The party finished their first adventure on a sad note. After I dropped numerous hints the Druid, who had assumed leadership, insisted on entering an entrance to the Underdark. At least she gave a roleplaying excuse as to why she wanted to do so, the ability to roleplay has been lacking in all of them. They wandered through honeycombing Underdark tunnels, relying on the Druid's survival skill to make sure they didn't get lost. After a day & a half of trying to find their way through, they were trapped in a grick ambush. Completely outmaneuvered & faced with the grick DR/magic with not a single magic weapon between them, the party fought bravely but foolishly. The sorceress sent her weasel familiar charging into melee combat, not with any touch spells ready, just it's teeth. Guess what? It died. Confident that they had learned their lesson, I bailed the party out.
The next two adventures went more smoothly. The final encounter in the the second adventure with a weakened version of a banedead troubled them a little but the Paladin's Smite Evil ability worked wonders coupled with unusually high rolls (this has got to be one of the least lucky with the dice groups I've ever DM'd for). The third adventure was a little tougher. They had the uninformed option of fighting an alienist's minions or a bunch of undead. They went for the undead and were tricked into working for an evil ghost but they didn't have the confidence to complete his task and instead successfuly completed the main objective.
Now well on their way to level 3 we suffered a setback in the form of our druid having to leave the group. Literally minutes before I'd heard that though a neighbour & old friend of mine announced that he wanted to join us. What are the chances, eh?
This new guy is a character in his own right and enjoys playing esoteric characters. He has created a Lantanna Artificier (from the Eberron Campaign Setting)) with a look to becoming a Techsmith down the line but for now he doesn't have proficiency in any of his weapons making him fairly useless in combat. Noting how ineffective she was, the sorceress asked if she could ditch her character & take over the druid to which I replied that she could, figuring that looking at the party's track record, a healer would be much, much more useful.
The 4th adventure was fraught with difficulties. Not only was the Artificier's player's personality really distracting, his roleplaying (a mixed blessing in this case) is weird as well (though Lantanese, he is convinced that he is a Shou). Not only that but the players managed to skip the plot hook almost entirely and went straight to the adventure site with a lot less motivation than had been written for them. I'm hoping that's not a problem down the line. Our artificier's lack of fighting skill leads to him avoiding combat which the other players treat as desertion at worst & 'discretion as the better part of valour' at best, leading to a comical scene when they were ambushed by drow. They dragged him into the combat only to follow him as best they could while he fled the area moments later.
I'm going to have to pull my weight a bit more to get this party under control now.