Paizo Top Nav Branding
  • Hello, Guest! |
  • Sign In |
  • My Account |
  • Shopping Cart |
  • Help/FAQ
About Paizo Messageboards News Paizo Blog Help/FAQ
Pathfinder Roleplaying Game
Pathfinder Society

Pathfinder Beginner Box

Pathfinder Adventure Card Game

Pathfinder Comics

Pathfinder Legends

Treasure Distribution for Encounters


Shackled City Adventure Path


There are several spots in the SCAP where the DM rolls to see if there is a random encounter and then rolls on a table to see what that encounter is. Am I correct in assuming that any treasure from those encounters hasn't been taken into account in the book? (i.e. you need to give the PC's additional treasure for those encounters.)

What about when there are specified encounters but the combat is only with creatures straight out of the MM? (i.e. the encounter is listed as Hill Giants (3) HP's XX,YY, ZZ)

Do I also need to give the PC's additional treasure or is that taken into account already? (i.e. there are several locations in the SCAP where there are rooms with lots of treasure and little or no defence - like a treasury room or the empty BBEG's room)

Olaf the Stout


I would. SCAP is a little shy on wealth.


Treasure from random encounters are a plus and you can left what's in the adventure, even add some if you want.
Often monsters like giants don't carry their treasure if they are in a dungeon, valuables are in the room.
See exemple with hill giants in The demonscar legacy.
In the same adventure (saturday) I rolled for encounter and they were attacked by 3 Bar Lgura, each was carrying valuables, jewels and a minor magic item.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber
Mykull wrote:
I would. SCAP is a little shy on wealth.

I've seen several people say this. However, adding up the treasure in the book (i've done this for a couple of chapters) seems to keep players right on the wealth curve (or slight above it if they really hunt for treasure after clearing out a dungeon).

what makes you say SCAP is shy on wealth?


I can't speak to the book, I only have the Dungeon magazines. I didn't tabulate treasure amounts. However, I ran one or two adventures between each adventure path module and the characters were not over-wealthed (yep, its a word, just made it up). If SCAP had on-track treasure, then the characters should have had "too much" once all the in between modules were added in. But they were still "not getting this now, because they wanted that later" type of planning even up to 14th level or so.

I guess you'd call that anecdotal evidence.


I have to agree with Mykul. I also added in quite a few extra adventures, certainly in the first half of the adventure path. My group also consisted of only two players, so there as well, I had a factor that gave the PCs more wealth per person,but I didn't have a problem with it.

Just consider two things:

1. You can always adjust the treasure you hand out. If you feel they have enough, don't give them anything major. If they are in need of something extra, provide it.

2. The PCs can also lose treasure or magic items. If they get captured, some of their items might disappear. In higher levels, a 'Mordekainen's disjunction' can quickly reduce the treasure mount to pieces.

So the DM is always in control.

Andoran

Playing through it I have noticed a large period where the treasure was on the low side. From about Test of the Demonskar through to about Lord of Oblivion my party was behind the curve. They've caught up now that we're reaching Foundation of Flame.

I don't do random encounters so there was a definite lull, but I included Alakast as a group of legacy items so everybody had part of him. That did wonders to ensure everyone had an item that was on par where it should be for their level. The money for the rituals was less than what equivalent items would cost for their level but taxed their resources enough to make it a major investment.

I have the write-ups for the side trek I included as well as the version of Alakast I used it you're interested. I wasn't sure how well it would work out but it was fine and not overpowering the way it worked out.

Andoran

Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Do you have that writeup of Alakast on RPGenius? I'd love to get a look at that for my next runthrough.

Andoran

TriOmegaZero wrote:
Do you have that writeup of Alakast on RPGenius? I'd love to get a look at that for my next runthrough.

I don't but I can post it on here easy enough.

Here is the side trek I used to include it: Haunted Village Side Trek

Below is the legacy alternate I used. I modified it from the one on TheRPGenius.

Some notes on legacy items, however. I think the restrictions in the book are too limiting and I have used them as written. The costs for the rituals is enough of a balancing factor, I feel. I require the characters undergo the ritual any time after they meet the prerequisites. When they do the ritual I give them the feat for free, in this case Least Legacy: Alakast, Lesser Legacy: Alakast, and Greater Legacy: Alakast. The feat allows them access to the abilities as they advance in level as normal.

