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24

Try this one: every PC has one chit representing a "+1" bonus to any roll. They can only use it once for session, and they can only use it to influence some other PC's roll. Make it a +2 if the Player can come up with a reasonable explanation. E.g.: I cover him with suppressive fire while he sprints toward the enemy (+1/+2 to dodge) While she tells her ...


20

Yes, it's quite possible. Stuff to keep in mind, cloaks of the walking wounded, faerie companions from themes, and the skald multiclass are critical. The skald gives a floating encounter heal, the faerie beasts give meatshields, and the cloaks make second wind heal 2 surges. The trick with this party is that they should be able to kill their opponents ...


18

I was in a similar situation a couple of years ago, in the role of the newly-come player. The party, all around 20th level and with a couple of years of familiarity with the world, had found my new character embedded in magical rock and awakened me deep inside a Drow city. Now, the DM had to work on integrating me with the party and with the world. There ...


16

The best game with a system for party cohesion I've seen is Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay's 3rd Edition. As part of character creation, the players collectively select a 'Party Sheet' that describes the nature of their party. A number of different party sheets (such as 'Swords for Hire' or 'Servants of Justice') are included in the rule set, each with their ...


15

No, you cannot use a Revenant Assassin as a high-damage striker. Original Assassins have fantastic mobility, interesting secondary effects, and absolutely worthless damage (a thought explored in both practice and theory). Roughly speaking, you'll want your striker's DPR to fall within (8*Level+24)/4 and (8*Level+24)/2. To calculate DPR, use the following ...


14

One way of handling this situation is to create characters as a group. Rather than coming to the table with your sheets already made, take a session and built the team together. It's easier to encourage diversity at the concept stage than to tell someone with a built PC that they have to start from scratch. Moreover, you can be there to ask questions like, ...


14

I set a limited numbers of must, might and should rules for character creation. Those generally look like: Your character must agree to do X — plot of the game. For example, work for Black Mesa, help NPC X, need work because of repayment on space ship, yadda, yadda… Your character must have Y — linked to theme of the game. For example, be a known hero, ...


13

One "rule" that always works is to begin character creation with the requirement that the characters be an established group with a particular purpose. It's up to the players to decide what their group and purpose is, but it must be reflected in their character's creation and backstory. Non-exhaustive examples are a merchant team, a squad of soldiers at war, ...


12

In my experience, the Controller role is easiest to discard. With the later Player's Handbooks, though, there's more classes that fill a primary role and a secondary role, so any role is up for grabs for discarding. In smaller groups, I find that choosing a theme for the group - maybe based off power source - can be fun, and then you can build out the roles ...


12

It depends While a single player controlling (and creating) every PC has an advantage in coherence and synergy (if they're going for optimization), keep in mind that they will be the only player at the table, too. This means there is only one brain to think of everything, from tactics to remembering details of the story. If you still want medium to heavy ...


11

Controller/Striker Theory Edited for heroes of shadow and up to Dragon 404. Some definitions of terms: Striker: Deals average damage (considering to-hit) of at least one quarter of a monster of equal level's HP, but not too much more than half (as this would be broken.) Good striker damage equation: (8*Level+24)/4 <= (1-(Level+(14(AC) or ...


10

As a DM, I don't bother with the party being class-balanced or not. I let my players choose what classes they want to play, then I adjust the campaign around that. In the end we get parties that are may be not fight-optimized, but are as interesting and challenging. If after a few games they are in dire need of a complementary class, I place NPCs in their ...


9

Some examples, from more trivial to more profound: In Pathfinder, there are teamwork feats that provide large bonuses if multiple characters have them and work together. In Spirit of the Century, in character generation you specifically include other PCs as "guest stars" in parts of your origin, linking them with common experiences (and, optionally, ...


9

I've had to deal with this issue quite a lot with my gaming groups. The first method I tried was modifying the adventure in a way that forced the players to co-operate. Powerful enemies that needed the entire party to fight, traps that required more than one player to get past. Alas, I overestimated my player's ability to play antisocial egomaniacs and ...


9

Don't worry about it too much Until you conspire with the first PC to backstab the party, they will stick together simply because they're the players. It's not perfect storywise, but it's often better than finding some elaborate explanation that breaks the flow of the game. A larger evil Have an enemy ready that catches them together at one point in the ...


