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[D&D] Character creation advice

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Dr_Avalanche:
I'm joining a D&D game in the middle of a campaign, and I need to make a character. I've been told not to worry about "what the group needs", so I have a lot of freedom, but still, I'm reluctant to simply overlap the function of another character exactly. Currently the group consists of:
 
Dwarf Paladin 4/Fighter 2 (tank in some kind of magical full plate)
Elf Rogue 4/Fighter 2 (utility rogue, a bit combat focused) /w Bard cohort
Ranger 6 (very archery focused)
Sorcerer 6 (evoker-style - a fireball-machine)
Cleric 6 (npc)
 
If I make a cleric, the npc will probably go away at some convenient time, but I'm not particularly tempted of playing the healbot, so that option is probably out.
 
I'm tempted to either do some kind of Barbarian multiclass, a druid, or a wizard.
 
The game is very tactical in style - there is (virtually) no first-person roleplaying, no character-driven plots (I have seen no other character motivations than "do good" and "get rich" so far), so this is an exercise in maximising the utility of a lvl 5 character (I'm starting at half the xp of the other characters which translates into one level behind the rest).
 
So...do you have any nasty combos? Any good ideas for how I can make myself useful to this group?
 
It's point-buy, 28 points, everything not in the standard books need to be checked with the GM beforehand.

Bagpuss:
You could go a Warmage make the Sorcerer feel totally redundant. :heh:

What's "Standard Books" is it just the PHB & DMG?

Standard books are are table are PHB, DMG, Complete X books, with certain classes banned (Warmage, for example).

Personally I'ld be inclined to go a Cleric and ask the DM to phased out the NPC cleric. If you are worried about being a healbot, go neutral, and channel negative energy, and only memorize a small number of Cures or Vigor spells. Although I find not having to memorize cure spells means that I actually have more slots free for none healing magic. If you do go for negative energy you end up with less choices since you have to memorize the few Cures you do take. This could also be a problem if you decide to go a Druid, especially if the GM feels he can get rid of the NPC cleric now he has a PC that can do divine healing.

I play a Dwarven Cleric CN cleric (postive energy), who very rarely casts Cures in combat as he is too busy with Enlarge Person (Domain spell) and swinging his Large Greataxe at everything in his 10ft reach. Afterwards I drop a few cures, where needed.

My theory is if I kill something before it damages us then I'll need to do less healing afterwards.

A Barbarian/Druid might be an interesting mix.

Dr_Avalanche:
Standard here is just PHb and DMG. I think that pretty much anything released by WotC would have a good chance of getting acceptance, but I don't own much besides those two anyway.

Name Lips:
I've always wanted to play a diviner. But, played well, they can be real pains for the DM...

Sigmund:
Bah, make them keep the npc medic and play a wizard.

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