Eric Bridge
United States
Shawsville
Virginia
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While I think we could get a more thorough experience from a 4 player game, it seems the most regular players will be my wife, my son and I.

Does anyone have any thoughts on a good character mix, so that we can handle a wide range of challenges?

I'm assuming we will need one solid melee fighter. Warrior, Monk, Barbarian, Paladin maybe?

Then I assume we will want a caster? Sorceress, Wizard, Cleric, Druid?

For the third slot I'm assuming a Ranger, Bard, or Rogue?

Thanks for your advice.
 
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Kevin B. Smith
United States
Lake Forest Park
Washington
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You're on the right track, as far as thinking about a balanced party. Arguably it's less important what powers the characters have, and more important which boons they will want. Ideally when you obtain a boon, at least one of you will be able to use it. But it's kind of nice when only one character craves it, so each can have the best available stuff.

The main boon types are Melee weapons, Ranged weapons, Arcane spells, Divine spells, and Items. (I don't view allies at that level, and blessings have less overlap).

Personally, I haven't been through a campaign without a healer, and it scares me to think about doing so. However, others have done just fine in various small parties without healers.

However, boons aside, covering a variety of skills is helpful too, especially to be able to close a variety of locations.

Finally, some characters give or get bonuses when they are together with other characters, while others get bonuses if they are away from others. When choosing 2-character parties I have tried to pick characters with a similar preference (or similar indifference).

The main thing is that the character itself has to be fun for the player. My wife didn't like Lem being weak in combat, and loved that Merisiel could evade. Valeros is powerful, and straightforward to play, compared to spellcasters who require more hand management. You are going to be stuck with these characters for 30+ hours, so you should enjoy them. Just about any combination should be doable, although some will be harder and others easier.

Oh, and you might play a scenario or two before making your final character selections. It's a bit hard to know what matters until you have seen the game in action.

Don't forget to check out the new players guide and the adventure guide in the Files area here on BGG. Both are invaluable for improving your experience with the game.
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Christian van Someren
Netherlands
Groningen
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I've been playing a Bard, Warrior, Wizard combo which seems to work quite well. The Bard plays more of a supporting role, but he is invaluable.
 
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neuro researcher
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California
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Pretty much any combo of 3 will be able to make it through the game. My first playthrough, I took the warrior (Valeros), monk (Sajan), and sorceress (Seoni). I have also played through with another 3 player campaign with the wizard (Ezren), the ranger (Harsk), and the rogue (Merisiel). I've played through with 4 and 6 characters as well, but they're all perfectly capable of getting through. Any combo is viable, although there will be the occasional scenario with tougher checks, but you can make it through with support from other characters.

Edit: Forgot to mention the point of all that: Pick whatever characters are interesting to you! Just have fun with it and don't worry too much about optimizing. This set isn't nearly as challenging as the later adventure paths (Skulls and Shackles and Wrath of the Righteous).
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Jeff Jones
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Minnesota
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Yeah, I would agree that the most important factor is to pick characters that appeal to you. One of my groups played through Rise of the Runelords with Seoni, Sajan, and Seelah. So we had Arcane and Divine covered and Melee weapons and armor. We mostly ignored Ranged weapons.

The only thing I would avoid is three characters all doing pretty much the same thing. But I think even a party of Amiri, Seelah, and Valeros would work, just with some bumpy spots here and there.
 
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Mike Brewer
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Bedford
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Some of the characters are better than others at helping other characters, and that might be something you bear in mind when choosing ones for yourself (for example, I like to play a character with lots of blessings when I team up with my 7 year old son, so that i can help him out of tough encounters. He tends to like the dudes with the big swords).

Mike
 
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