Teamwork part 3: Financial support
I've covered how both spellcasters and mundane characters alike can provide support with their spells, actions, and items, but there's a more fundamental way that team mates can help each other out. Money. Cold hard gold. Ask any accountant, bookkeeper or businessperson and they'll tell you, the more money you have the more you can make with it. Many players have the mentality that everyone gets an equal share of the loot and should buy their own items with it and let each party member cover their own expenses. While this model certainly can work there is far greater potential when working as a team.
Consider a party of fairly well to do 4th level adventurers back fresh from a monsters lair, overburdened with cash. Each one carrying 8,000 gold pieces worth of gems and loot and other assorted goodies. certainly each of them can go and buy whatever items they want, boosting their individual strengths, but what if they worked together with their money the same way they work together in combat?
Fully aware that the next quest they head on is ripe with spellcasters and hordes of small enemies the party wizard requests that everyone chip in five thousand gold for somehting...special. That's a pretty heavy investment but the party agrees and together with their 20,000 gold they purchase an Ice golem and a suit of +1 rosewood armor for it, along with a scroll or two to cover repairs if it does manage to get damaged. instead of incrementally raising their attack bonuses, saves and skills by a few +1's the party gains a magic immune, armoured golem that is a CR one level higher than they themselves are. An ally who can shrug off weak attacks, bounce back spells, and will walk head first into any peril.
The situation becomes even better if anyone on the party can actually craft magic items. Even something as basic as the party wizard crafting a few scrolls for the party rogue, just to provide a few ranged touch spells to sneak attack with can have a huge impact and build party cohesion. Whereas a dedicated crafting wizard can save the party thousands and thousands of gold in items and provide them just what they need when they need it.
Financial teamwork can even work in situations that more directly benefit one character. If the party knows a dragon lurks in the next adventure it might be worth it to pool their wealth and buy the cavalier a nice dragon bane brilliant energy lance. They could accept this as a good investment for their own survival, or if they're more enterprising, consider it a loan until after the dragon is slain and its horde is to be divvied up.
If a party is really dedicated to this idea of making sure the funds are available for other needs I recommend having a party bank that gets 1 or even 2 shares of treasure just as a party member would. And lest you fear wealth sitting around doing nothing they could always invest the money or even run a party business on the side using those funds.
If you're hungry for more financial sorcery keep your eyes open for announcements about my next project coming out in the following months: Behind the vault door