Sometimes I do 'ironman' runs through old RPGs. Final Fantasy, Wizardry 8, etc. Ironman means, you have to play like the old Wizardry games -- no save/reloading, and a party wipe means the save file is invalid and must be deleted. I started playing like this in Wizardry 8 and got hooked because to me there's a certain challenge or thrill that comes with it.
However. Wizardry 7 is providing to be quite the challenge, even on easy mode.
Faerie Ranger --> Monk
Faerie Ranger --> Monk
Faerie Ranger --> Ninja
Faerie Alchemist --> Monk
Faerie Priest --> Monk
Faerie Mage --> Monk
Faerie is, hands down, the best race. +25 Lifeforce, +25 Psionic and +25 Paralysis resistance. (+25% Magic/Missiles is more or less useless.)
Humans come in second as they have +20% Lifeforce.
Monk is the best class for the front line. Beyond the AC, their resistances are the best in the game. Mainly, they have huge Lifeforce, Psionic and Light resistance. Also good Paralysis/Poison resist. Since they stack with a Faerie's resistances, a Faerie Monk becomes immune to any Lifeforce-related spell at around level 12, immune to Paralysis on-hit effects, and achieves 100% Light resistance at level 20. (Blinding Flash, Dazzling Lights, Prismic Missile). In other words, it is impossible to insta-kill a high-level Faerie Monk, outside of KIA or perhaps Deadly Poison. (Asphyx can be blocked with Air Pocket.)
Ninja has a weakness with low Lifeforce resistance. The Cane will offset that. Cane + Blackbelt gives +90% Death resistance which reduces KIA chance.
Starting the front row out as Rangers for the HP + extra Ninjutsu.
Switching the back row to Monks once they get 100 in their perspective spellcasting skill. To give them better AC, resistances and the ability to hide.
The vitality of everyone is maxed out since high HP is important for surviving stray breath/fireballs.
Ymuu's Paw is arguably the best off-hand weapon in the game as it provides +30% Paralysis resistance, making any Faerie Monk or Ninja equipping it immune to on-hit paralysis, which seems common among higher-level monsters. (Of course, Rod of Sprites is better, but very rare, and since I can't save/reload, I'm not planning to get it.)
(Paw can be removed for boss battles since bosses typically have 100% or higher Death resistance making them immune to KIA and Stone.)
Cross of Protection is, in fact, one of the best accessories early game. It makes the Powerglobe battle way easier, for example, as it helps resist the initial paralysis and the Death spam from Skeleton Lords afterward.
Sword of 4 Winds is actually a really good item. Discounting Gorrors weapons and the Cane, it's the highest damage weapon in the game, can be found relatively early, and its level 6 Asphyxiation can be used as a panic button in emergency situations. It can also be wielded by both Faeries and Monks. o.O
Haven't leveled high enough to know if bare hand damage keeps going up with level. If not, it might be beneficial to run one Human Lord to take advantage of the 2H Axe, which is the 2nd best damage weapon in the game (again, discounting the super late end-game weapons. At that point, the game is already over...)
Any thoughts on how I could improve this party?
(I guess I could just grind until everyone is level 70+ to cap resistances, but that's kinda against the spirit of what I'm trying to do... no grinding allowed)