Meet the Party: 5th Edition D&D

Welcome to the inaugural effort of Meet the Party, where you can find an entire group of ready-to-play adventurers (maybe even some heroes) for your gaming needs for a variety of systems and settings!

For this first effort we’ll be looking at an old friend wearing a fresh new face: Dungeons and Dragons! Character creation for 5th Edition is rather simple across the board at Level 1: choose a race, a class, a background, and with a few other minor details you’re off to the dungeons.

What is particularly interesting about the process is the various builds each class can choose. Some choose immediately, like the Warlock picking which type of patron to make a deal with. Others, like the Paladin taking his oath, wait until level 2 or 3 to decide how to specialize. To fully display how various classes come into their own, the following party starts play at Level 3. The party’s stats were all calculated using the default 15/14/13/12/10/8 spread, and the gear they carry comes from their class and background (with an additional item from the delightful d100 Trinkets table).

Uthal of Cashel, Half-Orc Level 3 Paladin

HP: 28   AC: 18

Str: 17   Con: 14   Dex: 10   Int: 8   Wis: 12   Cha: 14

Racial/Class:Background Features: Darkvision, Relentless Endurance, Savage Attacks, Background: Urchin, City Secrets, Divine Sense, Lay  on Hands, Fighting Style: Protection, Spellcasting, Divine Smite, Divine Health, Oath of Devotion, Channel Divinity

Gear: Longsword, Shield, Javelins x5, Priest’s Pack, Chain Mail, Holy Symbol, Small Knife, Map of Cashel, A Token of His Parents, A Pet Mouse, Common Clothes, Belt Pouch with 10 GP, A Small Packet Filled With Pink Dust

Skill Proficiencies: Athletics, Insight, Sleight of Hand, Stealth, Intimidation

Tool Proficiencies: Disguise Kit, Thieves’ Tools

Saving Throws: Wisdom, Charisma

Uthal is absolutely the toughest member of the party, well-suited to the crushing forces of melee combat and to keeping his party members from harm. Lay On Hands provides the party with healing while his fighting style can impose disadvantage on attacks aimed towards his friends, a huge boon. His Oath Spells also focus mostly on defensive actions. In terms of skills he’s divided: skills he’s learned as a squire and those he dimly remembers from his childhood as an urchin.

Gayle Sorel, Lightfoot Halfling Level 3 Warlock

HP: 24   AC: 13

Str: 10   Con: 14   Dex: 15   Int: 12   Wis: 8   Cha: 16

Racial/Class/Background Features: Lucky, Brave, Halfling Nimbleness, Naturally Stealthy, Background: Charlatan, False Identity, Otherworldly Patron: Fiend, Pact Magic, Eldritch Invocations, Pact Boon: Pact of the Tome, Dark One’s Blessing

Gear: Light Crossbow and 20  Bolts, Arcane Focus, A Dungeoneer’s Pack, Leather Armor, Quarterstaff, Dagger x2, Fine Cloths, Disguise Kit, Tools of the Con of Your Choice, Belt Pouch with 15 GP, A Tiny Gnome-Crafted Music Box That Plays a Song You Dimly Remember From Your Childhood

Skill Proficiencies: Arcana, Investigation, Deception, Sleight of Hand

Tool Proficiencies: Disguise Kit, Forgery Kit

Saving Throws: Wisdom, Charisma

Gayle can provide plenty of damage for the party, and also serves as the party’s crooked face character. Her Pact of the Tome grants her a bit more versatility with her cantrips, and her Pact spells lean towards burning hellfire and debilitating effects. She’s rather hardy for a spellcaster, but will still likely want to keep her distance.

Talen ‘Stoneface’ Beren, Forest Gnome Level 3 Monk

HP: 21   AC: 15

Str: 12   Con: 13   Dex: 16   Int: 12   Wis: 14   Cha: 8

Racial/Class/ Background Features: Darkvision, Gnome Cunning, Natural Illusionist,  Speak With Small Beasts, Background: Hermit, Discovery, Unarmored Defense, Martial Arts, Ki, Unarmored Movement, Monastic Tradition: Way of the Open Hand, Deflect Missiles, Open Hand Technique

Gear: Shortsword, Explorer’s Pack, 10 Darts, Scroll Case Stuffed Full of Notes From Your Studies, Winter Blanket, Common Clothes, Herbalism Kit, 5 GP, A Silver Badge In The Shape of A Five-Pointed Star

Skill Proficiencies: Acrobatics, Athletics, Medicine, Religion

Tool Proficiencies: Woodcarver’s Tools, Herbalism Kit

Saving Throws: Strength, Dexterity

Where Uthal is slow and steady, Talen is fast and nimble. While he can’t take a punch as well as the Half-Orc he can dodge them nearly as well, and will only become harder to hit as he levels. His Ki points provide him with various tricks to use in a fight, and his Way of the Open Hand makes his Flurry of Blows even better by forcing saving throws or costing the target his reaction for a turn.

Melna, Tiefling Level 3 Wizard

HP: 17   AC: 12

Str: 8   Con: 12   Dex: 14   Int: 16   Wis: 12   Cha: 12

Racial/Class/Background Features: Darkvision, Hellish Resistance, Infernal Legacy, Background: Sage, Researcher, Spellcasting, Arcane Recovery, Arcane Tradition: Abjuration, Abjuration Savant, Arcane Ward

Gear: Dagger, Arcane Focus, Scholar’s Pack, Spellbook, Bottle of Black Ink, Quill, Small Knife, Letter From a Dead Colleague Posing a Question You Have Not Been Able To Answer, Common Clothes, 10 GP, A Fragment of a Beautiful Song Written as Musical Notes on Two Pieces of Parchment

Skill Proficiencies: Investigation, Insight, Arcana, History

Tool Proficiencies: None

Saving Throws: Intelligence, Wisdom

Melna, in the fine tradition of wizards, provides the widest spread of spellcasting in the party, as well as the most educational skillset. As an abjurer she’s harder to take down than she looks, and she can extend that kind of protection to the rest of the party more and more as she grows stronger.

