3 person Party = 5 person party

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Rather than scaling down the modules. What three person party could possibly handle modules set for 5 person party?

Revenant Dwarf Battlemind, super heavy ranged-striker, and a very hard controller?

Maybe throw in some extra potions, scrolls and other temporary items so they can muscle up.   And if desperate perhaps a pet or something they can use during the module to add extra firepower.  Where would Drizzt be without Guenhwyvar !


 

One in which everyone has a companion.
I am sort of looking for ideal 3 person party suggestions. (i.e. race and classes) that could somewhat surive 5 person encounters but also feel challenging.  
It's actually easier to scale down the modules than going the route you are. Give it a shot.

Revenant Dwarf Battlemind, super heavy ranged-striker, and a very hard controller?


controller or a healer?



I am sort of looking for ideal 3 person party suggestions. (i.e. race and classes) that could somewhat surive 5 person encounters but also feel challenging.  


What level are the encounters?



Three bow rangers multiclassed as shamans. Spirit companions set up as a wall, rangers unleasing twin-strikes from their greatbows.

Revenant Dwarf Battlemind, super heavy ranged-striker, and a very hard controller?


controller or a healer?






Was just thinking you could swap the Battlemind for a Warlord (still Rev Dwarf) with lots of attack granting. The Controller to lock down a few baddies and clear minions, and a Greatbow Ranger to lay down the fire. Maybe a Wiz for the controller with optimized force movement to keep things at bay as long as possible?

Maybe something like this guy for your leader, though he was more aimed to help melee strikers than ranged.

Show

====== Created Using Wizards of the Coast D&D Character Builder ======
level 11
Revenant, Warlord (Marshal), Twiceborn Leader
Build: Inspiring Warlord
Warlord Option: Battlefront Leader
Commanding Presence Option: Inspiring Presence
Choose your Race in Life: Dwarf
Borderland Nobility (+2 to Diplomacy)
 
FINAL ABILITY SCORES
STR 11, CON 17, DEX 14, INT 11, WIS 9, CHA 23
 
STARTING ABILITY SCORES
STR 10, CON 14, DEX 11, INT 10, WIS 8, CHA 18
 
 
AC: 28 Fort: 21 Ref: 21 Will: 24
HP: 79 Surges: 11 Surge Value: 19
 
TRAINED SKILLS
Athletics +7, Diplomacy +18, Endurance +12, Intimidate +18
 
UNTRAINED SKILLS
Acrobatics +4, Arcana +5, Bluff +11, Dungeoneering +4, Heal +4, History +5, Insight +4, Nature +4, Perception +4, Religion +5, Stealth +4, Streetwise +11, Thievery +4
 
POWERS
Basic Attack: Melee Basic Attack
Basic Attack: Ranged Basic Attack
Revenant Utility: Dark Reaping
Warlord Feature: Battlefront Shift
Warlord Feature: Inspiring Word
Dwarf Racial Power: Dwarven Resilience
Warlord Attack 1: Direct the Strike
Warlord Attack 1: Commander's Strike
Warlord Attack 1: Overwhelming Force Trap
Warlord Attack 1: Destructive Surprise
Warlord Utility 2: Encouraging Boost
Warlord Attack 3: Battering Command
Warlord Attack 5: Scent of Victory
Warlord Utility 6: Rousing Words
Warlord Attack 7: Friendly Fire
Warlord Attack 9: Warlord's Recovery
Warlord Utility 10: Defensive Rally
Twiceborn Leader Attack 11: Reminiscent Assault
 
FEATS
Level 1: Improved Inspiring Word
Level 2: Stirring Word
Level 4: Inspired Recovery
Level 6: Death's Quickening
Level 8: Past Soul
Level 10: Armored Warlord
Level 11: Fight On
 
ITEMS
Magic Chainmail +3 x1
Battleforged Shield Heavy Shield (heroic tier) x1
Healer's Brooch +2 x1
Vigilant Blade Longsword +2 x1
====== End ======


Also, this thread should prob go to CharOp instead of GenDisc
It's actually easier to scale down the modules than going the route you are. Give it a shot.



