crmanriq's page

Organized Play Member. 195 posts (818 including aliases). No reviews. 1 list. No wishlists. 5 Organized Play characters. 7 aliases.

Dark Archive

Rule zero is that the GM has the final say on the rules. That's a given. A player can either accept the GM's ruling, or walk away from the table. After two and a half years of playing in Pathfinder Society, I'm standing up and walking away.

I have a small blog read by almost nobody (not linked to, because I'm really not trying to drum up site traffic). I wrote a post for it a couple of weeks ago talking about my frustration with PFS, and how similar frustrations led me to walk away from LFR. Mainly the problems I have had centered on rules changing out from under players. And how whenever LFR or 4e would get a new program manager, that manager would immediately change the rules of the game to suit his vision of how the game or campaign should be. And that eventually, the fact of constant rules changes made it more and more difficult to keep interest in a character, because that character was not the same character that it was before each change.

There were other issues, like how rules changes in LFR were coming out as blog posts and tweets, and not as actual changes to the document which is supposed to contain the rules of the campaign. I expressed in my post my hope that Paizo was not walking down that same path.

Somehow Hyrum happened to read the post, and said something like “hey, let's discuss it”. And as timing is never good in my life, this week I happen to be out of town on business all this week. And I said, something like “How about when I get back in town?” and he said something like “Sounds good”. But then this week happened.

My first PFS character (who still has not hit the level 11/12 cap) started as a Druid. When Season 1 hit, I asked Joshua specifically about the rule where an animal companion with a 3 INT could take any feat. And I specifically asked about weapon proficiency feats. And I got an answer. And in the next printing of the Guide to Organized Play, there was a specific section dealing with and answering that question, that yes – animal companions with a 3 INT that can physically wield a weapon can take weapon proficiency feats. That section has been in the Guide for over a year and a half, and through multiple editions of the guide.

Yesterday, Mark made the statement that “the author” (not referring to Josh by name, which might be a Paizo thing, but really ended up sounding more like a slam) made a mistake on that ruling. He didn't say that he disagreed, and was changing the rule, which would have seemed to me like a much more civil way to phrase things, but that simply that the author made a mistake. A mistake that went un-contradicted by anyone at Paizo for somewhere like a year and a half.

This week, we also saw another major rules change. It is a rules change because for a long time (almost two years), the standard answer on the rules forum about animal companions was that handle animal checks can effectively be ignored if you invest a point of intelligence in your animal companion. This would seem to be supported by the rules that open up every feat and every skill in the book to an animal companion with a 3 INT, whereas 2 INT critters are limited to just a few skills and feats. The advice on the rules forum went un-contradicted by anyone at Paizo for a similarly long time period.


This week, with these two rulings, my 8th level cleric (nee druid) with an ape animal companion who wields a weapon (who was specifically discussed in rules threads on both the rules forum and the PFS forum after he showed up at a local gaming convention, and who no-one at Paizo stepped up then to remark that he was not legal) has suddenly become an illegal build.

And the reaction from the “usual crowd” was pure schadenfreude. Supposedly I, and anyone else who saw the versatility of such a build should have known better, even though I specifically asked and was specifically answered by the Paizo manager in charge of the program, that such a build was borderline, and it was only right and just that I be smacked down.


I've got a choice. I can either keep playing a character that is effectively castrated, and play my other characters, at least one of which was somewhat hit by ruling as well, or...I can simply stand up and walk away from the table. I'm choosing to do the latter.

I've spent a fair amount of money on the game. I have the Core rules, both Bestiaries, the APG, the GMG, the Inner Sea Guide (which I just got last weekend). I bought the complete Legacy of Fire adventure path. I've bought several (or a bunch depending on how you number it) of PDF's.

But I will not be spending any more of my money at Paizo.

I will go to DriveThruRPG or Amazon or somewhere else. I'm left with the distinct feeling that my money and my custom are not appreciated, and that perhaps it would have been money better spent elsewhere.

I'm trying not to say this in a spirit of pettiness, I've seen enough of that on these boards from players and VC's alike. I'm trying to say it in the spirit of “my gaming dollars are going to go somewhere, and I'm choosing to spend them someplace that is not and has not caused me so much frustration of late.”

Wishing everyone all the best with their game.

Dark Archive

This is along the lines of "what is missing", and I'm hijacking this from another thread where I saw a mention that sparked my interest.

