I'm thinking of doing my new campaign In Media Res. Since this is a mixed campaign, where players can choose what type of supernatural (or not) they're playing, I'm working on trying a unifying event to get them together, and get the ball rolling.
In one of the books, there's a creature which wipes out nearly every vampire in a city. I'm using that. My plan is that the city's gone to supernatural hell in a handbasket, and the group has been captured and forced together as a sacrifice. Then boom, every other supernatural in the city dies.
The PCs get out of their prison, look around, and wonders what the hell just happened? The city has a number of power vacuumes, and they need to decide what to do about it.
And from there, I can slowly introduce NPCs, having them slip into the city a little bit at a time, working on the PC's paranoia since, you know, this is a city devoid of anything supernatural. For now.
Just a thought.
Question: How important do you think party balance is, especially in a power and stat based game like D&D where everyone works as a group to fight a common enemy?
Background: I'm in a D&D 3.5 campaign where I am one of 9 PCs so money has to be split several ways. Each PC has one-half to two-thirds the gold of the average starting character of the same level according to the Dungeon Master's Guide. We recently acquired three new characters. The new characters are 6th level like everyone else and have the starting 13,000 gold listed in the DMG.
Instead of rolling for stats, the group uses a statistic picking system where all the modifiers must add up to 10, so nearly everyone has an 18 in their key stat. However, one new PC (our last DM) convinced the new DM that she should be able to set a stat as high or as low as she wants. She has 22 Intelligence before items. The new fighter followed suit with his strength while the knight was too multiple attribute dependent whether he wanted to or not. Finally, the group has gained more and more books as time has gone by so while the first level party members were built using the Player's Handbook while the later party members were built using additional splatbooks.
The bottom line is that the longtime players (Old and Busted) can't keep up with the stats and equipment of the new players (New Hotness). Half are accepting, and half are kind of grumpy about it, especially if a new member is cutting into their territory. Is this something worth addressing? I know it's a subjective issue with no right answer, but what would you want to see done in this situation? Do you think the DM should tailor items to weaker party members or give PCs an opportunity to reselect stats and feats? Should the party slant the gold to favor the weaker party members?