We don't want to scale down for challenge aspect.

I am sort of looking for ideal 3 person party suggestions. (i.e. race and classes) that could somewhat surive 5 person encounters but also feel challenging.  


What level are the encounters?






We will probably start off being 2 or 3 level and go from there.
I would actually just give one or two of the players an extra PC each. Stick to simple characters like the Slayer, Knight or Scout and it should be fine. I have a 2-person (!) group who manage 4 (and sometimes 5) PCs between them perfectly adequately.

"My flying carpet is full of elves."


Rather than scaling down the modules. What three person party could possibly handle modules set for 5 person party?




Short answer: There isn't one. Action denial by enemies has much more impact on a smaller party and the difference between 3 & 4 PCs is huge. While it won't come up every encounter, one PC going negative, or being stunned (or imobilzed if melee) and things get sticky very fast.
I think a lot of different parties could work.  Off the top of my head, I would say at great weapon fighter, balacned battle cleric with some wis burst powers, and a rogue.  A sentinel that multiclasses shaman would also be great in this sort of group, so long as this group didn't play in paragon.

Party wise, here are some thoughts.



  • I think the key would be to have a defender who had some built in crowd control - so a warden would be a good option there.  Their "Font of Life" feature helps too with action denial as they get saving throws at the start of their turn.

  • From there, you need a striker who will be able to burn down creatures with MBAs FAST.  I'm almost thinking one of the essentials martial classes like Slayer could work here, maybe even Blackguard who would benefit from higher AC.

  • Finally, a Lazy Lord, who can grant the striker additional MBAs. I would think this character could go full on granting attacks to the other characters.


Now for the above, I came up with those without any checking of optimization, optimizing them would go a long way in helping their survival. A few other things that can help the players:



  • Hand out a few extra healing potions at first, and alchemy items that grant controller like abilities (like Alchemist's Frost which can deal damage at a range and slow targets)

  • Make sure the characters take a theme and background, you may even want to allow for some of the "stronger" background bonuses like the one that grants resist or uses a different stat for hit points. Ritual scrolls also make great loot.

  • You may want to have the players be a level higher than the adventure.  The XP will balance out but it should help a smidge.

  • This is a good time to have "wish lists" for the magic items they find, you may not want to tweak the encounters, but consider tweaking loot found to be better for the group.  Sure that belt of Vigor is a level 2 item that gives a +1 to surges, but maybe it would be better to give them lifesaving brooch, which is also a level 2 item, but gives a +1 to NAD and makes it easier to do heal skill on the wearer.


I think the hardest thing is building up that forward momentum. Once the group starts and gets a few magic items, as long as they are filling up slots and/or constantly upgrading, it will balance out a bit since in a normal group the magic items would have been split out among 5 people. So for every 5 items they find, 2 of them get an extra one - which can turn into dust to improve enchantments.

Welcome to ZomboniLand - My D&D Blog http://zomboniland.blogspot.com/
I'm thinking you need some strong control capability; you're at a serious action disadvantage, and you need to be able to recoup it.  You need a top-tier Striker with spike damage to down the first couple of enemies fast AND good at-will DPR after the encounters are burned.  You need high resilience in the party, in both terms of base resources and ability to access resources during combat.

Oh, and it'd be really nice to have decent skill coverage, too.

I'm thinking Defender, hybrid Warlord|Wizard (Int/cha), and hybrid Cleric|Ranger (Str/Wis, taking advantage of Battle Cleric's Lore) might work nicely.  I'm pretty sure a Fighter, Battlemind, or Warden all work nicely in the Defender slot.

t~
Is there a strong defender out there who has a decent pull mechanic and a solid MBA? Or is there a way to develop one that could utilize both? I've never played a defender, so I'm not as well versed in them.

Also, can I suggest starting slgithly higher in level like 4-6? The lower level you are, the more you will be at the mercy of a bad roll or two. You will get killed by the bell curve alone. The higher in levels you get, the more control and response you can have toward things like that.
Short answer: There isn't one. Action denial by enemies has much more impact on a smaller party and the difference between 3 & 4 PCs is huge. While it won't come up every encounter, one PC going negative, or being stunned (or imobilzed if melee) and things get sticky very fast.