It’s important to note that Gayle and Melna do not have the spells they’ve learned cataloged above. What kind of spells a character uses can greatly shape how they play, so that has been left up to the players to decide as they will. Gayle’s nature as a power-hungry halfling who has made a deal with fiends, and Melna’s as an abjurer who wishes to shield others and banish otherworldly evil, should be considered when picking spells to maintain the feel of the character. Uthal, able to pick from the paladin spell list every day, should still keep his Oath of Devotion in mind as he prepares his divine arsenal.

 Who They Are:

Few adventuring groups are given quite so wide a berth at the local tavern as this lot. If one were actually to talk to them they seem rather nice on the whole, yet also seem extremely capable of wreaking mayhem at will. Both are, within certain boundaries, true.

Uthal of Cashel was taken in by an adventuring paladin when he was just a boy, rescued from the life of an orphan in the slums. Uthal’s mentor placed no obligation upon his new ward to follow in his footsteps, but Uthal nevertheless insisted on becoming a squire. As kindness and protection had been shown to him, Uthal would show it to others. Now a full paladin in service to his god and ideals, Uthal has taken up the adventuring life to fulfill his oaths.

The tale of Gayle Sorel is a typical one for a warlock who treats with fiendish powers, aside from the fact that she is a Halfling, a species not often associated with the hunger for power. Gayle is most certainly the exception: she wanted power for power’s sake, and was willing to make deals with literal devils to acquire it. She is perhaps somewhat foolishly planning to gain enough power to pull a fast one on her patron, but somewhat wisely decided that allies can only help in that effort.

Talen ‘Stoneface’ Beren was the one gnome in the entire forest who could not take a joke to save himself. His family quietly worried for him, as he seemed to take little joy in life, a horrible affliction for a gnome. They were thus actually relieved when Talen discovered a monastery and announced his intent to train there. While he would never be the thrill of a party, at least he had something he was passionate about, something to work towards mastery of like all gnomes do. Stoneface has learned much at his monastery, and has now left his second home to continue his search for perfection.

Melna comes from a tiefling family with strong ties to and a mixed history with the fiends of her world. As often as her ancestors were raised up to positions of power they were dragged down into the flames to be consumed by some devil’s ambition. Melna decided, long before the fiends had a chance to sink their claws into her, that enough was enough. She’d find the power to banish every last fiend from her world, and she wouldn’t have to make any deals to do it. A skilled abjurer, Melna travels to gain more knowledge and experience, and purge fiendish influences wherever she can find them.

How They Interact:

Uthal is wary of Gayle, but the feisty little warlock has kept her nose clean around him and been a decent traveling companion. He is somewhat put off by Talen, who puts little effort into making friends in the group, but admires the gnome’s devotion to his art. Uthal and Melna were originally suspicious of one another: one of Uthal’s early fights as a squire had put his mentor and he up against a cult of tiefling warlocks. Now, they get along well, and he finds Melna’s abjuration a potent tool for protecting others.

Gayle actually quite likes Talen, although it can sometimes be hard to tell. She hasn’t stopped needling him since she discovered his childhood nickname of Stoneface, often trying to tease him into an emotional reaction, but in reality she finds his constant nature soothing in the face of her masters’ sometimes capricious nature. She is great friends with neither Uthal nor Melna, but secretly values them greatly: a paladin and an abjurer sound like the perfect pair of allies for fighting off a devil trying to collect on a debt left unpaid. Gayle thus does her best to stay on both of their good sides.

Talen fell in with the group quite by accident, getting caught up in one of the earlier escapades by being nearby and deciding to test his skills on the group’s much more numerous opponents. While he has a difficult time understanding Uthal’s weakness for charity cases he respects the paladin’s adherence to his order’s ideals, much like a monk adheres to the katas he is taught. Gayle is viewed more like a training exercise than a person, but quite a useful one, and although he would never admit it, her attempts at pranking him remind him oddly and fondly of his family. Melna is regarded as a fellow perfectionist, albeit one who would likely falter if her grudge were denied her.

Melna and Uthal were originally suspicious of one another: stories of paladins slaughtering her kind were often told at home, partially as a genuine warning and partly to keep the youngsters cowed with fear of the outside. Now Melna views Uthal as perhaps her strongest ally in her quest. Gayle is viewed with extreme suspicion, but the little warlock also presents an opportunity for knowledge of the enemy, as well as a weapon the enemy wouldn’t suspect. Talen is the comforting bedrock of the group from Melna’s perspective, a logical influence she appreciates, but she privately laments the lack of tangible goals related to the monk’s efforts to improve himself.

The Future:

Each of these characters break the mold in some way. The Half-Orc defender of the weak, the power-hungry Halfling, the stoic Gnome, and the Tiefling who has turned on her heritage. Will this group of adventurers overcome their own troubles and rise to fame and glory? Or will their differences with the world and each other lead to their doom in some horrible dungeon of the DM’s devising? That’s for you (and your dice) to determine!

Originally posted 1/30/15 on the Mad Adventurers Society!

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