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If you wish to go more loosely, just plan 4 to 5 encounters as I mentioned above that are CR appropriate. Use those as a group of encounters that would probably be confronted before a rest period is available (roughly). Obviously, this will vary by group. Figure out a period of game time that seems to be agreeable to your players and yourself for when leveling up seems appropriate. My games are more combat focused so we tend to complete 3 or 4 encounter groups (12 CR appropriate encounters) in one four hour session. As such we tend to level up 2nd or 3rd gaming session.
Interestingly enough, I'm retooling an old campaign that I built myself. While I tend to use milestones as well, I still like to calculate the XP for each encounter and have a running total.
Basically, I have a big Excel spreadsheet with a worksheet for every 2 or 3 levels. I split it into chapters like an AP, but whatever works best for you will do. I also use the Slow XP chart. This way if the PCs skip something, or bypass a few encounters, I don't really sweat it. The players tend to level up every other gaming session (or third session), and it seems to be going well.
Yes, compiling Excel spreadsheets on encounters and treasure tables is what I call fun and relaxing.
So for example, if in Chapter 1, I want to go from Level 1 to Level 3, that is 7,500 XP on the slow path per PC, which is 30,000 total XP. I'll then list out columns for Encounter Name, XP, # of encounters (may have more than one orc after all), and total XP. When the total XP is at 30,000, I then plan encounter groups. For example, the PCs may need to overcome an orc outpost. That may consist of 4-5 appropriate encounters. I try to stick to 4-5 because if the PCs mess up and the whole complex comes down on their heads then they have an epic but survivable (barely) encounter.
I also make another Excel sheet for treasure and in a similar manner, calculate the total I want to give and split accordingly among types of treasure.
I'll stop before this gets much longer, but I hope this is helpful.
Thanks for all of the replies. I don't see the Inquisitor very much at my table, so I wasn't aware of the options there.
I don't really have a problem with granting FE Arcane Caster to my home campaign but I do like to make sure I'm sticking to the rules as much as possible (ie minimum house rules). However, I this sect is rare and rather fanatical so they aren't well represented in my world. As a counter balance, there is also a group that is extremely opposed to the "immortals" and their divine servants, who have similar powers.
Is there such a thing out there somewhere?
In my homebrew, I have a group that specializes in hunting down arcane casters, basically a religious sect that sees all magic that comes from a source other than divine as heretical. None of the PCs have this ability, but they'll be running into some of their fanatics soon. Just thought I'd check to see if one of the various supplement books has come out with something like this that I missed. I don't think I've missed it, but just in case . . .
Other than that, they have the Inquisitor feat from the Nyambe campaign setting.
I ran a similar group through Second Darkness. I was hesitant at first as well, but they ended up steam rolling through most encounters.
On one hand, I was surprised how quickly they chewed through encounters, but that AP also seemed to have quite a few week fights (if I recall correctly)
Armageddon Echo spoiler:
We even had the flying invisible wizard move from theory to actual game play. However as someone pointed out earlier the APs don't always optimize enemy tactics or lairs.
The wizard at the end received reports of an enemy force fighting their way to his position. He gathered his allies including the dragon for a great show down, I even cheated an enlarged some rooms to give more maneuverability. The dragon and minions went down fast. A few people dropped, but eventually, the wizard just ran out of spells after eluding the remaining PCs.
But unless you are going to add scrolls and wands to the AP enemies as written just to screw over the PCs, the AP enemies won't likely be spamming them with fireballs.
It has been a long time since I ran RotRL, but I'd suggest reviewing everything just to make sure there isn't some point where they can only move forward with a caster. For example, I can't recall if you need a caster to get into a certain forgotten laboratory.
In addition, the AP does a pretty good job of letting the PCs know that they may be facing wizards. They should have plenty of time to gear themselves accordingly.