+1
From experience the difficulty jump from 4 to 3 players is very big, not sure why.
Is there a strong defender out there who has a decent pull mechanic and a solid MBA? Or is there a way to develop one that could utilize both? I've never played a defender, so I'm not as well versed in them.

Off the top of my head, Wardens have Thorn Strike, Shielding Swordmages have Lightning Lure and Intelligent Blademaster, Battleminds have a couple of options for pulls (mostly Lodestone Lure) and can be Half-Elves with Eldritch Strike, and Fighters of course have Come and Get It.  I think Paladins have a couple of powers that can pull, but they're mostly pretty bad IIRC.

t~
Also, can I suggest starting slgithly higher in level like 4-6? The lower level you are, the more you will be at the mercy of a bad roll or two. You will get killed by the bell curve alone. The higher in levels you get, the more control and response you can have toward things like that.



I have to agree with this. Start at a higher level. The PCs won't be able to customize/optimize enough for their low numbers at level 2-3; there's only so much you can do with only 2 feats to work with.

Also think of the adventures you're running - "entry level" adventures are easier - I had a group of 2 characters once they hit level 2 successfully run through Kobold Keep because they were optimized, using Themes/Backgrounds. 

Welcome to ZomboniLand - My D&D Blog http://zomboniland.blogspot.com/
I would actually just give one or two of the players an extra PC each. Stick to simple characters like the Slayer, Knight or Scout and it should be fine. I have a 2-person (!) group who manage 4 (and sometimes 5) PCs between them perfectly adequately.



That is what I would suggest as easiest too. Just give everyone an extra character. Giving out minions would be a good option too, but they would be a lot easier to wipe out.

You may know ALL the rules, but I KNOW the Spirit of the Game.

So to give you an example of how things drop quickly as your character levels falls.


I took my battle tester and plugged in level 4 characters versus 2 beholder guaths whos sleep rays where turned off.


 


Party of 4 characters (ranger, cleric, fighter, fighter) survived 80% of the time.


Party of 3 characters (ranger, cleric, fighter) survived 36% of the time.


With sleep ray things would have turned even nastier.


Here is a sample instance of the 3 characters versus the 2 beholders.


 


