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NPC Wealth is Lower? Why?


Pathfinder RPG General Discussion

Qadira

That was my exact reaction when I looked at the table. I couldn't believe it. The PCs got a much higher starting gold amount, and their progression's higher as well. That's great. It better reflects what they go through when they're adventuring.

However, the NPC wealth went down? That's not right. Yeah okay the minions don't get as much by comparison to say their leader (ie the Heroic Level progression). That makes sense. Or you can go one level higher for each if you're using the fast progression. Again, that makes sense. BUT, it's STILL lower than the D&D table. Why? That makes absolute no sense whatsoever.

Let's look at this. In D&D a PC got 760,000 gold by 20th level. The NPC version of that character had 220,000. In PF, a PC gets 880,000 gold at 20th level. That's higher, and is really nice. Their NPC counterpart gets 123,000, but the heroic version of that gets 159,000.

So, we went from being a little over 3.5 times richer to 5.5 to 7 times richer? Why?


Pathfinder reduced the CR of a classed NPC (it used to be CR={character level}, now it's CR={character level-1}), so presumably the treasure has to be reduced accordingly.

Taldor

hogarth wrote:
Pathfinder reduced the CR of a classed NPC, so presumably the treasure has to be reduced accordingly.

Bingo. If you use PC wealth-by-level for your NPC's instead, treat the CR as their class level instead.

Qadira

hogarth wrote:
Pathfinder reduced the CR of a classed NPC (it used to be CR={character level}, now it's CR={character level-1}), so presumably the treasure has to be reduced accordingly.

Really? I thought it was always CR-1 for NPCs because their classes weren't as good. Hence why you'd see a Warrior 4 be CR 3, but if it was a Warrior 3/Fighter 1 it was CR 4.


kevin_video wrote:
hogarth wrote:
Pathfinder reduced the CR of a classed NPC (it used to be CR={character level}, now it's CR={character level-1}), so presumably the treasure has to be reduced accordingly.
Really? I thought it was always CR-1 for NPCs because their classes weren't as good. Hence why you'd see a Warrior 4 be CR 3, but if it was a Warrior 3/Fighter 1 it was CR 4.

Yes, for characters with NPC classes only, it used to be CR=ECL-1, now it's CR=ECL-2 in PFRPG.

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Card Game, Companion Subscriber

CR of NPC with PC class levels : Level -1
CR of NPC with NPC class levels : Level -2

Qadira

Fair enough. Their lack of wealth would definitely decrease their CR, but I still don't see why they didn't keep the original wealth what it was for like boss characters. Especially if you're doing it as a fast progression, which states you go one level higher for wealth, and it's STILL lower. Unless you're supposed to go PC wealth table for them. Or half and half???

I'll throw this one in there too. If the character is an Aristocrat 9/Fighter 6, what's their total wealth?

Cheliax

Pathfinder increased the number of encounters of your level you'd need to level up. The NPC wealth is supposed to be used with the medium experiance progression. If you run a game with the fast progression add one to get the wealth of the NPC while you reduce their level by one if you are using the slow progression.
You can also give the NPCs the equipment a PC of there level would have, also that would increase their CR by one (and also greatly increase the loot the PCs could get).

Paizo Employee Creative Director

kevin_video wrote:

Fair enough. Their lack of wealth would definitely decrease their CR, but I still don't see why they didn't keep the original wealth what it was for like boss characters. Especially if you're doing it as a fast progression, which states you go one level higher for wealth, and it's STILL lower. Unless you're supposed to go PC wealth table for them. Or half and half???

I'll throw this one in there too. If the character is an Aristocrat 9/Fighter 6, what's their total wealth?

For boss NPCs, just give the NPC a PC's wealth. That increases the boss NPC's CR by +1, so a zero HD creature with class levels and PC wealth is a CR equal to his class level.

We do this pretty much for EVERY major boss of an adventure path.

Also—it's important to remember that a campaign's wealth level varies according to taste and according to the number of PCs in your party. Some GMs are comfortable giving out more treasure than the tables indicate (I'm in that category). And if you have more than 4 players in your group, you should be giving out more treasure anyway since they'll be splitting the treasure into smaller shares.

