Saturday we played two Living Greyhawk modules, with our new, rebalanced party. It worked out quite well. I balanced away from charisma, leaving that stuff to our bard, and towards fighting, which we were lean on. We gained a level in those two modules, and Leonid, my 2nd-level Elven Rogue, has a whole bunch of skills, including Tumble +10, Search +10, Disable Device +10, Open Lock +10... He’s the skill monster of the group, and deadly with a bow. I’m strongly considering taking a level of fighter next, so as to get both Precise Shot and Rapid Shot at the same time, as well as a few extra hit points, and some more base attack bonus. It would only hurt his skills, giving him 5 points to spend instead of 11... I’d have to figure out what to cut back on advancing in... probably base it on what’s in-class for a fighter.
Anyway, I think I’m happier with the new set of characters we have in our group than with what we had in group 1.0, when we died. The kill really did teach us our lesson, we’ve figured out some things we need to do to be more effective. We’ve got a wizard now (illusionist, really), and a honking-big barbarian. It all meshes together slightly better.
All in all, Bran’s skillset was a little too redundant, and he was a little too non-combat ready. The amazing success we had in The Will of the People at ConnCon was largely because of this imbalance in our party; we were extremely strong in the things that that module stresses (Gather Information type skills), and weak in things that the module that killed us stressed (dealing out lots of damage intelligently to single large targets).
To be fair, we also got fairly lucky in WotP (the main boss failed a will save against a Hold Person, making him an easy target) and fairly unlucky in Hunt in the Hool (a 3 on a Tumble check, followed by a critical hit dealing near max damage on the attack of opportunity). But really, we were totally unprepared for the monsters we fought there. I think that even with the lower levels in our party now, we’d do better in the module that killed us than our previous party did.