-----------------
round 1
Caramon moves to (4,7) to be closer to Beholder Gauth A who is still 7 squares away
Caramon closes in on Beholder Gauth A.
Tanis moves to (4,5) within range of Beholder Gauth A.
Beholder Gauth A fire ray missed Caramon with a 13 (needed 15)
Beholder Gauth A exhaust ray critically hits Caramon for 12 damage (36/48).
Caramon is Weakend.
Beholder Gauth B fire ray missed Caramon with a 9 (needed 15)
Beholder Gauth B exhaust ray missed Caramon with a 9 (needed 14)
Goldmoon moves to (4,4) to be closer to Beholder Gauth A who is still 10 squares away
round 2
Caramon brute strike hits Beholder Gauth A for 17 damage (85/102).
Tanis shadow wasp strike missed Beholder Gauth A with a 2 (needed 8)
Beholder Gauth A fire ray missed Caramon with a 12 (needed 15)
Beholder Gauth A exhaust ray missed Caramon with a 10 (needed 14)
Beholder Gauth B fire ray hits Caramon for 13 damage (23/48).
Beholder Gauth B exhaust ray missed Caramon with a 3 (needed 14)
Goldmoon moves to (4,4) to be closer to Beholder Gauth A who is still 10 squares away
round 3
Caramon gets a second wind.
Tanis evasive strike critically hits Beholder Gauth A for 25 damage (60/102).
Beholder Gauth A fire ray missed Caramon with a 9 (needed 15)
Beholder Gauth A exhaust ray missed Caramon with a 10 (needed 14)
Beholder Gauth B fire ray hits Caramon for 13 damage (22/48).
Beholder Gauth B exhaust ray missed Caramon with a 6 (needed 14)
Goldmoon aids Tanis who gains combat advantage over Beholder Gauth A.
Goldmoon daunting light missed Beholder Gauth A with a 3 (needed 15)
round 4
Caramon triggers regeneration with boundless endurance.
Caramon boundless endurance missed Beholder Gauth A with a 13 (needed 14)
Tanis twin strike hits Beholder Gauth A for 12 damage (48/102).
Tanis twin strike hits Beholder Gauth A for 8 damage (40/102).
Beholder Gauth A fire ray hits Caramon for 17 damage (5/48).
Beholder Gauth A exhaust ray missed Caramon with a 5 (needed 14)
Beholder Gauth B fire ray missed Caramon with a 8 (needed 15)
Beholder Gauth B exhaust ray kills Caramon.
Goldmoon moves to (4,4) to be closer to Beholder Gauth A who is still 10 squares away
round 5
Tanis twin strike hits Beholder Gauth A for 5 damage (35/102).
Tanis twin strike hits Beholder Gauth A for 9 damage (26/102).
Beholder Gauth A moves to (4,12) within range of Tanis.
Beholder Gauth A fire ray hits Tanis for 13 damage (25/38).
Beholder Gauth A exhaust ray missed Tanis with a 12 (needed 13)
Beholder Gauth B moves to (4,13) within range of Tanis.
Beholder Gauth B fire ray hits Tanis for 17 damage (8/38).
Beholder Gauth B exhaust ray missed Tanis with a 8 (needed 13)
Goldmoon's healing strike marks Beholder Gauth A and heals Tanis.
Goldmoon sacred flame missed Beholder Gauth A with a 7 (needed 15)
round 6
Tanis gets a second wind.
Beholder Gauth A fire ray missed Tanis with a 11 (needed 15)
Beholder Gauth A exhaust ray missed Tanis with a 11 (needed 13)
Beholder Gauth B fire ray missed Tanis with a 6 (needed 15)
Beholder Gauth B exhaust ray missed Tanis with a 12 (needed 13)
Goldmoon's healing word heals Tanis.
round 7
Tanis twin strike missed Beholder Gauth A with a 4 (needed 8)
Tanis twin strike missed Beholder Gauth A with a 4 (needed 8)
Beholder Gauth A fire ray missed Tanis with a 13 (needed 15)
Beholder Gauth A exhaust ray hits Tanis for 7 damage (28/38).
Tanis is Weakend.
Beholder Gauth B fire ray missed Tanis with a 13 (needed 15)
Beholder Gauth B exhaust ray hits Tanis for 10 damage (18/38).
Tanis is Weakend.
Goldmoon's healing word heals Tanis.
round 8
Tanis twin strike missed Beholder Gauth A with a 7 (needed 8)
Tanis twin strike missed Beholder Gauth A with a 7 (needed 8)
Beholder Gauth A fire ray missed Tanis with a 8 (needed 15)
Beholder Gauth A exhaust ray missed Tanis with a 8 (needed 13)
Beholder Gauth B fire ray missed Tanis with a 10 (needed 15)
Beholder Gauth B exhaust ray hits Tanis for 6 damage (21/38).
