I find micro managing 4 characters activities, fighting, hunger, and inventories to be completely overwhelming. As I play I find usually 2 or 3 of my chars idle
It’s the same for me. I believe tenminer’s ideas are good, but even if that is not what you are intending, then a combination of “select chars by hotkey” and “no scrolling upon char selection” would already go a long way. Generally, I suggest to ramp up the “franticness” more slowly in the actual game.