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Are you ready to take on the challenge and free Skara Brae from the evil Mangar, but aren’t quite sure what the make up of your party should be? Read on for a few tips on party builds in the Bard’s Tale I remake.
As you experiment with different character and party builds, you will find a couple of things. Firstly, adventuring with no spellcasters is hard. Rogues can’t spot and disarm dungeon traps like a Trap Zap spell can, and the Bard is similarly helpful throughout the game.
The default part of six adventurers the game provides you is actually perfectly serviceable. There are better options for sure but this group is quite capable of getting all the way through the game.
If you’ve looked over the default party and want to do things better, then read on.
Six or Seven?
The first question to answer is whether you want to have six or seven adventurers in the party. The advantage of six is being able to use wandering monsters or creature summoned from spells or figurines in your party.
Also, it’s worth remembering that experience from fights is divided equally among party members. So six adventurers will each receive slightly more xp from the same fight than they would in a party of seven.
The advantage of seven is this allows you to go up to three spellcasters, adding significant power to the party.
The simplest way to go to seven is to just add a third spellcaster to your default party.
Variety is the spice of life, and so it’s good to mix your character classes too. You certainly want one of each spellcaster type to maximise your spell variety. Taking the varied melee options lets you use the class-specific items you might come across in the game.
Two parties – the first four, and the last three
In the Bard’s Tale, the first four members of your party can attack and be attacked in melee combat. Members in slots 5-7 cannot attack or be attacked in melee.
Functionally this means you want to look at the first four slots for party members who can fight and defend well, and the last three slots for characters with powerful ranged abilities.
Warrior, Paladin, Bard, Monk
Conjurer, Magician, Magician
This party gives you a good mix of combat characters to use class-specific items and grants good magical powers with three spellcasters at the back.
Bard, Hunter, Warrior, Paladin
This party goes down to six characters by losing the second Magician and swaps out the Monk for a Hunter. Another way to look at this option is as the starting party with the Rogue replaced by a Hunter. Unlike the first group, this party can make use of wandering or summoned monster allies.
Either of these two parties will get you through the game without trouble.
If you’ve beaten the game and want to try something silly and a bit different, here’s a few options:
A Bard and his Rogues
Try a party of six Rogues and a Bard (or five Rogues, a Magician and a Bard). Early Rogues drop like flies but can be healed of any injury (including death!) for free at the Thief Temple, conveniently located near the starter dungeon in Skara Brae. I’ve not taken this party past Baron Harkyn’s castle, so don’t blame me if they can’t actually beat Mangar.
Bring only what you summon
This party variant starts with just Magicians and Conjurors. As they die (and they will die) they will be replaced by summoned creatures. The few who level up and survive can form a three-strong party to take on any dungeon in the game, if they have the right allies.
In this party simply take 4 Monks and three spellcasters. Once they get to high enough rank the Monks will lay waste to all at melee range while the spellcasters take care of everything else. Who needs a Bard anyway?
Comment below to tell us the oddest build you ever tried to make work in the original trilogy, and how it went.