Just as increasing the targeting area of a spell (from single to multi to cone, etc) increases the cost, or reducing what would have been the traditional area of effect reduces the cost, it might be interesting to explore how modifying other aspects could affect the cost of the spell.

Two that come to mind are:

Casting time:

immediate -> standard -> full round -> 1 minute -> 10 minutes

Perhaps each increment to the right along this path might present a -1 or -2 modifier to the spell cost, allowing larger effects or targeting, but at the increased cost of casting time.

By that same token, duration might also be an effect worth modifying

1 round -> 1 round/level -> 1 minute/level -> 10 minutes/level -> 1 hour/level -> 1 day/level

(I think Instantaneous would be a special case that doesn't quite fit, but I'm writing this on the fly)

Moving to the right along the duration track could add an exponential progression: 1, 2, 4, 8, 16, and 32 points.

Thus a summon spell could be moved to a full minute casting time, but the summoned creature might stick around for 1 hour per level.

I guess there are two problems with allowing or incorporating these options.

1) Complexity. Even with the simplified Target+Effect system, the huge flexibility has the possibility of slowing down game play while a caster decides how he's going to compose his spell. As a GM, after the first 10 seconds of a caster contemplating his spell, I'd say: "Okay, you're delaying while you think. Let me know when you are ready to cast and you can come off delay." But that's just me, and I can be less than serene while waiting for others. Adding more options, just increases the number of factors that a player will have to decide on, and will increase everyone's waiting time. (Spontaneous casters. Wizards will have to have their spells memorized how they want them cast.)

2) Balance. Again, when we're just talking Target+Effect, balance is still something that needs a lot of consideration. (Sense Magic as a cone is no longer level 0, but making a cone cheaper affects a lot of other things.) Each added factor makes for something else to be playtested to determine where the balance point lies. This may not be possible in the limited playtest that we're in the midst of.

Ah well.

Dark Archive

Sense Magic has the targeting restriction of Sm, Med, or Lg cone only, but is a Level 0 Effect.

Because these cones are only usable at Level 1,3 and 5 respectively, it is not possible to "Detect Magic" as a cantrip, but only as a Level 1 or greater spell.

Was this intentional?

Dark Archive

There is nothing that I could find in the playtest document that limits repetition of an Effect Word.


PERSONAL + FROST FINGERS + FROST FINGERS = 0 + 5 + 7 = 12 points

should yield a 2d6 cold damage per level of the caster (up to 10d6)?

Dark Archive

I've been thinking a bit about this topic since I lost a Level 1 character saving the life of a level 4 character.

How much do you expect other players characters to do in helping your character? And how much do you feel responsible for assisting other player characters?

I generally play a cleric. He's not the bright and shiny kind, but specializes in necromancy.

He has a wand of Cure Light Wounds. It's his second wand. So far he's probably expended an entire CLW wand on other party members, and because of PFS rules, can't really be compensated for that in any way. I'm starting to think that I really shouldn't be spending my gold-based resources on other characters.

But then what should we expect one character to do for another?

Should a caster wade into battle to help a downed melee fighter? Should a cleric do so? (hopefully with Channel Positive Energy, most clerics won't have to. My cleric doesn't have that available. I do have an animal companion that I can risk. And probably would risk.)

I know people expect rogues to walk out front and look for traps, like captured soldiers sent ahead to probe for mines. I'm not sure I'd want that role if I played a rogue. I'd be happier if a druid sent his companion out. Or an unseen servant poked and prodded things.

So I guess this post is just a general questionnaire.


1. What class is your primary character?

2. What duties do you consider your responsibility within the group?

3. What gold-based resources are you willing to expend for other characters in the group without the possibility of repayment?

4. What do you expect other members of your PFS session to do to support you?

5. Do you expect them to expend gold-based resources on your behalf?

6. Do you expect them to risk their character's lives on your behalf? If so, do you take this into consideration before you get yourself into dangerous situations?

Dark Archive

We've long had a houserule in our local campaigns that magic armor and other similar items "resize" to fit one size larger or smaller. I know this is a matter of convenience, in that you don't have to sell a wrong sized item, and then re-purchase the item (losing 50% value) in order to get an item that fits.

I got to wondering though whether this houserule is, or ever was supported by any rules text.

I couldn't find any, but was hoping someone with better search-fu might have some insight.