When I ran the game, I actually had to lower the cost for one of the rituals (Baiting the Prey, I believe it was) because they didn't have it as a group and weren't going to get it any time soon. I also ended up with five players by the time the party got this far so I made 2 of the warrior items.

Spoiler:

Alakast – Legacy

Spirit of Alakast
As the pieces of Alakast awaken so does his spirit. As the wielders unlock powers for the items his spirit begins to grow in power and ability.

Level Int Wis Cha Ego Ability
6 - Int 12, Wis 10, Cha 12, Ego 8, Alignment; Empathy; Cure Light Wounds (3/day); Vision 30’
7 - Int 12, Wis 10, Cha 12, Ego 8
8 - Int 13, Wis 10, Cha 13, Ego 10, Speech; Vision 60’
9 - Int 13, Wis 10, Cha 13, Ego 10
10 - Int 14, Wis 11, Cha 14, Ego 12, Diplomacy 10 ranks; Vision 120’
11 - Int 14, Wis 11, Cha 14, Ego 12
12 - Int 15, Wis 11, Cha 15, Ego 14, Intimidate 10 ranks; Darkvision 60’
13 - Int 15, Wis 11, Cha 15, Ego 16
14 - Int 16, Wis 12, Cha 16, Ego 18, Read
15 - Int 16, Wis 12, Cha 16, Ego 20
16 - Int 17, Wis 12, Cha 17, Ego 25, Telepathy; Special Purpose; Darkvision 120’
17 - Int 17, Wis 12, Cha 17, Ego 25
18 - Int 18, Wis 13, Cha 18, Ego 30, Read Magic; Detect Evil (at will); Blindsense 120’
19 - Int 18, Wis 13, Cha 18, Ego 30
20 - Int 19, Wis 14, Cha 19, Ego 35, Stunning Strike (3/day); Magic Circle Against Evil (at will)

Scourge of Alakast (Warrior)
This ornate and finely crafted silver longsword +1 is light and sharp. The blade is inlaid with silver runes and the hilt is shaped to look like a pair of feathered wings extending from an ovoid body. Once awakened, the weapon will change to suit the needs of the wielder. If the wielder has weapon focus or specialization the weapon will change shape to become the melee weapon the wielder has feats in.

Least
5 Area dispel magic (1/day)
6 –
7 –
8 +2 silver cold iron
9 –
10 Area greater dispel magic (3/day)

Lesser
11 –
12 +3 silver cold iron
13 –
14 +4 silver cold iron adamantine
15 Spell resistance
16 evil outsider bane

Greater
17 +4 holy silver cold iron adamantine
18 Holy smite (3/day) – on strike
19 Heal self
20 +5 holy silver cold iron adamantine

Sanctity of Alakast (Cleric)
This item is a silver holy symbol of resistance +1 that bears the symbol of an unknown god. The symbol is the seal of Alakast and a successful Knowledge (religion) DC 15 roll will reveal it is good aligned and most likely the seal of one of the Celestial houses.

Least
5 Endure evil
6 Silver holy symbol of resistance +2
7 Turning grace +1
8 –
9 Silver holy symbol of resistance +3
10 Fear no evil (1/day)

Lesser
11 Silver holy symbol of resistance +4
12 Turning grace +2
13 Searing light (2/day)
14 Turning grace +3
15 Silver holy symbol of resistance +5
16 Holy smite (3/day)

Greater
17 Turning grace +4
18 Banishment (1/day)
19 Silver holy symbol of resistance +6
20 Turning grace +5

Strength of Alakast (Mage)
This masterwork quarterstaff +1 is tall and sturdy and made of a silver sheen wood and capped with a shaped headpiece of crystal that looks like feathered wings spouting from a ovoid body.

Least
5 Magic missile (3/day)
6 Luck bonus +1
7 Empowered ray of enfeeblement 3/day
8 Continual flame (3/day)
9 Levitate (3/day)
10 +2 quarterstaff

Lesser
11 Holy smite (2/day)
12 –
13 Empowered lightning bolt (2/day)
14 –
15 Empowered fireball (2/day)
16 Luck bonus +2

Greater
17 Globe of invulnerability (1/day)
18 Cone of cold (1/day)
19 Hold monster (1/day)
20 Wall of force (1/day)

Subtlety of Alakast (Rogue)
These gloves of protection +1 appear to be light grey and silver studded leather gauntlets inlaid with mother of pearl. They are, by default, medium sized but, once awakened, will grow or shrink to fit the hands of the wielder.

