View Full Version : The Duo

2010-08-26, 10:41 PM
What pair of classes in D&D typically make for a stable, versatile duo? I'm going to be DMing for two people who have never played before, and I'd like to make sure that they have most bases covered and aren't out of balance or anything.

2010-08-26, 10:45 PM
I would suggest allowing the players to play gestalt characters.

I'm DMing a gestalt game for two of my friends right now and it's been a blast.

They're playing a Warblade//Monk and Wizard//Sorcerer with a Cleric//Ranger companion.


If I had to suggest a duo combination then I would say Cleric and Druid for two single class characters.

For a gestalt duo, Warblade//Artificer and Wizard//Archivist would be beyond amazing.

2010-08-26, 10:52 PM
possibly Wizard and Druid

2010-08-26, 10:55 PM
Does Rouge/Ranger works?

2010-08-26, 11:03 PM
Rouge? Which class is that?:smallconfused:

I suggest Gestalt as well, Wizard//Factotum + Druid//Monk/Unarmed Swordsage/whatever

2010-08-26, 11:43 PM
NO!!! Gestalt is too complicated for newbies. you want something that is relatively simple to pick up and doesn't require a lot of prep work. I think prepared casters are mostly out.

Maybe a buffed-up Dragon Shaman and either a Factotum or a Beguiler.

The Glyphstone
2010-08-27, 12:03 AM
I'd say a Warlock, and maybe a Dread Necromancer. Give them both Tomb-Tainted Soul, and they've got literally unlimited endurance for both damage output and healing, as long as they can live through a fight.

2010-08-27, 12:13 AM
Maybe a healer DMPC as well? It'll give them the opportunity to roleplay by interacting with the character.

2010-08-27, 02:17 AM
If you're worried about their inexperience then I would suggest starting off at a low level and encouraging at least one of them to play a cleric or druid to get used to spellcasting along with doing some combat. A barbarian or Ranger could be good for the other player. Both make good melee characters when using 2handed weapons and get some nice bonuses in general for class features.

A Cleric and Druid together would be the best off, but the player's individual tastes may override the idea of playing either of those classes. Warn your players from playing a Monk, Paladin or Fighter past level 5 or so.

Warblade and Crusader are both great in small groups if you have and understand the Tome of Battle

2010-08-27, 02:23 AM
I suggest one player be the straight-laced wizard who does things by the book while the other plays a loose cannon sorcerer with a heart of gold.

2010-08-27, 05:00 AM
Sorcerer and a warblade, maybe. Both have simple, yet interesting mechanics and potential for power. Just make sure the sorcerer chooses decent spells.

2010-08-27, 08:09 AM
I would avoid trying to optimize them; if they stick with the game, they'll learn how powerful wizards and druids can be. I would suggest a divine spellcaster and a fighter/paladin/barbarian from a mechanics standpoint, but bare in mind that having a lot of spells to choose from can be problematic if they don't really know the game (this makes divine spellcasters a better choice than arcane, since a mistake in prepared spells only lasts a day, but might slow the game down if you don't have suggestions). A fighter might run into a similar problem with feats, but only at level ups, not every day.

Mechanically, I think (Barbarian/Fighter/Paladin) and (Cleric/Druid) are the best choices, but ultimately, I think your players will benefit more from playing a class they like than a class that covers all the roles.

I wrote the above assuming you are using mostly or only core and starting at 1st level (both things I would recommend).

2010-08-27, 09:43 AM
Crusader and DFA. Crusader's side healing and DFA wanding between fights keep 'em at shape, both have a limited amount of interesting options, both are made of cool. Both work out of the box, without needing to conserve resources.

Just print out the maneuver cards for the crusader for ease of use.

2010-08-27, 09:56 AM
For absolute beginner characters? I'd suggest Ranger and Cleric, and go easy on them. The goal of the first few sessions is to teach them (generally) how combat and roleplaying in general are handled.

Reis Tahlen
2010-08-27, 11:00 AM
I would say Favoured Soul and Barbarian; two easy to learn, but efficient classes.

2010-08-28, 11:25 AM
Beguiler + Crusader

Beguiler trapmonkeys, controls with illusion spells, and UMDs healing wands and utility spells. Crusader tanks, deals damage, and heals in combat. Crusader shouldn't be too hard to play (as long as you print out maneuver cards), but beguiler may take some getting used to. Luckily, it's a spontaneous caster with a set list, and you won't actually need to UMD much until higher levels, so it should be alright.

2010-08-28, 11:31 AM
My first vote, if they can stomach the complications, is Wizard + Druid/Cleric (druid preferred). Lots of spellpower, a decent warrior (the divine caster himself, plus maybe an animal companion), and plenty of options. You'll have to avoid throwing traps at them too often, but it's pretty strong.

I like Caster + Beatstick too, with Warblade/Crusader + Beguiler probably being the most versatile. Core only, though, I think Wizard + Barbarian is a mighty effective team. You'll just have to be ready for the 15 minute adventuring day with no clerical support, and again, don't pummel them with traps and stealthy foes too often.

World Eater
2010-08-28, 11:48 AM
Dual Bards. Works every time.

2010-08-28, 12:33 PM
Cleric is very good. Makes for an excellent healer, has good offensive spells, and can become one of the best melee fighters, given preparation, with spells such as Righteous Might. It is also easier to play than a druid.

The second class... well, you want balance? Go barbarian or ranger. They have the wilderness skills and martial abilities that more or less compliment the cleric's. You want versatility? Go druid. Like the cleric it can fit many roles: healing damage dealing, etc. Wildshape is very useful for getting through natural obstacles, and druids can also summon really powerful stuff at higher levels.

For absolute beginner characters? I'd suggest Ranger and Cleric, and go easy on them. The goal of the first few sessions is to teach them (generally) how combat and roleplaying in general are handled.
You know what? I agree with you. Cleric + ranger would make for a fairly balanced and useful team, and playing it wouldn't be too difficult.

2010-08-28, 05:16 PM
Dual Wield Bards. Works every time.

I approve of this idea :smallwink:

Maybe Warlock and a DFA. Both unlimited, both very similar, both very easy to play.

The Glyphstone
2010-08-28, 05:18 PM
I approve of this idea :smallwink:

Maybe Warlock and a DFA. Both unlimited, both very similar, both very easy to play.

And if you dual wield Bards who are also dual wielding, even more fun! :)

2010-08-28, 05:27 PM
Seeing as how I'm planning something similar (one person has played a few times before and can't handle a cleric, the other has played for 2 years but was ~10 at the time and it's been a while) I've been thinking on the subject (actually I have a thread up where people were giving me suggestions as to what class is simple for a beginner). I'd suggest warlock or dragonfire adept as simple with some good survivability, but for a balanced set of encounters you might want a full caster in there (complicated to run though). Honestly I'd say between a Wizard and a Druid most any encounter can be handled if you think they can handle those characters. How amiable are they to advice on spells known if they go spontaneous casters (or will you be choosing their spells for them)? If the later Sorcerer and Favored Soul can make a relatively simple and well-founded group.

Also if no one wants to be a healer of any sort you can see what they think about a tag along healer NPC; either use the Healer class from the Miniatures Handbook or one of the homebrewed ones here (I have one if you follow the link in my sig), just avoid anybody too potent in combat or too likely to take the spotlight out of it. But this again depends upon how amiable they are to the idea.