What is the lowest level character that can unfailingly beat the Lost Mine of Phandelver starting encounter?

This question uses the first encounter of LMOP as (what I thought was) a fun framing device for an optimization question. Four downvotes in one minute makes me question that decision.

Tone is hard to convey in text, so I’ll make it explicit: this is just a fun optimization problem, not an attempt to ruin anyone’s game.


For a lot of players, Lost Mine of Phandelver from the D&D Starter Set was their first 5e adventure. The first encounter from that adventure is rather swingy, like many level 1 combats. PCs may end up victorious without a scratch, or unconscious without getting a turn.

Bad luck

What if you were really unlucky, though? Really, really unlucky. Can a single character unfailingly beat the encounter, despite all the dice being against them? What is the lowest level that you could pull this off?

Whatever can go wrong for the PC, will go wrong. In general, this means that they will roll a 1 on all dice rolls (attacks, saving throws, ability checks, damage, etc.) If a low roll is beneficial to them (Divine Intervention, for example), then that roll may be a higher roll.

Whatever can go right for the enemies, will go right. In general, this means that they will roll the maximum value on all dice rolls. If a high roll is harmful to them, then that roll may be a lower roll.

Encounter specifics

  • The PC will face:
  • When combat begins, the enemies are exactly 30 feet away from the PC. Any PC-controlled creatures start as close to the PC as possible. All participants start on the ground.
  • Two of the enemies (one melee and one ranged) are on each side of the road.
  • The enemies have a chance to gain surprise. There is sufficient cover to try to hide on both sides of the road.
  • The two melee enemies will close in. If it becomes clear that they can’t get into range, they may use an Action to doff their shields and switch to bows.
  • Ranged enemies will try to stay within 80 feet (the normal range of their weapons).
  • The PC has beat the encounter if they are alive when combat ends and all of the enemies are dead.

Character specifics

  • LMOP takes place in the Forgotten Realms, so I’m going to limit sources to FR-specific and setting-agnostic official hardcover books: Player’s Handbook, Monster Manual, Dungeon Master’s Guide, Sword Coast Adventurer’s Guide, Volo’s Guide to Monsters, Xanathar’s Guide to Everything, and Mordenkainen’s Tome of Foes.
  • Customizing ability scores, variant human, multiclassing, feats, and playing on a grid are allowed. All other variant rules are not.
  • No magic items or magic item-like things granted by the DM (boons, blessings, charms, etc.)
  • Spells/abilities you use before combat may only target you or creatures you control. Only spells/abilities whose effects last 8 hours or longer will still be active when combat starts. You do not get a rest between using any spells/abilities and combat starting.

If you choose to roll for starting gold for your class, do you get starting equipment from your background as well?

Say you choose to roll for starting gold for your class (and then buy equipment).

Do you still get the starting equipment from your background (but not from your class)?
Or do you not get any starting equipment at all, from either your class or your background?

Is it just up to the DM?

I have extra gold from the alternate way of getting starting equipment. What should I do with the extra money? [closed]

I was using the alternate way to get equipment in Chapter 5 of the PHB (D&D 5e) as a Fighter and rolled 160 GP, which I spent on Studded Leather Armor, a Longsword, the Explorer’s Pack, a Crossbow Bolt Case, a Light Crossbow, 20 Crossbow Bolts, and a Dagger, and still have 61 GP to spend on equipment. I have no idea what to do with the extra money as I’ve bought all the equipment I want. I don’t think the PHB addressed this and don’t know what the rules say. What is do the rules say on this?

What playable races are new as official published races for DND, starting in 5e?

I have not played any previous editions and am curious what is new to DND 5e from previous additions. From this list – which I do not know if it is conclusive – I can see the following from 5e that are not in 4e:

  • Aasimar (similar to the Deva, though)
  • Aarokocra
  • Centaur
  • Firbolg
  • Grung
  • Leonin
  • Lizardfolk
  • Loxodon
  • Simic Hybrid
  • Tabaxi
  • Tortle
  • Triton
  • Vedalken
  • Verdan

Are any of these races overlapping with official material from previous editions? Are any of these from 4e that I mistook?

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as a Sorcerer, given that I can’t multiclass or take feats, how successful can I be at passing concentration checks starting at level 15 [closed]

I’m doing a melee sorcerer, but I’m afraid of losing my concentration in combat because in the higher levels the damage is too big and the concentration check is too difficult.
My campaign dosen’t allow feats and multiclassing, only ASI.
Is the haste spell worth it at higher levels?

not worth it to cast only to lose it in one round because I was hit and lost concentration – that’s what I mean by "Is it worth it?"

dex- (+2) str- (+2) / int – (0) / wis- (-1) / const (+5)

prof- (+5)

Is there any leeway with choosing my starting items if I’m starting at a level higher than 1?

I’m preparing a Cleric for a Pathfinder 2nd Ed campaign and reached a bit of an impasse. Going by Table 10-10, my character should have one permanent 2nd level item, 2 permanent 1st level items and 25GP of other funds. The problem is that the 1st level items are either redundant (everburning torch and dull aeon stone) or are unusable for my character (Heavy Armors). Considering these factors, I have a few questions:

1) Can a selection of a permanent item be exchanged for multiple selections of consumable items of the same level? If so, how many?

2) Can you take a lump sum of GP instead of a permanent item? If so, how much?

shortest path algorithm – why backtrack from the end node instead of starting from the starting node?

I was watching a dynamic programming video by Erik Demaine . He says here https://youtu.be/OQ5jsbhAv_M?t=2133 , finding the shortest path by guessing the node after the starting node is not the right approach, and instead should guess the node before the last node. I didn’t understand his explanation. Can someone explain better why find the path backwards? It seems to me that you should get the same answer either way and both approaches are equally good.