Intellect Devourer

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I think this thread must exist on every single RPG website! I think that games where GM's play as well as GM can cause some issues. We have 6 players and 3 GM's. I GM the most BUT i dont have the ability to change rules or say anything, what i do have is the ability to say this is how it is now for this session but we will decide (between the 3 GM's) what the ruling is thereafter. This has led us to a rulebook which we have used since 1e to help us out.
It should be said though that players want consistency, GM's generally what to make things fun, so park it and then decide later. Of course if the decision is a life and death one for your character this complicates matters and thats when you either trust your GM or not.....

I find using wealth very difficult to judge for encounters. A bunch of first level characters with a single high value item isnt as powerful as each with a appropriate amount so be careful. Over the 30 years of Dming ive learnt that items are worth less than the characters ability to play the system or rules especially at low level.

My advice would be to simple start off simple encounters first in "random encounter" style play and see how quickly your monsters dissapear. Once they reach the "real" dungeon you can adjust a bit as you go. All Dm's are aware that HP are simply guidelines for you to adjust when your favourite monster needs to survive an extra round for effect. The player who knows how many hit points a monster has doesnt do well in most campaigns!

However to try and answer i suggest you take the average GP wealth of the party whilst taking away each party members charged items such as potions and scrolls (not Staffs!). That way it gives a more balanced approach. Each party member above 4 i would add 2/3 or a level rather than full as one extra person doesnt make them all 2nd level as there is a huge difference at low levels. Try not to take into account situational magic either (Rod of Cancellation etc)

My rules for cramp space are the same pretty much from 1e to now including 3.5e. How you define cramp space is up to you, some players even take feats to avoid this stuff....

Large weapons suffer -2 to hit
Use of power attack not allowed (and therefore related feats)
-1 to reflex saves
Bow range modifier reduced by 50%

Keeps it simple and for me allows more of my goblins to survive an encounter!

I DM a party;

Savage Technologist - for me this class isn't quite balanced but heho its good, I do think the access to ALL firearms is a bit too good.

Investigator - Good class ideal for the adventure, but lacking in combat sometimes

Bard - Well never my favourite but seems ok for once

Gunslinger (Musket Master) - I am still not used to the touch AC bit....

Druid - I banned Clerics and Divine Archetypes so this is the best they were allowed :)

Sorcerer - New player..

We have six which offsets the no Cleric rule but its fun letting them run around with ability drain and negative levels :)

Classes/levels: Rogue 1
Very unlucky the Android fell to a sneak attack from Sef the lead skulk, he went to -1 hp and simply bled out whilst the party failed multiple heal check and Griff failed 9 fortitude saves...very sad....

Race:Half Elf
Classes/levels: Bard 4
Catalyst:Gravity Bow and Steelhawk commander
Similat to above a 68 hp damage critical from the gravity bow from the bane ranger...messy but they used a raise dead scroll so not too bad in the end....

I am at the same point, my party is suffering from me as a DM, I have not let any clerics in the party to see how the group manages (i.e. no Divine spell casters except for Druid). As such they suffering somewhat but coping well. However my point is that its a good idea to force them back to Torch where they can level up, purchase some stuff and make stuff as required. Also if you need to redirect them to the Choking tower the friendly mage can do so.

I have run many campaigns over the years and this one reminded me a little of the meal in Castle Amber.... I suggest if the Diplomacy skills are next to zero the best way is to create situational modifiers, let the characters build up a picture of how the NPC's react with each other, if they notice two NPC's not liking each other thay can play on that and "diss" one NPC to get a +2/4 bonus on another NPC.

Also as a last resort you could let one patient PC take a 20 on their checks and build up bonuses throughout the night should the party really need to succeed on one check.

Red Hand of Doom was like this, luckily i played a Paladin with good Charisma and maxed on Diplomacy so life was easy, however i missed a session or two and it really affected the campaign!