Tanis is Weakend.
Goldmoon cure light wounds on Tanis.
round 9
Tanis twin strike hits Beholder Gauth A for 14 damage (12/102).
Tanis twin strike hits Beholder Gauth A for 8 damage (4/102).
Beholder Gauth A fire ray missed Tanis with a 11 (needed 15)
Beholder Gauth A exhaust ray hits Tanis for 6 damage (24/38).
Tanis is Weakend.
Beholder Gauth B fire ray missed Tanis with a 1 (needed 15)
Beholder Gauth B exhaust ray missed Tanis with a 12 (needed 13)
Goldmoon moves to (4,4) to be closer to Beholder Gauth A who is still 8 squares away
round 10
Tanis twin strike missed Beholder Gauth A with a 3 (needed 8)
Tanis twin strike missed Beholder Gauth A with a 3 (needed 8)
Beholder Gauth A fire ray missed Tanis with a 6 (needed 15)
Beholder Gauth A exhaust ray missed Tanis with a 3 (needed 13)
Beholder Gauth B fire ray missed Tanis with a 3 (needed 15)
Beholder Gauth B exhaust ray missed Tanis with a 7 (needed 13)
Goldmoon moves to (4,4) to be closer to Beholder Gauth A who is still 8 squares away
round 11
Tanis twin strike kills Beholder Gauth A.
Beholder Gauth B fire ray missed Tanis with a 11 (needed 15)
Beholder Gauth B exhaust ray hits Tanis for 7 damage (17/38).
Tanis is Weakend.
Goldmoon moves to (4,4) to be closer to Beholder Gauth B who is still 9 squares away
round 12
Tanis twin strike hits Beholder Gauth B for 13 damage (89/102).
Tanis twin strike hits Beholder Gauth B for 9 damage (80/102).
Beholder Gauth B fire ray missed Tanis with a 14 (needed 15)
Beholder Gauth B exhaust ray hits Tanis for 11 damage (6/38).
Tanis is Weakend.
Goldmoon moves to (4,4) to be closer to Beholder Gauth B who is still 9 squares away
round 13
Tanis twin strike missed Beholder Gauth B with a 6 (needed 8)
Tanis twin strike missed Beholder Gauth B with a 6 (needed 8)
Beholder Gauth B fire ray missed Tanis with a 13 (needed 15)
Beholder Gauth B exhaust ray missed Tanis with a 7 (needed 13)
Goldmoon moves to (4,4) to be closer to Beholder Gauth B who is still 9 squares away
round 14
Tanis twin strike missed Beholder Gauth B with a 2 (needed 8)
Tanis twin strike missed Beholder Gauth B with a 2 (needed 8)
Beholder Gauth B fire ray missed Tanis with a 13 (needed 15)
Beholder Gauth B exhaust ray missed Tanis with a 7 (needed 13)
Goldmoon moves to (4,4) to be closer to Beholder Gauth B who is still 9 squares away
round 15
Tanis twin strike missed Beholder Gauth B with a 7 (needed 8)
Tanis twin strike missed Beholder Gauth B with a 7 (needed 8)
Beholder Gauth B fire ray missed Tanis with a 4 (needed 15)
Beholder Gauth B exhaust ray kills Tanis.
Goldmoon moves to (4,10) to be closer to Beholder Gauth B who is still 3 squares away
round 16
Beholder Gauth B fire ray hits Goldmoon for 14 damage (25/39).
Beholder Gauth B exhaust ray missed Goldmoon with a 3 (needed 13)
Goldmoon guardian of faith hits Beholder Gauth B for 4 damage (76/102).
round 17
Beholder Gauth B guardian of faith hits Beholder Gauth B for 11 damage (65/102).
Beholder Gauth B fire ray missed Goldmoon with a 6 (needed 12)
Beholder Gauth B exhaust ray missed Goldmoon with a 4 (needed 13)
Goldmoon sacred flame missed Beholder Gauth B with a 4 (needed 15)
round 18
Beholder Gauth B guardian of faith missed Beholder Gauth B with a 13 (needed 14)
Beholder Gauth B fire ray hits Goldmoon for 15 damage (10/39).
Beholder Gauth B exhaust ray missed Goldmoon with a 2 (needed 13)
Goldmoon gets a second wind.
round 19
Beholder Gauth B guardian of faith missed Beholder Gauth B with a 2 (needed 14)
Beholder Gauth B fire ray missed Goldmoon with a 8 (needed 12)
Beholder Gauth B exhaust ray hits Goldmoon for 9 damage (10/39).
Goldmoon is Weakend.
Goldmoon sacred flame missed Beholder Gauth B with a 6 (needed 15)
round 20
Beholder Gauth B guardian of faith missed Beholder Gauth B with a 6 (needed 14)
Beholder Gauth B fire ray kills Goldmoon.
Characters lived 36% of the time
-------------

