Reaching into the cluttered portable hole of my memory, I've pulled out a few party rosters from games past (either as a referee or player). Depending on the referee, the players, and the campaign, party composition can certainly have a great effect on how the campaign begins, lives, and ends.
For your amusement:
1) Unnamed 2E Campaign, 1996-1997
- Gnome Thief
- Human Bard (later infected with were-jaguarism...it's a long story)
- Half-Elf Druid/Mage
I refereed this campaign. It's a good thing I was into evocative exploration and character interaction, because this bunch had zero melee capability. Great group, though, very effective at the meaty, political aspects that became the focus of the campaign. I sure as hell couldn't put them through a dungeon-crawl grind!
2) The Flaming Staff, 2E Forgotten Realms 1992-1996 (with periodic resurrections here and there)
- Three Human Mages
- Elf Cleric/Mage
- Human Fighter
- Dwarf Fighter (berzerker-type)
- Human Bard (played like a F/M/T, only human)
- Human Cleric of Gond
The party was named for all the spellcasters (the dwarf, bard, and cleric weren't even in on the first few sessions). The pure wizards dropped out, one by one, and the name became a bit of a joke, as this crew ended up being nothing more or less than high-level bandits. In Undermountain, no less.
3) B4: The Lost City, Moldvay Basic, 1982
- All elves
That's right, all elves. We were ten or eleven, and the prospect of being able to fight AND cast spells was enticing, I guess. We cleared out the pyramid and slew Zargon. Later, the DM (Ryan) let me look at the module, and I realized that Zargon wasn't dead for good (as we hadn't thrown his horn into the volcano). I don't remember caring, though. We had a lot of loot and I think I made 7th or 8th level by the time all was said and done.
4) Adlerweg Campaign, 3.5E, 2004-2005
- Elf Monk
- Human Cleric
- Elf Rogue
What a group of heavy hitters this was! Really, these guys actually were great at taking down foes. The cleric's player had never played before, and he kept the same spell list, just adding as he gained levels. The later addition of a wizard and a druid made it even stranger, but no less effective. As the ref, though, I had to be careful. This party dished out the damage, but the armor classes were awful and no one had any amount of hit points to write home about. (Let's not even get started on Jack, the guy who had 4 classes at 5th level. 3E supported some stupid stuff, didn't it?)
Anyone else have some fun/strange/unexepected party combos you especially remember?