So, I don't know how common or uncommon this is, but my players prefer it if I cast them for my campaigns. What that means is that I present a setting for them, a cast to choose from and brief back stories for the characters they get to choose from. We come from a very "internal conflict heavy" background when it comes to roleplaying and quite a few campaigns have gone south on account of the group simply deciding that they can't work together. To remedy this, they've asked for a reason beyond their control as to why they are striving for the same goal.
Last run at this, they were all from the same generational dwarven family. You had the retired patriarch grandfather, his daughter, the new "leader", her husband and their two children. It worked out pretty well for as long as it did and now it is time to start anew and this time, it is time for RotRL.
What I am considering this run is sort of a Carnivalé (the show) inspired Varisian traveller group. It will be a rather large group composed of around twenty members where the players (4-5 of them) will get to choose from around half of them. The rest will be NPCs of higher level than one who'll all serve some kind of purpose.
The varisians have made camp outside Sandpoint on account of the festival in order to make some coin and to enjoy themselves. They'll get caught up in events and encouraged by their leaders who seem to have a secret agenda as to why aid the town.
Now, I am making this thread because there are a couple of issues I don't know how to tackle.
For example, how should I deal with a group of five players? I had a problem with the Dwarf group where a combination of too many points to buy ability scores and five players made each and every encounter too easy. I am not above having easy encounters, I loathe having encounters for the sake of having encounters because I want a conflict to actually mean something. In this case, they just ended up being a time waste. How do you adjust the game for more than four players?
RotRL can be pretty tough, so you shouldn't have too tough a time adjusting encounters - honestly, if you max out boss hit points and keep an 'extra wave' of mooks in your back pocket you should be fine.
The group is going to need a reason 'beyond their control' to get involved in the troubles and actually pursue them, not just around town but all across Varisia. My initial thoughts are twifold - first off, the carnival could be the victims of the goblins, with many of their tents, carts, supplies, etc. set on fire and lost - it won't be until next season until they can 'move on' and that's only if they can get the coin together. The leader of the caravan can 'prompt' them to work with the Mayor and the Sheriff and provide them investigative services in return for the coin they need to get back on their feet, as well as to ingratiate them with the locals. Whether or not that's the real reason is of course up to you. Having a 'boss' they have to answer will go a long way towards getting them all on the same page.
Dwarves are particularly well-wuited to this AP. I like themed groups a great deal, more than those which might be technically 'balanced'. Sounds like you're going to have a lot of fun.