8

My assumption is that you are asking this from a healing perspective. Leaders control the power to unlock healing surges. If a party doesn't have enough of this capability combats, especially long ones will be riskier. This doesn't necessarily mean that you need more leaders, but the party will have to be more cautious and avoid getting into situations ...


8

"Balanced Party" is actually a really complex question. I'd like to reword the question: How can we, in D&D 4th edition, create a party that can overcome challenging obstacles successfully? In many ways, this is an exploration of the norming step of small group formation. Group Goals The first thing to note is that every player considers different ...


8

The default is the Magistrate campaign. This mode can be applied to non-magistrate activities, too, where a group of clans each send an Imperial officer some people to use for a joint goal. Magistrates are the most common, but expeditions into the shadowlands, the Burning Sands, or Naga turf are also good candidates. One must, however, keep in mind that ...


8

I generally start my campaigns with one or two "common thread" requirements that all the PCs must incorporate. I usually pick one Location thread and one Experience thread. For example, I might say that 'You must be living in X town at the start of the campaign' and 'You have suffered greatly at the hands of the evil Y Empire.' These threads are mandatory, ...


7

For a well rounded group in all four roles, and 3 different power sources (Arcane, Martial, 2 Primal): Striker: Rogue, DEX/CHA build. Skills: Acrobatics, Bluff, Intimidate, Stealth, Streetwise, Thievery. Leader: Bard, CHA/INT build. Skills: Arcana, Diplomacy, History, Religion, Heal. Controller: Druid, WIS/CON build. Skills: Endurance, Heal, ...


7

Ultimately, this is no different from a group of people who have the same level of system mastery and good (OK, great) communication skills, but something like a quarter of the time to spend working on and getting to know each character. From a balance perspective, it doesn’t really change anything; any group could (conceivably) have walked in with the same ...


6

Let them work it out inside the game world. I find many issues like this resolve themselves when you stop metagaming and let the characters bump around in the fiction for a while. If they think they can hack it as is, great. If they look for NPCs to hire and bring along, fine. The most likely issue they'll have is that they will progress more slowly, ...


6

I think this is more of a perception issue than anything else. Almost all encounters in D&D are "bleed" encounters. It is very unusual for an encounter to actually threaten the party with a full wipe, or even single-instance unconsciousness/death. Their purpose is to drain resources and fill time prior to a high-challenge fight. The issue with multiple ...


6

It's often easier (and generates more interesting stories) if there's some pre-design criteria designed to link the characters. However, it's not necessary, you can do "random folks" games fine. There's often some element of metagaming to them - most traditional D&D campaigns started with various different people in an inn and some guy shows up ...


6

Rogue Trader is one of those settings where this kind of question is quite fundamental to how you run your campaign. I am actually GMing a long-term Rogue Trader campaign myself and although I have 7 regular players, I still have several key roles that remain unfilled by players (Void Master being the notable one). In my case, I decided to quite extensively ...


5

You've got two basic solutions to this problem: design around the players. This is made harder or easier depending on the system. Certain games (like D&D and SR which you just mentioned) assume a party spread that requires a certain amount of system mastery to design for. You need a good sense of what type of challenges the party can take on, or you ...


5

The first question you need to ask yourself is how much you want to tailor your encounters to the party. In most games, it's possible to run a very homogeneous group and the results can be pretty awesome... But it requires a fair amount of extra work on the part of the GM, and can lead to the players stepping on each other's toes. Another option is to use ...


5

Some ideas. Think outside the box. Don't be blindly adherent to your grand vision of the plot. You haven't told us anything about his motivation or why he got "scooped," but change/add quests so that he/his faction/his whatever (family/race/etc) does have some kind of stake in them instead of expecting him to get on the railroad train heading to ...


5

Your PF books and SRD have tables and advice on character wealth. Pathfinder, like 3.x before it, has a clear wealth progression. About halfway down this page you'll find Table: Character Wealth by Level as well as some other useful tables and tips. I'm not familiar with how closely the Beginner Box campaign follows the standard PF treasure-per-encounter ...



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