I’d love to know how this turns out if you don’t mind posting how the game goes. I’m in the process of re-booting a campaign that went on hold at 19th level, and may see what I can plan for a few mythic tiers. At the moment, I’m leaning toward having PC levels = Mythic Tiers for estimating CR.
Legacy of Fire spoilers:
Once the PCs have access to several wishes and powerful magic, some of the existing encounters aren’t much of a threat. For example, by the time they entered the final dungeon, the whole group was flying and invisible all the time. In that entire dungeon, there are only two enemies who have the ability to see invis; the Erinyes, and the BBEG.
I went off script a bit by having BBEG move his harem into the final room with him as he was watching the PCs mow over his minions. I also ignored the suggested tactics. So the PCs entered the final room to find, several Erinyes archers spaced about the large room, and BBEG who was itching to get in full attacks. It was an epic arial fight over the lava flow, but some poor tactics led to a TPK.
I’d love to play or DM a Paladin in this scenario.
You do need to make clear what will make the Paladin fall. For example, I wouldn’t rule that any of the actions so far would warrant a fall in one of my games. As long as he is pursuing a conversion or redemption of the antipaladin, this plotline can be a lot of fun.
I also don’t agree with screwing over the paladin either. For my tastes, I’d pursue scenarios where the paladin has to thwart her plans, and may even have to fight her, but he’s fighting non-lethal, and she’s outright trying to kill him.
IF he is able to turn her to the path of righteousness, the conflicts do not end either. Her former allies may not take such an act kindly, or may want to stop her from revealing more secrets. They may send high level assassins to wipe out such an embarrassment.
The BBEG may also have loved ones or items that are important to the anti-paladin to ensure her loyalty. If she were to betray him, a loved one may be targeted for death as well. So before she can leave her current organization, the paladin would need to secure the safety of such loved ones.
Something that irritates the snot out of me is this idea that a dragon's horde is just it's triple standard treasure. Such does not a horde make. It's triple treasure is probably just what it has on it at most times, because a dragon's "horde" should definitely be its own adventure and significantly more than than simply equivalent to killing three common enemies or 1.5 NPC-classed enemies.
I think I'm with you, but just to be sure.. . In other words, what I like to do when planning treasure (ie hoard), i'll factor in WBL for say the entire 2 to 4 levels of an adventure I'm planning. I'll then spread around the treasure accordingly, so the hyena pack encountered outside the blue dragons lair may have been an equivalent challenge, but all the coins are sitting inside the dragons cave. I'm simplifying, but is that the gist?
I understand this, but I've never really liked this line of reasoning. I've heard that applied to demons/devils/etc. Creatures that have been around for time untold should have some decent tactics when dealing with shorter lived races. Yes, demons probably spend most of their time fantasizing about murder etc, but even if they aren't 20th level warriors, they've had more time to figure out adequate tactics to deal with mere mortals.
I mean yes, it makes sense that the occasional villain/BBEG is so bad ass that he becomes complacent / let's his guard down / becomes soft/ leaves the good guy hanging over the pit of crocodiles without makes sure he's dead / leaves an obvious gap for a pilot to destroy the deathstar, but . . . I guess I feel lazy using that as a DM. They should at least have a well planned security system if they aren't going to keep up their skills.
Most dragons can't cast fickle winds until they are old or very old. What are they using to survive in the meantime?
In an AP or in a Homebrew?
In an AP they tend to be solo encounters, and I typically ignore the tactics as written. I'm sure the tactics I use are obvious (at least to you and most people on this board). They tend to use environment to keep foes at a distance, or fly. If the AP places them in a small room, they move and go to a place where they have more of an advantage. If an alarm has been raised, they always team up with allies if available (and if it makes sense).
Second Darkness spoiler:
The green dragon did not face the PCs alone. Once the alarm went up, the dragon moved to the biggest room available, and many of the drow rallied near it, especially when they say how easily the PCs were cutting them down. That fight was actually pretty memorable. If I recall correctly, the PCs were fighting it while an invisible drow mage made life difficult.
