I started a pioneering game for quite some time. Until now, I think I have balanced the meetings quite well, the party is about to reach level 7 and there have been only 2 deaths but a lot of close calls . This is exactly the kind of risk level I want in this campaign.
The party consisted of a barbarian, a bard, a druid, a paladin and a wizard. A fairly balanced party composition that has learned to be quite synergistic. The barbarian and paladin are the main protagonists, the other supporting them with caster and ranged attacks.
My problem is that the barbarian was killed in the last session and the player is more likely to replace him with an oracle. In addition, my paladin player informed me that he would be moving overseas for one year next month. He is therefore also absent.
What changes should I make to the design of my meeting to allow the loss of frontline fighters?
I seek advice from MJ who have experienced similar situations or who have organized campaigns for parties without melee characters.