Paizo Top Nav Branding
  • Hello, Guest! |
  • Sign In |
  • My Account |
  • Shopping Cart |
  • Help/FAQ
About Paizo Messageboards News Paizo Blog Help/FAQ
Pathfinder Roleplaying Game

Pathfinder Adventure Card Game


Pathfinder Society


Starfinder


Starfinder Society

A word of advice to all adventuring parties out there.


Advice


3 people marked this as a favorite.

Never...ever...Ever...EVER...EVER...EVER SPLIT THE PARTY UP!

I swear to Arshea I'm going to TATTOO THOSE WORDS UNDER THE EYELIDS of my fellow PC's.

Ugh. (goes back pulling my hair out while trying to figure out how to get us all out the mess the other PC's got all of us into before tomorrow's game)


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules, Pawns, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

My guys are very nearly trained. Every once in a,while someone slips and says something innocuous like "I'm just gonna check out this dark, mysterious tunnel by myself while you guys *screams* Oh, yeah, sorry." But not often.


Pathfinder Card Game, Class Deck Subscriber
Berselius wrote:

Never...ever...Ever...EVER...EVER...EVER SPLIT THE PARTY UP!

I swear to Arshea I'm going to TATTOO THOSE WORDS UNDER THE EYELIDS of my fellow PC's.

Ugh. (goes back pulling my hair out while trying to figure out how to get us all out the mess the other PC's got all of us into before tomorrow's game)

But... We can cover more ground that way!


1 person marked this as a favorite.

Yup - the party either hangs together, or they hang seperately.

Plus. it's a pain DMing a couple of groups, so make 'em pay if they keep doing it :)


Haha. There's a ranger in my party that is slowly learning this truth. It's taken a couple of beatings and a near TPK, but he'll get there eventually.


4 people marked this as a favorite.

Just in case someone hasn't seen this: Never Split the Party.


Sounds like we have a interesting story here. Willing to share?


Same player who split the party as keeps seriously under estimating opponents which, IMO, is more deadly.

Been gaming since the late '70's, playing Pathfinder since Beta and he still thinks goblins are AC8 HD1-1 Dmg 1d4... Rise of the Goblin Guild taught him differently.


I only play Pathfinder online via IRC, and by some miracle my DM for the past three years is OK with splitting the party.
I imagine the room/query structure of IRC makes it a bit easier to manage, but I feel blessed to have the opportunity.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

As a GM, screw splitting the party. It is enough work doing this.

As a player, welp. I accept death if I don't smack my other players harder enough to make then think twice.


scouting good, splitting bad!

If your are more than a double move or so from the party, well, the adventures contract does mention not liable for PC's being overextended in distance from allies and other PC's.

Scouting...it is just as dangerous as it seems like it should be!


Emo Duck wrote:

I only play Pathfinder online via IRC, and by some miracle my DM for the past three years is OK with splitting the party.

I imagine the room/query structure of IRC makes it a bit easier to manage, but I feel blessed to have the opportunity.

It is much easier to manage split parties in a play-by-post or other non-real-time fashion. That doesn't mean it's any less dangerous, but if you're not in the middle of a dungeon it can actually make sense in such circumstances.

But yeah, in-person? Don't.


As a player and you are thinking, hey, lets split up just remember...

If you do, now really your GM is running a double game, and while we GM's generally enjoy what we do (I know I do), that is allot of extra effort.

Being sort of like a god (in that odd omnipotent way GM's work) is actually...sort of complex...go figure :)

Go easy on your GM's where you can...


Would gathering information/supplies/personal development be exceptions?


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Scrapper wrote:
Would gathering information/supplies/personal development be exceptions?

Yes, at least in my games.

Shadow Lodge

Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber

personal development??? ... is that like casting Alter Self?... 8^0

sometimes it's a good idea to split the party, but generally no. Groups that are very specialized in their abilities need to stay together unless they are in a situation that matches their abilities and would be best if they operate alone. As a group they cover many tactics and strategies, but alone they are in their specialized area.
Example: Wizard performing reconnaissance using Shadow Projection.


There are indeed times splitting is a tactically sound idea (as noted above), and I echo DalmarWolf, same for my games, though occasionally info gathering can go bad, but that is half the fun!


From a GM's perspective splitting the party up is more work. Since most times you now have not one group to manage but multiple players who want to do something and not always safe or smart. In the city unless I have something planned I allow the party to split up considering it downtime.
In any other setting I discourage it but allow them to do so. The players usually realize how dangerous this is and are willing to accept consequences for it.
From a players perspective it's often a bad, bad idea. It's one thing for a ranger to scout ahead of the party a short distance or a rogue to go ahead to disarm a trap, it's another to have party members go off away from the group. A well rounded group is strong together but become vunerable when they split up. Most Wizards depend on fighters to keep monsters off them to cast spells. A fighter depends on a healer to heal his wounds when he gets injured.


