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At the moment there are 5 of us that will be playing this campaign, and it's only the first time playing for one of us.

The party at the moment is:

Bard (College of Lore) - Me

Rogue (Arcane Trickster)

Sorcerer (A homebrew that will effectively turn him into an earth bender)

Ranger (Hunter) - First timer.

Wizard (Divination)

I know that I'm the obvious choice to be the party healer, but honestly, I'm tired of it. In the last couple of campaigns we've played I've been both Druids and Clerics, and I want to experience something else. It's the ranger's first time playing, and I'm happy for him to play as a ranger (because all of us have pretty low wisdom otherwise). The order above is also the order that we decided our characters in.

We're playing Strahd by the way.

My questions are:

  1. Are we all going to die quickly?

  2. Do you consider this party in any way balanced?

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    \$\begingroup\$ Possibly answered by Can a party function without a Cleric or Paladin?. Lizard Queen, does that question and its answers answer your question? \$\endgroup\$ – SevenSidedDie Jan 14 '17 at 6:42
  • \$\begingroup\$ @SevenSidedDie I don't know, in principle it seems kind of a different problem. Here he is asking if his particular party would work without (him to be) a healer. While a party could function without a healer, not every party would. For example, in this party I see that the hunter might be the "tank", but as a first timer having a Ranger "tank" might be hard. That might lead to relay heavily in potions, including the OP; at that moment it defeats the purpose of the question and OP don't wanting to be a healer. Sadly I don't have enough experience to make an answer in this case. \$\endgroup\$ – Chepelink Jan 14 '17 at 17:39
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Your party will probably be OK. I've played 5e in a party whose only healer was a druid who spent most combat in wild form, rather than providing any in-combat healing. We didn't really have any problems - although it's possible the DM was intentionally going easy on us.

If you find your party has trouble, you've got a number of options:

  • The simplest thing you can do (even at level 1) is take regular rests and short rests so you don't enter combat already low on HP. Short rests let you use hit dice, and long rests completely heal you. The main things that can block this are if your DM is planning a campaign where you'll spend a lot of time pursuing or being pursued; or if you're not being challenged enough and the DM decides to provide more encounters per rest so you have to conserve your once-per-day abilities. You can avoid both of these through communication with your DM.
  • You can buy healing potions. In addition to providing in-combat healing, you can use them if you need to save an injured NPC for plot reasons or something like that.
  • Your front line fighters can prioritise avoiding taking damage over doing damage. For example shields, heavy armour, feats that add hit points or dexterity, disengage bonus action, etc.
  • As a bard, you can take cure wounds - and your ranger can take cure wounds and goodberry. You can pick those at later levels, so there isn't a door being closed for good if you start without them.
  • Someone in your party can take a feat like magic initiate or a level in another class (letting them pick up a spell like goodberry), or they can take the healer feat (letting them heal a creature directly)
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  • \$\begingroup\$ I don't think that you keep in consideration that he does not want to be a healer. That is no cure spells for the bard nor being to relay on healing items too much, since if the OP has to heal with them often enough, well, it breaks the meaning of his question. \$\endgroup\$ – Chepelink Jan 15 '17 at 1:48
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Chepelink What I was trying to say by that is: If he's considering changing his class selection for the good of the party, he needn't do so. I've tried to clarify that bit of my answer. \$\endgroup\$ – mjt Jan 15 '17 at 20:41
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Your party will be OK.

I finished DMing Tyranny of Dragons recently with a healer-less party, and once they got past the first few levels, they were killing things so quickly that the lack of a healer didn't really matter. Or rather, it did, because using that fifth spot for more damage as opposed to a healer was what was causing the encounters to end so quickly.

As for the balance question, no, your party is not balanced. It appears to be entirely made up of damage dealers. But, like I explained earlier, that isn't necessarily a bad thing. Granted, my party did have a barbarian tank, but frankly, he was putting out large enough amounts of damage that he could have been considered a damage dealer as well.

I hope this helps!

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    \$\begingroup\$ You mentioned that your party had a "tank", do you think that the lack of a more tankish class and a healer would make things much more harder? \$\endgroup\$ – Chepelink Jan 15 '17 at 14:48
  • \$\begingroup\$ I think there is an important difference in the settings that should be addressed here. ToD is not the same as CoS. \$\endgroup\$ – Javelin Jan 15 '17 at 14:57
  • \$\begingroup\$ Do I think that the lack of a tank would make things harder? Absolutely. And I know that the two adventures aren't the same; I have no experience with CoS, but I do have experience with ToD, and I hope that experience will carry over. \$\endgroup\$ – PSDuckie Jan 15 '17 at 16:56
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I am playing CoS myself at the moment, but it is my first experience with D&D5e. We have a cleric in out party but she doesn't heal very much. Because of that I have chosen to take the inspiring leader feat at fourth level. It allows me to give up to six allies temporary hp equal to my cha bonus + my level.

I think that would be very helpful for your party, as well. And it is not healing, nor does it take up action during combat.

Without healing or temporary hp things might be tough. And I am not sure taking short rests will always be possible. In addition, as discussed here having a pc at zero hp can be a problem in regards to regaining hp through spending HD.

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In 5e, the Bard, Cleric and Druid are all equally good at being healers. At least at early levels.

  • They all get access to the same number of spells slots.
  • They all get access to Healing Word and Cure Wounds.

"But what about Clerics?"

A Cleric with the Light Domain has no special benefit over say a Bard. None of their Domain abilities involve healing. Their Channel Divinity doesn't heal.

At the end of the day, if the Bard decides to provide healing services, that's a pretty fair setup. Heck, the Bard's inspiration dice provide some extra defenses at key points.

The primary source of healing in the game is really hit dice. So the key is to have enough healing to keep people up until they can take a short rest.

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