D&D 5E What would your 5 PC party be?

Having only short rests limits a lot of classes. Warlocks, Monks, and Wildshape Druids need their nap time. However, having a Bard, Sorc, or Wizard gives you access to the 3rd level spell "Catnap", which allows up to 3 creatures to take a short rest in only 10 minutes. TBH, the Bard covers so many "what if" situations in these types of tournament style games it's almost criminal not to include one in the party.

Bard College of Eloquence - Silver Tongue, Unfailing Inspiration, and Universal Speech just covered the social encounters.
Druid Wildfire - Wildfire Spirit is extra DPR, esp with Enhanced Bond and Spell List. Nature encounters are covered.
Cleric Twilight Domain - Eyes of Night is just too good, and they have good utility spells/abilities for exploration.
Paladin Oath of Devotion - The Aura of Devotion is an extremely powerful defense. Not to mention, Sacred Weapon is a big boost to melee.
Rogue Thief - Fast Hands, 2nd Story Work, Evasion, Expertise, they have the traps and terrain covered, and do good damage.

Lots of healing, and utility with two good damage dealing classes and a Rogue with Expertise in Stealth and Perception. The Wildfire Druid has some Wizard spells and a nice damage/healing boost with Enhanced Bond. I really wanted Circle of Shepherd but I feel they do better in long campaigns with lots of roleplaying and time to plan.

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Str based goliath fighter(battlemaster)
Dex based (ranged) eladrin bard(valor)
Dex based wood elf monk(way of shadow)
Rock Gnome wizard(transmuter) or forest gnome wizard(illusionist).
Str based Half elf paladin(ancients)


  1. Peace Cleric that casts Bless, three(/two) allies (paladin, warlock, warlock's quasit or pet undead)) get + 2d4 on attack rolls, else focus on healing and tanking - hill dwarf or warforged
  2. Twilight Cleric for ridiculous Temp HP - Mark of Shadow Elf for Pass without Trace
  3. Conquest Paladin with Aura of Conquest, GWM because of huge boost to attack roles and athletics proficiency for shoving foes prone (their speed is 0 when frightened so they can't stand up), interception fighting style, greataxe - half-orc
  4. Undead Warlock to frighten with EB + Form of Dread, frightened creatures will be locked down by Aura of Conquest + Paladin Shove, with Summon Undead (ghostly) for additional ways to frighten (alternatively putrid's rotten claw can also interact well with the quasite's claw/bite), pact of the chain: quasit (bat form) + investment of the chain master for even more scares - Dragonborn with Dragon Fear Feat for same reason, since breath weapon will only be used for scaring, chromatic green dragonborn (fizban's version of course) for poison resistance/immunity
  5. Divination Wizard for utility and blasting - Custom lineage: Telekinetic feat to get foes into Aura of Conquest + 20 Intelligence by Lvl 4
Edit (extra info): Twilight Cleric, Paladin, Pet Undead and Quasit will frontline and Peace Cleric, Warlock and Wizard will stay behind but close enough for Emboldening Bond and Twilight Sanctuary to work. Two Clerics and a Paladin for healing because we only get 1 short rest. Everyone, including the warlock's undead pet and quasit will be especially durable thanks to twilight sanctuary, Paladin interception, Aura of Protection, bless, emboldening/protective bond and investment of the chain master. A cleric can also cast Aid twice at the beginning of the day to give the party of 5 + the quasit a bump to their max hp. Whenever the quasit would take damage, someone can use protective bond to take the damage instead. Also, you can use it in its bat form (or ghostly pet undead) as a flying teleport beacon by throwing a pebble at it and taking the damage instead.

Edit 2: changed warlock's race after discovering how valuable the dragon fear feat now is with Fizban’s update to breath weapon.
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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)?

