Party composition & different roles

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abk108
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Party composition & different roles

Post by abk108 » Tue Aug 02, 2011 10:47 am

Ok, we all know optimal composition for most adventures is warrior, wizard, cleric, thief.

My group with little help on my part managed to get out of the funnel with one dwarf, one cleric, one wizard and one thief.

I was wondering: if a PC dies (it's probable at least one is going to die in the boss battle they're about to face..), i decided to have the player roll 3d6 stats in order again to create a new character of the same level -1.
But if the character who died was a thief, should the new PC be a thief as well, to fill the void in the party roles coverage?! This way unless more than one PC dies in the same session, players will always have to play the same class.
Also, stats rolled for the new PC might not be right for the intended class.

I'm tending towards letting players pick whatever class best fits their new stats, without paying too much attention to party roles.
But should i tweak adventures and challenges differently (like... less traps if no thief) to conform with the new party or should i just leave them as they are: having 2 warriors will make the party stronger in frontal fights, this makes up for not having a rogue when you need it?

Thanks for anyone so kind to help :roll:
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Re: Party composition & different roles

Post by dunbruha » Tue Aug 02, 2011 5:34 pm

Maybe have them roll up 3 sets of stats, and then let them choose the one they want to play.

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Re: Party composition & different roles

Post by abk108 » Wed Aug 03, 2011 12:19 am

dunbruha wrote:Maybe have them roll up 3 sets of stats, and then let them choose the one they want to play.
but then again, should the new PC be of the class the party is missing (eg: if a warrior dies, you need a warrior/dwarf, if a wizard dies you want another wizard/elf to take his place..)?
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Re: Party composition & different roles

Post by finarvyn » Wed Aug 03, 2011 4:16 am

Reminds me of those scenes from "The Gamers" where the one wizard dies, the player creates a new wizard, and the party keeps calling him by the old name. :P

You bring out a tricky point.
1. If the guy who dies gets to pick, it gives him a bit of an advantage over players whose characters didn't die. I can foresee a few of my players trying to die just to switch.
2. On the other hand, I hate to see anyone get locked into a class forever. The thief dies so you have to play another thief. And another. And another. And another.
3. Along those same lines, if the player gets a random character roll there is no guarantee that it would make for a good thief.

I'd be tempted to let the dice determine replacement characters and modify the adventure if needed. Or, if he wants an "identical" character let him roll 3 times and pick the stats that most closely fit, but give him the same background. Maybe re-roll the birth-luck thing, however, to make him slightly different.
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Re: Party composition & different roles

Post by JediOre » Wed Aug 03, 2011 4:18 am

Akb108,

It's my philosophy that the game is to have fun with one's friends. If your group doesn't want, or is unable to play, all the classes you think are necessary to complete quests, fix it. Either tone down the elements that are beyond the PCs abilities or provide them a way to best the problem, or at least attempt to best the problem.

I do this by:

1) Remove the impossible in the adventure. For example, if no one is playing a thief, traps that cannot be avoided without a thief is toned down, removed, or already set off. Of course, having them hire an NPC thief is also a viable option.

2) Replace the missing PC with either an NPC (as mentioned above) or with items that will aid in filling the role. For example, the group I'm DMing is venturing in G3-The Hall of the Fire Giant King. They have no cleric, so I've been insuring a steady stream of cure potions. Of course, Gary Gygax also has had several rings of wishes about which will aid them to bring back dead PCs. Another example, the same gang is also adventuring with lower level PCs in various DCCs. When they tackled Harley's short module in DCC # 29, they needed a thief but they have a ranger, an archer, and a cleric/magic-user. I had a NPC thief come with them. He died, but got them past the trap that only a thief had any real hope of overcoming.

3) Have them find a near artifact item that is intelligent and can fill in for the missing PC. For example, have them find a mithral set of thieves picks and tools. These tools are possessed by the ghost of a notorious cat burglar. This ghost could aid them in overcoming locks and traps, but for some sort of price.

The game is about fun, not about filling roles. Enjoy it!

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Re: Party composition & different roles

Post by finarvyn » Wed Aug 03, 2011 4:23 am

JediOre is wise. Great suggestions! 8)
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Re: Party composition & different roles

Post by abk108 » Wed Aug 03, 2011 5:53 am

finarvyn wrote:JediOre is wise. Great suggestions! 8)
Thanks to you both for the suggestions. We are mostly on the same psychic waves :roll:

I say mostly because i was wondering if the rule

"when a PC dies, have the player roll another 6 stats in order, roll 1d6 (1-2-3:human, 4:elf, 5:dwarf, 6:halfling) and choose a class for those stats."

could be a way of keeping some sort of funnel, high mortality in levels past 0.