My party splits up all the time. It's not a problem for me to GM it at all. It can be a problem for the two separate groups as they often encounter things that would be be better handled if the whole group was together, but if they split up the outcome is in their hands, not mine.


Sometimes, you can get away with splitting the party. Other times, this happens instead. (Runelords Spoilers)


1 person marked this as a favorite.

In RoW we all slept together in a Tiny Hut as things were dangerous outside. Sometimes the lack of intimacy can be an issue. There are moments when you'd rather split the party xD


1 person marked this as a favorite.

The party that stays together dies together :)

In all seriousness as dm I keep a written agreement they have to sign when they CHOOSE to split the party. It is an acknowledgement that it is a bad idea followed by a list of everything that has gone wrong from party splits before.


we just recently split the party and it worked out just fine. Ignore the fact that we were level 18 mythic tier 9, I'm sure that had nothing to do with it...nothing at all.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

When I GM split parties, I keep all the players at the table and play out the split right there. My philosophy is that the players are also the audience; they deserve to see everything.

First, it helps with explain-what-happened downtime. That's always a waste.

Second, it helps prevent destructive PVP. The player who says, "I scout ahead so that I can do my nefarious thing the other PCs don't know about," is cool. The player who says, "I scout ahead so that I can do my nefarious thing the other players don't know about," is asking for trouble.

However, I make sure all the players are still engaged. The players whose PCs aren't there will get NPCs to play. Sometimes, I'll give them monsters to attack. That's how I'll allow PVP; no one minds much if this monster or NPC dies or really does a good job antagonizing the party.

The strength of this is that it allows for cinematic segues; I can just give all the players NPCs and set the stage for the action, let the players get a taste for the challenge for the evening. If the players start out playing a group of kids who get lost in the woods, then play the PCs tasked with finding the kids, they'll really care about those kids!


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Berselius wrote:

Never...ever...Ever...EVER...EVER...EVER SPLIT THE PARTY UP!

I swear to Arshea I'm going to TATTOO THOSE WORDS UNDER THE EYELIDS of my fellow PC's.

Ugh. (goes back pulling my hair out while trying to figure out how to get us all out the mess the other PC's got all of us into before tomorrow's game)

Tell you what, when the rest of the party all agree to take Darkvision and Stealth and not clank around in full plate making my abilities completely useless, I'll be happy to stick with them all the time. ;-)


FamiliarMask wrote:
Berselius wrote:

Never...ever...Ever...EVER...EVER...EVER SPLIT THE PARTY UP!

I swear to Arshea I'm going to TATTOO THOSE WORDS UNDER THE EYELIDS of my fellow PC's.

Ugh. (goes back pulling my hair out while trying to figure out how to get us all out the mess the other PC's got all of us into before tomorrow's game)

Tell you what, when the rest of the party all agree to take Darkvision and Stealth and not clank around in full plate making my abilities completely useless, I'll be happy to stick with them all the time. ;-)

Oh gosh, once I was a frontline fighter type, and the whole rest of the party were sneaky types. Whenever we were out traveling and came across anything, everyone else would just run and hide, leaving my PC in the open.

What would end up happening is that lots of creatures/bandits/whatever, who would never think to attack a whole group of people, gladly attacked the single lone character. We ended up in so many more battles that way...


FamiliarMask wrote:
Tell you what, when the rest of the party all agree to take Darkvision and Stealth and not clank around in full plate making my abilities completely useless, I'll be happy to stick with them all the time. ;-)

Scouting ahead is a special case. It makes tactical sense to do that. I think most of us are considering a real split in the party, like where half the party goes left and half goes right.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Maps, Modules, Pawns, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

What's that Skippy, send the dwarf up ahead to check out the hallway with a "Darkness" spell cast on it? Sure! The party votes to send the dwarf out on his own! What's that? He objects!?! Well, tie 50 feet of rope to him so we can pull him back...
1 minute later... What do you mean he is not attached to the rope anymore?!? Well, send the Elf Wizard with a light spell after him...

Does this sound like your party? This message is brought to you by TPK...


If the word tactical sounds funny or stupid when placed before the reason your party is about to do a true split in a sentence, you should probably not split up :)

Examples...

Tactical indecision

Tactical greed

Tactical general party ethics argument

See...works like a charm


Quote:
Sounds like we have a interesting story here. Willing to share?

Let's just say it involves a doppelganger with class levels in psychic, a necromancer, four ghouls, two zombie hill giants, and a bunch of PC's who didn't heed my sage-like advice.

Quote:
Sometimes, you can get away with splitting the party. Other times, this happens instead. (Runelords Spoilers)

I could tell you stories. Terrible terrible stories. Terrible stories that end with the sentence, "and with one final slurp the Froghemoth gobbles you up."

Quote:
We just recently split the party and it worked out just fine. Ignore the fact that we were level 18 mythic tier 9, I'm sure that had nothing to do with it...nothing at all.

