[RPG] How to balance encounters with a party consisting of a sorcerer, monk, rogue, and fighter


Made a rookie mistake of letting my players (who have never played DnD) choose what class to play without discussing with me or each other, and we ended up with no healer. We've already played quite a few sessions, which have been very combat-light and more story-based, but I want to challenge them a bit now that they're about level 4. However, I would like them to not die. How can I make battle encounters balanced with no healer, besides just giving them a bunch of healing potions?

Best Answer

You need do nothing.

Having a healer is nice, but it's far less necessary in 5e than it used to be. It's actually pretty difficult for characters to die in this version. A few potions will be a good idea. A few Healing Kits for stabilizing anyone who goes to zero. Maybe someone takes the Healer feat. Maybe someone takes the Magic Initiate feat, and goes with cleric. Or even someone dips a level in Life Cleric.

Few battles last long enough for people to die in, even if they get dropped to zero hp. So if the party is vigilant to keep an eye on anyone that goes down and to stabilize them before they fail the 3 death saves, they can then take rests as needed to heal back up. According to the rules, a short rest can get you back most of your hp and a few of your resources, and a long rest all of your hp, spells, etc.

So, to directly answer your actual question: I would do nothing to "make the battle encounters balanced with no healer"; it isn't necessary.

Come to think of it, I don't think I've played with a 5e campaign yet that had a serious or dedicated healer.

In the campaigns I've played much in, one went through Out of the Abyss with a 3-PC party of a fighter/rogue/warlock multiclass, a battlemaster fighter, and a vengeance paladin. The other campaign had a large party in a homebrew world, and little healing: champion fighter, eldritch knight fighter, druid, assassin rogue, shadow monk, wild magic sorcerer, beastmaster ranger, wizard.

The campaigns I've run for, one is a smaller party, of a barbarian, battlemaster fighter, wild magic sorcerer, vengeance paladin, and sometimes an NPC valor bard. The other is again a large party, but little healing: champion fighter, thief rogue, vengeance paladin, valor bard, moon druid, warlock, barbarian, fighter/knowledge cleric multiclass.

It looks so far to me like 5e can work pretty well with almost any combination of classes and races, so I'm inclined to not worry about that, and let the players play whatever they want to.