Least
5 Aura of normalcy, cat’s claws
6 –
7 Gloves of protection +2
8 Palms of holding
9 Snatch the key (at will)
10 Sleep touch

Lesser
11 Gloves of protection +3
12 Automatic writing
13 –
14 Gloves of protection +4
15 Cat’s claws +1
16 Catfall

Greater
17 Gloves of protection +5
18 Forgetful touch
19 Incinerate evidence (1/day)
20 Phantom touch

Rituals

Tasting the Blood
Prerequisites: The wielder must be character level 5 or higher, and must have aided in the destruction of at least one evil outsider.
Cost: Must have the blood of an evil outsider. It is assumed that the blood of the slain outsider is available. There is no cost in gold.
Location: Anywhere.
Description: The Mind side of the weapon must be dipped in the blood of an evil outsider for 2 minutes while the wielder holds it. This ritual cannot fail, provided the conditions are met.
Effect: Unlocks level 5-10 abilities.

Baiting the Prey
Prerequisites: The wielder must be character level 10 or higher.
Cost: Materials costing 200,000 gold must be purchased to complete this ritual. Among the costs is 10,000 gold worth of silver dust.
Location: Any wilderness location. There can be no sentient life in a permanent or semi-permanent habitation within 1 mile.
Description: This ritual summons a bebilith (CR 10 evil outsider) for the wielder to combat. Upon completion of the summoning, both wielder and outsider are confined to a 100 foot-wide square for the duration of combat, and any spells previously cast upon either are automatically dispelled. Upon the death of one of the combatants, or when any other creature affects the combat in any way, the outsider is returned to its plane. If the wielder dies or others interfere in the combat, the ritual fails, and all costs are consumed. If the outsider is killed, the ritual succeeds.
Effect: Unlocks level 11-16 abilities.

Windrunner
Prerequisites: The wielder must be character level 15 or higher.
Cost: 250,000 gold worth of rare gems and metals.
Location: At the peak of any mountain greater than half a mile tall.
Description: The wielder must physically climb the mountain with Alakast, but with no other companions. Once at the top of the mountain, he must remain there for two weeks’ time. He is not allowed to bring food, but water is acceptable. During the two week-long ritual, the gems and metals are slowly crushed, burned, melted, or otherwise used up, but not on Alakast—Alakast itself must remain propped up in a vertical position, where it needs to remain taller than the wielder for the duration. If at any point Alakast falls, or the wielder leaves the mountaintop, the ritual fails, and half of the cost is lost.
Effect: Unlocks level 17-20 abilities.

Hope all that is helpful. Shoot me any questions about how it worked out in play.


Up until Lords of Oblivion my party lagged behind with wealth and the DM usually gave us loot we wanted at the end of the chapter (to avoid giving us something we don't need and then selling it half price to buy stuff we need), so yeah, SCAP is a bit stringy on loot. But Valanthru's dungeon is loaded with gold, no additional treasure was needed there.

But the part I don't like is that the loot we get, we usually sell it, becuase it mostly sucks. For example that greatsword Coldfire (+2 frost flaming greatsword) which costs 32 000 gp, and everything with cold/fire resist 5 (at these levels - most of creatures and the fact that AP is filled with demons and other creatures with a lot of resistances) is practically immune to that extra damage.

As a wizard, I can't remember when was the last time I used any of the loot we found, as wizards we encountered don't have any good spells in their spellbooks, or any other items a wizard would use (aside from Headbands of Intellect +4... which I had since lvl 7-8). No Pearls of Power, Metamagic Rods, god forbid a Tome of Intellect...


Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber
Erevis Cale wrote:
some good points

I see your point. I'm at a bit of a loss to find a way around this without tailoring the hoard to your pc's, though. Either the loot is a bit repetative with genear purpose items (After all, the 8th ring of protection or the 12th longsword +1 isn't going to sought after.) The other option is that treasure is unique and interesting, but useless to the players. For example, the malachite hold had a sliver double sword. Unless your players want to spend a feat to learn to wield that weapon, though it's just a fireplace ornament.