In my homebrew, dragons of any power tend to have slaves (smiths to create things, squires to tend them, sentinels to warn them, even slave body guards). They tend to live in "nests" with a great wyrm having several weaker dragons in its service. Younger dragons don't branch out unless they are rebelling, or feel they are strong enough to survive in a world that can easily match their power. In fact, I even keep dragons with armor as rather rare. A dragon wearing armor is most likely forced to do so my his/her queen wyrm. A ruling tyrant dragon most likely relies on other magic for protection. As well as layers of bodyguards, and systems to give her notice of any intruder or attack.
Thanks as I'm always looking for tips. Sometimes I wonder if I'm too stuck with old tactics. I also really need to fully read more of the books I have. I overlooked Fickle Winds.
Hmm. On this point, I may have been calculating CR wrong? At least in my homebrew, I've always used the creatures treasure to add to it's equipment where appropriate, and never adjusted the CR. I thought the monster creation chart was a starting point and appropriate WBL treasure was added after the fact without adjusting CR. I do try to stay within the guidelines for treasure percentages (25% for armor as an example).
I'm curious on this one. I "believe" I'm playing monsters intelligently. And I have to add that my group tends to play martials of some sort just because that is what they want. In most AP encounters though, it seems to me that the monster is also not optimizing their damage output unless they close for the full attack. Or if it is a monster that has ranged attacks, they really have a hard time staying away for more than a round or two. Of course this is assuming the monster is not flying, but even then my PCs never forget to have an adequate ranged response.
This may be a discussion for another thread, but I'm just curious on some of the tactics you may be using.
For me it depends on the perspective of the story. For my homebrew, I have dragons who rule city-states, and empires. They have minions who craft all sorts of things for them because they are often in conflict with giant kingdoms, immortals dwelling on the earth, and high level PCs.
If this is an AP, I wouldn't necessarily alter an encounter that much as it typically doesn't make sense (unless is were already in the AP).
However, in an AP I'm always trying to use better tactics than what is included to better challenge my group.
I also wouldn't have a problem with an ogre using potions for example, as long as there was a feasible way he learned to do so. For example, is he a minion of someone who showed him what the potion could do?
Neither would I have an issue with monster specific items as part of the treasure. Magical ogre hooks come to mind from one AP. The PCs can still sell the item and use the treasure for what they please.
I saw that too, which also made me think I was missing something. I was hoping one of you was going to write something like "Gray - open your eyes or have another cup of coffee then look on page.."
So I just got my copy of the ACG, and I didn't see a discussion on this yet.
Slayer Talents: I see that the Slayer can get some of the Rogue Talents. However, I don't see anything that would allow a Rogue to get Slayer talents. Did I miss something?
Feats: Some of the feat prerequisites seem odd to me. Kick Up, for example, has prerequisites of Dex 12, Acrobatic, Acrobatics 1 rank, Slayer level 1st or swashbuckler level 1st. This is also a combat bonus feat. So if I'm reading this correctly, this is only really available to Slayers and Swashbucklers. Those who wish to pick this as a combat bonus feat, would need to dip a level into one of these two classes. Correct?
has to stop. Either test what you are writing or don't write it.
Is paizo creating a product where faulty design puts someone's life at stake, like a car? Are they putting out a book on a language that has been spoken for hundreds of years such as French?
Or are they trying to be innovative and get some ideas to market like we see with video games, or even beta versions of software? Consumers continue to buy these products with their bugs and the products improve over time.
Let's see. Maybe I'm daft and just missing some big items here. Maybe your just messing with me, but it looks like your balance problems arrive way before mythic was applied. Here's what I see.
1. Your disarm CMD is off the charts for a 12th level PC. I'd never be that generous at that level. (+5 weapon and +14 from stats especially)
Sorry, I'm just saying mythic doesn't appear to be the first issue here.