Splitting the Party


I love my group. I do. I just need to keep telling myself that sometimes....

But these endearing monsters keep splitting the party! The latest split not only meant it will take 2 or even three sessions to get thru what was meant to be longish one session, but also only a couple ran into the main story plot and a few others are way off the map and chasing down flavor. This might even lead to one character dying if I play this bad guy to his true nature! What would you say is a good way to force (as much as I hate the word as a DM) a regroup without stymieing what would otherwise be awesome content I've been planning?


  • Johnprime
    Posts: 252

    I'm running the Carrion Crown Pathfinder Adventure Path and the party decided to split up and explore an abandoned town during one session. I have 6 players, so I've had to do some CR increases as the Adventure Paths are really written for 4 players and the 6th one tends to shift the advantage toward the party.

    Certain parts of the Carrion Crown can be very deadly if a split party encounters them and I thought I might be looking at a TPK, but the party was close enough that they managed to regroup without encountering most of the bad guys.

    If some neutral or good NPCs are around, they might encourage the party to regroup for their own safety. You could also consider having a few pages from a journal from another adventurer or adventuring group that warns of the danger in the area to encourage the group to form back up.

    Lastly, you could have the bad guy injure those adveturers who encounter him almost to the point of death and then taunt them as he leaves them to die, provided it's not completely breaking his character concept, but have them survive and hopefully take the info to heart and rejoin the rest of the party.

    The group I play with knows I don't plan to outright kill the party, but they also know that if they head in the wrong direction or do really stupid things, whatever outcome happens will happen, and there have been times when I've had almost complete party kills. One I can think of right off the top of my head was due to the PCs being really stupid and all would have died by suicide of 1 of the PCs, except that we were using action cards and 1 of the other PCs had one that shifted all damage he received onto another PC/allie, so he managed to survive.

    Good luck dealing with your split party.


    Deadwood Deacon Banner

    Where the west is really wild!

    The Valley of Life Banner

    The Valley of Life

  • Conan_Lybarian
    Posts: 240

    Thanks for the input! Yeah, the bard following the BBEG will probably end up pretty ruined, but I'm thinking that leaving him "infected" and injured will bring the party back together pretty quickly. I'm 100% with you that I don't like tpks just for the sake of it. But as my old DM would say, "The possibilities are endless. The consequences are mandatory"

  • GamingMegaverse
    Posts: 2,913

    One of my favorite things to do is any time the party split they would find themselves with an NPC that annoyed them...every time. 

    Worked better than injury or death- in fact that became a request "Can you just kill us rather than have us deal with X,,,,"

    Just trying to help out.

  • cgregory
    Posts: 772

    Usually, if the party splits for any length of time I add in some NPCs for the other players to run and provide them some basic motivations for those NPCs.

    If you are looking to have the party regroup, you could have one group be ambushed. On the ambushers have a note stating that the group has successfully been split and that a second larger ambush is planned for the other more martial looking group.

    the ambushers could simply be a rival adventuring party looking loot off of other adventurers or whatever fits your campaign.


    Diseases/curses can also get the group back together assuming only one group has the ability to remove them.

    They are among us!


    Current Campaign: XCom: Defiance - Campaign of the Month November 2016

                                           My Campaign CSS

                              Unlocking The Portal: A Guide to OP CSS                                    



Sign In or Register to comment.

Campaign of the Month
October 2021

Hogwarts and the Magic of the Founders

Read the feature post on the blog!
Or return to Obsidian Portal!

Howdy, Stranger!

It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!