Dark Archive

How is recharging of staves accomplished in Pathfinder Society play?

Given that a character can only add one charge to a staff per day, how many charges are assumed to be on the staff at the start of each adventure?

The reason I ask is that Handle Animal to teach tricks only allows one attempt per adventure, so the assumption would be that only 1 week (the requisite time to teach an animal a trick) occurs between adventures. [I suppose this raises the corollary question, for adventures with long travel times (recalling one adventure where travel time between lodge and destination was 10 days), can multiple handle animal attempts be made?]

So it would seem to me that the choices are

1. Staff is assumed to be full at beginning of each adventure. This requires no tracking, but makes a staff perhaps more useful than would be the designers intent.

2. Staff charges are tracked, and number of charges on staff between adventures can only increase by X (7 for one week, less if that isn't really a week, but some shorter amount of defined time).

Dark Archive

According to the Organized Play guide, for the Pathfinder RPG Bestiary, "Feats: none of the feats are legal for play"

What if anything does a druid's animal companion gain at 9th level in place of Multiattack?

Dark Archive

From Sunday's PFS event at Armored Gopher Games in Urbana, IL.

From a fighter to my cleric:

"Listen, I understand that you like to animate dead things, but if we find the body of an elf, please don't."

I'm unable to find a rule that adequately covers this, so I'm seeking opinions (and if James or Jason feels so inclined, a ruling).

Is an Animal Companion still an animal if you raise it's intelligence to a 3 or higher?

Given the numerous provisions for Animal Companions with Int of 3 or greater, it's plainly allowed that they can become smarter. And their feat and skill choices increase. This is also encompassed by the Guide to Pathfinder Society Organized Play.


According to the Bestiary (p307) under Animal Traits: "Intelligence score of 1 or 2 (no creature with an Intelligence score of 3 or higher can be an animal).

The logical choice would be that an Animal becomes a Magical Beast
Bestiary p308.
"Magical beasts are similar to animals but can have
Intelligence scores higher than 2 (in which case the magical
beast knows at least one language, but can’t necessarily speak)."

However, the two types are sufficiently different that this does not immediately seem a good fit.

- Animal Hit Die is d8. Magical Beast is d10
- Magical Beast BAB is Fast (=HD), Animal is Medium (3/4 HD)
- Magical Beasts have Darkvision, Animals have Low-Light vision.
- Animals are always Neutral. Magical Beasts have no alignment restriction.

Further, an animal that has been the subject of an Awaken Spell has it's type changed to Magical Beast.

So I guess the question is, is an Animal Companion with an Int of 3 the exception to the Animal Type rule that limits intelligence, or does the Animal Companion actually become a Magical Beast. If it does, does it gain the larger Hit Die, Fast BAB, and Darkvision?

I've been trying to figure out what bugs me about that whole Paladins of Asmodeus discussion thread. I'm not trying to argue for or against or even about Paladins of Asmodeus. That thread is closed. But the thread still bothers me.

On one side, you have posters insisting that a Paladin must be within x steps of their deity, otherwise they would lose all paladin-ness.
On another side, you have people talking about how a paladin doesn't need to serve any deity, per the rules and the campaign setting.
On another side you have people looking for reasons to kick people from their table and some others going off the deep end.
And then along comes James Jacobs who says that an entire section of the Council of Thieves AP was a "production error" and should never have been printed and should be ignored.

And I think that's what's bothering me most.

It brings a whole host of questions.

- Does the PDF still have this section?
- Is the book receiving errata?
- Will the PDF be adjusted to remove this section?
- What other sections of what other books should I disregard?
- If I can't trust the printed material that I purchase to be canon, then what reason do I have for purchasing the printed material?
- If the PDF is not being re-edited to take out the section that should never have seen print, then why not? Why buy the PDF?
- If the rules as printed don't tell me enough to be able to know whether my character is legal or not for PFS play, then do I just show up and hope for the best?
- Is this an isolated event or should I expect to see a lot of this and just get used to it?
- What steps are or will be put in place to avoid this happening in the future? Or should I expect that how the setting works will be different depending on who is saying what in any particular thread?

