I'm DMing for the first time in my adult life, and I've run into a couple problems. Forgive me if I'm not supposed to be asking this here, but I really have no idea where else to ask. If anyone could throw me some links to established DM forums, I could direct any further questions there.
But my first question is pretty general and I think could apply to a lot of DMs.
1) How do you get your party members to care about each other?
After brainstorming a few party origin stories, I settled on one that brings the five strangers that make up my players together. While they all have different reasons for being there, the overall end goal for them is the same for the first few adventures, which are staying pretty linear provided that the PCs take my hooks. This is where my problems come in.
If I appeal to the PCs with a hook for treasure, I get half the party interested but the other half is contented to wander the village/city/wilderness looking for someone who needs some more virtuous help than just aiding them in recovering their wagon filled with goods or find a sacred magic artifact in the beholder lair. If I appeal to their good Samaritan heartstrings with a crying peasant boy who's lost in a goblin cave or a village under attack by Orcs, half the party want to charge to the rescue where the other half wants to move on.
This doesn't lead to debates or discussions among the PCs; it leads to, typically, them going separate ways agreeing to meet up later to accomplish the ultimate goal I laid out for them further down the line.
Most of the problem stems from the fact that my party is a group of individuals who are putting their own interests first. I'm starting to turn it around a bit by finding ways through my adventure to underline the fact that to do anything, they need one another, but having every hook met with begrudging acceptance from half the party is tough. So how could one turn this behavior around? Make the PCs feel indebted to each other somehow, respect each other, want to help their comrades out when they feel they have to do something for what they perceive is the greater good?
That's a pretty huge question. Let's get to my last one, which is simple.
2) (v3.5) How do you increase a monster's difficulty?
I'm playing 3.5, and the campaign has led the party to what I consider the climax of my first string of adventures; a city of dwarves that's been overrun by goblins. The problem is that goblins have a 1/3 CR, and my level 1 PCs have been absolutely destroying groups of 5-8 monsters with 1/2-1 CRs. According to http://www.penpaperpixel.org/tools/d20encountercalculator.htm
, 3 enemies with a 1/2 CR should be "Very Difficult", but we're finding it insanely easy. How am I going to make Goblins, who have a 1/3 CR, hard? It reads in the entry that you encounter a few goblin sergeants and leaders of a higher level; how do I determine the stats for these monsters?
Alright, that's it. Thanks in advance for the help.