For example:
  • Group A is perfectly balanced (warr, wiz, thief, cler)
  • Thief dies in combat. The new character that takes its place is a Dwarf.
  • Group A' is therefore composed of Dwarf,Warrior,Wizard, Cleric.
  • Since there's no Thief, traps are deadlier;
  • Cleric dies falling in a pit. The new character is an Elf.
  • Group A'' is now composed of Dwarf, Warrior, Wizard and Elf.
  • The group has no access to healing and no trap-finding. They're likely to suffer more losses.
  • Eventually, someone will roll and get a Thief or a Cleric again.
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Re: Party composition & different roles

Post by JediOre » Wed Aug 03, 2011 7:32 am

abk108 wrote:
finarvyn wrote:JediOre is wise. Great suggestions! 8)
Thanks to you both for the suggestions. We are mostly on the same psychic waves :roll:

I say mostly because i was wondering if the rule. . .
Rule? RULE? We don't need no stinking rule. I look at rules in these sort of games more like suggestions. And boy did this concept get me in trouble with 3.X. Those are truly rules. Maybe that's why I found it so difficult to play 3.X.

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Re: Party composition & different roles

Post by jmucchiello » Wed Aug 03, 2011 8:50 am

abk108 wrote:"when a PC dies, have the player roll another 6 stats in order, roll 1d6 (1-2-3:human, 4:elf, 5:dwarf, 6:halfling) and choose a class for those stats."
How about d24: 1-3 Cleric, 4-6 Warrior, 7-9 Thief, 10-12 Wizard, 13-16 Dwarf, 17-20 Elf, 21-24 Halfling?

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Re: Party composition & different roles

Post by abk108 » Wed Aug 03, 2011 10:20 am

jmucchiello wrote:
abk108 wrote:"when a PC dies, have the player roll another 6 stats in order, roll 1d6 (1-2-3:human, 4:elf, 5:dwarf, 6:halfling) and choose a class for those stats."
How about d24: 1-3 Cleric, 4-6 Warrior, 7-9 Thief, 10-12 Wizard, 13-16 Dwarf, 17-20 Elf, 21-24 Halfling?
That way you lose that kind of "advantage" that has human characters choosing their class, while demihumans may have extra abilities but have no choice...
JediOre wrote:
abk108 wrote:
finarvyn wrote:JediOre is wise. Great suggestions! 8)
Thanks to you both for the suggestions. We are mostly on the same psychic waves :roll:

I say mostly because i was wondering if the rule. . .
Rule? RULE? We don't need no stinking rule. I look at rules in these sort of games more like suggestions. And boy did this concept get me in trouble with 3.X. Those are truly rules. Maybe that's why I found it so difficult to play 3.X.
I called it rule but i didn't mean it has to be adamant! I just meant :
"if I said to my players to roll 3d6 stats in order, 1d6 to determine race, and then if human to pick a class (without paying attention to which roles are covered and which not) , could this work as in.... (read example) to have some kind of darwinian "evolution of party", where only the more suitable party survives or has to adapt (shedding useless party members, getting new ones) until it becomes suitable?"
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Re: Party composition & different roles

Post by dunbruha » Wed Aug 03, 2011 12:03 pm

abk108 wrote:
dunbruha wrote:Maybe have them roll up 3 sets of stats, and then let them choose the one they want to play.
but then again, should the new PC be of the class the party is missing (eg: if a warrior dies, you need a warrior/dwarf, if a wizard dies you want another wizard/elf to take his place..)?
I think that the funnel is fun for beginning an adventure, but after it started, I would let the player choose what race/class to play. I would have them roll 3d6 six times, and arrange them however they wanted based on what class they wanted to play. And if they decide not to play another thief, then fine, that's what happens. I wouldn't modify the adventure based on party composition (but any adventure I run has multiple ways of achieving a specific objective...).

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Re: Party composition & different roles

Post by Ducaster » Thu Aug 04, 2011 8:05 am

dunbruha wrote:I think that the funnel is fun for beginning an adventure, but after it started, I would let the player choose what race/class to play. I would have them roll 3d6 six times, and arrange them however they wanted based on what class they wanted to play. And if they decide not to play another thief, then fine, that's what happens. I wouldn't modify the adventure based on party composition (but any adventure I run has multiple ways of achieving a specific objective...).
+d14. Agreed, after the chaotic fun of a L0 adventure/character or two the novelty seems to fade and the players I have wanna get on with the play and development of their characters.

Havn't had anyone get to L2 yet in my mini campaign but I have decided that any new characters will start out one level lower than the dead PC they are replacing. So if you lose a 0 or 1st Level dude then roll up a few more 0 Levels and funnel them. If a 2nd level dies then that player will get a 1st level cha to replace them. And like dunbruha I think 3d6 six times arranged in order is both a fair way, and still in keeping with the thrust of the game for these replacements.

