log in or register to remove this ad

 

WotBS 3-man group for WotBS

SuperJebba

First Post
Hey, guys. I am looking to start this campaign with my group. I have been looking at it for a long time. It looks just amazing!

Anyway, my group consists of four of us and I know the campaign calls for a party of four. I don't want to run a character and I don't want any of my players to run an extra. I was hoping some of you might have had some experience with this and could offer some suggestions for how to power up my players a bit to compensate for the lack of a fourth guy. Any feedback would be greatly appreciated. Thanks.
 

log in or register to remove this ad

Well, the DMG2 has rules for companion NPCs, folks who use PC math but only have one or two powers, making them really easy to keep track of in combat. And the campaign saga has a bevy of options for who those companions could be -- Torrent, Tiljann, Katrina, etc.

If you really don't want to do that, I'd just say you need to balance the action and hit point economy. Normally a 5 round combat with 5 PCs has 25 PC standard actions. Maybe 30 with action points. With 3 PCs, you've got 15 PC standard actions, maybe 18 with action points.

Likewise, monsters might chew up 15 healing surges per encounter, which is 3 per PC in a normal party, but 5 per PC in a small party.

My simplest suggestion is to give each PC 2 bonus action points per encounter (but they still can only use one per turn). Then give each PC 5 extra healing surges per day, and let them use their second wind once per encounter as a free action.
 

UnknownAtThisTime

First Post
I feel qualified to weigh in.

I am DMing it for a three player party. We just started Fore Forest, so we are only 3-4 character levels in, so take it with a grain of salt. Also, as DM, I play loose and fast with rules and dice roles. Shhhhhh.

The players and I did NOT want to run more than one character each. We've done that before, and just did not want to do it this time.

I have made no changes to encounters, other than adjusting the XP number by changing or removing a monster here and there to make it level appropriate for the reduced party size. As example, I think I replaced two skirmishers with 2 minions for a battle to remain in the XP budget but still portray a full encounter. I found this much easier than altering creatures stats themselves, messing with extra Aps, etc.

There was also a battle where I pulled punches when I saw they were overmatched not through bad dice or bad strategy, but through bad judgement on my part.

As to the NPCs, it IS an NPC heavy affair (a great thing), at least so far. I have no interest in runnign DM-NPCs though, so I am minimizing them where I can, and hand waving them out when I can't.

Summarry: The path is too good to pass up over fears of a three party group. Just go in knowing you will need to look at encounter XP and creature numbers. It was not a great deal of effort to do this. Much more effort to wrap my head around the intricate and detailed story (a great thing).

Also, here is a smilie: :w:
 

LightPhoenix

First Post
Well, the DMG2 has rules for companion NPCs, folks who use PC math but only have one or two powers, making them really easy to keep track of in combat. And the campaign saga has a bevy of options for who those companions could be -- Torrent, Tiljann, Katrina, etc.

I only have three players, and the companion characters work fairly decently.

They actually work the opposite of how RangerWickett implied - they get a decent array of powers (one at-will, encounter, utility, racial, role-if-leader) but use vastly simplified math (and no feats). You can, of course, scale them up if you need to, but I'm finding they work pretty well as is. During combat I let the players run them (unless they choose something completely contrary to the character) and during role-play I control them and have them chime in. They're very easy to update; maybe five minutes to update one, if that.

Another option would be to remove enemies from combat, or alter them. How to go about doing this will depend on your party composition. You can simply remove two creatures to adjust the XP total, but personally I find that makes for some boring combat. You could try lowering the overall level of the encounter, but you still run into action economy issues. It's more finesse than hard and fast rules.

You may also want to think about your encounter set-ups a little more. For example, make sure the PCs can take advantage of surprise rounds. A trick I like is to stagger enemy arrival - you reduce the actions/round without reducing the number of enemies. Make sure to provide useful terrain as well. Allow the PCs to stage ambushes by getting up high (a few free rounds of ranged attacks), or use Bluff/Diplomacy/Intimidate to get creatures to surrender or flee. It requires more thoughtful set-up than normal. Also, think about encounter flow - allow the characters extended rests more often, provide items/bonuses that improve with milestones, put more difficult battles in the beginning, etc.
 

Advertisement2

Advertisement4

Top