For a lot of players, Lost Mine of Phandelver from the D&D Starter Set was their first 5e adventure. The first encounter from that adventure is rather swingy, like many level 1 combats. PCs may end up victorious without a scratch, or unconscious without getting a turn.
Terminally bad luck?
Let's assume you were really unlucky, though. Really, really unlucky. Can a single character unfailingly beat the encounter, despite all the dice being against them? What is the lowest level character that could pull this off?
Assume that whatever can go wrong for the PC, will go wrong. In general, this means that they will roll a 1 on all dice rolls (attacks, saving throws, ability checks, damage, etc.) If a low roll is beneficial to them (Divine Intervention, for example), then that roll may be a higher roll.
Assume that whatever can go right for the enemies, will go right. In general, this means that they will roll the maximum value on all dice rolls. If a high roll is harmful to them, then that roll may be a lower roll.
- The PC will face:
Four goblins. Two will use a scimitar and shield, and two will use shortbows.
- The enemies use the average value for hit points.
- Starting position of Ranged and Melee enemies, and the PC (each space is a 5-foot square):
RM....MR ........ ........ ........ ........ ........ ........ ....P...
- Any PC-controlled creatures start as close to the PC as possible. All participants start on the ground.
- The enemies have a chance to gain surprise. There is sufficient cover to try to hide on both sides of the road.
- The two melee enemies will close in. If it becomes clear that they can't get into range, they may use an Action to doff their shields and switch to bows.
- Ranged enemies will try to stay within 80 feet (the normal range of their weapons).
- The PC has beat the encounter if they are alive when combat ends and all of the enemies are dead.
- May be any level (1-20), though I'm interested in the lowest level character that can pull this off.
- LMOP takes place in the Forgotten Realms, so I'm going to limit sources to FR-specific and setting-agnostic official hardcover books: Player's Handbook, Monster Manual, Dungeon Master's Guide, Sword Coast Adventurer's Guide, Volo's Guide to Monsters, Xanathar's Guide to Everything, and Mordenkainen's Tome of Foes.
- Customizing ability scores, variant human, multiclassing, feats, and playing on a grid are allowed. All other variant rules are not.
- No magic items or magic item-like things granted by the DM (boons, blessings, charms, etc.)
- Spells/abilities you use before combat may only target you or creatures you control. Only spells/abilities whose effects last 8 hours or longer will still be active when combat starts. You do not get a rest between using any spells/abilities and combat starting.
The enemies can never successfully hide from (or surprise) a character with a passive Perception of 26. As long as that character can survive four max damage crits, they can cast meteor swarm to kill all enemies (even with minimum damage and a successful saving throw).