It's perfectly fine to tinker with those tables, in other words. The main reason they're there is to provide the game a baseline.

Qadira

Okay, so now I'm more confused. You've got CR -2, CR -1, and CR +1 for wealth based on going with the basic level, the heroic level, the fast progression level, and the PC level. What about just plan CR? Or is that only for monsters and not for NPCs with classes?


Thanks James, that's really helpful advice.

@kevin it's not CR = level +1, it's just CR = level for bosses with PC level gear.

Perhaps an example will help:

Level 3 Human Warrior with 1650 gp treasure= CR 1
Level 3 Human Fighter with 1650 gp treasure= CR 2
Level 3 Human Fighter with 3000 gp treasure= CR 3


NPCs with PC class levels have a base CR of level-1. NPCs with only NPC class levels have a base CR of level-2. NPCs with PC class levels and PC wealth would have a base CR of level.

Qadira

Okay. I'm starting to get it. So what about heroic level NPCs compared to the regular NPCs? The example given was Fighter 3 and Warrior 3 (both heroic) have 1650 gold at -2 and -1. What about the basic level NPC Warrior and Fighter 3 with only 780 gold? What's their CR?


kevin_video wrote:
Okay. I'm starting to get it. So what about heroic level NPCs compared to the regular NPCs? The example given was Fighter 3 and Warrior 3 (both heroic) have 1650 gold at -2 and -1. What about the basic level NPC Warrior and Fighter 3 with only 780 gold? What's their CR?

PC Class, fighter, cleric, wizard = Heroic NPC.

They get an array of 15,14,13,12,10,8 to assign to stats and heroic PC wealth, say 1650 at 3rd level. Their CR is 2, i.e. heroic/PC class levels -1.

NPC Class, warrior, adept = Basic NPC.
They get an array of 13,12,11,10,9,8 for ability scores, and 780 gp at 3rd level. Their CR is 1, i.e. basic/NPC class levels -2.

Special 'boss' characters, with PC class levels, will get full PC wealth, e.g. 3,000 gp at 3rd level, and sometimes even get to but thier stats as if they had 20 point point buy. They are usually CR 3, i.e. PC Class level.

All of the main 11 classes and APG classes, etc. are considered PC classes even if NPCs have them, NPCs never seem to get Traits or Favored Class bonus.

Qadira

Okay, now THAT I understand.

Just a follow-up then to everything. I'd ask before, but no answer. If an NPC has NPC and PC levels (ie adept 3/fighter 2), what's their wealth? How do you determine it? I won't ask their CR because no one seems to know, and it's already being asked on another thread.


kevin_video wrote:

Okay, now THAT I understand.

Just a follow-up then to everything. I'd ask before, but no answer. If an NPC has NPC and PC levels (ie adept 3/fighter 2), what's their wealth? How do you determine it? I won't ask their CR because no one seems to know, and it's already being asked on another thread.

It would have to go by CR. There is chart in the back of the bestiary that helps guide you when determining CR. I would use that to figure out the "true" CR.

Qadira

wraithstrike wrote:
It would have to go by CR.

I wondered about that.

Determining said true CR is actually what this thread's struggling with, so it's obviously not that easy.
http://paizo.com/paizo/messageboards/paizoPublishing/pathfinder/pathfinderR PG/general/nPCClassLevelsPCClassLevels


kevin_video wrote:

Okay, now THAT I understand.

Just a follow-up then to everything. I'd ask before, but no answer. If an NPC has NPC and PC levels (ie adept 3/fighter 2), what's their wealth? How do you determine it? I won't ask their CR because no one seems to know, and it's already being asked on another thread.

Well in 3.5 your adept 3/fighter 2 would have a CR of 2(3-1) + 2(2) = 4.

In PF, I guess it would be more like CR of 1(3-2)+ 1(2-1) = 2.


pres man wrote:
Well in 3.5 your adept 3/fighter 2 would have a CR of 2(3-1) + 2(2) = 4.

Not true. In 3.5, that'd be either a CR 2 or a CR 3, depending on order of operations. NPC class levels are always considered nonassociated levels for the purpose of multi-class and racial HD NPCs, so the Adept levels would be halved for CR purposes.


