Party balance. I kind of hate this term. Maybe not the term, so much as the idea it represents. Yes, having your balanced party of a healer, a damage dealer, a damage sponge, and the person who does out of combat stuff covers all your bases. But I find that configuration so incredibly boring!!
I get it, though. I really do. Having all your bases covered is the best way to ensure success. But sometimes, it’s more exciting to completely overwhelm a challenge with what you’re good at, and then wonder if you can just overcompensate for what you can’t do.
With that in mind, I decided to look at some of the fun that can be had with parties that are all the same class. I find that restrictions like that really let my creativity shine. So for your reading pleasure, I’ve put together a list of some of my favorite ideas for same class parties in Dungeons and Dragons 5th Edition, using only the Player’s Handbook.
1) All Fighter Party
Fighter is often thought of as the beginner class, or worse, the boring class. However, if there’s one class that could handle any feasible situation as a same class party, it would be our humble fighting man. After all, they’re the one class that gains the single most ability score increases on the way to level 20. (All classes gain five increases, with the exception of rogue and fighter who gain six and seven, respectively.) Anywhere an ability score increase can be taken, a feat can be taken instead, allowing a fighter to either round out party weaknesses, or hone their strengths further.
Even if the GM doesn’t allow taking feats in lieu of ability score increases, some of their class features make them very well suited to dealing with almost any sort of violent or dangerous theat. They have the second highest hit dice, as well as the Second Wind feature. These combined grant them considerable healing capacity for themselves, since a short rest would let them regain quite a bit of HP, and then they regain use of their second wind which gives them yet another burst of HP.
Things get really crazy when you consider that they can get up to 4 attacks per round, and they also possess the Action Surge ability, which lets them act a second time immediately after their turn. If the all fighter party absolutely needs to finish off an enemy with a quickness, they can all use their Action Surges in one combat round to double the amount of attacks they can make. This means that a party of four level 20 fighters can belt out 32 attacks in one turn!
For Added Fun: All variant humans. Because extra versatility from an extra proficiency and an extra feat is exactly what the most versatile combat class needs.
2) All Barbarian Party
The all barbarian party is similar in many ways to the all fighter party. They’re all exceptional with weapons, have a great deal of HP and also possess some short term effects that allow them to really push forward when needed. Barbarians, however, will be relying a little more heavily on their special abilities than fighters would.
Rage is what makes barbarians special, and it’s simultaneously what limits what they can do, since it improves strength based attacks. This means that to deal with far off enemies, they’ll need to either throw things, or just try to close ranks. (Luckily, they do gain some abilities to make them more mobile.)
One of the other benefits of rage is that it’ll also make them even tougher to defeat, making them resistant to most normal damage. Coupled with an AC that’s improved by dexterity AND constitution, and you’ll have a maniacal horde with high HP that can rampage their way through any threat.
For Added Fun: All dragonborn. Call them the BARFbarians, because they’ll be puking up fire, acid, lightning, and Pelor knows what else on their enemies in their fits of rage.
3) All Monk Party
Monk, in a way, is a very selfish class. Much of their abilities only benefit them, usually by granting them all manner of resistances to different effects, or a greatly increased movement speed. An individual monk is only useful in terms of their ability to move quickly on the battlefield and to tell the GM “No, that monster’s ability actually does nothing to me. :^)”
Though when we carry these abilities to the illogical conclusion of making the party nothing but Monks, it trivializes a lot of the more mundane, non-combat challenges a GM can throw at the players. Noxious gas in a disease ridden warren? Breathing it like fresh air. Charming them to cause them attack allies? One turn later, they have a clear head.
This makes monk an odd class out that doesn’t really excel at removing problems, but instead causing most problems to not matter to them, which is a strikingly appropriate theme. An entire party of monks is thus free from worldly concerns, allowing them to focus on greater causes.
For Added Fun: All elves. They’ll already be eschewing all sorts of things like eating, knowing the languages of people they talk to, and even obeying the laws of gravity; we may as well add sleeping and needing light to see to that list.
4) All Warlock Party
Warlock is, hands down, one of the most bizarre classes in D&D 5e. I’d dare to say that they’re best described as how they contrast against fighters. While a fighter has all manner of flexibility in regards to combat abilities and numerous feats, the warlock has access to all sorts of loosely related magical abilities, many of which are not combative in nature.
With that said, for both story and ability cohesion, the best way to make the strengths of the warlock apparent is for all of them to have the same patron. (Incidentally, patron choice also has the least impact on what abilities a warlock has!) Once this is done, however, the plot hooks write themselves, and their sinister nature shines in all it’s terrifying glory.
For example, a party of all Great Old One patron warlocks could easily spy on and conspire against the inhabitants of a city using their Create Thrall ability, or a group of Fiend warlocks could demonstrate their might to a remote village with Hurl Through Hell. From there, the insidious conspiracies can only grow.
For Added Fun: All tieflings. When polite society rejected them, they found solace in religion. Not Helm, nor Lathander. No no no. They started following Nyarlathotep, to return the favor of the world giving them nothing but suffering.
5) All Rogue Party
Rogue is, without a doubt, my favorite class in D&D. In 5th edition, they’re capable of all kinds of shenanigans. This propensity for silliness only becomes more apparent when you have a party of nothing but rogues.
For starters, a rogue gains 5 proficiencies from their class, along with an additional 4 from their background, and anywhere from 1-3 from their race. If one source grants a proficiency a character already has, the player may then pick any other proficiency instead. This gives rogues a tremendous amount of flexibility in picking skills. Which is to say nothing about how a level 6 rogue will have four skills with double their proficiency bonus. (Further meaning that a party of four rogues will have 16 such skills!)
They’re nothing to sneeze at in combat, either. Assume a four rogue party is armed with both ranged and melee weapons. If they split up into groups of two, with proper positioning, all four rogues can have sneak attack against every target. (Proper positioning meaning one duo approaches a target, allowing the other duo to make ranged attacks against it with sneak attack.)
Which is to say nothing of some of the other abilities rogues have, many of which either improve their action economy in combat, or further improve their skill rolls. This isn’t to say rogue is without drawbacks, though. They’re one of the more fragile classes, and once one of them is dispatched, the rest will likely fall just as quickly.
For Added Fun: All Half-elves. Because two more skills they can freely place proficiency in is precisely what the most skilled class needs.
There we have it: some of the bizarre outcomes of compounding the strengths of a particular class onto itself more times than might be necessary. While party balance is a nice, safe bet to take, I’d encourage you to play on the wild side from time to time by getting together with your other players and agreeing on a same class party. It’s one thing to read and imagine what such a party would be like, but it’s another thing entirely to see it in action.
Just be sure to find some way to compensate for what your party will be missing if you do!
Aaron der Schaedel is often more consumed with the idea of whether something could be done, than whether it should be done. This more often than not gets him into trouble, but he always has a hilarious story to tell afterwards. For example, he’s going to include an unrelated link here to meet his external link quota, and go completely meta in explaining his intentions. You can tell him if you thought this was a good idea or not on Twitter: @Zamubei
Picture Reference: http://looneydm.blogspot.com/2012/06/all-wizard-party.html
I am become death, destroyer of worlds.