I’ve played through the early parts of Dragon Quest 3 many times with different party setups. This last play through, as of writing this, has been by far the smoothest and most fun in my opinion.
Below I’ll list that out, then explain the rationale and some of my experiences at different points in the early game so you can determine if it’s a setup you’d like to try, too.
- Male Hero, Daredevil Personality – Good balance with a boost to agility and resilience. Extra HP is always good, and the hero tends to have meh agility so the boost here is also helpful. Also like that this personality doesn’t subtract from MP or luck for those pesky status ailments.
- Male Martial Artist, Tough Cookie Personality – The minor ding to agility does hurt a little for the martial artist, but the 115% strength and 140% resilience have been super helpful. More on that below.
- Male Thief – Bat Out Of Hell Personality – This personality is great for anyone anyway since no stats suffer and it offers 140% agility. Basically, it’s taking the Thief’s strongest attribute and doubling down on it for amazing defense power and going first in almost every fight.
- Female Priest, Vamp Personality – The idea of a vampy priestess is kind of funny, but since the Priest is already a well-rounded class, the across the board benefits of Vamp make for a hardy Priestess with plenty of MP and decent agility.
Early Game With This Dragon Quest 3 Party
In the very beginning it’s a slower start because the Martial Artist doesn’t have enough strength to overcome having no weapon. The Thief has low strength and no good weapons, either. I leveled through it, kept the Hero with the copper sword and saved my cash.
After getting 5 mini medals after completing the tower with the Thief’s Key, I equipped the Thief with the thorn whip, which drastically improved his damage output. Both because his attack score went from 16->33, but of course because he can hit whole groups of enemies.
By this point the Martial Artist had built up a lot of HP, which helped mitigate his defense that was still low because of no armor. His strength had grown to a point where he was at least mediocre at dealing damage.
I gave the Priestess the Magic Dagger found in the cave where you use the Wrecking Ball.
After a bit of grinding I first bought the Martial Artist the iron claws in the town north of Romaly, then the iron broadsword for the Hero. For armor, I mainly used pieces I found in caves and prioritized shields first in shops, since the defense bonus to price ratio seems to be higher for shields than armor or helmets.
Fairy Cave, Sleeping Village
The cave near the Fairy Village had an iron lance that I equipped the priestess with, which really helped her contribute when she wasn’t buffing the team or healing.
By this point the Martial Artist’s strength had grown to a point where he was easily the most powerful on the team, and had about 30 more HP than my Hero.
After curing everyone of their magical slumber in the nearby town I gave the Thief the boomerang, eventually swapping it out in Asham for the new whip available.
I saved and got the Martial Artist the Cloak of Evasion, and then eventually a second cloak for the Thief. Again, raising their defense and doubling down on the benefits of their high agility.
General Impressions Of This Party
It seems very well balanced and far more interesting than the standard fair Soldier, Priest, Wizard combo everyone recommends.
Because the Martial Artist doesn’t need much armor and basically only needs the Iron Claws early on, he’s very cheap to equip when money is always really tight.
The Thief primarily makes use of lesser armor because of his insane agility, especially with the Bat Out Of Hell personality. He also mostly uses whips and boomerangs I’ve found or gotten from mini medals, so he’s also cheap to equip. He almost always attacks first, and since he can hit groups it’s awesome to begin every fight laying down a first layer of damage to set enemies up for the Hero and Martial Artist to easily finish them off.
Because the Priestess has good HP progression from the Vamp personality, good agility, and is in the back of the lineup, she manages to survive well with shields I buy, armor I find like the Leather Dress, the Garter (from mini medals), etc.
The Hero’s Daredevil personality isn’t amazing for strength at 95%, but at least it’s not a big detriment. Also, since the rest of the party is so cheap to outfit, I can fairly easily afford good weapons for the Hero to keep his damage high anyway. The Hero also gets a mild boost to HP and MP. HP really helps him tank, and the extra MP is helpful since the Hero has crap MP growth.
High Speed, Solid Defense, Attacking Faster Than Monsters
Everyone in the party has good agility. The Hero has roughly a 20% boost over baseline, which the Hero really benefits from. The Priestess also has a boost.
While the Martial Artist’s Tough Cookie personality dings his agility growth at 90% of normal, luckily he still has a fast enough agility curve that he’s slightly ahead of the Hero and second only to the Thief.
The Thief has substantially more agility than anyone, keeping his defense high and ensuring that he’s faster than basically every group of enemies we encounter. He’s only really hobbled by the monsters that cast Deccelerantle and drain his otherwise dreamlike speed.
Up until getting to Isis, which is the point I am currently writing this, no one has died or even gotten close. Damage has been easily mitigated by the Priestess’ spells and everyone’s high agility. The Martial Artist’s insane HP growth, paired with the Cloak of Evasion, allowed him to tank quite a bit.
The Thief, despite his middling HP, could also take some hits because of his crazy agility, keeping his damage low or dodging attacks altogether.
The Hero stayed tough because I could afford to keep him in good armor since the party in general is low cost.
Many other party setups dragged at various points early on, or I lost people gunning it a little too hard in caves. Or it felt frustrating because I was constantly broke trying to equip everyone.
Not with this group. Highly recommend.