I think the gear an NPC carries should be believable. I mean, who's going to carry a tome of intellect arround? Why hasn't he used it yet? If it's meant for someone else, that's fine once but a huge strech if it happens more than that. The same goes with a ring of protection, a cloak of resistance and magical weapons (mainly swords). Basically, everyone is going to carry one of those (the items are just too good not to).

My party eventually solved the problem by investing in some item creation feats. I'm not saying that's the way everyone should go. however, they never got behind on the wealth curve...


Quote:
I think the gear an NPC carries should be believable.

Yes. I'm not saying that players should find a Tome of Intellect on a wizard, but finding a Tome of Constitution on a particular Dracolich isn't that much of a stretch isn't it?

Quote:
Basically, everyone is going to carry one of those (the items are just too good not to)

But instead of giving random mooks 6 Rings of Protection +1 (which won't change a thing), you could give a Ring of Protection +5 to a Boss. It's not the same value, but I'm just saying that you could swap multiple minor items for one-two major ones.

Or, in the case of a silver two-bladed sword, if nobody's using that type of weapon, make it a silver Greataxe for the party barbarian.

I'm just saying that loot should be, sometimes, not all the time, tailor-made for the party. It's a greater satisfaction to find in a dungeon what you need than find some garbage, sell it half-price and buy that same item. Not to mention you lose 50% of the value that way and you lag behind with wealth.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber
Erevis Cale wrote:
Quote:
I think the gear an NPC carries should be believable.

Yes. I'm not saying that players should find a Tome of Intellect on a wizard, but finding a Tome of Constitution on a particular Dracolich isn't that much of a stretch isn't it?

yeah, but why would he have it? why wouldn't he have traded or sold it for something *usefull*. You can do this a couple of times in an AP, but it should be the exception, not the rule.

Erevis Cale wrote:


Quote:
Basically, everyone is going to carry one of those (the items are just too good not to)

But instead of giving random mooks 6 Rings of Protection +1 (which won't change a thing), you could give a Ring of Protection +5 to a Boss. It's not the same value, but I'm just saying that you could swap multiple minor items for one-two major ones.

the problem there is that you would need to swap out 25 rings of protection +1 to get one ring of protection +5. That's terrible from an adventure design point of view. You are cripling 25 mooks to beef up a single boss

Erevis Cale wrote:


Or, in the case of a silver two-bladed sword, if nobody's using that type of weapon, make it a silver Greataxe for the party barbarian.

exactly. But that's the DM's job, not the adventure designer. The complaint here is that the treasure in the adventure as written is insufficient. Switching weapons or treasure (i.e. tayloring it to your party) is just good DMing. And it doesn't change the total wealth in tha AP.

Erevis Cale wrote:


I'm just saying that loot should be, sometimes, not all the time, tailor-made for the party. It's a greater satisfaction to find in a dungeon what you need than find some garbage, sell it half-price and buy that same item. Not to mention you lose 50% of the value that way and you lag behind with wealth.

Agreed. But please, let's keep it believable. This is just anoying.


Quote:
yeah, but why would he have it? why wouldn't he have traded or sold it for something *usefull*. You can do this a couple of times in an AP, but it should be the exception, not the rule.

In case of Vithris Bale, I don't think he could have left his lair. And dragons hoard valuable items, no matter if they can use it or not. I'm not saying that you should use that for each and every item they encounter, but for some, you should think of a reason why it should be there.

Quote:
the problem there is that you would need to swap out 25 rings of protection +1 to get one ring of protection +5. That's terrible from an adventure design point of view. You are cripling 25 mooks to beef up a single boss

Well I did say FOR EXAMPLE, didn't I? :D I'm just saying that principle should be used, not that particular example. And +1 AC is not anywhere near crippling. It probably won't come up anywaysm, since if they're enough lvl so that there are +5 RoP used, +1 is neglible, and therefore is that item.

In case of Coldfire, it could have been a... +1 Humanbane Unholy Greatsword. Extra 4d6+2 dmg against which there is no DR is quite different than 2d6 extra damage which had no effect on our party.

My point is - switch useless items for more expensive, better items that will actually be handy to the NPCs. Or just shuffle it a bit to make it useful.


