I understand the extra complications that come with splitting a party, especially for the DM themselves. In our previous campaign we didn’t split up often. Without a strong, beefy frontline, our party couldn’t really afford to move too far away from each other. In our new campaign however, our current party is finding it so useful to split up sometimes. Our new adventure is starting out in a survival based setting that requires preparation and sometimes that means doing two things at once.
The first reason I like splitting up is to balance our party. It is comprised of a Rogue, Bard, Monk, Paladin and Cleric. The Rogue and Bard can find it difficult to do covert, stealthy things that might get them in trouble with the Paladin or Cleric so splitting up to do things on their own in town for a bit helps give them a bit of breathing room to do the things they need to become better rogues or bards. This also gives our Forge Cleric time to make some items while the Paladin hunts with the Monk. Our current campaign is XP based so doing multiple things at once while split is actually super helpful.
The second reason I like splitting up is time. The setting we are in doesn’t have many magical items so we have to make whatever we want to use. We have to hunt for the materials to make our items. Our DM has provided a list of possibly crafted items and their mats for us to hunt. So far we have a Grell Leather Vest of Blindsight. It isn’t terribly over powered but it has been helpful to have. We need to take some time every now and then to hunt and make the items. Splitting up to hunt while others make the items cuts the time we have to spend doing both.
The third reason is for the mysteries. There are a few things wrong in the place where we are and investigation is a huge part of the story. There is intrigue and murder across the land. Splitting up to investigate various leads make it easier to run down clues and find the answers in time to save the day. With two front line melee fighters we can easily make sure one of us is with each group at any given time. We feel safer moving around in smaller teams this way and cover more ground. It also gives the players time for personal stories and mini adventures for character growth in sessions.
In the right setting, splitting up can be quite a useful thing to do. I recommend it if you have a beefy party and need to do many things and that your DM is willing. Splitting up can mean the different between saving those missing children and beating the villain but finding the dead bodies because you were too late to save them. I know it can be difficult for the DM to keep track of everything so we try not split up too often but so far it has helped us out a lot. If you have a comment or a different opinion please let me know below or find me on Twitter @DnDWifeStoreis and on Instagram @dndwife. I would love to hear from you!