Only 2 players what to do?

Rise of the Runelords

Hi, I started with 3 players but now the cleric is unable to play and right now I cant find another player, in fact I couldnt find a 4 player thats why we started playing with 3, any suggestion so that this doesnt turn into a TPK? so far the remaining players dont have any problem with being the only players but neither wants to play a 2 character and I dont like DMPC I feel like Im cheating because I know what the enemy is going to do and I also dislike the extra work, Im thinking maybe proposing Gestalt but I already did that before we started playing the adventure because they were only 3 players and the only one that liked the idea was the player plaing the cleric :/ so it was 2 against 1 and the idea was droped.

Any help is apreciated.

The characters are

Satro, Half-Orc Barbarian level 2
Str18 Dex16 Con14 Int10 Wis10 Cha10

Myrk, Human(Varisian) Rogue level 2
Str14 Dex17 Con12 Int14 Wis10 Cha14

Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Many scenarios work fine for fewer characters if they are higher level; would your group go for that? We find it more reliable at avoiding the TPK than gestalts are.

If the players don't like to play additional characters, would non-human allies--dogs, for example--be better? They can soak up attacks that would otherwise take out a PC, and they don't require a lot of characterization. You could also consider wolves, warhorses, or even a tame firepelt.

Magic items can help compensate for missing core abilities.

I'd give extra skill points for a small party, myself, but this may bother your players if they are by-the-book.

Good luck!


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber might be difficult since the characters have already been created, but the Gestalt variant was designed for just such situations:

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Charter Superscriber; Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber

Seems like you're screwed. I'm not a fan of gestant rules.

Seoni and Merisiel would be more then happy to lend a hand, but I guess you've ruled that out.

I just finished Burnt Offerings with only two players. Each one has two characters and it was not a problem. Each player chose a class they are very familiar with (Ranger and Fighter) and one they don't have much experience playing (Monk and Sorcerer). Everyone had a great time with the adventure and going without a Cleric was actually a nice change of pace. A wand of cure light wounds was used up by the end, but then they had enough loot to buy another one.

You could try giving each of the players control of a second character, bringing you up to our again. You'll want to have thema as strong as possible for Thistletop; those Yeth hounds are tough even with a full-sized party.

Encourage strong tactical thinking.

It can be done, especially if your two players are patient and thoughtful. Have them spy, gather information, and plan ambushes and assaults. Given their classes, they should be fairly sneaky, an dshould be able to get in two to three well-thought sorties before facing prepared responses.

If they get creative, they may find "allies" who are enemies of their enemy. Maybe they can push those two to fight, leaving them to either slip by in the chaos, or mop up the survivors. I'd give them a few pointers/suggestions on how to set up such a raid, and maybe a little help the first couple of times until they have figured out some decent plans on their own. Two member parties can work; everyone just needs to be patient and thoughtful. And the RP can really shine, when only two people are sharing the spotlight.

Here's a quick and dirty method that has worked for me in the past: Let the PCs have double hit points and be generous with magic items. Also, make sure they have items that allow them to compensate for missing skill sets. For example, if there's no rogue then give them a wand that allows them to find traps. If there's no fighter, give them extra plusses on their weapons. You get the idea.

This is less powerful than the gestalt idea, and tends to be easier to keep track of than having two characters per player. There are drawbacks, inasmuch as some encounters won't be balanced perfectly. I've been forced to use this method in the past, though, and it seems to work well for the most part.

Some additional comments to the above:
* With their average Wis scores, they're going to have a hard time dealing with Will Saves.
* One of them should take a level of Dragon Shaman (PHB2), taking the healing aura. This will give them fast healing 1 (up to half max hp), which should help them better manage their healing items.
* If one of them also takes a level in a class with access to CLW, then they'll be able to use wands of CLW.
* If they are up for it, see if they'd run two PCs each.

Thanks for the advice, Ill try to work something out with the players.

Liberty's Edge

Just starting RotRL with just two players and playing using an online tabletop to make it even more difficult, but have taken the following steps.

1. Higher average starting stats basically an array from 12, 13, 14 , 15, 16, 17 each
2. max hp at each level, helps with the survival rate of less bodies to attack
3. started them off at 2nd level but with two classes each
currently they chose Ranger/cleric and fighter/sorcerer
4. lack of rogue is a concern but both lower level cleric and sorcerer spells should help and maybe a few old school broken doors

I may introduce a fate point or similar rule to avoid any show stoppers as I would like to get them to enjoy the campaign and at least not end it after the first installment Burnt offerings

Also using a auto level system throughout adventures so that they maintain a level or so above required basically by inserting level up point in the adventures through out the campaign and work out the level of magic items at star of each book via the pre gens and distribut similar value through previous adventure book.

Hopefully they will enjoy and we can rinse and repeat process for next pathfinder campaign


Not only are they two people short of the regular party size, they don't have any healing ability. Or magic in general.

The the characters' AC might also become a problem, though at least their dex is okay.

And, of course, anything that requires a will save will be bad news, since both will be low on will - and once something takes hold, they have to find some spellcaster to get rid of whatever it is, since no magical removal, cure, protection, or anything like that is available party-side.

I'd say they're in dire straights.

Grant them a bonus feat: Sidekick. It grants each of them a trusty companion that follows them around. As sidekicks, they will not enter conversations or negotiations much, look to their "masters" for answers instead of thinking too much for themselves and their personality will not be that important. They're probably a lot like the guys they follow around.

Those sidekicks are generated with the same rules the player characters are subject to (same ability generation method, same level, same amount of wealth) and are the same level as the characters themselves.

The barbarian has a cleric sidekick, a holy man from his tribe who can speak to their god/totem animal/whatever, but since he's not a pure warrior, his opinion will be worth less than the mighty berserker's He's mostly cure the party's ill effects, like wounds, sickness, poisonings, and will bless them with his deity's power in combat (and probably enter the fray himself, hoping to conduct himself honourably and at least somewhat keep up with his clan's mighty warrior).

The rogue's sidekick is a sorceress, like his little sister (or maybe childhood friend and love interest, his call) who follows him around because he has to look after her (or because they can't stand to be apart from one another). Although a bit younger than him, she can pull her own weight, with some powers to boost his natural talents (stuff like spider climb, phantom thread, invisibility) and of course some pure firepower when stealth and tactics are not quite up to the task. She's a shy one, not interacting with much but him and usually staying quiet (which doesn't mean that she has no confidence in herself)

That way, they don't need to use gestalt rules, you don't need to run a couple of DM NPCs, they don't quite have to play two characters each (as the other two don't act too much, and mostly keep out of the spotlight except in fights), but monsters out there will be provided with all the basic food groups they need to grow up and become more fearsome critters still. (Or, to put it another way: They get their healing, buffing, and arcane assistance without which adventuring is so much harder, and the cleric will likely be able to soak some punishment so the barbarian doesn't have to take it all - we all know a rogue's not there to take punishment, only to deal it).

It looks like you're running the RotRl, or at least a campaign set in Golarion. This might limit your options with only two players.

Would your group be open to setting RotRl aside for the time being and running a homebrew, maybe even one still set in Golarion, that you could gear toward a two-player party. You could even throw in an NPC spellcaster when the need arises.

A campaign focused around a pair of mercenary adventurers, or two agents of another entity (a wizard or a cleric), could have a very cool Fafhrd and the Grey Mouser feel. If you find one or more other players, you could pick up again with RotRl.

Alternatively, do you know anyone else who would be willing to learn to play?

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