1. Human Bladesinger - PAM, Warcaster, headband of intellect, cloak of protection, staff of whithering, Gauntlets of ogre power
S8(19),D16,C16,I8(19),W14,CH12. Proficiency in Arcana, Acrobatics, Religion, Nature, Performance
Primary Tank running upcast false life.
Full time AC 17, 21 in bladesong and 26 with shield.

2. Human Bladesinger2/Arcane trickster 5 - Fey touched, magic initiate-Artificer, Gauntlets of Ogre Power, headband of intellect, cloak of protection, winged boots
S8(19), D16, C16, I13(19), W14, Ch8, expertise in Athletics, investigation. Proficient in SOH, Perception, Acrobatics, Medicine, Performance

- Striker and Secondary tank. This is also the guy that brings down flying enemies with grapple. Fey touched with hex to impose disadvantage, guidance cantrip and alchemist tools with artificer initiate. 17AC with mage armor, 21 in bladesong, 26 with shield

Typically fights using either booming blade or green flame blade plus mage hand dropping oil

3. Metallic Dragonborn Fey Wanderer Ranger - Dragonfear
S8, D14, C10, I10, W16, Ch16, Expertise in Persuasion, proficient in Animal Handling, Perception, Insight, Intimidation, Deception

Party Face, Fear machine using dragonfear, also uses Long bow, Rapier or magic stone as needed

4. Goblin School of Enchantment Wizard - Fey touched
S8,D14,C14,I18,W12,ch10 proficient in acrobatics, investigation, history, medicine
General spell caster with lots of offensive spells. Eliminates BBEG with charm power (and the Dragonborn twists it if he saves). Goblin lets him disengage.

5. Custom Lineage Life Cleric 2/Gloomstalker Ranger5 - skill expert, wisdom ASI, scroll of heal
S10, D14, C14, I10, W20, CH8, Expertise in stealth and perception, proficient in medicine, survival, investigation, acrobatics
Drudic warrior striker, scout and healer. Life cleric and goodberry means he starts the day with 210hps worth of goodberrys if he did not cast any spells the day prior.
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Noble Dwarf Paladin (Oath of Vengeance) w/ Giant Boar mount and two squires
Guild Artisan Elf Wizard (Enchantment)
Charlatan Gnome Rogue (Arcane Trickster)
Acolyte Human Cleric (Life)
Entertainer Human Bard (College of Lore) or Entertainer Human Monk (Way of the Four Elements)

Party of 5 was: Breadwinner, caretaker, sensitive, prodigy, baby (Charlie, Bailey, Julia, Claudia, Owen).

Seriously, here's the 'party composition' thread from a while back...

More or less cleric (or paladin), rogue, warlock/sorcerer/wizard, fighter (or barbarian or paladin), something else (often bard)


Goblin Queen (She/Her/Hers)
V. Human Life Cleric, Folk Hero
AC 20 (plate armor, shield) HP 60 Speed 30’
Str 14 (+2) Dex 10 (+0) Con 16 (+3)
Int 8 (-1) Wis 18 (+4) Cha 10 (+0)
Saves: Constitution +6, Wisdom +7, Charisma +3
Skills: Animal Handling +7, Insight +7, Medicine +7, Perception +7, Survival +7
Tools: Land vehicles
Feats: Resilient (Constitution)

Life Cleric for Guidance, Bless, and heals. V. Human for Resilient (Con) to shore up concentration saves. Folk Hero for two Wis-based skills and land vehicle proficiency.

Half-elf College of Eloquence Bard, Charlatan
AC 14 (studded leather) HP 52 Speed 30’
Str 8 (-1), Dex 16 (+3), Con 14 (+2)
Int 10 (+0), Wis 12 (+1), Cha 18 (+4)
Saves: Dexterity +6, Charisma +7
Skills: Deception +10, Insight +4, Intimidation +7, Performance +7, Persuasion +10, Sleight of Hand +5, Stealth +5
Tools: Disguise kit, forgery kit

Eloquence Bard for Bardic Inspiration, Song of Rest, epic social skills, and backup heals. Half-elf for the ability score bonuses and additional skills. Charlatan for disguise kit and forgery kit.

