View Full Version : New DM and need some advice.

2013-10-18, 09:48 AM
So I'm a relatively new DM and I'm running the Rise of the Runelords Adventure Path for a couple of friends. It's only been one session, but so far everything has gone really well and the players have seemed to really enjoy it. With only one real problem. There are only two of them, so combat has proven rather difficult for them.

Let me give you some background on their characters. They're gestalt with a 33 point buy. One is a Cleric/Rogue 1 Human, the other a Monk/Barbarian 1 Dwarf. So while there are only two of them, they are significantly more powerful than your average PCs. I put them against the first encounter in the campaign as is and they struggled a bit to stay alive. While I want them to have a challenge, this is going to be a big problem during the next session where they're fighting Tsuto (who I also made gestalt [rogue/monk 3] with 25 point buy) and 8 other goblins.

Good news is that we might have a third PC this Sunday, though I'm not sure if that will be enough to keep them alive. I've thought about throwing them an NPC, maybe sheriff Hemlock, to help them, but that seems too convenient. I want them to succeed, but I also want them to have to work for it. My other thought was to bump them up to second level before the fight (which they will achieve right after the fight anyway) but that doesn't really solve much, as there are much harder battles to come.

Like I said, I have little experience with DMing, and no experience with gestalt, so I'm having a hard time judging what they can and cannot handle. Do you guys have any advice on what I could do to make it more even of a chance for survival? I don't want to just fudge rolls or make the campaign easier, but I can't make the odds insurmountable. Give them some potions? Better armor/weapons? Or can three gestalt characters face the same dangers as 4 normal ones? Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

2013-10-18, 10:05 AM
While Gestalt gives the PCs more options and maybe a few better skills/saves etc. it doesn't necessarily increase their power by a great amount due to the fact that they can still only get one turn per round. You might be able to heal like a cleric and sneak attack like a rogue, but you can only do one of these a round (barring a few fringe cases).

Another character would mean that they have 50% more actions per combat round. Adding an NPC, even a rubbish one, means there is another attack going off, another person to be targeted and generally everyone should have an easier time.

I'd think twice about gestalting the enemies if the players are having a hard time, they've already got to overcome the handicap of being half of the intended party size, I wouldn't make it any harder on them.

2013-10-18, 10:12 AM
I think that might be the best option for right now. I was going to only gestalt the big bads, but as you've said it might be wise to just leave them as is until I get a full party of four.

So can three gestalt characters with said stats effectively deal with the same encounters as four normal PCs?

2013-10-18, 11:42 AM
So can three gestalt characters with said stats effectively deal with the same encounters as four normal PCs?

They will be able to deal with the same variety of situations and encounters, but not the same difficulty of encounters. As said earlier, a gestalt Cleric/Rogue can heal and can sneak, but can't heal and sneak at the same time. It's better than having just a rogue or just a cleric, but is not the same as having a rogue and a cleric in the average encounter.