Until very recently, I played in Living Forgotten Realms, and bought a whole host of WOTC 4e books. What drove me from their product and their organized play was (primarily) the fact that the rules had become a moving target. Put together a character today, and by next month, that character's feats, powers and class abilities might be entirely changed because some designer decided that he wanted the rules to work in a way that another designer had not wanted them to work. It made no sense to purchase a book because the amount of errata necessary to track in order to build a character began to outweigh the book itself. For a while, I printed out sections of errata and mounted them in the margins on the appropriate pages. Until whole pages needed replacing (stealth rules anyone?) Then I just kept the errata PDF on my ipad.

I've been recommending Pathfinder to a lot of people. I know of at least three different customers at my FLGS who bought into Pathfinder based on my recommendation. One of the big selling features that I'd been recommending to people about Pathfinder was the comparatively stable platform. No 100 pages of new errata every month to download, read and remember.

I'm not saying that Pathfinder has become 4e and I'm disgusted with it and am quitting Pathfinder, but I am concerned when designers begin to disavow the product as printed.

Maybe I'm making a mountain out of a molehill. But I'm curious whether it's something that I'll have to deal with in the future again and again.

Dark Archive

I'm looking for something rules based here (as opposed to house rules based). I thought now that Gencon is over, it might be an appropriate time to ask (and I'm glad that I didn't show up at Gencon with this situation...).

I'm playing a PFS CN Cleric/Necromancer. Diety is Ydersius. Domains are Animal and Chaos (Scalykind from Pathfinder #37 is not [yet] legal). Current Feats are Improved Channel, Command Undead, Selective Channel, Boon Companion.

The thrust of this character is that Ydersius sends an animal companion to serve the cleric. If the animal dies, the cleric will then use Animate Dead to keep the animal "useful" until the mission is complete. (yes, yes, it costs money, and goes away at end of adventure.)

The question is: When casting Animate Dead on a dead animal companion, what stats does one use for the animal. On this thread http://paizo.com/paizo/messageboards/paizoPublishing/pathfinder/pathfinderR PG/rules/archives/deadAnimalCompanionAndAnimateDead&page=1#8 James Jacobs gave the answer that one uses the stats for the base creature as presented in the bestiary, but this raises some very very big problems. Gargantuan problems, as a T-Rex is normally Gargantuan, and only appears as a medium while a companion.

It would be my guess that with Gencon fast approaching James was quite busy preparing, and gave an off-the-cuff answer. However, I'd like to get some sort of ruling that is portable, so that I know what the rules are going into a game, rather than just getting houseruled at any particular event.

I think one of the problems is that in the transition between 3.5 and Pathfinder, an animal companion's hit dice went from being [Base Creature + Bonus HD] to [HD on table]. Also, in the 3.5 Player's Handbook, the Animal Companion is described as typical for its species, except for the bonuses noted in the table. This wording also went away with Pathfinder. (These are not complaints, I'm just setting down the history for completeness.)

So. My question is... Does one use

a) the stats of the animal as presented on its Bestiary page, per James Jacobs, recognizing that in many cases, the animal as presented in the Bestiary is considerably larger/stronger than the animal companion version.

b) the stats of the creature as it was at the moment of death, with what appears (based on the history of animal companions in versions past) to be non-supernatural incremental improvements in the creature's HD and ability scores

c) some other, yet unproposed standard

(I'll mention (parenthetically) that I've not yet had occasion to animate "Mr. Chuckles" (Large Ape carrying Lucerne Hammer - Martial Weapon Prof, Power Attack, Combat Reflexes), but he did come quite close to death serving as the party tank.)

Dark Archive

Version 2.2 of the PSGOP lists under Adventurer's Armory: "Everything in this book is legal for play with one exception: a pseudodragon is not legal for purchase unless you’re a wizard with the Improved Familiar feat."

In Adventurer's Armory, there are 5 different types of slaves listed as available under the heading Black Market Items. This would seem to make it clear that slaves are now available for purchase and use within Pathfinder Society, or was there an oversight that needs correcting in the next version of the PSGOP?

Dark Archive

Brother Elias wrote:

My character has purchased an ox from the Pathfinder Core Rules book. (Page 140, Table 6-3 Trade Goods)

I need to find stats for this animal. The closest I can seem to find in the Bestiary is the Herd Animal, Aurochs or Herd Animal, Bison.

Which would have the correct stats for the ox? (HD, Abilities, Attacks, etc)

(Game coming up in a couple of weeks with an unfamiliar GM, and I'd like something official to point him towards when he wants to know what the beast's stats are.)

Many Thanks

Follow-Up question.

