So Jimmy comes to me and says that he wants to change his character, that he regrets choosing the Champion archetype for his fighter. I sit and think a little, go to the book, and determine that there is really no way to change to another archetype at this point (well into 4th level.) He is not happy, and I think I know why, the Champion archetype really is pretty limited. This is not the first time, one of the other players was not real happy with his Paladin either. And I don’t think the Rogue or sorcerer really get how their characters work, what they are good for etc. In short, I was facing a bit of a mutiny.
I had already created the next adventure for them, a dungeon delve that would have been full of undead, and not easy to beat ones either. While the characters would have been up to the challenge if played correctly I realized that the players would not be up to the challenge. There are some elements that the players need to figure out about their characters before they tackle this level of challenge.
Jimmy needs to figure out how to use his characters abilities to be the party’s champion, to seek out the biggest guy on the other side and deal with him. The Paladin needs to figure out how to use his abilities to complement the Champion and buff up the party. The Rogue needs a chance to really use some rogue skills: stealth, ambush, etc. And the Sorcerer needs to learn how to maximize his spells (he is a big magic player so I think I can use that as a teaching tool to show him how to better utilize his spells.)
I thought a little and created a different adventure for them, to run in the interim. And I will approach the night a little differently, giving them all hints how to work together and maximize each others skills. So there will be a couple of big fights where the Champion can easily find and call out the big boss. And there will be chances for the rogue to do rogue things. And I will basically help them determine what is the best spell/attack/action to use. Basically be less adversarial for a session, in order for them to learn what they are really capable of.
I think that one session of doing that will help propel them forward, allow them to better enjoy the game. I kind of forget that I have years of experience playing, and am a born min/max player so I can look at a character and really figure out how to use it. But these kids don’t have that experience, and most of them are not the types to think about how to make their character better. Therefore I need to reign myself in a little. But I know that now and will make that change, to keep the game going and fun for everyone.