Rusty here again.
You know what that means!
I haven’t eaten, and I was browsing Facebook or Reddit again.
So I was bored on the john and browsing Facebook when I stumbled upon a post on a local page I follow for my Friendly Local Gamestore, abbreviated as FLG. It said, “We’re looking for some players for our D&D 5e campaign! We are open to any classes, but we don’t have a healer yet – it would be awesome if we could get one!”
I see these messages all the time asking for new players but pressuring the newb into being the healer for the group. I get that some people love being the healer in a party, you’re always useful, after all, but why would you want to pressure someone to fill the role? Why would you ever want to be pressured into playing a specific role in a group and not play what you wanted to play in the first place?
How do we fix this problem?
Do we give the party the items needed to heal themselves as a healer would? Do we put an NPC in the party to fill the gap? Do we make a sacrifice to Hastur to gain forbidden knowledge to solve this problem?
Never seen the last one tried, but I know a better way that takes less effort and grossness to accomplish.
Simply adjust your game to fit the party.
Here is an excerpt from my RPG, Life After, that sums it up nicely:
“Party Comp is Bullshit– Who wants to be forced to play a class because “the party needs a _!?” As a GM, it’s essential to gauge what the party is geared for and to test their mettle accordingly. Don’t be a jerk and exploit your party’s weaknesses to punish them. Punishing players is illegal in Life After. What kind of adult punishes another adult anyway?
The best parties are made up of characters that your players want to play. However, this can cause some issues as missing certain aspects of a full team can challenge a party in different ways. It’s your job as GM to make sure the game challenges the group’s party composition… not punishes them. Try to make the narrative facilitate the game the party is built to take on. This allows your party to play who they want, not who they need to play.”
All in all, a good GM makes the game fit the player’s characters, not the other way around.
One sandwich later:
That was more bitching than anything, but I hope you gleaned some useful information on the topic. As always, if you have any questions or comments, feel free to send me a message. Thanks for reading!
-Rusty, the DM