I'm sure the fact that your party is roleplaying UNSTOPPABLE GOD KINGS MADE FLESH has nothing to do with it. ^_~

Quote:
Tell you what, when the rest of the party all agree to take Darkvision and Stealth and not clank around in full plate making my abilities completely useless, I'll be happy to stick with them all the time. ;-)

What classes did your party take where all of them are wearing full plate? Seems kinda strange.

Quote:
But... We can cover more ground that way!

Oh for sure, you can definately cover more ground. Also you can run into monsters that are +1 CR or more above you and your stuck taking them on by yourself or with whatever partner from the party you chose to stick around with.

Quote:

What's that Skippy, send the dwarf up ahead to check out the hallway with a "Darkness" spell cast on it? Sure! The party votes to send the dwarf out on his own! What's that? He objects!?! Well, tie 50 feet of rope to him so we can pull him back...

1 minute later... What do you mean he is not attached to the rope anymore?!? Well, send the Elf Wizard with a light spell after him...

Does this sound like your party? This message is brought to you by TPK...

Yes, dear lord that sounds exactly like my fellow PC's. Only they'd keep a single goblin (or something small like that) prisoner for just such an occasion. They'd then slather him with butter and garlic and throw the poor damned thing into the "Darkness" with a sign in common tied around it's neck that said, "EAT ME".


2 people marked this as a favorite.

I feel like their are loads of valid reasons to split a party.

Imagine a romance scene between the fighter and the long time NPC nurse character, with the wizard and the cleric and the rogue and the bard staring at them from ten feet away, the bard making jokes the whole time.

or when characters are shopping, or they're at a ball doing some intrigue related stuff. Personally seems like the don't split the party mindset is very dungeon central.


I had to split my party because of "ethical differences" about killing or not one PCs in front of a teleporter specialist enemy.

A couple a sessions after, the two half-partys get totally broken when a war started.

We managed the war using the massive combat rules and by Whatsapp.

It was epic when, at the end of the war, PCs got slowly reunited befote the final apocaliptical battle. It reminded me a One Piece saga.

But yes, I decided not to allow to split the party again.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

I once split my party across three hexes. Our poor archer was on his own while the rest of us were galloping through the forest literally miles away.

Everything worked out just fine! Based on this sample size of one, I can safely conclude that it's never a bad idea to split the party. :-D


I enjoy when my party splits and don't punish them too hard for it. The hardest part is juggling multiple storylines, but if, as a player, you split the party, you're pretty much accepting what you get, so I don't stress it much.

I mean, even in dungeons, as a rule I don't scale encounters to the party, which means the party is likely to encounter enemies that would be difficult to deal with even as a party and should be handled with tactical retreat or avoiding, but they're also likely to encounter enemies that actually aren't that much trouble to solo. It's always better to have more people in combat, of course, but whether combat happens at all is something that party size doesn't influence as much. And as a general rule, the strategy when you split your party should be to ensure that combat doesn't happen at all!

I mean, it's going to get hectic and crazy when despite your best laid plans, something goes wrong. But those sessions are actually really fun, as everything suddenly gets *intense*.

Just a few days ago I had one player drowning in quicksand, two players trying to help him out, and two other players proceeded to scout ahead and run into 32 snakes.

(Yes, 32 snakes. I was running a Frog God Games module.)

Thankfully, one of the scouts was a Bloodrager with Fireball, and proceeded to kill 32 snakes at once. The whole thing was really hectic and everyone was cracking up (except for the player in quicksand who was going WTF the entire time, but he didn't die), it was a high point of the session. It wouldn't have been nearly as memorable if the party hadn't split.

Paizo / Messageboards / Paizo / Pathfinder® / Pathfinder RPG / Advice / A word of advice to all adventuring parties out there. All Messageboards

Want to post a reply? Sign in.

©2002-2017 Paizo Inc.® | Privacy Policy | Contact Us
Need help? Email customer.service@paizo.com or call 425-250-0800 during our business hours, Monday through Friday, 10:00 AM to 5:00 PM Pacific time.

Paizo Inc., Paizo, the Paizo golem logo, Pathfinder, the Pathfinder logo, Pathfinder Society, Starfinder, the Starfinder logo, GameMastery, and Planet Stories are registered trademarks of Paizo Inc. The Pathfinder Roleplaying Game, Pathfinder Campaign Setting, Pathfinder Adventure Path, Pathfinder Adventure Card Game, Pathfinder Player Companion, Pathfinder Modules, Pathfinder Tales, Pathfinder Battles, Pathfinder Legends, Pathfinder Online, Starfinder Adventure Path, PaizoCon, RPG Superstar, The Golem's Got It, Titanic Games, the Titanic logo, and the Planet Stories planet logo are trademarks of Paizo Inc. Dungeons & Dragons, Dragon, Dungeon, and Polyhedron are registered trademarks of Wizards of the Coast, Inc., a subsidiary of Hasbro, Inc., and have been used by Paizo Inc. under license. Most product names are trademarks owned or used under license by the companies that publish those products; use of such names without mention of trademark status should not be construed as a challenge to such status.