V. Human Ancestral Guardian Barbarian, Outlander
AC 15 (unarmored defense) HP 105 Speed 30’
Str 16 (+3), Dex 14 (+2), Con 16 (+3)
Int 8 (-1), Wis 10 (+0) Cha 8 (-1)
Saves: Strength +6, Constitution +6
Skills: Athletics +6, nature +2, perception +3, survival +3
Feats: Polearm Master, Sentinel

Ancestral Guardian Barbarian cause it’s one of the only tanks with any actual aggro-management mechanics. V.Human for Sentinel for additional stickiness, PAM at 4th level for Sentinel synergy. Outlander for free foraging in case that becomes necessary; not very useful skills, but this character is mainly here for combat anyway.

V. Human Scout Rogue, Sailor
AC 14 (studded leather), HP 51 Speed 30’
Str 10 (+0)*, Dex 16 (+3), Con 12 (+1)
Int 14 (+2), Wis 14 (+2), Cha 10 (+0)
Saves: Dexterity +6, Intelligence +5
Skills: Acrobatics +6, Athletics +3, insight +5, investigation +8 nature +8, perception +8, sleight of hand +6, stealth +6, survival +8
Tools: Navigator’s tools, thieves’ tools (expertise), water vehicles
Feats: Dungeon delver, observant

Scout Rogue for DPS and exploration pillar, both in wilderness and dungeon exploration. V. Human for Observant, Dungeon Delver at 4th level (highly underrated Feat in my opinion!) for epic trap removal. Sailor background for maximum skill coverage and to cover the off chance it’s a nautical adventure.

Tortle Divination Wizard, Hermit
AC 17 (natural armor) HP 50 Speed 30’
Str 8 (-1) Dex 10 (+0) Con 14 (+2)
Int 18 (+4) Wis 14 (+2) Cha 14 (+2)
Saves: Intelligence +7, Wisdom +5
Skills: Arcana +7, History +7, Medicine +5, Religion +7
Tools: Herbalism Kit

Divination Wizard for AoE and divination spells. Tortle for AC bonus and so I can dump dex. Hermit for two Int-based skills and Herbalism Kit.

Haven’t decided how to spend the allotted gold yet, apart from plate armor for the cleric.
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Ravenous Bugblatter Beast of Traal
In a one-sort (or few-shot) challenge environment where everyone is attempting the same thing I would create a party much different then for an ongoing campaign, likely with a gimmick. Such as an all stealth party, each equipped with wings of flying (5*400gp) with the goal of bypassing as many encounters as possible.

Off the top of my head: Rogue, Bard, Druid, Barbarian, Bladesinger

Was originally going to do monk but the rules are punitive to short rest classes, which normally have last night's long rest + 2 short rests for 6-8 encounters (avg 2.33 encounters per rest) vs. this which (4 encounters per rest) - almost double. It also makes me worry about druid, so can't go ones that are powered by wildshapes, and bardic inspiration recharge.

Elven Rogue - Arcane Trickster. Traps, locks, best stealth, pickpockets, investigation. Archer, elven archery, Steady Aim from Tasha's to get advantage every round for their one attack. Alternately could go soul knife for telepathy in the party, but then move investigation to the bladesinger and they need to work together on traps and such. Noble background - both to get access to people with feature, and to get out of trouble if caught.

Changeling Bard - Lore, Eloquence or Glamour. Party face, stealth. Friends cantrip, to be used wearing other people's faces and leaving before it ends, so they get angry at the wrong people.

Satyr Druid - stealthy with either unobtrusive wildshape forms and boosting everyone with pass without trace. Perception, insight, wilderness/nature. Not a moon druid. Goodberries to get people up from unconscious after battle. Outlander background. Satyr for magic resistance. Healing - activating an already cast Call Lightning does not count as casting so can use a healing word or other bonus action spell in the same round.