Zurai wrote:
pres man wrote:
Well in 3.5 your adept 3/fighter 2 would have a CR of 2(3-1) + 2(2) = 4.
Not true. In 3.5, that'd be either a CR 2 or a CR 3, depending on order of operations. NPC class levels are always considered nonassociated levels for the purpose of multi-class and racial HD NPCs, so the Adept levels would be halved for CR purposes.

I assume we are not talking about races with racial HD because that just introduces an added level of complexity to the issue.


Of course, all this CR math is well and good, but you never really know what's a challenge until you have a party and you try to kill them. Everything else is just speculation, in my opinion.


kevin_video wrote:
wraithstrike wrote:
It would have to go by CR.

I wondered about that.

Determining said true CR is actually what this thread's struggling with, so it's obviously not that easy.
http://paizo.com/paizo/messageboards/paizoPublishing/pathfinder/pathfinderR PG/general/nPCClassLevelsPCClassLevels

Base it on the stats. If they start with 15s and 14s, give then the heroic wealth, if the start with 13,s and 12s, basic.

You can start a warrior with heroic stats and wealth, but it won't quite conform to the CR system, similarly a warrior fighter with basic stats and wealth is on th elow end of their CR, while a warrior/fighter with heroic stats is probably on the high end. So its a blurred issue, but a simple straightforward answer would be to correlate their wealth progression to their initial stats. Decide stats by whether they have more NPC or PC class levels.

15,14,13,12,10,11 = Heroic = 1,650gp at 3rd level

13,12,11,10,9,8 = Basic = 780 gp at 3rd level.

A human rogue 2/aristocrat 1 with Str 12, Dex 17, Con 10, Int 14, Wis 8, Cha 13 should be CR 2 (though they'll be weaker than a rogue 3) with 1,650 gp.

A dwarf warrior 2/fighter 1 with Str 13, Dex 9, Con 14, Int 11, Wis 10, Cha 8 should be CR 1 (though they'll be stronger than a warrior 3) and start with 780 gp.


pres man wrote:
I assume we are not talking about races with racial HD because that just introduces an added level of complexity to the issue.

Doesn't matter; associated classes also apply to multiclass characters. A Barbarian 5/Sorcerer 3 is far less dangerous, in general, than a Barbarian 8. Thus, it's lower CR.


I'm going to spoil most of this because it is going off topic and so if people are not interested they can quickly skip over it.

3.5 Discussion:
Zurai wrote:
pres man wrote:
Well in 3.5 your adept 3/fighter 2 would have a CR of 2(3-1) + 2(2) = 4.
Not true. In 3.5, that'd be either a CR 2 or a CR 3, depending on order of operations. NPC class levels are always considered nonassociated levels for the purpose of multi-class and racial HD NPCs, so the Adept levels would be halved for CR purposes.
Zurai wrote:
pres man wrote:
I assume we are not talking about races with racial HD because that just introduces an added level of complexity to the issue.
Doesn't matter; associated classes also apply to multiclass characters. A Barbarian 5/Sorcerer 3 is far less dangerous, in general, than a Barbarian 8. Thus, it's lower CR.

The above is there to give context to my comments.

I assume you are speaking of the (non)associative rules in 3.5. In that case we should look at them.

3.5 SRD wrote:

Nonassociated Class Levels

If you add a class level that doesn’t directly play to a creature’s strength the class level is considered nonassociated, and things get a little more complicated. Adding a nonassociated class level to a monster increases its CR by ½ per level until one of its nonassociated class levels equals its original Hit Dice. At that point, each additional level of the same class or a similar one is considered associated and increases the monster’s CR by 1.

By "original hit dice" I assume they mean racial HD, I don't see how any other interpretation would make sense in this context. Thus for a race without racial hit dice, well this is not an issue at all. Now the earlier comment about NPC class always being nonassociated I assume comes from the additional statement:

3.5 SRD wrote:
Levels in NPC classes are always treated as nonassociated.

Now on its face it would appear that this means exactly what was said earlier, that each NPC level given to a character that it only increases the CR by 1/2. But let's put that interpretation to the test and see if makes sense. Let's look at 3 races in 3.5 core rules.