Having just purchased and downloaded Adventurer's Armory:

I assume (based on same price) that Ox and Pack Animal, Ox are the same stated creature. If so, would this equate to an Aurochs?

And, would the Pack Animal, Yak equate to a Bison?

Or are there other stats that I should use?

Many thanks again.

1) "An eidolon secretes toxic venom, gaining a poison attack. Pick a
bite or sting attack. Whenever the eidolon makes a successful attack of the selected type, the target is poisoned."

Can an eidolon with the poison evolution apply their own poison to weapons?

2) "Weapon Training (Ex): An eidolon learns to use a weapon, gaining Simple Weapon Proficiency as a bonus feat. If 1 additional evolution point is spent, it gains proficiency with all martial weapons as well."

There does not seem to be a requirement that the eidolon possess the Arms evolution in order to wield weapons. Is there such a requirement, or is the ever-changing form of the eidolon assumed to be adaptable enough to wield without arms?

Okay, cryptic title.

Here's the gist. Living Forgotten Realms allows DM's to run their own adventures for the shared world. I'd love to be able to run some of the Pathfinder Society modules as LFR adventures. (Kind of hoping to bring people over to paizo by showing them how well written Paizo's adventures are.)

Has anyone done any conversion work on PFS modules to LFR format?


Improved Natural Armor, Improved Natural Attack are both listed as possible feats for animal companions.

There is no rules text for either of these feats.

Should we assume the same text as 3.5?

Dark Archive

Our Pathfinder Society group was meeting to convert characters from PFS and our Pathfinder campaign over from 3.5 and Beta respectively.

I have a druid that I was attempting to convert, and was having some difficulty in doing so.

My previous druid had a riding dog who served as a party tank, wearing +1 Leaf Barding. (Just about every gp the character had accumulated.)


1) +1 Leaf - My character is 3rd level (almost 4th, but due to our regular GM flaking out - not naming names Jared - and my taking over GM duties, I'm still not to 3th level. Which means that my total fortune is currently 3000gp with a single item cap of 1500gp. +1 Leaf barding is not an option because of cost.

2) No Riding Dog - The options I would have are dog, or wolf. Neither of which come "war trained" like the pony and horse do at upper levels. Which means that neither could wear barding without penalty.

3) Combat Training - according to the rules, combat training will prepare an animal to serve as a mount, which would then allow it to qualify to wear barding. But, under the PSGOP tricks system, it would mean that I have to teach the animal all 6 tricks go gain the Combat Training general purpose. This would literally take 2 full levels of training. And at some time along the way, if the animal dies, I have to start over.

So, rather than bemoan my sorry situation (don't you wish this was the worst problem in your life?) I started looking for solutions.

Enter the Mr. Chuckles Alternative. (cue significant music...)

A) "Animal companions with an Intelligence of 3 or higher can select any feat they are physically capable of using. " (http://paizo.com/pathfinderRPG/prd/classes/druid.html#druid - thanks!)

B) "Animal companions with an Intelligence of 3 or higher can put ranks into any skill." (same reference link)

C) At 4th level druid, the animal comnpanion gains - "Ability Score Increase (Ex): The animal companion adds +1 to one of its ability scores."

D) "Ape - Starting Statistics: Size Medium; Speed 30 ft., Climb 30 ft.; AC +1 natural armor; Attack bite (1d4), 2 claws (1d4); Ability Scores Str 13, Dex 17, Con 10, Int 2, Wis 12, Cha 7; Special Qualities low-light vision, scent." (same link, bold text for emphasis is mine)

E) Fourth level companion has 2 feats.

Enter Mr. Chuckles:


Size Medium; Speed 30 ft., Climb 30 ft.; AC +3 natural armor; Attack bite (1d4), 2 claws (1d4); Ability Scores Str 14, Dex 18, Con 10, Int 3, Wis 12, Cha 7; Special Qualities low-light vision, scent.

Feats: Armor Proficiency Light, Weapon Proficiency (club) [we've all seen 2001 a space odyssey, haven't we? Or Planet of the Apes?]

Attack: +5 club 1d6+2
AC: 21 (Chain Shirt (+4), Dex (+4), Natural Armor (+3))

Skill Ranks (1 point each): Acrobatics, Linguistics, Diplomacy, Knowledge (religion)

Now, the downside of Mr. Chuckles is that his armor class is lower than my riding dog in +1 leaf's was by several points. However, should Mr. Chuckles die, I can recover the armor and club and summon a new Mr. Chuckles realatively quickly, and without having to teach him tricks.

