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What is your approach to forming a party in Dragon Warrior/Quest III for the NES/Famicom?

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So, I've been playing Dragon Warrior III for the NES again. Every so often, I get the desire to play. I really like this game's balance between following the story and doing what you want. Challenging foes, and several decent ways to grind for levels. And of course, the Shrine of Dhama's job-changing options. (I also like the Monster Arena, but that's a different story. lol)

I always start out solo... I know, we ALL do. But I mean I play solo until I get the spell "Return". I will generally do the Soldier-trick. Which will give you multiple spells even at level 1, but you miss several, including Heal if you don't acquire it first through raising your level through battling.
After using the Soldier-trick, or not, if I decide not to. I usually form my party pretty balanced. Soldier, Pilgrim, and Wizard. By the time I first get to the Shrine of Dhama, and after I've found the Book of Satori, I use that to change my Wizard into a Sage. After getting further in the game. About the time you get to Samanao, looking for the Staff of Change. before completing that task is usually when I change my Soldier into a Wizard. I then grind like crazy to get him leveled up.

This time, I went to Lancel's cave. I remembered that instead of the grinding spot East of Kanave, where you have to worry about Bomb Crags. I found that this cave is a good place to grind for even a Wizard. Your HP and Strength should be halfway (pardon the pun) decent due to formerly being a soldier. ;) If you've gotten the Staff of Thunder from the village of Soo, all the better! It's item-use is good to save MP. but keep your Poison Needle equipped in the meantime. I usually go in after the Hero has cleared the treasures out, and then you only need to be in the first room to grind. Since you can find Metal Slimes in the cave. Your Poison Needle, with some luck, can help you level more quickly. When you learn BeDragon, you can hunt the gangs of Metal Slimes in the hills near Samanao Castle.

Anyway, ONCE the Soldier-turned-Wizard has all the Wizard spells, and a decent amount of MP. I change him back into a Soldier. As the example from some NPC says, the Soldier can now use Magic. I usually try to get the MP over 200 so it's at least 100 when you return him to being a Soldier. I have, in past playthroughs, trained my Pilgrim as a Wizard and then back to being a Pilgrim as well. So that he's like a sage, but not. lol

So when I go after the Staff of Change, and from that point on in the game, I have Hero, Soldier, Pilgrim and Sage.

When you farm to level up your Soldier-turned-Wizard or your Soldier-to-Wizard-back to-Soldier, in the hills near Samanao. You can either have your Hero alive, or dead. You can even have the Hero dead, and bring your sage to help(as back-up). At any rate, if you keep your hero alive during this grinding. He will get very far ahead of all 3 of the other party members by several levels. Right now, I think my hero is Level 43, Soldier is Level 36, Pilgrim, 39 and Sage, 38.
As of right now, I've got almost everything I need to go after the True archfiend. All that's left is to build that bridge. ;)

So that's my usual approach to playing this game. How about you guys? What jobs to you prefer in your Dragon Warrior/Quest III playthroughs? Any of you start off your party with 3 Goof-Offs? lol ;)

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I haven't played enough of Dragon Quest 3 to really experiment around with different party set ups. I try to play with a traditional party set up on my first playthrough every time. After that I like to challenge myself with different parties. I am really familiar with the original Final Fantasy, and typically determine my jobs by rolling dice. It is just much more fun for me to go by complete random to challenge myself or just make the playthrough more interesting. When it comes to tabletop RPGs, I like to create my characters the same way. By complete random outside of some factors.

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Hero, Soldier, Cleric, Mage that gets turned into a Sage.
Ditto. Maybe once I did fighter instead of Soldier, but I'm not into experimenting much at all.

Not even in college.

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2 soldiers and a pilgrim.

At Dharma I tend to turn one soldier into a mage, the other soldier into a sage. Once the pilgrim learns Revive I turn them into a soldier.

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Use a Dealer, Wizard, and Goof-Off.

It will do you wonders, especially that last one.

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I always went standard as a kid. Needed my meat shield, healer, and caster. When i open up the shrine id make my caster a sage and farm metal babbles. After beating the game several times intried making a group with a fighter healer and jester. While the jester added some randomness to.the fights it didnt feel right. So i deleted the save an never veered of my solid party ever again. 

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The Jester/Goof-off is a bit disconcerting, but if you can be patient, and level it past 20, it's worth it.  Some of it's antics are either really hilarious, or downright useful.  Post 30, they're quite good in battle, despite the negative potential useless outcomes.  The number of useful ones outweigh the useless in the end.  Plus it's kind of fun to throw a monkey wrench into the game, and you can always just change it out for a Sage without the book.

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I think my next playthrough is going to be Hero, Fighter, Mage, Goof-off. I'll make the Goof-off a sage and maybe switch the Mage out with a Thief. Or change the Fighter into a Thief...so many possibilities!

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