However, didn't I see someplace on these forums that Mr G. Stated that replacement 1st levels or above would NOT get the added d4 hp from their 0 level experience? Not much but still (if I am recalling correctly) that is a reasonable incentive to go back and try and make a L0 live thru a pilot adventure? (I shall hate myself if it was mentioned earlier in this tread! :? )
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Re: Party composition & different roles

Post by caveman » Thu Aug 04, 2011 10:07 am

What about generating four 0-level characters and then leveling up the one you like the most based on all those rolls? (As if they all survived the funnel) Kinda time consuming but it might help to distinguish and randomize the new character while giving the player a bit of choice.

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Re: Party composition & different roles

Post by reverenddak » Thu Aug 04, 2011 4:09 pm

Ducaster wrote:
However, didn't I see someplace on these forums that Mr G. Stated that replacement 1st levels or above would NOT get the added d4 hp from their 0 level experience? Not much but still (if I am recalling correctly) that is a reasonable incentive to go back and try and make a L0 live thru a pilot adventure? (I shall hate myself if it was mentioned earlier in this tread! :? )
Actually, not true. You still have to roll the 0-level character stuff (d4 hp, copper, occupation, items, etc.) before they level. There aren't any rules for start GP above 0-level, though. I suggest 3d6 x10 gp at 1st.
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Re: Party composition & different roles

Post by jmucchiello » Thu Aug 04, 2011 5:00 pm

caveman wrote:What about generating four 0-level characters and then leveling up the one you like the most based on all those rolls? (As if they all survived the funnel) Kinda time consuming but it might help to distinguish and randomize the new character while giving the player a bit of choice.
I kinda like that. But only 3 0-level chars are needed, I think.

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Re: Party composition & different roles

Post by abk108 » Fri Aug 05, 2011 12:28 am

reverenddak wrote:
Ducaster wrote:
However, didn't I see someplace on these forums that Mr G. Stated that replacement 1st levels or above would NOT get the added d4 hp from their 0 level experience? Not much but still (if I am recalling correctly) that is a reasonable incentive to go back and try and make a L0 live thru a pilot adventure? (I shall hate myself if it was mentioned earlier in this tread! :? )
Actually, not true. You still have to roll the 0-level character stuff (d4 hp, copper, occupation, items, etc.) before they level. There aren't any rules for start GP above 0-level, though. I suggest 3d6 x10 gp at 1st.
Check page 56 of Beta doc, you'll find a table for starting cash for levels 1-3

It depends on class, like 5d12 for a warrior, 4d20 for a cleric, or 3d10 for a thief. Anyway, a lot less than you thought ;)
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Re: Party composition & different roles

Post by reverenddak » Fri Aug 05, 2011 8:25 am

abk108 wrote: Check page 56 of Beta doc, you'll find a table for starting cash for levels 1-3

It depends on class, like 5d12 for a warrior, 4d20 for a cleric, or 3d10 for a thief. Anyway, a lot less than you thought ;)
Oh! I knew I saw it somewhere, couldn't find it, and just figured that I mixed it up with one of many OSR games... But yeah, it's considerably less. Nice catch!
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Re: Party composition & different roles

Post by abk108 » Fri Aug 05, 2011 11:14 am

reverenddak wrote:
abk108 wrote: Check page 56 of Beta doc, you'll find a table for starting cash for levels 1-3

It depends on class, like 5d12 for a warrior, 4d20 for a cleric, or 3d10 for a thief. Anyway, a lot less than you thought ;)
Oh! I knew I saw it somewhere, couldn't find it, and just figured that I mixed it up with one of many OSR games... But yeah, it's considerably less. Nice catch!
Don't worry :lol: I have almost photographic memory, I could recall seeing a chart for that on the same page of a weapon rack :roll:
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Re: Party composition & different roles

Post by geordie racer » Sat Aug 13, 2011 6:37 am

abk108 wrote:Ok, we all know optimal composition for most adventures is warrior, wizard, cleric, thief.
From my experience it's usually a bunch of wizards, with henchmen in tow - whatever the edition.
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Re: Party composition & different roles

Post by Eldric IV » Sat Aug 13, 2011 7:57 am

geordie racer wrote:From my experience it's usually a bunch of wizards, with henchmen in tow - whatever the edition.
A bunch of wizards with henchmen in FRONT.

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Re: Party composition & different roles

Post by abk108 » Mon Aug 15, 2011 1:44 am

Eldric IV wrote:
geordie racer wrote:From my experience it's usually a bunch of wizards, with henchmen in tow - whatever the edition.
A bunch of wizards with henchmen in FRONT.
LOL, sorry, i didn't take that option into account, i don't play with henchmen if i can do without. :P Instead of playing 4 wizards and then have some NPC set off traps, serve as a meatshield or as a healbot, i'd rather have one PC for each.. :roll:
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