fun.
 
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BookTenTiger

He / Him
I'd create a group focused on Stealth, with enough back-up firepower to get out of tricky situations when things go wrong. How about:

Rogue Assassin
Fighter Battlemaster (focusing on Archery)
Wizard Illusionist
Moon Druid
Bard of Eloquence


Everyone would invest in Stealth as a skill, and when we couldn't sneak or ambush, the Moon Druid and Fighter could switch to front-line, or the Bard could talk us out of a bad situation.
 

Fenris-77

Small God of the Dozens
Ok, so more seriously, I like somewhat stealthy parties, so probably (not that this is quite optimized, but...)

Gloomstalker Ranger
Divination Wizard
Moon Druid
Bear Totem Barbarian
Rogue Assassin
 

aco175

Legend
I was thinking of going heavy in wizards, but now think a light cleric with fireball and a life cleric with lots of healing since there is 8 encounters. Add another wizard to the mix and maybe a halfling thief with the hide and pop out ability or the aim power to sneak attack with advantage. Maybe barbarian to finish things off with the reckless attack and the half damage power.
 

Slit518

Adventurer
My 5 party of PCs would be
  1. Bard (Lore) - Support; Heal; Rogue stuff; Social
  2. Paladin (Vengeance) - Tank; Heal; Social
  3. Monk (Shadow) - Tank; Rogue stuff
  4. Ranger (Hunter) - Tank; Exploration
  5. Warlock (whatever) - Magic
 

CleverNickName

Limit Break Dancing
Hmm. I think I'd go with the standard D&D "party of five" build, which usually has:
  • Warrior 1 (barbarian, fighter, monk, or paladin), melee-focused "tank"
  • Warrior 2 (fighter, rogue, or ranger), range-focused "sniper"
  • Priest (cleric, druid, or paladin), the buffer and healer
  • Sneak (bard, ranger, or rogue), the burglar and face
  • Mage (sorcerer, warlock, or wizard), the arcanist and blaster

Picking my favorites from those groups:
  • Dwarf barbarian with the Outlander background
  • Human fighter with the Soldier background and a feat
  • High elf cleric with the Acolyte background
  • Halfling rogue with the Criminal background
  • Human warlock with the Sage background and a feat

After a few levels...
  • The barbarian follows the Path of the Berserker
  • The fighter follows the Eldritch Knight path
  • The cleric chooses the Tempest or Life domain (depending on the vibe of the group),
  • The rogue goes with the Thief archetype, obviously
  • The warlock goes Hexblade, pact of the blade.
 

FrogReaver

As long as i get to be the frog
  1. Artillerist Artificer - saving throws and magic items (solid range damage or great temp hp generator).
  2. Lore Bard - skills and saving throws (bardic inspiration + expertise) also great control spells
  3. Paladin 6 (subclass undecided)/Hexblade 1 - Savings throws (aura and bless). Warlock is to grant a ranged attack cantrip (as will stay near the party). Can pull out a longsword and smite when an enemy comes too close.
  4. Shepherd Druid - Guidance for + skills, Summons, Control, Pass without trace
  5. Wizard - Evoker Wizard (party friendly AOE will be amazing in a party that has strong incentives to huddle together).

Probably Dip into hexblade for the bard (AC and solid long range attack) but undecided on this.

*Life Cleric deserves honorable mention but there's alot of healing/summoning already in the party and so I think the saving throw boost will be more important.
 

Fenris-77

Small God of the Dozens
  1. Artillerist Artificer - saving throws and magic items (solid range damage or great temp hp generator).
  2. Lore Bard - skills and saving throws (bardic inspiration) also great control spells
  3. Paladin 6 (subclass undecided)/Hexblade 1 - Savings throws (aura and bless). Warlock is to grant a ranged attack cantrip (as will stay near the party). Can pull out a longsword and smite when an enemy comes too close.
  4. Shepherd Druid - Guidance for + skills, Summons, Control, Pass without trace
  5. Wizard - Evoker Wizard (party friendly AOE will be amazing in a party that has strong incentives to huddle together).

Probably Dip into hexblade for the bard (AC and solid long range attack) but undecided on this.

*Life Cleric deserves honorable mention but there's alot of healing/summoning already in the party and so I think the saving throw boost will be more important.
This post is possibly the most @FrogReaver post I've seen in many a year. And I say that with love and respect.
 




AcererakTriple6

Autistic DM (he/him)
Here's mine:
  1. Battlesmith Artificer (perhaps a Gnome to ride the Steel Defender, or any Dwarf for the dwarf memes), as the utility, minor-support/buff-er, and damage
  2. Circle of Stars Druid for additional support, control, damage (probably a Kalashtar)
  3. Rune Knight Fighter for the frontliner and tank (Goliath or Firbolg)
  4. Phantom Rogue for the sniper, infiltrator, and spookiness (Reborn or Half-Orc)
  5. Divination Wizard for the control, utility, and arcane spells (Mountain Dwarf for Medium Armor, flavored as a battleseer)
 

Mr. Wilson

Explorer
The First Four are pretty easy:
Lore Bard.
Twilight Cleric.
Totem Barbarian.
Divination Wizard.
The 5th Spot is hardest. I could see any of the Wildfire Druid, Battlemaster Fighter, Hexblade, or Watcher Paladin making a good fifth.
 

rgoodbb

Adventurer
All Changelings

Cleric - Twilight is the new healer in town (can off tank a little if necessary)
Paladin - Conquest at 7th is just when they get great
Bard - Eloquence is the face (especially as a Changeling) +thieves tools from background
Druid - Shepherd for multiple pet tanks still benefitting from Twilight temps (I think?)
Wizard - Graviturgy for excellent battlefield control flinging folks around

They all speak Orc or Goblin so they can waltz through enemy lines as Orcs, Hobs or Bugs

Frontline is Pally plus Pets. For times when no pets, Cleric as off tank. Tonnes of healing and battlefield control. Tonnes of shenanigans. Changelings rock!
 

Ogre Mage

Adventurer
Twilight Cleric (support, carries an amulet of the devout which gives more uses of twilight sanctuary)
Shepherd Druid (outlander background for exploration, summons can benefit from twilight sanctuary)
Watchers Paladin (tank, party face)
Clockwork Soul Sorcerer 5 / Hexblade 2 (sorlock blaster, agonizing blast, quickened spell, criminal background with thieves tools, alternate party face)
Chronurgy Wizard (control)
 
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