Metallic Dragonborn Barbarian - barbarian, able to hold hold the line. Ancestors likely. Unsure of skill focus, see what's missing / could use double up on. STR for challenges that need it, DEX for AC and stealth, CON for HPs and unarmored AC. Fizban's dragonborn for being able to breath as one attack in an Attack action, metallic for the nifty other breath types. (Originally was thinking this was the Satyr, could work as well.)

Halfling (Mark of Healing) Bladesinger - needed a wizard, artificer, or 2nd rogue for INT based challenges. Bladesingers are good at preserving slots in combat, freeing them to help resolve some of the non-combat challenges (and just last for 8 encounters). Racial choice would be Dragonmarked Halfling (Mark of Healing) in order to put healing spells on my list as backup healer. Criminal background for stealth and backup to rogue.

Druid is probably the most iffy choice between the short rest nerf hitting wildshape, and just needing a lot of slots between combat and non-combat challenges - that's a lot of scenes in the day. So want to focus being a back-line caster with spells like Call Lightening that are very slot efficient.

Using Tasha's to adjust racial ability scores. Pick backgrounds where not listed to get stealth.

One combat plan is to haste the rogue, who will use the haste action to make their one attack, and then their normal action to ready an attack on someone else's turn. Satyr gives magic resistance.

Again, this is a party around a particular gimmick - all flying, stealthy characters - for overcoming a particular format - 8 encounters + non-combat challenges in the other pillars of play. Not a normal campaign party.
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Dragonborn Paladin. Preferably Redemption, unless the adventure is violence-heavy (in which case probably Devotion or Crown.)
Tiefling Bard. Probably Lore, but Eloquence is also an option.
Eladrin Wizard. Either Divination or Transmutation.
Hill Dwarf Cleric. Light, Forge, or Twilight, whatever seems most interesting (probably the second or third.)
Variant Human Druid. Either Moon or Wildfire, depending on Cleric's subclass (Light/Twilight or Forge, respectively.)

Between the five, you have a party of diverse but complementary strengths. Everyone has some support options to share with the rest of the group, and there's few to no problems you can't solve with some judicious spellcasting. Only the Druid might suffer from having too few short rests per day, and all things considered, that's a fault I'm willing to roll with. Particularly with the aforementioned Catnap solution (which would also be useful for the Cleric and Paladin, to refresh their Channel Divinity uses.)

You also have two high-Wis characters to spot things, and two high-Cha characters to deal with social issues. Lore Bard and Divination Wizard should solidly cover enough skills and sources of info that the other characters can do whatever is thematic or interesting. Paladin, Cleric, and (to a variable extent) Druid will provide plenty of beef to protect the more fragile Wizard and Bard. Someone should of course have a background that grants Thieves' Tools proficiency (likely the Bard, but you could shake things up). Multiple different characters can do respectable damage in melee, especially if it's a Moon Druid. Bard is likely to be high-Dex, so between that, the Druid, and the Divination Wizard, there should be no problem with overcoming challenges via stealth (doubly so with a Twilight Cleric).

An extremely solid, reasonably-thematic party for almost any adventure.
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Having only short rests limits a lot of classes...
Just to note it - I do not consider this limiting classes. This number of encounters without a LR is at the top end of the range recommended in the DMG for an adventuring day. As noted, there would be "up to" 8 encounters, with 3 deadly, 3 hard and 2 medium. Handling that breakdown with only 1 SR is tough - so you'd have to decide how to budget your resources - and evaluate on whether it is better to bypass certain encounters.

However, I have a number of stock dungeon designs that follow this model that I plug into a variety of games or pull out for one shots - 8 encounters, with a time limit that allows only 1 or 2 SR. Most encounters can by bypassed - although that might require shecks or resources to accomplish.


Fighter, variant human with the skilled Feat, giving him proficiency with thieves' tools and sleight of hand.
Cleric (Life)
Cleric (War)

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