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44

The short answer is, “Yes, it is possible.” That’s an almost-meaningless answer, though, because just about anything is possible in a Dungeons and Dragons game, if your DM/group goes for it. The rules are fairly flexible, and on top of that, the DM is free to change, add to, remove from, or ignore the rules as he or she sees fit (and, ...


44

When I've played (or joined in others playing) these quiet characters, the best way to run them is have an almost noir style internal monologue. "I looked at the wall, and frowned. I wasn't certain, but there might be something behind it. Best not to mention it though, I'd look like a chump if I was wrong." is much more interesting than. "..." ...


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 ...


22

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 ...


21

Use out-of-character discussion to let the other players know you're engaged and not bored. This is more important in online gaming because you don't have any body language, eye contact, or other social cues to work with. In particular, tell them that you're playing a loner. Engage with the group in-character privately, when NPCs aren't around. Keep your ...


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 ...


18

While some groups may accept an authoritarian structure, my experience has been that, for most groups, it is better to recognize that, even though one character is in charge in-game, all of the players are still equal out-of-game. So you and I would still be able to discuss plans or decisions out of game, even if my character must obey your character ...


16

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, ...


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

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 ...


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

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 ...


11

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 ...


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

I have extensive experience with this style, having been the GM, "party leader", and under a "party leader". I will describe the situation where the "party leader" player makes real game decisions for the group. We first came to the idea of having party leaders as a way of managing large games. It can be extremely difficult for a group of 12+ players to ...


9

There's two ways to make the loner character work in an rpg. First, descriptively. Constantly narrate HOW you do things, the gestures, the attitude that comes across in your actions, along with the internal monologue. (Brian Ballsun-Stanton's answer is very good about this). Second, have small conversations instead of big ones Get aside with another PC ...


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

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, ...


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, ...


8

There are a couple of the classic "Campaign Archetypes" (a topic for an essay?) that I think may work. First is: The Deadly Peril Something is out to get the PCs, something bigger than them. You need to make it very, very clear that they cannot survive without working together. Problem is, when one of them inevietably goes off on their own. To keep the ...


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 ...



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