3.5 SRD wrote:

Drow

Challenge Rating
Drow with levels in NPC classes have a CR equal to their character level. Drow with levels in PC classes have a CR equal to their character level +1.
3.5 SRD wrote:

Goblin

Challenge Rating
Goblins with levels in NPC classes have a CR equal to their character level -2.
3.5 SRD wrote:

Kobold

Challenge Rating
Kobolds with levels in NPC classes have a CR equal to their character level -3.

Now if we take these as exceptions to the general rule we have the following situation.

An orc warrior 10 has a CR of 5 (1/2*10).
While a goblin warrior 10 has a CR of 8 (10-2).

Now to me that doesn't seem logical. Goblins make poor warriors generally, so why would they have a CR higher than an orc, a race that makes good warriors. Therefore, I have to conclude that the additional sentence is poorly worded and doesn't actually mean what it seems to.

Instead I would suggest the following interpretation makes a lot more logical sense.

"Levels in NPC classes are always treated as nonassociated [initially]."

As to the point of a Barbarian 5/Sorcerer 3 being weaker than a barbarian 8, this is true for the most part. But the actually game rules only allow so much complexity and such situations have to be handled on an individual basis. A barbarian put in an arena with out any gear that could cast mage armor, shield, and enlarge person on themselves might be worth loses 3 levels of barbarian. Especially since they would only need an 11 Cha (so no real MAD issue).

On topic, the discussion here seems to make more sense for the PF rules.

Looking back, my initially thought on how to do it in PF is clearly illogical, so please disregard it. As I don't DM PF, I haven't really had a lot of time to think about it.


@ Pres Man's 3.5 Stuff:

press man wrote:

Instead I would suggest the following interpretation makes a lot more logical sense.

"Levels in NPC classes are always treated as nonassociated [initially]."

Hey,

I've found the entire 3.5 CR system to be funky. In fact, I'm of the opinion that CR in the earliest days developed along two parallel lines ... one where CR=PC Level and another where CR=Challenge to a Party of 4, that ended up getting merged during the development process with the latter primarily winning out but texted relating to the former still in the rule books (DMG primarily).

Regardless, I have found the following to work best:

1) NPC-Class levels are always cut in half;

2) Non-Associated levels are cut in half until they equal the CR (rather than HD) of the creature in question, then count for full value.

Caveat 1 - Non-associated NPC-Class levels are thus effectively cut by 75%;

Caveat 2 - It might be worth changing #2 so that rather than having "Levels" equal the CR, that you have the independent CR of those levels after adjusting for PC/NPC Classing, etc. equal the CR of the base creature.

I really think CR and not HD should be the deciding factor on when levels count full or partial value, since it's possible to have a CR5 creature with 3 HD and one with 8-10 HD depending upon Templates and Special Abilities, or lack thereof. CR rather than HD is now the determination of "power" in the 3.x world, so unless you're placing "Level-based CR" against the monster's CR, then you're comparing Apple & Oranges with the Levels vs. HD model.

YMMV (but I suspect not much)

:-)

Rez


Rezdave wrote:

** spoiler omitted **

Spoiler:
So how do you interpret/handle goblins and kobolds who are suppose to have a lower CR based on having NPC levels?

I agree with Evil Lincoln, I wouldn't get too worked up over CR, unless you're writing something for publication.

The truth is, there are some EL13 encounters that my party of 6 7th level PCs will absolutely destroy, and some EL8 encounters that will likely kill one of them. You as a DM have to assess the relative strengths and weaknesses of your party.

This mostly relates to their average armor class, the amount of healing they have available, and the type of arcane spells they have memorized, and this varies widely from group to group.

Ken


For example, consider an NPC human 8th level sorcerer with PC gear is what, CR/EL 8? Now give him fly, greater invisibliity, lightning bolt, fireball, mirror image, silence, web, mage armor, shield, and magic missile. For his feats take improved initiative, spell focus evocation, combat casting, and toughness. He should have a scroll of dispel magic and a potion of cure serious wounds in his treasure. If he gets seriously injured he flies away, drinks his potion, waits 20 minutes, then recasts all his spells and attacks again.