The problem with a 3 PC party is the economy of actions... the group simply doesn't have enough actions to fight against the 4+ monsters actions and their damage output.

  Really, I'd suggest a few things.  The easiest being... whip up a  few companion characters to join the party and even out the actions. OR... have the players dice off(top 2 win) each round for another set of actions each round.  Or... scale back the fights to less than a 5 pc set of monsters.  Or, some combination of the two.

Preferences... Not where they should be. Asking someone if they're Trolling you is in violation of section 3 of the Code of Conduct.

The party in that demo seems sub-optimal (i.e. I hit Shadow Wasp Strike and stopped reading).
Jeff Heikkinen DCI Rules Advisor since Dec 25, 2011
Hi!

I think, by experience, that a 3-players party has to follow the ideas suggested in the Dungeon Master's Guide: no striker is the best option, even if it seems a bit odd...Why? Because with a good choice of the controller and the defender, you'll still get a good damage output and you can get rid of big enemy parties.

I don't know what's the best combination, but a well built Wizard (between a "war" and a "control" wizard), a Paladin (strong defenses and some healing) and, let's say, a Ardent (good healing, lots of temporary hit points and melee attacks), will give you the complete range of options you usually get from a common 4-players party...

To do that AT BEST, each player has to sacrifice something from time to time, in order to get the best option at each level, relying a lot on powers/feats interaction.

IMHO.
A lazylord style npc IE - perhaps an inspiring innocent to protect ... is my favorite round out the party tool - it  ought to keep the action economy flowing nicely
  Creative Character Build Collection and The Magic of King's and Heros  also Can Martial Characters Fly? 

Improvisation in 4e: Fave 4E Improvisations - also Wrecans Guides to improvisation beyond page 42
The Non-combatant Adventurer (aka Princess build Warlord or LazyLord)
Reality is unrealistic - and even monkeys protest unfairness
Reflavoring the Fighter : The Wizard : The Swordmage - Creative Character Collection: Bloodwright (Darksun Character) 

At full hit points and still wounded to incapacitation? you are playing 1e.
By virtue of being a player your characters are the protagonists in a heroic fantasy game even at level one
"Wizards and Warriors need abilities with explicit effects for opposite reasons. With the wizard its because you need to create artificial limits on them, they have no natural ones and for the Warrior you need to grant permission to do awesome."

 

You can also get creative with magic items - if you are willing to work outside the box. 

I had at one time created a magic ring for a group when they were down a player that had an encounter power that summoned a fairly mindless fire elemental as a free action. 

The player felt awesome for getting a magic item.  The group got some extra help during combat. And I didn't have to go back and tweak any of the encounters.  

Welcome to ZomboniLand - My D&D Blog http://zomboniland.blogspot.com/
I am sort of looking for ideal 3 person party suggestions. (i.e. race and classes) that could somewhat surive 5 person encounters but also feel challenging.  



fighter/cleric hybrid, ranger, and an ardent

So to give you an example of how things drop quickly as your character levels falls.


I took my battle tester and plugged in level 4 characters versus 2 beholder guaths whos sleep rays where turned off.


 


Party of 4 characters (ranger, cleric, fighter, fighter) survived 80% of the time.


Party of 3 characters (ranger, cleric, fighter) survived 36% of the time.


With sleep ray things would have turned even nastier.



What software do you use? I'd really like to get something like that to test challanging encounters for my group. 

see


Requirements_for_my_fun_DD_4e_party_charactermonster_battle_tester


basically writing my own open source one in Java (available on Sourceforge).


Once I have enough powers coded I will wrap a UI around it and make it available on a website to run without bothering with downloading java code.


 

I would recommend starting the characters at the high end of the recommended range, and don't be a stickler on the magic items. You should also invest in rituals, and other items that allow for a quick escape or to hide for extended rests. The character should be allowed to buy most the magic items they need to help optimize.

We played with a warforged cleric/fighter with ritual casting (the dragon mark that grants enchantment rituals), a human wizard with rituals, and a human shaman with rituals.

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