Okay, so here's the big money question.

Is this a LEGAL (as in I show up at the table ready to play) option for Pathfinder Society. It looks to be from the PSGOP.

(Yes, I know that some DM's might frown on this, but the question is of legality, not morality or propriety).

Given the constraints on the use of an animal companion, especially the fact that teaching it a set of tricks will take a huge investment in time, this would almost be an attractive option for a druid who wished to remain a stand-off spellcaster, while providing combat support to the party.

Further to this, how would you improve Mr. Chuckles? Are there other feats or skills that would make him more effective as a party tank?

(Couldn't resist the title.)

So my players got to the alchemy lab in the undercrypt last night and faced the mold. (We're playing a Pathfinderized version of LoF).

Given the mold's -3 to hit with its slam attack, and an even worse grapple, I'm wondering if it is intended that a PC become the moldspeaker, or if it mostly never happens.

I was really hoping that one pc would become infected, but alas - no.

Is there any real advantage to the party to have a moldspeaker in later chapters? Should I retcon one of the pc's getting infected?

Any opinions?


So I'm running Perils of the Pirate Pact tonight, and in reading through the module, there are combats where the tactics are 'half the pirates engage in melee while the other half use their bows'.

As a player, the smart thing is to have your artillery concentrate fire on the players who need to be taken out first, then move down the target list. Somewhat the same with melee. Have two players flank an enemy to increase their chances of hitting (or provide support for the rogue).

I've always disliked stupid villains, but it strikes me that this tactic could take down party members, thus decreasing the "fun level" of the event.

So my question is, how do other DM's run combat? Do you use sound tactics, or do you run mindless minions? Or something in between?

I'm toying with the idea if including passive skill checks (ala 4e) in my Legacy of Fire game.

It seems reasonable that a character would notice things with Perception or Sense Motive without having to make an active check.

Likewise it seems reasonable to me that a character with high knowledge skills would have some background that the DM could throw at them.

Does anyone have a strong opinion on this? I'm thinking about maybe not a passive 10, but at least a passive 5 to automatically get knowledge or perception or sense motive.

In reading the stats for the pugwampis in AP 19, I'm trying to figure out if they are affected by their own zone of unluck.

"Unluck (Su) A pugwampi radiates an aura of unluck to a radius
of 20 feet. A creature in this area must roll 2d20 whenever a
situation calls for a d20 roll (such as an attack roll, a skill check,
or a saving throw) and must use the lowest of the two results
generated. This is a mind-affecting effect that does not work
on animals, other gremlins, and gnolls. Any character that
gains any sort of luck bonus (such as that granted by a luckstone
or divine favor) is immune to the pugwampi unluck aura."

Since they are "a creature" and they are not "other gremlins", it would seem that they should be affected by their own unluck.


I appears that table 7-7 Armor for Unusual Sized Creatures has the cost and weight multipliers reversed. (It lists small armor as costing 1/2 as much and weighing 1x as much, where the SRD lists it as costing the same and weight 1/2 as much.)

I've been thinking a bit about table level and scaling in the adventures.

As I understand the guideline, the average level of the table determines whether the scenario is played at 1-2 or 4-5. (or some similar levels).

From the adventures I've played thus far, this works reasonably well for tables of 4 players, but for tables of 5-6 it seems to break down, and the adventure is much easier than it was intended.

(In the Grandmaster Torch and Prince of Augustana adventures this last weekend, we had tables of 6 low level characters. At no point did any of the combats feel difficult or life threatening. For two of the combats, my character who was low in the initiative order, never had an opportunity to act before the encounter was over).

The average level of the party is the sum of each character's level divided by the number of characters. It occurred to me that a better indicator of the party strength in terms of an adventure designed for 4 characters would be the sum of each character's level divided by 4 (or however many characters the scenario writer designed the adventure around).

Thus, a party of six first level characters is a (1*6/4) level 1.5 party.
A party of six second level characters is a (2*6/4) level 3 party and could play either side of a 1-2/4-5 adventure.
A party of three second level characters and 3 third level characters is a ( (3*2)+(3*3)/4 ) = 3.75) level 3.75 party and should probably play the 4-5 tier. (Just imagine how easy the 1-2 tier would be for this party.)

Any thoughts?