That won't end well vs. the average party of 4 6th level PCs.

Now, have them fight 4 gargoyles, also EL 8. They'll toast them.

Ken

Qadira

kenmckinney wrote:

For example, consider an NPC human 8th level sorcerer with PC gear is what, CR/EL 8? Now give him fly, greater invisibliity, lightning bolt, fireball, mirror image, silence, web, mage armor, shield, and magic missile. For his feats take improved initiative, spell focus evocation, combat casting, and toughness. He should have a scroll of dispel magic and a potion of cure serious wounds in his treasure. If he gets seriously injured he flies away, drinks his potion, waits 20 minutes, then recasts all his spells and attacks again.

That won't end well vs. the average party of 4 6th level PCs.

Now, have them fight 4 gargoyles, also EL 8. They'll toast them.

Wait. Why does the only waiting of 20 mins make him a threat again?


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion, Modules Subscriber
kevin_video wrote:


Wait. Why does the only waiting of 20 mins make him a threat again?

Given his wealth he should be able to recover his hit points and remove status effects as well as a sorcerer having more spells per day, he could completely rebuff all the short duration spells and be as much of a threat as he was the first time around. Basically intelligent use of resources; 20 minutes of downtime is more than enough to get everything done that he/she would need to be at "full power" minus whatever spells were used the first encounter. Given that (in my experience anyways) groups don't usually fully recover after a fight (which leads to the X minute adventuring day) and groups tend to buff when they know something is coming up, a return encounter like this can be devastating.


What Skylander said. The icing on the cake is that after 20 minutes all the PC's buffs have worn off.

Ken

Cheliax

NPCs generally are much worse; they have less money, lower stats, no 1st level "full HP", and no traits. A PC party should be able to crush a similarly made-up NPC party for this reason. The PCs are "elite" amongst the world... we've talked about it many times, but DND almost all fights have "inevitability", which help to make that heroic feel (usually the PCs have the potential to be the most powerful ones in the world). Compare this with, well, pretty much any other RPG (World of Darkness, L5R, whatever else is out there)... there are often fights you can go your whole career without winning. Too many of these can actually be depressing... fantasy worlds are made to be places where your dreams can all come true :).


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
hogarth wrote:
Pathfinder reduced the CR of a classed NPC (it used to be CR={character level}, now it's CR={character level-1}), so presumably the treasure has to be reduced accordingly.

I've felt, for some time, that this was generally poor math. There is no way a single 18th level fighter for example, with minimal wealth, is even the equal of a single 17th level fighter with normal wealth, and he is much less any kind of threat to a full party.

For some time I've used CR = (Character level - 1 per 5 levels).

Qadira

hogarth wrote:
kevin_video wrote:
hogarth wrote:
Pathfinder reduced the CR of a classed NPC (it used to be CR={character level}, now it's CR={character level-1}), so presumably the treasure has to be reduced accordingly.
Really? I thought it was always CR-1 for NPCs because their classes weren't as good. Hence why you'd see a Warrior 4 be CR 3, but if it was a Warrior 3/Fighter 1 it was CR 4.
Yes, for characters with NPC classes only, it used to be CR=ECL-1, now it's CR=ECL-2 in PFRPG.

So here's my question to that. You have multiple 1st level warriors. They're considered CR 1/2 normally, but in PF are they still -2 making them 1/4? And first level fighters are CR 1/2?

Qadira

No one know? Or think about that before?


kevin_video wrote:


So here's my question to that. You have multiple 1st level warriors. They're considered CR 1/2 normally, but in PF are they still -2 making them 1/4? And first level fighters are CR 1/2?

I think they're two steps down from CR 1, which according to the chart in the Core Rulebook makes them CR 1/3 each.


kevin_video wrote:


So here's my question to that. You have multiple 1st level warriors. They're considered CR 1/2 normally, but in PF are they still -2 making them 1/4? And first level fighters are CR 1/2?

That's right, except -2 makes them CR 1/3.

Examples direct from the Bestiary:

Aasimar Cleric 1 : CR 1/2
Goblin Warrior 1 : CR 1/3

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