And now for something completely different:

My party uses "useless" items to bribe npc's, as gifts for allies, or buffs for their own mooks. The rogue/sorcerer has traveled to the plane from which her figurine of wondrous power ivory elephant is from and directly given him several items (+2 amulet of health, +2 ring of protection, +2 cloak of resistance {which does look very small and silly on him}, and a +2 bracers of armor) to make it even more terrifying. The idea was creative and it appealed to me so I houseruled that magic items resize from small to huge to fit the wearer.

Just about everyone they know wears boots of sriding and springing (it's kind of become the in-game Christmas fruit cake, they come up so often).

They've built a hidden armory in their hometown (not Cauldron) that will become very useful later on when the town is sacked and the peasants flee to the hills as refugees. The PC's will be able to arm that mob with all those +1 weapons of uselessness. We played Headless and those scythes will actually be fairly useful in the hands of the right farmers.

The PCs had to do this because Magic Emporium, Ltd. is very limited. Without the ability to just "cash in" the items, they had to get creative with them. But, they are having fun.

I'm not saying letting them cash in is bad.
I'm not saying tailoring treasure is bad.
This is just a different idea to chew on.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber
Erevis Cale wrote:


My point is - switch useless items for more expensive, better items that will actually be handy to the NPCs. Or just shuffle it a bit to make it useful.

good point :D

I think we're not that far apart. Basically we're both saying DM's should tailor treasure to their party. I guess we're just disagreeing on how and when this should happen. But that's up to the individual GM.

What I am curious about, though, is if you do switch around treasure while maintaining the overall value of the treasure in the AP, do your PC's still come up short? and if so, why is that?


Well, I dunno, I'm a player, but I know my DM doesn't change almost anything in the AP, so we end up selling almost everything* because it's useless to us and that reduces the amount of loot we get by 50%. And that's why it gets better in Oblivion because a lot of treasure there is pure gold or other valuable stuff.

* Last thing I remember that we actually used was Gloves of Dexterity +6 we got from Jill. Party Barbarian picked up an Adamantium Greataxe from somewhere in Oblivion just for the purposes of destroying doors, walls etc. My wizard bought every single item he owns. I copied some spells from other wizards' spellbook just because it's free (thanks to my Boccob's Blessed Book), but the spells they use are also stupid, mostly

And to answer your previous comment:

Quote:
exactly. But that's the DM's job, not the adventure designer. The complaint here is that the treasure in the adventure as written is insufficient.

Thing is, there is insufficient treasure because an average party is forced to sell most of the stuff because it's useless. So the designer had to either make treasure useful to a standard party (one consisting of a fighter, rogue, wizard and a cleric) or to give more treasure in order to compensate for the loss of selling half-price or to give more treasure in gold. I mean the only 'major' weapon we found so far, Alacast, is a quarterstaff for crying out loud. Who the hell uses staves aside from wizards?! And even they use it just for show.


Mykull wrote:
And now for something completely different (SNIP)

Awesome post - thank you! I'm going to look over this with respect to all my games.

Peace,

tfad

Paizo / Messageboards / Paizo Publishing / Older Products / Dungeon Magazine / Shackled City Adventure Path / Treasure Distribution for Encounters All Messageboards

Want to post a reply? Sign in.
Recent threads in Shackled City Adventure Path

©2002–2014 Paizo Inc.®. Need help? Email customer.service@paizo.com or call 425-250-0800 during our business hours: Monday–Friday, 10 AM–5 PM Pacific Time. View our privacy policy. Paizo Inc., Paizo, the Paizo golem logo, Pathfinder, the Pathfinder logo, Pathfinder Society, GameMastery, and Planet Stories are registered trademarks of Paizo Inc., and Pathfinder Roleplaying Game, Pathfinder Campaign Setting, Pathfinder Adventure Path, Pathfinder Adventure Card Game, Pathfinder Player Companion, Pathfinder Modules, Pathfinder Tales, Pathfinder Battles, Pathfinder Online, PaizoCon, RPG Superstar, The Golem's Got It, Titanic Games, the Titanic logo, and the Planet Stories planet logo are trademarks of Paizo Inc. Dungeons & Dragons, Dragon, Dungeon, and Polyhedron are registered trademarks of Wizards of the Coast, Inc., a subsidiary of Hasbro, Inc., and have been used by Paizo Inc. under license. Most product names are trademarks owned or used under license by the companies that publish those products; use of such names without mention of trademark status should not be construed as a challenge to such status.